Sep 30, 2010 12:31 UTC
In December 2005, the interference of American arms export restrictions within the huge F-35 program became so burdensome that they became a high-level diplomatic problem. Despite the promises of 2 successive American Presidents, the ITAR exemptions that Britain had sought remained blocked in America’s legislature – and European initiatives to resume defense exports to China were not improving the situation in Congress. Meanwhile, MPs in Britain were becoming very insistent on a fix, and there was even talk of abandoning the F-35. The stakes were high.
In time, many of these issues were worked out. In August 2006, the US and UK reached a technology transfer agreement concerning the F-35 fighter, which would serve as a model for other F-35 industrial partners. By December 2007, Tier 1 partner Britain had signed the F-35’s Production, Sustainment & Follow On Development MoU. A broader fix was still on the agenda, however, and in July 2007 it materialized as a a treaty that would change the way the American and British defense firms cooperate on defense programs.
This Spotlight article aims to act as a one-stop briefing that explains the treaty’s motivation, key terms, and outstanding issues. It also links to the key documents, and keeps track of events en route to full implementation nearly 5 years later…
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Sep 28, 2010 17:51 UTC
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If it moves on the battlefield, it needs power. Power often means batteries, in various sizes and shapes. Thermal weapon sights. Soldiers’ radios. Laser rangefinders. Missile targeting systems. Ground robots. On and on, and on. They’re frequently on the soldiers, which is creating weight problems due to the number of spares they have to carry. Until that problem is solved, however, batteries are required and will be carried, packed in vehicles and robots, and otherwise taken where they’re needed.
That’s why the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime in Columbus, OH recently issued firm-fixed-price, indefinite quantity contracts for batteries, on behalf of the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. These were total set-aside contracts for small businesses, and the DLA solicited 5 proposals, receiving 3 responses. The contracts appear to be a multiple-award buy, with competition for each delivery order, running for a year until Sept 26/11.
Veteran-owned small business qualifier Bren-tronics Inc. in Commack, NY wins a maximum $84.2 million contract (SPM7LX-10-D-7153).
Woman-owned small business qualifier Mathews Associates in Sanford, FL wins a maximum $84.2 million contract (SPM7LX-10-D-7154).
Sep 26, 2010 11:17 UTC
Slimmer and Trimmer
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A couple of years ago, it looked like the Land Warrior program was dead due to soldiers’ concerns that the equipment was too heavy and complex. However, after trimming down the system from 17 pounds to 7.2 pounds, the Army is moving ahead with the program.
While those efforts are underway, the US Army still owns more than 900 Land Warrior ensembles, 300 vehicle-integration kits, and related equipment as of October 2009. Now, a new set of contracts enables General Dynamics’ field service engineers to deploy with all Land Warrior-equipped units and provide support for housing, repairing and shipping spare and replacement Land Warrior gear worldwide.
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Sep 23, 2010 16:09 UTC
US M113A3, Iraq
On Sept 15/10, the US DSCA announced [PDF] Iraq’s formal request to buy 440 refurbished M113A2 tracked Armored Personnel Carriers, which would be transferred from American stocks as Excess Defense Articles. The total contract value could be up to $131 million, and would also include 440 M2 .50 caliber machine guns mounted up top, 607 AN/VRC-90E Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radios Systems (SINCGARS), plus M259 Smoke Grenade Launchers, Combat Vehicle Crewmember Helmets, publications and technical documentation, tools and test equipment, spare and repair parts, support equipment, site survey, construction, personnel training and training equipment, and U.S. Government and contractor support.
The prime contractor will be BAE Corporation in Rosslyn, VA, and implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of multiple additional U.S. Government and contractor representatives to Iraq for a period of 2 years, with an option for additional years.
Iraq’s neighbors in Jordan and Saudi Arabia already operate M113s, whose light weight and tracks given them good all-terrain mobility. The M113A2 variant lacks the power train and transmission upgrades of the most modern M113A3 variants. Iraqi Order of Battle compiler DJ Elliott believes this order is part of an ultimate pool of 1,026 M113 APC, command, and mortar variants, which will accompany Iraq’s M1 tanks and serve is some of its mechanized divisions.