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15 Jan 04. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT – News) and DRS Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: DRS – News) have formed an industry consortium to research and develop a new generation of advanced naval displays. The consortium is specifically between the Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors (MS2) Tactical Systems line of business and DRS’s Electronic Systems Group. The consortium will pursue the U.S. Navy’s Naval Display Systems (NDS) contract, which is a follow-on to the AN/UYQ-70 Advanced Display Systems program contract that Lockheed Martin has held since 1994. A Request for Proposal has been released by the Navy; proposals are due in March and the contract is expected to be awarded in this year.

29 Jan 04. United Defense Industries, Inc. has expanded its capabilities in the design and fabrication of lightweight materials for naval and ground combat systems by entering into an agreement for the purchase of Kaiser Compositek, Inc., of Brea, California. The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of 2004. Kaiser Compositek is a full service provider to government and industrial sectors with particular emphasis on primary structures fabricated with polymeric composites. Kaiser provides sophisticated design, analysis, prototyping, and development capabilities and has a manufacturing capability with a full array of composite processes, including filament winding, resin transfer molding, autoclave molding, compression molding, and surface finishing. Kaiser Compositek had 2003 revenues exceeding $14m.

19 Jan 04. The Armed Forces’ Minister confirmed that the Astute Class, of which three are on order, would progressively supersede the Swiftsure and Trafalgar Class SSN through a phased replacement programme. “Decisions on the acquisition of further Astute submarines will be taken in due course.” Comment: MPR 03 [Item 4] gives the estimated cost of the first three Astute Class, as at 31 Mar 03, as £3,710m and a First of Class in-service date of January 2009 (from June 2005). MPR 02 had mentioned the probability of a further order of up to three more Astute Class: no such forecast is made in MPR 03.
The statement in the ‘Independent of Sunday’ (18 Jan 04) that the “Astute project….was supposed to be completed this year” was, of course, complete nonsense. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 04/05, 26 Jan 04)

28 Jan 04. Lockheed Martin has selected Northrop Grumman Corporation as a teammate in the competition to develop the Space Based Radar (SBR) system for the U.S. Air Force.’ The Space Based Radar mission will provide worldwide, on-demand, persistent surveillance and reconnaissance for Department of Defense and national intelligence users. Scheduled for initial launch in 2012, the SBR system will grow to a constellation of spacecraft to provide rapid-revisit coverage of the entire Earth’s surface. Lockheed Martin Space Systems will lead the effort as the system prime contractor, while Northrop Grumman will serve as Lockheed Martin’s primary teammate and subcontractor. Lockheed Martin has been under contract to the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center since December 2002 to perform trade studies and define alternative concepts for the SBR system. As a competing prime contractor for the next program phase, Lockheed Martin will provide the end-to-end system integration and lead the space and ground segments of the program. Northrop Grumman will lead the design definition of the space based radar payload; contribute to the system engineering for the tactical warfighter user segment; apply its expertise in tactical surveillance and reconnaissance systems such as JSTARS and Global Hawk; and offer space-to-space communications system solutions.

27 Jan 04. The Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC)-built Fire Scout vertical takeoff and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle system has officially lifted off as the Class IV unmanned aerial system (UAS) for the U.S. Army’s Future Combat System (FCS). N

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