News From Washington

Raytheon Awarded $78 M LRIP-2 Contract for ATFLIR Targeting Pod

Raytheon Co. was awarded a $78 M US Navy contract for a second Low Rate Initial Production (LIRP) of the ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) pod, the latest generation in targeting technology. The company's Air Combat and Strike Systems business unit is responsible for ATFLIR.

"We are very proud of the capabilities and the functions of the ASQ-228. It is the most capable, cost-effective targeting system available," said Jack O. Pearson, VP and general manager of the business unit.

LRIP-2 represents the next major milestone in the ATFLIR program. Raytheon will deliver 28 pods for the F/A-18 E/F and two pod adapter units for the F/A-18 C/D. The US Navy and the Marine Corps are programmed to receive 574 pods with spares to equip their F/A-18 C/D and E/F aircraft.

The first two production pods were delivered in April and May. The ASQ-228 ATFLIR airborne targeting pod is scheduled to achieve early operational capability with the Navy first F/A-18E squadron later this year.

"ATFLIR will produce a revolutionary capability for F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets," said Wesley Motooka, senior director and general manager of Navy and Marine Corps programs at the business unit. "The ATFLIR will allow Navy and Marine Corps pilots to find, positively identify and destroy enemy targets from ranges and altitudes outside of harm's way."

The ATFLIR combines three pods into one: a targeting FLIR, a laser spot tracker and a navigation FLIR.

"The ATFLIR combines state-of-the-art third generation FLIR, a CCD television camera and high power diode-pumped laser technologies that improve performance and reliability over existing pods by 3 to 5 times," said Jim Hausle, program manager for ATFLIR. During more than 550 developmental tests and operational test flights, eight test pods demonstrated geopoint accuracy, laser designation and long range target recognition. Furthermore, lifecycle costs are two-thirds of the current system, with a higher mean time between failure and decreased time to repair.

Signal Technology Awarded Homeland Security Electronics Contracts

Signal Technology Corp. announced the receipt of two contracts awards for the production of highly sophisticated electronics designed for the federal government's emerging Homeland Security Initiative.

Signal Technology's UHF/VHF and video antenna switch matrix products were selected to provide multi-path signal frequency steering by a contractor developing wireless communications platforms for Homeland Security applications. These highly sophisticated switching capabilities will be deployed in electronic information gathering to route radio transmissions to a variety of signal processing receivers for analysis and interpretation. The two contracts are valued at a total of $500 K and Signal Technology believes the orders have significant follow-on potential. Production will take place at the company's Massachusetts-based Olektron Operation.

"This award underscores the progress that the Signal Technology team has been making in positioning the company for a key role in the nation's emerging Homeland Security Initiative," said chairman and chief executive officer George Lombard. "We have a 20-year record of supplying the US defense industry with highly sophisticated signal switching, control and management systems for electronic surveillance, electronic warfare and secure communications. These products have earned Signal Technology a reputation for delivering state-of-the-art performance and long service life under the most extreme environmental conditions imaginable. This is exactly the mix of capabilities required for certain Homeland Security electronic applications. We anticipate seeing these capabilities translate into other opportunities for Signal Technology as the Homeland Security Initiative takes shape."

Lockheed Martin Selects Harris Corp. to Lead Communication Team

Harris Corp. announced that it has been selected by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Littleton, CO, to lead the communication portion of the Core Information System (CIS) Integrated Product Team for the 15 months Component Advanced Development Phase of the US Army's Aerial Common Sensor (ACS) program. ACS is a next-generation intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance program under development by the US Army's Program Executive Office-Intelligence Electronic Warfare and Systems (PEO IEW&S). The announcement was made during the Armed Forces Communications-Electronics Association's 56th International Conference and Exposition held in June at the Washington, DC Convention Center.

"Harris has long been a leading contributor to ISR systems and programs for the US defense and intelligence community, and we are uniquely positioned to add value to the ACS communications platform selection process," said Bob Henry, president, Harris Government Communications Systems Division (GCSD).

Harris, a leading supplier of airborne communications systems for defense applications, will assist Lockheed Martin in this risk reduction phase by continuing to develop the best-value communications architectures for ACS, including various VHF and UHF radios, an airborne SATCOM capability and a common data link (CDL) capability.

Essex Corp. Awarded Five-year, $25 M Contract to Support US DoD Radar

Essex Corp., a developer of optoelectronic processors and technology for signal processing applications, announced that the US Department of Defense (DoD), Naval Air Warfare Center, has awarded the company a five-year IDIQ (indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity) contract with a potential value of $25 M. This contract was competitively procured and continues research started under the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program. The company also received a fully funded $2.4 M task under the contract to design a next generation Advanced Optical Processor (AOP) demonstration unit during the next 12 months for the US Missile Defense Agency.

Under this IDIQ contract, Essex will use their unique signal processing technologies to enhance DoD radar programs. During the past decade or more, the company has built a family of proprietary assets to solve the signal processing challenges confronted by today's radar and telecommunications systems (optical, DSL and wireless). These assets include: proprietary optoelectronic processors, such as AOP and ImSyn™; optical devices, such as hyperfine WDM; specialized image processing algorithms and a specialized team of engineers.

Northrop Grumman Selected by DARPA to Study SBR Antenna Technology

Northrop Grumman Corp. Systems Development and Technology Division has been awarded a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to investigate innovative concepts for lightweight, space-based, deployable radar antennas designed to address the tactical tracking of ground moving targets.

"The focus of the effort is to analyze various antenna designs and complete risk-reduction efforts to demonstrate the most stressing aspects of the design and technology," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, VP and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Systems Development and Technology Division. "This strategic win will continue Northrop Grumman's efforts to mature the technology for a low cost constellation of space-based radars to support the tactical requirements of US deployed forces."

The $2.5 M, 12-month antenna technology study contract is being managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory's Sensor Directorate in Rome, NY, DARPA's special Projects Office technical and program execution agent. Key sub-contractors to Northrop Grumman are TRW Inc. of Redondo Beach, CA, ILC Dover of Dover, DL, and Toyon Corp. of San Diego, CA.