Daily Archives: Sep 2, 2011

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    Defense Update News Report Sept. 2, 2011

    The AEHF communications payload delivers the new XDR (Extreme Data Rate) communications services, supporting up to 8.192 Mbps per user, in addition to low and medium data rate Milstar protocols. Photo: Northtrop Grumman

    EMS Technology to Provide Anti-Jam Antenna for the Fourth AEHF Satellite

    The Defense & Space (D&S) division of EMS Technologies, Inc. will provide Northrop grumman an anti-jam beam-forming network for the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) spacecraft. The nulling system will help in safeguarding the AEHF constellation’s Milsatcom architecture, as it is designed to protect the spacecraft’s tactical network from jamming and piracy. Northrop Grumman builds and integrates the AEHF payload that consists of processors, antennas, radio frequency subsystems and crosslinks. The contract is valued at $11.5 million.

    Boeing Awarded Over a Billion US$ Toward the Procurement of Three Wideband Global SATCOM Satellites

    Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc. of El Segundo, CA. has been awarded over one billion US$ contract modification funding the production of Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) Block II Satellite Vehicle 7, advance procurement for Satellite Vehicle 8 and option to produce, process, launch and activate on-orbit Satellite Vehicles 9. The WGS satellite constellation that began deployment in 2007 provides wideband defense communications capabilities supporting U.S. department of defense and the Australian Defense department. The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing the first WGS contract in 2001. The first of three Block I satellites was launched in 2007 with two follow-on satellites launched in 2009. Three additional satellites are currently being completed, slated for launch between December 2011 and february 2012. The three Block II satellites added to the program will be launched from FY15. The contract modification expands the WGS constellation to eight satellites, as mandated by Fiscal Years 2010-2015 Program Decision Memorandum (PDM) III.

    Force Protection is offering a 6x6 version of the Cougar called 'Timberwolf' for the Canadian TAPV program. Photo: Force protection

    Force protection’s Timberwolf Pursue Canadian TAPV Program

    The Tactical Armored Patrol vehicle (TAPV) program of the Canadian  Army is picking steam as the deadline for proposals nears. Force protection announced yesterday its offer submission for the program. The company is offering the ‘Timberwolf’, a 6×6 variant of the battle proven Cougar. A contract award to the final selected bidder for the TAPV requirement is currently expected by the second quarter of 2012.

    Night Optics Acquisition to Expands Bushnell’s Reach Into Security, Military Markets

    September 1, 2011: Sports optics, premium eyewear and outdoor accessories company Bushnell Outdoor Products has acquired Night Optics USA Inc. of Huntington Beach, Calif. Night Optics USA is a provider night vision and thermal imaging for commercial, law enforcement and military applications. Part of the acquisition was funded by t private equity fund MidOceanPartners. the terms of the acquisition were not announced. MidOcean Partners acquired Bushnell four years ago and has added several complementary brands to its portfolio since, including acquisitions of Millett and Simmons in 2008. According to Blake Lipham, Bushnell President and CEO, the acquisition enhances Bushnell’s access to law enforcement, military and security markets.

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      Turkey Agrees to Host European BMD Radar

      Turkey has agreed to host an early warning radar as part of NATO’s missile defense system aimed at countering ballistic missile threats from neighboring Iran, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Friday. While NATO leaders agreed in 2010 to implement an anti-missile system over Europe, to protect against Iranian ballistic missiles, Turkey remained a stumbling block, due to its insistence not to name Iran as a threat. The proposed system will include the radar station in South-East Turkey and interceptor sites in Romania and Poland. All assets would be linked to the missile defense system to be operated and owned collectively by the alliance.

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        The advanced Standaard missile 3 (SM-3) Block 1B failed its first intercept test yesterday in a ballistic missile intercept test conducted by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The test was conducted yesterday over the Pacific Ocean, exercising the sea-based element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).

        Early indications from the test suggest that the Aegis 4.0.1 processor worked flawlessly, as did the telemetry, tracking, and surveillance data. MDA will proceed with further investigation will to determine the cause of the failure to intercept.

        A Standard Missile - 3 (SM-3) fired on the 19th successful at-sea test intercept. the missile was launched from the USS Hopper (DDG 70) in the latest Missile Defense Agency (MDA) test in conjunction with the U.S. Navy. The missile intercepted a short-range ballistic missile target launched a few minutes earlier from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. Photo: U.S. Navy via MDA

        The target, a short range ballistic missile  was launched from the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Kauai, Hawaii. The target was detected and acquired by the BMD ready cruiser, USS Lake Erie (CG-70). 90 seconds later the cruiser launched an SM-3 Block 1B missile at the target, but the interceptor failed to hit the target.

        “As the sophistication of the threat missiles from Iran and North Korea continues to advance and be demonstrated, so must our nation’s missile defense ability to counter and stay ahead of those threats” commented Riki Ellison,
        Chairman & Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. “Risk is inherent in keeping ahead of the threat. The failure of this new missile in its first intercept test within a highly successful and proven Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System should be acknowledged as a risk acceptance when expanding capability to be more robust than the missile it is replacing” he added.

        Since the beginning of flight testing of sea-based BMD in 2002 all missile intercepts under the naval BMD program were conducted with SM-3 Block 1A interceptors, achieving 22 hits out of 27 launches. The missile was also used in the intercept and destruction of a malfunctioning U.S. satellite in February 2008.

        In February 2011 Raytheon and Aerojet completed integration testing of the SM-3 Block 1B kinetic interceptor. Photo: Aerojet

        The new block currently being tested incorporates an upgraded two-color seeker and advanced signal processor, enabling longer range target acquisition and increased threat discrimination, to better discriminate between targets and decoys, improving infra-red target acquisition. This seeker will be also employed with the Block II high velocity variant. The enhanced Block 1B interceptor has also upgraded from solid to solid-Throttleable Divert Attitude Control System (TDACS). The U.S. and Japan are also co-developing another version of the missile, known as Block IIA. Raytheon, the missile manufacturer has won a $321 million MDA award earlier this year, funding the manufacturing of 24 Block IB missiles by over the next 27 months by mid 2013.

        Apart from the sea-based BMD, the SM-3 is being prepared for land-based positioning in Europe toward 2015. A new test facility for the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) was recently inaugurated in Hawaii, to support President Obama ‘Phased Adaptive Approach’ (PAA) for missile defense in support of  Europe, South Korea and protecting U.S. forces deployed in theater. The test complex at PMRF is critical to the development of the Aegis Ashore capability. It is essential for verifying requirements and validating design capability prior to deployment at the first of two planned sites in Europe in 2015.

        The Tactical Armored Patrol vehicle (TAPV) program of the Canadian Army is picking steam as the deadline for proposals nears. Force protection announced yesterday its offer submission for the program. The company is offering the ‘Timberwolf’, a 6×6 variant of the battle proven Cougar. A contract award to the final selected bidder for the TAPV requirement is currently expected by the second quarter of 2012.

        Force Protection is offering a 6x6 version of the Cougar called 'Timberwolf' for the Canadian TAPV program. Photo: Force protection

        Force Protection will be the design authority and have overall responsibility for the vehicle design, configuration, production and delivery. Lead team member CAE of Canada will provide the in-service support (ISS) and integrated logistics support (ILS) services, including ongoing engineering support environment, training and fleet management services. CAE will also be responsible for assembling a pan-Canadian team to support the program. Two members that already have joined are Elbit Systems, providing a dual remote weapons system (DRWS) and Lockheed Martin Canada as the provider of C4ISR suite.

        The U.S. Army has awarded AeroVironment a contract worth almost $5 million for the first deliveries of Switchblade agile munition, the company announced today. The contract was awarded two month ago, on June 29, 2011, culminating a selection process for a loitering light weight munition.

        The procurement is part of the Army’s rapid fielding initiative. The U.S. Army Close Combat Weapons Systems (CCWS), Program Executive Office Missiles and Space (PEO MS) is the awarding office. The prototype Switchblade system previously received Safety Confirmation and underwent Military Utility Assessment with the U.S. Army in the fall of 2010.

        designed as a tube launched weapon, the Switchblade system comprises a miniature air vehicle that launches from a small tube that can be carried in a backpack and operated by a single soldier. Flying quietly at high speed the Switchblade delivers its onboard explosive payload with precision while minimizing collateral damage. Photo: Aerovironment

        The Switchblade air vehicle launches from a small tube that can be carried in a backpack and transmits live color video wirelessly for display on AeroVironment’s standard small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) ground control unit. Upon confirming the target using the live video feed, the operator then sends a command to the air vehicle to arm it and lock its trajectory onto the target. Flying quietly at high speed the Switchblade delivers its onboard explosive payload with precision while minimizing collateral damage. With the ability to call off a strike even after the air vehicle is armed, Switchblade provides a level of control not available in other weapon systems.

        “The unique capabilities provided by the Switchblade agile munition for standoff engagement, accuracy and controlled effects make it an ideal weapon for today’s fight and for U.S. military forces of the future,” said Bill Nichols, deputy product director at the Army’s Close Combat Weapons Systems project office.

        Instead of requiring support from weapon systems controlled by other operating units, operators will be able to use the ground launched Switchblade variant to respond to enemy combatants with precision fire from a significant standoff distance, when and where required.

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