The Applied Physics Laboratories at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA received a $120.4 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity task order contract for up to 657,115 staff hours. Multiple appropriation types will be utilized throughout contract performance, and no funds are obligated by award of this contract, only on individual task orders. A contract option could bring the cumulative value of this contract to $257.4 million for up to 1,314,230 staff hours. Work will be performed in Seattle, WA, and is expected to be complete by April 2015. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC (N00024-10-D-6618).
The lab does a lot of civilian and military work, and even civilian programs like the Regional Scale Nodes Project ocean observatory would expand ocean access in ways that apply to both civilian and military systems. APL-UW will provide research, development, and engineering to US NAVSEA in 7 core competency areas that NAVSEA has deemed essential to support a variety of specific military programs. While this sort of work is less visible than buying a $700 million Littoral Combat Ship/ frigate, the combined effects of these efforts could be very significant in maintaining the US Navy’s future edge:
MAR Inc., a Rockville, MD-based small business qualifier, received a maximum $30 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for operation, maintenance, and repair of the US Navy’s M/V Independence research ship.
The M/V Independence is a diesel-powered vessel designed to operate as an ocean-going, world-wide research ship. The vessel’s home port is the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Port Hueneme, CA, approximately 70 miles north of Los Angeles.
Originally built for the USAF to support space shuttle operations on the West Coast, the Independence is now owned by the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center (NFESC) and leased for oceanographic research…
Towed arrays create a longer baseline than other types of underwater sensors, which enhances detection capabilities. According to the 2002 edition of the US Navy’s Vision…Presence…Power: A Guide to U.S. Navy Programs, the TB-29A is a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) version of the legacy TB-29 towed array:
“[The TB-29A] arrays will be used for back-fit on Los Angeles (SSN-688 and SSN-688I) and Seawolf (SSN-21) submarines and forward-fit on the Virginia (SSN-774) class. TB-29A will also be used for the SURTASS [Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System] Twin-line towed array system. It will provide greater capability than the current TB-23 Thin Line towed arrays and achieve enhanced supportability through commonality. TB-29A uses COTS telemetry to significantly reduce unit cost while maintaining superior array performance. These arrays were recently tested with SURTASS ships and will support the IUSS [Integrated Undersea Surveillance System] community…Coupled with the submarine A-RCI system, TB-29A arrays are expected to provide the same 400-500 percent increase in detection capability against quiet submerged platforms in blue-water and shallow-water areas, as the current TB-29 has demonstrated recently.”
Feb 25/10: Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in Annapolis, MD received a $49.1 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for services and materials for depot level repair and maintenance of AMCM systems including the high-speed, high-resolution AN/AQS-14A side-scan sonar; AN/AQS-24 mine hunting system; AN/ALQ-141 acoustic minehunting/ minesweeping system; CP-2614/T common post mission analysis; and USM-668 intermediate level test equipment and swivel slip-ring assembly.
All of these systems are used by the US Navy’s MH-53E Sea Dragon mine hunting helicopters. With tensions rising around critical global shipping chokepoints, the USN’s new Osprey Class minehunters retired early and sold to other countries, its Littoral Combat Ship program late, and its associated MH-60S AMCM systems still a years away from full deployment, the MH-53Es and their gear are extremely important to the US Navy.
Work will be performed in Panama City, FL, and is expected to be complete by February 2015. Contract funds in the amount of $100,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/10. This contract was not competitively procured by The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division in Panama City, FL (N61331-10-D-0009).
Submarines with improving stealth and attack capability – particularly modern diesel attack submarines – are proliferating worldwide. Locating these relatively inexpensive but extremely quiet boats presents a challenge to the US Navy, then Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Mullen warned Congress in 2007 testimony [pdf].
To counter this threat, the Navy is investigating a distributed and netted approach to anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Among the ASW programs the Navy is considering is the Reliable Acoustic Path Vertical Line Array (RAPVLA). The RAPVLA is a deep water, bottom-mounted, high-grain sensor system that can automatically detect, classify, localize, track and report contacts of interest, such as stealth submarines.
Lockheed Martin recently received a $7 million order for applied research in support of the RAPVLA program…
Northrop Grumman’s Sperry Marine business unit in Charlottesville, VA received a $10.9 million modification to a previously awarded contract (N65540-06-D-0009) for engineering and technical services and equipment in support of Sperry Marine-manufactured integrated bridge systems and steering/ ship control systems installed on US Navy vessels and at land-based test facilities.
The work will involve analysis, repair, alteration, maintenance, and production improvement on existing integrated bridge systems and steering/ ship control systems…
OM Group in Cleveland, OH agreed to acquire EaglePicher Technologies, a Joplin, MO-based manufacturer of batteries, battery management systems and energetic devices for the defense, aerospace, and medical industries, from EaglePicher Corp. for $171.9 million.
In fiscal year 2009, EaglePicher recorded revenues of approximately $125 million, of which approximately 60% came from its defense business, approximately 31% from its aerospace business, and the balance from its medical and other businesses…
Advances made in American mine detection technologies during the mid 2000s included the AQS-20A mine detecting sonar array and airborne laser systems mounted to MH-60S helicopters. All of this is in the service of the USA’s new naval emphasis on littoral warfare and accompanying doctrinal changes. So, what’s the AN/AQS-20? And how is it also related to a new US ship class, not to mention a new undersea robot?
Naval Undersea Warfare Ctr in Newport, RI (click to view larger)
BAE Systems received a $21 million contract from the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) to develop, maintain, and test software for sonar and other operational systems on ships and submarines and provide IT support for Web-based documentation and data storage.
The 5-year contract, which runs through 2014, was awarded competitively under the US Navy’s Seaport-e contract (N00178-04-D-4018) vehicle. Seaport-e is a $5.3 billion multiple-award umbrella contract that enables the US Navy to use an integrated approach to contracting for support services.
The NUWC is a shore command of the US Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Center Enterprise…
Just as the dog’s keen sense of smell makes it well suited to detect land mines, so the US Navy has found that the biological sonar of dolphins, called echolocation, makes them effective at locating and marking sea mines.
To take advantage of these skills, the Navy Marine Mammal Program studies, trains, and deploys dolphins, as well as sea lions, to carry out various underwater tasks for the Navy.
As part of the program, the Fleet’s Marine Mammal Systems (MMS) use dolphins and sea lions to find and mark the location of underwater objects…