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U.S. Army Places Contracts for Defensive Radars

U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan primarily face a threat from indirect weapons. These include rockets and mortars used at their static facilities and the ever present mine and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) to vehicle and foot movement. The U.S. Army placed yesterday two contracts for systems to help counter these threats.

First, Lockheed Martin (LMT) received an option on an existing contract to procure more TPQ-53 counterfire radars. These provide detection and warning of mortars and rockets and allow defensive and counter measures to take place. This contract has a value of almost $400 million and will procure 33 sets of equipment. Earlier the Army had issued a contract for 12. These radars have been in development since 2007 and use since last year.

The Army also placed an Indefinite Delivery/Indoctrinate Quantity (ID/IQ) contract with NIITEK, a subsidiary of Chemring Group PLC, for their Husky Ground Penetrating Radar. This contract has a total value of close to $600 million if all options are exercised. The initial contract is worth $161 million. With all ID/IQ contracts the government does not have to spend anything or just a part of the total value.

The NIITEK Husky is a radar mounted on a vehicle used to detect mines and other threats buried in the ground. It also includes a metal detector if desired. The system supports route clearing and checking as part of a convoy or on separate missions.

These two contracts demonstrate that the U.S. still meets significant threats in Afghanistan and that the U.S. is being innovative in meeting them. It also shows that the U.S. will invest in systems for these missions despite budget and deficit issues.

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