The Defense Supply Center in Richmond, VA reached out to Hamilton Sundsrant of Windsor Locks, CT to be virtual prime vendor for the C-130 hub and blade. The contract, worth $347 million fixed price with economic price adjustment, has an exercising option period of up to 12 years including the first three year deal and three options to renew. The initial deal’s production is slated to be completed in October 2008. (SP0400-04-D-9432)
With procurement officers increasingly over-stretched, the Missile Defense Agency’s Contracting Directorate awarded a $7.7 million deal to CACI Dynamic Systems of Arlington, VA to help take the load off of its own acquisition, contracting and support functions. The deal will run for a year. (HQ0006-05-C-0027)
The Army Aviation and Missile Command awarded Sikorsky Aircraft a $10.3 million firm-fixed-price contract for UH-60 Black Hawk spare parts. Sikorsky will fulfill the order at its Stratford, CT factory between now and October 1999. The AAMC initially sought the sole source contract back in January of this year. (N00383-01-G-015N)
Manchester, CT’s Purdy Corp. won a $17.4 million firm-fixed-price contract to make rotor hubs for Black Hawks. The manufacturing should extend through to October 2007. The Army Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL contracted the deal (W58RGZ-05-C-0356).
A little more than two years ago, Purdy won a $16.3 million Navy contract to make Black Hawk spindle assemblies. Also in 2003 it won a $5.3 million contract from the Army for a vaguely-worded deal for “support and gear.”
The Aerial Common Sensor (ACS) is a joint US Army/ US Navy program that would replace three different reconnaissance planes used for signals interception (SIGINT), ground-looking SAR radars, and imagery intelligence (IMINT). The story of that program’s evolution over the last year is an excellent example of the kinds of issues and development challenges that face many new defense designs, even those that use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology as a starting point.
On Sept 9, 2005, DID covered a major proposed change in the program, and explained the likely dynamics behind it. Now an October 10, 2005 report in Defense News has confirmed much of that analysis and added new information, while the proposed change has become a tug-of-war involving the US Army and Lockheed Martin.
The September 2005 issue of Avionics Magazine has an excellent and informative article covering the $4-5 billion X-45/47 J-UCAS program, and the evolution of American UAVs. DID has covered the overall direction of that evolution, and noted DARPA’s Common Operating System (COS) project in conjunction with ongoing UCAS testing and the US military’s recent UAV reorganization. Now that COS software is moving to an Air Force/Navy joint program office, and the full set of requirements and implications is emerging. So, too, is a trend toward UAVs and their software as systems-of-systems efforts, rather than individual projects and aircraft.
This DID article looks at the COS project in the context of the J-UCAS program and the missions it’s designed for, as well as leading practices re: disruptive technological innovations, in order to examine where the ambitious J-UCAS UAV program might be headed.
Under a law Congress passed in October 2004, the Defense Department had until Feb. 25, 2005 to develop regulations reimbursing US soldiers for mission-related equipment, which is limited to $1,100 per item. In response, soldiers and their families have reported buying everything from higher-quality protective gear to armor for their Humvees, medical supplies and even global positioning devices – but the reimbursements hadn’t been forthcoming.
It’s the classic organizational conundrum of “rogue buying” that meets immediate needs, vs. the benefits of standardization, quality testing for equipment that must not fail, and interoperablity. Pentagon officials called the Congressional directive “an unmanageable precedent that will saddle the DOD with an open-ended financial burden” – but fortunately, Sen. Christopher Dodd [D-CT] pushed, and a year later, the DoD has just released its formal reimbusement policy. That policy gives eligible Soldiers until October 3, 2006 to apply for reimbursement, and clearly specifies what is and isn’t covered.
The US Defense Budget has gone to “reconciliation,” during which the US Congress and Senate attempt to take the different defense budgets passed in each body, and reconcile them into one official document for the President to sign. The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) is left in limbo during this time, either to be cut almost entirely with a recommendation for termination, or to face a $50 million trim from its $150 million program request.
What would be lost if the program were canceled? And why do members of the House and Senate want the program cut or reined in?
Team ACTIVE, led by the quasi-private British firm QinetiQ, has won a GBP 7.8 million ($13.7 million) contract to supply a ‘Mission Training through Distributed Simulation’ (MTDS) Capability Concept Demonstrator. Sitting down to execute complex missions together may be standard for your children on their Playstation or PC, but many military pilots only experience complex multi-aircraft missions when they’re ordered to perform it live. The UK’s MTDS program aims to change that by using networked, ‘multi-player,’ full-immersion simulators to teach pilots group tactics and teamwork, as well as individual flying.
Team ACTIVE (Aircrew Collective Training through Immersive Virtual Events) is led by QinetiQ, and includes Boeing, cueSim Ltd, Evans & Sutherland (E&S), Aviation Training International Ltd (ATIL) and HVR Consulting Services Ltd. More details regarding the UK MTDS program and its possible connections to US facilities can be found in Qinetiq’s corporate release. See also:
UK MoD (May 18/07) – “Fast-jet flying, indoors!” Covers the ACTIVE team’s Concept Capability Demonstrator (CCD), which forms part of MTDS.
Our readers have probably seen more than a few of these around their workplaces. Over at DefenseTech, they have a whole post with links to a veritable rogue’s gallery of ‘trying hard to catch your attention’ posters. Everything from cats, cows, aliens, clowns, frogs, spies, bugs in the plumbing… and oh yeah, the vampire. A fine way to kill some time in a defensible manner, or even (shudder) find some new ideas to inflict on your workplace.