July 2/07: The GM-GDLS Defense Group L.L.C. Joint Venture in Sterling Heights, MI receives a delivery order amount of $256.9 million as part of a $5.41 billion firm-fixed-price contract for Stryker family vehicles based on the General Dynamics Mowag LAV-III. Work will be performed in Sterling Heights, MI (60%), and London, Ontario, Canada (40%), and is expected to be complete by Jan. 31, 2010. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on April 6, 2000, and 17 bids were received by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI (DAAE07-00-D-M051).
A General Dynamics release adds that this 165-vehicle order calls for 31 Stryker ICV M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicles, 25 Stryker RV M1127 Reconnaissance Vehicles, 19 Stryker MC M1129 Mortar Carriers, 46 Stryker CV M1130 Command Vehicles, 14 Stryker FSV M1131 Fire Support Vehicles, 11 Stryker ESV M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicles, and 19 Stryker MEDEVAC M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicles. Additionally, the delivery order calls for 88 Kongsberg Protector Remote Weapons Stations in the Block II Configuration.
General Dynamics subsidiary Electric Boat Corp. in Groton, CT received a $116.4 million modification to previously awarded contract for lead yard services, and for development studies and design efforts, related to the US Navy’s new SSN-774 Virginia Class attack submarines. Under the terms of this modification, the company will update and support design drawings and data for each Virginia Class submarine, including technology insertion, throughout its construction and PSA. Electric Boat also will provide all engineering and related lead-yard services necessary for maintenance and support of Virginia-class submarine specifications. Finally, GDEB will conduct development studies supporting the submarine’s design and design improvements, preliminary and detail component and system design, and integration of design, test, logistics, production and system engineering. The data collected during the studies will be used to identify and evaluate potential technologies for insertion into future Virginia Class submarines.
Work will be performed in Groton, CT (97 percent); Newport, RI (2%); and Quonset, RI (1%), and is expected to be complete by October 2007. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., issued this contract. A July 2007 General Dynamics release states that the contract will be worth $890 million if all options are exercised and funded; the total period of performance is through September 2009. The contract was initially awarded in October 2005, and previous contracts under the N00024-05-C-2103 designation have included:
$ 61.5 million – Sept 27/06
$ 30.6 million – June 8/06, targeted to design improvements
DID usually restricts its coverage to procurements, but issues of doctrine and lessons and innovations from the field also qualify. Drawing conclusions from exercises is always tricky, and can never replace combat experience. Even so, in the absence of state-on-state conflicts, the expansion of multi-national training (where “gaming” is less likely) occasionally offers an interesting window into platform capabilities and national trends. With a number of air forces around the world contemplating their future fighter options, and India emphasizing the value of force multiplier/ force projection platforms in its air force, the matchups at Exercise Indra Dhanush 2007 at Waddington, UK are worth our time.
While SU-30Ks have faced USAF F-15Cs and F-16s at COPE India 2004 and COPE India 2005, Indra Dhanush 2007 featured more advanced combatants on both sides. On one side is Britain’s Eurofighter Typhoon, whose advanced aerodynamics and intuitive controls and avionics have led to studies like the UK DERA rating it as the second-best air superiority aircraft in the world. Its supporting cast includes 1980s era Tornado F3 air defense variants, and upgraded GR9 Harriers from the Royal Navy. On the other side is India’s SU-30MKI, the most evolved variant of Sukhoi’s outstanding Flanker family, with aerodynamics that allow unique maneuvers, and full thrust vectoring besides.