Rapid Fire 2011-05-24: AFOTEC Services

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* US Supreme Court throws out lower court ruling that would have required Boeing and General Dynamics to repay $3 billion to the federal government for the cancelled A-12 Avenger fighter program. * Does SpaceX have lessons to teach NASA? After it spends under $400 million to do what would have taken NASA around $4 billion, Congressional testimony says “yes!”, and SpaceX underscores its cost positions. Next step? Falcon 9 Heavy, which aims to challenge the current Boeing/Lockheed EELV heavy lift platforms on cost and payload. * FLIR Systems, a supplier of thermal imaging and threat detection systems, agrees to pay $39 million to two former executives to settle litigation related to its 2004 acquisition of Indigo Systems. * L-3’s Systems Field Support division gets contract worth up to $300 million to provide C-12 aircraft logistics support and maintenance to the US Navy and USAF. * SAIC snags contract worth up to $85 million to provide fighter operational test and evaluation services at the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center. * US Army honors the MQ-5B Hunter UAV as “the little program that could,” with a history going back to 1989. Hunters still serve on the front lines, and […]

* US Supreme Court throws out lower court ruling that would have required Boeing and General Dynamics to repay $3 billion to the federal government for the cancelled A-12 Avenger fighter program.

* Does SpaceX have lessons to teach NASA? After it spends under $400 million to do what would have taken NASA around $4 billion, Congressional testimony says “yes!”, and SpaceX underscores its cost positions. Next step? Falcon 9 Heavy, which aims to challenge the current Boeing/Lockheed EELV heavy lift platforms on cost and payload.

* FLIR Systems, a supplier of thermal imaging and threat detection systems, agrees to pay $39 million to two former executives to settle litigation related to its 2004 acquisition of Indigo Systems.

* L-3’s Systems Field Support division gets contract worth up to $300 million to provide C-12 aircraft logistics support and maintenance to the US Navy and USAF.

* SAIC snags contract worth up to $85 million to provide fighter operational test and evaluation services at the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center.

* US Army honors the MQ-5B Hunter UAV as “the little program that could,” with a history going back to 1989. Hunters still serve on the front lines, and some are now armed with GBU-44 Viper Strike mini-weapons.

* Smiths Detection receives $30 million order to provide battlefield chemical agent detectors for the US DoD’s Joint Chemical Agent Detector program PDF].

* China’s submarine buildup is creating pressure on Asian countries to improve their anti-submarine capabilities – and add subs of their own. Given the volume of Chinese shipping that must pass through narrow chokepoints in and around Indonesia, it’s not a good strategic trade for China.

* Crews for India’s ordered Scorpene diesel-electric submarines are due to begin training in France, soon. The goal is now delivery by 2015, with all 6 delivered by the end of 2018.

* Loose or broken bolts caused South Korea to suspend operations for its 3 type U214 subs through much of 2010, and into 2011. The problem was fixed, and contracts to build its next set of 6 more U214s continue.

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