Nov 5/08: SAIC Technology Services Co., of San Diego, CA received an indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for $16 million for R&D under a Broad Agency Announcement entitled “Electro Magnetic Effects Research and Development.” This research will examine aspects of high power EM lethality, with missions that include survivability of military equipment high power microwave (HPM) environments, the development of HPM weapons, and the refinement of HPM-predictive modeling for inclusion into engagement and campaign-level models. The military woul like SAIC to make optimum use of available AFRL/RDH capital assets and to augment or complement AFRL/RDH capabilities, rather than pursuing its research alone. The Air Force Research Laboratory/RDKP, Det 8 Directorate of Contracting at Kirtland AFB, NM manages this contract (FA9451-06-D-0222, P00009).
EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) is a side-effect of intense radiation bursts, usually from a nuclear weapon. Its effect is to fry most semiconductor-based electronics within its effective range, which is to say most electronics these days. This gives EMP a potential offensive use via strategically placed nuclear airbursts. Rep Roscoe Bartlett [R-MD] has led the charge on this issue in Congress, working to establish an EMP Commission that has reported on the USA’s general vulnerability to such attacks, and further research continues. HPM includes EMP, but it can also be much less dramatic. As one example, there are claims that some modern AESA radars might be able to focus their arrays, in order to produce a very localized HPM effect that could impair or even disable enemy radars. With AESA radars set to deploy in Russian and European fighters over the next decade, a better understanding of the applied physics involved makes sense for both defensive and offensive reasons.
Energy conservation has been moving up the Pentagon’s agenda for several years now. The U.S. Army released its 2007 Sustainability Report in September 2008. In FY 2007, 301 new Army military construction projects, or 78% of projects, were designed to The US Green Building Council’s LEED standards for sustainability and energy efficiency. That’s substantially higher than private-sector figures. The Army also reported an 8.4% reduction in energy use intensity in facilities from FY 2004.
The Mk93 Heavy Machine Gun Mounting System is used to lessen the recoil of heavy weapons like the 40mm MK19 Grenade Machine Gun (GMG) and the .50 caliber/12.7mm M2 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG), improving their accuracy. It attaches to a tripod for infantry use, but it’s seen much more frequently as part of a vehicular mount, using the MK175 pintle pedestal. The MK93 requires no external adapters or tools, and consists of a gun carriage and cradle assembly, a train stop bracket, an ammunition can holder, a bolt-on small pintle, a bolt-on large pintle, and a stowage bar assembly. The U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command in Rock Island, IL recently announced a set of contracts for these items to:
When Canada announced a program to replace its aging CC-130 Hercules fleet in November 2005, there was a great deal of speculation about where the C-17 might fit in. The fast answer was that it didn’t, but speculation revived following the Liberal government’s defeat and the formation of a new Conservative Party government. The new government justified that speculation, creating a separate Strategic Airlift competition – and the shape of its specifications suggested that Canada was about to reprise Australia’s recent move and buy at least 4 of Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Australia, Britain, and the USA already operate the C-17; NATO is scheduled to buy 3-4 as a shared strategic airlift solution, but the procurement is in limbo.
Canada has traditionally resisted buying strategic airlift, choosing instead to participate in NATO’s SALIS consortium that leases ultra-heavy AN-124 aircraft for such roles. Other leased alternatives to the C-17s were available to Canada, including one based on Canadian soil – but in the end, the C-17 was the sole realistic competitor for this C$ 3.4 billion (USD$ 3 billion) program, and is entering service in Canada as the CC-177.
Canada has now taken delivery of its “CC-177s,” and begun flying missions. With new planes, however, comes new ancillary equipment.