Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The aircraft carrier debate & Australia moving 500 miles Westwards: Plus-ca-change

As part of my PhD research which was funded via a scholarship from funds made available by the Ministry of Defence I looked into the issues, theories and dynamics of strategic decision making applying my model and others to the latest available material from the archives of the Public Records Office.

At the time the latest materials concerned the 'Healey Reviews' of the mid 1960s which heralded a period of substantial British military and political disengagement from its 'East of Suez' commitments. One of the strongest threads running through the period was the battles between the armed services over resources and key programmes - of which the most contentious were the Royal Air Force's TSR-2 aircraft and the Royal Navy next generation aircraft carrier programme, known as CVA-01.

The CVA-01 was revolutionary, large and designed to support power projection for decades to come. The island (control tower) was offset so that aircraft could taxi around it. The displacement was substantial - and at a time of financial crisis - it was, like the TSR-2 too expensive.

Something had to go and the Royal Navy at least had a champion in terms of the first officer appointed to the new position of Chief of Defence Staff in the newly (April 1st, 1964) Ministry of Defence - Lord Mountbatten - the archtypal sailor.

To supplement the output of the archives - which includes various passionate memos to the Secretary of State from 1st Sea Lord and Chief of the Air Staff I studied the organisational directories of the time and identified two persons to interview. One was the Military Assistant to Lord Mountbatten, an aircraft carrier captain himself. The other was a junior civil servant working with the staff of CAS - whom would go on to become Permanent Under Secretary of the Department, Michael Quinlan.

At stake in the battle was the crucial issue - could aircraft (ie. TSR-2) conduct the missions using an air basing strategy of airfields around the world conduct the tasks of carrier-borne aviation ? Aircraft carriers, the air complement and logistics tail needed to support them was and remains in the current debates an expensive proposition. fields of concrete on land could prove a lot cheaper. The counter-arguments were many and of them several held great weight - which brings us to the urban legend at the heart of the mid-1960s defence reviews - that the Royal Air Force moved Australia 500 miles West to justify their strategy could obviate the requirement for investment in CVA-01 - with the consequence that the carrier programme should be cancelled in favour of investment in TSR-2.

My interviews sought to clarify this episode for research sake though also for my own curiousity. The Americans pushed strenuously for Britain to maintain forces East of Suez, even offering an aircraft carrier cheaply for the RN to use to keep them in the game - which in the archives was discounted 'due to inadequate messing [dining] arrangements'. Although my interview suggested that the configuration of arrestor wires might have been a greater factor at the operational level.

Mountbatten's MA was sprightly and still possessed strong memories of the event. He remembered clearly a presentation from CAS which looked somewhat odd to a man who has spent most of his life pouring over admiralty charts. Excusing himself from the presentation he pulled a map which showed that the type of projection being used by the RAF enabled Australia to conveniently fit into the flight peformance envelope of the TSR-2, thus justifying the strategy. The MA advised Mountbatten, pulling him out of the meeting on another pretext and the game was up.

Meeting Michael Quinlan during a visit to the Royal Military College of Science was, on reflection a great opportunity. I would like to think that I genuinely caught him off guard with him expecting me to ask a variety of questions concerning the 1990 options-for-change review, the personal dynamics of which were colourfully captured in Alan Clark's Diaries.

His view differed and a few weeks after meeting him a two page letter with a long quotation I was free to use in my research appeared. Sir Michael's view was that,

"In a genuine mistake, soon detected and rectified, an officer in the Air Staff based certain calculations about the capabilities of land-based air power on a figure some hundreds of miles too short for the distance between the Indian Ocean island of Aldabra - then under consideration for development as an air base - and a hypothetical operational area on the mainland of Africa. The episode (which later became, sometimes with embellishment. a treasured Royal Navy anecdote) was indignantly seized upon by the Naval Staff as evidence of Air Staff duplicity. This illustrates the level of feeling and tension which the review generated between the two Services".

So who was right ? Ultimately, and I might suggest that this be the real lesson, that inter-service rivalry delayed decisions being made before the resource constraints hammer really fell on the Ministry. CVA-01 was cancelled. TSR-2 was cancelled. The RAF proposed buying US F-111 swing-wing bombers - and that was cancelled too due to resources cuts and an IMF crisis.

Playing a very minor industrial role during the early stages of the CVF programme one can look back and see, post-SDSR, that delaying decision-making in a quest for the best military solution can risk ending up with a very compromised solution downstream. Years of prevarication I am sure are regretted from the corridors of the Ministry, to CINC Fleet Headquarters to industry balance sheets, ship building union offices and ultimately the communities of men and women simply trying to make a living.

The original in-service dates I remember for CVA-01 and CVA-02 were 2010 and 2012 respectively. Just to think that had the deadlines been held the SDSR would have been completed with one aircraft carrier having been recently or imminently launched by a senior member of the Royal Family with the newly elected administration in full attendance.

cest tragic. Should you wish to read in greater detail my own research into the defence policy battles of the mid 1960s I should like to point you to a copy of my PhD research at:

(Full copy of my PhD research thesis)

(A more concise version of the story published by the UK Defence Forum)

(A presentation to military students concerning TSR-2 versus CVA-01)

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Editorial: Comment on the Guardian article, "Carriers without Harriers: budget cuts leave MoD with jump jet-shaped hole"

Editorial: Comment on the Guardian newspaper article, "Carriers without Harriers: budget cuts leave MoD with jump jet-shaped hole"
October 19th, 2010

The construction costs of a 3billion GBP aircraft carrier over 50 years = 60 million GBP per annum = approx. 1GBP per head of population.

Are we not at risk of getting this out of proportion HMG ? Is this more about 'squaring away' the Scottish Labour class by wounding a programme who final integration is due to occur in the past Prime Minister's constituency. Clearly the new Administration is not playing politics with defence...

Suggestions for employment of the CVF;

1. Launch helicopters to protect British Nationals abroad - does anyone remember the rescue of Brits in Lebanon the other year ? The vessel is three times bigger...

2. Disaster relief in the Commonwealth - imagine the capability to support an isolated community post hurricane / tsunami and so forth.

3. Pursue limited conflicts in support of British interests - Sierra Leone involved an auxiliary tanker as the sole ship on station - what difference the CVF could make...

4. Providing a deck for use by other coalition partners in support of operations in the national interest - far from home base partners will appreciate any 'flat-top' space for running missions from. At sea, invulnerable (except in all-out war with a substantial submarine equipped opponent).

5. A re-run of the Falkland islands campaign no-one would question the utility...

Additionally, what if the Government is being shrewd in its calculations - if the economy picks up will the second vessel still be sold or retained ? The CVA-01 programme was cancelled in the mid-1960s eliminating aircraft carriers - only for the RN to keep the programme going in the shape of the 'through-deck cruiser' which only now is being decommissioned.

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Editorial: Commentary on the unveiling of SDSR Resource outcomes

Editorial: Commentary on the unveiling of SDSR Resource outcomes
October 19th, 2010

Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled the outcome of the Spending Review for the Ministry of Defence in the United Kingdom earlier today.

A scorecard approach to the key points covered by the BBC News website runs as follows;

* "8% cut in real terms" - Does this exclude the MoD running over budget by approximately 10% ? If not, then the cuts are approximately 20% and this exercise represents political theatre.

* "RAF and RN numbers to be reduced" - For the RAF closing bases reduces headcount and is desirable - in the end aircraft availability is the only criteria for size. For the RN it is a little more problematic (as outlined below).

* "HMS Ark Royal will be decommissioned four years early" - The issue for the RN is how will they staff properly the new carrier(s) when they finally come down the slipway ? As usual there is more 'lust' in terms of wanting the capability than there is through-life management.

* "Surface fleet cut from 24 to 19" - A graph drawn for me a few years ago during a meeting a main building showed the trend in the fall of the Fleet since the 1960s - the logical outcome was a surface fleet of 16 - you read it here first ! The key question is how do you protect the carriers and replenishment vessels - with a couple of ships (best case) in dry-dock at a time seventeen ships covering 70% of the Earth's surface is challenging.

* Astute untouched - VERY good news as they will be key for special operations, surveillance and producing effect.

* "Trident delay" - Tolerable as long as the Astute drumbeat can be synchronised to ensure minimal loss of manufacturing skills (and pressure from the supply chain to maximise profit). The reduction in warheads is interesting and suggests cutting the numbers to fit a stretched Astute SSBN design. Vanguard has 16 missile tubes, each capable of carrying 8 warheads (under the START Treaty) implying each missile has 3 warheads. 40 warheads implies 10 tubes each with four warheads and associated shrinkage of the vessel's length (plus some simplification in terms of engineering and obviously, cost). That said Personally this Editor would favour stretching Astute acquisition using nuclear tipped Tomahawk TLAM missiles.

* Closure of RAF Kinloss and Nimrod to be retired - Sad news for the Scottish community - and no doubt the lack of Conservative support was an issue. Nimrod is technologically being outpaced by the likes of the Global Hawk UAV, and time needs to move on. Political pain around the tragic loss of a Nimrod in Afghanistan likely contributed to the decision to retire.

* Harrier retirement and Tornado part retirement - RAF should shed themselves of Tornado at a faster rate than Harrier. This move smacks of a play by the Air Marshals given Harrier is a joint force. Losing Harrier substantially ahead of JSF introduction will kill the skill level of the Fleet Air Arm operating from the new CVF. Very shortsighted from a joint perspective, good play by the perfidious Royal Air Force.

* Extra Chinook helicopters - Simply excellent news - bringing these to bear quickly is essential.

* reshaping the Army - the loss of 7,000 troops is obviously headline grabbing though difficulties with recruitment made the 100,000 target unobtainable. Rethinking the balance between 'ordinary' soldier and SF generation is crucial to ensuring UK usefulness to its Allies given numbers are simply not happening.

* The fall from six deployable brigades to five leaves only two brigades deployable (on the basis of a third in training, third on deployment, third preparing for Ops) - unless defence planners are treating the three Royal Marine Commandos as a sixth brigade - retaining their own independence in return for playing ball with the Army's deployment schedule ?

* MBT Tank and Heavy Artillery reductions - UK needs to retain skills for high intensity warfare even if it is not on the immediate horizon. A sensible move given the FRES programme was superceded by incremental acquisitions. Replacing Challenger is a big issue and how.

* Reductions in MOD civil servants - challenging insofar as the defence community is increasingly concentrated in areas which have little alternative employment - internal political manoeuvring is going to water this down unless the Government moves fast or keeps its eye on the ball.

Editorial: Comment on Robert Preston blog 'What a Carrier-on!'


Editorial: Comment on Robert Preston blog 'What a Carrier-on!'
October 19th, 2010

Economically the project, albeit at a high price, enables the UK warship building industry to carry on. As the Royal Navy shrinks and politicians prevaricate over a new generation of frigates to succeed the venerable Type-22 and Type-23 vessels so the need to keep skilled people from choosing alternate employment, say in McDonald's crucial.

Militarily, Peston misses the point. Did Peston realise how blogs and the internet would challenge print media ? probably not. The military establishment has many scenarios it plans for - though more often or not predicting the timing of a scenario being realised or the exact location is impossible.

What is constant is geography - the Earth is 70% water and the remaining 30% is split up into societies - some of whom may be less friendly to UK interests on occasion. The ability to have a flat surface from which to conduct operations in support of strategic needs is essential. Also essential, though more problematic is what to fly off the decks of these vessels. Unmanned vehicles may largely surpass Joint Strike Fighter far quicker than many imagine.

Politically, the JSF could be too expensive unless substantial economic recovery occurs. 'Marinising JSF' as the former Chairman of its UK manufacturer BAE Systems suggests, could be too bitter a pill to swallow after the expensive and drawn out EFA procurement. As far as the contracts go for the carriers, Eurofighter provided the model - a cast iron contract to lock in whimsical politicians - which can backfire when the background environment changes.

Plus ca change.

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Editorial: Termination of the UK Defence Training Review (DTR) - Justice belatedly served

Editorial: Termination of the UK Defence Training Review (DTR) - Justice belatedly served
October 19th, 2010

Today it was announced in the House of Commons that the DTR programme was cancelled (please see previous posting).

At the time it was highly innapropriate for HMG to choose a bidder in which owned a financial stake. The Metrix consortium, majority owned by QinetiQ (with a Carlyle Group minority interest) chased a programme to provide training for vehicle drivers, cooks etc. Hardly the forte of a commercial organisation pitching itself as the bastion of British defence science.

Split into two packages, arguably the second was a bone to keep the appearance of competition and result in many pounds spent by bidding teams for a foregone conclusion.

Red Dragon, the DARA aircraft repair facility at St. Athan in South Wales was a real beneficiary of the Wales Labour Party political caucus, who probably like Scotland have no love for the Conservative Government - which is now being repaid in spades....

Termination of the UK Defence Training Review (DTR) Programme

Termination of the Defence Training Review
October 19, 2010

The termination of the Defence Training Rationalisation (DTR) project and the Metrix Consortium's appointment as preferred bidder has been announced by Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox today, 19 October 2010.

The DTR project intended to combine the technical and engineering training for the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force on a single site at St Athan in South Wales.

In a written ministerial statement to Parliament today, Dr Fox said:

"The Metrix Consortium was appointed as preferred bidder in January 2007 subject to it developing an affordable and value for money contract proposal.

"Given the significance of this project and the opportunity to provide a world-class training facility, the Ministry of Defence has worked tirelessly to deliver this project.

"However, it is now clear that Metrix cannot deliver an affordable, commercially-robust proposal within the prescribed period and it has therefore been necessary to terminate the DTR procurement and Metrix's appointment as preferred bidder.

"Technical training, collocated on as few sites as possible, remains in our view the best solution for our Armed Forces. Equally, St Athan was previously chosen as the best location on which to collocate that training for good reasons, and we still hope to base our future defence training solution there.

"We will however now carry out some work before finalising the best way ahead; including to confirm both our training and estates requirement, and the best way to structure the solution that will meet them.

"To ensure momentum is not lost, work on the alternative options will begin as soon as possible and we hope to be able to announce our future plans in the spring."

Training will continue to be delivered at current training locations as it would have done under the original PFI (Private Finance Initiative) proposal. These sites are: Arborfield, Blandford, Bordon, Cosford, Cranwell, Digby, Fareham (Collingwood), Gosport (Sultan) and St Athan.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

UK SDSR Defence Review outcomes - arithmetic - 8% or 18% ?

UK SDSR Defence Review outcomes - a matter of arithmetic ?
Monday 18th October, 2010

There is much being trailed as to the release today by Prime Minister David Cameron as to the outcome of the review of resources devoted to the Ministry of Defence. Traditionally the Conservative Party are keen to be seen as strong and safe on defence and foreign policy. In an environment where substantial cuts are being made across government showing a grip on the issues, especially for a new administration is key.

Which probably explains why the Departmental minister has been sidelined by No.10 which has taken strong control (through the Cabinet Office) of the defence review process. press sources are already trailing the following adjustments to UK force structure;

* Retirement of the VSTOL Harrier (known as the AV-8B by the US) jump jet (CityAM)
* Retirement of HMS Ark Royal (Aircraft carrier and flagship of the Royal Navy) (BBC)
* Reductions to the strength of the British Army of the order of two brigades (7,000 troops) (CityAM)

The consensus which appears to have been trailed to the UK media and which seems uncontested by the Opposition is that cuts to the budget will amount to some 7-8% versus some 20% in other Government Departments (excluding health).

Given that insiders acknowledge off-the-record that the MOD budget has been running some 10% beyond its resource level this would imply a 10.0 + 8.0% = 18.0% reduction.

Hence the need for the PM to lead this announcement. What this means for UK 'Grand Strategy' remains to be seen as the National Security Strategy (NSS) seems to be headlining on the threat to UK global interests from cyber attack.

UK Releases NSS review document: A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The National Security Strategy (cm7953)

UK Releases NSS review document: A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The National Security Strategy
October 18th, 2010

Ahead of the release by the Prime Minister of the outcome of the SDSR Defence Review in the House of Commons at 1530hrs GMT (0930 EST) came the release of the foreign policy-led component known as The National Security Strategy (Command Paper Cm7953). A few comments jump off the page at first pass;

The foreword at the outset refers to Britain being both more secure and more vulnerable then ever before which seems to automatically question the logic of cutting resources to security needs. If national security assets are an insurance policy then Britain seems to be going down the "third party, fire & theft" route.

Page four sees The United States of America listed atop that of the international network of alliances, followed by the EU and NATO.

Page five refers to equipment acquisition rooted in the mindset of the Cold War.

KEY POINT: Page nine, a definition of the National Security Strategy of the United Kingdom, "to use all our national capabilities to build Britain's prosperity, extend our nation's influence in the world and strengthen our security. The networks we use to build our prosperity we will also use to build our security".

Page eleven identifies the top four threats in the next five years to UK security; terrorism (including CBRN (i.e. WMD) usage) and interesting flags Northern Ireland as a flashpoint, cyberattack, military crises and major accident or natural hazard.

Page thirteen identifies withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2015 - towards the end of the next US Presidency, and to the end of the first term of a Cameron Government, should the Government go the full five years before seeking re-election.

page fifteen (section 1.15) identifies the need to broaden out UK relationships beyond dependence on the USA and the world becomes more multi-polar.

page twenty-two (section 2.11) reaffirms the UK view of the Special Relationship - "Our strong defence relationship with the US... is exceptionally close and central to our national interest".

page twenty-seven - illustration of a 'risk register' of 15 major risks - which will be reviewed and updated biannually. The methodology (which is a two-by-two "impact:likelihood" matrix standard to any management consultant) is printed on page 37 for those unfamiliar.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Netherlands Industries for Defence and Security (NIDV) in its Holland Pavilion proudly presents the 'Naval novelties of The Netherlands industries'

At the occasion of Euronaval 2010 the Netherlands Industries for Defence and Security (NIDV) in its Holland Pavilion proudly presents the 'Naval novelties of The Netherlands industries' under the common orange banner of 'HOLLAND, Acting Smart'.

Why we value smartness
Being a mid sized nation with naval traditions located in a pocket format river delta area has it advantages. Ongoing innovation is stimulated by the sophistication of a dense network of naval suppliers. Being the smallest country worldwide with a formal policy towards any other nation on this planet our Royal Netherlands Navy is frequently involved in international operations. With low cost networks of anonymous enemies over the globe and a demanding Navy at hand our industry is stimulated to durable and cost effective solutions. Therefore it aims at using smart integration to facilitate smaller teams and agility in operations. The early presence of oil refining industries in our river delta has lead to a world leading position in advanced materials. The history of high-tech electronics industries and systems integration shaped a good starting position in the technological trend of miniaturization. Add to this mixture the stimulating presence of surrounding large countries using power policies and you understand our quite neutral position. Also, nearby countries financially sponsor their shipbuilding industries and politically sponsor their naval industries, you will understand that Acting Smart has become our trade mark in surviving as the fittest, with special emphasis on small solutions & cost effectiveness over a life cycle. The density of the naval network consists of companies with a history of supplying and sustaining components for mission critical naval environments as well as organizations that have the capability to design or produce integrated platforms.

Strengthening security
Above smartness in innovation and the capability to produce at high quality for naval environments is achieved in key application areas where urgent international operational needs are encountered by our industries strengths:
A) Sensors and electronics against stealthy enemies in ocean wide environments;
B) Applying advanced materials for harsh marine or hostile naval environments;
C) Smart integration for smaller teams;
D) Durable systems for critical missions to enhance cost-effectiveness over life cycle.

More elaborate presentations can be given by enlisted companies who are present at NIDV Holland Pavilion at Euronaval in Paris, booth E9.

Euronaval is the worlds 2nd largest naval event and it will take place from the 25th until the 29th of October in Paris.

Location: Le Bourget, Paris Nord, Paris.


Kind regards,

Drs. Marc Soeteman

About NIDV
The Netherlands Industries for Defence & Security (NIDV) is a non-profit membership association. Serving as the voice of the Dutch defence & security industry it assists Dutch companies and research institutes in The Netherlands and around the world. The 200+ members represent well over 90% of the added value in the Netherlands. The NIDV members supply products and services to government agencies and contractors worldwide. Funded by our members we can assist foreign candidates and contractors - free of charge - with their upcoming or pending offset obligations and other industrial participation programs. The NIDV was originated in 1984 by The Ministries of Defence, Economic and Foreign Affairs. NIDV is the portal to the defence and security business in The Netherlands.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Editorial: Financial Times newspaper (October 12, 2010) - Lex: Defence M&A

With regard to the 'Defence M&A' item in the Lex column (FT October 12, 2010) one wonders if, for the government customer, that the pharmaceutical industry holds elements of a model applicable to defence.

The reliance of the major players on small incubator companies - taking risk and creating drugs needed in the real world - which when sufficiently refined are taken on board by the major pharma companies who have the advantages of production, distribution, customer relationships etc.

The likes of the UK MoD and DoD trying to evolve procurement methods such as 'spiral development', 'urgent operational requirements' etc. begs for a different approach.

Simply calling for break-up of a large clique is politically as likely as breaking up Goldman Sachs - like the atom bomb - consolidation in defence cannot be wound back.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

RAF Benevolent Fund Day of Action

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the RAF Benevolent Fund is running an online campaign called the 1940 Chronicle. It’s a storytelling campaign which blogs the experiences of five characters living through the Battle. At the heart of it all is the Chronicle newspaper which breaks real news stories as though they were happening now in real time.

The aim of the campaign is to bring the Battle to life online, to demonstrate the impact of war on serving personnel and to show our appreciation to those who served 70 years ago and those who continue to serve in the RAF today.

This Wednesday is officially Battle of Britain Day and so to mark this important day, we’re holding an online ‘Day of Action’ to encourage as many people as possible to show their gratitude and support by taking one of the following actions:

Visit www.1940Chronicle.com and leave a message of thanks
Write a blog as if you were living through the Battle of Britain in 1940 and tell the Chronicle about it, or just spread the word
Add our official Twibbon to your Facebook or twitter profile
Shout it out! Change your Facebook status or tweet about the Day of Action to show support
Tweet about it using the hashtag #Bob70
Be a hero! Become a 1940's character for the day and change your Facebook profile image to one of our brave heros

We would be delighted if you could support our ‘Day of Action’ and help us spread the word so that we can raise awareness of this important anniversary and the debt of gratitude we owe to those who fought for our freedom 70 years ago.

You can also leave a message of thanks to the RAF at www.rafbf.org/thanks

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Boeing to Showcase Broad Range of Unmanned Capabilities at AUVSI Convention

Boeing to Showcase Broad Range of Unmanned Capabilities at AUVSI Convention
August 20, 2010

DENVER, - The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] will spotlight its wide array of unmanned systems at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems North America 2010 conference and exhibition. This year’s event takes place Aug. 24-27 in Denver.

Boeing will feature key unmanned systems at Booth 2600 and in media briefings, including the A160T Hummingbird unmanned aerial system, the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, Phantom Eye, Phantom Ray, and the Echo Ranger underwater unmanned vehicle.

"Boeing offers its customers a diverse set of unmanned systems that have almost unlimited potential for both military and commercial purposes," said Vic Sweberg, director of Boeing Unmanned Airborne Systems. "We are committed to continued innovation and expansion in this growing field."

Boeing subsidiary Insitu also will be exhibiting at the show at Booth 1400 and static display Booth 1038, highlighting the ScanEagle and other unmanned products and services.

Note: All briefing times are local to Denver (Mountain time).

TUESDAY, Aug. 24
Colorado Convention Center, Room 204

1030-1130: Unmanned Airborne Systems Overview
Vic Sweberg, director, Boeing Unmanned Airborne Systems, provides a status report on the division’s key programs.

1330-1430: A160T Hummingbird Program Update/Overview
Ernie Wattam, Boeing A160 program manager, discusses the A160T Hummingbird’s test program and recent milestones.

# # #
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:N Main St,Southampton,United States

Sunday, July 25, 2010

South Africa Purchases Raytheon Paveway™ Laser-Guided Bombs

South Africa Purchases Raytheon Paveway™ Laser-Guided Bombs
July 22, 2010

First sale of significant U.S. defense equipment to South Africa in 25 years

FARNBOROUGH, England, - The South African Department of Defence awarded Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) a contract for Paveway II laser-guided bombs.

Raytheon will provide the South African military with LGB computer control groups and air foil groups that transform "dumb" bombs into precision-guided munitions for operational test and evaluation on South Africa's Gripen fighter aircraft.

ARMSCOR awarded a contract on behalf of the South African Air Force for the procurement of LGB bomb kits. ARMSCOR, the Armaments Corporation of South Africa, is the officially appointed acquisition organization for the South African DoD.

The direct commercial sale was negotiated with the assistance of South Africa's ATLANTIS Corporation and calls for Raytheon to begin delivery in 2011. In addition to the weapons, Raytheon will provide air- and ground-crew training.

"The combat-proven Paveway family of weapons is integrated on more than 22 aircraft and serves 41 nations around the globe, making this weapon the ideal choice for the South African warfighter," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon's Air Warfare Systems product line. "Raytheon is the sole provider of the Paveway family of weapons and is committed to providing the warfighter with a reliable direct-attack weapon at a cost-effective price."

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Raytheon and Elcome Marine Complete Phalanx Maintenance for Indian Navy

Raytheon and Elcome Marine Complete Phalanx Maintenance for Indian Navy
July 22, 2010

FARNBOROUGH, England, - Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and Elcome Marine Services of Mumbai, India, completed inspection and maintenance on two Phalanx Close-in Weapon Systems for the Indian Navy.

"Raytheon and Elcome worked together to complete this project in just a few days," said Cynthia Davis, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of International Business Development. "The Indian Navy now has two highly effective Phalanx systems to defend the INS Jalashwa and its sailors."

In 2007, the U.S. government transferred the INS Jalashwa to India. The landing platform dock arrived in India with two Phalanx Block 1 systems on board.

Maintenance on the Phalanx systems included the replacement of circuit cards and other work.

The Phalanx Block 1 configuration features a proven 20 mm Gatling gun, which fires armor-piercing rounds at 3,000 or 4,500 shots per minute. Phalanx Block 1 also includes an advanced search and track Ku-band radar with closed-loop spotting technology to provide autonomous target detection and engagement. The system can interface with virtually any ship combat system and can provide target designation for other shipboard weapons.

"We are talking with the Indian Navy about upgrading its Block 1 systems and acquiring additional Phalanx systems, as well as other Raytheon products to defend India's fleet and sailors," Davis added.

Raytheon has produced more than 890 Phalanx systems for 25 nations around the world.

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Raytheon Achieves First Milestone for Patriot United Arab Emirates Program

Raytheon Achieves First Milestone for Patriot United Arab Emirates Program
July 22, 2010

FARNBOROUGH, England, - Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) achieved an important first milestone in support of its Patriot United Arab Emirates (UAE) program.

The company completed the upgrade of a Patriot radar, on loan from the U.S. Army, to the latest configuration (Configuration-3) and now has the necessary support system in place to begin the design verification and validation testing for the UAE's Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems.

"This is an important milestone for the UAE program. It's one shared by our 12 current Patriot partner nations and future partners as we manufacture new Patriot systems again," said Sanjay Kapoor, vice president of Patriot Programs at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). "With more than 180 Patriot systems around the world, the ability to upgrade and build new systems is a critical factor in maintaining the combat-proven Patriot as the air and missile defense system of choice."

Raytheon IDS is the prime contractor for both domestic and international Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems and system integrator for Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles.

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General Dynamics to Webcast Second-Quarter 2010 Financial Results Conference Call

General Dynamics to Webcast Second-Quarter 2010 Financial Results Conference Call
July 22, 2010

FALLS CHURCH, Va., -General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) will webcast its second-quarter 2010 financial results conference call on Wednesday, July 28, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

Jay L. Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer; Hugh Redd, senior vice president and chief financial officer; and Amy Gilliland, staff vice president for investor relations, will review financial results for the second quarter and will answer questions from financial analysts.

The live webcast of the presentation will be available. A replay will be available shortly after the live presentation.

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House Armed Services Committee: Opening Statement of Chairman Ike Skelton Managing the Department of Defense in a Time of Tight Budgets

House Armed Services Committee: Opening Statement of Chairman Ike Skelton Managing the Department of Defense in a Time of Tight Budgets
Ike Skelton, Chairman
July 22, 2010

Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) delivered the following opening statement during today’s hearing to review managing the Department of Defense budget:

“Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to today’s hearing on managing the Department of Defense in a time of tight budgets. Our hearing continues the Committee’s aggressive efforts to protect taxpayers at the same time we protect the troops and ensure our national security.

“This discussion is very timely. First, consider the budget. Much to its credit, the Obama Administration this year delivered a budget with real growth in defense spending. However, the rate of this growth will not support all of the spending practices which have arisen over the last 12 years during which the defense budget more than doubled. Furthermore, the significant federal deficit will make continuing real growth in the defense budget a challenge.

“Second, consider DOD’s management challenge. As illustrated in the ‘Top Secret America’ series of articles in this week’s Washington Post, the growth in contractors and government offices devoted to fighting terrorism since 9/11 is staggering. Most of this growth has occurred at the Department of Defense, though much of it falls in the area of intelligence. But little of note at DOD was eliminated to make way for this new growth. Instead the Department has grown bigger.

“Managing all of this is exactly the job Congress assigned to the Department’s Chief Management Officer, a job currently filled by Deputy Secretary of Defense Bill Lynn. While Secretary Lynn could not be with us today, much to my regret, we have an excellent panel of witnesses that are here: Ms. Beth McGrath, Deputy Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense; Mr. Joe Westphal, Under Secretary of the Army; Mr. Robert Work, Under Secretary of the Navy; and the one-time staff director of this committee, Ms. Erin Conaton, Under Secretary of the Air Force.

“The Under Secretaries were designated by Congress to serve as the Chief Management Officers of their respective departments.

“I’ve asked these witnesses to update the Committee on exactly how they are creating the tools, structures, and systems necessary to manage the largest, most complex institution in the world. I’ve asked them to focus on a few issues in particular. Congress has mandated that the Department must at long last get its finances in order and be ready for an independent audit by 2017. Will the Department comply with the law? What progress has been made?

“The Department has asked and received from Congress billions of dollars to modernize its business systems over the last 10 years. What do we have to show today for this investment? Do we now have the kind of management information about our business operations that we need? When will we get there?

“Lastly, the Committee has followed with great interest the efficiency initiative announced by Secretary Gates on May 8 at the Eisenhower Library. We want to know how this initiative will work, and when the Department intends to share its findings with Congress. This committee stands four-square behind efficiency. At the same time, we want to ensure that major budget decisions are well considered.

“We should not attempt to find efficiencies through the kind of mindless across-the-board cuts that President Obama campaigned against. For my own part, I will note loud and clear that I am not for cutting the defense budget at this time. My understanding is that the Secretary’s efficiency initiative is not about cutting the budget, but I look forward to hearing more about how exactly this initiative is designed to work.

“Now, I turn to my colleague from California, Buck McKeon, for his opening remarks.”


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First Lady Michelle Obama Christens the Newest Northrop Grumman-built National Security Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752)

First Lady Michelle Obama Christens the Newest Northrop Grumman-built National Security Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752)
July 23, 2010

PASCAGOULA, Miss. - First Lady Michelle Obama christened the Northrop Grumman-built (NYSE:NOC) U.S. National Security Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) in front of 3,000 guests today calling the ship "truly magnificent."

Stratton is the third of eight planned National Security Cutters being built at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Pascagoula for the U.S. Coast Guard. With its 418-foot length and 4,700 ton full load displacement and state-of-the-art command and control systems, the NSC is the largest and most technologically advanced of the new multi-mission cutters.

"Here in Pascagoula, you've been building ships for centuries," said Mrs. Obama. "It's in your blood—a proud tradition passed from generation to generation. Your hands have given us some of the greatest ships in the United States Navy and Coast Guard. So whether you're a welder or a fitter or a burner—whatever your craft—today is also a tribute to you and your families, and America thanks you."

Stratton is named in honor of Captain Dorothy C. Stratton (1899-2006), the U.S. Coast Guard's first female commissioned officer and director of the SPARS ("Semper Paratus - Always Ready"), the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve during World War II. SPARS mainly replaced men in shore stations during most of the war; however as the war progressed SPARS were placed in charge of greater areas of previously male-only control—including as parachute riggers, aviation machinists' mates and air control tower operators. Several former SPARS attended the ceremony.

In his ceremony remarks, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding president Mike Petters recognized all of the shipbuilders who are building Stratton and added, "Captain Stratton was truly a trailblazer – and I know that her passion and energy will be embodied in this great ship named for her, built by the best shipbuilders in the world."

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Bruce Baffer is the ship's prospective commanding officer and will lead a crew of 120 U.S. Coast Guard sailors.

"Christening of Stratton is an important step in advancing our Coast Guard mission," said Admiral Robert Papp, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Legend-class National Security Cutter (NSC) is capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs. Powered by a twin propeller combined diesel and gas turbine power propulsion plant, the NSC is designed to travel at 28 knots maximum speed. The cutter includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats, and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary wing aircrafts. It is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the U.S. Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. This class of cutters plays an important role enhancing the Coast Guard's operational readiness, capacity, and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.

"Cutter Stratton...embodies our drive to constantly innovate and evolve our maritime capabilities and leverage technology to our greatest advantage. It also reflects our desire to create a more modern, agile and forward-leaning Coast Guard capable of handling a new era of national security threats," said Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

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House Armed Services Committee: schedule for the week of July 26 – July 30, 2010

House Armed Services Committee: schedule for the week of July 26 – July 30, 2010
Ike Skelton, Chairman
July 23, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 – 10:00am – 2118 Rayburn – Open

The Full Committee will meet to receive testimony on Japan: Recent Security Developments.


The Honorable Kurt M. Campbell
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
U.S. Department of State

The Honorable Wallace C. Gregson
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs
U.S. Department of Defense

The Honorable Jackalyne Pfannenstiel
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations, and Environment)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 – 10:00am – 2118 Rayburn – Open

The Joint Readiness and Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittees will meet to receive testimony on surface fleet readiness.


Admiral John Harvey, USN
Fleet Forces Command

Vice Admiral Kevin McCoy, USN
Naval Sea Systems Command

Vice Admiral William Burke, USN
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations
Fleet Readiness and Logistics (N4)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 – 1:30pm – 2212 Rayburn – Open

The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will meet to receive testimony on Transformation in Progress: The Services’ Enlisted Professional Military Education Programs.


Colonel James J. Minick, USMC
Director of Enlisted PME
Marine Corps University
U.S. Marine Corps

Mr. Dan Sparks
Director, Institute for NCO Professional Development
Training and Doctrine Command
U.S. Army

Mr. Scott Lutterloh
Total Force Requirements Division
U.S. Navy

Mr. Dan Sitterly
Director of Force Development
Deputy Chief of Staff
Manpower and Personnel
U.S. Air Force

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 – 2:00pm – 2118 Rayburn – Open

The Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee will meet to receive testimony on harnessing small business innovation for national security cyber needs.


Mr. John Ricketson
Chief Executive Officer
Dejavu Technologies, Inc

Mr. Roger Thornton
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Fortify Software


Thursday, July 29, 2010 – 10:00am – 2118 Rayburn – Open

The Full Committee will meet to receive testimony on receive testimony on the Final Report of the Independent Panel's Assessment of the Quadrennial Defense Review.


The Honorable William J. Perry
Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel
United States Institute for Peace

The Honorable Stephen J. Hadley
Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel
United States Institute for Peace


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thales chinook 'top deck' demo

Uses trackball interface for pilots to access data on screen - integrated - testbed Sikorsky S-76 helicopter.

New chink has 2 six by eight LCD displays which are video capable plus tablet data input 'tactical ipad'

Architecture offers upgrade path through 2050. Much technology from civil aviation though requiring military certification. And adjustment for combat worthiness.

Focus on helicopter crew being 'eyes out' mission focused rather than instruments focused.

46 helicopters, 8 mis-procured helicopters being 'reverted' to mk 3 standard and first delivery will occur asap. First flight in 2010.

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Location:Farnborough, UK

The United Kingdom's SDSR Defence Review - identifying real options for change

The United Kingdom's SDSR Defence Review - identifying real options for change

The Strategic Defence and Security Review (or SDSR) underway within the UK Ministry of Defence has as its aim a full review of UK commitments, force structures and resourcing.

What started as a Defence green paper under the previous Labour Administration has entered full-blown review territory and following the extent of the UK deficit being revealed is being conducted to achieve all of the above with a substantial reduction in funding.

Given the Sir Humphrey response to political requests for cuts in departmental spending, "come up with three options of which one is completely unpalatable and the other two on close examination are the same". One would expect the reduction in resources to be of the 10-15% level rather than the 20-25% level mooted.

However, it is often been unofficially acknowledged that MoD was able to use it's accounting regime in such as way as to squeeze an extra billion out of budget, so any real cuts also need to encompass the lack of manoeuvre room for budgetary games.

The SDSR or SDR as some are referring to it in shorthand is in effect a 'Strategic Deficit Review' as much as a Strategic Defence Review. In addition the MoD case is due to be sent to Cabinet Office (assuming the successor DOPC structure) and thence to the Star Chamber for execution by the PM and Chancellor.

Unlike many earlier Reviews, it could be suggested that this one cannot result in a salami-slicing approach where in effect each of three armed services is given a number and their cloth is cut accordingly - a couple of tanks here, a frigate there and so forth. One apocryphal example of this was in 1990 where a group were directed to save a few hundred million and had a couple of hours to do to support the Minister. The exercise ended up with harassed officials looking for a Program closest to the number, in this case night vision. Following the war in the Gulf of 1991, the shortfall identified was in - night vision,

The SDSR review process needs to move away from optimising the British Army to re-fight the 1991 or 2003 Iraq war, the Navy the Falklands war of 1982 and the RAF the glories of Operation Desert Fox.

The future will not be like the past.

However, a little lateral thinking could go a long way. The hardest thing to cut in terms of actually doing it and realizing a fast return on the balance sheet are personnel numbers. This is the reason the equipment Program (invariably requiring government to spend on outside goods and services)

The number one challenge for the MoD is the nuclear deterrent. Renewal of the four Vanguard Class SSBN's plus the Trident warheads comes with a price tag in the order of some £20 billion ($30 US). However a clear alternative to designing a new submarine would be to build additional Astute Class hunter/killer submarines and forgo Trident for a nuclear tipped Tomahawk torpedo. Whilst lacking the range and having some vulnerability to intercept let's not forget that this is a political weapon primarily and if used and if only 1 in 4 hit the target it would still be a very high order of 'effect'.

Additionally, a force of Astute SSN/BN submarines would offer flexibility 100% availability as at least one would always be at sea.

For industry, a lengthened Astute Program would offer greater efficiencies (each successive boat being cheaper to build) and greater ease of maintenance with a single design being in service.

The second order question regarding large, expensive equipment programs already committed to is how to get the results of the balance sheet without risking contract termination - which would be devastating to the Defence industry.

Eurofighter could be re-rolled for service on the new aircraft carriers under construction absorbing some of the tranche 3 commitment and again offering basic commonality of airframe for manned aerial effect.
Part of the tranche 3 commitment could be sold on to another government with Saudi Arabia topping the list of obvious parties whom would be interested. Clearly this approach would end UK interest in JSF which is in the test stage, though prior to production.

Next on the list is some clever thinking regarding the carriers themselves. A few years ago there was discussion of the French ordering one of the designs as a second ship to work alongside the unhappy nuclear Charles de Gaulle vessel in some kind of 'euro carrier capability'

Why not sell the first of class overseas ? First of class vessels often are a learning curve and so why not get the first vessel off the balance sheet and enjoy better quality 2nd and 3rd vessels and realize some cost savings. In terms of whom would purchase, the Russian aircraft carrier was touted to the Indian and Chinese Navies. At the time of the Falklands conflict HMS Hermes was due to be sold to India and ultimately was as the Vikrant. that vessel must be close to the end of it's operational life for example.

The Royal Air Force I would suspect could be hard pressed to articulate why the Tornado GR4 is still needed in a period of austerity given that a number of the aircraft have been flown to the edge of their lifespan. A navalised Eurofighter also negates sadly the Harrier jump-jet. If only JSF was not bedeviled by the ITAR waiver issues with the US and inevitable cost-escalation. In terms of supply chain and excluding Eurofighter why does the RAF need so many stations ? Time for fast consolidation.

The Royal Navy also needs to forgo a Naval Base with Portsmouth the obvious choice. Although a deal of service accommodation was built there recently the fact is that Portsmouth real estate is far more valuable and there is a fundamental force protection issue given how busy the waterways are around the Solent.

In terms of the surface fleet the most pressing need is to move forward with a replacement Program for the Type-23 Frigate which is modular, small, punchy and plentiful in numbers. Hopefully the river class vessels can offer a better model than a cut down type 42 for the 'c1' capability need.

Major new investment in UAV's should be the winner. A smaller frigate should have dedicated UAV ASW capability reducing the need for Nimrod from the RAF.

Whilst sad, thinking the unthinkable as Herman Kahn once put it is no longer a luxury which can be pursued in the Club room or mess. It is essential and is needed right now.

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Location:In a galaxy far, far, away...

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Farnborough 2010: please leave your WMD at the check-in

Farnborough 2010: please leave your WMD at the check-in

The bi-annual aerospace and Defence industry event held on the outskirts of London starts in the morning melée of commuter traffic in and out of Waterloo station.

Necks see craned high for sight of the notice Boards which tend to give around 8 minutes warning of the platform to take. Serried ranks of dark-suited middle aged men heading out of town is a curious sight. Arriving at farnborough main railway station commandeered public buses stand waiting and After a short ride so begins the queue for a pass. Media and exhibitor passes are mixed together resulting in a long wait time for pre- accredited media while exhibitors engage in epic story-telling as to why the name has changed...

Inside farnborough 2010 it is clear that Italian firm finmeccanica has taken a huge step. No expense appears spared with 3 chalets and a bevy of Italian speaking men and, of course, women. One wonders if there will be a repeat of 2006 with young Italian girls all in red dresses handling the inevitable sponsored cocktail event in London.

Lockheed Martin is low-key - in fact I have not yet found them ! This mornings highlight was a walk through of the new 787 Boeing dreamliner.

In terms of day one awards Boeing and BAE both score highly for courtesy and assistance to media. Northrop Grumman was less impressive and finmeccanica tried hard suffering from having a big operation to manage. BAE made a specials effort to marry visitors with the relevant spokespersons for different areas of the business. This did not make up entirely for the lack of any windows.

Thales - digital press kit, Boeing online, BAE paper based - weight in suitcase !

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Location:Farnborough, United Kingdom

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Today in the Department of Defense, Monday, July 19, 2010

Today in the Department of Defense, Monday, July 19, 2010
July 18, 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates is traveling.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn has no public or media events on his schedule.

National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Craig McKinley, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton will conduct a press briefing Monday to discuss the details of a forthcoming National Guard deployment to our southwestern border states with Mexico.

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DOD Awards $227 Million in Research Funding

DOD Awards $227 Million in Research Funding
July 19, 2010

The Department of Defense (DoD) announced plans today to make 32 awards to academic institutions to perform multidisciplinary basic research. The total amount of the awards is expected to be $227 million over five years. Awards are subject to the successful completion of negotiations between the academic institutions and DoD research offices that will make the awards: the Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

The awards are the result of the fiscal 2010 competition that ARO, ONR, and AFOSR conducted under the DoD Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program. The MURI program supports research by teams of investigators that intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline in order to accelerate both research progress and transition of research results to application. Most MURI efforts involve researchers from multiple academic institutions and academic departments. Based on the proposals selected in the fiscal 2010 competition, a total of 67 academic institutions are expected to participate in the 32 research efforts.

The MURI program complements other DoD basic research programs that support traditional, single-investigator university research by supporting multidisciplinary teams with larger and longer awards. The awards announced today are for a five year period subject to availability of appropriations and satisfactory research progress. Consequently, MURI awards can provide greater sustained support than single-investigator awards for the education and training of students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering fields critical to DoD, as well as for associated infrastructure such as research instrumentation.

The MURI program is highly competitive. ARO, ONR, and AFOSR solicited proposals in 30 topics important to DoD and received a total of 411 white papers, which were followed by 152 proposals. The awards announced today were selected based on merit review by panels of experts.

The list of projects selected for fiscal 2010 funding may be found on the Web.

CORRECTION: July 19, 2010 - Under MURI Topic 15, Michigan State University is corrected from University of Michigan.

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DOD CONTRACTS for July 19, 2010

DOD CONTRACTS for July 19, 2010
July 19, 2010

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an $819,647,920 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract (N00019-09-C-0010) for special tools/test equipment required in support of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) air system low-rate initial production Lot IV production. Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif. (25.2 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (21.6 percent); Rochester, United Kingdom (21.5 percent); Rolling Meadows, Ill. (9.5 percent); Baltimore, Md. (2.2 percent); Boulder, Colo. (2.1 percent); various locations outside contiguous U.S. (9.2 percent); and locations within the contiguous U.S. (8.7 percent). Work is expected to be completed in January 2013. This modification combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($352,473,960; 43 percent); the U.S. Air Force ($294,473,960; 36 percent); and international partners ($172,700,000; 21 percent). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Atlantic Marine Mayport, LLC, Jacksonville, Fla., is being awarded a $12,631,440 firm-fixed-price contract to perform work onboard the USS Hue City (CG 66). This contract is for drydock selected restricted availability to include drydock, ship alterations and topside maintenance repair work. Extensive coordination is required for the drydock evolution in addition to the numerous systems onboard to be repaired. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $26,265,812. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Fla., and is expected to be completed by March 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with two offers received. The Southeast Regional Maintenance Center, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N40027-10-C-0092).

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., is being awarded $8,702,795 for delivery order #0001 under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M67854-10-D-5022) for upgrade kits that allow for conversion of three configurations of the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) to a capability for on-board vehicle power (OBVP). These kits are required in order to properly and fully provide the on-board electric power needed for current and emerging needs. The OBVP kit is an electric drive transmission to replace the current mechanical transmission of the MTVR. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wis. (89 percent), and Jacksonville, N.C. (11 percent), and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2012. Contract funds will not expire by the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.


Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Fla., was awarded on July 13 a $95,964,520 firm-fixed-price contract. This is for the definitized letter contract to procure Army/Marine Corps requirements for the fiscal 2009-2011 Javelin hardware program. Work is to be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (50 percent), and Orlando, Fla. (50 percent), with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2014. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-09-C-0376).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Technical Services, Inc., Sierra Vista, Ariz., was awarded on July 13 a $47,250,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This contract is to provide capability-based rotations support for Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom and revitalization for the Hunter unmanned aircraft system. Work is to be performed in Sierra Vista, Ariz., with an estimated completion date of July 14, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center, CCAM-AR-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0025).

AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on July 12 a $37,962,239 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This effort is to increase funds and exercise options on the Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft system performance-based logistics contract. Work is to be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command/CCAM-ARA-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-10-C-0006).

Ames Construction Inc., Burnsville, Minn., was awarded on July 13 a $17,860,000 firm-fixed-price construction contract for "Lower Yellowstone Diversion Dam, Main Canal Diversion, Fish Protection, Lower Yellowstone, Montana." Work is to be performed in Glendive, Mont., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with nine bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, Neb., is the contracting activity (W9128F-10-C-0027).

Arinc Engineering Services, Annapolis, Md., was awarded on July 13 a $16,964,340 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for contractor logistics support and parts for the MI-17. Work is to be performed in Iraq with an estimated completion date of March 02, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, CCAM-NS, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-09-C-0028).

Proven Management Inc., San Francisco, Calif., was awarded on July 14 a $14,997,620 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for the Napa Creek Site project and consists of two large-barreled diversion culvert, grade control structures, scour aprons, and bank protection along Napa Creek starting from its confluence with the Napa River and proceeding upstream. Work is to be performed in Napa, Calif., with an estimated completion date of March 29, 2013. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 10 bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Sacramento, Calif., is the contracting activity (W91238-10-C-0028).

BAE Systems Land & Armaments, LP, Santa Clara, Calif., was awarded on July 13 a $10,514,581 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for the procurement of 2,476 split up-armored turret hatch assemblies necessary for the integration of crew remote operated weapon station. Work is to be performed in Afghanistan with an estimated completion date of Dec. 30, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM, Contracting Center, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-10-C-0301).

Greenleaf Construction Co., Inc., Kansas City, Mo., was awarded on July 15 a $9,839,658 firm-fixed-price contract for access control point at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Construction is to include roads; search canopy; gatehouses; offices; visitor control center; barriers; and all required utilities, as well as site improvements. Work is to be performed in Houston, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 1, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with seven bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, Omaha, Neb., is the contracting activity (W9128F-10-C-0056).

Aegis Technologies Group, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded on July 14 a $8,099,452 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The contractor shall develop a reconfigurable arbitrary-waveform scene projector under the "OSD, Test Resource Management Center Multispectral Test" program. Work is to be performed in Huntsville, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 5, 2013. Bids were solicited via Broad Agency Announcement with 30 bids received. U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Contracting Center, Aberdeen Installation Contracting Division, CCRD-AI-MC, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W912ZLK-10-C-0008).

TASC, Inc., Andover, Mass., was awarded on July 15 a $7,231,805 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for common ground joint capabilities technical demonstration support response for applied research. Work is to be performed in Alexandria, Va., with an estimated completion date of July 20, 2012. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with one bid received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering Research & Development Command Contracting Office, Vicksburg, Miss., is the contracting activity (W9132V-09-C-00180.

Bristol Design Build Services, LLC, Anchorage, Alaska, was awarded on July 15 a $7,214,365 firm-fixed-price contract to provide secure entries and pavilions; computer room air conditioning units; electronic security system; and secure doors in accordance with design drawings and specifications. Work is to be performed in New Orleans, La., with an estimated completion date of Apr. 29, 2011. One sole-source bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Charleston District/Contracting Division, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity (W912HN-10-C-0035).

HP Logit Management, LLC, Texarkana, Texas, was awarded on July 15 a $7,209,212 firm-fixed-price contract for the prep, paint and blast of M967 and M969 confined space and non-confirmed space semi-trailer, tanker 5000 gallons. Work is to be performed in Texarkana, Texas, with an estimated completion date of July 10, 2013. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. Red River Army Depot, Directorate for Contracting, Texarkana, Texas, is the contracting activity (W911RQ-10-P-0101).

Delfasco, LLC, Afton, Tenn., was awarded on July 14 a $6,928,698 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Delivery order #0002 is issued for 185,190 M232A1 containers. Work is to be performed in Afton, Tenn., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2012. Two bids were solicited with two bids received. Rock Island Contracting Center, CCRC-AC, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-10-D-0045).

Bering Straits Technical Services, LLC, Anchorage, Alaska, was awarded on July 13 a $7,533,575 firm-fixed-price contract. The contractor shall provide all labor, personnel, supervision, administration, material, equipment, tools and transportation necessary to perform maintenance and repair of Army family housing and troop barracks on Fort Richardson, Alaska. Work is to be performed in Fort Richardson, Alaska, with an estimated completion date of July 30, 2011. One bid was solicited with no bids received. Directorate of Contracting, Mission Installation Contracting Command, Fort Richardson, Alaska, is the contracting activity (W912CZ-09-D-0018).


TASC, Inc., Redondo Beach, Calif., was awarded a $198,000,000 contract which will provide systems engineering and integration support of the Infrared Space Systems Wing. At this time, $8,620,744 has been obligated. SMC/ISSW, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8810-10-C-0001).

General Electric Aviation, Cincinnati, Ohio, was awarded a $24,745,185 contract which will service life engine program kits and time compliance technical order upgrade kits in support of the upgrade of 12 Egyptian Air Force F110 engines. At this time, $12,372,592.38 has been obligated. 448 SCMG/PKBC, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8122-09-G-0001-0010).


Sysco Hampton Roads, LLC, Suffolk, Va., is being awarded a maximum $48,211,188 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, prime vendor contract for food and beverage support. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. The original proposal was Web-solicited with two responses. The date of performance completion is July 11, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM300-08-D-3393).

CORRECTION: Air Force contract number FA8810-08-C-0002, modification P00012, published in news release 621-10, was not awarded on July 16, 2010.

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Lockheed Martin F-35: The Centerpiece of 21st Century Global Security

Lockheed Martin F-35: The Centerpiece of 21st Century Global Security
July 19, 2010

FARNBOROUGH, England, - The 5th generation F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter will serve as the centerpiece for 21st century global security while strengthening international political and industrial partnerships, a senior Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) F-35 executive said Monday at the Farnborough Air Show.

"As we continue to define what a next generation multirole fighter is and bring to the world a profound increase in capability over the best existing fighters, I'm most proud that we're able to do it affordably--at about the price of fourth generation aircraft," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of F-35 Program Integration. "The program continues to make good progress both in flight test and production, with all test aircraft now out of the factory and the first international jets beginning to take shape."

Throughout its life cycle, the F-35 will create enduring industrial relationships, from manufacturing and production to worldwide operation and support via Autonomic Logistics Global Sustainment (ALGS), Burbage said. F-35 ALGS, developed in parallel with the aircraft and its systems, defines the F-35's total life-cycle sustainment system.

Thousands of people are employed in the F-35 partner countries, which have invested more than U.S. $4 billion in the project. Those countries - the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Turkey, Canada, Norway and Denmark- also stand to become more strategically aligned as each employs the same front-line fighter that brings unprecedented levels of interoperability.

Burbage also expressed increased confidence in the program, and acknowledged that most early challenges have been overcome. With more than 280 test flights completed, all systems operating in F-35 aircraft and laboratories, 19 aircraft delivered and 31 in assembly, the program is demonstrating steady progress. In the last few months, the first F-35C carrier variant flew for the first time, the first F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant completed short takeoffs and vertical landings and also flew supersonically, and both the F-35A and F-35B completed structural static testing in less than half the time of legacy programs.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable engines are also currently under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.

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C-130 Future Bright Despite Cloudy AMP

C-130 Future Bright Despite Cloudy AMP
July 19, 2010

FARNBOROUGH — In an annual look at the retrofit and modernization prospects for the Lockheed Martin C-130, Forecast International finds that the aircraft will continue to receive generous funding, even though its largest program is at risk of termination.

With a total estimated cost of $4.6 billion, the Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) is intended to replace obsolescent and outdated cockpit avionics on 218 aircraft with modern, sustainable equivalents. In addition to offering the usual benefits of a cockpit upgrade – reduced crew workload and increased functionality – the new avionics systems would interface more easily with future avionics retrofits. The upgrade program has been in active development since 2001 with Boeing as the prime contractor; however, development has not gone smoothly.

"The original United States Air Force requirement was for 434 aircraft, but is now down to 218,” said Adam Feld, Aerospace/Defense Retrofit & Modernization Editor at Forecast International. “The Navy is also seeking funding for 47 Navy and USMC aircraft, but the program has come under heavy fire due to its price tag. Even with Boeing trying to keep costs down, the Air Force just isn't sure there's room in the budget."

And the USAF has taken action on that uncertainty, calling for the program's termination in favor of a series of less ambitious upgrades that provide only the necessary functionality. According to USAF Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz, the AMP is simply too expensive.

"Congress doesn't appear all that enthusiastic about cutting the AMP," says Feld. "The United States has already spent about $1.5 billion on development and there's also international interest to consider. Saudi Arabia is looking to spend as much as $800 million upgrading its own C-130 fleet, for instance. For the time being, Congress is funding the program but also deferring it. According to the FY10 budget request, we're not going to see a real increase in production until 2015, which would give the global economy some more time to recover and may relieve some of the pressure to cut spending."

Yet even if the AMP does get terminated, that doesn't mean the C-130 will have to go without. Feld notes that "if a program is necessary, the United States will find a way to fund it. It may not be as extensive as intended in terms of number of aircraft or the quality of the upgrade, and it may take some time, but the minimum need will be met. Even if the AMP is terminated in favor of smaller programs, the aircraft may still receive that extra functionality through follow-on programs over the coming years or decades. The overall cost in time and money will be higher, but it will get where it needs to be."

Even with the AMP at risk, the C-130 remains a popular platform that provides a wide array of services to more than 60 countries worldwide. It serves as a transport, aerial refueling tanker, electronic warfare platform, close air support gunship, and firefighting airtanker, and even flies search-and-rescue and special operations missions. Despite its age, demand is on the rise, and Lockheed Martin has had to boost production of the latest variant, the C-130J. The USAF is funding an ambitious electronic warfare modification for the aircraft known as "Compass Call," and the USMC is mounting weapons on its KC-130 tankers under the Harvest Hawk program. "The AMP is a big program, but it won't make or break the C-130," says Feld.

A detailed look at all major retrofit programs for the C-130 is available in the August supplement of Forecast International's Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Forecast.

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Boeing CST-100 Spacecraft to Provide Commercial Crew Transportation Services

Boeing CST-100 Spacecraft to Provide Commercial Crew Transportation Services
July 19, 2010

FARNBOROUGH, England, - Boeing [NYSE: BA] released artist's renderings of its Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft during a media briefing with Bigelow Aerospace today at the Farnborough Airshow.

Boeing is maturing the design of its CST-100 spacecraft under an $18 million Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Space Act Agreement with NASA. The CST-100 can carry a crew of seven and is designed to support the International Space Station and the Bigelow Aerospace Orbital Space Complex (as shown in image MTF10-0006-01).

The CST-100 will be bigger than Apollo but smaller than Orion, and be able to launch on a variety of different rockets, including Atlas, Delta and Falcon. It will use a simple systems architecture and existing, proven components. The "100" in CST-100 refers to the 100 kilometers from the ground to low Earth orbit.

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Northrop Grumman Block 40 Global Hawk Successfully Completes Major Flight Test Milestone

Northrop Grumman Block 40 Global Hawk Successfully Completes Major Flight Test Milestone
July 19, 2010

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) first Block 40 RQ-4 Global Hawk high altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has completed envelope expansion flights, just six months after conducting its first flight. The Block 40 aircraft will be equipped with the high performance Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor and is the first of 22 Block 40 Global Hawks assigned to Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

A photo accompanying this release is available.

The company also delivered on time the first development test MP-RTIP sensor to Edwards AFB for integration on the aircraft. The MP-RTIP sensor has completed radar system level performance verification on a surrogate aircraft, and will be integrated into AF-18, a Block 40 Global Hawk aircraft, for operational evaluation.

"The MP-RTIP-equipped Global Hawk illustrates Northrop Grumman's unique ability to create a system that will provide game-changing situational awareness for our warfighters with its unprecedented capability to detect, track and identify stationary and moving targets," said Duke Dufresne, vice president of the Strike and Surveillance Systems division of Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "Our next step is to finalize sensor integration with the airframe and conduct the first flight of the full Block 40 system later this year."

"The MP-RTIP sensor has proven to perform above and beyond expectations," said George Vardoulakis, Northrop Grumman vice president of MP-RTIP. "The superior technology of the MP-RTIP will prove to be an invaluable resource to the warfighter."

Global Hawk's range, endurance and large payload capabilities are well suited to provide persistent surveillance with MP-RTIP. Flying at altitudes up to 60,000 feet for more than 32 hours per sortie at speeds approaching 340 knots, the MP-RTIP-equipped Block 40 Global Hawk can persistently see through most types of weather, day or night. As the world's first fully autonomous HALE UAS, Global Hawk is the platform of choice for a wide variety of sensors, foreign and domestic, meeting the global need for persistent ISR.

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the Global Hawk and MP-RTIP programs and continues to move these technologies forward under the stewardship of the Air Force's Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and the Electronic Systems Center, located at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. Northrop Grumman's Norwalk, Conn., facility is the principal MP-RTIP radar developer along with principal subcontractor, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, El Segundo, Calif.

Northrop Grumman is also the prime contractor for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (NATO AGS) system, in development at the Melbourne, Florida facility of the Aerospace Systems Battle Management & Engagement Systems division, in which the Block 40 RQ-4 is a key component.

Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk program is based at its Aerospace Systems' Unmanned Systems Development Center in San Diego. The company performs Global Hawk sub-assembly work at its Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss., and final assembly at its Antelope Valley Manufacturing Center in Palmdale, Calif.

The principal Global Hawk industry team includes: Aurora Flight Sciences, Bridgeport, West Va. (V-tail assembly and other composite structures); L-3 Communications, Salt Lake City (communication system); Raytheon Company, Waltham, Mass. (ground station); Rolls-Royce Corporation, Indianapolis (engine); and Vought Aircraft Industries, Dallas (wing).

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Raytheon to Construct Standard Missile Production Facility in Huntsville, Ala.

Raytheon to Construct Standard Missile Production Facility in Huntsville, Ala.
July 19, 2010

FARNBOROUGH, England, - Raytheon Company's (NYSE: RTN) Missile Systems business plans to build an all-up-round Standard Missile production facility in Huntsville, Ala. Raytheon intends to construct the state-of-the-art integration center on the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal site.

Raytheon will use the facility for final assembly and testing of Standard Missile-3 and Standard Missile-6. SM-3 production is expected to increase substantially in the next 10 years, and SM-6 production is expected to begin in 2010.

"Raytheon's SM-3 is the centerpiece of the nation's new missile defense strategy, and SM-6 will give the U.S. Navy a new, much-needed weapon system," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. "Combining SM-3 and SM-6 manufacturing into one facility will enable Raytheon to increase productivity and efficiency. The company will leverage state-of-the-art automation to enhance quality and safety and deliver lower-cost products to the Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy customers."

The 70,000-square-foot production facility will be constructed in two phases; each phase will be tied to SM-3 and SM-6 production contracts. Groundbreaking is expected later this year.

"This new Raytheon integration center means more jobs for Alabama and is a clear demonstration of Raytheon's strong partnership with the state," said Alabama Gov. Robert Riley. "Raytheon continues to be an important piece of Alabama's economic picture."

SM-3 is being developed as part of the Missile Defense Agency's sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system. The missiles are deployed on U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers and Japanese destroyers to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the ascent and midcourse phases of flight.

SM-6 is an extended range anti-air warfare missile. Fired from navy ships, SM-6 provides over-the-horizon capabilities against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles.

"The SM-3 is a vital component of our nation's missile defense strategy," said U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby. "I am proud of Alabama's continuing role in defending the U.S. and its allies."

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Boeing Delivers Final C-130 Avionics Modernization Program Test Aircraft

Boeing Delivers Final C-130 Avionics Modernization Program Test Aircraft
July 19, 2010

SAN ANTONIO, - Boeing [NYSE: BA] on June 30 delivered the last of three test aircraft for the U.S. Air Force C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) system design and development contract.

Boeing made the final delivery one week ahead of schedule after the aircraft completed a successful functional check flight on June 25. The test aircraft was flown by a joint Boeing and Air Force crew from the Boeing facility in San Antonio to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., where it will be prepared for programmed depot maintenance. The two other C-130 AMP test aircraft are on their way to Robins Air Force Base, Ga., for programmed depot maintenance.

"C-130 AMP is now ready to transition to low-rate initial production [LRIP]," said Mahesh Reddy, C-130 AMP director for Boeing. "This is a significant development for Boeing and the Air Force, as it is the most comprehensive avionics upgrade for the C-130 in its 50 years of Air Force service."

C-130 AMP improvements include a fully integrated, night-vision-goggle compatible, digital glass cockpit and new digital avionics that increase situational awareness and enhance safety. The AMP upgrade also brings avionics commonality to the C-130 fleet and flexibility in assigning aircrew, regardless of aircraft model. A total of 20 AMP kits will be installed during LRIP.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

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Raytheon's Phalanx Sensors Used in Laser Shoot Down of Airborne Targets

Raytheon's Phalanx Sensors Used in Laser Shoot Down of Airborne Targets
July 19, 2010

FARNBOROUGH, England, - Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and a U.S. Navy team used a combined-beam fiber laser to shoot down four unmanned aerial vehicles in flight during an over-the-water engagement.

The UAV targets were engaged and destroyed using the Navy's Laser Weapon System guided by Raytheon's Phalanx Close-in Weapon System sensor suite. LaWS is made up of six industrial-use lasers that simultaneously focus on the target.

"These engagements validate the operational viability of the Phalanx-LaWS combination at sea," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems. "The Raytheon- Navy team demonstrated the systems' capability to detect, track, engage and defeat dynamic targets at tactically significant ranges in a maritime environment."

For the test, the LaWS was mounted on a stable platform close to the Phalanx Block 1B mount. The Phalanx operator used the Block 1B's surface mode to perform electro-optical tracking and the system's radio frequency sensors to provide range data to the LaWS. When the Phalanx acquired the UAV, the LaWS destroyed the target.

"The Raytheon-Navy team is moving directed energy solutions toward utility in the battlespace to provide warfighters with speed-of-light protection," said Lawrence. "This shoot down leverages the significant investment the Navy has made in the Phalanx Close-in Weapon System and extends its combat-proven leadership in close-in defense systems."

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