Textron Marine and Land Systems’ M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle (ASV) provide better mine and ballistics protection than the Hummer, coupled with an armored turret that offers both mounts for advanced sensors, and firepower overmatch via a .50 cal machine gun and 40mm grenade machine gun combination in its turret. It’s a classic revival of the armored car segment, which had fallen into disuse but has begun to attract interest again.
The vehicle has traveled a lot of difficult roads, both inside and outside of combat. The US military was backing away from the project, until Iraq came along and military police adopted the 3-man vehicle. Textron had to undo production line shutdowns and rehire skilled talent, and they were just hitting their stride when Hurricane Katrina flooded their only factory in New Orleans. Textron’s offering definitely provides more land mine protection than a Hummer, but heroic efforts were required to get it up and running again. When the US military finally got serious and began buying MRAP vehicles, however, the stretched M1117 ICV failed the tests and was removed. This was actually the vehicle’s second competition loss, following Iraq’s selection of the Cougar-based ILAV Badger as its mine-resistant vehicle. American MPs continued to order the vehicle, however, and an artillery-spotting variant known as the M707 Armored Knight also picked up a few contracts. A small order came in from the Bulgaria, but the USA remains the vehicle’s sole customer of note.
That may be about to change, however, due to a formal request from… Iraq. One that has now been expanded.
Emsworth Locks and Dams is one of 6 major river facilities on the Ohio River, standing at the head of the Ohio River navigation system. It forms a 24-mile pool on the three rivers around the city of Pittsburgh – but at present, the dam cannot be operated to control flood flows. Hence the US Army Corps of Engineers project to install more modern equipment.
Joseph B. Fay Co. in Tarentum, PA received a $34.4 million contract for work on Emsworth Locks and Dam’s Main Channel Damon the Ohio River in Pennsylvania. Work will include the replacement of 8 vertical lift gates; removing the existing vertical lift gates, gate hoist machinery, and machinery houses; fabricating and delivering 3 new lift gates; transporting and installing 3 government-furnished lift gates; modifying 1 existing lift gate; replacng operating machinery, electrical systems and controls; modifying the dam piers to accommodate the new hydraulic gate hoist equipment, replacing embedded metal in the gate recesses of the dam piers; installing the new lift gates; and building new machinery houses.
Work will be performed in the Emsworth Locks and Dam, Ohio River, PA and is expected to be complete by Aug 1/11. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Bids solicited online on April 14/08, and 3 bids were received by the US Army Engineer District in Pittsburgh, PA (W911WN-08-C-0008).
FlightSafety Services Corp., of Centennial, CO received a firm-fixed-price contract for $14.1 million, covering one Weapons System Trainer for pilots and crew on the MC-130W Combat Spear special forces transport aircraft. This trainer is used to support the Aircrew Training and Rehearsal Systems contract, and all funds have been committed. It is managed by the Department of the Air Force OO-ALC/ACSG/PK at Hill AFB, UT (FA8223-08-C-0008).
The MC-130W Combat Spear is a recent development, and was first fielded in 2006 as an interim replacement for losses in AFSOCOM’s MC-130E/H Combat Talon aircraft. The fact that most of the losses were related to age rather than enemy action did not change the need for replacements, and so C-130H aircraft from the 1987 to 1990 production group were modified to fill the gap. The standard sets of special forces enhancements followed: improved navigation including GPS and navigation radars; interior and exterior night vision goggle compatible lighting; advanced threat detection and automated countermeasures, including active infrared countermeasures as well as chaff and flares; upgraded communication suites, including include dual satellite communications using data burst transmission to make trackback difficult; aerial refueling capability; and the ability to act as an aerial tanker via Mk 32B-902E refueling pods.
At present, 12 converted MC-130W aircraft are planned, but SOCOM’s recent contract for MC/HC-130J aircraft might change that equation by offering a higher performance recapitalization option.
Those government maps have to come from somewhere. Psomas and Associates, in Costa Mesa, CA have received a maximum $7.5 million firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity to perform surveying and mapping for Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest. Work will include cadastral surveys, topographic surveys, aerial surveys, geodetic surveying, construction surveys, Alta surveys, hydrographic surveys, special studies, title searches, civil site improvements drawings and specifications and GIS (geographic information system) database/mapping.
Locations will include Calif. (87%), Ariz. (5%), Nev. (5%), Colo. (1%), N.M. (1%) and Utah (1%), and work is expected to be complete in July 2009. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website, with 13 proposals received by NAVFAC SW in San Diego, CA (N62473-08-D-8640).