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L-3 tapped for aircraft for imagery during missile defense tests

L-3 Communications received a $73 million contract modification for aircraft that are part of the High Altitude Observatory systems used to collect imagery and data during tests of the ballistic missile defense system.

By
Stephen Carlson

July 23 (UPI) -- L-3 Communications Integrated Systems was awarded $73.2 million for work on systems used to collect data during tests of the ballistic missile defense system.

The contract modification, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, authorizes L-3 to obtain three used aircraft for the High Altitude Observatory, or HALO, systems used to collect imagery during tests of the ballistic missile defense system.

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The three aircraft will be used by the Missile Defense Agency to collect electro-optic and infrared data for testing of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. The program is expected to run until June 2021.

The HALO is top-mounted on Gulfstream-IIB aircraft. The aircraft are capable of flying at up to 45,000 feet, allowing them the ability to observe high-altitude intercept tests.

The Missile Defense Agency is responsible for defense of the United States, it's territories and its allies from ballistic missile threats. The system coordinates a network of land-based and ship-based missile interceptors along with radars and satellites to detect and destroy enemy ballistic missiles.

The modification increases the maximum amount for the program from $564.2 million to $637.4 million.

Work on the contract will be performed in Tulsa ,Okla., with fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds obligated based on individual task orders, including the procurement of the three aircraft themselves, the Pentagon said.

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