The JLENS is a set of radars and sensors mounted on an aerostat blimp and capable of networking via Cooperative Engagement Capability to enhance both air and missile defense. And a recent Air Force Study gave the thumbs-up to greater use of blimps in the U.S. military.
Raytheon Co. in Bedford, MA just received a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment System (RAID), a smaller version of the JLENS aerostat that has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. When equipped with infrared sensors as well, the JLENS adds anti-terrorist surveillance capabilities to its portfolio. The U.S. DoD’s June 14/05 release cited a figure of $36.3 million, while Raytheon’s June 21/05 release cites a $48.4 million contract to provide 41 RAID systems plus systems engineering and life cycle support.
General Dynamics Land Systems Inc. in Sterling Heights, MI received a $141.1 million firm-fixed-price contract to upgrade 60 M1A2 Abrams Tanks to the M1A2 System and Continuous Enhancement Program Configurations (M1A2 SEP) over the next two and a half years.
The fully digitized M1A2 SEP is the latest, most technologically advanced Abrams tank. It has the latest command-and-control system, second-generation thermal sights, and improved armor. This retrofit is part of an overall M1A2 upgrade program that integrates new information technologies to improve warfighting capability with enhanced command-and-control features like color maps and displays, high-density computer memory, increased microprocessing speed, and networked communications.