Mar 23, 2006 11:03 UTC
Recent news has been alternately bad and good for the JSF program. Fortunately, the good news came last. DID has covered the saga of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, and especially the controversy in the UK over its planned purchase of at least 150 F-35B STOVL fighters for its carriers, and the problems created by technology sharing issues et. al. Past DID articles covering this topic have included our March 10 article “F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program: UK Update,” wherein Britain’s ‘Plan B’ carrier fighter alternative became clear. Also:
So, what’s happening now? First, there’s more bad news…
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Mar 23, 2006 08:35 UTC
MEADS: ground view
As the ongoing development of nuclear weapons by unstable rogue regimes continue to make missile defense more of a global issue, Japan’s cooperation with the USA has been obvious, including a recently successful joint test of a modified SM-3 naval missile. Meanwhile, support for the idea of missile defense may be on the rise in Europe as well [PDF].
Europe’s moves in this area have been much quieter and less overt than Japan’s or America’s, but they have not been idle. Spain and Norway have bought AEGIS-equipped ships that can be equipped with SM-3 missiles and related ABM upgrades if required. Britain, France and Italy are investing in and buying creating a naval PAAMS radar and missile system that will have some ballistic missile defense capabilities, as well as a derivative ground based system with point-defense ABM capabilities in the Aster 30 SAMP/T. The USA, Italy, and Germany are also engaged in a land-based venture to modernize their air defense missile systems (Patriot, Hawk, and even Nike Hercules) via a joint venture called MEADS. Similar to the MBDA SAMP/T but representing next-generation technology and deployability, MEADS will be designed to kill enemy aircraft, cruise missiles, UAVs, and ballistic missiles within its reach. A $3.4 billion contract was formally issued back in June 2005, and risk-reduction design & development work is ongoing.
Read “Beyond Patriot? The Multinational MEADS Air Defense Program” for full coverage.
Mar 23, 2006 05:02 UTC
AM General L.L.C. in South Bend, IN received another $56.2 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for new M1152 two-door, armor-installable HMMWV jeeps. DID has covered the M1151 and M1152 HMMWVs before, and explained both their improvements and their persistent weaknesses.
Work will be performed in South Bend, IN and is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2007. This was a sole source contract initiated on July 17, 2000 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI (DAAE07-01-C-S001).
Mar 23, 2006 04:07 UTC
M1114 On Patrol in Iraq
The Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI has issued a trio of recent modifications under a firm-fixed-price contract (DAAE07-01-C-S001) to AM General LLC in South Bend, IN for M1151 and M1152 Humvee up-armored jeeps. The awards total $191.9 million ($75.8 million M1152 + $9 million M1152 2-man + $107.1 million M1151-P1). Work will be performed in South Bend, IN, and is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2007. This was a sole source contract initiated on July 17, 2000.
DID has been reporting substantial contracts for these vehicles since March 4, 2005. M1151s are Enhanced Armament Carriers, M1152s are Enhanced Troop/ Cargo/ Shelter Carriers, and M1152P1s are ambulances. They’re based on the same “A2” chassis as the M1114 up-armored Humvee and may be hard to tell apart, but there is an important difference…
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Mar 23, 2006 03:48 UTC
F-16 with twin LANTIRNs
Lockheed Martin Corp. in Fort Worth, TX received a $17 million firm fixed price contract modification to develop a certification process for the System Integration Lab for the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) terrain following avionics. This effort supports foreign military sales to Israel, and work will be complete March 2009. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (F33657-99-C-2048/P00071).
This contract appears to refer to the to the AN/AAQ-13 navigation pod integrated on F-15s and F-16s to improve low-level terrain-hugging flight, rather than the AAQ-14 targeting pod that has largely been supplanted by more modern systems like Lockheed’s Sniper XR, Raytheon’s ATFLIR, and of course the popular Israeli-designed LITENING family.
The AN/AAQ-13 navigation pod provides high-speed penetration and precision attack assistance in all flying conditions, using a terrain-following radar and a fixed infrared sensor to display an image of the terrain in front of the aircraft on a heads-up display of cockpit viewscreen. This helps the pilot maintain a pre-selected altitude above the terrain and avoid obstacles, while flying at high speed and using mountains, valleys and the cover of darkness to avoid radar detection.
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Mar 23, 2006 01:08 UTC
MH-60R, dipping ALFS
Walbridge Aldinger Co. in Detroit, MI received a $41.4 million (first increment) firm-fixed price design/ build construction contract for design and construction of an MH-60R Type I helicopter hangar at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville. DID has covered the US Navy’s new MH-60R multi-mission helicopter before. The new Type I hangars shall be configured as five repetitive contiguous hangar modules under one roof. They will be designed to house five helicopter squadrons consisting of approximately 13 aircraft and approximately 330 personnel in each module. In addition to the open hangar bay space, the project includes required maintenance support, administration, and building support spaces for each squadron. The project also includes a helicopter wash rack along with site improvements such as utility infrastructure, repair/replacement of hangar aprons and tie-downs, new aircraft pavement markings, security fencing and gates, pedestrian circulation and parking lots.
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