On July 20/07, SAIC went public with the news that the personal information of certain uniformed service members, family members, and others was found at risk of potential compromise while being processed by SAIC under several health care contracts for the Department of Defense (DoD). The information was held on a single, SAIC-owned File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server at a small SAIC location in Shalimar, FL, and was used for work being done in connection with the TRICARE health benefits program for the uniformed services, retirees and their families. The server was not behind a firewall, did not contain adequate password protections, and sometimes transmitted unencrypted files over the Internet. SAIC stopped using this server when security concerns were raised, and has conducted a forensic audit. The audit does not indicate that the information was ever compromised – but this is one of those “absence of proof is not proof of absence” situations.
SAIC is notifying approximately 580,000 households, some with more than one affected person. There are a total of some 867,000 unique individuals in these households, including minors and infants. The firm is also taking an intelligent approach to crisis response & correction, with a full mini-site covering the situation, a company-wide team to coordinate both the internal response and assistance for those involved, and the services of Kroll, Inc.’s IDTheftSmart identity restoration service on retainer for all families affected. See also Tricare MA release.
Israel Aerospace Industries’ Tamam Division has won a $15 million contract to supply electro-optical observation systems to the Israeli Navy as part of a comprehensive upgrade. The systems are based on the POP (Plug-in Optronic Payload) and MiniPOP systems, which will be integrated with ship weapons and navigation systems to improve the vessels’ battle capabilities, and allow 24/7, all-weather operations. IAI release.
IAI’s POP and MiniPOP systems are based on unique designs combining a plug-in “slice” system within a gyroscopically stabilized unit. The plug-in principle is the basis for system upgrades and improvements using more sophisticated electro-optical sensors, as the payload is able to host different slices containing a variety of sensor combinations such as Focal Plane Array (FPA) Thermal Imager (IR), color CCD, Laser Pointer and Laser range finder. The “slice” can be easily replaced in the field within minutes, without the need for special calibration or adjustment. POP family systems are typically used on aircraft, on UAVs, or mounted on small ships.
Lockheed Martin announced 2 U.S. Navy contracts worth $20.6 million to provide integration engineering and engineering support to Navy ship upgrades installing the AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 undersea warfare system. Under the terms of the contracts, AEGIS-equipped cruisers and destroyers will be updated to the latest AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 configuration. The U.S. Navy’s goal is to achieve a single, common configuration to reduce system life cycle costs, while allowing for faster improvements. To that end, the latest version employs an open architecture approach using state-of-the-art commercial computing technology rather than custom-designed military-specific components, in order to achieve major performance gains over previous designs at reduced cost.
Lockheed Martin retains its teaming arrangement with Advanced Acoustic Concepts, Inc., a key developer and integrator of many of the functional performance improvements to the AN/SQQ-89 since 1999, and of the system’s test bed. Lockheed Martin’s Undersea Systems facility in Syracuse, NY and Advanced Acoustic Concepts, Inc. in Uniontown, PA, will manage the contracts,
In service for over 25 years, the AN/SQQ-89 is the undersea warfare combat system installed on all of the Navy’s CG-47 Ticonderoga Class cruisers and DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers. Using a variety of underwater sensors including a hull-mounted sonar, a towed array sonar, a sonobuoy processing system, et. al. the system detects, classifies and localizes submarines and other undersea threats. It is integrated with the Lockheed Martin-produced AEGIS Combat System, providing a fire-control system to launch weapons against undersea targets it finds. Lockheed Martin release.
According to Federal Sources, Inc., registered service-disabled veteran-owned businesses have doubled from 3,200 to 6,400 since October 2004, when President Bush signed an executive order that required agencies to implement a strategy designed to reach the government-wide 3% goal for contract awards. Yet obstacles remain.
By 2005, Defense was awarding awards about $514 million a year to service-disabled veterans, or about 0.3% of total contracting dollars. While that value had more than doubled since 2003, and had doubled again to about $1 billion by July 2007, the 3% goal remains a long way away. In response, the General Service Administration (GSA) and Veteran’s affairs are using education, web-based directories, and outreach efforts to narrow the gap.