18 Nov 05. John Ward of Lockheed Martin briefed BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold on its EA-TDP bid for the UK’s FRES Programme at Dubai.
“We aim to provide the UK with an approach that will enable the EA-TDP architecture to be fielded now using the Warrior Upgrade Programme as a baseline. This will enable the system to be fielded quicker using existing components, software and system, a number of which have been leveraged from our work on TRACER/FSCS. In addition to our EA-TDP contract we are also looking to work with the MoD on larger remit of a Prime Systems Integrator role working with the MoD. We would also work with the chaises providers be it BAE or GD.”
“Do you see role for Lockheed Martin in the WLIP turret requirement, recently issued,” the Editor asked Ward.
“Yes, we are actively exploring a tie-up with a turret manufacturer in order that we can offer our systems for inclusion in any offering to the MoD, be it in 30, 35 or 40mm configuration. We see Haaglunds, given their current expertise in this area as being one potential partner.”
“Would a Lockheed Martin PSI role mean that LM were offering the Mod a ‘son of FCS system?” the Editor asked.
“No, we are having a meeting with Sir John Bourne of the National Audit Office next week to explain the pull-through of technology from the TRACER/FSCS programme into FRES. Should FRES require some of the FCS technology we can pull that through via agreements already in place between the US and the UK. We see the urgent need for the UK to replace its current fleet given the age of the vehicles particularly CVR(T) and Saxon,” Ward continued.
“Do you see the timeframe slipping for FRES?”
“Sadly yes,” he continued, “We already see 2013 as being the earliest possible fielding of the first variant but realistically given the timeframe we are running under with Atkins and the immaturity of some of the technology, we see 2016 as being a goal to aim for.”
“Having said that we also see the potential within the Warrior Programmes to field some of the variants required for FRES, that is Medevac and Recce variants in particular. We managed a great deal of risk-reduction during TRACER/FSCS in the vetronics, databus, display, software and C4I systems that now mean that these systems are mature enough for deployment now. The establishment of this technology within the UK is a key policy of technology transfer to LM(UK) and forms part of our commitment under the UK’s Defence Industrial Policy. In addition we have used our expertise in advanced plug-and-ply systems for F-16 and F-35 CPUs to develop these for vehicle applications”
Lockheed martin has fielded a strong team for FRES led by Lockheed Martin (UK) Ltd, with Smiths, Ultra, Cranfield, PA and Praxis. The company has strong aspirations in the vehicle integration field leading on form its aerospace business and is well placed to win a seat at the FRES table.