Meanwhile, production of various HMMWV versions, including the no longer mysterious “M1165” variant, is continuing at AM General LLC. Recent US contracts over the last 2 weeks have totaled $336.6 million, and include different variants of the vehicles…
Following a recent settlement that saw British forces receive 30 iRobot Packbots, Northrop Grumman subsidiary Remotec UK Ltd. has been appointed prime contractor for Phase II of the Ministry of Defence’s CUTLASS program to field the next generation of robots for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD). These vehicles will be be used by the MoD for anti-terrorism operations worldwide, as well as EOD operations at home that have featured 120mm shells as doorstops and mortars in wardrobes. The contract’s value is about GBP 65 million (currently about $128 million), and the MoD release fixes the number of robots at 80. The bulk of deliveries will take place in 2010, with a phased introduction into service thereafter.
Partners in the CUTLASS program include QinetiQ (user-friendly operator command console, they also own TALON robot maker Foster-Miller) and LSC Group (logistics support effort, risk management and tracking activities). Remotec is a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman with locations in Coventry, UK and Clinton, TN, USA.
The CUTLASS will be the primary replacement for Remotec’s “Wheelbarrow” design that has been in use in Northern Ireland since the 1970s. It offers the latest technology in a modular design, making it capable of accommodating a wide range of payloads, sensors and tools. The manipulator arm is equipped with a state-of-the-art gripper and has 9 degrees of freedom for greater movement and agility inside limited spaces, such as the interior of a car. The robot can either creep along at deliberately slow speeds for delicate operations, or accelerate to high speeds to enable rapid travel. The six-wheeled design offers mobility on all types of hard and soft terrain and in all weather conditions. See Northrop Grumman/ Remotec release | UK MoD release.
Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ received a $5.9 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed price contract (N00019-03-C-0003) for the conversion of 310 AIM-9M Sidewinder short range air-air missiles to AIM-9M-8/9s, the version before the fifth-generation AIM-9X. The contract also includes 10 Captive Air Training Missiles and 20 guidance control sections for the Government of Pakistan under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in Tucson, AZ (84%); Rocket Center, WV (13%); and Andover, MA (3%), and is expected to be complete in October 2007. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
The AIM-9M can engage targets from all aspects, and its IR counter-countermeasures and background discrimination capability are better than those of its own predecessors. It also has a reduced-smoke rocket motor. Deliveries of the M model to the USAF began in 1983.
DID has now talked to Raytheon, and confirmed that this sale is connected to an October 2005 purchase of 300 AIM-9M Sidewinders by Pakistan as a modification of Pakistan’s existing AIM-9M stockpile. According to Raytheon, the October 2005 purchase represented the first sale of the AIM-9Ms to Pakistan. DID has also covered a $650 million weapons package request placed in June 2006, which includes another 200 AIM-9M-8/9s and is in turn part of a $5.1 billion upgrade & expansion of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet.