Sometimes, a specific area just seems to flood the zone. With C-17 buys and controversies all aswirl, US Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base, IL has just issued a slew of indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contracts for “International Airlift Services” to various commercial carriers. The total value of these contracts has a modestly increased ceiling of $2.32 billion, compared to DID’s September 2005 coverage of $2.29 billion in similar awards.
Figures given are maximums, and Air Mobility Command’s purchases over the coming year may not necessarily reach the maximum totals. Negotiations began in March 2006 and were completed in September 2006. The contracts will run until September 2007, and this year’s winners include:
David Axe of Defense Tech has a story about 12-year Lockheed Martin veteran engineer Mike DeKort, who made waves last month when he posted a video on YouTube alleging serious contractor failures on a Coast Guard patrol boat project. His beef with Lockheed is broader, however, and extends into a general indictment of its leadership and ethics standards. DeKort’s goal? A Congressional investigation of Lockheed Martin.
“Lockheed hasn’t been shy about all this DeKort stuff. In fact, it was [Lockheed spokesman Tony] Scully who alerted me to the second video. But it has always been the company’s position that that DeKort’s core complaint — that the Coast Guard patrol boats are unsafe — is baseless. Scully says that perhaps all the media attention has granted DeKort more legitimacy than his allegations warrant.”
The Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment based at RAAF Townsville has received parliamentary approval for $20 million in new facilities for one of the key bases supporting its expanded NH90 helicopter fleet. The first NH90s are scheduled for delivery in late 2007, and the A$2 billion expansion of Australia’s planned fleet from 12 to 46 machines will allow it to gradually replace the Army’s existing S-70A Black Hawks.
The “Facilities for Troop Lift Helicopter” project combines the reconfiguration and refurbishment of a number of existing facilities at RAAF Base Townsville, with construction of some new purpose-built facilities to support Australia’s new “MRH90”. An advanced mission planning and computer-based training facility, a new Army Aviation Training Facility to provide transition training on the MRH90, a composites material workshop (the NH90 makes extensive use of composite materials), and upgrades to some existing facilities for the Black Hawk fleet are all envisaged as part of this project. No contracts have been issued as of yet, however. See Ministerial release.