The DD (X) National Team, led by Northrop Grumman Corporation and Raytheon Company, in partnership with General Dynamics, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin, has successfully completed the initial critical design review for the overall system design for the DD (X) multi-mission destroyer. The engineering development models are elements of the Navy’s risk-reduction strategy for the Flight 1 ship design. This milestone event demonstrated that the program is ready for the Flag-level review in September, and that the DD (X) Flight 1 system design is complete, stable and mature enough to enter detail design. Nevertheless, major program issues remain.
The DD (X) program’s roughest waters are likely to be political. The DD (X) National Team has successfully completed nearly a dozen incremental design review milestones. Nevertheless, recent Congressional testimony from the CBO and GAO indicates that cost estimates have risen from $1 billion to $3.2 billion average per ship, ship life cycle costs are likely to be about double that of the DDG 51 Arleigh Burk Class ($4 Billion vs. $2.1 billion), further cost increases are possible, and technical project risks remain. Congressional scrutiny and interference, proposed funding cost caps per ship, a shrinking force request (from 32 originally to 10, which affects per-ship cost) and consideration of reactivating battleships as alternative ground support options are also part of the controversy surrounding the program.
ICE, The breadbox-sized Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) Countermeasure Equipment, was developed by a team of engineers, scientists and soldiers at White Sands Missile Range, NM using commercial and military technology. Their goal: to defeat IEDs. These impromptu land mines are the most prominent threat to deployed service members in Iraq. Which is why thousands of ICE systems are in use by all of the military services, and thousands of more are on order.
For their engineering efforts team leader Maj. Raymond D. Pickering, lead White Sands ICE engineer Shane Cunico, and lead engineer Sam Mares of New Mexico State University, recently shared one of the U.S. Army’s “Greatest Inventions Awards” for 2004.
The DSCA has notified Congress that the Government of Israel wishes to contract for a fleet management program. This will cover U.S. Government and contractor management and logistics support of Israeli Air Force F-15 and F-16A/B Pratt and Whitney F-100 model engines, and accompanying spares, technical and logistics support, documentation and training. The estimated cost if all options are exercised is $600 million.
The DSCA has notified Congress that the Government of Bahrain wishes to contract for logistics support services and equipment for its F-16 aircraft, ALR-69 radar warning receiver, ALQ-131 electric countermeasure pods, radar systems, and engines. The estimated cost if all options are exercised is $150 million.
L-3 Communications Corp. in Arlington, TX received a $240.9 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract. This is a warfighter readiness science and technology program. This effort is to research, develop, demonstrate, evaluate, and transition leading edge technologies and methods to improve warfighter readiness and optimize human-centered logistic processes, enabling the Aerospace Expeditionary Force (AEFs) to achieve their mission goals. The Air Force is issuing a task order up to the maximum amount indicated above, although actual requirements may necessitate less than the amount above.
To understand this contract, it’s necessary to understand the AEF concept, and also some of the recent issues with the system.
Small business qualifier Structural Associates Inc. of East Syracuse, NY received a $32.9 million firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of an aircraft hangar at Fort Drum, NY. Among others, Fort Drum is the home of the 10th Mountain Division. Work is expected to be completed by Nov. 1, 2006. There were 30 bids solicited on April 19, 2005, and one bid was received. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore, MD issued the contract (W912DR-05-C-0026).
A series of contract announcements last week all point toward multi-level development of critical anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defenses and components in the USA, mirroring a similar series of recent announcements from its main partner Japan. Contracts included industrial partnership augmentation [added], SM-3 missiles, midcourse kill vehicles, sensor technologies, and algorithms, and totaled up to $471.9 million.
Firms involved in these contracts include Advanced Product Transitions Corp., Raytheon Missile Systems, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, Lockheed Martin Space and Missiles Co., and Trex Enterprises Corp.
MTC Technologies in Dayton, OH received a $10 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) maintenance and technical support contract. The objective is to help AFTAC meet operational mission requirements for monitoring treaties and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Disadvantaged business qualifier Leader Automotive Wholesalers of Glenview, IL won a maximum $8.5 million fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for anti-freeze for all services. Work will be performed in Glenview, IL and New Kensington, PA, and will be complete on July 20, 2008. This is an indefinite quantity base year contract with 2 option years. Proposals were Gateway solicited and 2 responded. The Defense Supply Center Richmond (DSCR) in Richmond, VA issued the contract (SP040605D4082).