Nick Whitney, chief executive of the EU’s European Defense Agency, is calling for a radical overhaul of how member states spend their defense budgets, stressing interoperability and the need to avoid duplication. He believes there is a growing awareness by the 25 member states that their combined EUR 180 billion, or USD $218 billion annual defense expenditures could be used more efficiently. Strategic airlift, logistics, and communications are seen as particular weaknesses.
In July 2005, there were 130 ASVs deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; by June 2007, there were over 950, with more on order. In between, Textron’s sole production facility was hit hard when Class 5 Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, and the company had to undertake heroic efforts just to keep production alive. We’ve all met venomous snakes in corporate conference rooms, but few of us have been given permission to kill them.
BAE Systems Land and Armaments in Anniston, AL received a $90 million firm-fixed-price contract for Overhaul of M577A2, M1068A2, and M1064A2 Armored Personnel Carriers, and upgrade of the same to their A3 Configurations. With the vehicles upgraded under the contract, it will have converted more than 40% of the M113 Family of Vehicles to the A3 configuration.
The M577A2 is an M113 variant with its hull modified for use as a Command Post vehicle. The M1068A2 Standard Integrated Command Post System (SICPS) Carrier is an M577 modified for the next generation of automated command and control through the Army Tactical Command and Control System (ATCCS). About two thirds of the U.S. M577A2 fleet was tasked for to either M1068A3 or M1068 (Basic) configurations. An Operation Iraqi Freedom After-Action Review by the 3rd Infantry Division found that M1068A2s or below had trouble keeping up with the M2 Bradleys and other modern vehicles, and recommended upgrades to the A3 system. The M1064A2 is an M113 variant used as a mortar carrier, armed with an Israeli 120mm Soltam mortar in place of the older 107mm mortar of the M106 series.
Lockheed Martin Corp. in Grand Prairie, TX received a $79.4 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for Block IA Army TACMS Variants (Unitary) XM57 Guided Missile and Launching Assembly.
Fired from the MLRS modified M270 launcher (2 missile capacity) or M142 HIMARS launcher (1 missile), Army TACMS is designed for deep attack of enemy second-echelon forces at ranges beyond that of current cannons and rockets. The extended range Army TACMS Block IA operates at range up to 300 km in near all-weather conditions, approximately twice the range of its Block I predecessor. The systems can operate day or night, and is air transportable by C-17 or, in the case of the HIMARS, by C-130. The Block IA missiles use an inertial system plus GPS to guide them accurately over the target area. Each TACMS missile replaces 6 of the launcher’s normal payload of 227mm rockets, with ranges from 32-70 km.
Radian Inc. in Alexandria, VA received a $25.5 million modification to a firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Armor Cab Kits Being Installed on Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles Trucks. The Radian Armor Crew Kits (RACKs) are aimed at providing substantial protection for the FMTV’s crew and key components. They are also designed to be bolt-on/ bolt-off over the existing cab, and incorporate an environmental control system for air conditioning. These kits have been installed on Army units operating in Iraq.
Work will be performed in Alexandria, VA and is expected to be complete by Aug. 31, 2005. This was a sole source contract initiated on March 4, 2004 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI (W56HZV-04-C-0321). DID – FMTV-related Articles
Small business qualifier LDV Inc. of Cleveland, OH won an $18.1 million firm-fixed-price contract for the design and construction of an Army Reserve Center. Work will be performed in Twinsburg, OH and is expected to be complete by Aug. 15, 2007. There were 229 bids solicited on Dec. 22, 2004, and seven bids were received. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Louisville, KY issued the contract (W912QR-05-C-0018).
The Raytheon/ Lockheed Martin JAVELIN Joint Venture in Tucson, AZ received a $67.7 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for Javelin CLU (901) / EPBST (101) Supplemental Hardware Quantities. Javelin is a portable anti-armor weapon supplied by the Raytheon/ Lockheed Martin JAVELIN Joint Venture. It is shoulder-fired and can also be installed on tracked, wheeled or amphibious vehicles.
The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division in Orlando, FL has issued a pair of contracts to Jardon & Howard Technologies Inc. in Orlando, FL worth a total of $14.6 million. These programs cover assistance to military families in meeting the challenges they face, services for victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault, and services and internships for seriously disabled veterans as a result of their service in the Global War on Terror. Both contracts will be performed in Orlando, FL and are expected to be complete in March 2006. Neither contract was competitively procured.
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products in Burlington, VT received a $10 million ceiling-priced, firm-fixed-price letter contract for the procurement of 42 M61A2 Vulcan 20 mm Automatic Gun Systems, which will be mounted in F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Work will be performed in Burlington, VT and is expected to be complete in January 2007. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command Aircraft Division in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract (N00421-05-C-0110).
The 20mm M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically driven, six-barreled, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling gun with an extremely high rate of fire. It has been the principal cannon armament of United States military aircraft for five decades. The M61A2 is mechanically the same as the M61A1, but with thinner barrels to reduce overall mass to 202 lb (91.6 kg).