In Brief

May 1, 2005

BAE Systems protects U.S. Army and Navy helicopters

Officials at BAE Systems in Nashua, N.H., will provide the U.S. military with additional AN/ALQ-144A Countermeasures Sets. The ALQ-144 system protects helicopters from infrared-guided missile threats. The contract is part of two indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contracts received from the Army’s Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM) to produce countermeasures systems for Army and Navy helicopters. Under the first ID/IQ contract, which has a $40 million ceiling value, BAE will provide the ALQ-144A(V) 5 and 6 versions to support Navy MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters. This contract includes integrated logistics support, spares, and engineering services. The second contract, with a maximum value of $50 million, provides for sales of the ALQ-144A(V)1/3 system to allied forces under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. More than 6,000 of the combat-proven ALQ-144A Countermeasures systems are already deployed worldwide.

Northrop Grumman to expand UAV facility in Mississippi

Officials at Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems recently announced that the company is expanding the scope of work at its planned Jackson County, Miss., unmanned-systems center at Trent Lott International Airport to include the low-cost manufacture of subassemblies for the U.S. Air Force’s RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle (UAV). Originally slated to occupy 39,000 square feet and employ approximately 40 people to produce the Fire Scout UAV for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army, the company’s Integrated Systems sector facility will now occupy more than 100,000 square feet and initially provide 100 high-tech manufacturing jobs. That figure could rise to about 160 jobs within the next few years should UAV production rates increase, company officials say. Construction will begin later this month and be completed in November. Northrop Grumman will hire and train new employees starting in September. Production start-up is planned for January 2006.

Thales forms alliance partnership with Wind River

Officials at Thales Computers in Raleigh, N.C., and Wind River in Alameda, Calif., are joining together to provide Thales’ computer activities with early access to next-generation, market-specific Wind River Platforms and software development licenses for a range of real-time operating systems and development environments. By porting the company’s VxWorks Board-Support Packages (BSPs) to these platforms ahead of time, Thales’ computers activities enable customers to market new applications faster, Thales officials say. Thales and Wind River are also ensuring forward- and backward-compatibility for legacy application code. “In the defense market where the COTS user often needs to talk to multiple suppliers to solve complex support or technology insertion issues, this type of partnership is the foundation from which more integrated long-term support services between suppliers can be built,” says Thales Computers chief executive officer, Alain Albarello.

Lockheed Martin delivers first Atlas Five Booster to west coast launch site

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. of Denver, Col., recently delivered the first Atlas V booster to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The booster and Centaur upper stage made separate trips from Denver, Colo. aboard an An-124-100 Russian aircraft and upon landing and offload were taken to a base facility for receiving inspection. In March, the Atlas team will transport the rocket segments to the newly refurbished Space Launch Complex 3 East for vertical stacking, followed by “pathfinding” activity leading to first launch later this year. Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force broke ground at SLC-3E in January 2004 to begin the renovations required to prepare the launch site for Atlas V missions. The Atlas V vehicle stands more than 200 feet tall, an increase of about 50 feet more than the Atlas IIAS vehicle that launched successfully three times from SLC-3E. The vehicle also incorporates a stretched Centaur upper stage. In performance, The Atlas V 400 and 500 series of launch vehicles will provide more than two times the lift capability of the 100 percent successful Atlas IIAS vehicle, which concluded its perfect record with the final launch from CCAFS Aug. 31, 2004.

General Dynamics selects Enea’s OSE RTOS for U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System

Officials at General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale, Ariz., selected the OSE real-time operating system (RTOS) and development tools from Enea Embedded Technology in Tempe, Ariz., for use in a wireless satellite ground control system that is providing for the U.S. Navy SPAWAR’s (Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command) Mobile User Objective System. The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed to significantly improve ground communications for U.S. forces on the move. OSE is a compact, pre-emptive, memory-protected, multi-processor RTOS optimized for distributed, fault-tolerant applications that demand reliability, security, and availability. OSE enhances reliability by building a firewall between kernel and application processes that prevents errant or malicious processes from corrupting each other. OSE further enhances reliability and availability by providing automatic failure detection and supervision (health monitoring) of system processes and applications.

Smiths Aerospace chooses WelcomRisk for next- generation commercial aircraft program

Officials at Smiths Aerospace chose WelcomRisk from Welcom in Houston for a new commercial aircraft program. WelcomRisk identifies, mitigates, and reports project risks. Smiths experts are using WelcomRisk to help them manage the aircraft project and evaluate different ways of developing aircraft technology. Smiths Aerospace also uses Welcom’s other project-management applications for scheduling (Open Plan), cost management (Cobra) and collaboration (WelcomHome). WelcomRisk integrates tightly with all Welcom products as well as with Microsoft Project and Primavera P3e. For more information go online at

Honeywell to maintain F-15 avionics test systems

Officials at Honeywell in Phoenix will provide maintenance, spare parts, and engineering for the automatic test systems for avionics maintenance on U.S. Air Force F-15 jet aircraft. The contract from the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Warner Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is part of an Air Force supply chain overhaul to improve readiness and reduce the total cost of aircraft ownership. The project calls for demand forecasting, asset allocation, inventory management, and guaranteed test station availability. Work will be at Honeywell facilities in Teterboro, N.J., and Minneapolis beginning this year. For more information go online at

Mentor Graphics and UGS to streamline electromechanical product development process

Officials at Mentor Graphics Corp. in San Jose, Calif., a provider of electrical systems design solutions, and UGS in Wilsonville, Ore., a provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, have joined hands to deliver tight interoperability between their products, which provide solutions to meet the needs of complex electromechanical platforms such as automobiles, airplanes, and trains. The signing of this agreement represents a milestone in cooperation between leading vendors from different domains-electrical and mechanical. Both companies are investing resources to develop this integration and plan to deliver the first stage of integrated products in the second half of 2005. For more information on UGS, visit For more on Mentor Graphics visit

Air Force takes delivery of last Joint STARS aircraft

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Integrated Systems sector in El Segundo, Calif., delivered the 17th and final production E‑8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft to the U.S. Air Force. Like all Joint STARS, the aircraft will be assigned to the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing (ACW) at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. Joint STARS detects, locates, classifies, tracks, and targets hostile ground movements; it sends real-time information through secure data links with Air Force and U.S. Army command posts. The first Joint STARS aircraft, delivered in 1996, is completing its upgrade to the Block 20 Computer Replacement Program design, which features an integrated commercial off-the-shelf computing and signal-processing architecture. This “open” architecture enables technicians to upgrade the E-8C’s hardware and software to meet future surveillance, targeting, and battle-management requirements.

Northrop Grumman to develop microelectronics for communications and radar

Officials at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., selected Northrop Grumman Space Technology in Redondo Beach, Calif., to develop electronic components made from gallium nitride-a new semiconductor material system that helps improve military communications, radar, and intelligence capabilities. “This new contract will enable us to transition gallium nitride technology from development to production, just as we have previously transitioned gallium arsenide and indium phosphide technologies from research through development to flight-qualified production for critical government platforms,” says Dwight Streit, vice president, Foundation Technologies, at the company’s Space Technology sector. Work for the DARPA program will be at the Northrop Grumman Space Technology facility in Manhattan Beach, Calif., and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Baltimore.

Boeing to produce emergency radios for downed Air Force pilots

U.S. Air Force officials awarded a contract to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems in St. Louis to build the Combat Survivor Evader Locator (CSEL) communications system. Boeing will deliver 5,053 CSEL hand-held radios to the joint services by October 2006 under terms of the $43.6 million order. With options, Boeing could build as many as 46,000 CSEL radios for the Air Force, Army, and Navy for a potential $250 million. In addition to geopositioning information, the survival radios provide line-of-sight recovery forces and over-the-horizon joint search-and-rescue centers with two-way secure data communications. CSEL will enable rescue forces to authenticate and communicate with isolated personnel in near real-time, anywhere the world. Boeing engineers developed the joint-services CSELunder contract to the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

Lockheed Martin to improve accuracy of A-10 aircraft targeting systems

Officials at Lockheed Martin in Owego, N.Y., will provide the U.S. Air Force with Precision Engagement production kits to upgrade the entire A/OA-10 close-air-support aircraft fleet over the next five years. The $168 million Precision Engagement modification contract will enable the A-10 to use advanced precision-guided weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition and the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser. The modification also adds the capability for advanced targeting pods to improve pilots’ situational awareness and includes a central interface control unit that provides a digital stores management system, two multifunction color displays, new cockpit controls, and doubles electricity generation, Lockheed Martin officials say. On the Lockheed Martin team are BAE Systems, Southwest Research Institute, and Northrop Grumman.

Navy selects General Dynamics to design Open Architecture Track Manager

U.S. Navy officials awarded General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems a contract to provide system integration and design-agent services for the Open Architecture Track Manager (OATM). The track manager is a component within combat systems that receives and translates information from air, surface, and subsurface sensors to create an integrated picture of the locations and paths of aircraft, ships, and submarines. The contract runs through June 2009 and has a potential value of $95 million. The OATM may be installed on the DD(X), Littoral Combat Ship, CVN-21 aircraft carrier, Advanced Hawkeye patrol plane, and other Navy ships and aircraft. General Dynamics engineers will monitor, assess, and possibly integrate into the OATM related technology sponsored by the Joint Single Integrated Air Picture System Engineering Office and the Navy Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems, Command and Control (Networks/External Communications). For more information visit

BAE Systems begins helmet-mounted display trials on Eurofighter

Flight trials of the BAE Systems Striker helmet-mounted display system have begun on the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. The full development trial sorties marked the first flights of a binocular, visor-projected, night-vision-capable helmet on a fighter aircraft. Additional trials are planned throughout 2005, and production-ready versions of the helmet will fly in the latter part of 2005-clearing the way for production for Typhoon Tranche 1 and Tranche 2 aircraft. The Typhoon helmet-mounted display is a high-resolution system driven by processor and graphics modules. Its helmet tracker is a high-speed, high-accuracy, low-latency optical system. The helmet displays “virtual head-up display” symbology and video imagery from the aircraft sensors and from a helmet-mounted, image-intensified night-vision system, BAE Systems officials say.

DC-DC device market continues to grow

The global market for DC-DC devices will grow from $5.5 billion in 2004 to as much as $7.8 billion in 2008, predict analysts at Venture Development Corp. (VDC), a market research firm in Natick, Mass. DC-DC devices include DC-DC converters, DC-DC regulators, and PWM/PFM controllers. Among the reasons for this is the proliferation of lower voltages at higher current levels, which has fueled increased use of distributed-power architecture with points of load across more applications, VDC analysts say. In addition, the semiconductor industry had a substantial recovery in 2004, achieving the peak historic levels of 2000, and steady growth will occur, built upon the 2004 shipments. Designers also are building systems that require more current, lower voltages, and additional voltages. These needs will drive more expensive feature sets. For more information contact VDC online at

Software change enables AC-130H to attack two targets at once

A software change in the U.S. Air Force AC-130H Spectre gunship known as Dual Target Attack (DTA) allows the gunships to track and shoot at two targets simultaneously instead of one. The AC-130 is a Lockheed Martin C-130 utility turboprop with 105-, 40-, and 25-millimeter guns, as well as sophisticated sensor, navigation, and fire-control systems, for close air support, air interdiction, and armed reconnaissance. The software upgrade was at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. The upgraded software will allow one gunship to attack different targets simultaneously to limit engagement time and crew exposure. The team has also produced training enabling the Special Ops Forces to immediately deploy Dual Target Attack to remote locations with limited crew training requirements.

Northrop Grumman to integrate ASW sonar on new attack submarine

Northrop Grumman Corp. in Annapolis, Md., won a seven-year contract to help integrate passive, antisubmarine sonar for the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class submarine. Under terms of a $42.1 million subcontract with Lockheed Martin Corp., engineers from the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems sector will integrate a component of the Lightweight Wide Aperture Array (LWWAA) system for ships seven through 10; Northrop Grumman is already under a similar contract for integration support of LWWAA systems for the first six Virginia-class submarines. The company is responsible for integrating fiber-optic acoustic sensors, also produced by Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector, with the LWWAA system’s array panels, as well as for installing the cabling associated with each panel. Each ship set consists of six array panels, three panels per side-integrated into the submarine hull structure.

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