A modernization plan for old machinery is being matched with a new procurement strategy, as the U.S. Army upgrades its manufacturing facilities and reaches out to more contractors to replenish its diminished supply of small-caliber ammunition.
Among the most debilitated munitions stocks are .50 caliber and 7.62 mm rounds, which have few reserves, a low production rate and some of the oldest assembly-line machines. Meanwhile, demand for direct fire ammunition remains high thanks to use in war zones and in live-fire exercises that precede deployments.
The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth, NJ recently issued a pair of contracts to Federal Prison Industries Inc. and UNICOR for the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) and associated items. Federal Prison Industries Inc. is also known as UNICOR, but different terms were used on each release. The contracts were worth a total of $113.9M.
Since the U.S. discovered during WWII that HF radio (3 – 30 MHz) can skip around the Earth allowing eavesdropping, the main military tactical radio band is the VHF Low band of 30 to 88 MHz. Another problem with conventional single channel radios is they can be located by direction finding. SINCGARS is the primary Combat Net Radio (CNR) for the US Army, designed primarily for voice command and control for the infantry, armor, and artillery units. It is a VHF-FM radio system that operates on any or all of the 2,320 frequencies between 30 and 87.975 MHz in 25 kHz increments. It provides the primary means of command, control and communications (C3) for Infantry, Armor and Artillery Units, solving the basic problems of tactical radios and providing a family of radios for soldiers, vehicles, and aircraft.
The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Warren, MI recently issued a pair of modifications to firm-fixed-price contracts for M1117 “Guardian” Armored Security Vehicles and M1114 Up-Armored Humvee Chasis. Both of these “up-armored” vehicle options are in sustained demand in the Iraqi theater.
Michelin Aircraft Tire Corp. in Greenville, SC received $92.9 million to exercise an option for support of 23 separate naval aviation tires supporting requirements for the F-14 Tomcat, AV-8B Harrier II, P-3 Orion, S-3 Viking, F-18 Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, T-2 Buckeye training aircraft, E-2 Hawkeye, C-2 Greyhound, V-22 Osprey, H-53 Super Stallion, H-60 Blackhawk family, H-46 Sea Knight, and H-3 Sea King aircraft.
This contract combines requirements for the U.S. Navy (90%) and the Governments of Spain (2%); Kuwait (2%); Japan (1%); Egypt (1%); Taiwan (1%); Malaysia (1%); Italy (1%); and New Zealand (1%) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in Greenville, S.C., and work is expected to be complete by January 2010. This contract was competitively procured, with 11 proposals solicited and two offers received. The Naval Inventory Control Point issued the contract.
For the second time now, U.S. Navy testers have recommended declaring the Marine Corps’ problem-plagued MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft “operationally suitable and effective for military use”, an important step for the $46 billion program before it can enter full production. DefenseTech.org has more.
Aviation Training Consulting LLC in Altus, OK received a $28 million ceiling-priced, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for the development of mission task lists and curricula for Marine aviation platforms in support of the U.S. Marine Corps aviation training transformation. Work will be performed in Altus, OK and is expected to be complete in July 2008. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla issued the contract (N00019-05-D-0024).
Back on March 5/05, DID described the AAFARS forward refueling system for helicopters, and covered order #9 in a $100 million contract for 372 total AAFARS systems. The U.S. Army has now placed order #10 with BAE Systems for 31 more portable combat helicopter refueling systems, with a total value of $7.6 million.
The TransHospital is designed as a modular system, and the rescue station that makes qualified operations possible can be extended to a complete field hospital with all the functions of a stationary hospital by adding additional modules.