Embraer’s ability to design and deliver EMB 145 AEW&C aerial surveillance jets to Brazil’s FAB and foreign customers places Brazil within an elite group of countries. The FAB’s 5 “E-99” jets play a critical role in the SIVAM program to monitor the Amazon, provide security overwatch for major sporting events like the coming 2014 FIFA World Cup, and serve as a global showpiece for potential customers. They survey and manage air traffic, provide fighter positioning and interception control, and can conduct signals interception and analysis (SIGINT) missions.
In January 2013, Embraer received a $215 million (BRL 430 million) contract to upgrade the FAB’s 5 E-99s…
In January 2013, Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, CA received a $9.5 million to cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification under the Aero-Adaptive/Aero-Optic Beam Control (ABC) Program.
To explain that term in plain English, turbulence and other atmospheric conditions can de-focus laser beams, limiting their range and effectiveness. A laser that can adapt its focus to the conditions in its path offers a way to mitigate these problems, which makes it a topic of keen interest to militaries around the world. The famous 747 Airborne Laser did some pioneering work in this field, but lasers have both defensive and offensive uses beyond Ballistic Missile Defense. In ABC’s case…
In the absence of FY13 appropriations, the US Navy is stuck with Ticonderoga-class cruisers that it wanted to decommission but Congress decided otherwise. However federal funding is currently provided by a continuing resolution (i.e. the extension of FY12 spending levels) that does not include money to maintain, let alone upgrade these ships. Congressional cognitive dissonance? Say it ain’t so. Virginian-Pilot | CRS backgrounder [Dec. 2012 PDF].
NAVSEA has issued solicitation N00024-13-R-4400 for the Extended Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) of USS Porter (DDG 78). Work will include repairs after the destroyer crashed with a tanker last August. Bids expected by Feb. 15, 2013. Voyage repairs were made in the UAE and the ship returned to Norfolk, VA, in November.
The NYT notes that China, flush with 3 trillion dollars in foreign reserves, is investing in aerospace which in turn raises security questions. The appropriate time for such considerations from lawmakers and the media would have been before selling China more than one trillion dollars worth of US treasuries [CRS briefing, PDF].