Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense & Aviation & Inspectorate General has awarded Greece’s Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) and its local and the Middle East Propulsion Company (MEPC) partner a 3-year, $43 million contract to maintain the Royal Saudi Air Force’s T56 turboprop engines. Under this competitive tender, the partners will provide maintenance, repair, overhaul, and testing services for T56 engines, modules and components. The engines run on the RSAF’s fleet of around 42 C-130/L-100 Hercules aircraft variants, located at Jeddah, Riyadh, and nearby Price Sultan Air Base.
General Dynamics Land Systems awarded an $18 million firm-fixed-price contract to Northrop Grumman to produce LRS-2000 Rate Sensor Assembly units for the Stabilized Commander’s Weapon Station (SCWS) on the US Army M1A1 Abrams tank. General Dynamics is developing the SCWS system for the US Army Tank and Automotive Command.
The Northrop Grumman LRS-2000 is a 2-axis rate sensor developed to support gun and turret stabilization applications with a random drift rate of less than 1 degree per hour.
Based on Northrop Grumman’s G-2000 dynamically-tuned gyroscope, the LRS-2000 functions as part of the SCWS that provides protection from enemy gunfire or improvised explosive devices by allowing soldiers to remotely fire the tank’s machine gun from inside the tank…
Guest Article by Mark R. Hamel and Charles J. Wolfe
Tofukuji Reiun-in Gaun-no-niwa
Kaizen events often represent the initial rapid deployment vehicle for lean transformations. Effective events drive step-function improvement, momentum and organizational learning and engagement. But while many people gravitate to the technical side of kaizen events (hey, check out this cool kanban system!), it’s as much, if not more, about embedding lean principles and capabilities within the culture.
Only then can improvements become sustainable. Only then can the organization move from purely event driven kaizen to the much more powerful combination of (occasional) events and true daily kaizen – the frequent, small, process focused improvements conducted by engaged and enabled employees in their everyday work. This is what separates the lean pretenders from the lean practitioners.
With the explosion in the number of cell phones and other commercial wireless devices, the US Federal Communications Commission has had to take spectrum used by US government agencies and shift it over to commercial use.
The Allison (now Rolls Royce) T56 turboprop engine serves on a number of American aircraft, and must be kept flying via maintenance and spares contracts. Otherwise, the USA’s C-130E/H Hercules tactical transports, P-3 Orion sea control planes, EP-3 Aries II intelligence aircraft, and C-2 Greyhound carrier-capable transport fleets could all be crippled. The US Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD recently issued $120 million in contracts to 3 firms, as modifications to previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contracts, exercising options for depot-level repairs to its T56 Series III engines.
The 3 major modules of the engine to be maintained and repaired under these options will be a maximum annual quantity of 160 power sections, 180 reduction gear assemblies, and 140 torquemeters. Efforts under these options are expected to be completed in February 2011. The winners were:
Rolls-Royce Engine Services in Oakland, CA ($34.5 million, N00019-09-D-0013)
StandardAero Inc. in San Antonio, TX ($41.2 million N00019-09-D-0014)
Wood Group Turbopower, LLC in Miami Lakes, FL ($44.6 million, N00019-09-D-0012)
Small business qualifier OASYS Technology, LLC, an electro-optical specialty firm in Manchester, NH, received a $10.6 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to develop an “unmanned airborne multispectral sensor suite for more advanced imaging technology in unmanned aerial vehicles.” Work will be performed in Manchester, NH, and is expected to be complete in February 2015. This contract was competitively procured via a broad agency announcement by the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, NJ (N68335-10-C-0064).
These kinds of sensor suites are extremely popular, and several new options are currently in development. The MQ-9 Reaper UAV is just one of several platforms expected to carry the new Gorgon Stare sensor, which goes from a narrow “soda-straw” view to an integrated picture covering several square miles, by using multiple day and night optics. This week, BAE systems also announced successful flight tests of DARPA’s ARGUS-IS (Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System), which packs a 1.8 gigapixel camera that can send up to 92 separate feeds.
Deconfliction issues have also prevented civil UAV markets from reaching anything close to their full potential for border patrol, land surveying, etc. The task is not impossible – for instance, the Hermes 450, which is the basis of Britain’s Watchkeeper Mk450 system, is now civil certified in Israel. Which is why a May 2007 EUR 500,000 (then about $672,000) European Defence Agency initiative could be significant… and now, a EUR 50 million MIDCAS contract involving an array of European firms has been signed at the 2009 Paris Air Show.