News From Washington
Lockheed Martin Successfully Fires LOSAT Guided Missile
The Line-of-sight Antitank (LOSAT) system developed by Lockheed Martin successfully completed engineering development flight test-1
(EDF-1) at White Sands Missile range, NM. The LOSAT system fired a kinetic energy missile (KEM) more than three kilometers down range and intercepted a M-60 tank that was used as a target. Throughout the short duration flight, the missile received timed updates from the system's fire unit. All test objectives were achieved.
This was the first guided flight of a LOSAT KEM missile since 1996, when the US Army cancelled the armored gun system, and LOSAT was transitioning from a Bradley fighting vehicle as the launch platform. The cancellation required LOSAT to move to the more agile HMMWV platform. The improved system is now more robust and provides the war fighter with a more mobile capability that can deliver overwhelming lethality against advanced armor, active protection systems and bunkers. LOSAT fills an urgent operational requirement for overmatching capability in the light forces. The program is managed by the kinetic energy missile project management office (PMO) in Huntsville, AL.
Following EDF, the advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) program will transition from contractor test flights to government controlled production qualification testing (PQT). Over the next 10 months, the program will fire 18 missiles during PQT flight tests. A low rate initial production (LRIP)-1 decision is expected in the fiscal year 2004.
In addition to system testing at White Sands missile range, 16 members of A Company, 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, NC, are currently at the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control facilities in Grand Prairie, TX, conducting crew training that includes supportability, logistics, engaging targets, maintenance and standing operating procedures. Members of the 511th have been involved in the development of the system since the beginning of the program and participated in the early soldier involvement (ESI) program that incorporates user comments and improvements as the system evolves.
The LOSAT weapon system provides a high volume of extremely lethal and accurate missile fire that is effective against heavy armor systems at ranges exceeding tanks' main gun ranges. LOSAT consists of kinetic energy missiles and a second-generation FLIR/video acquisition sensor mounted on an air-mobile, heavy HMMWV chassis. The LOSAT weapon system will help remedy the forced-entry/early-entry force lethality shortfall against heavy armor because it can deploy with both forces.
The key advantages of the LOSAT system are the tremendous overmatch lethality of the KEM, which defeats all predicted future armored combat vehicles, and its deployability. The LOSAT weapon system also provides increased survivability for the operator and countermeasure effectiveness. It operates to the maximum range of direct fire combat engagements and provides dramatically increased rates of fire and enhanced performance under day and night, adverse weather and obscured battlefield conditions. The system can be transported by C-130 low velocity airdrop or by sling load with the UH-60L.
Navy Uses RFID to Track Wounded in Iraq
The US Navy, working with system developer ScenPro Inc. of Richardson, TX, is using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology from Texas Instruments to more efficiently track the status and location of hundreds of wounded soldiers and airmen, prisoners of war, refugees and others arriving for treatment at Fleet Hospital Three in Iraq. ScenPro's tactical medical coordination system (TacMedCS) allows medical professionals to use RFID-enabled wristbands to identify patients, and to update their status, location and medical information in the system's electronic whiteboard automatically.
The Navy implemented TacMedCS to replace a labor-intensive, entirely manual system consisting of pen and paper, cardboard tags and a centrally located whiteboard to show patient movement throughout the hospital. With the new electronic system, each patient at Fleet Hospital Three receives an RFID Smart Band® (manufactured by Precision Dynamics Corp. of San Fernando, CA) with a TI-RFID Tag-it™ smart label inlay, on which basic identification information is stored. Medical professionals use a hand-held RFID reader from A.C.C. Systems Inc. of Glen Head, NY, to read the unique identification number and add or change data to create a digital treatment record that travels with the patient as he or she is moved throughout the facility. Using a wireless LAN, patient information is transferred to an electronic patient management system, further eliminating manual re-entering of data at a central computer terminal.
Deployed for combat casualty care in a hospital location, the Navy is also exploring the use of TacMedCS for medics in the field. The system can quickly identify injured soldiers and record the types of treatment they receive. Using the GPS capabilities of the reader, information can be communicated back to commanders to expedite care and improve resource deployment. In the future, as the US continually prepares for crisis scenarios, TacMedCS can be expanded as a logistic management tool to track first responder equipment and personnel, and to improve record keeping. It fits seamlessly into command and control systems used in emergencies. RFID chips sewn into uniforms, or placed inside badges, and scanned at the scene of an event, allow personnel to identify the individual responders on site and log fire, police and emergency responders in and out of chemical or biological hot zones, for example.
Northrop, Boeing and Raytheon Team Awarded $215 M for E-10A Weapon System
The Northrop Grumman Corp., Boeing and Raytheon Multi-sensor Command and Control Aircraft (MC2A) team has received a pre-system development and demonstration contract, with a total value of $215 M for weapon system integration (WSI) of the US Air Force's new E-10A aircraft.
"The next generation of Air Force airborne ground surveillance and battle management and control capability is underway with the award of this contract," said Alan Doshier, sector vice president for Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, Airborne Ground Surveillance and Battle Management System business area. "All three members of our team bring strong legacies that provide the Air Force with the best value option for the MC2A program. With the system integration expertise Northrop Grumman has in programs such as joint STARS combined with airframe excellence from Boeing and radar integration proficiency from Raytheon, the E-10A will bring a new level of ISR capability to the war fighter."
Increment 1 of the Air Force's evolutionary acquisition program for the E-10A provides for a cruise missile defense and advanced airborne ground surveillance and targeting capability. The E-10A will include the Northrop Grumman/Raytheon Multi-platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) radar and an advanced Battle Management Command and Control (BMC2) subsystem integrated on a Boeing 767-400ER aircraft. The BMC2 subsystem will be separately competed later this year.
The three companies announced a unique teaming agreement earlier that capitalizes on their expertise in legacy systems used by the Air Force today. Under the agreement, Northrop Grumman is responsible for overall program management and system engineering, mission system design, airframe modification, system integration and operational flight-testing. Boeing will perform major structural modification design, air vehicle analysis and performance assessments, and airworthiness testing. Boeing will also produce one 767-400ER airframe for the E-10A test bed under a separate contract with the government. Raytheon's primary responsibilities include radar and radome installation, support to system engineering, system integration and test for the cruise missile defense functionality. n