The Advanced SEAL delivery System mini-sub was intended to be the successor to the previous SDV (SEAL/Swimmer Delivery Vehicle) carried on US Benjamin Franklin Class (SSBN-640) attack submarines. The idea was that unlike the SDV, which is flooded and requires SCUBA gear, the 16 Navy SEALs, MARSOC, or other covert action personnel in an ASDS would be able to arrive at their mission drier, warmer, and less fatigued. ASDS mini-subs would be launched from the converted SSGN Ohio Class Special Ops/Land Strike submarines, from Virginia Class (SSN-744) submarines, from the improved Los Angeles Class (SSN-688I) subs Charlotte (SSN 766) and Greeneville (SSN 772), or from the well decks of amphibious assault ships like the LHD Wasp Class or LPD-17 San Antonio Class. It would also fit in a C-17 Globemaster or C-5 Galaxy aircraft for rapid transport to an appropriate launch platform.
Defense Tech notes a recent R&D project from Oak Ridge National Laboratory that’s finally moving to the field. It seems minor, but could have big implications:
“The latest Weigh-in-Motion scale is meant to improve the process for preparing vehicles for airload, as it “automatically identifies the equipment, determines the individual axle weights, distance between axles, total vehicle weight, profile and center of balance.” It sounds boring, but this is the crucial data that has to be identified to safely load vehicles on cargo planes for transport, and any slight change in the way equipment is loaded on a vehicle means recalculating everything. Since the information is currently calculated in a very low-tech manner by NCOs and officers with minimal training in how to do so (I used to be one), this step in deployment-prep is often done well in advance and the prepared vehicles (and materiel on them) are then quarantined…”
DID has covered the Czech Republic’s $1 billion wheeled APC competition since its inception, including the formal award of the contract for 196-232 vehicles to GD Steyr’s Pandur II. Shortly thereafter, DID covered a related contract for the APCs’ key weapons system: RAFAEL’s remotely-operated RCWS-30, with advanced optics and imaging controlling a stabilized 30mm auto-cannon, coaxial 7.62mm General-Purpose Machine Gun, smoke grenades and other defensive systems, and a launcher pod for a launcher pod for two Rafael SPIKE LR or other anti-armor missiles.
The Czechs had tested the RCWS-30 with an ATK Mk 44 dual-feed 30mm auto-cannon on both the PANDUR II and Patria Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV) in open-water crossings (note picture); test drives on paved and off-road surfaces; and tested the fold-flat features for on-loading and off-loading in a C-130 Hercules aircraft. Now Alliant Techsystems, who has a long-standing defense relationship with RAFAEL, has formally received a contract valued at approximately $20 million for Mk 44 30mm cannon weapon systems that will equip the Czechs’ RCWS-30. The Mk 44 system is part of ATK’s well-known Chain Gun family. ATK 30mm Mk 44 guns are already used in nearly 2,000 land vehicles, aircraft, and ship-board weapon systems for the United States and allied nations including Finland, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom; these weapons will also be part of the US Marines’ new Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle amphibious APC.
Small business qualifier Harris Manufacturing Co., Inc. in Trenton, NJ received a maximum $7.3 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/quantity type contract for waterproof bags and clothing for Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The firm as a whole is knwon for producing “toxological agents protective” (TAP) clothing. Given the different nature of this contract, however, it is almost certainly being filled by Harris subsidiary Utility Products. They specialize in custom industrial rainwear and rain gear, and are based in Trenton.
Other locations of performance include Smyrna, DE, where the rest of the firm is located. Proposals were Web solicited and 2 responded. Date of performance completion is Sept. 30, 2007. The contract was issued by the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA (SP0100-05-D-4175).