inbrief

Ball and CACI work together on Air Force electronic warfare research program, ITT chooses BFGoodrich for Comanche helicopter's laser warning receiver, MORE...

Ball and CACI work together on Air Force electronic warfare research program
U.S. Air Force electronic warfare experts are looking to two companies to investigate new electronic warfare technologies for future battlefields. The Systems Engineering Services division of Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., and CACI Technologies Inc. of Chantilly, Va., won contracts totaling $18.5 million to participate in the Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems Effectiveness Evaluation (IEWSEE) program. This program calls for company engineers to research leading-edge applications and advanced technologies with multispectral synthetic battlespace simulation. The aim is to integrate electronic warfare technologies, identify/resolve technology issues/risks, demonstrate technology applications and benefits, as well as perform rapid technology insertions and transitions. Awarding the contract were officials of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. — J.K.


ITT chooses BFGoodrich for Comanche helicopter's laser warning receiver
Systems integrators at the avionics division of ITT Industries Inc. in Clifton, N.J., needed a laser-warning receiver for the survivability suite they are providing for the U.S. Army Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche scout-attack helicopter. They found their solution from the BFGoodrich Co. Space & Electro-Optics division in Charlotte, N.C. ITT leaders awarded an engineering and manufacturing development contract to BFGoodrich for the Comanche's advanced laser warning receiver. The Boeing-Sikorsky Comanche is the U.S. Army's latest combat helicopter. ITT is working for the Boeing Co. to build the Comanche's integrated survivability system. The ITT integrated survivability system consists of a radar-warning receiver from ITT, the laser-warning receiver from BFGoodrich, and a Point Chemical Detector from BAE Systems. Delivery of the first survivability suite to Boeing is set for mid-2003. — J.K.


Harris to supply Fibre Channel devices for F/A-18E/F combat jet
Avionics designers at Harris Corp. in Palm Bay, Fla., are building the Fibre Channel Network Switch (FCNS), Fibre Channel Network Interface Controller (NIC), and embedded Terrain Awareness Warning System (eTAWS) for the U.S. Navy Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet jet fighter-bomber. Harris received a $10.5 million contract from Boeing in St. Louis for the FCNS, a $1.16 million contract from Raytheon Systems Co. in El Segundo, Calif., for the NIC, and a $470,000 contract from Boeing for the embedded eTAWS. Fibre Channel replaces relatively old and slow serial multiplex buses in the aircraft, such as MIL-STD-1553. Each Super Hornet needs two redundant FCNS units, which provide 16 independent input and output channels. Each channel provides a 1-gigabit-per-second serial network link to other Fibre Channel-equipped avionics systems networked to the aircraft's mission computer. — J.K.


Raytheon to provide helicopter simulation systems for U.S. Army
Simulator designers at Raytheon Co. in Arlington, Texas, won a contract modification for suite two of the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer-Aviation Reconfigurable Manned Simulator (AVCATT-A) for the U.S. Army. AVCATT-A is a group of networked aviation simulators that enable Army aircraft pilots to train and rehearse missions together in real time on a computerized battlefield. Raytheon won a $10.8 million contract modification from the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., on behalf of the Army. AVCATT is for active-duty Army pilots of the AH-64A Apache and AH-64D Longbow Apache attack helicopters, the future RAH-66 Comanche scout-attack helicopter, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior scout helicopter, as well as the UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47D utility helicopters. The simulator also is for Army Reserve pilots of the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter and the UH-1 Huey helicopter. — J.K.


BAE Systems to provide millimeter wave transceivers for Apache Longbow helicopter
RF systems designers at the BAE Systems Information & Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS) in Nashua, N.H., are set to build millimeter wave transceivers for the Hellfire missile system aboard the AH-64 Apache Longbow attack helicopter. BAE Systems has received a contract for more than $30 million from Lockheed Martin Millimeter wave Technologies Inc., of Orlando, Fla., to manufacture millimeter wave transceivers for the Longbow Hellfire Missile System on the U.S. Army AH-64D and United Kingdom Army WAH-64 helicopters. IEWS will build 6,329 transceivers for Lockheed Martin to be delivered through 2004. The contract also has options that could extend the quantity to 10,979 units over the next five years, BAE officials say. The 4-by-4-inch transceivers go in the sensor head of the missile where they transmit and receive target-tracking signals and relay information to the missile seeker. — J.K.


Harris to upgrade fire-control electronics in Army artillery rocket launchers
Systems integrators at the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control unit in Dallas needed new fire-control electronics for upgrades to the U.S. Army Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and the next-generation High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). Components from Harris Corp. in Melbourne, Fla., met their needs. The Harris Government Communications Systems Division won nearly $5 million in contracts for fire control system electronics supporting the two mobile field artillery platforms. The new electronics will substantially increase the types of munitions that the MLRS and HIMARS can fire when the systems are fielded, Harris officials say. The HIMARS and the enhanced Guided MLRS (GMLRS) are follow-ons to a series of Improved Fire Control System (IFCS) contracts for the U.S. Army's MLRS program. For more information contact Harris by phone at 321-727-6514, by fax at 321-727-4500, by post at PO Box 37, Melbourne, Fla. 32902, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.govcomm.harris.com. — J.K.


Joint Tactical Radio to receive open-systems DSP operating software
U.S. Defense officials are asking engineers from Thales Communications Inc. of Rockville, Md., to use an open-systems standard commercial digital signal processing (DSP) operating environment in Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) project. Thales, formerly Racal Communications, is working under terms of a contract change in the JTRS Step 2B contract. The open-systems DSP operating environment that Thales will use enables software engineers to program the system in a high-level language, Thales officials say. This, they say, will improve programming efficiency and software portability. The prototype JTRS uses a general-purpose processor operating on a Posix-complaint operating system, and DSPs running reprogrammable software to carry out radio functions. The JTRS program, which represents all branches of the U.S. military, establishes a standard for future U.S. military tactical radios. This still standard will have commercial applicability, and will allow for widespread radio interoperability with hardware and software commonality between radio systems. — J.K.


STC Keltec to provide power electronics for EA-6B electronic warfare jet
The Signal Technology Corp. Keltec Division in Danvers, Mass., won a $1.9 million contract from BAE Systems in Deer Park, N.Y., to develop high-voltage module for the next-generation AN/ALQ-99 Band 7/8 transmitter that BAE Systems is supplying for the U.S. Navy's EA-6B Prowler aircraft program. The follow-on production potential could exceed $10 million, Keltec officials claim. The EA-6B aircraft can intercept, analyze, and jam hostile radars. Equipped with Signal's high-voltage module, the BAE Systems transmitter will be part of the Prowler's early warning radar jamming system. For more information contact Signal Technology Corp. by phone at 978-774-2281, by fax at 978-774-6105, by post at 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, Mass. 01923, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.sigtech.com/keltec/. — J.K.


Army desert exercise puts TRW's FBCB2 command-and-control software through its paces
U.S. Army specialists tested the TRW Force-21 Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) software during an April exercise in the California desert to demonstrate how this battlefield-digitization technology can help make soldiers safer and more effective than they are today. The Division Capstone Exercise last spring pitted the non-digitized opposing force of the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., against two digitized brigades equipped with FBCB2-produced Version 4 Applique+ computers (Pentium 3 class machines running Version 3.3.3 of FBCB2 software). TRADOC personnel noted how the FBCB2 software quickly enabled commanders to change troop movement in a matter of minutes digitally rather than by voice data and paperwork, which can take longer and with far less precision, TRW officials say. The FBCB2 software has more than a million lines of code. Initial operational test and evaluation of FBCB2 is set for December. — J.K.


Space Electronics unveils radiation-hardened 486-based single-board computer
Electronics designers at Space Electronics Inc. in San Diego are introducing their radiation-hardened Intel 486-based single-board computer for satellites and other space applications. The board is called the MASS486, a PCI-based computer board that can sustain total-dose radiation of as much as 100 kilorads, and operates in temperatures between -45 and 70 degrees Celsius. The 66 MHz Intel 486 DX2 microprocessor is packaged in the Space Electronics Rad-Pak technology, and has companion chips also radiation hardened with Rad Pak. Options include mass storage memory and off-board I/O such as dual-redundant MIL-STD 1553 buses, RS-232 or RS-422 serial bus, a parallel, analog, and 10/100Base Ethernet bus; and 16 to 128 channel analog multiplexers. The board links the microprocessor to an onboard PCI local bus via the PCI bridge. For more information contact Space Electronics by phone at 858-503-3300, by fax at 858-503-3301, by post at 9244 Balboa Ave., San Diego, Calif. 92123, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.spaceelectronics.com/. — J.K.

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