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CONTRACT NEWS IN BRIEF

UNITED KINGDOM

LAND

19 Nov 20. First UK Manufacture of MoD’s Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicles moves further forward with significant contracts signed. ARTEC consortium member, KMW, has concluded a further contractual agreement with WFEL for the production over ten years of Boxer Vehicle Drive Module fabricated hulls – together with a further contract for the Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT) of approximately half of the 500 vehicles to be supplied to the British Army, under the £2.3bn contract signed with ARTEC at the end of 2019.  This is another significant milestone for the UK Boxer MIV Programme and for the UK’s military vehicle capability, with the advent of manufacturing a new class of armoured vehicles here in the UK.   This next phase of the Boxer MIV programme also embeds within WFEL welding practices specific to the manufacture of armoured steel hulls for highly protected vehicles, further developing a key skill for the UK Military Land sector.

AIR

09 Nov 20. UK government releases GBP7m for drone research ‘to build back better from COVID-19.’ Drone operator HEROTECH8 is among a number of companies to benefit from UK government funding to conduct ground-breaking aviation projects solving global challenges announced on 9 November 2020. HEROTECH8 is providing its drone-in-a-box technology for the Medidrone project to support the fight against COVID19 – establishing a network of physical drone infrastructure and looking closely at the safety/risk associated with BVLOS operations. MediDrone’s project will develop a network of small drones following paths between medical facilities, acting as high-speed shuttles for small medical packages. This will improve the delivery speed of critical medication, and limit human contact with supplies to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to vulnerable patients. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy plans to provide a total of GPB33.5m for 48 projects are part of efforts to build back better from COVID-19 and support innovative new enterprises. The projects include using drones and aviation technologies to solve major global challenges, including coronavirus pandemic and climate change, while creating new jobs across the UK. In this first GP7m wave, the government has selected 20 winning ideas. The 20 winning ideas will receive a share of £7m funding ranging from the development of drones capable of delivering COVID-19 medical supplies to remote areas, to technology to enable remote inspections of infrastructure and construction sites – removing the need for workers to potentially be put at risk. The £33.5m investment comes from the Future Flight Challenge, which aims to increase mobility, reduce reliance on road travel thereby improving road congestion, and increase UK manufacturing opportunities. Today the first wave of 20 winners have been announced, with more projects to be announced in the coming weeks. Of these, 9 projects are focused on developing technology to aid the response to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes the development of unmanned drones to deliver medication, reducing human contact and, consequently, transmission of the virus. Advances in alternative, green energy sources to power aircraft, including hydrogen and electricity, are also a key feature of some of the winning proposals.

The projects include:

  • Windracers SWARM technology (Southampton, Bristol): This project will develop technology which allows multiple drones to fly in close formations for a variety of purposes including fighting fires and providing humanitarian aid
  • Dock-to-Dock (Cardiff): Dock-to-Dock will demonstrate an alternative to road transportation between coastal cities, developing a pilot project to deliver goods by air using clean energy: initially between Avonmouth Docks in Bristol and Cardiff Docks in Wales. The project will focus on vehicle performance and the infrastructure necessary for hydrogen-powered electric aircraft which take-off and land vertically, and therefore don’t require runways
  • NAPKIN (Greater London): By looking at different aspects of air travel – including aircraft, airports, airspace, airlines, passengers and communities – NAPKIN will help accelerate the introduction of sustainable, low and zero carbon commercial flights. This includes project partners Cranfield Aerospace, GKN and Rolls-Royce, who are developing conceptual designs for electric aircraft, while airport partners are using their expertise to assess the viability of plans for sustainable flights
  • Drone Defence (Nottinghamshire): Drone Defence Services and the University of Nottingham will develop sensor technology to track aircraft. By monitoring all aircraft, Drone Defence aims to provide increased airspace awareness which will prevent drone misuse and enable drones to safely share the sky with other aircraft
  • Gold Dragon (Llanbedr, Wales): this project will develop sensor technology for unmanned drones, prioritising health and emergency services including the Police, Coastguard, and Mountain Rescue. It is linked closely with skills development and STEM engagement activities with Gwynedd Council and the Welsh Government. In addition, a recent Economic Impact Assessment estimated that successful development at the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre could contribute 515 jobs to the local area.

The UK government announcement is part of wider support for the aviation and aerospace industries worth over £9.5bn in R&D grants, loans and guarantees, and support for exports and exporters.

For more information visit:

www.gov.uk

www.herotech8.com

(Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)

AIR

19 Nov 20. 10 new satellites to be built in Glasgow in next three years as part of new innovative constellation service. 10 new government-backed satellites the size of a shoebox are going to be built in Scotland after a signing between AAC Clyde Space UK and ESA. AAC Clyde manufacture a range of small satellites, ranging from 1kg to 50kg in weight, and offer space-as-a-service, which is an end-to-end mission service covering everything from mission design, launch and satellite operations to data delivery for companies including; Orbcomm, NSLComm, Eutelsat, Orbital Micro Systems, NASA and ESA. Each of the small satellites will be built as part of a new three-year project – titled xSPANCION – by the satellite manufacturer to create an innovative satellite constellation that businesses can use for a wide-range of applications, including satellite communications, Earth Observation and remote sensing. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)

19 Nov 20. Chess Dynamics, the leading British surveillance, tracking and gunfire control specialist today announced it has won a contract in partnership with QinetiQ for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). The contract will see Chess Dynamics playing a key role in working with QinetiQ on the design and build of a relocatable Optical Ground Station (OGS) in support of Dstl’s space-based Titania Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) research project. The OGS will be used to acquire and track the Titania satellite and close an optical communications link.

TECHNOLOGY

18 Nov 20. US-UK Team Tercio gets funding for see-through-walls tech. The US-UK Team Tercio has secured ongoing development funding for its Duelist situational awareness system for small units operating in urban environments, following its successful entry into the National Security Innovation Network’s Situational Awareness in Dense Urban Environments 2020 Online Challenge, the company announced in a 10 November press release. Duelist is a software platform designed to provide real-time situational awareness for infantry and special operations forces in an urban environment by integrating multiple sensors into a meshed local network, which is in turn supported by artificial intelligence (AI) to combine the gathered inputs into actionable intelligence. The programme creates a 3D map of the environment by integrating sensors such as the SafeScan through-wall radar created by the UK’s Iceni Labs, as well as inertial measurement unit (IMU) motion trackers, and by collating radio frequency data. The AI works to filter the gathered information and provide the users with a map showing friendly positions, possible threats, safe breaching points, and more, the company explained in an October 2020 white paper, viewed by Janes. (Source: Jane’s)

EUROPE

LAND

18 Nov 20. BAE Awarded Life-extension Contract for Swiss Cv90 Combat Vehicles. BAE Systems Hägglunds has received a contract from the Swiss Federal Office for Defense Procurement (armasuisse) for the life-extension of the Swiss Army’s CV9030, known as the “Schützenpanzer 2000.” The life-extension program of the CV9030 will keep the 186 vehicle fleet in service until 2040 and significantly improve the platform’s ability in certain areas. The improvements are mainly based on previous obsolescence issues in the area of optical, electrical and electronic components. They also include the installation of Active Damping technology which reduces wear and tear, minimizes through-life repair costs, improves speed in terrain and ride comfort. A new improved electronics architecture will support adapting to future technology growth. The vehicles will also be fitted with a 360-degree surveillance system, increasing situational awareness, combat effectiveness, and survivability to enable safer route planning and more rapid targeting. As part of the contract, BAE Systems Hägglunds, the original manufacturer of the CV90, has already been working closely with Swiss industry to meet the industrial cooperation requirements. The program will involve multiple suppliers based across all regions of Switzerland. Selected companies will produce items such as the next generation of electronic boxes for the CV90s, electrical cables, and mechanical components.  One of these suppliers is RUAG AG, which will provide a new auxiliary power unit in collaboration with BAE Systems. Through its role as the Material Competence Center (Materialkompetenzzentrum), RUAG is fully involved in securing Switzerland’s autonomy and operational readiness, increasing defense capabilities, self-sufficiency, and security of supply while preserving high-skilled jobs and in-country capability. This new contract is the result of effective cooperation between BAE Systems, armasuisse, and the Swiss Army. BAE Systems and the Swiss defense agencies cooperated on an initial obsolescence study, a prototype contract phase with extensive testing in both Switzerland and Sweden, and adaptations and preparations for serial delivery. (Source: ASD Network)

16 Nov 20. Spanish Army selected Elbit Systems to supply software-defined radios. Israeli firm Elbit Systems will provide E-LynX software-defined radios to the Spanish Army after the service awarded a contract to Elbit’s partner Telefonica, according to a report in Spain confirmed by Elbit. Elbit said it could not refer directly to the contract’s details, but a company spokesperson did say in a statement: “We do acknowledge the media report that the Spanish Ministry of Defense selected the E-Lynx Software Defined Radio in handheld and vehicular configurations as the solution for the Spanish Army.” According to the Nov. 10 report by Infodefensa, the contract was awarded in October by the General Directorate for Armament and Material for €6.5m (U.S. $7.7m). “Telefonica explained in a presentation that a part of the components of the E-Lynx radio will be produced and integrated in Spain by the company with the support of other companies such as Aicox, while other equipment will come from Elbit’s facilities in Israel,” the report read. Aicox is a telecommunications and technology company in Spain. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)

20 Nov 20. In May 2020, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Hungary of sixty (60) AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAMER missiles, and two (2) spare AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAM-ER guidance sections and related equipment for an estimated cost of $230m. The Government of Hungary has requested to buy sixty (60) AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAMER missiles, and two (2) spare AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAM-ER guidance sections. Also included are four (4) AMRAAM-ER training missiles (CATM-120C); missile containers; spare and repair parts; cryptographic and communication security devices; precision navigation equipment; software, site surveys; weapons system equipment and computer software support; publications and technical documentation; common munitions and test equipment; repair and return services and equipment; personnel training and training equipment; integration support and test equipment; and U.S. Government and contractor, engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated cost is $230m. In August 2020, the Stars and Stripe website announced that Hungary has signed a deal with the United States to purchase NASAMS (National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) air defense missile systems for around 1$bn. (Source: Google/https://www.armyrecognition.com/)

19 Nov 20. Rheinmetall to supply German Bundeswehr with 342 roll-off tipper vehicles, boosting operational readiness. Rheinmetall has begun serial delivery of 342 roll-off tipper vehicles to BwFuhrparkService GmbH (BwFPS), the state-owned enterprise in charge of the Bundeswehr’s fleet of non-tactical vehicles. The first 69 logistic vehicles were transferred, to be followed by up to eight more trucks per week. By supplying these hook lift-equipped TGS 8×4 trucks, Rheinmetall is making another important contribution to bolstering the Bundeswehr’s operational readiness. The order, issued at the end of 2019, is worth a figure in the two-digit euro million range, making it the largest single order for commercial (“white fleet”) trucks in company history. Delivery is expected to be complete by the middle of next year. Rheinmetall and its truck specialist Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) have thus emerged as major suppliers of commercial trucks to the Bundeswehr, augmenting the Group’s long-established role as a source of state-of-the-art combat vehicles.   Now in serial production, these vehicles will give the Bundeswehr the ability to quickly transport a massive amount of materiel using its own trucks when Germany takes over the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in 2023, NATO’s sharp end. Delivery of the TGS trucks will thus significantly expand the Bundeswehr’s logistic capabilities when it comes to the rapid handling of materiel. The vehicles will be stationed all over Germany, primarily with logistics units.   The order deepens an already well-established partnership, one which recently earned RMMV a supplier reliability award from BwFPS. Led by Rheinmetall, the joint venture occupied first place in the truck and special vehicles category for joint projects last year. Besides on-time delivery, clear communication with the customer in current projects played a decisive role in maintaining the company’s top ranking. Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defence holds a 75.1% stake in BwFPS, with the remaining 24.9% held by Deutsche Bahn, a German railway company.

SEA

18 Nov 20. Kongsberg Maritime signs 200 MNOK contract to supply propeller systems for five Spanish Naval frigates. Kongsberg Maritime has secured a contract worth NOK 200m with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia to supply propeller systems for five F110 frigates, currently in construction for the Spanish Navy. These next-generation vessels are designed to follow on from Navantia’s successful F100 frigate, bringing together state-of-the-art technologies to create a ship for the 21st century.  Destined for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations, each vessel will be fitted with twin Kongsberg Kamewa Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP) systems, specifically developed for minimum noise and vibration throughout the system; from the propeller blades through the shaft-line to associated equipment such as the bearings and hydraulic power unit. Vessels engaged in ASW must meet exacting requirements on Underwater Radiated Noise (URN), Cavitation Inception Speed (CIS), pressure pulses and efficiency in order to operate effectively, and Navantia’s selection process for the propellers for the F110 frigates included model scale tests at Marin in the Netherlands and at CEHIPAR in Spain to verify that the performance targets were met.

17 Nov 20. Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and Thales signed on November 17, 2020, the contract for the delivery and full integration of Thales’s Mission and Combat System for the four MKS 180 class frigates contracted by the German Navy. The system will be designed by Damen and completely built by German shipyards, under Damen’s project management. Valued at €1.5bn, the contract illustrates Thales’s leading position in naval global integration. It will be executed by Thales’s naval Centers of Excellence in Hengelo (the Netherlands), Kiel and Wilhelmshaven (Germany) in cooperation with a substantial number of German subcontractors. Underpinning this contract is the proven cooperation of German and Dutch naval industries, including numerous joint opportunities for Damen and Thales in the Netherlands to innovate within naval shipbuilding projects, often with the participation of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Defence. The project underscores Damen’s and Thales’s ambition to build further cooperation with shipyards and partnering industries in high-end European naval programmes. (Source: defense-aerospace.com)

AIR

19 Nov 20. Germany approves €2.3bn euro purchase of Airbus helicopters – source. The German parliament’s budget committee approved a €2.3bn  (£2.06bn ) contract to buy 31 Airbus AIR.PA helicopters for the country’s navy on Thursday, a parliamentary source said. The Sea Tiger helicopters will be deployed on frigates, and their main job will be submarine-hunting. They have a range of 800 kilometres (500 miles) and can be armed with missiles, torpedoes and machine guns, according to experts. (Source: Reuters)

20 Nov 20. France orders Falcon 2000 LXS maritime surveillance aircraft. The French ministry for the armed forces has awarded Dassault Aviation a contract for the construction of seven Falcon 2000 LXS aircraft in the maritime surveillance configuration. France plans on eventually ordering a total of 12 such platforms for the navy. Florence Parly, the French minister for the armed forces explained on 19 November, while visiting a Dassault aviation factory in Seclin in the north of France, that the new platforms will not only replace the current aircraft operated by the French Navy but will also bring increased capabilities. She specified that the Falcon 2000 LXS will be equipped with a tactical datalink system, a mission system, the Thales Searchmaster radar, the Safran Euroflir electro-optical turret, a search and rescue beacon detection device, air-droppable liferafts, observation windows, secured military communications, and a secured GPS receiver. Maximum flight time will reach 8 hours. The studies for the Avion de Surveillance et d’Intervention Maritime (AVISMAR), maritime surveillance and intervention aircraft programme were launched in November 2018. The programme aims at replacing the five Falcon 200 Gardians and the eight Falcon 50Ms currently operated by the French Navy. The Gardians will be taken out of service in 2025 and the Falcon 50Ms in 2029. Both types will have served for more than 40 years. (Source: Jane’s)

13 Nov 20. Contracts Signed for Three High-priority Environmental Missions. Today, ESA signed contracts with Thales Alenia Space in France and in Italy, and Airbus in Spain to build three of the new high-priority Copernicus satellite missions: CHIME, CIMR and LSTM, respectively. Each mission is set to help address different major environmental challenges such as sustainable agriculture management, food security, the monitoring of polar ice supporting the EU Integrated Policy for the Arctic, and all will be used to understand climate change. There are six Copernicus high-priority Sentinel Expansion missions planned to complement the current capabilities of the Sentinels and address EU policy priorities and gaps in Copernicus user needs. The development and operations of these Sentinel Expansion missions will be co-financed between the European Commission and ESA, subject to budget availability. These new industrial contacts kick off the key design phases for the missions, with the continuation to be confirmed in 2021. ESA has recently signed contracts for the development of two of the other six missions: the Copernicus Carbon Dioxide Monitoring mission and the Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter mission. These three new contracts also come at a time when industry and business are suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a contract worth €455m, Thales Alenia Space France will lead the development of the Copernicus Hyperspectral Imaging Mission, CHIME. The contract was signed in the presence of Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy and Finance. The mission will carry a unique visible to shortwave infrared spectrometer. It will provide routine hyperspectral observations to support new and enhanced services for sustainable agricultural and biodiversity management, as well to characterise soil properties, which is key to vegetation health. The mission will complement Copernicus Sentinel-2 for applications such as land-cover mapping.ESA signed the contract for the development of the Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer, mission, CIMR, with Thales Alenia Space Italy in the presence of the Under Secretary of the Council of Ministers of Italy, Riccardo Fraccaro. The contract is worth €495m. (Source: ASD Network)

13 Nov 20. The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor for the new Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM) mission. LSTM is part of Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation programme for global monitoring. It is one of the six new missions, expanding the capabilities of the current Copernicus space component. The contract is valued at €380m which includes the development of one LSTM satellite, with an option for two further satellites. The main objective of LSTM is to deliver global high spatio-temporal day- and night-time land surface temperature measurements. Satellite data analysis for mapping, monitoring and forecasting the Earth’s natural resources helps to understand what, when and where changes are taking place. In particular, this mission will respond to the needs of European farmers to make agricultural production on individual farms more sustainable, as water shortages increase and changes in the environment take place. Specialists will be able to calculate in real time how much water different plants require in different areas, and how often those plants need to be irrigated.

17 Nov 20. The Hungarian Government and Embraer signed today a contract for the acquisition of two new generation multi-mission transport aircraft Embraer C-390 Millennium, in its air-to-air refueling (AAR) configuration, designated KC-390. Additionally, pilots and technicians training as well as other services and support are included in the contract as part of the process to strengthen the Hungarian Defence Forces capabilities specifically on the tactical airlift, AAR and medical evacuation roles as well as in other missions of public interest. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2023.

13 Nov 20. Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $51,149,172 firm-fixed-price modification (P00009) to contract FA8675-20-C-0033 for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) production program.  This modification provides for the procurement and upgrade of test environment/equipment for AMRAAM production capacity.  Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed January 2025.  This contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Norway, Denmark, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, Slovakia, Poland, Netherlands, Kuwait, Qatar and Spain.  Air Force fiscal 2020 missile procurement funds in the amount of $16,717,336; Navy fiscal 2020 weapons procurement funds in the amount of $11,552,000; and FMS funds in the amount of $22,879,836 are being obligated at the time of award.  The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.

19 Nov 20. Safran selected by French Space Command, confirming its pivotal position in space surveillance. The French Space Command is expanding and diversifying its sources of information concerning the space environment by subscribing to WeTrack™, a global network of radio-frequency (RF) sensors designed, owned and operated by Safran Data Systems. The WeTrack™ service tracks geostationary satellites, detects their maneuvers and monitors geostationary orbit in general.

16 Nov 20. Lithuania signs for Black Hawk helos. Lithuania signed for four Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk transport and utility helicopters on 13 November, the country’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) announced. The USD213m procurement, which will be paid off over five years, includes additional equipment, spares, and a training, repair, and logistical support package. The US government is providing USD30m to support the purchase, and has cleared the sale of a further two helicopters should the Lithuanian Armed Forces request them. News of the contract came some four months after the US State Department approved the sale to Lithuania of six Black Hawks for USD380m. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notification on 6 July followed an announcement by the MND in late 2019 that the country was to begin negotiations with the US government to acquire the Black Hawks to replace three Soviet-made Mi-8 ‘Hips’ and three French-built Aerospatiale AS365 N3+ Dauphins. (Source: Jane’s)

USA

LAND

19 Nov 20. Black Sage Awarded CUAS Radar System Contract by United States Air Force. Recent Selection by the Air Force Extends Black Sage’s CUAS Collaboration with the Department of Defense. In order to provide the precise targeting data required by the THOR system, Black Sage utilized its proprietary DefenseOS® software to receive and process data from the CUAS radars and export the data to the US military’s Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (FAAD C2). During a successful evaluation, the integrated CUAS radar system, FAAD C2 and THOR weapon targeted and defeated drones.    THOR is a counter-swarm electromagnetic weapon developed by AFRL for defense of airbases. The system provides non-kinetic defeat of multiple targets. It operates from a wall plug and uses energy to disable drones. The system uses High Power Microwaves (HPM) to cause a counter electronic effect. Targets are identified, the silent weapon discharges in a nanosecond, and the impact is instantaneous. (Source: PR Newswire)

16 Nov 20. FLIR Secures $32m in Full-Rate Production Orders for Centaur Unmanned Ground Vehicles from US Armed Services. FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced that the United States (U.S.) Army, Air Force, and Navy have collectively ordered more than 250 additional FLIR Centaur™ unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), worth $32m combined. The award is being sourced through the Army’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc. II) program. Over the last 12 months, FLIR has announced multiple orders totaling roughly $97m for more than 750 Centaur unmanned ground systems from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams across all services will use the FLIR Centaur to assist in disarming improvised explosive devices, unexploded ordnance, and similar hazardous tasks. Operators can quickly attach different sensors and payloads to the robot to address other missions, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. In 2017, the U.S. Army selected the medium-sized Centaur robot as its MTRS Inc II solution. FLIR is delivering systems to the Army under that multi-year program of record, which upon award was valued at more than $150m, including options. These latest orders fall under the current ceiling. Since then, other U.S. military branches have opted to deploy the Centaur to their EOD teams as a new or replacement ground robot system. Centaur is a medium-sized UGV that provides a standoff capability to detect, confirm, identify, and dispose of hazards. Weighing roughly 160 pounds, the open-architecture robot features an advanced EO/IR camera suite, a manipulator arm that reaches over six feet, and the ability to climb stairs. Modular payloads can be used for CBRNE detection and other missions. Deliveries are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021. For more on FLIR Systems’ Unmanned Ground Systems platforms,

16 Nov 20. US Marine Corps awards L3Harris wideband satellite development deal. The US Marine Corps has selected L3Harris’ Panther II Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) for satellite communications (satcom) operations, in support of the Marine Corps Wideband Satellite-Expeditionary (MCWS-X) programme. The USD88m total indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) procurement deal for the Panther II will cover an initial delivery of the VSAT systems to the Corps, at a cost of USD21mi, according to a L3Harris statement issued on 9 November. The MCWS-X platform, as currently configured, includes the 96 cm variant of the Panther VSAT “in a tri-band configuration with multiple modular modems and power options,” company officials said.  (Source: Jane’s)

19 Nov 20. Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc. (SPA) was awarded an $85m contract from Navy Strategic Systems Programs (SSP). Under this contract, SPA will provide technical services, arms control support, program support, assessments, training support for managing high risk technologies, special studies and systems engineering for the Trident II Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile Strategic Weapons system.  (Source: PR Newswire)

SEA

17 Nov 20. BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair (BAE Systems), Norfolk, Virginia, was awarded a $76,251,735 firm-fixed-price contract for the execution of the USS Stout (DDG 55) fiscal 2021 docking selected restricted availability (DSRA).  This is a Chief of Naval Operations scheduled DSRA.  The purpose is to maintain, modernize and repair the USS Stout (DDG 55).  This is a “long-term” docking availability and was solicited on a coast-wide (East and Gulf coasts) basis without limiting the place of performance to the vessel’s homeport.  BAE Systems will provide the facilities and human resources capable of completing, coordinating and integrating multiple areas of ship maintenance, repair and modernization for USS Stout (DDG 55).  This contract includes options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $100,525,216.  Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by November 2021.  Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy); and fiscal 2021 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $76,251,735 will be obligated at time of award, and funding in the amount of $76,178,614 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured using full and open competition via the Federal Business Opportunities website.  Competitive proposals were received in response to Solicitation No. N00024-20-R-4440.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-21-C-4440). (Awarded Nov. 16, 2020)

16 Nov 20. General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, is awarded a $9,473,511,245 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-17-C-2117.  The contract modification exercises an option for construction and test of the lead and second ships of the Columbia class SSBN 826 and SSBN 827, as well as associated design and engineering support.  This modification to the integrated product and process development (IPPD) contract supports the fiscal 2021 construction start of the lead ship (SSBN 826) and advance procurement, advance construction, coordinated material buys and full construction of the follow hull (SSBN 827) in fiscal 2024.  Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (36%); Newport News, Virginia (25%); Quonset Point, Rhode Island (17%); with other efforts performed at various sites throughout the U.S. (each less than 1%) (22%), and is expected to be completed by April 2030.  Efforts within the ship include the Common Missile Compartment which is a joint U.S./United Kingdom effort.  Fiscal 2021 National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund (NSBDF) funding in the amount of $545,186,307 (96%); and fiscal 2020 NSBDF funding in the amount of $19,936,251 (4%) will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This action leverages the acquisition authorities contained in 10 U.S. Code §2218a, NSBDF.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

12 Nov 20. Fairbanks Morse, a leading provider of solutions that are powering the world forward, will supply the Ship Service Diesel Generator (SSDG) sets for the electric power generation system aboard the U.S. Navy’s newest America class amphibious assault warship LHA-9. Construction of the SSDGs will begin in 2021 and delivery to the shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss. will start in 2023. The Landing Helicopter Assault (LHA) ships, the largest of all amphibious warfare ships, take more than five years to build and are 844 feet long with a 106-foot beam displacing more than 44,000 tons. The U.S. Navy depends on Fairbanks Morse’s battle-tested diesel engines for marine propulsion and mission-critical ship electrical services whether on routine, humanitarian or belligerent missions. The Navy currently has a requirement for 38 amphibious ships, including 12 amphibious assault ships such as the America-class LHAs. With tight budgetary constraints and an even more dire need for submarines, the production of the LHA-9 represents a critical addition to the nation’s global fleet. (Source: ASD Network)

20 Nov 20. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Bethpage, New York, is awarded a $10,713,544 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-17-C-6311 to procure two additional Surface-to-Surface Missile Modules (SSMM) for integration into the Littoral Combat Ship framework.  The SSMM fires a Longbow Hellfire missile that will be added to the surface warfare mission module aboard the Littoral Combat Ship.  Work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama (80%); Bethpage, New York (18%); and Hollywood, Maryland (2%), and is expected to be completed by November 2022.  Fiscal 2021 other procurement (Navy) (82%); and fiscal 2020 other procurement (Navy) (18%) funding in the amount of $10,713,544 will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

AIR

09 Nov 20. USSF’s SMC Awards Three ASIC Contracts For Military Global Positioning Ops. The United States Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center have competitively awarded the Military Global Positioning System User Equipment (MGUE) Increment (Inc) 2 Miniature Serial Interface (MSI) with Next-Generation Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) to Rockwell Collins, Inc.; L3 Technologies; and Raytheon Technologies. The three MSI contracts are valued at $552m, and will be executed as Middle Tier Acquisition rapid prototyping efforts. The first delivery is scheduled for early fiscal year 2026.  Enhanced processing and security features associated with M-Code drove the decision to develop a smaller and more powerful receiver card for handheld and dismounted applications.  The MSI with Next-Generation ASIC will enable Military-Code GPS receiver production, mitigating the obsolescence issue of current ASICs and providing significant security and performance improvements for GPS-enabled weapons systems. MGUE Inc 2 will be compatible with all existing and future spacecraft and ground systems. MGUE Inc 2 enables military GPS user equipment to receive allied Global Navigation Satellite System positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) signals to increase both the resilience and capability of military PNT equipment, and deter attacks on GPS.  These signals will supplement GPS-based PNT in accordance with DoD policies regarding usage of allied GNSS signals, ensuring identification and mitigation of cyber risks, and compatibility with existing PNT equipment.  (Source: Satnews)

17 Nov 20. Cobham Aerospace Connectivity has been selected by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and the U.S. Army to provide the anti-jam GPS systems for the MQ-1C ER Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) platform.  As part of a Multi-Domain Operation (MDO) equipment suite that is compatible with existing GE-ER aircraft, the DACU-8 capability provides Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing (A-PNT) to the Gray Eagle ER UAS, weapons, and sensors. This low-cost, highly resilient modification to the Gray Eagle ER UAS ensures that the platform can provide Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) and attack capability even in a GPS contested environment. The Digital Antenna Control Unit (DACU) and Controlled Radiation Pattern Array (CRPA) antenna system, which started shipping in Q2 2020, has been chosen for its superior performance in both jammed and benign environments and its ability to output Direction Finding (DF) to on-board systems. This direction finding capability allows the system to perform as a sensor, enabling the platform to identify, locate and respond to the jamming threat. Cobham is uniquely positioned to deliver platform-calibrated systems which results in superior real-world performance.

18 Nov 20. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, was awarded a $93,293,554 hybrid (cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price) contract for research, development, test and evaluation of artificial intelligence for the smart sensor prototype unmanned aerial platform.  Bids were solicited via the internet with 999 received.  Work will be performed in Poway, California, with an estimated completion date of March 2, 2023.  Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation (Army) funds in the amount of $13,000,000 were obligated at the time of the award.  The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QX-21-C-0001).

20 Nov 20. Iridium Satellite LLC, Tempe, Arizona, is awarded a $9,667,301 cost-plus-fixed-fee option to support commercial satellite-based network services for the Department of Defense in the areas of satellite, ground node, user equipment/terminal software and hardware development, integration and testing.  Work will be performed in in McLean, Virginia (50%); and Tempe, Arizona (50%), and is expected to be complete in November 2021.  This contract includes a base year and options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $45,807,778.  Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $100,000 will be obligated at time of the option exercise and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was solicited on a sole-source basis via a synopsis posted in Federal Business Opportunities website in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1); only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.  The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N00178-17-C-0001).

17 Nov 20. MDA has signed multiple contracts with Maxar Technologies to provide advanced space robotics technologies for the Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot (SPIDER), a technology demonstration on NASA’s On–orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 (OSAM-1) mission. MDA will deliver an enabling technology suite of advanced robot control software and interfaces to help achieve assembly and servicing tasks never done to date. These include:

  • A dexterous end effector;
  • Robotic arm control software;
  • Motor control software;
  • Robotic console command and control software and computers;
  • Grapple fixtures and targets for on-orbit assembly interfaces, and
  • Compact cameras and controllers for situational awareness and robotic arm operation.

MDA will also deliver the Motor Control Electronics and Arm Control Electronics on the SPIDER robotic arm. These essential components drive and control each of the motors and joints of the arm as well as providing the data routing and interfacing between joints and cameras. The work on these three contracts will be performed at MDA facilities in Brampton and Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue. These products will be delivered in mid-to-late 2021 and incorporated into Maxar’s robotic system. They will not only support the goal of making on-orbit assembly commercially viable, but could also support other on-orbit services like debris removal, anomaly resolution, life extension, and salvage of stranded spacecraft. (Source: PR Newswire)

20 Nov 20. Rocket Communications (Rocket), the enterprise UX design firm focused on mission critical applications and systems, announced that it was one of just ten companies to win a contract at the first ever International Space Pitch Day event that took place on November 17th in London. Rocket was awarded a same-day contract for its 4D visualization solution for space awareness. Rocket’s winning proposal, called SpaceACME, allows military operators to visualise system status, orbits, and predicted events in 4D. The mission-critical tool will aid personnel in decision making by creating maneuver option scenarios for satellites and other spacecraft. Dubbed a “Shark Tank” style opportunity, the event let start-up entrepreneurs from all over the globe pitch their innovations live (virtually) to a joint UK-US panel of high ranking military decision makers. The first-of-its-kind event grew from a UK and USA partnership called the Allied Defence Accelerator. Military organizations helping to fund and fast track innovation include Dstl, DASA, Royal Air Force, UK Strategic Command, US Air Force, US Space Force, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)

20 Nov 20. ViaSat Inc., Carlsbad, California, has been awarded a $50,800,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for development on prototype space systems.  The contractor will provide studies, design, manufacturing, integration, performance qualification, network space segment elements, launch, flight and demonstration of prototype space systems.  This also includes the development, integration and demonstration with ground terminals in conjunction with the government Ground Segment to reduce risk and assess performance and functionality for future protected service.  It includes the associated program management, system engineering, certification, integration, test and evaluation and configuration management.  Work will be performed in Carlsbad, California, and is expected to be completed Feb. 20, 2026.  This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with one offer received.  Fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $737,646 are being obligated to the first task order at time of award.  Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, is the contracting activity (FA9453-21-D-0029; task order: FA9453-21-F-0001).

TECHNOLOGY

18 Nov 20. DARPA contracts three teams for active flow control experimental aircraft. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued contracts to three industry teams to develop experimental aircraft (X-plane) based on active flow control, an area relatively little explored compared with traditional flight controls. Aurora Flight Sciences, Lockheed Martin, and Georgia Tech Research Corporation were selected to work on the Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) programme, according to an agency statement. The goal is to demonstrate significant efficiency benefits of active flow control, as well as improvements in aircraft cost, weight, performance, and reliability. DARPA said on 17 November that the CRANE programme is organised into four phases. The current award includes a funded Phase 0 effort with an option for Phase 1. Proposals for Phases 2 and 3 will be solicited later in the programme. DARPA plans to execute Phase 1 contract options for at least two contractors. (Source: Jane’s)

17 Nov 20. Astrobotic wins $5.7m NASA Tipping Point contract to lead Bosch, WiBotic, the University of Washington, and the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in developing a product line of lightweight proximity chargers. These ultrafast wireless chargers will enable critical lunar applications for both humans and robots. Though prototypes for wireless charging have existed since 2011, this magnetic resonance-based power supply system is the first of its kind in space proximity charging. Comprised of a base station and power receiver, the system will be space-qualified and will eliminate common problems like planetary regolith (dust) interfering with mechanical charging connections.

18 Nov 20. Perspecta Inc. (NYSE: PRSP), announced today that its innovative applied research arm, Perspecta Labs, has received an award on the modular radio frequency (ModRF) program for the U.S. Army from the Consortium Management Group, Inc., on behalf of the Consortium for Command, Control and Communications in Cyberspace (C5). This award, which represents follow-on work for the company, has a value of $13m. The objective of the program is to provide an efficient, agile and modular RF communications capability to the warfighter to enable successful mission execution in congested and contested environments. Current tactical radio systems require burdensome and error-prone manual steps not only for initial configuration of radio and networking parameters at setup, but also for execution of the primary, alternate, contingency, emergency (PACE) communications plan, which is used each time there is degradation, interference or system failure. On the program, Perspecta Labs will design, develop, integrate and demonstrate an automated PACE capability which will significantly reduce the burden on the warfighter and improve network resilience. Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence, Perspecta Labs’ automated PACE technology will deliver network awareness to automatically optimize network configuration and data routing among available tactical radio networks, saving time and providing resilient communications under dynamic, congested and contested conditions. (Source: PR Newswire)

REST OF THE WORLD

LAND

10 Nov 20. Department 13 delivers counter-drone technology to South-East Asian government. Department 13 has been awarded a contract to deliver counter-drone solutions to a South-East Asian government, the second time the company has been selected in the region. According to a company press release, a number of Department 13 counter-drone MESMER systems will be strategically placed around critical infrastructure and assets in South-East Asia. The complete turnkey counter-drone solution will detect, identify and mitigate unauthorised drone activities and help the government monitor and manage unauthorised drone usage. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)

13 Nov 20. Rheinmetall supplies South African National Defence Force with new 40mm medium-velocity ammunition. Rheinmetall is supplying the South African military with new 40mm medium-velocity ammunition, underscoring its role as the world’s leading one-stop-shop for 40mm ammunition systems. In October 2020 Rheinmetall Denel Munition officially completed Project Kamogelo on behalf of the South African Department of Defence, Armscor and the South African Army. What makes Project Kamogelo so special is not only the introduction of a new 40mm medium-velocity (MV) weapon system: it also marks the first successful Expedited Armament Acquisition Process (EAAP) project in response to an urgent operational requirement of the South African Army. The South African Army initiated the project in 2016 with the aim of fielding a new grenade launcher and family of 40mm ammunition. Armscor, the nation’s arms procurement agency, approved the procurement plan in February 2018, subsequently overseeing testing and evaluation of the Milkor Y4 multi-shot weapon. This involved firing Rheinmetall Denel Munition’s less-lethal, low-velocity and medium-velocity ammunition. Particular emphasis was placed on speed and accuracy.

SEA

19 Nov 20. Lockheed awards Attack Class R&D contracts to local industry. Seven local firms and academic institutions have secured R&D contracts to support the prime’s work on the Future Submarines program. Lockheed Martin Australia has awarded the third round of research and development (R&D) contracts to support its Future Submarine Combat System Integrator Program. Seven contracts, with a combined value of $525,000, have been awarded to local industry and academic organisations, which have been tasked with authoring white papers to inform the development of novel and emerging advanced technologies in support of the Attack Class Submarine combat system. Specifically:

  • Solinnov and Curtin University have been tasked with investigating the feasibility of small form-factor, multi-function, Electronically Steered Array (ESA) for electronic support (ES) and communications in submarine environment;
  • IPACS and Saab have been tasked with exploring methods for improving cyber resilience of container orchestration environments;
  • EM Solutions has been tasked with assessing the feasibility of the integration of SATCOM bearers in a single antenna payload;
  • the University of South Australia has been tasked with studying new and existing console designs developed for ships; and
  • the University of Newcastle has been tasked with exploring innovative ways to manage cables.

Following a review and assessment of the white papers, Lockheed Martin may award further contracts to selected respondents for ongoing capability research. Two earlier R&D cycles are currently underway, with Lockheed Martin assessing white papers for longer term research funding. (Source: Defence Connect)

AIR

18 Nov 20. BIRD Aerosystems, the leading developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Special Mission Aircraft Solutions (ASIO), has won a contract for the delivery and installation of its AMPS-MLRD solution, that includes the patented SPREOS DIRCM, on a customer VIP and Military aircraft in Africa.  AMPS-MLRD missile protection system provides the most enhanced protection for military and civilian aircraft against the growing threat of ground to air missiles including MANPADS, Laser guided threats, and Radar guided threats. The system is designed to automatically detect, verify, and foil SAM attacks through the effective use of countermeasure decoys (Flares and Chaff) and additionally by Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) that jam the missile’s IR seeker and protects the aircraft. The AMPS-MLRD includes BIRD Aerosystems’ SPREOS, a patented DIRCM system that provides Missile Verification, Tracking, and Jamming. As part of the program, all aircraft will be installed with the SPREOS (Self Protection Radar Electro-Optic System) that combines a Semi-Active Dual Band Radar and Directional IR Countermeasure. Queued by the Missile Warning Sensors, SPREOS points towards the suspected threat, performs a Doppler based interrogation to confirm the existence of a valid threat, and extract its key parameters. In addition, SPREOS precisely tracks and points an advanced 5ht generation solid-state Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) towards the threat for the most effective jamming of the missile while continually assessing the jamming effectiveness.

19 Nov 20. Insitu Inc., Bingen, Washington, is awarded a $9,769,387 modification (P00009) to firm-fixed-price order N68335-19-F-0434 against previously issued basic ordering agreement N68335-16-G-0046.  This modification definitizes pricing and exercises options for the procurement of 15 ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles, nine ScanEagle payloads, and three spares lots needed to provide the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and support current ANA ScanEagle efforts.  Work will be performed in Bingen, Washington (100%), and is expected to be completed in July 2021.  Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $9,769,387 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

13 Nov 20. Raytheon Missile Systems Co., Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $9,703,375 firm-fixed-price modification (P00007) to contract FA8675-20-C-0033 for Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) production baseline rocket motors.  This contract modification provides for the production of Air Force baseline rocket motors for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) countries Norway and Chile.  Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed May 14, 2023.  FMS funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award.  The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.

TECHNOLOGY

19 Nov 20. SA Defence Innovation Partnership expands defence research innovation capabilities.  Securing collective Defence Innovation Partnership funding worth almost $450,000, successful space-related projects include:

  • $150,000 for coastline monitoring using autonomous high-altitude platforms, led by Lux Aerobot, with partners the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia;
  • $149,576 for the development of freeform optics for small satellites, led by University of South Australia, with partners Department of Defence (Defence Science and Technology Group), Amaero Engineering, the University of Adelaide, and SMR Automotive Australia; and
  • $149,659 to develop nanofluid satellite thrusters, led by University of South Australia, with partners Department of Defence (Defence Science and Technology Group), the University of Adelaide, Inovor Technologies, ULVAC Technologies, and Nano Spaces.

Premier Marshall added, “A robust and resilient defence industry depends on a strong research base; South Australia prides itself on being visionary and our support of these innovative research projects cements this position. Establishing a collaborative environment in which defence-relevant research, development and innovation can thrive is a high priority for South Australia, and one that will continue to grow.”

Remaining projects will support delivery and sustainment of the nation’s future defence capabilities, and include:

  • $150,000 for enabling superior decision making through battlespace visualisation, led by Voxon Photonics, with partners BAE Systems Australia, Flinders University, University of South Australia and the Royal Australian Navy;
  • $150,000 for quantum-enhanced clock synchronisation over a free-space channel, led by Cryoclock, with partners the University of Adelaide, Department of Defence (Defence Science and Technology Group) and the University of South Australia;
  • $149,986 for developing the intelligence and forensic potential of dust traces for counter-terrorism and national security, led by Flinders University, with partners the University of Adelaide, the Australian Federal Police, and the University of Canberra; and
  • $131,738 to develop solutions for light pollution from console displays on naval platforms, led by APC Technology, with partners the University of Adelaide, and University of South Australia. (Source: Defence Connect)
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