eDefense Online notes that when the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Air Assault Division deployed to Iraq in late October 2005, it contained more unmanned-aerial-vehicle (UAV) assets than any combat brigade in US Army history, with RQ-7 Shadow 200 platoons in all four brigades and RQ-11 Raven mini-UAVs in every company.
The (now defunct and unavailable) eDefense Online article added useful details that illustrate the process of forming and training these teams, and offer detailed tactical assessments of the systems from a front-line perspective. It was highly recommended, and fortunately DID offered judicious excerpts when we covered it.
Some interesting points raised in the eDefense article included:
Modern diesel submarines have advanced propulsion systems and coatings, and many of them are hard to detect with the current sonar technologies aboard the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered submarines and surface ships. As nations in Asia and beyond race to buy these vessels, the US Navy’s Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Task Force is preparing for that future with a new “concept of operations” that includes new tactics and new technologies. It’s the first major revision of anti-submarine doctrine since the middle of the Cold War.
Advances in the USA’s littoral warfare capabilities include mine hunting lasers, UUVs, and Littoral Combat Ships. As the US Navy’s program executive officer for Littoral and Mine Warfare, Rear Admiral William E. Landay III oversees many of these developments. Landay is also responsible for finding ways to detect and destroy the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that have killed or maimed hundreds of Marines and soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan; DID has covered those, too: ICE, JIN, Warlocks, iRobots, and more.
The nonpartisan Project On Government Oversight received unexpectedly positive reviews when it spoke to soldiers who served in Strykers and appreciated the vehicles’ capabilities and stealth. Russian analyst Vasiliy Fofanov, who wasn’t generally inclined to give American equipment in Iraq high marks, likewise gave a positive review of the vehicle.
Now a conference call from Mosul has added more specifics to the soldiers’ review, and so has a recent article in National Defense Magazine.
Defense transformation and the move toward network-centric warfare (NCW) is on the agenda of countries as diverse as the USA, Britain, Israel, Singapore, South Korea, et. al. On October 6, 2005, Lt. Gen. David Hurley officially released the Australian Defence Forces’ own updated Network Centric Warfare Roadmap, outlining the steps to achieve the goal of a combined joint seamless Future Joint Operations Concept force by 2020. Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, he said, continue to demonstrate the operational benefits of enhanced information flows and agility: “The NCW Roadmap is a dynamic document that provides an overview of the milestones that we view as critical to the realisation of our vision for NCW”. It achieves this by outlining:
The ADF’s future NCW capability requirements,
The ADF’s current NCW capabilities, and
How the ADF’s future NCW capability requirements are to be realized
How the plan itself may change as the effort progresses
BAE Systems Information and Electronics Systems Integration Inc. in Nashau, NH, is being awarded a $5 million cost-plus-fee contract for the Littoral ASW Multi-Statistics Project for the development and testing of an advanced off board low frequency acoustic source receiver. DID has covered the USA’s changing ASW doctrine in response to the diesel sub threat and it focus on advanced sensor nets and even more unusual options; this is simply one more project as part of that broad constellation of effort.
Work will be performed in Nashau, NH, and is expected to be complete in September 2008. This contract was competitively procured under a Broad Agency Announcement Number 05-001, with more than two offers received. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA issued the contract (N00014-05-C-0158).
In a recent article, DID linked to a full roster of the key decision-makers in the Pentagon, Homeland Security, and national intelligence agencies, including personal backgrounds and contact info. To understand the players, however, it’s necessary to understand the over-arching game. In the Pentagon, that game is “transformation.”
The Naval Inventory Control Point has issued a pair of ceiling priced order contract procurements to the Bell-Boeing Joint Program Office in Patuxent River, MD. The orders come under contract N00383-03-G-001B, covering additional U.S. Special Operation Command (SOCOM) spares for the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft as it prepares to enter service. The contracts were not competitively procured.
These contracts follow on the heels of a number of related events.
Alaska Ship and Drydock Inc. in Ketchikan, AK received a $9.7 millon cost-plus-fixed-fee agreement to build a prototype vessel to test various technologies for their usefulness in employment in potential new naval ship designs. Exact particulars were not specified, and the company has no web site, but it was noted that these prototypes and technologies tested will help the Navy’s define its future warfighting strategy Seapower 21. This agreement contains options that, if exercised, will bring the total cumulative value of this agreement to $29.9 million.
Work will be performed in Ketchikan, AK and is expected to be complete by October 2007 (2010 with options). This contract was awarded in response to a proposal submitted under a Broad Agency Announcement that was announced on the Federal Business Opportunities website. The Office of Naval Research in Washington, DC issued the contract (N00014-05-9-0001).