Back on September 26, 2005, DID ran “OFT Faces Different Future Without Cebrowski,” describing the difficulties facing the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation in the wake of its high-profile and hugely influential founder’s departure. Sadly, the cancer that forced Arthur K. Cebrowski to resign ultimately claimed his life in November 2005. It would appear that his illness has effectively claimed the OFT’s life as well; the office will reportedly shut down on October 1, 2006.
Well-known author and Cebrowski protege Thomas Barnett believes that the OFT’s demise is just the natural order of things as its concepts have become more mainsteam, though others note that its small size and budget made progress difficult and rendered OFT easier prey in turf battles. GCN adds that the OFT’s analysis and studies portions will go to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, while the initiatives part will fall under a new office to be headed by John Young, deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology.
The Air Force District Washington at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, DC has awarded a pair of $1.93 billion indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity; fixed price with economic price adjustment contracts. The contractors will recruit, qualify and retain health care workers at 63 Air Force medical treatment facilities in 58 geographic locations. DID covered a similar contract in November 2005, which set out 5 additional winners.
The USAF can issues delivery orders totaling up to the maximum amount indicated above, but they can also issue less if circumstances warrant. Work will be complete in November 2010, and the winners are:
Magnum Medical Joint Venture, Angleton, TX (FA7014-06-D-0015). This is a partnership between Sterling Medical Associates, Inc. and Magnum Opus Technologies, Inc.
Luke and Associates, Merritt Island, FL (FA7014-06-D-0016)
On June 20, 2006 the US Government Accountability Office sustained Magnum’s protest (B-297687.2) re: the original award of this contract to Luke and Associates.
Now Endre Lunde informs DID that the Rafale is no longer in contention, a development reportedly confirmed by Norway’s Deputy Minister of Defense to a leading Norwegian newspaper. The announcement was apparently made during a two-day visit to Saab’s facilities in Linkoping, Sweden. Lunde notes that “…the Gripen so far has been the true outsider compared to the Eurofighter and the F-35 Lightning, but the recent announcements by Gripen on the prospects of a dedicated “N” version, and a long and patient process of building trust and support in Norway seems to be paying off.”
EADS recently announced a contract win of up to EUR 1 billion from the Procurement Office in Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior. The BOS digital radio system for German security authorities and organizations will feature EADS as prime contractor, working together with Siemens to build a nationwide TETRA digital radio network by December 31, 2010. EADS Secure Networks within the Defence and Communications Systems (DCS) Business Unit bears the responsibility for the project within EADS.
All military technologies have their teething periods, and especially advanced examples often have longer ones. The SBX X-band radar offers a quantum leap in capabilities, and can even be floated into position in order to perform its missile-tracking function.
As our June 2005 article noted, the SBX was scheduled to arrive in Adak, Alaska by late December 2005. It remains at Hawaii, however, owing to a number of issues and glitches that have yet to be fully worked out. POGO offers a summary of those issues, via a link to a Chicago Tribune article an a leaked “For Official Use Only” document it was based upon entitled “SBX-1 Operational Suitability and Viability Assessment.”
Florida Atlantic University’s SeaTech – Institute for Ocean and Systems Engineering in Dania Beach, which is part of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, has been awarded a $2 million grant by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to investigate, design and build a prototype of a rapidly-deployable, multi-mission platform to be used as an enabling technology for seabasing.
This two-year project is headed by Dr. Frederick Driscoll of FAU’s Department of Ocean Engineering. Driscoll leads a team of researchers from FAU, two Navy laboratories and industry partners Oceaneering International and Marine Applied Physics Corporation. Since its inception in 1997, SeaTech has received 471 grant awards totaling more than $55 million.
Independent watchdog agencies are a reliable feature of advanced democracies. Their influence is usually indirect, but occasionally their reports or directives have a more immediate impact on military projects. India’s Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has issued new directives on defence purchases which may seem somewhat familiar to observers in other countries, but may end up having an impact on several high-profile defense contracts.
As this DDINews report at Defense-Aerospace notes, The CVC has asked the Defence Ministry to avoid single-vendor situations unless very exceptional cicumstances exist, include standard contract terms in Request for Proposals, not deviate or dilute qualitative requirements after RFPs are issued, and require performance bonds and warranty bonds. That last requirement has appearently been something of an issue with Russian suppliers. Upcoming deals that could be affected include:
Karta Technologies Corp. in San Antonio, TX received a $75 million indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity contract for information modernization technology (ITM) services for the Air Force Surgeon General’s Information Technology (IT) Branch (AF/SGR). At this time $2.5 million has been committed; work will be complete August 2011. The Headquarters Air Force District Washington at Bolling Air Force Base, DC, is the contracting activity (FA7014-06-D-0017).
Israeli firms have recently won a few foreign defense and security contracts around the world. Elbit’s Elisra Group will supply $7 million worth of electronic warfare (EW) systems to the air forces of Portugal and the Republic of Korea. The company will supply EW systems for ROK Air Force Sikorsky S-92 Superhawk helicopters, and radar warning receivers (RWR) for 12 Portuguese Air Force C-295 transport planes which will form part of their integrated protection suites. Three of the planes will reportedly be equipped with the full self-defense suites, while the other planes will have the infrastructure installed so that the systems can be installed later.
Meanwhile, Beit Alpha Technologies of Kibbutz Beit Alpha recently signed a collaboration with a Chinese firm to jointly develop and market vehicles for riot control and dispersal. The vehicles are slated for use during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. See Ha’aretz story.