In Brief

Boeing to continue developing mobile laser weapon

Boeing Missile Defense Systems in St. Louis won a U.S. Army contract worth approximately $36 million to continue developing a truck-mounted, high-energy laser weapon system that will destroy rockets, artillery shells, and mortar rounds. Under the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD) Phase II contract, Boeing engineers will complete the design, then build, test, and evaluate a rugged beam control system on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck. Boeing also will develop the system-engineering requirements for the entire HEL TD laser weapon system. The preliminary design of the beam control system was completed earlier this summer. “This contract award is an important win for Boeing because it supports a cornerstone of the Army’s high-energy laser program,” says Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. “HEL TD will give warfighters a transformational capability to counter the difficult threats posed by rockets, artillery shells, and mortar projectiles.” The objective of the HEL TD program is to demonstrate that a mobile, solid-state laser weapon system can counter rocket, artillery, and mortar projectiles. The program will support the switch to a full-fledged Army acquisition program.

Lockheed Martin awarded $8.9 million thermal camera contract

Lockheed Martin’s Santa Barbara, Fla., Focalplane (SBF) production operations received a production order for 150 Integrated Dewar Cooler Assembly thermal cameras from Gyrocam Systems. This order is the first of 500 projected systems under the U.S. Army contract. Lockheed Martin’s SBF cameras are designed into Gyrocam systems and will provide thermal capabilities to the U.S. Army’s Vehicle Optics Sensor System for mine-protected vehicles. The multisensor camera system offers zoom, night vision, and thermal capabilities, and is mounted on a telescoping mast that is gyro-stabilized for operations on the move. “The incorporation of the SBF camera into the Gyrocam System will provide the warfighter with the highest quality of thermal capability and sensitivity imaging available,” says Pat Sunderlin, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control director of operations. Lockheed Martin’s SBF operation is engaged in the research, design, development, and manufacture of state-of-the-art infrared detectors and sensor engines for programs such as the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

General Dynamics to acquire Jet Aviation for $2.25 billion

General Dynamics in Falls Church, Va., and Dreamliner Lux S.a.r.l., have entered into a definitive agreement for General Dynamics to acquire Zurich, Switzerland-based Jet Aviation for $2.25 billion in cash. Dreamliner Lux S.a.r.l. is a company controlled by the Permira Funds. The proposed acquisition, which has been approved by the board of directors of both companies, would be immediately accretive to General Dynamics’ earnings. The transaction is subject to normal regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the end of 2008. Jet Aviation is a business-aviation services company. Following completion of the acquisition, Jet Aviation will continue serving the entire aircraft manufacturing community and its global client base as a business unit within the General Dynamics Aerospace group operating under the Jet Aviation and Midcoast Aviation brands. The General Dynamics Aerospace group designs, develops, manufacturers and services an offering of advanced business-jet aircraft.

Lockheed Martin SBIRS team completes on-orbit handover of first HEO payload to U.S. Air Force

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. officials in Sunnyvale, Calif., announced the on-orbit handover of the first Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Elliptical Orbit (HEO-1) payload and ground system to the U.S. Air Force in preparation for the start of certified operations later this year. SBIRS is designed to provide early warning of missile launches, and simultaneously support other missions including missile defense, technical intelligence, and battlespace characterization. Announced to be on-orbit in late 2006, the HEO-1 payload has been exceeding performance specifications during an extensive on-orbit test regimen necessary before it can begin on-orbit operations for the user. The HEO-1 payload and associated ground components will undergo a final independent operational test and evaluation. The SBIRS team is led by the Space Based Infrared Systems Wing at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Sunnyvale, Calif., is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Azusa, Calif., as the payload integrator. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system. The HEO sensor provides an infrared view of the battlefield that represents the first steps in an evolving battlespace awareness capability while also providing real-time data on missiles, aircraft, and other events.

Boeing and Seal Dynamics sign contract for supply-chain solution

Boeing in Seattle and Seal Dynamics have signed an agreement that will help airlines reduce their maintenance costs. Seal Dynamics is an integrated provider of engineering and logistics solutions serving the industrial and airline industries. This partnership is part of Boeing’s Integrated Materials Management (IMM) initiative, in which Boeing and suppliers such as Seal Dynamics maintain an airline’s inventory of spare parts, providing items as needed. IMM reduces the cost of doing business by reducing the airline’s spare parts inventory. The Aerospace MRO Division of Seal Dynamics serves global, national, and regional carriers within the commercial airline and aviation industry. Their strength in engineering and logistics expertise provide the product solutions, services, and support necessary to ensure the right products are available to customers when they need them, Boeing officials say. Integrated Materials Management is considered the next step in expanding Boeing services to suppliers throughout the world to provide value for airline customers and supplier partners by building on existing materials management programs with airlines. Current IMM customers include AirTran Airways, ANA, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, SAS Technical Services, Japan Transocean Air, Singapore Airlines, SIAEC, and Thai International Airways.

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