In Brief

Boeing awarded Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control a $4 million contract for the technology development phase of the F/A-18E/F Infrared Search and Track (IRST) program.

Lockheed Martin wins technology development contract for F/A-18E/F infrared search and track program

Boeing awarded Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control a $4 million contract for the technology development phase of the F/A-18E/F Infrared Search and Track (IRST) program. The technology development contract follows a two-year, pre-system design and development program in which Lockheed Martin was down-selected as the sole source provider. “The IRST sensor system will provide next-generation capability to counter emerging threats,” says Ken Fuhr, fixed-wing program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The ability to passively detect and track targets in the absence of radar capability is essential to the warfighter. It’s all about seeing the enemy. If you lose sight, you lose the fight.” The F/A-18E/F IRST is a passive, infrared sensor system that enables long-range detection and weapons-quality track of enemy targets under normal and electronic attack environments. The system enhances survivability and lethality in both offensive and defensive counter-air roles. By engaging the IRST sensor system, warfighters can overcome electronic attack and maintain on-board situational awareness while detecting, identifying, and engaging enemy targets at extended ranges. The IRST system’s high-angle accuracy provides improved raid cell count at maximum declaration ranges and target range accuracy. This information can be used alone or fused with other sensor data to further enhance situational awareness, company officials say.

Lockheed Martin F-35 CatBIRD shows key avionics capability, reliability at Edwards Air Force Base

The Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter Cooperative Avionics Test Bed (“CATBird”) aircraft completed a two-week deployment to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where it demonstrated the qualities of military avionics systems being developed for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter. The deployment included airborne testing of the F-35 radar, electronic warfare, and communications/navigation/identification systems, as well as more than 2.8 million lines of mission systems flight software. The testing reduces hardware and software risks that cannot be retired in ground laboratories and individual sensor test beds before testing of the first mission systems equipped F-35 aircraft later this year. Airborne avionics testing aboard the CATBird and other flying avionics test beds is under way concurrently with validation in ground-based laboratories that has amassed tens of thousands of hours of testing time. “Performance of the aircraft infrastructure and on-board sensors exceeded my expectations and gives the test team added confidence that we are on track to fly the first mission systems F-35 aircraft this summer,” says Doug Pearson, Lockheed Martin vice president of the F-35 Integrated Test Force. The F-35 will have the most and powerful avionics suite of any fighter in history, with a Northrop Grumman active electronically scanned array radar, electro-optical distributed aperture system, and CNI system; a Lockheed Martin electro-optical targeting system; a BAE Systems electronic warfare system; and other advanced systems providing information that is integrated before being presented to the pilot on a VSI helmet-mounted display and a touch-screen glass cockpit display.

Garmin receives FAA’s first AML-STC for GPS/WAAS avionics on helicopters

Garmin International in Olathe, Kan., has been granted the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) first-ever approved model list supplemental-type certificate (AML-STC) for Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) avionics installed in a helicopter. The AML-STC is for the installation of the Garmin GNS 400W/500W series and includes approval for IFR flight and steep approach lateral-precision with vertical (LPV) guidance. With this AML-STC, GNS 400W/500W series units may be installed in the avionics systems of about 50 different makes and models of helicopters including the Bell 206, Enstrom 280FX, Agusta A109, Eurocopter EC135, MD Helicopters 600N-NOTAR, Robinson R22 and R44, and many more. “Receiving an STC for one helicopter is an impressive feat, but to receive an AML-STC for about 50 helicopters is an accomplishment many thought would never happen because of the complexity and differences between helicopter models,” says Gary Kelley, Garmin’s vice president of marketing. The WAAS units use satellite-based navigation aids (navaids) for precise lateral and vertical approach guidance without the need for ground-based navaids of any kind. The WAAS system improves the accuracy, reliability, and integrity of the GPS signal. GPS-WAAS navigators that meet the FAA’s WAAS regulations may be used for sole means of navigation for all phases of flight, including en route through precision approach at airports and heliports–wherever they may be. With WAAS LPV approaches, pilots will have stabilized lateral and vertical navigation, and will be able to navigate as low as 200 feet above the touch down point under instrument flight rules. As part of the IFR certification, the GNS 400W/500W series is also certified for custom steep LPV approaches for as much as six degrees, flying by hand, or with a coupled autopilot.

Cubic wins extension to Saudi Arabia logistics contract

Cubic Corp. in San Diego won contracts worth about $9.5 million to continue to operate and maintain the air combat training system used to support F-15 fighter pilot training for the Royal Saudi air force. Under a three-year contract extension with the 675th Armament Systems Squadron ARSS/PK at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Cubic will continue this contractor logistics support through 2011. Cubic Defense Applications Inc., the company’s defense systems business, delivered an Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) system to three bases in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2003: King Abdulaziz air base at Dhahran, King Fahd air base at Taif, and King Faisal air base at Tabuk. Last year, Cubic installed additional instrumentation at King Khalid air base at Khamis Mushayt. Since 2003, Cubic Worldwide Technical Services Inc. and a Saudi-owned subcontractor have provided onsite support of the training system’s ACMI training pods, debriefing systems, ground communications systems, and test equipment.

Lockheed Martin team pursues Navy’s CANES Program

Lockheed Martin announced that General Dynamics, ViaSat Inc., Harris Corp., and American Systems will be a part of its industry team pursuing the competitive contract for the U.S. Navy’s Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) program. The CANES program will consolidate and reduce the Navy’s afloat information systems networks, reduce the infrastructure size and associated costs, and increase reliability and other capabilities to meet current and projected warfighter requirements. In late 2009, the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) will award an initial system design and development contact to two companies for the common computing environment portion of the contract. A down-select to one prime contractor responsible for system production is anticipated in 2011. For the CANES program, the Lockheed Martin-led team plans to use a wide range of content from small business companies to provide niche services and products to the Navy. The team will use Lockheed Martin’s Technology Collaboration Center – West, located in Old Town San Diego, for integration and testing of the CANES systems. The center was specifically created to foster and encourage small business technology development, collaboration, and interface with actual Navy systems, in a secure, unstructured test environment.

Raytheon purchases rights to KillerBee UAS

Raytheon in Tucson, Ariz., purchased rights to the technology and name of the KillerBee unmanned aircraft system (UAS) from Northrop Grumman. Under the agreement, Raytheon will submit the KillerBee for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ Small Tactical UAS and Tier II competition. “We’re competing for STUAS Tier II but that is only the beginning,” says Bob Francois, Raytheon Missile Systems Advanced Programs vice president. “Raytheon has rights to produce, improve, and sell KillerBee IV and our plan is to continuously mature the system and tailor it to meet the needs of allied warfighters around the globe.” The KillerBee UAS has a blended-wing aircraft body design. It also has common systems for land or sea launch, recovery, and ground control. KillerBee is for force protection applications in expeditionary environments.

Bell Helicopter sells 24 Model 407 helicopters destined for Iraqi air force

The U.S. Army awarded Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, Texas, a $60.3 million contract for 24 of its Model 407 helicopters, which the Army will provide to the Iraqi air force as part of a planned foreign military sale to Iraq. The Iraqi Ministry of Defense selected the Bell Model 407 as the basis for a Iraqi air force armed scout helicopter. Initial aircraft deliveries to the U.S. Army are expected to begin later this year. The 24 Model 407 helicopters, built at Bell’s facility in Mirabel, Canada, will be militarized by the U.S. Army to meet Iraqi air force requirements, Bell officials say. In February, the U.S. Army purchased three Model 407s from Bell that are being used as prototype aircraft for the development and testing of military-unique modifications. After the Army has finished qualification with the initial prototype aircraft, military-unique modifications will then be applied to these 24 production aircraft before they are delivered to the Iraqi air force.

More in Trusted Computing