In our October 2005 article “EU Defense Ministers Take Initial Steps to Open Up Arms Competition,” DID pointed to the EU’s European Defense Agency, its radical push for greater integration in Europe’s defense industry, and its less radical approach to greater cooperation on transnational European defense procurement programs. DID covered the issues of stricter European Commission enforcement, narrowed exemptions from open European defense contracts under EU Article 296 ‘national security interests’ clause, the local political interests that will make this a difficult row to hoe, the offsetting role lower defense spending is playing in fostering integration, and the underlying rivalry with NATO that cannot entirely be hidden.
A recent EDA release notes that the new European defence equipment market will be launched on 1 July, with the participation of all but three of the 25 EU Member States…
Defense Update editor Tamir Eshel writes to let us know that Raytheon Company and Rafael Armament Development Authority have been selected by the Israel Ministry of Defense’ Defense Research and development Directorate (DDRD) to develop a new terminal missile defense interceptor for low-cost, short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) threats. Israeli planners see SRBMs as cheap, plentiful, easily concealed, largely exempt from international arms control accords, and capable of being transformed into deadly threats if/ when fitted with unconventional warheads and deployed in large quantities.
In the wake of a major contract award and GAO report, DID recently covered Deepwater, the US Coast Guard’s $20-25 billion program to update its aging fleet and acquire new aircraft, ships, and intelligence and communications resources. One important but rarely-noticed aspect of the program is the electronic Deepwater Case File Management (CFM) system.
The Deepwater CFM will be installed at the service’s command centers, and on ships and aircraft in the new fleet. It will operate at classified and unclassified levels, creating an operational link between the US Coast Guard’s intelligence centers. The CFM is meant to enable access to multiple data bases and search for consistencies or anomalies in various files, by enableing Coast Guard specialists to associate individuals’ records with other people as well as vessels, cargo, video history and geographic information. It is hoped that this will let Coast Guard intelligence officers, who have a unique role in homeland security efforts, work more efficiently to screen vessels, make connections between incidents and individuals, and “connect the dots” in order to help with the arrest of criminals, interception of illegal aliens, and prevention of terrorist acts.
The cognitive management system is being developed by Integrated Coast Guard Systems partner Lockheed Martin Systems and Sensors in Manassas, VA. The US Navy League’s Seapower Magazine has more in their May 2006 article: “Making the Case.”
Boeing received a $13.2 million U.S. Air Force contract to develop new F-15 Suite 6 mission planning software under the Mission Planning Enterprise Contract (MPEC) program. The contract provides for mission planning software development and the integration of associated contractor software. Boeing has now received seven MPEC orders totaling more than $165 million, including the F-15 Suite 5 follow-on mission planning software which is scheduled to enter service in March 2007.
Mission planning systems suggest the best plan for an aircraft or weapon to achieve its mission, using a combination of software, hardware and trained mission planners. See Boeing release.
The USA is funding an R&D effort for global positioning system (GPS) modernized user equipment (MUE). The primary objective for the MUE receiver card development program is to develop and demonstrate a modernized user segment receiver card, thus establishing a first proof of design for the modernized GPS architecture. See DID’s August 2005 article “The GPS Constellation: Now and Future” for more information regarding that modernization.
Solicitations began November 2005, negotiations were complete May 2006, and work will be complete October 2007. The Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA issued $102.9 million worth of cost-plus-award-fee contracts:
Interstate Electronics Corp. in Anaheim, CA: $37.2 million (FA8807-06-C-0001)
Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, IA: $27.9 million (FA8807-06-C-0003)
Raytheon Co. in El Segundo, CA: $37.8 million (FA8807-06-C-0004)
Defense-Aerospace translates a Spanish Ministry of Defence release noting that have launched the contractual process for the procurement of Spain’s fifth F100 Alvaro de Bazan Class AEGIS frigate, and of four new light Buques de Accion Maritima (BAM) project frigates whose total cost is estimated at EUR 1.1 billion ($1.4 billion at current conversion).
The BAM program is intended to replace Spain’s light patrol vessels, which have limited use outside the inshore littoral zone and are nearing the end of their operational life. The roles that are planned for the new BAM ships reportedly include naval presence and control, minor protection roles for merchant shipping and small naval units (which seems to imply a potential anti-piracy role), special forces pick-up and delivery, fisheries and environmental roles, surveillance, and search-and-rescue. The translated release notes that:
Lockheed Martin and EADS Astrium announced that they have signed a teaming agreement to ensure interoperability of the Global Positioning System (GPS) III and the European Galileo Satellite Navigation programs. The two companies will perform systems engineering and technical assistance tasks for each other in the areas of interoperability, integrity and optimization of joint constellation performance. Additionally, the companies will offer reciprocal bids on operational hardware and software within the policy and export constraints of both programs.
Navstar Constellation: GPS Block IIA, IIR/M, IIF
“This opens a new dimension of cooperation between two of the world’s leading technology companies in systems that will benefit consumers for decades as the Galileo and GPS III systems come on line,” said Reinhold Lutz, EADS Senior Vice President for Earth Observation, Navigation & Science.
Intercontinental Truck Body in Conrad, MT received a $5.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for 155 each 4×2 flight line tow tractors and 1 each 4×4 Flight Line Tow Tractors. the order is being placed against a basic requirements contract, and work will be complete in May 2007. The Headquarters Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, GA issued the contract (FA8519-05-D-0003).
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 round-up of relevant, on-target stories, news, and analysis that will help experts and interested laypeople alike stay up to speed on key military developments and issues as we head into the Memorial Day weekend in the USA. 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: F-22A Raptor; F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; No retirement for U-2; Huge blimps & ISIS; Portable weather balloon for communications; Mini-UAVs at the commando olympics; YOU can train on the US Army’s latest weapon; Hybrid lack-of-vigor; 2nd place means no Trophy; Non-lethal anti-vehicle weapons; Troops that don’t like the extra armor, Troops that love the extra armor; A preliminary scorecard for the First Information War; Britain’s new carriers; Australia’s new amphibious ships; Westpac keeps on expressin’; Seabasing?; RFID; Energy – A Conversation About Our National Addiction; Containerized hospitals; New US Air Force unis; MREs that don’t suck quite so much; Getting lean; VDH on transformation & war; More procurement power to US combat commanders? And more…!
Your editors Joe Katzman and Murdoc present this monthly briefing as part of a team that also includes Military.com’s DefenseTech. To contact us with story tips, email transformation, over @windsofchange dot net.
We’ve gone on about the importance of proper gunshields in combat zones before, in order to forestall preventable deaths and improve situational awareness. Change is coming. Now US Marines Regimental Combat Team 5’s seven-ton MTVR trucks have received new turrets called Marine Corps Armored Turret Systems. They are the first members of a larger upgrade program that will give gunners greater visibility and beefed-up protection for convoy operations.
U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Adam Lyttle noted that “The most noticeable change is the ballistic glass,” which replaces the steel plates used in many previous turrets, and allows Marines to scan from side to side without having to expose themselves to fire. Similar features were already in use and being specified for M113s in theater. The MCATS also offer the Marines higher turrets, more space for weapons and gear, and an easier traverse. See full Defend America article.