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20 Apr 04. DRS Technologies, Inc. has been awarded a new contract to provide a key embedded diagnostics solution to the U.S. Army National Guard for installation on M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and other ground combat vehicles.

For this award, DRS will design, produce and install Sidecar(TM) Embedded Diagnostic Kits and provide on-site training and support. These rapidly deployable, COTS-based systems will deliver immediate sustainability improvements, increased readiness and reliable mobility for the Abrams tank fleet. They also will support the seamless rotation of U.S. National Guard components to active duty, while reducing maintenance and operational costs.

The contract, valued at $5m, including options, was received by DRS from the U.S. Army’s Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) in Warren, Michigan. Work for this award will be performed by the company’s DRS Test & Energy Management unit in Huntsville, Alabama. Product deliveries to the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia, are expected to begin in November of this year and continue through

February 2005. Future contracts for production and installation of diagnostic kits are anticipated by the company.

“The receipt of this contract reinforces DRS’s position as a key supplier
of operationally-proven, electronic test and diagnostics support equipment for the Army’s fleet of Abrams ground vehicles,” said Fred L. Marion, president of DRS’s Surveillance & Reconnaissance Group. “This award marks the first time that the National Guard will receive a U.S. Army-accepted subsystem before the active duty component, which could set the standard of enhanced maintenance capability for all National Guard Enhanced Brigades.”

The Sidecar(TM) Embedded Diagnostic Kits identify and isolate electronic and electrical system faults, significantly reducing maintenance time and logistics required to repair ground vehicles. The kits monitor and digitize analog and discrete signals and provide the measurements to a high-speed data bus, allowing for real-time data collection and analysis.

The system receives power via the combined data/power Sidecar(TM) Cable, while relying solely on battery power. Used in conjunction with a host controller, the Sidecar(TM) Data Acquisition Units provide a complete embedded diagnostic solution for the Abrams tanks.

DRS’s Electronic Test business is a leading supplier of automated test systems, embedded diagnostic systems, vehicle electronics, and power and energy management solutions for a broad range of military applications.

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