AAR Manufacturing, Inc., doing business as AAR Mobility Systems of Cadillac, MI received a firm-fixed-price contract for a maximum of $138 million to provide depot-level repair of 463L pallets. The contract covers a maximum quantity of 120,000 pallets each year during the 2-year basic period, plus 3 option years with a maximum quantity of 60,000 pallets per year. Work orders will be issued as required. The USAF’s 642 CBSG/GBKBA at Robins AFB, GA issued the contracts (FA8519-08-D-0008).
The 463L cargo system is designed to provide faster intermodal cargo transfer, providing a common size platform for bundling and moving air cargo. Each 463L pallet weighs about 290-355 pounds, depending on attachments, with a 10,000 pound/ 250 pound per square inch load limit. The 463L has aluminum rails on all sides, and an indent locking arrangement that helps the pallet lock down when moved by materials handling equipment or appropriately equipped aircraft. Tie-down rings with 7,500 pound capacity surround the perimeter, giving the platform about 84″ x 104″ of usable space.
Each 463L pallet includes a pallet of metal sandwich construction that uses corrosion-resistant aluminum around a wood or fiberglass core. This arrangement is a compromise that offers lighter weight that all-metal options in exchange for less strength, different repair requirements, and constraints on the pallets’ non-destructive use in the field and in training. GPS-guided parachutes are becoming an important adjunct to these 463L systems, on missions which justify the cost.
In 2003, Thales UK received a 10-year contract to support the Royal Navy’s major sonar systems worth about GBP 100 million over the first 5 years. Over that period, equipment readiness rates have improved, and some overall savings have been achieved in the cost of support. With that kind of initial experience under their belts, the usual process under Britain’s “future contracting for avilability” initiatives has been to extend and broaden the contract, in preparation for a a future contract that features full availability-based contracting for the item in question.
The UK MoD/ Thales UK ‘Integrated Support Team – Sonar’ at Abbey Wood, Bristol have now done exactly that, finalizing a second 5-year term for GBP 134 million, while broadening its scope. The contract now covers the Sonar 2054 systems fitted to the UK’s SSBN Vanguard Class nuclear missile submarines, the Sonar 2074 / 2076 systems fitted to Britain’s SSN Swiftsure Class and Trafalgar Class fast attack submarines, mine-hunting Sonar 2093 / 2193 systems, and the new Sonar 2087 low-frequency active sonar (LFAS) upgrade being fitted to Britain’s Type 23 Duke Class frigates. Note that Britain’s new Type 45 Daring Class air defense destroyers, who will depend on the MFS 7000 sonar array from Ultra Electronics and EDO, remain outside this contract.
The total value of Thales UK’s 10-year sonar support contract is now over GBP 230 million. Thales UK will leverage its 300-perseon facility at Cheadle Heath near Manchester, which designs and builds sonar, as well as the 400-person Templecombe facility in Somerset, which manufactures mine hunting sonar systems and outboard arrays. Thales release.