Kockums AB, which is part of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, has signed a contract with Singapore’s Ministry of Defence to supply two SSK Vastergotland Class diesel-electric submarines to the Republic of Singapore Navy. These ships will join four Kockums AB Challenger Class submarines, and the Kockums-manufactured Landsort Class mine hunters (MCMVs) and related mine-clearance systems already in service with the Republic of Singapore Navy. Terms were not disclosed by either party.
The Vastergotland Class is currently in service with the Royal Swedish Navy as well, but under a different name and with some important technology differences.
On Sept 8, 2005, DID noted that AirLaunch LLC would soon be negotiating with DARPA to begin negotiations for a development contract under the FALCON/Common Aero Vehicles program, which aims to launch small satellite payloads and possibly even hypersonic aircraft into space for less than $5 million, and on only 24 hours notice. AirLaunch LLC has now taken the next step, winning a $17.8 million Phase 2B contract for a one-year effort to continue development of the QuickReach small satellite booster.
AirLaunch and its team of contractors recently completed Phase 2A of the program, marked by the safe release of a dummy rocket from an Air Force C-17A cargo plane (see DID coverage). Phases 2B and 2C will focus on additional risk reduction and maturing the launch vehicle design and concept of operations. Activities will include…
Voice of America reports that Pakistan will postpone its hard-won purchase of additional F-16 fighter jets from the United States, in order to provide more relief to victims of the October earthquake which killed over 73,000 people in that country. Third-party estimates have placed the toll as high as 86,000.
President Pervez Musharraf made the announcement during a tour of quake-hit areas on November 4, 2005, which was also the Muslim holiday of Eid-ul-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan. This is a reversal of Pakistan’s earlier policy, but President Musharraf said the government wants to provide maximum relief and reconstruction efforts.
General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, MI received a $69.1 million modification to a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for “reset” of 265 M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles, whose performance in Iraq was profiled recently by DID. This was a sole source contract initiated on June 30, 2005 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI issued the contract (DAAE07-02-C-B001).
Through this contract General Dynamics will service, repair and modify 265 Stryker vehicles returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom, restoring them to a pre-combat, like-new condition. These vehicles have been in service in Iraq since October 2003, supporting two 3,900-soldier Stryker Brigade Combat Team rotations and accumulating over 6 million miles. The vehicles maintained an operational readiness rate above 95% throughout their deployment in Iraq. This contracted reset work is slated to begin in mid-November at General Dynamics Canada in London, Ontario (75%), Fort Lewis, WA (19%), and Sterling Heights, MI (6%), and is expected to be complete by Sept. 30, 2006.
ITT Industries of Clifton, NJ received an indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract and the first delivery order in the amount of $41.9 million for the production of the AN/ALQ-211 Suite of Integrated Radio Frequency Countermeasures (SIRFC) for MH-47 Chinook helicopters. The award is in support of U.S. Special Operations Command, via its Technology Applications Contracting Office. Work will be performed at the following locations: Clifton, NJ; Norcross, GA; and Landsdale, PA. The work ordered under DO 0001 is expected to be complete in November 2008. The contract was “awarded through other than full and open competition” (H92241-06-D-0001).
General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) in Sterling Heights, MI received a $19 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract to make the M93 Fox Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Reconnaissance Systems deployed to Iraq more survivable. The Fox is in service in the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. It detects chemical contamination in its immediate environment through point detection and at a distance of up to three miles with a stand-off detector.
GDLS’ corporate release notes that the improvement package includes slat armor, armor protection against land mines, accommodations for the CROWS remotely operated machine gun, and heavy-duty axles for 17 Fox vehicles and four spares deployed in theater. The vehicles’ swim capability will be deactivated to accommodate these improvements. Work on this contract will be performed in Anniston, AL (90%), and Camp Anaconda, Iraq (10%), and is expected to be complete by Sept. 29, 2006 under contract DAAM01-96-C-0028. This was a sole source contract initiated on Aug. 31, 1995 by the Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.
Small business qualifier Groen Brothers Aviation (GBA) in Salt Lake City, UT are well known for their advocacy of and experience with gyrodyne technology. Gyrodynes use tip-acceleration to spin rotors for vertical or USTOL (Ultra-Short Take Off and Landing) takeoff and initial flight, then switch to conventional wings and propellers and place the heliblades in autorotation. Hovering capability is limited with gyrodyne designs, but vertical landing is achieved through this autorotation and works even without power.
GBA participated in but lost a bid for a Joint Heavy Lift concept design contract; fortunately for GBA, they have another DARPA “heliplane” contract. They were recently awarded a $3 million increment of their $6.4 Phase One award, which provides for preliminary design and key technology demonstrations.
Groen Bros. has now issued additional informaton with regard to this contract and its team, including a somewhat surprising focus for their efforts.
Case studies sponsored by the U.S. Defense Department’s Office of Force Transformation (OFT) are working to present hard evidence that networked forces are far more effective in high-intensity conflict missions, and also point out how even less-than-perfect networks can be valuable. In all, more than 15 case studies examine the behavior of networked military organizations during exercises, combat operations and/or peacekeeping operations.