* L-3 Chesapeake Sciences Corp was awarded an undefinitized contract action for six TB-29A Compact Towed Array sensors to equip the Virginia-class subs. The contract action is valued at $20.8 million and not competitively sourced, despite Lockheed Martin winning a TB-29A contract in 2010.
* The Army is looking to use cloud storage in the future. Detailed in a publication written last month and published at the back-end of last week, the Army is seeking to transition services to cloud-based storage as part of the LandWarNet 2020 and Beyond program.
* NORAD is moving communications equipment inside its Cheyenne Mountain Complex, reportedly to protect against electro-magnetic pulses. This comes off the back of a $700 million (precisely) contract to provide support services to the complex’s Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment system, on March 30th.
* In defense legal news, FLIR Systems settled bribery charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to the tune of $9.5 million, while Northrop Grumman’s decade-long legal battle with the government over $3 million ended with the company losing in court.
* Russia wants to sell hardware to Thailand. The Russian delegation currently in Thailand on an official visit have begun talks with their Thai counterparts regarding the potential sale of platforms, particularly aircraft. Earlier this year the Russians offered the Royal Thai Navy Kilo-class submarines, competing with the Chinese Yuan-class for an approximately $1 billion contract. Thai delegates are also currently in Beijing, discussing potential arms sales and military exercises. With the US having reduced military support for the Thai government after the coup in 2014, the competition between Moscow and Beijing for lucrative platform modernization contracts is likely to only increase.
* The State Department has cleared a sale of 356 R3 Hellfire II missiles to Egypt, amidst the country’s participation in operations in Yemen. The FMS request has now gone to Congress, with the sale worth approximately $57 million.
* EADS is following Russia in standing ready to provide India an alternative to the glacially-paced Rafale deal, if cost issues with Dassault cannot be overcome. The European consortium’s offer of Eurofighters came second to the Rafale in the MMRCA competition, with the French bid winning on cost grounds. However, the cost of the planned 126 fighters has since skyrocketed, at least according to the Indian representatives who had not previously factored in manufacturing cost increases associated with their insistence on having most fighters produced domestically.
* The Indian Defense Ministry has allowed $15 billion worth of tenders to lapse since early 2013, according to Reuters. One problem area identified has been the Indian military’s reluctance to procure equipment lacking an operational track-record, something at odds with the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ drive to develop an indigenous defense industry base. Indian firms are often reportedly incapable of meeting tender requirements, limiting the number capable of bidding and drive down competition.
* South Korea unveiled a five-year defense acquisition program, aimed at developing components for ten indigenous weapons systems across multiple domains and platforms. Several high-profile programs are included in the plans, such as the Surion helicopter and the K-2 main battle tank.
* The Turkish T-129 ATAK helicopter: