The US Army will host [PDF] an industry day on April 24 in Sterling Heights, MI, to present its Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program, a potential replacement for M113s with the goal of being both more survivable and more mobile. This one started in FY10 but is still really in the early stage. Following the Material Development Decision (MDD), the Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) is scheduled to be finished by FY13, starting the ramp-up of almost $500M in RDT&E spending over the FY12-17 period. See the latest published schedule at the bottom of this entry.
Market Opener: Raytheon has a 6-pound MCU that takes up less than 1/5 of a square foot, but will allow India’s “DARIN-II” modified Jaguar strike fighters to start using weapons like the firm’s GPS-guided AGM-154 JSOW glide bombs, AGM-65 Maverick missiles, Paveway laser and/or GPS guided bombs, and AIM-9M Sidewinder short range air-to-air missiles. All without massive changes to the plane’s wiring or software.
The US Navy’s latest 30-year shipbuilding plan [PDF] projects an average fleet size of 298 ships. An average of 8.9 new ships would be built each year for a total of 268 vessels. Spending is expected to peak to almost $20B/year in the early 20s and 30s because of SSBN (X) recapitalization. Out of 45 ships to be inactivated over the FY13-17 period, 22 are set aside for foreign military sales. See chart at the bottom of this entry.
Huntington Ingalls Industries reported revenue down 2.2% to $6.58B in 2011, and $5.6B of new contract awards. Total backlog at the end of December 2011 was $16.3B.
Hawker Beechcraft is preparing to file for bankruptcy according to Reuters and the NYT.
Finmeccanica declared [PDF] a EUR 2.3 billion loss for 2011 (slightly more than $3B) on EUR 17.3B of revenue (-7% vs. 2010) because of high nonrecurring charges. Sales declined 22% to EUR 17.4B. Total backlog dropped 5% to 46 billion euros but from the company’s own admission it is “marked by a number of uncertain orders.”
The Pentagon is on board with more support for Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense systems. RAFAEL is partnered with Raytheon to market Iron Dome in the USA, and several NATO allies are interested in system.
The Pentagon published the Contracting Officer’s Representative Handbook (DoD COR HDBK – PDF) to provide guidance on contract surveillance, ethics, the acquisition process, as well as contract structure, administration, and monitoring. It intends to provide a comprehensive roundup of material found in FAR, DFARS, and other relevant regulation.
The GAO purchased military-grade electronic parts on the internet through a fictitious company to assess the availability of counterfeit parts from China. They found parts that had been remarked, did not meet milspec, showed more recent dates than the last legit date of production for that part, and other signs of counterfeiting.
Next Thursday the US Senate Armed Services Committee will consider the nominations of Frank Kendall as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics; Katharina G. McFarland to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition; and Heidi Shyu to be Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology. 2 other undersecretaries and one assistant secretary are also up for nomination during the same hearing.
The US Navy’s MZ-3A military research airship is about to get another year’s lease on life, as an Army test bed. With LEMV coming along, that’s probably a good idea.
The GAO says US Army payroll is a mess – not the kind where you get to eat.
Dassault Aviation released its 2011 results [PDF]. Net sales were down 21% to 3.3B euros (about $4.4B) because of markedly lower Falcon business jet deliveries vs. a record 2010. Defense orders grew 17.5% to 931 million euros. The consolidated backlog is down 7% to 8.75 billion euros.
The GAO published its latest report on the Pentagon’s space acquisitions.They recognize some areas of progress but they also think there is still “an array of challenges” to confront.
The Pentagon is still working on spelling out its cyber doctrine.
SAIC announced results for its fiscal year 2012 which ended on Jan 31, 2012. Total revenue decreased by 3% to $10.6B, dragged by a 10% drop in defense solutions to $4.2B (39.6% of total revenue). Behind these results is the $500M settlement with the City of New York over the CityTime contract; otherwise revenue on the defense side would have lost a single percentage point from the previous fiscal year. The total defense backlog stood at $7.1B at the end of January, 30% of which is funded.
Latest updates: Humana for the South, UnitedHealth for the West. TL: over $40 billion.
In July 2009, the US Department of Defense’s TRICARE Management Activity (TMA), which provides health care coverage to 9.4 million active duty military family members, military retirees and their eligible family members, issued a number of regional management contract. Under the regional TRICARE MCS services contracts, the companies provide the US military with management of healthcare provider networks and referrals, medical management, enrollment, claims processing, customer service and access to data, among other requirements. The companies will serve as intermediaries between the U.S. military personnel and the U.S. military’s medical care system, similar to the role of a healthcare insurance provider in the private sector.
In March 2012, Peru announced the winner of its competition to upgrade its air defenses. The country’s air defense needs are most sharply focused on the relatively narrow border with Chile, but the country does have borders with Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil, and has facilities it may wish to protect. Mobile and portable systems have been a priority for Peru, and their current architecture relies on a combination of upgraded SA-3/S-125 medium range missiles, Russian/Chinese derivatives of the very short range SA-16/18 man-portable missile, and guns.
Russian and Chinese firms competed for the deal, but the winner of its $140 million competition was the TRIAD consortium of Poland’s Bumar, Israel’s RAFAEL, and Northrop Grumman from the USA.
In advance of a more thorough review, the GAO(Government Accountability Office) published a report listing the various ways the JSF program is late and over budget:
“Cost overruns on the first four annual procurement contracts total more than $1 billion and aircraft deliveries are on average more than one year late. Officials said the government’s share of the cost growth is $672 million; this adds about $11 million on average to the price of each of the 63 aircraft under those contracts.”
These GAO reports will be read closely in Senate where some are not convinced the F-35B should have been taken off probation. Meanwhile Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) there was “no more money to put against contract overruns or problems” with the JSF program.