Coast Guard names first national security cutter
The Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Adm. Thomas H. Collins, announced that the service’s first National Security Cutter will be named after Ellsworth P. Bertholf, a Coast Guard hero and the first commandant of the modern-day Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf will be the first new ship delivered under the Integrated Deepwater System, a $24 billion, 25-year program designed to replace aging ships, aircraft, and communications systems. Earlier in his career, Bertholf earned national fame for his role in one of the service’s most famous rescues. In 1897, eight whaling ships were trapped in an ice field near the northernmost point in Alaska, and 265 men with the ships were in danger of starving during the long winter months. Bertholf, a lieutenant at the time, was part of a six-man expedition that traveled 1,500 miles by foot and sled to provision the trapped whalers with reindeer commandeered along the way. Bertholf received the Gold Medal of Honor from Congress for his part in the rescue. The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf is being built at the Northrop Grumman shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., and is scheduled for delivery in the spring of 2007. The Coast Guard is building eight National Security Cutters, which will be known as the Legend class. For more information on Deepwater and the National Security Cutter, visit www.uscg.mil/deepwater/. More information on Bertholf and the Overland Relief Expedition can be found at www.uscg.mil/history.
General Dynamics delivers first production Stryker NBC Reconnaissance vehicles
General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich., delivered its first two low-rate initial production (LRIP) Stryker Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBCRV) variants to the U.S. Army at Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Ala. General Dynamics will deliver 17 NBCRV variants during low-rate production, through March. The vehicles will be used for various tests and user evaluations through the 2007. The Army is expected to make the decision to begin full-rate production (called “Milestone C”) of the NBCRV toward the end of next year. The NBCRV provides the Stryker Brigade Combat Team with the Department of Defense’s newest nuclear, biological, and chemical detection equipment on the Stryker chassis. The NBCRV variant locates, marks, and reports NBC contamination on the battlefield. It detects and collects contaminated material in the vehicle’s immediate environment on the move through point detection and at a distance with a standoff detector. It automatically integrates contamination information from detectors with input from on-board navigation and meteorological systems. It also automatically transmits digital NBC warning messages to warn follow-on forces.
ThalesRaytheonSystems’ Battle Control System-Fixed passes U.S. Air Force interoperability tests
A new command and control (C2) system developed by ThalesRaytheonSystems (TRS) in Fullerton, Calif., passed its interoperability tests, earning the U.S. Air Force Systems Interoperability Test (AFSIT) certification and positioning the system one step closer to fielding. Called Battle Control System-Fixed (BCS-F), the new capability will support military and homeland security missions. Air Force certification is a major step in preparing BCS-F for use by NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), company officials say. This certification designates that the system is capable of seamless data exchange among Air Force units employing a variety of modern and legacy tactical data links. BCS-F is a next-generation air sovereignty system that serves as the early warning mechanism. The system correlates and fuses data from airborne, ground and naval elements and civil air traffic sensors into an integrated air picture that allows commanders to monitor the airspace above, beyond, and within the U.S. and Canadian borders. ThalesRaytheonSystems is an equally owned transatlantic joint venture between Raytheon Company and Thales Group.
BAE Systems awarded strategic systems programs contract
U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) in Washington has selected BAE Systems in Silver Spring, Md., to provide system engineering and integration support for the Trident II (D5) Fleet Ballistic Missile Strategic Weapon System (SWS) program. The contract is a continuation of a range of system engineering, test, analysis, IT, and logistics solutions performed by BAE Systems for SSP since 1956. The contract will be completed by September 2006. In support of the Strategic Weapon System, BAE Systems will modify and update system test procedures and plan for and participate in SWS testing during submarine overhaul, refit, and backfit. The company will also provide system engineering and integration efforts in the areas of system coordination, interface definition and control, technical documentation, fleet support, information systems, material support, facilities engineering, configuration management, and logistics management. BAE Systems will also provide technical services for Tomahawk Land Attack Missile-Nuclear (TLAM-N) Support and Advanced Systems Studies, Strategic Weapon System Underwater Launch Technology Sustainment, Trident II (D5) Life Extension Systems Engineering, and Trident Submarine Operation and Employment Studies.
NTS completes program to incorporate avionics interference testing
National Technical Systems Inc. (NTS) in Calabasas, Calif., has equipped three facilities to offer electromagnetic interference testing for electronics and avionics. The new capability simulates high-intensity radar sweeps encountered in hostile combat areas and commercially when crossing radar beams on final approach to an airport. The qualified facilities are in Boxborough, Mass.; Fullerton, Calif.; and Plano, Texas. The multimillion-dollar expansion began in 2003 and included installing several walk-in 7,000-cubic-foot shielded rooms, sophisticated signal generators, and RF-power amplifiers with frequency outputs ranging from 10 kHz to 40 GHz. The range of equipment that can be tested to the MIL-STD 461 and RTCA DO160 specifications include Shipboard equipment, ground-based equipment, navigation and control systems, engines and power systems, airborne weapon platforms and communication systems for aircraft, unmanned airborne vehicles, missiles and smart munitions. For more information contact NTS online at www.ntscorp.com.
Boeing awarded National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency security data contracts
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has extended Boeing’s work to speed delivery and analysis of critical, time-sensitive intelligence imagery to the agency’s end-users. The work to be conducted under the Global Geospatial Intelligence contract will be used by military and homeland security leaders, as well as the commercial aviation and shipping industries. “By tapping into Boeing’s unique expertise in data production, image analysis and visualization capabilities, the NGA receives the most accurate data available while meeting schedule and cost requirements,” says Brian Knutsen, general manager of Boeing S&IS Mission Systems in St. Louis, which provides technology and services to the Intelligence Community. “These contracts reaffirm the partnership and service that Boeing has provided to the NGA for more than a decade.” The orders include assembling geospatial feature data of high security-risk areas worldwide, producing detailed maps of cities in Iraq and Southeast Asia, producing digital nautical charts to improve maritime safety and plotting vertical obstructions for more than 50 air fields around the world. Boeing also will continue enhancing radar data of the earth from a previous space shuttle mission and will provide image analysis personnel and project management support to the NGA throughout the Washington, D.C., area.
EDO nets $10 million contract for signals intelligence antennas
Engineers at EDO Corp. in Bohemia, N.Y., are building as many as 273 signals intelligence shipboard antennas under terms of a $10 million U.S. Navy contract awarded in late September. EDO also is providing one-time, non-recurring engineering services for this modified antenna. Services will include internal manufacturing drawings, test procedures, test fixtures, and tooling. Work will be in Bohemia, N.Y., and will be finished by Oct. 2010. Awarding the contract is the Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego.
Analogic to develop next-generation checkpoint screening system
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has awarded a contract to Analogic Corp. in Peabody, Mass., to develop a next-generation checkpoint screening system as part of its CAMBRIA project. The TSA program’s objective is to develop an advanced carry-on bag and parcel inspection system. The innovative Carry-On Baggage Real-time Assessment (COBRA) checkpoint security system that Analogic has developed will be the company’s platform for an automated threat detection system with improved 3-D imaging capability to inspect passengers’ carry-on baggage. The COBRA employs advanced Computed Tomography (CT) technology to provide automatic detection and 3-D images of all the objects in a bag or parcel. Analogic’s award represents the first stage of this program, which calls for a deliverable product within one year. For more information go online at www.analogic.com.
General Dynamics awarded Stryker reset contract
The U.S. Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich., a contract for Stryker eight-wheeled combat vehicle sustainment or “reset” work. Through this contract, General Dynamics will service, repair, and modify 265 Stryker infantry combat vehicles, which are returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom, restoring them to a pre-combat, like-new condition in advance of reissuing the vehicles prior to their next deployment. These vehicles have been in service in Iraq since October 2003, supporting two 3,900-soldier Stryker Brigade Combat Team rotations. The reset work was to begin in mid-November by existing General Dynamics employees in Sterling Heights; London; Ontario, Canada; and at Fort Lewis, Wash. Work is expected to be complete by Sept. 30, 2006. During their service in Iraq, these vehicles were driven more than six million miles, participating in assignments ranging from Fallujah, Baghdad, and the Euphrates River Valley to the Tigris River Valley and Mosul. The vehicles maintained an operational readiness rate above 95 percent throughout their deployment in Iraq. The armored vehicles enable Stryker Brigade Combat Teams to maneuver easily in close and urban terrain, while providing protection in open terrain.
EFW awarded Marine Corps contract
The U.S. Marine Corps awarded EFW Inc., an Elbit Systems of America company, to develop, design, integrate, test, produce, and install equipment into Marine Corps vehicles. The value of this order is approximately $70 million and will be completed next year. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, EFW specializes in hardware and software solutions for upgrade, integration, and sustainment programs. EFW provides operational solutions for various land and airborne weapon platforms used by the U.S. and allied military forces. For more, visit www.elbitsystems.com.
Northrop Grumman to produce RQ-4B Global Hawks
The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems in San Diego a contract to build the next five RQ-4B Global Hawk aerial reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The $60 million contract will enable the company to start purchasing long-lead parts for the UAVs, the enhanced integrated sensor suites for four of the air vehicles, one mission-control element, and one launch-and-recovery element. Production of the hardware for these five new RQ-4B air vehicles is expected to begin late this year, with assembly starting next year. “These vehicles will be the first operational Global Hawks with full multi-intelligence capabilities, including signals intelligence,” says George Guerra, Northrop Grumman’s Air Force Global Hawk program manager. Northrop Grumman is currently producing five RQ-4B Global Hawks at its manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif., as part of several previous limited-production contracts. The new RQ-4B Global Hawk is designed to carry 3,000 pounds of payload, 50 percent more than the original RQ-4A configuration. This increased capability will allow the Air Force to install additional sensors on the air vehicle, increasing the amount and types of information available to warfighters.
TEK Micro to support Navy E-2D aircraft electronics
Officials of TEK Microsystems Inc. in Chelmsford, Mass., have received $5 million in orders from Northrop Grumman Corp. in Bethpage, N.Y., to produce data recording and playback systems for the next-generation radar system being developed for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye radar aircraft. This is the largest contract award in the history of TEK Microsystems; work on these contracts will extend through the first half of 2006, company officials say. The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft will be the U.S. Navy’s airborne early warning and battle management system, and will feature a new radar system along with other advanced capabilities. “The cornerstone of this program win was our integrated approach to systems development. By combining our JazzFiber module, PowerRACE I/O controller, and embedded switched fabric interconnect, we were able to tailor our hardware, software, and FPGA IP to meet Northrop’s requirements within aggressive size, weight and power constraints,” says Andrew Reddig, president and chief technology officer at TEK Microsystems, Inc.