TRW wins defense, weather pacts

Adding to its recent $4.5 billion contract award this month for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, TRW Inc. was recently awarded two other contracts — one for missile defense and another for weather system consolidation.

Earlier this month, the Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency announced that it had selected TRW for an $868 million contract to begin development of the Space-Based Infrared System Low (SBIRS Low) missile defense system.

SBIRS is a three-phase program that will combine space- and ground-based systems to detect launches and determine where missiles will strike.

SBIRS Low, the third phase, is planned as a cluster of satellites in low Earth orbit that will acquire and track ballistic missiles and supply other critical data, supporting missile warning, missile defense and technical intelligence.

This contract provides the initial space and ground segment assets for SBIRS Low. The first satellites are scheduled to launch in 2006-2007, integrating SBIRS Low as part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System Test Bed.

TRW's team includes Spectrum Astro Inc., Raytheon Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp.

In another contract win, TRW announced earlier this week that it was awarded a systems engineering, management and sustainment services deal by the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA), in Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., to consolidate various Air Force weather system contracts and reduce the costs of maintaining individual weather systems.

AFWA runs the strategic weather center for the Air Force and supplies all weather-related information to the Air Force, the Army and many civilian agencies. AFWA analyzes weather data and uses it to provide predictions to DOD, civilian agencies and military units in the field.

The contract, which is worth up to $119 million, was originally awarded in February, but was protested by Northrop Grumman, according to a TRW spokeswoman. Northrop Grumman acquired TRW last month.

The protest was officially denied in mid-August, and work will begin in Omaha next week, the spokeswoman said.

The contract also requires TRW to modernize and enhance existing AFWA systems for improved mission support, including areas of tropical cyclone direction and intensity tracking, analyses of high-level winds, and severe storm aircraft alerts.

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