In Brief

Nov. 1, 2009
Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, delivered its first virtual avionics procedure trainer (VAPT) to the U.S. Air Force, who will use the device to train Iraqi pilots flying Beechcraft King Air twin-turboprop aircraft for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

Rockwell Collins virtual avionics procedure trainer selected for Iraqi coalition force

Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, delivered its first virtual avionics procedure trainer (VAPT) to the U.S. Air Force, who will use the device to train Iraqi pilots flying Beechcraft King Air twin-turboprop aircraft for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. “VAPT will enable Iraqi pilots to train on the latest avionics equipment in a classroom environment to better prepare them for their flight missions,” says Ken Schreder, vice president and general manager of simulation & training solutions for Rockwell Collins. “The VAPT is expected to reduce aircraft training time, and better prepare pilots for simulator training, which will lower overall training costs and increase operational safety.” A team of Air Force and Navy combat air advisors is providing pilot and mission system operator training to the Iraqi air force on newly acquired King Air ISR aircraft. A challenge the advisors are facing is converting the Iraqi pilots’ previous knowledge of the relatively old MiG jet fighter technology to the avionics systems used on the King Air. The system is based on Rockwell Collins’ advanced CORE simulation architecture and features a modular, expandable, and configurable combination of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, PC-based hardware, and Rockwell Collins re-hosted avionics software.

(K)DC-10 with Boeing-modified cockpit completes certification flight tests

Boeing officials in St. Louis announced that a (K)DC-10 modified with Fokker Services and Boeing’s Cockpit Upgrade Program (CUP) has completed a certification flight-test program that began in July 2008. CUP provides aircraft with new flight-management and avionics display systems as well as improved communications. “We are pleased with the results of the flight tests for this system, which will provide the RNLAF with the worldwide navigation capability we need as we continue to share assets with other European countries,” says Royal Netherlands Air Force Maj. Michel Broekman. The program now moves into the certification process with the Netherlands’ certification authority, followed by end user acceptance early next year. “Our success with this upgrade positions us well for future modification work in the communication, navigation, surveillance, and air-traffic management arena. The CUP modification offers an affordable, proven solution for other aircraft, including the KC-10,” says Mark Rowland, (K)DC-10 CUP program manager for Boeing.

Northrop Grumman to supply U.S. Army with lightweight laser designator rangefinders

U.S. Army officials selected Northrop Grumman Corp. in Apoka, Fla., to provide lightweight laser designator rangefinders (LLDRs). Northrop Grumman’s LLDR targets enemy positions during the day, at night, and in nearly all battlefield conditions including haze, smoke, fog, and rain. The system can recognize targets, find the range to a target with an eye-safe laser rangefinder, and calculate target location for smart munitions. The system then provides this information to other digital battlefield systems. The LLDR can also be used with laser-guided munitions. The Northrop Grumman Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR) targets enemy positions during the day, at night, and in nearly all battlefield conditions.

U.S. Army selects Lockheed Martin to provide persistent threat detection aerostat systems

Lockheed Martin in Akron, Ohio, won a $133 million award to provide the U.S. Army with eight additional persistent threat detection systems (PTDS) to support coalition forces. A tethered aerostat-based system in use by the Army since 2004, PTDS is equipped with multi-mission sensors to provide long-endurance intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and communications in support of coalition forces. Nine systems are currently deployed, and the additional eight will be provided over the next 11 months. Filled with helium, aerostats and other lighter-than-air systems provide low-cost, long-endurance communications and surveillance capabilities not possible with other types of aircraft. Attached by a high-strength tether to a re-locatable mooring system, aerostats can stay continuously aloft for weeks, carrying different types of surveillance equipment to conduct multiple missions.

General Dynamics Information Technology wins U.S. Coast Guard IT contract

General Dynamics Information Technology in Fairfax, Va., will provide enterprise information technology (IT) support to the U.S. Coast Guard under a five-year, $140 million task order awarded through the Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading-Edge Solutions (EAGLE) contract. The company will provide a range of enterprise IT support services to select Coast Guard organizations administered through the U.S. Coast Guard Telecommunication and Information Systems Command (TISCOM). The enterprise engineering, operations, and maintenance support services span both the unclassified and classified elements of the computing environment for land-based and mobile telecommunications, electronics, and information systems.

Javelin Joint Venture wins $214 million to produce Javelin Weapon System for U.S. Army surveillance, situational awareness

The Raytheon-Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture in Tucson, Ariz., won a $214 million U.S. Army contract to produce the Javelin close combat weapon system. The contract includes the Javelin missile, command launch units (CLUs), and training and field support. Javelin is a man-portable, fire-and-forget, medium-range missile system. The compact, lightweight missile is designed for one-soldier operations in virtually all environments. The Javelin enhances direct-fire capability against armored vehicles, buildings, and field fortifications. “The Javelin CLU gives the warfighter critical surveillance and situational awareness,” says Barry James, Lockheed Martin Javelin program director and Javelin Joint Venture vice president.

Oshkosh Defense to integrate camera systems, improve situational awareness on combat vehicles

Oshkosh Corp.’s Defense Segment in Oshkosh, Wis., won a $33 million award from the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM LCMC) to supply a rear-mounted camera system on more than 2,200 MRAP All Terrain Vehicles (M-ATV) to provide improved situational awareness for combat vehicle occupants. Ken Juergens, M-ATV program director for Oshkosh Defense, says: “the advanced M-ATV provides exceptional mobility and protection capabilities, and this technology will help the vehicle’s crew better survey their surroundings as they navigate Afghanistan’s harsh environments.” The camera system, which integrates with existing vehicle video displays, provides a 40-degree vertical and 54-degree horizontal field of view. The system uses an infrared camera core in an LED-equipped tailgate assembly. The new solution from Oshkosh Defense is capable of providing visibility through dust, obscurants, and incremental weather in day and night operations.

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