DID has covered the US military’s RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance UAVs, which can cruise at 65,000 feet for 32 hours and cover thousands of miles in the process. Forecast International notes that 7 Global Hawks have been delivered, 17 are in various stages of production, at least 2 have been lost in crashes, and 2 more are on loan to the Navy for experiments. Over 5,400 combat hours have been flown, and foreign interest is also high. NATO is looking at Global Hawk as part of its AGS battlefield surveillance project in combination with a JSTARS-like Arbus 319, and there has even been talk of setting up a multinational “Pacific Pool” of Global Hawks along similar lines to NATO’s E-3 AWACS program. As the Pentagon looks to retire its U-2 fleet, this UAV’s operational role and importance will only increase.
DID discusses a $60 million contract that was just issued for the RQ-B Global Hawk, whose 131-foot wingspan and larger size give it an extra 5,00 pounds of payload capacity vs. the 116-foot A model. We also point to a National Defense Magazine article that raises questions about the program’s costs and accounting.
In a recent post, DID noted that Bechtel National Inc. in San Francisco, CA had received a delivery order amount of $27.6 million as part of a $315.6 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for activities to facilitate future closure of the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ABCDF). Yet Bechtel also received a recent contract $94.3 million delivery order amount as part of a $409.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract “for construction of a chemical demilitarization facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground.” What’s going on?
DID got in touch with the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, and Public Affairs Officer Jeff Lindblad offered some clarifications:
DID reader Gene Inger of The Inger Letter forwarded this to our attention. DRS Technologies, Inc. announced that it has signed a long-term strategic agreement with Ionatron, Inc., located in Tuscon, AZ. DID has covered Ionatron’s plasma weapons and its anti-IED systems before, including the Laser-Guided Energy (LGE) and Laser-Induced, Plasma-Channel (LIPC) directed-energy weapon systems.
Under the agreement, the companies will engage in the cooperative development and selected application of these technologies U.S. military market, and their integration with the energy management systems and platforms of its DRS Test & Energy Management unit in Huntsville, AL. In addition, the company’s DRS Training & Control Systems unit in Ft. Walton Beach, FL will investigate its own application of Ionatron’s LIPC technology in marine applications relating to shipping ports and dockside protection.
The DRS Test & Energy Management unit currently is marketing and producing hybrid electric vehicles, power management systems and other electronic technology for directed-energy laser weapon systems. This DRS operating unit has developed proprietary mobile pulse-power technologies that are suitable for incorporation into Ionatron’s proprietary directed-energy weapon technology. See BusinessWire release.
Small business qualifier Campbellsville Apparel in Campbellsville, KY won a maximum $11 million firm-fixed-price contract for men’s briefs for Army. Proposals were Web-solicited and 5 responded. This is an indefinite quantity type contract for the base term. The date of performance completion is September 30, 2007. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP) in Philadelphia, PA (SP0100-06-D-0378) issued the contract.