The Orbital Express advanced technology demonstration couples a prototype servicing satellite (ASTRO) and a surrogate next generation serviceable satellite (NextSat). Together, they are meant to test robotic, autonomous, on-orbit refueling and reconfiguration of satellites. If that were possible, it would mean faster, less risky missions to maintain and extend the lives of America’s critical military satellite fleet – and the technology would have more than a few civilian/NASA uses, as well.
As part of that overall program, Lockheed Martin just announced a $59.4 million U.S. Navy Foreign Military Sales contract to provide the helicopters with Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)/Electronic Support Measure (ESM) systems derived from its AN/ALQ-210 system, which will also be deployed on the US Navy’s new MH-60R multi-mission naval helicopters. The ALQ-210 passively detects, identifies and geo-locates hostile ground-based and airborne radar transmitters, and the systems provided to Canada’s Department of National Defence will also feature new functionality designed to meet specific Canadian Forces requirements.
Small business qualifier Colt Defense LLC in Hartford, CT received the full delivery order amount of $50.8 million as part of a firm-fixed-price contract for M4 and M4A1 carbines. The M4 is a modernized form of the M16 rifle used by the US Army. It’s designed to accommodate a lot of different attachments, and is sometimes referred to in military-speak as an “M4 modular weapons system”.
Work will be performed in Hartford, CT and is expected to be complete by July 30, 2008. This was a sole source contract initiated on Feb. 16, 2007 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Rock Island, IL (W52H09-04-D-0086).
Spacesaver Storage Systems, Inc. in Fort Atkinson, WI received an estimated maximum value $129.4 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for weapons cabinets and associated accessories. This contract contains options which, if exercised, will bring the cumulative value of the contract to $244.3 million. Work will be performed in Fort Atkinson, WI and is expected to be complete by April 2012.
This contract was competitively procured via GSA’s E-Buy website, with 1 offer received by the Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA (M67854-07-D-1092). Note that “Fort Atkinson” is a city, not a military post. Spacesavers also won a much smaller $5.1 million contract in October 2005 for Universal Weapons Racks, used in armories throughout the Marine Corps to store and transport a variety of Marine Corps infantry weapons and associated equipment.
“The Coast Guard’s March 14, 2007 statement RE: FRC-B’s removal from Integrated Coast Guard Systems’ purview was careful to note that “…this decision pertains only to the acquisition of patrol boats and does not impact ongoing negotiations with ICGS for other work to be done in the second performance period of the Deepwater contract, beginning June 2007.” Nevertheless, the Blueprint for Acquisition Reform that Adm. Allen discussed with Congress on February 8, 2007 definitely lays the groundwork for further shifts if performance does not improve…The one essential truth behind all of these maneuvers is the US Coast Guard’s serious and growing need to replace worn equipment. All else is ultimately variable; the Coast Guard must and will do whatever it takes to secure the confidence and funding it needs, in order to address that underlying truth.”
That assessment appears to be borne out by the April 17, 2007 announcement that the US Coast Guard is taking over the lead integrator role for the entire Deepwater suite of acquisitions. Admiral Thad Allen:
Most short range air-air missiles (SRAAMs), and even some medium-range missiles like the French MICA and Russian AA-10/R-27 variants use some variant of infrared guidance, homing in on heat differentials produced by a target’s exhaust or even just air friction against its surface. The IR sensors are mounted in the nose of the missile, and if you look closely you’ll see that they’re behind a transparent “dome.” Creating those domes is a challenging materials task: give us something that lets as much IR radiation as possible in without distortion, but protects everything inside the missile from the buffeting and heat created during the missile’s own Mach 3+ flight and violent turns.
Raytheon Co. in Tewksbury, MA just received a $7.5 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for building engineered nano-composite oxides for high durability missile domes. The objective is to develop processing methods for the manufacture of IR transport domes capable of higher speed operation and greater particle impact resistance than sapphire, the current material choice.
This contract contains options which, if exercised, will bring the cumulative value of this contract to $14.4 million. Work will be performed in Tewksbury, MA, and is expected to be complete by October 2008. Contract funds in the amount of $3.9 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with 2 offers received. The Office of Naval Research in Arlington, VA (N00014-07-C-00037).
Special Applications Group, LLC in Tampa, FL received a maximum $150 million firm-fixed price and cost indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract. In return, they will provide technical, engineering, logistics, and program management services in support of United States Special Operations Command’s (US SOCOM) Special Operations Aviation Training company, Technology Applications program office, and Systems Integration and Maintenance office. Work will primarily be performed at Fort Campbell, KY, and is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2011 (H92241-070C-0008).
If you want to keep track of key Pentagon programs, Selected Acquisition Reports are an important resource. Shortly after the defense budget is submitted, the Pentagon releases details on major defense acquisition program cost, schedule, and performance changes on a periodic basis, summarizing the latest estimates of a major program’s cost, schedule, and technical status. Quarterly SARs are submitted for initial reports, final reports, and for programs that are rebaselined at major milestone decisions. Subsequent quarterly exception reports are required only for those programs experiencing unit cost increases of at least 15% or schedule delays of at least 6 months.
Total program cost estimates provided in the SARs include research and development, procurement, military construction, and acquisition-related operation and maintenance (except for pre-Milestone B programs which are development costs only). Total program costs reflect actual costs to date, as well as future anticipated costs, and include anticipated inflation allowances.
Allied Container Systems, Inc. in Pleasant Hill, CA won a ceiling price $461.6 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to produce, test, install and deliver the Combined Arms Military Operations in Urban Terrain (CAMOUT) training system at the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, CA. Allied will perform a mix of design, fabrication, installation, integration, verification and fielding of the CAMOUT.
Work will be performed in Twentynine Palms, CA (60%) and Pleasant Hill, CA (40%), and is expected to be complete April 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $19.1 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured through full and open competition, with 5 offers received by the Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, VA (M67854-07-D-8000).
On April 11, 2007, Canadian Minister of Gordon O’Connor announced a $30 million (currently about $26.3 million) contract award to General Dynamics Canada for Vital Point Biological Agent Detection, Sampling and Identification (VP Bio Sentry) systems. The General Dynamics system has been designed to detect aerosolized biological agents within seconds, providing soldiers time to don protective equipment, as well as providing critical identification information to help mitigate the effects of exposure.
It’s based on leading-edge, real-time detection technology developed in collaboration with Defence Research and Development Canada in Suffield, Alberta, and combined with rapid identification technology…