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The SIGNAL Blog

Verizon Business to Provide Contact Center Services for Department of Veterans Affairs

October 31, 2008
By Katie Packard

Verizon Business has received a 10-year, $21 million contract under the U.S. General Service Administration's Networx Universal contract to provide call center routing and support for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Verizon Business will provide toll-free services, hosted interactive voice response and secure database applications for Veterans Affairs call centers nationwide.

Northrop Grumman Awarded Air Force Contract for Intelligence Enterprise Support

October 31, 2008
By Katie Packard

Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems Corporation and the U.S. Air Force are modifying a cost-plus-award-fee contract by exercising an option for an estimated cost of $7.6 million. This action will provide the U.S. Strategic Command with intelligence enterprise support. The contract is for operations, maintenance and management of the intelligence information technology networks and intelligence applications through system administration, database management, software maintenance and enhancements, and communications security.

Lockheed Martin Receives Air Force Contract

October 31, 2008
By Katie Packard

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for a maximum of $30 million for Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engines (VAATE). The VAATE Phase II and III programs develop revolutionary and innovative technology by the 2017 time frame that will provide a 10X increase in turbo-propulsion affordable capability when carped to a year 2000 state-of-the-art baseline engine. To achieve this goal, the Air Force Research Laboratory's Propulsion Directorate has committed resources to the development of an advanced technology base for aero-thermodynamics and innovative structures, the development of advanced components and the assessment and verification of these components in TRL-6 demonstrator engines.

Agreement Streamlines Joint Acquisition Processes

October 31, 2008
By H. Mosher

The U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force have signed a memorandum of agreement that will leverage development, production, sustainment and upgrade efforts for the RQ-4-based programs under each of the services. The agreement enables the services to continue to pursue common objectives across the RQ-4 enterprise while retaining each service's specific mission and operational requirements. Military officials believe the agreement will promote cost savings and eliminate redundancies. The new memorandum will allow the Navy and Air Force to share data that will help ensure program effectiveness and help contractors increase quality and improve on-time delivery, they say.

Codes Can't Hide

October 31, 2008
By H. Mosher

The Malicious Code Research Center, Finjan Incorporated, has discovered examples of obfuscated code embedded not only in hypertext markup language Web pages on legitimate Web sites but also in rich-content files. According to a recently released Finjan report, popularity is increasing for online advertisements as well as user-generated content on Web 2.0 Web sites in directing users to malware-infected content files. Code obfuscation remains the preferred cybercriminal technique for their attacks, the report states.

Vehicle Defense System Passes Test

October 31, 2008
By H. Mosher

The U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems' (FCS's) Active Protection System (APS) has successfully passed stationary and moving target tests. The APS is designed to protect the FCS family of future manned vehicles from a variety of anti-tank and artillery projectiles. The APS is a vehicle-mounted system that defeats incoming threats such as rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank guided missiles by physically destroying or deflecting them in flight. The APS launches vertically and then maneuvers to defeat single or multiple projectiles coming in from any direction.

QinetiQ North America Operations to Support FBI Engineering Research Facility

October 31, 2008
By Katie Packard

QinetiQ North America's security and intelligence services business unit has been awarded a five-year time and materials contract with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to provide security management and support services to the Bureau's Engineering Research Facility at Quantico, Virginia. The contract has a maximum value of $3.7 million.

Soldiers Take Sonic Aim at Snipers

October 30, 2008
By H. Mosher

The U.S. Army has begun its first large-scale deployment of a warfighter-wearable gunshot and sniper detection solution. The Army's Rapid Equipping Force will begin distributingSoldier-Wearable Acoustic Targeting Systems (SWATS) to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq later this year; the distribution is expected to be complete by early next year. Part of the Ears Gunshot Localization System family of products, SWATS includes next-generation sensors and is ruggedized so that it can be used in current operations.

Patriot Paws Service Dogs

October 30, 2008
By Rita Boland

Patriot Paws trains dogs to work with injured military members and other disabled persons to help restore physical and emotional freedoms. The organization provides high-quality service dogs for the minimum possible price to those who need them. Any physically disabled U.S. veteran or other American with mobile disabilities can apply for a Patriot Paws service dog by downloading the application form online or requesting one by mail. The necessary contact information is listed on the Web site. When an application is accepted, applicants are interviewed, and the organization makes every effort to find a compatible pet. Training the dogs takes 12 to 18 months and costs $20,000, so donations and volunteers are crucial to the program's success. Anyone interested in donating funds can give through the site's PayPal feature or can mail a check to the address listed online. Individuals who want to volunteer with the program can walk and bathe the dogs, run errands, help in the office, arrange fundraisers or round up donations. Foster families for the dogs also are needed. Other site features include donation news, frequently asked questions and an events page. Patriot Paws Service Dogs will raise funds with "Dogwalk in the Park" in Harry Myers Park, Rockwall, Texas, on November 8. The programs listed on these pages are not affiliated with our publication or association. We highlight these independent efforts as a service to our military and our readers. For more information about these programs, please contact the organizations directly.

Northrop Grumman Awarded $206 Million Support and Sustainment Contract for Defense Support Program

October 29, 2008
By Katie Packard

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center to provide technical support for the operational Defense Support Program spacecraft, primary infrared sensor and mission analysis. The cost-plus award-fee contract is valued at $206 million if all options are exercised.

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