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Strong December, but Uncertainties Loom for Defense Industry in 2012

by Asif Anwar | 1月 10, 2012

Despite the uncertainties as budget cuts loom over the industry, there was continued activity across all areas including contracts, business transactions and technology development in the closing month of 2011.

On the business front, there were also a number of business acquisitions in December with Raytheon acquiring two companies to further extend Raytheon's capabilities to defend against sophisticated cybersecurity threats facing customers in the intelligence community, DoD and commercial organizations. General Dynamics sold its holdings in UAS Dynamics to partner Elbit Systems of America while also completing its acquisition of Force Protection. Back in Europe, a MoU was signed between Cassidian and Alenia Aeronautica to jointly investigate the potential cooperation in the field of MALE UAS and UCAV platforms. Safran and Thales signed a preliminary agreement to form a joint venture to develop and market new electro-optical equipment for the defense market, and Thales also acquired US-based Tampa Microwave to complement Thales’s existing product portfolio and expand its capabilities in the wideband SATCOM domain.

Contract activity remained robust with Lockheed Martin involved in the Aegis program and for the continued contractor engineering technical support (CETS) services in support of the Egyptian AN/TPS-59(V)3E and M34 radar sets. Raytheon booked $320 million in new contract awards related to its AESA radar programs for domestic and international customers while the Missile Defense Agency awarded Raytheon a contract to provide two AN/TPY-2 radars to the U.S. Army as the radar component to the THAAD missile defense system. Raytheon also announced $50 million worth of contract bookings related to its electronic warfare business and was also prolific in the weapons sector with contracts for the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA as well as multimillion-dollar contracts for the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) and contract awards the Phalanx, SeaRAM and Land-based Phalanx weapons systems as well as the NATO SEASPARROW surface missile systems.

In the area of communications and navigation, Northrop Grumman announced a follow-on contract by the U.S. Navy to provide integration and laboratory test support for the LN-251 embedded GPS/fiber-optic inertial navigation system on the new CH-53K Super Stallion helicopter and is also working with ITT Exelis to compete for the U.S. Army's new vehicle-mounted, software-defined radio, the Mid-Tier Networking Vehicular Radio (MNVR), which replaces the cancelled Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Ground Mobile Radio. Meanwhile, Rockwell Collins received an order for more than 20,000 additional Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR) units for use by the U.S. Armed Services and Allies, while BAE Systems has received a contract to design, install and test onboard radio communications and network capability for the U.S. Navy’s new DDG 113 and DDG 114 destroyers.

On the technology development front, Cassidian introduced the Spexer 2000 Coastal which uses AESA radar technology to provide a multi-tasking and multi-mode capability for wide-area protection of coastlines, maritime infrastructure and harbors against asymmetric threats. Both Raytheon and the ITT Exelis and Boeing Team completed wind tunnel tests for their respective offerings for the Next Generation Jammer, while Lockheed Martin launched a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Plus (GMLRS+) rocket in a test at White Sands Missile Range, NM. Finally, Northrop Grumman & TriQuint are collaborating on a DARPA contract through the Microscale Power Conversion program. Northrop Grumman will conduct research on high-efficiency transmitters with GaN Class E power amplifiers in conjunction with RF wideband contour modulation and sub-banded switching supply modulation. The objective of the program is to develop innovative RF power amplifier designs that incorporate supply modulation and control enabled by novel power switch technology. TriQuint Semiconductor will work on GaN and related process technologies.

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