Lockheed Martin, Romania Launch $46 Million Flood Forecasting System Program

A ceremony last night paved the way for Lockheed Martin to begin work on an advanced hydrological forecast system that will reduce the effects of annual severe flooding in Romania.

The Destructive Waters, or DESWAT, program is an initiative of the Romania Ministry of Environment and Water Management (MMGA) to improve the water management authority National Administration Apele Romane (ANAR)'s flood monitoring capacity, as well as to improve its National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management flood modeling and prediction capabilities. In 2003, Romania awarded Lockheed Martin a $46 million contract to design, build and integrate the DESWAT system with that country's National Integrated Meteorological System (SIMIN), commissioned that same year. Lockheed Martin was awarded a $55 million contract to develop SIMIN in 2000.

Lockheed Martin Finance Corporation assisted the MMGA and the Romanian Ministry of Public Finance in arranging loans, guaranteed by the Export-Import bank of the United States, to fund development and deployment of the DESWAT system. Commerzbank, AG is the lender for both the cash-down payment loan and the guaranteed loan.

"The forecasting and tracking systems we are developing will help the Romanian government dramatically improve the quality of life for its citizens," said Tom Patello, Lockheed Martin's SIMIN and DESWAT program manager. "We're proud to be able to support our international customer with the environmental systems and the financial programs necessary to make DESWAT a reality."

Now that the financing is in place, Lockheed Martin will begin installing more than 600 hydrological sensor stations throughout Romania's 11 river basins. The hydrological data from the sensors, along with the meteorological information from SIMIN radars, will ultimately be forwarded to the National Hydrological Services (NHSv) Office in Bucharest for analysis and integration with the DESWAT hydrological models. The NHSv is responsible for identifying phenomena which potentially could develop into a flood, and issuing hydrological warnings and alerts to the authorities charged with flood defense in Romania.

"Romania's high annual rainfall and vast network of rivers leaves much of the country susceptible to extreme flooding," explained Mr. Ovidiu Gabor, ANAR's general director. "The integrated SIMIN and DESWAT systems will provide more accurate forecasting and timely alerts for severe hydrological events, helping us to alert our citizens earlier and reduce property damage."

Lockheed Martin is a leader in integrated weather and environmental systems. In the United States, Lockheed Martin developed the National Weather Service's NEXRAD WSR-88D system, a network of 160 Doppler radars that allow meteorologists across the country to provide warnings about potentially dangerous weather events. The company is currently working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop a state-of-the-art phased array radar which may help forecasters provide even earlier warnings for tornadoes and other types of severe and hazardous weather.

Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin

CONTACT: Chip Eschenfelder, Lockheed Martin, +1-315-456-3328, e-mail: