RFID Journal reports that RFID implementation in the US military is starting to show quantifiable and anecdotal benefits, as the Pentagon rolls this technology through its massive $120 billion per year logistics chain. The US expects to spend a total of $500 million to implement RFID over a six-year period, with a payback analysis ranging between a net savings of $70 million to $1.7 billion over seven years.
Alan Estevez, the DoD’s assistant deputy undersecretary of supply chain integration, notes that implementing RFID in the US Marines’ supply chain has cut inventory value in the chain (and hence also the burden on that supply chain) from $127 million to $70 million, largely by reducing unnecessary reordering whenever supplies are delayed or uncertain. Average delivery times have also dropped from 28 days to 16 days, while the supply backlog of 92,000 shipments has fallen to 11,000. The more profound change, however, is in the dynamic on the front lines. As RFID Journal notes:
“Marines can see where critical items are, and that changes the dynamic,” Estevez said. “The dialog [between forward operating bases and the logistic hub] has changed from ‘Where’s my stuff?’ to ‘Why isn’t my stuff moving?’ to ‘I want you to put my stuff on the next truck because I can see it’s there.”
Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego in Owego, NY received an estimated $51 million advance acquisition contract for long lead efforts and materials associated with the production and delivery of the FY 2007 full rate production of 25 Lot V MH-60R helicopter mission avionics systems. Work will be performed in Owego, NY, and is expected to be complete in January 2007. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD (N00019-06-C-0098).
The MH-60R multi-mission helicopter will be the fleet’s primary Anti-Submarine platform, and the non-carrier fleet’s primary Anti-Surface Warfare platform. The US Navy is aiming for a five-year multiyear procurement program in FY 2007-2011.This year, the budget is $600.1 million for 12 helicopters (FY05: $439.2M for 6), including $551.0 million for procurement (FY05: $359.1M) and $49.1 million for RDT&E (FY05: $80.1M). The FY 2007 request would see that rise to $935.1 million for 25 helicopters, including $915.8 million for procurement and $19.3 million for RDT&E.
DefenseTech reports, however, that fielding these systems may prove to be quite a challenge, noting that military diesel-electric hybrids are no closer to mass production than they were five years ago. “Right now we don’t have a hybrid-electric vehicle targeting fielding,” says Gus Khalil, director of the Army’s hybrid research.
Small business qualifier ECI Construction Inc. in Shawnee Mission, KS received a $5.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a Army Reserve Center in Grand Prairie, TX. Work is expected to be complete by Oct. 31, 2007. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on Feb. 23, 2006, and six bids were received. The Army Corps of Engineers in Louisville, KY issued the contract (W912QR-06-C-0026)