09 Mar 10. Skynet 5 Communications: Satellite 5D Ordered. The Defence Equipment Minister announced (9 Mar 10) that the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract with Paradigm, a wholly-owned EADS subsidiary, is to be extended. Skynet satellite 5D, originally designated as a back-up, is to be completed and launched in 2013.
Comment: Skynet 5A (11 Mar 07), 5B (14 Nov 07) & 5C (12 Jun 08) were all launched from French Guiana, with 5C originally intended as an ‘in-orbit spare’. However, it is now calculated that the total Skynet 5 constellation capability will be exceeded in about 2015. 5D is now to meet the anticipated increase in bandwidth demand between 2015 and 2020. The above contract extension will increase the PFI value by over £400m to about £3,500m. New work will be carried out at EADS Astrium/Paradigm sites in Corsham, Portsmouth & Stevenage. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/11, 15 Mar 09)
15 Mar 10. Royal Air Force pilots flying Sea King HAR 3 helicopters are to get new state of the art radios which will maintain the RAF’s airborne Search and Rescue capability until the aircraft goes out of service. The new radios will replace the obsolete ARC-115 VHF and ARC-116 UHF Air Traffic Control radios, which have been installed since the aircraft was built. The MoD has procured over 40 R&S M3AR series radios from Rohde & Schwarz Ltd to equip the Sea King HAR 3 fleet and the training Flight Simulator. Based on software defined radio technology, the R&S M3AR’s are multi-band transceivers covering the 30 to 400 MHz range and can be set up for either 8.33 KHz or 25 KHz channel spacing. They provide a completely future-proofed investment for customers. Meanwhile, pilots will appreciate the R&S M3AR Series’ excellent voice quality, simplicity of operation and channel setting features, which have the potential to reduce their mission workload.
16 Mar 10. DRS Defense Solutions, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DRS Technologies, Inc., announced its Global Enterprise Solutions business unit was awarded a $15m task order to provide X-band satellite connectivity and terrestrial transport services to the U.S. Military serving in the Middle East. Award is by the Defense information Systems Agency (DISA) under Defense Information System Network (DISN) Satellite Transmission Services – Global (DSTS-G) Task Order 599. This is the second task order that DRS has won under DSTS-G that will supply the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which is the end user. Terms call for DRS Technical Services Inc. and its suppliers, Intelsat General Corporation, Paradigm Secure Communications Ltd., and Xtar LLC, to provide a package of managed services that include two asymmetric 155 Mbps satellite links, a remote earth terminal, high-speed modems with advanced coding, ground stations, fiber connectivity and terrestrial equipment for high data-rate X-band links. Operations and maintenance services for the remote terminal also are being provided.
17 Mar 10. L-3 Communications will provide intelligence support services to the US and multinational forces in Iraq under a $230.9m contract. Under the three-year contract, L-3 will provide programme management, counterintelligence support, intelligence analysis, intelligence planning and multimedia exploitation services at various forward operating bases and facilities throughout Iraq. Work will be carried out both in Iraq and Tampa, Florida. The contract has a scope of service extending to November 2012. In addition, L-3 Stratis will provide imagery analysis services in support of the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) under a separate $24.8m contract.The contract has one base year with four option years, extending the scope of service to November 2014. (Source: armytechnology.com)
16 Mar 10. The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has awarded a bid contract worth over $50m to MTN Government Services (MTNGS), a subsidiary of MTN Sate