Daily Briefing: News Snippets

New RTOS and tool chain tell Joint Strike Missile what to do

Hardware is 100 percent dormant without software giving it life and direction. That goes for all mil-embedded systems, including the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) presently in development for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (Figure 1). JSM is headed by Norway-based prime Kongsberg Defence Systems, which recently chose Green Hills Software’s INTEGRITY RTOS, along with GH’s Probe networking middleware and debugger and MULTI integrated development environment, for the program. The triad of wares is slated for utilization as JSM’s planning, safety launch, and telemetric software. Specifically, INTEGRITY will power several Freescale Power Architecture processor-based multicore computers within JSM; meanwhile, JSM is to be mounted internally or externally to the F-35’s bomb bay. Incarnated for the Royal Norwegian Air Force, JSM will work in naval fire support missions and anti-surface warfare over land and sea.

Figure 1: An F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft flies over Eglin Air Force Base in Florida: the future home of the JSF training facility. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Julianne Showalter
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U.S. Special Ops makes something known

While many things are unknown about the inner workings of U.S. Special Operations Command, one thing that is known is its recent penning of a now-not-to-exceed $464 million contract modification with Harris Co. The new ceiling provided for the originally $422 million, 10-year IDIQ contract grants Harris a five-year base timeframe plus a five-year option in sustaining and procuring enhanced-capability special ops high-frequency manpack radio systems. The contract’s work continues in Rochester, New York; meanwhile, the contract is slated for completion on April 30, 2012, or April 30, 2017 if the second five-year option is activated.

Navy’s C2 and C4ISR to work better together

Long on nomenclature, Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems are paramount to winning any military conflict. Case in point: a recent $73 million contract between the U.S. Navy and Eagan, McAllister Associates, Inc., wherein the latter provides the former with tactical Command and Control (C2) integration services for C4ISR systems. Apparently a high-value proposition, the IDIQ contract’s options could boost the contract’s cumulative total to $533 million. Work completion is anticipated by April 2011 – or April 2013 if all options are executed, with Charleston, South Carolina as the primary contract fulfillment locale. Work will also be performed at the company’s Norfolk, Virginia and Lexington Park, Maryland locations. The contracting activity is the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, also situated in Charleston, South Carolina.

Raytheon to keep PATRIOT on course

The venerable PATRIOT [Phased Array Tracking Intercept of Target] missile system needs no introduction these days – but it does still need some engineering services, per a recent contract between Raytheon Company and the U.S. Army. The $105 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract stipulates that Raytheon provides a precise 907,043 man-hours of engineering services. The PATRIOT (see Figure 2) contract is anticipated to run through January 31, 2014, and work takes place at Tewksbury, Andover, and Burlington, Massachusetts, in addition to Huntsville, Alabama and El Paso, Texas. The contracting activity is the Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Figure 2: MIM-104 PATRIOT surface-to-air missile system, U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Barney
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Linux steers U.S. Navy ships

Open architectures are making waves when compared against old-school proprietary wares. And Global Technical Systems (GTS) recently choosing SteelEye Technology Inc.’s Linux-based software to climb aboard U.S. Navy vessels exemplifies this trend (Figure 3). Specifically, SteelEye Technology will provide its SteelEye Protection Suite for Linux Multi-Site Cluster Edition (SLMSCE) software to GTS, which heads the U.S. Navy’s Common Processing (CPS) program in partnership with Northrop Grumman. CPS renders a processing system as part of the Navy’s anticipated Open Architecture (OA) initiative for its combat systems. CPS is slated for development centering around commercial software and hardware, including I/O interfaces, memory, data storage, and computer processing in support of software apps tucked inside combat systems powered by Red Hat Linux. The goal: to assure that the entire Navy fleet’s host software applications are continuously available. Key to the equation are SLMSCE’s cascading multiple node failover capabilities and multi-site cluster configurations, which will enable it to safeguard the Navy’s IBM BladeCenter BCHT infrastructure amidst unplanned and planned network downtime.

Figure 3: The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and the USS Farragut (DDG 99) guided-missile destroyer – both part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group – pull along both sides of the USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship. U.S. Navy photo by Naval Air Crewman 3rd Class Ruben N. Coss
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Troops get no interference from mini actuator

Keeping a military submarine’s or ship’s navigation systems interference-free is paramount to mission success and troop safety. Accordingly, a recent Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract between the U.S. Navy and New Scale Technologies, Inc. for a non-inductive rotary actuator system illustrates this philosophy. The contract stipulates that New Scale Technologies provides its tiny 1"-cubed closed-loop actuator system to execute flight control surface movement within mini precision-guided munitions. And because it’s nonmagnetic, the actuator can be positioned close to larger navigation systems utilizing the Earth’s magnetic field to gather roll rate and orientation information. The small-sized actuator comprises control electronics such as a microprocessor, position sensor, and drive ICs, in addition to several piezoelectric micro motors. The piezoelectric motors serve to rotate a shaft, without mechanical linkages or gears, at 300 degrees per second with 0.2 N-m torque.

Abrams tank gets an overhaul

Though the Abrams tank is easily recognized by its external appearance, it’s indeed what’s inside that counts more – at least as far as a recent contract between the U.S. Army and Honeywell International, Inc. is concerned. The $93 million firm-fixed-price contract is for the Total Integrated Engine Revitalization program’s year 5, which specifies that Honeywell proffers support and parts for overhauling 1,500 engines or equivalents in addition to 1,000 automotive gas turbines for Abrams tanks and Abrams derivatives (Figure 4), as well as Army stock spares. The majority of the contract will be completed in Phoenix, Arizona, with work also transpiring in Rocky Mount, North Carolina; Greer, South Carolina; and Anniston, Alabama. The anticipated contract completion date is December 31, 2011.

Figure 4: An M1 Abrams tank, U.S. Army photo by Corporal Lee Sang-Jun
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USAF gets more secure – 9 times over

Clearly, security is a major concern for the DoD these days. The evidence: The recent origination (and all in one day) of nine separate Information Assurance (IA) contracts between the United States Air Force and Booz Allen & Hamilton, Inc.: 1) a $24 million contract to arm combat-ready forces with secure cyber operations; 2) another $24 million to render IA recommendations to the Systems Center Atlantic, with Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska as the contracting activity; 3) a $23 million contract to increase IA for U.S. Space Command’s cyber activities; 4) $19 million to insert IA into present-day command and control systems and networks; 5) $19 million for IA technical analysis for future and emerging satellite comms systems and also secure comms to warfighters in the field; 6) $15 million for secure, high-rel networks for Air Combat Command; 7) $14 million for IA for comms systems on the ground and in the sky; 8) $14 million for IA capabilities to enhance secure information’s availability and interoperability; and, finally, 9) $8 million to develop network defense and cyber security for Air Force information systems (Figure 5).

Figure 5: The USAF is beefing up its cyber security per nine recent contracts with Booz Allen & Hamilton. U.S. Air Force photo by Captain Carrie Kessler
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