On February 26, 2007, “MRAP: Survivable Rides, Start Rolling” opened a window into the USA’s Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected Vehicle competition for at least 4,100 vehicles to supplement vulnerable Hummers on today’s non-linear battlefield. A similar “early order for the front” trio of delivery orders was issued on February 23, 2007, and DID is now able to offer full details re: the specific vehicles ordered for front-line deployment.
Winners included Oshkosh Truck (Category I patrol vehicle), Protected Vehicles, Inc. (Category II JERRV), and the General Dynamics Land Systems/BAE OMC partnership (both categories).
On March 4, 2007, Jiang Enzhu, the Deputy Secretary General and spokesman for the National People’s Congress, announced that China’s official military budget would grow 17.8% this year, to $45 billion. This continues a trend covered in 2006 and 2005, and will mark the 19th consecutive year of double-digit military budget growth in the “People’s Republic” of China.
As in the Soviet Union, however, the official budget and the real budget are not the same thing. Many items are hidden under other ministries, or simply not reported truthfully. RAND’s Project Air Force, which has also studied China’s arms industry modernization, estimated the 2004 Chinese military budget at $65-79 billion in FY 2001 dollars; at 2% inflation, this would equal $76-86 billion in FY 2006 dollars. Sources discussed in our 2006 article were closer to $100 billion, which is in agreement since increases of 12% and then 14.7% give an FY 2006 range of $96-110 billion with 2% inflation. The FY 2007 range would be $115-130 billion, given another 17.8% increase. Other analyses have placed China’s real defense budget at up to 4x official spending, in which case actual Chinese defense spending could be as high as $180 billion for FY 2007.
Regardless of the exact figure, officials from the US Pentagon and from India’s RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) intelligence service now agree that the Chinese defense budget is now the second largest in the world. For a set of additional links & resources concerning China’s socio-economic, geo-political and military plans, challenges, and issues, see: “China’s Stresses, Goals, Military Buildups… and Futures” at Winds of Change.NET.
Russia’s RIA Novosti reports that state-owned jet maker RSK MiG now owns a 100% stake in Klimov, whose gas-turbine engines equip 95% of Russian helicopters, as well as the MiG-29/35 fighter; a Klimov engine was also intended to power the Pakistani JF-17. Novosti adds:
“President Vladimir Putin signed the corresponding resolution in line with plans to set up the United Aircraft Building Corporation (UABC), which will be a majority state-owned corporation consolidating aircraft building companies and state assets engaged in the manufacture, design and sale of military, non-military, transport and unmanned aircraft in a bid to streamline the aviation industry.”
In December 2005, this article reported that Israeli firm Elbit Systems Ltd. has signed a EUR 57.3 million ($70 million) contract for a helicopter upgrade program with the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense. The program included upgrades for 12 MI-24 Hind combat helicopters and 6 MI-17 Hip transport helicopters to comply with NATO standards. The program was expected to be performed over a three-year period, and would be executed with the participation of Bulgarian aerospace and defense industries. See complete news release [PDF format]
Elbit Systems was chosen as the contractor for the repair of the helicopters in competition with British BAE Systems and French Sagem. A March 5, 2007 Elbit release, however, notes that the project has been canceled by mutual agreement, and a settlement reached…
Warmar International Inc. in Simi Valley, CA won a $37.7 million firm-fixed-price contract for site assessment, inspection, repair, and refurbishment of GE Frame MS5001 Gas Turbine Units and associated auxiliaries at the old and new Mullah Power Station in Kirkuk, Iraq. GE turbines are nomally referred to as MS5001, MS5002 etc., where the 5 is the Frame size and the 1 or 2 is the number of turbine shafts.
Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There were an unknown number of bids solicited via the World Wide Web on Dec. 23, 2006, and four bids were received. The Joint Contracting Command, Baghdad, Iraq, is the contracting activity (W91GXY-07-C-0009).
Small business qualifier the Shavers-Whittle Construction in Covington, LA received the full delivery order amount of $13 million as part of a firm-fixed-price contract for Southeastern Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project bridge replacement in Jefferson Parish, LA.
Work is expected to be completed by Apr. 8, 2009. There were 8 bids solicited on Dec. 29, 2006, and 3 bids were received by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans, LA (W912P8-06-D-0092).