30 Nov 12. BAE to maintain USAF’s space radar and telescope systems. BAE Systems has been awarded contract extensions to continue maintenance for the US Air Force Space Command’s (AFSPC) space radars and telescope systems, which are used for missile warning and space surveillance operations. Awarded by the 21st Space Wing, the three contracts are valued at more than $60m, covering the supply of sustainment services for the solid state phased array radar system (SSPARS), perimeter acquisition radar attack characterization system (PARCS) and the ground-based electro-optical deep space surveillance system (GEODSS). The programme’s previous success demonstrates the company’s strong capabilities in facilities management and O&M for critical US infrastructure assets, Eldridge added. As part of the first $49m contract, the company will continue support for SSPARS, which is a complex network of radars tracking approximately 10,000 objects orbiting Earth, in order to prevent their collision with satellites and the International Space Station (ISS). Capable of conducting 40,000 space observations each day, the radar has been maintained by BAE from Cape Cod Air Force Station in Massachusetts, Beale Air Force Base in California and Clear Air Force Station in Alaska, in the United States, along with Thule Air Base in Greenland and Royal Air Force Fylingdales in the United Kingdom, since 2006. The second $7m contract extension is for maintenance of PARCS radar, which is located at Cavalier Air Force Station in North Dakota, US, to perform similar missions as SSPARS, which has been supported by the company since 2003. As part of a separate $5.5m award, the company will also support the GEODSS, which uses telescopes, low-light cameras and computers instead of radars for detection, tracking and reporting of man-made objects present further from Earth, at about 3,000m and beyond. This system is maintained by BAE from Maui, Hawaii, Socorro, New Mexico, US, and the island of Diego Garcia, and has been since 2009. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
28 Nov 12. Elbit Systems Announces Details of Flight Training Center for Future Trainer Aircraft Program. Elbit Systems Ltd. announced the details of its flight training center, which it will establish and operate as part of the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD) contract awarded in September 2012 to TOR – Advanced Flight Training, a jointly-owned company of Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries. TOR was established to carry out the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) future trainer aircraft program for the Aermacchi M3461 training aircraft. With the introduction of the M346I trainer aircraft, more emphasis will be given to ground-based training for the IAF’s flight school cadets, combat pilots and navigators. Elbit Systems’ ground training center will incorporate a wide variety of cutting edge trainers and simulators while offering the experience of real flight. The cadet pilots and navigators will drill skills ranging from basic familiarity with the aircraft to the highest level of combat flight competence. In addition, Elbit Systems’ array of training aircraft simulators will enable flight school cadets to practice unusual and emergency flight procedures, and at a more advanced level, to simulate complex combat scenarios acting as solo pilots or as part of a formation. The ground-based flight training center is expected to begin operation in mid-2014.
07 Dec 12. An historic Army barracks is set to be saved from the Government’s looming defence shake-up. Fort George, the home of the famous Black Watch, is again set to escape the latest round of Government cuts. SNP’s defence spokesman Angus Robertson, the group’s leader at Westminster, said he hoped speculation over the barracks’ future was true, adding: “It is vital all Scottish military bases are retained.” The 18th century fortress at Ardersier, near Inverness, is currently not in the plans of defence chiefs. A Minis