Aug 18, 2008 17:17 UTC
Northrop Grumman Technical Services, Inc., of Herndon, VA received a 4-year, $252.3 million firm-fixed-price C-20 Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) follow-on contract. The U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps all operate C-20 aircraft, which is the military designation for Gulfstream III/IV business jets. The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker AFB, OK manages this contract (FA8106-08-C-0010).
Northrop Grumman’s release adds additional members of the team: M7 Aerospace of San Antonio, TX; Jet Aviation subsidiary Savannah Air Center in Savannah, GA; and Rolls-Royce North America in Montreal, Canada. Together they will provide depot maintenance, supplies, flight line maintenance and field team support for the C-20s at Ramstein Air Base in Germany; Hickam Air Force Base and Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii; Sigonella, Italy; and Andrews AFB in MD.
C-20A-D models are Gulfstream IIIs, while C-20G/H models are the longer range Gulfstream IV. They can carry up to 12 passengers, or light cargo. VIPs, including American political figures, are frequent passengers. Past Speakers of the House have used C-20s, for example. The jets briefly made the news in 2007, when current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] tried to pressure the Pentagon to grant her larger planes, and carry “supporters” on her flights. The Pentagon responded with a denial of the aircraft request, and an explicit list of conditions regarding the passengers and purposes that were considered appropriate on these military flights.
Aug 18, 2008 16:43 UTC
After a public bidding process, Embraer and the Chilean Air Force (FACH) signed an August 2008 contract for 12 EMB 314 Super Tucano advanced turboprop trainers and light attack aircraft. The Embraer proposal chosen by the FACh includes a broad Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) package, and an advanced Training and Operation Support System (TOSS) with 3 sub-systems: navigation and attack Mission Planning Station (MPS), Mission Debriefing Station (MDS), and Flight Simulator (FS).
Chile became the Super Tucano’s 3rd customer, after Brazil and Colombia. Its predecessor the EMB 312 Tucano has been ordered by 13 countries, and a UK-built S.312 variant is in service with 3 more…
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Aug 18, 2008 15:03 UTC
Doing the drill
Small business qualifier and industrial safety and security specialist BriarTek, Inc in Alexandria, VA received a $19 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to install and test Man Overboard Indicator (MOBI) systems on approximately 105 US Navy ships. Work will be performed in Alexandria, VA and is expected to be complete by August 2013. This contract was not competitively awarded by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division in Panama City, FL (N61331-08-D-0036).
On a huge, noisy ship like a 500+ foot long destroyer or 1,000 foot aircraft carrier that’s moving at over 20 knots, alerting the entire crew to a man overboard incident is a difficult challenge. Seconds count, however, especially if the ship is traveling in frigid regions like the North Atlantic. MOBI systems help to solve this problem, and BriarTek’s ORCA system goes a step beyond previous versions.
ORCA consists of a water-activated beacon worn by an individual, a receiver mounted on the ship’s bridge, and a directional finder that can pinpoint a beacon’s location even if the waves are too tall to see the person. Unlike previous systems, ORCA provides each person with a unique ID. This lets it track multiple alarms, and displays the number of people in the water during an incident. A digitally encoded message can be used to trigger or reset the bridge alarm if manual activation is needed, or an “all clear” is required due to confirmed false activation.
Aug 17, 2008 18:12 UTC
The US Navy’s lack of a credible plan for its future naval forces has become a growing problem for the service. In Congress, the leadership of the HASC Seapower and Expeditionary Forces subcommittee has weighed in from both sides of the partisan aisle, with Navy plans squarely in their sights. Beyond, independent think-tanks and analysts (vid. Information Dissemination’s maritime strategy archive | FY 2009 budget analysis), and even official reports like the CBO’s Dr. Eric Labs (2005 testimony [PDF]), the late Vice-Adm. Cebrowski’s Alternative Fleet Architecture Design study [PDF] (q.v. also derivative 2005 CRS analysis: HTML | PDF), et. al. have been expressing grave doubts for several years now concerning the Navy’s ability to finance or implement its existing “313-ship navy” plan. Which is itself a major step down from the Reagan era’s 600 ship Navy.
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Aug 17, 2008 14:41 UTC
Securiguard, Inc. of McLean, VA received a $95.4 million firm-fixed price contract to provide armed security at Cape Canaveral, the US space program’s premier launch facility. The contract covers Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, including the Kennedy Space Center, and its associated Florida annexes – the Jonathan Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex, Cocoa Beach Tracking Annex, Fort Pierce Microwave Relay Annex, Malabar Transmitter Annex, Melbourne Beach Optical Tracking Annex, Stuart Microwave Relay Annex, Port Canaveral Cable Terminal Annex, Wabasso Microwave Relay Annex). Patrick AFB in Florida, which hosts Cape Canaveral, manages the contract (FA2521-08-C-0011).
Securiguard’s force will be fully trained, armed, and uniformed, and its capability and quality must meets USAF standards under Air Force Instruction (AFI) 31-101 and AFI 31-20. They will be responsible for protecting Cape Canaveral’s government and commercial space-lift resources, and protecting the facility’s apability to launch. Associated efforts include dedicated response to protection level 1-4 resources; managing and operating the Security Force Control Center; marine security operations; developing installation security plans and procedures; protection services; and services during crisis and contingency.
Aug 17, 2008 14:26 UTC
The August 2008 issue of the US Naval Institute’s Proceedings Magazine includes “Admiral Allen’s Blue Tsunami,” by Art Pine. The $25 billion Deepwater meta-program has undergone significant changes during Allen’s tenure, and is not out of the woods yet. The Proceedings article deals with the flip side of an acquisition effort that will define the Coast Guard’s future for a generation, placing it within the context of a larger set of structural and operational changes.
The on-line version of this article includes Commandant Allen’s recommended music playlist, but does not include the listing and current status of his 10 Commandant’s Intent Action Orders (CIAOs) issued in May 2006. The PDF version does include the CIAOs and status; Allen’s CIAOs were:
# Set Up Deployable Operations Group for rapid reaction
# Develop USCG Maritime Strategy
# Revamp Logistics System with centralized Coast-Guard-wide structure.
# Adapt Numbered Staff System For HQ, to bring them into line with the systems used by other services.
# Revamp Acquisition Systemwith new directorate, retake control of Deepwater
# Revamp Financial and Accounting Systems, replacing them with a centralized arrangement to improve transparency
# Revamp Command And Control framework
# Set Up New Human Resource Strategy
# Strengthen Reserve Component
# E-CG Version 2.0 to improve the use of information technology for C4 (command, control, communications, and computers)
Aug 17, 2008 13:39 UTC
Medium caliber naval guns confront naval planners with a divergence of opinions: mount large caliber, slower-firing 5″/127mm guns used mostly for naval fire support, or smaller caliber 100-57mm guns with far more rapid rates of fire that can be used against smaller boats, UAVs, missiles et. al. as well? In recent years, a 3rd option has entered the scene: 155mm guns adapted from Army platforms. Key advantages include potential commonality of ammunition stocks, greater destructive power, and better leveraging of R&D into long range and specialized variants with some land/sea commonality. Hence projects like the American AGS system for its Zumwalt Class destroyers, and Germany’s aborted MONARC that would have mounted a turret from their PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer on the new F125 expeditionary frigates.
AGS is rather large, however, which leaves the question of what to do with ships smaller than the DDG-1000 Zumwalt’s Graf Spee sized 14,500t. The Royal Navy has become the latest navy to jump into this fray, undertaking a relatively low cost research program that looks at the AS90 Braveheart howitzer’s potential for future warships, and for refits to the existing fleet.
They’ll have a number of significant challenges to overcome before they can declare success, but a recent release says the project is moving on to Phase 3 now…
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Aug 14, 2008 12:21 UTC
The introduction of helmet mounted sights like the US-Israeli JHMCS and its F-35 successor the HMDS, Thales TopSight/TopOwl, Saab Cobra, et. al. have changed air combat. They’ve also changed the biodynamics of fighter cockpits, because they’re inevitably bulkier and heavier than the older helmets they replaced. During high-g fighter maneuvers – or worse, rocket-boosted ejections – that can become a problem. StrategyPage reports that the USAF has introduced a new neck muscle exercise machine in some air force gyms, in order to compensate.
Now Survival Innovations, Inc of Arden, NC received a contract for $6 million “to tailor development, integration and testing of a head and neck restraint system to provide improved head and neck injury protection within acceptable limits for the smaller anthropometric population range of fighter aircraft, thereby optimizing warfighter injury tolerance and protection during emergency escape.”
This is not necessarily about the development of a new ejection system, but rather about research that could benefit all aircraft ejection systems. At this time, all funds are already committed; Wright-Patterson AFB, OH is managing the contract (FA8650-08-C-6925).
Aug 13, 2008 14:57 UTC
RAF C-17 delivery
It’s an oft-quoted military maxim that amateurs study tactics, while professionals study logistics. It’s also true that the pressures of combat tend to reveal areas where internal and external politics and decisions have hurt a military, leading to a more serious emphasis on getting key decisions and processes right.
The UK MoD recently released “Getting the right kit to the right place and on time,” which discusses improvements made in fielding the right equipment to the front lines. The article is full of the expected praise for the MoD’s successes in this area, and mentions some pieces of equipment that the MoD believes are performing particularly well. There’s also a section at the end that offers some quick excerpts from the logistics efforts and amounts involved in supporting 6 months of Britain’s operations in Afghanistan.
Aug 13, 2008 13:51 UTC
SSN-23 in MSF at Kitsap
Aug 11/08: The Watts-Healy Tibbitts joint venture in Honolulu, HI receives an initial $42.4 million increment to build a drive-in magnetic silencing facility at Beckoning Point, Naval Station Pearl Harbor. The 2nd increment will be funded in FY 2009 at $35.9 million, and the 3rd increment will be funded in 2010 at $6.6 million to finish the $84.8 million contract. The contract also contains an unexercised option, which would increase the cumulative contract value to $86.1 million.
The reason behind these expensive facilities is simple. Any mass of iron stressed in the earth’s magnetic field becomes a magnet. Riveting and other construction activities magnetize a ship, as do some operational activities. That magnetization then changes gradually when the ship is underway, depending on its heading and location. A magnetized object can be detected, of course, and magnetic field changes can also be used as a trigger for weapons like mines and homing torpedoes. Magnetic Silencing Facilities provide deperming/ degaussing, which reduces the ship’s electromagnetic signature to a point that’s much closer to the earth’s natural level. Cryptome has a partial list of American MSFs, including some photos and links.
Work will be performed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and is expected to be complete by October 2010. This contract was competitively procured, with 41 offers solicited and 4 proposals received by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific in Pearl Harbor, HI (N62742-08-C-1311).