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.
Small business qualifier Knight Aerospace Products, Inc. in San Antonio, TX received a $10 million maximum firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of up to 20 palletized rack mission systems in support of the AIR-4.5 Hairy Buffalo program. Work on this contract will be performed in San Antonio, Texas, and is expected to be completed in April 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md issued the contract (N00421-06-D-0017).
Flying hairy buffaloes are usually associated with large amounts of tequila, but this is a real US Navy program. They’re somewhat platform-agnostic, and their mission involves coordinating electronics/C4ISR related programs that bring new capabilities to existing aircraft at reasonable cost, or quickly prototyping capabilities that are relevant to new platforms. Past efforts have involved NP-3 Orion testbed modifications and UAV experiments, but this contract is related to the EC-130J Commando Solo II…
General Electric Co., Aircraft Engines Business Group, Lynn, MA received an $18.2 million firm-fixed-price advanced acquisition contract for long-lead materials associated with the FY 2007 full rate production of 96 F414-GE-400 jet engines. An improved version of the popular F404, the F414 currently equips the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft, each of which requires two engines.
Work will be performed in Lynn, MA (46%); Madisonville, KY (22%); Hooksett, NH (13%); Rutland, VT (6%); Albuquerque, NM (6%); Wilmington, NC (3%); Dayton, OH (2%); Evendale, OH (1%), and Bromont, Canada (1%), and is expected to be complete in January 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD issued the contract (N00019-06-C-0088).
Kaman Dayron in Orlando, FL recently received an $8.6 million firm-fixed-price contract modification. The money will be used to increase the manufacturing capacity for the Joint Programmable Fuze (JPF) system via a second production line and design modifications, in order to achieve a production rate commensurate with a projected increase in government demand. The JPF is a state-of-art fuze system used with precision weapon systems like the JDAM GPS-guided bomb, and offers variable delay settings that may be programmed manually or from the cockpit through its in-flight reprogramming feature.
Work will be performed at Kaman Aerospace Corp. in Bloomfield, CT. Solicitations began in September 2005, negotiations were complete April 2006, and work will be complete September 2007. The Air Armament Center at Eglin Air Force Base, FL issued the contract (F08626-98-C-0006/ P00065).
The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) and the Royal Netherlands Navy have ordered 17 SIRIUS Long-Range Infrared Search and Track (LR-IRST) Systems for a total of $142 million. The Canadian Commercial Corporation in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada issued the contract on behalf of both parties, which calls for installation on all 12 of Canada’s FFH Halifax Class multi-role frigates, plus a land based combat trainer; the Netherlands is ordering another four systems for installation on their LCF De Zeven Provincien Class air defence and command frigates, bringing the grand total to 17 systems. The contracts also include logistic services and the supply of spare parts.
SIRIUS was jointly developed by DRS Technologies and Thales Naval Nederland, and was designed to be especially useful in the expeditionary combat domain and littorals, where the risk of asymmetric threats like fast suicide attack boats remains high.