Newscast: February 2nd, 2007

Armored vehicles
C4ISR & Net Centric
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Future Combat Systems
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Explosively Formed Projectiles are Taking Heavy Toll in Iraq

A new breed of weapons employed by insurgents in Iraq is causing heavy casualties to U.S. troops in Iraq. "Explosively Formed Projectiles", (EFPs) are far more lethal than more traditional improvised explosive devices (IEDs)" said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told reporters today during a Pentagon news conference. Such EFPs, believed to be produced in Iraq and infiltrated into Iraq to support insurgent groups are capable of taking out armored vehicles including, in certain aspects, an M1-A2 Abrams tank.

Canada Orders Four C-17 Globemaster III from Boeing

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the Canadian government have signed an agreement for the purchase of four C-17 Globemaster IIIs for Canada's Department of National Defence to provide new strategic airlift mobility capabilities for the Canadian Forces. The contract, estimated at about C$3.4 billion (US$ 2.9 billion) was signed Feb. 1, 2007. It includes the sale of four airframes and full support for 20 years. The first aircraft will be delivered in fall 2007. The Canadian C-17s will be based at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ontario. 47% of the cost will fund maintenance repair and overhauls (MRO) services supporting the aircrat over the next 20 years.

Sky-X. Photo: Alenia Aeronautica
Alenia Aeronautica Resumes Sky-X Flight Testing in Italy

Alenia Aeronautica The Sky-X, unmanned technology demonstrator aircraft developed by Alenia Aeronautica resumed flight testing in Italy, flown from the Italian Air Force's Base of Amendola, near Foggia. During the last two years at the Vidsel Base in Sweden, near the Arctic Circle. This operation required special certification for one ton weight class of unmanned aircraft, by ENAC, Italian Civil Aviation Agency.

EADS Defence to Provide T/R Modules for MEADS Radar

EADS Defence & Security Systems will provide the tri-national Medium Extended Air Defence System (MEADS) with T/R modules forming the system's fire control radar, under a € 120 m. The company is expected to deliver more than 40,000 modules within the next two years, to support the design and development of the new radar.

Stennis Strike Group Steam West to Join the U.S. 5th Fleet

The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG) entered the U.S. 7th Fleet’s area of responsibility (AOR) Jan. 31. Stennis and the rest of the strike group, led by Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn, is headed west to provide support for U.S. and coalition forces operating in the 5th Fleet and will support Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, be prepared to take part in Horn of Africa operations, and conduct maritime security operations (MSO).

Israel Embarks on A New Rocket Defense System

On February 1, 2007 the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) selected RAFAEL to develop the system that could mitigate the rocket threat. Called "Iron Cap" the system will address the threat of short range rockets, including the Qassam improvised rockets and Katyusha rockets fired by Palestinian and Hezbollah guerillas from Gaza and South Lebanon. The mobile Iron Cap system will most probably will consist of mobile radar systems, battle management center and missile firing units employing a version of a yet unspecified missiles, to be modified into rocket interceptor. The system will utilize a new radar developed at IAI's Elta, capable of tracking multiple targets and discriminate between benign threats and those threatening the protected targets.

German MOD Launches a € 430 million Euro Hawk Program

The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a € 430 million ($559 million) contract to EuroHawk GmbH, a joint-venture company formed by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and EADS, for the development, test and support of the Euro Hawk unmanned signals intelligence (SIGINT) surveillance and reconnaissance system. The joint team will conduct integration and flight test activity in Germany in late 2009. Delivery of the first demonstrator is scheduled for 2010, with the following four systems scheduled tentatively between 2011 and 2014.

AC-130U Gunship Rearmed With 30mm Bushmaster Guns

The US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) is testing an AC-130U Spooky Gunship equipped with two 30mm Bushmaster automatic cannon, replacing the older 25mm and 40mm guns. The rearmed gunship retains the 105 mm cannon. The rearmed aircraft will undergo flight testing through May. It should be declared operational with the 4th Special Operations Squadron in July. Three more modified U-model gunships will join the squadron by December 2007.

Norway, Turkey Join JSF Development Pact

With Turkey and Norway signing the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) production, sustainment, and follow-on development (PSFD) memorandum of understanding (MOU), all but two members – Italy and Denmark confirmed their support for the next phase of the Joint Strike Fighter program.

Spector Robot Could Improve Checkpoint Security

The U.S. Army Tank and Automotive Command (TACOM) plans to test a new robot designed to perform under-vehicle visual inspections for explosives, weapons or other contraband while keeping human inspectors protected from potential attack. The robot, known as Spector, was developed by Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI), a designer and manufacturer of unmanned vehicle systems. It is intended for use at roadside, embassy, border, and other secure location checkpoints.

US Army Awards KVH US$11.5 Million for TACNAV systems

KVH Industries (Nasdaq: KVHI) will supply TACNAV vehicle navigation systems for use on U.S. Army combat vehicles. The contract is potentially worth $11.5 million over five years. The systems provide precision navigation, heading, and pointing data for vehicle drivers, crews, and commanders.

Lockheed Martin Markets Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (Kongsberg) of Norway have entered into a Joint Marketing Agreement to market an air-launched version of the Naval Strike Missile. The 1,000 pound stealthy missile, to be called the Joint Strike Missile (JSM), is designed to be carried internally and launched externally from the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, striking surface or land targets at ranges of up to 130 nautical miles with high precision.


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