House and Senate conferees working to resolve differences in the FY 2006 appropriations bill have eliminated research funding for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) weapon during the reconciliation process. The funding had been present in the Senate bill, but not in the House bill. Senator Pete Domenici [R-NM] said that “The focus will now be with the Defense Department and its research to earth penetrating technology using conventional weaponry…”
“Boeing’s heritage building UFO spacecraft is a key component of the MUOS program. “Successful completion of the PDR phase demonstrates that the design of the Boeing-built payload will deliver enhanced narrowband connectivity to the U.S. Navy. We are proud of our role in providing ubiquitous voice, video and data to warfighters on the ground, in the air, and on the seas,” said Michael Gianelli, Boeing’s vice president of national security communications programs.”
You know, we had always wondered about those rumors…
Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Oswego in Oswego, NY received a $76.6 million cost-plus-incentive-fee contract in support of Phase II of the MH-60S‘ Airborne Mine Countermeasures System’s (AMCM) Development and Demonstration process. This initiative involves the use of the new MH-60 Seahawk helicopter outfitted with new AMCM systems:
Biometrics (identification via unique body elements like fingerprints, retina profiles, etc.) is a hot field, but good security always depends on overlapping modes. The 9/11 attacks highlighted the need to improve accurate personal identification in large scale, high volume environments, and so the US government initiated a number of related research activities. Multimodal biometric-based recognition emerged as one of the most promising technologies.
In an effort to develop an advanced multimodal biometric recognition system that will improve positive identification while reducing misidentification and avoiding processing delays, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory has awarded Ultra-Scan Corporation a Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase II contract aimed at creating an Automatic Multimodal Biometric Identification System suitable for large-scale, high-traffic identification points, such as airports and border crossings.
On Tuesday, DID covered the creation of the Pentagon’s new Business Transformation Agency, which aims to move dozens of its most extensive business modernization programs under a single roof. Now Army Major Gen. Carlos “Butch” Pair has been selected to serve as business systems acquisition executive, managing all projects that extend across the military services. Meanwhile, Defense Deputy Undersecretary for Business Transformation Paul Brinkley and Defense Deputy Undersecretary for Financial Management Thomas Modly will continue to lead the BTA overall until a director is appointed.
GovExec.com reports on this latest move, and also notes that the US Defense Department has budgeted $4.2 billion in FY 2006 for business transformation efforts. $777.7 million of those funds are slated to go to departmentwide projects. The FY 2007 budget numbers are projected at $4.19 billion overall, with $739.5 million allocated for departmentwide efforts.
The initial contract we covered at that time is now complete. The TIPS industrial consortium, working with the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar (TCAR) team, have submitted the study commissioned under the initial EUR 22 million NATO contract. It addresses issues such as overall system and radar-sensor development, cost issues and program risk reduction, and integration issues as its main priorities.
Armor Holdings also indicated that it will continue to subcontract to its Israeli based partner, Plasan Sasa, for production of the additional MTVR armor kits to be delivered to the USMC in 2006. Work under the new award will also be performed at the Armor Holdings Aerospace and Defense Group facilities in Ohio.
Back on June 29, 2005, DID covered the potential use of modified Phalanx weapons systems to counter mortars fired by insurgents et. al. That program appears to have taken a step forward; the U.S. Army selected Northrop Grumman Corporation as the prime contractor for the Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) Integration and Fielding contract. Under this $38 million contract, Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems sector is developing a systems architecture and integrating the C-RAM target acquisition, fire control, warning and engagement subsystems.
POGO (the Project On Government Oversight) aren’t anti-military; there are some weapons programs they like and have defended, and they’ve been willing to change their minds based on favorable reviews from the troops. The V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft isn’t one of those systems, however. POGO believes the aircraft has numerous important operational deficiencies, has sucked up immense amounts of development dollars that could have been better spent on other projects, and offers a cost/airlift ratio that is far inferior to available helicopter options with performance gains that are less than advertised. The PRV-22 variant bowed out of the CSAR-X combat search and rescue competition, while its HV-22 variant was quietly declined by the US Navy in favour of the MH-60S.
Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC) board of directors has authorized a new program to repurchase up to $1.5 billion of its outstanding common stock, representing nearly 8% of its 355 million shares outstanding, over the next 12 to 18 months.
The company completed its previous $1 billion share repurchase program, authorized by the board of directors on Oct. 26, 2004, in less than 12 months, repurchasing 18.2 million common shares at an average price of $54.83 per share. Since the inception of its share repurchases in August 2003, the company has repurchased more than 32 million shares for a total of $1.7 billion.