The Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) plans to follow up the recent graduation of its first group of third generation fighter pilots by introducing a new training program for the next cohort.
ATK recently announced a $77 million, 3-year contract, exercising an option to develop and qualify the USA’s new 120mm tank-killing round for use in the U.S. Army’s M1A2 SEP Abrams tanks. The M829E4 is called the Advanced Kinetic Energy round, and belongs to a class known as APFSDS-T: Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot with Tracer. As the picture shows, the shell casing releases a penetrator sabot dart, which flies at extreme velocity to punch through enemy tank armor. The tracer element makes it easy to see the round in flight.
While manufacturers like Rheinmetall use tungsten alloys for the APFSDS dart, American rounds use alloys of similarly-dense depleted uranium (DU)…
Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, J Randy Forbes (R-VA), has outlined a number of shortfalls in US Navy programs. Concerns focus upon increased inspection failures for naval vessels, the deployment of ships lacking essential equipment or systems and aircraft that are not combat ready. Forbes’ concerns have also been echoed by two senior Navy officers during a hearing on fleet readiness.
Recently, I saw a comment that claimed the Iraqi Army (IA) is the best Arab army in the Mid-East. That it had been trained by the US in Corps- and Division- level operations, and thus was better than the rest of the Arab armies, since they effectively operate at only Brigade-level.
This is pure fantasy. The IA doesn’t have Corps and only started expanding divisional communications this year. Even the Iraqi Ministry of Defense never planned on the Iraqi Army being at that level of capabilities prior to 2020. Right now, the Iraqi military is only equipped and trained as a counter-insurgency force – and it will remain that way for a while. This article explains the Iraqi Security Forces’ planned stages of growth, the current gaps as they manifest at all levels, and some conclusions about the future.
Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc., in Huntsville, AL recently received approval from the U.S. Navy to move into the Full Rate Production (FRP) Phase on the underwater Littoral Battlespace Sensing-Glider (LBS-G) Program. The first Full Rate Production option calls for the manufacture of 35 gliders, with additional options for 100 more, and a total contract value of $53.1 million if all options are exercised. US Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command manages the contract.
The Teledyne Team has already delivered 15 Low Rate Initial Production LBS-Gs to the US Navy’s Program Executive Office for C4I, under a December 2010 contract. That team includes Teledyne Brown (System Integration), Teledyne Webb Research in East Falmouth, MA (Slocum Glider development and production), and the University of Washington – Applied Physics Lab (Glider Operations Center software). Their 2m long design features a very innovative propulsion concept.
U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, IL provides more than just airlift services. For heavier items, sealift is more economical, and can even be faster given required sortie rates for very large shipments. Hence the USA’s Regional Domestic Contract (RDC-5) program, where shipping companies provide services between the continental USA and Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico; and from Alaska to Guam.
As part of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s visit to Iraq, a US Forces spokesman reveals to journalists that ‘improvised rocket assisted mortars’ (IRAM) and ‘explosively formed penetrators’ (EFP) used by insurgents originate from Iran.
The AntiSec online hacking movement claims it has broken into a server run by military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) and stolen military email addresses and passwords. BAH refused to comment.
Following the recent announcement that the United States is to suspend $800 million worth of military aid to Pakistan, an official claims that increasingly close military ties with China will allow Islamabad to ‘fill the gap’.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) confirms that the country has been incorporating anti-aircraft carrier strategies in its annual military drills since 2008. The MND refused to confirm if a Chinese aircraft carrier will form part of computer simulated exercises due to start on July 18th.
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.