Showing posts with label US MARINES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US MARINES. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Pic of the day. July 5, 2011.

What's going on with the cargo UAV??

This is rather disturbing.  Not because the UAV Cargo Helicopter isn't in theater now (as promised) but because of what it means for a couple of other programs.

I am convinced that one of the little acknowledged problems with the EFV was the lack of urgency by not only the manufacturer but the program office.  I see that creeping into this program and I'm wondering if its going to be an issue with other Marine Corps programs.

We need to get a handle on this asap!  Story via NAVAIR.
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md.—The Navy and Marine Corps plans to field a cargo unmanned aircraft system are moving forward as the first of two potential UAS helicopters landed at Pax River, July 1.

The Navy and Marine Corps Multi-Mission Tactical Unmanned Air Systems program office (PMA-266) coordinated the arrival of Lockheed Martin’s KMAX helicopter, one of the systems that will potentially deploy to Afghanistan later this year.

“Our team has worked very hard to respond to an urgent needs requirement for a Cargo UAS capability in support of Marine Corps forces engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Capt. Patrick Smith, program manager for PMA-266.

In December 2010, PMA-266 awarded contracts to two suppliers, Lockheed Martin and Boeing/Frontier Aviation, for potential deployment support in Afghanistan. In order to meet the urgent operational needs of the Marine Corps, both suppliers were selected to reduce potential deployment delays and possible inability to meet performance requirements.

The Navy plans to deploy one of the systems that has demonstrated ability to meet technical requirements following a favorable Quick Reaction Assessment (QRA). The second system may be used for future operational missions and/or science and technology development.

The Lockheed Martin KMAX will begin Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) testing at the Pax River facility. The purpose of E3 testing is to measure and provide results regarding the aircraft's electromagnetic susceptibility to certain frequencies, which can affect flight-critical and other systems within the aircraft. The Boeing/Frontier Aviation Hummingbird will go through the same testing at a later date

“Both the KMAX and Boeing A-160T “Hummingbird” are required to go through E3 testing prior to the QRA,” said Eric Pratson, integrated product team lead for the Cargo UAS program. “This will help insure that the aircraft operates as designed while being exposed to ambient electrical signals in Afghanistan.”

After completing E3 testing, two KMAX UAS will be shipped to Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. in preparation for QRA planned for August 2011. Under the guidance of Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force, Marines from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 1 will act as operational commanders and forward operating base controllers for a seven day period. During that time, the system is required to deliver 6,000 pounds of slung load cargo per day.

“A successful QRA will prove sustainment of a cargo-carrying capability in an operational environment,” Pratson said.

The Navy’s Cargo UAS service will augment Marine Corps ground and air logistics operations in Operation Enduring Freedom. This capability will also supplement rotary wing assets and reduce Marine Corps exposure to Improvised Explosive Devices in theater. The Navy intends to field Cargo UAS in fall 2011 for a six-month deployment.

“Fielding this system will enable us to keep trucks off the road and keep our troops safe,” Smith added.
As anxious as I am to see this get to AFG, this is a future capability that will only be developed and proven during this conflict.  Want to see the building blocks of distributed operations?  You're looking at it when you see the UAV Cargo Helicopter.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Marine Corps turns towards Asia.

Thanks for the article Heidi.

This article by Nathan Hodges is titled "Marines aim to avoid post-war identity crisis" is in my opinion a rehash of subjects already debated.

Nothing new in it at all but here are some highlights.

Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos, the service's top officer, sees renewal in the region where Marines experienced their most devastating losses and most heroic victories: "We're going to reorient in the Pacific," he said during a recent swing through bases in Japan and South Korea.
The reorientation is in part because of the coming contraction of the defense budget, in part because of the shifting balance of power in the world, and in part because of a historical fear embedded in Marine culture.
and this...

In meetings with Marines, Gen. Amos said it was his intent, post-Afghanistan, to return the Corps to its mission as a crisis-response force in the Pacific. The commandant envisions keeping about 20,000 Marines stationed at Pacific Ocean bases, plus another 3,000 at an air station in Japan. About 5,000 Marines are based in Hawaii, tens of thousands more in California.
Shifting back to the Pacific would be in line with U.S. strategic objectives. Military planners note that the region is an economic center of gravity—80% of the world's shipping passes through the geographic area covered by the U.S. Pacific Command—and preserving power in the region is a national-defense priority. "We are a Pacific power and intend to remain a power in the Pacific," Mr. Gates said on a recent visit to Asia.
This debate has been had and the answers already found.

Once the war in Afghanistan is wound down then you'll see a move toward the Pacific. 

Nothing to see here.  Move along.

Friday, June 24, 2011

St. Louis Marine Week finishes...strong...???

Marine Week in St Louis has been marred by some rather unfortunate incidents and statements.  Most glaring would be the statement by the SPMAGTF's Commander and the mugging of Marines without retaliation.
  Col. Tomko: I’ll tell you what, with that M1A1 Abrams we got across the street, if Halladay keeps on pitching well, we can fix that with one round pretty quickly.
  Announcer: - awkward laughs - I’m sure you could. I don’t know if we should say that, but you just did.
  Col. Tomko: I can say whatever I want because I’m a war fighter, and this is the Cardinals Nation the last time I checked.
U.S. Marines with Echo Company, 4th Recon Battalion demonstrate an amphibious assault at the Arch during Marine Week Saint Louis, Saint Louis, Mo., Jun. 24, 2011. Marine Week Saint Louis allows U.S. Marines a chance to interact with the community with volunteer work, physical fitness challenges, vehicle and equiptment displays, musical performances and tactical demonstrations.
U.S. Marines with Echo Company, 4th Recon Battalion demonstrate an amphibious assault at the Arch during Marine Week Saint Louis, Saint Louis, Mo., Jun. 24, 2011. Marine Week Saint Louis allows U.S. Marines a chance to interact with the community with volunteer work, physical fitness challenges, vehicle and equiptment displays, musical performances and tactical demonstrations.
U.S. Marines with Echo Company, 4th Recon Battalion demonstrate an amphibious assault at the Arch during Marine Week Saint Louis, Saint Louis, Mo., Jun. 24, 2011. Marine Week Saint Louis allows U.S. Marines a chance to interact with the community with volunteer work, physical fitness challenges, vehicle and equiptment displays, musical performances and tactical demonstrations.
An MV-22 Osprey displays its capabilities over the Mississippi River to spectators at the Arch Grounds June 24, 2011, as part of a Marine Air Ground Task Force demonstration during Marine Week St. Louis.
U.S. Marines with Echo Company, 4th Recon Battalion demonstrate an amphibious assault at the Arch during Marine Week Saint Louis, Saint Louis, Mo., Jun. 24, 2011. Marine Week Saint Louis allows U.S. Marines a chance to interact with the community with volunteer work, physical fitness challenges, vehicle and equiptment displays, musical performances and tactical demonstrations.
Marines with 4th Recon Battalion and 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Marine Week, 'patrol' as part of a MAGTF demonstration during Marine Week St. Louis.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

This is....embarrassing.


via CBS St Louis.US

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – In the midst of Marine Week with tanks, guns, and heavy weapons parked on lawns all over downtown, the Mayor is wondering how two unarmed prowlers out-fought and robbed three Marines on the street.
Police report that two Marines in their early 20s were walking near the Soldier’s Memorial downtown around 2:30 Monday morning, when two suspects in their 20s approached. According to the police report, the suspects tried to sell the Marines jewelry and then an argument led to a fight.
Police say one of the suspects punched a Marine. Another suspect reportedly took a pocket knife from the other Marine and poked him with it, causing a minor cut. The Marines told police the suspects took one of their wallets and ran away.
Police say a third Marine was also present, but was not fully involved in the fight.
“We take this story at face value and we’re going to investigate it,” said Police Chief Dan Isom.
In the hallways of police headquarters, some police officials were struggling to understand the incident, saying it didn’t sound right.
Even Mayor Francis Slay reacted to the news with skepticism, wondering how three Marines, one of whom was carrying a knife, would lose their knife and a wallet to two un-armed men.
“They were in an altered state because they had a fair amount to drink and it was 2:30 in the morning,” Slay said. ”The Marines are great to St. Louis and certainly this is not indicative of Marine Week.”
But a Marine spokesman shed more light on the mugging, suggesting that the Marines turned the other cheek to avoid violence.
“Marines have been given rules of engagement not to engage in any violence except to protect their lives,” said Marine Spokeswoman Capt Kate Vanden Bossche.
When asked if the Marines have essentially been told to hand over their wallets in St. Louis, rather than fight to protect their property, Vanden Bossche said: “If someone is in such dire need that they need to rob someone,  I don’t think that’s a fight Marines need to get into.”
A Marine press release on the attack indicates how the fight ended: ”After a brief altercation, the parties were separated with the help of the third Marine and police were contacted. The Marines relinquished their wallets and both assailants fled the scene.”

Just fucking wow.

What unit is doing this "Marine Week" and did they do any Marine Corps Martial Arts Training?  This should have been ultimate open a can of whoop ass, be declared city heroes and drinks are on the house from every cop in the city.

Instead, everyone, everywhere is just saying...WHAT THE FUCK!


Hey Capt Bossche.  Did you really mean to say that??????

Monday, June 20, 2011

3rd LAR's monument to fallen brothers.

MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif., -The Marines of 3rd LAR dedicated this monument to 11 brothers who lost their lives during Operation Iraqi Freedom during the dedication ceremony of their memorial park June 14, 2011, in front of the 3rd LAR headquarters building.
, Lance Cpl. Sarah Dietz, 6/14/2011 8:40 AM

Monday, June 13, 2011

Marine Corps Sea Basing Warfighting Publication

I wasn't aware that this had been written.

Mcwp 3-31.7 Seabasing

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Good enough for the Marines...Good enough for the IASF

Thanks for the article William...

via the  Highlighted areas are by SNAFU!  Comment on those follows the article.

Israelis favor V-22 Osprey for special ops

Published: June 7, 2011 at 2:59 PM

TEL AVIV, Israel, June 7 (UPI) -- The Israeli air force is sending a team to the United States this month to evaluate the controversial V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that it's eyeing for search-and-rescue and covert special operations.

The successful March rescue of a downed U.S. Air Force F-15 pilot in Libya by an Osprey crew has doubtless enhanced the prospects of the multi-mission aircraft built by Bell Helicopter and Boeing Rotorcraft Systems.

"The (Israeli air force) has had its eye on the V-22 for a number of years and senior officers, including Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz have flown in it and were impressed with its capabilities," The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

The air force had initially looked at the Osprey as a replacement for its aging fleet of Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion transport helicopters.

But these days, the Post added, "due to the V-22's smaller size it is being looked at a complementary platform to assist in (Israeli air force) search-and-rescue operations and dropping Special Forces behind enemy lines."

Once the air force team has fully examined the V-22 in the United States, the service's helicopter directorate will submit a recommendation to the air force commander, Gen. Ido Nehushtan.

The V-22 can carry 24 fully equipped combat troops seated -- 32 floor loaded -- or more than 19,800 pounds of internal or external cargo. It has a range of 2,500 miles with a single in-flight refueling.

The Osprey is unique because it has vertical takeoff and landing capability like a helicopter, with the rotors of its two end-of-wing Rolls-Royce AE 1107C engines in the upright position.

It can shift the three-bladed rotors 45 degrees so they operate as propellers pushing the aircraft forward, with short-takeoff and landing capability.

It can reach speeds of 350 miles per hour, about double that of a traditional helicopter.

The Osprey was first designed in the 1950s but the first V-22 wasn't rolled out until May 1988. Since then its development has taken years because of the complexity and difficulties of being the first tilt-rotor designed for military service.

It has had to overcome a series of political, funding and technical battles that threatened to scrap the project before it was certified for operational deployment.

Despite a series of high-profile fatal accidents involving the V-22, the Pentagon approved full-rate production in September 2005.

The U.S. Marine Corps deployed the MV-22 in 2007 and has been steadily replacing its CH-46 Sea Knights on a squadron-by-squadron basis. The switch is due to be completed by 2019.

The U.S. Army deployed Ospreys in 2009 and it has seen combat in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. It made its combat debut in Iraq's turbulent Anbar province, an insurgent hotbed, in November 2007(SNAFU! Note.  This has to be an error or I've been missing some really big news).
The Israeli air force team that will evaluate with V-22 will note that the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, where the Osprey was deployed in November 2009, found that the V-22's speed and range made it a good operational match for fast combat jets.
The Marines thus split Marine Expeditionary Unit operations into two groups, one with fixed-wing jets and V-22s, the other with slower helicopters.

The U.S. Air Force's first operational CV-22 was delivered to the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., in March 2006. The aircraft is currently deployed with three Special Operations Squadrons.

There are 112 V-22s operational with U.S. forces. The Marine Corps has ordered 360 of the aircraft, each costing $110 million.

The U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command wants 50 and the U.S. Navy is expected to acquire 48.
Just a few comments on the sections I highlighted...

1.  I wrote an article a while ago (read it here) which covered the aftermath of the Israeli CH-53 crash in Romania.  In that article an Israeli General was quoted as saying that only the CH-53K could perform future missions.  IF this article is true then it appears that the Israeli Air and Space Force is tailoring its forces to almost mirror the Marine Corps.  That's a good sign.

2.  I never knew the US Army even operated Ospreys and unless I'm in error they're talking about the combat debut of the Marine's MV-22.

3.  This has been a personal area of concern with the MV-22.  If the AH-1Z was the primary escort then the speed advantage of the MV-22 would have been negated.  Those in the planning section I see already settled on fast movers to do the job instead.

4.  Is the Navy still on tap to purchase V-22's?  I thought that they allowed the requirement to die.  Time for some Googling to find out what's what with that part of the story.


A reporter today stated that the rescue was the result of the Marine Corps being glory seeking. These are his exact words...
The U.S. Marine Corps has gotten a lot of attention for its MV-22 mission, this year, to rescue one of two downed F-15 pilots when the fighter went down in Libya owing to mechanical problems.

But the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), not as publicity hungry or savy, has quietly carried out a far more significant search and rescue mission using its tiltrotor.

He owes the Marine Corps an apology.  It won't come but he does owe it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jim Strock on "Augmenting the SeaBase".

I think what the nation needs to know about amphibious ships and amphibious forces is number one; that out of all the ships in the fleet — all the ships in the fleet — the only ships that can truly extend the full range of seapower ashore are amphibious ships. Aircraft carriers and surface warfare ships have tremendous strike capabilities, and the upcoming Littoral Combat Ships will provide enhancements to our surface combat, anti-submarine warfare, and mine warfare capabilities. But amphibious ships are armed with operationally ready Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs). Those ships can project and sustain those forces ashore, and can recover them to the seabase when and where required. That’s a degree of operational flexibility that significantly the range of options available to the Combatant Commander. That’s very important in today’s security environment
A must read.  Get it all here at the SLD Info website.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pic of the Day. June 27, 2010.

U.S. Marine V-22 Osprey approaches the flight deck aboard USS Wasp (LHD 1) during nighttime flight deck evolutions. Wasp is currently underway conducting deck landing and engineering qualifications. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications First Class Rebekah Adler/Released by MCC Antuan Guerry.
Airman watch as a V-22 Osprey makes a landing during flight deck evolutions. Wasp is currently underway conducting
flight deck and engineering qualifications. (Photo by: MC1 Rebekah Adler)
U.S. Marine vertical wing V-22 Osprey Aircraft is approaching the flight deck aboard the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during the ship's deck landing qualification. U.S. Navy photo by
Mass Communications Specialist First Class Rebekah Adler/Released by MCC Antoine Guerry.
A U.S. Marine AH Cobra helicopter departs the ship during nighttime flight deck evolutions. Wasp is currently underway conducting deck landing and engineering qualifications. U.S. Photo by MC1 Rebekah Adler/Released by MCC Antuan Guerry.
U.S. Marine V-22 Osprey during flight deck evolutions. Wasp is currently underway conducting deck landing and engineering qualifications. (Photo by: MC1 Rebekah Adler)
U.S. Marine V-22 Ospreys make a landing during flight deck evolutions. Wasp is currently underway conducting deck landing and engineering qualifications.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist First Class Rebekah Adler/Released by MCC Antuan Guerry.

African Lion 2010.

The Marine Corps appears almost to be exercise happy.  Or rather the Combatant Commanders appear to be exercise happy.

I imagine the reason why reservist units are getting so many of these slots is because at the pace at which these exercises are taking place, to use active duty personnel would screw up the Unit Rotation Schedule.

Reserve Marines from 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, headquartered in Quantico, Va., speed through the southwestern Moroccan desert in their light armored vehicle here June 8. The mobile leathernecks served as a key component of the maneuver element during the final exercise here June 9 for African Lion 2010, a theater security cooperation exercise conducted annually between U.S. and Moroccan forces. 
Maj. Paul Greenberg 
NOTE: Admiral Mullen is fully behind the idea of using US forces in the soft power role of 'partnerships'....The problem with that approach is that many of the regime's that we're involved with are corrupt or oppressive or both. Another issue is that this might work well a Navy ship...they sail into port, the sailors hop off and pass out food or paint schools...heck even jump rope with the school kids. With ground forces the dynamics are completely different. You have units that go out with the host nations personnel and practice killing or blowing things up. Soft power in the eyes of the US, hardpower in the eyes of the local population.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Merlin Recovery Op in Afghanistan.

A CH-53E Super Stallion flies overhead carrying an AW-101 Merlin from a forward operating base June 26. This early-morning operation to recover the Merlin is a prime example of the joint operations now taking place between the United States and the United Kingdom in the region. The Super Stallion is with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466, "Bigfoot," which is a Marine Corps helicopter squadron under 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) here. The Merlin belongs to the U.K.'s Joint Helicopter Force (Afghanistan) which is also currently operating under 3rd MAW(FWD) after the Joint Aviation Group joined the Wing June 1. The operation was also a testament to the work these "heavy haulers," have been performing in support of the Afghanistan national security forces and NATO forces in southern Afghanistan as they tote heavy cargo and troops across the area, under heavy enemy fire, on a daily basis.
Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Steven Williams

UPDATE* A commenter has stated that this is simply the result of a hard landing. He goes on to say that this was publicized in UK papers (The Guardian). I'm checking and will also contact ThinkDefence to see if he can verify this information.

"Yes" Man for Commandant.

The "insiders" in the blogging community hail the nomination of General Amos to be the next Commandant of the Marine Corps.

I have serious reservations.  This from the Washington Examiner...
Amos is seen as willing to support Gates and other senior Pentagon leaders as they spend the next several months looking for cost savings.
In choosing him, Gates and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus passed over Gen. James Mattis, an expert in counterinsurgency warfare who would have probably posed a stiffer challenge to proposed budget changes.
Amos is the service’s assistant commandant. He would replace Marine Gen. James Conway, whose four-year term as Marine commandant ends this fall. Gates proposed replacing Amos as No. 2 with Lt. Gen. Joseph Dunford.
So they've chosen a "yes" man to be the next Commandant.  Instead of picking a proven and dedicated warrior, Gates and Mabus chose a person that would NOT "pose a stiffer challenge to proposed budget changes."

Gates' has shown himself to be the ultimate Washington insider.  His decision is easy to understand.

Mabus arrived to the Sec of the Navy position with great fanfare.  But he is also showing himself to be well schooled in the ways of Washington.  His betrayal of Marine Corps tradition and the best interests of one of his departments is also easy to believe.

The person that I have the biggest gripe with is Amos himself.

General Amos is certainly aware of the lack of press coverage and the reason why he was picked over a more qualified 4 star.

He's certainly read the above press account.  He knows Marine Corps tradition.

But like a drowning man hanging on to a life preserver, he will still reach for the chair instead of understanding how he has already been compromised in the eyes of the Marine Corps.

Gates and Mabus have labeled him a push over.  A shill.  A flunky.  A yes man.

He should refuse the appointment.  You know that silly little word that's constantly pounded into the heads of young men the moment they hit the yellow foot prints....INTEGRITY.

But back to the blogging/news community and this appointment.

Why haven't the news media pushed the Defense Spokesperson on why they want someone who will roll over on future budget battles--are the proposed cuts so questionable that anything but a unified front will endanger them?  Why are military bloggers not asking some of these simple questions?  Why is this just accepted as an awesome move?

This whole thing stinks.  Roman politics in the Department of Defense.  Kiss ass media--Confused/not paying attention bloggers--group think at its worst.

If the Marine Corps loses missions and roles, we can all point to this moment when we let it slip away without a word.

Friday, June 25, 2010

LVT and the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Interactive Tour of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

A must see.  Visit it here.

A pictorial history of the war in Iraq/Afghanistan.

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - During Operation Cobra's Anger, Marines with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, moved cautiously from compound to compound once they breached the city of Now Zad, Afghansitan. When there wasn't a clear route, heavy equipment operators used bulldozers to plow through walls, creating their own doorways through the city.
 BUBIYAN ISLAND, Kuwait - Tankers serving with Battalion Landing Team 2/4, the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s ground combat element, prepare M1A1 Abrams for driving on this uninhabited island Nov. 21. Ground and logistics combat elements of the 11th MEU landed Nov. 20 from the amphibious transport dock ship Cleveland and the amphibious dock landing ship Rushmore. The tank detachment is from 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division.
Sgt. Major Michael Templeton, Dunham’s former company first sergeant, carefully clutches Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Jason Dunham’s dress blue uniform as Maj. Trent A. Gibson, Dunham’s former company commander, stands at the position of attention during the christening of the Navy destroyer bearing Dunham’s name Aug. 1 at the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. Dunham’s parents donated his dress blue uniform to be displayed on the ship’s quarterdeck.
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.-The squad of trackers students provide security for their wounded after being ambushed by a simulated improvised explosive device and sniper team on range 131 July 24. The ambush was part of the tracking portion of the combat hunters course where the Marines where taught how to track their quarry while maintaining security and how to react in combat situations.
1st Lt. Josh Faucett, a joint terminal attack controller with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, reaches quickly for his radio handset to call for fire support just after Taliban insurgents ambushed their patrol Aug. 13. The fight lasted six hours and was the longest since July 4 here. Faucett is from Elwood, Ind.
MIAN POSHTEH, Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – Lance Cpl. Josh Vance, a team leader with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, posts security on the corner of a compound just after clearing it during a six-hour firefight with Taliban insurgents here Aug. 13, 2009. Vance is from Raleigh, N.C. (Photo by 1st Lt. Kurt Stahl)
Marines serving under 1st Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, prepare to return fire after receiving enemy small arms fire in Lakari Bazaar, Afghanistan, July 19. The Marines were accompanied by Afghan National Army soldiers in efforts to deny freedom of movement to the country's enemies. The Marine battalion is the ground combat element of Regimental Combat Team 3, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Colonel Ripley. A Real American Hero.

via US Naval Institute. 

More Lockheed Martin Target Sighting Systems.

Via Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin Receives $44 Million Marine Corps Targeting System Production Contract

ORLANDO, FL, June 21st, 2010 -- The Naval Surface Warfare Center has awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a $44 million follow-on production contract for the Target Sight System (TSS), the fire control system for the U.S. Marine Corps’ AH-1Z Cobra. The agreement authorizes production of 18 additional units.
“I am confident that TSS is exactly the system our Cobra pilots need to put warheads on target,” said Col. Harry Hewson, U.S. Marine Corps Program Manager - Air 276. “TSS provides the eyes and the combat power Marine pilots need to support other Marines on the battlefield.”
The TSS integrates state-of-the-art sensors, providing Cobra pilots with enhanced capabilities to acquire, track and designate targets. The system provides superior imagery through a highly-stabilized sensor suite specifically tailored to the AH-1Z platform. The suite includes a laser designator, color TV and a third-generation, mid-wave, forward-looking infrared sensor with advanced image processing.
“TSS leverages Lockheed Martin’s decades of sensor design and systems integration experience,” said Joseph Butera, senior program manager of Turreted Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The system allows pilots to see farther, providing a tactical advantage for today’s and tomorrow’s battlefields.”
Lockheed Martin received the initial TSS production contract for 16 units in March 2008 and delivered the first unit in June 2009. The system is produced at facilities in Ocala and Orlando, FL. Delivery of all systems contracted under Lot 6 and 7 low-rate initial production will be completed in 2011. A contract for full-rate production of 226 total units is expected this fall.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion
This is interesting on a couple of levels.  First why is it being sourced out of the Naval Surface Warfare Center instead of NAVAIR?  Second, this is good news.  The AH-1Z program seems to be hitting its stride.  Plus the Lockheed Martin TSS seems to have become the system of choice not only for helicopters but also UAVs.