In brief

Boeing awarded Laser JDAM contract

The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing in St. Louis a $28 million quick-reaction-capability contract for delivery of its Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (LJDAM) weapon system. The contract will add 600 laser seekers (400 for the U.S. Air Force and 200 for the U.S. Navy) to the services’ existing inventory of 500-pound bombs. Boeing will deliver the systems by June 2009. “This weapon will fill a significant gap in capability currently encountered by our warfighting customers, specifically the ability to attack high-speed moving targets and targets lacking accurate coordinate data,” says Dan Jaspering, Boeing Direct Attack program manager. During recent demonstration tests at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-15E Strike Eagles flying at 24,000 feet released 12 500-pound LJDAMs that hit within lethal range of several high-speed moving targets. Using onboard targeting pods, the launch aircraft laser-designated the roofs of the target vehicles and guided the weapons to successful impacts. The Laser JDAM sensor is a modular kit that is easily installed in the field to the front of existing JDAM weapons. The laser sensor further enhances the highly capable Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System JDAM into one of the most mission-flexible, low-cost weapons available in the world today. Initial production deliveries for the U.S. military are scheduled to begin early next year.

Raytheon ships ARTEMIS sensor for on-demand surveillance from space

A hyperspectral imaging sensor developed by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in El Segundo, Calif., to demonstrate and assess military applications from satellites launched on demand was delivered to Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. The delivery marks the sensor’s first leg of a journey into space scheduled in December aboard a vehicle known as TacSat-3. The ARTEMIS (Advanced Responsive Tactically Effective Military Imaging Spectrometer) program called for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems to design and build the sensor within 15 months as part of a rapid development experiment funded by a $15 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory. In the responsive space approach, satellites and their cargo, such as an ARTEMIS payload, would be kept in a holding facility where systems could be rapidly assembled and transported to a convenient launch site. Employing commercial-off-the-shelf components and industry standard interfaces, ARTEMIS serves as a prototype for systems that can support rapid-launch requirements in an easy-to-manufacture, low-cost design. Raytheon is working on concept development for a follow-on hyperspectral imaging payload with an even wider coverage area for the Naval Research Laboratory. The ARTEMIS sensor was developed for the Department of Defense’s Tactical Satellite program.

Air Force awards Lockheed Martin weather systems contract

The U.S. Air Force Space Command, Space and Missile Systems Center selected Lockheed Martin in Valley Forge, Pa., to continue providing support and growth to the command’s premier weather satellite receiving stations. If all options are exercised, the contract is valued at $47 million over the next nine years. The MARK IVB System is a recently redesigned global satellite weather system, capable of supporting the military forces beyond 2020 with all currently defined satellites. Its leading edge technologies provide for flash updated satellite changes and full system redundancy with significant growth opportunity as many more satellites are added to the world’s multinational weather constellation. The architecture is currently being layered for inclusion into the Air Force’s Global Command and Control System, making it the first weather system to be fully net-centric and machine-to-machine capable, says John Mengucci, president of Mission & Combat Support Solutions for Lockheed Martin’s Information Solutions & Global Services business area. The MARKIVB system supplies data to all Coalition Operation’s Centers, every Air Expeditionary Force, every Air Expeditionary Wing, all Army Battalions Forward, all Navy Task Forces, all Marine Companies Forward, and every Marine Expeditionary Force.

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