In June 2012, Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions Division in Manassas, VA won a competition, transferring the keystone GSM-O IT services contract away from SAIC, a 15-year incumbent. GSM-O pays for the worldwide support services necessary to carry out day-to-day operations of the US military’s Global Information Grid networks and related services, and to update them with new technologies. The contract could be worth up to $4.6 billion over 7 years, making it a major win for Lockheed Martin, and a big loss for SAIC.
So, what is the USA’s Global Information Grid? And how will this contract work?
Forthcoming acquisition reform in India may in effect ease the use of imported parts and decrease offset obligations, according to the Business Standard.
Japan wants to know why a CV-22 crashed last week in Florida before getting any MV-22s on its soil. The US will share the results of its investigation of the accident but is not otherwise changing its plans.
General Dynamics Land Systems joined the contenders for US SOCOM’s Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV 1.1) competition.
We welcome the Department’s better performance in controlling project-level cost increases, but remain concerned that total costs of the top 15 projects continue to rise for other reasons each year. Projects approved since 2002 have shown significantly lower overall cost growth than those approved before this date and since 2008 there has been no overall cost increase from project-specific technical issues. However, in 2010-11 the forecast costs to complete the 15 largest defence projects still increased by £466 million overall [DID: about $735M], and the Department continues to struggle to live within its means.
A note on variables that a Department cannot control: macro-economic factors such as exchange rate changes accounted for 38% of the 2010-2011 increase. Meanwhile the National Audit Office (NAO) reviewed the way the Ministry of Defence is handling reductions in the size of its workforce.
In January 2012, Lockheed Martin Global Training and Logistics in Orlando, FL received a 5-year, $94 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to continue supporting the USAF’s Distributed Mission Operations Center. The mission of the 705th Combat Training Squadron DMOC is to to conduct exercises, training, tactics, techniques and procedures-warfighter readiness, testing, experimentation, tactical to operational-bridged events, and standards development for USAF Air Combat Command and its allies. Their efforts range all the way up to theater-level, full spectrum combat training, test, and mission rehearsal, including Air Combat Command’s Synthetic Battlespace inter-team training events; Air Expeditionary Force-aligned, quarterly recurring Virtual Flag exercises; etc.
Lockheed Martin will continue to operate the award-winning center, building and maintaining network infrastructure, developing and maintaining associated software and hardware, and conducting distributed mission operations engineering activities at Kirkland Air Force Base, NM. The contract runs until Jan 31/17, and is managed by the AFNWC/PKE at Kirkland AFB, NM (FA9422-12-D-0001).
At the end of 2011, Level 3 Communications, LLC in Broomfield, CO received a maximum $410.8 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract, for up to 10 years of fiber cable operations and maintenance support, through Dec 29/21. Performance is stated as “various locations throughout the United States,” though some contracts with those designations include overseas infrastructure. This solicitation was issued without competition under FAR 6.302-1 (one responsible source) by the Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization’s National Capital Region (HC1047-12-D-0002). The justification/approval package was marked sensitive/secure, and L-3 declined to discuss its contract further.
Level 3 is primarily a large-scale fiber optic communications infrastructure play, with significant quantities of “dark” (unlit/unused) fiber, alongside a lit Tier 1 network used by a number of medium and large telecom carriers around the world. They also offer managed services of various types on top of that, including a dedicated content delivery service that includes customers like Netflix and Apple. On Oct 4/11, the firm completed its purchase of Global Crossing, the IPv6 backbone provider whose 2002 bankruptcy and restructuring was one of the highest-profile casualties of the dot-com collapse.
In response to the growing threats to US military and civilian networks, the Pentagon has unveiling its first formal cyber strategy.
This follows a series of events over the last few years that have escalated cyber attacks against networks and infrastructure to warlike events. For example, an unidentified foreign national penetrated the internal networks of the Department of Defense (DoD) with an infected thumbdrive in 2008. In 2009, a virus known as Stuxnet, suspected of being the product of Israeli-US government collaboration, shutdown an Iranian nuclear power plant. And in 2011, defense contractor Lockheed Martin suffered a major cyber attack that was suspected of being carried out by the Chinese government.
While the Pentagon has struggled to combat these threats, it has also had to fight some within its own ranks, as well as other agencies, for authority in cyberspace. This article focuses on the growing cyber threat to US military and civilian infrastructure and the efforts being made by the Pentagon to deal with these threats.
UAVs have played a crucial role in gathering intelligence in the US military’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are thousands of UAVs gathering and distributing valuable data on the enemy, but each system uses its own proprietary subsystem to control the air vehicle as well as receive and process the data. Yet commanders need access to information gathered by all types of UAVs that are flying missions in their area of operation.
Recognizing this shortcoming, the Pentagon began an effort in 2008 to break down the proprietary barriers between UAV systems and create a single GCS that will fly all types of drones.
This free-to-view DID Spotlight article examines the problem of proprietary UAV systems and efforts to break down barriers to sharing vital UAV-generated information.
In September 2011, General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale, AZ won an estimated $64.6 million, 5-year indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Wideband Networking Waveform software in-service maintenance, upgrades, and enhancements. WNW is the COFDM digital waveform protocol developed for the USA’s range of JTRS software-programmable radios, with data rates up to 12.1 Mbps. It’s part of the Network Enterprise Domain set that underlies all of the specific JTRS radio programs for aircraft, ships, vehicles and soldiers.
GDC4S has been involved with JTRS programs for some time, and is also the lead for the soldiers’ JTRS HMS program, working alongside Thales Communications et. al. WNW work will be performed in Scottsdale, AZ, and is expected to be complete by September 2016, but contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/11. The contract was competitively procured via the FBO.gov website and the SPAWAR E-commerce website, with 2 offers received; GDC4’s most likely competitor was the L-3 Communications conglomerate. The US Space and Naval Warfare Systems (SPAWAR) Center Atlantic in Charleston, SC manages this contract (N65236-11-D-4806).
Latest updates: With SUGV pending wind-down, early materials order for SUGV sets 2-3.
BCTM B-Kit in Hummer
Concerns about cost overruns, vehicle design, and contract structure prompted the Pentagon to cancel the US Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) program in June 2009.
Instead of a single FCS contract, the Pentagon directed the Army to set up a number of separate programs to undertake parts of the FCS program. One of those programs is the Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) Increment 1. The BCTM Increment 1 capabilities – which include ground robots, UAVs, ground sensors, and vehicle (B-Kit) network integration kits – were planned to be fielded to up to 9 Infantry Brigade Combat Teams beginning in 2011. Now it’s more like 2015 for the 1st brigade, and it will happen without most of the original components.
James Hasik looks at future options for the American super-carrier fleet, and delivers a preliminary cost analysis for various scenarios – including a scenario that involves halting the new CVN-21s after the 2nd-of-class CVN 79, mothballing 2 existing Nimitz Class boats, and dropping to 8 operational carriers.
Today’s video (embedded below): the Panel on Defense Financial Management and Auditability Reform’s hearing last week with the House Armed Services Committee. Among the issues is whether the branches (let alone DoD at large) are able to reconcile their books with the Department of Treasury. Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller Jamie M. Morin [PDF bio] says the USAF is now achieving 99.99% accuracy on its 1 million+ records/month ledger.