Mar 10, 2008 14:48 UTC
The 72nd Contracting Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base awarded a $60 million multiple-vendor, indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity contract for follow-on architect-engineer (A-E) services on their premises. Winning firms will perform Title I, Title II, and other A-E services to the base Civil Engineer’s environmental and real property sustainment, restoration, and construction programs. Primary services include: Title I: all aspects of real property facilities, infrastructure, and environmental design and activities to support those designs including value engineering and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design analysis. Title II: all aspects of construction quality assurance and oversight of environmental, facility, and infrastructure construction projects. Other A-E Services: support for base environmental restoration, conservation and planning, and environmental quality programs including compliance and pollution prevention.
The winners, who will compete for individual task orders, are:
- CH2M Hill, Inc. (FA8101-080D-0002, $81,781.48 committed)
- Cherokee CRC (FA8101-08-D-0003, $55,146.21 committed)
- Science Applications International Corporation (FA8101-08-D-0004, $32,906.06 committed)
- URS Group, Inc. (FA8101-08-D-0005, $24,854.80 committed)
Mar 10, 2008 13:59 UTC
(click for explanation)
BAE Systems, Norfolk Ship Repair in Norfolk, VA received an $8 million firm-fixed-price contract for a regular overhaul of US Military Sealift Command’s fast combat support ship USNS Supply [T-AOE 6]. Work will include dry-docking the ship, painting of the underwater hull, various surveys and inspections, and repair of degaussing cable conduit and cargo reefer compressor. The contract includes options that could bring the total contract value to $9.2 million. Work will be performed in Norfolk, VA and is expected to be complete in June 2008. Contract funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with 2 offers received by the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Fleet Support Command (N40442-08-C-2002).
The T-AOE 1 Sacramento Class and T-AOE 6 Supply Class AOEs are also referred to as “station ships.” They are especially valuable because of their speed and ability to carry all the essentials to replenish Navy ships at sea, offering a form of one-stop shopping by carrying dry stores (food, consumables, spare parts), ammunition (bombs, missiles) and fuel (oil, jet fuel). Often, shuttle ships like the USA’s new T-AKE Class simply resupply the AOE station ship, rather than resupplying each fleet ship individually.
Mar 09, 2008 20:37 UTC
China’s 2008 military budget and its 2-decade string of uninterrupted double-digit budget growth have been attracting a great deal of attention lately. The official figure is now $58.8 billion, but there is no accountability or transparency, and outside estimates place the real figure between $100-180 billion.
India’s democratic, accountable government presents fewer transparency issues, and the simultaneous growth of its economy and of pressures orchestrated by China have resulted in a rising military budget of its own. The rise has been slower, but the recent 2008/09 budget proposes from Rs 960 billion in 2007/08 to Rs 1056 billion in 2008/09 (a 10% hike, from about $24 billion to about $26.6 billion at USD exchange). That’s hike of about 10%; compare to India’s 2007 consumer price inflation index of 5.51% in 2007.
Of that budgetary total, Rs 480 billion has been earmarked for the purchase of military hardware, as opposed to pay, pensions, maintenance, and the other expenses of running a military. That’s a rather sharper hike of almost 23.3% over 2007/08. The question is whether India will be able to spend it…
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Mar 09, 2008 15:33 UTC
Building the F-35
At present, F-35 Lightning II/ Joint Strike Fighter production is led by Lockheed Martin, with BAE and Northrop-Grumman playing major supporting roles, and many subcontractors below them. F-35 main production and final assembly is currently slated to take place in Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, TX plant, though Italy and Britain may end up getting Final Assembly and Check-Out (FACO) plants of their own.
In order to cut F-35 production cycle time, and hence production costs, the team currently produces major sections of the aircraft at different feeder plants, and “mates” the assemblies at Fort Worth. This is normal in the auto industry, but it’s a departure from the usual fighter-building process which has raw materials and individual parts or small sub-assemblies feed into production lines, then rolls finished fighters out the other end. The precise tolerances required for a stealthy fighter, however, are much more exacting than even high-end autos. To cope, Manufacturing Business Technology reports that the team has turned to an integrated array of back-end IT systems in order to manage this new process, from CATIA CAD, to Visiprise MES, TeamCenter PLM, SAP ERP, and even a locally-designed Production & Inventory Optimization System (PIOS) for manufacturing resources planning and supply chain management.
This ‘digital thread’ has been very successful for the team, with part fits showing incredible precision, and successful coordination of plants around the end schedule for key events like the Dec 18/07 F-35B rollout. The system’s ultimate goal is to cut a plane’s production cycle time from the usual 27-30 months to about a year, and lead time from order creation to printed, matched manufacturing orders from 15-20 days to 6-8 days. Read MBT’s “Fly high on a thread” to learn more.
Mar 09, 2008 14:31 UTC
ThalesRaytheon’s AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder weapon-locating radars automatically detect, track and locate enemy mortars, artillery and rocket launchers allowing friendly forces to counterfire with pinpoint accuracy. The TPQ-36 radar is specifically designed to counter medium range enemy weapon systems out to a range of 24 kilometers, while the TPQ-37 can locate longer-range systems, and even surface launched missiles, out to 50 kilometers. Michael Yon, embedded with 1-24 (“Deuce Four”) in Mosul, offered a first hand description of counter-battery radars’ effect on enemy tactics in 2005.
Thales-Raytheon Systems Co. LLC in Fullerton, CA received a $39.7 million firm-fixed price contract for 16 AN/TPQ-46 antenna transceiver groups and 15 each Spare AN/TPQ-36 Antenna Array Assemblies for the FIREFINDER radar program. Work will be performed in Fullerton, CA, and is expected to be complete by Nov 30/10. There was one bid solicited on Aug 7/07, and 1 bid was received by the CECOM Acquisition Center in Fort Monmouth, NJ (W15P7T-06-D-T001).
Mar 09, 2008 13:28 UTC
The U.S. Army Engineer District in Philadelphia has a background page about dredging that explains the rationale and the different options. It’s a frequent subject of military contracts, and is part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to maintain America’s ports.
Recently, Cottrell Contracting Corp. in Chesapeake, VA won a $7.5 million firm-fixed price, construction contract for maintenance dredging Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and Morehead City Harbor and Beaufort Harbor in Carteret County, NC. Work will be performed in Manteo (Shallowbag) Bay, NC, and is expected to be complete by March 31/09. There were 10 bids solicited on Nov. 19, 2007, and 2 bids were received by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah Regional Contracting Center, in Wilmington, NC (W912HN-08-C-0017).
Western Marine Construction, Inc. in Seattle,WA won a $5.9 million firm-fixed price contract for harbor dredging in Chiguik, AK (the DefenseLINK release said “Ala.”, but mean Alaska). Work is expected to be complete by Jan 10/11. There were 3 bids solicited on Nov. 26, 2008, and 3 bids were received by the U.S. Army Engineer District,, Alaska at Elmendorf, Air Force Base, AK (W911KB-08-C-003).
Mar 06, 2008 20:08 UTC
Red flag to a
bull defense market
As was the case in the communist Soviet Union, China’s official military budget and real military budget are not the same thing. Many items are hidden under other ministries, or simply not reported truthfully in the absence of accountable government. Official figures are given, however, and for the last 2 decades those figures have shown uninterrupted double-digit increases. Hot on the heels of the Pentagon’s release of its Congressionally-mandated “Military Power of the People’s Republic of China 2008” [PDF] report, Chinese “People’s Congress” spokesman Mr. Jiang Enzhu announced an 17.6% increase in China’s 2008 military budget, to 417.77 billion yuan ($58.81 billion). The increase follows a 17.8% increase in 2007, and a 14.7% increase in 2006.
The real math, of course, lies in compound interest; over 20 years, an increase averaging 10% per year would grow a budget to 6.7 times its original size; at 12.5% per year, the figure is 10.5 times, and at 14% per year the budget would be 16.4 times its original size. Military modernization programs appear to be accelerating in step, including reports that China’s navy has already announced plans to build its first aircraft carrier by 2010. While estimates regarding the true size of China’s military budget vary…
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Mar 06, 2008 18:13 UTC
As the $35 billion KC-45 tanker purchase flies into the teeth of Washington’s political battles, the Lexington Institute think-tank discusses the relative ratings of each contestant in the USAF’s aerial tanker competition. This is a bit unusual, as even Boeing has yet to hear the official debrief – a fact that has them somewhat upset. DID would not normally consider a report of this nature credible, but the think-tank has a wide range of contacts in Washington, and has been focusing on this deal for some time. Their broad assessment also mirrors commenets made by Sen Richard Shelby [R-AL], so it is possible – but not certain – that their report is correct.
Lexington defense analyst Loren Thompson contends that the Airbus/Northrop Grumman proposal would be able to deliver 49 operational tankers by 2013, whereas Boeing would have been able to deliver just 19 aircraft within that timeframe. That’s an interesting calculation whose basis DID would be interested in viewing, but public access may be an issue as it was attributed to USAF reviewers. Beyond that, Thompson concludes that Boeing lost out on 4 of 5 key measures, and tied on the 5th. Of course, sharp-eyed DID readers will recall that they were 9 Key Performance Parameters listed in the RFP…
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Mar 06, 2008 14:06 UTC
Watts Constructors, LLC in Honolulu, Hawaii won a $46.9 million firm-fixed-price contract to build a Communications Center at Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific, for Naval Station Pearl Harbor. Work will be performed in Wahiawa, Hawaii, and is expected to be complete by March 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with 57 offers solicited and 5 proposals received by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (N62742-08-C-1300).
Mar 05, 2008 14:38 UTC
It has been a long road for Finland’s NH90-TTH battlefield transport helicopter program. The 2001 Nordic Group contract was intended to replace Finland’s 4 Russian Mi-8 medium helicopters and 8 MD500 light utility helicopters with 20 NH90s that would begin delivery in 2004 and enter service from April 2005 – October 2008, allowing a reorganized helicopter battalion to stand up in 2010. The common procurement action was directly linked to the establishment of the European Union’s Nordic Battle Group (NBG), which also driving other defense buys in the region.
A EUR 343 million deal for 20 helicopters was signed on Oct 19/01. First flight did not take place until Sept 15/04, however, and assembly has been years behind schedule. By October 2007, only 3 helicopters had been assembled, and Finland’s Military Aviation Authority was still asking NH Industries for supplementary technical data before it could issue a type certification that would allow them to enter service. The whole issue came to a head on Oct 19/07, when Finnish Defense Minister Jyri Hakamies appointed former Finnair CEO Keijo Suila to lead a working group and assess the program, determine what went wrong, and recommend changes to future procurement processes. A settlement with NH Industries was reached on Dec 12/07, and now Suila has delivered his report…
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