Maj. Gen. Roger Nadeau, who heads the US Army’s research and development command, told the U.S. Army Winter Show on February 15th that fighting in Iraq is shaping almost every Army spending decision. One of those lessons is that urban warfare is the new baseline, a point that has been by many observers over the last five years. Nadeau challenged industry to come up with new and more innovative ways of thinking: “This is nose-to-nose street fighting; if you can help me fight in this environment, then we will listen to you.” Items on the wish-list include better night-vision devices for soldiers and vehicles, sensors to allow troops to see through walls and buildings, active protection systems for vehicles that work in short-range urban environments, and even an improved bunker-busting type weapon to allow soldiers to breach walls (q.v. Britain’s recent buy).
“If [FCS] were here in its entirety today, how would the soldier’s life in that city be better? If we can’t answer that, we’re probably going down the wrong path and we need to make some modifications.”
Boeing Co. in St Louis, MO has just received a $97 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for “more than 400” JHMCS systems as Full Rate Production lot 3. They will equip the USAF’s F-15s and F-16s, the US Navy’s F/A-18 platforms, and foreign military sales including the Netherlands (F-16), Poland (F-16), Turkey (F-16C), the Royal Australian Air Force (F/A-18 C-D under HUG), Canada (F/A-18 A-B+), and Switzerland (F/A-18 C-D). Work will be complete by December 2008. The Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (F33657-01-D-0026).
On July 30, 2004, the U.S. Department of Defense finalized its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Policy. The DoD requires passive RFID labels on the case, pallet, and item packaging for Class I, Class II, Class VI, and Class XI commodities delivered on or after January 1, 2005. For approximately two years, the DoD will accept EPC Class 0 (read only) or Class 1 (read-write) passive RFID tags. The DoD will migrate to Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Generation 2 tags when the specification is finalized. In addition, the DoD requires Advance Shipment Notifications (ASNs) using the 856 format. Articles like “RFID at the DoD” and “RFID Vision in the DOD Supply Chain” explain; meanwhile, the In-Transit Visibility (ITV) network already spans more than 45 countries, and tracks military supplies through more than 2,000 sites. See also the DoD’s Lessons Learned from the experience to date.
In a recent release, Savi Technology Inc. noted that the U.S. Army’s Information Technology, E-Commerce and Commercial Contracting Center (ITEC4) has increased its radio frequency identification (RFID) II contract from $207.9 million to $424.5 million and extended the ordering time for the company’s products and services for two years through Jan. 31, 2008. Savi’s active tags can store up to 128 kilobytes of information, read and write at distances of up to 300 feet, and are based on ISO 18000-7 standards operating at 433.92 MHz. The Department of the Army wrote in a public notice wrote “The extension of the ordering period and raising of the contract ceiling is necessary in order to continue to provide active RFID tags and associated supplies and services for shipments of materiel to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Savi also supplies a number of US allies, and moves are afoot to create interoperable RFID-based networks that can manage logistics in multi-national, joint-force operations.
A contract with the Boeing Company has now added the CH-47 Chinook helicopter to that list, via a Through Life Customer Support (TLCS) contract under a non-competitive, single source strategic partnering agreement that could last up to 34 years…
DRS Technologies, Inc. in Parsippany, NJ recently announced that it has received a pair of orders for thermal sights. One $54 million contract from Raytheon will provide 2nd Generation FLIR systems to the US Army for its M1A2 SEP Abrams tank and M2A3 Bradley IFV enhancements, as part of a common sighting technology initiative embedded in both the Abrams’ GEN II TIS sights and the Bradleys’ IBAS. These upgrades have shown practical benefits on the battlefield. The $33 million award from the US Army, meanwhile, is for support of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior scout helicopter’s mast mounted sights. It’s part of a larger $514 million contract won in December 2003.
Kongsberg Underwater Technology Inc. in Lynnwood, WA received an estimated $6.7 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed price, performance-based contract to provide Multibeam Sonar Systems for permanent installation aboard T-AGS 60 Pathfinder Class survey vessels operated by the US Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO). The contract also includes four one-year option periods, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to an estimated $29.5 million.
Work will be performed in Lynwood, WA, and is expected to be complete by February 2007. If all options are exercised, work could continue until February 2011. The contract was competitively procured under full and open competition; the RFP was posted on the SPAWAR Systems Center E-commerce website and one offer was received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in Charleston, SC issued the contract (N65236-06-D-6246).
Mascaro Construction Co. in Pittsburgh, PA won a $26.5 firm-fixed-price contract for design and construction of a Joint Medical Logistics Center at Fort Detrick, MD, which is expected to be complete by July 16, 2008. There were 15 bids solicited on April 27, 2005, and four bids were received. The Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore, MD issued the contract (W912DR-06-C-0001).