Northrop Grumman’s ASDS “Advanced SEAL Delivery System” aimed to build mini-subs as successors to the current SDV (SEAL/Swimmer Delivery Vehicle). It began with great promise. The SDVs, carried on US modified Benjamin Franklin Class [SSBN-640] special warfare submarines, as well as new Ohio Class SSGNs, were old – and cold. ASDS would offer a modern, dry alternative, with advanced sensors besides.
In the end, however, technical and reliability issues proved insuperable. The program spiraled out of control, with cost overruns of 400+%. In its place, a less ambitious SWCS replacement program is beginning to take shape, even as the private sector begins to step in with options of its own. This DID FOCUS article chronicles the ASDS program’s history, its designated successors, and emerging privately-funded alternatives.
Tribalco, LLC in Bethesda, MD receives an option on a 4-year indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for the purchase of tactical combat casualty care sets in support of U.S. Special Operations Command. The goal for the CASEVAC Set is to have individual modules (Extraction, Mobility, Transport, Sustainment) capable of being used independently, based on a grab-and-go mentality. This option will increase the total estimated contract ceiling to $54.6 million. Work will be performed in Bethesda, MD, and is expected to be complete in 2015. This contract was awarded through competitive acquisition, but in accordance with limits allowed in 10 U.S.C. 2305(b)(4)(B) and 41 U.S.C. 253b(d)(3).
Tribalco is a certified small business formed by the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians. Their declared specialty is telecommunications, rather than the portable medical kits with monitors, trauma gear, medication, defibrillator, crash extractors, spinal boards, mountain rescue equipment, etc. required here. Even so, the special provisions that U.S. SOCOM is citing involve only limiting proposals to a highly rated subset of contractors, and prompt notification, rather than native business or small business set-asides. That’s because the 100% small business set aside was already taken care of in the April 5/10 pre-solicitation, and the TCCC CASEVAC contract was structured as a test-off and downselect to 1 vendor. Tribalco LLC appears to have beaten fellow Sept 2/10 awardees Tactical & Survival Specialties, Inc. and Remote Medical, Inc. for the production contract (H92222-10-D-0023). See also FBO solicitation.
White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley tells ABC’s This Week that the United States will suspend $800 million in aid to Pakistan’s military. The suspension comes after Pakistan expels US military trainers and amid concerns regarding Islamabad’s effectiveness in fighting militants.
China’s Chief of the General Staff of the Peoples’ Liberation Army tells a press conference with Admiral Mike Mullen that the United States should spend less on defense in light of its economic woes. The comments were made after the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff used his visit to China to proclaim that both countries were rebuilding ties to confront common challenges.
As NATO’s Libya campaign continues, fractures within the coalition, religious festivals and the rebels’ lack of cohesion may yet lead to Gaddafi clinging on to power.
EADS’ Chief Executive Louis Gallois tells a conference that setting up businesses in emerging markets helps escape the disadvantages and constraints of the eurozone.