The Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center, USN in Portsmouth, VA has just issued a set of firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity multiple award contracts to provide marine boatyard and industrial support, including specific modifications, upgrades, service life extension and repairs to non-commissioned boats, craft, lighterage and service craft, with associated systems that can be transported via roadway by trailer or on its bottom via waterway. Work will be performed in Hampton Roads, VA, and and is expected to be complete by December 2007. This was actually done as two multiple-award contracts.
The Space-Based Radar program (now just Space Radar) was an effort to build a constellation of 10 to 24 satellites by 2012 that can duplicate the functions of the E-3 AWACS, E-8 JSTARS, and RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft, watching aircraft, signals, and even people moving on the ground without requiring overflight rights and with much faster deployment time. In 2005 the program was restructured into something more manageable, with initial partial-capability satellites leading to the first fully capable SR satellite around 2015.
The Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA recently issued a pair of contracts for trade studies, modeling and simulation, risk reduction, and technology demonstrations, “exploring a broad trade space of potential Space Radar (SR) solution sets” as they work to come up with design & technology options.
In underwater warfare, sound is life. The side that hears first often wins, and one of the tools used to help improve the odds is the towed array, a set of listening devices on a wire that helps to eliminate an natural acoustic “deaf spot,” and gives its submarine a longer baseline and more sensors to listen with.
U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC ordered two TB-33 fiber optic thin-line towed-array submarine sonar systems from manufacturer Chesapeake Science Corp. in Millersville, MD, under a $15.3 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for the continued development of the TB-33/BQ Fiber Optic Thin-Line Sensor System. The contract also calls for Chesapeake to provide training, test equipment, and 3D mock-up devices. Work will be performed in Greensboro, NC (48%), Stonington, CT (27%), and Millersville, MD (25%) and is expected to be complete by September 2009.This contract was not competitively procured.
Engineers at Chesapeake are developing the TB-33 array to provide the same capability as the existing thin-line TB-29 array, but with significantly improved reliability. The TB-29 is a thin line towed array for SSN-688 Los Angeles and SSN-774 Virginia Class attack submarines that reportedly offers greater use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) parts, increased acoustic performance and improved combat control capabilities, while replacing obsolete equipment in earlier arrays. The TB-29 is also longer than the previous thin-line TB-23, and has a sensor-location system.
Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems in Clearfield, UT, received a $53.1 million fixed-price-incentive-firm and cost-plus-award fee contract modification, exercising option 1 to continue upgrading the Environmental Control System for the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System. Work will be complete October 2008. The Headquarters Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill Air Force Base, UT issued the contract (F42610-98-C-0001/no modification number has been assigned at this time).
This effort includes production, deployment, and interim contractor support for launch facilities and missile alert facilities at the Missile Wings. The replacement system provides filtered, temperature and humidity control, circulating air to the electronic equipment as well as the missile combat crews located in the Launch Control Centers.
On October 6, 2000, the US Navy awarded a 5-year contract for Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) services to EDS for an estimated 412,000 – 416,000 seats and minimum value of $4.1 billion. The original contract also included a 3-year option for an additional $2.8 billion in services, bringing the potential total contract value to $6.9 billion. Extensions and restructuring have made it a 10-year, $9.3 billion information technology services program. Through a contract that contains numerous performance-based incentives, the Navy is buying network (intranet), application, and other hardware and software services at a fixed price per end user (“seat”) to support about 550 sites. As a form of perspective, for FY 2006 the US Navy’s IT budget was about $5.8 billion, which included funding for the development, operation, and maintenance of Navy-owned IT systems, as well as funding for contractor-provided IT services and programs like NMCI.
The US Government Accountability Office has issued a number of reports during NMCI’s lifetime, some of which have been helpful in refocusing the program. The 2003 report “DOD Needs to Leverage Lessons Learned from Its Outsourcing Projects (GAO-03-371),” which looked at leading commercial outsourcing practices and noted discrepancies, is a good example.
Their December 8, 2006 report “DOD Needs to Ensure That Navy Marine Corps Intranet Program Is Meeting Goals and Satisfying Customers” (GAO-07-51) attempts to match NMCI’s strategic goals to its performance measurements under the contract’s service level agreements (SLAs). The result is a 114-page auditor’s report that will offer readers many useful details about NMCI as a program and identifies some of its shortfalls and challenges, but falls short as an attempt to ascertain NMCI’s broad success or failure. That would require more use of the commercial auditing industry’s growing practice of using industry or project comparables for perspective, and noting leading practices and common pitfalls in order to offer a comparison based on peer as well as internal criteria. It would also assess the initial performance measurements themselves as a subject for inquiry, since it is common practice for understanding of what can and should be measured to change sharply once an intranet is implemented and running. Readers who persevere to the very end of the report, for instance, will find a Navy response that outlines a number of ‘surprise’ spinouts from the NMCI effort. As such, they are unmeasured under the original criteria of the SLAs and could not figure in the GAO’s report. They are nevertheless significant, and represent possible targets for future measurement that could help answer the strategic value question in a more comprehensive way. The GAO report may be found here.
Germany’s BWB (Federal Agency for Defence Technology and Procurement) has ordered 15 more Wiesel 2 tracked armored vehicles from Rheinmetall Defence. Rheinmetall will supply the Bundeswehr with 13 field ambulances, as well as a second order for 2 training vehicles, accompanying logistical materiel for training German maintenance units, and 2 training models. Together the two orders are worth around EUR 9 million (about $11.8 million), with work taking place in Unterluss and Kiel, Germany and expected to be complete by the end of 2007. This brings the number of Wiesel 2 vehicles procured for the German Bundeswehr to over 140.
Perot Systems Corporation recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire QSS Group, Inc. in Lanham, MD for $250 million in cash. Perot Systems expects to close the acquisition during January 2007 and complete the integration later that year. The release adds that they expect QSS Group to achieve revenues of between $260-$280 million for the 2007 calendar year. See release.
QSS Group’s clients include the US Army, Coast Guard, Department of Health and Human Services, NASA, NOAA, Department of Treasury and the intelligence community. Key Government-wide acquisition contracts held by QSS Group include the Department of Homeland Security’s Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading-Edge Solutions (EAGLE), the US Army’s Information Technology Enterprise Solutions (ITES-2), the Department of the Treasury’s Total Information Processing Support Services (TIPSS-3), and the General Service Administration’s Millennia Lite.
In our September 2006 article “C-17 Adds Orders on Talent, Not Luck,” DID noted that “Senator Talent [R-MO] announced that he has secured funding for a total of 10 more C-17s in the Senate-House Defense Appropriations Conference Report for FY 2007.” The USAF was already asking for 8 aircraft, and Sen. Talent’s moves tacked 7 more C-17s onto the 3 added by Congress in order to address the C-17 fleet’s accelerated wear.
Now comes the contract. Boeing subsidiary McDonnell Douglas Corp. in Long Beach, CA has received a $2 billion firm-fixed-price contract. This undefinitized contract action covers ten (10) C-17 Block 18 aircraft, as a follow-on acquisition to the original total of 180 C-17 Globemaster IIIs. At this time, $980 million have been obligated. This work will be complete October 2009. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8614-06-D-2006-0002).
The company now has $1.175 billion authorized for share repurchases, which it expects to use as management sees opportunities over the next 24 months. The move brings total share repurchase authorizations since August 2003 to $4.2 billion; as of Nov. 30, 2006, Northrop Grumman had approximately 346 million shares outstanding.
RQ Construction Inc. in Bonsall, CA received an $11.8 million firm-fixed-price contract for a Military Operations Urban Terrain Facility at Fort Irwin, CA. Work is expected to be complete by Dec. 13, 2007. Bids solicited via the World Wide Web on Dec. 22, 2005, and 4 bids were received by the U.S. Army Engineer District in Los Angeles, CA (W912PL-07-C-0003).