The Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass., awarded Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. an $8.8 million contract for 34 Deployable Instrument Landing Systems to support contingency and humanitarian operations. The fixed priced contract could be worth up to $58 million if all options are exercised, according to a release. The D-ILS will guide aircraft on final approach in low visibility or low-ceiling weather conditions. Unlike fixed-based instrument landing systems, which are large structures that require multiple aircraft to transport, the new system can be moved on one C-130 and will take two people a week to set up. It can “convert a bare forward operating base into a precision-approach-capable operating airfield,” according the release. Production is slated to begin in the middle of 2013 with initial operational capability expected in early Fiscal 2014. “There will always be a need to support contingency operations and if weather situations continue to ravage the world, the ability to assist in humanitarian operations will become very important,” said Matthew MacGregor, D-ILS program manager.
A majority of panelists convened by the Atlantic Council to assess the situation in Ukraine believe that Russia will have enough forces—and recent practice in Belarus—to invade Ukraine within a month. A senior Air Force official concurred, saying the service expects the conflict soon.