In Brief

June 1, 2004

Northrop Grumman submits bid for WATCHKEEPER Battlefield Intelligence

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems Sector International in London, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corp., submitted its proposal for the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense's WATCHKEEPER battlefield imagery and intelligence program. Northrop Grumman's proposed WATCHKEEPER system addresses the Ministry of Defense's key requirements for target detection, identification, and data dissemination on the modern battlefield. It will give the United Kingdom armed forces all weather intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability. The bid will also capitalize on the company's success in providing "unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in a network-enabled environment," says Scott Seymour, president of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. The proposed Watchkeeper solution features an open, service-based architecture that can encompass new technologies and respond to new operational requirements throughout the system's predicted 30-year system life, Seymour explains. The Northrop Grumman team includes General Dynamics U.K. Ltd, BAE Systems, Ultra Electronics, Detica, STASYS, HVR Consulting, QinetiQ, and RUAG Aerospace. Northrop Grumman's proposed WATCHKEEPER system offers a combination of UAVs — the fixed-wing Ranger UAV and the Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing tactical UAV.

Lockheed Martin selects GKN Aerospace to supply the Navy aircraft nacelles

Officials at GKN Aerospace in Surrey, England will be supplying Lockheed Martin in Bethesda, Md., with the integrated propulsion system for the United States Navy Maritime Multi-Mission Aircraft (MMA) program. The contract for the integrated propulsion system for MMA, with its new Pratt and Whitney PW-150 engines, covers the manufacture, certification, and supply of four nacelles per aircraft plus engine installation and associated systems. The MMA program will provide a weapon system to recapitalize the capabilities of the Navy's existing P-3s. The program is currently being competed with Boeing in Seattle offering a 737 commercial aircraft derivative and Lockheed Martin offering a rugged, new production weapon system based on a variant of the P-3 airframe. The winning bid is expected to be announced in June of this year. GKN is teaming with Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS), a division of GE in Baltimore. This partnership will draw upon both companies' strengths in nacelle design and build, GKN Aerospace experience with the PW-150 engine and MRAS' current P-3 structural expertise with the Navy.

Aeroflex partners with TestMart

Executives at Aeroflex's Test Solutions Group in Wichita, Kan. and TestMart in San Bruno, Calif., have joined forces to offer a catalog of Aeroflex products that will be made available for sale specifically in the government and military channel on TestMart's Web sites. TestMart will offer this catalog under a set of General Services Administration (GSA) Multiple Award Schedules (MSA) and will provide content, transaction, marketing, and reporting services to help support the sale of the products in the catalog. TestMart will provide the presentation and ordering processing of these products though the GSA's e-commerce Web site, GSA Advantage, and through the company's two online marketplaces — and Inventory Control Point (NAVICP) in Mechanicsburg, Pa., is a Division of the Naval Supply Systems Command. TestMart is a commercial test equipment marketplace and NAVICPmart is the test equipment e-commerce marketplace operated under contract from the federal government specifically for the U.S. military, federal agencies, and their contractors. Aeroflex's military test solutions will be available to all branches of the federal government, U.S. military, and authorized prime contractors. These test solutions include radio test sets, communications monitors, and sophisticated signal generators.

Anteon to support Army forces command modularity coordination centers

Officials at Anteon International Corp. in Fairfax, Va., will support the U.S. Army's reorganization of all combat divisions based in the U.S. Anteon will support the Modularity Coordination Center (MCC) at each Army corps and division headquarters in the U.S. to coordinate and synchronize all aspects of the reorganization within the divisions and combat brigades. The Anteon teams will support personnel, operations, training, logistics, information management, installation support, and public affairs. When complete, the reorganized forces will have increased combat power, will be able to deploy to a theater of operations more rapidly, and will be easier to sustain when operating in deployed locations. Anteon is an information technology and engineering solutions company providing support to the federal government and international sectors. For more information see

BAE Systems team achieves record digital circuit speed

A team led by BAE Systems engineers in Nashua, N.H., has developed a next-generation transistor technology that improves speed, integration density, and power consumption for solid-state integrated circuits. The team, composed of BAE Systems Information and Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS), Vitesse Semiconductor Corp., and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, recently demonstrated a circuit with a clock frequency of 152 GHz — an industry record for static frequency divider circuits, BAE Systems officials claim. The indium phosphide (InP) heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) was developed under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Technology for Frequency Agile Digitally Synthesized Transmitters (TFAST) program. The Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md., has principal oversight of the program. DARPA's TFAST program seeks to significantly improve InP HBT microcircuit performance and, at the same time, lower power consumption, BAE Systems officials say. Higher performance at lower power in more highly integrated packages will benefit defense RF systems where limited weight and power requirements are crucial, company officials say. "This is another piece to the technology puzzle that will be used to develop the next-generation of miniature digital receivers and exciters that are needed for future strike, surveillance, and electronic attack missions," says Frank Stroili, BAE Systems technology development manager. "For example, this technology will enable the development of new subsystems such as low-cost in-combat programmable electronic warfare (EW) jammers, expendable surveillance sensors, and frequency agile software radios for secure communications."

American Capital buys military solder supplier

Officials at American Capital Strategies in Bethesda, Md., recently invested $70.5 million in the buyout of Kester in Des Plaines, Ill., a division of Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Component Technologies sector and a supplier of assembly materials to the electronic assembly, component, electrical, and industrial marketplace, including military applications. American Capital's investment takes the form of a revolving credit facility, senior term loans, senior and junior subordinated debt, and preferred and common equity issued by the acquiring company, of which American Capital is an 84 percent shareholder. The acquiring company paid $60 million for Kester. "With a strong brand name, leading world-wide market position, the competitive advantage of an extensive global footprint, a diverse, blue chip customer base, and substantial investment in new product development, Kester is in a strong position to capitalize on improving industry conditions," says American Capital Principal Ian Larkin. Kester supplies solder and solder-derivative products for electronic assembly. Kester's range of products includes an array of basic and high-tech attachment materials, including traditional soldering chemicals, bar and wire solder and paste products, and advanced products such as epoxies, polymers, encapsulants, preforms, thermal management materials, precision solder columns, and microspheres.

Northrop Grumman to develop advanced airborne radar

Experts at Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems in El Segundo, Calif., are developing a new airborne radar system that will improve the U.S. Air Force's ability to track and identify stationary and moving vehicles, as well as low-flying cruise missiles. The company will develop, integrate, and test the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) radar under a new six-year, $888 million contract awarded by the Air Force's Electronic Systems Center. The contract marks the beginning of the phase II system development and demonstration phase of the MP-RTIP program. Northrop Grumman, the MP-RTIP prime contractor, designed the radar during Phase I of the program. MP-RTIP is a modular, active electronically scanned array radar system that can be scaled in size for integration on manned and unmanned airborne platforms. Air Force officials plan to deploy the radar on its RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance system and the E-10A/Multi-Sensor Command and Control Aircraft (MC2A). The radar builds on the capabilities of its predecessors, the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) and Global Hawk, and gives commanders the unprecedented ability to simultaneously conduct air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions over a wide geographic area. During Phase II, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems in El Segundo, Calif., will produce six MP-RTIP radar systems: three for Global Hawk, three for the E-10A. The team expects to begin flight-testing the first Global Hawk development unit in 2006.

Lockheed Martin awarded contract for space-based radar concept development

Officials at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center selected Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. in Denver for the concept development phase of the Space Based Radar (SBR) program. The award is a 24-month study contract to continue the definition of SBR system requirements and evaluate alternative design concepts for the SBR system architecture. Space Based Radar is a transformational system being developed for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to provide global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) for the military and intelligence community. The SBR system will comprise a constellation of spacecraft that will provide rapid-revisit coverage of the entire Earth's surface. SBR will enable persistent real-time intelligence on adversary activity through the identification and tracking of moving targets, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar imaging, and collection of high-resolution terrain information. During the concept development effort, Lockheed Martin will develop and evaluate multiple candidate architectures for a SBR system, including the horizontal integration of SBR with other existing and planned ISR assets. The Lockheed Martin team includes Northrop Grumman, Harris, General Dynamics Decision Systems, Cisco, and Honeywell.

Harris joins Boeing team to deliver JTRS networked airborne and maritime communications

Officials at Harris Corp. in Rochester, N.Y., announced that the company has joined Boeing's team to develop an initial system architecture and design for the U.S. Department of Defense next-generation Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), which is designed to meet emerging airborne, maritime, and fixed-site communications challenges. Harris participation on the team is leveraged by the JTRS and cryptographic experience of the company's RF Communications Division in Rochester and the satellite and systems experience of the Harris Government Communications Systems division in Melbourne, Fla. The Boeing team is pursuing one of two $54 million, 15-month pre-system development and demonstration contracts for a JTRS variant that merges airborne and maritime fixed-station communications requirements into a single, combined acquisition approach. The program, referred to as the Airborne, Maritime, Fixed Station (AMF) JTRS, will provide a networked communications capability allowing all U.S. forces to communicate effectively in the joint battlespace. AMF JTRS is the result of merging the JTRS airborne and maritime/fixed station acquisitions into a single program under joint U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy oversight.

Semiconductor market to outshine 2003 with 29 percent growth in 2004

Analysts at In-Stat/MDR, a high-tech market research firm in Scottsdale, Ariz., claim that the worldwide semiconductor market turned up in 2003 and grew by 18.3 percent after its disastrous 32 percent decline in 2001 and a lackluster 2002, The firm now projects that growth will be an even stronger 29 percent in 2004, bringing total revenue to $214.7 billion and vying with 2000 for record-high annual revenue. "Although we do not expect a replay of 2001 anytime soon, the strength of the current recovery should not be interpreted as a return to the good old days," says Mark Kirstein, In-Stat/MDR's general manager. "Fundamental changes are taking place in both the demand and supply aspects of the semiconductor market that will cause the next decade to be significantly different from the last." Specifically, In-Stat/MDR notes that on the demand side there lacks the existence of a single new "killer app" on the horizon to drive future market growth as PCs and mobile phones did in the 1990s. On the supply side of the equation, mainstream nature of the CMOS process is holding prices down. The growth of the foundry industry, particularly in China, is expected to keep competition high, and therefore wafer prices low, in the long term. On the design side, the shift of design work to low cost locations will ease growing design costs, while the growth of standards based designs will limit intellectual property (IP) costs. While 2005 will also see some growth, 2006 will experience a downturn, In-Stat/MDR analysts say. Growth is expected to resume in 2007 and 2008 as unit growth continues and ASP remains relatively flat, at a level lower than any recent year except 2002. To purchase the report, "Semiconductor Market Outlook," or for more information, visit or contact Rick Vogelei at 480-609-4533; [email protected]. The report costs $3,495.00.

Global embedded merchant computer-board market reaches $3.3 million in 2003

Market analysts at Venture Development Corp. (VDC) in Natick, Mass., say the global market for embedded merchant computer boards reached $3.3 million in 2003 and will reach $4.3 million by the year 2006, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 6.4 percent. The report, "The 2002/2003 Merchant Computer Boards for Embedded/Real Time Applications Market Intelligence Program," the market for 2003 was $3.3 million. The estimated market for 2004 is $3.56 million; for 2005 is $3.84 million; and for 2006 is $4.26 million. Enterprise/Server class blades have not been included in this evaluation, because these are not considered embedded products, VDC officials say. Revenue from all product categories will grow over the period, with the exception of PC/104. The decline in PC/104 modules comes from a predicted sharp drop in average selling prices over the period; unit volume shipments of these modules are projected to increase, VDC officials say. The most dramatic growth is projected for standards-based/embedded blades, and for computers-on-modules. Both of these categories comprise emerging technologies. "Overall, the embedded- board market appears to be reasonably healthy, with the exception of the PC/104 family category," says Eric Gulliksen, VDC's embedded-hardware practice director. "However, we expect to see a fairly rapid migration from 'traditional' CompactPCI SBCs toward embedded blades, particularly in the communications sector. "We believe that 'fabric-enabled' CompactPCI SBCs that also carry the shared bus onto the backplane, as most of the boards under PICMG 2.16, 2.17, etc. do, represent a transition step." Gulliksen also cautions against viewing these predictions as a major opportunity. "This market is already too crowded, with too many vendors and too many products," he says. For more information go online at

DRS Technologies awarded contracts to produce radar systems for Navy surface ships

DRS Technologies Inc. in Parsippany, N.J., will provide the U.S. Navy with AN/SPS-67 Surface Search Radar Systems for Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers. DRS received the contracts from the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in Washington. For these contracts, DRS will provide AN/SPS-67(V)3 radar systems and develop and produce new AN/SPS-67(V)5 radar systems. The new AN/SPS-67(V)5 configuration initially will be installed on the DDG-103 Guided Missile Destroyer. The company's DRS Electronic Systems unit in Gaithersburg, Md., and the DRS Surveillance Support Systems unit in Largo, Fla., will accomplish the work for this order. An integral part of the ship command and control combat system, the AN/SPS-67 Radar Systems are being installed on board Spanish Navy F-100 class frigates, as well as the Navy's DDG-51 Aegis class destroyers. The AN/SPS-67 Radar is a surface surveillance radar that provides highly accurate detection and tracking of surface targets and low flying aircraft, in addition to supporting the ships' navigation requirements. The system has demonstrated superior performance in adverse weather conditions and can be used to detect buoys and other small objects in harbor navigation efforts, DRS officials say. DRS produces a number of systems for the Navy's DDG-51 Aegis class destroyers, including advanced, integrated commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based display workstations, power conversion, distribution and control equipment, networks and vertical launch systems, in addition to the AN/SPS-67 Radar Systems. For more information about DRS Technologies go online at

Lockheed Martin completes integrated testing of major airborne laser subsystem

Officials at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, Calif., announced the company has completed factory testing of the optical benches for the Airborne Laser's Beam Control/Fire Control (BC/FC) system. The Airborne Laser (ABL) is the first megawatt-class laser weapon system to be carried on a specially configured 747-400F aircraft, designed to autonomously detect, track, and destroy hostile ballistic missiles. The Beam Control/Fire Control system will accurately point, focus, and fire the laser to provide sufficient energy to destroy the missile while it is still in the highly vulnerable boost phase of flight — before deploying its warheads, Lockheed Martin officials say. The ABL program of the Missile Defense Agency and is executed by the U.S. Air Force from Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M. Lockheed Martin completed functional and performance testing of the two major elements of the Beam Control/Fire Control system — the Multi-Beam Illuminator (MBIL) and the Beam Transfer Assembly (BTA) — at the company's Sunnyvale facility where the complete BC/FC system is configured in the same design as it will be installed in the airplane. One of the major functions of the BC/FC is to compensate for the operating environment — the vibrations associated with flight and the distortion of light due to Earth's atmosphere — in order to successfully shoot down targeted missiles. The task requires a sophisticated network of lasers, mirrors, and precision optics combined with real-time software to manage the process. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman are working closely with the Air Force and the Missile Defense Agency to develop ABL. Boeing is responsible for developing the ABL battle management system, integrating the weapon system, and supplying the modified 747-400 Freighter aircraft. Lockheed Martin is developing the Beam Control/Fire Control system. Northrop Grumman is providing the complete chemical oxygen iodine high-energy laser system.

EMS Technologies delivers first antenna flight set for Advanced EHF system

Engineers at EMS Technologies, Inc. in Atlanta completed the first set of beam-forming networks (BFN) for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications program. Under development by a team led by Lockheed Martin Corp., AEHF will provide the next generation of global, secure, survivable communications for warfighters in all services of the Department of Defense (DOD), EMS officials say. BFNs are a key technology that will enable a Northrop Grumman satellite nulling antennas to provide anti-jam protection. The BFN form shaped patterns on Earth that "null," or zero out, signals from potential jammers while permitting friendly users with the area of coverage to communicate with the satellite. The anti-jam function occurs autonomously, without commands from Earth, company officials say. "The BFN's performance is meeting all requirements, making it the first major AEHF program flight payload component to complete flight acceptance testing," says Clayton Kau, vice president — Advanced EHF program — Northrop Grumman Space Technology. "We are pleased that EMS Technologies delivered the protoflight model two months ahead of schedule." Advanced EHF satellites will provide ten times greater total capacity and offer channel data rates six times higher than that of Milstar II communications satellites, EMS officials say. Northrop Grumman will deliver the Advanced EHF payloads to the system prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, Calif. Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide the first two Advanced EHF satellites and command control system. The first AEHF satellite is scheduled for launch in 2007. For more on EMS go to

Mercury Computer Systems to acquire TGS Group

Officials at Mercury Computer Systems Inc. in Chelmsford, Mass., agreed to purchase the TGS Group in Bordeaux, France, for approximately $18.5 million — $6 million in Mercury common stock and the remainder in cash, subject to closing adjustments. TGS supplies three-dimensional (3-D) image processing and visualization software for simulation applications in commercial and defense applications. TGS also has operations in Berlin and San Diego. "This acquisition will enable Mercury to take early leadership in high-growth 3-D imaging markets, particularly in the life sciences arena," says Jay Bertelli, president and chief executive officer of Mercury. " For our customers, the integration of Mercury and TGS technology will help to meet their critical time-to-market challenges by shortening product development cycles." Mercury expects the transaction, which is subject to certain closing conditions, to be completed in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004. For more information on Mercury go to and for TGS visit

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May 15, 2019


May 15, 2019


May 15, 2019