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Hughes Aircraft Wins $77-Million Iceland Pact : Air dsefense: The 66-month contract will enable the company to generate a new generation of technology and maintain its leading position.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hughes Aircraft Co.'s Ground Systems Group has won a $77-million contract to build a new air defense system for the government of Iceland, the company said Monday.

The 66-month contract will enable Hughes to develop a new generation of air defense technology and maintain the company’s leading position in the air defense business, said Robert Puich, air defense program manager.

The contract also comes five months after the company’s command and control systems division won a $90-million contract to provide a similar air defense system for Taiwan.

In the competition for the contract from the U.S. Air Force’s Electronic Systems Division, Hughes beat out eight competitors including Unisys Corp., Boeing Co. and Lockheed Corp., Puich said.

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“It’s unusual to receive two contracts one after another,” Puich said. “In this current defense (funding) environment, it’s certainly welcome.”

Two weeks ago, Hughes officials cited the Taiwan award and a $325-million contract to build an air traffic control system for Canada as reasons for a planned hiring of 400 new employees at the Ground Systems Group, which now employs 10,400.

But the Iceland award won’t create additional jobs at the Fullerton unit because the firm plans to transfer employees working on projects nearing completion to the new contract, Puich said.

The award will allow Hughes to build a network of air warning radar systems and monitoring computers based on the Ada software language, a programming standard that Puich said will enable the Iceland system to link with the existing North Atlantic Treaty Organization air defense system throughout Western Europe.

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The system will consist of a control and reporting center at the Keflavik Naval Air Station in Iceland, an alternative command center and a communications system. Digital Equipment Corp. will supply computers for the systems.

Hughes has built air defense systems for 23 nations in the past 25 years, including an interim system installed in Iceland in 1988.


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