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News From Washington
US and UK Sign Joint Strike Fighter Agreement
The US Secretary of Defense and the UK Minister for Defence Procurement participated in a ceremony that formally established a US/UK commitment to cooperate in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.
According to the Department of Defense release, the event represented substantial commitments on the part of the Department of Defense to effect a fundamental change in defense armament programs such as the JSF. The JSF agreement also represents a joint commitment to develop a mutual security environment that will enhance future coalition operations -- one that will require the US, the UK and their allies not only to fight together but also to work together to develop weapons systems and equipment that are truly interoperable.
Building on a history of UK/US collaboration on Short Take Off/Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft technologies, JSF cooperation is a logical step in the establishment of a new direction for US transatlantic cooperation in defense systems. The JSF program will provide a highly capable, affordable Strike Fighter for the US Air Force, US Marine Corps and the US Navy, as well as for the UK Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and our other allies.
The release also notes that, under JSF's "best value" approach, UK industry has worked closely with the two prospective US prime contractors to earn a sizeable share of planned JSF EMD work by offering significant advantages to the US contractors. This pooling of technological expertise is expected to significantly increase technical competency on both sides of the Atlantic.
£8.5 M BOWMAN Risk Reduction Program Award
A TRW-led team has received an £8.5 M 10-month risk reduction contract to reduce risks associated with the start-up and performance of the BOWMAN Supply and Services contract scheduled for award in September. The risk reduction effort is designed to offer more than 90 percent confidence that BOWMAN will be fielded on schedule in 2004. The TRW team's risk reduction program will develop an overall system architecture for BOWMAN that uses the lowest-risk secure radios available and a customized version of the US tactical Internet architecture which will provide British military users with a real-time shared picture of the battlespace. The risk reduction program will also develop a logistics plan for the installation of radios and the tactical Internet into British combat vehicles, ships and aircraft, and a plan for the integrated, concurrent training of users on the new system.
Lockheed Martin in Remote Sensing Alliance in Turkey
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. has formed an alliance with Space Imaging and Cukurova Holding/INTA to expand its satellite technology in the international market place and provide the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) with high resolution remote sensing capabilities. The cooperative venture will provide the Turkish Government with imaging capability for defense, urban planning and disaster preparedness, and response applications.
To address the immediate, near and far term operational needs of the TAF in a cost-effective manner, the alliance has recommended a phased program. In the initial phase, the TAF will immediately acquire high resolution imagery through Cukurova Holding/INTA using the in-place IKONOS satellite. During the first quarter of 2001, a Regional Operational Center, including a ground station with direct tasking access to the IKONOS satellite will be operational in Turkey. Subject to government-to-government agreement, the TAF may begin the process of procuring its own autonomous satellite system for acquiring international images. The IKONOS satellite, launched in 1999 for the commercial market, is capable of one meter resolution of ground objects. The system provides black and white and multispectral digital pictures. Multispectral images can reveal chlorophyll content, chemical composition, surface water penetration and the presence of oil leached from the seabed.
Electronic Systems Center System to Reduce Foul Weather Landing Difficulties
The US Electronics System Center (ESC), Hanscom AFB, MA, has delivered a GCA-2000, a new mobile Ground Control Approach system, to the US Air Force Air Mobility Command. The mobile radar system, three radars in one, includes a mobile airport surveillance radar providing bearing and range information to controllers, a secondary surveillance radar which overlays flight code and altitude data on the controller's screen, and a precision approach radar. The airport surveillance and precision approach systems are Doppler radars able to detect weather systems and permit controllers to track their proximity to approaching aircraft.
The system, which enables air operations at any airfield with serviceable runways, was procured by ESC under a Combat Mission Needs Statement and was developed by Gilfillan Division of ITT Industries. The system can be shipped on a single C-130 and set up by a small crew in less than three hours. Its ability to automatically align itself to a selected runway in less than one minute affords operators the ability to look at multiple runways.
Meteorological Satellite Imaging Sensor Award
Raytheon Co. has received a contract from the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Integrated Program Office (IPO) valued at $158.2 M to provide imaging sensor instruments for a new polar-orbiting satellite system which will provide weather forecasting data for civilian science and national defense requirements. The new system will replace the Department of Commerce's Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POESS) and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMPS) satellites.
Raytheon will design, develop and test the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument to be carried by the new system's satellite. The VIIRS will provide data for the production of Environmental Data Records (EDRs) including imagery, sea surface temperature, low light imaging and ocean color. The EDRs will be produced on the ground using algorithms developed by Raytheon. Instrument design is based on risk reduction studies performed by the company under a $36.8 M contract awarded in 1997. Raytheon will deliver three flight VIIRSs and provide options for five additional units.
AIM-9X Low Rate Initial Production Contract Awarded
Raytheon Co. has been awarded a $43 M firm fixed-price contract for low rate initial production (LRIP) of the AIM-9X next generation Sidewinder missile. The Lot 1 award includes 103 all-up-round missiles, 39 captive air training missiles and other associated components. The first aircraft to deploy the missile will be the F-15C and the F/A-18C/D. The Department of Defense plans to buy 10,097 missiles, 5097 for the Air Force and 5000 for the Navy, during an 18-year production run.
AIM-9X is being developed to provide offensive and defensive air superiority for US and allied forces. It incorporates a high off-boresight staring focal plane array and thrust vector control for extreme agility in aerial combat environments. The Navy and Air Force will integrate and deploy the missile on the F/A-18E/F, F-16 and F-22.
The AIM-9Z flight test program has launched 14 separation and control test vehicles, and 12 guided shots during the past 20 months. The development phase will continue through the end of next year when a final operational test and milestone review will be conducted prior to the initiation of full rate production. *