The US DSCA has formally announced [PDF] Morocco’s request for 60 M109A5 155mm self-propelled howitzers, 30 HMMWV engines, 233 wheel assemblies, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, Quality Assurance Team support services, U.S. Government logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $29 million; if no Congressional opposition blocks the proposed sale within 30 days, the parties will be free to finalize a contract and complete the procurement.
There will be a U.S. Government Quality Assurance Team in country for 1 year to check out the equipment. A Technical Assistance Field Team also will participate for 2-week intervals twice annually, to participate in program management and technical reviews.
Morocco currently operates earlier version M109A1B self-propelled howitzers, and will use this new procurement to retire older artillery pieces and modernize its Army’s fire support capability. On the US end, the equipment is considered long supply and is no longer utilized by the U.S. Government. The M109A5 stops short of the full M109A6 ‘Paladin’ upgrade fielded with many US units, but it does feature a number of electronics and mechanical improvements. With Morocco’s neighbor and rival Algeria in the middle of a $7.5 billion Russian arms buy, the country is looking to make judicious purchases that upgrade its own capabilities – French Rafale jets are also rumored to be in the pipeline.
The Upgraded M36E3 Thermal Sight System is designed to improve the USMC’s AAV7 “Amtracs” amphibious vehicles; as Military Aerospace & Electronics notes, the Amtracs don’t have thermal sights. Instead, the current system employs image intensifier (aka. “starlight scope”) technology that amplifies existing light and has a range of less than 1 km (0.6 miles). Nor do current sights provide the ability to see through smoke, fog, sand or other obscurants to visible light.
The work-in-progress Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle will include far superior optics, but the Marines can’t wait that long. With Amtracs being pressed into service as armored personnel carriers far inland in theaters like Iraq, that’s a serious handicap. The replacement AAV7A1 day/night sight must provide daylight as well as nighttime sighting ability to detect targets to 4.7 km/ 3 miles, recognize targets to 2.5 km/ 1.5 miles, and identify targets at 700 m. See full solicitation specifications [HTML | MS Word].
It would appear that procurement in earnest is now underway…
The USA has moved very slowly to give its forces mine-protected vehicles, but when it finally did move, the move has been dramatic. The $8.4 billion, 7,774 vehicle, 5-service (Army, Navy, USAF, Marines, SOCOM) MRAP Program has seen FY 2007 funding rise to $4.9 billion, and as of July 31/07, 5,621 orders have already been issued for MRAP CAT-I MRUV patrol vehicles and the larger CAT-II JERRV squad vehicles. With over 70% of orders already placed, an additional Army request in the works, and Explosively-Formed Penetrator (EFP) land mines upping the ante in Iraq, a next step was needed.
The group is also working on an update that will list the earmark recipients named in the required disclosure letters. See also “House FY 2008 Defense Budget Earmarks: Excerpts” for our coverage and background/explanation for the defense earmarks highlighted in a previous TCS press release.
Textron Land Systems’ M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle has already been disqualified from the USA’s MRAP competition, though purchases for American military police continue. Now Oshkosh Truck’s Category 1 partnership with Protected Vehicles, Inc. to produce the Alpha may have joined the casualty list, in the wake of testing at Aberdeen. The Alpha vehicle was a partnership with PVI and Battelle, whose ShieldAll(TM) ceramic armoring has reportedly survived recent testing against EFP land mines. The 13-ton Alpha was one of the 6+ person CAT I patrol vehicle’s heavier entries, but it had been an early winner in the MRAP field thanks to a 100 “low risk” rapid-fielding order on Feb 14/07 before testing had commenced. A July 12/07 DefenseLink announcement listed a revised contract completion time frame of July 2007 for this order.
Bloomberg’s July 27/07 article “Oshkosh Mine-Resistant Truck Rejected By Pentagon” excerpts a June 29/07 letter from the Marine Corps to Oshkosh Truck official Moss Ruedinger – and has significant implications for both Oshkosh and PVI going forward…
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii in Pearl Harbor, HI have awarded 5 firm-fixed price multiple award indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contracts for various construction projects within the state of Hawaii. The total contract amount is not to exceed $200 million for new construction, repair, alteration, and related demolition of existing infrastructure based on design build, modified design build or full plans and specifications for Department of Defense infrastructure in Hawaii.
The term of the contract is not to exceed 5 years, with an expected completion date of August 2012 (August 2008 for the base period). Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was issued as a Section 8(a) small business set-aside with 44 solicitations distributed, and 12 proposals received. These 5 winners may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract:
American Piping & Boiler Co. in Kapolei, Hawaii (N62478-07-D-4003)
RMA Land Construction in Brea, CA (N62478-07-D-4004)
Niking Corp. in Wahiawa, Hawaii (N62478-07-D-4005)
Standard Sheetmetal & Mechanical, Inc. in Honolulu, Hawaii (N62478-07-D-4006)
Su-Mo Builders, Inc./NAN, Inc. Joint Venture in Honolulu, Hawaii (N62478-07-D-4007)
“…The positive influence of airlift on counterinsurgent morale and confidence is also well documented and strategically important… Very quickly, a conventional theater airlift fleet can run out of “tails” to support such dispersed operations …a counterinsurgent airlift effort likely will include a greater proportion of small-scale, quick-response military missions overshadowed by the possibility of encountering serious air defense threats… The U.S. armed forces’ experience with the C-7 Caribou… provides an instructive precedent… the C-7 possessed a unique combination of moderate speed, economy of operation, and the ability to take off and land on rough fields that …proved to be enormously valuable in Vietnam… there may be a need to refill the C-7’s operational niche. However, this need should be understood as a shortfall in capability… two general program goals that DoD should emphasize…
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) is part of an integrated aerospace cluster that is being assembled at Dubai World Central – the new 140 square kilometer airport and logistics city being constructed at Jebel Ali, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. The firm is made up of 6 divisions – DAE Airports, DAE Capital, DAE Engineering, DAE Manufacturing, DAE Services, and DAE University. Dubai has long since taken over from Lebanon as the business and financial center of the Middle East, however, and DAW sees growing regional and global opportunities in the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) business.
Which may explain the formal completion of DAE’s $1.9 billion acquisition of aviation service providers Standard Aero and Landmark Aviation from The Carlyle Group.
They’ve also just announced the selection of 29 firms for award under the maximum $50 billion Alliant Governmentwide Acquisition Contract. The Alliant umbrella contract provides all US federal government agencies, including the Pentagon, with a centralized source to acquire integrated Information Technology (IT) solutions worldwide. The contract has a 5-year base period with a 5-year option period, and replaces two similar contracts set to expire: Millenia, and ANSWER (Applications ‘N Support for Widely diverse End user Requirements)…
York International Corp. in York, PA received a $47.9 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of up to 40 x 200-ton DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyer Air Conditioning Plant kits, 19 x 200-ton CG-47 Ticonderoga Class cruiser Conversion Kits, 9 x 125-ton LSD-41 Whidbey Island Class amphibious transport Conversion Kits, and 6 x 300-ton LHD-1 Wasp Class amphibious air/assault ship Air Conditioning Kits, with associated equipment and support services.
Subject conversion kits are required to modify the existing shipboard centrifugal compressor air conditioning plants to operate with non-CFC refrigerant on CG-47, DDG-51, LSD-44 through 52, and LHD-1 Class surface ships. Work will be performed in York, PA and is expected to be complete by August 2010. The contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Ship Systems Engineering Station in Philadelphia, PA (N65540-07-D-0015)