Northrop and Cobham win US Army deal

Defence electronics company Cobham said today that its joint venture with Northrop Grumman had been awarded a contract to provide battlefield communications equipment to the US Army.
The ten-year deal to supply its VIS-X system allowing communication between vehicles on the battlefield is worth up to $2.4 billion (£1.5 billion) of which Cobham’s share will be 50%, the company said in a statement.
The companies can only give a maximum value for the deal because the so-called “indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity” contract requires Cobham and Northrop only to have enough capacity to deliver a certain number of devices but does not guarantee the size of future orders.
The deal, which starts in 2010 and runs for 10 years, requires the firms to be able to deliver up to 500 systems a month in the first year and 2,000 systems per month in subsequent years.
“Securing the VIS-X contract is fantastic news. It has been a major focus for us and our partners this year,” Cobham Chief Executive Allan Cook said in a statement.
“VIS-X will allow soldiers and other vehicle mounted troops to communicate faster, safer and more securely with greater understanding of the operational situation during the most demanding missions.”
The equipment will be used by soldiers in vehicles such as the Humvee and Abrams and Bradley tanks.
Cobham and Northrop, which have been working together for 15 years, already supply the US military’s existing VIC-3 communication system.