On Sept 11/09, L-3 Communications Geneva Aerospace of Carrollton, TX received a not-to-exceed $250 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for U.S. Special Operations Command’s Expeditionary Unmanned Aircraft System. The competed contract is for 1 year with 4 option years, with a minimum of $5 million and orders to be issued as desired (H92222-09-D-0051). That minimum was met immediately in the initial $6.6 million delivery order. See also L-3 release.
L-3 is not known as a UAV maker; instead, their Geneva Aero subsidiary is best known as a maker of key flight and datalink systems for use in UAVs. The firm is expanding their reach, however, and L-3 representatives confirmed to DID that the SOCOM UAV is their Viking 400 model [PDF]. It’s larger than SOCOM’s Puma AE mini-UAVs, and in a similar size class to Aerovironment’s RQ-7 Shadow.
The all-composite Viking 400 UAV is 14.7 feet (4.5m) long with a 20 foot (6.1m) wingspan, and is assembled in the field like a model aircraft. It weighs 320 pounds (145 km) empty, and is powered by Zanzoterra’s 38hp 498i Twin Boxer engine. Maximum payload is 75-100 pounds (34-45 kg) of sensors in nearly 7,000 cubic inches of payload volume. The UAV leverages L-3 Geneva Aerospace’s extensive work on its flightTEK autonomous take-off and landing system, and missions are flown using GPS waypoint navigation that can be reassigned during flight. Payloads can include Electro-Optical/ Infrared, LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging, a sort of laser radar that’s good at seeing through trees and obstacles), SIGINT (SIGnals INTelligence – communication intercepts), ELINT(ELectronic INTelligence – includes signals from radars, remote detonators, etc.) and/or CBRN (Chemical/ Biological/ Radiological/ Nuclear) sensors. UAV Range is over 70 nautical miles (130 km) at a speed of 60-90 knots (111-167 km/h), but line-of-sight is required for the datalink to work.
Because space is at a premium in Singapore, that country has been training its F-16 pilots for over 17 years at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
Originally, Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) pilots leased F-16A/B aircraft from the USAF. Now they have F-16C/Ds of their own and they actively participate in US-sponsored exercises and joint training. Singapore’s current arsenal of F-16s number 70 Fighting Falcons, 62 of which are advanced F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft, according to F-16.net.
The Singapore government is seeking to continue that training tradition…
The US Navy’s Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk awarded 5 cost-plus fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contracts worth up to $391.5 million to provide professional support services to Commander, Naval Installations Command (CNIC). The support services include program management, logistics, financial management, and administrative support services.
CNIC has overall shore installation management responsibility and authority for naval installation support; it is the Navy’s point of contact for installation policy and program execution oversight. CNIC’s management responsibilities include port operations, weapons storage, environmental aspects, planning and real estate, housing, emergency management, recreational programs, child care and youth programs.
Below are the 5 contractors who were awarded CNIC support contracts, their contract numbers and amounts:
Lockheed Martin’s Savi Technology in Mountain View, CA received a maximum $100 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity/ indefinite-delivery, sole source contract for radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and magnetic mounting brackets. RFID tags are similar to wireless bar codes and are used to track US military supplies and equipment.
The firm has worked with the US military for over a decade to build their RF In-Transit Visibility (ITV) network, which spans more than 45 countries and tracks military supplies through 4,000 sites. “US Getting Savi at Ammo Depots” has more on the RF ITV network.
Savi was selected in December 2008 to compete for work on the US Army’s RFID III contract…
Mid Eastern Builders in Chesapeake, VA, won a $22.2 million firm-fixed price contract for the replacement and construction of fuel tanks at Heckscher Drive fuel farm, facilities and fuel operations at the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, Jacksonville, FL.
The work to be performed provides for demolition and construction of 7 steel above ground bulk fuel storage tanks and replacing 5 with new similar sized tanks at the same location. The project will also remove the underground piping from the pump station located at the intersection of Second Street and B Road to the last of the bulk storage tanks along B Road, and replace it with above ground piping.
Mid Eastern Builders won a similar project earlier this year…
Defense was an issue in the 2007 Australian election. The center-left Labor Party attacked the center-right Liberal Party by citing mismanaged projects, and accusing the Howard government of making poor choices on key defense platforms like the F/A-18F Super Hornet and F-35A Joint Strike fighters. That sniping continued even after Labor won the election, and has been evident in more than a few Defence Ministry releases.
The new government made some program changes, such as canceling the SH-2G Seasprite contract. Yet it has been more notable for the programs it has not changed: problematic upgrades of Australia’s Oliver Hazard Perry frigates were continued, the late purchase of F/A-18F Super Hornets was ratified rather than canceled, and observers waited for the real shoe to drop: the government’s promised 2009 Defence White Paper, which would lay out Australia’s long-term strategic assessments, and procurement plans.
On May 2/09, Australia’s government released “Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030.” DID has reviewed that document, and the reaction to date including a new ASPI roundup of reactions from around Asia.