General Micro Systems announced their new Computing Engine initiative at the Military Embedded Electronics Computing Conference 2005. GMS’ Computing Engine design offers a field-upgradeable single-board embedded computing platform that extends the useful life of industrial control, defense and communications systems by five to ten years or more.
The design initiative began as part of a collaboration with General Dynamics Canada on the U.S. Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. The systems General Dynamics Canada shipped now had to be the same systems they would ship in 2012. Computing advancements being what they are, that kind of time scale was a problem that forced the team to come up with a non-traditional solution.
In an earlier article, DID covered the LAIRCM system for protecting large transport aircraft from shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Now Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in Rolling Meadows, IL is receiving a $68.6 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to provide for AAQ-24(V) LAIRCM system hardware as well as the associated system support, spares, training, and installation support for 12 Air National Guard, 9 Air Force Reserve Command, and 4 Federal Aviation Administration aircraft. Northrop Grumman will also provide AAQ-24(V) LAIRCM system hardware to field the LAIRCM Lite configuration for a trial install on an Air Mobility Command C-5B Galaxy aircraft.
Negotiations were completed May 2005, and work will be complete by June 2007. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (F33657-01-C-2093, P00080).
Small business qualifier J. Kokolakis Contracting Inc. in Rocky Point, NY won a $32.6 million firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a new library and learning center at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Work will be performed in West Point, NY, and is expected to be complete by Oct. 31, 2007. There were 15 bids solicited on Jan. 5, 2005, and five bids were received. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York, NY issued the contract (W912DS-05-C-0011).
Longbow L.L.C. in Orlando, FL (a Joint Venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman) received an $11.1 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for Lifecycle Contractor Support for the Apache Fire Control Radar.
Boeing’s AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter is equipped with the AN/APG-78 Longbow fire control radar, whose use of millimetre wave sensing improves performance under poor visibility conditions and is less sensitive to ground clutter. The short wavelength also allows a very narrow beamwidth, which is more resistant to countermeasures.
Work will be performed in Iraq, and is expected to be complete by March 30, 2007. There were an unknown number of bids solicited via the Internet on April 8, 2005, and three bids were received. The U.S. Army Field Support Command at Rock Island, IL issued the contract (W52P1J-05-D-0004).
The Naval Air Systems Command has exercised an option with Raytheon Co. Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ for depot level repair, maintenance, and post-production services of up to 300 AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and the Governments of Turkey, Spain, Korea, and Greece under the Foreign Military Sales Program.
Small business qualifier First RF Corp. in Boulder, CO received a $10.6 million firm-fixed-price contract for C Antennas. Work will be performed in Boulder, CO, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 16, 2005. This was a sole source contract initiated on May 18, 2005 by the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command in Fort Monmouth, NJ (W15P7T-05-C-S207).
India budgeted US$17 billion in 2004/05 for military spending, in addition to a carry over of $7 billion from the previous budget. Nevertheless, India Monitor reports that the modernization of India’s armed forces is still a way off as it struggles to shake off “bureaucratic bungling, political wrangling and the more than a sniff of scandal that has characterized arms deals in the past.”
India’s biggest defense-related issue, however, may be more basic: decision paralysis. The slowness of decisions and approvals can be a major issue for companies wishing to penetrate the Indian defense market.
Company executives at Ionatron, Inc. in Tuscon, AZ say they’re working on laser-induced plasma channel (LIPC) weapons that use uses femtosecond lasers to carve conductive channels of ionized oxygen in the air. The idea is that Ionatron’s weapon will then use these channels to send man-made lighting bolts up to 800 meters away to disable or kill people and vehicles. DefenseTech.org reports that the company has received $12 million in appropriations.
Investigations by DefenseTech.org and the New York Post, however, are raising questions about Ionatron. New York Post Business columnist Christopher Byron has alleged questionable award practices at the Congressional level and even potential technology ownership issues involving Raytheon and/or HSV Technologies. DefenseTech.org lays out what is currently known about the situation, and reports that Ionatron executives refused to comment on the contents of his story or on Byron’s more detailed allegations.
General Dynamics Land Systems has received a $5.9 million agreement modification to upgrade its Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting Vehicle (RST-V). The upgrade supports continued operational evaluation of the vehicle as a utility carrier, prime mover and electrical generator for various U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) applications. System capabilities will be demonstrated in a relevant operational environment in early 2006.
General Dynamics Land Systems Advanced Programs Manager Tom Trzaska said, “The Marine Corps has asked us to make reliability and functional changes to the vehicle, including a 30 kilowatt export power capability, to power battlefield loads such as the Unit Operations Center and radars… We will make improvements based on feedback and lessons learned from the USMC and the U.S. Army Special Operations command operators who used the RST-Vs at Yuma.”