In a January 9, 2007 release, Israel’s Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the country’s 2006 Defence Export contracts broke all records, reaching over $4.4 billion in 2006 and making Israel one of the top-5 defense exporters in the world behind the USA, Russia, Britain & France. Israel’s tight deploy-design-deploy cycle in an environment where many of the designers can expect to personally use the equipment in battle has made their equipment very popular, and signature global successes like the LITENING pod have helped raise the profile of Israeli firms. Maj. Gen (res.) Yossi Ben Hanan observed that more then 75% of Israeli defense production is currently for export, while only 25% goes to the IDF. He is head of SIBAT, the Foreign Defense Assistance and Defense Export Department – a very important job in a small but threatened country that has a strategic need for defense self-sufficiency in many areas, but not the population base and economy to sustain all of the capabilities it needs through local procurement.
General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada delivered 148 RG-31 vehicles to the U.S. Army in 2005. In October 2006, TACOM awarded General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada a contract for US$ 27.2 million to provide 60 RG-31 Mk5 mine-resistant patrol vehicles, used by EOD teams and by the 101st Airborne as patrol vehicles; the Mk5 has improved power and payload capabilities in comparison to its predecessors. In November 2006, this order was increased to 94 vehicles for an additional US$ 15.4 million, an addition that is included in DID’s order coverage. We also covered the in-theater experience of Canada’s RG-31 Nyala route proving vehicles, which have stood up to car bombs as well as IED land mines in Afghanistan, and discussed the difference between vehicle that are merely up-armored vs. blast-resistant vehicles like the RG-31 in the above photo. Blast-resistant vehicles are experiencing a wave of purchases by NATO countries for use in combat zones like Afghanistan, Iraq, et. al., largely due to the revealed weaknesses of more conventional designs.
Out the back door (click to view story)
Now the U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), in support of the Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS), has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada a US$ 76.5 million contract for 169 more RG-31 Mk5 Mine Protected Vehicles, with an option for 9 additional vehicles. The RG-31’s American designation is “RG-31 Pathfinder.”
Like previous RG-31 contracts, this one was signed through a Crown Agency of the Canadian Government, the Canadian Commercial Corporation. Under that contract, General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada will provide the program management, while BAE Land Systems OMC of South Africa will manufacture the vehicles. Deliveries will occur from January – April 2007. General Dynamics release.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co’s Space and Strategic Missiles division in Sunnyvale, CA received $654.9 million for Modification PZ0001 under a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee/ cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00030-06-C-0100) to provide for UGM-133 Trident II (D5) and UGM-96A Trident I (C4) nuclear sea-launched ballistic missiles. The Trident C-4 has been in service since 1979, but the D-5 Trident II is more recent. First deployed in 1990 and scheduled for operational deployment until 2042, 12 of the USA’s 14 SSBNs have been outfitted with Trident II D-5 missiles, and the other 2 will be backfitted as opportunity permits.
Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, Irvine, Torrance and Santa Ana, CA (33.42%); St. Mary’s, GA (15.76%); Brigham City, UT (15.76%); Cape Canaveral, FL (11.89%); Silverdale and Nepoulsbo, WA (10.5%); Gainsville, VA (2.34%); Kingsport, TN (1.65%); and miscellaneous sites throughout the U.S. (9.3%). Contract funds in the amount of $247.6 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, and work is expected to be complete by September 2010. US Strategic Systems Programs in Arlington, VA issued the contract.
SSBN-730 Class, tubes open
A Lockheed Martin release explains that work under the contract will include D5 production support, including reentry system hardware, and operations and maintenance to support the readiness and reliability of missile systems aboard SSBN-730 Ohio/Henry M. Jackson Class submarines and at on-shore facilities. Tory Bruno, vice president of Strategic Missile Programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, was quoted as saying that “Our work in the coming years will span research and development, design, production, testing, operations and maintenance on this important Navy program.”
Michelin Aircraft Tire Company LLC in Greenville, SC received a minimum $368.4 million fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for tires supplied to the US Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Locations of performance are Moorestown, NJ; Hebron, CT; Akron, OH; Nashville, TN; and Lawrence, NY. There were 23 proposals solicited and 2 responded. Date of performance completion is December 28, 2011. Contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC) in Columbus, OH (SPM7L10-07-D-7001).
This contract will actually privatize the production and logistics for aircraft tires, and is valued at up to $700 million over 10 years if all options are exercised. See the US DLA’s January 10, 2007 release “First tire contracts to save taxpayers more than $172 million” for some descriptions of how the DLA/DSSC and the various military services reached this point.
Michelin will not be the only major player in this effort. Lockheed Martin will act as a subcontractor to Michelin to manage the logistics and warehousing for all tires used. This work is valued at approximately 15% of the contract value (calculates to $55.2 million now, up to $105 million over 10 years), and includes demand forecasting, inventory management, warehousing and transportation. Logistics analysts in the command center forecast requirements, process orders, monitor warehouse operations, track shipments and operate a 24/7 call center with Lockheed Martin’s SCM+(TM) supply chain management system. With SCM+(TM), management is performed on an exceptions basis with more than 95% of orders processed without human intervention. Lockheed Martin will manage the USAF’s global supply chain from its lifetime support command center in Moorestown, NJ; Michelin and Lockheed Martin have provided similar services to the U.S. Navy for its aircraft tires since 2001. See Lockheed Martin release | Follow on $1.7 billion contract for all US military services issued on January 25, 2007.
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Linthicum Heights, MD received a $99.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for “government furnished property for the Government of Pakistan” under the F-16 Block 50/52 new aircraft and modernization program. “The procurement of 54 AN/APG-68 (V)9 Radar Systems will be accomplished under the firm-fixed-price portion of the contract.” At this time, $49.75 million have been obligated, and work will be complete May 2010. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8615-07-C-6033).
Elbit Systems and General Dynamics’ MOWAG subsidiary have signed a contract valued at EUR 44.8 Million (currently about $58 Million) to equip Belgium’s initial set of 138 Piranha III wheeled armored personnel carriers (similar to the Stryker /LAV-III base platform). The ORCWS-30 Overhead Remote Control Weapon Station shares a number of features with the RAFAEL RCWS-30 mounted on Czech Pandurs, including stabilization for firing on the move, missile options, and fold-flat features for air transport; but it isn’t the same system.
UPDATE: DID has talked to MOWAG. This Elbit Systems order covers only 32 ORCWS-30s for the Piranha III C30s, plus electro-optical systems (i.e. thermal sights et, al.) and electronics for the entire Belgian Piranha III fleet.