Jan 04, 2012 17:29 UTC
M50 mask training
In December 2011, Avon Protection Systems, Inc. in Cadillac, MI won a 5-year, $176.4 million firm-fixed-price contract to make M61 filter canisters for the new M50 Joint Service General Purpose Mask. Work will be performed in Cadillac, MI, and is expected to run until Dec 22/16. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 6 bids received by U.S. Army Contracting Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (W911SR-12-D-0001).
The new M50 mask is designed to be more compact, lighter, more comfortable and more effective than the older M40. When worn in conjunction with a MOPP suit, the mask allows over 24 hours of protection against chemical or biological agents and radioactive particulates. Improvements include a single cast, optically correct visor with a wider field of view than the previous twin-lens design, and a twin conformal filter for a 50% improvement in breathing resistance. Anyone who has ever tried heavy physical exertion in a gas mask understands how much that improvement means. The convenient integrated 3L Camelbak for drinking, and clip-on sunglasses or corrective lenses, will also be appreciated.
Nov 07, 2011 13:00 UTC
Bren-Tronics Inc. in Commack, NY recently received a sole source 5-year, $23.1 million fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, contract from the US Army, for AN/PRQ-7 Combat Survivor Evader Locator radio batteries and adapters. The money will come from FY 2012 Army Working Capital funds, and the contract will run to Nov 1/16. The US Defense Logistics Agency Land at Aberdeen in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, manages this contract (SPRBL1-12-D-0001).
Statistics indicate that most downed pilots are captured within the first hour. CSEL’s system is designed to provide search and rescue forces with the immediate ability to locate, authenticate and communicate with downed aircrew worldwide, using precision GPS-based geoposition and navigation data, 2-way over-the-horizon (OTH) secure data communication via satellite to Joint Search and Rescue Centers (JSRC), and an OTH beacon. Once rescuers are in range, it uses line-of-sight voice communication, with swept tone beacon capabilities to vector rescuers in. Those technologies tend to bulk up its size compared to the smart phones we’re all used to, and its screen and texting are small and basic. On the other hand, if you’re a pilot deep in enemy territory, the only Angry Birds you want to see are your buddies in helicopters and close-air support jets. Boeing delivered the 50,000th AN/PRQ-7 CSEL handset to the US military in October 2011.
Oct 10, 2011 13:32 UTC
Latest updates: USAF to use RQ-11Bs at bases worldwide.
The RQ-11 Raven is a 4.2-pound, backpackable, hand-launched UAV that provides day and night, real-time video imagery for “over the hill” and “around the corner” reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition.
Each Raven system typically consists of 3 aircraft, 2 ground control stations, system spares, and related services. The digital upgrades are still designated RQ-11Bs, but they enable a given area to include more Ravens, with improved capabilities. The secret? Using L-band spectrum more efficiently.
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Sep 14, 2011 13:01 UTC
Latest updates[?]: 10,000th delivered.
RB 57 NLAW
The Soviet tank threat may be history for now, but missiles that can attack moving trucks, armored vehicles, and bunkers remain in demand. This is especially true in urban situations, where the ability to fire a rocket or missile safely from inside an enclosed space is a very important plus.
In 2000, the UK Ministry of Defence carried out a series of trials to evaluate missiles for their “NLAW” program. In the summer of 2002, the Saab/Thales MBT-LAW team beat the Predator/Kestrel system from Lockheed Martin, MBDA and Insys. The Swedish FMV and British Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) followed by ordering final development of the RB 57 NLAW (Next generation Light Antitank Weapon) for the United Kingdom and Sweden. Assembly will take place at Thales Air Defence in Belfast, but Saab Bofors Dynamics of Sweden and Thales Air Defence in the UK have a marketing agreement that lets customers buy the system from either firm.
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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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Jun 13, 2011 16:04 UTC
In early June 2011, Vohne Liche Kennels, Inc. in Denver, IN received an $11.3 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for “multi purpose canine and handler training in support of U.S. Army Special Operations Command.” The contract includes a base year and 4 option years, which would extend it to 2016. U.S. Army Special Operations Command manages the contract (H92239-11-D-0002).
Many military dogs are German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, or Belgian Malmois, though other breeds may be used. SOCOM’s dogs became a topic of deep interest, after it was revealed that Osama Bin Laden was done in by 79 Navy SEALs… and one dog. As the humorous poster out there put it: “Man’s Best Friend… because you can’t strap a cat across your waist and parachute into Afghanistan.” The British SAS have reportedly bought American dogs for similar operations, and Austrian special forces jumped with dogs in a recent NATO exercise; they report that the dogs are actually quite calm about it. I guess it’s kind of like the world’s largest, best-ever car window. Vendors like K-9 Storm provide the associated parachute harnesses, camera vests, assault vests, and other gear. The accompanying picture is US special forces dog trainer Mike Forsythe and his working dog Cara, breaking a record by jumping from 31,000 feet, wearing K-9 Storm’s vest.
May 16, 2011 16:40 UTC
Full Recon-III kit
(click to view larger)
May 12/11: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF] Saudi Arabia’s formal request on behalf of its army to buy over $300 million in night vision equipment.
The DSCA release specifically mentions “defense and counter-terrorism requirements to deter current insurgent activity along their southern border” as part of the rationale. Yemen has indeed been a little reported but consequential regional trouble spot, which has drawn open intervention from Saudi naval and air forces in recent years. The Royal Saudi Land Forces want:
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