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As worldwide military and defense spending receives increased legislative scrutiny - and in some cases program cancellations - procurement specialists and related life cycle management strategies are likely to become more receptive to retrofitting and refurbishment programs that keep aging equipment fully operational, but at a fraction of the cost of new equipment.
A number of recent examples supporting the retrofit, upgrade, and refurbishment trend have emerged, including the U.S. Army's recent decision to replace obsolete electronics with electronic enclosures and circuit boards in the AN/TPN-31 Air Traffic Navigation, Integration, and Coordination System (ATNAVICS), a military air traffic control system that can be transported on C-130 aircraft.
The Army awarded the contract to Raytheon's Network Centric Systems segment, which will develop electronics enclosures and associated electronic circuit boards to replace obsolete signal data processors in the airport surveillance radar and precision approach radar portions of the ATNAVICS system. Raytheon is performing the work under terms of a $12 million contract from the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
The ATNAVICS is an autonomous radar approach control system that complies with standards for the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The system is transportable aboard C-130 cargo aircraft, and is designed to support aircraft operations in forward-deployed military areas, as well as in civil disaster areas. Apart from this announcement, analysts are predicting increased upgrades and retrofitting across the avionics landscape including the following key segments:
Finally, VDC believes, rarely, if ever, will military and defense spending go completely unchecked in most countries over the next decade. Simply ordering new systems, tanks, planes, ships, etc. is no longer an economic or political option for an increasing number of economically challenged countries. Rather, concepts around retrofitting, asset refurbishment, and system upgrades will continue to be a priority ahead of buying new.