New Offices. Northrop Grumman this month opened its first office in Poland, which is the company’s first international customer for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS). Poland also has the largest installed base of Northrop Grumman’s MK44 Bushmaster Chain Gun worldwide. The company says the Warsaw office will help with progress on Poland’s WISLA medium-range air and missile defense system, of which the IBCS represents the first phase, and with other efforts of the country’s government and industries. Alion Science and Technology has opened a new Prototyping, Integration, and Acquisition Center supporting the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, Md. Alion plans to have 11,000 additional square-feet of space by the end of 2020, raising its total administrative and integration space at Pax River to 37,000 square feet. The company is increasing its presence there to meet increasing demand for technology solutions, it says.

Final Delivery.

The Coast Guard has accepted the final 29-foot Response Boat-Small II from Metal Shark Boats, which has completed production of the program after delivering 370 of the craft. The RB-S II boats are used to perform port and waterway security, search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, environmental and other law enforcement missions. The total contract value was $150 million. Metal Shark won the award in 2011. The boats have a planned 10-year service life and the Coast Guard is beginning discussion on the next-generation of small response boats.

DoJ UAS Policy. The Department of Justice last Wednesday published its updated policy on the use of unmanned aircraft systems, which sets standards for the use of drones by department components and supersedes a 2015 policy on their domestic use. “UAS technology assists the Department in protecting public safety and, most importantly, reduces risks to officer and the public,” said Beth Williams, assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy. “Our new policy promotes the responsible, appropriate, and effective use of UAS by the Department and can serve as a model for our state, local, tribal, and territorial public safety partners as they develop their own UAS programs and best practices.” The policy allows for the use of UAS only in connection with authorized investigations and activities.

Attention Holiday Shoppers! The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Thanksgiving week launched a public awareness initiative on cyber security for holiday shopping, a time of year when there is an increase in cybercrime and scams. “The holiday season is a prime time for hackers, scammers, and online thieves,” said CISA Director Christopher Krebs. “The good news is you don’t need to be a cybersecurity pro to defend yourself.” The simple steps CISA recommends to improve security include checking your electronic devices to make sure they are up to date, have strong passwords, and privacy and security settings are set to not share more information than you want. The agency also said to shop through trusted retailers and use a credit card as opposed to a debit card as credit cards usually have better fraud detection.

Laser Seeker. Elbit Systems of America is doubling production of its semi-active laser seeker it provides for Boeing’s Laser Joint Direct Munition to meet increased demands for the guidance kits. The increased production rates will fall under an existing five-year deal with Boeing to provide the Laser JDAM’s seeker, which is currently used on all U.S. air combat platforms and a range of allies’ platforms as well. “Elbit Systems of America invested in doubling its production capacity for the Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition seekers because we recognize how important this solution is to our warfighters,” Ranaan Horowitz, CEO of Elbit Systems of America, said in a statement. “We’re working closely with our Boeing customer to ensure this significant capability is supplied as quickly as possible.” The company’s seeker technology is used to target objects using laser technology rather than relying on satellite signals.

USASMDC Leader. The Senate on Nov. 25 confirmed Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler as the next commanding general of Army Space and Missile Defense Command. Karbler most recently served as special assistant to the commanding general of Army Materiel Command. He was also previously U.S. Strategic Command’s chief of staff and commanding general of Army Test and Evaluation Command. Karbler succeeds Lt. Gen. James Dickinson, who led the command since 2017, and is now moving on as the first deputy commander of the newly activated U.S. Space Command. An official change of command is  scheduled for Dec. 6 at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.

Next-Gen Jammer. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded Raytheon a $403 million modification for additional work toward the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band program. The award specifically increases the scope of the contract to procure seven more System Demonstration Test Articles (SDTA) shipsets, 60 SDTA pod subsystems, 27 pieces of peculiar support equipment, one fatigue test pod and one static test pod “in support of the initial operational test and evaluation phase of the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band Program,” the Defense Department said in a Nov. 25 contract announcement. The work will be split among several locations and is expected to be finished by December 2022. NAVAIR split the ALQ-99 tactical jammer system replacement for EA-18G Growlers into low, mid, and high band frequencies, with this award covering mid-band.

Assistant SecNav. President Trump nominated Charles Williams to be Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations, Energy, and the Environment on Nov. 25. Williams served in the Navy and Navy Reserve for over 32 years before retiring as a Rear Admiral in 2005. The Defense Department announcement noted Williams has also had 40 years of experience in real estate with property management, investment, development, and brokerage. He also has has professional RPS and CCIM designations and was a vice president and partner with the commercial real estate brokerage Colliers Turley Martin, which was later acquired by Cushman Wakefield. Williams is currently president of Commercial Realty based in St. Louis.

CVN-79. Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding plans to hold a christening ceremony for the Ford-class aircraft carrier the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) on Dec. 7 at the company’s shipyard in Virginia. President Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, will smash the bottle of sparkling wine across the ship’s hull and retired U.S. Marine Corps major general and former NASA Administrator Charles Frank Bolden will be the principal speaker.

Super Hornet Hours. NAVAIR awarded Boeing a $172 million modification to increase a contract ceiling extending the operational service life of up to 23 F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets from 6,000 to 10,000 flight hours. Work will be split between San Antonio (59 percent), El Segundo, Calif. (25 percent), and St. Louis (16 percent) and is expected to be finished by May 2022. Funds will only be obligated on individual task orders as they are issued. This is part of a larger Navy effort to have Boeing extend the service life of its Super Hornets.

LCS-26. The Navy plans to christen the future Littoral Combat Ship USS Mobile (LCS-26) in a ceremony on Dec. 7 at shipbuilder Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Ala. LCS-26 is the 13th of 19 planned Independence-variant LCSs Austal has under contract to build for the Navy. Austal has five other LCSs under construction in Mobile while 10 have already been delivered to the service.

GARC/TALONS. The Navy conducted a demonstration of the Greenough Advanced Rescue Craft (GARC) and Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS), the service said Nov. 25. The GARC/TALONS prototype is being assessed to provide communication ranges for the Littoral Combat Ship’s Mine Countermeasures Mission Package to reduce time needed to clear minefields. The week-long demonstration was finished on Oct. 6. “This achievement marks an important landmark in the potential acquisition of an enhanced communication range solution for the Navy. From concept to at-sea demonstration within 10 months is quite remarkable and is in alignment with senior Navy direction toward rapid acquisition,” Capt. Godfrey Weekes, LCS Mission Module program manager, said in a statement.

FMS Aegis. Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Lockheed Martin a $29 million modification for additional Aegis combat system engineering, computer program maintenance, in-country support, staging support and implementation studies to support current and future Foreign Military Sales Aegis shipbuilding programs. It specifically covers Aegis shipbuilding programs to support the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, South Korean Navy, Spanish Armada, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Norwegian Navy. It has scope available to also support other potential FMS customers. Aegis FMS support currently includes Japanese Kongo and Atago-class ships, Korean KDX III class ships, Spanish F-100 and F-110 programs, Norwegian F310-class ships and Australian Hunter and Hobart-class ships.  Work will largely occur in Moorestown, N.J., and is expected to be finished by June 2020.