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Danish Aerotech’s Deal With Boeing Starts Paying Dividends

Last year Boeing signed an agreement to work with Danish Aerotech A/S on joint military deals. One reason was the hope that Denmark will invest in F/A-18 aircraft to replace their F-16 force. The country is looking at different aircraft including the SAAB Grypen for this mission. Now Boeing has awarded them a contract to build support assemblies for the launchers that go on ships to fire Harpoon Anti-surface missiles. While a small contract valued at around $1.5 million it helps the companies start working together on projects. Hopefully for Danish Aerotech Boeing will be able to use them to do support and modification of their aircraft.

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Sypris To Sell Communications Equipment To U.S. Military

Sypris Solutions won a contract worth about $200 million to provide keying equipment for radios to the U.S. military. The five year contract will provide key loaders that are used to put cryptographic material into radios “keying” them to receive and transmit. Modern digital communication equipment are present in vehicles, ships, aircraft and man packed radios and most require some level of encryption or frequency keying in order to make them usable on networks.

Sypris will design and fabricate the equipment at their facility in Tampa, FL. The goal is to have a system that is cheaper, lighter and easier-to-use then existing equipment.

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Navy Looking At Biofuels

The U.S. military uses a lot of fuel. The Navy powers its aircraft and ships with petroleum based products. It certainly behooves the Defense Department and the Services to invest in other sources of fuel. One area that is starting to receive more interest is biofuels.

Two companies, Solazyme and Sustainable Oils, were awarded contracts to explore making fuel from algae and oilseed plants. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has also invested in algae based fuel. The two contracts are worth about $11 million.

Both seem to be viable sources of fuel and the Navy wants to make sure that the result of their different refining processes will be capable of safely powering an airplane. Obviously once the fuel is tested as being viable the next focus of the research will be to move to a cost effective production and refining process. Ultimately the fuel has to cost near what it does for a gallon of oil based products. The other goal would be an ability to mass produce the product so as to support military needs. The awarding of the contracts indicate that the Defense Department is very interested in this product and process.

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U.S. Department of Defense Buys Gas — Lots Of It

The United States Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) announced today a sheaf of contracts to buy gas. Gas for airplanes, ships, trucks and vehicles. The U.S. military runs on it as it is very heavily mechanized and relies on its helicopters and aircraft for the kind of support many armies would say no to or use artillery for.

World Fuel Services was awarded a contract worth $104.5 million for aviation fuel to support all of the services and Valero also received one worth up to $230 million.

These contracts are good for a year. One of the increasing costs the Department of Defense is facing is the price of oil. As it has gone up and down over the last five years it has forced the Defense Department to adjust its O&M budget. The heavy demand of operations also means that money may have to be moved from procurement accounts to cover these costs. Ideally for good budgeting it would be hoped that the price would stabilize over the year so proper planning can be made.

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Canadian Frigate Upgrade Goes International

The Canadian Navy is conducting a modernization program for their Halifax class frigates. Lockheed Martin Canada has won the contract to upgrade the electronics and command and control systems on board the ships. As part of this that company awarded the Israeli based Elbit Systems subsidiary, Elisra Systems, a contract for electronic warfare equipment.

That contract is worth about $55 million. Israel has had to develop a fairly sophisticated indigenous arms industry that covers all aspects from large weapon systems to small arms to electronics. In the last few years those companies have started to win foreign contracts. India recently has turned to Israel for an Airborne Early Warning (EAW) system. This contract demonstrates how capable the Israeli industry is, and is probably a sign of more such contracts to come.

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New British Aircraft Carriers Have Trickle Down Effect

Even though you can project the Royal Navy at being two carriers and twenty or so escorts the most expensive ship building contract in the UK’s history is having an economic effect. The Engineer Online reports that three major sub contracts were awarded worth over $130 million to support construction of the two new ships. The contracts are for insulation, water management systems and command and control systems. Thales will provide the internal ships communication system as well as an HF long range radio. Ormandy Group will build the system for treating and providing hot and cold water for the ship. Finally Ticon Ltd UK will supply various types of insulation for the ship. These two large warships will continue to generate revenue and jobs for a variety of companies across England.

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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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U.S. Navy Awards AEGIS Upgrade Contract to Lockheed Martin

NJBIZ.com reports that the U.S. Navy gave Lockheed Martin a contract to upgrade the AEGIS Weapon System installed on destroyers and cruisers. The almost $80 million contract will improve the software as well as some of the control hardware. The AEGIS system is used with versions of the STANDARD Missile to counter ballistic missiles, aircraft and other threats to ships. It has been been used since the Seventies and has had consistent upgrades over the years. The contract will allow Lockheed Martin to upgrade several ships a year slowly re-equipping the whole fleet.

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Raytheon Buys Phalanx Systems from GD

Raytheon awarded a contract to General Dynamics for the Phalanx weapon system. This multi-barreled gun was developed to provide point defense of ships but has also been modified to protect U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan from rockets and other indirect weapons. Forbes reports that GD will make the systems at their Saco, ME facility. The Counter Rocket and Mortar (C-RAM) system has proven effective in Iraq. www.Michaelyon-online.com has a video of the system in action.

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Britain May Delay New Carriers

There are rumblings that the two new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy may be delayed. The contract to build them was signed last summer after some time of wrangling. Now The Daily Record is reporting that there may be delays to the initiation of the contract. This has raised fears that the two shipyards in Scotland doing the majority of the work will have to lay off staff. Read more

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USCG Cutter Contract Protested

One of the losing bidders on a contract to build new cutters for the US Coast Guard, Marinette Marine, protested the award to Bollinger Shipyards for a new class of small ships the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.. The initial contract is for $80 M and will begin a program that might see up to 34 ships procured. This program arose out of a failed attempt to upgrade existing USCG ships by extending the hull and adding capability. Bollinger was heavily involved in that program, and some feel that the past performance there should have disqualified them from participating in this contract. Marinette Marine has previously built other ships for the USCG as well. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has 100 days to rule on the protest. Normally the contract is put on hold while the protest is resolved.

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Navy buys WMD defenses

The US Navy awarded Gryphon Technologies a contract to develop systems to protect against Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The contract is worth over $35 M and is to provide engineering services and support of defensive equipment for WMD attacks. While the US Navy has designed chemical and nuclear protection into their ships, such as washdown systems designed to remove radioactive fallout and chemical systems, these defensive systems are probably more in support of personnel.

See the press release at Wall Street Journal MarketWatch.com.

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Navy awards target contract

The Navy uses a variety of targets to test new systems and also to train ship’s crew. Alliant Techsystems and CEi were awarded a contract to build the Multi-Stage Supersonic Target (MSST). This will simulate anti-ship surface-to-surface missiles. The press release says it cruises at sub-sonic speeds, but the name implies that at some point it is going over Mach 1. These kind of missiles are a dangerous threat to ships and they fly at low altitude and their speeds reduce reaction time by the air defense systems.

There is more at www.bizjournals.com.

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Navy continues CEC work

Raytheon was awarded a contract today to continue work on Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC).  See a press release here.  CEC is a natural development of the work the Navy has done with datalinks for the last 50 plus years.  By the Nineties the Navy was able to share the sensor picture from one ship with others over a tactical data link.  Even during the Gulf War this was not good enough for targeting.  CEC’s goal is to develope a netted sensor grid that will support providing a fire control solution good enough that one ship can guide a missile launched from another.  The Navy was installing CEC on selected ships by the end of the Twentieth Century. For more on CEC see this.

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UK moves out on CV contstruction

The UK government, fresh off of awarding the construction contract for the two new aircraft carriers, has now awarded a second major one related to the effort. BAE has been awarded a contract to develop the IT backbone for the ships. See this article for more. This over $500 M contract will develop the system that integrates everything on the ship. Sure to be key as one of the goals of the new design must be to minimize crew size.

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JTRS AMF passes DAB

The Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Airborne, Maritime and Fixed (AMF) program passed its recent Defense Acquisition Board (DAB). See an article here. This means it can move on to the next phase of the process, most likely System Development and Demonstration. JTRS is a new programmable radio for all of the services. The Army is managing the system that will go in vehicles and be carried by troops. AMF is for aircraft, ships and fixed ground stations. Boeing is the prime contractor, and will most likely be awarded the contract for this next phase, System Design and Development.

Updated 3/28/08 – Fixed broken link.

Updated 3/29/08 – Clarified that no contract has been awarded yet.

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UK government invest 50 M Pounds in dockyard to support CV construction

February 11, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: England, production program, Restructuring 

Rosyth Dockyard will received a 50 M pound investment from the British government to facilitate the construction of their two new carriers. See NEWS.Scotsman.com for more. The total value of the construction and fitting out of the ships is almost 4.0 billion Pounds. For more on the new ships see this.

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