In July 2006, UK Defence Secretary Des Browne has unveiled a package of new equipment to help protect UK Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan following an urgent armored vehicles review he had ordered in June 2006. The UK Ministry of Defence had previously spent over GBP 527 million on Urgent Operational Requirement force protection supplementals for Iraq and Afghanistan, as detailed in this release.
Three types of vehicles were covered by that purchase – Pinzgauer’s Vector troop transport truck, upgrades to create the FV430 Mk3 Bulldog tracked armored personnel carrier, and the Cougar family of mine-resistant patrol vehicles. Additional orders for Cougar family and Bulldog vehicles would follow. Supacat’s “Jackal” all-terrain wheeled vehicle would supplement these choices, and its off-road capabilities were seen as being especially valuable in Afghanistan.
Despite these efforts, the UK MoD has faced sharp criticism, and endured several senior officer resignations, connected with its overall vehicle fleet’s lack of protection. In November 2008, therefore, it unveiled a GBP 700 million second phase effort to buy mine-clearance vehicles, upgraded BvS10 tracked all-terrain vehicles, and a wide variety of support and ancillary vehicles that can keep up with the other protected vehicles in its fleet.
On July 21, 2006, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Saudi Arabia to provide funds for blanket order requisitions, under a Cooperative Logistics Supply Support Agreement (CLSSA). Briefly put, the Government of Saudi Arabia wants to be able to issue blanket order requisitions under the CLSSA for spare parts in support of its M1A2 Abrams Tanks, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), construction equipment, and support vehicles and equipment in the inventory of the Royal Saudi Land Forces Ordnance Corps. More specifically, the American equipment is in the possession of the 8th Armored Brigade in the southwest, near Khamis Mushayt.
DID recently covered Pakistan’s billion-dollar contract for S100B Argus Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft, and the platform’s capabilities. Now Saab Aerotech and the Swedish Defense Material Administration (FMV) have signed an agreement for the upgrade of two S100D (Saab 340AEW-200) aircraft currently operated by the Swedish Armed Forces to a new international inter-operational standard. The order is valued at 105 Million Swedish Kronor (about $14.3 million). Under a separate agreement, the FMV has also contracted recent Saab acquisition Ericsson Microwave Systems for project work.
The ASC 890 system will be a NATO compatible command & control platform, and can perform airborne command and control functions for Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen fighters as well as other airborne platforms. Saab will designate the new aircraft as Saab 340 AEW-300, and it will be used for territorial integrity monitoring within Sweden as well as for air and sea surveillance in support of international operations. Work will be performed at Saab Aerotech’s maintenance facilities in Linkoping Sweden beginning in September 2006, and is expected to be completed within 20 months. See Saab corporate release.
Lockheed Martin Corp. in Marietta, GA received a $10.5 million firm-fixed-price, time and material, and cost-reimbursement contract for production and installation of stepped frequency microwave radiometer modification kits for 10 WC-130J (a variation of the C-130J Super Hercules). The WC-130Js are used by the NOAA for weather reconnaissance, and are best known for gathering aerial data on hurricanes – while they are in progress. Flying an aircraft into 100+ mph winds is not a job for the faint of heart.
This work will be complete August 2007. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8625-06-C-6456).
The National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kailua-Kona, HI is being awarded a $6.2 million modification to a previously awarded cooperative agreement for research and development in multiple areas of ocean sciences through the National Defense Center of Excellence for Research in Ocean Sciences.
Work will be performed in Kailua-Kona, HI, and will be completed in December 2007. This is a sole source award by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (MDA972-02-2-0002).