Well, this was certainly interesting. Indonesia’s Minister of Defense Juwono Sudarsono has gone online… with a blog. So far, he has been talking about politics, development, and defense-related matters as well. His blog even accepts comments, and the exchanges with the global public in his post “Military Business and the Reform Process” are especially interesting.
Back in March 2005, DID covered US Strategic Command’s 4-star blogging general. That was an internal effort, and from scattered reports apparently somewhat successful. This effort is somewhat different, and would be unusual even in a country like the USA or Sweden.
Joint venture partners Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) in Plymouth, MN and Textron Systems Corp. in Wilmington, MA received a $31.1 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the Spider XM-7 Landmine System. The Spider program was established to develop alternatives to persistent (M14/M16) antipersonnel landmine (APLs) within Korea along the DMZ. Spider is more like a “remote explosive device” than the typical fire-and-forget land mine, as it always has a man-in-the-loop to trigger it, engaging with one or more munitions and even using non-lethal payload options if available. Spider systems can be easily recovered and readied for a new deployment if they have not been fired, and they will deactivate after the battle so that they do not pose a threat or residual hazard. It is the successor to the Matrix system deployed in Iraq, and part of the USA’s Non-Self-Destructing Anti-Personnel Landmine Alternatives (NSD-A) program.
Work will be performed in Plymouth, MN (55%), and Wilmington, MA (45%), and is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2007. This was a sole source contract initiated on March 6, 2006 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ (W15QKN-06-C-0154).
General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems Inc. in San Diego, CA received a $5.2 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification for the retrofit of five MQ-9 Predator aircraft, with upgraded landing gear for increased landing capacity; Hellfire missiles/ EGBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs/ “Special Project A Payloads”; and interim modem assembly capabilities. Also included in the cost of this effort is one lot of spares and system integration lab upgrade work. The MQ-9 Predator B is a successor to the MQ-1 Predator UAV, designed to carry a larger array of weapons. It is often referred to as a “hunter-killer” UAV.
Solicitations began April 2006, negotiations were complete June 2006, and work will be complete June 2007. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (F33657-02-G-4035/order # 0028, modification # 13).
Weeks Marine Inc. in Covington, LA received an $11.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance dredging in Harris, Texas (33.5%), and Chambers, Texas (66.5%). Work is expected to be completed by May 23, 2006. There were 22 bids solicited on May 23, 2006, and two bids were received by the U.S. Army Engineer District in Galveston, TX (W912HY-06-C-0036).