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The U.S. Army  recently awarded Raytheon Co. a $406 million contract to supply the service with aviation radios over the next five years.

Raytheon will manufacture up to 5,000 ARC-231A radio systems that will be installed on the Army’s existing helicopter platforms.  The radios will be installed on a variety of Army helicopters, including the UH-60 Black HawkUH-72 Lakota utility helicopter and the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

The ARC-231A radio features continuous full power transmission at high temperatures and altitudes, and excellent receiver performance across all frequency bands.

 

 

Navy Orders Four Unmanned Subs from Boeing

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The $43 million deal is for the “fabrication, test, and delivery of four Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles.” Boeing unmanned sub, known as Echo Voyager, is now being jointly developed with shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls. The unmanned submarine market could become a disruptive segment, according to Cowen and Company analyst Roman Schweizer writes in a Feb. 19 note to investors. “We think it’s notable that Boeing, an aerospace company, won the program,” he wrote. “It’s even more significant when considering that Leidos is building the Navy’s Sea Hunter and Textron is building the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle. Why? Because they’re not traditional shipbuilders, but then again these aren’t large ships and submarines. If these unmanned programs are successful, it could mark a shift within the industrial base. We’re not suggesting an end to large, expensive ships and submarines at all. But it could create new budget, force structure and market dynamics within the shipbuilding sector.”

 

Army, Marines Order Armored Vehicles

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Two Army deals worth a total of $575 million for Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles “mark the beginning of low-rate production for the highly mobile, survivable, multipurpose vehicle designed to meet the mission of the U.S. Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams,” according to BAE Systems, the company that makes the AMPV. The Marine Corps awarded General Dynamics $37.2 million for 60 hardware kits to reset its Light Armored Vehicles. “The hardware kit addresses key obsolescence and readiness issues and consists of a modern powerpack, driveline system, driver’s instrument panel and a new turret slip ring,” the company said.

drone

By Debbie Gregory.

The United States Air Force has awarded a $15.6 million contract for “counter-unmanned aerial systems” to an Israeli firm to attack small drones like the ones used by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

ELTA North America Inc. is a global leader in the design, manufacture and support of innovative electronic systems for the United States government.  The company is a U.S. subsidiary of Israeli Aerospace Industries.

The type of system and its technology whether it uses electronic jamming, conventional missiles, a combination of both, or some other method to down enemy drones has not been announced. But the contract specifically references 21 Man Portable Aerial Defense System Kits that will be produced in Israel, with the delivery and training to continental U.S. locations expected to be completed by July 28, 2017.

The Defense of Department considers the system purchased so important that it given ELTA a no-bid contract. Pentagon officials consider the buy a “Joint Emergent Operational Need,” meaning it is a response to a problem on the battlefield that requires fast-tracking through the acquisition system.

The Air Force has several projects to counter small drones and is testing multiple technologies and systems, said Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

“Current Air Force efforts to counter hostile small unmanned aerial systems (UASs) are primarily focused on non-kinetic options ranging in size from handheld technology to larger stationary and mobile systems that can be operated on the ground or in the air,” Stefanek said. “Although the primary focus of the service’s efforts is non-kinetic, kinetic options to defeat small UASs are also being explored.” Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity.

The Air Force is planning to have a formal program for countering small drones on the books by the end of fiscal year 2018, Stefanek said.

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