“Yet what if the Pentagon’s big platforms weren’t merely the wrong weapon systems to fight present and future wars, but actually likely to bring defeat? John Arquilla, one of the military intellectuals who created and promoted the concept of “transformation” for the U.S. military, believes that may be the case. Arquilla teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and is a RAND consultant and a Pentagon advisor. His publications include Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy, [see also shorter paper], In Athena’s Camp: Preparing for Conflict in the Information Age and the forthcoming The Reagan Imprint: Ideas in American Foreign Policy from the Collapse of Communism to the War on Terror.”
Agree or disagree, he’s always worth reading. Here are a few more recent articles that tie into the Arquilla article’s points. or feature additional thought-provoking material and ideas which could impact military procurement down the road.
The U.S. Army has selected Signal Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of General Dynamics Network Systems, to receive the first competitively awarded task order under the Total Engineering and Integration Services (TEIS II) indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity contract.
TEIS II will be the sole contract used for mission support by the U.S. Army’s Information Systems Engineering Command (ISEC) – a subordinate command of the U.S. Army’s Communications Electronic Life Cycle Management Command (CELCMC) located at Fort Huachuca, AZ. Work will be performed at Fort Huachuca, the National Capital Region and at Army Information Systems Engineering Command customer sites worldwide. The Army has awarded a contract worth more than $2.3 billion to three systems integrator companies to provide omnibus IT services under TEIS II…
A March 2006 global tank market report (2006-2016) by Forceast International notes the significant share of global spending covered by upgrades and maintenance agreements for advanced western tanks. The M1 Abrams receives particular mention in that respect, which is more or less inevitable given its comparative numbers.
Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems in Bethesda, MD received a $17.4 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for systems engineering and integration in support of Combat System Warfare Federated Tactical Systems (SWFTS). SWFTS is comprised of all submarine combat system subsystems, mainly consultation, command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C5I). This effort provides for the overall architecture integration of the subsystems to achieve a single total combat system for Naval Battlegroup interconnectivity.
Work will be performed in Manassas, VA (44%); Middletown, RI (12%); San Antonio, TX (8%); Groton, CT (7%); Woodbridge, VA (7%); Newport, RI (7%); Riverdale, MD (5%); Canton, IL (3%); Greensboro, NC (3%); Bethesda, MD (2%); North Waterford, CT (1%); Mystic, CT (1%), and is expected to be complete by December 2006. The contract was competitively procured and advertised on the Navy Electronic Commerce On-line website, with two proposals solicited and received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., issued the contract (N00024-06-C-6272).
National Defense Magazine notes that the US Marine Corps is requesting $18.2 billion for 2007, while depending on nearly $10 billion in additional funds from 2006 supplemental appropriations. The 2007 request is up slightly from $17.5 billion, but the article notes that 62% will be earmarked for uniformed personnel, 22% for operations and maintenance, and 4% for military construction and family housing. Less than 10% – $1.4 billion – will go to procure new equipment.
Planned USMC Supplemental requests include money to:
The stated mission of the Missile Defense Agency is to field a layered missile defense system that integrates land, sea, and air-based missile defenses to protect the U.S. homeland, deployed troops, and America’s friends and allies. They seek to create systems that will defend against all types of ballistic missiles in their boost phase; during their mid-course flight, normally outside of the Earth’s atmosphere; and as they descend toward their target. The goal is to have several cracks at shooting down enemy missiles in various stages of flight, as well as to hedge against an accidental ballistic missile launch.
The MDA recently had something of a public event in which it showed reporters et. al. some of its systems, explained its mission, and ran a simulation at the 4th Annual U.S. Missile Defense Conference here March 20, 2006. Having said that, the Project On Government Oversight notes that the Department of Defense Inspector General is having problems auditing the $10 billion a year program because MDA has been flouting DOD policies on document access.
DID reader Lee Wahler points us to a pair of interesting articles. WorkBoat.com has a piece called “Boatyard Boom“:
“Everything indicates that the shipyard industry is on the leading edge of a boom,” said Butch King, chief executive officer, VT Halter Marine, Pascagoula, Miss. “Day rates are up, the steel market has stabilized, and operators find themselves with a good opportunity to upgrade and add to their fleet… The U.S. government announced plans to add 33 naval vessels to their existing fleet,” King added. The U.S. Coast Guard Deepwater program “continues to build and the demand for littoral combat vessels is growing.”
Note that commercial vessels are a sizable chunk of this activity. On the defense side of the ledger, however, MarineLog.com has an updated list of “Current Government Shipbuilding Contracts,” broken down by vessel type, anufacturer, and customer.
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) reports that New Haven, Connecticut WTNH News Channel 8 reporter Alan Cohn made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on March 4, 2004 to the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) for Corrective Action Requests (CARs) related to helicopter-maker Sikorsky’s work. CARs are requests to contractors by the DCMA to fix the causes of recurring problems that put the contractor out of compliance with its contract with the military.
After a series of appeals, DCMA partially granted Cohn’s FOIA request. Sikorsky then filed suit against the DCMA and DOD in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on December 12, 2005 on four counts. POGO’s blog has more details.
The AN/AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS) is a passive missile approach warning system consisting of four sensor assemblies housed in two or more sensor domes, a central processing unit, and a control indicator. Deployed on helicopters and transport aircraft, the AAR-47 deals with threat missile approach by detecting radiation associated with the rocket motor, letting the crew know that an attacking missile is coming and which direction it’s coming from, and automatically firing decoy flares. Detection algorithms are used to discriminate against non-approaching radiation sources.
Alliant Integrated Defense Co. LLC in Clearwater, FL received an $8.7 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract (N00019-98-C-0006). It covers incorporation of the AAR-47A(V)2 dynamic blanking sensor engineering change proposal into the existing production line, and also the retrofit of existing sensors in the US Navy and Air Force. Modification provides for sensor production cut-in of 751 Navy sensor units; sensor retrofit of 1,173 Navy sensor units; sensor production cut-in of 328 USAF sensor units; and sensor retrofit of 275 USAF sensor units. Work will be performed in Clearwater, Fla., and is expected to be completed in October 2008. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract, and DID has covered previous modifications before.
Dick Pacific Construction Co. Ltd. in Barrigada, Guam received $37.6 million modification P00001 under previously awarded firm-fixed price contract N62742-05-C-1308, for construction of the new Cdr. William C. McCool Elementary & Middle School at Naval Forces Marianas Support Activity, Guam. Work will be performed in Guam and is expected to be complete by May 2008. This contract was competitively procured with 22 proposals solicited and 3 offers received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific in Pearl Harbor, HI issued the contract.