Northrop Says Lockheed Joins Its Bid For GPS Work

Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC] recruited Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] to join a team competing for the Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS) Next Generation Control Segment (OCX) Phase B contract.

The OCX modernization effort will provide mission enterprise control support for the existing GPS Block II and future Block III satellites. The current OCX contract for Phase A of the program is valued at $160 million and will provide the Air Force a flexible, scaleable, extensible and service-oriented re-architecture of the current GPS ground system, according to Northrop.

If selected for Phase B, the Northrop team will deliver and sustain OCX via a block development approach.

Lockheed has been involved in GPS programs for three decades.

Under an Air Force risk reduction effort, Northrop since 2005 has supported the study of state-of-the-art capabilities in satellite control segment software and hardware architecture and developed innovative architectures to meet OCX performance requirements.

Lockheed joins a team that also includes Harris Corporation, Melbourne, Fla.; Integral Systems, Inc., Lanham, Md.; and General Dynamics Corp. [GD] unit Advanced Information Systems, Dayton, Ohio, and several specialty small businesses and vendors such as Infinity Systems Engineering, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Applied Minds, Glendale, Calif. Northrop leads Team OCX as prime contractor.

Army Gives Raytheon $203.3 Million Guidance Systems Contract Change

The Army gave Raytheon Co. [RTN] a $203.3 million pact to continue production and delivery of Improved Target Acquisition Systems (ITAS), the company announced.

The Army Aviation and Missile Command at Huntsville, Ala., is acquiring the advanced electro-optic target acquisition fire control system that guides the Raytheon-manufactured TOW (Tube-Launched, OpticallyTracked, Wire-Guided) missile systems to their targets.

That targeting system significantly increases TOW’s effective range, improves the weapon’s ability to hit a target with minimal collateral damage and allows a soldier to engage and destroy targets from safe distances, according to Raytheon. The ITAS second-generation forward-looking infrared sensor provides long-range reconnaissance and surveillance capability in all weather and battlefield conditions.

ITAS is fielded in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Raytheon Gains $86.7 Million Army SMART-T Contract

Raytheon Co. [RTN] received an $86.7 million contract to produce and install upgrade kits for the Army Secure Mobile Anti-jam Reliable Tactical Terminal, or SMART-T.

The award, part of an indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity contract originally awarded last year, increases the total contract value to $183.3 million.

Upgrades will be installed on joint and international terminals for the U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps as well as for Canada and the Netherlands.

The Advanced Extremely High Frequency kits expand by a factor of four times the data rate of existing SMART-T systems.

Jerry Powlen, vice president of Raytheon Network Centric Systems unit Integrated Communications Systems, said, “These upgrades incorporate Raytheon’s advances in protected satellite communications and provide our troops with increased bandwidth for real-time video, battlefield mapping and targeting data.”

SMART-T was the first AEHF system to go into production with the capability to communicate with the next generation of AEHF communications satellites. AEHF is the primary Department of Defense system to provide highly protected satellite communications through 2020.

BAE Gains $31.6 Million Navy Launching Canisters Contract

The Navy gave BAE Systems a $31.6 million contract to manufacture Mk 14 Mod 2 Tomahawk missile launching canisters.

They will house, safely transport and enable loading of the Tactical Tomahawk Missile for firing from the Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS).

BAE Systems provides a wide range of launching system canisters for the Mk 41 VLS. Each canister has a common external envelope to support system launcher module interfaces, while internal mechanical and electrical components are tailored to specific missile shapes and interface requirements.

BAE Systems is the exclusive design agent for the Navy and worldwide supplier of Mk 41 VLS launch canisters.

Mk 14 canisters are used on CG-47 Ticonderoga Class cruisers and DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers. The order could potentially include $9.5 million for additional canisters by July. Work will be performed in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

JASSM Program Restructured, Prices Set; Program Is Certified To Continue

The Department of Defense restructured the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) program, setting prices on some segments of the effort.

As well, the chief Pentagon weapons buyer, John Young, certified that the JASSM program is needed for national defense and thus should continue despite a 50 percent cost overrun.

Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] gained a restructuring of two separate increments: the JASSM Baseline increment and the JASSM-Extended Range (ER) increment.

Both efforts will be Acquisition Category 1D programs.

The Air Force negotiated an agreement for Lot 7 and a Not to Exceed (NTE) price for Lot 8. Lots 7 and 8 are the next full-rate production contract options to be exercised.

The amount of the contract restructuring wasn’t detailed.

Air Force plans are to award the Lot 7 contract in June for approximately 115 JASSM missiles, according to the service.

Development and testing activities for the JASSM-ER (extended range) are scheduled to resume next month with a Milestone C production decision scheduled for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2010.

Also set for that year is the start of the development of a Maritime Interdiction/Anti-Surface Warfare version of JASSM.

JASSM is a precision cruise missile designed for launch from outside area defenses to kill hard, medium-hardened, soft, and area type targets.

Separately, the Senate Armed Services Committee wrote into a defense authorization bill that it is cutting $80 million from President Bush’s funding request for JASSM in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2009, “while working through the ongoing testing and production problems” in the program. (Please see separate story in this issue on the authorization bill and its effects on missile and missile defense programs.)

NASA Gives Lockheed $39.5 Million To Keep Employees At Michoud From Leaving As Space Shuttles To Retire

NASA gave Lockheed Martin Corp. unit Space Systems a $39.5 million contract to persuade employees not to leave as the space shuttle program is about to end in two years.

They make external fuel tanks for the shuttles. Those tanks are the one part of the shuttle that is expendable, rather than being reused for mission after mission.

Incentives are being provided to eligible external tank personnel to ensure mission success and construction of the remaining external tanks to support shuttle launches through Sept. 30, 2010, the deadline for retiring the shuttle fleet.

Retention of the knowledgeable and skilled external tank workforce is necessary to produce the remaining shuttle hardware and safely execute all remaining contract requirements, according to NASA.

The contract will end with the shuttle fleet retirement. That contract change brings the total value of the contract, awarded in October 2000, to $2.967 billion. The contract calls for delivery of 18 external tanks to NASA. Eleven tanks remain to be delivered.

Work will be performed at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Lockheed Martin builds, assembles and tests the space shuttle external tanks for NASA at the Michoud facility. The external tank holds the liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen for the three main shuttle engines. It is the largest single component of the space shuttle.

At 154 feet tall, the tank is taller than a 15-story building, with a diameter of about 27.5 feet. During launch, the tank acts as the structural backbone for the shuttle orbiter and the solid rocket boosters attached to it.