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“TRW is gearing up to become the U.S. Army’s lead C4ISR integrator,” said Otto Guenther, vice president and general manager, TRW Tactical Systems at a press conference during AUSA on March 1st.

“We wish to build on our current lead position in FBCB2 to become the systems integrator on such systems as FCS, WIN-T and JTRS. In addition we already have strong capabilities in UAVs with our Hunter system and logistics support through our GCSS Army contract,” he continued.

Guenther expects the full Option for Year 2 FBC2 procurement will proceed in full with either the Option Year 3 being fulfilled or Full Production initiated. This was a view shared by Paravant, supplier of Appliqué V4 computers, which is expected to announce a multi-million order for approximately 80% of the FBCB2 requirement in due course.

IOTE is expected in December with March or April ‘03 go-ahead for full production. The LRIP contract has resulted in full fielding with the 1st Cavalry with 4th Infantry fielding completed; 3rd Corps is up to speed.

TRW is looking at new customers for FBCB2 including the Iowa National Guard and Homeland Dedfense requirements, and FMS customers, although Ron deFrees TRW’s Overseas Marketing Manager would not be drawn into any possible customers (See below).

With regard to FCS and the involvement of TRW and FBCB2, Guenther said that the chose Lead Systems Integrator (LSI) is required by the DoD to go through the 9 designated IPTs for ‘Best of Breed’ systems. He said that TRW is already taking up the challenge to ensure that FBCB2 meets the demanding FCS technology requirements in 2008-10.

TRW will decide on whether to bid the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) requirement when the RFP is re-issued in April.

“It is not our policy to discuss bidding prior to receipt of the RFP,” Guenther said. The probability that the company will bid the $9bn WIN-T requirement against the Lockheed Martin and GD teams was made all the more likely by the announcement on Thursday that Boeing has joined the TRW team.

The addition of Boeing complements TRW’s existing team for the (WIN-T) contract, further building the industry strength needed to define the communications backbone for the Army’s future Objective Force. Team members include ITT Industries, Qualcomm, Raytheon, SAIC, Agile, L3 Communications, Interactive Intelligence, and TEI, all of whom have been working together with TRW for the past two years in addressing the complex challenges to be met by WIN-T.

Guenther would not comment on the likelihood of the hostile Northrop Grumman $47 per share bid being successful but certainly his statements that TRW intends to become the Army’s C4ISR integrator of choice would be a natural fit into Northrop’s burgeoning Naval and Air Force businesses and with its strong management and the backing of Chairman designate Ron Sugar, an ex-TRW man, the integration should not be too painful for NG.

Some observers suggested that the company was better valued at a price of as much as $79 per share and that Northrop would have to up its bid and/or face a counter bid from either General Dynamics or Boeing.

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