NEW YORK - When British pilots take to the air on electronic reconnaissance missions, they rely on radar sensors in their Nimrod aircraft. Now that sensor suite is getting a major upgrade.
L-3 Communications has announced that its Integrated Systems subsidiary was selected for an 18-month contract to conduct Stage 2 architecture studies for the U.K. Ministry of Defense’s Project Helix. The contract is valued at approximately $9 million.
Project Helix is a multi-stage acquisition of an upgraded mission suite for the Nimrod R1 electronic reconnaissance system. The Nimrod R1 is the Royal Air Force’s electronic reconnaissance aircraft, which is used to examine routine radio and radar signals and provide electronic combat support to military commanders.
L-3 was one of three companies selected for the first of three assessment phases for Project Helix last year, which focused on requirements understanding, and ensuring that good project management procedures were in place
The second stage, which commenced this past spring, built on the first, with greater focus on the process of system definition. Following this definition stage, there will be another selection for a “preferred bidder” for the next stage. The final stage of the assessment phase is a risk reduction exercise, with main gate submission due in late 2007. The demonstration and manufacture phase will commence following main gate approval with a first increment contract of $370 million.
Over a 13-year period, Project Helix has a projected acquisition value of more than $700 million. The project is managed from the Defense Logistics Organization (DLO), within the NIMROD Integrated Project Team (IPT) at RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire, U.K., and is one of the very few large procurement programs to be managed outside of the U.K.’s Defense Procurement Agency (DPA) headquarters in Abbey Wood, Bristol, U.K. For more information, see www.L-3Com.com.