In addition to its strategic location athwart the Persian Gulf shipping lanes, Bahrain is also the base for the US 5th fleet.
In May 2004, the U.S. Marine Corps awarded Lockheed Martin a $43.6 million contract to provide the AN/TPS-59(V)3B ballistic missile defense radar system, along with associated supplies, equipment and services, to the Kingdom of Bahrain as a foreign military sale. The production line was restarted, and a new radar was produced. Earlier in 2007, members of the Bahrain Defence Force were trained how to operate and maintain the system at Lockheed Martin’s Radar Systems facility in Syracuse, NY. An Oct 2/07 Lockheed Martin release noted that he Kingdom’s TPS-59 radar proceeded smoothly through a site acceptance test in August 2007, and is now being used by the Bahrain Defence Force for air surveillance.
Boeing in Huntsville, AL received a sole-source maximum $80 million cost-plus-incentive-fee, indefinite-delivery letter contract to conduct activation planning of a European-based Missile Defense Complex, as part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) component of the USA’s anti ballistic missile program. Work will be performed at Huntsville, Alabama and the European site, and is expected to be complete by September 2013. The contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, AL is the contracting activity (HQ0147-07-D-0001).
Upon completion, GMD will consist of an complex array of components: Air Force Defense Support Program satellites (DSP – in service); Space Based Infrared System-High satellites (SBIRS-High, encountered problems and may be supplanted or supplemented by AIRSS); the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS); Upgraded Early Warning Radars (UEWRs – in progress around the world); a Battle Management, Command, Control and Communications system (BMC3 – in Colorado and Alaska); the SBX Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX); and Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) missiles at Ft Greely, AK and Vandenberg, CA.
Missile defense efforts in Europe remain a source of controversy. Russia, which is helping Iran with its nuclear program, has objected strongly to such efforts. The nature and location of this complex are not discussed in the DefenseLINK release, however. Some additional readings related to this subject include…
On June 8/07, the US DSCA announced Japan’s request for Ballistic Missile Defense upgrades to one AEGIS Weapon System (Lockheed-Martin Maritime System and Sensors in Moorestown, NJ), AEGIS BMD Vertical Launch System ORDALTs (BAE’s Mk41 modifications, Minneapolis, MN), 9 SM-3 Block IA STANDARD missiles (Raytheon in Tucson, AZ) with MK 21 Mod 2 canisters, containers, spare and repair parts, publications, documentation, supply support, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related elements of logistics support. The systems will be installed on Japan’s Kongo Class AEGIS destroyers, and the total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $475 million.
A subsequent Lockheed release strongly suggests that this is for the JDS Chokai [DDG-176], which is the last of the current Kongo Class destroyers; the 5th and 6th Improved Kongo Class ships currently under construction will reportedly have AEGIS BMD capability pre-installed. The JMSDF is working closely with the USA on missile defense activities, which includes modification and improvements to the SM-3 long-range anti-air/ABM missile as the outer layer of Japan’s ABM system, deployed from its Kongo Class AEGIS destroyers. Air Force cooperation has also improved by leaps and bounds, allowing for much closer coordination with the USA in all aspects including missile tracking. This article covers the elements of that request as they are fulfilled…
Computer Science Corp. of Arlington, VA received an estimated $151.5 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, level-of-effort contract for scientific, engineering, and technical assistance support. These efforts will be part of the USA’s National Team for defense against ballistic missiles. Work will be performed in Arlington, VA and at US Missile Defense facilities, and is expected to be complete by January 2012. The Missile Defense Agency in Washington, DC issued the contract (HQ0006-07-C-0002).
Micro-electronics Research Development Corp. in Colorado Springs, CO received a $6.1 million SBIR(small business innovative research) Phase II, and cost-plus fixed-fee contract. This follow-on to a SBIR Phase I purchase order involves R&D to fully develop and realize “a cost-effective, practically oriented means to design and deliver radiation hardened digital electronic components capable of reliable operation in Missile Defense Agency and other Department of Defense space and interceptor environments.” Translation: they have to be able to survive extra radiation, vacuum, and very high acceleration.
Solicitations began November 2004, negotiations were complete December 2006, and work will be complete April 2009. At this time, $2.1 million have been obligated from the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM (FA9453-06-C-0200).
Sparta, Inc. of Lake Forest, CA, who was recently cited here as a key participant in the Project Hercules missile defense effort, recently received a $154.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee (level of effort) contract “for scientific, engineering and technical assistance support as part of the National Team in the areas of ballistic missile defense and related technology.”
Work will be performed at Chantilly, VA and various Missile Defense facilities, and is expected to be complete by January 2012. This is a sole source contract award by the Missile Defense Agency in Washington, DC (HQ0006-07-C-0001).
One of the hard problems in missile defense is how to deal with decoys. By the time most ABMs are launched, a MIRV (Multiple, Independent Re-entry Vehicle) missile will have split into its component warheads. The thing is, modern ICBMS have space for more MIRVs than they carry due to treaties et. al. It’s easier, and cheaper to put a few decoy MIRVs in the missile than it is to build a new interceptor to counter each MIRV. You could MIRV the kill vehicles, but that’s not yet an option with smaller missiles. The other way to fight this multi-headed hydra, of course, is to get really proficient at figuring out which objects are decoys.
Enter the US Missile Defense Agency’s Project Hercules, a national effort to develop related algorithms and battle management concepts. Robust detection, tracking, and discrimination algorithms useful against targets in all phases of flight; a physics-based decision architecture that applies advanced decision theory to future Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System Command, Control; and Battle Management Communications (C2BMC) concepts are all involved. MDA says it “Focuses national expertise on discrimination for the benefit of all BMD System elements,” and the algorithms et. al., will support spiral development via insertion and upgrade of its spinouts in other systems.
Variants of the SM-2 Standard missile are the USA’s primary fleet defense anti-air weapon, and in service with 13 navies worldwide. The most common variant is the RIM-66K-L/ SM-2 Standard Block IIIB, which entered service in 1998. It includes a number of modifications over previous versions, including greater capability at even lower altitudes, a more powerful fragmentation warhead, and a side-mounted infrared seeker developed in the Missile Homing Improvement Program (MHIP) to supplement the missile’s semi-active radar guidance system. These missiles work best when paired with the AEGIS radar and combat system, but can be employed independently.
Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems Corp. in Redondo Beach, CA received a $126.2 million cost-plus-award fee contract modification to perform activities associated with rebaselining the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS, formerly SBIRS-Low) program for FY 2005 through FY 2008 due to funding restrictions. They will also perform additional government directed testing to improve mission assurance for the low-orbiting infrared ballistic missile detection & tracking satellites. Work will be complete June 2008, and the Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA issued the contract (F04701-02-C-0009/P00106).
So, what does this mean? Fiscal year funding constraints on STSS forced work content to be prioritized and time in a way that wasn’t congruent with the current block 6 performance baseline. In order for the contractor to make up for that lost time, efforts like double/triple shifts, additional personnel, etc. will increase their cost and this “pays the piper” for that politically-driven decision.