With maintenance costs becoming more visible due to fleet age and extra wear as the result of the ongoing war, US land forces are facing a large maintenance overhang – and wondering where to find the budget for it, given existing programs and other needs (including finding survivable and durable alternatives to the Hummers when that contract expires soon). Meanwhile, the 1990s procurement holiday has left critical services like the Air Force with an aging equipment base of its own on several fronts, from aerial tankers, to bombers, to fighters, to medium and light transports. When combined with the Defense Procurement Spiral of weapons systems whose costs rise in real inflation-adjusted terms each generation (and hence get fewer bought each time), the US military faces a significant budgetary challenge in the years ahead. This will be coupled with demographic pressures of an aging population curve that may be less severe than Europe’s, Japan’s, or China’s, but will nonetheless affect policy and budgets.
The Pentagon budget is usually a zero-sum game in which the maximum figure for the next year’s budget is handed down from the White House in the spring, and the services jockey for extra dollars within those constraints to get allocations from the Secretary of Defense, while congress plays its own third-party role afterward on the way to passing a final military budget. In a very rare move, however, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker has received permission from Donald Rumsfeld to make the Army’s 2008 budget case directly to the US Office of Management and Budget (which coordinates budgets across the entire federal government). This allows them to fight for items they need, without necessarily jeapordizing other service budgets.
The LA Times claims that the Army says it needs $138 billion in FY 2008, rather than the $114 billion offered. This would also be $26 billion more than the FY 2007 total. “We felt we had a challenge we couldn’t overcome in ’08 – ’13 program,” Schoomaker said. See SpaceWar/UPI article for more.
UPDATE: The Army’s case was refused by the OMB; they were reportedly offered $121 billion instead. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker said in July 2006 that it will cost the Army up to $13 billion per year over the course of the war, and several years beyond, to repair or replace worn equipment.
The EU’s European Defence Agency recently released a “Long-Term Vision report” intended to serve as a compass for defence planners over the next twenty years. The report was the product of 11 months of study involving officials and experts from governments, defense bodies, academia and industry across Europe, and was debated by the EDA Steering Board which consists of the Defence Ministers of the Agency’s 24 participating Member States and the European Commission.EDA head Javier Solana:
“Given the lead times typically involved in developing defence capability, decisions we take, or fail to take, today will affect whether we have the right military capabilities, and the right capacities in Europe’s defence technological and industrial base, in the third decade of this century…”
McDonald Bradley, Inc. has been awarded a $2.8 million prime contract from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for the DoD Intelligence Information Systems (DoDIIS) Content Management Data Layer project. McDonald Bradley will deliver a design for a physical data layer that will encompass a data reference model, an enterprise content management strategy and architecture, and an enterprise content management prototype complete with detailed implementation specifications for full-scale enterprise deployment across the DoDIIS. Currently, no such strategy exists. Making it work will require the integration of commercial, Federal, Intelligence Community, and DoD technical standards and items in various disparate locations within a common business framework.
The goal of the project is to improve intelligence data sharing and management across the intelligence community and DoD in support of national security. “The volume and types of data maintained across the defense intelligence community is extremely large, and we are pleased to have been selected for our expertise in service-oriented architectures to create this ambitious enterprise-wide model for data management,” said Kenneth Bartee, president and CEO, McDonald Bradley.
“This project will create a virtual document repository that allows information to be created, managed, accessed and destroyed in an orderly, timely, and predictable manner.”
General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp. in Groton, CT received an $18.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, level of effort contract for reactor plant planning yard services for nuclear-powered submarines and support yard services for Navy moored training ships. This work generally includes engineering services for lifecycle support, maintenance and modernization of the reactor plants and selected propulsion-plant systems of Los Angeles, Trident and Seawolf-class submarines, and the nuclear research submarine NR-1. Additionally, Electric Boat provides similar services for all systems on the Navy’s moored training ships in Charleston, SC.
Work will be performed in Groton, CT (95%) and Charleston, SC (5%), and is expected to be complete by September 2007. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC (N00024-07-C-2103).
Small business qualifier HRU Inc. in Lansing, MI received the full delivery order amount of $25 million on a firm-fixed-price contract for engineering and manufacturing support services in support of the 105mm M119 towed field howitzer and other weapon systems and components. As the link notes, the M119 is a licensed American version of the British Royal Ordnance L119.
Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on Aug. 11, 2006, and 6 bids were received by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Rock Island, IL (W52H09-06-D-5007). Work will be performed in Rock Island, IL and is expected to be complete by Sept. 25, 2011.