Microwave Journal

News From Washington

November 1, 2000

Common Ground Station Approved for Full-rate Production

T he Department of Defense (DoD) has approved full-rate production that will extend the acquisition program for the Motorola US Army Common Ground Station (CGS), a battlefield intelligence and reconnaissance ground processing system. The integrated, multi-workstation CGS is assigned to Army intelligence, fire-support and aviation elements. It receives, processes and displays battlefield information simultaneously from multiple airborne sensors, including the US Air Force Joint Strategic Target Attack Reconnaissance System (STARS) E-8C multimode radar, electro-optic and infrared equipped Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and multiservice airborne signals intelligence aircraft. The DoD memorandum provides for the procurement, sustainment and long-term improvements of the advanced Command, Control, Communication, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) platform.

Report Forecasts $6.6 B Airborne Reconnaissance SAR Marketfor 2000­2009

A new report from the Teal Group Corp., "Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Forecast for 2000­2009," predicts that the total reconnaissance and surveillance SAR market will remain stable at $600 M to $700 M per year from FY 2000 to FY 2009. The report expects that the US Air Force Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) will continue to be a major influence on SAR funding and that the eventual end of JSTARS production will be balanced by a number of new programs for manned aircraft and UAVs. The UK's Airborne Standoff Radar (ASTOR) and NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) programs are predicted to be major candidates to replace the demand vacated by JSTARS. In addition, UAV SAR funding is expected to more than double between FY 2000 and FY 2009 from $42 M to $104 M. Raytheon's HISAR is forecast to become the largest UAV-related program as Global Hawk begins to sell internationally. Ultimately, UAV SARs are expected to account for 17 percent of the total market.

Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Telephonics are expected to dominate the SAR market during the 10-year period. Without added major programs, Northrop Grumman's market share is forecast to drop to 30 percent from the current 50 to 60 percent it now enjoys with JSTARS production. Raytheon is expected to maintain an excellent position in the market as its HISAR is predicted to become the largest UAV SAR. ASTOR, still in early development, has a sales future through the next 10 years. The APS-137 is in the middle of new production for the P-3C AIP, and the ASARS-2 is expected to receive continuing upgrades for the next 20 years. For additional information, contact Douglas Cornell, Teal Group Corp. (703) 573-5374 or e-mail: douglas.cornell@gte.net

Air Force Outlines Joint Strike Fighter Comparative Evaluation Program

T wo rival designs of the next-generation Joint Strike Fighter will be tested side-by-side but Air Force officials caution that the public should not expect a survivor-type competition for the $220 B weapon contract, the largest in US history. Tests will be conducted in a manner that avoids direct competition between the prototypes being supplied by Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., and no information will be shared between the companies. The Air Force plans to base each prototype at opposite ends of a large hangar for testing by separate teams of pilots, mechanics and technicians. Tests will focus on maneuverability, airspeed, altitude and reaction to the force of gravity and other factors.

The test program at Edwards Air Force Base, CA and a Navy base in Maryland is expected to last one year. At its conclusion, British and US defense officials will decide whether Lockheed or Boeing will be awarded the winner-take-all contract. Production of the first 3000 planes is not expected to begin until 2007. The aircraft will ultimately replace fighters in the US Navy, Air Force and Marines and in Britain's Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Approximately $20 B is expected to be spent before production begins.

Army TOW-F&F Contract Awarded

R aytheon Co., Lexington, MA, has been awarded a $125.9 M contract from the US Army for engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of the Tube-launched, Optically Tracked, Wire-guided Fire and Forget (TOW-F&F) anti-tank weapon. According to current plans, the Army will procure 4000 TOW-F&F missiles and 1841 applique kits to upgrade the Improved Target Acquisition System to the fire-and-forget configuration. The TOW-F&F upgrades the current TOW missile by integrating an advanced focal plane array imaging infrared (IIR) seeker, and is designed to engage any target that the gunner can see. The IIR seeker and software provide automatic target tracking and eliminate the TOW wire, significantly increasing soldier survivability and overall system lethality. The contract is scheduled to be completed within 42 months at Raytheon's Missile Systems business unit in Tucson, AZ.

DARPA Supports Development of Smart Shirt for Patient Monitoring

S ensatex/LifeLink, Dallas, TX, is developing a wireless platform for the real-time diagnostic health monitoring of home-care and hospital patients. The platform will consist of the Smart Shirt -- a computer in the form of a T-shirt -- and an applications programming interface that medical monitoring companies can use to write individual applications. The data that are expected to be available include blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation of the blood and other vital signs.

Supported by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funds, researchers at Georgia Tech's School of Textile and Fiber Engineering developed a fabric interwoven with conductive fibers that can provide a constant stream of information on vital signs as the wearer goes about everyday activities. Candidate technologies for integration with the shirt for data transmission include personal network technologies like Bluetooth, wireless local network technology based on the IEEE 802.11 protocol and wide area networking using third-generation broadband wireless.

Sensatex intends to partner with existing medical monitoring companies to expand their patient assessment capabilities and will also provide its wireless sensing system to others. The company also plans to provide monitoring services and Web-based disease management services to patients.

Land Attack STANDARD Missile EMD Funded

T he US Navy has awarded a contract to Raytheon Co. for EMD work and testing for the Land Attack STANDARD Missile (LASM). LASM is designed to provide ground forces with long-range, rapid, precise fire, and will be deployed on the Navy's AEGIS cruisers and destroyers. The weapon's low radar cross section and high altitude, high velocity flight profile make detection by enemy air defenses difficult. The LASM was demonstrated in a series of tests at White Sands Missile Range, NM during which it demonstrated Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System guidance, vertical approach and warhead detonation at a predetermined height. With options, the contract has a potential value of $49.6 M. The work will be performed at Raytheon facilities in Tucson, AZ and El Segundo, CA, and is expected to be completed by December 2003. *