2009: New 5-Year Contract Keeps Kiowa Warriors’ Eyes Sharp
With the ARH-70A helicopter program on the rocks after a program cancellation and re-compete, the US Army’s over-stressed and aging fleet of armed OH-58D scout helicopters must soldier on in the face of losses and breakdowns. One of their most critical pieces of equipment is their mast-mounted sight, which was originally developed to let the Kiowa Warriors watch Soviet tank formations while hovering behind trees. The sights’ advanced cameras, infrared, and laser ranging/targeting features make them excellent tools in the current war as well, and these helicopters’ size, speed and numbers have given them a very important role in urban combat scenarios. See esp. DRS’ explanations of the battlefield benefits of mast-mounted helicopter sights vs. roof-mounted alternatives.
All equipment must be maintained, which is why DRS Optronics, Inc, Optronics Division in Palm Bay, FL received a new firm-fixed-price and cost plus fixed fee 5-year indefinite quantity/ indefinite delivery contract that will cover spares, repairs and services for the OH-58D’s mast mounted sight from 2009 through 2013. This includes “obsolescence removal” – redesigning the system to use new parts when manufacturers no longer produce the old parts.
Contracts and Key Events
This agreement replaces the previous FY 2004-2008 indefinite quantity/ indefinite delivery contract for these services. Under the terms of this contract, the delivery orders cover comprehensive worldwide support, including new spare mast-mounted sight components and depot-level repair, as well as on-site field service and forward repair activities provided directly by DRS field-service personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations globally. In addition, the orders cover all the work needed to support these activities, from program management and engineering to production control and logistics.
DRS is now a Finmeccanica subsidiary, and work will on the new contract be performed in Melbourne, FL with an estimated completion date of Dec 31/13.
April 16/09: DRS Technologies, Inc. announces 9 delivery orders valued at over $110 million for spare components, repairs, and program services. These orders cover services delivered throughout calendar year 2009; new spare components delivered June 2009 through March 2013; and repairs scheduled from June 2009 through January 2012.
The work will be carried out by the Melbourne, FL operation of the DRS Reconnaissance, Surveillance & Target Acquisition (RSTA) business group.
Dec 30/08: The initial DefenseLINK contract announcement, which includes $30.3 million under for the services for program year one. After that, conflicting values are listed. The Pentagon’s DefenseLINK release places the maximum value at $700 million if all options were exercised, while Feb 4/09 Finmeccanica [PDF] and DRS releases cite a figure of $913 million.
One bid was solicited and one bid received by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL (W58RGZ-09-D-0001, #0001).