Friday, June 11, 2010

DTN News: Pentagon Sees No Big Change In Weapons Spending

Defense News: DTN News: Pentagon Sees No Big Change In Weapons Spending
* Sees possible gradual decline in procurement spending
* Favors fixed-price contracts
Source: DTN News / Reuters By Andrea Shalal-Esa
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, - June 11, 2010: U.S. defense spending to develop and buy new weapons systems is not expected to drop dramatically in coming years, but a gradual drawdown may occur, the Pentagon's No. 2 acquisition official said on Thursday.
Frank Kendall, principal deputy undersecretary for acquisition and technology, said the Defense Department was keenly focused on reforming its acquisition process and making it more efficient, getting more for the money it spends, increasing oversight and reducing risk on new programs.Kendall said he did not foresee a major new consolidation in the industry like that of the mid-1990s after the Cold War ended, but said some consolidation was part of the "natural course of events."
Mounting pressure on the defense budget could lead to some gradual decline in weapons research and development and procurement, commonly known as the Pentagon's investment accounts, Kendall told a conference hosted by Swiss bank Credit Suisse and Virginia-based defense consultant Jim McAleese.
"We're going to see possibly some gradual drawdown in the investment accounts," he said. "For the near term, I do not see a dramatic change."
Big defense companies are waiting for clues about the Pentagon's fiscal 2012 budget, which is being drafted now.
Kendall said the Pentagon was using tighter oversight to get a handle on programs, and in some cases could begin the live-or-die reviews mandated under the federal Nunn-McCurdy law ahead of schedule. He said the reviews were useful but needed to occur earlier, before programs were in deep trouble.
The department last week certified to Congress that six big weapons programs whose projected costs had risen by more than 50 percent over initial estimates -- including the Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter -- needed to continue for national security reasons.
He said he favors greater use of fixed-price contracts but cautioned they were not a panacea to fix Pentagon procurement problems and needed to be structured properly to succeed.
Kendall said eight program cancellations unveiled by Defense Secretary Robert Gates as part of the fiscal 2010 budget, including the DDG-1000 destroyer and the Army's Future Combat Systems modernization program, targeted developmental programs the department could not afford in the longer term.
As budget planners looked to the future, they realized there was just "too much stuff in the pipeline" and some programs needed to be eliminated, he said.
Kendall said he hoped to avoid similar decisions in the future by ensuring that programs -- and their longer-term costs -- were well thought out and structured before billions of dollars were spent.
Representative Adam Smith, who heads the air/land subcommittee of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, said Congress was also focused on addressing what he called "significant challenges" in the Pentagon acquisition reforms.
He said he favored freeing up funding for quick acquisition of specific technologies to aid troops now, but said he remained concerned about bigger programs like the Lockheed F-35, the Air Force's refueling tanker competition, and Army modernization after cancellation of the Future Combat Systems program.
Clearly, the Pentagon can no longer afford "shoot-for-the-moon" weapons programs and must focus on more realistic, quicker and flexible solutions to military needs, he said.
Lawmakers were worried whether the Lockheed F-35 would work as intended, and within its intended timeframe, but Smith acknowledged that any decision now to curtail the size of the program could drive up the cost of each fighter jet, and might jeopardize future sales to international partners.
If the program missed more key schedule milestones, "we've got some very, very hard decisions," he said.
Given all the problems thus far with the F-35, he also questioned the wisdom of the Obama administration's insistence on scrapping a second engine for the F-35 that is being developed by General Electric Co (GE.N) and Britain's Rolls Royce (RR.L) as an alternative to one built by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N).
He said Congress and the administration had different views on whether the second engine would save money in the long run, and Congress was reaching out to the White House to step back from its threat to veto the fiscal 2011 defense spending bill if it includes funding for the GE-Rolls Royce engine.
"The debate is, what is the best way to save money," Smith said, noting that he strongly backs Gates' reform efforts, and cancellation of the Boeing Co (BA.N) C-17 transport plane, although he represents Washington state, where Boeing has large manufacturing facilities.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; editing by John Wallace)

DTN News: U.S. Navy Sees Ship Contract By Early August

Defense News: DTN News: U.S. Navy Sees Ship Contract By Early August
* Expects to execute contracts within budget
* Companies offered "very competitive pricing"
* Lawmaker expects losing bidder to protest
Source: DTN News / Reuters By Andrea Shalal-Esa
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON,- June 11, 2010: The U.S. Navy expects to award a contract for 10 new coastal warships by the end of July or early August, and should be able to meet its budget goals for the program, a top Navy official said on Thursday.
Dub Summerall, executive director of combatants for the U.S. Navy's program executive office in charge of ships, told a conference that the two teams bidding to build the 10 Littoral Combat Ships, and combat systems for five more ships, submitted "very competitive pricing" with their offers in April.
Summerall declined to make a detailed comment on competing bids by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and the U.S. unit of Australia's Austal Ltd (ASB.AX), which is teamed with General Dynamics Corp (GD.N) for a deal valued at well over $5 billion to build more fast, agile coastal warships for the Navy.
Affordability is critical to the future of the warships, which are designed to fight pirates, chase drug-runners, and sweep for mines in shallow coastal waters. The Navy plans to buy 55 of the ships overall, a key part of its plan to increase the number of ships in the fleet to 313 ships over time.
Summerall said both competitors' ships would meet the Navy's needs and he was confident that the Navy would execute the contracts within the five-year plan for the program that was submitted with the fiscal 2011 budget request, despite huge cost spikes while the ships were still in development.
"We can get very competitive pricing," Summerall told a conference hosted by Swiss bank Credit Suisse and Virginia-based defense consultant Jim McAleese.
Rear Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for budget, said Navy acquisition chief Sean Stackley had revamped the Navy's acquisition strategy and decided to pick a single winner because he was not satisfied with the pricing initially offered by the companies.
"He is a hard negotiator and he is bound and determined," said Mulloy, noting that the Navy's drive to cut costs was part of a larger drive by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Representative Gene Taylor, head of the seapower subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, said he fully expected the losing team to file a formal protest, given how important the work was to both bidders.
He said he favored shortening to 60 days the current 100-day deadline for the Government Accountability Office to rule on bid protests, saying the Navy urgently needed to start building the new warships and could not afford further delays.
Under current law the Navy could already cite urgent national security needs and proceed with a contract, even if a protest was filed, said one congressional aide, who was not authorized to speak on the record.
The shorter deadline would also be a hardship for the GAO, which is already saddled with a heavy workload, said the aide.
Lockheed is offering a steel single-hull design, being built in Wisconsin by Marinette Marine, a unit of Italy's Fincantieri. The Mobile, Alabama-based U.S. unit of Austal is offering the Navy an aluminum trimaran design.
Summerall said the Navy is in discussions with both teams, and Navy officials are carefully evaluating the bids before making a decision later this summer.
He underscored the Navy's determination to cut shipbuilding costs so the Navy could buy the number of ships currently in the plan, adding: "We take this very seriously."
The Navy has said it expects to award a single winner a fixed-price contract for 10 of the new warships, buying two in the 2010 fiscal year 2010 that ends Sept. 30, with the rest to follow through fiscal 2014.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Phil Berlowitz)

DTN News: Oshkosh Defense T Showcase Vehicle Offerings For Wide Range Of International Needs At Eurosatory 2010; SandCat Mine-Resistant Light Patrol V

Defense News: DTN News: Oshkosh Defense T Showcase Vehicle Offerings For Wide Range Of International Needs At Eurosatory 2010; SandCat Mine-Resistant Light Patrol Vehicle To Be Unveiled
Source: DTN News / Oshkosh Corporation
(NSI News Source Info) OSHKOSH, Wis.- June 11, 2010: Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), designs, produces and supports a diverse line of international vehicles that are available to governments worldwide, and will showcase a sampling of these vehicles at Eurosatory 2010. Oshkosh will be unveiling the SandCat Mine-Protected Light Patrol Vehicle (M-LPV) as well as exhibiting its MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) 8x8 Load Handling System (LHS) and a variant of its Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) at the event, which will take place June 14-18 in Paris, France. Oshkosh is exhibiting at booth #G441 in Hall 6.
“We pursue programs around the world, and international militaries continue to show interest in our advanced vehicle platforms that meet varying payload, protection and performance requirements,” said Ron Ziebell, Oshkosh Corporation vice president and general manager, Defense International Programs. “We look forward to meeting with current and potential global customers at Eurosatory to see how we can best meet their needs, from vehicle design and production to the complete spectrum of sustainment support.”
The SandCat M-LPV is a light patrol vehicle designed to protect users from mine attacks and improvised explosive devices (IED), as well as standard ammunition threats and armor-piercing bullets, while offering superior off-road performance. The M-LPV can cover the needs of a wide range of security forces conducting various operations over the distances and terrain required by a light protected patrol vehicle's mission profile.
Improved performance is achieved by utilizing advanced composite ceramic armor materials and a blast-management system for the protective cabin, while optimizing the cabin's overall size and structure, with a growth capability against new and emerging threats. The vehicle seats four and has an option for two more. To date, SandCat vehicles have been sold to Sweden, Bulgaria, Canada and Israel.
The M-ATV provides MRAP-level protection capabilities and delivers enhanced mobility. The vehicle is built around a proven chassis and uses the Oshkosh TAK-4® independent suspension system to achieve a 70 percent off-road profile capability. This enhanced mobility allows the vehicle to overcome rocky, rutted terrain or deteriorating road networks in places like Afghanistan. To date, Oshkosh has received orders for 8,079 M-ATVs.
The MTVR 8x8 LHS has a payload capacity of up to 16.5 tons and, like all MTVR variants, uses the TAK-4 system to deliver exceptional off-road mobility for extensive cross-country operations. Oshkosh has produced more than 10,000 MTVRs, several of which have exceeded 70,000 operational miles on the challenging Afghanistan terrain, with readiness rates greater than 92 percent. The vehicle also is available in cargo truck, dump truck, tractor and wrecker (recovery) variants.
Oshkosh’s FMTV is a series of 17 models and 23 variants for the U.S. Army. The company has received orders for more than 5,000 trucks and trailers to date. Variants include cargo, tractor, van, wrecker, tanker and dump truck, with payloads ranging from 2.5 tons to 10 tons. FMTV trucks feature a common, armor-ready cab and share a parts commonality of more than 80 percent for simplified maintenance and reduced supply-chain costs.
About Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical military trucks and armored wheeled vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection. For more information,
About Oshkosh Corporation
Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corporation manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Jerr-Dan®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, SMIT™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, visit
®, ™ All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies.

DTN News: NASA's Unmanned Global Hawk Aircraft Conducts Ground Breaking Science

Defense News: DTN News: NASA's Unmanned Global Hawk Aircraft Conducts Ground Breaking Science Missions
Source: DTN News / Northrop Grumman
(NSI News Source Info) SAN DIEGO, - June 11, 2010: NASA's unmanned Global Hawk aircraft, developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), completed four science flights over the Pacific Ocean during the month of April. The flights were part of the Global Hawk Pacific (GloPac) mission, a joint project between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with Northrop Grumman support.
The GloPac mission flights revolutionized the collection of data in the stratosphere. Fitted with 11 science instruments, Global Hawk acquired and transmitted data that has never before been accessible through either manned flights or satellites. Flights reached up to 65,000 feet where information was collected from the air as well as the water and polar ice below. Data from the science instruments were downloaded in real-time to NASA Dryden Flight Research Center where scientists were able to analyze the data, and if necessary, ask the Global Hawk pilot to adjust the flight path to optimize data collection.
Flights during the GloPac project ranged from north of the Arctic Circle, over polar ice, down to Hawaii near the equator. NASA Global Hawk completed 82.5 flight hours, with one particular flight lasting 28.6 hours, eight hours of which was spent north of Alaska over the polar ice. Additionally, this was the first time a Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle has flown as far as 85 degrees north latitude.
The flights were designed to address several science objectives, including validation and scientific collaboration with NASA earth observation satellite (EOS) missions, principally the Aura satellite, also built by Northrop Grumman. The GloPac payloads collected atmospheric data in the same location at the same time as Aura and other EOS missions to compare and combine results.
"Global Hawk is a revolutionary aircraft for science because of its enormous range and endurance," said Paul Newman, co-mission scientist for GloPac and an atmospheric scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "No other science platform provides the range and time to sample rapidly evolving atmospheric phenomena. This mission is our first opportunity to demonstrate the unique capabilities of this plane, while gathering atmospheric data in a region that is poorly sampled."
A Space Act Agreement between NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and Northrop Grumman established a partnership to re-fit and maintain two Global Hawk aircraft transferred from the U.S. Air Force. As part of the Northrop Grumman/NASA partnership, the company contributed to the GloPac missions by developing the GloPac mission plans; confirming aircraft performance through extensive analysis; providing pilots and training for NASA/NOAA pilots; sharing maintenance and operations support; and developing and building a new ground control station and software for aircraft operations. Additionally, under a contract from NASA, Northrop Grumman performed aircraft modification engineering and analysis for installation of the science payloads, which was funded by the science sponsors for each of the 11 sensors.
"We have partnered with NASA to provide this new capability for the atmospheric science community," said Carl Johnson, Northrop Grumman vice president of advanced concepts – air and land. "The Global Hawk system has been serving the United States Air Force and Navy and is now serving mankind with critical data from the NASA and NOAA science experiments. Global Hawk is truly global in its reach."
Later this year, NASA Global Hawk will examine hurricanes and their formation process. This experiment will explore the possibility of improving hurricane forecasts. The Global Hawk aircraft is proving to be the premier platform for use in high-altitude, long-duration Earth science missions.
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. Please for more information.
Sherri Pineda Hargrove
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
(858) 618-4556
Mobile: (858) 943-1152

DTN News: Raytheon Space Sensor Tasked for First-Of-Its-Kind Military Use

Defense News: DTN News: Raytheon Space Sensor Tasked for First-Of-Its-Kind Military Use
Source: DTN News / Raytheon
(NSI News Source Info) EL SEGUNDO, Calif., - June 11, 2010: Raytheon Company's (NYSE: RTN) hyperspectral imaging sensor known as ARTEMIS is being prepared for a first-of-its-kind tactical military role by the Air Force Space Command.
The company's Advanced Responsive Tactically Effective Military Imaging Spectrometer has successfully completed its one-year experimental mission aboard the Air Force Research Laboratory's Tactical Satellite-3. Based on the success of that mission, Raytheon has been notified that the Air Force Space Command will take control of TacSat-3 with the intent to use ARTEMIS in an operational capacity.
"The ARTEMIS hyperspectral imager gives military commanders an important new advantage in the asymmetric battlefield," said Bill Hart, vice president for Raytheon Space Systems. "ARTEMIS can detect various man-made and natural materials, which adds a fundamentally new capability for the DoD."
Unlike visible imagers, hyperspectral sensors capture light across a wide swath of the electromagnetic spectrum, providing unprecedented spectral detail. That spectral information produces a distinct "signature," which can be compared against the spectral signatures of known objects to rapidly identify potential areas of interest.
The ARTEMIS hyperspectral imager combines spectral information with geo-location coordinates in an easy-to-read map. This information is then sent directly to troops on the ground in near real time.
"Air Force Space Command looks forward to taking ownership of the TacSat-3 ARTEMIS system," said Lt. Col. Ryan Pendleton, Air Force Space Command, Chief, Operationally Responsive Space Integration. "We plan to operationalize the system as soon as possible to provide direct benefit to warfighters."
TacSat-3 originated as part of the U.S. Department of Defense's operationally responsive space initiative, which seeks to give field commanders flexible, affordable options for obtaining real-time tactical surveillance data from space. Aided by the ORS Office, and led by the Air Force Research Laboratory, the TacSat-3 program was designed to demonstrate the feasibility of developing and launching a military payload within extremely tight schedule and budget constraints.
"TacSat-3 has been a pathfinder to explore concepts of operation for future ORS systems and demonstrates how great things can be achieved on a small budget and in a short time," said Dr. Peter Wegner, director of the Pentagon's ORS Office. "It has also demonstrated the utility of hyperspectral information to benefit soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines around the world."
Raytheon is discussing with several government customers opportunities for rapidly deploying additional hyperspectral space sensors. "Based on our experience on TacSat-3, we're ready to build operational hyperspectral systems like ARTEMIS quickly and affordably," said Raytheon's Hart.
Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 88 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 75,000 people worldwide.
John Barksdale
Raytheon Related News

DTN News: Boeing P-8A Poseidon Completes 1st In-flight Test Of Mission Systems

Defense News: DTN News: Boeing P-8A Poseidon Completes 1st In-flight Test Of Mission Systems
Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE, - June 11, 2010: Boeing [NYSE: BA] P-8A Poseidon aircraft T2 successfully completed the program's first mission systems test flight on June 8 in Seattle. T2 will be used to verify integrated mission systems performance during flights in Seattle and at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. During the three-hour flight, the joint Boeing and Navy test team exercised mission computing on all five operator workstations and successfully demonstrated key systems -- including acoustics, mission planning, tactical data-link, communications, electronic support measures and flight test instrumentation -- for the first time.
"This successful flight moves us a step closer to getting the Poseidon and its next-generation radar and sensors into the hands of the warfighter," said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. "Future flights will demonstrate the state-of-the-art systems that will provide the Navy superior performance well into the 21st century."
T2 is one of five test aircraft that are being assembled and tested as part of the U.S. Navy System Development and Demonstration contract Boeing received in 2004. Boeing's T1 airworthiness-test aircraft entered flight testing in October 2009 and arrived at the Navy's Patuxent River facility in April 2010.
The Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.
Chick Ramey
The Boeing Company
Office: 253-657-5636
Mobile: 206-851-4147
Doug Abbotts
U.S. Navy
Office: 301-342-7366
Boeing Related News;
*June 10, 2010 - Boeing Presents Contract Offer to Machinists Union in St. Louis
June 10, 2010 - Boeing Receives US Air Force Mission Planning Enterprise Contract-II
June 10, 2010 - Boeing Announces Election of Liddy to Rejoin Board of Directors
June 10, 2010 - Boeing P-8A Poseidon Completes 1st In-flight Test of Mission Systems
June 10, 2010 - Boeing to Demonstrate Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Cooperative Control Technologies for U.S. Air Force