Oct 21, 2010 13:22 UTC
Latest updates: End of the Harrier fleet – and carriers.
HMS Illustrious takeoff
“Future Contracting for Availability” involves the removal of traditional “parts and hours” maintenance contracts in favor of fixed-price long-term support for vehicles throughout their service lives, plus performance awards based on number of vehicles available. It has become a fixture in the British defense industry, and a pillar of British procurement policy going forward. As our in-depth coverage of the ATTAC Tornado support contract shows, however, it isn’t a “big bang” process. Smaller contracts are signed for sub-components, trust and knowledge are built up, and the contracts become more comprehensive over time.
BAE Systems has won a number of these contracts, and back in January 2006, they were on their way to adding Britain’s vertical/short takeoff and landing Harrier GR7/GR9A fleet to the list. The UK MoD continued to expand these contracts, culminating in a new half-billion pound contract to support the fleet through to the end of its life… which is coming a lot sooner than the contracting parties thought.
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Oct 17, 2010 20:22 UTC
(c) DJ Elliott
DJ Elliott is a retired USN Intelligence Specialist (22 years active duty) who has been analyzing and writing on Iraqi Security Forces developments since 2006. His Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle is an open-source compilation that attempts to map and detail Iraqi units and equipment, as their military branches and internal security forces grow and mature. While “good enough for government use” is not usually uttered as a compliment, US Army TRADOC has maintained permission to use the ISF OOB for their unclassified handouts since 2008.
This compilation is reproduced here with full permission. It offers a set of updates highlighting recent changes in the ISF’s composition and development, followed by the full updated ISF OOBs in PDF format. Reader feedback and tips are encouraged. This month’s developments include:
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Oct 14, 2010 15:43 UTC
M1127 Stryker Recce
Oct 13/10 saw over $140 million in announced contracts related to the US Army’s Stryker fleet. The US Army’s 8×8 Stryker family of wheeled armored vehicles were originally put forward as a C-130-portable medium armor fleet, which might eventually replace heavy and medium tracked vehicle altogether. Battlefield reality ended up pouring very cold water on that notion, as the resulting vehicles could not be carried by C-130s in ready to fight condition, had trouble handling difficult terrain, and can’t be relied on to face enemy heavy armor.
On the other hand, the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams have proven to be very mobile on roads, using their relative silence to tactical advantage, making good use of their advanced computers and communication gear in counter-insurgency fights, and handling certain weapons like land mines and enemy RPG anti-tank rockets better than most people expected they would. The economic lifeline that roads represent will always be an important aspect of any American-style counterinsurgency fight, and Strykers have obvious value for domestic emergencies as well. Hence the fleet’s ongoing popularity.
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Oct 13, 2010 16:32 UTC
Elbit Systems of America, LLC recently announced a 5-year, $68 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity follow-on contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Huntsville, AL. Elbit will supply the U.S.Army, Navy, Marines Corps and Coast Guard with its AN/AVS-7 Aviator’s Night Vision System/Head-Up Displays (ANVIS/HUD) and components, including the latest Flat Panel Day and Night Head-Up Display units. An initial delivery order for $23 million has been received under this contract, which replaces the expiring 5-year, $75 million IDIQ contract awarded in September 2005.
ANVIS/HUD has been used by the US military since the mid-1990s, and has equipped more than 5,000 helicopters belonging to 20 countries. Integrated platforms include the H-60 series, CH-46, CH-47, CH-53, V-22, AH-1, UH-1, Super Puma, Cougar, Korea’s KUH Surion, and others. Elbit also offers the IHADSS system for AH-64 and A-129 attack helicopters, and their new HeliDASH system is a higher end choice. Their major competitor these days is Thales’ TopOwl, in service with the Eurocopter Tiger, South Africa’s Rooivalk attack helicopter, NH90 variants, and the USMC’s forthcoming UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters.