News From Washington

LLLC Receives Two Major Awards

Longbow Limited Liability Company (LLLC), a Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman joint venture, has received two major awards from the US Army for elements of the Longbow Apache system. The first contract from the Army's Aviation and Missile Command calls for full-rate production of 1100 radar-guided Longbow anti-armor missiles and associated equipment. An initial payment of $106.5 M has been awarded and final contract value is not to exceed $213 M. LLLC has already received orders for 1396 missiles under two earlier low rate initial production contracts. Deliveries are scheduled to be made over a one-year period beginning in September 1999.

The second five-year, $565 M contract calls for the production of 207 Longbow Apache fire-control radar systems. Earlier contracts received in 1996 and 1997 covered the first 20 production units. Deliveries under this contract are scheduled to begin in 1999 and be completed in 2003. Work will be performed at Lockheed Martin facilities in Orlando and Ocala, FL, Nashua, NH and Troy, AL; and at Northrop Grumman facilities in Baltimore, MD, Huntsville, AL and College Station, TX.

Longbow is an integrated fire-control radar and missile system designed to provide adverse weather fire-and-forget anti-armor targeting and attack capabilities for the AH-4D Apache and WAH-64 Westland Apache attack helicopters and, in the future, for the RAH-66 Comanche advance reconnaissance helicopter. The system also has been ordered by the British army.

Directed Infrared Countermeasures System Successful in Airborne Test

Northrop Grumman's model AN/AAQ-24 directed infrared countermeasures system has successfully completed its first airborne test against a simulated missile threat. The system is designed to protect various rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft against heat-seeking missiles.

The test was conducted at the GKN Westland Helicopters facility in Yeovil, UK and featured simulated missile launches with the test helicopter in both hover and flyby modes. Test objectives included verifying a number of system functions, including detection of the simulated missile, handoff, tracking and missile-seeker jamming.

The system, which was developed in 1995, is designed to detect possible missile launches and determine if they are real threats, warn air crews and activate arc lamp-based countermeasures. A four-axis target-designator system acquires and tracks the missile and maintains a beam of infrared energy on the target through a full range of maneuvers.

Lockheed Martin LOCAAS Successful in Flight Test

As reported in Defense Daily, the US Air Force has conducted a successful flight test of the Lockheed Martin low cost autonomous attack system (LOCAAS). The test was the first of three that are scheduled to be conducted by summer.

During the test, the unpowered LOCAAS separated from its launch aircraft, glided approximately 100 meters guided by an onboard inertial navigation unit and used its laser radar seeker to scan, acquire and track a target. The digital video system installed in place of the LOCAAS warhead reported that the armored vehicle target would have suffered lethal damage.

LOCAAS is a 30-inch-long unpowered submunition that uses a laser radar seeker to hunt mobile or hidden targets. Its multimode explosive-formed warhead makes it capable of blasting through tank armor or shredding lightly armored vehicles. A powered version of LOCAAS is under development that may be ready for testing in 1999.

Lockheed Martin and the Air Force Research Lab are working to reduce LOCAAS' unit cost to the $15 K to $30 K range. At this point, the armed services are not committed to buy the system. If the system continues to operate as promised, its missions may be expanded to include reconnaissance, bomb damage assessment and decoy missions. Two additional LOCAAS flights have been scheduled to test the system against theater ballistic missile transporter/erector/launcher vehicles.

Three-band Satellite System Expands Global Communications Capabilities

As reported in Jane's Defence Weekly, the US Army's 11th Signal Brigade's limited number of tri-band terminals have expanded the unit's global communications capabilities significantly by permitting the use of both military and commercial satellite bands. Each tri-band terminal operates in the standard military satellite constellation X-band range and in C- and Ku- commercial satellite bands. The units manufactured by GTE are considered to be prototypes for the AN/TSC-156(V) tri-band advanced-range extension terminal systems, which will replace the Army's AN/TSC-85B and AN/TSC-93B satellite terminals over the next few years.

Originally packaged in a five-ton truck shelter, separate five-ton truck switch shelter, trailered antenna and other support vehicles, the tri-band prototypes now occupy a single heavy high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) that features switch and routing equipment and two additional HMMWVs that serve as support vehicles. A self-deploying antenna is mounted on top of the vehicle. Band changes require the antenna feed horn to be changed, an operation that requires approximately 10 minutes to complete.

System setup is simplified greatly by the single-vehicle design and onboard Global Positioning System, which provides location relative to the satellite. When these coordinates are entered, the system acquires the satellite automatically. Using HMMWV power for setup, full operation is available 30 to 60 minutes after offload. Operations are typically conducted from a tent located outside the vehicle but, if needed, an inside console can be used immediately after setup.

AIEWS Enters Development Phase

The US Navy has awarded a $66.5 M contract to Lockheed Martin Ocean, Radar & Sensor Systems (OR&SS) to enter the development phase of the Advanced Integrated Electronic Warfare System (AIEWS) program. The system is intended for use on backfit, forwardfit and next-generation US Navy surface ships. OR&SS recently completed the concept definition phase of the program.

The AIEWS is designed to be integrated with a ship's combat system to support the critical timelines in shallow waters (littorals). Using several phased arrays, the system conducts passive observation of the heavy electromagnetic signal environments encountered in littorals, classifies and identifies signals, and reports their origin as friendly, neutral or hostile. It also identifies hostile RF weapons seekers and tracks multiple threats and plot locations of mobile platforms or terrestrial installations with active emitters. When appropriate, the system can respond passively to threats with electromagnetic radiation.

The first development model is scheduled for delivery in 2000 or 2001. The Navy plans to use the system on 140 combatant and noncombatant ships including DDG class, CGs, carriers and LPDs. The system also is scheduled for installation on the SC-21 next-generation surface ship. In addition, the contract offers OR&SS the opportunity to expand into international markets with derivatives of the AIEWS program. OR&SS also helped the US Navy develop the combat, weapons and ship control systems for the USS Seawolf submarine. Additional companies involved in the effort include Litton Corp., College Park, MD; Computer Sciences, Moorestown, NJ; Northrop Grumman, Baltimore, MD; Lockheed Martin's Tactical Data Systems, Akron, OH, and Advanced Technology Lab, Camden, NJ; ST Research, Newington, VA; and Condor Systems, San Jose, CA.