DID’s Benelux reader David Vandenberghe offers us translations and links to a number of Dutch documents and speeches re: their continued participation in the F-35 Lightning II/ Joint Strike Fighter program. The Netherlands is a Tier II JSF partner, and like other partners they needs to decide if they wish to remain part of the F-35 JSF consortium into the production phase.
Though Parliamentary approval has not yet been given, their Ministry of Defense notes [release in Dutch] that the Council of Ministers has approved ongoing participation. David provides us with translations and additional source material re: the Netherlands’ decision, its economic implications, and its expected defense needs. His comments and translations follow below, edited and reorganized for clarity:
Oct 4/06: The Boeing Company in St Louis, MO received a $9 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification. This effort will design and test “a large penetrating munition” in order to “demonstrate the weapon’s lethality against multi-story building with hardened bunkers and tunnel facilities,” and to reduce technology risk for future development. This program is funded by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and work will be complete October 2009. The Air Force Research Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, FL issued the contract (FA8651-04-D-0427/P00002).
The USA already has the 5,000 pound GBU-28 “bunker-buster” bomb. Details regarding this new weapon were not released, though its statement of capabilities lead one to believe it is more of a weapon for situations similar to Hezbollah-Iran-Syria’s recent “Rocket War,” rather than a substitute for the nuclear RNEP.
Air Combat Command HQ at Langley Air Force Base, VA has issued a $500 million contract for restoration; performance-based remediation; horizontal and vertical construction, repair and maintenance; demolition; force protection; homeland security; and a full range of operations and services and tasks that support environmental requirements on government installation.
This is a shared program indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity contract, with various kinds of task orders that can include firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursable, fixed-price-incentive, time and materials/labor hours and cost-plus-fixed fee. Solicitations began September 2005, negotiations were complete September 2006, and work will be complete September 2016. The companies who can compete for orders under this contract include:
Most militaries spend a lot on bases and maintenance, but those expenditures aren’t as sexy as new weapons systems. Which is why they receive far less coverage and attention, except from elected representatives whose districts benefit from the base’s contracting opportunities and contributions to the local economy.
To help remedy this, we’ve decided to take a month and cover a certain kind of infrastructure contract: base operations support, in which a contractor assumes responsibility for a given area within a military base, as opposed to classic construction and engineering type contracts. It certainly seems to be busy at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL these days…