French newspaper Le Figaro announced recently that the French electronics group Thales could link up to French telecommunications equipment manufacturer Alcatel and Finmeccanica, to forge a company capable of competing with the European aerospace giant EADS.
The government of Australia has requested a possible sale of up to 175 SM-2 Block IIIA Standard anti-air missiles, up to 30 Telemetry missiles, up to 2 SM-2 Block IIIA inert operational missiles, canisters, containers, spare and repair parts; plus supply support, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, US government and contractor technical assistance, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $315 million, and the principal contractors will be Raytheon (Tucson, AZ) and General Dynamics (Scottsdale, AZ). There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Small business qualifier American Aqua Source Inc. in St. Joseph, MO won a $150 million firm-fixed-price contract for Independent Purified Bottle Water Plants. Work will be performed in Iraq, and is expected to be complete by May 24, 2009. There were an unknown number of bids solicited via the Internet on April 3, 2005, and 22 bids were received. The Joint Contracting Command at Camp Victory, Iraq, issued the contract (W27P4A-05-C-0002).
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems in Niceville, FL received a $5.2 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to provide for the first production lot of 71 BLU-122 penetrator warheads.
The BLU-122 “bunker buster” warhead is part of a 5,000 lb weapon designed to defeat hard and deeply buried targets. It significantly improves upon the performance of the BLU-113 warhead by incorporating the latest technological advances in warhead designs and explosives. The new warhead also incorporates design improvements to improve its insensitive munition performance. The latest GBU-28 bomb variant delivers the warhead using a combinaton Laser/ Inertial navigation/ GPS guidance system. It is carried on B-2 stealth bombers and F-15E Strike Eagle attack aircraft.
Israeli police have arrested 21 people following a six-month investigation into allegations that an A-list of Israeli companies used Trojan horse software to spy on commercial rivals in Israel. The tip-off came when an Israeli author, Amnon Jacont, started to suspect that his disgruntled ex-son-in-law was spying on his computer. Among other things, Mr. Jacont found that material he had written but never published was being disseminated on the Internet. He complained to the police, and commissioned a security firm, 2bSecure, to inspect his PC.
Corporate espionage is more prevalent than many people believe, especially in high value sectors. This incident’s focus on strategy secrets and corresponding targeting of many of Israel’s ad agencies also offers valuable food for thought to defense industry firms wishing to protect their secrets. Red Herring Magazine has the details.
Aviation Week is currently running a profile on General Atomics CEO Tom Cassidy and his unusual approach to military production, and DefenseTech.org has some coverage. DID has run a number of articles covering the Predator UAV’s production and use, and under current plans the U.S. Predator fleet will expand considerably. While the General Atomics approach is an extremely risky strategy in more stable military fields, it offers food for thought as a possible business model for hot and quickly evolving areas:
“Tom Cassidy isn’t waiting for the paperwork to go through. Cassidy, the president and CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, is expanding the Predator production line, even building eight additional Predator Bs — a more capable version of the aircraft — without orders. “They’ll procrastinate for three years,” he says of his military customers. “Then when they want to buy, they think it’s like going down to the Ford dealership and picking one off the lot.”
British Telecommunications (BT) has selected Nortel Networks multiservice switching and voice-over-IP solutions as part of its $2.7 billion Defence Fixed Telecommunications System contract extension with the British Ministry of Defence (MoD). The contract is estimated to be worth approximately $42 million to Nortel over the next two years.
Universal Technology Corp. in Dayton, OH received a $49.5 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to provide for the Minority Leaders Programs over the next four years. The purpose of the program is to focus on involvement of the Historical Black Colleges and Universities/ Minority Institutes in the translation of promising basic research into solutions for broadly defined military needs. The highest potential research will make the transition into the design and development phase with a focus on improving or developing new sensors, materials, and manufacturing process via the AFRL Sensors and Materials Directorate. The Air Force can issue delivery orders totaling up to the maximum amount indicated above, though actual spending may be lower. The locations of performance are Universal Technology in Dayton, OH and Clarkson Aerospace in Houston, TX. This work will be complete by October 2009. The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8650-05-D-1912).
Nova Group Inc. in Napa, CA won a $13 million firm-fixed-price contract for replacement of a hydrant fuel system at Travis Air Force Base. The contract contains two options, which if exercised, will bring the total cumulative value of this contract to $13.125 million. Nova will replace a hydrant fuel system to fuel C-5 and C-17 aircraft in support of air mobility missions, and build one 2,400 gallon-per-minute pump station and shelter, two 10,000 barrel operating tanks, and a fuel distribution system with hydrant fuel outlets. Work will be performed in Fairfield, CA and is expected to be complete by November 2006. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website with three offers received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Integrated Product Team West in Daly City, CA issued the contract (N68711-05-C-7022).