Northrop Grumman Corporation signed memoranda of understanding with Dynamatic Technologies Limited, and with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bangalore. These deals establish collaborative business ventures seeking opportunities in India’s national defense market. The formal agreements were signed Thursday in ceremonies at the Aero India air show and exposition at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bangalore.
Dynamatic Technologies Limited is closely partnered with the Indian Ministry of Defense on defense projects, including India’s Pilotless Target Aircraft the Lakshya, the HJT-36 Intermediate Jet Trainer, and the SU-30MKI Fighter Bomber. Bharat Electronics Limited manufactures a wide range of military communication systems and electronics for the Indian defense establishment, with approximately 95% of the Indian market share for strategic electronics. Northrop Grumman re: Bharat Electronics | Dynamitic Technologies.
The AH-1F modernized US Army version of the 40-year-old Bell Helicopter design features a fire-control system with a laser rangefinder; a head-up display (HUD) for the pilot; an AN/ALQ-144 IRCM (“disco ball” infra-red counter-measure) unit mounted above the engine; a cable cutter above and below the cockpit to protect the Cobra in NOE (nap-of-the-earth) flight; and a long exhaust pipe to reduce the helicopter’s infrared signature. The U.S. State Department says the completely refurbished attack helicopters will provide the Pakistan Army with a superior capability to conduct night operations with a “modern attack helicopter” capable of delivering a variety of weapons. See VoA report.
June 24/08: The US GAO audits Coalition Support Funding to Pakistan, and notes that many Pakistani Mi-17s and AH-1s remain grounded because maintenance is not done, despite funding of over $55 million to handle that. Read “US GAO Criticizes CSF Aid to Pakistan“.
General Atomics won a $10.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to research and develop Integrated Power Systems (IPS). IPS provides total ship electric power including electric propulsion, power conversion and distribution, combat system support and mission load interfaces to electric power systems. Work will be performed in San Diego, CA and is expected to be complete by the Dec 2011. The Naval Sea Systems Command inWashington, D.C., reported it received 14 proposals for the opportunity.
While General Atomics was founded in 1955, and is well known for designing power distribution systems used by the US Navy on its aircraft carriers, a spokesman for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in Charleston, SC, that issued the contract call (N00024-07-C-4012) said the contract is not specifically geared to any platform already under construction. Instead, the technology developed during the R&D phase will be integrated into future systems.
These days, most global fighter fleets are seeing an increase in average ages. One of the ways to deal with this is via external add-ons like targeting and surveillance pods, a segment that has become very popular within the last decade. Lockheed Martin just announced a firm fixed-price foreign military sales contract to Belgium Defense (BE DEF) for 8 Sniper(R) Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP) following an international competition. Terms of the contract were not released, but the USAF’s initial 7-year contract for Sniper ATP has potential value in excess of $843 million for at least 522 Sniper ATPs. That’s about $1.6 million per pod, but Belgium will likely pay more because of the required training and system introduction costs as they replace or supplement their existing 1980s-technology LANTIRN pods. Sniper ATP Deliveries are expected to begin this year (2007).
Fully integrated and certified on the common EPAF F-16MLU configuration flown by Belgium, Lockheed’s Sniper/Pantera competes against the LITENING III/AT (recently chosen by The Netherlands) and ATFLIR at the higher end of the market. It also competes against lower-cost options; for instance, Denmark recently chose to upgrade its LANTIRN pods instead, and Greece made a similar decision. Lockheed Martin’s release cites “long-range performance capabilities that allow aircrews to complete missions successfully outside threat ranges” as a key driver for Belgium’s choice; DID has no statement from the Belgians on this score. Sniper/Pantera ATPs are currently flying on or ordered by the USAF (F-15E Strike Eagles, F-16s, A-10s, and now the B-1 bomber), Norway (20, on F-16 A/Bs), Oman (F-16 E/Fs), Poland (F-16 C/Ds), and Singapore (F-15SG Strike Eagles)… and, since the Belgian order, by Canada (F/A-18 A/B+) and Pakistan (F-16 A-D). Lockheed Martin release.
UPDATE May 5/08: De Morgen reports that 4 Sniper pods have been delivered at Florennes AFB, with the last 4 to be delivered before 4 F-16’s depart to Afghanistan.
Force 3, Inc. in Crofton, MD won a $7.9 million contract for local area and wide area network infrastructure, material, and network routers and switches, with a cumulative value of up to $15.9 million if all options are exercised. The equipment specified in the indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract (N65236-07-D-5100) will support the Local Area Network Upgrade Project for the Military Health System (MHS) Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) at Army, Navy, and Air Force CONUS (Continental United States) and overseas (OCONUS) TRICARE Regions sites.
Work will be performed in Force 3’s Crofton, MD manufacturing plant, and is expected to be complete by February 2008. Eight offers were received for this competitive contract via the Commerce Business Daily’s Federal Business Opportunities website, and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center e-Commerce Central website. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in Charleston, SC issued the contract.