Apr 02, 2014 17:00 UTC
The USCG wants to buy 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRC), and these Sentinel Class boats are sorely needed by an overstretched US Coast Guard. An attempt to extend the lives of their aged Island Class cutters ended as an expensive failure in 2005, and string of blunders has delayed replacements. In February 2006, the Coast Guard’s Deepwater system-of-systems program ‘temporarily’ suspended design work on the FRC-A program due to technical risk. FRC-A was eventually canceled in favor of an off-the-shelf buy (FRC-B), and on March 14/07, the ICGS contractor consortium lost responsibility for the Deepwater FRC-B program as well. By then, even an off-the-shelf buy couldn’t get the Coast Guard any delivered replacements before April 2012.
When the Island Class refurbishment program was terminated in June 2005, 41 Island Class vessels like the USCGC Sanibel, above, still plied US and international waters. DID discusses the programs, their outcomes and controversies, the fate of the Island Class and FRC-A programs, and the work underway to replace them. The Island Class’ safe lifetime is running out fast, but by the end of 2013 FRC Sentinel Class deliveries were set to ramp up to full production pace. Will that be fast enough?
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Jan 27, 2013 17:05 UTC
Linces in Afghanistan
In a strong-commodity, weak-dollar/Euro world, Russia has the finances it need to replenish its badly depleted military. What it doesn’t have yet is the industrial and engineering capacity, which was lost during the state’s budgetary collapse. The Russians have been paying close attention to global trends, as evidenced by their interest in amphibious assault ships. It’s certainly hard to ignore the big global shift toward blast-resistant vehicles, especially in a state already plagued by various insurgencies within and near its borders.
In 2010, media reports began to surface that Russia was negotiating with Italy’s Iveco, with the aim of buying and license manufacturing the firm’s LMV/MLV/Lince blast resistant vehicles. Russia has little experience in this area, but rather than go with a partnership involving South African players, they targeted the higher-cost end of the global MRAP (Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected wheeled vehicle) market. Iveco’s M65 Lince has received praise for its performance in Afghanistan, while receiving orders from Italy, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Norway, Slovakia, and Spain. At over 350 ordered vehicles, Russia’s “Rys” fleet is already one of the firm’s largest contracts – with the potential to become Iveco’s largest customer by far.
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Oct 07, 2012 20:22 UTC
A single plant, dating from World War 2, still provides almost all of the US military’s small arms ammunition (up to 12.7mm). The Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Missouri has been operated by ATK for a long time, and was the USA’s only facility until recently. Ammunition shortages forced the Army to add General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems in St Petersburg, FL as a limited 2nd supplier in 2005. That effort went hand-in-hand with modernization at Lake City, however, and even if orders escalated to 2 billion rounds per year, GD-OTS would provide only 300-500 million of those rounds.
In 2012, the US Army competed the management contract for Lake City, and Alliant Techsystem Operations LLC in Independence, MO won the contract again. The totals really add up.
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Sep 30, 2012 12:49 UTC
Latest updates: Delivered, but not flying.
(click to view larger)
In early 2009, Aria International, Inc. announced a contract from the Royal Thai Army to provide in-country surveillance and communications solutions and services, for an aggregate purchase price of $9.7 million. The RTA surveillance system consists of a manned airship with military-grade imaging and communications systems, an armored Command and Control vehicle, and upgrades to existing communications and facilities to receive real-time surveillance data.
Thailand has the questionable distinction of being saddled with the bloodiest Islamist insurgency most people have never heard of. The American export system that has hindered their order is well known around the world… but it looks like everything has been ironed out. Unfortunately, Thailand hasn’t been able to get much value out of its new asset.
- Thailand’s Airship Program [updated]
- Contracts & Key Events
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Jul 25, 2012 10:45 UTC
In late July, Canada’s RCMP(Royal Canadian Mounted Police, aka. “Mounties”) federal police force took delivery of 18 new Tactical Armoured Vehicles (TAVs), based on Navistar’s MXT-APC. Navistar’s MXTs are about twice as heavy as a Humvee, but would still be considered light by the standards of blast-resistant “MRAP/PPV” vehicles. The Canadian “TAVs” were bought under a $14 million contract, and will be used by Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) across Canada as their primary support vehicle. They’re designed for incidents including hostage takings, armed standoffs, barricaded persons and search and rescue operations, using a blueprint that came from Navistar Defence Canada Inc. in cooperation with RCMP engineers.
Britain is the MXT’s biggest customer, and their “Huskies” are deployed to Afghanistan. The RCMP is Navistar’s 1st MXT vehicle sale to police-type units, and a having such a high-profile international customer makes for a good start in that area. On the flip side of that transaction, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson might want to avoid phrases like “We’re proud to have acquired this impressive tool,” when referring to new cars. After 139 years, we suppose that every organization is entitled to a minor mid-life crisis. RCMP | Navistar.