Northrop Grumman is pitching a fleet of 3 to 5 modified Global Hawks Block 30s to Canada. The call it “Polar Hawk”. It’s a good thing Microsoft is not in charge of their branding: “Global Hawk Cold Proof Starter Edition” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
RAND came up with methodologies to determine the future role and missions of UAVs.
IAI sales for Q1 2012 are up 5% from a year ago to $894M. Its backlog reached $9.7B. Exports and military sales represent 80% and 76% of total sales respectively.
No vehicle “cage armor” provides 100% protection, but even 50% effectiveness will save lives. QinetiQ’s Q-Net uses high-tech fabrics to replace metal cage armor, and protect against incoming rockets. In May 2012, QinetiQ North America in Watham, MA received an $11.7 million firm-fixed-price contract for 420 “rocket-propelled grenade defeating nets,” 420 battle damage Q-net kits, and proprietary tubes. Work will be performed in Franklin, MA, with an estimated completion date of Dec 13/12. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received by the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, MI (W56HAV-12-C-0240).
This isn’t the USA’s first Q-Net purchase. Kits have been created and fielded for HMMWVs, and for blast-resistant RG-31s and M-ATVs, but contracts to date had been handed out through the vehicle manufacturers. That isn’t entirely unreasonable, since any cage armor must be produced as a specific kit that protects a given vehicle type. As for Q-Net…
Rafael is trying to increase the range of its Iron Dome rocket shields. The US plans to provide military aid to Israel to buy more of these counter-rocket systems, though so far numbers fluctuate widely between the Administration, the House and the Senate.
House Armed Services Committee member Silvestre Reyes [D-TX-16] lost the Democratic primary after serving 8 terms. He’s currently the Ranking Member of two subcommittees: Readiness, and Air and Land Forces.
Booz Allen Hamilton’s revenue for its FY 2012 grew by 4.8% to almost $5.9B. Their total backlog at the end of March was down $120M to $10.8B, though the funded part of the backlog gained ground to $2.9B vs. $2.4B a year earlier.
Latest updates: Major deal adds HIOS segment to 2015.
UK C-130 C5
In mid-2006 the UK MoD added another platform to the expanding list of long-term, performance-based, public-private, “contracting for availability” maintenance solutions for Britain’s key military platforms, by awarding Marshall Aerospace a GBP 1.52 billion contract ($2.86 billion conversion back then) to begin supporting its fleet of C-130 Hercules transport aircraft until 2030.
The deal has several segments, with mechanisms for price adjustments upward and downward as the contract continues. Britain’s SDSR plans may also cut the deal off early, if the entire C-130 fleet retires by 2022 as planned. As prime contractor, Marshall Aerospace is working in partnership with the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO), the Royal Air Force, Lockheed Martin and Rolls-Royce to deliver the Hercules Integrated Operational Support (HIOS) programme. The HIOS programme will provide guaranteed levels of aircraft availability to a fleet that includes both older C3/C1 models (C-130K stretched and normal) and C4/C5 models (C-130J-30 and C-130J).
In May 2012, ImSAR, L.L.C. in Salem, UT received a $24 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to build, test, and assess a lightweight ultra wide band synthetic aperture (ground-looking) radar for use on small unmanned aerial vehicles. Work will be performed in Salem, UT, with an estimated completion date of May 31/17. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received by U.S. Army Contracting Command in Natick, MA (W911QY-12-D-0011).
ImSAR’s NanoSAR radar has already tested on Boeing’s popular ScanEagle UAV, and the company began offering it as an official payload option on Feb 23/10. The US Army doesn’t use ScanEagle UAVs, but they do have options like the RQ-7B Shadow that could benefit from a small radar that was light enough to add in addition to the existing surveillance turret. ImSAR can offer them an improved NanoSAR B, or their new Leonardo radar that’s well-suited to tasks like convoy overwatch and land-mine detection.
“The numbers tell the story. Next year the defence budget will fall in real terms by 10.5%, the largest year-on-year reductions since the end of the Korean conflict in 1953. As a result, defence spending as a share of GDP will fall to 1.56%, the smallest figure recorded by Australia since the eve of WWII in 1938.”
Karl-Heinz Kamp in a NATO Defence College paper [PDF] argues that if members of the alliance are going to go through budget cuts because of overwhelming financial pressure, they should at least proceed in a coordinated fashion to maintain aggregate capabilities.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) concurs [PDF] on the idea that there must be a method behind defense drawdowns. They project personnel costs in the US to creep up as a percentage of total spending while procurement would take the brunt of the cuts. This is already going on in Europe.
Monday, May 28th is Memorial Day in the USA. DID honors those who have given all of their tomorrows in American military service; we will not be publishing.
Readers are reminded that in America, the Memorial Day moment of silence takes place at 3:00 pm. It seems that lots of reminders are needed elsewhere in America; a survey commissioned by The National WWII Museum in Washington had only 20% say they were very familiar with the day’s purpose, which is to honor those who have fallen in America’s wars. This function is served by Remembrance Day/ Armistice Day (Nov. 11th) in the British Commonwealth and elsewhere, but in America, that day is Veteran’s Day, and honors all who served in the military.
For additional resources, USAA has a full video that includes Hugh Ambrose (Band of Brothers, The Pacific, etc.), and the American National WWII Museum’s MyMemorialDay.org offers some ideas for honoring this day. One more idea might to be teach our fellow Americans. Email a good treatment of the day to people you know outside the national security field, and encourage them to forward it on.
India’s new aircraft carrier will have its sea trials delayed. The problem isn’t the contractor this time – it’s the weather in northern Russia.
US base closures: if not this year, maybe the next?
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) think tank proposes their recipe for “sustainable pre-eminence.” You’ve heard it before: more Asia/Pacific, more Air/Naval, more joint interdependencies. They are sticking their neck out on capabilities: cut 1 CVN, stop LCS in FY17 at 27 ships vs. a planned 55, get less F-35Cs for the Navy and more F/A-18s instead.
In May 2012, Saudi Arabia signed a long-rumored agreement with BAE for training aircraft that can take RSAF pilots all the way from basic training to lead-in fighter training, along with their accompanying classroom training and simulators. The Saudi purchase takes place within the existing Saudi-British Al-Yamamah/ Project Salam Defence Co-operation Programme, which also provided the RSAF with its high-end fleet of Eurofighter fleet, and its Tornado strike aircraft.
This GBP 1.6 billion/ $2.5 billion contract will provide familiar plane types, that continue previous RSAF relationships.
The Bangladesh Air Force currently flies 4 ancient C-130B Hercules medium transports, bought second-hand from the USAF. A May 2012 DSCA request [PDF] would replace them with 4 merely old C-130E Hercules medium transports, bought second-hand from the USAF. The 4 Lockheed Martin C-130Es would be provided for free as Excess Defense Articles (EDA), along with 20 T56AA Rolls-Royce engines. If a contract is signed, Bangladesh gets these items, but would pay up to $180 million for an overhaul to full flight condition and many safe airframe hours, plus modifications and in-service support. it would also include delivery to Bangladesh, repair and return, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools and test equipment, technical data and publications, training, and other forms of US government and contractor support. That contractor will be determined by competitive bids, since there are a number of companies offering “like-new” C-130 refurbishment services.