OCCAR (the Joint Armaments Cooperation Organisation) and Thales have announced the signing of a production contract worth EUR 236 million for 18 Eurocopter Tiger combat helicopter simulators. It calls for the supply of 9 full-flight mission simulators and 9 trainers, plus associated support systems and an option for a further 11 simulators.
Lockheed Martin is delivering two significant upgrades of the military’s premier joint air battle management system to the U.S. Air Force. First deployed in October of 2000, Theater Battle Management Core Systems (TBMCS) is the primary system for planning and executing the joint air campaign, coordinating and directing flying operations from units as diverse as F-16 fighters, refueling tankers, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and even cruise missiles.
The newest spirals of the TBMCS are focused on the Unit Level component, which is used at airbases and on aircraft carriers to coordinate tactical mission planning, command and control, maintenance and repair operations, and takeoff and landing schedules.
In a move that both validates the technology underlying Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and promises to help advance it, especially in terms of security, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has taken a step toward developing its own, privately managed VoIP system. Nortel Networks recently received a contract worth up to US$20 million to migrate the department’s network to one that, through installation of new software and other upgrades, will be able to support VoIP.
A key consideration was doing away with private control of the phone networks that the DoD relies upon, though the system was also designed to avoid completely scrapping existing phone and data networks. Testing has been completed and that the rollout is expected to give DoD more flexibility, better control of its own communications needs and provide long-term cost benefits. Previously, the ability of the current DSN system to respond to any given crisis could be restricted because it is managed by telecom companies, and not under direct governmental control. The project will result in a new, multifunction switching capability fully contained with the agency that will enable it to prioritize traffic based on urgency, and eventually enable it to consolidate voice, data and video conferencing.
Raytheon Company’s Integrated Defense Systems (Raytheon IDS) of Tewksbury, MA has been awarded a three-year, $26.9 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract to optimize and refine the use of Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductors. The contract a potential award value of $59.4 million if all program options are exercised.
DID has covered GaN research before, as it’s a next-generation semiconductor material that would produce smaller, lighter, more efficient and more cost effective systems than can be realized with current technology. Its 10x output power gains offer the higher power density and efficiency required for high power phased array radar, electronic warfare, missile seeker and communications systems – and eventually, advanced consumer electronics.
FLIR Systems, Inc. of Portland, OR announced the receipt of a three-year, $13 million contract from the US Army Research Development & Engineering Command (RDECOM), Communications-Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) for the development of an advanced stabilized electro-optical infrared system for lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). FLIR will develop a purpose-built, very small and lightweight stabilized thermal imaging system that will offer long range performance, color visible imaging and advanced laser capabilities.
Raytheon Co. Integrated Defense Systems’ (Raytheon IDS) role as a mission systems integrator for the LPD-17 San Antonio Class of amphibious warfare ships took another step forward, thanks to a $12.5 million subcontract from lead integrator Northrop-Grumman. Raytheon IDS will “provide performance-based logistics and establish integrated support services for sustainment of the complete shipboard mission systems suite” that the company delivers to this class of ships. David Gray, Raytheon’s Director of Integrated Ship Systems said: “It is representative of our commitment to our U.S. Navy customer to provide complete electronic system design, integration and whole life support…” Full Raytheon News Release.