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GD Awarded $92 Million Contract for Abrams Tank Production

The U.S. Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $92.2 million contract to upgrade M1A2 System Enhancement Package (SEP) v2 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 SEP Version 3 (v3) configuration. General Dynamics is working closely with the Army to improve the survivability, maintainability, fuel efficiency, power generation and network capability of its fleet of Abrams Main Battle Tanks. The M1A2 SEPv3 production process will begin with a pilot program of six tanks before moving into full-rate production. Work will be performed by existing employees in Anniston, Ala.; Tallahassee, FL.; Lima, OH; and Scranton, PA.

The Abrams is a platform that adapts new technologies while minimizing development time and cost (Figure 1). The Abrams M1A2 Tank is built to confront and destroy enemy forces using unrivaled firepower, maneuverability and shock effect. With its manually loaded, 120mm M256 smooth bore cannon, the M1A2 can fire a variety of different rounds against armored vehicles, personnel and even low-flying aircraft. A heavy exterior armor provides outstanding protection to its crew of four.

Figure 1
Upgrade programs strive improve the survivability, maintainability, fuel efficiency, power generation and network capability of the Army’s fleet of Abrams Main Battle Tanks.

General Dynamics Land Systems
Sterling Heights, MI
(586) 825-4000


U.S. Army taps Cubic to Support "Force 2025 and Beyond" Plan

Cubic Global Defense has announced the award of a three-year, $15 million task order to provide the Future Warfare Division (FWD) with Future Study Plan (FSP)/Unified Quest (UQ) events services under the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC)'s Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC). Cubic will support ARCIC's overall efforts for FSP/UQ events including, planning, preparation, execution, assessment and analytical integration.

FSP/UQ events are the Army Chief of Staff's study plan designed to explore complex strategic and operational challenges, identify issues and explore solutions critical to current and future development. UQ assists senior Army leaders in making decisions using a variety of realistic mid- to long-range strategic settings to develop or examine a broad set of ideas about future conflict that could impact the Army. Introduced in 2014, the Force 2025 and Beyond is the U.S. Army's comprehensive strategy to change the Army and deliver landpower capabilities as an instrument of the future Joint Force.

Cubic Defense Systems
San Diego, CA
(858) 277-6780


Northrop Grumman Gets Contract for 3rd Phase of Tern UAV Program

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research have awarded Northrop Grumman the third phase of the Tern unmanned systems program. Phase three plans to include final design, fabrication and a full-scale, at-sea demonstration of the system. Tern seeks to develop an autonomous, unmanned, long-range, global, persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and strike system intended to safely and dependably deploy and recover from small-deck naval vessels with minimal ship modifications (Figure 2).

Figure 2
The Tern program seeks to develop an autonomous, unmanned, long-range, global, persistent ISR and strike system intended to deploy and recover from small-deck vessels.

Designed to operate in harsh maritime environments, Tern aims to enable greater mission capability and flexibility for surface combat vessels without the need for establishing fixed land bases or requiring scarce aircraft carrier resources. The Northrop Grumman Tern team includes its wholly owned subsidiary Scaled Composites, as well as General Electric (GE) Aviation, AVX Aircraft Company and Moog. Tern integrates mature and advanced technologies, including a distinctive propulsion solution designed to help expand global persistent ISR/strike capabilities for small-deck naval surface vessels.

Northrop Grumman
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 553-6262


Abaco Systems Wins Order to Support Spearfish Torpedo Upgrade

Abaco Systems has announced today that it had secured orders with an initial value of £7.5 million (around $11.5 million) from BAE Systems Maritime Services business in the UK. Abaco's rugged embedded computing solutions will be used within the ESCU (Electronic System Computer Unit) that will control the Royal Navy's Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo in deployment, providing advanced real time signal processing of the Spearfish's onboard sonar to enable it to reach its intended destination, and networking to allow communication between the torpedo and the host submarine (Figure 3).

Figure 3
Spearfish torpedoes are currently deployed in the UK’s Trafalgar and Vanguard submarines, as well as the Astute Class submarines.

Featured in the ESCU will be a number of 3U VPX Power Architecture and 4th generation Intel Core i7 technology single board computers. Together they will provide control, tactical and DSP real time processing. An Ethernet switch will be used for communications and networking.  Over a five-year period, Abaco Systems has worked with BAE Systems on the feasibility study and subsequently to develop the prototype ESCU, using a 6U VME architecture. For deployment, the prototype was simply and straightforwardly migrated to a 3U VPX platform in order to deliver a more affordable and more compact final solution.

Abaco Systems
Huntsville, AL
(866) 652-2226


PrismTech Announces Acquisition by ADLINK Technology

PrismTech has announced it will be acquired by ADLINK Technology. PrismTech's Vortex intelligent data-connectivity platform provides efficient, secure and interoperable internet scale real-time data-sharing.  Vortex is a key enabler for systems that have to reliably and securely deliver high volumes of real-time data with stringent end-to-end qualities-of-service.  The recently announced Vortex 2.0 platform enables Internet-scale seamless and secure data-connectivity across embedded, web, mobile and enterprise systems, and provides best-in-class support for Fog and Cloud computing architectures.

ADLINK enables IoT with innovative embedded computing solutions for edge devices, intelligent gateways and cloud services. ADLINK's acquisition of PrismTech is expected to allow it to further strengthen its ARIP business, its software and systems capabilities, and its industrial IoT (IIoT) market reach. After the acquisition PrismTech will operate as a semi-autonomous business unit. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ADLINK Technology
San Jose, CA
(408) 360-0200


BAE Systems to Develop EW Suite for Air Force's C-130J Fleet

BAE Systems has been selected by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to develop a new electronic warfare system for the fleet of C-130J aircraft. The contract, worth more than $20 million, is the first phase of a multi-phase program to upgrade aircraft system survivability and the capability to detect, identify, locate, deny, degrade, disrupt and defeat threat systems in operational significant environments. The life cycle value of the contract is expected to exceed $400 million.

The Radio Frequency Countermeasure (RFCM) system offers fully integrated, precision geo-location, and radio frequency countermeasure capabilities. The advanced system will significantly enhance the electronic threat protection capability of the C-130J, increasing the aircraft's ability to detect and defeat both surface and airborne threats in signal-dense and highly contested environments. Designed to be integrated into both the MC-130J Commando II (Figure 4) and the AC-130J Ghostrider aircraft, the RFCM system will support the varied and critical missions of Special Operation Forces. Under the terms of the contract, BAE Systems will provide product development and platform integration work over the next 12 months.

Figure 4
The Radio Frequency Countermeasure (RFCM) system will significantly boost the C-130J aircraft’s ability to detect and defeat threats in signal-dense and highly contested environments.

BAE Systems
McLean, VA.
(703) 847-5820