Boeing awarded U.S. Marine Corps contract to extend ScanEagle services
U.S. Marine Corps officials awarded Boeing in St. Louis a 3-year, $18 million contract to provide additional Scan- Eagle intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support services to the Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF). Scan-Eagle is a long-endurance, autonomous unmanned aircraft, one which the Marines have used since 2004. The U.S. Navy has used the system since September 2005, and the Australian Defense Forces have used it since November 2006. During that time, ScanEagles have flown more than 4,600 sorties and 50,000 flight hours, including 34,000 hours with the MEF. The contract is for several system upgrades, including the new ScanEagle Block D air vehicle, Rover III forward display system compatibility, an enhanced infrared payload, and a mode C transponder. A ScanEagle air vehicle carries inertially stabilized electro-optical and infrared cameras. The gimbaled cameras allow the operator to easily track both stationary and moving targets.
Lockheed Martin completes test of Space-Based Infrared System
Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, Calif., completed a critical end-to-end test between the space and ground elements of the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS), a key milestone in preparation for launch and on-orbit operations of the program’s first geosynchronous orbit (GEO) spacecraft. SBIRS will provide early warning of missile launches and support other missions simultaneously, including missile defense, technical intelligence, and battlespace characterization. The test demonstrated the ability of the system’s ground components to work together during operation of the first SBIRS GEO satellite. The Interim Mission Control Station Backup in Boulder, Colo., the Lockheed Martin SBIRS Auxiliary Support Center in Sunnyvale, Northrop Grumman’s Satellite Payload Operational Test Station, and the satellite Functional Test Assembly participated in this key interface test. Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide two payloads in highly elliptical orbit (HEO) and two GEO satellites, as well as ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data.
London defense show set for September 2007
The Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) exhibition and conference will be Sept. 11 to 14, 2007, at the ExCeL conference and exhibition center in London. The event is for prime systems integrators, prime subcontractors, and first- and second-tier subcontractors in the military and aerospace community. Attendees and presenters include United Kingdom ministers and senior staff involved in defense procurement, senior international visitors and military influencers, defense companies, and international defense press. For more information, contact Spearhead Exhibitions Ltd. in Richmond, England, by phone at 011-44-208-439-8888, by fax at 011-44-208-439-8899, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at www.dsei.co.uk.
Study reveals need for interoperable radio communications in public safety sectors
A new study commissioned by the Software Defined Radio (SDR) Forum (www.sdrforum.org), states that the lack of interoperability among radios during Hurricane Katrina and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 are not just a technology problem but one also related to such factors as intellectual property rights, standards, and marketing. The 84-page study, “The U.S. Public Safety Market,” provides a look at a very fragmented market consisting of a multitude of federal, state, and local agencies; city, county, and regional jurisdictions; and police, fire, and emergency medical functions. It points out that, historically, each of these diverse organizations has independently procured, operated, and maintained its own public land mobile radio (PLMR) communication system but that these functions are not usually a focus for senior public officials with other professional experiences and priorities, according to the SDR Forum. The report goes on to cite five key challenges (identified by the National Task Force on Interoperability) to interoperability of public safety communication systems: incompatible and aging communication equipment; limited budgets and funding; fragmented planning and coordination; insufficient spectrum; and inadequate equipment standards. More information is available by contacting email@example.com.
Lockheed Martin tests guidance upgrade and improved software for ATACMS
Lockheed Martin officials in Dallas tested the new upgraded guidance and control system for the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. Results validated the new guidance upgrade, the integration of software and hardware, and their interaction with an improved fuze, company officials say. The missile achieved all test objectives. “Combat-proven ATACMS adds to the concept of ‘joint fires interdependence’ by offering the right munition to achieve the right effect at the right time, regardless of the color of the uniform you’re wearing,” says Col. Gary S. Kinne, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) systems manager for Rocket and Missile Systems (TSM-RAMS) at Fort Sill, Okla. “The Army’s first surface-to-surface, long-range, all-weather, precision attack capability used in combat, ATACMS provides the Joint Force Commander an immediately available, lethal asset to attack time-sensitive and high value stationary or fixed targets in both open and constrained environments (complex/urban terrain).” The Army TACMS Unitary missile is a responsive long-range missile, with a blast fragmentation warhead fired from the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) family of launchers, including the MLRS M270A1 launcher and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). The ATACMS family of munitions includes the Block I, Block IA, Block IA Unitary, and Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTD) Penetrator.
Boeing selects supplier for Super Hornet Block II infrared search and track capability
Boeing in St. Louis has selected Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control division to supply as many as 150 Infrared Search and Track (IRST) systems for Super Hornet Block II aircraft. “IRST is yet another addition to the Super Hornet Block II arsenal, and it will truly change the nature of the air-to-air fight,” says Capt. Donald Gaddis, U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F and EA-18G program manager, PMA-265. “Sensor-fused data from IRST, AESA, ALR-67(v)3 digitally cued receiver and off-board information will ensure the Super Hornet Block II dominates and survives against the most challenging air threats well past 2024.” Boeing expects to receive the initial IRST development contract from the Navy in the summer of 2008. The total contract value is expected to exceed $500 million through the development and production phases of the program. “Integration of IRST significantly enhances the capability of the Super Hornet Block II by providing multispectral air-to-air targeting,” says Bob Gower, vice president, Boeing F/A-18 programs. “IRST, a key component of the Super Hornet’s ‘Flight Plan,’ will provide the warfighter with unprecedented on-board situational awareness and enhance the engagement range of modern high-performance air-to-air weapons.” The Flight Plan is a roadmap of planned capability enhancements that will allow the Super Hornet Block II to remain ahead of emerging threats, while addressing warfighting needs in an integrated, cost-effective manner.
General Dynamics, Air Force team wins DOD modeling and simulation award for wargaming efforts
The U.S. Air Force A5XS team, comprising Air Force officers and General Dynamics Information Technology staff, was awarded the 2007 Department of Defense Modeling and Simulation Common and Cross-Cutting Award at the Defense Modeling and Simulation Conference in Hampton Roads, Va. The award is presented annually to teams or individuals for their outstanding achievements in the development or application of models and simulations within the Department of Defense. General Dynamics Information Technology is a business unit of General Dynamics. The team was recognized for ground-breaking work integrating modeling and simulation tools to support the analytical and information technology needs of Air Force Title 10 and Joint Wargaming exercises, which are conducted to prepare military services for operational and future alternative combat concepts. During the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Unified Engagement 06 wargame, the team delivered a wargame information environment that placed powerful and intuitive information retrieval, analysis, and visualization tools in the hands of joint and coalition participants. The work was performed under the Air Force A5X Wargaming Support contract that was awarded to General Dynamics in August 2006. Under the contract, the team developed more than 100,000 lines of code while integrating the capabilities of 15 disparate models. Serving more than 300 wargamers, including senior leaders from every branch of the military, the team charged through an aggressive two-year design, procurement, and development cycle supporting 10 worldwide wargame events. The result was a state-of-the-art, data-centric, user-friendly, automated, and web-based graphical user interface (GUI) that reduced player training requirements while enhancing player productivity.
Raytheon awarded Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment contract option
Raytheon Co. in Tewksbury, Mass., won a $22 million U.S. Army contract option to provide 41 Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment (RAID) tower systems with remote ground stations to protect U.S. Marine Corps forces in Iraq. These tower systems are in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Persistent Surveillance System initiative. The contract calls for 41 elevated sensor systems, including remote operation capability, with deliveries beginning in September 2007. Work will be performed at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems’ Integrated Air Defense Center in Andover, Mass., and at the Warfighter Protection Center in Huntsville, Ala. Raytheon Technical Services Company will provide field support. Raytheon first developed RAID to meet the military’s increasingly critical need for persistent surveillance in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. RAID consists of infrared sensor systems elevated on a stationary platform capable of detecting hostile troop and equipment movement at great distances. This capability enables U.S. and coalition forces to respond rapidly to threatening situations.
Northrop Grumman teams Air Force and FAA to study pilot response to lasers
The U.S. Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) led a team that included Northrop Grumman Corp. and its partners, Taboada Research Instruments and Cherokee CRC, to design, build, and integrate a one-of-a-kind laser positioning system in a Boeing 737 flight simulator to study flight performance while aircrews are exposed to lasers. The Northrop Grumman’s Information Technology (IT) sector team assisted the Air Force and FAA in creating this technology capability, which will help define how pilots respond to lasers when pointed at aircraft during flight. The researchers integrated eye-safe lasers in the flight simulator to monitor pilots’ reactions so that new flight safety measures can be developed to counter the threat.
DRS Technologies receives $19.6 million contract to produce rugged Appliqué computer systems and displays
DRS Technologies in Parsippany, N.J., received a $19.6 million contract to provide rugged Appliqué Computer Systems and peripheral equipment for the U.S. Army’s Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade, and Below (FBCB2) program. The order was placed by the U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command (CELCMC) at Fort Monmouth, N.J. The company’s DRS Tactical Systems unit in Melbourne, Fla., will produce the FBCB2 computer systems. The systems to be produced will include computer processors, display units, keyboards, hard disk drives, and mission data loaders. These systems support the Army’s Blue Force Tracking requirements and are being installed on more than 40 types of U.S. Army and Marine Corps wheeled and tracked vehicles, at tactical operations centers and at other command post platforms. The Appliqué computer systems that are common and interoperable will provide the tactical units with global positioning system capabilities, an ability to track and decipher between friendly and enemy combatants via a combat identification system, an ability to interface with terrestrial communication radios, such as the single-channel ground and airborne radio system, and the ability to access a satellite communications system.