Feb 21, 2008 13:55 UTC
Feb 20/08: Combat Support Associates in Orange, CA a $30.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for contract modifications for expansion of postal operations support at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Work is expected to be complete by Sept 30/09. This web solicitation was posted on Oct 30/98, and 4 bids were received by the U.S. Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island, IL (DASA02-99-C-1234).
This is actually part of a much larger effort, wherein CSA provides services to U.S. Army troops and Allied Forces at Camps Arifjan, Buehring, Virginia, and Ali Al Salem in Kuwait, under a 10-year effort with a base year and 9 option years that run through September 2009. (Unsurprisingly, the firm is hiring in the Middle East)…
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Feb 19, 2008 17:30 UTC
The US Air Force is awarding 25 indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity 5-year contracts with a maximum value of $3 billion under Architecture-Engineer selection procedures. The firms will provide professional architect-engineer services to administer, coordinate, and technically support environmental, military construction, military family housing, and facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization programs of interest to the government worldwide, including Title I, Title II, and other Architect-Engineer services. At this time each contractor receives just $2,500, and they will compete for task orders as these become available.
AFCEE/ACV at Brooks City-Base, Texas issued contracts to the following list of contractors (there were 32 in the Feb 14/08 DefenseLINK release; removing duplicates gets these 25, no contract numbers released):
- Advent Environmental, Inc., of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
- Aerostar Environmental Services, Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla.
- Battelle, of Columbus, Ohio
- BEM Systems of Chatham, N.J.
- Black & Veatch of Overland Park, Kan.
- CH2M Hill, Inc. of Englewood, Colo.
- Earth Tech of Long Beach, Calif.
- Engineering-Environmental Management, Inc., (E2M) of Englewood Colo.
- Geo-Marine, Inc., of Plano, Texas
- HydroGeoLogic of Reston, Va.
- J. M. Waller of Burke, Va.
- Jacobs of Pasadena, Calif.
- LATA Merrick of Albuquerque, N.M.
- Merrick & Co. of Aurora, Colo.
- Metcalf & Eddy of Wakefield, Mass.
- MWH Americas of Broomfield, Colo.
- North Wind, Inc. of Idaho Falls, Idaho
- Parsons Infrastructure & Technology Group of Pasadena, Calif.
- Prudent Technologies, Inc. of Kansas City, Mo.
- SAIC of San Diego, Ca.
- Shaw of Knoxville, Tenn.
- Tetra Tech, of Pasadena, Calif.
- TN & Associates of Milwaukee, Wisc.
- URS Group Inc. of Austin, Texas
- Weston Solutions of West Chester, Pa.
Feb 18, 2008 20:03 UTC
The current roster
In “Retired RAAF Vice-Marshal: Abandon F-35, Buy F-22s,” DID covered the controversy over the F-35A Lightning II’s suitability for Australia’s strategic needs, amidst a flurry of criticism from opposition party critics, the media, and even retired military officials. Australia’s Liberal Party government under Prime Minister John Howard went ahead and signed the F-35 Production MoU in November 2006, which doesn’t commit them to buy the aircraft just yet. Then it went ahead and submitted a USD $3.1+ billion order without a competition process for 24 Super Hornets, in order to address Australia’s air capability gap until the F-35As arrive.
In November 2007, Australia elected the Labor Party to government, though the Liberal Party still holds a balance of power in the Senate. Now, the rumblings of opposition have turned into a formal review – and everything appears to be up for grabs, including the F/A-18F contract, Australia’s F-35 buy, and a potential request for an export version of the F-22 Raptor. The review will be conducted in two stages…
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Feb 18, 2008 16:03 UTC
Air traffic consoles
BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services in Rockville, MD won a contract to provide integration, engineering, procurement, fabrication, assembly, test, inspection, delivery, and limited installation services for integrated Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) electronics aboard new construction ships. The company will also support various Navy and other United States Government shipbuilding programs including modernization and Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) efforts, which usually involve significant electronics upgrades procured from various sources. This award doesn’t make BAE the exclusive provider of this equipment, but it does make them the preferred integrator in many cases.
Feb 6/08: The initial $242 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-incentive fee, firm-fixed-priced, performance-based Enterprise Platform Integration Contract has a 5-year base period, and also includes 3 one-year options that would bring the total potential value to $344.4 million. The contract was competitively procured with an unlimited number of proposals solicited via the Commerce Business Daily’s Federal Business Opportunities website and the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website, with 3 offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego, CA issued the contract, on behalf of its organizational partner, the Navy’s Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence systems (PEO-C4SI) (N00039-08-D-0002).
BAE Systems will provide the technical expertise and personnel for execution of these services in Charleston, San Diego, California, and various shipyard locations throughout the United States. Work will be performed in North Charleston, SC (75.5%); New Orleans, LA (4.7%); Pascagoula, MS (4.2%); San Diego, CA (3.7%); Mobile, AL (3.6%); Green Bay, WI (3.5%); Norfolk, VA (2.4%), and Washington, DC (2.4%), and work is expected be complete by February 2013. If all options are exercised, work will continue until February 2016. BAE release Feb 14/08.
Feb 18, 2008 14:54 UTC
F136 w. Lift System
The US Air Force has repeatedly tried to kill the The F136 alternate engine program in favor of the Pratt & Whitney F135 that powers the existing fleet. In response, Congress looked at the success of dual-engine programs for the F-16 and now the F-15 as well, and voted twice to restore funding.
F136 engine tests continue at a unique, new test facility, located at a GE center at Peebles, OH (normal & STOVL engines) as well as at the US Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee (basic F136 + F-35 exhaust nozzle). F-35 system development is scheduled to run through 2013, with the first production 40,000+ thrust F136 engines scheduled for delivery in “late 2012,” during F-35 Lot IV production.
Until then, all F-35s will fly with the Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine, whose version for the F-35B STOVL fighter uses the same Rolls Royce Lift System add-ins that would be found in the F136…
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Feb 18, 2008 13:54 UTC
F-15E and F-22A
Northrop Grumman recently announced that tests aboard a company BAC 1-11 test aircraft have successfully demonstrated the AN/APG-77v1 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar’s ability to generate high-resolution, in-flight synthetic aperture radar (SAR) ground maps and moving target tracking. The test flights are the first phase of a planned multi-year contract with Boeing to add SAR capability to the existing fleet of F-22A Raptor stealth fighters, and incorporate them into new production aircraft. SAR capabilities can already be found in most multi-role fighter radars, and current image resolutions for aircraft like advanced F-15E Strike Eagles, F/A-18E/F Hornet Block IIs, et. al. are under 1 meter.
No details have been released, but the APG-77 can be expected to demonstrate similar performance, along with “agile beam” technology that makes it very hard to trace the origins of its radar scans. This is very different from conventional radars, which have been described as being akin to turning on a flashlight in a dark warehouse – enemies can see you long before you see them.
Directly identifying and targeting enemy ground defenses and mobile forces using its AESA radar will expand the Raptor’s offensive and defensive capabilities. On the offensive end, they make it possible for the F-22s to target ground installations and moving targets on the fly, in response to events during a mission. On the defensive end, the addition of SAR/GTMI lets the radar provide complete coverage of ground threats as well as aerial threats. While the aircraft’s electronic intercept capabilities and ability to share information from other military assets via Link 16, the new AESA Radar Common Data Link et. al. already provided some capabilities in this regard, the addition of high-resolution, agile-beam active radar scans adds an important piece to the puzzle. Northrop Grumman release.
Feb 18, 2008 01:43 UTC
Washington’s Birthday began as a federal holiday in 1880 in the District of Columbia. It expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices, and popular tradition began to expand the holiday to cover Abraham Lincoln’s birthday as well. On Jan 1/71, the federal holiday was shifted to the 3rd Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, and it is observed by government employees and some private businesses in the USA. The term “Presidents Day” began popular usage in the 1980s.
The concept of holidays on Canada Day, Bastille Day, Waitangi Day/ Bob Marley’s birthday (Feb 6) et. al. was extremely appealing. In the end, however, DID decided to standardize on American public holidays as non-publication days, along with Remembrance Day (known as Veterans’ Day in the US). Publication will resume tomorrow.
Feb 14, 2008 20:15 UTC
India is planning a $1.5 billion upgrade for its 30 military airports and their air traffic control systems, and reportedly issued a request for bids in January. According to India Defence, invited bidders to Phase 1 included: France’s Thales, the U.S.’s Lockheed Martin, Germany’s Siemens, Italy’s Selex, Britain’s Terma. Indian firms Tata Power and Mumbai-based NELCO were also invited.
Phase 1 will include the supply, installation, testing and integration of equipment subsystems at airfields that include Adampur, AFA, Agra, Ambala, Bagdogra, Bareilly, Bhatinda, Bhuj, Bidar, Chabua, Chandigarh, Gorakhpur, Gwalior, Halwara, Hasimara, Hindon, Jaisalmer, Jamnagar, Jodhpur, Jorhat, KKD, Nal, Naliya, Pathankot, Pune, Sirsa, Suratgarh, Tezpur, Uttarlai and Yelahanka. India Defence’s “US$ 1.5 Billion Upgrades For 30 Indian Air Force Military Bases” has further details re: the required components and other specifications.
The usual “30% industrial offsets” rule applies to foreign bidders, of course. Which makes Boeing’s Feb 14/08 announcement re: its $500 million joint venture with Tata Industries for “defense-related aerospace component work” all the more interesting. That agreement could also apply toward required offsets from other contracts, of course, most notably India’s $10+ billion MMRCA fighter competition.
Feb 14, 2008 18:57 UTC
F-22 and F-15
Over the last several months, “Aging Aircraft: USAF F-15 Fleet Grounded” has covered the sudden loss of the USAF’s F-15 A-D Eagle fighter fleet, in the wake of an accident in which one of the USAF’s plane’s broke in half in mid-air due to structural fatigue. The ripple effects have been wide-ranging within the existing fighter fleet, as other aircraft were diverted to cover F-15 missions. Pilot re-certification very nearly became a nightmare of its own. The largest effects, however, may play out on the procurement front. If many of the USAF’s F-15s, which were supposed to serve until 2020, must be retired, how should they be replaced?
The US Air Force Association’s February 2008 Washington Watch feature details some of the considerations, and ripple effects, underway:
“On Dec. 12, 28 Senators and 68 members of the House of Representatives wrote to Pentagon chief Robert M. Gates, urging him to keep buying F-22s, at least through the end of the 2009 Quadrennial Defense Review. They said that, in light of the F-15 groundings and reports indicating that “significantly more than 220” Raptors are needed to fulfill national strategy, ending F-22 production now would be, at best, “ill advised.”… In late December, Pentagon Comptroller Tina W. Jonas directed USAF to shift $497 million marked for F-22 shutdown costs to fix up the old F-15s instead. The move effectively set the stage for continued F-22 production.
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Feb 14, 2008 17:23 UTC
IqAF Cessna 208B
“Bird Dogs for the Iraqi Air Force” discussed orders for the IqAF, and the successful history of Cessna’s “bird dog” aircraft in battlefield surveillance and support roles. While the Cessna 172s will be used for flight training, the incoming Cessna Grand Caravan 208B aircraft are equipped with the same cheap surveillance and targeting turrets used on Predator UAVs. The Cessna 172s may also graduate to this role at some point, and there are indications that the Grand Caravans may be armed with light weapons as a surveillance/ light counterinsurgency counterpart to Iraq’s pending COIN aircraft selection.
The Iraqi Air Force is a pale shadow of its former self; in many ways, it is starting over from zero. A small handful of C-130E transports, a couple squadrons of helicopters, and an assortment of light propeller planes are all the IqAF possesses. They’ll need more than that in order to protect Iraq’s basic sovereignty, and training efforts with the USAF are underway. Now, so is a contract to support that effort…
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