In Brief

Boeing and Lockheed Martin team for next-generation bomber program

Officials at Boeing in St. Louis and Lockheed Martin in Bethesda, Md., are teaming to study and develop the U.S. Air Force Next Generation Bomber. Work toward a long-range strike aircraft will involve advanced sensors, electronic warfare, network-enabled battle management, command and control, and virtual warfare simulation. “The work performed by the Boeing/Lockheed Martin team is designed to help the Air Force establish capability-based roadmaps for technology maturation and date certain timelines for the Next Generation Bomber program,” says Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Advanced Systems. Boeing and Lockheed Martin have formed teams for several high profile programs including the F-22 Raptor and Small Diameter Bomb Increment II. The team plans to provide the new long-range capability to the Air Force by 2018, says Frank Cappuccio, Lockheed Martin’s executive vice president and general manager for Advanced Development Programs (the Skunk Works) and Strategic Planning.

U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin team completes on-orbit deployment of modernized GPS satellite

The modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, which launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., last December, is operational for military and civilian navigation users around the globe, Lockheed Martin officials say. Lockheed Martin’s operations team assisted Air Force Space Command’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2 SOPS) and its Reserve associate unit 19 SOPS based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., with the launch and early orbit operations. Designated GPS IIR-18M, the satellite is the fifth in a series of eight Block IIR-M spacecraft that Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems has modernized for the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space, and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The Block IIR-M series joins four IIR-M satellites and 12 other operational Block IIR satellites within the current 30-spacecraft constellation. Each IIR-M satellite includes a modernized antenna panel that provides increased 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.

General Dynamics awarded $30 million for Abrams tank-related work

The U.S. TACOM Lifecycle Management Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich., two Abrams main battle tank-related contracts with a total value of $30.4 million. The first contract provides $12.4 million for parts to upgrade 435 M1A1 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 Systems Enhancement Package Version Two configuration. The M1A2 SEP V2 is the most technologically advanced digital tank, General Dynamics officials say. It includes improved displays, sights, power, and a tank-infantry phone, and is compatible with the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems. Work will be in Lima, Ohio. The second contract provides $18 million to restore 204 M1A1 Abrams Integrated Management tanks. The reset process restores used equipment to combat-level capability. The upgraded tanks will feature technology that improves crew situational awareness, including second-generation forward-looking infrared, far target locate, a tank-infantry phone, and driver’s vision enhancement. The modifications increase the M1A1 Abrams tank’s fighting capability by providing an electronic graphic of the battlefield with icons identifying friendly and enemy forces and providing a tank commander’s thermal sight for the .50 caliber machine gun. Work will be in Anniston, Ala.; Sterling Heights, Mich.; and Lima, Ohio, by existing General Dynamics employees, and will be completed by April 1.

Raytheon to provide AESA capabilities to 135 F/A-18s

The U.S. Navy is retrofitting 135 F/A-18 Super Hornets with Raytheon’s APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. An initial contract worth nearly $55 million authorizes Raytheon to supply 19 AESA systems, spares, and maintenance. This ensures Super Hornets manufactured before installation of the APG-79 will benefit from Raytheon’s new advanced sensor technology. The APG-79 program is moving toward full-rate production in anticipation of delivering 415 systems plus spares to the Navy and 24 systems to the Royal Australian air force in coming years. The AESA radar delivers non-traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, high-speed transfer of actionable information, situational awareness, and targeting capabilities. Two AESA-equipped fleet squadrons are training for an expected deployment in 2008—the VFA-213 Black Lions at Oceana Naval Air Station, Va., and the VFA-22 Fighting Redcocks at Lemoore Naval Air Station, Calif. AESA-equipped Super Hornets also are going to two training squadrons.

SAIC’s Defense Solutions Group renews CMMI Level 5 rating

Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) Defense Solutions Group in McLean, Va., has achieved the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute’s (SEI’s) Capability Maturity Model Integration for Development (CMMI-DEV) Maturity Level 5 rating. This is the highest attainable rating for benchmarking commercial and defense industry best practices and mature processes for systems and software management and engineering. These repeatable processes can help reduce risk, manage costs, improve technical delivery, and meet demanding schedules, SAIC officials say. The appraisal assessed systems engineering and integration, and software development and maintenance disciplines across the organization. Consisting of six business units, SAIC’s DSG specializes in systems engineering and integration; command, control, and communications; software systems development and maintenance; network engineering; and security engineering.

More in Communications