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21 Aug 13. US Navy’s Aegis system validates capability in NIFC-CA test. The US Navy and Lockheed Martin teams have successfully conducted the naval integrated fire control-counter air (NIFC-CA) test of Aegis Combat System. During the testing, Aegis used a cooperative engagement capability (CEC) to interpret data from remote sources and launched a standard missile-6 (SM-6) missile from the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), to intercept the target. In addition to demonstrating the ability to transform,adapt to threats and address a dynamic defence landscape, the first live firing test validated the system’s ability to defend beyond its line of sight by integrating data from a remote sensor to intercept a target. Lockheed Martin US Navy Aegis programmes director, Jim Sheridan, said the company will continue to advance solutions to provide robust and reliable capabilities needed for the Navy to defend nation from sophisticated threats. Earlier this year, the US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) completed combat systems upgrades onboard the USS Chancellorsville, as part of the navy’s cruiser modernisation programme, aimed to extend service life and provide new technologies to the ships. The ships with Aegis system upgrades will feature open architecture and commercial off-the-shelf technologies to reduce total ownership costs as well as to ensure military readiness for ongoing missile defence requirements. More than 100 ships have been equipped or to be installed with Aegis Combat System for the navies including Australia, Japan, Norway and Spain, besides the US. (Source: naval-technology.com)

29 Aug 13. Northrop Grumman is working through internal testing to upgrade sensors for its embattled Global Hawk reconnaissance aircraft, trying to keep a variant of it alive while the Air Force continues to target it for cuts. The Air Force says its manned Cold War-era U-2s can do the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance job with a better sensor payload than the new Block 30 variant of the massive, high-altitude unmanned Global Hawks. Tom Vice, head of Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector, told reporters Aug. 20that the contractor is talking with the Air Force and working through internal research and development on a universal payload adapter, which could attach the U-2’s sensors to the Global Hawk. The Air Force has called this adapter “feasible,” stating that it will cost about $487m. It would take three years to develop, integrate and test, followed by two years of production for the 18 Global Hawk Block 30s and ground equipment, according to an April report from the Air Force to congressional defence committees. The adapter would let the Global Hawk carry either the Optical Bar Camera or Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance System-2b sensors, in addition to its Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload, according to the report. These upgrades would put the Global Hawk more on par with the U-2’s sensor capabilities — increasing the detail and overall distance that the sensors can oversee. Without the adapter, the Air Force said that it would cost more than $800m to upgrade the Block 30’s sensors to the U-2’s level. (Source: UAS VISION)

29 Aug 13. FLIR Systems, Inc. has been awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract from the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, to support Naval Air Systems Command’s UH-1 program and the Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program. The contract is valued at $136.6m and is for FLIR’s commercially developed, military qualified BRITE Star® II gimbaled electro-optical/infrared imaging systems, BRITE Star® I upgrades, and related spares and services. These advanced imaging systems will provide intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, detection, identific

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