In June 2012, the US DSCA announced Morocco’s formal request for upgrades and refurbishment of 200 M1A1 Abrams tanks, which are being provided as Excess Defense Articles from US stocks. Used tanks have become very popular around the world, and Germany’s Leopard 2 has become ubiquitous as a direct result of sell-offs by Germany and the Netherlands. American M1s haven’t been part of that dynamic so far, but the US Army does have a significant backlog of armored vehicles needing reset and repairs after hard use in theater.
Having allies pay for that work, in exchange for the tanks, does 3 important things. It removes some of that maintenance overhang from American budgets. Second, it helps keep the Lima, OH busy until American M1 modernization work is set to begin in 2017. Finally, it keeps the tanks “useful” to the USA in a geo-strategic sense. This proposed sale is a classic example.
Morocco’s M1s: Benefits All Around
Was the Chinese Tank Rumor an Information Op? [NEW]
In June 2012, US Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic in Charleston, SC issued 14 multiple-award contracts to help secure and defend American military networks and data. These 14 contractors may compete for the task orders under the indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, performance-based, multiple award umbrella contract, with provisions for fixed-price-incentive and firm-fixed-price orders.
Contract options which could bring their cumulative value to $98.7 million, and extend the timeframe from June 2013 to June 2017. The winning firms were all small business qualifiers under US government rules, and include:
The US Congressional Service (CRS) latest report [PDF] on Multi Year Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting (BBC) explains these contract vehicles, how they differ and when they should be used.
The US DOD Inspector General is concerned [PDF] that the supply chain involved in procuring night vision devices for the Afghan National Security Forces is not tight enough, increasing the risk of loss or theft. Involved parties such as the DSCA only partially concur. In past years the GAO similarly reported that oversight and accountability can be diluted by the complex logistics involving many parties.
The RAND Corporation believes more in energy-efficient equipment and energy conservation than alternative liquid fuels that they state “do not offer DoD a way to appreciably reduce fuel costs.”