On March 11, 2005, DID noted that MPRI, Inc. of Alexandria, VA had won a $7.4 million contract to operate the Butler Military Artillery Range near Baghdad, Iraq until Dec 31, 2005. The US government has apparently renewed it for a full year via an $8.8 million modification to their firm-fixed-price contract (W27P4C-05-C-0796). Work will be performed in Baghdad, Iraq, and the contract will end on Dec. 31, 2006. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on Dec. 11, 2004, and three bids were received by the Victory Contracting Office in Baghdad, Iraq.
DID asked about this at NAVSEA and was told that their system was taken offline for investigation and cleanup, that there may have been problems with the firewall, that investigations are still on going, and that the systems will remain down until further notice.
In the aftermath of Russia’s MAKS 2005 exhibition in August, DID reported that EADS had committed EUR 50 million (USD $62 million) to buy 10% of Irkut Corp. On December 16, 2005, Irkut Corporation and EADS closed the deal by signing a sale contract which makes out as many as 97.8 million shares in return for $65.3 million.
The two firms also signed an Agreement of Cooperation defining new principles of the two companies’ interaction, assigning additional workshare to Irkut for Airbus civil aircraft. OOO EADS CEO Vadim Vlasov will sit on Irkut’s Board of Directors, and EADS’ share purchase takes on added significance in the context of Moscow Defense Brief’s recent article on consolidation within the Russian aircraft industry.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, CA received an $869 million cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-plus-award-fee contract from the US Navy to provide funding for fiscal 2006 Trident II (D5) Missile Production and Deployed System Support. The Trident D-5 is a very accurate submarine-launched nuclear missile, and can be found on the US Navy’s Ohio Class SSBNs and the Royal Navy’s Vanguard Class SSBNs. It is the most survivable, capable, and important facet of these nations’ nuclear deterrent forces.
So, where is all this money going? Didn’t America already buy the required missiles back in the 1980s-1990s, when it deployed the submarines?
As part of ongoing US Army fleet maintenance and upgrade efforts, General Electric Aircraft Engine in Cincinnati, OH received a $177.9 million firm-fixed-price contract to continue overhaul support of T700 engines at the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) and convert engines to the T700-GE-701D configuration (GE notes that in 2004, The U.S. Army announced plans to convert to the T700-701D to power its entire AH-64 Apache and H-60 Black Hawk helicopter fleet). Based on estimated workload at CCAD, GE estimates the potential value of this contract over the next five years at $1.5 billion.
The award follows a five-year, $668-million CCAD contract that was initiated in 2000. This particular program has an impressive list of success metrics during that time frame:
Back in February 2005, DID covered a EUR 280 million ($482 million) Portuguese contract for 260 Pandur II 8×8 wheeled Armored Personnel Carriers. Now one of the finalists in that competition is crying foul – and stating that they have proof.
Finalnd’s Patria Oyj, who produces the popular Armoured Modular Vehicle APC, has submitted a formal request for investigation to the Public Attorney’s Office of the Administrative Court in Lisbon, based on what it believes to be “firm evidence on misconducts during the tender and contract formation procedures…” See its full release for more details.
Boeing’s Aerospace Support division in Oklahoma City, OK received an $18.8 million ceiling-priced, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to instruct and train fleet personnel in the installation, operation, and maintenance of the F/A-18 Hornets/ Super Hornets, AV-8B Harrier IIs, KC-135 Stratotankers, B-1B Lancers, C-17 Globemaster IIIs, C-40 Clippers (737 derivative), C-32 Air Force Two (757 derivative), and F-15 Eagle/Strike Eagle aircraft and associated equipment.
These Contractor Engineering Technical Services and Contractor Maintenance Services will be provided for the US Navy (60%), US Air Force (27%), and the Governments of Malaysia (7%) and Kuwait (6%). Services for the US Navy are expected to be completed in December 2006 and the services for the US Air Force and the Governments of Malaysia and Kuwait are expected to be completed in December 2007. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in Pt. Mugu, CA (N68936-06-D-0002).
Manson Construction Co. in Seattle, WA received a $9.1 million firm-fixed-price contract for Maintenance Dredging of the Federal Navigation Channels of Ventura Harbor, CA. Work is expected to be complete by March 13, 2006. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on July 19, 2005, and two bids were received. The Army Corps of Engineers in Los Angeles, CA issued the contract (W912PL-06-C-0002).
Past DID articles covering the future of ground robots on the battlefield and the MTRS TALON/Packbot surveillance and explosives disposal robots both noted a role for smaller examples, from Dragon Runner “Throwbots” to Exponent’s field-iterated MARCBot. Some US troops were even taking initiative and using remote-control toys as part of their patrols.
Now Innovative Response Technologies Inc. in Fairmont, WV has received a $10 million firm-fixed-price contract for 309 explosive ordnance disposal “BOMBOT” vehicles for IED mine neutralization. The BOMBOT has been described by its proponents as a “high-tech toy truck with a camera and a dump bed.” How does that help soldiers neutralize IED mines, and how did an Air Force Research Laboratory project end up being procured by the USA’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)?
DID has covered the V/STOL(Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing) AV-8B Harrier II’s improvement of its flying record, and the discovery of its niche among the rough airfields of Afghanistan and the urban warfare scenarios of Iraq. A pair of ongoing maintenance and avionics and weapons upgrade initiatives provide a window into the efforts that are making the modernized Harrier an effective weapon on the Global War on Terror’s battlefields.