With the coming of the holiday season, Defense Industry Daily’s publication schedule has slowed somewhat. Both December 25 & 26 were non-publishing days, and DID will not publish on Mon Dec 31/07 or Tues Jan 1/08 either.
2007 has been a year of growth for DID, and 2008 promises to be a very significant year for our publication. A number of new features are in various stages of development, and we look forward to rolling them out to you all in the new year. We’re always interested in your ideas, so if you have a couple minutes to spare at this time of year, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to drop editorial@ a line here at defenseindustrydaily.com to talk to us about features you’d like to see, propose better ways of leveraging professional online resources like LinkedIn et. al. and/or industry professional groups, and generally offer any thoughts you may not have expressed in our recent reader survey (which can still be filled out, if you haven’t done it yet).
Meanwhile, our editor recently spent some time at both AMARG/Davis-Monthan, and the Pima Air & Space Museum. Joe recommends both venues very highly, and he reports a very interesting conversation with a long-time intelligence professional who was in town on business. All we can say is, we value your ongoing readership – and we really hope our intel friend in red had you on the right list…
Survivable Laser-guided Exactitude Integrated Gift Handling system
On Dec 25th, UK servicemen and women posted overseas in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and the Falkland Islands receive a Christmas box filled with gifts. Inspired by a tradition that dates back to the First World War, the Christmas box program was established 3 years ago by charity UK4U; this year, they distributed gifts to more than 25,000 British troops. The final send off for the items took place on Dec 22/07 this year, and the UK MoD has a feature describing their receipt.
What a fine idea. This worthy program is made possible by industry sponsors, including:
Angliss BAE Systems
Cooneen Watts & Stone
Fleet Air Arm Association
Fretwell Downing Hospitality
Gifts by Design
J C Bamford Excavators
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Marks and Spencer
NP Aerospace (England)
Nuffield Trust for Forces of the Crown
PA Consulting Group
Purple Food Service Solutions
Royal Photographic Society
Sodexho Defence Service
Twinings of London
Yellow Ribbon Foundation
Dec 26/07: Raytheon Co. in El Segundo, CA receives a $77.5 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-06-C-0310), exercising an option for 27 Full Rate Production Lot 6 AN/AAQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking InfraRed pods for the F/A-18 A-D Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Work will be performed in El Segundo, CA (60%) and McKinney, TX (40%), and work is expected to be completed in November 2010. The Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
ATFLIR replaces 3 pods on the F/A-18: the TFLIR targeting FLIR, the navigation FLIR and the laser designator tracker. ATFLIR’s magnification is 30x-60x versus previous FLIR capabilities at 4x; it will also provide GPS coordinates to precision weapons such as JSOW and JDAM, and can stream video feed via the ROVER link to JTAC forward air controllers or to command centers.
ATFLIR on F/A-18F
ATFLIR has receives fine reviews from pilots in theater, but to date it has only been integrated into F/A-18 family aircraft (US Navy, US Marines, ordered by Australia & Switzerland). Its competitors have been integrated with several other aircraft types, and even some F/A-18 fleets fly with NGC/RAFAEL’s LITENING (Australia, Spain, Finland) or Lockheed Martin’s Sniper ATP (Canada). F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet fleets use only ATFLIR, however; even LITENING customer Australia will be buying ATFLIR pods for its 24 F/A-18F Block II Super Hornets.