Forecast International, who publishes overall market research forecasts for various sub-markets within the global defense industry (vid. DID’s recent UAV market coverage), turned its attention to Latin America in general, and Venezuela in particular, in a recent report.
F.I. notes that over the past year Venezuela has adopted a military modernization program that could be worth as much as $30.7 billion through 2012, which would make the country the leading arms buyer in the region through the rest of the decade. DID has covered the recent freezing of a $100 million F-16 upgrade contract between Venezuela and Israel, at the insistence of the USA – but F.I. notes that many other programs are underway…
Aerospace Daily reports that the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet program is proposing to buy up to two dozen more fighters than currently planned. While the Navy now is slated to buy 550 Boeing-built Super Hornets, Capt. James Wallace, the service’s F/A-18 international programs manager, said the program believes the Navy could use about two more squadrons worth (20-24). The case for more jets is reportedly being made to higher-ups.
The US Navy is buying 421 of these jets under the first two multiyear contracts, taking delivery of 245 Super Hornets to date. The aircraft have been used extensively in Iraq, and the current contracts are expected to sustain the production line until 2013. DID recently covered the Super Hornet program’s lessons learned, and also noted related comments regarding procurement of the EA-18G Growler electronic attack version. Nevertheless, the request faces some complications.
L-3 Communications has announced that an international team led by its Display Systems (L-3 Display Systems) division has been awarded a System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to provide the Panoramic Cockpit Display (PCD) subsystem for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft.
Boeing Satellite Systems in Los Angeles, CA received a $7.6 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to add Pedigree Reviews of Wideband Gapfiller Satellites (WGS) F1, F2 and F3. The Pedigree Review rigorously audits all critical components and subsystems, and is designed to help ensure that the satellite will work fully in the “one chance to get it right” environment that characterizes space-based equipment. Boeing will assemble, analyze and present WGS component data on 6,204 items to the Government Independent Pedigree Review team during an assessment to the Space and Missile Systems Center Commander, with a launch approval recommendation. This work will be complete in September 2006.
The Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the contracting activity (F04701-00-C-0011/P00112). As a previous DID report has noted, the WGS program has encountered design, integration and manufacturing problems. This is largely attributable to less-than-anticipated demand for the commercial satellite, which reduced the program’s expected ability to leverage expertise from the commercial sector. The WGS program was also mentioned, with specifics, in the Pentagon’s latest quarterly SAR report on milestoned or slipping programs.
June 1/06 update: The first of three Wideband Gapfiller Satellites (WGS) successfully completes key dynamic environmental tests to confirm the spacecraft’s structural design and mechanical integrity. See release.
The U.S. Congress has voted to maintain restrictions on U.S. military aid to Indonesia, in an effort to force the country to take further steps to improve its army’s respect for human rights. The House of Representatives was willing to remove the restrictions, but the Senate was not, and the Senate’s view prevailed when members of the two bodies met to negotiate a compromise.
DID has been focusing on some of the “high-profile, high glamour” items recently, but a lot of military spending is more quotidian. For instance, Lion Vallen Ltd. Parternship in Dayton, OH won a maximum $16 million firm-fixed-price contract for ordering, storing and receiving DLA owned goods for the clothing and textile supply chain, receiving material release orders and shipping to government customers. These include the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies.
Work will be performed in Dayton, OH and Suffolk, VA. This is a one-year service term option exercising its fourth year option, and the performance completion date is Nov. 20, 2006. There were 50 proposals submitted and 7 responded. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia in Fort Belvoir, VA issued the contract (SP0100-99-C-0333 (C )).