Oct 24, 2011 18:11 UTC
Greek F-16 TS
In an age of expensive fighters, expensive fuel, limited flight time, and cheaper computing power, high-fidelity simulators have become an important component of pilot training. L-3 Link Simulation and Training in Arlington, TX is a global leader in this segment, with a very strong position in fighter plane simulators, and their associated Mission Training Centers. They’re often partnered with another major contractor in those efforts. Boeing is L-3’s partner for F-16 Mission Training Centers, for instance, even though the F-16 is a Lockheed Martin plane.
In October 2011, L-3 Link received a maximum $469.5 million firm-fixed-price, cost reimbursement contract to support 183 of their their F-16 TS (training system) installations around the world for the USAF (33 global locations, incl. Hill AFB, UT), and F-16 customers Bahrain, Greece, and Jordan. The contract doesn’t involve any simulators, but “support” means more than just simulator maintenance, training operations that include other devices, and keeping up the associated databases of simulated objects. It also involves change management to install simulator upgrades if requested, and keeping each simulator remains faithful to changes and upgrades in the real F-16 fleets. The USAF’s ASC/WNSK, at Wright Patterson AFB, OH, manages this contract for ther USAF, and acts as the agent for its Foreign Military Sale clients (FA8621-12-D-6337).
Oct 21, 2011 18:50 UTC
Germany’s EC665 Tiger UHT/HAC scout and attack helicopters have traveled a long road since the initial 1984 requirement that launched the program. They were originally slated for service in 1992, but technical delays have dogged the project. Schedule slips and funding shortfalls meant that the EUR 3 billion for 80 helicopters wasn’t placed until 1998. Deliveries from Eurocopter began in 2003, but instead of having 67 helicopters in service by the end of 2009, Germany had just 11 – none of which are considered fit for operations, or even for training.
That issue came to a head in May 2010, as the German government moved to suspend the contract until these technical issues are fixed:
- Unterstutzungshubschrauber: Germany’s Tiger UHT/HAC
- Updates & Key Events
- Additional Readings
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Oct 20, 2011 16:47 UTC
E-2C from FS CdG
Oct 19/11: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF] France’s official request for up to $180 million in equipment to upgrade the Marine Nationale’s fleet of 4 E-2C Hawkeye-2000 airborne early warning planes, which fly from NAS Lann-Bihoue and FS Charles de Gaulle. The Hawkeye 2000s have already been through one major upgrade cycle, improving their mission computer, electronics throughout the aircraft, satellite communications, and propellers.
This is a less comprehensive upgrade, but it’s still important. France will be improving navigation and avionics. American hardware will include 5 AN/ALQ-217 ESM systems, which help the planes sense and then backtrack radio/radar emitters. The core of their upgrade, however, is Mode 5/S Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), which is also being added to their larger, land-based E-3F AWACS planes.
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Oct 19, 2011 16:51 UTC
(click to view info.)
The Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, GA is an outgrowth of the BRAC 2005 process, which consolidated the Army Armor Center and School with the Army Infantry Center and School. In October 2011, they issued a 5-year, maximum $458 million contract among 14 contractors.
Winners will bid on task orders to help the center produce training strategies, doctrine, capabilities, analysis, instruction and products for the current and future force. Per standard procedure, work location will be determined with each task order, during a contract period that will run until Sept 30/16. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 34 bids received by the Mission Contracting Office in Fort Bragg, NC. The 14 winners were:
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Oct 18, 2011 09:20 UTC
- US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) published its latest acquisition guide [PDF].
- Katherine Hammack, the US Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy, & Environment), presented “US Army Power & Energy” [PDF] last week during AUSA.
- MBDA announced that it is pitching its Taurus air-to-ground missiles in answer to a Request for Information from the Indian Air Force.
- According to the New York Times, the Obama administration considered using cyber warfare during the war in Libya, but balked because of legal concerns and to avoid setting a precedent.
- South Africa’s Department of Defense discloses the value of its assets but the country’s Auditor General could not audit that statement, reports DefenceWeb. This sounds familiar.
- South Korea’s Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) is reportedly working on a tilt-rotor UAV.
- If Scotland were to break up from the United Kingdom – an event that is actually under serious consideration – what would be its defense policy?
- US Rear Admiral Craig Faller, Commander of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3, muses over the value of a CSG in terms of power, flexibility and mobility.
- The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) released a briefing [PDF] on the state of Iran’s chemical,
biological, and nuclear capabilities. The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) also published several updates about Iran’s nuclear facilities
- Winslow T. Wheeler from the Center for Defense Information (CDI) takes US SecDef Leon Panetta to task on the latter’s assertion that “the American military today is without question the finest fighting force that has ever existed.” Wheeler’s contention: “We got this smaller, older, less ready force not because of less money but because of more.” While some may object to Wheeler’s tone, he’s summoning accurate facts to support his rebuttal: the US Navy does have fewer ships than it used to, and USAF planes are indeed aging on average.
- Video below of a Q&A with Dmitri Trenin at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Russia where Putin is likely to again become President:
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Oct 17, 2011 17:24 UTC
In October 2011, US Defense Logistics Agency Document Services in Mechanicsburg, PA issued a 5-year multiple-award, maximum $225 million contract to 4 companies to supply and service digital copiers for the USAF and DLA, with task orders to be issued and paid as needs arise. The 4 firms were Canon USA, Inc. in Arlington, VA (SP7000-12-D-1004); Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA, Inc. in Arlington, VA (SP7000-12-D-1002); Ricoh Corp. in West Caldwell, NJ (SP7000-12-D-1001); and Xerox Corp. in Rosemont, IL (SP7000-12-D-1003).
The DLA issued a different $103 million contract to Xerox in August 2011, for what appears to be the same services, over a very similar timeline. Then again, DLA Document Services’ reach is extensive. Their services ranging from traditional offset printing, through on-demand output, to online document services, where they are the DoD’s catalyst for moving the department toward the use of online documents and services. They even have a website design group. The group currently manages more than 180 service facilities, primarily located on U.S. military bases world-wide in 7 countries.