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.
Johnson Controls Government Systems, LLC in Washington, DC received a maximum $36.9 million firm-fixed-price contract for acquisition of energy conservation measures for Fort Hood, TX. Fort Hood is famous as the largest active duty armored post in the United States, and is the only post in the USA capable of supporting two full Army armored divisions. While equipping Hood’s fleet of M1 tanks with diesel engines would certainly conserve a great deal of energy, that isn’t what Johnson Controls does.
Instead, they offer control systems that automate a building’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning, as well as its lighting, busilding access, and fire safety equipment. Their Metasys(R) building management system claims to automate a building’s mechanical systems for optimal comfort levels while using the least amount of energy. There were four proposals solicited and four responded. The date of performance completion is October 31, 2029, and the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, VA issued the contract (SP0600-06-F-0801).
Trident Systems, Inc. in Fairfax, VA received a $9.6 million Phase III Small Business Innovative Research indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract with provisions for the issuance of cost-plus-fixed-fee (term and completion) task/delivery orders. their mission? To evolve and apply an Enterprise Collaborative Engineering Environment (ECEE) for open architecture software. The contract will allow for the implementation of an ECEE that provides for the integration, interaction and configuration management of engineering and management tools and data sets used in DoD system acquisitions. The development of an ECEE will enable the collaboration and sharing of engineering information within a tool-neutral environment.
Work will be performed in Fairfax, Va., and is expected to be completed by May 2011. This Phase III (SBIR) is a follow-on to Phase I and Phase II contracts, and was not competitively procured by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, in Dahlgren, VA (N00178-06-D-3023).