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International

Australia Firm to Demonstrate GPS Technology

September 13, 2018
George I. Seffers

The U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) has signed a Co-operative Research & Development Agreement (CRADA) with Locata Corporation, Canberra, Australia, to build and demonstrate new Locata technology for use in GPS receivers. The CRADA is specifically directed to evaluate Locata’s patented Vray switching antenna and new correlator technologies for multipath mitigation in position receivers that run at GPS frequencies. AFIT will first design and build a GPS-frequency multi-element switching antenna prototype that is based on Locata Vray patents. When built, AFIT intends to use their GPS receiver and this prototype Vray to physically demonstrate the feasibility of using Locata technology to improve GPS receiver performance.

Raytheon to Provide Thermal Sight Systems to Saudi Arabia

September 18, 2013
George I. Seffers

Raytheon Co., McKinney, Texas, was awarded a $19,050,973 firm-fixed-price, non-option-eligible, non-multi-year contract modification (P000014) to contract (W56HZV-11-C-0130) for 41 improved thermal sight system for foreign military sales (FMS), light armored vehicle LAV-25. This is a FMS to Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Army Contracting Command - Tank and Automotive, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin to Provide Radar Data Processors to Australia

September 18, 2013
George I. Seffers

Lockheed Martin MS2, Owego, N.Y., has been awarded a maximum $7,382.694 firm-fixed-price order (THA7) against contract (SPRWA1-13-D-20000) for radar data processors. Using military service is Royal Australian Navy. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pa.

NATO Forwards Biometrics

September 17, 2013
By Rita Boland

NATO is investing time, talent and treasure into advancing biometrics, Col. Bernard Wulfse, Dutch Army, commander, Joint Task Force Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED), explained at the Biometric Consortium Conference. The alliance has named biometrics a critical capability shortfall to address. Key to achieving goals for biometrics is bringing all the partner nations together—not only the few currently supporting the efforts. Methods that proved useful against IEDs have applications in the biometrics realm, and lessons can be applied from the former to the latter.

Current conflicts generate from within states, not between them, so identifying enemies is difficult. More investment in rooting out the bad guys is necessary, Col. Wulfse explained. This anonymity in the physical and cyber realms makes it impossible for traditional forces to deploy their best capabilities. “Asymmetric threats … have rendered our strengths ineffective,” Col. Wulfse said.

Identity management of friend and foe can help mitigate the threats of these types of adversaries and not only in the military context. Other applications include C-IED, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, access control and more. Unlike in times past, biometrics efforts now truly have support from the highest headquarters, the colonel stated.

Despite this support, the basic challenges remain the same. The potential of biometrics for military use is not fully understood. NATO lacks harmonization in guidance, procedures and standards. Capabilities among the various armed forces are unbalanced. There is a lack of knowledge and trust in the biometrics arena, and many of the troops collecting biometric information today will not see the benefits from their work because it often takes years for the data to become a usable resource.

Lockheed to Provide Sniper Targeting Pods to Belgium

September 13, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Fla., has been awarded a not-to-exceed $12,226,992 firm-fixed-price, undefinitized contract award for five sniper advanced targeting pods (ATPs) for the Belgian Air Force. Additionally, the contractor will supply eight 1K forward looking infrareds, four two-way data links, one 1K TV, two pylons, one depot lay-in, 12 retrofit power supplies, and three retrofit 1K TVs along with integration, training, support and program management. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Warner Robins, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8540-13-C-0025).

Lockheed Martin to Provide NATO Headquarters Network Infrastructure

September 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

Lockheed Martin has been selected to design the Active Network Infrastructure (ANWI) for NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. This contract, worth more than $100 million, includes options under which Lockheed Martin may also be contracted to maintain the NATO network for five years. Lockheed Martin’s team will develop an infrastructure to service more than 4,500 users at the alliance’s headquarters and support up to an additional 1,500 conference visitors. The team also will provide four integrated security networks interoperable with other NATO nations; cross domain information assurance solutions for secure, seamless interconnectivity; a robust, modern, high-availability data center; and comprehensive unified communication and collaboration services.

General Dynamics to Modernize Submarine Networks

September 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Fairfax, Va., was awarded two contracts totaling $50 million to support the continued modernization of the AN/BYG-1 combat control system aboard U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy submarines. The AN/BYG-1 modernization program integrates the tactical control, weapons control and tactical network subsystems to provide submarine fleet operators and commanders with a common operational picture that enhances real-time intelligence and improves situational awareness. General Dynamics will continue to upgrade the submarine electronics with commercial off-the-shelf software and hardware that integrates improved tactical and weapons control capabilities across multiple submarine classes.

L-3 to Provide Imaging Turrets to Danish Air Force

September 6, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
L-3 WESCAM recently announced that it has received an acquisition and sustainment contract from the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization to provide a minimum of eight MX-15 electro-optical and infrared imaging systems to the Royal Danish Air Force’s EH101 aircraft. System deliveries are expected to be complete by 2014. 

Transforming NATO's Information Technology Architecture

September 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers

 

NATO officials are laying the groundwork for a centralized enterprise networking architecture with invitations to bid expected to be released by year’s end. The new approach is expected to offer a number of benefits, including cost savings, improved network reliability, enhanced cybersecurity and greater flexibility for warfighters.

Officials at the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency kicked off the alliancewide effort in August of last year shortly after the agency was created. The initial goal was simply to examine the alliance’s information technology infrastructure, how it could be modernized, where efficiencies could be gained and how to make the business case for modernization. The NCI Agency partnered with the Network Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC) for the study. “We didn’t want to take just an academic view or an internal belly-button look. We wanted to get industry involved and find out what is within the realm of possibility today,” says Peter Lenk, chief, Capability Area Team Seven, NCI Agency.

The result will be a historical transition for the alliance. “We are for the first time, or one of the first times in NATO, looking at things as an enterprise. We’re starting to try to consolidate things across traditional boundaries,” Lenk says. “Through the creation of the NCI Agency, which has a mandate across all of the components of NATO, now we have within our grasp the ability to do this, and we can clearly see the advantages.”

Portugal's Navy Faces Double-Edged Challenge

September 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

 

The economic and technological challenges facing Western militaries are magnified for Portugal as it tries to ensure the viability of its navy. The small maritime nation that regularly participates in NATO naval operations is facing severe budgetary constraints as its domestic economy contracts, but it must improve and even increase its capabilities as a result of a growing mission set.

The first challenge facing the Portuguese navy is to meet its obligations amid the severe fiscal crisis gripping most of the Western world. Portugal has been hit hard by austerity measures amid high unemployment, and the navy’s budget may not grow significantly for the foreseeable future. The Portuguese Defense Ministry has stated the defense budget will remain at about 1.1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) through 2020, but that GDP has been contracting since late 2010.

The second major challenge for the navy is to address the country’s new geopolitical makeup at sea. Portugal has applied for exclusive economic zone continental shelf status beyond the traditional 200 miles to encompass the Azores and Madeira, which are Portuguese territory. This would link and extend the three separate economic zones into a larger single zone. The result would be a much larger maritime area of about 3.8 million square kilometers (2.4 million square miles) that would need protection by the Portuguese navy, especially with regard to ocean-based resources ranging from fishing stocks to potential oil deposits.

Adm. José Saldanha Lopes, PON, is the chief of the Portuguese Naval Staff. He is pursuing a plan for his successors that would ensure the viability of the navy through the year 2035. Technology, fleet transformation and a shift in funding priorities are at the heart of the thrust for an effective future navy without significant funding increases.

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