United Technologies subsidiary Pratt & Whitney Canada pleaded guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act and making false statements in connection with its export to China of US-origin military software used in the development of China’s Z-10 attack helicopter. UTC and its involved subsidiaries settled with the US Justice and State departments for more than $75M.
General Dynamics is discussing with Earl Industries about acquiring some of its ship-repair business units. The process is reportedly well underway.
A strong majority of workers have agreed to the deal their union negotiated with Lockheed Martin to end their 10-week strike in Fort Worth. They will be back to work on Monday with relatively little to show for the strike.
The CEOs of prime contractors including Lockheed Martin and EADS North America met with US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to discuss how to avoid next year’s pending budget sequester. A previous meeting of industry bigwigs with the White House’s budget office did not seem to bear fruit.
Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain [AZ], Lindsey Graham [SC] and Kelly Ayotte [NH] have recently expressed their support for the industry following yet another study showing a great number of jobs are at stake, but there’s still no clear path to avoid sequestration before the presidential election. Graham is even advising defense contractors to send layoff notices as soon as possible to force Congress to act. In an apparently endless stalemate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid counters that increased revenue will have to be part of any deal.
The US Air Force will hold an industry day tomorrow at its Eglin base in Florida on the High Speed Strike Weapon (HSSW), a research laboratory program that intends to demonstrate “a Mach 5+ (i.e. hypersonic) velocity weapon capable of holding fixed and relocatable targets (i.e. time critical targets) at risk from tactically relevant standoff distances in tactically relevant timelines.”
CREW(counter-radio controlled improvised explosive device) systems deny enemy use of selected portions of the radio frequency spectrum, which could be used to set off radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIED). Radio-controlled devices are used to detonate IED land mines from a safe distance instead, and/or to jam the frequencies that could be used to trigger them. This jamming is sometimes an inconvenience to friendly forces, but so is being blown up.
CREW systems come in a couple of different Joint CREW versions, from older 2.x models to newer 3.x JCREW versions. In 2009, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) in McLean, VA won a contract from the USMC as CREW’s program support integrator (PSI). That contract has grown, and now sits at $500 million…
In June 2012, Elbit Systems Ltd. announced a $62 million contract to upgrade the South Korean ROKAF’s 12 C-130H and stretched C-130H-30 transport aircraft. The 4-year project will be performed in conjunction with Korea’s KAI, and will give the aircraft a modern cockpit and communications electronics, including a “glass cockpit” whose digital displays will replace many of the crew’s analog gauges. Elbit did not mention whether the upgrades would give the ROKAF’s planes full Global Air Traffic Management clearance to fly in civil airspace past 2015.
A number of countries are busy modifying their older C-130s with modern avionics, which can be a rather involved and expensive undertaking. The USA canceled its own C-130 AMP program over cost issues, while Sweden completed a similar program of avionics modernization and civil GATM clearance for its fleet. Elbit itself already had experience with cockpit upgrades for Romania’s C-130 Hercules fleet, and for Brazil’s C-95 Badeirante transports. They even have some experience with the ROKAF’s Hercules fleet, as a 2009 contract had already equipped the aircraft with Israeli self-defense electronics.
A Turkish RF-4 Phantom 2000 reconnaissance jet was shot down along Syria’s borders, reportedly by one of Syria’s Russian SA-11/ Buk-M2 systems. Both pilots ejected over the Mediterranean. Syria has apologized and essentially admitted that they did it, but says the jet was just 1 km from the Syrian coast. Turkey has been a big backer of Syria’s rebels, and the incident opens the way to open intervention by the Turkish armed forces – if they wish to take it.
Lockheed Martin and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have reportedly reached a deal to end the 9-week strike in Fort Worth, TX. Terms were not made public pending a vote by employees in the coming days.
In June 2012, France’s DGA began the 1st installment of its EUR 1.06 billion CONTACT(COmmunications Numeriques TACtiques et de Theatre) program, which will replace many of the French armed forces’ existing vehicle and personal radios. When it’s done, France will field an array of “software-defined” radios that offer much lower upgrade costs, as the backbone of its Army’s future tactical communications architecture.
Because ESSOR already includes France, Finland, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden, radios created for CONTACT will have good export potential as replacements for existing radios. A defined equipment line will also help the ESSOR standard attract new customers, much as TETRA adoption has been driven well beyond Europe’s shores in the civil sphere.
The GAO criticizes the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund (DAWDF) for the lack of clarity on when these funds are available and how they should be used.
As the Syrian civil war escalates, a Syrian pilot defects to Jordan, leaving area observers in shock. There was a Syrian MiG-21 that’s able to fly?!? On a serious note, Col. Hassan Hamada’s family had already escaped to Turkey. Chalk one up for MIT.
“In 2001, Elbit Systems began work under contracts for the Brazilian F-5 Aircraft Modernization Program. The program calls for the upgrade of 46 F-5 aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force. Our contracts for the program are with Embraer and the Brazilian Government, with a total value of approximately $230 million to be performed over an eight-year period. The contract with Embraer provides for an avionics upgrade, which includes an EW suite, mission computers, helmet mounted system, radar, displays and other avionics products. Delivery of production aircraft began in 2005. In January 2007, Elbit Systems was awarded an additional order to integrate further advanced capabilities in the F-5 aircraft. The contract with the Brazilian Government covers a logistic support program including establishment of an in-country maintenance center based at AEL.”
Brazil’s F-5BR upgrade program creates F-5EM and F-5FM aircraft.