UUV Prototype. Boeing, which unveiled its 51-foot-long Echo Voyager unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) in March, is conducting pool testing of a prototype in Huntington Beach, Calif., and plans to begin sea trials of the vessel later this year, a company spokeswoman says. Echo Voyager is designed to stay at sea for months at a time and could perform various missions, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Boeing says.
UAS Cooperation… A think-tank’s new report on U.S.-India security cooperation says the United States and India should jointly develop a modular maritime surveillance radar “package” for use on American and Indian unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and small unmanned aircraft. The package could be based on the radar flown on the U.S. Coast Guard’s Guardian UAS, according to the report, written by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. “Collaboration would provide India expertise in systems integration and radar development and the United States a capability to make its large fleet of medium-altitude, long-range UAS more relevant in the Asia-Pacific,” the report says.
…U.S.-India Defense… The CSIS report also recommends that the next U.S. president encourage India to ease restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI) in India’s defense sector. A cap limiting foreign firms to a 49 percent share of any India-based defense manufacturer discourages American industry from partnering with Indian firms or setting up production in India, the report says. “By altering the FDI limit for foreign firms to 100 percent, India could enable the growth of its manufacturing sector and provide its military with domestically produced advanced equipment,” CSIS writes.
…U.S.-India Space. CSIS also identifies opportunities for increased U.S.-India cooperation in space. The United States and India could explore a bilateral agreement allowing U.S. firms to use Indian launch facilities and giving Indian space launch entities access to U.S. facilities, the report says. The two countries also could jointly develop more accurate Earth-sensing capabilities for weather, agriculture and navigation.
OCX Lives… Pentagon acquisition czar Frank Kendall certified the Air Force’s Global Positioning System Operational Control System (GPS OCX) to Congress, according to DoD, meaning the beleaguered program will continue despite cost growth. OCX suffered a Nunn-McCurdy Breach in June, meaning the program’s cost per unit increased 25 percent or more over the current baseline estimate. Kendall, last December, directed in-depth quarterly reviews, including a series of “deep dives” under his supervision. Certification activities began in July.
…More OCX. Raytheon completed a series of risk reduction functional checkouts of Block 1 capabilities for OCX, according to a company statement. This latest development activity integrates iteration 1.5 of the OCX Block 1 master control station with the GPS system simulator and runs operational scenarios, representing the first end-to-end integration of available Block 1 capabilities. The testing includes GPS constellation management and sustainment, demonstrating OCX’s abilities for precision navigation and timing (PNT) capabilities in a fully-hardened cyber environment. The test includes running Kalman filters and generating GPS satellite navigation uploads.
Orbital ATK-Stratolaunch. Orbital ATK and Stratolaunch Systems entered a multi-year production-based partnership that Orbital ATK says will offer significant cost advantages to air-launch customers, according to an Orbital ATK statement. Under this arrangement, Orbital ATK will initially provide multiple Pegasus XL air-launch vehicles for use with the Stratolaunch aircraft to launch small satellites weighing up to 1,000 pounds into low earth orbit (LEO). Pegasus has carried out 42 space launch missions, successfully placing more than 80 satellites into orbit. Stratolaunch is the massive aircraft being developed by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Aerospace.
WorldView-4. DigitalGlobe moved its WorldView-4 launch to likely either late October or early November in response to recent wildfires at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., according to a company statement. The company says efforts are ongoing to restore and test infrastructure at the base and that it is working with the Air Force and United Launch Alliance (ULA) to identify a new launch date. WorldView-4 is “safe and secure” atop its Atlas V launch vehicle. DigitalGlobe expects WorldView-4 to begin generating revenue in the first half of 2017. ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
Airbus Poland. The CEO of Airbus alleges Poland broke a deal with the company to buy H225M Caracal helicopters and associated technology transfers. In a public letter, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said Poland selected Airbus’ offer in April 2015, only to unilaterally break the offset negotiation process on Oct, 4. Faury says the Polish Ministry of Development stated this was because Airbus’ offset proposal allegedly did not meet Poland’s security interests. Faury says Airbus, on Sept. 30, agreed to extend the validity of its offer to Nov. 30. The company, he added, committed to establishing the first state-owned helicopter plant in Poland with WZL1 company, which Poland would have had a 90 percent stake in. A request for comment sent to the Polish embassy in Washington was not returned by press time Friday.
Rescue Me. General Dynamics has received a potential three-year, $125.6 million follow-on contract from the Coast Guard to provide program management, system support, and maintenance and sustainment engineering support for the Rescue 21 mariner distress direction finding, and command and control system. GD began deploying the Rescue 21 system, which consists of a series of fixed communications tower sites along America’s coast areas and inland waterways, in the previous decade. The billion dollar-plus program has supported more than 90,000 search and rescue operations, GD says.
Call for Unified Response. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says that based on briefings and media reports, she agrees with the Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence that the senior-most Russian government officials are behind the cyber hacks of Democratic Party organizations and individuals. “Every elected official and candidate in the United States, including Trump, should vocally and forcefully reject these efforts,” she says. “The administration should be prepared to take forceful action to respond to Russian actions if President Putting is unwilling to do so. Americans should not and will not stand for these illegal and illegitimate attempts by the heirs of the KGB to corrupt our election system.”
…What Did Trump Know? A number of House Democrats on Friday called on the FBI to investigate the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on what it knew about Russian cyber attacks against the email account of John Podesta, the campaign chairman of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. With leaks last week of some of Podesta’s emails, which the U.S. government has attributed to the Russian government, the House Democrats are pointing to Trump adviser Roger Stone’s tweets in August and again on Oct. 3 that Podesta would soon be under fire. The Oct. 3 tweet pointed to WikiLeaks, which released Podesta’s emails on Oct. 7. The House Democrats seeking an FBI investigation are Reps. Elijah Cummings (Md.), John Conyers (Mich.), Bennie Thompson (Miss.), and Elliot Engel (N.Y.)
Analogic Hire. Medical and security computed tomography technology company Analogic has hired security detection industry veteran Mark Laustra to lead its efforts to bring CT-based explosive detection systems to aviation security checkpoints worldwide. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts-based company introduced its ConneCT system, which is smaller and lighter weight than its Cobra system that was previously piloted by the Transportation Security Administration and in two international airports, including London’s Luton Airport where the system is permanently deployed. Laustra previously worked at Astrophysics and Smiths Detection. “CT is regarded as the next-generation passenger checkpoint detection system due to its ability to adapt to current and future threats,” he says.
Biodetection for USPS. Northrop Grumman has received a $47.1 million contract from the United States Postal Service for the Biohazard Detection System. The contract continues work the company has been doing for the USPS since the fall of 2001 when letters laced with anthrax resulted killed five people and infected more than a dozen others. The company has delivered more than 1,000 BDS systems to hundreds of mail processing facilities to autonomously screen mail for anthrax.
AUSA Recap. The Association of the U.S. Army says that more than 26,000 people from nearly 60 countries attended its 2016 annual meeting and expo in Washington, D.C. “Last week’s Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Association of the U.S. Army reinforced the precarious point we’ve reached in Army history,” AUSA President and Chief Executive Carter Ham says in a recap of the confab. “With a shrinking force, constrained budgets and expanding threats, America’s Army cannot afford missteps.” AUSA published a downloadable rehashing of the meeting’s highlights available at www.ausa.org/publications/ausa-2016-annual-meeting-recap.
Polaris Visit. Gen. David Perkins, chief of Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), and members of his staff visited Polaris, where they received product and technology demonstrations at the company’s state-of-the-art engineering and product development center in Wyoming, Minn. The trip was part of the TRADOC commander’s broad benchmarking initiative focused on innovative businesses to identify and support best practices necessary to drive evolution of Army procurement, operations, and engagement. “As the architect of the Army, TRADOC is tasked with envisioning the future environment so as to identify capability gaps, analyze potential solutions and then determine requirements,” Perkins says. “Our stop at Polaris is one of many that will help us gain better insight into the rapid technology development and agile supportability paradigms in commercial enterprise, including focused innovation and insertion into applications relevant for the next generation of warfare.” The Polaris Product Development Center opened in April 2005. In addition to military technology and advanced vehicle development, the 300,00-square-foot facility houses research and development of Victory Motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATV), RANGER utility vehicles, and Polaris Engines. Polaris Defense vehicles include the rugged Sportsman MV 850, the modular and nimble MRZR, and the flagship DAGOR, which expands upon the range, payload and off-road mobility of any previous tactical light off-road vehicle.
Innovation Awards. Army Materiel Command (AMC) officials are calling for nominations for the 2016 Army’s Greatest Innovation Awards. The program annually recognizes groundbreaking new technologies and inventions, as well as techniques, procedures and methodologies developed by the Army’s research-and-development and science-and-technology communities and soldiers in the field. The Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene Award for Innovation is awarded for innovations that greatly enhance the Army’s overall readiness while improving soldier performance. The award honors Greene, who served in several leadership positions in Army research, development and acquisition fields before he was killed in Afghanistan in 2014. The award is given in three different categories: military-individual, civilian-individual, and group. The program is managed by the U.S. Army Materiel Command under the lead of its chief technology officer and awards a first place winner each spring. “This award recognizes the dedicated efforts of our Army Soldiers, Civilians, and teams thereof to improve our Army’s capabilities and overall readiness,” says AMC Chief Technology Officer Patrick O’Neill. The nomination submission window for technologies or processes first fielded, adopted, or implemented in fiscal year 2016 opens Oct. 15, 2016, and closes Jan. 15, 2017. Winners will be announced in March 2017 at the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Ala. For more information or to submit a nomination, visit the Army’s Greatest Innovation Award Program website at http://www.amc.army.mil/amc/agiap.html.
Range Contract. The Air Force on Sept. 26 awarded Range Generation Next LLC (RGNext) a $96 million contract modification to exercise an option on a previously awarded contract for Launch and Test Range System (LTRS) integrated support contract operations, maintenance and sustainment, according to a DoD statement. Work will be performed at both the eastern and western ranges and is expected to be complete by Sept. 30, 2017. RGNext is a joint venture of Raytheon and General Dynamics.
Painter To Asia. Christopher Painter, the U.S. State Department Coordinator for Cyber Issues, travels to Singapore for the inaugural Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW) from Oct. 10-12 before traveling to Tokyo, Japan from Oct. 13-14 for the first meeting of the Group of Seven (G-7) Ise-Shima Cyber Group. In Singapore, Painter delivered a keynote address at the cyber week opening ceremony and gave remarks at two panels: an international cyber leaders’ symposium on “Building a Secure and Resilient Cyberspace” and an expert panel session on “International Law and Cyberspace.” He also met with industry and government representatives to discuss a range of cyber-related issues. The Tokyo meeting group is established at the G-7 Leaders Summit in May 2016 and aims to enhance G-7 policy coordination and practical cooperation to promote security and stability in cyberspace.
Connecticut Cyber Officer. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (D) appointed Art House as the newly created position of state Chief Cyber Security Risk Officer, responsible for working to enhance cybersecurity prevention and protection efforts in a cross-agency and cross-sector manner. House previously served as one of three commissioners in the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) since 2012 where he served as chairman and played a role in developing the Cybersecurity Action Plan released earlier in 2016. Earlier, House served as chief of the communications group at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).