Thursday, December 27, 2007

Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, DHS, Russia: Military News

Raytheon creates real-world training ground
The Indiana Office of Energy and Defense Development is calling attention to an initiative of Raytheon Co.’s Fort Wayne operations as one of the most impressive success stories emerging from Gov. Mitch Daniels’ efforts to grow the state’s defense business. An announcement on the completion of the agency’s Defense Asset Study earlier this month said collaboration it has been promoting could help advance the development of Raytheon’s promising Networked Urban Operations Test Bed. The Office of Energy and Defense Development study highlighted ways for companies and universities to attract more defense dollars to the state. The effort is expected to translate into more jobs for Hoosiers and continued growth for Indiana’s $4.6-billion defense contracting industry. “This project has been more than a study, it’s been a process,” said Jason Lovell, manager of the OED’s Defense Division. “Through this effort, companies within the seven sectors the study identified have come together, built lines of communication and formed alliances to go after more defense dollars.” Defense electronics is among the industry sectors the state wants to develop, and there is a growing cluster of related businesses in northeast Indiana. Regional groups were formed to identify and leverage opportunities within the state’s defense business sectors, and Lovell said the OED would like to see “all these sector’s groups keep … growing, going and winning contracts.” Raytheon is one of the major employers in that business cluster, and the company’s Networked Urban Operations Test Bed could become very important to innovation within the defense industry. The test bed is a training program for military personnel and first responders, and also allows them to evaluate new technology and its use in real-world situations. The concept received favorable reviews when it was demonstrated in May at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Jennings County near Butlerville. The center is a secluded, self-contained community, once home to the Muscatatuck State Developmental Center. The 1,000-acre site was turned over to the Indiana National Guard in 2005 and since has been evolving into a full-immersion contemporary urban training environment. Late last year, U.S. Joint Forces Command announced a two-year cooperative research and development agreement with Raytheon to create “a nationally accessible operations-oriented test bed for exploration and rapid deployment of net-centric capabilities and components for use in urban environments.” In addition to Muscatatuck, various sites throughout Indiana, including the Indiana National Guard’s Camp Atterbury facilities, the Naval Surface Warfare Center located at Crane and facilities owned by Purdue University will serve as this test bed. Raytheon will provide USJFCOM network access to the Indiana test bed at the command’s offices in Suffolk, Va. USJFCOM and Raytheon will provide scientific, engineering, and operational expertise as needed. Russ Richards, who heads the USJFCOM Office of Research and Technology Applications, said the agreement was important because “to really explore new concepts and new capabilities that support urban operations we need to do experimentation. But we don’t have a place that we can do live experimentation very well.” Because Muscatatuck is a complete town consisting of 70 buildings, a hospital, power station and subterranean tunnels located on a thousand acres of rural, isolated property, the command said it is an ideal urban environment for joint concept development and urban operations experiments. The May training exercise at Muscatatuck was a simulated terrorist attack in which Indianapolis was hit with a dirty nuclear device and panicked survivors were trying to evacuate along Interstate 69 in time to avoid a radioactive cloud drifting northeast toward Fort Wayne. Bruce Menshy, operations director for Raytheon Network Centric Systems in Fort Wayne, said a training exercise that puts technology to a real-world test will generate important feedback on its strengths and weaknesses, and help identify its best use and opportunities to improve it. And “the good thing is, this leverages assets we have in the state,” he said. Timothy Morris, a technology acquisition manager for Raytheon in Fort Wayne, is administering the test bed and said it has the potential to dramatically accelerate the successful development and use of important new defense technologies. New technologies and even upgrades typically can take 10 to 15 years to come into use. “The fastest I’ve ever see one deployed is three years, and that took a Herculean effort,” Morris said.

Russia elevates Iran air defense,1,940822.story?ctrack=3&cset=true
BEIRUT - Iranian officials said Wednesday that they have signed a contract to buy an advanced Russian anti-aircraft system, a move that could complicate any plans for an air attack by U.S. or Israeli warplanes.The sale to Tehran of powerful new air-defense missile technology also would create new sources of friction between the Bush administration and the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. U.S. officials harshly criticized Russia for an earlier missile sale to Iran completed in January.

Daily News: Flu Shots Allow Practice Drills
Some states are offering free flu vaccinations as practice for an emergency response to a pandemic or bioterrorism attack. Arkansas conducted the largest free flu-shot drive in the country, vaccinating more than 100,000 people in a three-day, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded test, according to the website. Stations were set up in 81 schools, churches, fairgrounds and other venues. They were even offered on a drive-through basis in parking lots. It was funded under a $500 million program launched last year. The CDC paid for personnel, equipment, and transportation. The cost of the shots is being recovered through private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and the state. Colorado, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Nebraska, and New York offered shots on much smaller scales

Lockheed grabs up PercepTek
Lockheed Martin Corp. will acquire PercepTek Inc., a provider of autonomous decision-making software technologies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition is intended to strengthen Lockheed Martin’s capabilities in unmanned surveillance, company officials said. Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control unit will manage the PercepTek business, they added.
PercepTek of Littleton, Colo., develops software that supplies autonomous navigation for unmanned ground vehicles, autonomous collaboration operations for unmanned aerial vehicles and automated surveillance for security applications. Among the company’s customers are the Army, Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Georgetown Bioterrorism Expert Appointed to Biodefense Advisory Board
Washington, DC—Georgetown University bioterrorism expert Kenneth Dretchen, PhD, has been named by Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt to the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB) for a three-year term. The panel was created as part of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act in 2006 to provide expert guidance to the Secretary on technical issues related to bioterrorism. Dretchen, chair of Georgetown University Medical Center’s Department of Pharmacology, was part of a team that developed a portable chemical antidote injection that every member of the U.S. military now carries

New government-transparency database will decrease available info about intel agencies
A new online government spending database -- designed to increase transparency as to how taxpayer dollars are spent -- will actually allow intelligence agencies to keep more secrets about their private contracts than before.
"[W]hen it comes to intelligence spending, there will actually be a net loss of public information because categories of intelligence contracting data that were previously disclosed will now be withheld," reports Steven Aftergood at Secrecy News.

Spending on internal security to reach $178 bn by 2015
DUBAI: The global homeland security business is flourishing and governments and businesses worldwide are expected to spend some $178 billion by 2015 to counter terror threats, according to security experts and industry sources, WAM news agency reported Thursday. "International expenditure on homeland security now surpasses established enterprises like movie-making and the music industry in annual revenues," said Angela Schierholz, senior show manager at Epoc Messe Frankfurt GmbH, organizer of Intersec Middle East exhibition to be held in Dubai Jan 13-15, 2008

US air defences scramble to meet F-15 fleet grounding
With hundreds of US F-15 Eagle jets now grounded because of dangerous structural defects, the country's air defence network is becoming strained somewhat, particularly as Russia has chosen this time to adopt a an aggressive posture in the air space surrounding Western countries

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