Oct 30, 2011 13:20 UTC
The Turkish and US governments signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) on April 26/05 for the $1.1-billion modernization of 117 Turkish Air Force F-16s to a common avionics configuration. December 2006 saw a $635.1 million contract under that framework issued to Lockeed Martin.
The upgrade will create a common avionics configuration for the service’s fleet of F-16 Block 40 and 50 aircraft. More than 200 F-16 aircraft make up the backbone of Turkey’s current fighter fleet. Systems to be integrated on Turkey’s upgraded F-16s include:
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Oct 20, 2011 16:47 UTC
E-2C from FS CdG
Oct 19/11: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF] France’s official request for up to $180 million in equipment to upgrade the Marine Nationale’s fleet of 4 E-2C Hawkeye-2000 airborne early warning planes, which fly from NAS Lann-Bihoue and FS Charles de Gaulle. The Hawkeye 2000s have already been through one major upgrade cycle, improving their mission computer, electronics throughout the aircraft, satellite communications, and propellers.
This is a less comprehensive upgrade, but it’s still important. France will be improving navigation and avionics. American hardware will include 5 AN/ALQ-217 ESM systems, which help the planes sense and then backtrack radio/radar emitters. The core of their upgrade, however, is Mode 5/S Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), which is also being added to their larger, land-based E-3F AWACS planes.
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Oct 17, 2011 17:24 UTC
In October 2011, US Defense Logistics Agency Document Services in Mechanicsburg, PA issued a 5-year multiple-award, maximum $225 million contract to 4 companies to supply and service digital copiers for the USAF and DLA, with task orders to be issued and paid as needs arise. The 4 firms were Canon USA, Inc. in Arlington, VA (SP7000-12-D-1004); Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA, Inc. in Arlington, VA (SP7000-12-D-1002); Ricoh Corp. in West Caldwell, NJ (SP7000-12-D-1001); and Xerox Corp. in Rosemont, IL (SP7000-12-D-1003).
The DLA issued a different $103 million contract to Xerox in August 2011, for what appears to be the same services, over a very similar timeline. Then again, DLA Document Services’ reach is extensive. Their services ranging from traditional offset printing, through on-demand output, to online document services, where they are the DoD’s catalyst for moving the department toward the use of online documents and services. They even have a website design group. The group currently manages more than 180 service facilities, primarily located on U.S. military bases world-wide in 7 countries.
Oct 11, 2011 15:37 UTC
FBCB2 in HMMWV, Iraq
Finmeccanica subsidiary DRS Tactical Systems, Inc. in Melbourne, FL recently received a $248.3 million firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) installation kits, and engineering services to integrate them onto the relevant vehicles, helicopters, etc. Work location will be determined with each task order, with an estimated completion date of Sept 22/14. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 10 bids received by the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (W15P7T-11-D-C601).
FBCB2 is more commonly known to the public as “Blue Force Tracker,” though that is only part of a system designed to enable a diverse array of communications, while showing the positions of friendly forces and detected enemies (hence its popular name). Blue Force Tracker has profound implications for land warfare, and related contracts extend from computers to back-end services. Over the last 16 years, more than 95,000 FBCB2 systems have been deployed worldwide. The latest FBCB2 Joint Capabilities Release was approved for fielding in February 2011, offering bandwidth improvements, faster updates, and a common platform for the US Army and Marine Corps. DRS also supplies the system’s current JV-5 Block II ultra-rugged computer/ display, which runs on the same Intel Core i7 chipset found in high-end Apple machines. Other key participants in the FBCB2 program include Northrop Grumman (prime contractor), and ViaSat (communications component).
Sep 25, 2011 20:34 UTC
Sept 21/11: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces Saudi Arabia’s formal request for up to $886 million of equipment to augment the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s existing light artillery capabilities. The Royal Saudi Land Forces already have towed 155mm and 105mm howitzers and support vehicles and systems, and DSCA says they will have no difficulty absorbing these additional howitzers into their armed forces. If a contract is negotiated, implementation of this sale will not require the assignment of any U.S. Government or contractor representatives to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
As a Foreign Military Sale mode purchase, any contract will be managed by a US Army department, probably the Rock Island Arsenal, IL. The specific items requested include:
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Sep 20, 2011 14:56 UTC
W.M. Robots, LLC in Colmar, PA already supplies their Vallon GmbH subsidiary’s hand-held mine detectors to the US military, and in September 2011 they added a $9.6 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract from the government of Afghanistan, plus options that could bring the cumulative value to $12.4 million. Afghanistan is clearly moving to beef up their mine-detection and removal capabilities; September also saw a buy of MMP-30 robots for these roles.
Work will be performed in Colmar, PA, and is expected to be complete by September 2012. $7.9 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/11. As this is a Foreign Military Sales program buy, the US military is acting as Afghanistan’s agent. This contract was synopsized as a sole-source buy, therefore, and is managed by the US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division in Indian Head, MD (N00174-11-D-0015).
Sep 14, 2011 11:01 UTC
Latest updates: With SUGV pending wind-down, early materials order for SUGV sets 2-3.
BCTM B-Kit in Hummer
Concerns about cost overruns, vehicle design, and contract structure prompted the Pentagon to cancel the US Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) program in June 2009.
Instead of a single FCS contract, the Pentagon directed the Army to set up a number of separate programs to undertake parts of the FCS program. One of those programs is the Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) Increment 1. The BCTM Increment 1 capabilities – which include ground robots, UAVs, ground sensors, and vehicle (B-Kit) network integration kits – were planned to be fielded to up to 9 Infantry Brigade Combat Teams beginning in 2011. Now it’s more like 2015 for the 1st brigade, and it will happen without most of the original components.
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Sep 14, 2011 10:33 UTC
In September 2011, PAR Government Systems Corp. in Rome, NY received a $42.5 million firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. One of the firm’s specialties is software related to video, geospatial information systems, and surveillance, and this award is for services in all of these areas. Developing things like target detection and sensor cueing algorithms, video processing techniques, and integration of new sensors like LIDAR isn’t an open and obvious product. Nevertheless, it’s the sort of quiet back end effort that can make a big difference on the front lines if it’s integrated well into current products, or helps create a key proof of concept for a new idea.
Work will be performed in Rome, NY, and will run until Aug 31/16. One bid was solicited, with one bid received by U.S. Army Contracting Command in Natick, MA (W911QY-11-D-0014).
Sep 01, 2011 15:19 UTC
In February 2007, the Government of Norway announced a contract with Lockheed Martin to build new production service life extension kits for 6 Royal Norwegian Air Force P-3C/N Orion long-range maritime patrol aircraft, and offer engineering and other support. It’s estimated that the SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) will add more than 15,000 flying hours to each aircraft, representing 20-25 additional years of service covering NATO operations and Norway’s large over-water economic exclusion zone (EEZ). Lockheed Martin adds that the repairs will lift flying restrictions currently imposed on the global P-3 Orion fleet, due to aging problems.
In order to accomplish these goals, the program aims to replace all “fatigue life limiting” structures with enhanced design components and improved, corrosion resistant materials. The Norwegian life extension kit draws on the November 2005 developments covered in “Lockheed Opens Wing Production Line to Keep P-3 Orions Flying“; replacements will include the outer wings, the center wing lower surface, horizontal stabilizer, horizontal stabilizer leading edges, and nacelle components.
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