US House of Representatives approves Rep. Skelton’s [D-MO] TRICARE Affirmation Act (H.R. 4887) 403 – 0. The bill explicitly deems that TRICARE and nonappropriated fund (NAF) health plans meet all of the minimum requirements under Obama’s new health care laws, and will not force military families to buy extra coverage or face fines.
The AN/PED-1 Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR) is used by US Army Forward Observers and Forward Air Controllers to target enemy positions during the day, at night and even through haze, smoke, fog or rain. Using the system, an FO or FAC can use the LLDR to recognize a target, find the range with an eye-safe laser, calculate grid coordinates with built-in GPS, and add elevation and azimuth. The NATO-coded system can then transmit this information to other units, or directly illuminate targets for semi-active laser-guided munitions and laser spot trackers.
LLDR is not the only laser designator/ rangefinder in use by the US military; Elbit Systems’ subsidiary Kollsman supplies the USMC [PDF]. Litton, who became Northrop Grumman, has nonetheless won a pair of significant contracts aimed at modernizing the US Army’s inventory. Major contracts were announced in September 2006 and October 2009, totaling over $800 million. Delivery orders continue…
The US air cargo industry is struggling. Cargo volumes and revenues are down and fuel prices are up. Brown is feeling mighty blue these days. According to the most recent figures published by the Air Cargo Management Group, the industry saw traffic volumes plunge 10% and revenues dropped 3%.
On March 23/10 USTRANSCOM awarded 5 contracts worth a total of $869.5 million to haul military freight around the US CENTCOM’s area of responsibility, which includes the Middle East and Central Asia. The winners contractors will compete for task orders to deliver cargo door-to-door for USCENTCOM.
Up to $160M to ManTech to support LRSW space launch operations. (March 23/10)
The US Air Force’s Launch and Range Systems Wing (LRSW) is modernizing the US space launch ranges – the Eastern Range (Patrick AFB, FL) and the Western Range (Vandenberg AFB, CA)
A focus on LRSW’s modernization efforts is the US Launch & Test Range System (LTRS), which consists of ground-based surveillance, navigation, flight operations and analysis, command and control, communications and weather assets located at the Eastern Range and the Western Range.
The majority of the equipment supporting the US space launch ranges was installed during the 1960s and 1970s. Multiple LTRS upgrade efforts are underway including the Range Standardization and Automation (RSA) program, ongoing Instrumentation Modernization (IM) projects, numerous recapitalization efforts, and various depot support projects to reduce operations and sustainment costs. The current modernization efforts is replacing approximately 20% of the system.
The LRSW uses contractors to support its modernization work…