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)