CROWS is a “remotely-operated weapons system.” In plain English, it’s an automated, unmanned turret that can be operated from inside a vehicle, with the gunner using a joystick for firing and control while looking at a screen that shows visual, infrared, or other images from the RWS sensors. The weapon is also stabilized, which means it will adjust automatically as the vehicle it’s on shakes and moves. Does that sound like a video game to you? The US Army thought so too…
“Boeing and the Department of Justice have reached a tentative settlement of investigations by U.S. Attorneys in Virginia and California regarding the Darleen Druyun and EELV matters. Under the agreement, Boeing will pay $565 million to resolve potential civil claims and a monetary penalty of $50 million. Boeing will accept responsibility for the conduct of its employees and make additional commitments regarding ongoing compliance. No charges will be filed. The agreement is expected to be signed in the next few weeks.”
DID has covered the Boeing 707-based E-8 J-STARS ground surveillance, communications, & battle management aircraft, which is proving to be an indispensable asset in the Global War on Terror. Unfortunately, its low-density (only 17 aircraft), high-demand status creates issues [PDF format]. The J-STARS’ envisioned Boeing 767-based successor, the E-10 MC2A, will use more modern electronics and may also have the ability to perform other roles, including airspace surveillance and SIGINT/ electronic warfare roles
The J-STARS role will be covered by the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP), a high-resolution synthetic-aperture ground surveillance radar made by Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. This will be an advanced development of the radar currently used by the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV. Of course, those improvements would also benefit the USA’s growing Global Hawk fleet – which is why the 851st Electronic Systems Group is preparing for a year-long test of the smaller MP-RTIP version aboard Rutan’s Proteus. Proteus, pictured above, would later influence his “White Knight,” the carrier vehicle for the X-Prize winning, history-making SpaceshipOne. See the US Air Force Link story for further details.
Small business qualifier Odyssey International in Baltimore, MD received a $21.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for replacement of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Leupp Boarding School. Leupp serves under the jurisdiction of the Western Navajo Agency, enrolling about 375 students in grades K-12 and offering courses that include “Entrepreneurship.”
Work will be performed in Coconino, AZ and is expected to be complete by Oct. 16, 2007. There were 20 bids solicited on Nov. 14, 2005, and 2 bids were received by the Army Corps of Engineers in Albuquerque, NM (W912PP-06-C-0006).