General Dynamics Armament and Technical Product (GDATP) in Burlington, VT won a $289 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity letter contract is for 3,858 Ground Mobile Electronics Counter Measure (ECM) Systems. This contract is for the development/design, integrate, test, production and installation of a Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device ECM high powered jammer to include associated engineering, support, maintenance documentation and logistic, technical and field service support. This equipment will be deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). GDATP had no details on its site, but the devices sound similar to EDO’s Warlock, Elbit Elisra’s EJAB, the US military’s ICE, et. al.
This contract was competitively procured, with two offers received. Work will be performed in Burlington, VT (23%); Hanahan, SC (22%); and Sterling Heights, MI (7%); with the other half being performed by GDATP’s Canadian subcontractor, Marconi Electronic Systems in Ottawa, Canada (48%). Marconi, in-turn, plans to subcontract work to companies back in the United States, with a large portion going to a firm in Wisconsin. The work is expected to be completed July 2006. The Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA issued the contract (M67854-06-D-7004).
Army Times reports that the US Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF) at Fort Belvoir, VA is expediting the first shipment of 2,000 new laser devices to Soldiers in Baghdad, Iraq. No, not devices like the ones in this $1.37 billion order. Just simple green laser pointers. Having one pointed at you seems to be very effective at stopping aggressive oncoming traffic and personnel. As civilian laser pointers like Megalaser show, hand-held green laser pointers can be quite bright; their beams are visible in low light conditions and carry effectively.
In the past, bright spotlights have been bulky and often ineffective in these situations. Troops obviously began experimenting, and discovered that even harmless, eye-safe laser beams pack a precision and intimidation value that works. According to field reports, aggressive driving has been reduced 60 to 80% when the devices are used. Along with the potential for tragedy.
EagleSpeak Blog, run by a former Captain, USNR (ret.), notes the recent “stand-up” of Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron Five (NCWRON-5) near San Diego recently. Once at full strength, 325 sailors will go to war in a fleet of speedy 34-foot, SeaARK Marine aluminum-hull boats (likely Dauntless Class) equipped with .50-caliber and 7.62mm machine guns and 40mm grenade launchers. The boats cost $500,000 each, and can be loaded quickly aboard Air Force C-17 transport jets for quick transport to trouble spots. SeaARK boats of these types are also in use by civilian agencies like the NYC Police and National Park Police.
Serco Denholm Limited was announced as the preferred bidder for a 15-year, GBP 1 billion ($1.75 billion at current rates), Private Finance Initiative contract to provide a wide range of marine services. Subject to ongoing negotiations, the Future Provision of Marine Services (FPMS) contract would see Serco Denholm take responsibility for most marine services throughout the Royal Navy’s three main UK ports at Clyde, Devonport and Portsmouth, and in domestic and overseas waters as well. Serco Derholm would also absorb the current Royal Maritime Auxilliary Service (RMAS).
Announcing the proposed new contract, Secretary of State for Defence John Reid said:
The Headquarters Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, MA has selected approved suppliers for a wide range of avionics and air traffic control equipment, in a contract whose delivery orders could reach up to $1.955 billion but may be less. Solicitation began in May 2005, negotiations were completed in January 2006, and work will be complete February 2009.
This multiple award, indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity contract provides for a whole host of systems, including:
Alliant Techsystems (ATK) in Plymouth, MN received a $38 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for M829A3 120mm Kinetic Energy Cartridges. These are APFS-DS (Armor-Piercing, Fin-Stablilized, Discarding-Sabot) rounds, fired from the M1 Abrams mostly to kill other tanks. The M829A3 cartridge has a total weight of 22.3 kg and length of 892mm. It uses 8.1 kg of RPD-380 stick propellant, accelerating a 10kg projectile to a muzzle velocity of 1,555m/sec. The penetrator uses depleted uranium; the sabot is built of composite materials.
Including a contract awarded earlier in the company’s fiscal year for Production Year 3, the total value of its FY06 awards for M829A3 rounds is approximately $77 million. ATK is the sole source supplier of the M829A3, and they will have delivered over 35,000 M829A3 units once Production Year 4 contract is complete. Production of the M829A3 occurs at ATK’s manufacturing center of excellence in Rocket Center, West Virginia. Program management is headquartered in Plymouth, Minnesota. Work allocation is Rock City, WVA (50%), Jonesborough, TN (25%), and Radford, VA (25%), and is expected to be complete by Dec. 30, 2008. This was a sole source contract initiated on Nov. 14, 2005 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ issued the contract (DAAE30-98-C-1094).
Small business qualifier Michael Bianco in New Bedford, MA won a maximum $32.3 million firm fixed price contract for Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) backpacks. MOLLE is a modular quick-release backpack with removable compartments and components, plus a fighting load vest that can accept removable pockets for the Rifleman, Pistol, Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) Gunner, and Grenadier configurations. Its modularity allows individuals to tailor their load and configuration to meet mission needs. As an earlier DID article on the MOLLE pointed out, it has been modified since its debut in response to feedback from the field.
This is an indefinite delivery/quantity type contract exercising option year two on behalf of the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps, and this firm has won similar contracts before. Proposals were Web-solicited and seven responded. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA issued the contract (SP0100-04-D-4184-0007), and the date of performance completion is Aug. 31, 2007 – better get sewing, Michael!