The Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation (OFT) is a small shop with a staff of 18 people – 11 military officers and 7 civilians. Its annual budget is just $20 million, amidst an annual US defense budget of over $400 billion. Its mission is to provide alternative views of the military’s future 20 years from now, producing key studies like the Alternative Fleet-Architecture Design (which recommended more, smaller, cheaper ships – see below), Operational Responsive Space Initiatives, a bigger role for blimps, and leading initiatives like Project Sheriff’s vehicle-mounted “pain ray.”
Until recently, OFT could open doors with the sheer force of its director’s name: Arthur Cebrowski, a Navy aviator who flew combat missions in Vietnam and served in Desert Storm, retired Vice Admiral, acknowledged transformation czar, and former president of the Naval War College. DID also notes the implied tribute in institutions like the “Cebrowski Institute for Information Innovation and Superiority (CINFINIS)” at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. Unfortunately for the OFT, Cebrowski is battling health problems and retired in January 2005. Can OFT continue to have an impact on decision-makers without Cebrowski behind it? What’s next for the OFT?
The Vietnam-era, disposable-launcher, 66mm LAW rocket has been making a comeback with the US military. The LAW may be a poor weapon choice against Soviet tanks, but the 7.5 pound M72a7 is an excellent choice for forces needing lightweight, short-range, bunker-busting firepower at reasonable cost. Given that the second scenario often prevails on the battlefields of the Global War on Terror, buying a new-generation LAW is a wise move.
To that end, Talley Defense Systems in Mesa, AZ received a $7.2 million fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00178-05-C-1017. While searches of DoD’s DefenseLink did not reveal any previous listings for M72A7 LAW rockets, or for the contract number is question, DID’s research and some assistance from NSWCD Dahlgren allow us to shed light on this procurement…
Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) has signed a contract worth $170 million for the sale of its AMOS-3 Communications Satellite to Spacecom Company. The satellite will be manufactured at IAI’s Systems Missiles & Space Group, and will be launched by the end of 2007.
Raytheon Co. Space and Airborne Systems in El Segundo, CA received a $10.6 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-03-C-0364). The modification covers nonrecurring engineering design and development efforts associated with engineering change proposal No. 04270510 (titled “Laser Marker”) for the F/A-18 Advanced Tactical Forward-Looking InfraRed (ATFLIR) pod. DID has covered the ATFLIR reconnaissance & targeting pod, and its effect on the capabilities of F/A-18s using it in Iraq. This appears to be an upgrade aimed at enhancing its weapons targeting capabilities.
Work will be performed in El Segundo, CA and is expected to be complete in December 2006. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract. See all ATFLIR-related DID posts.
Alloy Surfaces Co. Inc., Aston, Pa., is being awarded $6.8 million for delivery order (0002) under previously awarded definite-delivery/ definite-quantity contract (N00104-05-G-0726) to exercise an option for an additional year, FY 2006. The FY 2006, 150% Option Provision, has firm-fixed unit prices which can be exercised up to one year from date of definitization.
The contract will provide for the production of 72,448 MJU-64/B Decoy Devices. The MJU-64/B Decoy Device is an air launched electronically reflective material used to confuse enemy radar. Work will be performed in Aston, PA and will be complete by March 2007. This contract was not competitovely procured by the Naval Inventory Control Point in Mechanicsburg, PA (N00104-05-G-0726).
The U.S. Coast Guard awarded Standard Aero a $12.3 million, five-year depot level maintenance requirements-type contract for overhaul of HC-130 propellers and associated components. The HC-130 is a C-130 Hercules variant powered by four Rolls-Royce T56-A-15 engines driving 54H60 propellers. It is used for long-range surveillance, transport, and search and rescue duties.
Small business qualifier Smoky Hill LLC in Salina, KS received an $8.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for construction of brigade facilities and organizational parking at Fort Riley, KS. Work is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2006. Bids weresolicited via the World Wide Web on Aug. 10, 2005, and two bids were received. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Kansas City, MO issued the contract (W912DQ-05-C-0028).