The US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has a central role in addressing the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Their Research and Development Enterprise [PDF] is especially wide-ranging, covering everything from protective gear, to predictive and decision-support algorithms, to ScanEagle UAV variants that can monitor WMD levels, to co-operative non-proliferation programs, to development of new weapons like the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. Some of this work has even led to commercial spinoffs, vid. Sanofi Pasteur’s acquisition of VaxDesign and its DARPA/DTRA-financed MIMC model: an in vitro tool capable of predicting human immune response to specific bio-threat agents.
The US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has undertaken an R&D effort to provide an integrated approach to combating weapons of mass destruction (WMD) known as the Research and Development Enterprise [PDF]. Their efforts are aimed at improving situational awareness about the WMD threat, controlling WMD materials and systems worldwide, reducing the threat to US troops, protecting the homeland, transforming the US nuclear deterrent, and controlling the threat of loose nuclear weapons in the world.
As part of this effort, DTRA awarded a contract April 18/11 worth up to $600 million to TASC in Chantilly, VA to provide advisory services to the agency’s effort in this area…
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.
The US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) awarded 10 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts for CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive) support services at Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.
ECBC is the USA’s principal research and development center for non-medical chemical and biological defense. The center develops technology in the areas of CBRNE detection, protection, and decontamination, and provides support over the entire lifecycle – from basic research through technology development, engineering design, equipment evaluation, product support, sustainment, field operations and disposal.
The 10 ID/IQ contracts have a 5-year period of performance and a total value of $485 million for all awardees. Work will be performed at ECBC facilities on Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, at contractor offices, and at other customer sites as required.
BAE Systems received a contract worth up to $20 million to support the US Air Force global monitoring for nuclear treaty compliance. The company will provide engineering, research, and program management services for the Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida.
AFTAC operates and maintains a global network of nuclear explosion detection sensors called the US Atomic Energy Detection System (USAEDS). Once the USAEDS senses a disturbance underground, underwater, in the atmosphere or in space, the event is analyzed for nuclear identification and findings are reported to national command authorities through USAF headquarters.
AFTAC monitors compliance with the following nuclear testing treaties:
General Dynamics European Land Systems subsidiary MOWAG GmbH recently received a CHF 260 million (EUR 160M, $190M) order from the Swiss Armasuisse procurement agency. The firm will deliver 220 GMTF(Geschutztes Mannschaftstransportfahrzeug) protected patrol vehicles based on the DURO-IIIP truck, and 12 DURO IIIP “NBC Laboratory Vehicles” that can identify radioactive materials, biological and chemical warfare agents, and toxic industrial chemicals. The 3rd component of this order involves the development of 12 Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicles, which will be based on the Piranha-IIIC/LAV-III 8×8 wheeled armored personnel carrier (APC). These 3 three projects were approved in the 2008 Swiss armament procurement program, and they will be delivered to the Swiss Army between 2010 and 2012.
DURO trucks are fairly popular as medium transport vehicles, and also form the basis of MOWAG’s new Eagle IV up-armored 4×4 jeep. GMTF is a protected patrol vehicle based on the IIIP 6×6 multipurpose truck, adding medium armor protection while maintaining space for up to 11 soldiers. The GMTF will supplement true APCs like the PIRANHA II 8×8 Radschutzenpanzer 93 (LAV-II) and BAE Hagglunds’ tracked “Schutzenpanzer 2000” (CV90), which are already in use with the Swiss Army.
MOWAG will supply all 3 vehicle types; but the DURO IIP NBC Lab vehicles’ equipment will be integrated by Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH of Kassel, Germany, and the Piranha IIIC 8×8 NBC Reconnaissance Vehicles are the overal responsibility of Thales Suisse (SA) of Zurich. GD MOWAG release.
American Science and Engineering’s Z Backscatter Van(TM) (ZBV) is a low-cost, extremely maneuverable short-range screening system built into a commercially available delivery van. The ZBV employs AS&E’s patented Z Backscatter technology, which reveals contraband that transmission X-rays miss – such as explosives (including car bombs), plastic weapons, and people – providing photo-like imaging for rapid analysis.
The Z-Backscatter Van is also capable of identifying low levels of radioactivity from both gamma rays and neutrons with optional Radioactive Threat Detection (RTD) technology. This article explains how it works, and provides an illustrative slice of coverage regarding contracts and key events from FY 2005 to the end of FY 2008. The latest set of additions wraps up DID’s coverage…
General Dynamics Land Systems Inc. in Sterling Heights, MI received a $56.5 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract to upgrade 18 Fox Nuclear Biological Chemical Reconnaissance System (NBC-RS) Vehicles from M93 (14) and M93A1 (4) Configurations to M93A1P1. Work will be performed in Sterling Heights, MI; Anniston, AL; Lima, OH; and Germany and is expected to be complete by Sept. 30, 2009. This was a sole source contract initiated on April 24, 2007 by the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (DAAM01-96-C-0028). General Dynamics release.
The amphibious Fox (Fuchs) vehicle is actually a German design, first fielded in 1979 by a firm that became part of Rheinmetall Landsysteme. The NBC-RS variant, or Spurfuchs in German, has become popular with a number of countries, and is in service with the US Army and Marines. The wedge-shaped cover over the rear door is a key identifier, and all M93 NBS-RS variants have an over-pressure filtration system that permits the crew to operate in a fully protected environment.
Fox in Husseiniyah
The upgraded M93A1 reduces the crew complement from 4 to 3, and contains an enhanced NBC sensor suite consisting of the M21 Remote Sensing Chemical Agent Alarm (RSCAAL), MM1 Mobile Mass Spectrometer, Chemical Agent Monitor/Improved Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM/ICAM), AN/VDR-2 Beta Radiac, and M22 Automatic Chemical Agent Detector/Alarm (ACADA). The NBC sensor suite has been digitally linked with the communications and navigation subsystems by a dual-purpose central processor system known as the Multipurpose Integrated Chemical Agent Detector (MICAD), which fully automates NBC warning and reporting to other units and integrates with the vehicles Global Positioning System [GPS] and Autonomous Navigation System. The M93A1P1 is the most up-to-date configuration and features a survivability improvement package that includes slat armor, improved protection against land mines, and firepower improvements via the CROWS remote-controlled weapon station.
New York and San Francisco have begun using the IAC 1090 Intelligent Aquatic BioMonitoring System (iABS) developed by Intelligent Automation Corporation (IAC) of Poway, CA to protect public drinking water from contamination and potential terrorism incidents. The system is also being used by the U.S. Army at Fort Detrick, MD, a development partner for the system along with the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research (USACEHR), The US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Defense Legacy Program. The key to this whole system? Well, a neural network processor, and… fish.
Bluegill sunfish, to be precise (for Europeans: similar to Bream).
Akamai Physics Inc. in Las Cruces, NM received a $10.3 million cost-plus fixed-fee contract modification for Bright Onyx. This is a compact, active multi-spectral chemical sensor operating in the 5-micrometer region; it enables the remote chemical detection of chemicals associated with weapons of mass destruction that may be transported on ships inbound to United States ports. The Bright Onyx sensor must operate at UAV airspeeds and ranges with detection sensitivities of 10 ppm
m and meet UAV power, weight, and size requirements. Solicitations began March 2006, negotiations were complete June 2006, and work will be complete June 2008. The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FS8650-04-C-1714/P00004).
UAVs are becoming increasingly popular for WMD-related detection missions, in additional to their ‘traditional’ roles in battlefield reconnaissance and light precision attack. Very recently for example, a $8.2 million contract was aimed at modifying Boeing’s ScanEagle UAV to detect biological agents.