Microwave Journal

News From Washington

February 1, 2002

News From Washington

Engineered Support Receives $3.5 M Order for Avionics Testing System from US Navy

Engineered Support Systems Inc. received a $3.5 M order from the US Navy for the production of aircraft avionics testing subsystems for Consolidated Automated Support Systems (CASS). This order, which represents a modification to a previously awarded contract, includes the production of four High Power Device Test Subsystems (HPDTS) and various Operational Test Program Sets (OPTS) as part of the company's High Power ATE Offload to CASS (HPOC) system.

The HPOC system is used to test essential avionics and electronics equipment for military aircraft, according to Michael F. Shanahan, Sr., chairman and CEO. The HPOC system, developed and manufactured by the company's Systems and Electronics (SEI) subsidiary, allows high power radio frequency transmitters, high voltage power supplies and other critical components of radar and electronic warfare systems on military aircraft to be run at full power during testing. Under these simulated operating conditions, damaged components or poorly functioning systems can then be readily diagnosed and quickly repaired or replaced, thus improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of flight operations. The US Navy and Marine Corps currently deploy the HOPC system on aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, as well as in their depots and flight training facilities.

When delivered, these four systems will allow testing of High Power Weapon Replaceable Assemblies and Shop Replaceable Assemblies for the following three international customers under the US military's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program: Australia, Kuwait and Taiwan.

Shanahan commented, "This contract modification brings the total funded contract value for the HPOC program to nearly $67 M, including $35.2 M in production contracts. In addition, we expect to receive the remaining production option under the existing HPOC contract, valued at more than $6 M, in the first quarter of the current fiscal year."

Raytheon Selected to Support Coast Guard's Nationwide Differential GPS Network

Raytheon Co. has been selected to provide the US Coast Guard with engineering, technical, maintenance and support services for the National Differential Global Positioning System (NDGPS) under a $449.2 M, 10-year contract, designed to support the federal, land-based radio navigation network. This is an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract, which includes a one-year base period and nine one-year options.

Under the contract, Raytheon Technical Services Co. will provide contractor maintenance services for all installed equipment and support systems for the NDGPS network, including call center services and installation, de-installation and modification of equipment at up to 81 sites nationwide, including Alaska. The program office will be located in Norfolk, VA. Tasks under the contract options may include site construction, site conversion, site activation and depot-level repairs.

"This Coast Guard program will allow Raytheon to leverage its nationwide installation workforce in support of government customers," said Brian Even, president of Raytheon Technical Services Co.

NDGPS provides land-based surface radio navigation assistance throughout the US. Through a Congressionally mandated memorandum of agreement with the US Air Force and Army, as well as the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Highway Administration, the Coast Guard was given the responsibility to establish, operate and support the nationwide network.

Conductus Receives Contract to Develop Advanced Airborne Wireless Filter Systems

Conductus, a leading manufacturer of superconducting wireless systems, has been awarded a subcontract from General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. This is in connection with General Dynamics' receipt of a delivery order from the Defense Microelectronic Activity (DMEA) to develop advanced filter systems for airborne intelligence applications and deliver these systems for testing and ultimate deployment. The program's primary objective is to develop fixed-frequency-filter-based, high performance subsystems to be used aboard military aircraft. An additional program objective is to complete technology development of practical tunable superconducting filters for future enhanced subsystems. The DMEA is collaborating with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on the program.

The currently authorized tasks of the program are valued at $2.1 M for Conductus, with the initial work being performed under a $1.3 M funding increment. General Dynamics is negotiating with DMEA and DARPA to increase the scope of the near-term efforts and funding. The overall program, if planned future tasks are funded, would include a number of additional activities over the next two years that would include the delivery of multiple systems to be deployed by military customers.

The primary goal of the program is to utilize the performance benefits inherent in superconducting filter subsystems utilized aboard military aircraft. Superconducting filter technology offers the capability to simultaneously provide enhanced sensitivity and strong interference rejection that has the potential to be particularly valuable in the complex radio frequency environment found aboard military aircraft.

US Air Force Awards Lockheed Martin, TRW Team $2.7 B Contract

The US Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin Space Systems and TRW Space and Electronics a contract for up to $2.698 B to begin the System Development and Demonstration (SSD) phase of Advanced Extremely High Frequency (Advanced EHF) Program. The Advanced EHF Program is the next generation of global, highly secure, survivable communications system for war fighters within all services of the Department of Defense. The SDD phase will deploy two Advanced EHF satellites and the Advanced EHF Mission Control Segment.

Lockheed Martin is the Advanced EHF prime contractor and will be providing the spacecraft and Mission Control Segment. TRW will be the payload integrator and will develop the payload processors, nulling antennas, the crosslink, RF antenna equipment and up-link phased array.

Advanced EHF satellites will provide greater total capacity and offer channel data rates higher than that of Milstar communication satellites. The higher data rates permit transmission of tactical military communications such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. The Mission Control Segment will consolidate Milstar and Advanced EHF satellite control and communications resource planning into a single, modernized Mission Control System.

To accomplish this, Advanced EHF adds new higher data rate modes to the low data rate and medium data rate modes of Milstar satellites. The higher data rate modes will provide data rates up to 8.2 Mbps to Advanced EHF terminals. That rate is 150 times faster than the modems of today's personal computers. Each Advanced EHF satellite employs more than 50 communications channels via multiple, simultaneous downlinks. For global communications, the Advanced EHF system uses inter-satellite crosslinks, eliminating the need to route messages via terrestrial systems.

The advanced EHF constellation will provide secure data throughput capability and coverage flexibility to regional and global military operations and will also be backward compatible with the Milstar system. The first of the Advanced EHF satellites will launch in 2006.

The Advanced EHF system is the follow-on to the DoD's Milstar highly secure communication satellite program. The Milstar Program currently has a three-satellite constellation in orbit. A Milstar satellite was recently shipped to Cape Canaveral Air Station, FL, where it will be readied for an early 2002 launch aboard a Titan IV/ Centaur launch vehicle. The last Milstar satellite is planned for launch in 2002.