Rapid Fire Jan. 14, 2013: Extended Life for Old Missiles
- The Air Force indicated last year that the life of air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM aka AGM-86) would be extended through this decade and the next. Boeing is the lead contractor since the 70s but BAE Systems has indicated they intended to compete as a prime for future ALCM and CALCM support. So in the meantime the USAF has put a 1-year bridge contract [PDF] in place with Boeing. Separately, last month the Air Force indicated they will need engineering services for these missiles including feasibility studies, material deficiency report analysis, and reliability/maintainability analysis.
- Boeing will lay off 160 people at its El Paso, TX plant – where 370 currently work – over the next 2 years. This will leave the site with less than 20% of the staff it employed in 2000. Press release | El Paso Times.
- Driven by UAV programs, San Diego, CA, has seen somewhat of a resurgence in defense manufacturing – albeit at lower levels than in the 80s – according to the National University System Institute for Policy Research. San Diego Union-Tribune | UAV impact assessment [San Diego North Chamber PDF, Oct. 2012].
- Huntington Ingalls’ shipyard in Avondale, LA, may be converted to work on energy-related civilian applications instead of being closed, said CEO Mike Petters. Decision to be made this year.
- US Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley said during a press conference last Friday that CV-22s would be deployed to Japan. Given that the Marines are already facing vocal local opposition to their use of V-22s there, the Pentagon later walked back that statement, saying that no decision had yet been made.
- The US Army is surveying which companies may develop software libraries shared across Abrams, Bradley, Stryker, and Wolverine vehicles to support training. Firms interested in the Common Software Library (CSL) and Common Embedded Training System (CETS) should reply to the market investigation [MS Word] by Feb. 11. Prior knowledge of vehicle capabilities and system architectures (hardware and software) needed. For context ,see this presentation [PPTX, Nov. 2011] from PM Trade on live and embedded training standards.
- The UK’s armed forces will receive Glock17 Gen4 9mm handguns to replace heavier Browning L9A1s. The 8.5 million pound contract (about $13.7M) should lead to fielding later this year, according to the Guardian.
- France had a change of heart and started air strikes against AQIM insurgents in Mali, who are taunting the French to get involved with ground troops. The campaign, dubbed Operation Serval, started last Friday. MINDEF [in French]. Germany rules out sending combat troops while Britain offers to support with 2 C-17 transport aircraft.