Referring to the today's young adults as the "Google Generation," Chris Anderson, editor in chief, Wired magazine, opened the FOSE conference by telling an audience of government and industry representatives that it's time for the government to catch up. Citizens have come to expect not only information from government agencies but also the ability to interact quickly with government organizations via the Web. Agencies-as well as large companies-have been slow to respond to this demand, Anderson stated.
When it comes to military technologies, it's all about the warfighter. The men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan know firsthand their greatest technological needs, and their counterparts back home are striving to provide them as quickly as possible. The combat experience also is providing grist for the design mill as engineers plan for the future. SIGNAL looks at the efforts underway to develop new warfighter technologies as well as what may lie ahead.
General Dynamics Canada has been awarded a long-term support contract for the Canadian Army's Land Command Support System, ensuring troops will continue to have access to advanced communications services. Initially valued at $341 million, the competitively tendered five-year contract includes options to extend the support annually for up to five additional years, bringing the total potential contract value to $682 million.
ITT Corporation has been awarded $317 million to produce an additional 4,501 CREW 2.1 Vehicle Receiver Jammers, vehicle-mounted systems that prevent the detonation of improvised explosive devices. These systems will be used by the U.S. Marine Corps. The contract was awarded by the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command.
Raytheon Company has been awarded a $128.1 million U.S. Army contract for engineering services for the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System. Issued by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, the contract calls for Raytheon to provide systems analysis, software and hardware engineering, testing and logistics support.
Raytheon Company Integrated Defense Systems is being awarded a $57 million cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded contract for the procurement of selected Zumwalt class destroyer mission system equipment (MSE). MSEs are required to mitigate production and integration risk and to conduct at-sea testing in support of the Zumwalt class of destroyers test and evaluation master plan aboard the U.S. Navy Self Defense Test Ship.
The U.S. Air Force is awarding an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract to Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation for a maximum of $12 million. This action will develop methodologies, tools and techniques for producing adaptive, distributed sensing architectures in support of the Air Force Research Laboratory multilayered sensing vision.
The U.S. Air Force is awarding an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract to Northrop Grumman for a maximum of $30 million. This contract will fund the Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engines (VAATE) Program, a joint U.S. Defense Department/NASA/U.S. Department of Energy/industry effort.
QinetiQ North America's Mission Solutions Group has been awarded a blanket purchase agreement worth up to $250 million from the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile System Center for space operations technical support. QinetiQ North America will be eligible to provide the Air Force with systems engineering, test and evaluation, software engineering, spectrum management, modeling and simulation, system safety and acquisition security. The company also will offer support in the areas of integration logistic support and concept development and other areas.
Eurocopter has received a £5 million capital grant from the United Kingdom government for the purchase of six new police Eurocopter EC135 helicopters for air support, part of the first joint procurement by six U.K. police forces. The grant also will provide enhanced state-of-the-art mission equipment. Each helicopter will feature the latest Airborne Law Enforcement and Police Reconnaissance and Surveillance systems as well as interoperable communications means, including daylight and thermal imaging cameras, Nightsun search lights, video down-link system and Tetra radios, which will allow easy communication both with police on the ground and with the other emergency services.