Rapid Fire September 27, 2012: AEGIS Combat Weapon System Test & Integration
The US Navy’s AEGIS Program Office, PEO IWS, held an Industry Day last week about its AEGIS Ship Integration and Test Program (SI&T) in preparation of a forthcoming request for proposals. The Aegis Combat Weapon System (ACS/AWS) supports the gamut of naval missions: anti-air/sub/surface warfare, strike, command/control et. al., so there are many layers of both integration and testing involved – some to be handled by the private sector, some by the government. This competition intends to deliver integrated combat systems to DDG-51s built in coming years (12 are planned between 2012 and 2018), as well as retrofit in-service DDG-51 and CG 47 class ships. The Navy plans to run a full and open competition that leads to a 1-year contract with 9 yearly follow-up options. The RFP is planned for Q1 FY13 (i.e. in the next 3 months) with an award a year later. Industry Day PPT | MS Word Q&A | FBO.
- The US Navy intends to keep in service 4 Ticonderoga class missile cruisers that were set for decommissioning next March: Cowpens (CG 63), Anzio (CG 68), Vicksburg (CG 69) and Port Royal (CG 73). Separately, they plan to base more submarines on the West coast in coming years.
- It may take a while before there are jets on China’s carrier.
- Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced that his country’s military is doubling to 70 the number of new helicopters it is seeking. AgustaWestland and Sikorsky are said to be the main contenders thanks to their existing local industrial presence. Eurocopter said they would invest in Polish industry, were they to win the tender. The competition should lead to first deliveries in 2014. Defense News | Ekonomia24 [in Polish].
- The US Army’s Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment has been working on a Modular Backpack Panel (MBP) prototype that can be added to MOLLE load-bearing structures to ease the transportation of odd-shaped loads, like the bits and pieces need to assemble crew-served weapons such as mortars.
- The Pentagon recently sent to Congress its latest annual report [PDF] on industrial capabilities. It notes that:
“As the budget environment changes, the Department expects some niche firms to face difficulty due to decreased demand. In such cases, the Department will identify early warning signs through a variety of means, to isolate and, if necessary, mitigate these issues, particularly if a firm offers truly critical, unique, and necessary capabilities. While to date, these cases have been isolated, the Department must nevertheless be prepared on occasion to tailor our investment policies to preserve essential capabilities; and we will do so when appropriate.”
- Captain John Spicer, head of the Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) Program Office at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) had an interview with Federal News Radio that is worth listening to if you need an introduction to PBL and the savings that you can expect if you get the incentives right.
- Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and the Industrial Base Brett Lambert spoke at a panel on supply chain risks organized by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Federal News Radio coverage, video below (Lambert starts speaking 27 minutes in).