Thales recently announced a 3-year, $460 million contract from Mexico City to install pervasive surveillance and monitoring systems, coupled to centralized control and rapid response. The system will process information from 8,080 video cameras and sensors located within the city, and transmits alarms to the appropriate command center operators when any unusual events or behavior are detected. It will also have the ability to track vehicles, by reading license plates. Police will be able to deploy specially equipped mobile command centers that maintain contact with the central command center.
Countries like Britain have deployed similar systems over the years, despite the obvious civil liberties and privacy concerns inherent in their construction and use. Mexico’s own needs have escalated, as the country faces what counter-terrorist analyst John Robb has called a growing “open source insurgency” of narco-traffickers and some leftist groups. The violence associated with “The Cartel War” has reportedly claimed between 6,000 – 8,000 lives over the last 2 years…
“…in 2019, cubesats – space satellites smaller than a shoebox – have become very cheap and very popular. For $100, anyone can put a customized personal satellite into low-earth orbit. And space data transfer protocols developed by the Interstellar Internet Project provide a basic relay backbone linking low-powered cubesats with ground stations, and with each other. Space is open… What will you do when space is as cheap and accessible as the Web is today?”
DID’s readers have far more background than most in these areas, and are welcome to participate. The exercise is open until end of day on Match 12/09, and readers can sign up to play “positive imagination” [see example] or “dark imagination” [see example] cards, or supplement existing cards with an “antagonism” card (disagree), a “momentum” card (and then what?), an “adaptation” card (introduce a twist), or an “investigation” card (follow-up questions). Remember, as the IFTF reminds participants, “Your forecasts don’t have to be probable. They just have to be possible.”
The Government of Canada recently announced 2 major contracts to support the Canadian Forces’ Land Command Support System (LCSS), worth C$ 525 million (currently about US$ 409 million).
LCSS is is a full battlefield command system similar to the USA’s FBCB2, which is best known for its “Blue Force Tracker” component that displays the locations of friendly and identified enemy forces. LCSS integrates the Army’s Tactical Command Control and Communications System, Land Force Command System (LFC2IS), and Position Determination and Navigation for Land Forces, which means it can combine communications, friendly and enemy force positioning, satellite data, and other inputs into a cohesive system. A life extension project is planned for the system, and additions like the Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance Project are underway.
In March 2009, Australia’s Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) awarded a contract to EADS Eurocopter subsidiary Australian Aerospace to provide Through Life Support services for the RAAF’s fleet of 12 C-130J and stretched C-130J-30 Hercules aircraft. Australian Aerospace already supports the RAAF’s AP-3C maritime patrol aircraft, so this is not a huge departure for the firm. Lockheed Martin will be the sub-contractor for aircraft maintenance, engineering and supply chain management, and engine support will continue to be provided by Dubai Aerospace Enterprise subsidiary StandardAero under an existing contract arrangement.
The initial contract is worth up to A$ 292 million (about $189 million). It’s is structured as a 5-year rolling contract whose continuation will reportedly be linked to demonstrated performance and cost containment, with an eye to: improved delivery of services; performance-based, long-term, support arrangements; relationship with the Commonwealth; price disclosure; and meaningful transfer of risk. Contract extensions can continue under these arrangements, through to the C-130J fleet’s expected end of life in 2030.
Air Vice-Marshal Thorne says that the contract will create over 80 additional industry jobs in the Sydney/Richmond area over the next year. Australian DoD | Australian Aerospace.
The program commenced at RAAF Base Richmond in November 2009.
Bell Helicopter subsidiary Bell Aerospace Services Inc. (BellAero), just announced a multi-year sub-contract worth up to $173 million from PKL Services Inc of Poway, CA. The PKL, BellAero, and JK Hill team will provide selected organizational-level RESET maintenance for the USMC’s Lot 3 (AH-1W Cobra attack, UH-1N utility, and CH-53D/E heavy transport) and Lot 4 (very aged CH-46E transport) helicopters at multiple locations around the world.
As is customary for these sorts of RESET programs, The USMC’s helicopter project involves a combination of inspection, cleaning, corrosion treatment, servicing, full disassembly and reassembly, repair and select mandatory replacement of parts.
CH-46E, Somalia, 1991
In 2005, Bell acquired US helicopter, one of the world’s top centers for maintenance and modification of H-1 Huey helicopters. BellAero currently runs a number of turnkey support projects for various branches of the US military, but this is their first contracted opportunity to support Boeing (CH-46) and Sikorsky (CH-53) platforms, in addition to Bell Helicopters’ own machines. Bell Textron release.