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NLOS-Cannon, a Key segment for FCS - Unveiled today.

The US Air Force is delaying the retirement of F-117A stealth fighters.

The British Royal Navy will is modernizing the sonars on its Trafalgar and Astute class subs.

The Royal Danish Navy will upgrade its Saab Double-Eagle MCM system.


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Defense Update - September 29th, 2006

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Upcoming events September:

28-29 / Offshore Patrol Vehicle conference, London, UK

Upcoming events October:

3 / Defense Logistics C4I conference, Thatcham UK
3-7 / Defendory International 2006, Athens, Greece
9-11 / AUSA Annual Meeting 2006, Washington DC, USA
9-11 / C4ISR Interoperability Europe conf. Brussels, Belgium
10-12 / Defence Communication (DCSA 06) Cardiff, UK
16-18 / Military & Aerospace repair and Maintenance (USA)
18-19 / Asymmetric Warfare & Mine CM (DC, USA)
18-22 / Defense Asia 2006 exhibition, Republic of Korea
23-25 / Annual Border Management conf., Washington DC, USA
23-27 / EuroNaval 2006 exhibition, Paris, France
30-31 / UV North America, Washington DC, USA
30-31 / Urban Operations conference, London UK
31 / Night Vision conference, London UK
31/10 - 5/11 Airshow China 2006 exhibition, Zuhai, China

click here for the full 2006 and 2007 exhibitions and conference guide

USAF Delays F-117A Retirement Move to PBL support

The US Air Force decided to delay the retirement of its F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter. To control the operational and sustainment costs, the Air Force outsourced the entire support of the F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter under a US$1.4 billion Performance Based Logistics (PBL) program called "Total System Support Partnership (TSSP)". The contract was awarded to the aircraft manufacturer, Lockheed Martin. A similar PBL program is provided by Northrop Grumman for the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. The funding will cover all logistical, maintenance overhaul and repair (MRO) activities to sustain operational support for the entire fleet of 52 aircraft, over five years (until 2012). Additional work could be awarded for modifications and enhancements. Few months ago, the Air Force decided to send its F-117A fighters to early retirement by 2008, expecting to save about US$1 billion in the process. These plans have now been shelved.

NLOS-Cannon, a Key segment for FCS - Unveiled
The first member of the Future Combat Systems (FCS) Ground Manned Vehicle (MGV) family, the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) Firing Platform, was officially unveiled today by the developer, BAE Systems. The ultra lightweight, fully automatic 155-mm Firing Platform will undergo testing at the US Army Yuma proving ground through 2008. It is the first step toward the development of NLOS-C prototypes, scheduled to begin testing in 2008.
Sonar Upgrades for British Trafalgar, Astute Subs

The Royal Navy continues to upgrade its submarine's sonars. The British Ministry of Defense awarded Thales UK a £30 Million contract to launch stage 5 upgrades of 2076 sonar suits fielded on the Trafalgar and Astute Class submarines. Stage 5 upgrades will replace the existing inboard processing equipment with an open architecture COTS based processing system. Thales' upgraded 2076 Stage 4 systems are currently in service on Trafalgar Class submarines. Earlier this month MOD awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to upgrades the 2054 sonars on the Royal Navy's Vanguard Subs.

Saab Upgrades Danish Navy Counter-Mine Capability

Saab Underwater Systems will upgrade the Royal Danish Navy’s Double Eagle underwater vehicles used for mine hunting. The SEK100 million (US$13.6 million) contract was awarded by the Naval Materiel Command of the Royal Danish Navy (RDN). The upgrade will include new electronic system, a new generation sensors and preparation for deployment of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). Denmark was the launch customer for Saab's Double Eagle MkII system in the mid 90ths, and will now collaborate on future studies, development, tests and operational improvements as part of the Double Eagle II program. Other countries currently fielding Saab's underwater vehicles include Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The UK Plan to deploy Hunter-Killer Drones

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Kingdom of two MQ-9 weaponized Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The configuration will be similar to that of the USAF operated MQ-9 Reaper, including a Ground Control Station, two Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems, one Mobile Ground Control Station, two Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar (airborne), Ku-Band Communications link etc. No weapons have been included in this request, yet the Reaper is cleared to carry commonly used weapons including Hellfire missiles and laser guided bombs.

A new Tool will Improve Spectrum Deconfliction

The increasing demand for wireless communication has created a critical shortfall in useable spectrum for coalition operations. The risk of interfering to critical systems has limited the utilization of communications systems playing a critical part in the evolving network centric battlespace. A new system planned for deployment in less than a year will automate and accelerate spectrum planning, attempting to reduce the risk of interference from jamming operations and communications. The new tool will display a real-time, three-dimensional view of frequency use in the battlespace for land, air, and space emitters and employ faster-than-real-time simulation to predict and visualize potential interference from on-the-move forces.

Navy to Procure 208 Symphony IED RF-Jammers

The US Navy is buying 208 Symphony Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Jammer Systems as part of an US$19 million order awarded to Lockheed martin. Symphony is a vehicle mounted programmable, radio-frequency IED defeat systems. Systems will be delivered within 52 weeks. These jammers are an element of the DoD's Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) program.

Space Command Launch COSMIC R&D Program

US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDB) will invest half a billion US$ over the next 10 years in the development of futuristic space oriented technologies to support warfighters on the future battlefield. The "Concepts and Operations for Space and Missile Defense Integration Capabilities" (COSMIC) program will pursue the use of micro-satellites, near space and High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) platforms to improve communications, intelligence gathering, strike and sustainment. Research and development contracts will be competed between the two teams selected for the program; one led by BAE Systems and the other, led by Quantum Research International. COSMIC is managed by SMDB Future Warfare Center, Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab (SMDBL).

ForceProtection, MECHEM extend Cooperation

Force Protection, Inc. from South Carolina, US and MECHEM, a division of the South African DENEL consortium agreed to extend their exclusive cooperation for five years. Under the agreement, MECHEM, specializing in the field of landmine detection, de-mining, and unexploded ordnance disposal (EOD) will continue to work exclusively with Force Protection on all projects relating to the exploitation of its technology. The Cougar and Buffalo mine-protected vehicles are few of the products resulted from this collaboration. These heavily armored vehicles have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. Despite thousands of mine detonations and IED attacks, no fatalities have occurred in these armored vehicles.

Prospects for Black-Hawk, Chinook sales Overseas

The Government of Colombia is requesting to buy f 15 UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters in the US, at an estimated cost of $303 million. Brazil is also interested in the Black Hawk platform for its navy, seeking to buy six S-70B helicopters at an estimated cost of about US$300. The new helicopters will be used for search and rescue operations, replacing SH-3 helicopters currently in service. Another helicopter sale on the horizon is the sale of nine CH-47F Chinook helicopters for the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNlAF). These helicopters will incorporate the modern Common Architecture Avionic System (CAAS) cockpit. The projected US$652 million contract will also include CAAS modifications to the 11 CH-47Ds currently in RNlAF service. Jordan is also interested to equip its Royal squadron with back-up UH-60Ls in a VIP configuration, at an estimated cost of US$60 million.

Greece Asks for more Hellifire II Missiles
Greece is seeking to add 657 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles to equip its ground forces. The Greek armed forces are requesting the US for 633 AGM-114K1 anti-tank missiles fitted with a tandem HEAT warhead and 24 AGM-114M1 missiles equipped with Blast Fragmentation warheads. The deal worth US$66 million also include Hellfire II Training and drill missiles and technical support.



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  Updated: 10/16/2006



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