Flight International reports that the Australian government has moved up its schedule by a year, and will consider proposals in the next three months for initial funding of its Project Air 7000 Phase 1 multi-mission maritime HALE (high-altitude, long-endurance) UAV program. The hurry-up appears to have been triggered by US proposals to create a common regional “pool” of Global Hawks based in Guam. The proposal before Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand includes options for a shared and commonly funded fleet operated much like NATO’s E-3 Sentry AWACS, or option B in which countries acquire their own Global Hawks and make them available to the common regional fleet on agreed terms.
Lockheed Martin Corp. Maritime Systems and Sensors in St. Paul, MN received a not-to-exceed $20.9 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of Phased Depot Maintenance and Special Structural Inspections for up to seven P-3 maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft for the Government of Pakistan under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The P-3 Orion aircraft are extremely old, and operators like the USA, Pakistan et. al. are engaged in significant efforts to keep them flying safely. Pakistan recently bought 8 older P-3B Orion aircraft as part of a $1.3 billion weapons package, to go with its 2 serving P-3C Update II.5 Orions.
Work will be performed in Greensville, SC (90%) and Eagan, MN (10%), and is expected to be complete in May 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD (N00019-06-D-0012).
Small business qualifier Bear Brothers Inc. in Montgomery, AL received a $15.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a dormitory at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. Work is expected to be completed by May 3, 2007. There were 201 bids solicited on Sept. 28, 2005, and 2 bids were received by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, AL (W91278-06-C-0018).