Feb 13, 2012 11:30 UTC
We welcome the Department’s better performance in controlling project-level cost increases, but remain concerned that total costs of the top 15 projects continue to rise for other reasons each year. Projects approved since 2002 have shown significantly lower overall cost growth than those approved before this date and since 2008 there has been no overall cost increase from project-specific technical issues. However, in 2010-11 the forecast costs to complete the 15 largest defence projects still increased by £466 million overall [DID: about $735M], and the Department continues to struggle to live within its means.
A note on variables that a Department cannot control: macro-economic factors such as exchange rate changes accounted for 38% of the 2010-2011 increase. Meanwhile the National Audit Office (NAO) reviewed the way the Ministry of Defence is handling reductions in the size of its workforce.
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Oct 14, 2011 09:00 UTC
Didn’t go well
In October 2011, Data Solutions & Technology in Lanham, MD received a $9.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Anti-Armor Analysis Program (AAAP) Services Support from the US Army. AAAP’s goal is to analyze current and historical data on enemy attacks against US vehicles, in order to draw conclusions about protection. DSTI personnel will deploy in mobile teams of at least 2, equipped with specialized tools to survey armor vehicles as well as the surrounding scene, photograph damaged vehicles, inspect and document findings, and review and conduct analysis of maintenance/supply documentation.
The firm has done this work before; indeed, Betty Tingle was promoted to VP Business Development in February 2011, after playing what was described as “a key role in the company’s contract regarding the National Ground Intelligence Center’s Anti-Armor Analysis Program (AAAP) in the U.S. and abroad.” Work will be performed in Charlottesville, VA; Afghanistan; and other contingency locations overseas as necessary; with an estimated completion date of Sept 29/12. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 1 bid received by the US Army Intelligence and Security Command in Charlottesville, VA (W911W5-11-C-0016). See also FBO.gov.
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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Apr 06, 2011 12:11 UTC
Latest updates: Test crash, funding issues deliver a 1-2 punch to the program.
ISR CONOPS(CONcept of OPerationS)
The late Dr. Paul McReady’s Aerovironment, Inc. has achieved just renown for the success of its small UAVs like the Army’s RQ-11 Raven and the US Marines’ RQ-14 Dragon Eye/Swift. Outside the military sphere, however, it is best known for civil successes like the human-powered Gossamer Condor, the giant, solar-powered Pathfinder and Helios aircraft, and the flying Quetzalcoatlus northropi ornithopter on display in the Smithsonian museum.
Those traditions have fused in a major Advanced Concept/Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (ACTD/JCTD) contract for a UAV that runs on hydrogen fuel cells, and can cruise at 55,000-65,000 feet for up to 7 days at a time, while carrying a 1,000 pound payload. Meet Aerovironment’s Global Observer, which promises formidable advantages in roles as diverse as communications relay, persistent ISR (intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance), maritime patrol, and even storm tracking and weather applications:
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