“On 26 September 2006, a suicide bomber attacked a Canadian convoy 2km from Kandahar Airfield. The bomber detonated a explosives-laden minivan while trying to ram an RG-31 Nyala Armoured Patrol Vehicle. The result differed dramatically from earlier attacks on armoured [Mercedes] G-wagons. Instead of charred wreckage, the blast- resistant [BAE Systems OMC] Nyala limped home with little damage. Instead of wounded or dead, no-one was injured inside the APV.”
See the full CP article describing this situation (only available here thanks to a canoe.ca technical glitch), and note the Canadian troops’ contrasting lack of confidence in their up-armored Mercedes G-Wagens; DID has covered both this specific problem, and the larger global trend of which it’s a part.
The Put Option process is now almost complete, and will leave BAE Systems with over EUR 1.5 billion in funds to be used for acquisitions et. al. Following management’s damning assessment of Airbus, and recent news re: the A380 that seemed to confirm those fears, BAE’s shareholders overwhelmingly approved the sale.
Thales UK has been awarded a GBP 30 million contract (about $55 million) for a major enhancement to the Trafalgar Class and new SSN Astute Class submarine sonar suites as the lead sonar provider and lead system integrator. Designated the Sonar 2076 Stage 5 programme, this upgrade will replace the existing inboard processing equipment with an open architecture COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) based processing system. The Stage 5 programme will be managed, developed and deployed by the Thales UK underwater systems business in Cheadle Heath, Manchester.
This upgrade builds on the successfully deployed 2076 Stage 4 system that serves aboard SSN Trafalgar Class attack submarines, and forms a key element in the UK Ministry of Defence Common Core Combat System initiative (CCCS) championed by the MoD Integrated Project Teams (ASM, UWS and Sub IPTs). Partners in the Sonar 2076 prograsm include Ultra Electronics (consoles).
In “Dutch, Canadians Purchase Mini-UAVs for Use in Afghanistan,” we noted Canada’s deployment of Elbit Systems’ Skylark mini-UAV to Afghanistan as an interim solution. Now SpaceWar.com reports that a Thales Canada will provide a UAV based on Elbit’s Skylark as Canada’s long-term mini-UAV choice. Other competitors reportedly included IAI’s I-View 50 with its unique parafoil landing system, and Boeing’s larger ScanEagle UAV with its dual land/maritime role. So far, there has been no official announcement from Canada’s DND to confirm this.
The Skylark is a soldier-portable mini-UAV with an electric motor whose quietness and the UAV’s small size makes it extremely difficult to detect. It has an endurance of about 90 minutes, and a range of about 4-5 miles. The Skylark integrates three air vehicles into one backpack and has a ruggedized ground station and communications antenna. It is far too small to carry weapons, but does carry a steerable and stabilized surveillance cameras and its modular design allows fast swap-outs.
Small business qualifier Enterprise Information Management Inc. in Arlington, VA received the full delivery order amount of $49 million as part of a firm-fixed-price contract for forms content management. Work will be performed in Arlington, VA and is expected to be complete by Sept. 29, 2011. Bids were solicited on Aug. 25, 2006, and 2 bids were received by the Contracting Center of Excellence in Arlington, VA (W74V8H-06-D-0022).
“In the fall of 2001, after more that a year of industry evaluation and e-Forms prototype testing, EIM managed the procurement and selection of a new e-Forms software package that enabled the USAF to shift its emphasis from a decentralized software implementation to a centralized solution. Under this new Content Management Program, an XML-based forms solution was designed and developed that supports personnel that have access to a central database via the Internet and intranet as well as personnel who are deployed with limited or no access to a central database. By using standard database technology and a standard data language, this solution also connects to other legacy information systems…”
“You need to take an in-depth look at the A-76 process going on in DoD… While the government’s civil service people have won the last five AF competitions with their “Most Efficient Organization” (MEO) bids, it’s still unsettling to be under one of these competitions. [But] A senior DoD official, at the last DoD A-76 meeting, had the best idea of all: Noting that DoD had directed organizations to develop their MEO plans in case of A-76 competitions, he wondered why DoD didn’t simply tell the services to implement their MEOs and quit screwing around with soliciting bids from contractors [DID: excellent question].
Doing so would free up thousands of military personnel for the worldwide operational commands to use, would cut manpower needs (you can replace three uniformed people with two civilians, as a basic rule, because one of the three will always be involved in strictly military-related duties at any one time) with concommitant reductions in logistical overhead costs, and would actually improve the civilian hiring situation (Even with replacing 3 with 2, there will still be many, many new jobs to fill)… If it happened, then, when A-76 competitions were ordered, the contractors would be competing against organizations which were already streamlined and able to streamline more – and the possible profit margins in a win would be that greatly reduced. Anyhow, it seems that A-76s and MEOs are the future in DoD. Get somebody smart on the subject and get them to cover it.”
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