News From Washington

Proposals Invited for WAAS Space Segment

As reported recently in Commerce Business Daily, the wide area augmentation system (WAAS) program office of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Reconnaissance Office, Advanced Systems and Technology Directorate, are inviting information from industry (under Air Force auspices) on their ability to develop a satellite architecture for the WAAS space segment. The invitation requests information on the ability to deploy satellites in geostationary or other orbits with transponder services at the Global Positioning System (GPS) Link 1 (L1) frequency (1575.42 MHz) and one other fixed L-band frequency. Satellite launch services and on-orbit command and control for the WAAS space segment service also are needed.

The capability would become part of the FAA’s WAAS and augment GPS navigation data by providing signal integrity, accuracy enhancements and additional ranging sources to ground, sea, air and space users with integrated GPS/WAAS receivers. The data sent in the GPS L1 and one other L-band fixed frequency would be used for transmitting WAAS messages and providing a GPS-like ranging function by generating GPS-like signals onboard the satellites

The FAA plans to lease the WAAS space segment capability for between $35 M to $50 M per year from FY 2002 to FY 2009. The scheduled initial operational capability for the services is no later than October 2001. For WAAS verification and validation, at least one satellite for the WAAS space segment will be on orbit by January 2001.

$30 M Awarded for Guided Artillery Round Development

The US Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command – Armament Research, Engineering and Development Center, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, has awarded the XM982 engineering and manufacturing development (E&MD) contract to Raytheon TI Systems Inc. (RTIS). The terms of the $30 M contract call for the design, development and manufacture of a guided artillery round over the next four years. Employing a combination of GPS guidance and inertial guidance systems, the XM982 round combines the capabilities of a missile with the durability of artillery and represents the newest generation of extended-range smart rounds.

The total program value (including planned production of approximately 250,000 rounds) could exceed $3 B. The munition will be compatible with all current and future 155 mm howitzer platforms and carries three payloads. The initial contract covers the development of the basic XM982 cargo round and its dual-purpose improved conventional munition payload. Of the eight options in the contract, two cover E&MD efforts to integrate the sense-and-destroy armor submunition and unitary penetrator variant payloads, and six cover low rate initial production for all three variants totaling 17,450 rounds.

RTIS will be responsible for overall E&MD program management. In addition, the company will design, develop and manufacture the guidance and control for the XM982 round.

Air Force Considering Increased Use of Space-based Surveillance

According to Defense Daily, the Air Force is planning to transfer some of its ground- and air-surveillance capabilities to satellites shortly after 2000. Initially, a space-based radar (SBR) may be used to augment information from airborne warning and control system and joint surveillance and target attack radar system aircraft already in a theater. The radar also might be used in a larger theater role during a second major regional contingency.

The SBR is a constellation of all-weather radar surveillance satellites that can provide moving target and imagery information on demand. In early 2000, the SBR integrated process team (IPT) will provide information that will permit the Air Force to determine if the system should be deployed. Upon deployment approval, the final technology design for the SBR is scheduled to be established by 2005. The SBR IPT comprises representatives from the Air Force Space Command, Space and Missile Center, Air Combat Command, Army, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Raytheon Wins JLENS Award

The US Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, AL, has awarded Raytheon Co. a competitive contract for the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor (JLENS) system program. The award follows a concept development phase initially awarded to three competitors in September 1996, including H&R Co. (Hughes and Raytheon), Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The total value of the program, including options for system development/demonstration and operation and sustainment, is $292 M.

The JLENS system is a theater-based, advanced sensor system elevated by tethered aerostats that will improve the battlefield commander’s ability to provide wide area protection against land attack cruise missiles. Raytheon will develop and demonstrate the capability to field a prototype system that is able to detect and track land attack cruise missiles over the horizon and provide target data to missile defense systems, such as Patriot and standard missiles. Raytheon Systems Co., which formed after the recent merger of Raytheon and Hughes Aircraft Co., will perform work at facilities in Massachusetts, California, Florida and Virginia. Subcontractors on the program include TRW, San Bernadino, CA, and TCOM L.P., Columbia, MD, and Elizabeth City, NC.

Congress Advised to Consider Weapons Cancellations

As reported in Defense Daily, a number of senators have recommended that the Pentagon and Congress reform defense spending to allow for new threats. The National Defense Panel has recommended that the Department of Defense (DoD) invest $5 B to $10 B per year in new technologies that could change the major emphasis of military spending. While the Panel suggested that weapons systems be canceled so that those funds could be used for the investments, it made no specific cancellation recommendations.

Panel members testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in late January. One Committee member, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), was expected to ask Panel members to recommend more specific cancellations. Lieberman also expressed his concern that without cancellations, all programs would be affected and deliver less-than-expected results. Lieberman said he has not decided on any particular cancellation and does not currently possess the information required to make such a decision. Another Committee member, Sen. Daniel Coats

(R-Ind.), questioned the value of taking advantage of technology that will be needed in 10 years. He referenced a past debate on whether the Air Force could proceed directly from the B-52 bomber to the next-generation B-2 stealth bomber without purchasing a bomber to bridge the gap. Coats feels this type of question should be asked regarding DoD weapons projects.

The National Defense Panel suggested that the DoD examine the possible cancellation of tactical aviation programs, the Army’s Comanche scout/attack helicopter and Crusader advanced field artillery system and the Navy’s CVN-77 carrier. Both Lieberman and Coats confirmed that the National Defense Panel was created initially to stimulate both the DoD and Congress to reform their approaches to defense issues.