Rockwell Collins Inc. in Cedar Rapids, IA received a pair of cost-plus-fixed fee contracts for the modification, maintenance and enhancement for the avionics architecture, avionics equipment, and communications systems for the following helicopters: CH-47 & MH-47 Chinook, MH-6 “Little Bird”, MH/UH-60 Black Hawk and other variants. Note that helicopters with an “MH” designation are generally Special Forces helicopters. The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL issued the contracts, and work will be performed at Rockwell Collins’ Cedar Rapids facilities.
Both the $5.6 million contract, which will be completed by Feb. 6, 2008; and the $477.1 million contract, which will be completed by Sept. 30, 2009, were issued under (DAAH23-03-D-0015).
U.S. Special Forces have been issuing contracts for modifications to Army standard equipment, and selecting an alternative engine for the “Nightstalkers” 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment’s new MH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. The GE CT7-8 B5 turboshaft engine has now been selected as that alternate engine. As noted, the initial 2005 contract to General Electric Company allocates $15.5 million in 2005 funding for the development program, which includes engine development and aircraft integration activities, and flight test engines and support. Flight-test engine deliveries are scheduled to begin in January 2006, with initial flight-testing planned for 2007.
Extra power is important to MH designated Special Operations helicopters, as they need to be able to fulfill missions where failure or waiting for better conditions is not an option – even when confronted by heat, high altitude (such as the mountaintops of Afghanistan, where helicopter performance drops sharply), or other extreme operating environments.
Russian and East European Partnership in Fineview, NY received a $35.5 million firm fixed price contract to provide for up to 200 bi-cultural, bi-lingual advisors for subject matters experts to support the Multi-National Forces in Iraq. The location of performance is Operational Support Services in Fayetteville, NC, and various locations in Iraq. This work will be complete by July 2006. Solicitation began July 2005 and negotiations were completed July 2005. The 11th Contracting Squadron at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC issued the contract (FA7012-05-C-0020).
Caddell Construction Co. Inc., of Montgomery, AL won an estimated $68 million firm-fixed price contract for the construction of the 1st Corps Support Command barracks complex for about 302 soldiers at Fort Bragg, NC. The project includes construction of 2 four-story buildings, a dining facility, and other related headquarters facilities. There were 430 bids solicited on April 13, 2005, and two bids were received. Work will be performed at Fort Bragg, NC and is estimated to be complete by March 31, 2008. The U.S. Army Engineer District in Savannah, GA issued the contract (W912JN-05-C-0052).
Curtiss-Wright Corporation received a $4 million subcontract for the Mobile Gun System on the M1128 Stryker MGS from General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, MI. Curtiss-Wright will produce the Autoloader Controller, Replenisher Controller and Turret System Electronic Unit (TSEU) for the Stryker’s MGS through its Motion Control segment facility in Santa Clarita, CA. Combined, the three systems will provide fully automated loading and ammunition replenishing of the 105mm cannon to achieve sustained high fire rates.
VT Griffin Services of Atlanta, GA won a $13.9 million cost-plus-award-fee contract for the public works functions at Fort Sill, OK over the next five years. Work will be performed at Fort Sill and will be completed by Sept. 30, 2010. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on Feb. 1, 2005, and 12 bids were received. The U.S. Army Contracting Agency, Southern Region at Fort Sill, OK issued the contract (W9124L-05-C-0003).
eDefense Online reports that India has set new guidelines regarding military acquisitions from other countries. The most controversial clause of the new guidelines, which came into force on July 1, 2005, includes a key offset clause for any foreign vendor who wins a defense contract worth over $70 million. Under the offset clause, any qualifying defense contract with a foreign vendor will not become effective until after that vendor has concluded the offset contracts for the required 30% of the total cost. This means that the foreign vendor will have to buy defense or other specified equipment from Indian industry.
In addition, the government has also incorporated a new clause stating that the lowest bidder for a program may not necessarily be the winner of a contract, as considerations of strategy and politics may also be taken into account. These clauses could particularly affect the planned purchase of 126 light multirole fighter planes. Due to existing arangements, the requirements tilt the playing field somewhat toward the MiG-29, and raise the bar for U.S. aircraft like the recently-presented F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified the U.S. Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt of 200 overhauled/ refurbished M109A5 155mm self-propelled howitzers considered surplus to U.S. needs, as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $181 million.
ThalesRaytheonSystems (TRS) Company in Fullerton, CA received a $130 million contract modification to provide spare parts to support the AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder weapon-locating radars fielded by the U.S. Army. The modification adds part numbers and increases quantities of critical spare parts to ensure radar readiness for the Army’s weapon locating radars worldwide, including those deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Michael Yon, embedded with 1-24 (“Deuce Four”) in Mosul, offers a recent first hand description of counter-battery radars’ effect on enemy tactics. Indeed, due to the increased operational usage of the Firefinder radars, ThalesRaytheonSystems and CECOM (U.S. Army Communications and Electronics Command) worked closely on an urgent basis to bring this contract to fruition in a very short period of time…
GenCorp Inc. subsidiary Aerojet won a contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop new solid rocket motor technologies for application on future Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Systems. In the first six-month phase, Aerojet will conduct analyses to evaluate solid rocket motor (SRM) technologies balancing cost and performance for a future strategic strike system.
If selected by the Air Force for the second phase, Aerojet will develop advanced manufacturing processes that optimize low life cycle costs, and will produce a full-scale demonstrator motor for testing. The firm has a 50-year heritage as a solid rocket motor supplier for Minuteman, MX Peacekeeper and Small ICBM missile systems.
Meanwhile, Defense Aerospace has translated an announcement from the French DGA defense procurement agency, which is launching a demonstrator program for the third stage of a submarine-based strategic ballistic missile. This demonstrator is designed to expand future choices in system design and technologies for the submarine component of its nuclear deterrent, and maintain the country’s techno-industrial base.