- Russia: No more gas-for-military base deals.
- China looks to strengthen its nuclear retaliatory capability.
- US House Armed Services Committee approves the IMPROVE Acquisition Act, which would reform the defense acquisition process.
In 2004 the GAO changed its name from the Government Accounting Office to the Government Accountability Office. Along with the name change came an aggressive approach to combat fraud, waste and abuse in the US government contracting process.
Probably the most prominent role the GAO plays in the contracting process is ruling on disputes over contract awards. Although the GAO is a part of Congress, it has the authority to rule on contracting awards by the Executive Branch. While the GAO can’t compel the Executive Branch, i.e. the Pentagon and individual services for defense contracts, to comply, it has the power of Congress backing it up.
This free-to-view DID Spotlight article takes a look at the GAO’s authority and process for reviewing defense contract protests, the effects its decisions have, charges of process abuse, alternative protest venues, some major defense contract decisions, and the future of the GAO bid protest review process.
Malaysia’s Bermana News reports that Eurocopter has received a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from the Malaysian Defence Ministry for 12 EC725 Cougar medium search and rescue (SAR) helicopters. Negotiations for the EC725s had been suspended in October 2008, in the wake of the financial crisis; at the time, they were not supposed to resume until 2011. At the April 2010 Defence Services Asia (DSA) show in Kuala Lumpur, however, Defence minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reportedly signed a letter-of-acceptance. Eurocopter is now working with the government to finalize the contract, which is expected to happen when Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak returns from overseas and the cabinet has a chance to meet and sign off on the deal.
The EC725s would replace the existing fleet of about 20 aged S-61 Sea King/”Nuris”, and are expected to arrive in 2012-2013. The reported deal figure is MYR 1.6 billion ($500 million). EC725s, and their civilian EC225 counterparts, are used by several countries in the region for SAR work. China operates a couple, as does the Japanese Coast Guard. Indonesia has ordered 2, and Taiwan is believed to have ordered 3 EC225s, with an option for 17 more.
Malaysia is also reportedly shopping for attack helicopters. Contenders mentioned so far include Eurocopter’s dedicated Tiger scout/attack helicopter, which also serves in Australia, and versatile S-70 Black Hawk utility helicopters than can be armed with advanced “Battlehawk” kits. Malaysia’s Bernama News | Defense World | Flight International | Singapore’s Straits Times.
Fort Carson is located just 1 mile away from NORAD’s famous headquarters in Colorado. It is now home to the 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) of the 4th Infantry Division (a misleading name – 4ID contains the USA’s most modern heavy armor), the 2nd BCT of the 2nd Infantry Division, the 10th Special Forces Group, the 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), the 43rd Area Support Group, and the First United States Army Training Support Division – West. The fort is named in honor of the famous frontiersman Brigadier General Kit Carson.
Fort Carson was one of the major winners in the BRAC (Base Realignment & Closure) 2005 process. The 3,762 soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division are relocating from Korea, and Ft. Hood, TX will transfer a 4th Infantry Division heavy brigade combat team and 4ID’s Unit of Employment Headquarters. In February 2007, the US Army took the next step and announced that it would be expanding the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site to become the largest training ground in the nation. This free-to-view Spotlight article covers Fort Carson related contracts in the aftermath of the BRAC 2005 report.
The US Marine Corps has been using them in Afghanistan for years. And now the US Army wants to get its hands on some. Some what? You may ask. Why backscatter van (BV) military trailers, of course.
BV military trailers use backscatter x-ray technology to peer into vehicles and containers that enter and exist military checkpoints. The technology can detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs), people, and plastic weapons, among other things. The backscatter x-ray technology is similar to the full body scanners now being deployed by the US Transportation Security Administration at US airports.
American Science and Engineering (AS&E) in Billerica, MA supplies the US military with both the backscatter van, which houses the technology in an inconspicuous delivery van, and the BV military trailer designed to traverse rugged terrain…