AGFA Healthcare in Ridgefield Park, NJ won a maximum $120 million fixed-price with economic price adjustment base-year contract for a digital imaging network picture archive communication system (PACS). These systems are used in hospitals to share scans and other medical images across a facility, or even across multiple facilities; their usefulness to military health care is obvious. This system will be used by the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and the contract also provides for buys from federal civilian agencies.
The maximum dollar amount is for base year only, which runs until March 7/13. The original proposal was Web-solicited with 10 responses, by US Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support in Philadelphia, PA (SPM2D1-11-D-8303).
Note that the Pentagon bulletin said “Agfn Healthcare” – but AGFA is the large healthcare firm with an HQ in Ridgefield Park. Discussions with DID confirmed that this is their contract, and they have an extensive lineup of Radiology Information Systems (RIS) and PACS offerings. AGFA’s most recent PACS solution is the web-based IMPAX 6.5, and the DIN-PACS III contract also includes Computed Radiography / Direct Radiography (CR/DR), speech recognition, and integration services and support programs. AGFA HealthCare’s prior DIN-PACS contracts have included projects for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Justice, among others.
The USA’s aging aircraft problem spans a number of fleets, from aerial tankers, to fighters, to tactical transports. One may argue, however, that its most severe problem lies with its fleet of Lockheed Martin P-3 maritime patrol aircraft. Not only was the global P-3 fleet produced between 1962-1990, the aircraft have often been flown at low altitudes in a salt-spray environment. This is not a recipe for aircraft health.
Rear Adm. Holmes’ 2005 interview confirmed the seriousness of the situation. The US Navy keeps retiring aircraft, and is trying to hang on until its P-8A Poseidon/ BAMS UAV successors are fielded. That is proving to be difficult, to the point that Boeing is reportedly being asked to speed up P-8 production and fielding. Meanwhile, the P-3 Recovery Plan is part of a range of efforts designed to keep the P-3s in the air. Contracts continue, including outer wing replacements and other deep structural maintenance efforts.
In August 2009, the US DSCA announced a request from the Netherlands to buy kits that would upgrade their AH-64D Apache attack helicopter fleet, which is seeing significant use in Afghanistan. Dutch AH-64Ds lack the mast-mounted Longbow millimeter-wave radar common on similar models elsewhere, but the requested “AH-64D Block II” upgrade would otherwise move them to the same configuration as the vast majority of the American fleet. It will also gives them more advanced Arrowhead MTADS sensors, color cockpit displays including moving digital maps, updated self-protection suites, and several features designed to improve maintenance and lower operating costs.
That will make coalition operations and maintenance sharing easier in places like Afghanistan. There, the Americans operate their AH-64D fleet with Longbow radars removed, while the British WAH-64Ds have made good use of those radars thanks to their more powerful Rolls Royce engines. All are in high demand thanks to their flexibility, and their 30mm cannon. The question is whether the helicopter block type upgrades will be fielded in time to matter on the ground…
In June 2009, Iridium Government Services in Tempe, AZ received a contract to begin providing Netted Iridium satellite communication system to front line Marines. The program was developed to enable Marines deployed inland to communicate back to their ships, and moved on to Phase 2 as the Distributed Tactical Communications System (DTCS). A number of important improvements are underway, and the program is now in Phase 3.
Iridium is still most famous as Motorola’s spectacular global venture failure, but it was bought for pennies on the dollar and has become a thriving low-bandwidth communications provider. Commenting on the problem that the Netted Iridium program was designed to solve, Brigadier General Mark Bowman, of US Central Command J6, said: