Raytheon Company recently received the first production order for next-generation Navy Multiband Terminal (NMT) satellite communication terminals. The initial production award is for 22 systems, consisting of 15 ship, five submarine and two shore terminals, along with other services and products; it is valued at more than $37 million. The program could potentially be valued at $1 billion over five years. NMT is a family of multi-banded ship, submarine and shore communications terminals providing the Navy and international partners, with the possibility of selected Army and Air Force users, a powerful and reliable new capability in support of its net-centric architecture. The terminals will provide all Navy military-band satellite communications up to five times the bandwidth and less size, weight and power than the systems they will replace.
The United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defence has extended its contract with Systematic to continue to provide expert support to the UK's involvement in the Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP). The contract is valued at more than £1 million (nearly $2 million). Systematic provides maintenance for the UK MIP Gateway, the capability for a bilateral United States-UK military interoperability exercise in 2010, support to a UK-French military exercise planned for June 2011, and continued technical support for the UK's membership and contribution to MIP standardization working groups and MIP test events.
RADA Electronic Industries Limited recently announced that it has signed a contract for avionics installation design, valued at nearly $4 million. This contract is part of an upgrade program for fighter aircraft run by a South American customer, a program for which RADA also supplies various avionics units. RADA will design the installation of all upgraded units in the aircraft as well as support the customer in the implementation of these upgrades.
Whether for military ops, standard communications or a lofty connection linking nations together during crises, space systems are critical. Enhancing the ability to monitor space assets-and to augment them with newer, better equipment-is a major STRATCOM mission. The command continues to move forward and to seek commercial support, but are the requirements clear? Is the acquisition process easily navigable? Share your thoughts here.
A huge chasm exists between cyber operators and the technical community, declared Brig Gen. Brett Williams, USAF, Pacific Command J-6. Both sides must learn the other's language if operators are to receive the systems that they actually need, he offered. Speaking in the Thursday panel at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2010, Gen. Williams related that operators often do not understand the technical language of the systems that are being designed for them. As a result, they are not able to effectively input design advice, and often are faced with the challenge of adapting a system to suit their needs. Conversely, technicians often do not fully understand operators' needs, he added. Both need to reach out to the other group to begin system design with a better understanding of everyone's points of view. For operators, Gen. Williams suggested that they learn about cyber systems in the same manner that pilots learn about their aircraft before they set foot in them to fly. Going even further was Rear Adm. William E. Leigher, USN, deputy commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet. He suggested the creation of a cyber acquisition force, because characteristics of cyberspace are greatly different than those of the platform world, especially the pace of change. He noted that the military buys carriers from a limited number of shipyards, but it buys information technology from many sources, which calls for a new way of doing business.