Western militaries have have increasingly adopted vehicles designed from the outset for blast-resistance against land mines and even car bombs. A collective realization is sinking in that up-armoring flat-bottomed vehicles which aren’t designed to take that kind of weight, and which have strict limits on the level of protection they can ever provide, is an inadequate response. While existing vehicles will remain in inventory, patrol vehicles will and do need more. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the USA has fielded thousands of up-armored Hummers as a stopgap measure, even though their design is the very definition of the problems described above. In fairness, it has also placed hundreds of orders for genuinely blast-resistant vehicles like Force Protection’s Cougar and Buffalo, Textron’s M1117 Guardian ASV for its military police, and BAE OMC’s smaller RG-31 Nyala/Charger.
USMC RG-31, IEDed in Iraq (click to view story)
In late December, the US military stepped up the pace and announced a new program called MRAP, a tri-service procurement effort that could end up fielding 4,100 or more Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicles in both patrol and squad carrier sizes. There were 9 approved competitors, and DID will cover the entire competition very soon – but even before testing has begun, Valentine’s Day 2007 orders went out to BAE Systems and Force Protection. These vehicles won’t be headed for the test range, but for the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. BAE’s newest offering is about to receive its trial by fire.
IAF: Jaguar, Mirage 2000 SU-30K, MiG-27, MiG-21 BiS
Replacing India’s rapidly aging military aviation assets will cost at least $35 billion over the next quarter century to bring its air force, army and navy aircraft up to date, according to India Strategic Defense Magazine. The magazine was released by IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal S. P. Tyagi during the Aero India air show that ran between February 7-11, 2007 at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bangalore, India. Aviation manufacturers from Russia, the European Community, Brazil, and the United States were all there vying for a piece of the potentially huge market. See the full India Defence Article, and also their coverage of the Aero India 2007 defense exhibition.
Defense Update covers the UAE’s IDEX 2007 show, which ended last Thursday. IDEX is the premier Middle East arms exhibition, and one that is growing in both size and global prominence given regional spending trends. During the show, the UAE Armed Forces announced that it has signed deals with worth over 1.34 billion Dirhams (currently about $360 million) with local and international companies. The UAE’s defense procurement process is widely respected, and carries influence beyond its borders. Announcements included:
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in Linthicum Heights, MD received a $10.8 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for vehicular intercom systems. Work will be performed in Linthicum, MD and is expected to be complete by July 31, 2008. This was a sole source contract initiated on Jan. 25, 2007 by the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command in Fort Monmouth, NJ (W15P7T-06-C-L010).
Caterpillar Defense and Federal Products in Peoria, IL received a delivery order amount of $22.5 million as part of a $143.2 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The work involves a service life extension program (SLEP) for construction equipment.
Work will be performed in Peoria, IL and is expected to be complete by Aug. 15, 2007. This was a sole source contract initiated on Aug. 7, 2000 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI (DAAE07-01-D-T030).
The tanks may grab the spotlight, but in any war, you’d better believe it’s the trucks taking most of the beating from daily use. Oshkosh Truck Corporation recently announced a $22 million delivery order for Theater Provided Equipment Refurbishment (TPER) of Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicle trucks under a 4-year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. The initial delivery quantity is for 319 units and covers its PLS, HEMTT and HET trucks/ trailers located in Southwest Asia. The scope of work carried out by Oshkosh will include both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance as part of the ongoing support.
Work will be performed in Oshkosh’s facility in Jahra, Kuwait, and the effort is classed as an urgent requirement to repair incoming tactical equipment and return it to full mission operability. Oshkosh has had over 400 personnel deployed in theater at various times, as part of maintenance and spares efforts, up-armoring ramp-ups, et. al.
Raytheon Electronics Systems in Goleta, CA received a $6.3 million firm-fixed-price delivery order against previously issued basic ordering agreement # N00019-05-G-0008. It covers one-time effecorts to develop a Forward Enhanced Integrated Antenna Detector (EIAD) and an Aft Enhanced Antenna Detector (EAD) in support of F/A-18A/B aircraft flown by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the F/A-18C/Ds of the Finnish Air Force. The RAAF will receive 2 engineering development models and 20 EIAD/EAD. Work will be performed in Lansdale, PA (91.2%); and Goleta, CA (0.8%); and is expected to be complete in August 2008. This contract combines purchases for the RAAF ($5.3 million/ 84%) and the Finnish Air Force, ($ million/ 16%) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
These EIAD/EADs are generally integrated into radar warning receivers, which tell a pilot if nearby radars are active and in range to target him; they are most likely a part of the RAAF’s HUG Hornet upgrade program for part of the RAAF fleet.
General Atomics in San Diego, CA is best known for UAVs like the Predator these days – but that isn’t all they do. The firm is also well known for designing power distribution systems used by the US Navy on its aircraft carriers; other specialties include nuclear fuel cycle work, airborne sensors, and advanced electric, electronic, wireless and laser technologies.
The firm recently received a $10.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to research and develop Integrated Power Systems (IPS). IPS provides total ship electric power including electric propulsion, power conversion and distribution, combat system support and mission load interfaces to electric power systems. This is a trend in ship construction…
United Technologies in East Hartford, CT won a maximum $169.8 million firm fixed price contract for engine lines; they will be provided to the US Navy and US Air Force. Its Pratt & Whitney subsidiaries are engine manufacturers, and their products power a wide variety of USAF and Navy aircraft and helicopters; they also manufactures marine generators and turbines.
This is an indefinite quantity corporate contract exercising the 3rd option period; there were 2 proposals solicited and 1 responded. The date of performance completion is Feb. 15, 2008. The Defense Supply Center Richmond in Richmond, VA issued the contract (SPM400-01-D-9405).
Northrop Grumman Information Technology Inc. in Reston, VA received an $8.8 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for deployment, operation, and maintenance services in support of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LiNX) System. LInX provides participating law enforcement agencies with secure access to regional crime and incident data and the tools needed to process it, enabling local, state, and federal investigators to search across jurisdictional boundaries to help solve crimes and resolve suspicious events.
This contract includes a basic ordering period and 4 one-year option periods, which would bring the total estimated value of the contract to $47.3 million if exercised. Work will be performed in Reston, VA (20%) and various US locations (80%), and the basic ordering period is to be complete by October 2007. This contract was awarded competitively through Navy Electronic Commerce Online, with 4 offers received by the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, Norfolk, Contracting Department Philadelphia Division (N00189-07-D-Z016).