The USA’s military has been shrinking for decades, but the politics involved in closing military bases in Congressional districts made it difficult to keep fixed costs in line. The level of waste involved finally resulted in the BRAC approach.
Under the Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) process, the Secretary of Defense makes recommendations to a commission nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The commission reviews these recommendations and makes their own recommendations to the President – in 2005, this is scheduled to happen by Sept. 8/05. The President then reviews the recommendation and either sends it back to the commission for additional work or forwards it, without changes, to the Congress. The recommendations of the commission then go into effect unless disapproved in their entirety by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress.
As of Saturday, Aug 27/05, the 2005 BRAC Commission has finished its deliberations.
The U.S. Defense Department’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Planning Task Force’s “Unmanned Systems Roadmap 2005-2030” offers a 213-page window into a major aspect of the U.S. military’s evolution, and has received a great deal of coverage lately.
Rather than trying to tie everything together in one summary post, we’ve decided to offer you a set of links we’re finding useful as we attempt to put the pieces together:
Small business qualifier Phoenix Science & Technology Inc. in Chelmsford, MA received a not to exceed $15 million Phase III, Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program contract for Topic N95-005 entitled “Surface Discharge Low Frequency Acoustic Source,” Topic N02-153 entitled “High-Efficiency Plasma Sparkers for New Applications,” and Topic N03-188 entitled “High Source Level Plasma Sparkers Driven by High-Energy Density Capacitors for Navy Applications.”
BAE Systems, Santa Clara, CA received a $16 million firm-fixed-price contract for M113A3 and M1064A3 (an M113 variant that carries and fires a Soltam 120mm mortar) Survivability Enhancement Armor.
Scrutinizing the actual contract [PDF format], DID finds that the entire contract of $32 million has been funded, the $16 million is simply 50%, and that the armor kits of transparent armored gun shields, high hard applique armor, anti-RPG “slat armor” or bar armor, and mine armor are destined for Iraq:
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in Stratford, CT received a $43.3 million cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order against a previous basic ordering agreement (N00019-03-G-0003) to perform requirements definition and engineering studies in support of the Marine Corps’ Heavy Lift Replacement (HLR) Program. Work on the requirements definition and engineering studies will be performed in Stratford, CT and is expected to be complete in April 2006. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
In a related August 2005 decision, the Navy also released an Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) authorizing the HLR program to work toward Milestone B approval in Fiscal Year 2006. If granted by the Pentagon’s Defense Acquisition Board, Milestone B approval will authorize the HLR program to move into the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase, the next step required under Department of Defense procurement procedures.
The Deccan Herald reports that according to sources in India’s Ministry of Defence, India will soon develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a flight range of 9,000-12,000 km based on their experience with the Agni intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM).
While Agni is a two-stage solid fuel ballistic missile capable of delivering a 10-15 kiloton nuclear warhead up to 2,500 km, the ICBM is projected as a three-stage solid and liquid ballistic missile, with solid fuel rockets based on the Agni in the first and second stages, and a liquid propellant rocket in the third stage. Projections include a 2,500-3,500 kg releasable front section with two to three warheads of 15-20 kilotons each, a launch weight of 270-275 tonnes and a CEP(Circular Error Probable) impact error of around 2.0-2.8 km.
The U.S. Army Robert Morris Acquisition Center in Natick, MA has just paid 3 delivery orders for the Advanced Combat Helmet worth a total of $63.2 million, as part of $270.7 million in firm-fixed-price contracts for the First Article Test Lot of Advanced Combat Helmets and Spare Parts Kits. Work is expected to be completed by the end of August 2010. There were an unknown number of bids solicited via the World Wide Web on Jan. 13, 2005, and seven bids were received.
The Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) is one of the 14 Rapid Fielding Initiative items developed in 2004 for deploying soldiers on their way to Iraq or Afghanistan. The ACH is made of a new type of Kevlar to provide improved ballistic and impact protection. Tests show it will withstand a hit from a 9mm round at close range, a test the previous helmets would fail. Some have even stopped IED fragments.
Maersk Line Limited of Norfolk, VA received $25.9 million firm-fixed-price contract with reimbursables subject to the availability of fiscal year 2006 funds. The contract is for the operation and maintenance of eight fast sealift ships.
Maersk owns and operates US Flag vessels under exclusive contact with the Military Sealift Command in support of the US Military’s supply requirements. These vessels operate in a prepositioned capacity, providing transport and storage for rolling stock, breakbulk, containers and ammunition for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. in Raleigh, NC received $57.7 million for firm-fixed price Task Order 0003 under an indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract (N62470-01-D-1141) for design and construction of Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQs) at two separate and distinct site locations at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. Program requirements for the two 325 sleeping room three-story BEQs are identical and include all incidental related work.