Under the Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) process, the Secretary of Defense makes recommendations to a commission, nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate. The commission, after being confirmed by the Senate, reviews these recommendations and makes their own recommendations to the President. The President then reviews the recommendation, either sends those back to the commission for additional work or forwards them, without changes, to the Congress, and then the recommendations of the commission go into effect unless disapproved by a joint resolution of the Congress.
Bowing to bipartisan pressure from Senators, Congress, and Governors, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has decided to continue with the oft-criticized C-130J Hercules transport aircraft program rather than ending the 5-year, $4.1 billion contract with Lockheed Martin in FY 2006 as planned and cutting about $2 billion. “We believe it is in the best interests of the department to complete the multiyear contract… New information has become available regarding the contract termination costs…” said Rumsfeld in a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recently delegated technology transfer authority to U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), allowing it to share technology with academia and industry for the purpose of research and development. While USJFCOM is not a national laboratory, the new authority gives the command many of the same authorities national laboratories use to structure partnerships with industry to exchange personnel and technical data, make technology assessments and collaborate on research and development efforts.
USJFCOM can use this technology transfer authority to speed up the research and development process.
The Army Small Computer Program spent $5 million to purchase 5,000 licenses of ProSight Portfolios and ProSight Fast Track software on April 21, 2005, in order to help implement project portfolio management servicewide. ProSight is compatible with Microsoft Project.
Army Chief Information Officer Lt. Gen. Steve Boutelle said he believes the products will help better track the service’s 4,500 systems and better spend its annual IT budget ($6.1 billion requested for FY 2006), becoming the U.S. Army’s system of record for IT investments and systems and helping the service identify inefficient or redundant IT systems or investments.
BAE Systems has been granted US$45 million by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to build and test laser based prototypes of missile defense systems for commercial airplanes against shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.
Meanwhile, successor legislation to bill H.R. 580 will soon be re-introduced by Rep, David Israel (D-NY) in the 109th U.S. Congress. The bill may require commercial airplanes in U.S. airspace to be equipped with technology to guard against shoulder-fired missiles, a controversial measure that the airline industry is resisting. Congressional opinion is also divided.
The Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture in Tucson, AZ was awarded a $6.2 million modification to a sole-source, firm-fixed-price contract for Javelin Weapon Systems Hardware for the U.S. Navy.
The FGM-148 Javelin has two major components: a reusable Command Launch Unit (CLU) and an anti-armor missile sealed in a disposable Launch Tube Assembly. The CLU cost is around $125,000 and the missile cost is about $75,000. The CLU incorporates an integrated day/night sight and provides target engagement capability in adverse weather and countermeasure environments. The launch unit also may be used in the stand-alone mode for battlefield surveillance and target detection.
The U.S. Navy is beginning Operational Evaluation (OpEval) of the MH-60R Multi Mission Helicopter, the next generation submarine hunter, cargo, search and rescue, and surface attack helicopter that will replace the fleet’s legacy SH-60B and SH-60F Seahawk aircraft on its frigates, destroyers, cruisers, aircraft carriers, and other ships. Many of its upgrades are aimed at optimizing the aircraft for littoral operations, in line with the USA’s evolving naval strategies.
Designed as a rigorous assessment of the aircraft and its mission systems in operational flight conditions, Operational Evaluation is an aircraft’s final test phase before fleet introduction and delivery, and a major step towards Milestone III and full-rate production of the MH-60R. The decision followed the helicopter’s successful completion of the Navy’s six-month-long developmental test phase, known as Technical Evaluation, in February 2005.
O’Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt Armoring Co. received a maximum $10 million firm-fixed-price contract from the U.S. Army for up-armored HMMWV spare parts. This is a long-term indefinite quantity contract with a three year base period (currently approximately 2 years remaining) and two 1-year option periods. Performance completion date is Nov. 8, 2007. Two proposals were solicited and one responded. The Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC) in Columbus, OH issued the contract (SP0750-05-D-7426).
Dimensions International Inc. in Alexandria, VA received the full delivery order amount on a $15.4 million time-and-materials contract for Application of Add-on-Armor and Air Conditioning for Tactical Wheeled Vehicles. The term “Tactical Wheeled Vehicles” is a broad one, and can be applied to HMMWV jeeps, transport trucks, ambulances, and other vehicles.
Work will be performed in Iraq, and is expected to be completed by May 29, 2006. There were six bids solicited on March 17, 2005, and four bids were received. The Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI issued the contract (DAAE07-98-D-T061).