Oct 03, 2011 18:10 UTC
MH-6M’s NASCAR visit
US Special Operations Command’s helicopters are some of its most important assets. The service will need new helicopters in the near future, but meanwhile, they’re busy modernizing the helicopters they have. Sensor and targeting system improvements offer a lot of operational bang for the buck, as August 2011 contracts to improve the MH-60 and MH-47 fleets show. Now FLIR Systems, Inc. in North Billerica, MA has received a sole-source $24.6 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract under FAR 6.302-1, for new production or retrofit of AN/ZSQ-3 (V1 Assault) and AN/ZSQ-3 (V2 Attack), Electro-Optic Sensor Systems with laser rangefinder/designator units. Order 0001 is for $497,092, with the rest to be awarded as requested by US SOCOM’s Technology Applications Contracting Office until Sept 22/16 (H92241-11-D-0007).
The turrets will equip the 160th SOAR’s A/H-6M “Little Birds” at Fort Campbell, KY. These MD 530 derivatives serve in versatile roles with the Night Stalkers, quickly moving special forces troops into confined areas, or acting as light helicopter gunships. They were especially useful during Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu, 18 years ago today, when they flew the only close air support available to the trapped Rangers and Delta force soldiers, sometimes even landing in narrow streets. The battle is known as the “Day of the Rangers” in Somalia, but it’s best known to most Americans by the movie/book name: “Blackhawk Down“.
Oct 03, 2011 17:26 UTC
In September 2011, The MITRE Corp. in Bedford, MA received a $394.2 million contract modification, exercising the 3rd option year for systems engineering and integration support for Air Force ceiling programs (892 staff-years) and Air Force non-ceiling programs (300 direct staff years) in FY 2012. This contract also supports Foreign Military Sales programs (6%) to Britain, France, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. The ESC/CAA at Hanscom AFB, MA manages the contract (FA8721-12-C-0001).
These contracts have been going on for some time. MITRE was formed in 1958 as a not-for-profit corporation under the leadership of C.W. Halligan, and has a long-standing cross-fertilization with MIT. It manages several Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs). The one for the Department of Defense (recently changed to the National Security Engineering Center) specializes in command, control, communications, and intelligence systems. Other FFRDCs serve the Internal Revenue Service & the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs (the Center for Enterprise Modernization [PDF]), Homeland Security, and the Administrative office of the U.S. federal courts. Finally, MITRE has its own independent research and development program, to explore new technologies and new uses of technologies to solve its sponsors’ problems.
Oct 03, 2011 12:16 UTC
In September 2011, iRobot Corp., Bedford, MA, was awarded a 5-year, $60 million firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for up to 300 PackBot Robot Systems, plus sustainment parts, repair, maintenance, and training. This contract can be used to deliver Foreign Military Sale channel orders, and iRobot says that has delivered government and industrial robots to customers in approximately 30 countries so far. In response to requests, Rrobot told DID that this new contract will allow the government to procure commercial Packbot systems, and does not fall within military MTRS or SUGV contracts.
Work will be performed in Bedford, MA, and the contract runs until July 27/16. One bid was solicited by the RSJPO (Robotic Systems Joint Program Office), with 1 bid received by U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, MI, who manages the contract (W56HZV-11-D-0093). See also iRobot release.