The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8627-06-D-2160). Solicitations began December 2005, negotiations were complete September 2006, and work will be complete September 2012.
Cost-plus-incentive fee contracts are the predominant contract type here, but cost-plus-fixed fee, firm-fixed-price, and time and materials contracts may also be used on individual delivery orders as appropriate. Individual delivery orders may also be issued for aircraft modification induction, change proposal activities, supplemental sustainment support, tailored depot work packages, and aircraft disposition.
April 29/16: Legislation being considered by the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) could see the last of the USAF’s F-117A Nighthawk fleet sent to the scrap yard. Retired since 2007, a fleet of the pioneering stealth aircraft have been kept in special climate controlled storage hangers in the event they were ever needed again. Now, Congress is considering removing those mothballed aircraft and having them scrapped and gutted for hard-to-find parts.
Militaries around the world are moving to modernize and transform themselves to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Our mission is to deliver a monthly cross-section of relevant, on-target stories, news, and analysis that will help both experts and interested laypeople stay up to speed on key military developments and issues. Stories are broken down by military category and presented as fast bullet points that orient you quickly, with accompanying links if you wish to pursue more in-depth treatments.
Some of This Month’s Targets of Opportunity Include: UAV plans; killer drone swarms; WALRUS mega-blimp extict?; Russian airlift for NATO; Hydras and Hellfire; space challenges; Secret weapon: two-way radios; Nano-sensors; Fighter jets as battlefield surveillance – brilliant or dumb?; money-saving supercarriers; Littoral Combat Ships; Missile defense updates; Energy conservation now a Pentagon issue… and much more.
The French Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded EADS a ten-year, multi-services contract to manage and support initial training for future military aircrews of the French Air Force’s Flying School at Cognac. Cognac is Cognac where future French Air force, Naval Aviation and Army aircrews obtain their basic training. The project constitutes the first comprehensive outsourced service solution initiated by the French Armed Forces, and follows a competitive procurement process lasting eighteen months.
Remuneration to EADS will be based on the flight hours flown, with a minimum of 15,000 flying hours per year. Flexibility and the potential for further training could push the contract as high as 32,000 flying hours, and the contract’s maximum value is EUR 175 million ($217.5 million at current conversion). EADS Socata and EADS Military Air Systems will take the lead during contract performance, which includes the procurement of new aircraft, plus line and base aircraft maintenance for the entire fleet. Other services will include flight simulators, integrated logistic support with supply-chain management, infrastructure handling, future staff recruitment, and the transfer of existing technical functions carried out by the French MoD.
French Socata TB 30s
Another thing that will change is the aircraft mix. The Socata TB 30 Epsilon initial trainers have been the Armee de l’Air’s primary trainers to date, but the French military’s selection of EADS’ “Option B’ proposal means that future flight training will use 24 of the existing TB 30 Epsilon fleet, plus 18 new Grob Aerospace 120A aircraft. The Grobs are popular trainers, and DID has also noted their use by the Canadian military’s international Canada Wings Aviation Training Centre.
The U.S. Army’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopter fleet has logged more than 2 million flight hours, according to recently released U.S. Army operational summary data (AH-64A over 1.6 million, AH-64D Longbow 400,000). “Nearly one-third of all flight hours have occurred in the past four years, including almost 700,000 hours since the war on terror began following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.” AH-64A Apaches first entered service with the U.S. Army in 1984, and remain the primary troubleshooters and escorts for other helicopters in Afghanistan and Iraq.
FLIR Systems, Inc. in North Billerica, MA received a $44.9 million firm-fixed-priced modification under previously awarded contract (N00164-04-D-8528), exercising an option for High Performance Mobility (HPM) forward-looking, infra-red (FLIR) systems and associated line items. Work will be performed in North Billerica, MA and is expected to be complete by September 2009. The contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, IN.
The HPM FLIR in question is the gyro-stabilized SeaFLIR III, whose compact 9″ EO/IR system’s available payloads include a laser rangefinder/ pointer/ designator, a choice of mid- or large-format thermal imaging focal plane arrays, and a low light CCD TV camera. Seamless integration then feeds a target’s geodetic coordinates into command and control, fire control or moving map systems on a variety of platforms. As its name implies, the SeaFLIR III is engineered, designed and tested for operation in the harsh maritime environment. Which is good, because FLIR Systems notes in a release that “the units delivered under this contract will be used in various ground mobility roles with the US Navy and other services.”
DID asked for further details, but was told that although FLIR Systems would like to help us, “our contract on this sale restricts us from saying any more about the product and its use.”
EADS received a EUR 15 million ($18.6 million) Finnish Navy contract for the modernization of two Hameenmaa Class multi-role minelayer, light patrol and support vessels. They will install the EADS Advanced Naval Combat Management System (ANCS), the TRS-3D Multi-Mode Radar, and the MSSR2000 Identification Friend or Foe system. When the upgrades are complete, the ships will become available for missions involving surveillance, protection of sea traffic, command & control, and auxiliary/support of international missions.
The project will be completed in 2008. As the shipyard work will be executed in Finland, Aker Finnyards will be responsible for the shipyard aspect. See corporate release.
Raytheon’s Full Service Partnering Center in Poulsbo, WA received a $9.2 million firm-fixed price/ cost-plus-fixed-fee, time & materials contract. It covers technical engineering and maintenance services in support of the Undersea Weapons Program Office (PMS404) and MK 48 Heavyweight Torpedo Intermediate Maintenance Activities (IMA) for the US Navy. Raytheon originally won the contract in 2000, and performs intermediate-level maintenance, repair and refurbishment of MK 48 ADCAP torpedoes currently in the U.S. Navy’s fleet inventory of training and warshot torpedoes. The inventory is used for fleet training, readiness and submarine-launched torpedo warshot exercises. Work will be performed in Pearl Harbor, HI (80%, torpedo maintenance actions and technical support services); Yorktown, VA (18%, progressive depot level repair support); and Poulsbo, WA (2%), and is expected to be complete by November 2006. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC (N00024-06-C-6107). See also Raytheon’s press release.
The Mk 48 heavyweight torpedo is designed to kill both fast, deep-diving nuclear submarines and high performance surface ships. It is carried by all Navy submarines, as is a devastating weapon. The Mk 48 ADCAP has improved target acquisition range, reduced vulnerability to enemy countermeasures, reduced shipboard constraints such as warm-up and reactivation time, and enhanced effectiveness against surface ships. These torpedoes can operate with or without wire guidance, and can use active and/or passive homing, conducting multiple re-attacks if they miss the target. See also Undersea Warfare Magazine’s Winter/Spring 2002 article, “Torpedoes and the Next Generation of Undersea Weapons.”
Raytheon Co. in Andover, MA received a $5 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Contractor Logistics Support related to the Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment Product Office. DID has covered past RAID contracts before, and noted this small surveillance aerostat’s derivation from the JLENS missile defense program and deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Work will be performed in Andover, MA and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2006. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This was a sole source contract initiated on March 9, 2006. The Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, AL issued the contract (W9113M-06-C-0128).
On March 21, 206, DID first covered the US Air force’s replacement tanker competition and noted that an request for information (RFI) document was expected within a month. We added that it will likely contain few actual requirements, sticking instead to broad goals. A forthcoming capabilities development document (CDD) will add further detail, but a senior official confirmed to Inside Defense that a full RFP wasn’t expected until September 2006. The first phase alone could run as high as $20-30 billion for 100 replacement aircraft, and $100 billion for the entire program is very possible.
The USAF has now released that RFI, just over a month later. The Tanker Systems Modernization Systems Squadron of Wright-Patterson AFB’s Aeronautical Systems Center’s Mobility Systems Wing sent out the RFI for publication in Federal Business Opportunities, and will manage the program. After issuing the RFI, the Air Force’s next steps include refining the operational requirements and developing an acquisition strategy. TSMSS Director Terry Kasten said the squadron is working to complete and coordinate the overall acquisition strategy for the KC-X program as Air Mobility Command formalizes the requirements. The USAF announcement also notes that a draft request for proposal (RFP) is expected to be released by September 2006, with a final RFP to be published by January 2007. The award of the contract is expected in summer 2007.
The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH has issued a $90 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity time-and-materials, firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursement, cost-plus fixed-fee contract to three firms. It will fund task orders, simulation analysis facility (XR-SIMAF) capabilities, integration services, and performance based acquisition with a three years base period (CY 2006-2008) to provide enterprise modeling, simulation, and analysis and infrastructure built to support AF-ICE (Integrated Collaborative Environment) and Accelerated Acquisition.