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U.K. Military Continues to Buy Qinetiq’s Support

Qinetiq is a British company that was formed several years ago when the U.K. privatized parts of their Research, Test, Development & Engineering (RDT&E) support structure. This included labs, ranges and the employees who had formally been civil servants. Over the last 2 decades the British governments have been very aggressive about converting formally government positions and roles to private companies with a goal of cost savings. This was the opposite policy of the U.S. which had tried converting contractor positions to government ones in the past with the same goal.

Qinetiq due to the fact that it provides fairly critical services to the U.K. military through the testing & evaluation (T&E) services it provide signed a 25 year contract in 2003. This had a predicted value of over $8 billion if all parts were fully executed.

Now the U.K. government has announced that the last 5 year option has been executed. This option is worth about $1.6 billion.

These types of arrangements are not unheard of in other countries and the U.S. relies on contractors to provide many of the services Qinetiq does to the U.K. military. It is just they don’t normally transfer title of the facilities and management to the contractors. Often equivalent U.S. test ranges have contractors doing most of the work under oversight of the U.S. government.

In 2010 the company underwent a shake up in management as well as a re-organization. Qinetiq had expanded its business interests beyond the U.K. including work in America. Some problems caused the CEO to resign and the company to refocus on their core, original purpose.

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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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Minnovate Awarded R&D Contract for Space Applications — Press Release

St. Paul, Minnesota: 11/02/2012 – Minnesota Wire’s R&D division, Minnovate, was notified this week that it was awarded a research and development contract from the U.S. Air Force. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract is for continued R&D work in the area of “Nanomaterials for Lightweight Spacecraft Power Distribution and Data Transmission.” The effort is focused on developing lightweight electrical interconnects for aerospace applications. The Minnovate team leads the industry in the use of lightweight carbon nanotube materials (CNT), and has several ongoing projects with government and corporate partners that are re-defining the nature of advanced electrical conductors and shields.

The Air Force Phase II SBIR will focus on using Minnovate’s unique expertise in fabricating novel data and power transmission concepts for replacement of conventional copper-based components in space vehicles. Key advantages of the resultant weight reduction are energy savings, enabling considerable reduction in launch costs, and opportunity for increased mission-critical payload. The 24 month contract award for $750,000 commences in early 2013, and will be coordinated with the Air Force Research Lab at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

According to Minnesota Wire’s R&D Manager, Tom Kukowski: “The overall goal of this effort is to advance the technology to the point where CNT cables can be fielded regularly on any aerospace platform. We are honored that the Air Force and other agencies continue to value our work.”

The Minnovate Team at Minnesota Wire has a greater than 80% capture rate on federal R&D contract proposals (compared to a 10% national average), is the winner of the prestigious Tibbetts Award for SBIR excellence (2007) and received the Wire & Cable Technology International Technical Achievement Award for 2010.

Minnesota Wire is a vertically integrated, custom manufacturer for wire, cable and interconnect assemblies to the Medical, Defense and Industrial markets. The company is a market and R&D leader in: electrical signal integrity; low noise cable; radio-translucent wire; and innovative connections for wearable electronics, patient monitoring systems and leading-edge medical devices.

Photo courtesy of Minnovate

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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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Northrop Continues to Win Global Hawk Business

Northrop Grumman (NOC) is the producer of the Global Hawk strategic Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV). This is used by the U.S. Air Force for long range reconnaissance and collection missions. It was developed in the late Nineties. Currently it has been produced in different blocks with different capabilities.

The Obama Administration in their 2013 budget has proposed ending production of the Block 30 and mothballing the entire existing fleet of such systems and relying on the manned U-2/TR-1 platform. This proposal, though, has not been well received by the Congress and the plan may not be accepted. Even with this proposal the newer blocks would continue to be used and be produced. The Navy is also buying the Global Hawk as part of their Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program.

Northrop also received two recent contracts for the program that indicate it will continue for several more years.

First, NATO ordered 5 of the systems to provide ground surveillance. This contract is estimated at close to $1.7 billion. NATO already jointly operates Boeing (BA) E-3 AWACS aircraft and C-17 transports so the Global Hawks would be a similar proposition. The mission would be similar to that of the E-8 Joint STARS manned system which tracks enemy vehicle and troop movements and positions.

The Air Force also continues its program to make progressive improvements to the Global Hawk with a contract to develop new radars and sensors. This is worth $51 million but if new sensors are developed has the potential for much more revenue as they are produced and integrated into the aircraft.

The UAV will become increasingly more ubiquitous in use performing many missions currently done by manned aircraft. The U.S. is investing in long range, persistent reconnaissance UAV’s. The Global Hawk despite budget proposals will continue to perform its missions for the next few decades.

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Panetta Lays Out Initial Defense Budget Spending Plans

Yesterday the Pentagon made a series of presentations and media events to lay out the initial numbers for future spending. The goal of the Secretary Leon Panetta’s Defense Department is to cut $487 billion in ten years with the current Five Year Defense Plan (FYDP) containing over half the reductions. As part of this DoD released a 15 page document and a one page budget summary that provides top level guidance on the plans.

Many of the planned cut backs are based on the idea that with the disengagement of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan cuts may be made in those areas. This means that money for the “Global War on Terror (GWOT)” or “Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)” as that support was called will see significant cuts. In FY10 it was $163 billion, in FY11 $159 billion with $115 billion planned for FY12 and only $88 billion in FY13. This adds up to a 54 percent reduction and saves $75 billion in those three years.

Since personnel costs both for the current Active members, their dependents,the reserve force and retirees make up about thirty percent of the defense budget there will be reductions and adjustments to their size and benefits. 100,000 Soldiers and Marines will be eliminated from the active military with the Army losing approximately 8 brigades of troops. Even though the Marine Corps has grown substantially since 9/11 it maintains the same force structure of 3 active divisions and 1 reserve so there will be cuts to the size of individual units and support forces. The Pentagon states that even with these cuts the size of the ground forces will be bigger then on 9/11. There will also be increases in medical costs to the individuals and a commission to revamp military retirement benefits.

The Air Force and Navy will too see reductions in their force structure. The Navy will retire some ships early while delaying the construction of others. This means that it won’t grow as fast as currently planned. The Air Force will lose some tactical aircraft, cut transports and reduce planned buys of some F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Only a few programs are targeted for elimination so far. These include the C-27 Joint Cargo Aircraft used primarily by the Air National Guard. It is planned the C-130 will provide needed capability there. The new Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) which is to replace the Maverick and Hellfire missiles will be scaled back. It was about to select its prime contractor. The Global Hawk Block 30 will finish production and there will be some other nibbling around the edges.

All of this ads up to some significant reduction in business for defense contractors. The JAGM was a large contract that either Raytheon (RTN) or Lockheed Martin (LMT) were hoping to win. The cuts in ship production will affect Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and General Dynamics (GD). Reduction in JSF will certainly affect Lockheed and its support contractors.

The contractors who provide support in Afghanistan and at bases across the U.S. will see cuts as there are smaller, less troops to support. Logistics needs will also be cut back so those making things like battle armor, uniforms, and small arms will also be affected.

Overall it will will remove about 9% of planned spending in FY13-17 from the defense budget. That will cause some companies severe pain depending on how broad their product line and customer base is.

Of course Congress is the final say and they could easily keep some of the funding for some of the programs cushioning the cuts and blows to the defense industry. The elections this year will also have a key affect.

A lot more to come as yesterday was just a starting point.

Photo is from U.S. Navy Imagery’s Flickr photostream.

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Lockheed Martin Honors Pioneers of Recently Declassified National Reconnaissance Satellites — Press Release

Lockheed Martin Honors Pioneers of Recently Declassified National Reconnaissance Satellites

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Pioneers of the highly successful Gambit and Hexagon legacy reconnaissance systems recently unveiled by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) were honored during a Jan. 24 ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Gambit and Hexagon followed Corona, the nation’s first photo reconnaissance satellite system to return an image from space successfully. All three programs were built by industry teams under contract to the NRO with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company as the satellite system integrator. These programs provided vital national security information from 1960 until 1986.

Approximately 400 former employees involved in some aspect of Hexagon and Gambit and their guests attended the ceremony which featured displays and videos highlighting spacecraft production, launch and technical capabilities including actual Earth imagery. Speakers included Bruce Carlson, director of the NRO, and Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.

In his remarks, Carlson expressed his gratitude to the entire Lockheed Martin team for their contributions to national security: “Without this vital work, we would not have had the search, surveillance, and mapping capabilities that provided the high resolution imagery that gave our nation’s decision makers the ability to deal with our adversaries from a position of strength.”

“The successes achieved by the Hexagon and Gambit teams built upon the Corona legacy to deliver unprecedented mission capabilities and longevity,” said Maguire. “We are enormously proud of our role in providing these vitally important remote sensing assets to the nation.”

The first Gambit system, launched in 1963, was equipped with a 77-inch focal length camera system . The second system, Gambit 3 was equipped with the camera system that included a 175-inch focal length camera. The system was first launched in 1966 and provided the U.S. with exquisite surveillance capabilities from space for nearly two decades.

Hexagon was first launched in 1971 to improve upon Corona’s capability to image broad denied areas for threats to the United States. Twelve of the 19 systems flown also carried a mapping camera to aid in U.S. military war planning.

The United States depended on these search and surveillance satellites to understand the capabilities, intentions, and advancements of those who opposed the U.S during the Cold War. Together they became America’s essential eyes in space.

In addition, Gambit and Hexagon were launched aboard rockets built by Lockheed Martin heritage companies. Gambit 1 was launched on an Atlas rocket with the orbiting Agena D upper stage and Gambit 3 was launched using a Titan III B booster. Hexagon was launched aboard the larger Titan III D rocket.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is a world leader in the most advanced space-based systems for government and global commercial customers. Its expertise in stabilized, remote sensing spacecraft for high-resolution remote sensing missions began with Corona, a ground-breaking system that achieved its first successful launch in 1960.

The company draws on its wealth of expertise in building and integrating remote sensing satellites to provide commercial customers with advanced systems such as the GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite and its next-generation Earth imaging program, known as GeoEye-2.

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.

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U.S. Navy Continues Biofuels Investment

The U.S. military has been working for several years on testing biofuels for its use. This includes demonstrating aircraft and ships can efficiently use different types of the fuel as well as using its R&D money to help companies develop capabilities to produce the product. Long term this makes sense as at some point petroleum based fuel may be in shorter supply or at much higher cost.

The U.S. Navy has already flown an F/A-18 using such fuel. It has also invested its own money into algae and grass based production. Now they placed a major order for biofuel to power both its jet aircraft and ships.

The contracts with Solazyme and Dynamic Fuels, LLC will be for 100,000 gallons of jet fuel and 350,000 gallons of marine fuel. This is the largest order to date by the government for this type of product.

Dynamic Fuels will make the marine fuel from non-food waste blend similar to using cooking oil to power your car. Solazyme will provide algae based jet fuel.

While right now the costs for this fuel is more expensive then the normal Diesel Fuel Marine of JP used it is a long term investment and is certainly proper for the U.S. military to be doing this. Anything that will supplant a potentially dwindling supply of petroleum is a good thing.

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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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Entegrion Will Continue Work on Plasma Storage and Transport

The U.S. Defense Department has spent a lot of money over the last ten years on advanced medical technology and research. This has been driven by the nature of the threat of biological Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) as well as ways to treat soldiers on the battlefield better and more quickly. This has included billions on new vaccines and treatments for WMD potential such as anthrax and plague as well as those to allow personnel to operate in environments where diseases like Yellow Fever are common. Another area has been in treatment capabilities with improved bandages or anti-bacterialogical equipment.

Entegrion, a small bioreasearch company in North Carolina, received a contract to continue its work on flash freezing plasma. This will allow better storage and transport of the blood component used to provide transfusions on the battlefield. The contract with the Department of Defense is worth almost $44 million.

The contract is for four years with all options and will if things go well take the product through the third phase of clinical trials and then into license application.

Entigrion has also received other contracts from the military to work on products to treat shock and bleeding.

The U.S. has had great success in reducing the number of battlefield deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. Part of this is due to the new technology for medical treatment as well as a ability to transport wounded quickly to large and effective hospitals.

The other thing is that much of this work will be applicable to the civilian population as well improving their medical treatment and health.

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MDA Invests in AEGIS Ashore

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is charged with developing different systems to provide anti-ballistic missile capability for the United States and its military services. It has spent billions over the last thirty years looking at a variety of sensors as well as interceptors. Right now several different Army and Navy programs are in production as well as development. These include a variant of the PATRIOT air defense system, the THAAD land based system used by the Army and the Navy’s AEGIS Weapon System modified to engage ballistic missiles rather then aircraft.

The AEGIS system has already been installed on several cruisers and destroyers and uses a missile built by Raytheon, STANDARD Missile (SM) -3, that is a version of an air defense system. It has been tested several times in Hawaii and was also used to engage a satellite that was falling from space and posed a threat due to toxic materials.

Now MDA is spending money to look at making a version of the AEGIS Weapon System and SM-3 missile that could be land based. Earlier this month the Agency awarded Lockheed Martin (LMT), the manufacturer and developer of the system, a contract modification to continue work on Aegis Ashore Combat System adaption efforts.

The contract is worth a little over $100 million.

While it would seem fairly easy to take a radar and a missile in a box off of a ship and install it on land it is not as easy as it makes out. The THAAD and PATRIOT have been designed from the start to fit in a small footprint able to be placed on vehicles. The AEGIS Weapon System has been placed on ships with decent volume of space, large amounts of power and that are designed around placing the radars in optimum locations. Any AEGIS ashore system might be “transportable” but not really “mobile” without serious efforts to shrink their footprints.

It does show though that the U.S. is interested in placing one of their more successful missile defense capabilities in places that a ship cannot reach. The idea will probably take a few years and an investment of several hundred million dollars to come to fruition.

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Lockheed Martin Is Leveraging Satellite and Missile Defense Expertise on Precision Tracking Space System Team — Press Release

Lockheed Martin Is Leveraging Satellite and Missile Defense Expertise on Precision Tracking Space System Team

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is leveraging its satellite and missile defense expertise on the Manufacturing and Production Readiness Integrated Systems Engineering Team for the Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS). PTSS will provide the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) with a space-based system for post-boost tracking of ballistic missile threats in a global infrastructure.

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory awarded Lockheed Martin Space Systems a contract in February for $1.2 million covering a 24-month period of performance. Lockheed Martin participated in the PTSS system requirements review, which was completed in March. Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is leading the Manufacturing and Production Readiness Integrated Systems Engineering Team, which is comprised of government, national laboratories and industry participants.

“Lockheed Martin has extensive experience in advanced sensors, satellite surveillance systems, and missile defense systems, which is ideally suited to help address this critical fire control sensor capability for the Ballistic Missile Defense System,” said Doug Graham, vice president of advanced programs, Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “We are partnering with the Missile Defense Agency and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to provide the best integrated satellite solution for the agency’s network of sensors and weapon systems.”

Following the current prototype phase, the MDA has announced that it plans to competitively select one contractor for system development and production of an operational PTSS, consisting of nine to 12 spacecraft with associated ground control and processing equipment.

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.

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Raytheon Makes Missile Defense Progress

Raytheon (RTN), the Massachusetts based large defense contractor, is a key contributor to the U.S. missile defense systems. It manufactures the radar and other parts of the Army’s PATRIOT air and missile defense system. It provides the Navy’s STANDARD Missile (SM)-3 interceptor for their AEGIS Weapon System based ship board system and it is heavily involved in Research & Development for the next generation of weapons being planned. Recently it continued this contribution in different ways.

First, it was awarded a contract by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to produce more SM-3 missiles for the Navy and select U.S. allies who operate the AEGIS system. The contract modification was for about $285 million and will buy a further 23 SM-3 and associated engineering services and support. These are the Block IA variant of the missile. Raytheon also recently began construction of a new manufacturing facility at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL to build the SM-3 and the improved version of the STANDARD Missile called the SM-6.

Raytheon also announced that last month it continued testing its new radar for a competition that MDA and the Navy is having to develop a new radar that could ultimately replace the AEGIS’s SPY-1 made by Lockheed Martin (LMT). The Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) will go on the DDG-1000 and DDG-51 destroyers. MDA had awarded contracts to Raytheon, Lockheed and Northrop Grumman (NOC) to do basic development of the radar. Raytheon said that new Gallium Nitrade transmit/receive modules had completed over 1,000 hours of testing in support of the program.

The AMDR will combine S and X band radars for search and fire control. The current AEGIS radar is S band with separate radars that provide illumination and terminal guidance for missile interception. Systems like the Army’s THAAD land based missile defense system utilize a X band radar for its missions. The higher wavelength provides better target discrimination and precision for the high velocity intercepts required by missile defense.

Despite the coming cuts in U.S. defense spending the combination of a new radar and interceptor for U.S. Navy air and missile defense will be developed and produced. The only question is how fast and in what numbers. The MDA is looking at making a land based version of the AEGIS / SM-3 combination and Raytheon has propose that over the years as well. There are also several countries that operate the system for air defense and they could be upgraded to carry out the missile defense mission. Japan already does but countries like Spain and Australia also could. This foreign market could help Raytheon offset U.S. market changes.

The AMDR winner is also looking at steady business for several decades. The AEGIS has been used now for almost forty years from one source. The company that gets the contract for the AMDR at the end of the development phase should expect a similar situation providing a steady stream of revenues and earnings.

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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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IBM Expands Security Offerings Through Acquisition

IBM (IMB) expanded its capabilities in the area of security analytical support through the acquisition of British company i2 yesterday. i2 provides software that does data analysis in support of law enforcement and military operations. The value of the transaction was not announced.

IBM has invested several billion since 2006 on companies that provide this and other types of security related services in order to bolster its capabilities in this market. The move also illustrates the further commitment of government and defense contractors to what is to be an expected growth area in the future as the U.S. military and others invest in more sophisticated computer security and intelligence support functions.

While IBM did not say how much they paid for i2 in 2008 it was last sold for $185 million indicating that this deal would be substantially more as the company has had some growth since then.

It is expected that Merger & Acquisition (M&A) activity will be accelerating and the deals will be getting larger. Recently there have been two deals in the billion dollar range by larger aerospace and defense companies. First, General Dynamics (GD) acquired Vangent a health IT company for $980 million and EADS’ (EADS:P) satellite division, Astrium, agreed to acquire satellite communications company Vizada for $960 million.

These two deals expand the company’s capabilities in less traditional markets for them but ones that it is felt the U.S. especially will be spending billions on in the near future. This is move away from their past efforts in developing, producing and supporting large platforms such as aircraft, vehicles and military communication systems.

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Incident Control Systems, LLC Announces Release of Patent Pending Revolution Armor Systems — Press Release

Incident Control Systems, LLC Announces Release of Patent Pending Revolution Armor Systems.

New class of steel-composite armor proven to outperform existing metallic armor solutions at significantly reduced weight.

New Bedford, MA, August 25, 2011: Incident Control Systems, LLC (ICS) announced today that it has released Revolution Armor to the vehicle and structural armor markets after 2 years in development. Revolution Armor is a new generation of composite armor and represents the latest in armor material technology.

The patent pending composite utilizes an innovative steel alloy that features exceptionally pure alloying elements that performs like a hard ceramic strike face, but without the high cost associated with ceramic armor.

Revolution Armor has been shown in independent laboratory testing to defeat the typical Light Tactical Vehicle threats at areal densities usually reserved for high cost ceramic-composite armor designs. When tested against AP and non-AP small arms threats, Revolution Armor consistently outperforms Rolled Homogenous Armor and High Hardness Steel on a pound for pound basis. Fragment simulating projectile testing has shown Revolution to perform exceptionally well.

Revolution Armor exhibits exceptional multi-hit properties for all types of threats, unlike ceramic tiles which fracture and shatter under multiple impacts. Revolution Armor can easily withstand impacts as close as a couple of inches.

“The release of Revolution Armor and related patent filings represents the end result of a 2 year effort to develop a low cost replacement for ceramic composite armor. We are extremely pleased to have reached our goal and this moment. With Revolution, Survivability engineers now have the latest in steel and composite technology to use in their life saving missions”, stated ICS President Steve Monette Jr.

ICS will continue to market REVOLUTION ARMOR as a solution to replace ceramic composites and overweight metallic solutions.

Incident Control Systems, LLC is a vertically integrated armor design, manufacturing and vehicle integration firm located in New Bedford, MA with over 15 years experience providing military personal and vehicles with composite armor solutions. www.IncidentControlSystems.com

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Department of Defense Continues Flu Research

One of the the threats that must be faced by the U.S. military today and its allies is that of biological warfare. This not only includes more exotic agents such as anthrax or the plague but also other more mundane diseases. At the same time the U.S. through the Department of Health and Human Services as well as Defense is also researching ways to protect the U.S. population and its own troops from pandemics.

If a large unit gets a flu or other disease outbreak it can render it ineffective for a significant period of time. During World War II for example many U.S. units had a lot of non-battle casualties from diseases such as malaria, trench foot and more exotic tropical ones such as yellow fever. An aggressive inoculation and preventative capability will help prevent those kind of outbreaks and maintain unit strength and capability.

With this in mind since over the last several years the U.S. has been funding research on new vaccines, better ways to mass produce them and stockpiles for these kind of eventualities. Vandalia Research just received a contract worth about $1 million to begin the research into scaling-up production and further development of their pandemic flu vaccine.

Since 2005 it has been estimated that the Federal government has spent over $2 billion on this type of research. Part of this was related to the failure to produce sufficient amounts of H1N1 flu vaccine in 2009. Much of the money has gone for ways to produce the vaccines using cellular reproduction rather then the traditional egg based system.

The U.S. should be expected to continue funding this type of research for the next several years as it develops new manufacturing processes and stockpiles of vaccines to protect against potential pandemic outbreaks.

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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne J-2X Engine for NASA’s Future Human Spaceflight Ready for Test — Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne J-2X Engine for NASA’s Future Human Spaceflight Ready for Test

CANOGA PARK, Calif., June 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne completed assembly of the first J-2X upper-stage engine for NASA’s next era of human spaceflight in preparation for demonstration testing expected to begin this month at Stennis Space Center, Miss. The J-2X is a highly efficient and versatile rocket engine with characteristics to power the upper stage of a heavy-lift launch vehicle. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.

“Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is proud to have assembled and brought to test NASA’s first new human rated engine in 31 years,” said Jim Maser, President, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “Built from a proven engine design, the J-2X is a safe and reliable solution for NASA’s future heavy-lift architecture.”

Fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, the J-2X engine will generate 294,000 pounds of thrust to propel a spacecraft into low-Earth orbit. The J-2X can start and restart in space to support of a variety of mission requirements. To view a time-lapse video of engine assembly, click here: http://tinyurl.com/3vxm25f

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a part of Pratt & Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is headquartered in Canoga Park, Calif., and has facilities in Huntsville, Ala.; Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; Stennis Space Center, Miss; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and ARDE, Carlstadt, NJ. For more information about Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, go to www.prattwhitneyrocketdyne.com.

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.

SOURCE Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

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Supreme Court Continues the A-12 Case Between Government, Boeing and GD

In the late 1980′s the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carriers were equipped with A-6 Intruder and A-7 Corsair II attack aircraft. The Navy wanted to design and build an advanced, stealth aircraft to replace these Vietnam era systems. This led to the A-12 Avenger program that would design and produce a similar aircraft to the U.S. Air Force’s F-117 stealth fighter. The Navy signed a contract with McDonnell Douglas, now part of Boeing (BA), and General Dynamics (GD).

The program though ran into cost and schedule issues and ultimately was cancelled in 1991 by then Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. When the Government terminates a contract it may end up owing the contractors money or be paid back for some of the cost. In this case the Government claimed that the two contractors owed due to non-performance while GD and McDonnell-Douglas claimed that they were owed for work done but not paid for yet because the contract was ended illegally.

Normally contracts are terminated for convenience which means the books are closed and settled and the contractors received some payment or they are terminated for cause in which case some money may be returned to the Treasury. The two companies claimed that because the contract was cancelled by the Defense Secretary rather then the Contracting Officer proper procedures were not followed. Both they and the Government sued each other. The case has been winding its way through the Federal Court system for almost twenty years.

Almost two years ago a Federal appeals court agreed with the Government that they were owed about $3 billion. The contractors then appealed to the Supreme Court and their case was heard. They claimed that the Government was hindering the case by using the “state secrets” privilege to keep key information from being heard by the courts in their defense. The Justice Department said that due to the stealth technology involved in the aircraft’s design and manufacture that it needed to be protected.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the contractors were right. They did not, though, rule in their favor but threw the case back to the appeals court for a re-hearing. The high court said clearly that the Navy could not receive the money while they used the “state secrets” rule to prevent the release of information.

This means that further hearings and trials may be ahead in this case. It is one of the longest running and largest contract disputes between contractors and the Defense Department and does not seem to be ending any time soon.

Photo from DaveReichert’s Flickr photostream.

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BARDA Smallpox Contract Protested by Chimerix

BARDA is the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Their goal is to provide an “integrated, systematic approach to the development and purchase of the necessary vaccines, drugs, therapies, and diagnostic tools for public health medical emergencies.”

As part of this they fund various research, development and production of medical countermeasures for potential attacks using Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents. One concern is diseases such as anthrax and smallpox which have the potential to infect and damage large populations. This Pandemic Medical Countermeasures program has acquired vaccines and therapeutic drugs and treatments.

Recently they made the decision to award a production contract to Siga Technologies for an antiviral smallpox medical countermeasures. This was a five year contract with the potential for being worth over $400 million. It was to continue development of the treatment and explore manufacturing and safety. If all went well Siga would make about 1.7 million treatment courses during the contract with an option for up to 12 million more. That size of production could be worth almost $3 billion.

The contract award was protested with days by rival biotech company Chimerix. Chimerix had also received a BARDA development contract for their own smallpox countermeasure. They feel that the follow on contract should have been awarded to them. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) will review the protest and decide it. This means that there will be a delay to the implementation of the contract by Siga as long as the protest is denied.

If the protest is upheld then it will require a reevaluation of the bids or work by BARDA to justify their award to Siga. It could even lead to a whole new competition if the GAO feels it is warranted.

Defenses against such attacks is a new area of investment by the U.S. and other governments. Concerns about a terrorist group using such weapons was driven by the post-9/11 anthrax attacks in the the United States and has caused billions of investment by different organizations in countermeasures and treatment. This like many other aspects of contracting has led to more interest by companies and more competition. The fact of the protest is not surprising considering this.

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MDA Awards New Navy Interceptor Development Contracts

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has been investing billions in a series of different systems to provide layered missile defense. These include Army ground based programs such as PATRIOT PAC-3 and THAAD. The U.S. Navy also is utilizing an evolution of their AEGIS anti-air system to conduct this mission.

The sea based system utilizes an upgrade to the radar software as well as a version of the venerable STANDARD Missile 2 (SM-2) called the SM-3 which has been a staple of the Navy’s anti-air program for over thirty years. The missile uses the propulsion system of the anti-air missile to get a kinetic warhead out of the Earth’s atmosphere to intercept the enemy target. It has been undergoing development and testing since the early Nineties.

MDA and the Navy are working on different versions of the missile and Raytheon (RTN) was just awarded a contract for 24 Block IB versions. The company is also investing in a new production facility in Huntsville, AL for the missiles.

Now that the concept has been demonstrated and a certain capability reached the MDA and Navy are moving out on developing a whole new missile for use with the ship based system. As they did late last year when they started work on the new radar for the system the government awarded multiple development contracts to different defense companies.

Three of the largest defense contractors in the U.S. – Raytheon, Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) – were awarded concept development contracts each worth about $40 million. When the program reaches the first milestone of the “Integrated Defense Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Management System” there will then be a down select to one or more of the company’s ideas for further development.

Ultimately as it winds its way towards a production decision one of the concepts will go through development and testing and ultimately into production. If the government is comfortable with the different designs and has the money to invest it might even conduct a “fly off” of the competitors to force more competition and hopefully a better price. For a system this complex and expensive that might not be a viable approach in the end as missile defense tests prove to be very expensive.

Either way the MDA is trying to see if a more effective, reliable and economic solution exists rather then just continue to evolve the SM-2 and SM-3 family although in the end that may be the path selected.

Photo from U.S. Missile Defense Agency flickr photostream.

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Morphotek Receives Grant to Support Development of Therapeutic Antibodies against Biowarfare Agents — Press Release

Morphotek Receives Grant to Support Development of Therapeutic Antibodies against Biowarfare Agents

EXTON, Pa., April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., announced today that the company has received a grant of approximately $947,000 from the United States Department of Defense (DOD) to support the continued development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) capable of neutralizing the toxic effects of botulinum neurotoxins (BOTN). The development project is part of a U.S. defense initiative to protect citizens against toxic threats posed by biowarfare agents. In 2007, Morphotek was awarded $2.3 million in funding to support the initial development of these mAb therapies.

Morphotek has been developing mAbs with neutralizing activities against BOTN. These funds will further support the engineering of a monoclonal antibody-based therapy that can potentially protect against exposure to these toxins.

“The DOD funding will allow us to explore novel antibody formats capable of blocking the toxic effects of certain BOTN subtypes,” said Luigi Grasso, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Morphotek. “DOD’s funding for this program demonstrates the importance of developing non-animal derived and safe biological therapies to treat potential exposure to different weaponized BOTN subtypes.”

The funded program is in response to government efforts to develop therapies capable of protecting civilian and military personnel against exposure to pathogenic agents that can be deployed by rogue states or terrorists as bioweapons. The program also is consistent with Morphotek’s and Eisai’s human health care (hhc) mission to give first thought to patients and their families and to increasing the benefits that health care provides by satisfying unmet medical needs.

About Morphotek

Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of protein and antibody products through the use of a novel and proprietary gene evolution technology. The technology has been successfully applied to a broad variety of cell lines and organisms to yield genetically diverse offspring that are suitable for pharmaceutical product development in the areas of antibody therapeutics, protein therapeutics, product manufacturing, drug target discovery, and improved output traits for commercial applications. The company is currently focusing its platform on the development and manufacturing of therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and infectious disease. For more information, please visit www.morphotek.com.

About Eisai Inc.

Eisai Inc. was established in 1995 and is ranked among the top-20 U.S. pharmaceutical companies (based on retail sales). The company began marketing its first product in the United States in 1997 and has rapidly grown to become a fully integrated pharmaceutical business. Eisai’s areas of commercial focus include neurology, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology/critical care. The company serves as the U.S. pharmaceutical operation of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world.

Eisai has a global product creation organization that includes U.S.-based R&D facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania as well as manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. The company’s areas of R&D focus include neuroscience; oncology; vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction; and antibody-based programs. For more information about Eisai, please visit www.eisai.com/us.

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U.S. Air Force Modifies SBIRS Contract with Lockheed for More Flexibility

The U.S. Air Force has been working with Lockheed Martin (LMT) for several years on the development, production and deployment of the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS). This is a group of satellites that will be placed into orbit to detect and classify missile and other space launch vehicles as they are launched. It is replacing a Cold War era system.

The program will ultimately have six different satellites with two in a high orbit and four in geosynchronous orbit. Lockheed recently received a contract for the last of the geosynchronous satellites worth about $400 million. This follows work on the two high and the other three geosynchronous satellites.

All systems such as this also have a ground component that is used to control the satellites as well as receive data from them. Lockheed is also working on that aspect of the SBIRS system. As part of this Lockheed just received a contract modification for the Block 10 of the ground systems that is worth over $450 million. This will modify the contract to deliver a more flexible system that includes segregating the different mission areas as well as providing a means for delivering data to a variety of users. The new ground system will be deployed at at least two locations and will also be integrated with the legacy system the SBIRS is replacing.

The United States continues its investment in missile defense systems and part of this is a system that provides warning of potential threat launches. The SBIRS is one component of that and it makes no sense to develop programs like those deployed in Alaska and on Navy ships if you do not have good intelligence and support that allow you to detect, classify and engage enemy missiles. Programs like this are key to developing and maintaining that capability.

Photo from The U.S. Army flickr photostream.

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Missile Defense Agency Buys a Billion Dollars Worth of Interceptors

Even with the current budgetary situation in the United States where the Defense Department and the rest of the Federal government is operating without a budget and faces a possible shutdown in a week’s time the U.S. continues its operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya as well as working on existing defense programs. Part of this is the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) keeping its different programs going with the announcement of two major contracts in the last few days.

First Raytheon (RTN) received an order for 24 STANDARD Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB missiles for use on Navy cruisers and destroyers to intercept ballistic missiles. This contract is worth about $312 million. The SM-3 is an evolutionary design based on the SM-2 air defense missile in use by the United States and some Allies since the early Seventies. In the SM-3 configuration it carries an exo-atmospheric kinetic kill vehicle that will engage the target at high altitude. The MDA and Navy have been developing and testing the AEGIS weapon system based program since the mid-Nineties.

Raytheon is also investing several million dollars in a new facility at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL to manufacture the SM-3 and its replacement the SM-6. It is expected that ground breaking on the complex will happen fairly soon.

Lockheed Martin (LMT) who manufactures missiles for the Army’s PATRIOT PAC-3 and THAAD systems also received a production order. This was for 48 THAAD missiles, launchers and support equipment. That contract has a value of almost $800 million. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is the longer ranged of the Army’s ground based programs. This contract represents a major expansion of the number of THAAD units for the Army. The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) has also looked at buying the THAAD system to provide protection for itself.

If you are doing the math that is over a billion dollars for 72 missiles and related support equipment and services. Missile defense is neither cheap nor easy and indicates the U.S. intent to continue development and deployment of their layered defensive system.

Photo from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency flickr photostream.

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Cubic Announces $18.8 Million U.S. Army Contract for Functional and Analytical Support to the Sustainment Battle Lab — Press Release

March 24, 2011 by · Comment
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Cubic, Events, IT, Press Releases, S&T 

Cubic Announces $18.8 Million U.S. Army Contract for Functional and Analytical Support to the Sustainment Battle Lab

HAMPTON, VA–(Marketwire – March 24, 2011) – The U.S. Army has awarded Cubic Applications Inc., a mission support services subsidiary of Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB), an $18.8 million contract for functional and analytical support to the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command’s (CASCOM) Sustainment Battle Lab located at Fort Lee, Virginia.

The Sustainment Battle Lab assists the Army Concept Development and Experimentation Plan and the Sustainment community by researching and evaluating existing and emerging logistics processes; developing future concepts, force designs and organizational relationships; and evaluating existing and emerging logistics technologies and facilities to support these activities. The battle lab participates in Joint, Army and other Service processes, experiments and wargames in fulfilling its responsibilities. Under this contract, Cubic will provide management, analytical, and technical support to the Sustainment Battle Lab and other CASCOM directorates for Army Concept Development and Experimentation Plan & Future Force initiatives.

“The support Cubic provides to this program will assist the Army’s combat development process in a variety of venues by providing analytical rigor to develop quantifiable data so the Army can make informed decisions and see a positive return on their investment,” said Joe Roszkowski, Program Director for Cubic’s Operations Support Division in Prince George, Virginia.

Cubic Applications, Inc. is part of the Mission Support Services business unit of Cubic Corporation. Cubic Corporation is the parent company of three major business segments: Defense Systems, Mission Support Services and Transportation Systems. Cubic Defense Systems is a leading provider of realistic combat training systems and defense electronics. Mission Support Services is a leading provider of training, operations, maintenance, technical and other support services. Cubic Transportation Systems is the world’s leading provider of automated fare collection systems and services for public transit authorities. For more information about Cubic, see the company’s Web site at www.cubic.com.

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