June 9/11: Vortex Marine Construction, Inc. in Oakland, CA won a $500 million firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity task-order, under a multiple-vendor umbrella contract. They’ll perform various construction and dredging projects with the boundaries of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ South Atlantic Division. Work location will be determined as needed, with an estimated completion date of June 6/12. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville, FL solicited 35 bids, with 17 bids received (W912EP-11-D-0025).
Vortex Marine Construction owns and operates one of the largest fleets of floating construction equipment in the Western United States. They specialize in marine and heavy civil construction projects, with an emphasis on turn-key marine facilities. On the other end, dredging contracts are fairly regular features for the USACE, given their importance to shipping and (among other things) the maintenance of low prices for consumer goods. The U.S. Army Engineer District in Philadelphia has a background page about dredging that explains the rationale, and the different options.
In mid-June 2011, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL received a 5-year, not-to-exceed $100 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity sole-source contract to provide technical support for the WCMD family of GPS-guided cluster bombs (which can include the CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon), and the AGM-158 JASSM family of stealthy cruise missiles. Delivery orders under this basic contract may be firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, or cost-plus-incentive-fee contracts, and will be managed by the USAF’s Air Armament Center/EBJK at Eglin Air Force Base, FL (FA8682-11-D-0155).
The associated FBO announcement corrects some errors in the Pentagon DefenseLINK release, and adds more detail. Lifecycle support includes all efforts related to JASSM, JASSM ER and any JASSM variant, or any WCMD variant, in the areas of system upgrade (i.e. datalink program for JASSM), integration with military aircraft, production improvements, sustainment (including mission planning software, non-warranty repair, and flight test support), management (includes FMS sales efforts, studies and various reports, plus parts obsolescence issues) and logistical support (technical manuals, test kits, technical orders, spares, even support for related simulator modes). The contract covers both US Government and foreign government systems. See the FBO solicitation to find the subcontracting opportunities contact person.
Lockheed Martin in Syracuse, NY receives a 5-year, $37.6 million fixed-price-requirements repair contract for items to support the E-2C Hawkeye’s APS-145 radar system. Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY, and will run to June 2016. Since the radar is a Lockheed Martin product, the contract was not competitively procured by the US Naval Inventory Control Point in Philadelphia, PA (N00383-11-D-006N).
The House Appropriations Committee approves the FY12 Defense Appropriations legislation. The bill contains $530 billion in non-emergency funding, an increase of $17 billion over last year’s level, but $9 billion below President Obama’s request. The Committee also agreed to withhold 75% of the $1.1 billion-worth of aid for Pakistan, until the administration reports on how it would spend the money. It isn’t a budget, however, until Senate reconciliation happens.
The US Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) report [PDF] on policy options for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) estimates that DoD plans to acquire 730 UAS based on designs currently in operation, while also improving the unmanned aircraft already in service will cost $36.9 billion through 2020. The CBO also analyzed options that would cost from $3.7 billion less than the DoD’s plans through 2020 to $2.9 billion more.
An independent review of 40 major programs concludes that the Pentagon’s Operational Test & Evaluation teams are not the cause of delays in all the weapons programs. Instead the report revealed that delays in 37 programs were caused by problems discovered during testing.
Lockheed Martin will provide its Prepar3D visual simulation software to power the National Flight Academy’s (NFA) immersive aviation experience as part of the academy’s hands-on approach to teaching the principles of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Flight Global reports that Israel’s Aeronautics Defense Systems’ Orbiter Mini UAV and BlueBird’s SpyLite Multi Configuration Tactical UAS are two final contenders in the Finnish military’s unmanned air system contest.
Intelligent Software Solutions (ISS) wins a contract from the the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) for software that will use predictive reasoning and pattern-analysis to improve situational awareness for British warfighters and help determine the level of risk for various missions.
UAS Vision says the first meeting of the Netherlands’ new unmanned aerial sector (UAS) network attracted 70 individuals representing 40 different companies and organizations. One of the principal aims of the network is to advance the development and deployment of unmanned aircraft systems in the Netherlands.
India’s Home Ministry to evaluate unmanned aerial system (UAS) technologies for law enforcement purposes.
Cubic Global Tracking Solutions announces that it has received certification from Iridium Communications Inc. for its Global Sentinel System. The product tracks and monitors high-risk assets utilizing a variety of transmission links.
Wired’s Danger Room reports on the evidence that Russia may have revived the Soviet-era Falcon-Echelon laser project. Potential targets include U.S. satellites.
As the US defense budget is seeing targeted cuts, one area that seems to be getting more money is cybersecurity. The US military has announced plans to spend billions on technology to secure its networks.
In response to this shift in priorities, traditional defense contractors, such as BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman have been on a buying spree, snatching up cybersecurity firms left and right. At the same time, a number of these companies have proven vulnerable to cyber attacks themselves, with some analysts seeing a tie to a security breach at RSA, which provides technology for remote access of employees to their corporate networks.
This article examines this shift in the US defense industry and defense spending regarding cybersecurity. In particular, the article examines where the money being earmarked for cybersecurity is going and what kind of initiatives are being undertaken by the US military.