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P&W Receives JSF Engine Contract

The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is produced by Lockheed Martin (LMT) but the engine for the advanced tactical aircraft comes from United Technologies (UTX) Pratt & Whitney. As with many other aircraft programs the engine is procured under a separate contract and then provided to the aircraft manufacturer. This means as aircraft options are executed another contract action must take place for the engines.

P&W received their contract recently to support the most recent JSF order. This contract will be for 32 more F135 engines and is the 5th order so far to match the first 5 Low Rate buys of the F-35. No value was given but earlier estimates were of a cost that was close to $40 million per unit.

For several years Congress funded against DoD wishes another engine development program as risk reduction. This was with General Electric (GE) and Rolls-Royce (RR) and several hundred million dollars was given to them for the F136 engine. The idea was to have enough production capability or maintain schedule if there were issues with the primary F135 engine. In the first Obama administration this was a program that was terminated.

The JSF program continues to gain momentum as more are produced, more training conducted and development continues. It still is several years behind its original schedule and has had significant cost growth. This has led to some of the original international partners to re-consider how many aircraft they will buy and the terms of their contracts.

As the largest part of the Pentagon’s budget it would face cuts of several hundred million dollars if the required reductions are spread evenly. This would affect this years operations and perhaps cause further delays in the overall program.

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Rafale Wins One As India Accepts Dassault’s Bid for MMRCA

The long running sage of India’s new fighter contract took a major step closer to completion yesterday as the Indian government announced that Dassault Rafale will be considered for the South East Asian country’s Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract. In November there had been a decision to start the process to select the final winner of the contract with the choice between the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The MMRCA started over two years ago and companies from across the globe submitted bids. The original proposals came from America’s Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Boeing (BA) along with the two Western European contractors as well as Sweden’s SAAB and Russia’s MiG. A series of trails and evaluations were conducted along with analysis of the proposals and the decision was made in November to eliminate all but Dassault and Eurofighter.

The contract for 126 advanced fighters could be worth well over $10 billion including the cost of support, spares and engineering.

The next few months will see the Indian government negotiating the final terms of the contract including the key provision of offsets. Dassault is proposing to transfer the production capability for the aircraft to India with over 100 of the aircraft being at least partially manufactured and assembled there.

Previously India had relied primarily on British and Russian equipment while trying to invest in an indigenous arms capability. Recently they have realized that in order to gain access to more advanced technology they would need to buy U.S. and European weapons from less traditional suppliers. These have included transports and patrol aircraft from Boeing and Lockheed Martin as well as exploring helicopter and artillery buys from Western Europe.

India has always demanded strict offsets and investment in their economy and have had to adjust these rules to allow companies like Boeing and others from the U.S. to bid. Even so it is good business for a winning bidder to be able to set up production facilities in India as it allows access to that growing market.

The win is significant for Dassault which has struggled to find a buyer beyond the French military and faced issues with keeping their employees busy and revenues up. The Indian contract will aid in both.

Photo from Ronnie Macdonald’s flickr photostream.

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South Korea Makes Major Move in World’s Arms Market

The production of advanced weaponry used to be reserved for the United States, its Western Allies and the former Soviet Union. Countries needing things like submarines, jet fighters, missiles and warships would often buy directly from these sources. In some cases they would license the technology to create an indigenous production capability. This was often done to aid in winning the deal or for diplomatic reasons. Many times the original owner of the technology would place restrictions on its use or transfer. The United States compared to other nations has always had strict controls over the future transfer of its weapons but this is not always true of other companies and governments.

South Korea has been working for several years with the German company Howaldstswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) on the production of submarines for its Navy. These include conventional diesel electric but also fuel cell powered vessels. So far 12 submarines are in use and a further 6 are being planned for construction. The 3 fuel cell Type 214 were built in Germany but as part of the contract South Korea established the ability to build them at their own yard.

Now the Korean company Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) is working on a contract with Indonesia to provide 3 submarines manufactured alongside the Korean ones. This contract if it is executed could be worth over $1 billion. This is much larger then the previous record for trainer aircraft for that country worth about $400 million.

This contract is not only important to the development of South Korea’s arms industry but it will help offset the cost of producing weapons for its own use at a time when it is very concerned with North Korea. It also puts pressure on the U.S. and Western defense contractors who are looking for such types of deals to help them weather the coming downturn in defense spending. Now they face more competition for contracts in Asia, the Middle East and South America which are the prime markets to help cushion the lack of contracts from their governments.

The delivery of the submarines will also mean South Korea has taken a major step forward as an arms supplier to the world. These are complex systems and require a substantial supplier base for components. This will be further developed as more contracts are made with the South Korean and foreign navies that will then support cheaper and more advanced systems.

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Labor Woes Add to Oshkosh’s Struggles

Further Update – It has been announced the Union has accepted the latest offer from the company and a new five year contract has been signed.

Update – The Union voted on Saturday the 8th on an updated proposal from the company and again turned down the offer. The Union has offered to continue negotiations.

Oshkosh Corp. (OSK) is one of a few, recent stories of success where a company is able to expand its business into defense from its more traditional lines of work. Oshkosh is traditionally a manufacturer of construction and emergency vehicles but was able to win two major defense contracts for support vehicles in the last five years. These have generated a great deal of revenue and some profit for the Wisconsin company when its traditional work was declining due to the global economic downturn.

Oshkosh was able to win the production contract for the U.S. Army’s standard truck, the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), as well as a new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) for Afghanistan called the MRAP-All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). This was designed to be lighter and more maneuverable for use in Afghanistan’s rougher terrain with its limited roads.

The MRAP contract, though, is winding down as the need for the vehicles declines. The U.S. is planning on leaving both Iraq and Afghanistan in the next few years and is struggling with fitting the MRAP, which is primarily a heavily armored bus, into its tactical Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E). If the next war includes a different threat then the role of the MRAP will be limited. This means that Oshkosh needs to find new customers or new work for their rapidly built up production capability for the MRAP.

The winning of the FMTV contract from BAE Systems (BAE:LSE) who had purchased the company that had that work for over twenty years was driven by price. Oshkosh bid very aggressively and hoped to make money off of modifications and other work related to the vehicles. Even though the Army and Marine Corps are buying thousands of those vehicles the margin on them is very low.

These two issues have combined to limit Oshkosh’s profit. The company is bidding on Canada’s new contract for an armored vehicle to help its situation but budgetary pressures will probably reduce its options for new contracts and new systems.

Now Oshkosh faces labor issues. Unlike BAE’s Sealy, TX workforce its is unionized. There current contract expired last Friday and the new one was voted down by the United Autoworker’s Union (UAW). As with many current labor negotiations healthcare costs and other issues remain the primary areas of disagreement.

Right now the union workers are not on strike and Oshkosh has not locked them out and the two sides met this weekend for more discussion. If the problems are not resolved in the near term though either could happen disrupting production for the military and affecting Oshkosh’s revenue.

Strikes are uncommon in the defense world as few major contractors are unionized. Sikorsky, part of United Technologies (UTX), had an ugly strike about six years ago that caused issues with UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopter production and took several months to recover from. Oshkosh is not facing that situation but it does add pressure to the company as they are trying to negotiate limited cost growth to maximize the profit from their products.

The next few months could be critical to the company’s defense prospects as the opportunities for new contracts in the U.S. are limited and there may be cuts to existing ones if there is a big decline in defense spending. This means it would be best for the union and the company to resolve their issues quickly and avoid a long term conflict.

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Continued Small Arms Purchases by U.S. from ATK

Since 9/11 the U.S. military has been heavily engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have also helped those two countries rebuild their armed forces. One of the main items that has been acquired to support these operations is small arms ammunition. Not only has the U.S. and its Allies gone through a great deal of it in the standard 5.56, 7.62 and 12.7 but they have needed Soviet sized rounds for the Iraqi and Afghan military.

ATK (ATK) has been one of the major beneficiaries of this demand. ATK from its own facilities and ones it operates for the U.S. Defense Department has supplied several billion rounds of ammunition this decade. They have also been contracted to purchase Soviet sized rounds from producers in Europe and Asia for use in Iraq and Afghanistan. This production has required investment in production capability while also developing improved ammunition for the U.S.

The latest contract the company has received were only announced this week and are worth over $200 million. These orders include several hundred million of the new M855 cartridge used in the M4 and the M16 rifles. These are standard equipment for U.S. Soldiers and Marines.

The M855 is improved to provide better performance including penetration of hard targets. It is also considered more “green” as it does not have a lead core like most other bullets. The M855 was developed partly due to complaints about the M4 rifle’s short barrel and its effect on performance in combat situations.

Photo from U.S. Air Force via gopal1035 flickr photostream.

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Defense M&A in Electro Optics Industry

Two acquisitions were announced recently that involve companies designing and making electro-optic systems and software for the defense market. They indicate that the continued investment by the United States, its Allies and other nations around the world into these systems are expected to continue and provide a market for contractors. This as there are now persistent worries that the U.S. and European defense budgets will start declining in the near future.

First BAE Systems (BAE: LSE) announced that they will be acquiring New Hampshire’s Oasys Technology. The total price could be up to $55 million if all conditions are met. Oasys Technology provides engineering services and research to support development of new electro-optics system. By acquiring the company BAE acquires that expertise which should lead to better systems and advanced production capability.

BAE already makes thermal weapon sights in use by the United States, Canada and Australia. These go on weapon systems and vehicles. Last week BAE received an order worth $123 million as part of a five year contract with the U.S. Army. This brings the total value of sales to the U.S. to over $1 billion. BAE also makes thermal imaging and infra-red cameras that may be integrated by other companies.

It was also announced FLIR Systems (FLIR) will acquire ICx Technologies. FLIR as their name implies makes Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) and other electro-optical sensor systems for use by military, security and civil customers. ICx will cost the company about $270 million. ICx manufactures sensors and equipment used in a variety of applications. These include those used to detect explosives that have homeland security uses. ICx also designs and builds radar equipment.

These two transactions show that there are opportunities for larger defense contractors to acquire companies that will expand their own product line. These two moves will aid BAE Systems and FLIR in developing more advanced systems and allow them to grow their share of a growing market for advanced optics, sensors and electronic surveillance systems.

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General Dynamics Awarded $14 Million by U.S. Army for 25mm and 30mm Ammunition

General Dynamics Awarded $14 Million by U.S. Army for 25mm and 30mm Ammunition
June 29, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., -General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems has been awarded two contracts from the Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS) at Picatinny
Arsenal, N.J., for production of 30mm M789 High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP) ammunition and Phase III development of 25mm scalable fuze technology. The total value of the two contracts is more than $14 million.

The 30mm M789 HEDP is the primary tactical round of the Apache AH-64 helicopter, widely used in Iraq and Afghanistan operations. The Apache's ability to provide accurate air support with minimal collateral damage has led to increased use and volume demands for M789 ammunition. In response to the increased demand, the U.S. Army has contracted General Dynamics to establish a full-production capability for the M789 cartridge.

"Establishing a second, independent production line for the M789 eliminates potential single-point production failure and gives the Army more resources to meet the growing ammunition needs of the warfighter, quickly and efficiently," said Tim McAuliffe, vice president and general manager of medium caliber ammunition for General Dynamics.

In addition, General Dynamics was awarded the Phase III development effort of the Scalable Medium Cannon Caliber Airburst Fuze Development Study. General Dynamics has successfully completed Phase I and II of the study. An essential overall objective of this development effort is to create scalable fuze technology that provides a plug-and-play capability for munitions ranging from 25mm to 50mm calibers.

The successful development of the 25mm fuze technology will provide the U.S. Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle and U.S. Marine Corps LAV-25 with the capability to reach targets in defilade via an airburst projectile. The technology also provides the ability to detonate a projectile within a hard target by using a selectable or delayed point detonation feature. The scalable technology has already been successfully demonstrated across a variety of weapon platforms from 25mm to 40mm and has the ability to be inserted in future platforms such as the Army's Ground Combat Vehicle.

"The advancement of scalable technology will allow the military to upgrade the capability of their legacy systems while easily integrating onto future weapon platforms," said Mr. McAuliffe.

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Advanced Cooling Technologies Begins Production Deliveries to Lockheed Martin — Press Release

Advanced Cooling Technologies Begins Production Deliveries to Lockheed Martin

LANCASTER, Pa., June 23 /PRNewswire/ — Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) begins production deliveries of its “HiK” plate product to Lockheed Martin for use in their Volume Search Radar (VSR). Lockheed Martin developed and produces the VSR antenna as a subcontractor to Raytheon, the prime contractor for the Dual Band Radar (DBR) system for the next generation, multi-mission destroyer.

ACT’s HiK plate assemblies provide enhanced cooling for key electronic components of the radar system. The production order is for two ships sets and requires over 2,000 assemblies.

ACT began volume deliveries in April and will complete the initial order over the coming year.

“This is a large design win for ACT,” said Scott Garner, Vice President of Engineered Products at ACT. “Our investments in additional manufacturing space and heat pipe production capability coupled with ISO 9000 and AS9100 quality certifications were key factors in preparing us for this opportunity. We are glad to be a qualified vendor to Lockheed Martin and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

ACT designs and manufactures a variety of thermal management solutions for military and commercial electronics cooling including: heat pipes, pumped liquid and two-phase loops, and thermal storage devices. Our products are used in applications from spacecraft thermal management to ruggedized military electronics cooling applications, at temperatures ranging from -150 to 1,100 degrees C. We currently serve customers worldwide in Aerospace, Military, Commercial, and Government R&D markets. ACT is certified to ISO 9001:2000 and AS9100 Rev. B quality standards.

Source: Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.

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Malaysia Signs Contract With BAE Systems And Nurol For Armored Vehicles

Malaysia has signed a contract worth up to $500 million with the U.K.’s BAE Systems (BAE:L) and Turkey’s Nurol Holding AS to establish an armored vehicle production line. The two companies are establishing a joint venture in the Asian country to design and produce 250 wheeled vehicles with a variety of capabilities. This contract is part of a major investment by Malaysia in its armed forces.

The end result of course will be an established production capability indigenous to Malaysia.. This could allow it to build more vehicles for itself and overseas sales. The contract is also valuable to BAE Systems as it may see declining markets in Britain and the U.S. due to budgetary pressures.

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Spectrum Microwave Awarded Multi-Year Contract for Power Amplifiers Used in Joint Tactical Radio Systems — Press Release

Spectrum Microwave Awarded Multi-Year Contract for Power Amplifiers Used in Joint Tactical Radio Systems

FAIRVIEW, Pa., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Spectrum Control, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPEC) , today announced that its Spectrum Microwave Business Unit has been selected by Thales Communications, Inc. in Clarksburg, Maryland as the Supplier for the RF Power Amplifier for the Extended Band Manpack, an accessory to the AN/PRC-148 JTRS Enhanced Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio. Production of the RF Power Amplifier will be performed at Spectrum Microwave’s Palm Bay, Florida operation and is currently expected to commence in early 2010.

Dick Southworth, Spectrum Control’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “This is a major win for our Microwave Group. The selection by Thales for the development and production of the RF Power Amplifier for their Extended Band Manpack Radio highlights our technical design and production capability strengths for the military market. We look forward to a successful and continuing relationship with Thales on this and future projects.”

Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains statements that are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the Company’s business based, in part, on assumptions made by management. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements due to numerous factors and risks discussed from time to time in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.

About Spectrum Control

Spectrum Control, Inc. is a leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance custom electronic solutions for the defense, aerospace, communications, and medical industries worldwide.

For more information about Spectrum Control and its products, please visit the Company’s website at www.spectrumcontrol.com.

Source: Spectrum Control, Inc.

CONTACT: Investor Relations, John P. Freeman, Senior Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer, Spectrum Control, Inc., +1-814-474-4310

Web Site: http://www.spectrumcontrol.com/

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GAO Decision affirms Major Army Conclusions Supporting Oshkosh FMTV Award; Denies Challenges to $440 Million Dollars in Savings And Nearly All Other Protestor Complaints — Press Release

GAO Decision affirms Major Army Conclusions Supporting Oshkosh FMTV Award; Denies Challenges to $440 Million Dollars in Savings And Nearly All Other Protestor Complaints

OSHKOSH, Wis. — Dec. 17, 2009 — The U.S. Army’s conclusion that Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) proposed the lowest price and has the capability and experience to build the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) was unchallenged by the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) decision, released in redacted form today. The decision significantly expands on the GAO’s press release of December 14, 2009, regarding the protests against the U.S. Army’s award decision by BAE Systems and Navistar Defense.

The decision by the GAO upheld only two narrowly-defined aspects of the protests against the U.S. Army by the disappointed bidders, rejecting all of the numerous other protest grounds raised during the three-month protest process which covered virtually every aspect of the evaluation.

The GAO determined that the Army erred in evaluating one element of the broader production capability subfactor. To address this, the GAO recommended that the Army re-evaluate the offerors’ proposals as to this element and also determine whether there was any possible impact on a second element. These elements are just two of seven elements in the production subfactor of the capability evaluation factor, all of which receive less weight than price. The GAO provided no opinion as to whether the re-evaluation of these two elements would in fact change the award decision by the Army.

The Oshkosh proposed price is significantly lower than what the Government is currently paying the incumbent FMTV contractor and was revealed today to be nearly $440 million lower over the life of the contract than that proposed by incumbent BAE. Widely publicized protestor complaints relating to Oshkosh’s price, armored cab design, financial stability and manufacturing prowess all were denied by the GAO. The GAO stated in its decision, “With the exception of two areas, we find that the [Army’s] evaluation was reasonable.” Oshkosh Defense was awarded the contract on August 26, 2009.

“After a thorough acquisition process by the Army that began nearly seven months ago, followed by formal protests that took three months to resolve, we believe the Army will quickly and appropriately address the GAO’s recommendations,” said Robert G. Bohn, Oshkosh Corporation chairman and chief executive officer. “We believe that in its review, the Army will find that Oshkosh Corporation was and continues to be the correct choice for the FMTV contract, providing proven capability and the best value to the Army and the taxpayer.”

As the GAO’s decision reaffirms, Oshkosh was awarded the contract because the company bid the FMTV at a very competitive price while receiving excellent evaluations for meeting vehicle production and delivery requirements, including any possible production surges that might be required by the Army.

The U.S. Army has 60 days from December 14, 2009 to act on the GAO’s recommendations and report its findings.

“Oshkosh plans to build the FMTV and meet all of the Army’s objectives while saving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars that the Army can use for other pressing requirements,” Bohn said. “And we will do this without impacting our other existing or proposed military vehicle contract programs.”

Bohn added, “It is important to realize the GAO’s decision did not recommend that the proposals be recompeted or revised, nor did it recommend termination of our contract. We believe that the redacted decision issued today further supports our assessment that Oshkosh is in a strong position to retain the contract when the two narrow issues on which the protests were upheld are reconsidered.”

Oshkosh remains the only current manufacturer of both medium and heavy tactical wheeled vehicles in the U.S. defense industry, having produced more than 70,000 military-class vehicles in its manufacturing facilities. Oshkosh Corporation’s proven production capabilities were recently recognized by the National Center for Advanced Technologies (NCAT), which awarded Oshkosh with a 2009 Defense Manufacturing Excellence Award for its M-ATV launch team, which has exceeded delivery requirements for every month since the contract award on June 30, 2009.

About Oshkosh Defense

Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical military trucks and armored wheeled vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection. For more information, visit www.oshkoshdefense.com.

About Oshkosh Corporation
Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corp. manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Jerr-Dan®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, SMIT™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, log on to www.oshkoshcorporation.com.

®, ™ All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies.

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Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that the Company believes to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s future financial position, business strategy, targets, projected sales, costs, earnings, capital expenditures, debt levels and cash flows, and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this press release, words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “should,” “project” or “plan” or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include risks related to the required increase in the rate of production for the M-ATV contract and the amount, if any, of additional orders for M-ATVs that the Company may receive; the cyclical nature of the Company’s access equipment, commercial and fire & emergency markets, especially during a global recession and credit crisis; the duration of the global recession, which could lead to additional impairment charges related to many of the Company’s intangible assets; the expected level and timing of U.S. Department of Defense procurement of products and services and funding thereof, including the outcome of the formal protests of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) award to the Company; risks related to reductions in government expenditures and the uncertainty of government contracts; the consequences of financial leverage associated with the JLG acquisition, which could limit the Company’s ability to pursue various opportunities; risks related to the collectability of receivables during a recession, particularly for those businesses with exposure to construction markets; risks related to production delays as a result of the economy’s impact on the Company’s suppliers; the potential for commodity costs to rise sharply, including in a future economic recovery; risks associated with international operations and sales, including foreign currency fluctuations; and the potential for increased costs relating to compliance with changes in laws and regulations. Additional information concerning these and other factors is contained in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company assumes no obligation, and disclaims any obligation, to update information contained in this press release.

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Northrop Grumman and SELEX GALILEO Team to Compete for U.S. Army’s Common Infrared Countermeasures Program

September 10, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Syndicated Industry News 
Northrop Grumman and SELEX GALILEO Team to Compete for U.S. Army's Common Infrared Countermeasures Program
September 10, 2009

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. - Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) today announced the formation of a strategic alliance with SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica company, to compete for the U.S. Army's Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) program.

CIRCM is intended to provide the U.S. military with a
laser-based infrared (IR) countermeasures solution against current and
future IR threat systems. For the CIRCM program, the Northrop
Grumman-SELEX Galileo team has integrated the ECLIPSE micro
pointer/tracker with a processing and laser countermeasures capability
to produce a 4th generation lightweight, highly reliable Directional
Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system specifically designed for
medium and light helicopter protection.

SELEX Galileo began development of its Economic Compact
Lightweight Pointer-Tracker System (ECLIPSE) in 2007. An ECLIPSE
development model was integrated with the Northrop Grumman Viper(tm)
IRCM laser, processor and missile warner in a highly successful live
fire demonstration in 2008 at the Tonopah Missile Range in Nevada. In
this test, the ECLIPSE prototype micro pointer/tracker successfully
acquired, tracked and defeated an infrared missile in flight.

"The Northrop Grumman-SELEX Galileo team represents the most
experienced laser IRCM development and production capability in the
industry with three generations of DIRCM systems developed, and over
1,200 pointer trackers and 1,100 lasers produced, for 450 aircraft
installations on 50 different aircraft types including large and small
fixed wing, rotary wing and tilt wing," said Carl Smith, vice president
of Northrop Grumman's IRCM Products.

"The versatile, open architecture approach that this new system
is based upon will allow the customer to use existing equipment such as
missile warners and countermeasures dispensers--while improving the
survivability of these helicopters significantly with the addition of
modern, laser DIRCM capability--and allow continued future growth.
Backed by decades of investment, hundreds of thousands of operational
flight hours and actual helicopter combat experience, this team is
ready to protect the U.S. Army's warfighters," said Smith.

The only such aircraft protection system currently in full
production, Northrop Grumman's LAIRCM system is now installed or
scheduled for installation on several hundred military aircraft to
protect approximately 50 different types of large fixed-wing transports
and rotary-wing platforms from infrared missile attacks. The system
functions by automatically detecting a missile launch, determining if
it is a threat and activating a high-intensity laser-based
countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile.

"MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems) pose one of the
most serious threats to the army aviator operating in today's hostile
environments," said Norman Bone, senior vice president, Radar and
Advanced Targeting and Group Operations director, SELEX Galileo.
"Building on over twenty years of experience within this field, we are
now able to provide a lightweight low cost directed countermeasure
solution based on the ECLIPSE pointer tracker, to protect helicopter
platforms from the latest generations of missiles. We are proud to
support the U.S. Army and look forward to continuing our partnership
with Northrop Grumman for many years to come."

SELEX Galileo provides world class capabilities in
surveillance, protection, tracking, targeting, avionics and imaging
systems. With industrial presence in the UK, Italy and U.S., the
Company builds on 60 years of experience and market presence in more
than 70 countries.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology
company whose 120,000 employees provides innovative systems, products,
and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and
shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

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Navy Awards LCS Contract

The U.S. Navy awarded Marinette Marine a contract modification in order to “preserve production capability” for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. The Business Journal reports that Marinette Marine was part of a team with Lockheed Martin that built one of the first two LCS ships for the Navy. The Navy plans to award two more ships and it was believed that only one of the two teams that had built a ship each would qualify for this next order. This contract action prevented Marinette Marine from cutting back on its work force, hence the preserving part. There is still no guarantee that the company will get further LCS work but it keeps the option open.

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