In an age of non-linear warfare, where front lines are nebulous at best and non-existent at worst, one of the biggest casualties is… the concept of unprotected rear echelon vehicles, designed with the idea that they’d never see serious combat. That imperative is being driven home on 2 fronts. One front is operational. The other front is buying trends.
These trends, and their design imperatives, found their way into the USA’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program, which aims to replace many of the US military’s 120,000 or so Humvees. The US military’s goal is a 7-10 ton vehicle that’s lighter than its MRAPs and easier to transport aboard ship, while offering substantially better protection ad durability than existing up-armored Humvees. They’d also like a vehicle that can address front-line issues like power generation, in order to recharge all of the batteries troops require for electronic gadgets like night sights, GPS devices, etc.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. JLTV certainly qualifies, and recent budget planning endorsements have solidifed a future that was looking shaky. Now, can the Army’s program deliver?
The radar-guided, rapid-firing MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS, pron. “see-whiz”) can fire between 3,000-4,500 20mm cannon rounds per minute, either autonomously or under manual command, as a last-ditch defense against incoming missiles and other targets. Phalanx uses closed-loop spotting with advanced radar and computer technology to locate, identify and direct a stream of armor piercing projectiles toward the target. These capabilities have made the Phalanx CIWS a critical bolt-on sub-system for naval vessels around the world, and led to the C-RAM/Centurion, a land-based system designed to defend against incoming artillery and mortars.
This DID Spotlight article offers updated, in-depth coverage that describes ongoing deployment and research projects within the Phalanx family of weapons, the new land-based system’s new technologies and roles, and international contracts from FY 2005 onward. As of Feb 28/07, more than 895 Phalanx systems had been built and deployed in the navies of 22 nations.
Why are trucks a big deal? Because they are the unglamorous but very necessary backbone of any mobile military force. The US Marines certainly fit the description of a mobile force, and Oshkosh Defense supplies their MTVR medium trucks. In 2006, the Marines took the next step, and chose a winner to replace a worn-down Oshkosh LVS heavy truck fleet that has served since 1985.
Like their predecessors, these new “Logistic Vehicle System Replacement” (LVSR) heavy trucks will usually find themselves transporting heavy equipment, or basic supplies such as ammunition, fuel, and water. The LVSR winner was also an Oshkosh design.
In June 2012, Oshkosh Corp. in Oshkosh, WI won a maximum $382 million fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for “commercial type fire and emergency vehicles” on behalf of the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The contract will run from FY 2012 – 2017, using Defense Working Capital Funds, and will end on June 5/17. The USA’s Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support division in Philadelphia, PA will place orders as needed (SPM8EC-12-D-0009).
Oshkosh Fire & Emergency has slid from sales of over $2 billion per year in 2007, to under $1.5 billion in 2011, even as its operating income turned negative. A 5-year order that maxes out at under $400 million will put a dent in that decline, but won’t reverse it by itself. A failed Board proxy battle by Icahn Group also highlighted past Oshkosh’s moves to bid below its own costs, in order to secure defense work. The question for Oshkosh investors, and for new President Wilson Jones, is what margin Oshkosh managed to retain on this contract, lest it contribute to operating income issues without changing total sales trends.
Oshkosh subsidiary Pierce Manufacturing, Inc. in Appleton, WI won a maximum $7.1 million firm-fixed-price contract for fire fighting vehicle pumpers, for use by the US Army. The contract will run until Nov 28/12. There were 3 solicitations made, with 3 responses to the The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support in Philadelphia, PA (SPM8EC-11-D-0062-0009).
Fire fighting specialist Pierce was acquired by Oshkosh in 1996, and in 2001, their fire trucks introduced Oshkosh’s TAK-4 independent suspensions. The firm makes a range of fire pumpers, including their own foam systems that can spray multiple foam viscosities at the same time, in order to handle Class A and Class B fires. The Army order, though not large, will be very welcome at Oshkosh…
MDA, Ltd. and IAI’s Stark Aerospace announce the availability of Persist-INT, a turnkey unmanned airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) service, for NATO ISAF forces in Afghanistan. MDA already operates Heron UAVs for Canada and Australia in theater.
The French government and Thales agree to pay EUR 630 million in compensation for bribes related to a contract to supply 6 frigates to Taiwan.
DCS Corporation receives a contract award for Missile Defense Agency Engineering and Support Service (MiDAESS). The company will provide advisory and assistance services to the MDA’s Directorates of Engineering, Test, Advanced Technology, and Information Management and Technology Operations.
Poland issues a request for proposals to the manufacturers interested in competing for its 16 aircraft lead-in fighter trainer contract. The firms have until July 29th to submit their final offers, with Warsaw expected to sign off on the deal by late 2011 or early 2012.
The Danish Defense Acquisition and Logistics Organisation reports that Denmark’s forces operating in Libya are running out of bombs for their F-16 fighters. The Netherlands have been asked to replenish Danish stocks.
The Clark/ Balfour Beatty JV in Bethesda, MD a $7.5 million firm-fixed-price modification to increase the maximum dollar value of a previously awarded firm-fixed-price design-build contract for an in-vitro fertilization clinic and stem cell laboratory at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $741.1 million – but that’s for the massive construction underway at the NNMC generally, not just the clinic. Work will be performed in Bethesda, MD, and is expected to be complete by July 2011. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington in Washington, DC (N40080-08-C-0007).
$85.7 million order for 492 ATLAS rough terrain forklifts. (April 6/10)
If you are looking for a forklift that can lift 10,000 pounds 17 feet in the air and travel at speeds up to 23 mph, then the All Terrain Lifter Army System (ATLAS) rough terrain forklifts might be just what you are looking for.
The ATLAS forklift can reach into trucks or shipping containers, lift loads over obstacles, and pick up loads from both above and below grade.
Manufactured by Oshkosh unit JLG Industries, the ATLAS comes in 2 varieties: the plain old ATLAS and the souped up ATLAS II, which includes cool multifunction attachments, high ground clearance, and lower emissions.
Once the counterweight is detached, ATLAS is good to go on a C-130, C-141, C-5A or C-17 transport aircraft…