NEWS FROM WASHINGTON
Recent decisions made at the US Air Force Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, MA, and within the Department of Defense (DoD) have had positive effects on the DoD's overall effort to modernize its air traffic control (ATC) systems. The completion of the Electronic Systems Center's preproduction activities with the system have led to a positive decision for low rate initial production (LRIP) of the Raytheon ASR-11 Digital Airport Surveillance Radar (DASR). In addition, the DoD made a similar decision earlier this year to proceed with LRIP for the Raytheon Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS), also known as the DoD Advanced Automation System (DAAS). Both decisions followed successful development/operational tests of the two systems at Eglin AFB, FL, which were completed in December 1999.
The Eglin AFB system is the first step in the DoD's plans to procure up to 104 ASR-11s and up to 191 STARS for its radar approach control facilities and associated ATC towers. Both programs are joint procurements with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); the DoD leads the radar procurement and the FAA leads STARS. Live operation of the ASR-11 and STARS at Eglin AFB is scheduled to begin early this summer.
The ASR-11 DASR is a solid-state airport surveillance radar with primary surveillance coverage to 60 miles and secondary coverage to 120 miles, which can detect up to six levels of weather. Up to 216 ASR-11s are being planned for DoD and FAA procurement. The STARS/DAAS is an open-architecture air traffic automation system that provides high resolution color displays as well as improved computer processing and communication equipment. The system has six-level weather display and multiradar tracking capability and allows incorporation of new hardware and software features. Planned total procurement of STARS for terminal ATC facilities is 331 systems.
A new study from the Teal Group, "Fighter FLIR Market Forecast," predicts that the production value of US fighter aircraft Forward-looking Infrared (FLIR) systems will reach $1 B by 2009. According to the study, the next-generation fighter FLIR market has been fairly well settled by recent major contract awards. Raytheon will produce more than 500 ATFLIR pods for the F/A-18C/D and E/F, and the Northrop Grumman/Rafael Litening II is entering production for more than 200 US Marine Corps AV-8Bs and US Air National Guard F-16s.
The study notes that Lockheed Martin, presently the world's largest FLIR manufacturer, is without a major program for its third-generation FLIR, the Sniper, a situation probably not in the Pentagon's best long-range interests. A predictable solution to this problem is seen in the US Air Force's plans to install targeting pods on its F-16CJs for destruction as well as suppression of enemy air defenses. Analysts expect that the Sniper is suitable for the Advance Targeting Pod application and has the added benefit of maintaining some commonality with the hundreds of Air Force dual-pod LANTIRNS already in service. The projected production of several hundred Sniper pods will position that system between Litening II and ATFLIR in dollar value US sales. In the international market, all three US systems are expected to enjoy strong sales. For additional information, contact David Rockwell, Teal Group (703) 385-1992, ext. 106.
A new study from Frost & Sullivan, "World Naval Radar and Sonar Markets," examines the changing nature of naval military threats as well as the effect of those changes on radar and sonar sensor development and the sensor markets. The study identifies asymmetric warfare - a scenario in which a combatant exploits an adversary's weakness while avoiding its strength - as the major stimulation for the development of small, high firepower ships (and the new generation of sonar and radar sensors to equip them). Many nations are in the process of procuring smaller naval vessels in the frigate and patrol boat classes as the interest in smaller vessels with improved capabilities and firepower grows. The market is expected to benefit from this new interest and is forecast to increase from its 1999 level of $633.4 M to $1 B by 2005. This strong growth is expected to continue through 2008.
Information technology advancements are increasingly being applied to the naval sensor markets as demands for the effective integration of radar and sonar sensor data grow. The processing and integration of data from multiple platforms reduce reliance on any individual source that might be disabled and improve chances for mission success. In addition, the area of operations is expanded and clutter in the target area being surveyed also may be reduced due to improved threat identification.
Mine countermeasures applications are viewed as excellent opportunities for growth of the sonar sensor market. A new generation of mine sweepers as well as mine detection equipment requirements for combat vessels are there to be served by new sonar mine detection and identification systems. For additional information, contact Rolf Gatlin, Frost & Sullivan (210) 348-1017 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The company's Web address is www.frost.com.
The US Navy has exercised its first-year options for production of satellite communication (SATCOM) systems for surface ships, shore stations and submarines. The order to Raytheon Co. has a value in excess of $54 M. The procurement for the Navy Extremely High Frequency (EHF) SATCOM Program Low Data Rate/Medium Data Rate (LDR/MDR) follow-on terminal includes options for the acquisition of additional systems this year as well as over the remaining four years of the program. If all options are exercised, LDR/MDR terminal production, installation and commissioning could be worth up to $414 M.
The LDR/MDR terminal is the successor to Raytheon's AN/USC-38 EHF low data rate military SATCOM (MILSATCOM) terminal. It comprises a common communications equipment suite fitted with one of four antenna sets adapted for surface ships, submarines and shore stations. The program provides secure, reliable satellite connectivity for two-way imagery and data and voice communications anywhere in the world using the Milstar, UHF follow-on and polar orbiting satellite constellations. Plans are also underway to permit terminals aboard submarines to communicate via the Defense Satellite Communication System as well.
The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has awarded a four-year contract to Raytheon Co. for the production of Multiband Multimission Radio (MBMMR) systems. The initial award under the indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity agreement has a value of $5.75 M and covers the delivery of two vehicular and 227 manpack systems. Fully exercised options would increase the total value of the contract to $179 M.
The MBMMR is an enhanced system designed for US Army, Navy and Air Force special operations forces. The new radio lightens the load of a special forces soldier by 18 pounds while replacing several single-band radios currently used to communicate on different networks. Its enhancements include Have Quick II; SINCGARS SIP, an enhanced key management system for secure communications links; 30 to 512 MHz frequency coverage; and high speed, line-of-sight data transmission.