The latest Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) draft RFP was posted by the US Navy on fbo.gov last week and modified yesterday. Responses expected by March 30. The final RFP was supposed to be released by December 2011 but obviously this has been delayed.
A group of 6 Republican congressmen wrote to the House Appropriations Committee to protest the use of Overseas contingency operations (OCO) funds as a budget gimmick.
India is increasing its defense budget for 2012-13 by 17% to Rs 1,93,407 crore (about $38.5B). The Business Standard opines that the nominal double-digit growth is misleading.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released its latest report [PDF] on international arms imports and exports. India remains the #1 importer at 10% of global imports.
DARPA wants to develop new year-round monitoring capabilities in the Arctic, above and below the ice, for example to measure under-ice acoustic propagation. Their Proposer’s Day on the topic is scheduled for March 30, with $4M in funds to follow that they will spend in awards of about $250K-$500K.
In March 2012, Textron subsidiary AAI Corp. in Hunt Valley, MD received a $180.9 million cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to support RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aircraft systems serving with the US military and Australia. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, MD, Afghanistan, and Australia with an estimated completion date of Oct 3/12. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL manages the contract (W58RGZ-12-C-0011).
The Pentagon’s DOT&E office updated its Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP) guidebook [PDF] to reflect the latest guidance on information assurance, the design of experiments (DOE), and reliability growth.
The latest batch of old USAF aircraft sold as scrap metal will be available for auction next week.
The US Air Force’s Air Mobility Command has been working on reducing the amount of fuel used to balance KC-135 tankers and C-5 Galaxies. They used to load 8,800 pounds of fuel to maintain the center of gravity of KC-135s but upgrades such as heavier avionics now provide some of that weight. Obviously reducing weight at takeoff also lowers fuel consumption.
US Senator John McCain (R-AZ, SASC Ranking Member) sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense announcing he “will not support any further reprogramming requests for new, unauthorized programs except for emergency requirements” until he has received a detailed report on reprogramming from the last 2 years. Reprogramming (ab)use has apparently been getting worse, according to a McCain staffer quoted in Foreign Policy. During Ashton Carter’s confirmation hearing as Deputy SecDef in September last year, the senator had this to say on the topic:
The US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Land and Maritime says its $1.1B Tires Successor Initiative (TSI) 5-year contract with SAIC is now fully operational. Aircraft tires started being handled within this agreement on Jan. 23, followed by ground tires a month ago.
The US Department of Defense published an implementation plan for the operational energy strategy [both PDFs] it released last year. Energy considerations will be made part of modeling/simulation and requirements, and acquisition plans will have to incorporate Fully Burdened Cost of Energy (FBCE) analyses, in line with a recent Navy issuance [PDF]. In November last year the Navy set up an Operational Energy in Acquisition Team (EN-ACQT) to embed energy considerations in all acquisitions. Some of these goals will be tough to achieve: the Pentagon’s plan reflects the Air Force’s recent realization that 10% jet fuel burn reduction was not going to happen by 2015; the deadline to meet that goal is now 2020.
Saving energy money involves engineering smarter procedures, not just more effective engines. Langley AFB has been testing an aircraft fueling system that reduces the need to shuffle trucks back and forth.
The latest CBRNIAC newsletter [PDF] has an article on the chemical agent detection capability the US Navy plans to add to many of its ships by the end of 2018. Known as the Improved Point Detection Sytem – Lifecycle Replacement (IDPS-LR), it was recently installed on USS Mason (DDG 87). 35 ships are scheduled for upgrade this year, with DDG-110, DDG-83 and LPD-19 next in line.
The Australian DoD announced the allocation of construction work for the third ship of the $8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD).
Earlier this week India debarred 4 foreign companies – Israel Military Industries (IMI), Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd, Rheinmetall’s Air Defence Swiss subsidiary, and Russia’s Corporation Defence (aka Corporation Zashchita) – and 2 local ones – RK Machine Tools Ltd and TS Kisan and Co Private Ltd – from doing business with its Ministry of Defence for 10 years. Apparently this will affect the whole ministry in practice though not in the legal fineprint.
ST Kinetics first complained that allegations to that effect were made since 2009 despite a lack of any formal charges until now. The company then confirmed it received official notification from the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) which only affects an NDA signed a few years ago, as the firm has not won any defense contract in India. Meanwhile Israel’s defense ministry expressed its surprise and is reviewing how to proceed with IMI.
In February 2012 the Inspector General (IG) at the US Department of Defense released a report [PDF] finding that DOD had awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program funds to potentially ineligible contractors. The IG also found $1.3B worth of additional contracts that were inaccurately coded in the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) federal procurement database. This reflects two sets of issues that have plagued federal and defense contracting for years.