The USA’s $160+ billion Future Combat Systems program aims to replace at least 1/3 of the USA’s land forces. The program’s original mandate had its components replacing the USA’s heavy armor, but that plan collided with the reality of front-line experience in Iraq. FCS is now slated to be a set of medium forces that are slightly more deployable than a Heavy Brigade Combat Team, but still cannot fit into the C-130s that are expected to make up the USA’s tactical airlifter fleet. The concept of an integrated set of vehicles, robots, sensors, and UAVs, all backed by a high-performance network, remains.
The US Government Accountability Office has been asked to report on the program every year, and its 2008 report suggests that FCS is reaching a critical stage on 2 fronts: system design and development, and software design and development. Their overall 2008 report says that…
The UK Ministry of Defence signed a 5-year, GBP 24.5 million (about $50 million) partnering contract with a team comprised of Lockheed Martin UK Simulation, Training & Support (STS) and BAE Systems, to operate and maintain the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) systems in the UK and in Sennelager, Germany. Matt Tovey, CATT programme manager at the UK’s Defence Equipment and Support Organisation, adds that “The high quality of training output will be further enhanced through a partnering approach which provides the basis for exploring further efficiencies.”
Lockheed Martin originally designed and built the simulator system in 2002. Each CATT installation covers an area the size of 3 soccer fields, has 170 vehicle simulators, and can accommodate as many as 700 troops in a simulated battle, either against each other or using computer-generates forces across thousands of kilometres of the Wiltshire and Hampshire countryside. Half of the vehicle simulators have interiors, software, et. al. that replicate specific vehicles such as Challenger II main battle tanks, Warrior armored fighting vehicles, and Scimitar armored reconnaissance vehicles. The remainder are designed to generic standards, and can replicate a variety of vehicles, helicopters and dismounted infantry. The system can replay an exercise for post-exercise analysis and assessment. Lockheed Martin release.
DCS Corp. in Alexandria, VA received a $16.8 million cost-plus-fixed-fee completion, research and development contract for research, development and demonstration efforts in the areas of advanced imaging sensor technologies, imaging techniques, enhanced target recognition methods, and real time processing capabilities. These are seen as critical technology fields given new and continuing Naval requirements for persistent surveillance, improved reconnaissance, rapid targeting and precision strike capabilities.
Work will be performed in Alexandria, VA, and is expected to be complete in March 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $100,000 will expire at end of current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured under Broad Agency Announcement #07-01 by the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC (N00173-08-C-6008).
Tyson Fresh Meats, Incorporated in Dakota Dunes, SD received an indefinite delivery, requirements type contract to provide “as needed, case ready, primal and sub-primal pork products” for resale to the commissary stores located in the DeCA East and West Regions, including Alaska and Hawaii. The estimated award amount is $308.6 million. The contract is for a 2 year base period with performance starting May 4/08 through May 3/10, followed by 3 one-year option periods. If all option periods are exercised, the contract will be completed May 3/13. The US Defense Commissary Agency, Resale Contracting Division, Produce Support Branch in Fort Lee, VA solicited 65 firms, and 5 offers were received (HDEC02-08-D-0005)