The Budget Committee of the German Parliament has given the go-ahead for the procurement of 149 Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) Dingo 2 mine-resistant patrol vehicles. A EUR 109 million contract is expected very soon, including 15 “immediate requirement” vehicles. German troops are currently serving in both Kosovo and Afghanistan. This purchase will add to the 52 Dingos the Bundeswher bought in 2005; Defense Update’s profile reports that the eventual target is currently about 450 vehicles, and the Dingo has also been ordered by Belgium (352), Austria (20), and Israel (60 vehicles, but the order never went through). KMW even has a US manufacturing partner, via Bell Textron Land Systems.
The DINGO 2 is an upgrade to the DINGO 1 “all-protected transport vehicle” fielded in 2000. Built on a Unimog 5000 truck chassis, its patrol and security version offers space for up to 8 crew in the long wheel-base verison. When fitted with up to 4.4 tonnes of armor, it will protect against artillery fragments, anti-personnel and some anti-tank mines as well as against NBC agents. Its modular armor system has received some criticism, but an October 2005 incident in which a Bundeswehr Dingo 1 survived a 6-7kg/15-pound land mine explosion with no injuries thanks to the composite belly pan was hailed by builder Krauss-Maffei Wegman as proof of the vehicle’s combat survivability.
Oceanit Laboratories, Inc. in Honolulu, HI received a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract from the US Missile Defense Agency, for the development of advanced sensor and surveillance technologies based on multi-target-tracking optical sensor array technologies (MOST). The maximum award value for this effort is $25.9 million, and the contract will run from June 2006 – June 2011. The principal place of performance will be at the Oceanit Laboratories in Honolulu, HI, but work will also be performed at Goleta, CA (HQ0006-06-D-0003).
Several mini-UAVs are popular in Afghanistan and Iraq, from the RQ-11 Raven and MiTex BUSTER to the Elbit Skylark and EMT Aladin. Now Britain’s Ministry of Defence notes that soldiers from 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in support of the Helmand Task Force as part of Operation Herrick alongside soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade. When they do, they’ll bring something new with them: Lockheed’s Desert Hawk mini-UAVs, which have also been used by the US Air Force. British Soldiers from 32nd Regiment have been in Iraq since March 2003 using BAE’s larger Phoenix tactical UAV, but they have been working with the new Desert Hawk system in California in preparation for the Afghan deployment. 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery is currently the British Army’s only Unmanned aerial Vehicle (UAV) regiment.
Desert Hawk is a man-portable system that traces back to a 1996 DARPA project and 2001 solicitation; this Lockheed Skunk Works project entered service in 2002. It has a flight time of approximately one hour and a 10 km/ 6 mile operating radius. The UAV has both day and night time (thermal imaging) capability, and can be used for a variety of tasks such as force protection for convoys and patrols, route clearance, base security, reconnaissance or target tracking. Defense Update reports that British Desert Hawks were tested in Iraq, but deemed unsuitable for operations as the downlink was jammed by interference from the Iraqi mobile phone network system.
The USA recently issued a trio of contracts that exercise a third option year for infantry combat boots, to be worn by Army and Air Force personnel. These are indefinite-delivery/ quantity type five-year contracts with economic price adjustment. This means the services can issue orders over time up to the maximum number in the contract, and prices are fixed but may be altered if the cost of raw materials shifts beyond a set point. There were 70 proposals solicited and 3 firms responded. The date of performance completion is July 9, 2007, and contracts were issued by the Defense Supply Center Philadephia in Philadelphia, PA.
DID covered last year’s options, when orders totaled $56.7 million vs. this year’s $60.7 million order; to make a long story short, McRae Industries in Mt. Gilead and Altama Delta in Atlanta, GA are out and Wolverine World Wide is in…
Small business qualifier Wellco Enterprises, Inc. in Waynesville, NC received a maximum $19.95 million contract (SPO100-03-D-0320).
Wolverine World Wide in Rockford, MI received a maximum $20.8 million fixed-price contract (SPO100-03-D-0321).
Small business qualifier Belleville Shoe Mfg. Co. in Belleville, IL received a maximum $19.9 million contract (SPO100-03-D-0322).