Hovermast – a bird’s eye view over the hill

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Privately Developed Scorpion Jet Takes to the Air on Maiden Flight over Kansas

December 13, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: ISR, Kansas, Syndicated Industry News, Textron, United States 

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HIGH-LEVEL SUPPORT — Press Release

WARGAMING experts at NSC are set to provide “high-level support” to NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) training serials through the provision of synthetic eyes in the sky.

Arming exercising headquarters staff with the ability to conduct detailed ground reconnaissance and track time-sensitive targets, the simulation specialists will use the latest in game-based technology to replicate the vital intelligence feeds provided by air and remotely-piloted air system platforms on military operations.

The real-time, full-motion video produced by NSC’s virtual manned and unmanned aircraft will be generated by personnel via air system stations comprising two screens – one displaying the view from the airframe’s electro-optical and infrared camera and the other a geographical information system.
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Operators can use the latter to track the location of the air system and direction of its camera and to plot its course.
Distributed remote viewing terminals will allow users across multiple headquarters to view one or more feeds simultaneously by selecting from the list available.

NSC’s expertise in the utilisation of Virtual Battlespace 2 will enable ARRC to conduct its synthetic surveillance sorties above large, customisable 3D terrains and deliver authentic training without the significant expense of scrambling real aircraft.

Chris Williams, Head of Simulation at NSC, said: “Over the last three years we have provided ISTAR [intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance] synthetic support to a number of British Army exercises and we look forward to assisting the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in delivering effective and value-for-money training to its personnel.”

ABOUT NSC

NSC is a world-class provider of cutting-edge simulation and analysis-driven training. Since its formation in 1991, the company has forged a reputation for developing and delivering innovative solutions for military and civilian customers around the globe. From operational-level education for senior commanders to individual and collective training for the most junior recruits, Camberley-based NSC’s software and training solutions are used worldwide.

www.nsc.co.uk

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iGT Debuts Airborne Satcom Solutions for Secure Connectivity and Situational Awareness — Press Release

Company’s Airborne Solutions Enable NextGen In-Flight Use of Data, Voice, ISR

Herndon Va., May 6, 2013 – As the demand for airborne applications increases, iDirect Government Technologies (iGT), a wholly owned subsidiary of VT iDirect (iDirect), launches new airborne solutions for secure connectivity and for monitoring satcom functions while in flight, providing situational awareness and enabling reliable command, control and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.

iGT’s new Airborne In-Flight Monitoring System (AIMS) provides situational awareness with in-flight monitoring, allowing customers to view the status of the entire airborne communications system while in flight. AIMS displays locally to the communications officer on board, providing the real-time position of the aircraft and information on when it is leaving one satellite coverage area and entering another.

Key Highlights:

  • User-friendly, real-time display of the inflight status of the aircraft
  • Provides situational awareness to communications officers aboard the aircraft
  • Works with iDirect modems, Rantec and TECOM antenna control units (ability to add additional antennas)
  • Displays contour maps with respect to aircraft location
  • Displays current beam and distance to beam switch
  • Allows users to manually switch satellite beams if they desire
  • Provides status messages that indicate when communications interruptions will occur due to beam switch
  • Allows user to log flight statistics into a keyhole markup language (KML) file for future analysis
  • Includes OpenAMIP interface standard for integration to any enabled airborne antenna

iGT is also launching its Evolution 8000 series airborne enclosure (e8000 AE) based on a 4MCU ARINC variant for permanent integration on aircraft. Compliant with DO 160 certifications and the highest military security requirements, the e8000 AE provides fast, reliable and secure network connections for high-speed Communications on the Move (COTM) applications. The router enables constant connectivity between manned and unmanned aircraft for uninterrupted command and control communications between theaters, ISR applications and the transmission of high-definition imagery from the aircraft to soldiers on the ground. The e8000 AE joins iGT’s existing 19-inch rack-mountable airborne remote, the e8000 AR XL.

Key Highlights:

  • Protects mission-critical military broadband applications with transmission security and advanced encryption standard
  • Certified DO160G –meets commercial platform-type airborne operational requirements
  • Meets MIL STD EMI specifications for aircraft
  • Supports Federal Information Processing Standards Publications (FIPS) 140-2 Level 2 encryption (It is the only FIPS 140-2 encryption certified router.)
  • Rugged airborne-certified interfaces for high performance and easy integration on aircraft
  • Spread-spectrum technology provides bandwidth and spectral efficiencies that enable the use of ultra-small and phased array antennas on low- and high-speed aircraft
  • Supports all antenna variants, and X, Ku, Ka and military Ka bands
  • Fully enabled for iDirect’s Global Network Management System and provides automatic beam switching technology for global coverage
  • Utilizes OpenAMIP standard for antenna integration

“iGT’s new AIMS and airborne remote support broadband capabilities for voice, video and data applications that enable ISR, military, government agency and emergency response missions,” said John Ratigan, President of iGT. “These latest innovations are delivering the solutions our customers need to perform mission-critical tasks with dependable satcom connectivity.”

AIMS and the e8000 AE will be highlighted at the 2013 SOFIC Conference & Exhibition, May 14-16, Tampa, FL, in iGT’s booth #212. iGT is committed to delivering complete airborne solutions and is a government leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

About iDirect Government Technologies (iGT)

iDirect Government Technologies (iGT), a wholly owned subsidiary of VT iDirect, Inc., delivers secure satellite-based voice, video and data applications with anytime and anywhere connectivity in the air, at sea and on land. iGT’s advanced satellite IP solutions are used for critical ISR, airborne, maritime and COTM communications to support force protection, logistics, situational awareness, disaster recovery and emergency response. Building on more than 15 years of global satellite communications experience, iGT provides the most bandwidth-efficient, scalable and highly-secure platform to meet specialized applications of multiple federal, state and local government agencies, including the Department of Defense, both domestically and abroad. iGT is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.

For more information, please visit http://www.idirectgt.com/

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Raytheon to Establish Border Surveillant Systems on the Jordanian Border

April 10, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: DTRA, ISR, Raytheon, Syndicated Industry News 

israel-jordanRaytheon Company announced it has won a contract to implement an integrated surveillance system along parts of the Jordanian border, under a US$35.9 million contract awarded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) border security....

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ATK Announces Retirement of TacSat-3 Satellite — Press Release

Spacecraft Significantly Exceeded Mission Life ? On-Orbit Operations Lasted Nearly Three Years

Mission Confirms Robustness of ATK’s Quick-to-Launch Spacecraft Bus and Components

ARLINGTON, Va., May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — ATK (NYSE: ATK) announces the conclusion of the Tactical Satellite-3 (TacSat-3) mission. The Air Force announced on April 30th, 2012, that the satellite deorbited into and burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere nearly three years after its May 2009 launch. TacSat-3 was designed for six months of operation, with a goal of one year. Not only did it outlive its design life, it also surpassed its original mission requirements and goals as an experimental spacecraft, and was successfully transitioned to operational status in 2010.

The satellite was removed from operational status and transferred to the Space and Missile Systems Center in February 2012. Once transitioned, ATK provided the Air Force Research Laboratory with updated flight software, which allowed the vehicle to conduct on-orbit collection testing.

TacSat-3′s mission demonstrated the capability to conduct hyperspectral imaging to support the needs of U.S. warfighters.

“TacSat-3 served America well. We were proud to be part of the team that provided reconnaissance data from space to warfighters in the field and to intelligence analysts at home,” said Tom Wilson, vice president and general manager, Space Systems Division, ATK Aerospace Group. “Our innovative bus technology was a key factor in successfully extending the TacSat-3 demonstration to a longer-term operational mission. The mission enabled us to apply and enhance our flexible, modular bus platforms for future small satellite missions that included the ORS-1 spacecraft.”

The spacecraft is a pioneer of the emerging Operationally Responsive Space program, which was designed to meet the growing need of U.S. forces for flexible, affordable and responsive satellite systems.

ATK, as the spacecraft bus prime contractor, provided the complete bus system, which included the onboard command and data handling system, electrical power system, spacecraft bus primary structure, and interfaces to the launch vehicle and payload. Built and designed in just 15 months, ATK’s spacecraft bus met the TacSat-3 program goals of being operationally responsive, low-cost and with expected performance. The spacecraft also featured first-generation modular bus technology designed to provide flexibility for future small satellite missions. As a rapid, affordable experimental mission, the specification did not include a propulsion system to sustain long-term low-Earth orbit.

The TacSat-3 program was managed by the Air Force Space Command with collaboration from the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate and the Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

ATK is an aerospace, defense and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.

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AeroVironment Wins More Raven Production

update – Edited the post to make clear that the contract is just for logistics support and not new systems.

The U.S. Army awarded AeroVironment (AVAV) a contract for further production of the hand-launched Raven small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The Ravens are used by small units for local area reconnaissance and surveillance.

The contract is worth a little over $11 million and will provide logistic support for deployed Raven systems not only for the Army but also the Marine Corps and any Foreign Military Sales (FMS).

AeroVironment makes a series of different UAV’s for use by military, law enforcement and other government agencies. The company is also investing in electric vehicles and power management solutions. They manufacture a home charging station for electric vehicles as well as supporting electric car design and development.

As with all OEM companies they also provide training and engineering support for their products.

The UAV market has done well over the last decade as the U.S. military especially has invested in thousands of systems to support operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. This investment should continue even as the U.S. withdraws its troops and fighting ends. There will be focus on improving UAV payload, range and capabilities.

AeroVironment is working to develop the ultra long range, persistent Global Observer UAV which is powered by hydrogen fuel rather then a conventional engine. Boeing (BA) is also working on a similar system utilizing solar and other renewable fuels.

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UK MoD’s JAGO Receives `Top 5` ISR Award — Press Release

UK MoD’s JAGO Receives `Top 5` ISR Award

Aylesbury: October 31st, 2011 – The DataMan geographic system, developed by the UK MoD’s Joint Aeronautical and Geospatial Organisation (JAGO), has been recognised as one of this year’s Top 5 programmes and innovations in the ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) community. At the C4ISR Journal’s Annual Conference & Awards Ceremony, held on October 28th in Washington, DC, DataMan won the Network Systems Award. The Top 5 are selected from five categories; Platforms, Sensors, Organisations, Innovations and Networks Systems.

DataMan is connected to the UK military’s secure network in Afghanistan and delivers a common geospatial picture, via a secure online browser called a Geoviewer. It brings together a huge range of otherwise disparate data from multiple sources, the common factor being location.

In March 2010 it was successfully deployed in Afghanistan by JAGO, operated by 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic) and, within nine months, was receiving over two million hits per month from a wide range of users throughout the command chain. For the first time, JAGO is able to ensure that everyone, from geospatial analysts to patrols on the ground just requiring a map, are referring to the same, accurate pool of current information and intelligence. The system is powered by Esri’s ArcGIS, a standards-based COTS (SCOTS) geospatial information system. Esri UK’s role in supporting JAGO in DataMan’s development was also recognised as part of the Award.

Ben Iannotta, Editor of C4ISR Journal, stated the reason for DataMan’s nomination, which was based around its rapid acquisition and simplicity. “The ability for troops to view information from multiple sources in a geospatial context is crucial for their decision making and JAGO and Esri UK figured out how to provide this capability, quickly, by using existing software as much as possible. They innovated, but, with the discipline not to reach too far.”

DataMan currently integrates over than 300 layers of data including information and intelligence from satellite and aerial reconnaissance, ground patrols and partners working in the same regions. Information that was previously held by external organisations in spread sheets – for example, lists of medical facilities in Afghanistan – can now be loaded once into DataMan, visualised in a geographic context and made accessible to all units and partners working in the vicinity.

“This significant award underlines both JAGO’s foresight in developing DataMan, and its achievement in bringing this new capability so quickly into theatre where it has been so well received,” commented Budgie Dhanda, General Manager, Defence & National Security, Esri UK. “Esri UK is extremely proud to support JAGO, and see their investment in ArcGIS software being so successfully exploited to deliver DataMan, providing information superiority for our armed forces.”

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U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin Demonstrate Multi-Sensor Situational Awareness Technology — Press Release

U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin Demonstrate Multi-Sensor Situational Awareness Technology

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) was selected by the U.S. Army’s Research Development And Engineering Command, Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (RDECOM CERDEC) Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) to demonstrate an advanced slew-to-cue sensor system designed to provide greater situational awareness during route clearance and surveillance missions.

The Multi-sensor Graphical User Interface (MS GUI), demonstrated recently at the Association of the U. S. Army Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., is an affordable, backwards compatible upgrade kit for fielded Gyrocam systems currently deployed with the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps.

MS GUI allows the operator to use a touch screen display capability to slew between reference cameras, such as the Driver’s Vision Enhancer, and the Gyrocam® Vehicle Optics Sensor System (VOSS), to simultaneously search for potential threats while interrogating identified hazards on route clearance missions.

Under a cooperative research and development agreement with NVESD, Lockheed Martin will continue to enhance capabilities of the MS GUI system for use in various situational awareness applications, paving the way for the eventual fielding of the technology.

“We are pleased to partner with NVESD to integrate MS GUI into the Gyrocam VOSS suite of capabilities to support route clearance missions,” said Kennan Walker, business development manager in Lockheed Martin’s Gyrocam Systems business. “By working together to meet the increasing demand for enhanced situational awareness, we are providing our warfighters with an advanced capability that detects, identifies and tracks insurgent threats from safe stand-off distances and significantly reduces operator fatigue.”

A recognized world leader in the design, production and integration of advanced electro-optical/infrared systems, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 7,600 targeting, navigation and surveillance sensors to the United States military and its allies. Through the VOSS program, Lockheed Martin is developing and fielding vehicle-mounted, gyro-stabilized, long-range optical systems for all branches of the U.S. military.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.

For additional information, visit our website: http://www.lockheedmartin.com

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Germany Receives First Euro Hawk UAV

Northrop Grumman (NOC) has been building the Global Hawk large, long range Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for the U.S. Air Force for over a decade. The systems have seen a great deal of use since 9/11. Versions are also being developed for the U.S. Navy and Germany.

Unlike the Predator or other smaller UAV used by the Army, Air Force and other U.S. agencies the Global Hawk is designed to conduct high altitude, long range missions gathering different types of intelligence rather then flying low level surveillance and strike missions. The Global Hawk demonstrated its capabilities early in the program by flying from the U.S. non-stop to Australia.

Germany this week took delivery of their first system which is equipped with an intelligence collection package made by Cassadian, part of EADS (EADS:P). That aircraft had earlier this summer flown across the Atlantic and was then received the Cassadian developed Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) package.

This variant of Global Hawk is called “Euro Hawk”.

As with all programs any sales to other customers aids the overall program health by reducing production costs. This is why overseas and FMS sales are important to the U.S. The Euro Hawk will end up making the Global Hawk cheaper for the Air Force to buy and operate.

Photo from Sugarmonster’s Flickr photostream.

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Goodrich Teams with KNK to Develop Next Generation ISR Technology — Press Release

Goodrich Teams with KNK to Develop Next Generation ISR Technology

– Combined software expertise facilitates total ISR systems solutions

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Goodrich Corporation (NYSE: GR) has signed a teaming agreement with UK-based Knowledge Network Konsulting (KNK) Ltd. This agreement will enable Goodrich’s Malvern, UK operation to collaborate with the KNK team in developing effective and comprehensive solutions to meet future intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) requirements.

Goodrich is a global provider of proven intelligence exploitation systems for the military while KNK is an innovative provider of intelligence management and decision support software. The integration of the two companies’ software capabilities brings together the expertise required to develop a total ISR solution that offers: requirements generation and tasking; collection and fusion of information from multiple sources; and assessed decision-support outputs. These solutions are fully compliant with both NATO and Coalition Shared Database (CSD) standards.

Sam Macleod, managing director Goodrich’s ISR Systems business explained, “We recently demonstrated the operational benefits gained from this teaming arrangement to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) at Empire Challenge (EC) – 2011. The software capability we demonstrated at EC-11 combined the open source, open standards philosophy of iNTOOL with the standards and compliance expertise of the Goodrich CSD. This was a critical demonstration of the operation of a national specialized intelligence process coherently within a coalition environment.”

Mark Nash, concepts director at KNK added, “Embracing data collection and exploitation activities within a managed and auditable process will enable commanders to make quicker decisions with increased confidence.”

Goodrich and KNK look forward to working as a team to provide enhanced ISR support to defense forces in the UK and worldwide.

KNK Ltd, based in Andover, UK, provides intelligence and decision support applications. A young and dynamic player in the world of defense, KNK brings innovative ideas and clear approaches to intelligence challenges faced by governments and militaries. KNK Ltd has delivered and supported iNTOOL, an ISR support tool, on operations in Afghanistan.

Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a global supplier of systems and services to the aerospace and defense industries. With one of the most strategically diversified portfolios of products in the industry, Goodrich serves a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and service facilities. For more information visit http://www.goodrich.com.

Goodrich Corporation operates through its divisions and as a parent company for its subsidiaries, one or more of which may be referred to as “Goodrich Corporation” in this press release.

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Does Reports of United Technologies Acquisition Herald Start of Major Defense M&A?

Update — On 22 September United Technologies released a press release stating their intent to acquire Goodrich for an estimated price of $18.4 billion. This would be the largest defense and aerospace related acquisition in many years. The transaction will still take several months as it goes through regulatory review. The CEO of United Technologies stated “Goodrich delivers on all of our acquisition criteria. It is strategic to our core, has great technology and people, and strengthens our position in growth markets.”

Late last week various reports began to arise the United Technologies Corp. (UTX), a large and diverse company that among its products makes military helicopters and jet engines, was interested in acquiring either Goodrich Corp. (GR) or Rockwell Collins (COL). Both of these companies make aerospace components for military and commercial uses.

The cost of the deal would be quite high compared to other recent defense M&A. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 billion for Goodrich requiring United Technologies to borrow a large amount of the necessary capital. Last year Goodrich’s earnings were around $7 billion while United Technologies’ sales were about $54 billion. Rockwell’s most recent quarter showed $1.19 billion in sales.

All three companies make major components for civil and military aviation so they synergy of the acquisition is there. They also all have significant business with the U.S. Department of Defense and other militaries across the world. The move would also fit in with how United Technologies is organized as it keeps strict lines of business under separate former corporations such as Sikorsky Aircraft, Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand. Moving another company into the group would not be difficult.

To this point there have been some large M&A moves this year by large defense contractors. Both General Dynamics (GD) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) have acquired health technology companies recently with the GD move coming in at close to $1 billion. Northrop Grumman (NOC) also spun off their shipbuilding arm into a new company called Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) rather then sell it but it still could be a target for acquisition.

This move by United Technologies though is much larger and seems to herald a return to the Nineties when medium and even large defense contractors were merged and acquired. This was due to the lack of demand from the U.S. compared to the decade previously and it is expected that U.S. defense spending will decline in the near future due to deficit issues and the reduction in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Senate Appropriations Committee in their mark-up of 2012 spending froze it at 2011 levels which is a cut when compared to what the Administration requested of about $26 billion.

The acquisition also works well for United Technologies as both companies mentioned have a significant part of the civil aviation industry as it does itself. This will allow expansion there that would offset any decline in defense sales.

If this acquisition goes through it might start a chain of similar moves as defense contractors begin to adjust to the new market and parts are jettisoned or added. ITT Corporation just broke off its former defense business into a new company called ITT Exelis. This might be a target for acquisition as it should be similar to the $7 billion in price for Goodrich.

If the United Technologies deal does happen it might be what the defense industry needs to push companies to make decisions about larger M&A that could lead to market contraction similar to the Nineties. Although the Defense Department has made clear that they do not want any of the larger defense contractors merging with each other.

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems — Conference

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Date: 16th – 17th November 2011
Venue: Copthorne Tara Hotel, London, UK

SMi’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems is the leading UK and UAV based conference.

Now entering its 11th year, Unmanned Aircraft Systems provides the ultimate forum for global thought leadership and knowledge sharing and concisely meets the challenges presented by the year-on-year growth that occurs in what is the most dynamic community within the aviation sector.

UAS 2011 will once again remain astride of the latest developments by focusing on the key issues within the unmanned aerial domain.
In order to achieve this, the conference will be divided into targeted sessions that will address the following areas:

• SESSION 1: TRAINING & SIMULATION
• SESSION 2: PROGRAMS, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
• SESSION 3: FUTURE PLATFORM ACQUISITION
• SESSION 4: OPERATIONAL FEEDBACK
• SESSION 5: FUTURE UAS SOLUTIONS
• SESSION 6: CIVILIAN AIRSPACE INTEGRATION

For more information and to register, please visit http://www.smi-online.co.uk/uas-conference35.asp. Alternatively, contact Andrew Gibbons at Tel: +44 (0)207 827 6156 or Email: [email protected], or contact James Hitchen at Tel: +44 (0)207 827 6054 or Email: [email protected]

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U.S. Navy Plans Unmanned Aircraft Development Program

The United States has invested a large amount of money the past two decades into unmanned aerial vehicles. Used primarily by the U.S. Army and Air Force they originally conducted reconnaissance and intelligence gathering missions. Since 9/11 several have been weaponized and carried out precision strike missions. The U.S. Navy while doing some R&D has not purchased a full up system yet to be based on ships. This, though, is about to change.

The Marine Corps and Navy are already conducting research into unmanned cargo systems that might eventually replace the current MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters made by Sikorsky for that mission. These lift loads from supply ships to combat ships as part of underway replenishment. Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Kaman (KAMN) are doing work with the K-Max helicopter to see how well it works as an unmanned platform.

The Navy just announced the start of a new program called Medium Range Maritime Unmanned Aerial System (MRMUAS) which will begin in FY12 with a goal of entering production late in this decade. The MRMUAS will be primarily oriented towards Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions and will be ship based.

As with many programs recently started by the Pentagon several development contracts will be awarded to various companies which will then lead to one or more of them being selected for further development and production.

Several existing systems being developed by defense contracts are certainly available to be proposed for this effort including the K-MAX being looked at for the cargo mission as well as Bell, a part of Textron (TXT), and Boeing (BA) products. This also does not rule out a new development effort for this requirement by any defense contractor.

The shift to using UAS for current manned missions will continue for the foreseeable future. Budget pressures may cause these programs to be delayed or even eliminated especially if there is major cost growth in core Navy systems such as the F-35 JSF or ship construction. Unfortunately as has been shown in the past investment in new systems and technologies may take a back seat to the funding of more important programs. If the Navy has to choose between its newest manned aircraft, new submarines and aircraft carriers over UAS vehicles it will probably be an easy decision.

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DARPA Expand Foliage Penerating Radar Program from SRC Inc.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded New York based SRC Inc. a contract to begin development of a work station to support aircraft based foliage penetrating radar. The contract is worth about $11 million and will process and display data from another SRC product: the Foliage Penetrating, Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Tracking and Engagement Radar (FORESTER).

The goal of the FORESTER program is to mount a radar on either an unmanned or conventional aircraft and have it detect troop and vehicle movements in heavily forested terrain. The radar will penetrate the tree cover as well as ground clutter and discriminate through moving leaves and debris.

SRC has been working on the radar for DARPA for several years. The company is also working on a similar program for the Army through a separate contract.

Like all ISR systems the data collected by the FORESTER radar must be sent for processing and analysis somewhere. The workstation will aid in that. Once the data is understood it then must be further distributed to the unit that needs it either for situational awareness or so that it may engage any detected enemy troops.

As an anecdote I worked almost twenty years ago with a retired Air Force officer who had been involved in a similar project after the Vietnam War. In this case the Air Force wanted to develop a system that could find downed aircrew in heavy jungle terrain. This continues to show that some requirements never go away they just get further refined or developed.

Photo from debabrata’s flickr photostream.

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General Dynamics Awarded $122 Million IT Support Task Order by the U.S. Army — Press Release

General Dynamics Awarded $122 Million IT Support Task Order by the U.S. Army

FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 5, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — General Dynamics Information Technology, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has been competitively awarded a $122 million task order under the Alliant contract to support the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR). The task order will cover five years if all options are exercised.

General Dynamics will provide information technology (IT) support to USAREUR headquarters and its associated staff elements and organizations as part of the USAREUR Theater Warfighter Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) program. The majority of work will be performed at the USAREUR headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, at other sites within Germany and at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. This award continues General Dynamics’ nearly 40 years of uninterrupted support to the USAREUR mission.

“General Dynamics’ highly skilled employees provide agile support to U.S. warfighters both on base and on deployment,” said Tom Kirchmaier, senior vice president for General Dynamics Information Technology’s Intelligence Solutions Division. “We have a long history of providing the U.S. Army with C4I support and IT services required for mission success and we will continue to deliver customized, specialized services to ensure seamless operations and sustained communications.”

As part of the task order, the company will provide systems engineering, network integration and configuration, Battle Command Systems support, IT knowledge management, Microsoft® SharePoint support, video teleconferencing and web development. The company will also perform logistics, training, planning and exercises support.

Mike Lee, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Information Technology’s Intelligence Solutions Division Military Services sector, said, “General Dynamics Information Technology provides the full spectrum of IT enterprise development and support including design, build, integration and operations; data center management; and data center and infrastructure modernization, consolidation and sustainment. We create network infrastructures and mission-critical systems that deliver operational reliability and maximum security.”

For more information about General Dynamics Information Technology, please visit www.gdit.com.

More information about General Dynamics is available online at www.generaldynamics.com.

SOURCE General Dynamics Information Technology

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Is CACI the Future of U.S. Defense Contracting?

The big U.S. defense contractors have been announcing earnings for the most recent quarter this week with mixed results. Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) reported flat or losses but Boeing was buoyed by commercial programs while Northrop Grumman (NOC) and General Dynamics (GD) saw increases. GD is finally seeing an uptick in their executive jet business which helped and Northrop has been pessimistic for the future due to declining defense budgets exploring a sale of their military shipbuilding assets.

CACI (CACI) on the other hand reported a record quarter. Earnings increased twenty percent compared to the year before to $28.7 million. The company projected that for the full year they will make in the $4.00 range per share with an increase in revenue of $0.5 to $2.0 billion.

CACI unlike the big U.S. defense contractors who build large hardware programs as their core business provides intelligence and information technology services to the Defense Department and other parts of the U.S. government. While the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has begun initiatives to cut back on service contracts these tend to be in the areas of logistic and technical support to the military rather then IT or intelligence which aids CACI.

Many of the big defense contractors have been moving into these fields through acquisitions. Boeing, Lockheed as well as the British defense giant BAE Systems (BAE: LSE) have recently acquired small or mid-size intelligence contractors to improve their exposure. The U.S. and its Allies continue to invest in unmanned assets for ISR missions that will require substantial expansion of their ability to exploit all of the information being collected. This is where CACI and the other defense contractors see growth.

The U.S. defense budget will most likely decline in real terms in the near future. The ship building and aviation investment are already showing signs of being limited to just a few programs but the Pentagon will still need to develop the new technologies that have come to a forefront during the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As the Pentagon’s investment in large acquisition programs continues to decline expect to see more focus on these areas of defense support.

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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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Northrop’s HART Allows Information Distribution to the Battlefield

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Northrop Grumman (NOC) a contract to continue further development of their Heterogeneous Airborne Reconnaissance Team (HART) system. The contract has a value of just over $46 million.

HART is a system installed on Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms that allows the sending of video feed to a hand held device used by ground troops. The idea is that the troops can ask for either live or historical video and imagery of the local area to aid them in developing situational awareness and engaging the enemy.

The HART program is more then a system on an individual Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) but allows the control and linking of several platforms. These can be directed to collect data or provide the historical data.

This type of program continues to illustrate the advantages and force multiplier that UAV’s and data networks provide the U.S. military. The way HART is configured it speeds up the delivery of requested information by making it go directly from the collection system to the user. In the past while imagery could be collected by aircraft, UAV and other systems there was a period of time when it was analyzed, exploited and disseminated. A system like HART minimizes that time period.

As these kind of systems get more sophisticated, robust and available the amount of intelligence to aid combat operations at the pointy-tip of the spear is not only increased but the quality is much higher. This becomes a significant combat enhancement for the U.S. and its military.

Photo from Sugarmonster’s flickr photostream.

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U.S. Air Force Buys L-3 Communications Wescam Electro-optical (EO) Sensors

The U.S. Air Force awarded L-3 Communications (LLL) subsidiary, Wescam, a contract to purchase MXTM-15Di targeting systems. The contract is worth $200 million if all options are exercised.

The Air Force is using these advanced High Definition sensor and targeting systems in Afghanistan to support operations. They have already bought a substantial number of the Wescam MXTM-15D system and the Di is an upgrade to those. The systems provide EO as well as infra-red data that may be down linked to ground stations to provide Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) data as well as targeting solutions.

The contract is structured as an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) buy where the Air Force is able to order as many of the systems as they need, or none if they desire. There is no guarantee of any sales to L-3 but the use of the predecessor systems indicates the Air Force has found the system successful and capable. This means that some of the systems will be purchased for mounting on U.S. Air Force assets.

The use of EO/IR sensors has grown over the last forty years allowing data collection at night and in adverse weather. Combined with remote operated systems these advanced data collection sensors has increased ISR capability of the U.S. and other major nations exponentially.

Photo from Rob Shenk’s flickr photostream.

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EchoStorm Releases Next Generation Software for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance — Press Release

EchoStorm Releases Next Generation Software for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

adLib Gives High and Low Bandwidth Users Unparalleled Access to Full-Motion Video and Data

Suffolk, VA – EchoStorm Worldwide, the global leader in video and data management technology, today announced the release of its latest product version, adLib 3.6, the company’s pioneering video and data management software for improved intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).

The new version boasts unmatched capabilities for capturing, indexing, archiving, searching, and disseminating full-motion video (FMV) and associated data. The software can process a range of data formats to give low bandwidth users access to low-fidelity, situational awareness FMV and high bandwidth users access to high-fidelity, exploitation FMV.

“adLib supports both situational awareness and exploitation users better than any other ISR software in the marketplace,” said David Barton, President and Chief Technical Officer at EchoStorm. “By giving a wider range of users access to high impact, near real-time ISR, it becomes an indispensable force multiplier in the national defense and intelligence communities.”

adLib’s new features include the following:

§ Federation: Enabling access to content within the enterprise and across enterprise borders.

§ Open standards (WS-I) compliant Web service interfaces allowing for third-party integration.

§ Enhanced support for Motion Imagery Standards Board (MISB) standards including:

o Standard 0601.3 UAS Datalink Local Metadata Set.

o Standard 0604 Time

o EG 0104.5 Predator UAV Basic Universal Metadata Set.

§ New UAV platform supported:

o Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout support.

§ Chat ingestion: Allowing one or more chat rooms to be captured, indexed, searched, and related to FMV content. Both IRC and XMPP are supported.

§ New hardware options to greatly reduce power, space, and cooling requirements (including rugged configurations).

§ New Web-based mapping capability that supports multiple user selectable layers which can be configured to point at any WMS compliant server, including Pixia’s nuiGeoServer.

§ Support for FMV based mosaic imagery from EchoStorm’s adLib Image Processing Engine (aIPE) product.

adLib’s upgrades include:

§ Improved CDF support.

§ Improved geo-search accuracy.

§ Enhanced clip cart functionality allowing a number of clips to be selected and downloaded as a single clip.

§ Improved metadata quality and performance of data manipulation.

About EchoStorm

EchoStorm Worldwide LLC is the global leader in video and data management technology. Its products provide defense, intelligence, and supporting agencies with a single, aggregated point of access to all their full-motion video (FMV) and geospatial information. With this access – and the ability to interface with most standards-based systems – EchoStorm technology has become a force multiplier while increasing the reach of analysts and forward-deployed operators to high-impact, near real-time Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) data.

EchoStorm is headquartered in Suffolk, Va., and it is a subsidiary of Earl Industries LLC.

For more information about EchoStorm Worldwide LLC, visit www.echostorm.net.

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Gulf C4iSR 2010 Communications Event Planned For 1 February 2010

GULF C4iSR 2010
February 1st – 3rd 2010
Armed Officers Club, Abu Dhabi
www.gulfc4i.com

With patronage from the UAE Air Force and with support from the UAE Armed Forces, GULF C4ISR will return in 2010 to once again deliver mission critical information and promote interoperability and cooperation in the GULF region.

Running for the first time in January 2009 in Abu Dhabi and attracting over 250 attendees, GULF C4ISR was the biggest and most successful military communication event in the regions history. With over 100 attendees from the UAE Armed Forces, Air Force and Air Defence, GULF C4ISR hosted presentations from international and regional C4I,NEC and NCW experts.

Early confirmed speakers participants will meet and learn from at GULF C4iSR in 2010 include:

– Major Dr Mohamed Alahbabi, Information Communication Technology (ICT) Advisor, General Headquarters, UAE
– Bruno Monfils, President, UAE Centre of Excellence
– Major General Floyd L. Carpenter, Commander, 8th Air Force, Air Combat Command, and Commander, JFCC-Global Strike
– Lt Gen Carroll Pollett, Director, Defense Information Systems Agency, US DoD
– Major General Hines, Director, NATO C3 Agency
– Bert Van Domselaar Branch Chief – Information services NATO HQ C3

To find out more, to request a brochure or to register call on +44 (0)20 7368 9465 or email [email protected]

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Johnston McLamb Moves Corporate Headquarters to Westfields Corporate Office Park, Chantilly, VA — Press Release

Johnston McLamb Moves Corporate Headquarters to Westfields Corporate Office Park, Chantilly, VA

Accommodates continued growth for company that increased revenue over 50 percent in 2008

Chantilly, VA—July 20, 2009—Johnston McLamb—a management and technology consulting firm specializing in geospatial solutions, data visualization, business intelligence and data management—announced today that it has moved its corporate headquarters to 4840 Westfields Boulevard, Suite 200, Chantilly, VA. This Class A office building is in the Westfields corporate office park, the largest office park in Fairfax County.

This move comes after Johnston McLamb’s announcement earlier this year that its 2008 revenue rose 56% to reach $30.1 million. Experiencing steady and controlled growth since its founding in 1991, the new headquarters space gives the company flexibility for continued expansion.

The new space will meet the demands of existing Johnston McLamb customers and accommodate more staff to support new customers. One project additional staff are being hired to support is a business intelligence effort that centralizes dispersed data on energy use and spending within a federal agency. By providing a clear understanding of spending trends, Johnston McLamb will help that agency save money and reduce energy consumption, key Obama Administration objectives.

“Not only is this a wise financial decision that will enable us to continue to expand into federal and commercial markets, the new office space is also in line with Johnston McLamb’s image and vision for our corporate headquarters,” said Wendy Henry, vice president and chief operating officer, Johnston McLamb. “This is the latest step in our strategic initiative to position the company for greater expansion, including in key growth areas including geospatial and visual business intelligence solutions,” said Henry.

Previously, Johnston McLamb was located at 14420 Albemarle Point Place, Chantilly, VA.

About Johnston McLamb

Johnston McLamb has an 18-year track record of success serving government and commercial customers. A management and IT consulting company headquartered in the Washington, D.C. region, it brings specialized expertise in geospatial solutions, data visualization, business intelligence, data management, enterprise strategy and modernization and more. For more information, visit www.johnstonmclamb.com.

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Northrop Grumman Wins Global Hawk Sustainment Contract

MSNBC reports that the U.S. Air Force gave Northrop Grumman a contract to provide support for the growing Global Hawk strategic UAV fleet. Northrop Grumman manufactures the long range intelligence surveillance aircraft. The contract is valued at over $275 million and will primarily be carried out at Beale AFB in California. Unlike the more tactical Predator and Reaper UAV the Global Hawk is a large aircraft that can fly at high altitudes and long ranges to collect different types of intelligence to support combat operations. The Global Hawk in many ways has replaced the U-2 type reconnaissance aircraft.

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