Under the terms of a recently awarded $50 million contract, BAE Systems is to continue producing the MK 90 propellant grains for the US Army. A key component of the Hydra-70 family of rockets utilized by the United States’ military and several allied countries, the MK 90 propellant grains provides propulsion for the Hydra-70 rocket system.
The US Navy awarded iRobot a contract worth $4 million for 110 FirstLook robots. Deliveries under this $4m contract are expected to be completed by February next year. iRobot's 110 FirstLook is a compact and expandable robot designed to offer immediate situational awareness and to perform persistent observation while also capable of investigating and manipulating dangerous and hazardous materials.
Rheinmetall has secured an important order in connection with a key program within the British Ministry of Defense to produce a new generation of combat vehicles for Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. The contract will enlist Rheinmetall to equip the British Army with a new family of Scout specialist vehicles. The German-based company said it had signed a $142 million deal with prime contractor Lockheed Martin UK. The contract covers the production of the turret structure and weapon mount (TSWM) for the 245 turreted versions of the Scout SV that are being purchased out of a total of 589 units.
The United States Marine Corps has ordered 75 small unmanned ground vehicles from iRobot to assist in missions. The man-portable SUGV features dexterous manipulation for dismounted mobile operations. The SUGV is a smaller and lighter version of iRobot PackBot which is designed to allow exploratory functions in small and inaccessible places as well as terrains and situations that are dangerous. Among its chief advantages is offering situational awareness for infantry troops, combat engineers, EOD technicians, and other personnel.
Investment tycoon Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway recently acquired Precision Castparts for $32 billion. Buffet credits the decision to acquire the aerospace supplier to his investment manager Todd Combs who bought stock in Precision Castparts in 2012. As early as March 1, Berkshire was one of the company’s largest shareholders with a 3% stake.
TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) has received an order of $14.2 million to continue support of the United States Marine Corps’ Tactical Satellite Communications Network. Under this agreement, they will continue to deliver Ku satellite bandwidth, terrestrial support, and 24-hour support services to the USMC TSCN. It was issued under the joint Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)/GSA Future Commercial Satcom Acquisition program.
In a ceremony taking place at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia over the weekend, the US Navy commissioned its newest Virginia-class submarine as USS John Warner (SSN 785). The commissioning was presided over by John Warner himself (who served as Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974), Director of Naval Reactors and prospective Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson, and current CNO Admiral Jonathan Greenert.
Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters has been awarded a supply contract from the US Marine Corps (USMC) System Command for the work of supplying material solutions for its Scout Sniper Ballistic Computers (SSBC) program. The contract calls for Kestrel to supply the US Marine Corps with 887 Kestrel 4500 meters units. Each of these units are capable of merging precise wind, direction, temperature, pressure, and humidity evaluations with an integrated advanced ballistics computer and bullet performance database.
After numerous delays, the initial flight test of Sikorsky Aircraft’s CH-53K King Stallion has been rescheduled once again. The heavy-lift helicopter has been pushed back in order to - among other things - complete testing fixes to its gearbox. It was once thought the aircraft could make its first flight in June of 2014, but the Joel Embiid of helicopters has suffered a multitude of setbacks. It has experienced problems with the drive shaft, gearbox, and other parts during the ground tests. Flight tests have been scheduled and rescheduled since late 2014 to today.
GATR Technologies has begun full rate production of the SATCOM (satellite communications) antenna for the United States Marine Corps under a $440 million contract. This will be the first batch of the satellites, with thirty-six units being made. The total number to be made is not yet determined, as it is an indefinite-quantity contract.
In June 2015, Caterpillar Marine announced that they have secured an order to deliver their Cat Power Solutions system to power 16 patrol boats that are being built for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN). Each of the boats in the series will have two Cat C32 main propulsion diesel engines as well as two Cat C9 ship service diesel generators. The boats will be constructed at the Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction shipyard in Korea. Cat dealer Hae In will manage the delivery and subsequent service of the Cat solutions.
Ford Motor Company has partnered with Carbon3D to innovate materials and design products using CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production) technology. One of the big designs Ford and Carbon3D are working on is a customized steering wheel, designed to match the grip of your hand. Imagine if you had a steering wheel made just for you, one that fits like a glove. It would be the perfect size and shape, with all the right grooves in the right places.
The Aegis Combat System is an integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, and now produced by Lockheed Martin. It uses powerful computer and radar technology to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets. The system was first used by the US Navy but is now utilized by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Spanish Navy, Royal Norwegian Navy, and Republic of Korea Navy. Over 100 Aegis-equipped ships have been deployed in five navies worldwide.
The United States government has delivered Raytheon’s BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles to the Lebanese Army. They arrived at the Beirut airport, though the amount that was delivered remains undisclosed. The TOW missiles are tube-launched, optically tracked, and wirelessly guided. The purpose of the delivery is to help the Lebanese Army fight terrorism, as an unnamed official told The Daily Star.
In May 2015, Polaris Defense, a pision of Polaris Industries, offered its Dagor Vehicle in response to the US Army's request for information regarding the ultra-light combat vehicle (ULCV) program. The goal of the ULCV program is to develop an air-droppable light off-road truck that will improve the mobility of light infantry brigades during joint forcible entry missions. The Dagor, which was launched at the 2014 AUSA Meeting and Exposition in Washington, is a purpose-built vehicle designed with trophy truck-inspired suspension, and can carry 3,250 pounds of payload or a nine-man infantry squad at a higher rate of speed over terrain usually travelled on foot.
The Pilatus PC-24 has completed its first flight in Switzerland, two years after the jet was announced.It was originally thought that the PC-24 would make its first flight in late 2014, but after some delays it was finally able to make its maiden voyage. Deliveries are still expected to be on time - some time in 2017 - as was first announced back in 2013.The jet is a versatile one, as it is designed to have the capabilities of using paved and unpaved runways. This could be helpful for emergency landings or landing in places normal planes cannot.
After the most recent International Defense Exposition and Conference, Lockheed Martin expects to sign deals with several international customers. Within seven to eight months Qatar will likely present a formal offer to Lockheed for their Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, also known as THAAD. Saudi Arabia is also discussing purchasing THAAD but it could be two or three years before a contract is signed. Middle Eastern countries are expected to be the first foreign buyers of the upgraded Patriot anti-missile weapon. As tensions rise in the Persian Gulf, spending on air defense is expected to increase in order to develop protection against enemy ballistic missiles and aircraft.
The United States Army’s 82nd Airborne Division is evaluating the ultra-lightweight combat vehicle (ULCV) known as the Polaris MRZR-4.The Army has already purchased 33 vehicles for proof-of-principal tests, and is looking to purchase more, contingent on the tests. The House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee proposal for the National Defense Authorization Act requires the Secretary of the Army to give an answer to HASC by March 1, 2016 on whether or not to get more. Heidi Shyu, the Army’s chief weapons buyer, says that it is too early to tell what their decision will be, but the soldiers unsurprisingly prefer driving to walking.
In March of 2015, Northrop Grumman received a USD $21.8 million contract modification to support the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS-D), bringing the total cumulative contract value to USD $2.39 billion. The STSS-D constellation consists of two satellites, built by Northrop Grumman, orbiting at 1350 km, 58 degree inclination, with 120 minute orbital period.
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