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SMDR for Mon., September 11, Vol. 17, Issue 19

Lockheed Missile Detection System Passes Initial Navy Review

Lockheed Martin’s [LMT] helicopter-based anti-ship missile detection system passed the U.S. Navy’s first review, the company said Sept. 5.The Advanced Off-Board Electronic Warfare (AOEW) Active Mission payload (AMP) AN/ALQ-248 system passed a Preliminary Design Review on schedule, demonstrating sustained performance.The Navy first awarded Lockheed Martin a $42 million AOEW contract in late 2016 as an electronic…

Navy Conducts Third Successful AMDR Test

The Navy, the week of Aug. 27, said it successfully conducted a third air and ballistic missile defense flight test set with the AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) on Sept. 7 off the west coast of Hawaii.This test, called Vigilant Talon, started when a short-range ballistic missile target and multiple air-to-surface cruise missile…

Raytheon Nabs $614 Million Modification For 17 SM-3 Block IIAs, Decreasing Contract Value

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) awarded Raytheon [RTN] a $614 million modification to produce 17 Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missiles and other associated work, reducing the overall contract overall value.The Aug. 28 modification directed Raytheon to build the missiles, perform production support and engineering efforts, obsolescence monitoring, technical baseline engineering support, quality assurance and audit efforts,…

NASA To Seek Industry Bids For Landing Small Lunar Payloads

NASA is gearing up to request industry proposals for using robotic landers to place small payloads on the moon, an agency official said Sept. 7.“We’re preparing for the solicitation as we speak,” said Jason Crusan, director of NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division, who testified at a lunar-exploration hearing before the House Science, Space and Technology…

Lockheed Won’t Protest Air Force GBSD Contracts

Lockheed Martin [LMT], which recently lost a competition to mature designs for the U.S. Air Force's Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), announced Aug. 30 that it has chosen not to challenge the contracts awarded to two rivals.“After receiving a debrief and reviewing information provided, Lockheed Martin has accepted the Air Force’s decision on the Ground Based Strategic…

Ex-Air Force Secretary James Opposes Proposed Space Corps

Former U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James expressed opposition Sept. 6 to a House-passed proposal to create a space corps within the Air Force Department, saying the new organization would cause upheaval, erect new bureaucratic barriers and fail to fix the problems it is supposed to resolve.James, whose three-year tenure at the Air Force…

Air Force’s X-37B Spaceplane Starts Fifth Mission

The U.S. Air Force launched the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle on its fifth mission Sept. 7.Dodging Hurricane Irma, the Boeing [BA]-built unmanned reusable spaceplane lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at about 10 a.m. Eastern time from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.The X-37B hosts the Air Force Research Laboratory’s second Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader…

Thornberry Predicts CR But More Money For Missile Defense

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said he thinks Congress will pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through December and could add additional money for missile defense and readiness.Thornberry expects the three-month long CR to fund the government past the end of fiscal year 2017 on Sept. 30 but is…

Rep. Bridenstine Tapped To Lead NASA

President Trump plans to nominate Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), a leading space advocate in Congress, to be NASA’s 13th administrator, the White House announced late Sept. 1.Analysts said that Bridenstine’s selection could be a boost for commercial space and returning astronauts to the moon, both of which he has advocated in the House.“While in Congress, Bridenstine has…

NASA Tests New Rocket’s Engine Controller

NASA has completed a series of five hot-fire tests with the engine controller for the new Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket, the agency announced Aug. 31.The testing, which began in March, wrapped up Aug. 30 with a 500-second firing of an RS-25 engine and its flight controller on a test stand at NASA’s Stennis…