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Defense Daily, Thursday, October 11, 2018, Vol. 280, Issue 9

ULA, Northrop Grumman, and Blue Origin Awarded Air Force Launch Service Agreement Contracts

The Air Force awarded United Launch Alliance (ULA), Northrop Grumman [NOC], and Blue Origin each multi-hundred million dollar contracts on Wednesday to develop a launch system prototype by 2021 for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.Blue Origin will develop its New Glenn launch system with an initial launch capability by 2020, according to an Air…

Army Accelerates Precision Strike Munition Capability Program, Planning To Field By 2023

The Army is planning to test offerings late next year for its new long-range precision strike munition (PrSM) capable of reaching 499 kilometers with a goal of fielding systems by 2023, drastically accelerating the schedule from an original 2027 delivery date.Col. John Rafferty, director of the Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) cross functional team (CFT),…

Army Not Pushing 360-Degree Sensor For Patriot Radar Replacement

The lead official for the Army’s team to find a new missile defense radar said a 360-degree sensor will not be required for companies moving forward in the competition, but emphasized a need to meet increased battlespace criteria and advanced network integration capabilities.Brig. Gen. Randall McIntire, director of the Air and Missile Defense cross functional…

AMDR Tracks Multiple Targets And First Missile Through Intercept

Raytheon [RTN] on Wednesday said its new AN-SPY-6(V) air and missile defense radar (AMDR) has tracked multiple targets simultaneously as well as its first track of a ballistic missile through intercept in a test.The test occurred at the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii in mid-September, where it detected, acquired, and tracked multiple…

General Dynamics, Aerovironment Aim to Pair Drones with Ground Vehicles for Army, Marines

A new industry partnership could bring the Army and Marine Corps a step closer to incorporating manned-unmanned teaming concepts into combat operations.Unmanned aerial vehicle-maker Aerovironment has partnered with General Dynamics Land Systems [GD] to integrate two of its systems onto the vehiclemaker’s new armored reconnaissance vehicle (ARV), in development for the Marines, the company said…

TransDigm To Acquire Esterline For $4 Billion In Deal That Expands Aerospace, Defense Products

TransDigm Group Inc. [TDG] on Wednesday said it has agreed to acquire Esterline Technologies Corp. [ESL] for $4 billion in cash in a deal that expands its proprietary mix of products for the aerospace and defense markets.TransDigm expects the transaction to close in the second half of 2019 subject to regulatory approvals. The Ohio-based company…

Boeing HorizonX Invests In Satellite Propulsion Developer Accion Systems

Boeing [BA] on Wednesday said its venture unit HorizonX has invested in Accion Systems, a startup that is developing tiny thrusters for satellite propulsion.Boeing said that Massachusetts-based Accion’s Tiled Ionic Liquid Electrospray in-space propulsion system offers is smaller, lighter and more cost-effective than traditional ion engines. It also said the postage stamp-size thrusters are non-toxic…

GE and ATEC Vying for U.S. Army Helicopter Engine Program

General Electric [GE] and Advanced Turbine Engine Company (ATEC) touted the capabilities of their respective engines in the quest by the U.S. Army to find new engines for the AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk fleets under the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP).ATEC is a joint venture with Honeywell [HON] and Pratt & Whitney [UTX] started in…

Northrop Grumman Eyes Future Applications for UH-60V Avionics Suite

As the U.S. Army nears a low-rate initial production decision in the coming months on the UH-60V Black Hawk, Northrop Grumman [NOC], which builds the integrated avionics suite for the -V, is eyeing possible applications on other aircraft.The UH-60V's open architecture construct "can extend to virtually any other rotorcraft, domestic or international," Robert Fleming, vice…

Insitu's New Unmanned Aircraft Camera Can ID People From the Air, Company Says

Insitu has unveiled a new unmanned aircraft system (UAS) payload with video imaging capability high enough in quality to positively identify people from the air, the company said.Called the Alticam-14, Insitu Director of Defense Programs Keith Hirschman said Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual convention in Washington, D.C., that the enhanced intelligence, surveillance…

DHS Has No Evidence Chinese Microchips Used To Compromise Supply Chain, Nielsen Says

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told a Senate panel on Wednesday that her department doesn’t have any evidence supporting a media report last week that computer servers supplied by California-based Super Micro Computer, Inc. contain microchips inserted by Chinese suppliers that can be used to spy on networks using the servers.Companies that allegedly have had…