Rolls-Royce announced an $80 million contract to provide AE 2100D3 spare engines and parts to power new C-130J military transport aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, the Royal Norwegian Air Force and the Indian Air Force. The contract, which is managed by Robins Air Force Base in GA, includes an initial 27 AE 2100D3 spare engines and parts for delivery through 2011.
The AE 2100D3 engine is a modular turboprop engine with 4,600 shaft-horsepower. The AE engine line is produced by Rolls-Royce and manufactured in Indianapolis, IN. Along with the AE 3007 and AE 1107C-Liberty, the engine line has totaled more than 37 million hours of service.
Lockheed Martin’s AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) was intended as a stealthy, inexpensive cruise missile that would let American aircraft attack well-defended targets – without putting themselves in the crosshairs of new long-range surface to air missile systems. The missile has been produced in quantity, and chosen by Australia.
While the JASSM program was continued on the basis of military necessity, an alternative has emerged. Raytheon’s AGM-154 JSOW precision glide bomb has become a big success, adding new capabilities and new variants over time. A new AGM-154C-1-ER version adds a flush inlet to preserve its radar signature, and a small turbojet taken from their MALD decoy, in order to extend its range to 300 nautical miles/ 575 km. The JSOW-ER is considered to be less stealthy than JASSM, but it has definitely positioned itself as a reliable low-budget competitor, and a “good enough” alternative if JASSM fails.
Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Missile and Fires Control (LMMFC) division received a $11.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the acquisition of 26 increased crew protection cabs for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), 19 for the Army and 7 for the Marine Corp. The cabs are provided as kits for installation on HIMARS M142 launchers.
The HIMARS is the newest member of the Multiple Launch Rocket System family. It is a highly mobile artillery rocket system that offers MLRS firepower on an FMTV truck, making it an ideal system for medium-weight brigades. The M142 HIMARS launcher weighs approximately 15 tons, compared to 27 tons for the tracked M270; but it carries only 1 reloadable rocket pod, rather than 2.
LMMFC will perform the work at its facilities in Grand Prairie, TX (20%); Sealy, TX (53%); Rock Center, WV (14%); and White Sands Missile Range, NM (13%); with an estimated completion date of Sept 30/09. Only one bid was solicited by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Army Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-06-C-0140).
Lockheed Martin will perform the work at its facilities in Arlington, VA, (40%); Riviera Beach, FL, (30%); Greensboro, NC, (25%); Groton, CN, (5%) and expects to complete it by Sept 2010. This contract was competitively procured by broad agency announcement, with proposals solicited and offers received via FedBizOpps by the Naval Sea Systems Command (N00024-09-C-5215).
The F-35 stealth fighter family is the largest defense program in the world, with estimated total costs of about $300 billion for development and for all planned aircraft. That program size, the number of countries participating, and the level of length of their commitment to a single aircraft type also makes it one of the world’s most important future weapons. The F-35 designs’ future success or failure on the battlefield are consequential enough that failure could alter regional, and even global, balances of power.
In May 2008, POGO obtained a Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG) report suggesting that “advanced aviation and weapons technology for the JSF program may have been compromised by unauthorized access at facilities and in computers at BAE Systems…”, and documenting lack of cooperation with the Defense Security Service from BAE. Now a Wall Street Journal report, filed in the wake of its revelations that crackers have infiltrated the USA’s power grid and left behind malicious software, reveals thefts from the F-35 program as well.
European missile manufacturer MBDA plans adjustments to its long-range Meteor active radar guided air-to-air missile, to make it capable of deployment on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The MBDA Meteor will compete for orders with Raytheon’s medium range AIM-120C AMRAAM active radar missile, though the Meteor possesses longer range and several additional technological advances.
This move expands the Meteor’s original designated market, which was the Dassault Rafale, EADS Eurofighter Typhoon, and Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen fighter systems. MBDA’s move is interesting for a number of reasons, ranging from the convergence of different fighter system design philosophies to what it implicitly says about their projections re: future fighter exports.
Flight International reports that Lockheed is proposing a $137 million program to adapt its Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles for use on the USAF’s F-15C Eagle air superiority fighters. The missiles would reportedly be used to help the fighters kill ballistic missiles during the boost phase or mid-course phase, instead of hoping for a Patriot’s usual final phase intercept. Patriot PAC-3 missiles also have significantly longer range than the AIM-120 AMRAAM, creating the potential for wider coverage against cruise missiles and other aerial threats. In order to use an AIM-104 Patriot air-launched hit-to-kill (ALHTK) effectively, however, the F-15s would need to add IRST(Infra-Red Search & Track) capability to track enemy missiles outside the atmosphere.
In March 2009, Australia’s Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) awarded a contract to EADS Eurocopter subsidiary Australian Aerospace to provide Through Life Support services for the RAAF’s fleet of 12 C-130J and stretched C-130J-30 Hercules aircraft. Australian Aerospace already supports the RAAF’s AP-3C maritime patrol aircraft, so this is not a huge departure for the firm. Lockheed Martin will be the sub-contractor for aircraft maintenance, engineering and supply chain management, and engine support will continue to be provided by Dubai Aerospace Enterprise subsidiary StandardAero under an existing contract arrangement.
The initial contract is worth up to A$ 292 million (about $189 million). It’s is structured as a 5-year rolling contract whose continuation will reportedly be linked to demonstrated performance and cost containment, with an eye to: improved delivery of services; performance-based, long-term, support arrangements; relationship with the Commonwealth; price disclosure; and meaningful transfer of risk. Contract extensions can continue under these arrangements, through to the C-130J fleet’s expected end of life in 2030.
Air Vice-Marshal Thorne says that the contract will create over 80 additional industry jobs in the Sydney/Richmond area over the next year. Australian DoD | Australian Aerospace.
The program commenced at RAAF Base Richmond in November 2009.
Worker Safety isn’t often given much thought outside the companies who build defense technologies. The dangers may not be as obvious as those facing skyscraper construction crews, but the nature of these technologies can create challenges in their own right. The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a few things to say about these situations, and many defense firms and their unions have made safety programs an internal focus.
In August 2006, Lockheed Martin received a $3.5 million contract from Boeing for LMsafelink, a product designed to keep assembly workers safe when they must work in confined spaces. LMsafelink provides a 2-way wireless voice and data link that’s connected to a central monitoring station. The system keeps tabs on the location of the person carrying it, automatically checking health status and sending alerts when a worker needs help or does not respond. Monitors can query workers for status and send alert, and in an emergency situation, responders can locate a worker and have information on what chemicals are in that space.
The system went live at Boeing’s Everett, WA facility in December 2008. It is scheduled to go active in March 2009 at the Long Beach, CA plant, and will be operational at Boeing’s Renton, WA plant in June. Lockheed Martin release.
Lockheed Martin Missile and Fires Control in Grand Prairie, TX received a $14.6 million firm-fixed-price contract to upgrade 6 of Bahrain’s M270 rocket launchers to the M270C1 configuration.
M270 tracked launchers can hold up to 12 rounds of M26-M31 227mm rockets, or up to 2 ATACMS missiles that can strike from over 200km away. The nature of Bahrain’s upgrades was not described, but a number of American MLRS launchers were upgraded to M270A1 status under a 2000 contract by adding improved fire control and mechanical systems. The British followed suit with their own upgrades, and recently installed a unique set of modifications for Afghan use that include air conditioning, improved side and underbody armor, and a remotely-operated machine gun for close-in defense.
Lockheed Martin will also provide one lot of Unique Spare Parts, plus special test equipment, training, and computerized Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs) for the upgraded machines. Work is to be performed at Grand Prairie, TX (40%), and East Camden, AR (60%), with an estimated completion date of Sept 30/11. One bid was solicited from the M270’s manufacturer, and one bid received by the U.S. Army’s Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center at Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-09-C-0311).