British programme faces delays


In this World Wide Wrap: British programme faces delays, Raytheon demonstrates innovative tech, Boeing wins contract, and Northrop delivers key software.

British programme faces delays

The first part of a massive update to Britain`s Web-based defence information network, critical to both military commanders and the modernisation of Defence Ministry business practices, has slipped months behind schedule, Defense News reports.

The EDS-led Atlas consortium running the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) programme will likely be at least eight months late in completing the first part of the contract, according to figures contained in the Defence Communication Services Agency`s (DCSA) recently released annual report for 2006.

The agency, an arm of the Ministry of Defence, says the predicted in-service date for Increment 1 of the DII (F) is now set for March 2008 rather than the approved date of last month. This is the second delay: the DCSA annual report for 2005 recorded an Increment 1 in-service date of March 2007.

Raytheon demonstrates innovative tech

Raytheon is participating in the Empire Challenge 2007, a demonstration evaluating intelligence collection systems for joint and coalition operations. The exercise, which began 15 July, is being held at the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Centre, California CNN reports.

The Empire Challenge exercise is designed to test and demonstrate techniques, standards and procedures for coalition intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, using a variety of US and allied distributed common ground systems (DCGS).

By federating US DCGS systems with DCGS Integration Backbones installed at coalition sites worldwide, system users can rapidly share battlespace information in real-time.

Boeing wins contract

The Boeing Company has received an $18 million US Navy contract to design, develop and produce the Undergraduate Military Flight Officer (UMFO) ground-based training system for Training Wing 6 at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.

"Future readiness begins with training, and the US Navy`s UMFO programme is the foundation for the naval flight officers of tomorrow," said Tony Jones, VP of Boeing Training Systems and Services. "We recognise the importance of providing a state-of-the-art training capability for new weapon systems and look forward to the opportunity to provide that capability to the US Navy."

The new system will provide introductory training for naval flight officers, weapon system officers and international military flight officers destined for highly sophisticated weapon systems, such as the F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-6B Prowler, the EA-18G Growler, the E-2C Hawkeye and the F-15E Strike Eagle.

Northrop delivers key software

Northrop Grumman Corporation delivered to F-35 Lightning II prime contractor Lockheed Martin the initial release of software required to perform manufacturing checkout of the first F-35B short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant.

The company has delivered updates for software modules used to perform three critical functions: functional test of key sensor subsystems such as radar, electronic warfare, and communication/navigation/IFF; download of maintenance information from the aircraft; and in-flight detection and pilot notification of safety-critical faults.

"The delivery of this initial manufacturing release of software for the first F-35 STOVL aircraft continues Northrop Grumman`s unbroken, two-year-long streak of on-time software deliveries to the F-35 Lighting II program," said Janis Pamiljans, F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman`s Integrated Systems sector.