The Space-Based Radar program (now just Space Radar) was an effort to build a constellation of 10 to 24 satellites by 2012 that can duplicate the functions of the E-3 AWACS, E-8 JSTARS, and RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft, watching aircraft, signals, and even people moving on the ground without requiring overflight rights and with much faster deployment time. In 2005 the program was restructured into something more manageable, with initial partial-capability satellites leading to the first fully capable SR satellite around 2015.
The Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA recently issued a pair of contracts for trade studies, modeling and simulation, risk reduction, and technology demonstrations, “exploring a broad trade space of potential Space Radar (SR) solution sets” as they work to come up with design & technology options.
In underwater warfare, sound is life. The side that hears first often wins, and one of the tools used to help improve the odds is the towed array, a set of listening devices on a wire that helps to eliminate an natural acoustic “deaf spot,” and gives its submarine a longer baseline and more sensors to listen with.
U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC ordered two TB-33 fiber optic thin-line towed-array submarine sonar systems from manufacturer Chesapeake Science Corp. in Millersville, MD, under a $15.3 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for the continued development of the TB-33/BQ Fiber Optic Thin-Line Sensor System. The contract also calls for Chesapeake to provide training, test equipment, and 3D mock-up devices. Work will be performed in Greensboro, NC (48%), Stonington, CT (27%), and Millersville, MD (25%) and is expected to be complete by September 2009.This contract was not competitively procured.
Engineers at Chesapeake are developing the TB-33 array to provide the same capability as the existing thin-line TB-29 array, but with significantly improved reliability. The TB-29 is a thin line towed array for SSN-688 Los Angeles and SSN-774 Virginia Class attack submarines that reportedly offers greater use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) parts, increased acoustic performance and improved combat control capabilities, while replacing obsolete equipment in earlier arrays. The TB-29 is also longer than the previous thin-line TB-23, and has a sensor-location system.
Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems in Clearfield, UT, received a $53.1 million fixed-price-incentive-firm and cost-plus-award fee contract modification, exercising option 1 to continue upgrading the Environmental Control System for the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System. Work will be complete October 2008. The Headquarters Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill Air Force Base, UT issued the contract (F42610-98-C-0001/no modification number has been assigned at this time).
This effort includes production, deployment, and interim contractor support for launch facilities and missile alert facilities at the Missile Wings. The replacement system provides filtered, temperature and humidity control, circulating air to the electronic equipment as well as the missile combat crews located in the Launch Control Centers.