U.S. Navy Sea Based Missile Defense Advances to Shore

In the early 1990’s in a response to Iraq’s use of Scud missiles during Desert Storm the U.S. military, led by the then Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), now the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), began investing in defenses against shorter range threats. Previous efforts had been oriented to defending the United States from the large the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (IBCM) based in the Soviet Union. All three of the major services had programs but the focus was on U.S. Army and Navy missile systems.

The Navy began developing 2 different systems that mirrored the Army’s path. Both involved modifying their current primary long range air defense system, AEGIS. This utilized large phase arrayed radars and the STANDARD Missile-2 (SM-2) interceptor. The AEGIS radars and other systems had originally been developed by General Electric (GE) but by the mid-1990’s had transitioned through Martin Marietta to Lockheed Martin (LMT). The SM-2 was produced by Hughes Missile Systems and Raytheon (RTN) but ultimately Raytheon acquired the whole business.

First, the missile, radars and command and control systems would have capability added to defense against shorter range missiles but still maintain their air defense mission. The Army was doing the same thing with their Patriot surface-to-air missile system. Secondly, a dedicated missile utilizing an exo-atmospheric kill vehicle would be developed. That meant the missile would not be able to engage air breathing targets but much longer ranged missiles.

By the early part of this century the air defense capable version, SM-2 Block IVA, had been cancelled due to budget and schedule issues. The long range SM-3, though, continued development and testing. It has proved successful including being able to intercept and destroy a failing satellite in 2008. The system has entered production and several cruisers and destroyers have been modified to utilize it. The Navy has continued development and the new SM-6 missile has just entered production at a new factory in Huntsville, AL.

The MDA has also decided as a way to supplement the current Ground Based Mid-Course System based in Alaska to develop “AEGIS Ashore”. This places the radars, other systems and missiles in trailers and containers that can be set up in different places and even moved around as necessary.

This program made a major step forward recently with the build up of the first test set that will be installed ultimately at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Kauai, Hawaii for testing. Once that system is moved a second one will be installed at the main AEGIS production and development center in New Jersey. Ultimately the first set will be set up in Eastern Europe.

Originally the Bush Administration had planned on an expansion of the Alaskan ground based system into Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe. This was cancelled by the Obama Administration and AEGIS Ashore substituted. There is also plans to utilize AEGIS ships to provide missile defense converge of parts of NATO in Europe.

AEIGS Ashore is just one part of the continued Navy and U.S. investment in missile defense as it includes upgrades to the AEGIS radars, C2 systems and steady development of the STANDARD Missile. All of this will be to the advantage of key contractors like Lockheed and Raytheon. Further developments of a new radar, the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) also include bidders like Northrop Grumman (NOC) so as the program develops there will be chances of contract wins and work for other contractors. These efforts could also flow into the AEGIS Ashore or its replacement system in the future.

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General Dynamics Team to Develop Second Radar System for the U.S. Army Range Radar Replacement Program — Press Release

With unprecedented fidelity and detail, next-generation radar system will track munitions and other military test targets at leading Army test ranges.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — General Dynamics C4 Systems received a contract modification to the Range Radar Replacement Program (RRRP) to develop a new High/Medium Power Close-in Radar system. The Close-in radar system is mobile and will provide unprecedented fidelity when tracking munitions and other targets at a range of 37 miles or more. The contract modification is valued at $16 million and funds the engineering, development and initial manufacture of the new radar system. General Dynamics C4 Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

“The Close-in radar system is the second in a new generation of range instrumentation radars that deliver cost-effective, digital technologies and systems needed to meet the Army’s goal of modernizing test ranges in Alabama, Arizona, New Mexico and Maryland,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems.

The Close-in radar system joins the Fly-out radar system, which was the first range instrumentation radar system ordered using the RRRP contract. The Close-in radar system will acquire information about the launch and early stages of flight for munitions and other low-flying objects. The Fly-out radar system, which has just completed the requirements phase of development, is capable of tracking up to 40 test objects over a range of 60 miles. The new mobile radar systems eliminate the cost and downtime associated with maintaining and moving decades-old, antiquated radar systems that are currently in place at Army test ranges.

A General Dynamics-led team was awarded the Range Radar Replacement Program in June 2012. The program replaces an aging fleet of radar systems currently operating at U.S. Army test ranges located at White Sands Test Center, N.M.; Yuma Test Center, Ariz.; Aberdeen Test Center, Md.; and Redstone Test Center, Ala.

The General Dynamics RRRP solution leverages XSTAR family of instrumentation radar developed by STAR Dynamics.

The General Dynamics team is led by General Dynamics C4 Systems, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., and includes STAR Dynamics of Hilliard, Ohio; Georgia Tech Research Institute of Atlanta; and EO Imaging of Melbourne, Fla. Work will be performed in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Kilgore, Longview and Richardson, Texas; State College, Pa.; Hilliard, Ohio; Reston, Va.; Fort Walton Beach and Melbourne, Fla.; and Atlanta.

More information about General Dynamics C4 Systems is available online at www.gdc4s.com.

Information about General Dynamics is available online at www.generaldynamics.com.

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Army Releases Draft RFP for M113 Replacement

Late last month the U.S. Army released a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for the vehicle to replace the M113 fully tracked, armored personnel carrier. The new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) will be used to provide supporting roles on the battlefield to the current M1/M2 forces and also work with the new Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) as it enters service. The goal is to have the final RFP out later this year and award a single contractor a development contractor by the end of FY2014.

Of course this will have to wait on the available funds in the 2014 budget whihc has yet to be sent to the Hill by the Obama Administration.

The M113 entered service in the early 1960’s primarily as a lightly armored vehicle to move infantry around the battlefield in conjunction with the M48 and M60 tanks. It was designed to protect against small arms and artillery rather then direct anti-tank weapons. Troops would dismount to fight from the vehicle rather then fight while moving. The M113 was very similar to other armed forces systems like the British FV432 or the Soviet BTR50.

Since the M113 chassis was available it was heavily modified to conduct a series of support roles like ambulance, command vehicle, mortar carrier as well as carrying Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) and even formed the basis for the M114 scout. The AMPV will not fulfill the infantry mission as the M2 and GCV are for that but is planned to do the supporting roles. The draft RFP calls for different versions including general support, mortar carrier, command vehicles and medical support vehicles. The Army plans to procure about 3,000 of the system.

The Army’s focus right now is on protection to counter the mine / Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat which was most prevalent in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles developed and deployed to counter them there were not tactical vehicles but provided safe ability to transport troops around the countries. The GCV and AMPV will be tactical vehicles and there armor requirements reflect this. The GCV will be tank like in weight to protect 9 troops and 3 crew. The AMPV will not be as heavy but still requires significant underbody protection. At the same time they must be protected against direct and indirect battlefield threats such as tank guns, ATGM and man portable anti-tank weapons.

These requirements will drive up costs and development times. To save money on the AMPV, like the GCV, the Army is now proposing only one winner where previously it had been hoped like the successful MRAP-ATV program more then one development contract could be awarded and a drive off occur. Both General Dynamics (GD), who make the current wheeled Stryker Interim Combat Vehicle, and BAE Systems, the M2 Bradley manufacturer, are expected to bid. Other companies could also bid as there are several systems already in production that could with some modifications meet the requirements.

The winner would not only see the Army 3,00 vehicle requirements but probably quite a bit of FMS sales as other nations adopt the U.S. system.

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Raytheon’s Patriot missiles receive US Army service life extension — Press Release

Recertification provides customers cost-effective path to upgrades

TEWKSBURY, Mass., April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Company’s (NYSE: RTN) Patriot missiles, critical components of the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System, have received U.S. Army approval for a second recertification, extending the operational life of the worldwide inventory of Patriot missiles from 30 to 45 years. This extension allows customers to recertify and/or upgrade their inventory of Raytheon’s Patriot missiles at a fraction of the cost of replacing them with alternative interceptors.

“This is a testament to Patriot’s capabilities and combat performance that continue to exceed all expectations, now and over its successful operational life,” said Sanjay Kapoor, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. “This significant life extension decision by the Army comes on the heels of a recent $46.7 million U.S. Army contract awarded to Raytheon to recertify and upgrade Patriot missiles to the latest GEM-T configuration as part of the continuous Patriot modernization effort.”

The underlying technology and operational capability of the missiles have been continually enhanced to counter high-speed tactical ballistic missiles and air breathing threats. Over the last 20 years, Raytheon’s Patriot missiles have undergone more than 500 successful test firings. Raytheon’s support structure includes a global base of more than 300 suppliers committed to mission performance and readiness of the Patriot missiles.

About Patriot

Patriot is the world’s most capable air and missile defense system, providing protection against a full range of advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. It is the system of choice for 12 nations around the globe.

Raytheon is the prime contractor for both domestic and international Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems and system integrator for Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles.

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 91 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @raytheon.

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ATK Awarded Production Contract for the U.S. Navy’s Multi-Option Fuze — Press Release

ATK’s Multi-Option Fuze Provides Increased Mission Capability for U.S. Navy’s 5-inch Gun Ammunition

Five-Year Production Contract to be Performed at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, W. Va.

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — ATK (NYSE: ATK) announced that it received a five-year, Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command for the production of the MK 437 Multi-Option Fuze, Navy (MOFN). The contract has a maximum total value of $84.1 million. ATK has received the first order on this contract, for approximately $13 million. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in November 2013.

The MOFN increases the overall mission capability of 5-inch gun ammunition used on U.S. Navy ships by providing proximity, precision time, delay and point detonating impact functions in a single fuze. The inductive fuze setting feature also optimizes MOFN for use with automated ammunition handling equipment. MOFN will be used on projectiles fired in the MK 45 Single Lightweight Gun Mount on U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers.

“ATK is pleased to add MOFN to our portfolio of fuze production programs. MOFN leverages ATK’s design, development and production experience, providing the U.S. Navy with an affordable, reliable fuze for its 5/54 caliber ammunition,” said Dave Fine, ATK’s Director of Fuzing and Warhead programs.

“ATK has a strong program and manufacturing team dedicated to producing MOFN for the U.S. Navy,” said Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager of ATK Missile Products Division. “This award reflects the tremendous dedication and commitment of our highly-skilled workforce and our industry partners.”

Production of this fuze will occur at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) facility in Rocket Center, W. Va. ABL is a U.S. Navy-owned, ATK-operated facility specializing in advanced manufacturing technologies for a variety of programs supporting current and future U.S. industrial base needs in advanced fuzing and integration, conventional munitions assemblies, solid rocket motor propulsion, and advanced material structures.

ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.

Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: changes in governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; the company’s competitive environment; the terms and timing of awards and contracts; and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Raytheon to Continue JAGM Development

Following the award of a similar contract to competitor Lockheed Martin (LMT) in August, Raytheon (RTN) received a contract from the U.S. Army to continue development of their proposed solution to the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) requirement.

The $65 million contract will provide for a Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and then ultimately allow mating of the Raytheon guidance sections with other missile components. Raytheon will continue to utilize their tri-mode seeker developed as part of the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) program.

Lockheed received a $64 million contract at the end of Fiscal Year 2012 for the same purpose.

The JAGM is a new missile that will replace the existing Hellfire and Maverick missiles launched from a variety of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft to strike ground and vehicle targets. The Hellfire has seen a great deal of use in Afghanistan and Iraq providing precision fire support for ground troops.

The Army had looked at cancelling JAGM but decided instead to continue development through these small contracts. If the program does go on to complete development and enter production the requirement could be for thousands of missiles at a cost of $10-12 billion. The Hellfire has also seen significant Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and the JAGM would be expected to as well.

Raytheon JAGM mock up photo by Author.

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India to Finally Get New Artillery Pieces

The long running saga of attempts to purchase a new artillery howitzer for the Indian Army seems to be coming to an end. A process that stretched about two decades primarily due to corruption and contracting issues looks resolved as the South Asian nation formally requested of the United States the ability to purchase BAE Systems’ M177 gun.

The M177 is the standard towed howitzer used by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. It is capable of firing a variety of 155mm shells including the Excalibur guided round to fairly long ranges. It has seen heavy use in Iraq and Afghanistan. It makes a good choice for the Indian Army and continues their recent trends of buying from Western suppliers.

The fact that this looks like it will be a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) rather then a contest and award via the Indian procurement system may be due to the all of the issues facing previous attempts to purchase the gun. In the past several contracts and contests fell and companies were banned due to corruption and bribery issues.

The contract is worth about $700 million.

Photo from The U.S. Army flickr photostream.

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Terresolve Technologies Announces Military Approval for EnviroLogic 115M — Press Release

High Performance Biodegradable Hydraulic Fluid Meets All Major Hydraulic Fluid Performance Specifications Including Mil PRF 32073A

Mentor, Ohio, November 15, 2012 – Terresolve, an industry leader in producing environmentally safe lubricants and functional fluids, today announced that EnviroLogic 115M won approval from the Department of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

EnviroLogic 115M is an ISO 15 grade hydraulic fluid that is specially formulated to perform in applications where incidental environmental exposure of lubricants is cause for concern. Readily biodegradable, EnviroLogic 115M will break down into natural parts within 28 days in accordance with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) ultimate biodegradation test. This guarantees the fluid will have no long-term negative environmental effects on turf, plants or animals in the event of a leak or spill. Terresolve’s EnviroLogic 100 series is biobased and meets the requirements of the USDA BioPreferred Program. In addition, the EnviroLogic line of products meets all major hydraulic fluid performance specifications, making these products a direct replacement for their petroleum analogues.

“We are always trying to raise the bar of environmentally-acceptable hydraulic fluid performance, and this approval is a testament to our incredible R&D team,” said Terresolve CEO Mark Miller. “Our customers are constantly seeking environmental fluids and greases that are able to perform in exceptionally harsh conditions. EnviroLogic 115M has been used extensively in Artic conditions, where the average temperature for the warmest month (July) is below 10 °C.

“Terresolve products are different from petroleum-based chemicals and other eco-friendly products,” Miller explains. “EnviroLogic is a unique, semisynthetic vegetable-based fluid that meets the strict regulations of the ISO 6743 Environmental Hydraulic Fluids Classification ‘HEGT’ category, yet delivers comparable and, in some cases, superior performance compared to its petroleum-based counterparts. Most other biofluids use synthetic ester (HEES) technology, which is susceptible to oxidation and hydrolysis, which results in a negative impact on performance. We are very proud of the Mil PRF 32073A approval and expect it to be a new standard in hydraulic fluid solutions within the military.”

For more than 15 years, Terresolve has provided various industries with environmentally-safe alternatives to petroleum products. As more companies explore environmentally preferable products for a variety of applications, operators can trust in Terresolve’s products, which protect the environment and are proven to perform as well or better than the toxic oils and lubricants on the market, said Miller.

About Terresolve Technologies Ltd.
Founded in 1996 and based in Ohio, Terresolve Technologies, Ltd is dedicated to providing non-toxic, biodegradable lubricating products that deliver exceptional performance. Terresolve’s biobased and biodegradable fluids have been extensively proven in the lab and in the field and are renewable, support the agrarian community through the use of agricultural products, and meet federal guidelines for environmentally preferable purchasing. For more information, contact: Terresolve Technologies; 9609 Jackson Street, Mentor, Ohio; 44060 USA; (800) 661-3558; www.terresolve.com.

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Patriot Air and Missile Defense System receives US Army stamp of approval — Press Release

Modernized Patriot passes all tests

TEWKSBURY, Mass., Nov. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Company’s (NYSE: RTN) new-production Patriot Air and Missile Defense System has received the U.S. Army’s final stamp of approval after undergoing stringent testing. During the testing, Patriot’s performance was outstanding when subjected to challenging climatic and electromagnetic environments.

“This approval validates the modernized Patriot system’s readiness to counter evolving threats and protect warfighters and allies in a combat situation,” said Sanjay Kapoor, vice president for Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. “This will only build on the confidence that our Patriot partners have in the system’s performance and reliability, a confidence we look forward to extending to the partners who join the Patriot family.”

Since last year, the Patriot system has undergone the U.S. Army’s rigorous testing of every component of the modernized system. Patriot performance consistently exceeded expectations in all eight flight tests in a variety of terrain and weather conditions.

About Patriot
Patriot is the world’s most capable air and missile defense system, protecting against a full range of advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. It is the system of choice for 12 nations around the globe.

Raytheon is the prime contractor for both domestic and international Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems and system integrator for Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles.

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2011 sales of $25 billion and 71,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 90 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @raytheon.

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ATK Gets Order for Aircraft Survivability Components

The A-10 is one of the aircraft equipped with the AAR-47.

Back in October Alliant Techsystems (ATK) received a contract from the U.S. Army to provide replaceable components for the AN/AAR-47 aircraft defense system. This was an Indefinite Quantity/Indefinite Delivery (ID/IQ) contract under whichthe military could order what they needed. Even though the total value could be close to $70 million there was no guarantee that orders would be placed.

The AAR-47 Missile Warning Set is a series of sensors, analysis and display systems mounted on helicopters and aircraft to detect, identity and inform the crew about surface-to-air missile threats. It is currently a product of ATK only but was developed by that company along with Loral in the 80’s.

The ID/IQ contract is to purchase basically replacement parts for the system.

The first order was placed this week an has a value of just over $30 million.

ATK manufactures aircraft components, ammunition and pyrotechnics. They have had a rough 12 months but things recently have got a lot better for the company. They did lose a major contract to operate the Radford Ammunition but kept the one for Lake City. Declines in orders for that type of product by the U.S. military is expected as fighting winds down in Afghanistan. They recently reorganized and the last quarter earnings showed good results from their efforts.

Photo from The National Guard’s flickr photostream.

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General Dynamics Land Systems Features Medium Tracked Concept Vehicle at AUSA — Press Release

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – General Dynamics Land Systems is featuring several of its forward-thinking solutions at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) 2012 Annual Meeting & Exposition, including the Stryker+Tr medium tracked concept vehicle.

The Stryker+Tr offers the maximum survivability of the battle-tested Stryker double-V hull vehicle and significant commonality with the entire Stryker family of vehicles. Its power generation, transmission and suspension systems exceed current requirements for the Army’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program, and it delivers mobility and reliability characteristics similar to those of the Abrams main battle tank.

“We are constantly working on improving tactical effectiveness, reducing logistical burdens and decreasing the U.S. Army’s operational costs,” said Mike Cannon, General Dynamics Land Systems’ senior vice president, Ground Combat Systems. “Our solutions will help build leaner, more agile armored brigade combat teams.”

General Dynamics is also developing an Abrams tank with a modern, fuel-efficient diesel engine as another cost-saving innovation for the Army.

“Through the development of an Abrams diesel engine that is significantly more efficient than a turbine, we can reduce the cost per mile, increase the tactical range, lower maintenance costs and reduce the number of fuel and cargo trucks needed,” said Cannon.

General Dynamics will also showcase its Leader-Follower Technology at AUSA. This modular advanced technology turns manned ground vehicles into unmanned robotic systems. Leader-Follower Technology is designed to protect soldiers by removing them from dangerous re-supply convoys. It provides unit commanders greater tactical flexibility and allows more effective deployment of available personnel.

To learn more about these exciting new innovations, visit General Dynamics Land Systems at Booth #6029.

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Boeing to Provide Logistics Support for CH-47

The U.S. Army has invested billions in rotary wing aviation over the last ten years. The UH-60, AH-64, CH-47 and OH-58D have flown millions of hours in support of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time they have developed and put into operation new versions of the aircraft such as the UH-60M and CH-47F. These aircraft have required intensive maintenance, support and modification due to the demands of the last decade.

Boeing (BA) as the manufacturer of the CH-47 also has benefited through these demands by providing logistic support to the aircraft. It recently received a contract for Performance Based Logistics (PBL) for the main rotor blades of the CH-47. The contract is for 5 years and worth almost $200 million. Rotor blades need to be repaired and rebuilt due to the harsh environments in Iraq and Afghanistan that often cause erosion and wear.

PBL is a current trend in U.S. military logistics support where the government is buying a level of support measured through metrics. This is supposed to be more efficient and cost effective as it minimizes buying too much support and reduces stockpiling of parts. Logistic contracts like this are a boon to the OEM for systems as they often for the first several years a system is in use get most of the support work. Depending on how much of the technical data owned by the Pentagon it may be they are the only ones who can do it and make billions over the life cycle of the system.

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Oshkosh Defense Delivers 100,000th Military Vehicle — Press Release

Caption: Charlie Szews, Oshkosh Corp. CEO, and John Urias, president of Oshkosh Defense, honor Clarence Jungwirth for his 66 years of service to the company at a celebration marking the delivery of the company’s 100,000th military vehicle, the extremely mobile and protected Oshkosh M-ATV, seen above in Oshkosh, Wis. on Oct. 17.

Oshkosh marks major milestone in mobilizing military forces

OSHKOSH, Wis. (Oct. 17, 2012) — Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), and producer of light, medium and heavy tactical and armored Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, today celebrated the delivery of its 100,000th military vehicle. Oshkosh employees gathered to commemorate the accomplishment as the Company’s 100,000th vehicle, a MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), rolled off the manufacturing line.

“The founders of Oshkosh Corporation built the Company’s first vehicle with patented four-wheel-drive technologies more than 95 years ago, so it is only fitting that the 100,000th defense vehicle is an M-ATV with exceptional off-road mobility,” said John Urias, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president of Oshkosh Defense. “This milestone also speaks to our future. Our vehicles are helping military and security organizations around the world by providing new levels of performance, protection and mobility.”

The 100,000th defense vehicle from Oshkosh is part of the first delivery of M-ATVs to the United Arab Emirates. To date, Oshkosh has received orders for more than 9,500 M-ATVs worldwide.

Oshkosh Defense Major Programs Timeline

Milestone                                                                                 Customer                                               Date

Model W-700 Introduced                                                    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers       1939

E-Award – Excellence in Wartime Production           U.S. Army and Navy                        1945

MB-5 ARFF Contract                                                            U.S. Navy                                             1968

M911 HET Contract                                                             U.S. Army                                             1976

HEMTT Production Begins                                                 U.S. Army                                             1982

First LVSR Deliveries                                                           U.S. Marine Corps                               1985

PLS Contract                                                                           U.S. Army                                             1990

MTVR Contract                                                                      U.S. Marine Corps                               1998

Wheeled Tanker Contract                                                   U.K. MoD                                                2003

FMTV & M-ATV Contracts                                                  Joint Services                                       2009

Cargo UGV Project – TerraMax System                         U.S. Marine Corps                               2010-2012

International M-ATV Contract                                         UAE Armed Forces                              2012

In addition to the M-ATV, Oshkosh Defense produces the U.S. Army and Marine Corps’ heavy and medium vehicles fleets and has developed multiple light vehicle offerings. The Company received a contract this summer for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program’s Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase. The JLTV aims to replace many of the U.S. military’s aged HMMWVs with a lightweight vehicle that offers greater protection, mobility and transportability. The Oshkosh Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV) incorporates the latest proven technologies to deliver unprecedented mobility and ride quality.

Oshkosh has delivered a full range of tactical and armored vehicles to nearly 20 countries – including Canada, Mexico, England, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Proprietary vehicle technologies developed by Oshkosh also help militaries increase mobility, protection and efficiency in current fleets.

To help militaries sustain their fleets and maintain peak readiness levels, Oshkosh Defense offers a full range of Integrated Product Support services globally. Offerings include training, field service, integrated logistics and parts supply support, as well as fleet modernization to keep vehicles on the move throughout their entire life-cycle.

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 Corporation manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Jerr-Dan®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, 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, visit www.oshkoshcorporation.com.

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

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More TOW Missiles from Raytheon (RTN)

As the new Fiscal Year starts and despite the threat of sequestration and the associated reduction in spending the Pentagon continues to award contracts for equipment and services. One of the most recent is to Raytheon (RTN) for production of TOW anti-tank missiles.

The contract is worth almost $350 million and will provide for 5 years of production and will deliver almost 7,000 of the missiles. These are new versions of the systems which will rely on wireless guidance. In the past the TOW had been controlled through a thin wire connecting the missile to the launcher.

The TOW is fired from helicopters, a variety of vehicles as well as ground mounts and is used by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. The larger Hellfire made by Lockheed Martin (LMT) is laser guided and is primarily used from helicopters such as the AH-64D Apache.

These types of missile have seen heavy use in Iraq and Afghanistan primarily for destroying point targets such as buildings and unarmored vehicles rather then their original planned use as heavy anti-tank weapons.

Until the final resolution of sequestration or the FY13 budget these types of contracts will continue to be awarded.

Photo from U.S. Army flickr photostream.

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ATK Keeps Major Contract for Lake City Plant

Alliant Techsystems (ATK) is a mid-sized defense contractor. It primarily manufactures ammunition, pyrotechnics and rocket motors. The company is experiencing some struggles due to the ending of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and the potential defense budget cuts. It has made several changes recently to adjust to these new market conditions but key to the company’s near term success was retention of the contract from the U.S. Army to manage the Lake City ammunition plant operations.

Last year the company lost the contract for the Radford Plant in Virginia to BAE Systems (BAE:LSE). BAE was also aggressively targeting the Lake City contract as well. ATK had run these plants responsible for large amounts of ammunition and explosives for the U.S. military for several years and they were a core part of their revenue and earnings. Short term the loss of the Lake City contract would have been a blow to the company.

Yesterday it as announced that the Army had decided to award the contract to ATK again. The initial contract is for seven years but it has options for a further three. No value has been reported yet.

To indicate the size of the production at Lake City in September the company and Army celebrated the delivery of 2 billion 7.62mm rounds from the plant. Due to the demands of the last ten years of combat ATK had expanded the plant to produce over 1.5 billion rounds annually of 5.56mm as well as other sizes.

The winning of this contract gives ATK more time to continue its adjustments and reorganization to address the changing market it finds itself in and establish a good foundation for future performance.

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Reports of 2 Deals for AH-64D Apaches

There are reports that 2 Asian nations have decided to purchase Boeing’s (BA) AH-64D Apache attack helicopters. These advanced aircraft are in use with the U.S. Army and several allied nations such as Great Britain, the Netherlands, Israel and others. They have seen extensive use in Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. is currently buying AH-64D Block III versions of the helicopter.

Now it seems that India will be adding them to their inventory. The plan is to purchase 22 aircraft with weapons and other support. Total contract value could be as high as $1.4 billion. India had also been looking at the Russian Mil-28 helicopter. India has recently been looking to more Western sources and already has purchase Boeing P-8 and C-17 aircraft. The deal will include offsets allowing for Boeing purchases and investment in India.

It is also being reported that Indonesia will move out and buy 8 AH-64D. There are less details on this proposal available. Indonesia was looking at using a domestically produced aircraft for this mission but it now seems the Apache is a preferred option.

The U.S. military has invested billions in rotary wing platforms over the last decade as they have been a critical force multiplier. The plans to reduce their spending over the next decade will make contracts like this more important to the bottom line of defense contractors.

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More Punisher Work for ATK

The XM-25 Punisher is a man portable weapon that fires 25mm programmable air burst shells. It is the result of the U.S. Army’s attempt to develop a new rifle earlier this century. The XM-8 rifle program was cancelled but it was decided to continue work on the XM-25. Alliant Techsystems (ATK) is the prime contractor for the XM-25. The system was issued in small numbers and tested in Afghanistan over the last several months and proved very effective. It is issued at the squad level and provides fire support for the members.

In March ATK was given a contract to continue the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) of the Punisher. This was worth about $70 million. Now a further contract to continue EMD was issued this week. That one has a value of around $17 million.

The continued contract awards show that the Pentagon has interest in the Punisher and its further limited production and use. Once EMD is complete a decision will be made to bring it into large scale production.

ATK also will support a further assessment of the weapon in Afghanistan by providing another 36 XM-25 for use. The data collected in these types of trials will only aid development and providing the best systems possible.

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More Apache Block III Contracts Awarded

Boeing (BA) has received two contracts for continued work on the AH-64D Apache Block III for the U.S. Army. These include a production option as well as one for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) support. The two contracts combined are worth over $600 million.

The Apache is the U.S.’s most advanced attack helicopter. Boeing will not only manufacture new ones but upgrade existing older models. Apaches have seen heavy use in Iraq and Afghanistan where with there 30mm cannon and Hellfire missiles they have often provided fire support and precision strike. The Apache was originally designed to replace the AH-1 Cobra to kill Soviet tanks in Western Europe.

Boeing was also recently announced as the winner of a large FMS contract to provide Apaches to India. The Apache has been used by many U.S. allies such as the U.K., Netherlands, U.A.E., Israel and Egypt.

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More CROWS for the Army from Kongsberg

Kongsberg is a Norwegian conglomerate that supports the maritime and oil industries as well as having a fairly active defense group. One of its more important products this last decade is supporting the U.S. Army through the production of Crew Remote Operated Weapon Systems (CROWS).

CROWS allow a soldier to aim and fire his weapon while inside his vehicle under maximum protection. The CROWS consists of a turret mounting a variety of machine guns or grenade launchers, visual detecting and aiming systems, and controls for the gunner. The use of these type of mountings has greatly reduced casualties by reducing the exposure of the crews to direct fire as well as the mine and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat.

The Army has just awarded Kongsberg a further five year contract for production of the systems. If all options are exercised the contract could be worth up to just under a billion dollars. Previous contracts have seen Kongsberg deliver almost 10,000 systems for use on HUMVEE’s, MRAP vehicles and other support vehicles.

The company operates a plant in Pennsylvania to support these efforts.

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Army Continues to Invest in M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles

The U.S. Army has not developed a new heavy armored vehicle since the 1980’s. They have continued to rely on the M1 Abrams tank and M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle family for that mission. They did start a new system, Future Combat System (FCS), that would have used speedy, wheeled vehicles to ultimately replace the two venerable tracked systems but that was cancelled due to cost and schedule issues. The current systems have had to “make do” throughout the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That does not mean they haven’t spent billions on upgrading and refurbishing the systems. The current versions have received significant changes in armor, mobility and electronics. These has kept them capable of carrying out modern missions.

The Army just announced yet another contract to upgrade M2 Bradley’s assigned to the U.S. National Guard. BAE Systems (BAE:LSE), which through a series of mergers and acquisitions, now owns the rights to the Bradley originally designed and manufactured by FMC. That British company received a contract worth over $300 million to provide “enhanced survivability and interoperability” for vehicles belonging to a variety of states.

The company will see more contracts like this as the fighting winds down in Afghanistan and the Army resets their fleet of Bradleys to a common standard.

There is a new Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) in development that will ultimately supplement or replace the M2. The Army is waiting to received prototype vehicles from different bidders to begin testing. BAE is one of several companies participating in that contest.

BAE like all of the other large defense contractors is facing challenging times as the U.S. and its Western European allies move to reduce their defense spending. Recent earnings were down compared to last year with a 10 percent drop in sales. Keeping existing programs like the Bradley active will only help it in the near future. If the U.S. does go ahead with the GCV and slowly replace the M2 BAE could lose several hundred million in revenue a year.

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US Army certifies soldiers ready to defend battlespace against missiles, swarming boats with JLENS — Press Release

Warfighters are now qualified to deploy and operate with Raytheon’s surveillance system

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Combatant commanders moved one step closer to being able to detect, track and engage threats such as swarming boats and incoming cruise missiles, around the clock, from hundreds of miles away. In June 2012, the first class of U.S. Army soldiers completed mission operator training on the Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) JLENS elevated, persistent over-the-horizon sensor system.

“Now that the classroom studies and simulation activities are complete, these soldiers are fully prepared to begin structured, on-the-job training on the actual JLENS hardware,” said Dean Barten, the U.S. Army’s JLENS product manager.

JLENS uses a powerful integrated radar system to detect, track and target a variety of threats. This capability better enables commanders to defend against threats, including hostile cruise missiles, low-flying manned and unmanned aircraft, large caliber rockets, and moving surface vehicles such as boats, SCUD-launchers, automobiles and tanks.

“JLENS tracks a wide range of targets at extremely long ranges providing commanders minutes to identify and respond to incoming threats instead of the handful of seconds provided by current systems,” said David Gulla, vice president of Global Integrated Sensors for Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. “JLENS could be tested abroad today to evaluate its effectiveness in defending assets critical to our national security.”

During the class, soldiers learned to use JLENS to detect and target incoming cruise missiles, and track ships, cars, trucks and boats. They also practiced setting up the system and communicating information gleaned from JLENS sensors to U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force counterparts.

About JLENS

  • A JLENS system, referred to as an orbit, consists of two tethered, 74-meter aerostats connected to mobile mooring stations and a communications and processing group.
  • The aerostats fly as high as 10,000 feet and can remain aloft and operational for up to 30 days.
  • One aerostat carries a surveillance radar with 360-degree surveillance capability; the other aerostat carries a fire control radar.

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2011 sales of $25 billion and 71,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 90 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter at @raytheon.

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Army Places Two Large Orders for UAV Systems

The U.S. Army announced this week two large contracts to purchase Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for use both by themselves and the Marine Corps. Over the last decade the U.S. military as much of the world’s have been investing in more systems with greater capabilities.

Originally planned mainly to be used for ISR missions the various UAV now in used include ones armed with Hellfire missiles and other weapons to carry out precision strike. The U.S. UAV fleet has grown significantly and their contribution to the fighting similarly.

First, General Atomics Systems, received a contract for more production of the MQ-1C Grey Eagle for the Army. The contract is worth just over $400 million and will procure spare parts and support as well. The Grey Eagle is an improved version of GA’s earlier Predator system and is being integrated into the Army primarily for reconnaissance.

Second, AAI Unmanned Systems, part of Textron (TXT), received a contract worth $350 million to upgrade RQ-7B Shadow systems to the V2 standard. These will be used by both the Army and Marine Corps. The upgrade allows longer range, more payload and better reliability. The Shadow not only collects information but has a communications relay role as well alongside some targeting capability.

The U.S. military will continue to develop and integrate UAV into their units to provide not only better ISR capabilities but also more strike and combat roles as well. They will be used to supplement manned aircraft in these roles and will received more and more funding.

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U.S. Prepares to Leave Afghanistan

The Obama Administration plans to begin reducing the U.S. and NATO presence in Afghanistan substantially next year. The goal is to begin turning over responsibility to the Afghan military and security forces. As part of this effort the U.S. Army recently awarded Serco, Inc. a contract to support base closure and transition activities.

The contract has a value of $57 million over three years if all of it is executed. Serco performed on similar contracts as the U.S. wound down its presence in Iraq and withdrew its troops in 2011.

The contract will allow Serco to establish teams of personnel who will assist the U.S. in organizing, coordinating and moving assets and personnel. Like the process to establish the bases the dismantling and movement will require much logistical planning and effort.

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Article in The Baltimore Sun on U.S. New Rifle Contest

I was quoted in an article in The Baltimore Sun about one of the entrants in the U.S. Army’s new rifle competition.

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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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