Governments like umbrella “multiple award” contracts that let them deal with specific areas on set terms. It cuts administrative overhead costs, creates known pools of familiar competitors, and shortens the gap between requests and service. Hence the US Army’s recent announcement of their $497 million Biometrics Operations and Support Services Unrestricted (BOSS-U) multiple award contract awards, run by the Information Technology, E-commerce and Commercial Contracting Center (ITEC4) on behalf of the Biometrics Task Force.
The opportunity was initially announced on May 23/08, and proposals from 12 offerors were received by the closing date of Aug 18/08. The winners were announced in late December 2008, and include:
Environmental Leader magazine has a pair of stories covering achievements in the defense sector:
Lockheed Martin received several awards in 2008 for its progress towards the aggressive 25% reduction goals for carbon, waste, and water use it had set in 2007. The firm has set 2012 as the target date, and is also expanding its sales of related conservation services. EL story.
Meanwhile, the US Navy has reduced its overall energy consumption level by 12% as of this year. Since few additional funds were allocated, the Navy is using “share-in-savings” where contractors pay for the upgrade and capital costs, then the Navy pays them back through resulting savings in its energy bills. Environmental Leader’s story details some of these arrangements.
On a comparable note, Raytheon’s Enterprise Energy Team received one of Raytheon’s 2007 Excellence in Operation and Quality award in June 2008. The team achieved Raytheon’s 2-year goal and decreased total company-wide energy consumption by 17% during 2007, vs. an adjusted 2005 baseline. The firm saved $10 million in energy costs during 2007, and avoided 104 million kWh. Since energy constitutes 90% of the firm’s greenhouse gas footprint, the firm expects to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals a year early.
Full disclosure: DID LLC recently signed a financial agreement with Environmental Leader magazine that involves mutual investments. DID’s long-standing coverage of energy issues and their implications for military procurement will continue, and we look forward to working together with Environmental Leader on key trends and stories of interest.
Canada’s military has decided that it needs longer-range artillery to support its front-line troops, and they think they’ve found it. The tracked M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) was originally developed as an assault-breaker weapon, meant to destroy Warsaw Pact formations as they advanced into NATO territory. It first achieved prominence in the 1991 Desert Storm operation, where its M26 227mm rockets’ performance against Iraqi troops gave it the nickname “steel rain.” The current war has seen significant changes, in particular the GPS-guided M30/M31 GMLRS rocket. It converts the system from an area-effect weapon, to something British forces call “the 70 km sniper.” The British have even modified their M270s for use in the Afghan theater, while the USA has used the M270 and its smaller, truck-mounted M142 HIMARS cousin with great success in Iraq. See DID’s coverage regarding their use during key battles in Tal Afar.
Canada also serves in Afghanistan, and has shipped a handful of M777 ultra-lightweight towed howitzers and GPS-guided Excalibur shells into theater. Those weapons offer effective responses to the Taliban’s Chinese-made mortars and rockets, and allied support from longer-range systems like the Dutch PzH-2000NL mobile howitzers and British MLRS systems has supplemented those efforts. Now a combination of those experiences, American and British successes, and the need for a longer-range strike option that doesn’t depend on the presence of allied airpower and good conditions for its use, are pushing the Canadians toward an MLRS buy of their own.