Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) will be introducing a new fleet of 40 advanced UH-60J search and rescue (SAR) helicopters, in a YEN 190 billion (about $2.3 billion) contract covering deliveries and support over the next 20 years. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will build the helicopters under license from Sikorsky, and a Sikorsky representative stated that the new UH-60Js will be based on the 1989 configuration UH-60L Black Hawk rather than the most modern HH-60M. Key SAR features like extra fuel tanks and hoists will be added to the base design, and Mitsubishi has developed a removable aerial refueling probe for the advanced UH-60Js. Other modern updates will include satellite communications, and a collision avoidance system.
Japan has a long-standing relationship with Sikorsky, with 226 Sikorsky H-60 series helicopters built under license by Mitsubishi since 1988. Japan’s Navy reportedly flies an active roster of over 130 SH-60J and SH-60K Seahawks, along with 19 UH-60J SAR helicopters. Its army reportedly flies 19 UH-60JA Black Hawks, and the air force reportedly flies 32 UH-60J SAR helicopters. The original UH-60Js entered JASDF service beginning in 1991, and the timing of the new deliveries ensures that older and newer UH-60J models will serve together in the JASDF. Sikorsky.
In early December 2010, WM Robots, LLC in Colmar, PA won a maximum $48.6 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for hand-held detectors of low-metallic and non-metallic buried explosives, for use in Afghanistan. One legacy of the war against the Soviet Union is a tremendous number of buried land mines, which continue to present a danger to anyone who ventures off of known safe routes. Then there are land mines emplaced by the Taliban and their allies. It makes for a dangerous environment, where mine-clearing has benefits beyond just roads and trails.
The Camber Corp. in Huntsville, AL receives a $19.4 million contract modification, exercising an option for technical and educational support services to the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil Military Relations education and training program. This effort also includes services for the governments of Austria, Egypt, Indonesia, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia under Foreign Military Sales rules.
Work will be performed in Kailua, HI (2%); Huntsville, AL (2%); Monterey, CA (9%); Tampa, FL (2%); various continental U.S. locations (17%); and various outside the continental U.S. locations (68%). Work is expected to be completed by December 2011. This contract was competitively procured via Navy Electronic Commerce Online, with 2 offers received by the US Navy Fleet and Industrial Supply Center in San Diego, CA (N00244-07-D-0035) .