The SIGNAL Blog
TeleCommunication Systems Incorporated (TCS) has received a $14.9 million contract order from the U.S. Army to provide Transportable Ground Receive Suites and related spare parts to support the Global Broadcast Service. This award was made under the Army's $5 billion World-Wide Satellite Systems indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract vehicle in support of the program manager for the Warfighter Information Network - Tactical.
The French navy and air force are adding new encryption technology to their identification friend-or-foe (IFF) systems to reduce the chance of enemy interception and analysis. The new encryption is being applied to more than 1,000 IFF systems equipping the two services. The equipment will help ensure that links between aircraft transponders and ground-based interrogators are not read or corrupted by new interception technologies now appearing in the battlespace. The existing IFF systems receiving the encryption upgrades will be able to respond quickly and reliably in an electronic warfighting environment, company officials say. The French government has awarded a 30 million contract to EADS Defense and Security for the new IFF encryption suite.
U.S. Army attack helicopters operating in Southwest Asia now can receive video and data from unmanned aerial platforms, enhancing situational awareness and reducing sensor-to-shooter times. The Video from Unmanned Aerial Systems for Interoperability Teaming-Level 2 (VUITTM-2) capability provides the crews of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters with real-time streaming video and metadata shown on multipurpose displays. The VUITTM-2 can transmit both Apache and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) video via a mini-tactical common datalink to troops equipped with One System Remote Video Terminals. Army officials explain that the capability enables Apache aircrews to stream imagery to ground units such as Stryker vehicles on combat patrols. The real-time video provides immediate intelligence so that commanders can plan safer alternate routes. The live UAS data also allows Apache crews to locate and engage time-critical targets quickly. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation, the VUITTM-2 was designed and fielded in less than seven months as part of a rapid fielding request from the U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff.
The U.S. Army is enhancing its mobile ground-based radars designed to detect incoming enemy artillery rounds. The AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder weapon-locating radar is a long-range system that is being deployed across the service to locate the sources of enemy mortar, artillery and rocket fire, and to relay that data for counterfire by friendly units. As part of the Army's Reliability Maintainability Improvement (RMI) program, the entire inventory of AN/TPQ-37 and AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder systems will be modified with a modular, air-cooled transmitter and new common radar processors. ThalesRaytheonSystems officials, the company that is contracted for the modifications, note that the upgrades will significantly reduce life-cycle costs, provide higher operational availability and extend the radar's expected operational life to the year 2030. The modifications are part of a $285 million production contract.
A U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) is part of the joint mission of the U.S. Air Force 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia. The new role marks the first operational mission for the BAMS UAS-a maritime derivative of the RQ-4 Global Hawk-although the aircraft has been used in noncombat roles. BAMS' arrival in Southwest Asia is the culmination of more than five months of a joint effort to stand up a maritime surveillance presence in the region. The move came when Navy officials responded to a Defense Department request for more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets in the area. Air Force personnel will control the system at the forward operating location, and Air Force instructors will train naval aviators. Experts from both military services have come together to create a process to ensure that differences in operational and maintenance rules and standards are identified and resolved quickly.
The U.S. Army is establishing an Electronic Warfare (EW) 29-series career field for officers, warrant officers and enlisted personnel that will cover topics ranging from information operations to improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Approximately 1,600 EW personnel will be added to the Army during the next three years. The service is considering expanding the career field by as many as 2,300 in the near future.
Personnel in this career field will be considered experts in fighting the threat of IEDs. In addition, they will guide commanders in the effects of the electromagnetic spectrum on operations as well as counsel them about how friendly EW can support tactical and operational objectives.
Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, USA, former commander of Multinational Corps-Iraq, identified the urgent need for EW specialists and capability in 2006 when he placed U.S. Navy EW officers with ground combat units in Iraq to manage electromagnetic spectrum. Creating the new Army career field enables more
efficient soldier preparation to help mitigate ways enemies use electromagnetic spectrum against U.S. troops, Gen. Chiarelli says.
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CACI International Incorporated Federal has been awarded a $22 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract with cost-plus-award fee with the purpose of Genesis III to acquire comprehensive engineering and logistics support for the intelligence community ground- and air-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems at worldwide locations.