Lockheed Martin And The MDA Conduct Successful Test Of New Air-launched Missile Target Prototype — Press Release
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, development program, Editorial, Events, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, missile defense, Press Releases
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have successfully tested a prototype air-launched Extended Medium-range Ballistic Missile (eMRBM) target at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona .
In the test, a full-scale prototype of the eMRBM target was released from the cargo bay of a U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft at 25,000 feet. The system’s parachutes deployed, and the prototype successfully separated from the carriage extraction system. The prototype is a replica of the missile target, without propulsion, that is being used to test and validate the air-launch equipment and carriage extraction system in preparation for the maiden flight of the eMRBM missile target planned for later this year. Supporting Lockheed Martin and the MDA in the test were the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army and subcontractors Orbital Sciences Corp. and Dynetics.
Lockheed Martin is developing the air-launched eMRBM target for the MDA for testing of the Ballistic Missile Defense System to enable warfighters to gain experience with system performance in realistic scenarios.
“This new target is designed to provide the threat realism that is essential to ensuring that missile defense systems are developed against accurate representations of the systems they would likely encounter in an operational environment,” said John Holly, vice president of Missile Defense Systems and deputy for Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.
Added Dr. Patricia Dare, Lockheed Martin’s Targets and Countermeasures Program director, “The eMRBM air-launch equipment and carriage extraction system performed nominally in this test, verifying system performance and preparing the launch team for future mission operations.”
Under the Targets and Countermeasures Prime Contract, Lockheed Martin is developing and producing a total of 17 missile targets of various types and ranges, including five eMRBM targets. Since the prime contract was awarded in 2003, the company has delivered and launched 27 missile targets in tests of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. Prior to that the company produced and launched 17 missile targets under other contracts. The company has achieved an unmatched 98-percent mission success rate in providing ground-, air- and sea-launched, short-, medium- and intermediate-range missile targets since 1996.
Lockheed Martin performs Targets and Countermeasures program management and engineering in Huntsville, Ala., production and integration in Courtland, Ala., and payload design in Ampthill, England.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 118,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation’s net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.
Filed under: Editorial, Industry Analysis, Syndicated Industry News
Filed under: Editorial, Industry Analysis, Military Aviation, Syndicated Industry News
A Sentinel aircraft from No 5(AC) Squadron deployed today from RAF Waddington to an airbase in Africa, in support of French military operations in Mali.
The squadron, which has both RAF and Army personnel, operates the ASTOR radar surveillance …
Filed under: Editorial, Industry Analysis, Military Aviation, Syndicated Industry News
A Sentinel aircraft from No 5(AC) Squadron deployed today from RAF Waddington to an airbase in Africa, in support of French military operations in Mali.
The squadron, which has both RAF and Army personnel, operates the ASTOR radar surveillance …
We hope everyone will have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving no matter if you are with family or not, no matter where you are.
Please take time today to honor and thank our living veterans. Remember those who sacrificed in the past.
Filed under: Business Line, development program, Editorial, logistics, medicine
C-PERL Will Produce Nerve Agent Bioscavenger Butyrylcholinesterase for Defense Threat Reduction Agency using Proprietary Protein Production System.
SAVAGE, Md., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Chesapeake PERL has been awarded a contract to develop the human nerve agent bioscavenger butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) as a potential nerve agent countermeasure for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The contract will fund development of a recombinant human BChE and its production in C-PERL’s PERLXpress high efficiency protein manufacturing system. C-PERL will collaborate with the US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (located on the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD) to test the circulatory stability and anti-nerve agent protective efficacy of the recombinant BChE, with the ultimate objective of advancing a product into human clinical trials.
BChE is the lead bioscavenger candidate based on its ability to afford protection over a broad range of highly toxic organophosphorus nerve agents. It is a natural mammalian blood protein that can be administered either prophylactically or post-exposure, but is normally present at low concentrations in human plasma making it both expensive to produce and severely limited in supply. DTRA is seeking economical alternative production methods utilizing recombinant technology, and has selected C-PERL for its experience in manufacturing high quality proteins using its highly automated, efficient and cost-effective PERLXpress production system.
Chesapeake PERL is a biological manufacturer specializing in the production of high quality proteins, including glycosylated and lipid-associated proteins, multimeric forms and self-assembling macromolecular structures. PERLXpress, the Company’s proprietary, highly automated in vivo implementation of the Baculovirus Expression Vector System, employs whole insect larvae as mini-bioreactors. The tissue heterogeneity of the insect bioreactors leads to very high levels of protein expression as well as protein modification and processing that closely resemble native versions of the same proteins, and the system flexibility enables rapid, precisely controlled production from micrograms to tens of grams of protein. www.c-perl.com.
The U.S. Department of Defense executed a contract option with Lockheed Martin (LMT) for another batch of C-130J aircraft. The C-130J is the latest version of the venerable Hercules in use for fifty years with the U.S. military and many allied nations. The latest option is for the FY13 budget year.
The nearly $900 million contract will buy 13 new C-130 aircraft. This includes most versions of the transport including MC-130, HC-130, KC-130 and the normal C-130 transport version.
The U.S. air transport fleet has flown millions of hours and carried thousands of tons and passengers in support of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The C-130 are normally used for shorter missions often in theater to move cargo and people around.
The largest U.S. defense contractor also recently signed a deal with Iraq for 18 more F-16 fighters worth close to $3 billion. This is part of a deal to provide 36 of the light aircraft to modernize the new Iraq air force.
Photo from ngotoh’s Flickr photostream.
Developers experience firsthand the end-to-end architectural support, high performance, compact code, power profiling, efficient debugging and ease of use of IAR Embedded Workbench
Uppsala, Sweden—October 9, 2012—IAR Systems outlined today its extensive participation in the Renesas DevCon taking place from October 22 to 25 at Hyatt Regency in Orange County, California. A long-standing partner of Renesas Electronics Corporation, IAR Systems is the only software development tools provider to support all of the Renesas processors. Top CoreMark scores are proof points that continual optimizations and fine-tuning of IAR Embedded Workbench gives Renesas developers best-in-class development tools that are low power, high performance and small footprint.
In the booth, IAR Systems will showcase the latest optimizations to be included in the upcoming version of IAR Embedded Workbench with demonstrations featuring Renesas’ RH850, RX, and RL78 families. In-depth developer information to be presented in a hands-on lab and technical class will offer techniques for debugging the RX architecture and compiling applications to include maximum functionality with the smallest amount of space:
⋄ Lab session: Debugging on RX with IAR Embedded Workbench
Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 1:30pm – 3:45pm
⋄ Class session: IAR Embedded Workbench for Renesas processors
Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Developers can see how tool chain optimizations, debugging capabilities and coverage of all Renesas architectures can improve productivity, particularly as additional architectures are covered.
Full session descriptions available on: http://www.iar.com/en/IAR/Seminar-and-lab-at-RenesasDevCon/.
Austal America is the U.S. subsidiary of Australian high speed ferry and ship builder Austal. They have a yard in Mobile, AL and are currently working on two similar designed ships for the U.S. Navy. These are one of the two versions of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) as well as the fast, mobile support ship, the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV).
These are both aluminum, trimarans based on ferry designs manufactured by Austal. The LCS is a small combatant also being built by Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Marinette Marine at a yard in Wisconsin that uses a more traditional design. Austal has so far received orders for 9 JHSV from the U.S. Navy. Last week they laid the keel for JHSV 3 while construction on JHSV 2, USNS Choctaw County, continues.
JHSV 1 is close to delivery and recently conducted builder trials.
The company also has orders for five LCS and has delivered their first, USS Independence (LCS 2). LCS 4, USS Coronado, is close to delivery and LCS 6 and 8 are under construction.
Austal has been quite successful in winning orders based on their trimaran fast ferries. Ultimately up to 10 JHSV and 20-25 LCS could be built by the company.
Photo taken by Author.
The Department of Defense executed a contract modification with Lockheed Martin (LMT) this week to add 2 more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) to the most recent production buy. This brings the total aircraft on the order to 32. This is consistent with last year’s quantity.
The total value of the modification was about $259 million. This is the fifth production buy.
The program is currently in low rate production while it continues testing and development of the different variants of the aircraft.
The F-35 continues to see cost growth for the total program as recent annual reductions in the buy quantities stretch out production and add billions to the cost. The program is also under fire as some of the foreign partners reconsider their total quantities and commitment to the most expensive defense program in the history of the world.
With this order almost 100 of the aircraft have been ordered out of a planned quantity of 3 to 4,000. Production is supposed to ramp up steadily with a goal of 130 aircraft a year by 2015.
Three large defense contractors have formed a new joint venture in order to compete for the U.S. Air Force’s unified range management contract. ITT Exelis (XLS), BAE Systems (BAE:LSE) and L-3 Communications (LLL) have set up IBL JV, LLC (IBL) to hopefully win the work.
The Air Force has previously used separate contracts to run its two main ranges located on either coast of the United States. These provide space launch capability for satellites as well as managing those in orbit. The ranges also launch targets and support testing of systems. All three of these companies have at one-time-or-another been involved in running the ranges in the past.
The decision to combine the contracts has a goal of saving the government money through efficiencies of only having one contract. It would be used to carry out total support for the ranges including program management, maintenance and operations and housekeeping services.
Due to the size of the contract it is expected to attract a lot of attention from large, U.S. defense contractors who have a great deal of experience in this type of work.
Posting will be light for the remainder of the year as I try to figure out where to take the blog. It may mean a redesign or the launch of something new.
Thanks to our loyal readers these past three years.
Cubic Global Sentinel Devices Give AAFES In-Transit Visibility
Cubic GS-5B Devices Prevent Intrusion and Theft of Consumer Goods for U.S. Forces
VIENNA, VA–(Marketwire – November 14, 2011) – Cubic Global Tracking Solutions, the asset visibility solutions provider of Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB), has deployed its Container Tracking and Monitoring (CTMS) solution for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and American Presidents Line (APL). Cubic’s solution for AAFES relies on the Cubic Global Sentinel GS-5B devices, referred to by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) as Generation II Satellite Enabled Tracking and Intrusion Detection (GEN II SETID) tags.
AAFES is a DoD organization that ships retail consumer goods for sale to U.S. forces around the world. AAFES identified they had insufficient visibility of product location and condition while en route and at interim holding locations. This translated to potential vulnerability for diversion and theft of high-value goods while in transit and at the temporary holding locations. APL, the principal intermodal shipping company supporting AAFES, suggested AAFES employ Cubic Global Tracking Solutions to improve visibility, deter theft and detect post-delivery intrusions.
Cubic GTS initially collaborated with AAFES and APL to conduct a pilot early this summer, in which AAFES goods were shipped out of the United States. The increase in near real-time visibility and intrusion detection capabilities demonstrated by the successful pilot created logistics intelligence, which resulted in AAFES and APL moving forward with a large deployment of Cubic Global Tracking Solutions CTMS/GEN II SETID devices.
“By partnering with APL, we were able to help AAFES deter theft of high-value items in potential problem areas. We were also able to provide AAFES with asset visibility from the time their goods left the United States until their goods reached their final destination. We are pleased with the positive outcome of the APL/AAFES pilot and look forward to a long-term relationship to continue to provide logistics intelligence and intrusion detection, and on-going situational awareness,” said Mary Ann Wagner, President of Cubic Global Tracking Solutions.
About Cubic Global Tracking Solutions
Cubic Global Tracking Solutions is a provider of asset-visibility systems and services. Cubic’s secure asset monitoring solutions provide ongoing situational awareness across an enterprise, and require limited or no infrastructure.
About Cubic Corporation
Cubic Corporation is the parent company of three major business segments: Defense Systems, Mission Support Services and Transportation Systems. Cubic Defense Systems is a leading provider of realistic combat training systems, cyber technologies, asset tracking solutions, and defense electronics. Mission Support Services is a leading provider of training, operations, maintenance, technical and other support services. Cubic Transportation Systems is the world’s leading provider of automated fare collection systems and services for public transit authorities. For more information about Cubic, see the company’s website at www.cubic.com.
Agile in Government: Can Agencies Make It Work?
By Bill Damaré, Vice President, Government Markets
In September 2010, Federal Bureau of Investigation Chief Information Officer (FBI CIO) Chad Fulgham took over management of the Sentinel case management system, one of government’s prime examples of a runaway major information technology (IT) project. After 10 years of development, more than $450 million invested and only two phases completed, Fulgham decided to switch to Agile development in order to buck the trend and complete the project by the end of fiscal year 2011.
Major IT projects within the government continue to be blamed for billions of wasted taxpayer dollars. With increased transparency in government, examples of failed projects, schedule lapses, technologies becoming obsolete before they are launched and cost overruns are more widely known. And then there are those projects that required years of heavy investments that never launched at all.
To ensure IT investments deliver benefits early and often, U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra has made “modular” development one of the building blocks of his 25-point IT management reform plan which was launched just three months after Fulgham took the reins of Sentinel’s development. The adoption of a “modular approach with usable functionality delivered every six months” is one of three requirements for approving funding of major IT programs. To support modular development, the plan refers to creating a new IT budget model, revamping the process for justifying and monitoring IT investments, and implementing the right program management and acquisition practices.
Within a few days of this plan’s launch, the Department of Defense announced Section 804 of the 2010 National Defense Acquisition Act, which requires a new acquisition process for IT systems, including “early and continual involvement of the user; multiple, rapidly executed increments or releases of capability; successive prototyping to support an evolutionary approach; and modular, open-systems.” These approaches closely relate to the industry’s emerging best practice of Agile project management.
Many government project and program managers have seized upon the plan’s references to the modular approach as a prescription for Agile project management, which enables project teams to deliver working products or prototypes in increments for customer input that later feeds into succeeding iterations. But although frequent changes in requirements might make government programs seem good candidates for Agile, it is not a cure for all projects. It won’t work when:
The organization requires formal change management processes and extensive documentation
Projects have high regulatory compliance requirements
Projects have a team consisting of novice team members in key roles
· Customers/users have limited involvement
Just as important, agencies would need to institute significant changes to their management practices, processes and tools in order to move from a traditional waterfall to Agile development approach.
What can agencies do to prepare their people and the work environment for Agile?
The first step is for agencies to evaluate their portfolios and decide which projects are suited for Agile. The approach should be tested on a small innovation project from the portfolio or on smaller tasks within a traditional waterfall implementation. Next, agencies need to decide to what extent Agile will be applied on the first group of projects. Taking a hybrid, iterative approach can help agencies achieve better results while avoiding schedule delays and any other short-term negative consequences of a major change initiative.
The People Factor
Management and Governance
Regardless of the extent of an organization’s shift to Agile, people can and will pose the most formidable barriers to adoption. For this reason executive or senior management support is critical, along with a management style that puts more emphasis on leadership and collaboration than command and control. Managers accustomed to delivering unvarying results using consistent, set processes will likely resist the transition. Senior executives can preempt such resistance by promoting change as a necessity and dedicating resources to make that change possible. Agile should be positioned as essential and, therefore, a fundamental part of every IT professional’s job, not an additional duty.
Agile teams are integrated—and, ideally, co-located—project teams (IPTs) by definition. Members must possess the personality and work styles suited to self-governing, collaborative and adaptive teams. Unlike traditional project teams, Agile teams are led rather than managed by a project manager (PM).
The Agile PM’s primary role is to remove barriers that might impede the team from getting the job done. Each team member’s work is held up to scrutiny as members perform periodic peer reviews. Meetings take place each day to coordinate and communicate in a way that streamlines, if not obviates the need for, certain documentation. Everyone is accountable for the performance of the team and is similarly rewarded. Because success depends highly on the team’s expertise and familiarity with Agile methods, there is no room for amateurs, even when the agency takes a hybrid approach.
As an IPT, they must be attuned to the impact Agile will have on the supporting infrastructure—e.g., acquisition strategy, contractor award evaluation criteria, performance metrics put into quality assurance surveillance plans and the changing needs of the customer, also a key member of the team. Given such tight interdependence within an Agile team, adding and removing team members are often more difficult than in traditional program teams.
Mr. Kundra commented at a recent PMI® annual event that “…too many project managers are trained on paper only… This lack of hands-on training hinders our ability to manage large, complex projects.” Agile projects will be no exception if the new team members are certified but unqualified. Because most government teams will be new to Agile methods, they will need to learn the use of new tools, techniques and methods and a new vernacular.
Training should follow a learn-practice-perform format, providing adequate exposure to core concepts followed by hands-on workshops and coaching sessions to help teams apply what they’ve learned on actual projects in order to increase their mastery and confidence in the process. In addition to on- and off-site experts, other support options include such online resources as Webinars, templates, checklists and a repository of lessons learned.
Executives will need to initiate and facilitate dialogue with stakeholders to clearly understand requirements, limitations and risks before communicating the urgency of adopting an Agile approach. Once the organization shifts to Agile, stakeholders will likely miss the traditional milestones for making budgeting and staff decisions, and balk at their frequent, close involvement with the IPT’s activities.
However, most stakeholders will soon appreciate how their greater involvement translates to more control over how to prioritize features and where those priorities fit in the iteration and release schedule. They can ensure activities deliver customer value at each iteration, and better understand the impact new features will have on cost and schedule.
Process and Tools
The Agile approach requires a fast-paced work environment. Slow decision making, elaborate documentation and rigid processes will only undercut its benefits. Close, frequent collaboration and communication minimizes documentation and the use of artifacts, which in turn will have an impact on contract administration and the historic use of concrete acceptance factors. Although modular contracting is by no means new in government—in fact, Section 35 of 1996’s Clinger-Cohen Act stipulates agency heads should use modular contracting for major IT systems acquisitions—the process has had few adopters over the past 15 years.
Having the right tools in place at the outset will lower the risk of processes failing to meet customer needs. Whether the team is partly distributed or co-located, collaboration tools, which often include blogging and instant messaging capability, will go a long way to improve the effectiveness of intra-team interactions and knowledge sharing in an environment where lean thinking trumps details, documentation and artifacts are kept to a minimum, and deadlines are iterative. The same online library that helps make the shift to Agile will also help deliver program results.
Government CIOs and their teams are closely watching whether Sentinel can be transformed from a half-billion-dollar failure to one of federal IT’s success stories. By May 2011, 10,000 FBI employees were using Sentinel’s existing capabilities and a broader release is expected in September. The delivery is long overdue, as development of a next-generation case management system for the FBI had actually started in earnest back in 2001.
Whether Sentinel will succeed this time is no doubt a question on everyone’s mind. If funding for large IT programs is truly contingent upon taking a modular approach to program and project management, the more urgent question is, are other agencies ready for Agile?
AAR and Boeing to Collaborate on Royal Netherlands Air Force Rotorcraft Support
Alliance builds on the Boeing and Logistic Center Woensdrecht (LCW) partnership to help increase readiness rates of RNLAF Chinooks and Apaches and develop opportunities for Dutch industry
WOOD DALE, Ill., Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — AAR (NYSE: AIR) and the Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) have signed a letter of intent to cooperate on component maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities to support Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) rotorcraft operations.
“Boeing is working with Dutch industry to develop the most effective ways to increase the readiness rates of Royal Netherlands Air Force CH-47 Chinook and AH-64D Apache helicopters through its partnership with the Netherlands Ministry of Defence Logistic Center Woensdrecht,” said Peri Widener, Boeing Global Services & Support director of Rotorcraft Support. “Boeing also is focused on building relationships with suppliers that can help the company continue to deliver affordable, reliable logistics, sustainment and MRO solutions that maximize global readiness for our customers here and elsewhere.”
“AAR has extensive experience servicing aircraft components for air forces in Europe, the United States and other foreign countries, including on a number of platforms for which Boeing is the original equipment manufacturer,” said Mat van Vugt, Vice President for AAR’s aircraft component services business. “We look forward to building on that experience by working with Boeing and Logistic Center Woensdrecht to help ensure that Dutch Chinooks and Apaches are ready when the Royal Netherlands Air Force needs them.”
Boeing has a long record of working closely and successfully with Dutch defense customers and industry. Most recently, Boeing has been working in partnership with the LCW to expand MRO capabilities in-country and develop opportunities for Dutch industry. That alliance strives to increase readiness rates of the Boeing-built CH-47 Chinook and AH-64D Apache helicopters operated by the RNLAF, and aims to eventually broaden regional MRO activities through support opportunities on other military and civilian aircraft.
The letter of intent with AAR is the first industry collaboration to grow out of the November 2010 framework agreement between Boeing and LCW. Boeing’s collaboration with LCW and AAR advances the “Maintenance Valley” initiative supported by the Dutch government to bolster the Netherlands’ position as a regional hub for military and civilian aircraft MRO activities and will grow the volume of MRO work in the Netherlands.
AAR Aircraft Component Services (AAR ACS) specializes in the overhaul, repair and maintenance of components for aircraft including RNLAF CH-47 Chinooks and KDC-10s, F-16s, C-130s and NATO AWACS B707 aircraft. Additionally, it has repair depot responsibilities at the Royal Air Force base at Waddington, United Kingdom. AAR ACS, a division of AAR International, is a leading provider of component repair services for various Boeing and other commercial and military aircraft. AAR also helped Boeing set up a Next-Generation 737 Spares Exchange Program in which it shared responsibility for supply chain logistics and warehousing. ACS has been a Boeing Performance Excellence Award recipient for the past three years. Boeing issues this award annually to recognize suppliers who achieve superior performance through quality and delivery.
AAR is a leading provider of value-added products and services to the worldwide aerospace and government and defense industries. With facilities and sales locations around the world, AAR uses its close-to-the-customer business model to serve its customers through four operating segments: Aviation Supply Chain; Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul; Structures and Systems; and Government and Defense Services. More information can be found at www.aarcorp.com.
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 $32 billion business with 64,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.
Named one of The Most Trustworthy Companies by Forbes magazine.
Filed under: Bell, Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Department of Defense, development program, Editorial, Events, Federal Budget Process, ISR, Kaman Corp, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, Proposal, Services, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy
The United States has invested a large amount of money the past two decades into unmanned aerial vehicles. Used primarily by the U.S. Army and Air Force they originally conducted reconnaissance and intelligence gathering missions. Since 9/11 several have been weaponized and carried out precision strike missions. The U.S. Navy while doing some R&D has not purchased a full up system yet to be based on ships. This, though, is about to change.
The Marine Corps and Navy are already conducting research into unmanned cargo systems that might eventually replace the current MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters made by Sikorsky for that mission. These lift loads from supply ships to combat ships as part of underway replenishment. Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Kaman (KAMN) are doing work with the K-Max helicopter to see how well it works as an unmanned platform.
The Navy just announced the start of a new program called Medium Range Maritime Unmanned Aerial System (MRMUAS) which will begin in FY12 with a goal of entering production late in this decade. The MRMUAS will be primarily oriented towards Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions and will be ship based.
As with many programs recently started by the Pentagon several development contracts will be awarded to various companies which will then lead to one or more of them being selected for further development and production.
Several existing systems being developed by defense contracts are certainly available to be proposed for this effort including the K-MAX being looked at for the cargo mission as well as Bell, a part of Textron (TXT), and Boeing (BA) products. This also does not rule out a new development effort for this requirement by any defense contractor.
The shift to using UAS for current manned missions will continue for the foreseeable future. Budget pressures may cause these programs to be delayed or even eliminated especially if there is major cost growth in core Navy systems such as the F-35 JSF or ship construction. Unfortunately as has been shown in the past investment in new systems and technologies may take a back seat to the funding of more important programs. If the Navy has to choose between its newest manned aircraft, new submarines and aircraft carriers over UAS vehicles it will probably be an easy decision.
Despite the current dispute with Congress over future production of the AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile the U.S. Air Force went ahead and ordered the FY11 production batch from Raytheon (RTN). This contract is worth over $500 million and will provide about 430 missiles for domestic use by the Air Force, Navy and Marines as well as for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.
Congress in their mark up of the 2012 budget has de-funded the program for its next year’s production citing delays in producing the missiles. They feel that this would allow a year to catch up with deliveries. It also is one of the few cuts to the defense budget that Congress has made so far. Funding was reduced to less then $70 million from the almost $500 million requested. The funding Congress left will keep the project office open and pay for engineering and the ability to keep the line ready when production catches up.
Both Raytheon and the Defense Department have fought back against the cut. If the production line does get sorted out then the money may be needed next year to make sure there is no break in the production line which would cost money to re-establish and re-certify. There also may be sufficient FMS sales that require a 2012 order. The fact that the FY11 buy was placed in the last month of the Fiscal Year indicates that if the FY12 contract is executed it too would be in late FY12.
Interestingly the Army is proposing to do the same thing with their M1 tank production and Congress is the one fighting back on that proposal. The Army feels that it has met its objectives for now and can take a two year break from modernization and production of the Abrams tank. This would save several hundred million dollars even with the costs of re-starting the line taken into account.
Congress members from Michigan and other affected states are trying to stop this citing the negative economic impact of closing the line. Ultimately there will be more money in the budget then the Army requested and some M1 production will occur.
These issues show that reducing the defense budget will not be easy. The military have their requirements and so does Congress. Congress is the ultimate decider of the budget and it is not clear how much will they will have to make cuts that could reduce economic activity in their districts. At the same time the cuts Congress does make may not be to programs that the Defense Department and the Services want. Compromise may be hard to reach.
Following the recent announcement by General Dynamics (GD) that they will acquire privately held Vangent which provides health care IT services, Lockheed Martin (LMT) also increased its investment in health care offerings by agreeing to acquire QTC Holdings. QTC Holdings is a major source of medical evaluation services to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Terms of the deal were not announced and Lockheed also stated that the addition of this company would not have a material affect on its revenues or earnings.
While there has been a great deal of interest by defense contractors expanding their opportunity to participate in the expected growing market for Electronic Health Care Records (EHR) or health care IT in general this is a company that provides a very specific service that is based on the number of veterans processed each year. The VA has outsourced much of this work to a variety of companies and with the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan the number of persons requiring such evaluations has grown each year of the past decade.
When a military member leaves the service they receive an evaluation from the Department of Defense and the VA in order to determine any disability or care that may be needed when they are finished with their service. The disability evaluation is very important as it may lead to financial compensation beyond any retirement that the member has earned. The evaluation will also allow the member to get the necessary care for any injury, illness or issue caused by their service. HTC is one of several companies that performs these evaluations for the VA.
Lockheed by buying this company has found another channel for revenue and earnings that has growth potential rather then the more traditional defense contracting which is facing a potential for major cut backs. Expect to see more types of this kind of deal as the larger contractors position themselves for what could be a restructuring of the U.S.’s defense spending.
Filed under: Business Line, development program, Editorial
The U.S. Navy awarded a team of companies a contract to begin the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) of the Joint and Allied Threat Awareness System (JATAS). BAE System (BAE:LSE) and ATK (ATK) lead the team to transition this next generation aircraft threat detection system for fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The contract has an initial value of just over $100 million.
JATAS is designed to detect enemy threats including radars, lasers and missiles and then work with the countermeasure system installed on the aircraft to launch chaff or flares or try to jam the source. It will ultimately replace existing systems such as the AAR-47 made by ATK and currently used by the Navy.
The team was one of two awarded technology development contracts in 2009 for the JATAS. The Navy has now selected them to continue the program into the next stage of the acquisition process, EMD. This will take the technology concept developed and develop it so that it may begin low rate production and begin testing. Once that phase is completed in about 2015 the system should be ready for high rate production and installation on new Navy and Marine Corps aircraft such as the MV-22B, MH-60R, AH-1Z and UH-1Y.
These aircraft have been heavily used in Iraq and Afghanistan along with the Army’s helicopters where they faced a threat primarily from small arms and machine guns rather then advanced surface-to-air missiles or radars. In future conflicts against sophisticated opponents systems like JATAS will be needed to provide a measure of battlefield survivability against integrated air defense systems and man portable air defense systems.
U.S. Army Awards Lockheed Martin $60 Million M-TADS/PNVS Production Contract
ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Army recently awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) a $60 million follow-on production contract for the combat-proven Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS), also known as Arrowhead®, for the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter.
The $60 million Lot 8 base contract includes 23 Arrowhead kits for the National Guard, plus U.S. Government and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) spares and support. The contract also includes options for up to 46 systems and spares for delivery to the U.S. Army and an undisclosed FMS customer. Total contract value including the base and all options, if awarded, could reach approximately $290 million. The Lot 8 contract extends production through August 2013 for the base requirements, and January 2015 if all options are awarded.
“Lot 8 represents our continued successful partnership with Lockheed Martin and will provide the Arrowhead upgrades that will complement the conversion of our National Guard Apache battalions from the AH-64A to the AH-64D Longbow,” said Lt. Col. Steve Van Riper, U.S. Army Apache Sensors product manager. “These Arrowhead systems will provide AH-64D aviators with a combat-proven sensor capability required to support our soldiers and international allies around the world.”
The Arrowhead kit modernizes the U.S. Army’s TADS/PNVS, known as the “eyes of the Apache,” by upgrading the infrared sensors and associated electronics. Arrowhead provides Apache pilots the most advanced long-range, electro-optical precision engagement and pilotage capabilities, ensuring safe flight during day, night and adverse-weather missions.
“The highly reliable Arrowhead system saves lives,” said Matt Hoffman, Arrowhead program director in Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business. “Arrowhead has demonstrated operational performance second to none, and this contract reflects the confidence our customers have in this low maintenance, highly mission capable system for the Apache.”
Lockheed Martin rolled out the first Arrowhead kit to the U.S. Army in May 2005, and completed integration on the first Apache helicopters in June 2005.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.
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Oshkosh (OSK) had been a bright spot in recent years as the heavy truck manufacturer’s turn to defense contracts had helped keep the company buoyant during the recent economic downturn. Primarily known for building vehicles such as fire engines, concrete trucks and ambulances all of their product lines took deep blows as the construction industry contracted and governments cut back their investments in equipment. The company was able to win two major U.S. defense contracts that helped offset this market.
Now the first and largest of those is winding down as the U.S. also begins its draw down of forces committed to Afghanistan. This was the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected – All Terrain Vehicle (MRAP-ATV) contract designed to produce a smaller, more maneuverable MRAP for use in Afghanistan’s rough terrain. The U.S. had invested billions in a variety of MRAP vehicles from diverse sources to protect troops in Iraq from the mine and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat. Many of these were large and required smooth terrain or roads. The MRAP-ATV chosen via a contest would be able to handle off road transport better. Oshkosh won a contest held by DoD and earned several billion dollars worth of MRAP and support work. That contract is ending as the U.S. has purchased its planned quantities of MRAP-ATV.
Oshkosh was also able to win the right to make the U.S. Army’s standard truck, the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), produced for years in Sealy, TX by Armor Holdings, now part of the United Kingdom’s BAE Systems (BAE:LSE). They won this contract on price and this is reflected in the small margins on the contract. It did though keep their plants working and has the potential to generate a great deal of revenue if not profits.
The end of the MRAP-ATV contract has had an affect now on earnings for two quarters. In the first quarter this year profit was down forty percent as commercial sales had not grown to make up for the defense business. Now for the second quarter similar results were reported.
The company reported a net income of 75 cents per share or down almost two-thirds from the last year’s $2.31. Revenue was just over $2 billion down about $420 million. Defense sales fell by thirty-five percent comparatively or over $1 billion. The company is hoping that the U.S. and world economy will improve to help its commercial sales in the future and the company expects to be profitable which is a big improvement over 2009 when the company lost about a billion dollars.
Oshkosh is a bidder on other defense contracts including Canada’s new tactical vehicle system. If they win that contract it will help balance out declines in U.S. defense sales.
As the U.S. economy improves and the defense budget is reduced Oshkosh might be one of several companies that took advantage of the growing market in the first decade of this century that now decides to minimize its reliance on it.