LOCKHEED MARTIN AND DRS EXPRESS INTEREST IN WARRIOR UPGRADE REQUIREMENTS
By Julian Nettlefold, Editor BATTLESPACE
12 Jun 06. BATTLESPACE interviewed John Ward of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fiorec Control and Fred Marion and Jed Dunbar of DRS Technologies during Eurosatory. Both companies expressed interest in bidding for the Warrior Upgrade requirements requested by the U.K. MoD.
John Ward told BATTLESPACE that he sensed an increased state of urgency at the MoD after the 100th soldier was killed in Iraq. Indeed BATTLESPACE understands that General Bill Rollo had asked eight months ago for increased armoured protection for troops in Iraq. Lockheed Martin is one of the teams bidding for the FRES EA TDP Requirement, therefore it is a natural extension to this expertise that the company bids for the similar requirements for Warrior and the WLIP turret requirement. The FRES EA TDP which is a contract to define, not design the Electronic Architecture is in the Definition Phase. It therefore makes complete sense that any EA for the Warrior would be the same as that for FRES to allow for the flow-through of technology.
“Our acquisition of INSYS has given Lockheed Martin a strong foothold in the U.K. armoured vehicle market, given their legacy knowledge of the majority of ‘A’ vehicles and their continuing involvement in the Bowman installation on a number of vehicles in the fleet,” Ward told BATTLESPACE
INSYS also has expertise in turret systems and is working with Rheinmetall to develop a turret for the WLIP Programme. “We are using the same management techniques with INSYS as we did for the IBM business we acquired. We are bringing in U.S. expertise over the nest two years to build a strong Capture team that will be based at out Reading facility. As much as 10% of the workforce will be U.S. engineers. We see our potential role in the FRES Project as one of risk reduction manager not PSI as Boeing/SAIC have in FCS. WE envisage an investment of around $200m to enable the technology developed to be UK-owned in line with the DIS requirements.
The possibility that the TRACER/FSCS vehicle would be resurrected was discussed with Ward and he said that this was being examined particularly as the vehicle had been de-risked and that the IP was UK-owned.
“Currently DRS is supplying 30% of the Bradley Reset Program to BAE Systems, thus our expertise in reset and refurbishment of armoured vehicle is extensive. As well as Bradley we also carried out the Service Life Extension of the USMC LAV 25 which required the re-installation of all the wiring and sheet metal work to give the vehicle a low-observable profile. The Chassis Modernisation/Embedded Diagnostics Program (CMED) requires the vehicle to be digitised and upgraded with new optics and embedded diagnostics. We currently have a contract for 1000 Driver Viewer systems and we are installing the commander’s sight.” Fred Marion told BATTLESPACE.
As well as the ability to upgrade, DRS also has the optics technology developed in the U.S. that could be applied to the U.K. Requirement; after all the company bid the BGTI requirement with Avimo, eventually losing out to Thales.
DRS’s expertise also extends into the Abrams M1 Reset where the company is installing new optics. These optics could be a candidate for the TOGS upgrade required for Challenger 2 and DRS said that they would need a U.K. partner to bid this requirement. DRS has the design capability for Vetronics and HUMS thermal sight depending on range from a top range uncooled to the MAST/IR-based solution using in AN/TAS upgrade that can be retrofitted. The company also has a development of its previous BGTI solution the 480×4 Block 1 B kit. Depending on which team is slected for the job, DRS could be well placed to add significant expertise and equipment as a major sub-contractor.
Every key player is now beating a path to the DPA offering solutions for WLIP, BAE alone has four solution