DARPA’s Robust Surface Navigation (RSN) program will allow American warfighters to geo-locate and navigate effectively when GPS is unavailable due to hostile action (e.g. jamming) or blockage by structures and foliage. After successfully completed Phase 1, Argon ST in Fairfax, VA received a $6.5 million contract for Phase 2A, with options for Phases 2B and 2C.
DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office initially selected Argon ST in 2008 to develop algorithms for mitigating multi-path signal errors and signal blockage that occur in urban canyons and indoor environments. According to DARPA, the RSN program will develop the procedures and technologies for geo-location of stationary assets and navigation of mobile platforms by exploiting signals of opportunity and/or specialized signals from satellite, airborne, and terrestrial assets. The use of widely available signals of opportunity will provide a robust non-GPS capability. Signals of opportunity can also be augmented when necessary by purpose-deployed signal-emitting beacons.
Argon ST has selected Honeywell Laboratories in Minneapolis, MN; Ticom Geomatics in Austin, TX; and The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, MA to provide supporting software and engineering services in connection with this project.
DRS Sustainment Systems, a unit of DRS Technologies, received a $103.9 million firm-fixed-price contract for 274 M1000 heavy equipment transporter semitrailers. DRS Sustainment will perform the work at its facility in Saint Louis, MO, with an estimated completion date of May 30/12. One bid was solicited and received by TACOM-Warren, AMSCC-TAC-ATBC, in Warren, MI (W56HZV-09-D-0107).
The M1000 semitrailer [PDF] carries armored vehicles and other heavy equipment loads weighing up to 80 tons. The M1000 is able to load, unload, and transport the M1 Abrams tank and other heavy equipment on-road, off-road and cross country, in all weather conditions.
Austria has been a neutral power since World War 2, but contingents from its small armed forces are sometimes made available for international deployment. The growing realization that blast resistant vehicles are an essential piece of equipment in any combat zone appears to have finally reached Austria’s priority list, spawning a EUR 104 million (about $138 million) contract for 150 “protected multipurpose vehicles.”
In January 2009, Austria made its vehicle choice. Now, it has made its weapon choice…
Boeing’s subsidiary McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, MO received a $32.4 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-03-C-0055) to manufacture, test, and deliver 23 reconfigurable transportable consolidated automated support systems (RTCASS) for the U.S. Navy (21) and the U.S. Air Force (2). In addition, this modification provides for 12 self-maintenance and test/calibration interface devices for the Navy (10) and the Air Force (2).
The RTCASS is a member of the Navy’s family of automatic test equipment…
“Across the entire ADF, an alarming amount of expensive military equipment is not in a suitable upgraded condition to be sent to war… the legacy of project mismanagement and a Defence Department mindset that focuses more heavily on the defence force of tomorrow than on the force of today.”
One critical element of both today’s and tomorrow’s force is Australia’s submarine fleet. The 2009 White Paper aims to increase Australia’s fleet to 12 submarines, but current reports put the number of operational boats at… 1.