Defense industry needs to improve cost, weight, and energy efficiencies in new weapons systems, US defense officials tell US Navy League conference.
Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace says DoD should be in charge of US cybersecurity, not the Department of Homeland Security.
Microsemi and Anaren are competing to acquire AML Communications, a Camarillo, CA-based defense electronics supplier (e.g., for Raytheon’s MALD decoys). With a bid of $28 million, Microsemi is the front runner.
Meanwhile, Forbes is predicting a wave of consolidation in the defense electronics market.
April 4/11: Raytheon in Tucson, AZ receives a $172.6 million firm-fixed-price contract for “a block” of M982 Excalibur GPS-guided 155mm artillery shells. They are especially important given restrictive rules of engagement in Afghanistan, which require this level of accuracy. Excalibur has been a leading weapon in an emerging trend, where precision-guided artillery is coupled with long-endurance aerial surveillance and targeting, to create a much faster, more reliable, and cheaper alternative to close air support fighters with precision-guided bombs.
Numbers were not disclosed, but even at their estimated cost of $100,000+ each, that’s still a lot of shells. Work will be performed in Tucson, AZ; McAlester, OK; Farmington, NM; Niceville, FL; Healdsburg, CA; Anniston, AL; Cincinnati, OH; Anaheim, CA; Williamsport, PA; Joplin, MO; Lowell, MA; Karlskoga, Sweden; and the United Kingdom; with an estimated completion date of Jan 31/13. One bid was solicited with one bid received by the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Picatinny, NJ (W15QKN-07-C-0100).
Raytheon’s subsequent release notes that this contract marks the beginning of full rate production for Excalibur Ia-2, adding that the U.S. Army and Marine Corps have fired over 300 Excalibur shells in the past year.
DRS Systems, Inc. in Parsippany, NJ has received a series of contracts for satellite-based internet-broadband service and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network in support of deployed military personnel. Later announcements make a clearer distinction between this service and military operations, characterizing it as a “satellite IP services to support morale, welfare and recreation and other non-global information grid operations and programs.”
Troops deployed to forward operating bases do need some level of phone and internet connectivity, and using an alternative to critical battlefield networks is just basic sense. M.C. Dean has also received some contracts along these lines. In DRS’ case, those contracts could expand to almost half a billion dollars from 2007-2011…