May 30, 2012 15:30 UTC
M-ATV w. Q-Net
No vehicle “cage armor” provides 100% protection, but even 50% effectiveness will save lives. QinetiQ’s Q-Net uses high-tech fabrics to replace metal cage armor, and protect against incoming rockets. In May 2012, QinetiQ North America in Watham, MA received an $11.7 million firm-fixed-price contract for 420 “rocket-propelled grenade defeating nets,” 420 battle damage Q-net kits, and proprietary tubes. Work will be performed in Franklin, MA, with an estimated completion date of Dec 13/12. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received by the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, MI (W56HAV-12-C-0240).
This isn’t the USA’s first Q-Net purchase. Kits have been created and fielded for HMMWVs, and for blast-resistant RG-31s and M-ATVs, but contracts to date had been handed out through the vehicle manufacturers. That isn’t entirely unreasonable, since any cage armor must be produced as a specific kit that protects a given vehicle type. As for Q-Net…
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May 29, 2012 18:33 UTC
Latest updates: Major deal adds HIOS segment to 2015.
UK C-130 C5
In mid-2006 the UK MoD added another platform to the expanding list of long-term, performance-based, public-private, “contracting for availability” maintenance solutions for Britain’s key military platforms, by awarding Marshall Aerospace a GBP 1.52 billion contract ($2.86 billion conversion back then) to begin supporting its fleet of C-130 Hercules transport aircraft until 2030.
The deal has several segments, with mechanisms for price adjustments upward and downward as the contract continues. Britain’s SDSR plans may also cut the deal off early, if the entire C-130 fleet retires by 2022 as planned. As prime contractor, Marshall Aerospace is working in partnership with the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO), the Royal Air Force, Lockheed Martin and Rolls-Royce to deliver the Hercules Integrated Operational Support (HIOS) programme. The HIOS programme will provide guaranteed levels of aircraft availability to a fleet that includes both older C3/C1 models (C-130K stretched and normal) and C4/C5 models (C-130J-30 and C-130J).
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May 29, 2012 15:11 UTC
NanoSAR on ScanEagle
In May 2012, ImSAR, L.L.C. in Salem, UT received a $24 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to build, test, and assess a lightweight ultra wide band synthetic aperture (ground-looking) radar for use on small unmanned aerial vehicles. Work will be performed in Salem, UT, with an estimated completion date of May 31/17. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received by U.S. Army Contracting Command in Natick, MA (W911QY-12-D-0011).
ImSAR’s NanoSAR radar has already tested on Boeing’s popular ScanEagle UAV, and the company began offering it as an official payload option on Feb 23/10. The US Army doesn’t use ScanEagle UAVs, but they do have options like the RQ-7B Shadow that could benefit from a small radar that was light enough to add in addition to the existing surveillance turret. ImSAR can offer them an improved NanoSAR B, or their new Leonardo radar that’s well-suited to tasks like convoy overwatch and land-mine detection.
May 29, 2012 10:15 UTC
“The numbers tell the story. Next year the defence budget will fall in real terms by 10.5%, the largest year-on-year reductions since the end of the Korean conflict in 1953. As a result, defence spending as a share of GDP will fall to 1.56%, the smallest figure recorded by Australia since the eve of WWII in 1938.”
- Karl-Heinz Kamp in a NATO Defence College paper [PDF] argues that if members of the alliance are going to go through budget cuts because of overwhelming financial pressure, they should at least proceed in a coordinated fashion to maintain aggregate capabilities.
- The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) concurs [PDF] on the idea that there must be a method behind defense drawdowns. They project personnel costs in the US to creep up as a percentage of total spending while procurement would take the brunt of the cuts. This is already going on in Europe.
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May 28, 2012 11:01 UTC
Latest updates[?]: Sub-contract; New jobs in UK; FRES SV delay & cuts coming.
There can be… none?
Many of Britain’s army vehicles are old and worn, and the necessities of hard service on the battlefield are only accelerating that wear. The multi-billion pound “Future Rapid Effects System” (FRES) aims to recapitalize the core of Britain’s armored vehicle fleet over the next decade or more, filling many of the same medium armor roles as the Stryker Family of armored wheeled vehicles and/or the Future Combat Systems’ Manned Ground Vehicle family. Current estimates indicate a potential requirement for over 3,700 FRES vehicles, including utility and reconnaissance variants. Even so, one should be cautioned that actual numbers bought usually fall short of intended figures for early-stage defense programs.
The FRES program was spawned by the UK’s withdrawal from the German-Dutch-UK Boxer MRAV modular wheeled APC program, in order to develop a more deployable vehicle that fit Britain’s exact requirements. Those initial requirements were challenging, however, and experience in Iraq and Afghanistan led to decisions that changed a number of requirements. In the end, GD MOWAG’s Piranha V won the utility vehicle competition. FRES-U is not the end of the competition, however, or the contracts. In fact, FRES-U had the winning bidder’s preferred status revoked; that entire phase will now take a back seat to the FRS-SV scout version:
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May 28, 2012 00:14 UTC
Honor & Reflect
(click to view cartoon)
Monday, May 28th is Memorial Day in the USA. DID honors those who have given all of their tomorrows in American military service; we will not be publishing.
Readers are reminded that in America, the Memorial Day moment of silence takes place at 3:00 pm. It seems that lots of reminders are needed elsewhere in America; a survey commissioned by The National WWII Museum in Washington had only 20% say they were very familiar with the day’s purpose, which is to honor those who have fallen in America’s wars. This function is served by Remembrance Day/ Armistice Day (Nov. 11th) in the British Commonwealth and elsewhere, but in America, that day is Veteran’s Day, and honors all who served in the military.
For additional resources, USAA has a full video that includes Hugh Ambrose (Band of Brothers, The Pacific, etc.), and the American National WWII Museum’s MyMemorialDay.org offers some ideas for honoring this day. One more idea might to be teach our fellow Americans. Email a good treatment of the day to people you know outside the national security field, and encourage them to forward it on.