L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL) Integrated Systems (L-3 IS) was selected by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) to become the preferred bidder for a planned upgrade of the RAF Nimrod R1 electronic reconnaissance aircraft fleet. L-3 IS was awarded a contract worth more than GBP 11.5 million ($21.7 million) to carry out the risk reduction studies for HELIX Assessment Phase Stage 3, a major mission system upgrade to the capabilities of the Royal Air Force (RAF) Nimrod R1 electronic reconnaissance aircraft fleet.
Nimrod R1 provides electronic reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering support to military commanders and is viewed as a critical component of the UK’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) force mix.
Upon Main Gate approval, expected in June 2009, L-3 IS will be the preferred contractor to execute the Project HELIX Demonstration and Manufacture contract, which has a projected value of up to GBP 400 million ($756 million), over a 7-year period, with first aircraft delivery scheduled in early 2013.
As the lead systems integrator and prime contractor, L3 heads a team that includes QinetiQ, LogicaCMG and BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies. QinetiQ will provide electronic reconnaissance technologies and LogicaCMG will contribute ground systems, information management and security services and technologies. BAE Systems will provide aircraft modification, aircraft certification, long-term support and logistics services and some sensor technologies. The modification work on the aircraft will be performed at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, England, with final integration and flight testing conducted in Greenville, Texas.