In Brief

Dec. 1, 2007

Boeing teams with Northrop Grumman to develop B-52H Core Component Jammer

Boeing in St. Louis is teaming with Northrop Grumman Corp. to develop an airborne electronic attack system for U.S. Air Force B-52H jet bombers. The proposed B-52H Core Component Jammer (CCJ) program will provide long-range radar jamming, making in-theater air support safer and more effective. The Air Force is examining its airborne electronic attack needs, and has not yet issued a request for proposals. The CCJ capability will be added to the multimission-capable B-52H, which has significant structural life remaining, making the platform one of the most versatile in the Air Force inventory, Boeing officials say. “We are going to build on the existing relationship our companies have on the U.S. Navy’s EA-18G Growler,” says Pat McMahon, Northrop Grumman vice president of electronic support and attack solutions. If selected, modification work will be completed at Boeing’s Support Systems facility in Wichita, Kan., and at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Bethpage, N.Y.

Fourth modernized Lockheed Martin GPS satellite launched

A U.S. Air Force modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II launch vehicle. Designated GPS IIR-17M, the satellite is the fourth in a series of eight Block IIR-M spacecraft that Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems has modernized for its customer, the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The Block IIR-M series includes new features that enhance operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe. Each IIR-M satellite includes a modernized antenna panel that increases signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, and a second civil signal that will provide users with an open-access signal on a different frequency. The satellite joins three IIR-M satellites and 12 other operational Block IIR satellites within the current 28-spacecraft constellation. Lockheed Martin is also leading a team which includes ITT and General Dynamics in the competition to build the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation global positioning system, GPS Block III.

Northrop Grumman introduces Geospatial Data Appliance for defense and intelligence operations

The Northrop Grumman IT sector in McLean, Va., added a product to its suite of geospatial applications for U.S. defense and intelligence agencies. The Commercial Joint Mapping Toolkit (CJMTK) Geospatial Appliance provides users with ways of accessing National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) unclassified domestic and international products. The CJMTK Geospatial Appliance combines NGA products with commercial software, providing application-ready data for developers and end users of geospatial information. This enables access to a complete set of worldwide geospatial information used for supporting command and control, emergency operations, humanitarian assistance, conflict resolution, intelligence and special operations, and other defense-related activities. CJMTK consists of software components for the management, analysis, and visualization of map and map-related information. The toolkit leverages the technical benefits and economies of scale of commercially-based geospatial applications with common, services-based software architectures. The CJMTK program constitutes government and industry collaboration providing lifecycle management to mission application developers through 2014. The CJMTK Geospatial Appliance features two versions: a ruggedized deployable server that can support 50 users at one time and a configurable server that can support as many as 300 users at once. The product includes content management tools, maintenance, data and software update services, and a portfolio of geospatial data over global, strategic, operational, and tactical base maps.

General Dynamics awarded NSA contract for secure smartphone

The National Security Agency (NSA) awarded a contract to General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale, Ariz., enabling military and government users to order the Sectéra Edge secure, wireless phone/personal digital assistant (PDA) or “smartphone.” The Sectéra Edge smartphone will be available to U.S. Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and other government personnel with initial deliveries expected by the end of this year. “The Sectéra Edge smartphone effectively replaces multiple devices and is an elegant convergence of cutting-edge communications and information assurance technologies packaged in a rugged, user-friendly design,” says John Cole, vice president of Information Assurance at General Dynamics C4 Systems. “Military and government users will have secure network connectivity whenever they need it, even on the move.” Developed under the NSA Secure Mobile Environment/Portable Electronic Device (SME PED) program, the Sectéra Edge smartphone will provide wireless access to the U.S. government’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet), enabling users to email, Web-browse, and, with one touch, switch between classified and unclassified data communications. Similar in form and function to a commercial cell phone/PDA, the Sectéra Edge smartphone will operate on existing Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), and wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) commercial cellular networks. The smartphone will also interface with the Department of Defense Public Key Infrastructure using the government’s standard Common Access Card.

BAE Systems to supply thermal sights for Army weapon program

BAE Systems in Lexington, Mass., will provide thermal imaging sights for the U.S. Army’s Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station II (CROWS) program. Under the five-year contract, BAE Systems will manufacture and deliver as many as 6,500 TIM1500 thermal sights to Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace AS, supplier of the CROWS II system. The CROWS II program has a maximum order quantity of 6,500 remote weapon stations. Production deliveries will begin in early 2008. The TIM1500 improves situational awareness and gives the ability to carry out target acquisition and surveillance at extended ranges. It can be installed on any U.S. Army ground vehicle. Under an August 2005 contract valued at about $50 million, BAE Systems has already provided more than 1,400 TIM1500 units to Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace AS in support of the U.S. Army Stryker program. Production deliveries under this contract began in November 2005 and are expected to continue through April 2008.

VSI awarded JHMCS contracts worth more than $60 million

Vision Systems International LLC (VSI), in San Jose, Calif., announced several contracts with a total value of more than $60 million. The Boeing Company awarded VSI a contract for the delivery of more than 300 additional Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS). VSI has supplied the JHMCS to Boeing since the program’s inception in 1996; this award represents their eighth production contract. Under the Boeing agreement, VSI will provide JHMCS hardware, including spares, technical support, and support equipment for the rate production-lot 4 (FRP-4). Additional contracts will satisfy U.S. government domestic requirements for numerous aircraft such as the U.S. Air Force F-15 and F-16, Air National Guard F-15, U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F, as well as foreign military sales for Greece (F-16), Poland (F-16), Belgium (F-16), Turkey (F-16), Australia (F/A-18), Switzerland (F/A-18), and Canada (F/A-18). The JHMCS provides the pilot with “first look, first shot” off-boresight weapons engagement capabilities. The system enables the pilot to accurately cue onboard weapons and sensors against enemy aircraft and ground targets without the need to aggressively turn the aircraft or place the target in the heads-up display (HUD) for designation. Critical information and symbology, such as targeting cues and aircraft performance parameters, are graphically displayed directly on the pilot’s visor. This information, combined with the display of data link cues and other navigational and aircraft performance parameters, provides the pilot with an increase in situational awareness.

Honeywell developing augmented cognition technology to protect troops

Honeywell in Phoenix is developing technology for the U.S. Army’s augmented cognition (AugCog) program that will keep U.S. troops safer by improving the information processing capability and battlefield performance of military units operating in stressful environments. Honeywell’s AugCog technology will identify soldiers facing information overload and prompt real-time tactical changes by enabling commanders to redirect that information and any required action to other soldiers. The portable system uses body-mounted electrocardiogram (ECG) and electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors to monitor cognitive activity in the brain and blood flow in the body. Brain pattern and heart rate data from system-equipped soldiers will be transmitted wirelessly to commanders in real-time to improve overall battlefield information management and decision-making. “In the future, technology advances will force networked soldiers to have greater information processing responsibilities than ever before,” says Bob Smith, vice president, Advanced Technology, Honeywell Aerospace. “We are developing our augmented cognition technology to help soldiers and commanders manage the increasing barrage of data that exists on the net-centric battlefield.” Honeywell’s has already developed a prototype AugCog helmet that monitors various brain states including those associated with distraction, fatigue, and information overload. The system then uses that data to produce a visual readout for combat commanders showing the cognitive patterns of individual solders.

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