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BMD Watch: LM wins Norway Aegis contract

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Martin Sieff
Washington (UPI) Aug 14, 2007
Lockheed Martin announced Tuesday it has won a $23 million contract for follow-on technical and logistics support services for Norway's Aegis weapon system-equipped F310-class frigates.

"Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will provide a full range of engineering, technical, logistics and configuration management support services to maintain and enhance the performance and operational effectiveness of the Aegis computer systems on all five F310-class ships," the company said in a statement.

"During the past three months, the Norway's F310 program recorded three significant milestones. In May, the second ship of the class, Roald Amundsen, was commissioned, and the third ship, Otto Sverdrup, was launched. In June, the lead ship, Fridtjof Nansen, successfully completed Combat System Ship Qualification Trials in the first-ever three-nation CSSQT with the USS Gridley and Spain's Mendez Nunez," the statement said.

"The Fridtjof Nansen's participation also marked the introduction of the SPY-1F radar system. SPY-1F is a smaller, lighter version of the SPY-1D radar system, providing robust performance with Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and Standard Missile-2 missile capability on frigate and corvette-sized ships," it said.

The SPY-1F "successfully detected and tracked all targets in Norway's CSSQT air defense scenarios," Lockheed Martin said.

"The Aegis Weapon System includes the SPY-1 radar, the Navy's most advanced computer-controlled radar system and available in various configurations to best meet the mission requirements for a naval surface ship. When paired with Lockheed Martin's MK 41 VLS, it is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare," the company said.

The AWS already operates on more than 83 ships around the world with another 20 Aegis vessels contracted or planned. Australia, Japan and Korea also operate Aegis systems in their navies.

+ Claim: U.S. halted Kongo BMD upgrade over security leak

The U.S. government temporarily suspended providing parts last month for the Japanese Aegis BMD system destroyer Kongo, over apparent security concerns following an information leak in March, The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported Saturday.

The paper said it believed U.S. officials ordered the halt because of what it described as "apparent concerns over the mishandling of sensitive information by the Self-Defense Forces and other relevant offices. Washington has pressed Tokyo to improve the situation."

The newspaper said that in March 2007, a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense officer accidentally revealed secret information on the Aegis Weapons System.

Japanese Defense Ministry officials told the newspaper that Washington then started slowing or holding back key software packages, key system parts and some manuals starting in July.

The Kongo is currently in port at Nagasaki Prefecture undergoing an upgrade for its new BMD capabilities, the report said.

The Yomiuri Shimbun cited what it called "a source close to the (U.S.) Defense Department" as saying that the Pentagon was warning Japan that if it did not tighten up on its security procedures, the U.S. government might prove reluctant to push ahead with equipping other Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers with SM-3 missiles.

The SM-3 Aegis-guided, sea-based maritime defense capability is seen as a crucial component of former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's ambitious plans to create a multi-layered ballistic missile defense system for the Japanese homelands against intermediate-range ballistic missile attacks involving both land-based and sea-based components.

A U.S. Department of Defense source told The Yomiuri Shimbun that Washington was sending Tokyo a message over its fears of Japan mishandling such information, adding that if the situation did not improve, the United States would find it difficult to arm other MSDF Aegis destroyers with SM-3 missiles used for the missile shield.

+ Northrop Grumman completes STSS ground tests

Northrop Grumman Corp., the prime contractor for the Missile Defense Agency's Space Tracking and Surveillance System, said Monday it had carried out the system's last ground segment acceptance test.

The test was held at the STSS ground operations center in the Missile Defense Space Experimentation Center at Schriever AFB in Colorado Springs, Colo., the company said in a statement.

"Ground system functions supporting the STSS spacecraft telemetry, tracking and commanding and mission data processing have been successfully developed, tested and delivered to the STSS system test and operations team in two incremental builds over the past two and one-half years," Northrop Grumman said.

"This capability has enabled early use of operational ground hardware and software in critical risk reduction testing of the STSS spacecraft and payload, development and validation of STSS ground operations and maintenance procedures, and training and certification of STSS ground operators," the company said.

Northrop Grumman said it had also successfully carried out a final STSS operational readiness demonstration at the MDSEC that "successfully demonstrated the readiness of the ground system hardware and software to operate the first two STSS satellites scheduled to launch in 2008."

"The test demonstrated the STSS system test operations by exercising a representative missile test scenario involving the surveillance, detection, tracking and reporting of a simulated test target launch from the Western Range" at Vandenberg Air Force Base, the company said.

Northrop Grumman said the two tests were essential stepping stones and preparations "for the launch and testing of the STSS demonstration satellites in 2008."

"Equally important are the long-term implications of the tests as the ground system hardware and software will ultimately form the backbone for a planned operational constellation of STSS follow-on satellites," the company said.

The STSS demonstration satellites are planned to interact with the MDA's Ballistic Missile Defense System Test Bed via the MDSEC ground station. "These demonstration STSS satellites will support the BMDS Test Bed by detecting and tracking missiles in all phases of flight. The test bed will allow the assessment of the STSS system's capabilities and its ability to operate in concert with other parts of a multi-layered missile defense architecture," Northrop Grumman said.

In the operational constellation, STSS will consist of low-Earth-orbiting satellites connected to the BMDS via a dedicated ground station. The system is designed to provide global, continuous missile detection and tracking capabilities. STSS is the segment that is designed to close the fire-control loop for the entire ballistic missile defense architecture, which will result in a robust, global, multi-layered missile defense system.

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Space Tracking And Surveillance System Passes Two Critical Ground System Tests
Redondo Beach CA (SPX) Aug 14, 2007
Northrop Grumman announced the successful completion of two significant ground system milestones. The final ground segment acceptance test was successfully completed at the STSS ground operations center located at the Missile Defense Space Experimentation Center (MDSEC) at Schriever AFB in Colorado Springs, Colo. Ground system functions supporting the STSS spacecraft telemetry, tracking and commanding and mission data processing have been successfully developed, tested and delivered to the STSS system test and operations team in two incremental builds over the past two and one-half years.

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