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News From Washington

April 1, 2002
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News From Washington


US Air Force Awards Mobile Radar Contract to ITT Industries

ITT Industries Inc. announced that it has been awarded a contract to provide Mobile Approach Control System Precision Approach Radars (MACS PAR) to the US Air Force. The contract is worth in excess of $40 M when all options are exercised. The Gilfillan Radar Group of ITT Industries will perform the work. The first MACS PAR system will be delivered in 18 months.

MACS PAR is a subsystem to MACS, an Air Force program awarded to ITT Industries in late 2000. The system provides seamless integration with the MACS Air Surveillance Radar and Operations Subsystems. The highly mobile system is transportable via a single C-130 aircraft load.

It provides precision approach landing guidance out to 20 nautical miles and provides communications connectivity to the other MACS subsystems. The compact design, able to be deployed rapidly and operational in extreme physical environments, will enable the Air Combat Command and the Air National Guard to support the Homeland Defense Mission and perform their mission requirements of providing air traffic control services anywhere in the world on short notice.

Fully FAA-compatible, MACS is the next generation tactical Air Traffic Control System, succeeding equipment that has been in inventory for generations. The system's support includes a fully integrated e-business solution. Tasks such as remote maintenance and monitoring, access to manuals, support and ordering of parts will be performed on-line from anywhere in the world.

US Department of Commerce Tech Team Discusses Science and Technology Budget

The Department of Commerce will play a vital role in the President's budget request for science and technology programs for homeland and economic security, highlighting the critical roles of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US Patent and Trademark Office, the Technology Administration and the Technology Administration's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, President Bush is marshalling the nation's technology resources to help the US win the war on terrorism, strengthen homeland protection, revitalize the economy and create new jobs. As a result, Commerce Secretary Don Evans has asked the following offices to lead the department's science and technology Department initiatives. The following principals from these respective offices participated in a press briefing on February 5, 2002:

Philip J. Bond, Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology, Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and administrator of NOAA, Kenneth I. Juster, Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration (BXA), James E. Rogan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Nancy Victory, Assistant Secretary, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Arden Bement, Director, National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).

Harris Corp. Awarded $2.5 M to Study Space-based Radar Antenna

Harris Corp. announced that it was awarded a one-year, $2.5 M contract by the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) Special Projects Office, Washington, DC, and the Air Force Research Lab's (AFRL) Sensors Directorate, Rome, NY, to study the development of an advanced space-borne antenna system for the Innovative Space-based Radar Antenna Technology (ISAT) Study.

Under terms of the contract, Harris will lead the effort to investigate and study an innovative concept for a light weight, space-based, extremely large deployable radar antenna designed to address tactical tracking of moving targets on the ground. Ultimately, ISAT will help provide a solution to the challenge of integrating Space Based Radar (SBR) and a Moving Target Indication from Space (MTIS).

Military Radar Market Worth More Than $22 B This Decade

Radar continue to play a major part of a combat aircraft avionics suite, battlefield command network or ATC system, according to Forecast International's "The Market for Radar Systems," with the overall radar market for the next ten years worth about $22.1 B.

Near-term production (through 2005) will be worth $13.1 B, while the second half of the forecast period will generate $9.0 B. Some 35,000 radar units are slated for production between 2001 and 2010, according to the report. In addition, many radars are being upgraded rather than replaced when it is cost-effective to do so, affecting new system development and procurement.

The military radar market continues being dominated by Raytheon, Thales, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and Ericsson, according to the report. These top five companies should garner roughly $17.3 B, or about 78 percent of the total 10-year market. Raytheon is projected to command a 10-year market of $7.1 B, representing 32.2 percent of the total. Thales, ranked number two in the estimate, is projected to have a market of $4.2 B (18.8 percent), while Northrop Grumman will garner about $2.9 B. Thales and Raytheon have agreed to form an air defense company called Thales Raytheon Systems. Although regulatory questions need to be ironed out, this trans-oceanic team will further insure the standing of the parent companies in the market.

Kernan Chaisson, senior electronics analyst and author of the radar market forecast, expects that for the next 10 years, radar production should remain generally stable. "The top five companies have established such a commanding position that major changes in the overall shape of the industry are not likely," Chaisson said. He did note that there will be some impact of the funding requirements of the war on terrorism and homeland defense. Demands on the federal budget will likely make it necessary to reduce some programs. "A cut in the number of platforms to be procured in any particular year will impact the radars designed for those platforms," Chaisson said. "Unknown at this time is whether or not new programs, or possibly increases to existing programs are in the offing."

Advances in electronically scanned antennas or phased arrays make them the antennas of choice for the next generation fighter and attack aircraft. The US Air Force F-22 and France's Rafale employ active array technology as part of their radar designs. Japan developed an active phased array for the F-2 aircraft's radar. A fourth generation active array is under development for the Joint Strike Fighter, and designers are working on a fifth generation. US contracts were awarded to retrofit the APG-73(V) and selected APG-63(V) radars with active arrays, and the UAE F-16 Block 60 will feature an active aperture.

A somewhat different approach to Airborne Early Warning and Control features an active "Top Hat" antenna system mounted on a Boeing 737 for a smaller version of AWACS. This system was selected by Australia for its Wedgetail airborne surveillance/command and control aircraft and could attract significant attention from the international community because advanced capability is achievable at less cost than AWACS. Turkey has selected the aircraft to meet its airborne early warning and control needs.

In near terms, airborne radar production continues to support existing aircraft, either for new-production airframes or for retrofits and upgrades to front-line aircraft. Wartime and maintenance spares must be added to a production run, although budget constraints will impact schedules and totals. The architecture of the future fighter features a powerful centralized processor interfaced with "smart" (microprocessor-controlled) sensors. Artificial intelligence will find a multitude of applications in the new generation of sensor suites.

For more information, contact Monty Nebinger at monty.nebinger@forecast1.com.

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