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By | January 28, 2008

      Boeing, Lockheed, Join To Seek Air Force Bomber Contract

      The two largest contractors will join forces to seek an Air Force contract for initial steps toward eventually creating a new U.S. bomber in the next decade.

      The Boeing Co. [BA] and Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] will team to perform studies and system development efforts including collaborative research and development for the Next Generation Bomber program.

      That aircraft likely won’t be flying missions until 2018. The current fleets of Air Force bombers have designs that already are decades old, including the venerable B-52 bomber that was designed in the 1940s and 50s. Even the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber built by Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC] is a product of the 1980s. Northrop might well compete against the Boeing-Lockheed team for the contract.

      Boeing would be the prime contractor if the team wins the contract.

      This collaborative effort for a long-range strike program will include work in advanced sensors and future electronic warfare solutions including advancements in network enabled battle management, command and control, and virtual warfare simulation and experimentation, according to Boeing.

      "Boeing and Lockheed Martin are working closely at all levels to capture the best of industry to develop and provide an effective and affordable solution for the warfighter," said Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Advanced Systems. "The work performed by the

      Boeing/Lockheed Martin team is designed to help the Air Force establish capability-based roadmaps for technology maturation and date certain timelines for the Next Generation Bomber program."

      Boeing and Lockheed Martin have formed teams for several high profile programs including the F-22 Raptor superstealth, supersonic cruise strike fighter aircraft and the Small Diameter Bomb Increment II, a smart bomb.

      "The combined technical strengths of Boeing and Lockheed Martin offer the best possible team to provide a new long range capability to the USAF by 2018," stated Frank Cappuccio, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager for Advanced Development Programs (the Skunk Works) and Strategic Planning.

      Four Firms To Make Model Systems, Test Hardware For NASA

      The Langley Research Center has selected four companies to provide NASA with aerospace model systems and developmental test hardware used for spaceflight, space exploration, flight tests and ground-based tests, NASA announced.

      The cumulative value of all contracts is a maximum of $30 million over five years. Awardees will compete for orders placed as requirements warrant.

      Those firms are: Advanced Technologies Inc., Newport News, Va.; ATK Micro Craft, Tullahoma, Tenn.; Tri Models Inc., Huntington Beach, Calif.; and Triumph Aerospace Systems – Newport News.

      The multiple-award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts are for reliance consolidated models and a centralization of design and fabrication efforts supporting Langley, Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

      Hughes Gets Contract For Satellite Network Aid For Brazilian Stores

      Hughes received a contract from the Rede Smart firm to provide broadband satellite services for 930 Brazilian grocery stores.

      They will be linked via HughesNet, part of Hughes Network Systems LLC, headquartered in Germantown, Md.

      Hughes beat other firms, located in Brazil, which also vied for the work.

      The first phase of the project will connect 300 stores via the nationwide HughesNet satellite service, to process online debit and credit card transactions. A key benefit of fast credit card processing is reduced queuing time at the cashiers, a benefit small stores will now enjoy that previously was available only to larger retailers in Brazil.

      In the second phase of the project, remaining stores will be connected through HughesNet and additional value-added applications will be supported, including distance learning for store employees, live video distribution throughout the entire network, and back-office systems.

      Prior to this satellite project, each store was responsible for fulfilling its communications needs on its own and dial-up, point-of-sale solutions were used for debit and credit card transactions.

      Rede Smart plans to integrate all 930 stores this year.

      General Dynamics Gains $64 Million European Missile Contract

      General Dynamics Corp. [GD] gained a $64 million contract to supply the Spanish Army with Air Land Spike Missile Systems for HAD Tiger helicopters, the company announced today.

      A General Dynamics European Land Systems unit in Spain, General Dynamics Santa Barbara Sistemas, received the contract, which is worth about �44 million.

      The contract calls for 44 launchers and 200 missiles.

      The company also will provide integrated logistics support.

      Work is expected to be completed by 2012.

      General Dynamics Santa Barbara Sistemas, the prime contractor, has an agreement with the Israeli company RAFAEL to make the systems. In 2006, the two companies signed a contract for Spike Missiles to Spanish Army ground forces. The initial contract was for $424.5 million.

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