Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Sensors, Space, tech

C4ISR Contract Watch-Argon to develop C4ISR architecture for Navy aircraft, and others

The Navy, through the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, has awarded Argon ST, Inc., of Fairfax, Va.,  a $49,694,736 cost-plus-fixed-fee research, development and analysis contract to produce a C4ISR system architecture to network optical/infrared, radar, sonar, signal exploitation, and other sensor systems for U.S. Navy aircraft and unmanned air vehicles. The project is expected to be complete by September 2012.Work will be performed in Fairfax, Va. (80 percent) and Ventura, Calif. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2012.  This sounds like an airborne companion to the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS, or “D-sigs”).

Raytheon is getting a $22.5 million contract modification to continue its software development and verification for the Zumwalt Class destroyer program. “The purpose of this effort is to allow Raytheon to continuously provide Mission Systems Equipment (MSE) software development for the Zumwalt Class Destroyer Program”, the DOD release said.

The Naval Air Systems Command has also ordered 30 acoustic receiver “tech refresh” retrofit kits from  Lockheed Martin Corp., Manassas, Va.,  for $17.53 million. These are part of the Navy’s ongoing P-3C Update III program, putting advanced signal processing systems into the P3 for handling data from sonobouys.

Rolls Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded an $11,105,000 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-09-D-0020) to procure three C-130J AE2100D3 turboprop engines for the U.S. Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Cherry Point, N.C., and is expected to be completed in May 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

AIR FORCE

The Air Force’s SMC awarded Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company a $22 million contract for “advance procurement of long-lead parts” for Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite Vehicle 4.  Three full AEHF satellites have been ordered thus far, at an estimated cost of $583 million per satellite; the satellite constellation, when it is in place, will provide communications at of data rates from 75 bps to approximately 8 Mbps.

The Air Force has awarded a $9.9 million contract to Boeing to  transition manufacturing technology developed under the Non-Autoclave Manufacturing Technology Program, a DARPA/Boeing joint effort to create new methods for creating composite materials, to a viable manufacturing process. The original DARPA description of the program: “The technology development will focus on establishing robust materials and out-of-autoclave processes for fabrication of full-size aerospace structural components with the same performance as autoclave-process materials. The developments in this program will enable the use of the same materials and processes for both development and production, mitigating risks frequently realized in program life cycles at maturation to production. Polymer composite parts can be manufactured in low volume production at 75 percent of the cost of the autoclaved components.” Polymer composites are used for aircraft components because of their light weight and relative strength.

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