According to a new report by Congress’ General Accountability Office (GAO), the Navy seriously underestimated the cost of building ships at Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Avondale shipyard and other facilities – including major overruns for the LPD 17 San Antonio class amphibious assault ships due to design changes during production and high attrition at the shipyard.
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems’ President Philip Dur explained how these issues were being addressed, and made a strong case for more reliable projections from the government about future ship needs. Under the “True North” initiative launched last June, Dur said, the ship systems division is reducing overhead, realigning its management structure and overhauling its supply chain. He said the company is also getting a handle on cost overruns that have plagued its LPD 17 class. “In the future, I think that the cost excursions will be fewer and farther between than the ones we’ve had in the past by a long shot,” he said.
A Pentagon report by David Duma of the Office of Operational Test and Evaluation has rated the F/A-22 Raptor fighter as “operationally effective and survivable” but needing work in the areas of reliability, diagnostics and maintenance procedures. It also noted that the F/A-22 was successful in 90% of missions and three times more effective than the F-15C in air-to-air missions, exceeding an early 1990s Pentagon directive that combat testing must demonstrate at least twice the effectiveness of the Boeing Co. F-15C it would replace.
In contrast, Col. Everest Riccioni (USAF ret.), who pioneered supersonic cruise technology and the F-16 Lightweight Fighter Program, has published a critical analysis, noting problems with the program and calling it “the wrong weapon at the wrong time.”
Raytheon Co. of El Segundo, CA received a $275 million not-to-exceed modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-03-C-0364) for the procurement of 80 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) full rate production (FRP) III units for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Navy Reserve’s F/A-18 fleet. This modification also includes spares and associated engineering. Work will be performed in McKinney, TX (79%) and El Segundo, CA (21%), and is expected to be completed in March 2008. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the modification.
Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors in Mannassas, VA received a $101.3 million firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for acoustic system upgrades to the P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and associated engineering services. The contract includes 69 USQ-78B P-3C acoustic system upgrade kits, 53 USQ-78B acoustic system retro-fit kits, 7 T-78 acoustic system trainers, 68 CPU-54 cards, and 17 plasma programmable entry panels – including 1 for the Government of Norway. Work will be performed in Manassas, VA (57%); Anaheim, CA (24%); Hamstead, MD (15%) and Tazewell, VA (4%) and is expected to be completed in September 2011. This contract combines purchases for the U. S. Navy (99.97%; $101.26 million) and the Government of Norway (.03%; $34,172) under the Foreign Military Sales program. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract (N00019-05-D-0018).
Oshkosh Truck Corp. of Oshkosh, WI received $23.9 million for delivery order 0012 under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price requirements contract (M67854-04-D-5016) for low rate initial production amd test support of 92 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) trucks, Tractor Variant. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, WI and is expected to be completed December 2006. The Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA issued the contract
Lockheed Martin recently completed a successful Critical Design Review (CDR) for the radar carried in the E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning and battle management aircraft’s next generation. In August 2003, Lockheed received a $413.5 million contract to begin the critical radar component’s System Development and Demonstration (SD&D) phase. During the SD&D phase the company will produce two Engineering Development Models and four pre-production radar systems that will be used by Northrop Grumman for qualification, reliability and flight testing. Lockheed’s partners for this phase include Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems and Raytheon Electronic Systems.
A full-scale production program will follow to equip the 75 Advanced Hawkeye aircraft that the Navy plans to procure by 2020. The radar will be housed in the same circular dome enclosure used for the AN/APS-145 airborne radar in the current Hawkeye 2000 series, but will feature additional range and enhancements that will help it track threats to allied forces operating amidst near-shore clutter. DefenseTalk.com: Successful Critical Design Review for Advanced Hawkeye Radar Development.