Air Force chooses radar software architects

The Air Force awarded $220 million contracts late last week to industry teams led by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. to study Space Based Radar (SBR), a revolutionary system that will perform worldwide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Officials at the service's Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base want the teams to develop SBR system and software architectures. Military officials will review each team's architectures and pick the best one, according to an April 16 Defense Department contracts statement.

Lockheed's industry team includes Cisco Systems Inc., General Dynamics Corp., Harris Corp., Honeywell Inc. and a Northrop Grumman division. Northrop Grumman's teammates are General Dynamics, BAE Systems, Boeing Co. and Raytheon Co.

The SBR contracts cover two years. The two industry teams must complete work by April 2006, according to DOD's statement.

The system will consist of spacecraft using radar that see through clouds and trees to scan the earth's surface. It will enable DOD officials to identify and track moving enemy targets so the military can quickly attack them.

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