The Navy announces that it is moving forward with development of the Littoral Combat Ship’s Surface Warfare (SUW) Mission Package, which it describes as “designed to combat small, fast boat terrorist threats to the fleet.” The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren division is the technical direction agent for the SUW mission package, with NSWC Port Hueneme division providing integrated logistics and testing support. US NAVSEA’s release lists the components as:
“…electro-optical/infrared sensors mounted on a vertical take off unmanned air vehicle [the MQ-8B Fire Scout] to provide over-the-horizon detection; 30mm guns to kill close-in targets; four  non-line-of-sight launching system [NLOS-LS/ “NetFires”]… container launch units, with each system containing 15 offensive missiles; and the MH-60R armed helicopter for surveillance and attack missions. The SUW mission package has software that interfaces with the LCS command and control system to maintain and share situational awareness and tactical control in a coordinated SUW environment… The first two  SUW mission packages assembled for developmental and operational testing use the Mark 46 30mm gun made by General Dynamics Amphibious Systems.”
The $400-500 million question is, will this be enough?…
BAE Systems Land and Armaments Inc. in York, PA received the full delivery order amount of $10.6 million as part of a firm-fixed-price contract for M113 Family of Vehicles Add-on Armor and Foreign Military Sales Payback. M113 tracked armored personnel carriers and command post variants have been used in Iraq by US forces, converted into an award-winning EM113A2 variant for riot control, deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq by NATO countries, and given to the Afghan Army.
Work will be performed in York, PA and is expected to be complete by May 1, 2008. This was a sole source contract initiated on May 8, 2007 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI (W56HZV-05-G-0005).
It’s all about da water, don’t you know
Kinja needs da water, da H2O
It’s all about da water, it ain’t no lie
Widout de water we shrivel up and die
– Keys poet Jimmy Buffett
“$240M for 50-Year Water Infrastructure Contracts at 2 US Bases” noted the move toward long-term service contracts for water infrastructure in and around US military facilities. That trend continues. The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) in Key West, FL received an estimated $45.2 million utilities privatization contract for the operation and maintenance of the water distribution systems of Naval activities in the Key West, Florida area. FKAA is a quasi-state organization categorized as “other than small business,” and a provider of water utilities in the unincorporated areas of Key West. The water distribution system will be conveyed to FKAA through a quit claim deed (10 U.S.C. 2688 authorizes privatized Government utility systems if certain criteria are met). The contractual instrument is a fixed-price contract with a term of 50 years, and prospective price redetermination during that period.
Work includes initial system modifications required to bring the systems up to industry standards, operation, maintenance and repair of the systems, as well as renewal and replacement of the system’s components over the term of the contract. Funding for this contract will be provided through annual O&M budgets of the activities. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website, with 3 proposals received by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast in Jacksonville, FL (N69450-07-C-0103).
In 2005, Republic of Korea (ROK, aka. South Korea) Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung said that he aimed to increase the defense budget from 2.8% of the total gross domestic product to 3.2% by 2008, a 12.5% increase in relative terms even before economic growth is factored in. In 2006, the government announced plans to cut troop levels from 680,000 to 500,000 by 2020, and funnel more money to modern weaponry. This related move is partly driven by weapons costs that rise much faster than inflation as each new generation is fielded, and partly by the realities of South Korea’s birth rate and future population pyramid.
Small business qualifier Halbert Construction Co., Inc. in El Cajon, Calif. won $5.6 million for firm-fixed price task order #0004 under a previously awarded $100 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract (N62473-07-D-2014) that was set aside for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. The delivery order covers design and construction of a Headquarters Battalion Armory at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms.
Work will be performed in Twentynine Palms, Calif., and is expected to be complete by March 2009. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest in San Diego, Calif. received 3 proposals for this task order.
The Rolls-Royce Corp. of Indianapolis, Ind. received a contract modification for $789 million to provide replenishment spare parts for the T56 engines. This contract includes 286 items, which encompass Defense Logistics Agency managed items. Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. issued the contract (F34601-01-D-0155-P00037).
FLIR Systems in North Billerica, Mass., USA received a $47.6 million firm-fixed-price contract for 5 to 705 Hand Held Imagers – Long Range (HHI-LR) and associated line items for the United States Special Operations Command’s (US SOCOM) Special Operations Visual Augmentation Systems. The HHI-LR thermal/infrared imager system is for long range viewing and detection of targets. See FLIR systems’ land reconnaissance product lineup.
Work will be performed in North Billerica, Mass., and is expected to be complete by September 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $324,755 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured and advertised via the Internet, with 7 companies solicited and 1 proposal received by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane in Crane, Ind., USA (N00164-07-D-8519)
The Spring 2007 issue of Crosslink Magazine focuses on the state of the US Aerospace industry’s technical workforce – but many of its articles’ topics and conclusions could easily apply to the defense industry as a whole:
“As aerospace systems grow in complexity and interdependence, there is an increasing need for engineering professionals who can successfully plan, develop, manage, and evolve these systems. Yet, the national security space community is facing a growing shortage of senior systems engineers, as the number of systems positions increase and older workers leave the workforce. Organizations commonly lure skilled systems engineers away from each other or try to fill these roles with junior personnel who lack the requisite skills and/or experience, but these efforts fail to address the underlying problem. The question is, how can the national security space community expedite the development of the next generation of senior systems engineers? The type of thinking required by systems professionals is sometimes referred to as “systems thinking…”
A recent study sheds light on what it takes to grow senior systems engineers – and suggests some ways to accelerate that process in today’s engineering population. Key takeaways include…
United Technologies subsidiary Pratt and Whitney Incorporated of Hartford, Conn. received a contract for $52.3 million, in exchange for 1,051 Digital Electronic Engine Controls VI for the F100-PW-220/220E engine fleet which powers many of the USAF’s F-15 and F-16 aircraft. OC-ALC at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. issued the contract (F33657-98-D-0018).
So, what is a “Digital Engine Control VI”, anyway?
Logistic Systems International Inc. in Jacksonville, Fla. received an $8 million modification to a previously awarded $10 million firm-fixed-price contract for instructor-led training (N61339-06-C-0166, announced Aug 30/06). the modification exercises the options to re-engineer, revise/enhance, and migrate the current Journeymen-level engineer instructor-led training classes at the Center for Naval Engineering in Norfolk, Va., into self-paced instruction courses.
Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Fla. and is expected to be complete in January 2009. All contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division in Orlando, Fla. issued the contract.