L-3 Communications lands UK defense contract

L-3 Communications won an 18-month contract with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence to perform an architecture study for a reconnaissance aircraft, said officials from the New York-based company.

L-3's Integrated Systems subsidiary won the approximately $9 million contract.

The contract is under Project Helix, a multi-stage acquisition of an upgraded mission suite for the Royal Air Force's Nimrod R1 electronic reconnaissance system. The reconnaissance aircraft is used to examine routine radio and radar signals and provide electronic combat support to military commanders.

L-3 IS was one of three companies selected for the first of three assessment phases for Project Helix last year. The second stage will focus on the process of system definition, company officials said. Following the definition stage, there will be another selection for a preferred bidder for the next stage.

The final stage is a risk reduction exercise, with main gate submission due in late 2007. The demonstration and manufacture phase will commence following main gate approval with a firs increment contract of $370 million.

Over 13 years, Project Helix has a projected acquisition value of more than $700 million, L-3 IS officials said.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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