The P-3C fulfills a unique role in the U.S. force structure; not only does it act as a sub-hunter and keep tabs on the sea lanes via long-range reconnaissance, it’s also finding itself in demand from Kosovo to Afghanistan for use in overland surveillance and attack roles. Yet the age of its airframes – often older than the pilots who fly them – is taking its toll. The USA is struggling to sustain a shrinking and aging aircraft fleet until the P-8As begin to arrive around 2011-2013, and/or to-be-selected BAMS UAV platforms can take on some of the Orions’ missions.
P-8A MMA Concept
Now the August 2005 issue of Sea Power Magazine interviews Rear Adm. Michael L. Holmes, who is responsible to the commander, Naval Air Forces, for manning, training and equipping the MPR (Maritime Patrol & Reconnaissance) force of 17 patrol, special projects patrol and fleet air reconnaissance squadrons. His comments regarding P-3C force levels, initiatives, challenges and future MPR plans add important background to our stories. Background that includes:
The Interceptor OTV body armor vests DID has been covering lately have proven very effective at reducing injuries; indeed, we’ve heard several reports of soldiers who only realized they’d been hit when they got back to base and noticed the bullets their armor had stopped. One side effect has been a big increase in the proportion of arm injuries, however, often damaged beyond repair due to burns and shrapnel penetration from roadside bombs et. al.
The Global Positioning system touches on a very wide range of military hardware, as well as its many civilian uses. While the program has experienced some delays, Government officials representing military and civil interests recently emphasized the need for continued modernization of the Global Positioning System.
A recent U.S. Department of Defense article was very helpful in laying out the present and future plans for the NAVSTAR GPS system, and we thought it worthwhile to present this to our readers by including it and adding additional material.
The 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base has been working with the USA’s B-1B Lancer heavy bomber to upgrade their weapons carrying abilities. The results will increase the non-stealth bomber’s ability to deliver weapons into heavily defended areas, and enhance its value as a maritime strike aircraft as well.
DefenseTalk reports that the figures for Pearl Harbor-homeported surface ships seem to show that they’re in better material condition than in the past, due in large part to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard’s (PHNSY) use of SHIPMAIN tools and philosophies. Short for “Ship Maintenance,” SHIPMAIN is a Navy-wide initiative to streamline surface ship maintenance and modernization.
One of the major innovations of SHIPMAIN is the setup of dedicated maintenance teams for each ship…
An April 6/05 DID article noted that Canada’s second-hand purchase of 1980s-era Victoria Class submarines from Britain has encountered a number of issues and delays. At present, the Canadian Navy is concentrating almost all of its efforts on getting the subs back to sea after a fatal October 2004 fire on HMCS Chicoutimi sent them to their home ports as a safety precaution…
The Canadian navy is now spending $11.8 million to come up with detailed plans to repair the submarine, and a Phase II contract was awarded to Irving Shipbuilding Incorporated of Saint John, NB at its Halifax Shipyard facility.
L-3 Communications Henshcel in Newburyport, MA received an estimated maximum $6 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for Submarine Valve Regulated, Lead Acid Automatic Battery Monitoring Systems (ABMS).
The US Navy is considering switching from flooded lead-acid battery designs to valve-regulated varieties for its Submarine Main Storage Battery requirements…
Concorde Inc. in Philadelphia, PA received a $41.5 million fixed-price requirements contract to provide for medical examination services for the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board, which covers service academy and ROTC applicants. Exams will be performed at contracted medical facilities throughout the United States and its territories, and there is a ceiling estimate of 36,000 full examinations each year. Solicitation began May 2005, negotiations were completed August 2005, and the contract will be complete by September 2011. The 10th Mission Support Group of the USAF Academy, CO issued the contract (FA7000-05-D-0010).
On March 12/05, DID discussed the multinational F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s (JSF) engine programs, noting the relative status and strategies of the Pratt & Whitney-led F135 and the GE/ Rolls Royce F136 teams. A $2 billion+ System Development and Demonstration contract was on the way, for production of 15 prototype F136 engines in both conventional and STOVL (Short Take Off, Vertical Landing) configurations.
That contract has now been issued, with some modifications. Meanwhile, the F135 engine team has also received substantial additional funding from the Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD, and issued a contract of their own for diagnostic systems.