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By | January 14, 2008

      Lockheed, United Space To Seek Johnson Space Center Support Contract

      Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] signed a memorandum of understanding with United Space Alliance to seek the Facilities Development and Operations Contract (FDOC) at Johnson Space Center.

      United Space Alliance is a joint venture of Lockheed and The Boeing Co. [BA].

      Both Lockheed and USA are currently under contracts at the center which will become part of the new contract program.

      Lockheed is the current contractor for the mission support operations contract and United Space Alliance is the contractor for the space program operations contract.

      "Our team brings together two companies with a long and very successful history of providing NASA with high performance and an environment of collaboration," said Rick Hieb, Lockheed Martin Mission Service vice president for civil programs.

      "We look forward to competing on this important contract that will see NASA make the transition from the Space Shuttle to the Constellation program while at the same time supporting the International Space Station mission."

      While the space shuttle will retire in 2010, the Constellation program will develop the next-generation U.S. spacecraft, the Orion crew exploration vehicle and the Ares rocket to lift it into space.

      The new contract services will include development, sustaining engineering, operations, and maintenance of facilities supporting training, flight design, flight planning, reconfiguration, and real-time operations for the current human space flight programs. Additionally, the new program will provide development and sustainment of user software applications.

      Lockheed Chooses ATK To Design, Build Orion Solar Arrays; Contract Expected To Exceed $50 Million, Running Through 2020

      Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] chose Alliant Techsystems [ATK] to design, develop and build UltraFlex solar arrays for the next generation U.S. spacecraft, the Orion crew exploration vehicle, under a pact worth more than $50 million.

      Orion will have its first manned flight in 2015, or earlier if funding is provided.

      Program management, design, engineering, analysis, manufacturing, assembly and test work for the solar arrays will be conducted at the ATK facility in Goleta, Calif.

      Because the flight solar array system is expendable for each Orion mission, ATK expects continuous production through 2020 and beyond.

      Orion will carry astronauts to the moon. It also will transport crew and cargo to the International Space Station.

      The UltraFlex disk-shaped solar arrays, each measuring greater than 5 meters (16.4 feet) in diameter, will track the sun and provide power for Orion during its mission. The arrays offer superior performance characteristics and mission enabling features, including ultra-lightweight, high strength, high stiffness, and compact stowage volume, according to ATK.

      The UltraFlex solar array configured for Orion will provide over twenty-five times the strength and ten times the stiffness of conventional ATK rigid panel solar arrays, at less than one-fourth the weigh, the company stated.

      Lockheed Gains $40.4 Million Contract Change For Aegis Work On Japanese Ship

      The Missile Defense Agency gave Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] a $40.4 million contract change to provide ballistic missile defense (BMD) capability to a Japanese Aegis-equipped destroyer, the JS Myoko, the company announced today.

      This would be the third of four Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force destroyers to receive the upgrade.

      The JS Kongo already has been equipped with the Aegis BMD Weapon System, which detects, identifies and guides an interceptor to eliminate an enemy missile. The Kongo last month used the Aegis system to destroy a target missile.

      Work is underway to install the Aegis BMD system on the JS Chokai at Nagasaki, Japan.

      Jimmy Carter (not the former president), Lockheed Martin director of advanced and international sea-based missile defense programs, said in a briefing for journalists that Japan is the only nation to have contracted for and procured such an advanced system, but several other nations are potential candidates for the Aegis BMD system. He spoke at Lockheed offices near the Pentagon.

      "We’ve been questioned by Spain," he said. "A couple of years ago we had questions from Norway we responded to. Australia has always asked questions about it, and we have briefings. We go over to Australia."

      But "at this point, Japan is the only one that has actually stepped up and created and generated a contract."

      A total of 18 U.S. Navy ships are in line to complete installations of Aegis BMD systems soon, and eventually there could be 84 U.S. Aegis BMD vessels.

      Carter was asked whether the 18 ships would be sufficient for the U.S. Navy to be able to keep at least one ship on station, 24/7, off North Korea and China, and also near Iran.

      But he declined to respond, saying that deployment of ships is a Navy decision, and would depend on various parameters: "What are you defending? Where is the threat coming from? How many ships would it take to cover that?"

      The Aegis BMD record in testing includes 12 ballistic missile intercepts in 14 attempts.

      Some lawmakers last year saw the Aegis system as having mature technology and less risk, and therefore attempted to shift money from some more developmental BMD programs to Aegis.

      The Aegis BMD system integrates the SPY-1 radar, the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, the Raytheon Co. [RTN] Standard Missile-3, or SM-3, and the Aegis command and control system.

      The Aegis BMD system also integrates with the Missile Defense Agency multi-program ballistic missile defense shield, receiving cues from and providing cueing information to other missile defense systems.

      The Aegis Weapon System at various levels of sophistication currently is deployed on 85 ships around the globe with more than 20 additional ships planned or under contract. In addition to the United States and Japan, Aegis is used by Spain, Norway, South Korea and Australia.

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