The Defense Energy Support Center in Fort Belvoir, VA recently awarded a series of contracts for various kinds of jet fuel worth over $1 billion. All contracts are fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contracts that expire at the end of FY 2006, terminating on April 30, 2006. Thirty-two proposals were submitted, with twenty-two responses.
The USAF announced plans to spend $5.7 billion over the next five years to buy roughly 144 of GA Aeronautical Systems’ Predator UAVs – enough to add 12 squadrons of 12 robotic aircraft each, plus 36 support packages including ground control station, satellite terminals and other equipment. The USAF has accepted 114 Predators as of last month, and lost 26 Predators in combat since 2002. This brings overall losses of the unmanned aircraft from all causes to 46.
As Japan promises to build a new missile defense system, Pentagon leaders charged with protecting the country against a ballistic missile attack asked Congress March 15 for $7.8 billion to sustain development of the nation’s first missile defense system through FY 2006, approximately $1 billion less than the FY 2005 budget. Gen. Obering said the funding request will help develop and field the next increment of missile defense capability to improve protection of the United States from the Middle East and expand coverage to allies and friendly nations.
Life Cycle Engineering, Inc. of North Charleston, SC won a $47.2 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for engineering, technical, logistic and installation support services to support all Navy submarine and surface ship hull, mechanical and electrical systems. Work will be performed in San Diego, CA (45%); Norfolk, VA (30%); Mayport, FL (5%); Pascagoula, MI (5%); Pearl Harbor, HI (3%); Kings Bay, GA (2%); Bath, ME (2%); Ingelside, TX (2%); Bangor, WA (2%); Bremerton, WA (2%); and Everett, WA (2%); and is expected to be completed by April 2010. This contract was competitively procured via publication in the Federal Business Opportunities website, with three offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division in Philadelphia, PA issued the contract (N65540-05-D-0008).
United Defense L.P. of Santa Clara, CA (soon to be part of BAE Systems), received a $3 million increment as part of a $30.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development of an armed robotic vehicle (ARV) platform. The ARV is an unmanned, 5-ton vehicle controlled remotely by a dismounted operator or by one located in a Manned Ground Vehicle. The ARV-RSTA variant will provide Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition for the FCS Units of Action, while the ARV-Assault variant will provide direct and indirect fires under remote control in support of mounted and dismounted operations. Both are part of the Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) program. In this initial phase, United Defense is maturing the ARV system concept, conducting performance modeling and configuration trade studies, and conducting cost as an independent variable (CAIV) analysis.
The Work will be performed in Santa Clara, CA (60%), and Westminster, MD (40%), and is expected to be completed by March 30, 2010. There were an unknown number of bids solicited via the Internet, and two bids were received. The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Warren, Mich., issued the contract (W56HZV-05-C-0239).
The U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific at Pearl Harbor, HI awarded four $20 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contracts for facilities maintenance, repairs and construction at various locations in Hawaii. All contracts were competitively procured under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program in Hawaii via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website, with 13 offers received. The winners were Alan Shintani, Inc. of Honolulu, HI; LYZ, Inc. of Honolulu, HI; San Construction LLC of Aiea, HI; and West Coast Construction of Pearl City, HI (contract numbers N62742-05-D-2283/2284/2285/2286). These four contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract.
The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of May 2006 (May 2010 with options). The total amount per contract is not to exceed $20,000,000, bringing the cumulative total for all four contracts to $80,000,000. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities within the state of Hawaii.
AM General L.L.C. in South Bend, IN received a $5.3 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for 75 M1113s for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles. M1113 expanded-capacity HMMWVs (ECV) are designed to carry heavier payloads without sacrificing the vehicle’s mobility, dependability and performance. Currently, the ECV is used for special operations vehicles and communications shelter carriers.
Work will be performed in South Bend, IN and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2007. This was a sole source contract initiated on July 17, 2000 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI (DAAE07-01-C-S001).
Video Display Corporation subsidiary Aydin Displays, Inc. of Atlanta, GA received a $8.8M production contract by Lockheed Martin to supply nuclear-hardened 15′ ruggedized color AMLCD Visual Display Units (VDU) to be utilized in the Minuteman III Weapons System Control Consoles. The VDU is the primary operator interface to the nuclear missiles’ Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting (REACT) System. Aydin will supply all of the VDUs over the next 18 months to upgrade 50 Weapons Systems Control Consoles and 19 other trainer and test facilities, as a portion of the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP). The REACT SLEP is part of the ICBM Prime Integration Contract; Northrop Grumman Mission Systems is the prime contractor for this program to modernize the ICBM force to maintain readiness through 2020. The USA’s Minuteman III arsenal is also being upgraded with new warheads, and more environmentally friendly rocket fuel.
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.”