Boeing has signed a $188.3 million contract to begin system development and demonstration work on the US Air Force's small diameter bomb (SDB). A dispute about the weapon's interoperability with US Navy systems delayed a formal signing by two weeks and the air force is understood to have added navy-specific enhancements to the weapon in later production runs to end the debate. The air force selected Boeing over Lockheed Martin in August for the potentially $2.5 billion SDB programme. Honeywell is to demonstrate a backpackable, disposable 150-230mm reconnaissance and surveillance unmanned air vehicle under the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency's Micro Air Vehicle programme, as an extension to work on the ducted-fan vertical take-off and landing Organic Air Vehicle. The contract is potentially worth $39.3 million. BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman are to produce designs for the Counter Surveillance and Reconnaissance System (CSRS), a mobile system to deny the enemy use of spy satellites, under a $32.2 million US Air Force contract awarded to CSRS prime contractor Northrop Grumman. Alenia Aeronautica is to supply the Italian Guardia Finanza with a third ATR 42MP maritime patrol aircraft. The aircraft will be used for the discovery, location, classification, identification and tracking of ships and boats. Raytheon has received an initial $64.6 million payment to begin production of Advanced Self-Protection Integrated Suite (ASPIS) electronic-warfare systems for 60 Greek air force Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 52+s. ASPIS comprises the ALR-93(V) threat warning system, ALQ-187 jammer and ALE-47 chaff/flare dispenser. The full $242 million ASPIS II contract includes 29 ALQ-187 jammers to equip Greek Block 30/50 F-16s. L-3 Communications' Link Simulation & Training has been selected by Northrop Grumman to provide contractor aircrew training services for the US Air Force's E-8C J-STARS ground surveillance aircraft.

Source: Flight International