Oct. 1, 2004

Northrop Grumman awarded contract for B-2 bomber radar modernization

The Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems sector in El Segundo, Calif., won a contract to start the next phase of modernizing the radar system on the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. Northrop Grumman, the B-2 prime contractor, will oversee replacing the current radar antenna with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna. The Raytheon Co. Space and Airborne Systems in El Segundo, which provided the original B-2 radar, is the principal subcontractor. During the system development and demonstration (SDD) phase, Northrop Grumman will develop and test the antenna and integrate six new radar systems on B-2 aircraft. The subsequent production and deployment phase will include low-rate initial production and full-rate production to field the upgraded radar. Installation of the new antenna into the B-2 fleet will take several years. The new radar system will resolve conflicts in radio-frequency usage between the B-2 and commercial systems and allow future upgrades to improve radar performance. In addition to replacing the antenna, Northrop Grumman will modify the B-2 defensive management system and the radar transponder to support the change in operating frequency.

BiTMICRO to advance iSCSI target appliances with solid-state flash-disk technology

Engineers at BiTMICRO Networks in Fremont, Calif., are introducing solid-state disk-based iSCSI target appliances. The BiTMICRO solution is scalable over long distances, provides easy connectivity to SANs, allows shared access for multiple users, and handles existing user applications with ease, company officials say. Under this initiative, BiTMICRO will introduce a family of iSCSI target appliances that fuses several dominant standards, Internet Protocol (IP), and Ethernet, for networking, and SCSI for data storage. Integrating this solution into existing storage networks offers the benefits of SAN without getting bogged down by distance and cost limitations associated with Fibre Channel solutions, BiTMICRO officials say. "iSCSI is revolutionizing data transmission and storage management practices by taking advantage of a widely popular network protocol," says Rudy Bruce, president of BiTMICRO Networks. iSCSI is an IP-based storage networking standard for linking SCSI devices to computers developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). "Solid state disks offer the best fit for this technology, bringing secure access to rugged and high performance storage within reach through mature and well understood internetworks." For more information go online at

Lockheed Martin–built A2100 satellite fleet achieves 100 years in orbit

The Lockheed Martin A2100 communications satellite fleet has achieved a major milestone by accumulating 100 years of successful in-orbit operations, company officials claim. The A2100 satellite series, designed and manufactured at Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) in Newtown, Pa., consists of 24 satellites featuring 900 transponders with an accumulated lifetime of more than 4,000 years of operations in orbit. The first A2100 satellite, AMC-1, was launched Sept. 8, 1996. AMC-15, a hybrid Ku/Ka-band satellite, is scheduled for launch later this year. In recognition of the A2100's reliability, Lockheed Martin received a 2003 award for "Product of the Year," by Frost & Sullivan, an independent research company. Calling it "the most reliable and efficient of its class," Frost & Sullivan recognized the LMCSS-built A2100 satellite platform for its "outstanding on-orbit reliability record since it was first offered in 1996." In a recent report, Frost & Sullivan concluded that "the A2100 (is) the most reliable satellite now available for a majority of satellite applications." A militarized version of the acclaimed A2100 bus serves as the platform of Lockheed Martin's offering for the U.S. Navy's Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed to improve ground communications for U.S. forces on the move.

Boeing team wins airborne, maritime/fixed-station Joint Tactical Radio System

A Boeing-led team will develop system architectures and initial designs for the next iteration of Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) software-defined radios. Once operational, the radios will be integrated into more than 150 airborne, shipboard, and fixed-station platforms, enabling maritime and airborne forces to communicate seamlessly and with greater efficiency in the joint battlespace environment. The airborne, maritime/fixed-station (AMF) JTRS program is one of several aimed at satisfying emerging needs for secure, multiband/multimode software-programmable digital radios for mobile military users in the air, on the ground, and on the sea. The program is under joint U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy oversight, and the Air Force's Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the initial lead. The Boeing AMF JTRS team includes the Rockwell Collins Government Systems division in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; the Harris Corp. RF Communications division in Rochester, N.Y.; the L-3 Communications East, West, and Integrated Systems divisions in Camden, N.J., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Greenville, Texas; Northrop Grumman Mission Systems sector in Reston, Va.; BBN Technologies in Cambridge, Mass.; and MILCOM Systems Corp. in Virginia Beach, Va.

Rockwell Collins receives certification of LAAS-capable multimode receiver

Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has received the industry's first Technical Standard Order approval for a multimode receiver (MMR) with Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS) functionality. The Collins GLU-925 MMR is the first to include LAAS and GPS landing system (GLS) in addition to ILS and GNSS. GLS holds promise for bringing flexible and economical precision approach capability to runways and airports not currently served by the traditional ILS. The system will be available for the Boeing 737-NG this fall, with other Boeing platforms to follow. The GLU-925 with FLS (FMS Landing System) functionality will be available for Airbus platforms in the fall of 2005. "Increased use of GNSS navigation is part of Civil Aviation Authorities' long-term plans for enhanced airspace management worldwide," says Kelly Ortberg, vice president of Air Transport Systems. For more information go online at

Radstone and Ultra Electronics Datel partner on DO-178B solution

Officials at Radstone Technology in Towcester, England, and Ultra Electronics Datel in Preston, England, recently signed an agreement to jointly market a DO-178B-certifiable COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) single-board computer (SBC) solution to defense and aerospace customers worldwide. The agreement calls for the two companies to collaborate in the development of certifiable board-support packages (BSPs) for Radstone's SBCs, initially supporting Wind River's ARINC-compliant VxWorks AE635 operating system. The two companies will also jointly market the solution to contractors whose requirements include the need for software capable of being certified in accordance with DO-178B. For more on Radstone go online at For more information on Datel go to

General Dynamics to modify 111 M1A2 Abrams SEP tanks

The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command has selected General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich., to repair and modify 111 M1A2 Abrams System Enhancement Package (SEP) tanks. The work will be at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by July 30, 2005. The M1A2 SEP is the latest and most advanced configuration of the Abrams main battle tank. The tanks are being retrofitted to modernize the U.S. Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. M1A2 SEP tanks have a second-generation thermal-imaging system and commander's independent thermal viewer, color tactical displays, digital terrain map, thermal-management system, and the latest digital command, control, and communications capability.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!