The USA’s Congressional Government Accountability Office has delivered its 6th annual assessment of 72 selected weapon programs on land, sea, and air. America’s Department of Defense (DOD) has roughly doubled its planned investment in new systems from $790 billion to $1.6 trillion in 2007, and total acquisition costs for major defense programs in the fiscal year 2007 portfolio have increased 26% from first estimates, compared with 6% in 2000.
While the report acknowledged progress, it added that: “DOD’s acquisition outcomes appear increasingly suboptimal, a condition that needs to be corrected given the pressures faced by the department from other military and major nondiscretionary government demands.”
On Dec 19/07, the US Defense Department announced that they expected to reach their goal of 1,500 blast-resistant MRAP vehicles delivered into theater, reaching 1,525 by year’s end. Most initial deliveries were handled by C-17, C-5, and even leased Russian AN-124 aircraft, but the far greater capacity of sealift began to tip the balance as manufacturing capacity and deliveries ramped up.
The ancillary equipment installers at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command center at Charleston, SC had been a bottleneck in the process for a while, but improvements in their workflow have eased that situation.
Exactly how much progress has been made on all fronts can be measured by the fact that as of April 9/08, over 5,200 MRAP vehicles have been delivered to the U.S. Central Command area of operations. Deliveries by sea began outsripping deliveries by air in March 2008. By the end of June 2008 all future MRAP vehicles being shipped by sea. Sealift’s huge increase in capacity comes at the expense of speed, but the number of vehicles already available in theater has reduced the urgency of adding the 3-8 vehicles that an expensive airlifter trip can carry. This will free up the USA’s overworked air transport fleet for other uses.
Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. of Herndon, VA received a modified contract for $28 million, in exchange for “survivability and vulnerability technical research and development analysis for U.S. Coast Guard ship, aviation, and Command and Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems.” At this time $7.7 million has been committed. Offutt AFB, NB issued the contract (SP0700-03-D-1380, Delivery Order: 0250).
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore MD has given John C. Gremberg Co., Inc in Rockville, MD a $27.1 million firm-fixed price contract to build a new three level steel and concrete steam sterilization plan that will have the capacity to decontaminate 126,000 gallons per-day of liquid bio-waste. Work will be performed at Fort Detrick, MD and is expected to be complete by April 30/11 (W912DR-08-C-0016).