The AH-64 Apache is slated to remain the US Army’s attack helicopter for many years to come, and also serves with many other allied militaries around the world. While it is often thought of as a single entity, the helicopter is really an assembly of key systems, each of which needs ongoing purchases, maintenance, and upgrades in order to keep the attack helicopter fleet relevant and survivable. A recent trio of contracts that cover the helicopters’ targeting radars, targeting and viewing optics, and missiles amounting to $644.9 million drive this point home.
Lockheed Martin has selected Terma A/S, Grenaa to supply conventional edges for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter family’s high-tech carbon-fiber horizontal stabilizers. Terma won the selection in international competition on a best value basis, and the project represents a potential turnover value of approximately US$ 50 million. Terma has participated in the Lockheed Martin team designing structural parts since 2003, based on the use of advanced composite materials.
General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp. in Groton, CT received a $30.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, performance-incentive modification under previously awarded contract # N00024-05-C-2103. The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC is exercising options for studies and efforts related to SSN-774 Virginia Class Submarine design and design improvements. Work will be performed in Groton, CT (94%); Quonset, RI (5%) and Newport, RI (1%), and is expected to be completed by September 2007 (N00024-05-C-2103).
The wheeled Stryker family of vehicles have performed well on the battlefields of Iraq, but any fleet with half-a-million miles on it is going to require inspection and maintenance. Enter the mechanical engineers at Purdue University, who teamed up with the US Army to design a portable test system using sound waves to detect damage to vehicles’ wheel assemblies.
The spindles they need to test can’t be removed and reassembled in the field because that could create additional problems. Ideally, the Army would like to be able to test the vehicles without having to jack them up and remove the tires. As you might guess, the folks at Purdue have a few ideas – ideas that are about to go into production and deployment. Douglas E. Adams, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue, says:
“The suspension of this vehicle is an engineering wonder, and its complexity makes detecting cracks especially challenging… It’s like comparing the difference between the sound of a cracked bell and a bell that is undamaged.” Read The Engineer Online’s May 25, 2006 article “Sounding out vehicle defects” to find out more about their proposed solution.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) awarded a multiple-year, $176 million learning management contract to Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems and Solutions. The Learning Management Services (LMS) contract covers a 5-year period-a base year and four one-year options. It supports NGA’s Human Development Directorate by providing NGA employees, elements of the Department of Defense and members of the Intelligence Community with mission-essential technical skills training, systems training, and leadership and intelligence professional education.
LMS efforts will primarily be performed in the greater Washington, DC and St. Louis, MO areas. NGA Headquarters in Bethesda, MD issued the contract (HM1576-06-C-00070).