In Brief

Dec. 1, 2008
The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) contract, awarded to BAE Systems, has been transferred from the U.S. Army to the U.S. Navy.

Navy and Marine Corps lead BAE Systems precision-targeted weapon development program

The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) contract, awarded to BAE Systems, has been transferred from the U.S. Army to the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps assumed the APKWS development contract with BAE Systems to complete system development and demonstration (SDD) of the rocket-guidance capability. “APKWS will give troops the ability to engage enemies in an urban environment, minimizing casualties and property damage, and allowing helicopter troops to target enemies with increased precision even before opposition forces are aware of engagement,” says Frank Wilson, vice president of precision targeting for BAE Systems in Nashua, N.H. APKWS is a low-cost, low-yield precision munition system that turns a standard 2.75-inch unguided rocket to a smart, laser-guided weapon capable of engaging unarmored and lightly armored targets. Development funding will be used for testing and qualification of APKWS for use on the Marine Corps’ AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter. BAE Systems’ Nashua facility plans to begin producing the rockets at the end of 2009.

Raytheon to modernize F-15E radar

Boeing awarded a system design and development contract to Raytheon to modernize the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar program for the U. S. Air Force F-15E fighter. The radar modernization will use AESA technology developed by the company for the Air Force F-15C and the Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet, on deployment. Since selection by Boeing last November, the AESA team has been working on some early software and design development initiatives, says Tom Kennedy, vice president for Tactical Airborne Systems. Raytheon’s advanced multi-role AESA radar systems are the radar of choice for the F-15C, F-15E, F/A-18E/F, and EA-18G. The technology is approved for export to various international customers, including Singapore and Australia, and is part of Boeing’s Super Hornet offering in India’s current fighter competition.

Lockheed Martin wins contract for U.S. Air Force Self-Awareness Space Situational Awareness

The U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. in Denver, Colo., a $30 million contract for the development phase of the Self-Awareness Space Situational Awareness (SASSA) technology demonstration program. Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will develop a technology demonstration payload to provide tactical space situational awareness with dedicated communications. The surveillance system will increase critical awareness of threats to U.S. satellites and demonstrate the capability to control and manage as many as eight instruments for operational systems implementation. The Space Superiority Systems Wing of the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., initiated the program. “Our SASSA approach will use our extensive system engineering and integration expertise, using mature hardware and software to provide our customer with a low-risk, mission solution,” says Phil Bowen, director of surveillance and intelligence systems at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.

Boeing demonstrates advanced networking capabilities at Fort Dix exercise

Boeing demonstrated network-centric successes this summer during a U.S. Army exercise at Fort Dix, N.J. The event marked the Army’s largest-ever command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) and networking technology demonstration. During the event, Boeing demonstrated several advancements in network-centric operations. A CH-47D/F Chinook helicopter surrogate demonstrated three of the key Future Force network-enabling technologies operating together simultaneously–the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW), the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) and the System-of-Systems Common Operating Environment. For the first time, Boeing’s A160T Hummingbird UAV used an electro-optical/infrared sensor to increase ISR and situational awareness for other airborne and ground assets while bridging and strengthening air/ground communications networks, Boeing officials say. An AH-64D Apache helicopter, using the Block III architecture and the Open System Gateway, exchanged Variable Message Format messages with ground forces via the SRW. The Apache crew also routed electro-optical sensor video and data through the A160T as well as directly to the tactical operations center. Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) surrogate radios, running a subset of the WNW, passed data between the Chinook surrogate and the tactical operations center, and supported Chinook logistics, chat, Tactical White Board, and aircraft situational awareness. The WNW uses common Internet Protocol-based networking concepts to transmit voice, video, and data in a mobile ad-hoc networking environment.

Lockheed Martin team completes GPS III Integrated Baseline Review

The Lockheed Martin team developing the next-generation Global Positioning System spacecraft, known as GPS III, completed on schedule an Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) with the U.S. Air Force, an important program milestone that precedes the Preliminary Design Review. GPS III will improve position, navigation, and timing services for the warfighter and civil users worldwide and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding improved system security, accuracy, and reliability. The IBR consisted of a review of the entire program and established a reliable baseline in relation to the program’s cost, schedule, and technical requirements. The Lockheed Martin GPS III team–which includes ITT in Clifton, N.J. and General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Gilbert, Ariz.–is on track to complete the space vehicle Preliminary Design Review in second quarter 2009. The team is working under a $1.4 billion Development and Production contract awarded in May 2008 by the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space, and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., to produce the first two GPS IIIA satellites, with first launch projected for 2014. The contract also includes options for as many as 10 additional spacecraft.

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems to integrate ship mission system for Austal Joint High Speed Vessel

The U.S. Navy awarded Austal USA a contract for the detailed design and construction of the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV). General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Fairfax, Va., a subcontractor to Austal USA, will be the ship mission system integrator over the life of the expected 10-ship program. The Joint High Speed Vessel will be capable of transporting troops and their equipment, supporting humanitarian relief efforts, operating in shallow waters, and reaching speeds in excess of 35 knots loaded. The vessels will be a joint-use platform operated by both the U.S. Army and Navy. Under the Navy contract, Austal will design and construct the first 103-meter JHSV. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems will design, integrate, and test the ship’s electronic systems, including an Open Architecture Computing Infrastructure (OpenCI), internal and external communication, electronic navigation, aviation, and armament systems. General Dynamics will use its integration experience and open computing infrastructure from its work on the General Dynamics’ Littoral Combat Ship program.

Raytheon’s JLENS conducts design reviews

Raytheon JLENS (Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System) conducted critical design readiness reviews (CDRR) on its final two prime items, the surveillance radar (SuR) and the communications and processing group (CPG). Both are key milestones in the U.S. Army program that will provide a critical cruise missile defense capability. “JLENS provides the soldier with key performance capabilities,” says Lt. Col. Stephen Willhelm, JLENS product manager, U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space. “The SuR and CPG CDRRs demonstrate the maturity of the design is where we need it to be and reaffirms our continued confidence that this critical cruise missile defense capability is on track to be provided to our warfighters.” The reviews thoroughly assessed all aspects of JLENS SuR and CPG design maturity and confidence. These prime items are prerequisite to the JLENS Orbit CDR planned for later this year, a key milestone in the $1.4 billion system design and demonstration (SDD) contract under which two JLENS Orbits are being delivered. System testing is scheduled to begin in 2010 with SDD program completion in 2012. JLENS provides long-duration, wide-area, over-the-horizon detection and tracking of incoming cruise missiles. At the same time, it supplies the battlefield commander with situational awareness and elevated communications capabilities to provide sufficient warning to enable air defense systems to engage and defeat threats.

SAIC to provide network planning and software support for U.S. Army

Officials at Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) in McLean, Va., won the Joint Network Management System (JNMS) contract from the U.S. Army’s Office of the Project Manager–Current Force to provide network planning and software support services. This prime contract has a one-year base period of performance, two one-year options, and a total contract value of more than $24 million if all options are exercised. Work will be performed primarily in San Diego. The JNMS provides Army and Marine Corps units with tools to create and implement network management plans, and monitor system performance. Under this contract, SAIC will assist in the production and deployment of the system, as well as provide training and help-desk services. SAIC will also provide post-deployment/production software, logistics, and engineering support.

Northrop Grumman tests AESA radar

Northrop Grumman Corp. in Baltimore conducted the first demonstration flight of the company’s newest active electronically scanned array (AESA) fighter sensor, the scalable agile beam radar (SABR). SABR is being developed to enhance existing F-16s and other fighter aircraft. “This first flight marks a major milestone in our effort to develop an AESA radar designed specifically to meet current F-16 power, cooling, and interface requirements,” says Arlene Camp, director of Advanced F-16 Radar Programs at Northrop Grumman. “Although designed specifically for the F-16, SABR is scalable and adaptable to other platforms and missions.” SABR completed its first flight ahead of schedule, detecting and displaying numerous aerial targets, and exceeding first flight predictions, Camp notes. “This demonstration flight is the first in a series scheduled over the next few weeks as we switch SABR from a laboratory environment to an operational flight environment,” Camp says. “The Sabreliner testbed aircraft has an actual F-16 radome and avionics. We’ve used the Sabreliner for more than 20 years for developing and testing F-16 mechanically scanned radar hardware and software. It’s as close as you’re going to get to a real F-16 flight demonstration.” Compared to the mechanically-scanned array radars it is designed to replace, SABR will provide the increased performance, multi-functionality, and greater reliability inherent in AESA radars. The improved situational awareness, greater detection, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar, and interleaved air-to-air and air-to-surface mode operations will provide pilots true all-environment precision strike capability.

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