Russia’s Type 877 Kilo Class diesel-electric submarines have gained a reputation as extremely quiet boats, and are in service with Russia (24), China (2), India (8), Iran (3), Poland, Romania and Algeria. India’s Type 877EKM Sindhugosh Class submarines [S55-S62] began to travel to Russia for refits in 1997, with S58 INS Sindhuvir as the first candidate. A German-designed, Indian-built main battery has replaced the Russian batteries in all vessels, and India’s submarines have also received either a Russian upgrade package of missiles, sonar, and machinery & weapon control systems, or India’s indigenous Panchendriya package. The goal is to bring them closer to parity with the more advanced Type 636 Improved Kilo Class variant – S65 INS Sindhushastra, and possibly S63 INS Sindhurakshak, are already rumored to be at or close to that level.
Now a serious incident has put a brake on the refit program, as India has returned S62 INS Sindhuvijay to its Russian contractor, citing unacceptable performance with its new sub-launched Klub missiles. With the $1+ billion Admiral Gorshkov carrier refit already in trouble, and Russia making hostile foreign policy moves, the last thing the relationship needs is another problem – but that’s what it has.
Watts-Weitz in Novato, CA received a $67.7 million firm-fixed-price contract for construction of trainee barracks at the US Army Maneuver Support Center and Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Fort Leonard Wood offers United States Army Basic Combat Training for most non-combat arms soldiers; and more advanced training for motor transport operators, combat and bridging engineers, chemical specialists and military police. The latter 2 specialties were added after BRAC 1995, and Fort Leonard Wood has also been approved as the center of excellence for Homeland defense by the Chief of Staff of the Army – but the base lost its role in Drill Sgt. training during BRAC 2005.
Work is expected to be complete by Aug 1/09. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on May 9, 2007, and two bids were received. Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, Kansas City, Mo., is the contracting activity W912DQ-08-D-0057.
CFPS is an Alaska Native Company (ANC) certified in the Small Business Administrations 8(a) Business Development program, and is HUB Zone certified as well. Their web site states that “the purpose of CFPS is to engage in the business of providing information technology IT services and integrated solutions.” Parent firm Cape Fox Corp. has a number of subsidiaries, however, including interests in HDPE piping and coating.
M3 tripod, labeled
Work will be performed in Ketchikan, AK and is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2010. Web bids were solicited on Aug 1/07, and 4 bids were received by the US Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command in Rock Island, IL (W52H09-08-D-0107).
Israeli firm Plasan Sasa recently announced a $200+ million order to supply Navistar’s International Military and Government, LLC with armoring systems for an additional 1,500 armored MRAP blast-resistant vehicles, to be delivered by the end of July 2008. The Plasan Sasa release says that this armor contract continues and builds on the US military’s June 2007 order for 1,200 MaxxPro vehicles. Their release also says that:
“Plasan, while enjoying international acclaim for its achievements and rapid growth, recognizes the importance of providing employment not only to workers and suppliers in Israel but to workers and suppliers in every one of its user countries. Plasan purchased manufacturing companies in both France and the U.S. “We maintain”, points out Ziv, “and expand our ongoing cooperation initiatives with local companies in our client countries.” Ziv goes on to say, “This is an integral aspect of our mode of operation. We recognize the need to generate employment and to contribute to the further development of technological know-how and manufacturing capabilities everywhere our systems are sold.”
EG&G Technical Services, Inc. in Dumfries, VA received a $9.9 million task order under previously awarded contract (M67854-02-A-9011) for professional technical support to the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Joint Program Office. The contractor shall provide expert support directly to the MRAP Joint Program Manager and Deputy PMs; Assistant PMs for all MRAP vehicle variants and the following functional managers: Integration and Government Furnished Equipment, Spiral Development, International Programs, acquisition, contracts, production, quality, logistics, engineering, test & evaluation and safety. This effort builds upon existing contract support that will remain in place. Work will be performed in Stafford, VA and is expected to be complete in November 2008. The Marine Corps System Command in Quantico, VA issued the contract.
As of Dec 17/07, the US DoD has announced that 1,300 MRAPs were in theater, with another 180 are en route by sea aboard the RO/RO(Roll-On, Roll-Off) USNS Pililaau and another 15 MRAPs are in the air headed to Iraq. While the success of the revolt against al-Qaeda in Anbar province has led to a (not yet granted) request by the US Marines to reduce their order from 3,700 to 2,300, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell has told reporters that the Army’s request may actually increase, as commanders in Afghanistan are expressing an interest in getting more MRAPs than originally planned.
Alliant Techsystems announced today that it has negotiated definitive agreements with Canadian-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates to acquire its Information Systems and Geospatial Information Services businesses for C$1.325 billion (about $1.318 billion). MDA’s IS/GIS business has more than 1,900 employees and estimated FY 2009 revenues of approximately USD$ 500 million, and is a global leader in space-based radar systems, space robotics (the robotic arms for the NASA Space Shuttle and International Space Station are MDA products), satellite systems, and imaging satellite ground stations and processing; with additional world-class capabilities in satellite payloads, C4ISR, and geospatial services.
ATK’s rationale for the acquisition was straightforward:
The US Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest in San Diego, CA has awarded a number of firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award construction contracts for commercial and institutional building construction at various locations within its area of responsibility. In fact, it has awarded 2 very similar sets of contracts to the same set of providers. the only thing that differs is their exact areas of performance within NAVFAC SW.
The term of the contracts are not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of January 2009 for the 1-year base period, and January 2013 if all 4 option years are exercised. For each of these 2 contract sets, the maximum dollar value over all 5 possible years, for all 6 winning contracts combined, is $500 million, with a guaranteed minimum of $25,000 for each contract. In practice, this means a grand total of $1 billion for all 6 contractors combined, with a guaranteed minimum of $50,000 for each. These 6 contractors may now compete for individual task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contracts. The winners are:
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems-Marine Systems in Sunnyvale, CA received a $20.5 million firm-fixed-price contract to design and produce replacement gears for the propulsion system in the Navy’s 4 T-AOE 6-class fast combat support ships, USNS Supply [T-AOE 6], USNS Rainier [T-AOE 7], USNS Arctic [T-AOE 8] and USNS Bridge [T-AOE 10]. Fast combat support ships provide fuel, ammunition, food and other cargo to U.S. Navy ships at sea worldwide. The new hardware will replace components of the ships’ main reduction gear, which converts and transmits engine power to the propeller. The contract includes 5 options for installation support and 1 option for the purchase of additional hardware, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $22.4 million.
Work will be performed at various locations worldwide and is expected to be complete by September 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with 2 offers received. The solicitation was issued on an unrestricted basis, using full and open competitive procedures via the Military Sealift Command, Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities web pages. The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command in Washington, DC issued the contract (N00033-08-C-7501).
The TOW 2B, meanwhile, features a dual-mode sensor and a new armament section equipped with 2 warheads substantially different from those used in other TOW versions. Earlier TOWs are direct-attack missiles with nose-mounted warheads that fire forward. The TOW 2B is designed to fly over the top of a tank and destroy it from above, where it is less heavily armored, by simultaneously detonating the missile’s two Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) warheads downward. The fly-over shoot-down flight profile also permits the attack of targets in defilade, or protected by berms or other fortifications. TOW 2B resembles the TOW 2A, with a 6-inch diameter warhead section in front, but without the standoff probe.
TOW w. ITAS sensors
TOW RF variants add a new wireless radio frequency command data link, rather than the wire connection that the anti-armor missile has used since it was introduced more than 30 years ago. Canada was the first TOW2 RF export customer, but Israel has also requested the missiles. Now Kuwait has added its own request, which follows up on a 2005 DSCA request for TOW-2A and TOW-2B missiles…
Over the Christmas holidays, the NY Times ran an interesting story that talked about experts and innovation – especially the paradox that more experts can produce less innovation. The results of the following experiment may provide a clue, and offer a useful reminder to our industry as a whole as it attempts to communicate with the broader public:
“Elizabeth Newton, a psychologist, conducted an experiment on the curse of knowledge while working on her doctorate at Stanford in 1990. She gave one set of people, called “tappers,” a list of commonly known songs from which to choose. Their task was to rap their knuckles on a tabletop to the rhythm of the chosen tune as they thought about it in their heads. A second set of people, called “listeners,” were asked to name the songs.
Before the experiment began, the tappers were asked how often they believed that the listeners would name the songs correctly. On average, tappers expected listeners to get it right about half the time. In the end, however, listeners guessed only 3 of 120 songs tapped out, or 2.5 percent. The tappers were astounded. The song was so clear in their minds; how could the listeners not “hear” it in their taps?”