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Australian AEGIS Support for Lockheed Martin

The Australian government has awarded Lockheed Martin (LMT) a contract to provide engineering services for their AEGIS weapons systems for their new anti-air warfare destroyers. The AEGIS weapon system has been in use with the U.S. Navy and Japan since the late 1970′s. It is an integrated suite of search and fire control radars, other sensors, data links and software used to detect, track and identify targets and engage them with missiles, guns and other ship based weapons. The contract is worth almost $200 million.

The AEGIS system was originally developed by part of RCA which was acquired by General Electric (GE). Ultimately this business unit was sold to Martin Marietta who merged with Lockheed in the 1990′s. The system has been installed on CG 47 and DDG 51 class surface warships. The system has been further modified to conduct anti-ballistic missile missions using variants of the STANDARD Missile originally designed for anti-air missions.

The new SEA 4000 Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers will be made by Spain’s Navantia in a contract valued at around $8 billion (AUS). They will represent a significant upgrade to the Australian Navy’s existing air defense assets. They will be manufactured in Australia and are part of a general investment in upgrading the Australian military that includes the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and new armored vehicles. The design is based on the F100 platform already in use by Spain with the American SPY-1D (V) radar and AEGIS Weapon System.

As the U.S. defense budget declines American contractors are going to look for contracts like this overseas. U.S. Allies will remain a potent source of work although this system like many other new investments shows the diversity of the world’s defense industry. In the past it would have been difficult to put a system like AEGIS on a non-U.S. ship but it has already been installed on Spain’s F100 class ships making integration and the sale to Australia easier.

Certainly Lockheed Martin will hope that other countries invest in the system.

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Boeing Completes Operational Testing of Australia’s Network Centric Command and Control System

July 20, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Australia, Boeing, Syndicated Industry News 
Boeing Completes Operational Testing of Australia's Network Centric Command and Control System
July 21, 2010

BRISBANE, - Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], announced today that it has completed operational testing of its Vigilare network-centric command-and-control system (NC3S) for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

RAAF operators conducted the test at the Northern Regional Operations Centre (NROC) located at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory. It demonstrated Vigilare's ability to connect a large number of assets -- including F/A-18 Hornets, AP3C Orions, Navy frigates, and sensors and data sources located across the Australian continent -- into the system simultaneously, while satisfying operational load demands.

This was the final acceptance test of the Vigilare system at NROC, and verifies the system as ready for battlespace management, training and surveillance mission operations. The RAAF now plans to use Vigilare for a multinational air defense exercise later this month.

"This milestone is the culmination of six years of hard work by the Commonwealth, Boeing and our supplier networks, and we continue to be on target to deliver Vigilare's full network-centric-warfare capability to the RAAF by mid-2011," said Arthur Mamalis, Boeing Defence Australia program director for Project Vigilare.

Boeing Defence Australia expects to receive Conditional Acceptance of the system from the Commonwealth later this month. The company will begin installation and testing at the Eastern Regional Operations Centre (EROC) at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales, in late September.

Developed by Boeing Defence Australia, NC3S integrates advanced technologies that combine data from land, sea, air and space platforms, sensors, data links and intelligence agencies to provide tactical- and strategic-level surveillance and battlespace management operations across wide geographic regions.

Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of more than 1,500 employees at 14 locations throughout Australia and two international sites, Boeing Defence Australia supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia.

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Reports Canada to Commit to F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

The U.S. led Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program has seen its struggles over the last few years. It has had test, schedule and cost issues that have increased the total cost of the program and stretched out its planned development and production. Designed to replace the aging fleet of F-16, F/A-18 and AV-8 aircraft used by the U.S. and its Allies its has been developed by Lockheed Martin (LMT) and funded by the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia and other countries that ultimately will receive it.

Due to the cost increases some of the countries in the joint program have been reconsidering their commitment. Holland’s legislature has made noises about delaying their further investment due to the lower quantities that their budgeted money will buy. The problem the Allies face is that they based their budgets on the lower estimated costs and now either have to find more money or face a smaller fleet of the new F-35.

Due to the program’s delays all of the planned users face a “fighter gap” as their current fleet ages and the JSF is not there to replace them. This means that more money must be spent to maintain the older aircraft or capability will be diminished. The U.S. Navy is planning to extend the production of their F/A-18 to help fill the gap.

Canada is expected to announce today that they are keeping their commitment to the program by awarding Lockheed a contract for up to sixty-five of the aircraft at a cost of over $15 billion. This plan has raised objection from the opposition Liberal party who would like to wait and possibly hold a competition to buy a replacement for the countries CF-18 aircraft.

Certainly there is an argument for delaying the contract award and perhaps looking at other aircraft already in production. The counter would be that these would not be as capable or last as long as the F-35 which is expected to be in service well past the mid-point of the current century.

The U.S. Department of Defense despite all of the cost and schedule issues has remained committed to getting the F-35 into production and in the last year the program has seen quite a bit of progress. The problem may be in a few years when the Federal budget and defense spending may have to be cut. The JSF is the largest procurement program in that budget and might seem attractive to cuts.

Even small cuts around the edges may cause long term problems as they would stretch out production increasing the total cost of the program.

Canada may be wise to award their contract now if they structure it correctly to protect against further delays and cost increases. Of course they may have limited options to do that.

The decision by Canada to support the program will aid it in keeping on track and keeping its funding. Canada may help the JSF get done.

Photo from Rob Shenk’s flickr photostream.

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Boeing Completes Modernised High Frequency Communications System for Australia

Boeing Completes Modernised High Frequency Communications System for Australia
July 8, 2010

BRISBANE, Queensland, - Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], has announced the completion of Joint Project 2043's High Frequency Modernisation (HFMod) Project. The formal letter of completion for the project was delivered on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia on June 16 from the HFMod Project Authority.

"This final milestone indicates all system requirements have been met and the Commonwealth is confident this Modernised High Frequency Communications System (MHFCS) is providing the Australian Defence Force with a secure, cost-effective, strategic high-frequency communications capability," said Steve Hudson, Boeing project manager, HFMod Project.

MHFCS is a managed long-range communications system that offers Australia the secure exchange of information between fixed and mobile stations using one integrated system.

"Boeing's HFMod team has developed, built and now delivered the most advanced high-frequency system in the world," said Charles Toups, vice president and general manager, Boeing Network & Tactical Systems. "This is an outstanding achievement and a true indication of Boeing's commitment to developing advanced technology solutions globally for our customers."

Boeing is currently marketing the MHFCS internationally and is discussing the system with several potential customers.

Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of more than 1,500 employees at 14 locations throughout Australia and two international sites, Boeing Defence Australia supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia.

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6 New Boeing Super Hornets Join Royal Australian Air Force Fleet

6 New Boeing Super Hornets Join Royal Australian Air Force Fleet
July 7, 2010

RAAF BASE AMBERLEY, Queensland, - Six new Boeing [NYSE: BA] F/A-18F Super Hornets arrived at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley on July 6, expanding the RAAF's fleet to 11 next-generation, multi-role air combat aircraft.

The RAAF's first five Super Hornets arrived in Australia on March 26.

"With the arrival of these six new Super Hornets, we will continue to broaden our training as we prepare to achieve Initial Operational Capability later this year," said Group Capt. Steve Roberton, Officer Commanding 82 Wing, which includes the Super Hornet and F-111 aircraft. "Our aircrews and support teams continue to be very impressed with the Super Hornet's remarkable capabilities, performance and reliability."

Australia announced in March 2007 that it would acquire 24 of the advanced Block II versions of the Super Hornet, all of which are equipped with the Raytheon-built APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. Boeing will deliver Australia's 24th Super Hornet in 2011. The first 11 were delivered ahead of schedule and on budget.

"The Super Hornet's proven technologies -- including its fully integrated AESA radar, advanced sensors, two-engine design and network-centric data-sharing environment -- are providing the RAAF with a broad spectrum of new capabilities," said Carolyn Nichols, Australian Super Hornet program manager for Boeing. "The RAAF Super Hornets enable the two crew members to conduct simultaneous air and ground operations with unprecedented situational awareness."

The Boeing Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft, able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions. Boeing has delivered more than 430 F/A-18E/Fs to the U.S. Navy. Every Super Hornet produced has been delivered on or ahead of schedule and on budget.

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BAE Systems Continues Nulka Decoy System for Australia and Allies

BAE Systems (BA:LSE) along with the Australian Defense Science and Technology Organization makes the Nulka anti-missile system for use on ships. This consists of a rocket carrying an electronic warfare payload launched from the deck to decoy cruise missiles. The system has been in production for several years and is in service on several different nation’s naval vessels.

The team which includes Lockheed Martin (LMT) for the EW package and Aeroject (GY) for the motor was awarded an extension to their current production contract worth over $40 million (Australian).

The system will be installed on new Australian warships currently under construction as well as on those used by Allies. The system has brought in over $800 million worth of foreign sales for Australia and its defense establishment. This makes it one of their most successful programs.

Photo from Royal Australian Navy via mashleymorgan flickr photostream.

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Australia Continues Targeted Investment in Military Modernization

Australia has announced a series of contracts to upgrade parts of their military. Some of this has been in response to the fighting in Afghanistan since 9/11 and others due to the expanding ability of the Chinese and other Asian states military. These contracts include updated naval combat ships as well as the major commitment to the struggling F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). When at all possible Australia is awarding these to companies based in the country to maximize the stimulus effect of the contract. As all nations Australia has been affected by the global economic downturn of the last two years and is trying to spend its defense dollars judiciously to help its own domestic suppliers.

The next major contract announced is one for light armored vehicles that will be used to upgrade both troops in Australia and those deployed in Afghanistan. The U.S. and its Allies have seen the need for better systems with more maneuverability and protection against the mine and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat.

The contract could be worth up to $1 billion (Aus) and several different teams will be bidding for it. One of these will be Thales Australia based in Victoria. As it names indicates this is part of the Thales, French based, aerospace and defense company. The company has about a $1 billion (Aus) business already in Australia so winning this contract will be a major coup and increase in their business.

The Australian government plans to conduct the contract in the same manner as the U.S. Department of Defense’s recent MRAP-ATV contest. Here companies were paid to build prototypes that were tested and then one or more of the designs were chosen. Australia is giving Thales and General Dynamics Land Systems, part of the U.S. General Dynamics (GD) defense giant, as well as a company headed up by the U.S. Force Protection (FRPT) MRAP maker contracts to deliver prototypes.

The choice of a new vehicle will be a major upgrade to the Australian defense capabilities and the decision to use an Australian based company to do the development and production will aid the county’s economy.

Photo from ISAF media flickr photostream.

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ESCO Announces Strategic Australian Acquisition — Press Release

ESCO Announces Strategic Australian Acquisition

PORTLAND, Ore., June 1 /PRNewswire/ — ESCO Corporation (USA), a leading global provider of wear parts and attachments for the mining and construction industry, has accelerated its expansion into Australia with the pending acquisition of the Service/Engineering and Mining Product divisions of Swift Group. This is a key development in ESCO’s plan to establish a national customer service, supply chain, and manufacturing network in Australia.

“This is an exciting step for ESCO,” said Jeff Kershaw, Managing Director for ESCO’s Asia Pacific region. “The reputation and expertise that Swift and its employees have developed over the last 30 years provides a solid platform for ESCO to expand its network of sales and service centers – known as ESCOSupply – throughout Australia’s key mining regions. By integrating Swift Group with the ESCOSupply model, we will provide an exceptional level of service to our Australian customers.”

ESCO anticipates the acquisition will be finalized in the coming weeks. Upon completion, Swift Group will operate as ESCOSupply and will continue to provide site services, as well as fabrication and refurbishment services via facilities in Mackay and Kingaroy in Queensland. Plans are currently underway to establish additional ESCOSupply locations and independent distributors in other regions of Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea. ESCO does not intend to acquire the Cooling division of Swift, which will continue to operate under present management.

ESCO is currently selling crusher wear parts, and bi-metallic buttons and blocks in Australia. As part of the Swift acquisition, the ESCO product offering will now include truck bodies. The majority of ESCO’s other products are distributed in Australia through Bradken under a license agreement which is set to expire in June 2011. Upon expiration of the agreement, ESCO will directly supply the Australian market with its complete line of ground engaging tools (GET), wear parts, buckets, and attachments – including ESCO’s Profill(TM) dragline buckets, as well as the SV2(TM), Posilok® Plus, and Ultralok® tooth systems.

About ESCO Corporation:

ESCO (www.escocorp.com) is a leading provider of highly engineered consumable products and solutions for mining, construction, recycling, and aerospace applications. Founded in Portland, Oregon (USA) in 1913, ESCO has operations across North America, Latin America, China, Japan, SE Asia, Europe, and Australia with over 3500 employees, supplying ESCO branded products through a global distribution network, delivering superior quality, value and speed.

Source: ESCO Corporation

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Canada Considering Entering New Fighter Sweepstakes

Right now two of the biggest military aviation contracts out there are new fighters for Brazil and India. Both of these contracts have attracted bids from United States and European defense contractors. In Brazil the contest seems to be between the Boeing (BA) F/A-18 and the French Rafael. In India there have been offers from Boeing, Lockheed Martin (LMT), MiG of Russia, Rafael. Eurofighter and SAAB of Sweden. These contracts are interesting as all of these companies face declining markets at home due to budget difficulties and the decision by the U.S. and many of its Allies to focus on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) headed up by Lockheed.

Canada currently operates a force of older F/A-18 aircraft and is planning a potential buy of more modern aircraft worth about $9 billion (Canadian). Canada has put some money into the development of the JSF as have countries like Great Britain, the Netherlands, Australia and Japan but is not committed to buy the aircraft. They certainly could do that when the aircraft is ready in the 2015 – 2017 time frame or they could conduct a new competition. If they did this they would certainly draw a diverse group of suitors similar to what India has. The market for new fighters was supposed to stagnate as thousands of F-35 replace the F-16 aircraft of numerous U.S. Allies. Now with the delays and cost increases to that program some countries are having second thoughts.

A third major competition would be good for the industry and would allow some production lines like the SAAB Gripen to remain hot as the JSF program tries to get itself sorted out. If countries like Holland do decide to go a different path the market for current in production aircraft will increase greatly.

More fallout as the JSF program struggles with its cost and schedule may be expected as current customers re-think their commitments. This will increase the cost to the U.S. military while reducing Lockheed’s chances of making up some of their losses on the development piece of the contract. Canada if they choose to not buy the JSF may be the start of some bad news for the program and its prime contractor.

Photo from TMWolf flickr photostream.

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Boeing Wedgetail Aircraft Accepted Into Royal Australian Air Force Fleet

Boeing Wedgetail Aircraft Accepted Into Royal Australian Air Force Fleet
May 5, 2010

RAAF BASE WILLIAMTOWN, New South Wales, -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that the Commonwealth of Australia has accepted the first two Project Wedgetail 737 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft into the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) fleet.

The aircraft were accepted during a ceremony today at RAAF Base Williamtown, the main operating base for the Wedgetail fleet.

"This major milestone demonstrates that the 737 AEW&C system is ready for operational training and use. It also represents the culmination of years of design, development, modification and testing by the Boeing-led team to bring this complex system -- the first of its type -- to our first AEW&C customer," said Maureen Dougherty, Boeing vice president, AEW&C Program.

Acceptance of the two Wedgetail aircraft means ground and flight operations and maintenance of the aircraft are now fully under RAAF control. Boeing delivered the two aircraft last year and has been supporting RAAF familiarization training on the AEW&C system, which includes the aircraft as well as the Operational Flight Trainer, Operational Mission Simulator and Mission Support System.

Boeing will deliver three more Wedgetail aircraft to the RAAF by the end of this year, including one upgraded in the final AEW&C configuration with Electronic Support Measures. All aircraft in the Wedgetail fleet will be upgraded to the final configuration in early 2011.

Project Wedgetail includes six 737 AEW&C aircraft, plus ground support segments for mission crew training, mission support and system maintenance. Based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 commercial airplane, the 737 AEW&C aircraft is designed to provide airborne battle-management capability with an advanced multirole electronically scanned radar and 10 state-of-the-art mission crew consoles that are able to track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously. The mission crew can direct offensive and defensive forces while maintaining continuous surveillance of the operational area.

Boeing also has AEW&C systems in production for Turkey and the Republic of Korea.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

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Boeing Marks 10 Years of Communications Support for Australian Navy Collins-class Submarines

Boeing Marks 10 Years of Communications Support for Australian Navy Collins-class Submarines
May 4, 2010

BRISBANE, Queensland, -- Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], has successfully supported communications systems aboard the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Collins-class submarine fleet for a decade.

Since 2000, Boeing has provided through-life engineering support services for Boeing-produced Internal External Communications (IEC) systems on the RAN's six Collins-class submarines.

Used to communicate critical safety and operational procedures to crew members, RAN authorities and other naval assets, the IEC system is installed, reviewed and updated by Boeing during each submarine's 18-month docking maintenance period in accordance with the refurbishment cycle.

Subcontracted to Australian Submarine Co. and Raytheon Australia under the Commonwealth of Australia's In-Service Support contract, Boeing will continue to deliver Collins-class IEC system support services until 2012, when the system will be replaced under the Sea 1439 Communications and Electronic Warfare Improvement program.

Boeing intends to respond to the Commonwealth of Australia's Request for Tender for Sea 1439, which is expected to be released later this year.

"Boeing's proven track record supporting the RAN's Collins-class submarine fleet is a testament to our capability to support the future communications requirements under Sea 1439," said Scott Marosek, Boeing Defence Australia senior manager, Technical Support, Global Services & Support – Australia. "Our highly skilled and experienced team will endeavor to continue working with the RAN to maintain a world-class submarine capability."

Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of nearly 2,000 employees at 14 locations throughout Australia and two international sites, Boeing Defence Australia supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

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Boeing Awarded Additional Contract for F/A-18 Technical Publication Services

April 14, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Australia, Boeing, Syndicated Industry News 
Boeing Awarded Additional Contract for F/A-18 Technical Publication Services
April 14, 2010

BRISBANE, -- Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], has signed a three-year contract worth AU$4.5 million to provide the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) with support for F/A-18 Hornet aircraft technical publications.

Boeing Defence Australia has provided F/A-18 technical publication services including management, production of amendments and additional support tasks as required to the RAAF for the past five years.

"By working in partnership with the RAAF's Tactical Fighter Systems Project Office (TFSPO), Boeing Defence Australia has been able to deliver responsive and innovative solutions," said Scott Marosek, Boeing Defence Australia senior manager for Global Services & Support – Australia Technical Support. "Our highly skilled and supportive team is committed to delivering the best outcome for TFSPO. We look forward to continuously improving our working relationship to ensure world-class technical publication services for the RAAF's F/A-18 fleet over the next three years."

TFSPO Engineering Support Manager David Martinek said the effectiveness of technical publication support for the F/A-18 fleet provided by Boeing Defence Australia to date is mainly due to their expertise with managing the configuration of instructions for continued airworthiness within a common source database environment.

"At the end of the day, we share the common goal of delivering highly responsive and reliable technical publication support to ensure the safety and availability of the F/A-18 fleet," said Martinek. "The commitment and sound knowledge of the F/A-18 that Boeing Defence Australia offers enable optimum solutions to be developed. We look forward to working with Boeing Defence Australia as a partner over the next three years."

Other services Boeing Defence Australia provides to support the F/A-18 fleet include platform maintenance, modifications and upgrades at RAAF Base Williamtown, as well as supply chain services such as spares manufacturing and repairs from Brisbane.

Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of nearly 2,000 employees at 13 locations throughout Australia and two international sites, Boeing Defence Australia supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia.

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Boeing Completes Site Acceptance Testing of Australia’s Network Centric Command and Control System

April 12, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Australia, Boeing, Syndicated Industry News 
Boeing Completes Site Acceptance Testing of Australia's Network Centric Command and Control System
April 12, 2010

BRISBANE, Queensland, -- Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], today announced that Project Vigilare, a Network Centric Command and Control System (NC3S) solution for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), has passed Site Acceptance Testing at the Northern Regional Operational Centre (NROC) located at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory.

"The Site Acceptance Test verifies Vigilare, as installed at the NROC site, is able to interface with all the relevant external systems and is ready for operational testing," said Arthur Mamalis, Boeing Defence Australia program director for Project Vigilare. "This shows that we continue to make significant strides toward delivering Vigilare's full operational capability to our RAAF customer."

The system successfully demonstrated its ability to manage multiple datalinks concurrently from the site by using assets deployed over a vast geographic area, both in the Northern Territory and the East Coast of Australia. These datalinks connected test assets as well as operational assets such as RAAF F/A-18 Hornet aircraft.

"With data feeds from more than 45 different sensors and agencies using an enhanced Department of Defence communications network, the Vigilare Site Acceptance Test demonstrated an integrated, high-fidelity command and control system capability," said Tim Malone, Defence Materiel Organisation project director for Project Air 5333 Vigilare. "This is the culmination of many years of hard work by operational specialists, engineers and logisticians to build a system that arguably will be the benchmark for Network Centric Warfare systems in the Australian Defence Force for some time."

Operational testing with the RAAF is scheduled to begin in June, before Vigilare is accepted at NROC by the Commonwealth of Australia.

"This milestone was a direct result of the commitment and dedication of our employees, our program partners and the customer," said Steve Parker, Boeing vice president and general manager of Network and Space Systems - Australia. "The overriding success of the test demonstrated the advanced capabilities Vigilare provides and allows the team to prepare for operational testing."

Developed by Boeing Defence Australia, NC3S integrates advanced technologies that combine data from land, sea, air and space platforms, sensors, data links and intelligence agencies to provide tactical and strategic-level surveillance and battlespace management operations across wide geographic regions.

Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of nearly 2,000 employees at 13 locations throughout Australia and two international sites, Boeing Defence Australia supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

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Australia To Buy Radios From Harris Corp.

The Australian Defence Department awarded a contract to Harris Corp. for tactical radios. The $112 million (US) contract will purchase Falcon III hand held systems. These have proved popular with the U.S. military seeing heavy use in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Australian government has plans to invest several hundred million dollars in upgrades for its armed forces. These includes new ships and vehicles as well as general upgrades to their equipment. Australia has been an active ally of the United States in Afghanistan and also is concerned about other issues in Asia. The biggest system they are purchasing is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter but the program extends to all facets of their military.

Upgrading C3I equipment is important especially if they plan to operate with U.S. forces in the future.

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Boeing, RAAF Welcome Super Hornets to Australia

Boeing, RAAF Welcome Super Hornets to Australia
March 28, 2010

AMBERLEY, Queensland, -- The first five Boeing [NYSE: BA] F/A-18F Super Hornets for Australia landed at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley on March 26, bringing the next generation in air combat capability to the multirole fighter's first international customer.

The Super Hornets, piloted by RAAF aircrews, departed U.S. Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., on March 18 and made scheduled stops in Hawaii, Pago Pago and New Zealand on the way to Amberley.

The Australian Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, welcomed the RAAF Super Hornets to Australia at a ceremony on the base. Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, joined Faulkner at the event.

"The men and women of Boeing are honored to provide the next generation in air combat capability to the Royal Australian Air Force and proud to deliver it on time and on budget for all Australians," said Muilenburg. "The arrival of these Super Hornets marks a new chapter in a partnership between Boeing and Australia that has endured for more than 80 years. The exceptional collaboration and teamwork between Australia's Defence Materiel Organisation, the Royal Australian Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the Hornet Industry Team was the foundation that ensured these new Super Hornets are now ready to begin their RAAF service."

Among the other officials attending the event were Australian Defence Secretary Ian Watt; Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Chief of the Defence Force; Air Marshal Mark Binskin, Chief of Air Force; and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Mark Skinner.

Australia announced its intent to acquire 24 Super Hornets in March 2007. The remaining 19 aircraft, each equipped with the Raytheon-built APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, will arrive in Australia throughout 2010 and 2011.

"The on-schedule arrival of the new Australian Super Hornets marks the beginning of a new generation of air power for the RAAF," said Group Captain Steven Roberton, Officer Commanding the Super Hornet Wing. "The multirole Super Hornet is an advanced, networked weapons system that provides a major leap in capability for the RAAF.

"We are looking forward to the new operational capability," Roberton continued. "The Super Hornet employs advanced networked sensors that provide its two aircrew with total situational awareness, enabling them to conduct simultaneous air-to-air and air-to-ground operations."

The Boeing Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft, able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions. Boeing has delivered more than 420 F/A-18E/Fs to the U.S. Navy. Every Super Hornet produced has been delivered on or ahead of schedule and on budget.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

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Australia To Buy New CH-47 Chinooks

The Australian government has signed a contract with Boeing to provide seven new CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopters. These will replace existing CH-47D aircraft.

The Chinook due to its size and power has proved instrumental in Afghanistan due to the high-and-hot environment. The United States, Canada and Great Britain have invested in more and better versions of Boeing’s venerable helicopter. Now Australia joins them in using the new CH-47F version. The aircraft are basically similar to those being made for the U.S. Army with some user modifications.

The demand for lift in Afghanistan has seen heavy use of Russian helicopters being operated by civilian companies. These provide logistical support for the allied units operating in that country.

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Boeing Wins Contract To Support F/A-18 Fighters

The Australian government invested in F/A-18 “Hornet” fighter and attack aircraft as an interim solution while waiting for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to be delivered. The Boeing built aircraft have seen heavy use by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps over the last twenty years and represented a good investment for the Pacific country. It has now been reported that Boeing (BA) will receive a contract to provide further maintenance support for the aircraft. This contract is worth about $1.5 million.

This six year contract will see Boeing advising the Tactical Fighter Systems Program Office with maintenance and upgrade planning and execution.

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Australia Continues Project To Automate Logistics

Australia’s Ministry of Defence awarded a follow on contract to Mincom to continue developing an automated, integrated logistics system. There was no value given for the contract. The contract is continue the work done so far for the Joint Project 2077.

This contract is for Phase 2B.2 which builds on the Phase 2B.1 where Mincom delivered the Military Integrated Logistics Information System (MILIS). The goal is for the Australian Defense Force (ADF) to have an system that supports all three services when they deploy for contingency operations overseas. Phase 2B.2 will complete in 2011 and will allow better control and tracking of supporting assets and build upon Phase 2B.1.

Automated logistics systems are becoming more-and-more sophisticated and allow better control, less waste and higher rates of supply and maintenance. For armed forces that are consistently deploying away from their central bases the better logistics control the higher the operational availability of equipment and the higher the capability.

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Australian AEW Aircraft To Be Supported By Manufacturer: Boeing

It was announced that Australia had awarded a contract to Boeing (BA) to provide service and support to the new Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft being purchased by the Pacific nation. The new aircraft is based on the 737 airliner and is fitted with a variety of radars and communications gear. The five year contract is worth over $600 million if all options are exercised. Boeing has been building these aircraft for the last few years and the six when delivered will provide a significant upgrade to the Royal Australian Air Force’s capabilities.

The contract will be executed by Boeing’s subsidiary in Australia and will lead to the creation of a few hundred jobs. The contract is a Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contract similar to what the U.S. military has been using recently. The program not only includes the aircraft, but training and mission planning elements as well. Two aircraft have been delivered to date.

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Royal Australian Navy Test-Fires Raytheon Standard Missile-2 — Press Release

Royal Australian Navy Test-Fires Raytheon Standard Missile-2

JERVIS BAY, Australia, Jan. 18, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — The Royal Australian Navy fired Raytheon Company’s (NYSE:RTN) Standard Missile-2 Block IIIA anti-air warfare missile during recent tests on board the HMAS Melbourne.

“With this firing, Melbourne’s crew validated the work done to transition warships from SM-1 capability to SM-2,” said Ron Shields, Raytheon’s SM-2 program director. “This was the first time an SM-2 has been launched by any navy from an upgraded frigate, clearing the way for other fleets to make similar upgrades.”

As the most widely fielded variant of SM-2, Block IIIA is deployed by the U.S. and eight allied navies. The missile is part of a long-range area air defense capability capitalizing on communication techniques, midcourse guidance, advanced signal processing and propulsion improvements. These enhancements substantially increase the intercept range to 90 nautical miles (104 statute miles) and provide high- and low-altitude intercept capability and performance against advanced anti-ship missile threats.

Three other Royal Australian Navy frigates are scheduled to be upgraded to the SM-2 configuration. The modifications, along with upgrades to the combat management systems, launchers and other systems, will improve the ships’ capabilities against low-altitude and supersonic targets and provide extended area air defense protection.

“Standard Missile has been the U.S. Navy’s primary surface-to-air fleet air defense weapon for more than three decades,” said Shields. “This test shows the flexibility of SM-2, and why it is the global air defense missile of choice.”

Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 87 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. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.

Contact:
John Eagles
502.727.9391 (mobile)
[email protected]

Source: Raytheon Company

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Australia Awards BAE Systems Helicopter Support Contract

The Australian Government announced that they have awarded BAE Systems a three year contract with five options to support their fleet of S-70 Black Hawk utility helicopters. The contract is worth $35 million (Australian) for the fist three years. It is expected at the end of the eight years that the Sikorsky helicopters will be replaced by new aircraft.

The Black Hawk is in use with the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force as well as enjoying strong sales to overseas customers. It was developed to replace the ubiquitous UH-1 of the Vietnam Era. The S-70 is the export version of the aircraft. Australia has been a strong ally of the U.S. in its fighting in Afghanistan and has had Black Hawks since the mid-Eighties.

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Australia Moving Out On New Submarines

20071207ran8095516_299159.JPGThe Australian government has planned an ambitious expansion of their armed forces. Several major defense contracts will be let in the next few years with a goal of local companies doing the work. The largest amongst these is to build new submarines for the Navy. The first step in this contract was taken last week with the award of a contract to The Rand Corporation of the United States to begin doing a study of Australia’s capability to build these submarines in the necessary quantity. There was no value given for the contract but the goal is to have the study done early next year.

Australia had built there last class of submarines, the Collins Class, at the ASC company’s yards. This company provides maintenance for the vessels as well. They are also the lead for a new class of destroyers being built by Australia. Earlier this year the government had expressed concern about ASC’s performance maintaining the existing submarine fleet and this contract is related to those beliefs.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/httpblogsinacomcnhomeofbeijingpeople/ / CC BY-ND 2.0
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Thales Pitches New Australian MRAP

The market for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles has grown over the last five years incrementally. The United States and its Allies have bought thousands of the vehicles for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan where the major threat has been from mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). The U.S. military is beginning its winding down of operations in Iraq which will mean less requirement for new MRAP vehicles. The U.S. has also awarded Oshkosh large contracts for a new MRAP-ATV to support their troops in Afghanistan. The world market though for these types of vehicles should be fairly solid as the IED has been demonstrated as a weapon of choice.

Thales in Australia has successfully marketed and sold their larger Bushmaster vehicle to both its home forces as well as The Netherlands for use in Afghanistan. Now it has developed the lighter Hawkei MRAP. This vehicle is targeted towards replacing tactical vehicles like the Land Rover or HUMVEE. It has removable armor to facilitate transportation and is configurable to conduct a variety of missions. Thales is hoping that the Australian military will invest in it to supplement their Land Rover vehicles as well as marketing it to other countries.

There is certainly will continue to be people willing to invest in these type of vehicles especially if it is priced competitively and offers some capabilities that other don’t.

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EADS Sells More A330 Tankers To Saudi Arabia

EADS announced today that Saudi Arabia had doubled their order for aerial tankers by buying three more A330 MRT aircraft. This means that the Kingdom will now have six of the advanced tankers. They along with the U.K., Australia and the U.A.E. have ordered the aircraft. As part of the buy of the new aircraft Saudi Arabia has ordered logistic and parts support for the tankers although no contract value was announced.

The big contract for military refueling aircraft is the new tanker for the United States Air Force (USAF). EADS and Northorp Grumman had won the contract for the KC-X last year only to see it overturned on a Boeing protest. Now the new Obama Administration and the USAF will try again with a completely new RFP. That contract would be for over one hundred aircraft and would dwarf previous orders. There is still discussion of possibly splitting the contract between the two suppliers with a goal of maximizing the number of aircraft delivered in a short time. The USAF and Defense Department are against that as the two aircraft would require their own substantial support tail of parts, maintenance and training which would be quite expensive.

The A330 is a bigger aircraft then the 767 proposed by Boeing last time but requires larger airfields and more gas to fly a comparable mission. The bigger aircraft can carry more fuel for other aircraft so there has to be a balance struck there. It is definitely conceivable that the loser of the next contract will protest anyway so there may be further delays to the acquisition of the greatly needed capability.

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Air Force Begins New Space Tracking System

The United States Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a contract to begin development of a ground based radar to conduct surveillance of space objects. The initial contract is worth about $30 million. The current Air Force system was installed back in the early Sixties.

The need for an upgrade to this capability has become more critical in recent years as the amount of near earth objects, space junk and satellites has increased. This system while primarily used to support missions in space will also provide some aid in missile defense. Identifying and tracking space junk will allow better detection of new objects including possible missile launches. The proliferation of objects has also affected launches and operations in space as the threat of collision to manned vehicles is especially dangerous.

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