With rumors of another round in the air, and Iranian nuclear efforts advancing, Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports that the Israeli Defense Forces have done a lot of thinking, and laid their “Tefen” procurement plan to face whatever comes next. Highlights reportedly include…
in 1992, the Spanish Army began replacing its man-portable and vehicle radios with Amper’s PR4G series, which offered improved encryption in a package that allows for software upgrades instead of costly, time-consuming, and difficult hardware upgrades. A number of units have already been equipped with these “software-defined” radios, and Spain’s Ejercito de Tierra wants to complete the rollout.
To that end, on Aug 31/07 Spain’s Council of Ministers has authorized [en Espanol] a EUR 180 million (about $245 million) buy of PR4G Version 3 tactical radios and accessories between 2007-2011. Contracts will follow, but the broad thrust and budget set asides are now agreed. These new radios bring a number of new capabilities to the table…
In 2005, “Meteor Missile Will Make Changes to Accommodate F-35” looked at the multi-national project to create the Meteor long range air-air missile, and explained how improving technologies and different approaches to fighter design had led the Europeans to make the Meteor project a priority. Countries involved include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK; industrial participants include MBDA, Thales, SAAB Bofors Dynamics, Finmeccania’s Alenia, the Spanish INMIZE joint venture, and Boeing.
MBDA’s Meteor has been successfully conducting development testing over the last couple of years, using the JAS-39 Gripen as its primary test platform and adding flights with the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale. In parallel to that effort, MBDA has been advancing its strategic goals via the purchase of a German firm called Bayern-Chemie/Protac.
Small business qualifier Rotordynamics-Seal Research in Loomis, CA received a $15 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity Phase III Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract for Topic N03-027, entitled “Useful Life Remaining Models for Turbine Engine Hot Section Components.” Work will be performed in Loomis, CA, and is expected to be complete in May 2009. This contract was competitively procured via a request for proposals; 14 proposals were received by the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, NJ (N68335-07-D-0023)
Turbines are packaged and used in a number of ways on aircraft, ships, land vehicles, and even power generation plants; but they’re essentially jet engines. The “hot section” is often the first to wear out, which exerts a strong influence on a turbine engine’s total life span because replacing it may not be economically sensible. RSR informed DID that this SBIR project has evolved to a multidisciplinary software/analysis model, however, using RAPPID ™ software for predicting transient vibration in the entire turbine engine. These transient vibrations can lead to cracks, and cracks can cause big problems. The thing is, trying to create a 3-D model of this type for the whole engine goes beyond reasonable computing capacity limits at present. The key, therefore, is a model that can use varying fidelity simulation to target intensive computing resources only on the parts likely to matter.
It certainly is an innovative approach, and one that’s relevant to a variety of industries and turbine applications. A Phase III SBIR award generally means that their approach is considered to be almost ready for commercialization, and some spinouts from Phases I & II have already been commercialized. This grant aims to get the entire system to that stage. For our many readers outside the USA, however, RSR’s Joe Pelletti cautions that the entire system’s ITAR status as a commercial vs. military-designated item remains something of an open question once all modules are combined together. Countries like Canada, Australia, and Britain who have preferential ITAR access may have an easier time, but export lawyer Mike Deal writes us to note that treaties like the Wassenaar Arrangement (ECCN 9A001 and/or 9A003, and possibly others) may also apply.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman recently said [release | full press conference transcript] that US Department of Defense officials are concerned with the number of contracting improprieties that have been uncovered within the CENTCOM area of responsibility. Problems with the contracts run the gamut of seriousness from bid-rigging, kickbacks and product substitution to double billing, and Whitman added that the DoD is concerned about “ensuring the integrity of our accounting systems, as well as the integrity of our contracting procedures.” The former could be a tall order; accounting systems have been a long-standing issue in the Pentagon.
The Army is the lead agency in the investigations, which cover up to $5 billion in contracts for goods and services issued in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan…
AAR Mobility Systems in Cadillac, MI received a sole source, $162 million fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for specialized shipping/storage containers, shelters and accessories, to be used by the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Federal Civilian Agencies. Work will be performed in Cadillac, MI, and in California. Date of performance completion is Aug 30/09, and the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA issued the contract (SPM8ED-07-D-0003).
While the DefenseLINK language mentioned “shelters,” AAR’s shelters tend to be specialty items like portable shop containers, designed to mount on Hummers and light trucks. AAR does offer some options within its tactical lineup, however, if the USA military wishes to begin moving away from its practice of deploying tents rather than container-based metal structures as its main accommodation option – even in war zones that routinely feature incoming mortar fire, or as civilian shelters in hurricane zones during hurricane season. Specialty ISU Containers are more likely to be the targets of this contract, however; they include options like…
The AN/AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS) is a passive missile approach warning system consisting of four sensor assemblies housed in two or more sensor domes, a central processing unit, and a control indicator. Deployed on helicopters and transport aircraft, the AAR-47 deals with threat missile approach by detecting radiation associated with the rocket motor, letting the crew know that an attacking missile is coming and which direction it’s coming from, and automatically firing decoy flares. Detection algorithms are used to tell the difference between a missile and non-threatening/ stationary sources of heat or other radiation.
Alliant Techsystems’ Integrated Systems Division, Clearwater, FL received a $21.6 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-06-C-0107) to exercise an option for the procurement of AAR-47(V)2 Missile Approach Warning Set hardware weapons replacement assemblies. This modification provides for 797 Integrated Optical Sensor converters with laser warning capabilities, to be distributed to the U.S. Air Force (644, $17M, 78.7%), U.S. Army (68, $1.9M, 8.9%), U.S. Navy (59, $1.55M 7.2%), U.S. National Guard (20, $567,095; 2.6%), and U.S. Marine Corps (6, $567,095; 2.6%).
Work will be performed in Clearwater, FL (48%); Austin, TX (38 percent); Hamamatsu, Japan (9%); and Natanya, Israel (5%), and is expected to be completed in November 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $1 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
Walbridge Aldinger received a delivery order amount of $42.2 million, covering a firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a standard design vehicle maintenance complex in Fort Bragg, NC. Work is expected to be completed by Feb 20/09. This web solicitation was posted on Dec 28/06, and 11 bids were received by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Savannah District in Savannah, GA (W912HN-07-D-0039).
Fort Bragg is known as the “Home of the Airborne.” Tenant units include VIII Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne Division, The US Army Special Operations Command (“Green Berets”), the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, and the US Army Parachute Team, among others.
Israeli firm BVR Systems recently announced a contract valued at $10.1 million for the provision of an Air Defence Simulator “for an international customer.” Practice with air defense missiles is extremely expensive, due to the costs of both the missiles and the drones. As computing technology has evolved, simulators have become a popular option for honing missile defense skills.
BVR’s Air Defence Simulator facility is re-configurable to support various Short Range Air Defence (SHORAD) weapons, and consists of a high-end graphical display system projected over dual 14 meter diameter dome. Trainees to operate realistic mockups of the SHORAD weapon systems within the domes, while their actions are monitored and reviewed by the instructors. After completion of the scenario, the trainees’ progress to a debriefing session, where a comprehensive review of the exercise is performed featuring an advanced analysis and scoring capability. Dedicated instructor stations and a debriefing auditorium are part of the package.
Small business qualifier Martin Construction Inc. in Gladstone, ND received a $7 million firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a marina at Fort Stevens State Park in Garrison, ND. Work is expected to be complete by Sept 30/08. This web solicitation was posted on July 9, 2007, and 8 bids were received. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Omaha District in Omaha, NB (W9128F-07-C-0026).
We sure do hope the folks in Garrison, North Dakota enjoy their marina, and remain ever-vigilant in case the Canadian Navy decides to invade.