India-Defense reports that Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram has announced a 7% increase in India’s Defense budget for the next fiscal year. The Defence Budget has been increased from INR 83,000 crore to INR 89,000 crore ($20.11 billion at March 1/06 interbank conversion), with INR 39,400 crore ($8.91 billion) as capital allocations. According to India-Defence.com, India’s 1.2 million strong Army will receive INR 41,000 crore ($9.26 billion) while the Air Force and Navy are budgeted INR 25,000 ($5.65 billion) and 15,000 ($3.39 billion) crore, respectively. The Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) is expected to receive INR 8,000 crore (1.81 billion).
$20.11 billion will still be less than 2.5% of India’s GDP. Over the longer term, however, pressure is growing to raise defense spending and change its allocation…
Back on September 19, 2005, DID offered in-depth coverage of India’s $3.5 billion local-build deal for 6 SSK Scorpene Class ultra-quiet diesel-electric submarines between 2012-1017, as well as the present status and future plans of the rival Chinese and Pakistani submarine programs. Now the Times of India reports that India’s Navy wants the last 3 submarines to include DCN’s MESMA air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems, changing them from CM-2000 to AM-2000 Scorpene designation.
What’s MESMA, why does it matter, who else builds AIPs, and how does MESMA compare?
eDefense Online notes that EADS subsidiary American Eurocopter received an order from the US Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection for 10 Light Sign Cutter EC120 helicopters. This acquisition is the first order under a DHS contract that could involve as many as 55 helicopters, with a potential total value of up to $75 million.
The EADS release explains that their Light Sign Cutter designation refers to the lightweight class of rotary-wing aircraft earmarked for this mission and is a recognition of the expert trackers known as sign cutters. The EC120s have a number of characteristics useful for security patrol missions, including a very low noise level that makes them less likely to advertise their presence from afar to the targets of their surveillance.
Interestingly, a previous DID article identifies the EC120 helicopter as an EADS co-development project with China…
Small business qualifier Knight’s Armament Co. in Titusville, FL received a delivery order amount of $31 million as part of a $110.8 million firm-fixed-price contract for the Modular Weapon System in support of the M16A4 Rifle and M4 Carbine. The U.S. Army Field Manual specifies for the Army that adding the Rail Accessory System (RAS) turns the weapon into the M4 MWS or Modular Weapon System.
Work will be performed in Titusville, FL and is expected to be complete by the end of the fiscal year – Sept. 30, 2006. This was a sole source contract initiated on Feb. 1, 2006 by the Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command at Rock Island, IL (W52H09-05-D-0073).
The Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, IL awarded a pair of modifications to a firm-fixed-price contract for M831A1 Target Practice Tracer 120mm Cartridges and M865 Target Practice Cone Stabilized Discarding Sabot Tracer 120mm Cartridges. As tracer cartridges, they can be seen throughout their flight; this makes them excellent training rounds on the USA’s M1 Abrams tanks. There were two bids solicited on Nov. 20, 2003, two bids were received, and two modifications were issued.
Alliant Techsystems Inc. in Plymouth, MN received a $49.8 million modification. Work will be performed in Middletown, IA and is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2008 (W52P1J-04-C-0031).
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems in St. Petersburg, FL received a $49.5 million modification. Work will be performed in Middletown, IA and is expected to be complete by Sept. 30, 2008 (W52P1J-04-C-0030).
Naval Base Kitsap is the largest naval organization in Navy Region Northwest and is composed of installations in Bremerton, Bangor and Keyport, hosting many SSN Los Angeles Class attack subs and SSBN Trident missile subs, plus the Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier CVN 74 USS John C. Stennis. In 2005, Naval Base Kitsap received the Commander in Chief’s Award for Installation Excellence. KOMO-TV reports that the base will also receive the SSN 21 USS Seawolf and SSN 22 USS Connecticut by the summer of 2007. When they arrive in the summer of 2007, all 3 of the US Navy’s most advanced $4 billion SSN-21 Seawolf Class submarines will be based at NB Kitsap. The move is part of a realignment that will see the current 50/50 submarine split turn into a 60/40 Pacific/Atlantic split by 2010.
These efforts always trigger contracts. Nova Group Inc. in Napa, CA won $9 firm-fixed-price Task Order 0003 under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract (N68711-03-D-7054) for design and construction of mission support facilities for the homeporting of the two additional submarines at Naval Base Kitsap in Silverdale, WA. Work to be performed under this contract provides for all labor, material, equipment, and associated costs to design and construct support facilities, including: