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International

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.

Telecommunications Leaves Mark on Afghanistan

September 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers

A massive telecommunications infrastructure modernization effort in Afghanistan is designed to contribute to socioeconomic development; provide entry into the global information society; and support national prosperity, sustainability and stability. A key part of that effort is coming to fruition: officials with a telecommunications advisory group in that country expect the completion very soon—possibly this month—of a fiber-optic ring around the nation’s perimeter.

NATO Seeks 
Umbrella
 Communications

September 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

NATO is adopting an enterprise approach to networking so it can take advantage of new defense information system capabilities as well as recent developments gleaned from Southwest Asia operations. This approach would allow different countries participating in alliance operations to network their own command, control and communications systems at the onset of an operation.

Working Toward
 Worldwide Interoperability

September 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The working group that helped solve the coalition interoperability puzzle in Afghanistan is working across the U.S. Defense Department and with other nations to ensure that the lessons learned will be applied to future operations around the globe. Experience in creating the Afghan Mission Network may benefit warfighters worldwide, such as those in the Asia Pacific, and may even be applied to other missions, including homeland security and humanitarian assistance.

Elbit Systems to Support Australian Federal Police

August 19, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Elbit Systems has, announced that its Australian subsidiary, Elbit Systems of Australia Pty Ltd (ELSA), was awarded a contract in the amount of  approximately $32 million U.S. dollars ($35 million Australian dollars) to supply the Australian Federal Police with an Investigation, Intelligence and Incident Management (IIIM) Solution to be supplied over a four-year period.

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