Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the United States Air Force have signed an agreement to advance research into hypersonic (Mach 5 or higher) flight. The 8-year program has been established as a Project Arrangement under an existing research and development agreement between Australia and the USA, and the USD $54 million Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) project is one of the largest collaborative ventures to be undertaken between the two nations. It will have obvious implications for projects like DARPA’s FALCON, both as a boost to its ambitions for lower-cost satellite launches and an obvious feed-in to spaceplane projects (see our FALCON HTV Focus Article). Hypersonics also has potential implications for missile projects like the $120 million RATTLRS contract, not to mention the dual-combustion ramjet approach of HyFly et. al.
With the project underway, the latest news includes some related testing by Aerojet under HyFly/RATTLRS, and also of a combined cycle turbine-scramjet engine.
Lockheed Martin’s AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) was intended as a stealthy, inexpensive cruise missile that would let American aircraft attack well-defended targets – without putting themselves in the crosshairs of new long-range surface to air missile systems. The missile has been produced in quantity, and chosen by Australia.
While the JASSM program was continued on the basis of military necessity, an alternative has emerged. Raytheon’s AGM-154 JSOW precision glide bomb has become a big success, adding new capabilities and new variants over time. A new AGM-154C-1-ER version adds a flush inlet to preserve its radar signature, and a small turbojet taken from their MALD decoy, in order to extend its range to 300 nautical miles/ 575 km. The JSOW-ER is considered to be less stealthy than JASSM, but it has definitely positioned itself as a reliable low-budget competitor, and a “good enough” alternative if JASSM fails.
American Defense Systems Inc. (ADSI) in Hicksville, NY received a $9.9 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract with a maximum ordering quantity of 25 Add on Armor (AoA) Crew Protection Kits (CPKs), associated manuals and spares parts kits, for installation on Terex Corp.’s MAC-50 cranes. ADSI will perform the work at its Hicksville, NY, headquarters and expects to complete it by May 2012. Contract funds will not expire by the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is a sole source award to ADSI because it is the only manufacturer of the AoA CPKs. The Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA manages the contract (M67854-09-D-5038).
The 50-ton all-terrain MAC-50 cranes will be fitted with ADSI CPKs on both the large driver cab and on the smaller side cab for the crane operator. Approximately $2.5 million of the award will fund field service representatives over the term of the contract. CPKs feature windows of fully transparent armor, opaque armor siding, a combat lock, tool-less emergency egress windows, fortified door hinges and an integrated crew system. The CPKs are modular and can be applied to the vehicle either during its assembly, or as a retrofit in theater. ADSI employs field service representatives that are on the ground in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait to train soldiers on the proper installation techniques and offer on-going expertise and assistance.
This U.S. Marines Corps contract builds upon several recent U.S. military-related awards and orders received by ADSI over the last 6 months, which combined are valued at more than $54 million. This includes an order representing approximately one-third of a $10 million revenue expectation from JCB Construction Equipment for CPKs through 2010. See also ADSI news release.
Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office in Amarillo, TX received a $7.3 million firm-fixed-price delivery order for one-time engineering services to retrofit 7 CV-22 aircraft per single configuration retrofit ECP V-22-0802. The order will bring the 7 aircraft to a Block B/10 configuration. The firm will also provide the associated retrofit kits for 3 CV-22 aircraft.
The CV-22 is the Air Force Special Operations version of the V-22 Osprey aircraft. The CV-22 fills a long-standing Air Force requirement to conduct long-range insertion and extraction missions. The CV-22 has twice the altitude and speed of current helicopters used in special operations. The Osprey can fly at 316 miles per hour in airplane mode and 115 miles per hour in helicopter mode. The aircraft’s ceiling is 26,000 feet.
Bell-Boeing plans to perform the work in Ridley Park, PA (60%), and Fort Worth, TX (40%) and expects to complete the work in November 2012. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD manages the contract (N00019-07-G-0008).
Raytheon Co. in Andover, MA received an $8.8 million firm-fixed-price contract for 3 Patriot missile depot test equipment upgrades, and new depot test equipment, including installation and training. Raytheon is performing the work at the following MA facilities: Andover (50%), Tewksbury (20%), Sudbury (20%), and Burlington (10%), with an estimated completion date of June 08/15. Only one bid was solicited and received by U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Army Contracting Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-09-C-0321).
Patriot, the foundation of the U.S. Army’s integrated air and missile defense architecture, is a medium-range all-weather system fielded to defeat flying threats or even ballistic missiles.
Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), in San Diego, CA won a $16.9 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a cost-plus-fixed-fee pricing arrangement to provide engineering, security engineering and technical support services for Navy cryptographic systems and solutions, and key management architectures and information systems. This 5-year contract includes 4 nine-month award terms which, if earned, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $28 million.
BAH will perform the work at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) facilities (85%) and at the BAH facility in San Diego (15%) and expects to complete the work in May 2014. This contract was competitively procured via FedBizOpps.gov (solicitation number N66001-08-R-0105) and posted to the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central web site, with 3 offers received by SSC Pacific (N66001-09-D-0061).
BAE Systems Land & Armaments, Ground Systems Division, in York, PA received a $14.3 million order for field service representatives and instructors to support Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in Iraq. BAE Systems expects to complete the work by December 2009. This order is a firm-fixed-priced modification of a previously awarded delivery order #0004 (89 RG-33 SOCOM) under a contract managed by the Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, VA (M67854-07-D-5025).
Raytheon Co. received a $5.8 million contract modification for phalanx simulated infrared/visible engagement target simulator kits with shorting plugs in support of the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) Program. Raytheon will work on the contract in England (80%); Louisville, KY (15%); and Tuscon, AZ (5%); and expects to complete work by January 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command manages the previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-5444).
The radar-guided, rapid-firing Mk. 15 Phalanx CIWS (pron. “see-whiz”) can fire between 3,000-4,500 20mm cannon rounds per minute, either autonomously or under manual command, as a last-ditch defense against incoming missiles and other targets. Phalanx uses closed-loop spotting with advanced radar and computer technology to locate, identify and direct a stream of armor piercing projectiles toward the target. Phalanx CIWS is currently installed on approximately 187 USN ships and is in use in 20 foreign navies.
Additional information provided by Raytheon gives more detail about how the Phalanx engagement target simulator works…
Dubai’s Khaleej Times relays a Der Spiegel report that Germany has approved a sale to Pakistan of 3 top-of-the-line Type 214 diesel-electric submarines with Air-Independent Propulsion. An export financing credit of EUR 1 billion euros ($1.36 billion equivalent) has reportedly been offered.