“Through Life Capability Management” focuses of the costs and capabilities of equipment throughout its life, not just purchase price, and is currently being trailed on major projects that include Britain’s new CVF/Queen Elizabeth Class future aircraft carriers. Success would remove many common problems from traditional military procurement, but this will prove to be challenging for both government and industry. Issues of public-private partnerships, contract management, and capability-building arise for both sides.
“This report is intended to provide an objective basis for estimating the true costs of combat aircraft for their domestic buyers, at a time when manufacturers, locked in increasingly bitter competition on the export market, routinely inflate the cost of competitors’ aircraft while making demonstrably misleading claims about their own.”
An interesting goal – and a difficult one. Even in the high-transparency environment of Western democracies, estimating the true unit costs of military items is no simple task… and since transparency varies, it is demonstrably harder in some countries than in others. Defense-Aerospace attempts to perform this task for the current set of “modern” western fighter competitors, omitting only the F-16 Block 60 from their survey. Aircraft covered include other upgraded 3rd generation aircraft like Boeing’s upgraded F-15 Strike Eagle variants and the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, 4th generation planes like Dassault’s Rafale, EADS’ Eurofighter, and Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen, and 5th generation entries like Lockheed’s F-35 Lightning II and Boeing’s F-22A Raptor.
On April 17, DID noted a $52 million contract to BAE for AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) to protect Army fixed and rotary-wing aircraft against infrared guided missile threats. BAE Systems’ CMWS program director Dr. Conrad Struckman said the Army had asked BAE Electronic Integrated Systems to field this equipment as quickly as possible. In response, BAE accelerated CMWS deliveries to 40 systems a month and climbing, and sent employees to support the equipment in theater.
The U.S. Army appears to have appreciated that response…
Small business qualifier The Wexford Group International in Vienna, VA received a delivery order amount of $9.4 million as part of a $237.8 million fixed-price, level-of-effort contract for contractual support requirements for the Asymmetric Warfare Group Headquarters. Here’s some background re: who the Asymmetric Warfare Group is, and what they do.
Work will be performed at Fort Meade, MD and is expected to be complete by July 4, 2011. There were an unknown number of bids solicited via the World Wide Web on March 6, 2006, and 2 bids were received by the U.S. Space and Missile Defense Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL (W9113M-06-D-0005).
The US Defense Commissary Agency, Resale Contracting Division, Resale Services Support Branch in Fort Lee, VA has just issued $63.8 million in indefinite-delivery, requirements-type contracts to a pair of vendors. They will provide fresh fruits and vegetables (FF&V) for resale at various commissary stores on military bases. Of the 151 firms solicited, and 9 offers were received; the winning contractors will deliver these items to the store locations as needed over the contract’s two-year base-period (August 1, 2006 – July 31, 2008). Two one-year option periods are available, and the contract will be completed July 31, 2010 if both option periods are exercised. The winners were:
C & C Produce Inc. in Kansas City, MO won an estimated $32.6 million contract to service 16 commissary store locations throughout Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming (HDEC02-06-D-0011).
B. Catalani Inc. in San Antonio, TX won an estimated $31.2 million contract to service for resale at 20 commissary store locations throughout New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas (HDEC02-06-D-0012).