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New Scout SV armoured vehicle unveiled at DVD

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Forced by Budget Cuts, US Army is Likely to End GCV Program

January 23, 2014 by · Comment
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Soldier’s Network Delivery Update: 2,300 HMS Manpack Radios Now Delivered by General Dynamics to Keep Soldiers Safer and Better Informed — Press Release

Letters signed by more than 112 Soldier Network suppliers associated with the production of PRC-155 Manpack radio and 60 members of Congress expresses support for soldiers and the American workforce that builds them.

TAUNTON, Mass., Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — General Dynamics C4 Systems and Rockwell Collins have delivered more than 2,300 secure, two-channel AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios to the U.S. Army under a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract awarded in November 2012. The contract ordered 3,726 PRC-155 radios to be built by General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The PRC-155 radios have completed extensive government testing and are on schedule for distribution to soldiers as part of the Army’s Capability Set (Cap Set) 13, an integrated suite of networked communications equipment, and Cap Set 14, scheduled for the first quarter of 2014. The two-channel Manpack radio is the only NSA-certified, two-channel radio that can operate using multiple government-owned waveforms to simultaneously connect soldiers on foot, in vehicles, in aircraft and helicopters to the Soldier’s Network.

“These radios are deployed and successfully connecting soldiers with their commanders and higher headquarters using legacy and next-generation communications waveforms, which keep soldiers continuously connected to the Soldier’s Network and never alone,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems. “By authorizing additional LRIP production now, the Army can continue to meet fielding requirements and ensure that every soldier is connected with this lifesaving radio, on schedule.”

“With the AN/PRC-155 Manpack networking radio, soldiers can be confident they will have access to lifesaving voice and data communications,” said Phil Jasper, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Rockwell Collins. “The hundreds of Iowa employees involved with this effort look forward to delivering the balance of these radios, making our soldiers more capable and more secure.”

The PRC-155 Manpack radio allows soldiers using the AN/PRC-154A Rifleman radio to connect to the Army’s backbone network, the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2. The PRC-155 Manpack also bridges networks – legacy to future, lower to upper echelons and unclassified to classified guard – allowing everyone, from the command center to the soldier on the edge of the battlefield, to stay connected to the Soldier’s Network.

General Dynamics C4 Systems and Rockwell Collins manufacture the AN/PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radios. The radios built under the current LRIP sustain hundreds of skilled technical jobs in Arizona and Iowa. More than 100 PRC-155 Manpack radios are built each week in support of the Soldier’s Network that engages more than 300 small business and 7,000 workers nationwide.

General Dynamics C4 Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). More information about General Dynamics C4 Systems is available online at www.gdc4s.com. For more information about the General Dynamics family of HMS tactical networking radios, visit www.gdradios.com.

Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative communication and aviation electronic solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, information management, and simulation and training is delivered by 19,000 employees, and a global service and support network that crosses 27 countries. To find out more, please visit www.rockwellcollins.com.

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U.S. Vehicle Modernization Programs Should Continue Despite Budget Pressures

8408212129_6e55470d16The U.S. military is facing a struggle with its budget over the next 5 year based on current plans. It is winding down its commitment in Afghanistan and facing the effects of debt ceiling limitations and sequestration. At the same time it needs to reset itself after 12 years of commitment in South West Asia and the Middle East. This means force structures will be changed and equipment repaired and rebuilt. There will also need to be investment in certain new programs and capability to continue technical improvement to the forces overall.

Sequestration was implemented for 2013 but had minimal affect on the actual execution of the budge and mission. People were furloughed; some programs didn’t do all their planned development but generally plans were accomplished. The Congress has yet to pass a 2014 budget but the versions that passed the whole House and voted out of Senate Committee assume there will be no sequestration in 2014 and fully fund the President’s request. That assumes some deal being made where either sequestration is cancelled or cuts are made to other parts of the budget.

The recent talk of fighting in Syria by U.S. Navy and Air Forces only has reinforced the view of many in Congress that the defense budget cannot be cut.Vehicle down

There are several core modernization programs in the U.S. that should continue. These include the biggest of them all, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and for the Army, the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

The GCV will replace the M2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the JLTV the ubiquitous HUMVEE. Both programs are following similar paths where they will pay to develop prototypes from vendors to test and then choose one or more for production and entry into service. This was the successful concept used to buy the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP)-ATV used in Afghanistan. That concept was won by Oshkosh (OSK) with their MRAP-AT vehicle.

The JLTV is reaching a point where the 3 teams vying for the contract have sent in their prototypes for testing. These are Lockheed Martin (LMT), AM General and Oshkosh. The GCV is still earlier in the program and is working to reach that stage with 2 competitors, General Dynamics (GD) and BAE Systems (BAE), one are working to meet their solutions. Both programs have substantial budgets supporting these development efforts in FY13 and planned for 2014.

The two programs biggest struggle, like many Americans, is with weight. To meet the protection requirements demanded of fending off mines and IED’s while facing a variety of direct and indirect fire threats lead to all discussed designs being very heavy. Both the JLTV and GCV had programs before them that had to be ended and reevaluated due to the total weight of the proposed solutions. The initial JLTV concepts were weighing 18-20 tons and the GCV over 80, or in the class of Main Battle Tanks (MBT).

The solution discussed for both programs are to use add on armor depending on the level of threat. This means in most situations not all of it would be carried improving weight and performance. In high threat areas more would be bolted on with affects on capabilities. In all situations the maximum armament would still be carried while protection would vary. This does though increase the overall cost of the vehicle and the programs at a time when budget dollars are going to be scrutinized and spread very thin.

In the past when the Pentagon faced a similar budget crunch programs in development would see delays as their annual budgets will be decreased. Production quantities will be reduced and spread over more years shifting cost to the “out year” budget and delaying full entry into service. In extreme cases outright cancellation of the project has occurred.

These two systems are critical to the overall upgrade of the U.S. military ground forces. The HUMVEE and M2 are both originally 30 year designs. They have received constant upgrades especially in the last 10 years due to the changed threat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The HUMVEE, especially, has seen more and more armor added and improved weapon and tactical communication systems added.

Their fates are also tied to the removal of the MRAP from service. The MRAP’s were a quick reaction to a specific threat and public outcry over casualties from the IED and mines. They were never meant to be battlefield vehicles and the armor protection requirements for these programs show why. The U.S. is resetting their MRAP force of several different designs and models and trying to fit them into their standard organization and doctrine. Most likely they will be eliminated from these and used only in extreme depending on the threat.

These programs are expected to continue with the possibility of seeing delays and lengthening of schedules. They are critical to the continuing U.S. armored vehicle capability as there are few other systems coming. The Army has proposed shutting down their M1 production facility for several years due to overcapacity and demand. Congress has fought that and will most likely not allow it but it indicates the budgetary situation. If the JLTV and GCV are cancelled or extremely delayed the U.S. could lose industrial base and capability that would affect future modernization efforts down the road.

Photos of the M2 and HUMVEES courtesy of DVIDSHUB flickr photostream.

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Navy Awards General Dynamics Bath Iron Works $2.8 Billion Contract for Four DDG 51 Destroyers, with Option for Fifth — Press Release

BATH, Maine, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works a contract valued at $2.8 billion for the construction of four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, with an option for a fifth ship. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

“This contract adds four ships to our workload in a fiscally challenging and highly competitive environment, and provides a clearer picture of our near-term future,” said Jeff Geiger, president of Bath Iron Works. “Continuation of the DDG 51 program provides important work for the men and women of Bath Iron Works and allows us to extend our record of delivering these critical surface combatants to the U.S. Navy.”

The option for the fifth ship, if exercised, would bring the total value of the contract to approximately $3.5 billion.

Geiger said the work of Maine’s congressional delegation was critical in support of the multi-year procurement approach.

“We appreciate the strong support of our senators and representatives, who have been instrumental in educating their colleagues and others about the vital national-security need for a strong naval fleet, and their advocacy on behalf of the shipbuilders of Maine,” Geiger said.

There are currently two DDG 51 destroyers in production at Bath Iron Works, Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) and Thomas Hudner (DDG 116). The shipyard began fabrication on DDG 115 in November 2011, and delivery to the Navy is scheduled for 2016. Fabrication on DDG 116 began in November 2012, and that ship is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2017.

Bath Iron Works is also building the three ships in the planned three-vessel Zumwalt-class of destroyers, Zumwalt (DDG 1000), Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and Lyndon Johnson (DDG 1002). All three ships are progressing in construction. Bath Iron Works celebrated the keel-laying milestone for Michael Monsoor in late May, and Zumwalt is expected to be launched later this year.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is a multi-mission combatant that offers defense against a wide range of threats, including ballistic missiles. It operates in support of carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups, providing a complete array of anti-submarine (ASW), anti-air (AAW) and anti-surface (SuW) capabilities. Designed for survivability, the ships incorporate all-steel construction and have gas turbine propulsion. The combination of the ships’ AEGIS combat system, the Vertical Launching System, an advanced ASW system, two embarked SH-60 helicopters, advanced anti-aircraft missiles and Tomahawk anti-ship and land-attack missiles make the Arleigh Burke class the most powerful surface combatant ever put to sea.

Bath Iron Works currently employs roughly 5,400 people.

More information about General Dynamics Bath Iron Works can be found at www.gdbiw.com.

More information about General Dynamics is available at www.gd.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Army Releases Draft RFP for M113 Replacement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Navy Awards Contracts for New Ship Components

The building of a modern warship requires not only the initial large contract with the builder but numerous other ones to buy components and support for the actual ships. Other systems are purchased with separate contracts and then items are provided to the builder for installation on the ships as they are assembled. The U.S. Navy is currently building new aircraft carriers, missile destroyers, Littoral Combats Ships (LCS), amphibious warfare ships as well as support vessels.

The LCS is being built by 2 different yards under 2 separate contracts. The LCS-1 design are made in Wisconsin by Marinette Marine and Lockheed Martin (LMT). The LCS-2 in Mobile, AL by Austal America and General Dynamics (GD). While they have dissimilar hull designs the basic weapon fit remains the same and both will carry mission modules. Up to 20 LCS are on contract to be built with the Navy periodically issuing contracts for 2 from each builder.

2 related contracts were recently awarded to support U.S. Navy ship construction. First General Dynamics (GD) received one for 8 MK 46 Naval Weapon Systems. The MK 46 is a 30mm cannon mounted in a stabilized turret. These will be installed on LPD-12 amphibious assault ships and the LCS. The contract is worth $26 million and is a follow on to previous contracts under which 30 systems have been delivered.

Then ATK (ATK), the ammunition and explosive manufacturer, received a contract for 30mm ammo. This $12 million contract is for incendiary rounds for the MK 46. It is a 5 year Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract with 1 base and 4 option years. As an ID/IQ the Navy will order off of the contract what is required to outfit ships with the Mk 46 weapon.

With Sequestration and the budget reductions recently passed by Congress and agreed to by the Obama Administration FY13 will probably not see many more major contracts awarded. There may be many though like these to support bigger programs already underway.

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General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions Opens Forensics Lab to Help Customers Defend Against Advanced Cyber Threats — Press Release

Lab staffed by expert network defense and forensic services team to protect customers against the toughest cyber threats.

COLUMBIA, Md., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions recently opened a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to helping commercial and public sector customers prevent, contain and analyze cyber attacks. General Dynamics’ network defense and forensics services team is based at the Columbia, Md., lab. This team works closely with customers to combat advanced cyber attacks by assessing their security posture; designing, building and managing a security infrastructure that is capable of discovering and containing advanced threats; and responding to sophisticated attacks quickly and effectively when they occur.

Staffed by professionals with decades of experience protecting networks and solving the toughest cyber incidents, the new lab employs the latest technology innovations and threat intelligence from across the General Dynamics family of cybersecurity products and solutions and the industry at-large. Drawing on this unique depth and breadth of experience, the team helps customers after an attack by identifying and containing attacks, recovering critical data, performing network forensics and helping build up network defenses to protect against future threats.

“Today’s rapidly evolving threat landscape is more perilous than ever before, with organizations around the world aggressively attacked by sophisticated advanced persistent threats,” said Jim Jaeger, vice president of cybersecurity services at General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions. “We have a tremendous team that has collectively handled more than 3,500 breach cases. We help customers decipher and counter threats by going beyond the standard procedures of cyber forensics and actually reverse engineering attacks.”

In the event of a breach, the team preserves evidence and maintains detailed evidence logs to help prosecutors more effectively identify and pursue cyber criminals. The team has played an instrumental role in gathering and analyzing forensic evidence and providing it to law enforcement to help indict and convict multiple groups of organized international cyber criminals.

“We work to truly understand the methods adversaries use, find the clues they might leave behind and uncover the motivations driving their attacks,” said Jaeger. “The combination of our expert skills with our innovative use of technology is one of the most powerful in the industry. We have a proven track record of successfully counteracting targeted attacks.”

General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions provides organizations with a robust, comprehensive portfolio of products, services and expertise to combat today’s sophisticated advanced threats and prevent data breaches. The company’s commercial enterprise and government customers around the globe can face advanced threats with confidence through use of its Network Defense and Forensics Services, delivered by a team of security professionals with decades of hands-on experience, and its award-winning Fidelis XPS Advanced Threat Defense products, which provide visibility and control over the entire threat life cycle. General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions is part of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

General Dynamics delivers comprehensive cybersecurity solutions and services to defend critical information and infrastructure. With unique knowledge of the cyber threat and deep understanding of the environment, General Dynamics provides effective and timely defense, exploitation and analysis solutions. The company integrates cybersecurity into every solution, from basic information assurance to the most sophisticated multi-level security. For more information, visit www.gd-cyber.com.

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Article on Defense Earnings at Seeking Alpha

Here is an article I wrote for Seeking Alpha on recent defense earnings reports and how companies are addressing the difficult 2013 situation.

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U.S. Army Orders MUOS Upgrade for AN/PRC-155 Manpack Radios from General Dynamics — Press Release

Field upgrade allows existing PRC-155 Manpack radios to communicate with MUOS satellite communications system for on-orbit testing.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Army ordered kits in December to upgrade 100 Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) AN/PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radios to enable them to communicate with the military’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite communications system.  This MUOS channel upgrade, comprising a field-replaceable power amplifier and supporting software, will allow secure voice and data communication with the MUOS system.  The order is valued at $5 million; the kits will be delivered in the fall of 2013.

“By upgrading fielded PRC-155 radios, the Army will greatly enhance soldier effectiveness by providing a tenfold increase in SATCOM capacity for secure, over-the-horizon military communications,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems.  “MUOS access on the two-channel PRC-155 will also allow current Army networks to be bridged and extended far beyond their current reach.”

The two-channel PRC-155 Manpack radio also runs the essential waveforms from the defense department library.  They include the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) that connects dismounted soldiers to the network, the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW) that seamlessly transports large amounts of data and the legacy SINCGARS waveform for communication with existing radios.  Using the PRC-155′s two-channel capability, soldiers operating on any one of these waveforms on one channel, can interconnect with soldiers using another waveform on the second channel.  With the MUOS capability in the PRC-155, a network of soldiers can be interconnected with others in a far distant location.

The MUOS waveform, based on the communications interface found in commercial cellular networks, will deliver high-speed voice and data communications and 10-times greater capacity than the military’s current Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite communications system.  With a smartphone-like flow of information, the upgraded PRC-155 radios will allow soldiers to access the MUOS communications system wherever they are deployed, on foot or from land vehicles, ships, submarines and aircraft.

For more information about the General Dynamics’ family of HMS family of radios, visit www.gdradios.com.

General Dynamics C4 Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).  More information about C4 Systems is available online at www.gdc4s.com.

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

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Ground Combat Vehicle Decision to be Delayed

3286900481_fe603c77a6_mIt is being reported that the Army has decided to delay the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) six months. This is being done most likely in response to the current budgetary situation with the potential sequestration cuts.

The Defense Department has done a good job awarding current contract options this past few months to get things on contract to limit the effects of sequestration on existing work. Unfortunately new contracts will be affected as there may not be as much money available to award later this year. GCV may be in that situation. Delaying it several months should get you into Fiscal Year 2014 with a better handle on what money you have and allow the budget to prioritize funding.

Sequestration may force across the board cuts in all defense appropriations and limit the ability of new, large contracts to be awarded for the remainder of this Fiscal Year.

Two teams of contractors were awarded development contracts by the Army for the M2 Bradley replacement in 2011. One of those designs will be selected to go into Engineering, Manufacturing & Development (EMD) and ultimately into full production. This may still be several years into the future. These were to General Dynamics (GD) and to a team of BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman (NOC). The bid by the 2 prime contractors on the cancelled Future Combat System (FCS) the last attempt to build a Bradley replacement, Boeing (BA) and SAIC (SAIC), was not accepted.

Photo from UNC -CFC-USFK’s flickr photostream.

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Despite Budget Worries Programs Continue

The U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration may have pushed off the decision on sequestration and dealing with the planned budget cuts for the Defense Department but that does not mean development and new programs don’t continue. Using available funding the work goes on to advance these efforts 2 recent press releases illustrate this activity.

General Dynamics and Alenia Aermacchi Join Forces for U.S. Air Force T-X Trainer Competition — “General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) and Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, announced today the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to join forces and compete for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X trainer program, which will replace aging T-38 trainer jets and related training systems.” The American defense contractor will team up with Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi to propose a variant of the M-346 military aircraft trainer designated the T-100. The T-X program will replace the U.S. Air Force’s T-38 fleet. THe M-346 was recently selected by Israel to be their primary training aircraft.

Lockheed Martin JLTV Undergoes Successful Design Review — ” Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) family of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles successfully completed a top-to-bottom government design review in late December, well ahead of the first Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) JLTVs that will begin rolling off the assembly line this spring.” The JLTV is the planned replacement for the HUMVEE in use by the U.S. military and potentially its Allies. It will be a large program if fully executed as there will be a requirement for thousands of the vehicles. The U.S. is utilizing a process where multiple designs are being developed independently by contractors and then one or more may eventually be selected to go into Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) and then production.

The hard decisions facing U.S. defense budget decision makers is whether to cut back funding for these types of programs and make do with existing systems that may cost more in the long run to operate and maintain due to their age and capabilities. In the past it has been tempting to reduce investment in new systems beyond basic development to manage the size of the budget. If these types of programs continue it may mean cuts to current operations and force sizes to fee up the necessary investment requirements. The types of cuts required by sequestration will be hard to implement in the current budget but could be easier in future ones as more specific cuts may be made.

In the end if the cuts are carried out the U.S. will lose capability and may see new programs like these executed.

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General Dynamics Wins 2 FMS Vehicle Contracts

As the U.S. Defense Department looks to the potential start of sequestration and the cuts required by that budget device it made an effort at the start of Fiscal Year 2013 to award as many contract and production options as it could. This means that future large contract awards may be limited as the year goes on. This may limit the potential contract actions remaining for U.S. defense contractors.

At the same time some budget decisions have already been made due to the drawing down of the Afghanistan commitment and the end of Iraq fighting. This has included decisions by the Army to not utilize General Dynamics (GD) tank manufacturing plan in Lima, OH due to their requirements being met.

General Dynamics like most other major contractors is trying to expand their already quite large foreign orders to make up for some of these cuts, real or potential.

In this vein the company was just awarded 2 Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contracts for U.S. allies. These are for M1 tanks to Saudi Arabia and Light Armored Vehicles (LAV) for Colombia.

The Saudi contract is for a further 69 of the M1A2S version of the Abrams tank. This contract is worth a little over $130 million and is for a tank specifically equipped to Saudi needs.

Colombia ordered 24 LAV III wheeled armored vehicles for just over $65 million. The LAV III have the latest in double hull armor for defense against IED and mines.

If the sequestration cuts are implemented then there will be more pressure to win these types of contract in an increasingly competitive markets. If not the U.S. may not be able to maintain manufacturing capability slowly built up over the last decade.

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Boldly Gone: The End for the USS Enterprise

CVN-65

The all-nuclear
Task Force One, 1964
(click to view full)

There was a time when USS Enterprise was the most famous ship in the world. It still is, but these days, most people think of the fictional starship rather than the world’s first nuclear-powered carrier. The real USS Enterprise was commissioned in 1961, which means that its long career of service must soon draw to a close. In April 2008, a $453.3 million contract covered the ship’s Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability for maintenance and upgrades – but reached over $660 million before all was said and done, and took 2 years.

That kept “the Big E” going for a couple more years, but it could only delay the inevitable. 2012 saw the ship’s last mission come to an end, and by 2014, USS Enterprise is scheduled to fade into history, to be replaced by the first ship [CVN 78] of the Gerald R. Ford Class. This time, there will be no reruns or syndication deals. When the end comes, plans and facilities for permanently decommissioning the ship and dealing with its A2W nuclear reactors will need to be ready.

Contracts and Key Events

Contracts in June and December 2007 also involved “inactivation planning” of the USS Enterprise, but they were primarily aimed at the ship’s final EDSRA refurbishment dry docking from 2008-2010, and are not included here.

FY 2011 – 2013

DoN NG: From CVN 65 to CVN 80

USS Enterprise Inactivation

Inactivation
(click to view full)
Dec 20/12: FY 2013. Huntington Ingalls, Inc. in Newport News, VA receives a $33.7 million cost-plus-fixed fee contract modification for the FY 2013 continuation of CVN 65 advance defueling and inactivation planning. As usual, that includes advanced planning, ship checks, design, documentation, engineering, procurement, fabrication and preliminary shipyard or support facility work. All of these funds are committed immediately, and expire at the end of this fiscal year, on Sept 30/13.

This seems to bring total FY 2013 planning work to $106.2 million (vid. Oct 15/12 entry). Note that the total estimated value of the base contract, if all options were exercised, was announced as $282 million. Announced awards to date, which may not have seen every dollar spent, total $373.9 million.

Work will be performed at Naval Station Norfolk (62.4%) and in Newport News, VA (37.6%), and is expected to complete by June 2013. The Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair in Newport News, VA manages this contract (N62793-07-C-0001).

Dec 1/12: Inactivation. Nearly 12,000 past and current crew members, family and friends attend the formal inactivation of USS Enterprise at Naval Station Norfolk, VA. It’s the last public ceremony, but there’s still a lot of work to do, and significant contracts to issue, before the ship is deactivated and safe.

US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus doesn’t attend, but he plays a video message to announce that the 3rd Ford Class carrier, CVN-80, will become the next USS Enterprise when and if she is built. US Navy | USN CVN 65 site.

Inactivation

One last time…
click for video

Nov 4/12: USS Enterprise steams into Norfolk, VA as it returns from its 25th and final deployment, after 51 years of distinguished service. The carrier’s inactivation ceremony is scheduled for Dec 1/12 at Norfolk Naval Station. US Navy | Agence France Presse.

Final voyage

Nov 2/12: General Dynamics NASSCO Earl Industries in Norfolk, VA receives a $25 million contract modification for USS Enterprise’s Ship Terminal Operation Program, in support of the deactivation of the ship. Work will be performed in Norfolk, VA, and is expected to be complete by June 2013. All contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/13. The Norfolk Ship Support Activity in Norfolk, VA manages this contract (N00024-11-C-4303).

Oct 15/12: FY 2013 base. Huntington Ingalls, Inc. in Newport News, VA receives a $72.5 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification, exercising an option for the FY 2013 continuation of CVN 65 advance defueling and inactivation planning. As usual, that includes advanced planning, ship checks, design, documentation, engineering, procurement, fabrication and preliminary shipyard or support facility work.

Work will be performed in Newport News, VA, and is expected to be completed by June 2013. Funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The US Navy’s supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair in Newport News, VA manages the contract (N62793-07-C-0001).

The total estimated value of this contract, if all options were exercised, was announced as $282 million. Announced awards to date, which may not have seen every dollar spent, total $340.2 million.

July 31/12: Huntington Ingalls, Inc. in Newport News, VA receives a $10.7 million cost-plus-fixed fee contract modification to continue FY 2012 advance planning efforts to prepare for USS Enterprise defueling and inactivation. That includes advance planning, ship checks, design, documentation, engineering, long lead time material procurement, fabrication and preliminary shipyard or support facility work.

This work will be performed in Newport News, VA, and is expected to finish by September 2013. The US Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair in Newport News, VA manages the contract (N62793-07-C-0001).

USS Enterprise is currently deployed in the Persian Gulf.

Nov 10/11: Huntington Ingalls, Inc. in Newport News, VA receives a $26.5 million contract modification for the USS Enterprise’s FY 2012-2013 core team and continuous maintenance planning, hull planning, yard services and execution of continuous maintenance. This contract allows for the necessary planning, alterations, maintenance, repairs and routine work to run USS Enterprise until the end of the ship’s service life.

Most of the work will be performed in Newport News, VA, with some work being conducted as required in Norfolk, VA until June 2013. $24.3 million have been committed, and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year on Sept 30/12. The contract was not competitively procured by the Us Navy’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair in Newport News, VA (N62793-07-C-0001).

Oct 28/11: FY 2012 base. Huntington Ingalls, Inc. Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, VA receives an $83.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification, exercising an option for FY 2012 continuation of advance planning efforts for the defueling and inactivation of USS Enterprise and its reactor plants.

Work will be performed in Newport News, VA, and is expected to be complete by September 2012. $5 million is committed by this award, and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year on Sept 30/12. The rest will be allocated if and as needed. The USN Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair in Newport News, VA manages the contract (N62793-07-C-0001).

Oct 21/11: The US Navy announces that it has prepared a draft environmental assessment on disposing USS Enterprise’s defueled reactor plants. the Navy has done this for submarines, and some nuclear-powered cruisers, but never for a carrier. The Navy’s preferred alternative is the same approach it has used since 1986. Reactors will be defueled and removed, then barged up the Columbia River to a designated Navy trench at the Hanford nuclear waste dump. The rest of the ship will be recycled, and could make a ton of money at Star Trek conventions, if properly marketed.

The USS Enterprise will finish her career in 2012, then enter dry dock at Newport News Shipbuilding, VA in 2013 for inactivation and defueling. The Navy will then tow it to the other coast at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, WA for reactor compartment disposal, which would run from 2018 – 2019, and finish somewhere between 2024 – 2027. Kitsap Sun.

FY 2008 – 2010

Inactivation planning.

CVN-65

The real USS Enterprise
(click to view full)

Nov 12/10: Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding – Newport News in Newport News, VA receives a $48.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to continue FY 2011 “advance planning efforts to prepare and make ready for the defueling and inactivation of the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and its reactor plants.” This effort will include all advanced planning, ship checks, design, documentation, engineering, procurement, fabrication, and preliminary shipyard or support facility work.

Work will be performed in Newport News, VA, and this contract segment will end by the same time the Pentagon’s fiscal year does, Sept 30/11. the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured by the US Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair in Newport News, VA (N62793-07-C-0001).

Oct 27/10: FY 2011 base. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News, VA receives a $67.1 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification to continue FY 2011 “advance planning efforts to prepare and make ready for the defueling and inactivation of the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and its reactor plants.” This effort will provide for all advanced planning, shipchecks, design, documentation, engineering, procurement, fabrication and preliminary shipyard or support facility work.

Work will be performed in Newport News, VA, and this modification will end on Sept 30/11, the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured by the US Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair in Newport News, VA (N62793-07-C-0001).

Nov 6/08: Base contract. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News, VA received a $6.5 million cost-plus-fixed fee, level of effort contract modification to previously awarded contract for continuation of FY 2009 advance planning efforts to plan and make ready for the defueling and inactivation of the USS Enterprise and its reactor plants. This effort will provide for all advanced planning, shipchecks, design, documentation, engineering, procurement, fabrication and preliminary shipyard or support facility work. This contract modification also includes options for additional advance planning efforts through FY 2010-13, and an option for FY 2013 advance planning efforts for inactivation of the Surface Ship Support Barge.

The total estimated amount if all options are exercised is $282 million.

Work will be performed in Newport News, VA, and the contract will expire with the fiscal year on Sept 30/09 along with the allocated $6.5 million. The Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair at Newport News, VA manages this contract (N62793-07-C-0001).

This is the end… beautiful friend

Additional Readings

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GD’s Electric Boat Wins Contract to Design Next SSBN for U.S. and U.K.

One of the largest contracts to be awarded this Fiscal Year was just given to General Dynamics (GD) submarine building arm, Electric Boat. The 5 year, nearly $2 billion contract is for design and development efforts supporting a new ballistic missile submarine.

This new boat will potentially replace the current U.S. Ohio class submarines and the Royal Navy’s similar Vanguards. Electric Boat is the primary producer of submarines for the U.S. Navy. While the Vanguard replacements will be built in the United Kingdom much of the design work will be done in the U.S. due to the fact they utilize a U.S. missile.

While there has been some reductions in the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal with some of the Ohio class retired or re-designated there will ultimately still be a need for modernization of the design and new submarines. The U.S. is currently only building the Virginia class of fast attack submarines at Electric Boat and partner Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII).

Even with the potential for large cuts to the defense budget if sequestration takes effect these kind of contracts will continue to be awarded. Reductions in funding will limit how much is executed each year and potentially stretch out the work over more years then currently planned.

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GD to Support Army Investment in Medical Facilities

The U.S. military has been spending a larger and larger portion of its budget on medical care and facilities over the last decade. This has been driven by the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recent growth in the size of the military, a large number of retirees along with members dependents. Primary care is through the TRICARE program which operates as a HMO basically. The different services also operate hospitals and clinics across the globe and the U.S.

During the recent round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) hospitals were moved, expanded or built new to handle the changes in personnel assigned to the bases. There was also substantial investment at FT Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX as BRAC dictated centralization of all medical training there. This meant that facilities across the U.S. had to be merged as Army, Navy and Air Force training will take place there.

All of this work requires contractors to manage, execute and conduct the required work. General Dynamics (GD), for example, received recently 3 task orders from the U.S. Army to support their medical facilities. These are worth together about $100 million and have a period of performance of just over 2 years.

They will have GD provide equipment and movement services as 2 new facilities are stood up at FT Riley and FT Benning. These are new hospitals built as BRAC moved substantial numbers of troops to these sites from other U.S. bases. Both are planned to open in 2014. The third task will support new equipment and services for 2 clinics in Korea.

As the U.S. sorts out its budget issues there may be changes to plans right now for this type of investment but there will be some continued efforts to build new and better medical facilities for even a smaller U.S. military.

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GD’s Force Protection Divison Wins U.K. Contract

Force Protection was one of the first and largest manufacturers of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles used by the U.S. and its Allies in Afghanistan and Iraq. For a time during the first decade of this century the company won a large number of contracts to build, service and maintain these vehicles as the U.S. quickly ramped up its inventory.

Over the last few years though it was a different story as the company faced struggles due to declining demand and the fact that the new MRAP for Afghanistan, the MRAP-AT, contract was won by Oshkosh (OSK). Eventually the company and its assets were acquired by General Dynamics (GD) who also has made MRAP and armor for these vehicles.

That does not mean that different military forces are not investing in MRAP just that the market has shrunk significantly. The U.K. just awarded GD a contract for 51 more Force Protection Foxhound vehicles for use in Afghanistan. The value is just over $73 million.

The U.K. already operates Foxhounds and in 2010 ordered 376 of them. They are made in the U.K. by the former Force Protection.

The military vehicle market still remains strong as the U.S. needs to replace and upgrade large amounts of vehicles from the 1980′s that have seen heavy use since 2001. They also need to fit the stocks of MRAP’s into their tactical formations and doctrine.

Photo from Think Defence flickr photostream.

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General Dynamics Receives $62 Million Navy Award for Common Missile Compartment Development — Press Release

GROTON, Conn., Nov. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a $61.7 million contract modification for the continued development of the Common Missile Compartment for the United Kingdom’s Successor ballistic-missile submarine and the U.S. Ohio replacement submarine. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

Under the modification, Electric Boat will procure, manufacture and test prototype material and equipment to be used in the production of the Common Missile Compartment.

The award modifies a contract announced in December 2008 for engineering, technical services, concept studies and design of a Common Missile Compartment for the next-generation ballistic missile submarines being developed for the Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy. If all options are exercised and funded, the overall contract would have a value of more than $776 million.

This work will engage Electric Boat’s engineering and design organization, which comprises more than 4,000 employees. Possessing proven technical capabilities, these employees work on all facets of the submarine life cycle from concept formulation and design through construction, maintenance and modernization, and eventually to inactivation and disposal.

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

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Iraq Discussing Buying More U.S. Weapons

The Iraqi government is in discussions with the U.S. about purchasing more weapons systems for its Army. The new talks reportedly focus around getting up to 30 Stryker vehicles optimized for nuclear, biological and chemical weapon detection. The Stryker is an 8 wheeled armored vehicle manufactured by General Dynamics (GD). While the base vehicle provides troop transport it is made with a variety of weapon systems and equipment attached.

The value of this contract is estimated at $25 million.

The Stryker is based on a vehicle originally designed for the Canadian military and many parts of the current version are made in that country.

Iraq has purchased quite a bit of U.S. equipment in the last few years. The largest contract has been for 18 F-16 fighters made by Lockheed Martin (LMT). Iraq has also looked to other suppliers including Russia for some of their new systems which makes sense due to their historical usage of that nation’s hardware.

The Strykers are part of an overall $7 billion in new military equipment that supposedly will be sent to Congress for approval in the near term.

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General Dynamics Canada Completes Delivery of Advanced Airborne Acoustic Processing System on CP-140 Aurora — Press Release

The ability to locate and track underwater threats has been operationally validated during recent exercises.

OTTAWA, Ontario, Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Advanced, high-performance airborne acoustic processing is now fully operational on Canada’s CP-140 Aurora aircraft with the final delivery and operational validation of the Modular VME Acoustic Signal Processor (MVASP).

General Dynamics Canada, a premier provider of defence electronic systems and a leading systems integrator of complete command, control, communication, computing, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) solutions, has delivered the MVASP as part of the Aurora Incremental Modernization Project (AIMP). The AIMP is the mid-life upgrade of the Aurora aircraft operated by the Canadian Department of National Defence for surface and undersea surveillance roles. The MVASP is the primary underwater detection system on the aircraft and is used to locate and track underwater threats. These capabilities were validated in several national and international exercises this year.

“As the primary sensor for underwater ISR on the Aurora, the MVASP leverages the latest innovations in parallel processing to provide enhanced detection and localization of underwater targets,” said Peter Giles, product manager for underwater ISR at General Dynamics Canada. “Its advanced capabilities have been engineered to allow operators on fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft to find a target quickly and hold it for as long as necessary. This improves mission effectiveness by enabling more accurate underwater target analysis and identification.”

In April, the MVASP system was employed on Aurora aircraft as part of Exercise Joint Warrior, a two-week exercise held twice each year by forces from the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark, Norway, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada. The system’s capabilities were again demonstrated in August when Aurora aircraft took part in Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) 2012, the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise held biennially by the United States with Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and other Pacific Rim nations.

The MVASP provides concurrent acoustic processing for up to 32 sonobuoys. It can process information from any sonobuoy in fleet use today and is designed to support any mix of analog, digital, passive or active acoustic data. The MVASP features an intuitive operator interface and advanced tools that reduce operator workload while increasing situational awareness.

The intuitive energy map allows operators to quickly detect, localize and track the source of acoustic energy on a tactical display. Long detection ranges capable with the system enable operators to detect potential threats over greater distances. In addition, the embedded trainer makes it easier for operators to build their expertise with the system’s features and functions and improve their skills when it is not being used for missions.

General Dynamics Canada is part of General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). For information about General Dynamics Canada please go to www.gdcanada.com.

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General Dynamics Continues Work on ACV Contender

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) has operated armored vehicles to move troops from ship to shore since World War II. The current AAV-7 generation vehicles have seen use since Vietnam. A new program to develop a faster, more capable system called the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) was cancelled in 2011 due to cost and schedule issues. Since then the Marine Corps has released a new road map for vehicle procurement which includes another potential AAV replacement called the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV).

General Dynamics (GD) was the prime contractor on the EFV.

The ACV program is currently still in the requirements stage and the Marine Corps is relying on industry to demonstrate capabilities to meet those requirements. Earlier this month a Request for Information (RFI) to industry was released that asked to learn more about industry’s views on an incremental program where the initial vehicle would meet a set of basic requirements and then be upgraded to meet other future ones.

GD will be a potential source for the new ACV and they are working on demonstrating the ability of their systems to meet the requirements. They recently completed survivability testing of a hull design to show compliance with the protection requirements for the ACV. This self funded testing was successful with “confirmed that General Dynamics’ hull design meets the Marine Corps’ ACV survivability requirement and provided an early assessment of the unprecedented level of protection against threshold and objective threat levels that the new hull design will provide”.

As part of the reaction to the mine and IED threat that caused so many casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan new American combat vehicles face stringent protection requirements. This has driven up the weight for programs like the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV), which will replace the M2 Bradley, adn the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), which is the HUMVEE replacement.

The ACV like all new development programs is facing the potential for a slow process depending on how sequestration and the budget issues are resolved.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Imagery’s flickr Photostream.

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General Dynamics Awarded $133 Million to Upgrade 66 Additional LAV III Vehicles by the Government of Canada — Press Release

EDMONTON, Alberta and LONDON, Ontario, Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, announced today that the Government of Canada has awarded a contract modification valued at $133.5 million to General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada to upgrade an additional 66 LAV III vehicles. This award modifies a contract previously announced in October 2011 to upgrade 550 LAV III vehicles, valued at $1 billion.

The LAV III Upgrade Project will now modernize 616 vehicles, significantly enhancing their survivability, mobility and firepower and extending the fleet’s lifecycle to 2035. Survivability upgrades will include the introduction of double-V-hull technology, an innovative enhancement developed by General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada engineers, as well as add-on armour protection and energy-attenuating seats. These improvements will provide crew members greater protection against mine blasts, IEDs and other threats.

The LAV III’s automotive performance, handling characteristics and payload capacity will be optimized with mobility system upgrades including a more powerful engine, more robust driveline and suspension, and a height management system (HMS). The 25mm turret’s crew ergonomics will be improved by incorporating larger hatches, and its capabilities will be enhanced by the addition of the latest technologies, including improved fire control, thermal, day and low-light sights and data displays.

“Helping to protect the men and women of the Canadian Forces is a privileged role, and we understand our responsibility and what is at stake,” said Danny Deep, vice president of General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada. “The upgraded LAV III will provide our Canadian soldiers with one of the most advanced and modern vehicles of this type in the world. It will also provide much-needed job stability throughout Canada’s high-value defence sector.”

The upgrades represent the latest armoured vehicle technologies developed by General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada’s engineers and its Canada-wide supplier base. Significant work will be performed at General Dynamics’ facilities in London, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta, as well as the company’s nationwide network of over 500 Canadian suppliers. All regions of Canada will benefit from this work, which is expected to be completed in 2017.

For information about General Dynamics Land Systems–Canada, please visit www.gdlscanada.com.

More information about General Dynamics is available on the Internet at www.generaldynamics.com.

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More Machineguns from GD

The U.S. military even though the fighting is winding down in Afghanistan still needs to invest in new equipment to replace older weapons. Demand will be going down after 2014 when the last troops return and so without sequestration contractors will see reduced orders for their products.

The M2 50 caliber machine gun has been in use with the U.S. and its allies since before World War II. It is mounted on aircraft, vehicles and used from tripods carried by Soldiers. There have been tens of thousands of them made and even though a new design was recently developed it is still manufactured by General Dynamics (GD). The original weapon was made by Browning and has gone through a series of owners since originally delivered.

GD just received yet another contract for these weapons to be manufactured at their Maine plant. The almost $30 million contract will be for 12,000 of the systems.

As the defense budget begins its decline next year and the military adjusts to new requirements the demand for weapons like these will most likely decline as well. Less will be used in combat meaning existing ones will last longer. There may be more work refurbishing existing weapons then buying new ones.

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Defense Industrials Continue 2012 Trends, Preparing For Rocky 2013 — Seeking Alpha

Here is a post I wrote for Seeking Alpha about the latest quarterly earnings of the 5 big defense contractors.

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