The UK Ministry of Defence has signed a partnering contract with Rolls-Royce worth up to GBP 1 billion over 10 years to provide through-life support of the pressurized water nuclear reactors on board the Royal Navy’s nuclear powered submarines. The Flotilla Reactor Plant Support contract covers all aspects of support to the Nuclear Steam Raising Plants of the SSN Swiftsure Class and SSN Trafalgar Class fleet submarines (Pressurised Water Reactor Mk1), and to the new SSN Astute Class fleet and SSBN Vanguard Class ballistic submarines (Pressurised Water Reactor Mk2, removes the need to refuel the reactor during its service life).
It’s not the size of the sub that counts…OK, it is
No, not Tango Uniform – Tango Bravo, as in “technology barriers.” The Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plan to pour $97 million between 2004-2009 into a new joint project known as Tango Bravo, asks what technologies would be required for a new attack submarine that could have all the capabilities of the current Virginia Class boats, but at half the size and half the build cost. As a comparison, SSN-774 Virginia Class attack submarines are 377 feet in length, and have a 34-foot beam. They cost approximately $2.0-2.5 billion each.
Tango Bravo grew out of a joint Navy-DARPA study that ended in May 2004. It looked at a number of factors that affect the size and cost of hull, mechanical and electrical systems on a submarine. Led by Naval Sea Systems Command’s Program Executive Officer for Submarines, Tango Bravo is a demonstration project aimed at bringing fundamental change to future U.S. submarines, while maintaining or improving their current capabilities. This updated DID Focus Article offers a snapshot of DARPA’s program, and looks at the contracts and winners that are beginning to shake out…
America’s recently-passed 2007 supplemental defense funding bill (#2) included $320 million for an unusual weapon: biometrics. Fingerprinting, iris scanning, certain approaches to automated facial recognition, DNA, and more are all part of biometrics, which seeks to identify humans based on unique physical characteristics.
Back in May 2005, “Biometric Access Card Project Underway for Iraq” shed light on biometrics’ increase use for defensive purposes; funding for those kinds of projects has continued, including research into fast, high-volume technologies and systems for National Guard units. What’s changing is the use of biometrics for offensive purposes as an integral tool in military operations, as opposed to just a defensive system for military installations. This requires a lot more interoperability and software bridging between systems, of course, in order to work. WIRED’s Danger Room e-zine covers the shift within Iraq, from operations in Baqubah to end-runs around the bureaucracy in order to get necessary equipment to warfighters. Read “Baqubah’s Biometric Squeeze” for more links and info… and see also these front-line reports:
San Diego State University Foundation in San Diego, CA received a $9.1 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract with a time and materials pricing arrangement to procure analytical and technical support services from undergraduate and graduate level students in the following disciplines: 1) electrical engineering, computer engineering, mathematics, physics, and statistics; 2) computer science and information systems; 3) mechanical engineering and fluid mechanics; and, 4) public health, exercise physiology, psychology, social science, biology and chemistry. The students will support a wide variety of research and development projects at the Naval Health Research Center, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego (SSC San Diego).
This is a 5-year contract that contains no options. Work will be performed in San Diego, CA and is expected to be completed July 2012. This contract was competitively procured under solicitation N66001-07-R-0016 via publication on the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central and Federal Business Opportunities web sites. Competition was limited to educational institutions in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-3, and 1 proposal was received. SSC San Diego is the contracting activity (N66001-07-D-0016).