Up to $1.7 billion to CSC, Sparta, and General Dynamics for infrastructure and deployment services for the US Ballistic Missile Defense System under the MDA’s Engineering and Support Services (MiDAESS) program.
Debt Buyback: Northrop Grumman to purchase $2.1 billion in debt securities of its Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. subsidiaries.
A Flare for Flares: ATK snags $71 million contract to supply aircraft-deployed LUU-2D/B visible light illumination flares and LUU-19B/B infrared energy illumination flares for battlefield operations.
Can you hear me now?: ManTech receives a $68 million contract to build and deploy an expeditionary cell phone system for the US Army’s forward bases in Afghanistan.
Midwest Research Institute gets $35.5 million order to supply a test system for chemical weapon contamination at the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.
Major article upgrade, incl. recent ammo production launch. (Jan 31/11)
The U.S. Marine Corps sees the 120mm Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS) mortar as the 3rd leg of its triad of land-based fire support for expeditionary operations that includes the lightweight M777 155mm howitzer, and the truck-mounted M142 HIMARS rocket system.
Accompanying Marine Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs) in expeditionary operations, EFSS will be the primary indirect fire support system for the heliborne element of the Ship-To-Objective Maneuver (STOM) force. As such, the EFSS launcher, the Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV) that tows the launcher, a portion of the basic load of ammunition, and a portion of its crew must be transportable by a single CH-53E Super Stallion or future CH-53K heavy lift helicopter, and/or a single MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
Small business qualifier Environmental Management Inc. (dba EMI Services) in Idaho Falls, ID won a combination firm-fixed-price (FFP), indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract for facilities maintenance and repair and heavy equipment repair at US Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, US Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, and other USMC properties in the eastern North Carolina area.
The maximum dollar value, including the base period, 4 one-year options, and 5 one-year award options, is $187.3 million ($161.5 million FFP and $25.8 million IDIQ).
Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC is the home of the USMC’s Expeditionary Forces in Readiness. MCAS New River, also in Jacksonville, is the principal USMC helicopter operating location on the East Coast, and supports aircrew training in the H-53 helicopter…
Honeywell Technology Solutions in Jacksonville, FL received a not-to-exceed $45 million modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee task order to provide prepositioning and logistics support services to the US Marine Corps.
Honeywell’s logistics support efforts include maintenance, supply, and inventory management of prepositioned combat assets aboard ships.
Under the original $707 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract (M67004-09-D-0020), Honeywell supports the Maritime Prepositioning Ships (MPS) Program and the Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway…
Oceaneering International’s Marine Services Division in Chesapeake, VA won a $14 million firm-fixed-price contract to extend the service life of 3 landing hovercraft. Oceaneering is performing the work under the Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) Service Life Extension Program (SLEP), which extends the expected service life of the LCAC by 50%, from 20 years to 30 years. The scope of this contract includes repair and upgrade of the buoyancy box, gas turbine engine replacement, installation of a new skirt, installation of an integrated C4N equipment package, craft alterations, and repair work. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring its cumulative value to $38.9 million.
LCACs are high-speed, fully amphibious hovercraft capable of carrying a 60-ton payload (75 tons in overload) over water and land at speeds in excess of 40 knots and a nominal range of up to 200 nautical miles. Carrying equipment, troops, and/or supplies, the LCAC launches from inside the well deck of an amphibious warship, then travels the waves at high speed, runs right through the surf zone near the beach, and stops at a suitable place on land. “LCAC Hovercraft: US Navy’s Champion Schleppers Get SLEPped” (subscriptions) discusses the LCAC hovercraft and the SLEP.
Oceaneering will perform the work in Norfolk, VA and expects to complete it by November 2012. This contract was competitively procured via FedBizOpps.com, with four offers received by the Naval Sea Systems Command at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC (N00024-09-C-2240)
Air Rover Inc. of Tyler, TX, won a maximum $15 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for Environmental Control Units (ECUs) from the Navy. The units will be used for various types of expeditionary facilities (e.g., shelters, enclosed trailers, and tent complexes). The Navy has a current requirement for 4 units to be delivered.
Air Rover works directly with the U.S. armed forces to research and manufacture field-deployable ECUs to cool living quarters and electronics. In response to troop feedback and technological advances, Air Rover’s engineering team designed modular ECUs to produce cold, refrigerated air in extreme climatic conditions that range from 50 degrees to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. A recent LA Times article noted the costs involved, however, and called attention to a temporary fix that gets much better efficiency from Army ECUs.
Air Rover expects to perform the work at its Tyler, TX, headquarters and to complete it by May 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via FedBizOpps.com and the internet, with 5 offers received by the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, IN (N00164-09-D-JS25).
In 2005, the US military and NASA announced the kickoff of the Army-led Joint Heavy Lift program, with the award of 5 contracts for the Concept Design and Analysis (CDA) of a Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Joint Heavy Lift (JHL) rotorcraft. This is a futuristic aircraft that’s imagined as having the C-130 Hercules aircraft’s 20 ton cargo capacity, but with the ability to take off and land like a helicopter. No current US military helicopter platform even comes close to that vision, and so the competitors are deploying some radical and different technologies in their attempts to meet these goals.
CH-53E Super Stallion
At the same time, the US Marine Corps’ vital medium-heavy lift CH-53E Super Sea Stallion helicopters are beginning to to wear out their airframes. Hence the HLR Heavy Lift Replacement (HLR) program, aimed at fielding new-build CH-53K aircraft beginning in 2013-2015. The US Air Force, meanwhile, has its AJACS program, which aims to produce a C-130 replacement beginning around 2020.
All 3 programs may face a rough ride ahead. Runaway cost growth on numerous US defense programs, operational demands, and a looming demographic crisis in social programs all work to create budget squeezes, and hence pressures for program consolidation. The USMC’s affordable CH-53X track upgrade was very nearly sidetracked via a merger with he R&D heavy, schedule-uncertain, JHL, and may not be in the clear yet. The USAF’s AJACS program to replace the C-130 Hercules with a modern 20+ ton transport is also facing scrutiny of this sort, and those pressures, too may increase. Conversely, it is also possible that the JHL program could find itself edged out by a pair of more conventional helicopter and aircraft solutions from the USMC and USAF. DID notes the technologies, the politics, and progress to date.
Recent news includes a report that shows just how far away the US military is from a viable competition and winning design.
The V-22 Osprey has attracted both praise and criticism during its long journey through development toward front-line deployment. Its characteristics have also had an impact on other weapons programs being developed for use with the aircraft. This article deals with two of those programs being developed to help strengthen the USMC’s badly eroded artillery capabilities.
One is the $74 million Internally Transported Vehicle (ITV) program; the United States Marine Corps says testing on American Growler, Inc’s vehicle is on track. The ITV – often incorrectly identified as the “Growler” – fits in the narrow belly of the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. The Marine Corps eventually expects to field about 600 to 700 of the two-ton, $120,000-a-copy tow trucks if they are accepted for fielding. ITVs will be delivered in two basic configurations: a Light Strike Variant (LSV), designed for Marine Corps infantry and reconnaissance battalions; and, the Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS) Prime Mover (PM), designed to tow the EFSS 120mm rifled mortar and the EFSS ammunition trailer. A decision to field them should be made by October 2007, a Marine Corps spokesman said.
Singapore was noted in the article as a TransHospital buyer, and their MINDEF recently held a formal unveiling of their newly-operational system. It includes interior pictures, along will other details regarding the new systems. As Captain Lim Poh Thiam put it, noting one of the prime advantages of container-based facilities:
“All our equipment are already packed and ready for use in these containers which means we can be deployed more quickly than in the past. So we are ready to go anytime!”
On April 25, 2006, the Swedish Armed Forces submitted their 2007 budget proposal [note: page in Swedish]. The Armed Forces’ plans include continued commitment in the Balkans and Afghanistan, and they anticipate that from 2008, Sweden “will have the capability to contribute to two major and three minor crisis management operations simultaneously.” The English release adds that “units in the Navy and the Air Force should be given a greater role in international operations.”
There might be fewer of them, though. General Lieutenant Mats Nilsson was frank: “We need to have a proper number to be able to operate the [JAS-39 Gripen fighter] in the long-term from the type of organization which parliament and the government have determined.”
What does that mean, specifically? How could it affect a number of international fighter competitions? And where does “strategic air movement” fit into the picture?