The defense ministers of the United States and India signed a 10-year agreement Tuesday paving the way for stepped up military ties, including joint weapons production and cooperation on missile defense.
Titled the “New Framework for the US-India Defense Relationship” (NFDR) and signed on Monday by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the agreement is vastly more expansive that the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) and builds on the January 1995 Agreed Minute on Defense Relations between the two countries.
The U.S. Army awarded Raytheon Company a $22.1 million contract for initial production and early fielding of 155mm Excalibur GPS-guided artillery shells, a cooperative effort between Raytheon Missile Systems and BAE Systems subsidiary Bofors Defence of Sweden. Raytheon will provide Excalibur projectiles, testing, manufacturing tooling, test and inspection equipment, projectile shipping/storage containers, and training support necessary to provide initial capability to the Army in fiscal year 2006, more than 3 years ahead of when full operational capability will be achieved.
As DID noted in our May 9/05 article The Next Generations of Smart Shells, the Excalibur program is a key element in the transformation of cannon artillery to provide responsive precision strike capability for the U.S. Army.
General Dynamics Land Systems Inc. in Sterling Heights, MI received a $22.7 million modification to a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for systems technical support for the Abrams Tank program. Work will be performed in Sterling Heights, MI and is expected to be complete by July 31, 2006. This was a sole source contract initiated on Nov. 23, 2001 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI (DAAE07-01-C-N075).
Meanwhile, DRS Test & Energy Management in Huntsville, AL has received the full delivery order amount of $27.1 million as part of a $27.1 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for systems technical support effort for the M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and M1 Abrams Tank. These kinds of contracts are common in the wake of the vehicle wear et. al. experienced during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Work will be performed in Huntsville, AL and is expected to be complete by June 30, 2007. This was a sole source contract initiated on May 6, 2005 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Rock Island, IL issued the contract (DAAE20-03-G-0001).
Small business qualifier Caddell Construction Co. Inc. of Montgomery, AL received a $40.9 million firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of a barracks complex. Work will be performed at Fort Benning, GA and is expected to be complete by June 22, 2008. There were 53 bids solicited on April 8, 2005, and three bids were received. The U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah, GA issued the contract (W912HN-05-C-0040).
ST Production Systems, Inc. in Smithfield, PA received a $20.5 firm-fixed-price modification to exercise an option under previously awarded contract N00024-98-C-6111 for supplies, services, and production of the AN/SLQ-25A NIXIE torpedo countermeasure system. This modification will provide for production, test and delivery of an additional 3 AN/SLQ-25A torpedo counter-measure transmitting sets and upgrade kits.
Modern torpedoes still use acoustic homing, bearing in on the noise created by their target ship’s propellers and machinery. Nixie is trailed underwater by coaxial signal/tow cables. An operator aboard the ship controls the device via that coaxial cable. The streamlined main body (‘fish’) houses the acoustic projector. The Nixie acts as a decoy by generating a more attractive acoustic signal, producing more noise than its tow vessel in order to defeat a torpedo’s passive acoustic homing. But, active acoustic homing is also used by many torpedoes. To deceive the active acoustic sensors, Nixie must intercept their ‘pings’, amplify them, and then return these signals to the homing torpedo in a way that confuses it.
Theodor Wille Intertrade GmbH of Bischofsheim, Germany is being awarded a maximum $45.6 million firm-fixed-price prime vendor contract to supply and distribute food and non-food products for Army, Navy, Air Force, and medical hospitals and Child Development Centers throughout Northern Europe. Other locations of performance are Valdosta, GA and Swedesboro, NJ.
This is an indefinite-quantity contract exercising its 2nd option year. Performance completion date is September 30, 2008. There were 270 proposals solicited and 3 responded. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA issued the contract (SPM300-05-D-2985).
BAE Systems Advanced Information Technologies, Burlington, Mass., is being awarded a $5.4 million cost-plus fixed-fee contract modification to provide “a multi-sensor, multi-look exploitation system designed to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for the Predator… Under this effort, hardware, software and reports will be delivered to create the above mentioned multiple-look exploitation system.” The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (F33615-02-C-1149, P00007).
EDO-Darlington Inc. in Wando, SC has won a $240 million value indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price, time and material contract from the U.S. Marine Corps – for the second time. The contract covers procurement and support of telecom transition switch modules.
Transition switch modules provide a flexible unit level switch capability to transition between legacy tri-service tactical switches and current commercial technology. Another key element of this transition is the Joint Enhanced Core Communication System, or JECCS, which EDO is also producing for the Marine Corps. JECCS provides a mobile telecommunications “central office” mounted on a Humvee jeep, which connects with Transition Switch Modules to give individual Marines full access to the communications network.
The first low rate initial production APG-79 AESA radar designed for the F/A-18E/F was delivered to Boeing IDS (Integrated Defense Systems) in January 2005. Following successful installation and testing Boeing plans to deliver the first AESA-equipped F/A-18F to the U.S. Navy in April 2006. The radar will also equip the initial production of EA-18G electronic warfare aircraft, currently on the drawing board to replace the aging EA-6B Prowler.
On 27 June 2005, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt of 25 Avenger Fire Units as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $126 million. This will provide Egypt with two additional short-range air defense brigades of 12 Avenger fire units per brigade (6 fire units per battalion). One of the 25 fire units will be used as an operational float and/or for training at the Air Defense Institute.
Boeing’s Avenger system mounts eight Raytheon Stinger short range air defense missiles on a Humvee jeep, along with an FN M3P .50 cal machine gun and automated systems that use optical sights, infrared, a laser rangefinder, and an IFF (Identification Friend-Or-Foe) system. The DSCA release did not mention if the Avengers were of the upgraded “slew-to-cue” variety, which automatically slews the turret to place the sights on targets received from FAAD (Forward Area Air Defense) Command and Control systems.