Boeing Awarded $249M Modified Contract for Huntsville-Managed Missile Program

Boeing of Huntsville has been awarded a $249 million contract modification for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System.

Huntsville is the headquarters for Boeing’s Missile and Weapon Systems division and the company employs more than 3,000 people across the state. As prime contractor, Boeing designs, produces, integrates, tests and sustains all GMD components deployed across 15 time zones.

The contract modification work includes development, fielding, test, systems engineering, integration and configuration management, equipment manufacturing and refurbishment, training and operations and sustainment for the system and its support facilities. Work will be performed in Huntsville; Tucson and Chandler, Ariz.

The GMD system is the nation’s only operationally deployed missile defense program capable of defending the entire United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) against long-range ballistic missile attacks.

 

 

SAIC Adding Innovation Factory Hub

SAIC is adding an Innovation Factory Hub to its Huntsville site, expanding its presence and support to local customers.

This marks the latest expansion of SAIC’s Innovation Factory network where the Department of Defense and other federal government agencies can evaluate new technologies and accelerate delivery of modernized systems.

SAIC’s Innovation Factory is a nationwide network of physical and virtual environments to quickly build, test, and deploy solutions and then enhance them through customer collaboration. Innovation Factory hubs connect SAIC’s innovators and toolsets, startups/tech companies, and the customer.

The Huntsville Innovation Factory Hub will be integrated into SAIC’s Innovation Factory network and showcase uniquely focused technologies enabling end-to-end analysis, experimentation and engineering focused on digital engineering with modeling and simulation and rapid prototyping capabilities.

“As we have witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement for true digital transformation has never been greater. This expansion to SAIC’s longstanding presence in Huntsville with a new Innovation Factory Hub allows us to support emerging needs, while also leveraging our solutions and company-wide expertise – developed over four decades supporting local customers,” said Jim Scanlon, SAIC executive vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems Group. “With all sectors rapidly implementing technology to meet and conduct business virtually, our new Innovation Factory Hub will enable our Huntsville-area customers to accelerate solutions to meet their mission requirements.”

 

Army Intercept Targets Using Northrop Grumman Technology Developed in Huntsville

When Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy visited Huntsville a few weeks ago, it was not to chop watercress.

One of his stops was to thank Northrop Grumman’s Huntsville team for its success in developing the Integrated Battle Command System, a weapons system that will give U.S. troops a technological advantage over the enemy, anywhere in the world.

“It’s not a question of whether or not we might get there,” he told more than 500 Northrup Grumman employees at IBCS manufacturing headquarters in Huntsville. “We have to get there.”

And get there they did – twice in fact over the past couple of weeks with two successful flight tests of the ICBS system.

Northrop Grumman developed IBCS with the Army as cornerstone of its integrated air and missile defense modernization program.

Primarily a Huntsville program, more than 500 of Northrop Grumman’s approximately 2,000 employees in the Huntsville area are involved in IBCS work, including Agile software development; the system’s overall design; and program management and foreign military sales. They also manufacture hardware at the Wall Triana facility, including the Engagement Operations Centers and Integrated Fire Control Network relays.

Furthermore, the Army’s IAMD Program office is at Redstone Arsenal.

Troops prepare for test to intercept incoming cruise and tactical ballistic missiles. (Photo/Northrop Grumman)

The first of two planned operational IBCS flight tests, both were conducted at White Sands Missile Range by the Army 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment.

Both were also part of the IBCS Limited User Test which is several tests simulating realistic battle operations and place performance stresses on the systems.

The first test’s defense included an Air and Missile Defense task force including two battery and one battalion engagement operations centers; two Patriot and Sentinel radars; and three Patriot Advanced Capability 3  launchers connected at the component level to the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network.

The test began when two “enemy” cruise missile were launched and flew at a low altitude through a mountain range. IBCS fused real-time data from all sensors into a single, accurate composite track for each threat.

In response, two PAC-3 missiles controlled by IBCS were launched and intercepted the cruise missiles.

IBCS sensors extend the battle area, engage threats providing 360-degree protection, increasessurvivability by enabling early detection and continuous tracking, and deliver the capabilities to defeat an increasingly complex threat.

“We are extremely pleased with how IBCS performed during this flight test,” said Kenn Todorov, vice president and general manager, combat systems and mission readiness, Northrop Grumman. “We have been working on an extraordinary command and control system in partnership with the Army, and our goals are the same – to get this capability into the hands of the warfighter as soon as possible.”

IBCS tracked and engaged incoming cruise and tactical ballistic missiles during test. (Photo/Northrop Grumman)

The second IBCS test a few days later intercepted a high-performance, high-speed tactical ballistic missile ) target and a cruise missile target. It demonstrated the system’s ability to acquire, track, identify and engage diverse targets from various locations, speeds and altitudes.

Their defense consisted of two battery and one battalion IBCS engagement operations centers, two Patriot and two Sentinel radars, and four launchers with a mixture of PAC-2, PAC-3 and interceptors connected to the IBCS fire control network.

“I would like to recognize how exceptionally proud I am of the soldiers of the 3-43 ADA Battalion,” said Maj. Gen. Rob Rasch, Army Program Executive Officer, Missiles and Space. “This formation’s laser focus and steadfast dedication, starting with New Equipment Training last year through this LUT live fire, will ultimately transform the Air and Missile Defense fight for our joint formations.

“It’s been amazing to watch our soldiers’ ability to successfully track, engage, and destroy multiple targets in a highly-complex live fire operational test, further demonstrating the IAMD’s game-changing technological advantage. As we continue to fine-tune system performance in order to fully demonstrate system requirements in the Initial Operational Test & Evaluation in Fiscal Year 2022, we maintain high confidence for success due to the great leaders and soldiers of the 3-43, who will ultimately become the first-ever IBCS-enabled battalion.”

The flight test commenced with the target missiles being launched from different areas toward the Army defenders at the controls of IBCS. The tactical missile traveled on a ballistic trajectory, while the cruise missile surrogate flew a low-altitude course. Using data from the multiple radars and ICBS, the soldiers launched a PAC-2 to intercept the cruise missile and a PAC-3 to intercept the ballistic missile. Both targets were intercepted.

“These two back-to-back successful test events are a testament to the commitment and partnership between the great men and women of the Army’s operational and acquisition communities and Northrop Grumman’s program team,” said Todorov. “We are committed to the mission of the Army and look forward to continuing that partnership in getting the game-changing IBCS capability into production and fielded.”

Northrop Grumman employs a workforce of 90,000 worldwide.

STRATCOM Commander: No Time for Delay to Modernize

 The commander of the United States Strategic Command stressed that time is of the essence in modernizing U.S. defense capabilities.

Adm. Charles Richard highlighted the nation’s preparedness in the most recent session of the Tennessee Valley Corridor Virtual Summit Series.

Some 400 government, industry, and education professionals from across the Tennessee Valley Corridor attended the session which focused on America’s new national security challenges, highlighting the role the Tennessee Valley plays in defending against cyber, nuclear, and other combatant threats.

In his keynote address, Richard, a Decatur native, described how the post-Cold War strategies of the past few decades are no longer sufficient in this changing world. He also drew attention to the deteriorating materiel across all branches of the military, as the federal government is now working alongside industry partners to rapidly address these modernization needs.

“I – and we – must have the capabilities necessary to deliver a decisive response and do it with a combat ready force,” said Richard. “Looking forward, there is no margin left for delay with our recapitalization and modernization timelines.”

The session also included an overview of current threats to our nation’s security from Sean Williams, president/CEO of Protection Strategies Inc. PSI is an East Tennessee-based firm engaged in contract security services nationally and internationally.

Ted Sherry, Vice President of CNS (operator of the Texas-based Pantex Plant and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn.), led a discussion on how regional partners are working to meet these security challenges. Panelists included: Blake Scott, Director of Lithium Transformation at Y-12; John Stewart, President of Nuclear Fuel Services; Dr. Skip Bartol, Associate Dean of Research at Auburn University; and Jason Coker, Vice Director at U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Complex.

View the full session of the TVC Virtual Summit Series on the TVC YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uecxhKKIlhM.

The next virtual session is noon (Central) Thursday when Tennessee Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn will deliver the keynote as a panel discusses workforce development challenges in the TVC. Visit TennValleyCorridor.org.

 

Davidson Receives Gold Boeing Performance Excellence Award

Davidson has received a 2019 Boeing Performance Excellence Award.

The Boeing Co. issues the award annually to recognize suppliers who have achieved superior performance. Davidson maintained a Gold composite performance rating for each month of the 12-month performance period, from October 2018 to September 2019. This year, Davidson is one of only 62 suppliers to receive a Gold level Boeing Performance Excellence Award.

“To be selected as a Gold supplier for Boeing is quite an honor,” said Davidson President John Holly. “We take great pride in the quality of our performance and the criticality of the mission. We are truly honored by this recognition.”

Davidson has received the honor every year since 2009 as the company continues its relationship with Boeing in Huntsville. Performance excellence is fundamental to the success of both companies and Davidson is dedicated to meeting the high-performance standards necessary to meet customer expectations and remain competitive in the global economy.  

“For over 21 years Davidson has had the honor of serving The Boeing Company on the GMD Program as one of our most important customers,” said Joey Leary, senior vice president Eastern Operations, Davidson. “We are honored and grateful to accept this award and look forward to doing our best to continue to support this vital national defense mission.” 

SAIC Adds Innovation Factory Hub in Huntsville

SAIC is adding an Innovation Factory Hub to its Huntsville site, expanding its presence and support to local customers. This marks the latest expansion of SAIC’s Innovation Factory network where the Department of Defense and other federal government agencies can evaluate new technologies and accelerate delivery of new and modernized systems.

SAIC’s Innovation Factory is a nationwide network of physical and virtual environments using a highly automated, cloud-hosted toolset; agile practices; and DevSecOps production chains to rapidly build, test, and deploy first iterations of solutions quickly and then enhance them quickly through close customer collaboration. Innovation Factory hubs connect SAIC’s innovators and toolsets, startups/tech companies, and the customer. 

The Huntsville Innovation Factory Hub will be integrated into SAIC’s Innovation Factory network and showcase uniquely focused technologies enabling end-to-end analysis, experimentation and engineering focused on digital engineering with modeling and simulation and rapid prototyping capabilities.

 

“As we have witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement for true digital transformation has never been greater. This expansion to SAIC’s longstanding presence in Huntsville with a new Innovation Factory Hub allows us to support emerging needs, while also leveraging our solutions and company-wide expertise – developed over four decades supporting local customers,” said Jim Scanlon, SAIC executive vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems Group. “With all sectors rapidly implementing technology to meet and conduct business virtually, our new Innovation Factory Hub will enable our Huntsville-area customers to accelerate solutions to meet their mission requirements.”

With more than 2,800 employees, SAIC’s Huntsville office is the company’s largest single location outside of its Reston, Va., headquarters and the Washington, D.C., region.

In addition to supporting local customers, the Huntsville Innovation Factory Hub will advance innovation for the entire community and be able to integrate solutions from SAIC’s local small and large business partners.

“The Huntsville Innovation Factory Hub is focused on driving Defense modernization initiatives while addressing the technical challenges associated with DOD multi-domain operations and force modernization initiatives,” said SAIC Chief Technology Officer Charles Onstott. “Our researchers and engineers will leverage digital engineering and agile software development to enable the DOD to rapidly explore and implement innovative technologies, such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and modeling and simulation, focused on improving mission outcomes.” 

The Huntsville Innovation Factory Hub will open in a phased approach. Phase 1 is an immediate fielding of Innovation Factory cloud-based process and tools focused on app and IT modernization, and teams will use existing conference spaces until hub spaces are ready.  Follow-on phases will leverage “workplace of the future” renovations in SAIC’s Odyssey Drive facility, and incorporate digital engineering, data analytics and modeling and simulation cloud-based tools. Completion of hub spaces is targeted for next spring.

The Innovation Factory relies on robust ecosystems of advanced technology partner companies, including startups and commercial partners, and federal government customers seeking new technologies.

U.S. Army Awards BAE Systems $179M for Next-Generation Missile Warning Systems

BAE Systems recently received $179 million in total awards from the Army as part of the Limited Interim Missile Warning System Quick Reaction Capability program.

This award includes orders for the first two production lots and funding to enable fielding of the next-generation Missile Warning System. The MWS provides crews with advanced threat detection capabilities, improving survivability and mission effectiveness in contested environments.

The new warning system is designed to protect aircraft in “high-clutter environments.” (Photo/BAE Systems)

“Threats are evolving and proliferating at a rapid pace and our aircrews who fly into harm’s way need the most advanced protection systems available,” said Chris Austin, director of Threat Detection Solutions at BAE Systems. “These orders follow an intensive two-year development and qualification program, made possible by a strong industry-government partnership focused on achieving an aggressive schedule.”

The foundation of LIMWS is BAE Systems’ 2-Color Advanced Warning System processor which will allow the Army to outpace the threat. 2CAWS builds upon BAE Systems’ experience in fielding systems for the rotary-wing environment. Optimized for size, weight, and power, 2CAWS features an open system processor, two-color infrared sensors for increased range, and a fiber optic A-kit for faster data transmission.

Work on the LIMWS program will be conducted in BAE Systems’ facilities in Merrimack, N.H., and Huntsville, where the company is building a state-of-the-art facility in Cummings Research Park.

The  Common Missile Warning System is currently fielded on thousands of Army platforms and has saved dozens of aircraft and their crews since it was first fielded in 2005.

Boeing Awarded $150M Missile Defense Agency Contract

The Missile Defense Agency awarded Boeing a three-year, $150 million contract modification to produce four additional boost vehicles for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.

GMD is the only defense program capable of protecting the entire U.S. homeland, including Alaska and Hawaii, against long-range ballistic missile attacks.

As the prime contractor, Boeing designs, produces, integrates, tests and sustains all GMD components deployed across 15 time zones.  Boeing also provides training, equipment production and operations support services.

Boeing manages the program in Huntsville and the work will be performed in Chandler, Ariz.

 

Cybersecurity Certification and Intellectual Property: ‘Only Information is Misinformation, Right Now’

Intellectual property is a company’s most valued asset.

Unfortunately, it is also what cybercriminals are hoping to catch on their on their next phishing trip in Hacker’s Pond.

Simple Helix CEO Tracy Collins: “Consultants, suppliers, they all have great opinions, but do your homework.” (Photo/Steve Babin)

It’s a business’s biggest nightmare at worst; a major inconvenience at best. When dealing with government agencies, the risk is even greater.

To that end, the Department of Defense rolled out its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification which surpasses compliance initiatives currently in place. Once implemented, CMMC will be a mandatory certification for all contractors and subcontractors doing business with the government.

To clarify misconceptions and answer questions regarding CMMC, Simple Helix and H2L Solutions teamed up to present, “CMMC: Where Assessment Meets Implementation.”

“We appreciate you meeting with us today,” said Tracy Collins, CEO of Simple Helix. “We’re really excited to discuss a topic that’s top of mind for many of us.

“The only information is misinformation, right now.”

Collins empathized that each business has its own needs and budget; he recommended that companies do their research, keeping those factors in mind.

“Base your decisions on your business. You have choices, despite what you’re told by others, said Collins. “Consultants, suppliers, they all have great opinions, but do your homework.”

“The government will never tell you one way or another,” said Stan Lozovsky, vice president/chief operations officer of H2L Solutions. “They provide the requirement and it’s up to the company to meet those requirements.”

H2L Solutions VP/COO Stan Lozovsky: CMMC “is here to protect your business …” (Photo/Steve Babin)

As CMMC is implemented, companies may not be able to do business with the government without the proper security procedures in place.

“CMMC is not here to hinder your business,” said Lozovsky. “It is here to protect your business and to force businesses to take a posture to protect information, your intellectual property, and how you do business.”

The government is taking a staggered approach to implementation, he said.

“The government has a five-year plan for roll-out,” said Lozovsky. “Whenever there’s a mod (modification), there’s a cost to the government, as well. There’s also a learning curve.

“You can’t really just flip a switch and expect everyone to just start doing everything, right off the bat.”

Self-certification will also be a thing of the past – third-party auditors must verify the certification criteria.

And history has demonstrated that self-certification isn’t always effective.

“It will force people into taking an active role in cybersecurity,” said Lozovsky.

“The CMMC implementation doesn’t have to be expensive,” said Scott McDaniel, vice president of Technology for Simple Helix. “Do your homework; you have choices with the vendors, tools, and the solutions that you choose to implement.”

 

 

 

Q&A with Sen. Jones: On Military Spending, Families and the Widows’ Tax

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) recently sat down with the Huntsville Business Journal at Huntsville West and discussed several issues important to our state and nation. This is the final installment of five reports from the interview. Today’s topic is the military and military families.

HBJ: Huntsville is a military town, nicknamed “Pentagon South.” Tell us what is going on with military spending and families.

 

Sen. Doug Jones met with the Huntsville Business Journal in the Huntsville West co-working collaborative community. (Photo/Steve Babin)

Sen. Jones: I’m on the Armed Services Committee. Alabama is extremely important to the nation’s security and our military forces. One of the things that we are trying to do, working with the administration, is to upgrade our military forces across the board.

We’ve got to spend money to upgrade what they call the “nuclear triad” of missiles for protection. We’ve got to upgrade submarines, planes, you name it. It’s all aging and we’re going to have to spend some money.

What we’re looking at now, is a whole new area of potential war and conflict. It’s not just in the air or sea or land anymore; it’s in space. This year, in the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), we’ve created the Space Force. I’m hoping the Space Command will come here to Huntsville. That decision is going to come relatively soon.

The other thing I’ve focused was families, our servicemen and women. There’s a 3.1 percent increase this year in the salaries for service members, which is the first one they’ve had in a while.

We’ve also done things to put extra money into education, trying to help the kids of service members that move around a lot, and also for kids with disabilities.

We’ve done things for military spouses. Military spouses often have professional certifications that are hard to transfer when they move. We’re trying to do things to make that certification transfer easier.

HBJ: What piece of military legislation stands out for you?

Sen. Jones: The biggest thing that I’m proudest of, after a 30-year fight, is the work that I did in the Senate this year to get the military widows’ tax eliminated for good. It was a really, really big deal.

Sen. Jones on widows’ tax: “Getting this tax eliminated was more than just a job for us, it was a mission; it was a cause.”

Although it only affects some 2,000 people in Alabama, it’s 2,000 people that are now going to get $1,200-$1,500 a month more.

There was a statutory set of money that the VA has administered for a long time.

Those funds were to be distributed to widows when a service member dies in combat or of a service-related injury. In many cases, service members buy additional insurance to provide additional benefits for their families. That money is administered by the Department of Defense and it’s something that service members pay for – out of their own pockets.

About 35  years ago, Congress passed legislation allowing the Department of Defense and the VA to offset the two.

If a widow was entitled to both pots of money, they’d only get 55 percent. This means money that service members have paid into – was going to the Department of Defense and staying there.

I didn’t know about it, never heard about it and then some of the Gold Star widows came to us and talked about it.

I just about blew a gasket. How can that be?

They showed me that it has been tried for 20 years to overturn and I told them, “This year, we’re going to do something different.”

It’s a commitment that was made to our service members that the federal government and Congress has fallen down on. Getting this tax eliminated was more than just a job for us, it was a mission; it was a cause. Everyone in the office chipped in; we ended up getting close to 80 co-sponsors in a very partisan senate.

I got Susan Collins (R-Maine) to co-sponsor it with me in the Senate. Together, we got so many co-sponsors, we organized it like a political campaign.

Every recess, every town hall, there was somebody there, asking about the military widows’ tax.

It got to the point that when it went up to Congress, the negotiators for the NDAA said, “We’ve just got do this.”

When it passed, there were about 25 to 30 of those Gold Star widows up in the gallery.

It was awesome. It was really, really awesome.

I’ve got to tell you, I’ve never been with a group of people so appreciative of an act of Congress as those military widows, it has been remarkable.