In Brief

Aug. 1, 2006

Smiths Detection receives contract for chemical agent monitor units

Smiths Detection in Edgewood, Md., won a delivery order for more than 2,000 Improved Chemical Agent Monitor (ICAM) units. The contract from the U.S. Department of Defense is worth $9.5 million. ICAM is a handheld post-attack device that provides a means of quickly locating the presence of nerve- and blister-agent contamination on personnel and equipment in combat and homeland defense missions. The soldier-operated sensor is also used to confirm the absence of chemical threats in high-risk situations. The ICAM is based on the Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM), developed by Smiths Detection. More than 70,000 CAM’s have been deployed worldwide including to recent conflicts.

BAE Systems converts 20 F-4 jet fighters into target drones for U.S. Air Force

BAE Systems in Mojave, Calif., will provide the U.S. Air Force with 20 QF-4 full-scale aerial targets and associated technical support. The QF-4 is an F-4 Phantom aircraft modified for remote-control operation. The targets provide the Air Force with full-size aircraft that permit aircrews to train in highly realistic air-combat maneuvering-including live weapons launch. The contract is the second of five possible options exercised under an original agreement in effect until 2013. BAE Systems will perform the modification work at its facility in Mojave. The production effort will be completed by July 2008. BAE Systems is the exclusive provider of QF-4 drones to the Air Force. Employees at the Mojave facility recondition previously mothballed F-4s, run the aircraft through flight tests, and deliver them to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., where they are further modified into full-scale targets. The drones are then flown from Defense Department test ranges for use in development of new weapons systems and to ensure that those systems already deployed remain capable of neutralizing enemy aircraft. The Air Force Headquarters Air Armament Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting office.

ViaSat wins order in MIDS Tactical Network Terminal lot 7 award

ViaSat Inc. in Carlsbad, Calif., won a delivery order valued at approximately $39.5 million for Multifunctional Information Distribution System terminals from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego. The order includes LVT(1) airborne and LVT(2) ground-based Low Volume Terminals under the indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract awarded in January 2000. The MIDS-LVT provides secure, high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital data, and voice communications capability for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and for U.S. defense partners. Delivery of the Lot 7 units is expected to begin in June of next year and continue through the first quarter of ViaSat’s fiscal year 2009. This delivery order combines purchases for the United States and the first order from the governments of Portugal (11 percent), and Turkey (4.5 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, and to Germany (1 percent) through a Memorandum of Understanding among the founding MIDS nations (Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and the United States). “With these new orders from foreign military customers such as Turkey, Portugal, and Germany, we expect to see a greater proportion of FMS and direct commercial sales to foreign customers in the future,” says Paul Baca vice president of Tactical Data Links at ViaSat.

BAE Systems to demonstrate precision-guidance-kit technology for cannon artillery

The U.S. Army’s Project Manager, Combat Ammunition Systems awarded BAE Systems in Minneapolis a contract to participate in a competitive technical development program for the precision guidance kit for use with Army cannon artillery ammunition. The guidance kit is a low-cost system that will improve the accuracy of conventional 105 and 155 mm artillery projectiles. The BAE Systems-led team, which includes the company’s Bofors unit, Rockwell Collins, and L3 Communications BT Fuze Products Division, received the award after successfully completing an internally funded project to demonstrate a two-directional precision-guidance-kit solution referred to as the BAE Systems Course Correcting Fuze (CCF). In 2005, BAE Systems conducted a successful firing-to-impact, gun-fired demonstration of the CCF system, marking the first time a two-directional precision guidance kit had been successfully demonstrated in a gun-fired environment by either government or industry. The contract award also includes priced options for follow-on system development and demonstration and initial production phases. To date, BAE Systems has tested more than 100 CCF fuzes in laboratory and gun-fired environments culminating in the 2005 demonstration where BAE Systems fired M795 rounds equipped with its CCF from both the Future Combat Systems Non-Line-Of-Sight Cannon System Demonstrator and an M109A5 at the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground. Analysis from the demonstrations confirmed the projectiles equipped with the two-directional CCF solution achieved a precision error of significantly less than 50 meters, which was three times more accurate than the control rounds.

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