Wednesday, June 2, 2010

DTN News: Navistar Defense And TATRA Team For Canadian SMP Program

Defense News: DTN News: Navistar Defense And TATRA Team For Canadian SMP Program
Source: DTN News / Navistar Defense Dt. June 2, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WARRENVILLE, Ill. - June 3, 2010: Navistar Defense, LLC and TATRA, a.s. today (June 2, 2010) announced that they will team for the upcoming Canadian Department of National Defence Standard Military Pattern (SMP) vehicle program. As part of the Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS) program, SMP will replace Canada’s Medium Logistics truck fleet.
“We are excited to team with Tatra for the upcoming SMP vehicle program and believe that Tatra’s innovative vehicle designs and unique tactical chassis technology provide the team with a great advantage,” said Archie Massicotte, president, Navistar Defense. “Combining our military vehicle expertise, the Navistar-Tatra team brings to the table the know-how and the flexibility to provide Canada with great tactical vehicle technology and support solutions.”
“We are truly energized by how well Tatra and Navistar have come together as a team over these last several months,” said Ronald Adams, Tatra’s CEO and chairman of its board of directors. “As our cooperation has deepened with each passing day, and as we have built our first trucks together, we have come to realize how very powerful this team will be in the tactical vehicle arena. Our combined technology, engineering, manufacturing, and support capabilities present a compelling value proposition for our customers.”
The Navistar-Tatra team also plans to utilize Navistar’s global parts and support network for vehicle support. The team is also focused on creating local sustainment of its vehicles and will meet all requirements under Canada’s Industrial and Regional Benefits policy.
Navistar will serve as the prime contractor for the SMP program. The company is currently providing Military Commercial off the Shelf (MilCOTS) vehicles to the Canadian DND as part of the MSVS program. The company’s Canadian dealerships provide service support for these vehicles.
About Navistar
Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce® brand diesel engines, IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses, Monaco RV brands of recreational vehicles, and Workhorse® brand chassis for motor homes and step vans. It also is a private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. The company also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at
Tatra, a.s.
Tatra, a.s., located in the Czech Republic, is a long-time manufacturer of heavy-duty, all-wheel-drive, off-road trucks and chassis-cabs. Tatra’s products range from 5-ton payload 4x4’s up to 39-ton payload 12x12’s utilizing Tatra’s unique chassis technology. Tatra also manufactures a line of air-cooled diesel engines, transmissions and portal axles. The company’s integrated line of commercial and military products are distributed globally through Tatra dealers and other affiliated companies. Additional information is available at
Media contacts:
Elissa Koc, Navistar Defense, +1 630 753 2669
Duncan Sellars, Tatra, +1 703 319 9237
Investor Contact:
Heather Kos, Navistar, Inc., +1-630-753-2406

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Subsidiary Signs Agreement With Owens Corning To Develop Next-Generation Composites

Defense News: DTN News: Lockheed Martin Subsidiary Signs Agreement With Owens Corning To Develop Next-Generation Composites
Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin Dt. June 2nd, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) BALTIMORE, Md. and TOLEDO, Ohio, - June 3, 2010: Applied NanoStructured Solutions LLC (ANS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) and Owens Corning (NYSE:OC) have signed a joint development agreement to support the commercialization of carbon-enhanced reinforcements.
Under the agreement, the companies plan to combine the carbon infusion technology of ANS with Owens Corning’s reinforcements expertise to create a family of next-generation composite materials. The companies expect the carbon-enhanced reinforcements to be scalable to meet the demands of large-volume applications, and provide mechanical properties with customizable electrical and thermal conductivity.
“Joining together with Owens Corning is a natural next step as we look to scale up our production capabilities,” said Jeff Napoliello, president of ANS. “We expect that this agreement will permit us to shorten the development time to produce customizable material attributes for commercial and defense applications.”
“This agreement builds on key strengths of both companies to drive the speed and efficiency in bringing new materials to market,” said Chuck Dana, president of the Owens Corning Composite Solutions Business. “Potential applications range from wind turbines for renewable energy to protective packaging for electronics to composite armor for defense applications.”
Owens Corning is a leading global producer of residential and commercial building materials, glass-fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems. A Fortune 500 Company for 56 consecutive years, Owens Corning is committed to driving sustainability by delivering solutions, transforming markets and enhancing lives. Founded in 1938, Owens Corning is a market-leading innovator of glass-fiber technology with sales of $4.8 billion in 2009 and about 16,000 employees in 28 countries on five continents. Additional information is available at
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.
Safe Harbor Statement / Forward-Looking Statements:
Some of the statements contained in this press release are considered "forward-looking statements" under the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to statements regarding: future plans to combine the carbon infusion technology of both companies to development of new materials to introduce to the marketplace, shortened development times, and increased production capabilities. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: (a) difficulties and delays associated with developing technologically advanced new materials and products; (b) the potential that lower cost alternatives may be developed and introduced in the marketplace sooner; and (c) other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in each company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this release is as of June 2, 2010. Both companies disclaim any duty to update forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events, actual results or changes in expectations.

Cory Smith, (330) 796-2038; e-mail:
Kerry Desberg, (419) 248-5939; e-mail:

DTN News: Mexico Takes Delivery Of First Airbus Military C295 Airlifter

Defense News: DTN News: Mexico Takes Delivery Of First Airbus Military C295 Airlifter
Source: DTN News / EADS Madrid, 01 June 2010
(NSI News Source Info) MADRID, Spain - June 3, 2010: The Mexican Air Force has taken delivery of the first of five C295s it has ordered from Airbus Military. The aircraft is equipped with a palletized loading system and a medical evacuation kit. The second of the five airlifters will be delivered in the coming weeks, with all five handed over to the customer by year end.The Mexican Navy already operates two C295s since 2009. In April this year, it also took delivery of two CN235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). Following crew training completion at the Airbus Military Training Centre in Seville, these two CN235 MPA will be ferried to Mexico in the coming weeks. Mexico also operates seven C212 equipped with the FITS (Fully Integrated Tactical System) mission system, five of which being also used as maritime patrollers. Including this latest delivery, Mexico now has a fleet of twelve Airbus Military’s Light and Medium Family aircraft. To date, Airbus Military has sold 82 C295 aircraft to 13 different operators.
About Airbus Military
Airbus Military is the only military and civic transport aircraft manufacturer to develop, produce, sell and support a comprehensive family of airlifters ranging from three to 45 tonnes of payload. Within Airbus, Airbus Military is responsible for the A400M programme, as well as the Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A330 and for further military derivatives based on Airbus civil aircraft. Together with the smaller C295, CN235 and C212, Airbus Military is the global leader in the market segments for light and medium-sized military transport aircraft. Altogether Airbus Military has sold more than 1,000 aircraft with over 650 flying with more than 100 operators worldwide.
Contacs for the media:
Jaime Pérez-Guerra
Tel.: +34 915 85 77 89
Barbara Kracht
Tel.: +34 915 85 76 07
Javier López
Tel.: +34 955 42 33 14

DTN News: Australian Aerospace Announces Sale Of Dauphin Helicopter To Western Australian Police

Defense News: DTN News: Australian Aerospace Announces Sale Of Dauphin Helicopter To Western Australian Police
Source: DTN News / EADS Surfers Paradise, 31 May 2010
(NSI News Source Info) SURFERS PARADISE, Australia - June 3, 2010: Australian Aerospace today announced the sale of a multi-role Dauphin AS365 N3+ helicopter to the Western Australian Police Service.
The contract, worth more than $10 million, will provide a much-needed second helicopter for the state’s police – the helicopter is due to be delivered in September 2011. The AS365 N3+ is the latest version in Eurocopter’s Dauphin range. It is a four tonne, medium size, twin-engine helicopter which has a range of 650km and features state-of-the-art avionics.
The helicopter can perform missions in the most severe climatic conditions at high altitudes and high temperatures. Its large power margin allows rooftop landings and takeoffs in urban areas in complete safety.
Around 650 Dauphin aircraft are operated by police, homeland security and search and rescue agencies around the world, including three being flown by the Victorian Police Service. WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan says the Dauphin is a vital addition to the state’s police air wing. "Having a second helicopter will increase the capacity of WA Police to provide aerial support to frontline policing, search and rescue, counter terrorism operations and whole-of-government emergency management response" Mr O'Callaghan says.
Australian Aerospace Chief Executive Officer Dr Jens Goennemann believes the Dauphin is the ideal helicopter for the WA Police. “The Dauphin can operate in the extreme temperatures which are common in many parts of Western Australia,” he says.
“It is powered by two Turbomeca ARRIEL 2C gas turbines, which mean the helicopter can take off at maximum weight at more than 50° Celsius or at more than 40° Celsius with a full load in Category A conditions at sea level.” News of the sale comes as Australian Aerospace supports a wide range of Eurocopter helicopters at the HeliPacific 2010 conference on the Gold Coast.
The number and variety of Eurocopter helicopters being showcasing at HeliPacific underscores the depth and quality of the rotary-wing products which the company both manufactures and supports in the South Pacific military and civil aviation markets.
They include the latest word in basic/advanced aircrew trainers, the EC 135 - essentially the civil version of the military EC635 – which is being proposed as the new trainer for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
“Australian Aerospace has a great deal of experience in providing customised training solutions to the Commonwealth,” says Chief Executive Goennemann, “so we are well positioned and ready to build on our strategic partnership with the Commonwealth through the AIR 9000 Phase 7 program”.
Australian Aerospace’s HeliPacific lineup comprises 10 helicopters, including:
EC 120B: This light five seat, single-engine aircraft is a multi-purpose helicopter designed to provide its users with mission flexibility. Modern and featuring advanced technology such as the fully-duplex Vehicle/Engine Multi-Function Display (VEMD) which enables the pilot to see at a glance the main parameters of the platform and engines, new generation fenestron, crashworthy seats and fuel system, the EC120 is a safe, quiet and comfortable aircraft. With very low operating costs and outstanding performance, the EC120 is the most efficient aircraft in its class.
AS350 B2/B3/SD2: These light, 5/6 passenger, enhanced/high performance helicopters are particularly suited to aerial work, police missions, or private user due to their versatility and low operating costs. The AS350 B2 can carry pilot, medical crew and patient as well as stowed equipment at 246 km/h (133 kts). The latest version features VEMD. The AS350 B3 goes even farther, faster and higher and is superior to all other helicopters in its class. Especially adapted to extreme conditions (high altitude/hot temperatures) its speed and comfort also make it an excellent business helicopter. The AS350 “SD2” helicopter incorporates piston-to-turbine convertion technology and is based on the original AS350B2 model.
EC135: The ideal aircraft for basic and advanced helicopter aircrew training, the EC135 is well suited to the AIR9000 Phase 7 program, being agile and responsive with multi-role capability. Offering high mission availability and low operating costs, the EC135 presents unrivalled safety on the ground and in flight. The high visibility contemporary glass cockpit provides commonality with the military ARH Tiger and MRH90.
AS365: Known as the Dauphin, this medium, twin-engine helicopter, seating up to 12 passengers, boasts excellent performance, making it particularly suited for more demanding missions such as police work, homeland security and search and rescue. A very versatile aircraft, it is also well-adapted to operations in hot climates and high altitudes, and is cost effective and efficient for all kinds of transportation.
Tiger ARH: The ARH Tiger is a two-seat, attack helicopter designed to perform a wide range of missions. Faster and more agile than its competitors, the ARH Tiger can detect and engage targets at longer ranges, and more easily coordinate and control combined arms teams. The Tiger incorporates cutting-edge technologies including: composite airframe to minimise weight and reduce radar cross-section; latest-generation engines and rotors; integrated suite of sensors and weapons; built-in low-cost maintenance design and latest generation target identification and acquisition sight. Inherently stealthy in radar cross-section, the Tiger employs infra-red suppression techniques to minimise infra-red detectability
About Australian Aerospace:
Australian Aerospace Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eurocopter - a part of the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Group (EADS). Created in 2003 through the merger of Eurocopter International Pacific Limited and Australian Aerospace Pty Ltd, the company has evolved into a major defence supplier to the Australian Government. With more than 1000 staff in Australia and New Zealand and access to the financial strength and expertise of Eurocopter and the EADS Group, the company is well-positioned to manufacture and support civil and military helicopters in the Australia-Pacific region. In addition to its helicopter capabilities, Australian Aerospace has a long history of support to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Currently it is assembling and delivering 22 Tiger ARH armed reconnaissance helicopters to the Australian Army and 46 MRH90 multi-role helicopters to the Army and Navy. It also provides support for the RAAF AP3C Orion reconnaissance aircraft and, until recently, the now retired Caribou transport fleet. Last year it commenced a through-life-support role for C-130J Hercules transports. The company is also involved in supporting the RAAF’s new Airbus A330-based Multi-Role Tanker-Transport (MRTT) aircraft.

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated June 2, 2010

Defense News: DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated June 2, 2010
Source: U.S. DoD issued June 2, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 3, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued June 2, 2010 are undermentioned;

~United Launch Services, LLC, Centennial, Colo., was awarded a $90,215,060 contract which will provide launch services for a medium-plus lift launch vehicle, National Reconnaissance Office Launch 38 mission. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. LRSW/PK, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8816-06-C-0004).
~Sabreliner Corp., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $90,000,000 contract which will provide engineering and research activities covering a variety of structures to include aircraft, ships, tanks, ground support equipment, bridges, and other varieties of aging structures. At this time, $200,000 has been obligated. 10 CONS, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., is the contracting activity (FA7000-10-D-0014).
~DLT Solutions, Herndon, Va., was awarded a $64,300,000 contract which will procure software maintenance and support for perpetual enterprise Oracle software licenses throughout the Air Force and the U.S. Transportation Command. At this time, $17,400,000 has been obligated. 754 ELSG/ESS, Maxwell Air Force Base-Gunter Annex, Ala., is the contacting activity (FA8771-10-F-8107).
~BAE Systems, Nashua, N.H., was awarded a $27,000,000 contract which will provide systems sustainment of the armament circuits preload test set; stores system tester; enhanced diagnostic aid; Viper memory loader/verifier support equipment; and all future derivative systems that support all blocks of the F-16 aircraft. At this time, no money has been obligated. 448 SCMG/PKAB, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8251-10-D-0005).
~Harris Government Communications Systems Division, Palm Bay, Fla., was awarded a $23,682,238 contract which will provide hardware and software upgrades for the counter communications systems Block 10 pre-planned product improvement. At this time, $10,823,924 has been obligated. SSSW/PK, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8819-08-C-0001).
~Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $22,294,896 contract which will provide survivability and vulnerability analysis of the Air Force theater air control system. At this time, $1,537,698 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP700-03-D-1380).
~Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nev., was awarded a $20,863,757 contract which will provide for interim contractor support for the modification to MC-130W aircraft to install a precision strike package in support of Project Dragon Spear, an urgent deployment acquisition to support U.S. Special Operations Command combat mission needs. At this time, $10,014,602 has been obligated. 580 ACSG/GFKAA, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8509-10-C-0013).
~Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Clearfield, Utah, was awarded a $18,678,676 contract which will provide for increases to the modification value and obligation to provide solids depot support equipment test stands. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 526 ICBMSG/PKE, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (F42610-98-C-0001).
~McDonnell Douglas Corp., Long Beach, Calif., was awarded an $11,599,732 contract which will provide for increased funding for the Air Force fiscal 2008 material improvement projects as part of the C-17 Globemaster III sustainment partnership contract. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 516 AESG/PK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8614-04-C-2004).
~Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio, was awarded an $8,254,699 contract which will provide for technology assessments; situational awareness; systems integration; engineering test and evaluation; acquisition; logistics; training; information management; and program management of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear explosives defense systems. At this time, $1,537,458 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-00-D-3180).
~International Business Machines Corp., Yorktown Heights, N.Y., was awarded a $6,029,082 contract which will provide wafer-scale grapheme nanoelectronics research to expand on epitaxial growth techniques for exploitation of device and circuit designs on quartz substances. At this time, $3,139,510 has been obligated. AFRL/PKDB, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-08-C-7838).
~BAE Systems Survivability System, Inc., Fairfield, Ohio, is being awarded a $52,670,022 firm-fixed-priced requirements contract for procurement of 6,000 improved turret drive system retrofit kits and field service representative support. The kits are expected to be delivered by Dec. 26, 2010. The production will be performed in Fairfield, Ohio, and the assembling will be done in Afghanistan. This contract is a sole-source procurement. Other procurement Navy and Army funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year; other procurement Air Force funds will expire at the end of this current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-10-C-5063).
~General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc., Woodbridge, Va., is being awarded a $22,256,798 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed fee contract for the MK46 MOD 2 gun weapon systems (GWS) and associated hardware, spares and services in support of the landing platform dock and littoral combat ship class ships. The MK46 MOD 2 GWS contains a 30mm single barrel, open bolt, dual feed, electrically powered, chain-driven automatic cannon. The system uses a forward-looking infrared sensor, a low-light television camera, and eye-safe laser range finder with a closed-loop tracking system to optimize accuracy against small, high-speed surface targets. Work will be performed in Woodbridge, Va. (69 percent); Tallahassee, Fla. (12 percent); Lima, Ohio (12 percent); Westminster, Md. (4 percent); Scranton, Pa. (2 percent); and Sterling Heights, Mich. (1 percent). Work is expected to be completed by May 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $812,412 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-10-C-5438).
~Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., McLean, Va., is being awarded $9,476,595 for task order #0098 under previously awarded contract (M67854-02-A-9000) to provide business and analytical support to the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense’s Transformational Medical Technologies Initiative program. Objectives of this initiative include the development of acquisition documentation that support the development of medical systems and therapeutics, and the development of risk analyses that support current and planned programs of record that lead to concise business case analyses that identify cost and performance projections, schedule impacts, and sustainment/lifecycle considerations. Work will be performed at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va., and is expected to be completed in June 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.
~L-3 Communications, Inc., Mount Laurel, N.J., is being awarded $7,784,090 for task order #0105 under previously awarded contract (M67854-02-A-9010) to provide programmatic acquisition, logistics, and administrative support to the program manager, Training Systems (PM TRASYS), located at the Central Florida Research Park, Orlando, Fla., in response to the internal reorganization of PM TRASYS and expanding training systems requirements for individual and collective training systems, and program and administration support. As part of PM TRASYS’s increasing role supporting Marine Corps Systems Command’s and the operational forces’ training needs, PM TRASYS requires additional technical support services to plan, field and sustain training systems Marine Corps-wide. This effort will help to ensure planned and unplanned funding allocations are effectively and efficiently utilized through a programmatic approach with improved investment strategies to obtain the highest quality training available. Administrative, logistics and acquisition initiatives are in response to the increasing support requirements centered on simulated and virtual training environments’ infusing of new technologies with established procedures. PM TRASYS support includes providing added program, logistics and administrative support for the determination of training methodologies, implementation and technical documentation for acquisition of training and training systems. Work will be performed in Marine Corps Command organizations in Orlando, Fla., and is expected to be completed in June 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $6,483,751 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.
~AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., is being awarded a $6,045,979 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of universal test sets used in supporting operational-level testing of Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Electronic Warfare systems currently in use in Iraq and Afghanistan. Work will be performed in Charleston, S.C., and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $6,045,979 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division, Indian Head, Md., is the contracting activity (N00174-10-C-0026).
~Carter Enterprises, LLC*, Brooklyn, N.Y., is being awarded a maximum $6,318,000 firm-fixed-price, total set-aside contract for universal camouflage pattern, mechanics coveralls. Other location of performance is Brooklyn, N.Y. Using services are Army, Navy and Air Force. The original proposal was Web-solicited with eight responses. The date of performance completion is Nov. 1, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-09-D-1079).
*Small business

Northrop Grumman's Viper Strike Being Added to KC-130J Arsenal

Defense News: HUNTSVILLE, Ala., June 2, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Marine Corps Harvest Hawk aircraft will soon be equipped with Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC - News) -built Viper Strike stand-off precision guided munition as part of an effort under way to bring greater utility to the Marines' KC-130J refueling and cargo aircraft.

Under the terms of the contract, Northrop Grumman will deliver 65 Viper Strike munitions beginning this year to the Joint Attack Munition Systems Project Office within the Program Executive Office Missiles and Space at Redstone Arsenal for eventual integration onto the KC-130J platform.

Viper Strike is a gliding munition capable of precision attack from extended stand-off ranges using GPS-aided navigation and a semi-active laser seeker. Its small size, precision and high agility provide a very low collateral damage weapon that can be used in the difficult operational environments where U.S. troops may be deployed.

"In today's irregular warfare environment, Viper Strike provides the right characteristics needed to support our warfighters in the current fight - high precision and agility to hit targets in complex terrain and with very low collateral damage," said Steve Considine, programs director, Aviation and Weapons for Northrop Grumman's Land and Self-Protection Systems Division. "The KC-103J represents the latest military airborne asset to be equipped with Viper Strike's formidable capabilities."

Viper Strike munitions are produced at the company's Huntsville, Ala., facility.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

DTN News: Pentagon Defends 6 Costly US Weapons Programs

Defense News: DTN News: Pentagon Defends 6 Costly US Weapons Programs
* Six programs certified vital to national security
* Officials to brief on process later Tuesday
Source: DTN News / By Andrea Shalal-Esa Reuters
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, - June 2, 2010: The Pentagon told Congress on Tuesday the Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) F-35 fighter program and five other big weapons programs were vital to national security and should continue despite big cost overruns that triggered live-or-die reviews.
The U.S. Defense Department told lawmakers that all six programs met five conditions required to keep them going under the Nunn-McCurdy law which requires detailed reviews once a program's unit costs rise 50 percent above initial estimates.The cost of the F-35 program, for instance, is now expected to reach $382 billion over the life of the program. The expected cost of each aircraft rose from $50 million in fiscal year 2002 dollars to $92.4 million. But senior defense officials said they expected to undercut those estimates.
One senior defense official said the Pentagon was already doing detailed reviews of major weapons programs, given efforts to rein in cost overruns on many major weapons programs.
The Pentagon sent the certifications to Congress and then released details to reporters, but senior officials briefed on background and asked not to be named.
The official questioned how much value the time-consuming and costly Nunn-McCurdy reviews truly added to the Pentagon's oversight, noting that some cost increases reflected quantity changes and not management problems.
Officials were assessing the hours involved in the reviews, and trying to devise a more efficient process so senior acquisition officials could spend more time actually managing programs, the official said.
Part of the problem is that Nunn-McCurdy cost breaches actually occur long after program managers identified problems, said the official, who declined to speak on the record. "It's not the best mechanism for us."
The Pentagon in April said the F-35 and five other programs had exceeded certain cost thresholds, prompting reviews that could, but were not expected to, lead to termination.
"We are certifying these six programs," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters on Wednesday after the department completed the reviews.
To allow continued funding, the Pentagon must certify that each program has no viable alternative; that new cost estimates are reasonable; that the program is vital to national security; that it rates a higher priority than other programs; and that it has an adequate management structure.
Defense officials told lawmakers in April that a restructuring of the F-35, or Joint Strike Fighter, would result in a sharp increase in unit costs, driving the overall program of the program to $328 billion. But new estimates indicate the cost will be even higher at $382 billion.
Other programs certified for continued work were:
-- the DDG-1000 destroyer built by General Dynamics Corp (GD.N), where the unit cost jumped by 86.5 percent due to the Navy's decision to buy just three ships instead of the 10 planned. To cut costs, Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter ordered removal of a radar from the design, and a one-year delay in the initial use of the program to fiscal 2016.
-- Boeing Co's (BA.N) Apache Block III program to upgrade the AH-64 helicopter, which saw its unit costs increase by 25.5 percent due to the addition of 56 new aircraft to an existing program to upgrade 634 existing helicopters.
-- a remote mine-hunting system for use on a new class of coastal warships, which saw its unit cost increase by 79.5 percent after the Navy decided to buy 54 fewer systems.
-- Boeing's Wideband Global Satellite (WGS) program, whose unit cost rose by 27.2 percent due to a production break of three years and a decision to buy two more satellites.
-- a U.S. Army common missile warning program run by BAE Systems Plc (BAES.L), where unit costs nearly tripled after the Pentagon cut the quantity from 2,618 missiles to 208, spreading development costs over a much smaller overall number.
The Pentagon said the missile warning program was technologically immature and faced unrealistic performance expectations, but it needed to continue since the system was urgently needed in Afghanistan on CH-47 helicopters.
(Additional reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and David Gregorio)