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Industry News

News From Washington

November 1, 1998
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News From Washington

Australia Awards $100 M for Tactical Air Defense Radar Equipment

Australia has awarded a $100 M contract to Lockheed Martin for the supply and five-year support of four Tactical Air Defense Radar Systems for the Australian Defense Force. The new radar systems will be located in Williamtown (NSW) and in the Darwin area of Australia. Lockheed Martin Ocean, Radar & Sensor Systems, Syracuse, NY, will team with Tenix Defense Systems of Williamtown and RLM Systems of Melbourne, Australia to produce and install the tactically mobile TPS-117 equipment, which may be relocated by air, rail, sea or road, including cross-country deployment via all-wheel drive vehicles. The radar systems will be produced and assembled in Syracuse; subsystems manufactured in Australia will be integrated with the radar components by Tenix Defense.

GAO Assesses WAAS Project Status

The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is an enhancement to the Global Positioning System (GPS) designed to provide a satellite-based civil aircraft navigation system that will permit the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to phase out its network of ground-based navigation aids. While GPS offers position information, WAAS, a network of ground stations and geostationary satellites, will add system malfunction warning features and ensure the virtually uninterrupted system operation needed to improve flight safety and allow fuel-efficient routing of aircraft that will permit the transition to satellite-based navigation.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) report, "Status of Wide Area Augmentation System Project," reviews and comments on the Secretary of Transportation's 1998 report on the status and management of the program. The GAO report notes that the Secretary recognized the WAAS vulnerability to interference from electronic equipment and, as a result, the FAA may have to retain an independent backup system and revise its plan to transition to satellite-based navigation by 2010. A delay in the transition would reduce the savings contemplated by the FAA by fully phasing out its ground-based network and would also reduce the $350 M that aircraft operators expected to save by removing ground-based navigation equipment from their planes.

The greatest uncertainty about the eventual cost of the program is related to the costs for geostationary satellites. At the time of the Secretary's report, it was not clear how many satellites would be needed or what their unit cost would be. The GAO report also points out that the Secretary did not fully address the uncertainties in the WAAS schedule goals. At this point, the FAA is not certain that it can locate a vendor able and willing to launch and test the satellites by October 2001, the scheduled completion of that task. In addition, some potential vendors claimed that it is more realistic to have the satellites in orbit by 2002 or 2003.

Proposed Legislation Supports Application of Wireless Technology to Emergency Medical ServicesLegislation has been introduced into the US Senate to improve the nation's emergency medical response system through the use of wireless technology. The bill could provide $200 M to state and local governments over the next five years to finance upgrades of local 9-1-1 emergency communications systems. The funds would be provided through payments from the wireless industry for leases on federal lands.

In addition to designating 9-1-1 as the universal emergency number, the legislation provides grants to state and local governments for upgrading 9-1-1 systems to provide local information for wireless telephone calls as well as liability protection for wireless companies equivalent to that available to wireline companies. The legislation also is designed to provide funding for research to develop automatic crash notification technology, which will provide detailed automobile crash information to 9-1-1 operators and streamline the process for siting wireless antennas on federal property.

Advanced Communications Capabilities Demonstrated at EFX '98

Boeing has supplied several key pieces of an overall communications architecture that was scheduled for demonstration as part of the US Air Force's Expeditionary Force Experiment (EFX '98), an exercise to demonstrate how emerging command and control capabilities could enhance the US forces' ability to halt invading forces. Aircraft participating in the live-fly exercises at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, included TS-3, an Airborne Warning and Control test aircraft, a US Air Force C-135 avionics testbed, a KC-135 R transport, a B-1B bomber and a Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) aircraft. The exercises were intended to focus on new technology to improve mission effectiveness.

Boeing provided uplink communication services and satellite receive capability with its phased-array antenna, which was installed on the TS-3, C-135, KC-135 and JSTARS aircraft. The TS-3, C-135 and KC-135 aircraft also carried workstation/local area network equipment supplied by Boeing, which operated theater battle management and other mission planning software. A Boeing multisource integrator on the TS-3 was used to merge all information about a specific target into a single computer track. The systems permit joint force component commanders to stay apprised of battlefield activities while enroute to the crisis area, prepare battle plans and retask other aircraft that are also en route.

New Forces Shaping C4I Equipment Market

A recent Frost & Sullivan study, "US Military Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence" (C4I), covers this US Department of Defense (DoD) market, which, according to the study, exists because of the interdependence of service units as well as the need for their coordination and the speed and range of modern warfare operations. The seven primary market segments covered in the study include continental ground-based surveillance systems, global command and control systems, defensewide communications systems, tactical reconnaissance and surveillance systems, tactical command and control systems, tactical communications systems and C3I support systems. All of these markets are involved with rather large systems that cut across service boundaries. Total funding for the C4I market was $7.4 B in FY 1997 up from $7.1 B in FY 1996. Spending has contracted since 1997 and is forecast to reach $6.5 B in FY 2001 and increase to $7.1 B in FY 2003.

Among the new forces in the market is the DoD requirement that computers be compatible with an open system environment. As a result, the armed services are building their systems around commercial computer system technology, which they can adapt for specific military functions. There is also a strong move to enforce common standards, message formats and protocols to ensure effective communication among diverse units.

The market is dominated by four large suppliers, which, together, had a greater than 50 percent share of the total market in 1997. Lockheed Martin led the group with 21.1 percent, Northrop Grumman was at 12.9 percent, Raytheon at 9.2 percent and Boeing held 7.9 percent. The nature of the market gives particular advantage to high capitalization suppliers.

In the short term, the defensewide system segment that includes operational space systems is forecast to grow most rapidly. For additional information, contact Kathleen Cooney, Frost & Sullivan (650) 237-4385, fax (650) 903-0915 or e-mail: kcooney@frost.com.

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