Dan Dupont of Inside Defense (see their special Budget Blog) emails us to note that US Department of Defense is cutting $1.1 billion from the Marine Corps’ MV-22 Osprey program, and moving to implement the cut in the FY 2007 budget process.
The reason for the cut is unusual, and the exact effect at this point is unpredictable. Ironically, the cut comes shortly after the first combat-ready MV-22 Block B was delivered to VMM 263 of the US Marine Corps’ 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.
DID has covered Australia’s 3-ship, A$ 6 billion (USD $4.5 billion) SEA 4000 Air Warfare Destroyer program in some depth before. The project continues to move forward, with Australia placing an A$ 1 billion (USD $750 million) pre-order for key components of the AEGIS Combat System and setting up an Alliance Principals’ Council for the program.
The AEGIS system components are being procured despite the fact that the SEA 4000 destroyer does not yet have a finalized ship design.
Flight International reports that US manufacturers are trying to persuade the Indian government to ease proposed new offset requirements that would make it difficult for them to compete in India’s lightweight fighter selection. These rules would have a substantial effect on the competition if applied.
India is planning to hand shortlisted manufacturers a highly anticipated tender for at least 126 new fighters next month. Despite the restrictions created by its foreign procurement rules, the competitive field may even be about to expand again…
DID has covered the US Army Knowledge Online portal before. LTC Oliver K Wyrtki, Director of Information Management at Ft. Bragg, NC, confirmed to DID that he had sent out the following warning message last week. Frankly, we’re surprised it took so long for someone to try this:
“The enemy has created a fake Army Knowledge Online (AKO) web page to lure you into giving up your AKO user name and password and stealing your identity. DO NOT GO TO THIS SITE. You may receive email, with a link, that directs you to go to this fake AKO site and log on. The only link for AKO is https://www.us.army.mil/. …Our enemies will try any method to gain access to our networks. Thank you for doing your part, and thank you for your patience as we continue to work on keeping the network secure and reliable.”
JK’s Op/Ed Note: I’d pick a more devious method, myself, but you get the idea. While the site in question has been taken down, DID notes that similar modus operandi can easily target other DoD or government sites, international defense sites, or even corporations. “Look before you click” is good advice for all of our readers.
The US Navy and Marines recently awarded a pair of additional contracts as part of their ongoing recruiting efforts. Walter Thompson Co. USA in Atlanta, GA received a $36.2 million modification to previously awarded GSA Task Order M00264-02-F-0213 for marketing and advertising services in support of the Marine Corps recruitment programs. The cumulative value of this contract is $196.5 million. Work will be performed in Atlanta, GA and is expected to be complete by September 2006. The Regional Contracting Office Northeast in Quantico, VA issued the contract.
Small business qualifier Noesis Inc. in Manassas, VA received a not-to-exceed $25 million Phase III Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program contract for Topic N01-158 entitled “Enhanced Propeller Visibility.” The objective of the topic is to enhance aircraft propeller awareness to improve ground crew safety through further research and development of the Low Light Level Illuminator (LLLI) coatings for propellers and rotors on military aircraft.
Noesis notes that in the past 3 years alone, two sailors have been killed in propeller accidents related to low-visibility conditions. The sequence of the awards matches the usual sequence of successful SBIR/STTR innovations, a process DID has covered before. For this innovation, the process was as follows:
The Lockheed/Northrop-Grumman joint venture Hellfire Systems LLC in Orlando, FL received a $37.3 million firm-fixed-price contract for Hellfire missiles and warhead components. Work will be performed in Orlando, FL and is expected to be complete by Aug. 31, 2008. This was a sole source contract initiated by the Army Aviation and Missile Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-05-C-0221).
Rolls Royce Corp. in Indianapolis, IN received a $6.5 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-95-C-0209). Work will be performed at Marine Corps Air Station New River, NC (77%); Indianapolis, IN (18%); and Amarillo, TX (5%), and is expected to be complete by November 2006. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
This modification exercises an option for “Power-By -The Hour” maintenance support to the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor’s AE1107C-Liberty engines. This Rolls Royce service provides their customers with a fixed engine maintenance cost over an extended period of time. A September 1998 GAO study [GAO/NSIAD-98-221: Google HTML cache | in PDF] criticized the criteria and process under which the Navy’s decision to outsource this maintenance commercially, but stated that the Navy was within its rights to do so.