The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) reports that a defense contractor at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has pleaded guilty to bribery in a plea deal and agreed to cooperate with federal investigators and identify associates in the scheme. He could face up to 15 years in prison. The amounts in question? About $12,000 total to shortchange America’s Green Berets, Rangers, SEALs, Para-rescuers, and other front-line soldiers in the Global War on Terror. $12,000 to throw away his career, and possibly his freedom.
In an e-mail to the St. Petersburg Times, SOCOM spokesman Col. Sam Taylor said that William E. Burke “worked on what can best be described as soldier systems, which includes things like lightweight communications systems, ammunition, small arms, etc.” His job was to test and evaluate equipment and rank which private defense contractors deserved federal contracts. If a proposal was not placed on the resulting service “nomination lists” to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, it could not receive congressional funding. SOCOM is currently reviewing all contracts handled by Burke. POGO has further details and links.
The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has been a champion of some defense programs (vid. the A-10), an opponent of others that it believes to be wasteful and/or ineffective, and an opponent willing to reconsider on still other programs (vid. the Stryker family of armored vehicles). They’ve recently done a series of short pieces covering the $50 billion V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft program, designed to take off or land like a helicopter, then swivel its engines to fly like a plane.
Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA is being awarded a $279.2 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for naval nuclear propulsion components. Work will be performed in Schenectady, NY (50%) and Pittsburgh, PA (50%). The contract was not competitively procured, and work completion date or additional information is not provided on Naval nuclear propulsion program contracts as a matter of policy. The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC issued the contract (N00024-06-C-2106).
Now Boeing subsidiary McDonnell Douglas Corp. has received an estimated $39.6 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for upgrades for the AV-8B Weapons System through a series of spiral System Configuration Set (SCS) developments. The contract also provides for investigation and documentation of current system anomalies, design and integration of system upgrades to include avionics and weapons, and development verification and validation of support software associated with these upgrades, which includes design and development and fleet utilization. Work will be performed in St. Louis, MO (95%) and China Lake, CA (5%), and is expected to be complete in October 2010. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, CA issued the contract (N68936-05-C-0068).
On August 12, 2005, DID covered the performance and operations of the RAF’s GR7 Harrier II jets in Afghanistan. Now Britain’s Telegraph reports that one RAF Harrier was destroyed on the ground and another has been damaged, after a rocket attack hit their military airfield at Kandahar in the south of the country.
The damaged aircraft is apparently being repaired, while the destroyed aircraft was replaced by another fighter which left Britain on October 14, 2005. Current plans call for more than 3,500 British troops to be deployed into the south of Afghanistan around April 2006, in order to launch operations against opium barons, Taliban/al-Qaeda forces, and the significant subset who are both of these at once. (Hat Tip: GBAD.org)
DID recently covered DARPA’s Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) and its complex operating system, and also detailed some system design innovations Lockheed was using to test the basic X-47B design at its Helendale facility. Now Northrop Grumman Corp. Integrated Systems in San Diego, CA has received a small increment to continue work on a revised program plan for the X-47B Pegasus.
This is a follow-on to a competitive award, replacing the agreement awarded Aug. 18, 2004 as the X-47B program transitions to Joint Program Office management at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. That August 18, 2004 award stated:
Brown & Roe Services Corp. in Virginia Beach, VA received a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for ready-mix concrete requirements at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The contract shall not last for more than 60 months (base period and four option years) or exceed $6.9 million. While it lasts, it covers all labor, management, supervision, tools, materials, equipment, engineering, and transportation necessary to produce and deliver ready mixed concrete, coarse and fine aggregates and materials testing services to specific sites.
Work will be performed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (see also DefenseLINK’s Ddetainee affairs home page), and work is expected to be completed by November 2006 (November 2010 with options). This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website with one offer received. The Resident Officer in Charge of Construction, Guantanamo Bay Cuba under the cognizance of Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic in Norfolk, VA issued the contract (N62470-05-D-7300).
Modern diesel submarines have advanced propulsion systems and coatings, and many of them are hard to detect with the current sonar technologies aboard the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered submarines and surface ships. As nations in Asia and beyond race to buy these vessels, the US Navy’s Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Task Force is preparing for that future with a new “concept of operations” that includes new tactics and new technologies. It’s the first major revision of anti-submarine doctrine since the middle of the Cold War.