Thursday, May 08, 2008

These would be very useful... addition to RADARSAT-2. Northrop Grumman wins the US Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) competition (AW&ST, April 28, p. 27, text subscriber only):
The U.S. Navy’s decision to select a Northrop Grumman design for its new surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles appears to secure the company’s foothold as that service’s preferred UAV provider.

The Apr. 22 announcement also stamped out Lockheed Martin’s attempt, as a prime contractor for a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ Predator-derived design, to break into the burgeoning Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV market.

The decision stemmed a push by General Atomics, a mainstay in the U.S. tactical UAV account, into the strategic market carved out by Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk...

One of the reasons for delays earlier in the BAMS program was to allow time to work cooperatively to craft requirements for the U.S. system that would also satisfy Australia’s needs. Canberra put $15 million into the program prior to development and is expected to add another $100 million for this phase. A formal decision is expected by year’s end.

Dishman [BAMS program manager at NAS Patuxent River, Md.] says there is interest from the U.K., Canada [emphasis added--see end at this post], Singapore and Japan in buying the system down the road.
Update: Industry minister Jim Prentice has confirmed the decision not to allow the sale of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates' space division (maker of RADARSAT-2) to an American firm. Bad decision.


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