On November 13, 2006, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Pakistan of $160 million worth of Harris High Frequency/Very High Frequency (HF/VHF) tactical radio systems. The possible sale includes 1,558 20-Watt High Frequency (HF) Man Packs, 2,188 20-Watt HF Vehicular Systems, 175 150-Watt HF Vehicular Systems, ancillary equipment, spare and repairs parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics services and other related elements of program support. The prime contractor will be Harris Corporation in Rochester, NY, who enjoyed a good deal of success in the tactical radio market. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
The DSCA release [PDF format] notes that “this proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be a key ally in the global war on terrorism. The radios will enable Pakistan to improve on its capability to provide current and updated intelligence between patrols and higher headquarters. Also, the radios will increase interoperability between Pakistan and the U.S. and coalition forces assisting in the efforts to curtail and eliminate terrorist activities.”
Which is where things get interesting. As in “it will be interesting to see if there’s any Congressional blowback over the next 30 days, given recent developments”…
Raytheon Company announced a $113 million follow-on Air Force contract for consolidated field support for all sensors, data links and ground systems related to the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft program. The program includes pre-flight system checks, mission support during flight, and post-mission problem analysis. New system installations and upgrades will also be performed under this effort. This marks the U-2 field support contract’s second option; the original contract was issued by Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, GA (this may be it).
Unfortunately, the program has hit something of a snag…
New Mexico Technology Group L.L.C. in El Paso, TX received a $78 million cost-plus-award-fee contract for Mission Support Services for the White Sands Missile Range, NM. This is a 10-year contract that is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2016; bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on Aug. 18, 2006, and 3 bids were received by the U.S. Army Contracting Agency, White Sands Missile Range, NM (W9124Q-07-C-0504).
Northrop Grumman Corporation recently announced that it will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Essex Corporation for $24 per common share in cash. This gives the transaction a value of about $580 million, including the assumption of Essex’s debt.
Essex Corp’s focus areas include signal processing, information assurance, optics and optical processing, and systems engineering and integration. Their own release had a different focus, and stressed the firm’s rapid growth from 2000 to 2006…
United Technologies Corp. subsidiary Pratt & Whitney of East Hartford, CT received a $30.7 million fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract modification. It provides for FY 2007 Interim Economic Price Adjustment (EPA) and FY 2007 multi-year funding for procurement of 32 each F117-PW-100 engines for installation on C-17 Globemaster III heavy transports. The F117-PW-100 is the military version of the PW2000 engine that powers the Boeing 757 and Ilyushin IL-96, and each C-17 requires 4 engines.
At this time, all funds have been obligated, and work will be complete December 2007. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract. (F33657-02-C-0006/P00023).
IAP World Services in Cape Canaveral, FL received a $25.8 million cost-plus-award-fee contract for Base Operations Support at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Work will be performed in Washington, DC, and is expected to be complete by Nov. 3, 2011. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on June 4, 2003, and 1 bid was received by the U.S. Army Medical Command at Fort Sam Houston, TX (W81K04-07-C-0003).
This decision has seen a good deal of controversy lately, to say the least. DID’s “Retired RAAF Vice-Marshal: Abandon F-35, Buy F-22s (updated),” which includes a link to a guest article by recently-retired RAAF AVM Peter Criss as well as statements and proposed policies from Australia’s opposition party, an in-depth strategic report arguing against the F-35A, Australian DoD submissions in favor, et. al. It will give readers a solid background re: the arguments and political currents in play.
The criticism is apparently having some effect, as the minister’s statement added that: “To cover against potential delays that can occur with projects of this scope, the Government is looking at cost effective options to ensure Australia maintains air superiority during the transition period.”
If you work in the industry, you know that navigating the designated layers of classified material can be challenging, and that decisions regarding classification may not always make sense to you. This is also true on a public policy level: the Federation of American Scientists, for instance, is deeply skeptical of recent NY Times claims re: materials in the public Iraqi documents archive, and whether there was anything in them that justified secrecy or their subsequent removal from public access.
The AIM-120D AMRAAM Production Program Manager was a bit skeptical when he was asked to be team leader on a rapid improvement event under the “Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century” process improvement framework. By the time they were done, however, they had cut the acquisition-delivery time down from 11 months (48 weeks) to 4.5 months (20 weeks) using AFSO 21 process improvement tools. Maj. Charles Seidel was impressed – and so were other weapons programs from HARM missile targeting to MALD decoys to the Small Diameter Bomb II, all of whom also also work with Raytheon and would begin related AFSO 21 efforts of their own.