The US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM) awarded 4 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts for the Global Battlestaff and Program Support Services (GBPS) program. The 4 contracts have a maximum value of $1.5 billion.
Under the GBPS contracts, the contractors will provide personnel, equipment, tools, materials, supervision, and other items necessary to support a broad range of US SOCOM mission areas.
When we think of US Navy SEALs, we often picture special ops forces jumping off amphibious assault boats or emerging from the water under cover of darkness, guns ready, eyes focused.
We don’t necessarily picture paratroopers jumping out of aircraft. But that is a role that Navy SEALs occasionally have to perform. And they receive ample parachute training at the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command near San Diego, CA. The command was set up in 2007 to train Navy SEALs exclusively.
To help out, small business qualifier Tactical Air Operations in Coronado, CA recently received a $49 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to provide support for Navy SEALs’ parachute training…
One way to provide those capabilities is through goggles worn by the special ops forces. Another way is to have those capabilities built into their vehicles.
The US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM) has two primary vehicle-based systems: the short-range and the long-range ground mobility visual augmentation systems. The systems are installed in the Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV), which is a modified Humvee designed for special ops, and the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.
Jacobs Technology in Tampa, FL received a $50 million increase on its contract ceiling to provide acquisition, logistics, management, and business operations support (ALMBOS) to the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). This will bring the total contact ceiling to $510 million.
Jacobs is 1 of 2 firms that provide support services to USSOCOM under ALMBOS contracts, which expire April 30/10. The other firm is Gemini Industries. The raising of the ceiling will enable US SOCOM to continue to fill task orders after the April 30 expiration date.
At the same time, US SOCOM launched an RFP to award a follow-on contract, called the Global Battlestaff and Program Support (GBPS) contract, with a potential value of $2.7 billion. But the GAO is reviewing a protest over the RFP…
American Rheinmetall Munitions (ARM), a Stafford, VA-based subsidiary of Germany’s Rheinmetall Defence, received a $28.8 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract from the US Navy for an improved flash-bang grenade.
ARM currently supplies the MK13 Mod 0 BTV-EL flash-bang grenade to US special ops forces and other US military customers. The MK13 is a stun grenade that produces a blinding flash and deafening noise levels sufficient to daze and disorient the target, without causing permanent injury, the company explains.
The MK13 uses a delay fuze that detonates the grenade 1.5 seconds after the fly-off lever is released.
The US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) in Patuxent River, MD is looking for contractors to provide maintenance, logistics, and life cycle service support for its Special Communications Requirement Division’s (SCRD) communication-electronic (C-E) equipment, systems and subsystems.
The SCRD designs, develops, tests and supports joint special operations’ communications and electronics equipment. The division develops quick reaction and testing of communications packages for hand-held and manpack radios, high speed and rigid inflatable boats, mobile and fixed-base operations, special communications vans and other vehicles, and air-land transportable command posts.
NAWCAD recently issued a sources sought notice to get industry feedback for a follow-on to a contract (N00421-06-C-0085) that was awarded to BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services in Rockville, MD in 2006.
France’s approach to economic stimulus has had a decidedly military component, with buys ranging from VBCI wheeled armored personnel carriers to a Mistral Class LHD ship. /In April 2009, France added another component of its package: a EUR 220 million contract for 5 more EC725 Caracal helicopters for combat search and rescue, special forces, and medium utility roles, to bring its total fleet to 19.
The EC725 was created when France decided in 1996 that it needed a helicopter designed for Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions. At first, they chose the AS532 A2 Super Puma/ Cougar, but after extensive trials, the French Air Force recommended so many changes that it required a new variant. The 11 tonne EC725 SAR variant was born, and made its maiden flight in November 2000. Key characteristics include a fuel load of 3750 liters/ 990 gallons, giving the helicopter a flight time of 5 hours 30 minutes; plus air-to-air refueling capability, a reinforced main gearbox, a new 5-bladed main rotor, a 4-axis autopilot, a homing system for emergency locator beacons, armor plating, and integrated defenses. French Caracal helicopters are fitted with surveillance and targeting turrets, and carry the most modern avionics and navigation equipment. MAG 58 machine guns are also commonly fitted to helicopters, which can also accommodate search lights, winches, and other rescue gear as needed.
The US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) awarded 3 five-year indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity contracts worth up to $85 million to provide advisory and assistance services to AFSOC headquarters.
On Sept 11/09, L-3 Communications Geneva Aerospace of Carrollton, TX received a not-to-exceed $250 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for U.S. Special Operations Command’s Expeditionary Unmanned Aircraft System. The competed contract is for 1 year with 4 option years, with a minimum of $5 million and orders to be issued as desired (H92222-09-D-0051). That minimum was met immediately in the initial $6.6 million delivery order. See also L-3 release.
L-3 is not known as a UAV maker; instead, their Geneva Aero subsidiary is best known as a maker of key flight and datalink systems for use in UAVs. The firm is expanding their reach, however, and L-3 representatives confirmed to DID that the SOCOM UAV is their Viking 400 model [PDF]. It’s larger than SOCOM’s Puma AE mini-UAVs, and in a similar size class to Aerovironment’s RQ-7 Shadow.
The all-composite Viking 400 UAV is 14.7 feet (4.5m) long with a 20 foot (6.1m) wingspan, and is assembled in the field like a model aircraft. It weighs 320 pounds (145 km) empty, and is powered by Zanzoterra’s 38hp 498i Twin Boxer engine. Maximum payload is 75-100 pounds (34-45 kg) of sensors in nearly 7,000 cubic inches of payload volume. The UAV leverages L-3 Geneva Aerospace’s extensive work on its flightTEK autonomous take-off and landing system, and missions are flown using GPS waypoint navigation that can be reassigned during flight. Payloads can include Electro-Optical/ Infrared, LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging, a sort of laser radar that’s good at seeing through trees and obstacles), SIGINT (SIGnals INTelligence – communication intercepts), ELINT(ELectronic INTelligence – includes signals from radars, remote detonators, etc.) and/or CBRN (Chemical/ Biological/ Radiological/ Nuclear) sensors. UAV Range is over 70 nautical miles (130 km) at a speed of 60-90 knots (111-167 km/h), but line-of-sight is required for the datalink to work.