Switchblade UAVs to launch from subs? While they could retain their kamikaze capabilities, the reality is that sub-launched UAVs are going to be 1-shot items at first. Why not adapt an existing UAV designed for that?
InnoCentive offers a $15,000 reward for a concept or design of a medical transportation device that would enable a rescuer to quickly and safely transport an injured person away from an active combat site.
At least the US Navy is not facing a fire on one of its nuclear submarines, unlike its Russian counterpart yesterday.
Thursday was not a good day for the Russian military since they also had a Su-24 crash. These crashes have happened like clockwork over the years [in Russian]. Nobody died in either incident yesterday though some people appear to have been injured in the submarine fire.
Yet another cybersecurity acquisition for Raytheon: Henggeler Computer Consultants, Inc. It’s the 2nd this month and the 10th in the last 4 years.
How do you squeeze a Merlin AW101 helicopter into a C17? The BBC explains with a timelapse video and helpful charts.
Some British soldiers are complaining that their new Personal Clothing System (PCS) makes them look American, which is apparently not a flattering statement.
Turkey has frozen political and military relations with France because of the French recognition of the Armenian genocide as such. Back in September Turkey suspended its defense ties with Israel, though last week coordination between their respective air forces was reestablished.
How will the United States’ AirSea Battle work-in-progress doctrine affect Japan?
Kit Up‘s advice on Carl Gustaf tactical employment: learn to use it or someone is going to get hurt, and not just the intended target.
The US military’s Dash-7 derived “Crazy Hawk”/ Airborne Reconnaissance Low aircraft use their short-field takeoff capabilities and array of imaging, signals collection, and radar sensors to monitor developments on the ground. The planes made the news briefly in 1999 when one went down in Colombia, but the capability was needed, and that aircraft was replaced. Fort Bliss, TX reportedly hosts several aircraft, and in 2011 one of the planes based in South Korea was reportedly forced to return to base by North Korean GPS jamming.
The modernized ARL fleet remains a valuable asset, with an estimated 8 ARL-M/EO-5C planes. In December 2011, King Aerospace, Inc. in Addison, TX won a $28.2 million firm-fixed-price contract, for life cycle contract support of the USA’s Airborne Reconnaissance – Low fleet until Dec 31/14. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 3 bids received by US Army Contracting Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL (W58RGZ-05-C-0302).
The ARL-Ms will serve alongside aircraft bought for similar programs, as surveillance needs have grown. Programs like MARSS have added similar contractor-operated aircraft. In parallel, smaller twin-engine Beechcraft King Airs were bought (MC-12W) and refurbished (RC-12X), to serve in similar surveillance and COMINT/SIGINT roles.
Last week the US GAO dismissed Hawker Beechcraft’s [HBDC] protest of the Air Force’s decision to exclude the company’s proposal as “technically unacceptable”, in the context of the Light Air Support (LAS) RFP (FA8637-10-R-6000). The agency “fundamentally [disagrees] with HBDC’s premise that the Air Force directed the notice of exclusion to an ‘incorrect’ address.” Now the company is suing the USAF. At stake is a $1B award for the Afghan Air Force that Embraer otherwise looks set to win with its A-29/EMB-314 Super Tucano.
In December 2011, Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense in Simsbury, CT received a $10.8 million firm-fixed-price contract for 3,000 Man Portable Line Charge Systems that can fire rope-shaped plastic explosives for remote detonation, and 206 Inert Training Systems. Work will be performed in Graham, KY; Simsbury, CT; and Sterling, CT, with an estimated completion date of April 8/12. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received by US Army Contracting Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (W91CRB-12-C-0012).
In August 2011, an FBO.gov RFI explained the rationale behind the MPLC: US forces needed a system for quickly clearing paths through land mines, which was lighter and easier to carry than existing gear. To be specific…
The United Kingdom may involve the private sector in running defense procurement. Chief of Defence Materiel Bernard Gray and Minister for Defence Equipment Peter Luff will discuss options under consideration today on BBC Radio 4.
The US Navy’s departure from standard ship class-naming conventions, and insertion of political figures instead (vid. “John P. Murtha” for LPD-26, instead of a city name), has raised a few eyebrows in recent years. USNS Cesar Chavez [T-AKE-14] may have tipped a backlash in Congress. This is so even though that example has far more merit. The T-AKE ships have honored other pioneering political figures, and Chavez was a Navy veteran.
Manufacturers are working on ground control stations that could let a single pilot manage several UAVs at once.
Mexico’s Zetas drug cartel had an entire system of encrypted short-range radio relays around their territories, in what amounted to a military communication infrastructure. The NPR report adds that some of their kidnappings have even been designed to get technical expertise – though holding highly technical people hasn’t always gone well for them.
M7 Aerospace became an Elbit Systems of America subsidiary in December 2010. Its 6 integrated business segments include Aerostructures Manufacturing; Government Logistics Support Services; Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul; Engineering Services; Aircraft Parts & Support and Supply Chain Management and Purchasing. Their platform specialties include the Shorts Aircraft series of short take-off light transports (incl. US Army’s C-23), and Fairchild’s Merlin & Metro (US C-26 variants).
The US military continues to operate variants of these aircraft, and M7’s strong position in those niches has led to a number of contract wins. A pair of December 2011 support contracts, dating back to FY 2005 and FY 2009, illustrate the point…
The USAF Medical Service needs qualified health care workers to provide direct patient care services inside military treatment facilities, and to act as extensions of the military treatment facilities within the United States and Guam. The 773rd ESG/PKJ at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH received 26 proposals, and issued 23 multiple-award, indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity fixed-firm-price contracts with a maximum total value of of $992 million. This sort of contract is not uncommon; the US Army does the same thing.
Recipient will be eligible to bid on specific delivery orders, and each is guaranteed only $5,000 as a way of offsetting bid expenses. Winners included:
In April 2005, Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems won an contract to supply medium endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the Turkish military. Turkey’s local industry would provide sub-systems and services amounting to 30% of the contract.
The contract’s terms have been the subject of shifting reports, and the type of UAV was not specified in the official releases. Over time, however, clarity has emerged on several fronts. One front is the UAV type: the same Heron UAVs that serve with Israel, India, Canada, and other customers. Another front has involved problems with the contract, related to the weight of made-in-Turkey equipment. As clarity has emerged on those fronts, however, a 3rd front – the political front – is introducing complications.