“A Senate report related to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 asked GAO to compare quality management practices used by the Department of Defense (DOD) and its contractors to those used by leading commercial companies and make suggestions for improvement. To do this, GAO (1) determined the impact of quality problems on selected weapon systems and prime contractor practices that contributed to the problems; (2) identified commercial practices that can be used to improve DOD weapon systems; (3) identified problems that DOD must overcome; and (4) identified recent DOD initiatives that could improve quality. GAO examined 11 DOD weapon systems with known quality problems and met with quality officials from DOD, defense prime contractors, and five leading commercial companies that produce complex products and/or are recognized for quality products.”
In the Close Quarters Battle that characterizes urban warfare, jungle warfare, and other “close encounters” terrain, the ability to quickly and accurately point a weapon can determine who lives and who dies. If you’ve ever wondered why many pictures show troops with a little grip handle pointing downward near the front of their rifle, that’s why. On the other hand, there are situations in which accuracy is key. Urban situations with many civilians, for instance, or any other kind of situation that requires marksmanship. Cameras aren’t the only things that shoot better when stabilized, which is why you often see sniper rifles with folding bipods, despite their bulky inconvenience and annoyance factor. Bipods are also attached to light or medium machine guns to give them more stability despite heavy recoil, and deliver accurate fire for effect.
Savi Technology, Inc. of Mountain View, CA, which became a Lockheed Martin subsidiary in an May 2006 acquisition, recently received time and ceiling extension to its US military RFID contract. The firm has provided RFID solutions to the DoD for more than a decade, and helped build the DoD’s RF In-Transit Visibility (ITV) network, which spans more than 45 countries and tracks military supplies through 4,000 sites. The current RFID II contract was initially awarded in January 2003, and this is the 2nd contract extension and 3rd ceiling increase that Savi has received. This latest modification extend its period to Jan 31/09, and its ceiling is increased by about $60 million to $483 million.
Think of RFID as wireless bar codes that don’t need to be swiped individually. Savi’s products include active RFID asset tags, data rich high performance tags, sensor tags that monitor security and environmental conditions, related fixed and mobile readers, as well as fully integrated site and enterprise software products that enable customers to track shipments worldwide. The US military has invested heavily in RFID for its supply chain; recent years have begun to feature positive results, as well as the creation of an RFID solutions center near Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.
These contract amendments were made by the U.S. Army’s Information Technology, E-Commerce and Commercial Contracting Center (ITEC4), and the executive agent for the DoD is the office of the Product Manager, Joint-Automatic Identification Technology. In addition to the US DoD, this Lockheed Martin group provides RFID solutions for NATO, and defense forces in the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, et. al. One of its current foci building interoperable RFID-based networks for allies, enabling them to improve the management of consignments for multi-national, joint-force operations – something USJFCOM has also been working hard to achieve. See Lockheed Martin release.
InnovaSystems International LLC in San Diego, CA received a $14.1 cost-plus-award-fee contract to support the Defense Readiness Reporting System – Navy. Work will include system engineering, system design/development, integration, testing, installation, training, lifecycle maintenance, procurement support, help desk services, management support, and system documentation. This one-year contract includes 4 one-year options which, if exercised, would bring the potential, cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $75.8 million. This award follows an August 2005 contract, which had a maximum value of $47.6 million.
Work will be performed in San Diego, CA and work is expected to be complete in February 2009. This contract was a sole-source justification and approval was signed in accordance with FAR Subpart 6.302-1 and 10 U.S.C. 2304c1, for Only One Responsible Source. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego, CA issued the contract (N66001-08-D-0030).