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News From Washington
Joint Venture Awarded $500 M from NATO
Air Command Systems International, a joint venture equally owned by Raytheon Co. and Thomson-CSF, has been awarded a contract valued at approximately $500 M from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Air Command and Control Management Agency for the NATO Air Command and Control System Level of Operational Capability 1 (ACCS LOC1). Under the terms of the contract, the NATO ACCS LOC1 program will provide NATO with a fully interoperable, common air operations command and control system to support all offensive and defensive air operations as well as military air traffic control, command and control resource management, and airspace management in Europe. The program will replace the existing NATO air command and control system (NATO Air Defense Ground Environment) implemented in the 1970s, and will also provide centralized command and decentralized execution capability through a combination of an in-place static backbone and a deployable ACCS component.
NATO intends to employ an evolutionary implementation of full ACCS capability, which will take place in increments known as LOCs. Each increment will be implemented through development and validation phases followed by a replication phase. The initial ACCS LOC1 program includes the development of core software, its validation at the system test and validation facility and four operational sites, and its subsequent replication at other operational sites. Contracts are expected to be awarded to four additional NATO nations, including Belgium, France, Germany and Italy, for validation sites.
Program Develops Global ATM Capabilities for Fighter Aircraft
Rockwell Collins and the US Air Force have introduced key technology to bring Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) capabilities to tactical fighter aircraft. The new technology includes a miniature modular digital radio (MMDR), fast I/Q processor (FIQP) and future air navigation software. The MMDR serves as a receiver/exciter and the FIQP serves as a waveform processor. When used together, the two components form the front end of a software-programmable radio.
The GATM capabilities developed by Rockwell Collins and the Air Force under the Future Air Navigation and Traffic Avoidance Solution through Integrated Communication/Navigation/Identification (FANTASTIC) program will be combined to demonstrate a typical GATM solution in the summer of 2000. As part of the FANTASTIC program, an impact study for the F-15 and F-16 fighter platforms is being conducted to develop and demonstrate potential long-term GATM solutions for tactical fighters. The study will identify requirements for each platform and potential solutions with an emphasis on commercial off-the-shelf components. Affordable retrofits providing compliance with civilian airspace navigation regulations with minimal impact also will be identified.
US Navy Awards Raytheon $414 M to Remanufacture Tomahawk Cruise Missiles
The US Navy has modified an existing contract with Raytheon Co. to remanufacture up to 624 Tomahawk cruise missiles to the latest Block III configuration. Launched from surface ships and submarines, Tomahawk is a long-range, subsonic cruise missile used for land-attack warfare. Block III adds a GPS guidance capability to Terrain Contour Matching and Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation guidance systems. Under the terms of the $414 M indefinite-quantity contract, the Navy will order the upgraded Tomahawks as needed. Work will be performed principally at the Raytheon Missile Systems business unit in Tucson, AZ, and is expected to be completed by October 2000.
In June 1998, Raytheon was awarded a cost-plus, fixed-fee contract for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of a more versatile, lower cost version of Tomahawk designated Tactical Tomahawk. The Tactical Tomahawk will be capable of battle damage indication, in-flight retargeting, loitering and mission planning from the launch platform. The award includes the firm pricing for 1343 missiles (valued at $800 M) delivered over five years. EMD is scheduled to be completed in 2002 and production is expected to begin in 2003.
US Army's First Digitized Division Examined
The US General Accounting Office (GAO) has released a report, "Battlefield Automation: Performance Uncertainties Are Likely When Army Fields Its First Digitized Division" (GAO/NSIAD-99-150), which examines the progress of the Army's efforts to field a digitized division by 2000. Although the overall digitization effort involves more than 100 systems, the Army intends to field 16 high priority systems to three of the division's four brigades by December 2000 and field the first digitized corps by September 2004. In general, these 16 systems are command, control and communications systems intended to support decision-making by commanders in tactical operations centers at battalion, brigade, division and corps levels, including the Maneuver Control System and upgrades to mobile subscriber equipment and satellite communication systems. One of the systems, however, the Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below (FBCB2), is an entirely new technology intended to accomplish the critical objective of sharing battlefield information with the thousands of soldiers outside of tactical information centers.
Though some systems were fielded as early as 1998, the acquisition status of other systems varies. For example, the Global Broadcast Service Transportable Ground Receive Suite was delayed because the contractor's initial design required too many terminal transit cases. The report identifies other significant uncertainties the Army will confront when the division is fielded at the end of 2000. Most importantly, the operational effectiveness and suitability of FBCB2 will be unknown, and the recent restructuring of the system's test and evaluation program will prevent full testing until at least 2002. Operational performance of other fielded systems will be unknown because the results of scheduled operational tests will not be completed by December 2000. In addition, automated data sharing within tactical centers will not have been demonstrated and whether digitization can achieve the expected increases in lethality and survivability is unlikely to be resolved any earlier than 2002 - after the FBCB2 initial operational test and evaluation are completed.
Iridium Tested as Potential F-16 Communication System
As reported in C4I NEWS, Lockheed Martin and AlliedSignal have entered into a cooperative agreement to test and demonstrate a two-way satellite communication system on a Lockheed Martin F-16 using Iridium's existing commercial system via an AlliedSignal AIRSAT 1. The objective of the agreement is to demonstrate the delivery of intelligence information to fighter pilots in near real time from anywhere in the world in an affordable manner. The proposed system ultimately could be integrated into the F-16, providing pilots with two-way voice and data communication to any command center, operating base or intelligence source in the world. The Lockheed Martin joint strike fighter team also could benefit from any advances made in the two-way militarized satellite communication field. Testing was scheduled to begin this summer to evaluate the operation of satellite communication technology in high speed fighter aircraft. A second test is scheduled for June 2000 to examine the integrity and security of the connection between the satellite and the aircraft.