Newscast: April 12th, 2007

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  • Hormuz Straits come into Focus as Gulf Tension Mounts
    The waters in the Arabian Gulf (or Persian Gulf), are highly turbulent these days. The increasing presence of US naval presence, and continued Iranian defiance of UN pressure led Iran to raise the level of alert among its armed forces, in anticipation of a possible attack. While potential nuclear threat in the future is certainly a serious consideration, Iran's domination of the strategic straits of Hurmoz is the imminent threat.

  • The EFP Killer Strikes again in Basra
    The deadly device known as Explosively Formed Projectile (EFP), an offspring of the equally deadly shaped charge IED, used already widely in Iraq and Lebanon claimed the lives of four British soldiers. It seems, that the top killer named "routine patrolling" has reared its ugly head once more in Iraq and at probably the worst possible timing.

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Upcoming Events (April 2007):

5th Annual DoD Architectures

10 - 12

Vienna, VA, USA

MRO Military

17 - 19

Atlanta, GA USA

LAAD 2007 / Aviation Expo

17 - 20

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


27 - 29


Performance Based Logistics

23 - 26

Alexandria, VA, USA

ITEC 2007 Simulation & Training

24 - 26

Cologne, Germany

Black Sea Defense & Aerospace

24 - 27

Bucharest, Romania


Boeing, Northrop grumman teams Submit KC-X Bids

Boeing and Northrop Grumman submitted this week their competing bids for the US Air Force' KC-135 tanker replacement program (KC-X). The program will be worth $30-40 billion. The projected life cycle cost of the new tankers has been estimated at $200 billion. The Air Force plans spending about $8.2 billion until 2010 on development and testing, and expects the first squadron of 16 aircraft to become operational by 2013.

VSI's Helmet Mounted Display System Flys on JSF

A Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) made by Vision Systems International, LLC (VSI) recently flew for the first time on an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. The HMDS provides the pilot video with imagery in day or night conditions combined with precision symbology to give the pilot situational awareness and tactical capability. The HMDS has been in development for five years and recently completed all required safety of flight tests toward full certification.

Block 20 Global Hawk Begins Test Flights

The first RQ-4 Block 20 Global Hawk unmanned aerial system successfully completed its first flight on March 1. The first Block 20 aircraft is the 17th Global Hawk air vehicle to be built. Following a final series of operational testing and evaluation at Edwards AFB, the new Global hawk will be delivered to the Air Force's 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base near Sacramento, California.

Naval Research Center to Test Networked, Panoramic Imagers

A new, panoramic imaging sensor will be tested on an unmanned aerial vehicle, for testing by the Office of Naval Research for potential use in security and force protection applications. The system will comprise panoramic imaging hardware and software developed by EyeSee360 Inc., integrated with the Augusta Systems technologies' SensorPort and SensorBridge which provide intelligent image processing within the sensor level, thus establishing a network of distributed sensors, interconnected by wireless links. The sensor systems will be utilized on-board unmanned aircraft and in fixed-location, field deployments for convoy protection, critical infrastructure protection, perimeter security and a host of other uses.

DOD, Intelsat to Test Space Based Internet Routing

The U.S. Department of Defense is planning to demonstrate 'Internet Routing In Space' (IRIS) under a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program recently awarded to Intelsat. According to Bill Shernit, President and CEO of Intelsat General, "IRIS extends the Internet into space, integrating satellite systems and the ground infrastructure for warfighters, first responders and others who need seamless and instant communications," The IRIS payload will support network services for voice, video and data communications, enabling military units or allied forces to communicate with one another using Internet protocol and existing ground equipment.

ViaSat to Upgrade FBCB2 Satellite Network

ViaSat, Inc. (Nasdaq:VSAT) will provide an upgrade for the satellite network serving the US Army main tactical situational awareness system, known as FBCB2-BFT (follow-on Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below - Blue Force Tracking). The upgrade will improve global coverage, increase network capacity and reduce latency, especially in dense operational environment.

Red Flag forces huddle up at Eielson

A French air force Mirage M2000 sits on the tarmac awaiting a mission for Red Flag-Alaska 07-1 in April at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Red Flag-Alaska is a Pacific Air Forces-directed field training exercise flown under simulated air combat conditions. It is conducted on the Pacific Alaskan Range Complex with air operations flown out of Eielson and Elmendorf Air Force bases. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Snyder).

$150 Billion Cash Influx Fuels Satellite Market's Up-Cycle

After a five years of stagnation, the satellite market is finally rising and is expected to enter positive cycle; compared to 80 satellites launched per year, in the period 2000 – 2005. However, in 2006 the wind has changed with 32% increase in the number of satellite launched. According to Marco Caceres, senior space analyst for Teal. "But something changed in 2006. We launched 107 satellites, or a 32% increase over each of the previous two years. This represents more satellites than we have launched since 2000."

L-3 to Produce Uncooled FLIRs with new 1024x768 FPAs

L-3 Communications Infrared Products is introducing an uncooled focal plane array (FPA) with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution. When integrated into thermal viewing modules, the new thermal sensor will offer significantly longer viewing range, with appreciably greater scene detail and considerably more capable electronic zoom.

Navy to Improved Air, Missile Defense with Raytheon's CEC

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has been awarded $48 million in follow-on contracts by the U.S. Navy for work on the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) program. CEC provides robust capability to naval air and missile defenses by distributing force level sensor and weapons data in a new and significantly different manner. It pools high-quality tracking data from participating sensors and distributes the data to all others in a filtered and shared state. The result is a powerful and detailed air picture based on all sensor data available that provides early detection and more consistent tracking of air contacts. The program will integrate seven AN/USG-2A Shipboard consoles, establishing the CEC system.

US Marines's Forward Observers Gear up For Excalibur

The US Marine Corps plans to field hand held Target Location, Designation and Hand-off Systems (TLDHS) to equip artillery forward observers with entry device designed to "speak" with new Excalibur Unitary GPS Precision Guided Munitions expected to be fielded with teh corps' M-777A2 155-mm howitzers by the third quarter of fiscal year 2007.

EDO’s to Produce 1,100 CREW IED Jammers for US Forces

EDO Corporation (NYSE: EDO) will provide the Department of Defense with 1,100 CREW 2.1 vehicle mounted EW countermeasures against radio-controlled IED, under an $88 million contract awarded by the Naval Sea Systems Command and the Program Executive Office for Littoral and Mine Warfare.


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