Raytheon Co. Space and Airborne Systems in El Segundo, CA is being awarded a $38.8 million firm-fixed-price delivery order against a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-04-D-0070) for the procurement of 83 AN/AAQ-29A night vision system kits. These are turreted FLIR units (Forward Looking Infra-Red, feeds images to a display screen inside) and system electronics to be installed on and in CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters.
This contract contains options that will bring the total cumulative value of the contract to $7 million if exercised. Work will be performed in Santa Rita, Guam, and is expected to be complete by November 2005. This contract was a sole source procurement by the U.S. Navy’s Sealift Logistics Command Far East (N62404-05-C-0014).
Yesterday, DID described how a sims-style video game was training attack sub sailors to be prepared for security threats while in port. Apparently, the US Navy isn’t stopping there. Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Systems in Annapolis, MD received a $6 million firm-fixed-price/cost type contract for the Shipboard Protection System (SPS). The purpose of the SPS system is to enhance the ability of surface naval vessels to defeat terrorist attempts or counter other threats while moored to a pier, at anchor, or during restricted maneuvering like canals, narrow littoral channels, etc.
Capabilities for Increment I include: Integrated Surface Surveillance System, and Non-lethal weapons/devices. The surface surveillance system integrates EO/IR sensors, radar, and stabilized guns into a common tactical surveillance system. Non-lethal weaponry will also be included.
On August 22/05, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the public of a possible Foreign Military Sale [PDF] to Singapore of advanced ordnance, plus logistics, training support, and associated equipment and services for F-15 aircraft. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $741 million.
This is interesting, because Singapore does not currently fly F-15 aircraft (it flies F-16s, F/RF-5s, and A-4SUs). The F-15E Strike Eagle was named to an April 2005 shortlist with Dassault’s Rafale for Singapore’s $1 billion A-4SU fighter replacement contract, and closer U.S. military ties in recent years are expected to give the F-15E a slight edge. Indeed, the recently-retired head of U.S. Pacific Command was honored at almost the same time with Singapore’s Meritorious Service Medal – Military.
The natural question is whether the Government of Singapore has made, or is very close to making, a decision regarding its future fighter purchase.
DID recently covered a lengthy GAO Report on the Coast Guard’s Deepwater program, which aims to invest $20-25 billion over the next two decades in order to renew the Coast guard’s aging ships, helicopters, and other equipment. While GAO report #05-757 focused on project management concerns and offered recommendations, the Aug/05 issue of Seapower magazine offers a special focus on the Deepwater program, and highlights some of the U.S. Coast Guard’s under-appreciated assets. Articles include:
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency recently notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale of continuing logistics support, contractor maintenance, and technical services, and associated equipment and services in support of Kuwait’s 40 F/A-18C&D aircraft. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $295 million.
Kuwait has traditionally relied heavily on outside support to maintain its modern military equipment, which includes F/A-18 aircraft, M1A1 Abrambs tanks, et. al. These contractor services will provide for a continuation of the required logistics and support through CY 2011. The principal contractors participating in this proposed sale are DYNCORP of Fort Worth, TX; F/A-18 manufacturer The Boeing Company of St. Louis, MO; and Anteon Corporation of Fairfax, VA. Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of 50 contractor representatives in Kuwait to maintain continuity in the program support through CY 2011. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Singapore’s Brigadier-General Jimmy Khoo seems to get frequent speaking invites at defense conferences; and after reading a couple of his talks, we can see why. His tongue-in-cheek discussion of “8 Reasons Why Network Centric Warfare is Irrelevant” at the Network Transformation 2003 conference in Brussels offers an excellent introduction to the pressures driving NCW as an emerging doctrine among the world’s advanced militaries. His comments on the evolution of Singapore’s military, the steps they’re taking toward their own transformation, and the OODA Loop help to explain why this tiny city-state is considered a decision-maker to watch in the global defense market.
Navy submarine crews are using video games to practice anti-terrorism tactics designed to secure their boats while in port or while passing through narrow straits et. al. in littoral zones The 3Dsolve simulation is called the Force Protection Anti-Terrorism Simulation Trainer, and bears some resemblances to the hit video game “The Sims” in terms of its style and play. The Navy originally intended to design a first-person view game (i.e. HALO or Doom), but backed off once the cost of such an endeavour and difficulties in running the result on some of the Navy’s existing low-end laptops became clear. 3Dsolve’s animators were also reportedly “stunned” by the level of complexity of the SSN 688 Los Angeles-class subs.
So far, the game only models Los Angeles-class attack submarines and the environment of the New London, CT naval base. It could be expanded to include other ports and SSBN 726 Ohio-class submarines, however, just as future upgrades may add to the 22 scenarios programmed thus far. National Defense Magazine has further details.
Speaking to attendees of the 2005 Army Directors of Information Management/Army Knowledge Management conference, new director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Croom reportedly said he will re-examine the Net-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES) program. Calling the $10 billion initiative “the only transformational program DISA has,” Croom said he’s “not convinced [its components] are described appropriately.” Federal Computing Weekly has more.
In addition to messaging, NCES includes application, collaboration, discovery, mediation, security, storage, user assistance and enterprise systems management. The core, common IT services is intended to create a communications infrastructure allowing warfighters and analysts to more easily access and use U.S. military and intelligence networks by customizing searches and sharing data.
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: