In July 2005, Lead Systems Integrators (LSI) Boeing and SAIC awarded 4 contracts to 3 premier industry partners for the first phase of development for 2 classes of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. The contracts range in value from $3 million to $5 million, and the UAVs were slated for fielding in 2014 with the first fully-equipped FCS brigade-sized combat teams.
Or not. A January 9, 2007 release from US Army indicates that its Class II and Class III UAV programs are not slated for deployment, and existing UAVs (the RQ-7 Shadow and Warrior / ERMP UAV currently in development) would fill those roles. This is extremely bad news for rotorcraft manufacturer Piasecki, who was hoping for a win to bring its innovative rotary technologies into the mainstream and give the firm itself the same kind of “serious presence status” accorded its founder. The decision will also have an impact on other firms, and it’s worth a quick look at the new and existing UAVs affected by this move:
Global Linguistic Solutions LLC in Springfield, VA received a delivery order amount of $49 million as part of a recent big $4.65 billion contract win for translation services. Work will be performed in Iraq and any related mission location, and is expected to be complete by Dec. 8, 2011. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on June 29, 2006, and 3 bids were received by the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command in Fort Belvoir, VA (W911W4-07-D-0001).
N.B. DID believes the Pentagon meant to say “Global Linguistic Solutions LLC,” instead of “Global Language Systems L.L.C.” in their release, and has presented this article as such. Jabra Gheim has some impressive translation qualifications and excellent testimonials; he both trains US personnel and creates standard training material at the Defense Language Institute and West Point Academy. Still, a $4.65 billion contract vehicle is pretty unique.
CENTCOM’s other front was not neglected, nor was Guantanamo Bay…
Force Protection Industries Inc. in Ladson, SC received an estimated $9.4 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for 15 Joint Explosive Ordnance Disposal Rapid Response Vehicles (JERRV, aka. Cougar) with associated manuals, deployment kits, and training. The V-hulled, blast-resistant vehicles will be deployed to and supported in Iraq.
Work will be preformed in Iraq, and is expected to be complete April 2008. “This contract is a sole source award based on an urgent and compelling need for the government.” The Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA issued the contract (M67854-07-D-5015).