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News From Washington

April 1, 2003
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News From Washington


Harris Corp.'s Weather and Radar Processor System in Use by Controllers

Air traffic controllers at the nation's 21 FAA air route traffic control centers (ARTCCs) now can view real-time, graphical weather data at their stations, using the weather and radar processor (WARP) system. WARP, developed for the FAA by Harris Corp., provides advanced NEXRAD weather data directly to the displays of the controllers, replacing the more cumbersome, alphanumeric data displays used previously. The announcement was made at the 83rd annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

"The WARP system was declared fully operational by the FAA on December 31, 2002, and we are very pleased that this major milestone toward bringing the weather data display directly to the controllers has been achieved," said Bob Henry, president, Harris Government Communications Systems Division (GCSD). "The WARP program is a key element of the FAA's modernization initiatives, and we are proud that Harris technology and integration expertise are at work helping to enhance the safety of our nation's air traffic system."

Weather data originates from the National Weather Service and other government radars, and is transmitted via landlines to the ARTCCs. There, it is collected by the Harris WARP server and then transmitted both to the on-site meteorologist's work station for forecasting and analysis, and to the air traffic controllers' main display monitor, where it is displayed in color blocks along with the individual aircraft position information. Harris provides the hardware and software to collect the weather data, and the ability to display it in an easy-to-view format.

WARP is a next-generation weather and radar processor that provides the FAA the software tools to consolidate weather data from several sources into a single, integrated display to support air traffic operations. The value-to-date of the WARP contract to Harris, since the initial award in July 1996, is $117 M. Under terms of the original contract, Harris was tasked with developing, procuring, installing and supporting WARP systems at the 21 ARTCCs, the Air Traffic Control System Command Center and the William J. Hughes Technical Center.

Raytheon Awarded Additional $43 M for AMRAAM Lot 16 Production

Raytheon Co. has been awarded a $43.2 M firm-fixed price contract modification to produce an additional 142 advanced medium range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM). This is the third additional order for missiles in the Lot 16 contract, which brings the total number of missiles ordered in Lot 16 to 916, with a total contract value of more than $333 M.

The Lot 16 contract provides five additional years of fixed-price options (Lot 17-21) with a potential contract value of nearly $2 B and a total quantity of up to 5000 missiles. The award was made by the US Air Force Air Armament Center Counterair Joint Systems Program office (JPSO), Eglin Air Force Base, FL. The Lot 16 missiles will be produced for the US Air Force and Navy as well as a number of international customers. Work will be performed at Raytheon's facilities in Tucson, AZ, and Andover, MA. Final assembly and delivery will occur in Tucson. Lot 16 production is expected to be complete in August 2004. AMRAAM is a software-driven, radar-guided missile that gives pilots the ability to "launch and leave" and to engage multiple targets during a single engagement. To date, more than 12,000 missiles have been produced for the US and international customers.

AMRAAM is fully operational on the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, the German F4F, the UK Sea Harrier, Swedish JA-37 Viggen and the JAS Gripen. It is currently being integrated on the F-22, Eurofighter, Harrier II Plus, Tornado and the Joint Strike Fighter. AMRAAM has also been adapted to a surface-to-air role for air defense and is operational in Norway as the Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and has been demonstrated in a Hawk-AMRAAM system and on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)-based system called HUMRAAM. The US Marine Corps awarded a contract in 2001 to Raytheon for its version of HUMRAAM, called complementary low altitude weapon system (CLAWS), which will be introduced into operational service by 2005. The US Army also is generating a requirement for a HUMRAAM system, called Surface Launch AMRAAM (SLAMRAAM). The surface-launched AMRAAM market potential is estimated at more than 5000 missiles over the next 10 years.

Air Force Launches Lockheed Martin-built Global Positioning System Satellite

A global positioning system (GPS) satellite, built by Lockheed Martin for the US Air Force, was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral. This was the seventh successful launch of the new-generation spacecraft, designated GPS IIR. The company has delivered 13 more of these satellites to the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA, to sustain the GPS constellation. The satellite launched, designated GPS IIR-8, joins 26 other operational GPS satellites now in orbit. This satellite will improve global coverage and increase the overall performance of the GPS constellation.

"We are proud of our partnership with the Air Force in carrying out the important mission of the GPS system," said Rick Skinner, vice president of Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems. "We look forward to providing the warfighter as well as commercial and private users worldwide with highly accurate positioning location in a constellation where accuracy is a key performance parameter."

The global positioning system allows any properly equipped user to determine precise time and velocity and worldwide latitude, longitude and altitude to within a few meters. Although originally designed as a guidance and navigational tool for the military, GPS has proven beneficial in the commercial and civil markets for transportation, surveying and rescue operations. The GPS IIR satellites are compatible with the current system and provide improved navigation accuracy, achieved by using an ITT industry payload system. Additionally, increased autonomy and longer spacecraft life are inherent in the Lockheed Martin satellite design. To bring new capabilities to the GPS constellation, Lockheed Martin is under contract to modernize up to eight existing GPS IIR spacecrafts already built and in storage. These spacecrafts, designated GPS IIR-M, will incorporate two new military signals and a second civil signal, thus providing military and civilian users of the navigation system with improved capabilities much sooner than previously envisioned.

GPS modernization is performed at the Space Systems-Valley Forge, PA and ITT Industries, Clifton, NJ facilities. First launch of a GPS IIR-M satellite will be available by July 2004. The US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, El Segundo, CA, is the contracting agency.

Rockwell Collins and US Air Force Sign Strategic Partnership Agreement

Rockwell Collins Aviation Services and Warner Robins Air Logistics Center have entered into a strategic partnership agreement. This agreement is expected to mutually improve communications, planning and support to facilitate the availability and use of resources as well as technical and logistic expertise to maximize operational readiness.

The strategic partnership agreement was signed by Greg Churchill, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Rockwell Collins Government Systems, Harry Gregory, vice president and general manager, Rockwell Collins Aviation Services, and Major General Donald Wetekam, commander, Warner Robins Air Logistic Center in Warner Robins, GA. A signing ceremony was held at Robins Air Force Base on December 16, 2002.

"This strategic partnership agreement provides a framework for Rockwell Collins and Warner Robins to optimize our respective core competencies to enhance weapon systems readiness," said Gregory. "This agreement will enable more affordable and effective logistics support solutions for communications and navigation equipment," according to General Wetekam.

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