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Pakistan Pays $284 Million For 500 Raytheon AMRAAM, 200 Sidewinder Missiles

By | January 22, 2007

      Pakistan signed a letter of offer and acceptance to buy 500 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), the first time that nation has bought the weapon, Raytheon Co. [RTN] announced.

      That generates the largest single international AMRAAM purchase, according to the firm.

      Pakistan also will procure 200 AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles, for a total missiles deal worth $284 million.

      Delivery of the AMRAAM missiles will start next year and continue through 2011.

      Space Systems/Loral-Intelsat

      Intelsat Corp. gave Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications [LORL], a contract to manufacture Intelsat 14, a new, high- powered C- and Ku-band fixed satellite service satellite.

      Intelsat 14, to be located at 45 degrees West longitude, will be the 44th Space Systems/Loral satellite built over the past four decades for Intelsat, the world’s largest fixed satellite services operator.

      The satellite will carry 40 C-band and 22 Ku-band transponders across four different beams, covering the Americas, Europe and Africa.

      Intelsat 14 will have a design life of 15 years and will replace the PAS-1R satellite when the new satellite is delivered in 2009.

      Northrop-Navy $139 Million Deal

      The Navy gave Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC] a $40.4 million contract to provide ongoing technical support for the Trident II (D5) missile weapon system, a pact worth up to $139 million if options are exercised.

      Under terms of the contract, Northrop will provide full life-cycle support including systems engineering support, logistics, underwater launcher technology sustainment and launcher training services for both the United Kingdom and United States.

      The contract also includes life extension activities such as extended refueling shipyard field engineering support, hardware production and production restart planning efforts.

      The contract includes support of 14 Ohio-class U.S. submarines (SSBN-730 through SSBN-743) and up to four U.K. submarines (Vanguard-class). Also included is support for conversion of the first four Ohio-class submarines (SSBN-726 through SSBN-729) to a conventional weapon system (SSGN, nuclear-powered guided missile submarine).

      This conversion replaces each single-missile launcher with Northrop Grumman’s Multiple All-Up-Round Canister, which can hold and launch seven Tomahawk missiles. The conversion will allow the Navy to respond to a greater variety of military threats.

      The sole-source contract contains an as yet-unfunded option of $29 million for the fiscal year of 2007 plus duplicate options of $40 million and $29 million for 2008. If all options are exercised, the total potential contract value would be $139 million through 2010. The U.K. submarines would be serviced through the Navy rather than directly by Northrop Grumman.

      Webb Telescope Part Tested

      A key component of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) passed a test recently, according to Northrop.

      The component is a prototype structure that holds the primary mirrors for the optical element of the JWST.

      It passed a signal readiness milestone after undergoing a series of rigorous cryogenic tests at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

      Northrop is the prime contractor for JWST, leading a team in the design and development under contract to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

      Northrop Tests Airliner Shield

      Northrop also announced it began testing its laser system to protect airliners against man-portable air defense system missiles (MANPADS) fired by terrorists.

      An MD-10 aircraft in commercial revenue service with the Northrop Guardian system installed departed Los Angeles International Airport, marking the beginning of the operational test and evaluation portion of the Department of Homeland Security Counter-Man Portable Air Defense Systems (C-MANPADS) program.

      As part of Phase III of the DHS-sponsored program, a Northrop-led industry team will complete production of Guardian missile defense systems for installation on MD-10 aircraft.

      During the test and evaluation effort, which concludes in March next year, nine MD-10 aircraft equipped with the Guardian system will be in revenue service operation.

      XCOR Engine Test

      XCOR Aerospace tested its new 7,500 pound thrust rocket engine, the company announced, as part of a $3.3 million subcontract XCOR has with Alliant Techsystems [ATK].

      The tests support NASA’s advanced development program to obtain liquid methane rocket engine technology for future space applications. Six short-duration test fires were completed.

      The engine, designated 5M15, uses liquid methane and liquid oxygen as propellants. XCOR and ATK are developing the initial workhorse version of the 7,500 pounds thrust LOX/methane engine for NASA. This regeneratively-cooled version of the rocket engine also will be built and tested in 2007 as part of the contract. ATK will use the workhorse engine as a basis for design of the prototype version of the engine that will be closer to flight weight.

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