News From Washington

Raytheon Awarded Contract for Eight US Navy Reconnaissance Pods

Raytheon Co. has been awarded a contract with a not-to-exceed value of $19.2 M by the US Navy to produce low rate initial production of Shared Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) systems. Under this contract, Raytheon Technical Services Co. LLC will produce eight SHARP systems for delivery in 2004. Work will be performed in Indianapolis.

This award follows a $5.1 M contract award made by the US Navy in January 2003 for Raytheon to continue providing engineering and production support to the SHARP program through May 2004.

SHARP was developed by a government/industry integrated product team (IPT) composed of the US Navy, Raytheon, Boeing, Recon Optical Inc. and L-3 Communications. Raytheon designed and developed the pod to carry advanced day/night and all weather tactical reconnaissance payloads. For this contract, the Navy will provide high resolution, electro-optical/infrared sensors produced by Recon Optical Inc. and data-link systems produced by L-3 Communications, to be integrated into the SHARP system. "Raytheon is proud to be a member of the SHARP IPT that will provide our war fighters with a high resolution, digital reconnaissance capability that will increase the speed and effectiveness of reconnaissance operations," stated Bryan J. Even, a vice-president of Raytheon Co. and president of Raytheon Technical Services Co. LLC.

SHARP will soon be deployed as an early operational capability for the F/A-18F Super Hornet on the USS Nimitz. While the initial system employs EO/IR sensors for use on the F/A-18E/F aircraft, the pod is readily adaptable to many sensor payloads on a wide range of aircraft.

Lockheed Martin Team Selected for FAA Satellite Navigation Program

A national team led by Lockheed Martin has been selected by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide ground stations and broadcast services that will support satellite navigation signals for aviation use in the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). The award, with an initial amount of $38 M, has a potential value of $597 M, if contract options for additional satellite services are exercised.

The FAA's two-year Geostationary Communications and Control Segment (GCCS) program also includes options that would lengthen the contract. These include options to lease satellite communications services on 10-year terms. Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management is the large system integrator for the program and will integrate elements of the GCCS system. Lockheed Martin is joined on this program by teammates, the Boeing Co. and Raytheon.

"GCCS will enable WAAS realization and help make satellite-based navigation for aviation a reality," said Don Antonucci, president, Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management. "Our National Team will apply its collective expertise in helping the FAA realize its goal of improved safety and reliability for aviation users."

WAAS is a GPS-based navigation and landing system for aviation use that will provide precision guidance to aircraft at thousands of airports and airstrips where there is currently no precision landing capability. WAAS improves the accuracy and ensures the integrity of navigation information from GPS satellites. The WAAS broadcast message improves GPS signal accuracy from 100 meters to approximately seven meters. GCCS will help provide the initial flight navigation capability for precision approaches to runway through the full operational capability of WAAS that will come later.

Lockheed Martin and its teammates will provide ground uplink stations that collect GPS navigation data that has been corrected and enhanced for accuracy and also the technology to broadcast the data as signals to geostationary communications satellites. The satellites send the augmented GPS navigation signals to in-flight aircraft equipped to receive them. The FAA can exercise options for additional leased satellite communications services. Teammates Boeing and Raytheon provide expertise in areas of up-link communications and navigation services, respectively.

Northrop Grumman to Supply Army with Additional Firefinder and Fire-direction Radars

Northrop Grumman Corp., Electronic Systems sector, has been awarded a contract valued at $24 M for follow-on production of its improved AN/TPQ-36(V)8 Firefinder radar system that provides better performance and reduced life-cycle costs. The continuation of a sole-source contract was awarded by the US Army's communications and electronics command on behalf of the Program Executive Office for intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors, Fort Monmouth, NJ. It calls for an additional 15 Firefinder systems and spares that will support both the Army and Army National Guard. This will increase the total AN/TPQ-36(V)8 systems fielded by the active Army, National Guard and US Marine Corps units to 102. Firefinder is used by field artillery units to provide enemy mortar, artillery and rocket launch locations, target acquisition, and counterfire support for divisions, brigades and rapid-deployment task forces. The Firefinder system locates targets by using X-band radar to detect incoming mortar and artillery rounds and rockets. It then determines the launcher's position and relays targeting data to a fire direction center (FDC) for counter-battery engagement. Firefinder can also be used to detect rounds in flight and extrapolate impact points. This information is then passed back to the FDC to enable more precise target engagement with subsequent rounds.

Harris Corp. Team Produces First 3D Airborne Laser Radar Images of Hidden Targets

Harris Corp., along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Lincoln Labs (MTT/LL) and Sarnoff Corp., announced that it has demonstrated the technology and operational concept of identifying potential military targets obscured by natural and camouflage cover. The project, called JIGSAW, is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), which is the central research and development organization of the US Department of Defense.

"We are very proud of our partnership with DARPA to advance the state of the art in key battlefield technologies," said Bob Henry, Harris Government Communications Systems Division (GCSD). "We share a common vision that airborne laser radar (LADAR) can be an integral segment of the Future Combat System architecture, providing operational value and saving lives."

JIGSAW utilizes an airborne LADAR transmitter/sensor and sophisticated image processing and visualization software to penetrate dense trees and camouflage in order to detect, identify and characterize targets on the battlefield such as tanks and armored personnel carriers. The JIGSAW team has designed a system that models payloads to be flown on very small vehicles - such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and organic aerial vehicles (OAV) - or larger, higher altitude tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (TUAV).

To demonstrate that the technology works and to ascertain performance parameters, the team successfully fielded a larger-scale prototype which was carried onboard a UH-1N Huey helicopter and flight-tested against real, hidden targets at Redstone Arsenal, AL. During the initial flight tests, just eight months after critical design review, obscured targets were clearly identified. "While these tests are preliminary and there are additional refinements to be performed, the initial results completely validate the system design and viability of the technology," said Henry. "The initial results dramatically improve the capability to identify hidden targets by today's sensor systems. We are committed to evolving this technology into full development and production."

Key elements of the JIGSAW system include a small, rugged laser with a highly sensitive detector, provided by MIT/LL; complex, 3D image registration, provided by Sarnoff; a sophisticated 3D image processor from MIT/LL and Harris, and a powerful, 3D visualization and user interface from Harris.