Newscast: April 13th, 2007

Events / Calendar / News / Analysis / Defense Markets

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Analysis:

  • 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

EXPOLTECH 2007

27 - 29

Poland

Performance Based Logistics

23 - 26

Alexandria, VA, USA

ITEC 2007 Simulation & Training

24 - 26

Cologne, Germany

Black Sea Defense & Aerospace

24 - 27

Bucharest, Romania

 


Rapid Response SAR Satellite Offered by a US-Israeli Team

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) have teamed to build and launch surveillance satellites carrying an Israeli Synthetic Aperture Radar payload. The US government is seeking operationally responsive capabilities to address the challenge posed by the proliferation of anti-satellite capabilities, particularly in China.

Navy Cancels Construction of the 3rd Littoral Combat Ship

Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter announced yesterday (April 12, 2007) terminated the construction of the third Littoral Combat Ship (LCS 3), after the Department of the Navy and Lockheed Martin failed to reach an agreement on the terms of a modified contract after the Navy realized that the cost of the first Lockheed ship would cost up to $375 million, far above the initial projection of $220 million. “LCS continues to be a critical warfighting requirement for our Navy to maintain dominance in the littorals and strategic choke points around the world,” said Winter. “While this is a difficult decision, we recognize that active oversight and strict cost controls in the early years are necessary to ensuring we can deliver these ships to the fleet over the long term.”

Precision Guidance Kit Improves Artillery Fire Accuracy

BAE Systems recently conducted 20 successful firings of a 155mm GPS-guided artillery projectile. The company is leading one of two teams competing for the PGK program. The recent test demonstrated the capability of the GPS guided high explosive, rocket assisted round to hit targets at a range 20.5 km with 50 meter (CEP) accuracy, which is the threshold of PGK increment 1. BAE Systems and ATK will participate in the 'shoot-off' which will determine the final winner of the program.


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.

$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."

 


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