Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called for a broad review of the Pentagon procurement system yesterday, citing the Air Force’s recent contracting scandals as evidence of larger problems. The Air Force’s acquisition system has been under a microscope since the Boeing KC-767 scandal, but in the wake of additional revelations recently concerning C-130 contracts and others, Sen. McCain wishes to broaden that review to include the entire Department of Defense.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), cited cuts in the Pentagon’s acquisition workforce, which is half the size it was 15 years ago. “We have made these cuts in a haphazard way,” Lieberman said. “I am concerned that we may have stopped building the kind of strong, experienced senior leaders that we need…”
Various branches of the U.S. military recently issued a series of R&D contracts for items that promise significant improvements in existing military capabilities within a number of areas. These include:
The Air Force Research Laboratory in Kirtland Air Force Base, NM issued a $25 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract (FA9451-04-D-0179) to develop high power fiber master oscillator power amplifiers for directed energy applications research. Southampton Photonics in Los Gatos, CA is contracted to fulfill all aspects of the contract in accordance with the contractor’s statement of work for the Air Force Research Laboratory, Phillips Research Site, Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. Solicitation began January 2005, negotiations were complete March 2005, and work will be complete by April 2010.
Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC will lead a group of companies working under the Navy’s direction to design, install and test warfare systems integration of all onboard weapons systems and electronics on the Navy’s first CVN-21 class aircraft carrier (CVN 78). These systems will protect CVN 78 from attack by cruise missiles and other weapons, and integration will be centered on Raytheon’s proven Total Ship System Engineering approach to a common enterprise computing environment.
An $80 billion bill, supposedly meant to cover last-minute contigencies in Afghanistan and Iraq, has added provisions dealing with oil drilling, forest services, economic assistance to Palestinians, and even a new baseball stadium for Washington – all thanks to insertions by various U.S. Senators. DefenseTech.org has further links and details; if their NY Times link has gone dead, this permalink URL will ensure access.
United Technologies subsidiary Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, CT is being awarded a maximum $144 million firm-fixed-price indefinite-quantity contract for F100 engine series spare parts and sole-source parts for J52 (EA-6B Prowler), TF30 (F-14, F-111), and TF33 (KC-135 Tankers, C-141A Starlifter) engines for the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The F100 engine equips many of the Air Force’s F-16 fighter planes. This is a modification to contract # SP0400-01-D-9405 exercising its second option term period, which will end on February 15, 2006. There were two proposals submitted with one response. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Richmond, Va. (SP0400-01-D-9405).
A U.S. Senate hearing on the Navy’s proposed winner-take-all strategy for destroyer construction may provide more funding for shipbuilding and prevent the Pentagon from shifting the DD (X) program to a single yard. While the Navy’s strategy is likely to lead to lower costs, an “apportionment” strategy ensures that the lower-ranked shipyard will still get enough work to remain in the industry.
Lockheed Martin Corp. in Sunnyvale, CA received a $20.1 million cost-plus award-fee contract modification to incorporate new launch schedules for Defense Metrological Satellite Program (DMSP) Satellite F-19. The F-17 launch date will move from May 31, 2005 to December 5, 2005, and the F-19 launch date will move from May 31, 2009 to Oct. 31, 2009. Negotiations were completed April 2005, and work will be complete by December 2012. The Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA issued the contract (F04701-02-C-0003, P00045).
Raytheon Co. Missile Systems Division in Tucson, AZ, received a $6.1 million firm-fixed-price contract for the establishment of a production line for AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) Command Launch Computers for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The HARM missile is used to home in on enemy radars and weaken air defenses. Work will be performed in Tucson, AZ and is expected to be complete in March 2007. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., issued the contract (N00421-05-C-0048).