In April 2010, Britain’s BAE Systems Plc and Turkey’s Nurol Holding AS reportedly signed a letter of intent worth up to $500 million, to help supply about 250 armored vehicles to the Malaysian government through their FNSS Savunma Sistemleri AS joint venture. Their Malaysia partner will be a unit of Kuala Lumpur-listed DRB-Hicom Bhd., who will perform assembly in country.
That became a contract in 2011, but the overall program cost from Malaysia’s budget will be about $2 billion higher. Now, why might that be?
June 1 /11: Raytheon Co. in McKinney, TX receives a $24 million firm-fixed-price contract award to buy 2 used commercial Beechcraft airliners, then refurbish the airframes, add special mission equipment and components, and cover spare parts, accessories and other material and services for the Arab Republic of Egypt. Work will be performed in McKinney, TX, and Egypt, with an estimated completion date of July 31/12. One bid was solicited, with one bid received by the US Army’s AMCOM Contracting Center at Redstone Arsenal, AL (W58RGZ-11-C-0084).
Raytheon spinoff HawkerBeechcraft’s King Air twin-turboprops have found a niche as affordable, long endurance manned reconnaissance airplanes. Used commercial aircraft are likely to be the King Air B200/ 300, which have been bought and refurbished for Canadian use under the MARSS program, rather than the new King Air 350ERs in use by Iraq and the USA. Malta operates King Air B200s as maritime patrol craft, and private firms like ASSI (SkyEye 350) and Dynamic Aviation own King Air ISR(Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance) planes that are available for lease.
In all of these variants, a belly “canoe” fits the required surveillance gear, which can involve surface-viewing radars, surveillance and targeting turrets like Raytheon’s own MTS, and more. Inside, workstations in the plane receive the data; depending on the communications gear and available bandwidth, that information can be sent on to command sites. The net effect is similar to a Predator level UAV, but with more sensors and more flexibility, in exchange for less endurance in the air.
Defense purchase coverage often focuses on weapons, but in FY 2010, weapon procurement is actually only 20.1% of the Pentagon’s budget. By comparison, “Operations and Maintenance” took up 34.7%. That $180+ billion total includes a wide range of items. For instance…
CH2M Hill, Inc. in Virginia Beach, VA wins a maximum $170 million cost-plus-award-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect-engineering contract for comprehensive long-term environmental action services on NAVFAC Atlantic Navy and Marine Corps installations, running until May 2016. Their architectural and engineering services will include program management and technical environmental services in support of the Department of the Navy’s Environmental Restoration Program, the Munitions Response Program, and other similar programs at any Navy and Marine Corps activity in NAVFAC Atlantic’s AOR(Area Of Responsibility)…
A new report [PDF] from the unaligned CSBA think tank states that “the growth and proliferation of anti-access/area-denial capabilities, together with short-range guided munitions, have the potential to bring the era of the aircraft carrier to an end, obviate the ability of short-range, tactical U.S. air power to operate from forward bases, and substantially raise the difficulties and costs of moving heavy ground forces into overseas theaters, much less sustaining them once there.”