In March of 2015, NASA announced that its Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) will entail a retrieval of a 4-meter boulder from an asteroid which will be placed in orbit around our moon. This mission will provide insight into a future journey to Mars. Costing approximately $1.25 billion USD plus launch costs, the initiative is expected to take place with initial launch slated for December 2020 and arrival at the selected asteroid two years later. NASA astronauts will follow up on the boulder and collect samples for analysis. ARM, which will use an unmanned robotic spacecraft to travel to the asteroid, was established in 2010 as a replacement for the long-delayed and over-budget Constellation Program. The likely candidate for the asteroid will be 2008 EV5.
Raytheon has been awarded a contract from the United States Air Force to provide Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missiles (AMRAAM). Valued at USD$528.8 million, the contract is a modification to an original Lot 28 production deal. Per the agreement, Raytheon will provide AMRAAM Lot 29 production along with other system equipment. In addition, Raytheon has to include foreign military sales to Korea, Oman, Singapore, and Thailand. Expected to be completed in 2018, work will be done at Tucson, Arizona with the contracting activity from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Elgin Air Force Base, Florida.
GE has agreed to a contract with the United States Air Force (USAF) to define high-performance embedded computing architectures of future generations of radar processors.
In March of 2015, Google announced that they will be completely redesigning their drone for their upcoming drone delivery system – Project Wing. Headed by the Google Project X Research Lab, this endeavor seeks to develop commercial applications for unmanned aerial vehicles. The program is over two years in the making (established in 2011), but the company only formally announced its existence last year.
Through an initiative to increase technologic warfare capabilities throughout the Department of Defense and U.S. military, the Pentagon has created a task force to address shortfalls. This panel is dubbed the Electronic Warfare Executive Committee. Deputy of Defense Bob Work stated, “They believe it is an important part of their offensive and defensive arsenal, and it's going to be on the forefront of any initial guided munitions salvo exchange.”
One month after the announcement that Aerojet Rocketdyne switched management, the Competitive Improvement Program was put into action by the company. This plan involves a forty percent reduction in facilities and a ten percent reduction in workforce. The most targeted facility will be the company’s headquarters near Sacramento, California, which involves an overall reduction from 230,000 square meters to about 140,000 square meters.
According to 2014 rankings, Boeing maintains its standing as the world’s top exporter of arms. This is the Seattle-based company’s second consecutive year at number one. For fiscal year 2014, thirty percent of the company’s revenue (over $27 billion) came from things “pursuant to U.S. government contracts, which include foreign military sales through the U.S. government.” However, Boeing’s total sales to the US government saw a slight dip in percentage, going down from 34% in 2013 to 30% to 2014.
Airlines have been working vigorously to develop a more mainstream and cost-effective product for flight tracking in order to replace the outdated method of passive, infrequent flight tracking. These changes are much needed-especially, after the recent disappearances of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and AirAsia Flight QZ8501. Rockwell Collins and SITA have both developed new packages that will allow airlines to actively track their flights.
The Boeing Company is an American global designer and manufacturer of airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, and satellites. It also provides leasing and product support services to a multinational customer base. Boeing is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers, is the second-largest defense contractor in the world based on reported 2013 revenue, and is the largest exporter in the United States by dollar value. Earlier today, Boeing announced that they have received a USD $594 million order from Alaska Airlines to provide six Boeing 737-900 extended range (ER) aircraft—four of which are to be delivered in 2016 and the remaining two in 2017.
Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is a European multinational aerospace and defence corporation that manufacturers aircraft parts as well as civil airliners. Airbus was originally formed as the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), but in January of 2014 was reorganized as Airbus Group—combining the divisions for development and marketing of civil and military aircraft, as well as communications systems, missiles, space rockets, helicopters, satellites, and related systems. In February 2015, Britain’s Ministry of Defence announced that a USD$228 million deal has been signed to equip Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets with the newest Brimstone 2 surface attack missiles.
Founded in 1937 in Stockholm, Sweden, the Saab Group is an aerospace and defense company that designs and produces air traffic control systems, fighter and military aircraft, military systems, and radar. Saab’s Security and Defense Solutions business unit develops systems within the civil security sector in addition to training and simulation solutions.
Embraer, a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, reported a successful close to the calendar year 2014, keeping itself in a neck-and-neck race with its counterpart Bombardier for the title of third largest aircraft manufacturer in the world. Currently, only Boeing and Airbus are larger. TAM Linhas Aereas, a Brazilian airline, is in the process of finalizing an order for thirty regional jets from Embraer, in efforts to strengthen its domestic Brazilian network.
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Altera Corporation is a premier designer and manufacturer of programmable logic devices (PLD)—electronic components used to build reconfigurable digital circuits. Founded in 1984 with the invention of the world’s first reprogrammable logic device, Altera supports a number of end markets with its array of custom logic solutions—including medical, military, test & measurement, telecommunications, automotive, and cloud computing.
Established in 1923, British-based Bulgin Components is a leading global designer and manufacturer of connectors, fuseholders, and switches. It was founded by research and development proponent Arthur Bulgin OBE—a life member of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and one of the six founding members of the Radio and Electronic Components Manufacturers’ Federation (RECMF).
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Brunton is a popular producer of outdoor lifestyle products including navigational tools, optic products, portable power, and lighting systems. Established in 1894 by a geologist, Brunton got its start with the creation of the innovative Brunton Pocket Transit—a specialized compass that utilizes magnetic induction damping rather than traditional fluid to damp needle oscillation. Since 2010, Brunton has been operating under Swedish-based Fenix Outdoor Group. Fenix is broken down into two main units—Brands and Retail. The Brands business unit produces and markets the Brunton (instruments), Fjallraven (backpacks), Tierra (apparel), Primus (stoves), and Hanwag (boots) brands of outdoor and leisure gear.
Headquartered in Warren, Michigan, Acco Systems, Inc. is a designer and manufacturer of standard and custom automated conveyor, rail, and material handling systems. Founded in 1919, Acco Systems’ portfolio of products includes belt/chain skid conveyors, automated electrified monorail systems, automated storage/retrieval systems (AS/RS), skillet conveyors, towline systems, horizontal and pendulum conveyors, twin-trolley systems, and overhead and inverted power-and-free systems. Today, Acco Systems, Inc. operates under Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany-based Durr AG, a global firm specializing in mechanical and plant engineering technologies.
Esterline Technologies Corporation, a manufacturer of specialty aerospace and defense products for over a century, has been involved in several key acquisitions over the past two decades. Starting in 1998, the company agreed to purchase Kirkhill Rubber Company for $83 million, at which time Esterline had already acquired two-thirds of Kirkhill’s stock.
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Nutronics, Inc . is a company that engineers electro-optical solutions for problems in laser propagation due to atmospheric turbulence. Established in 1995, Nutronics develops technologies to combat optical turbulence for both the civil and military markets.
As of November 2014, Airbus Group has announced that it will be divesting its share in Dassault Aviation, a French aircraft manufacturer of military, regional, and business jets, a move which is expected to raise 794 million euros or $987 million prior to any deal expenses. Airbus Group will be selling its shares back to the French manufacturer Dassault Aviation, with plans to decrease its stake in the company even further by mid-2015.
Headquartered in Torrance, California, LEDtronics, Inc. is a premier provider of light emitting diode (LED) products including lamps, clusters, and arrays. Founded in 1983, LEDtronics is an ISO 9001/2008 certified and ROHS compliant Minority-Owned Small Business employing a 300-strong workforce. Since its establishment, LEDtronics has delivered over 10,000 individual LED lighting products to federal and Fortune 500 clients such as the U.S. Department of Defense, Caterpillar, Siemens, Cisco Systems, Square D, and IBM.
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