A decade ago, the AV-8 Harrier was the most accident-prone plane in America’s arsenal. After a series of deadly accidents killed 45 of his fellow Marine pilots, engine program manager Lt. Col. Robert Kuckuk of the Marines’ Harrier program office helped redesign both its engine and its maintenance program. That program now takes 25 man-hours per flight hour, but accident rates plunged. At the same time, the AV-8 has found its niche amidst the urban operations that have characterized Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Republic of Korea (ROK) Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung recently said he aims to increase the defense budget to 3.2% of the total gross domestic product by 2008 from the current 2.8%, a 12.5% increase in relative terms even before economic growth is factored in.
Some recent Defense Ministry procurement initiatives include:
Raytheon Technical Services Co. in Burlington, MA through its subsidiary, Raytheon Technical Services Guam Inc., received a $40.2 million modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed price, indefinite-quantity, time and materials provisions contract (N62742-98-D-1803) to exercise an option for base operations services in Guam. Of that $40.2 million, $8.7 million will be reserved for individual task orders issued during the option period. After the exercise of this modification, the total cumulative contract amount will be $519.3 million.
On March 22, 2005, the U.S. Air Force announced that it would soon award contracts for 18 to 24 rocket launches. A pre-solicitation notice explains that the government should award the contracts on or before Oct. 1, 2005. These rockets carry payloads for the Department of Defense and the National Reconnaissance Office.
Acting Air Force Secretary Peter Teets said the Air Force plans to buy launches from both Boeing and Lockheed Martin Inc.
Arch Chemicals in Norwalk, CT is being awarded a 20-year, $148.8 million fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for the production, storage, distribution, and handling of hydrazine for the Department of Defense. Hydrazine and its derivative chemicals are often used as rocket fuels. Work will also be performed in Lake Charles, LA, and the performance completion date is March 31, 2025. This contract has two five-year options. Proposals were solicited from FEDBIZOPPS with three responses. The Defense Energy Support Center (DESC) at Lackland Air Force Base, TX issued the contract (SP0600-05-D-1522).
S&K Technologies in Ignatius, MT is being awarded a $31.1 million cost-and-firm-fixed-price Multinational Repair and Return contract modification to provide for repair, return and depot support equipment for Saudi Arabia. The contract allows use by any foreign country and also by the USAF. This effort supports foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia. The locations of performances are S and K Technologies in Warner Robins, GA (51%), and TAMSCO in Warner Robins, GA (49%). This work will be complete by March 2006. The Headquarters Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, GA issued the contract (F09603-01-C-0027, P00040).
In the wake of recent Air Force personnel losses due to procurement scandals and retirements, the U.S. Defense Department has taken over temporary responsibility for running the USAF’s top 21 weapons-buying programs totaling about $180 billion. This move will undoubtedly have ramifications for a number of major contractors ad weapon systems. It will also collapse the approvals process from a two-stage progress by the USAF and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) into a one-stage process of OSD approval with USAF inputs.
Stewart & Stevenson Tactical Vehicle System L.P. in Sealy, TX won a $316.3 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for 1,934 Family of Medium Tactical Vehicle (FMTV) trucks and 836 Trailers. Work will be performed at Sealy, TX and is expected to be completed by Nov. 15, 2008. There were two bids solicited on Aug. 15, 2002, and two bids were received. The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Warren, MI issued the contract (DAAE07-03-C-S023).
Rolls Royce has secured a GBP 137 million (USD $258 million) contract from the Defence Logistic Organisation’s Warships Support Agency of the British Ministry of Defence to service Olympus and Tyne engines for the Royal Navy and for the French, Belgian and Royal Netherlands navies.