In its annual analysis, “The World Market for Man-Portable Anti-Armor and Bunker Buster Weapons,” the Forecast International Weapons Group (FIWG) expects the market will produce nearly 1.9 million weapons, worth $5.33 billion, through 2014. The group sees the role of a man-portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapons morphing from a dedicated anti-tank weapon to a general-purpose fire support asset for light and medium forces. Russian RPGs under the auspices of the Rosoboronexport will dominate, but European firms are likely to grab the high end.
FIWG estimates that RPGs, mostly the advanced RPG-26 & RPG-27s, will account for over 68% of production and over 51% of the total market value through 2014. In contrast, the combined output of the leading European players will provide only 13.96% of all man-portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapons production, but account for over 33% of the total market value through 2014.
Raytheon Missile Systems Co. in Tucson, AZ received a $29.3 million firm-fixed priced delivery order against a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract. This order provides for the full recertification of 150 All-Up-Round (AUR) Tomahawk Missiles, Pre/Post Flight Operational Test Launch Support, Systems Engineering Integration Agent support and fixed support for Encanisterization/ Decanisterization of MK-14 AUR Missiles.
Now, what’s an All-Up Round, aqnd how does this seemingly minor contract actually tie in to one of the DoD’s greatest acquisition success stories in recent years? DID explains.
DID has covered the extreme age of Canada’s CC-130 fleet, and the special challenges it posed while an emergency replacement competition got underway. L-3 SPAR Aerospace has been Canada’s sole C-130 Hercules Centre of Excellence for more than 44 years, dating back to 1960 when SPAR’s predecessor NWI first started working on Canada’s original B Model Hercs. It has accumulated extensive experience with the aircraft, launching numerous avionics and structural upgrades and even creating international services like Hercules 2020.
Its Canadian maintenance contract will end soon, but L-3 SPAR has negotiated a four-month, C$ 25 million (USD $21.6 million) extension of an ongoing federal government contract whose next five-year C$ 432.4 million (USD $375 million) OWSM Program phase went to Abbotsford, BC’s Cascade Aerospace. The scope of work under the L-3 SPAR extension includes:
Defense firms interested in doing business with the Pentagon are limited by federal law in their ability to interact with procurement officials. But that isn’t stopping them from mass advertising. The Washington Post notes that companies may invest years of work and millions of dollars just preparing a proposal for the most complicated multi-million or multi-billion dollar contracts. They don’t always know who is on the decision committee. By blanketing the area with mass advertising, they hope to reach some of the officials who have a say in the matter – or the subordinates, peers, et. al. who influence them.
It seems inefficient, and it is. Still, consider the situation. Larry Allen, executive vice president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, said: “They spend so much money putting together their proposals that the relatively small amount of money they spend on advertising is a way to try to protect their investment in the proposal,” Allen said. “They might do a $20,000 ad campaign on WTOP [a Washington radio station], which gets you some nice air time, but that is a fraction of a cost of putting together their proposal, which can easily cost more than a $1 million.”
Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems in Redondo Beach, CA received a $6.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee R&D contract. They are to develop and demonstrate a wafer-scale assembly (WSA) process for a batch fabricated SMART three-dimensional cell that will enable affordable, scalable, high performance architectures for millimeter-wave arrays. Solicitation began March 2005 and seven proposals were received. Negotiations were complete November 2005, and work will be complete by October 2007. The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract. (FA8650-06-C-7600)
Millimeter wave arrays are used in a wide variety of military applications, from obstacle avoidance and landing aids for aircraft to fire hot-spot location through smoke, concealed weapons detection, missile and smart weapon guidance, military personnel extraction, and more. Improving them or making them more affordable could have positive effects across a wide range of military systems.