Northrop Grumman Corp. in Melbourne, FL received a $532 million cost-reimbursement fixed-price contract to procure improvements which will increase the performance capability, reliability, and maintainability of the E-8C J-STARS (Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System) aircraft.
With their advanced ground-looking radars and sensors, and extensive communications intercept capabilities, they providing a picture of the ground situation equivalent to AWACS air picture. J-STARS aircraft are capable of determining the direction, speed and patterns of military activity of ground vehicles and helicopters. They then act as an airborne command and control center, sending this information via secure data links with air force command posts, army mobile ground stations and centers of military analysis around the world.
Textron’s Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, TX, USA and Finmeccanica subsidiary AgustaWestland of Cascina Costa, Italy announced a realignment of their joint venture Bell Agusta Aerospace Company LLC (BAAC). Bell is selling its 25% interest in the AB139 medium twin helicopter program to AgustaWestland and granting them 100% ownership of all aspects of the AB139 program going forward, in return for undisclosed payments.
General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp. in Groton, CT received a $77 million modification to previously awarded contract N00024-04-C-2100 for consolidated design agent, planning yard, engineering and technical support for active nuclear submarines. Note that since the 1950s, the USA’s entire submarine fleet has been nuclear powered. Active submarine classes currently include the SSBN-726 Ohio Class ballistic missile launchers plus the SSN-688(I) Los Angeles, SSN-21 Seawolf, and SSN-744 Virginia Class attack submarines; the converted Ohio SSGN Class cruise missile & special ops submarines has not yet been formally commissioned to active status. Previous awards for similar services under this contract totaled $202.2 million during FY 2005 (Oct 2004 – Oct 2005):
BAE Systems Land and Armaments LP in York, PA received a $58 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for refurbishment of M109A5 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzers. This was a sole source contract initiated on Aug. 14, 2002. Work will be performed in York, PA (90%), Lemont Furnace, PA (9%), and Aiken, SC (1%), and is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2007. The Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command at Rock Island, IL issued the contract (DAAE20-02-C-0134).
Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root Services in Arlington, VA received $33 million for modification P0014 to Task Order 0017, under a cost reimbursement, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity emergency construction contract with special conditions. These task orders provide for Hurricane Katrina stabilization, cleanup and recovery at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pascagoula, NAS Gulfport, Stennis Space Center and other US Navy installations in the Southeast Region. Award of this modification brings the total task order amount for these tasks to $96.8 million.
The basic contract was competitively negotiated with 59 offers solicited, three proposals received and the award detailing the qualifying firms made on July 26, 2004. The total contract amount is not to exceed $500 milion which includes the base period and four option years. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southern Division in North Charleston, SC issued the task order (N62470-04-D-4017). See all DID coverage related to this contract.
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.