Former Secretary of Transport Philip Hammond is replacing Liam Fox as the UK’s Minister of Defence, a position that has seen a lot of turnover in past years. Fox resigned under pressure because of the access he gave to his friend Adam Werritty. FT, Guardian, BBC.
The ADS British trade association surveyed Britain’s security sector. It found domestic sales to account for 81% of the total. 91% of the ~$235M goods and services exported to the US were for cyber security.
The AP reported on Saturday that all US troops would leave Iraq by year’s end but Defense Department press secretary George Little then denied such a decision had been made. At stake is the number of troops that would remain involved in training the Iraqi military, if any.
In early October 2011, BAE Systems Survivability Systems, LLC in Fairfield, OH received a $67.8 million firm-fixed-price contract for Overhead Gunner Protection Kit (OGPK) sub-assemblies. OGPK is an open gunner protection turret, which uses a combination of metal and transparent gunshields to stop small-arms fire. It’s mounted on patrol vehicles like HMMWVs and MRAPs, and won an Army award as #9 of the 10 best inventions of 2007. More recent versions are beginning to include some level of overhead protection. As OGPK kits have gotten heavier, however, they have triggered a companion buy: electric drive kits, to help the gunner move the turret quickly, or move it against gravity when the vehicle is on an incline.
Work will be performed in Fairfield, OH with an estimated completion date of Sept 28/12. One bid was solicited, with one bid received by U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, MI (W56HZV-11-D-0131).
US Army acquisition personnel has updated the Joint Assault Bridge (JAB) website several times in recent days to help contractors position themselves for the forthcoming Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the project. JAB has an undisclosed amount of funding for FY12 and FY13. The current (very early) schedule looks at starting production at a low rate in FY15 and finishing deliveries in FY22, for a potential of 168 JABs for the Army and 29 for the USMC. Lots of Ts to cross and Is to dot until then. Because JAB will use the Abrams M1A1 hull, bidding involves ITAR exports control and a lot of the relevant material is posted as controlled unclassified information (CUI).
In light of recent events in North Africa and the Middle East, the UK’s Foreign Secretary William Hague intends to introduce a “mechanism to allow immediate [defense/security export] licensing suspension to countries experiencing a sharp deterioration in security or stability.”
Work got started on Anson, the 5th of a planned 7 British Royal Navy Astute class submarines.
In October 2011, Data Solutions & Technology in Lanham, MD received a $9.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Anti-Armor Analysis Program (AAAP) Services Support from the US Army. AAAP’s goal is to analyze current and historical data on enemy attacks against US vehicles, in order to draw conclusions about protection. DSTI personnel will deploy in mobile teams of at least 2, equipped with specialized tools to survey armor vehicles as well as the surrounding scene, photograph damaged vehicles, inspect and document findings, and review and conduct analysis of maintenance/supply documentation.
The firm has done this work before; indeed, Betty Tingle was promoted to VP Business Development in February 2011, after playing what was described as “a key role in the company’s contract regarding the National Ground Intelligence Center’s Anti-Armor Analysis Program (AAAP) in the U.S. and abroad.” Work will be performed in Charlottesville, VA; Afghanistan; and other contingency locations overseas as necessary; with an estimated completion date of Sept 29/12. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 1 bid received by the US Army Intelligence and Security Command in Charlottesville, VA (W911W5-11-C-0016). See also FBO.gov.
When 2010 British budget cuts forced the Royal Navy to sell RFA Largs Bay just a few years into its service life, Chile’s need to deliver disaster relief from the sea made them one of the reported bidders. Largs Bay ended up heading to Australia, but France’s replacement of its Foudre Class LSDs with larger Mistral Class LHD helicopter carriers gave Chile another opportunity. In October 2011, Chile reportedly beat out Brazil and Argentina for the deal, which is said to be worth $80 million.
The 12,000t FS Foudre was commissioned in 1990, so she is many years older than Largs Bay. On the other hand, Chile’s needs a replacement for its 8,687t Valdivia Newport Class LST, which was retired in January after almost 40 years of combined US/Chilean service.
Don’t mind me, I’m just the user. Driven mostly by political pressure, defense offsets have grown to 130 countries for an estimated $100B/year.
Russia is likely to continue renewing its aging materiel, at least if oil prices remain high and Putin gets, as widely expected, the presidency back. They’ll have finished scrapping their T-64 tanks by the end of the year.
As expected, Egypt picks Lockheed Martin’s Sniper targeting pods to equip its new F-16s. Even as the words “targeting” and “Egypt” seems to refer more often to its Copt Christians.
US Army Top 2010 Inventions: infrared illuminating cartridges (i.e. the target can’t trace incoming fire back to its source unless they’re equipped with night vision too), 5.56mm bullets with higher steel penetration, “green light” visual deterrent, the Husky Mark III/2G landmine detection vehicle, faster mortar fire control systems and more. [Note: the list was released last month but the ceremony to honor the award winners took place yesterday.]
The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) is pondering the future of American ground force capabilities [PDF], starting from the realization that while it’s attractive to think the future will require less “boots on the ground” vs. naval, air and special operations projection, it’s not like we haven’t heard that song before. The think tank concludes ground forces will remain more relevant and in demand than many expect.
Finmeccanica subsidiary DRS Tactical Systems, Inc. in Melbourne, FL recently received a $248.3 million firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) installation kits, and engineering services to integrate them onto the relevant vehicles, helicopters, etc. Work location will be determined with each task order, with an estimated completion date of Sept 22/14. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 10 bids received by the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (W15P7T-11-D-C601).
FBCB2 is more commonly known to the public as “Blue Force Tracker,” though that is only part of a system designed to enable a diverse array of communications, while showing the positions of friendly forces and detected enemies (hence its popular name). Blue Force Tracker has profound implications for land warfare, and related contracts extend from computers to back-end services. Over the last 16 years, more than 95,000 FBCB2 systems have been deployed worldwide. The latest FBCB2 Joint Capabilities Release was approved for fielding in February 2011, offering bandwidth improvements, faster updates, and a common platform for the US Army and Marine Corps. DRS also supplies the system’s current JV-5 Block II ultra-rugged computer/ display, which runs on the same Intel Core i7 chipset found in high-end Apple machines. Other key participants in the FBCB2 program include Northrop Grumman (prime contractor), and ViaSat (communications component).
The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) reviewed its single-source contracts which account for about 40% of its total procurement. While sole sourcing often does make sense, MOD hopes to get standardized cost data from contractors to increase transparency within that contractual framework.
Under pressure because he let his friend Adam Werritty present himself as an adviser, MOD chief Liam Fox made an apologetic statement to try and clarify how events unfolded. Werritty visited Fox 22 times at the Ministry, and also met him during trips abroad. More on this: The Guardian, The Telegraph.
Recruitment headaches. Does it make sense for the MOD to award a large contract for civilian recruiters to handle Army recruitment? Meanwhile, in the US, can you touch healthcare and retirement benefits without detrimental effects on recruitment?
Your friend is on the ground, bleeding out. If you can’t replace the lost circulation volume, he’ll die quickly from shock. If the replacement you use hinders clotting, his odds to make it through the Golden Hour aren’t good. The bad news? Because of your location, frozen blood plasma isn’t available.
Entegrion, Inc. in Durham, NC thinks they have an answer, and the US Army is funding it with up to $43.8 million, to advance Resusix through phase II and phase III trials. What is Resusix?