On Sept 5/07, The Australia-United States Treaty on Defense Trade Cooperation was signed by Australian Prime Minister John Howard and US President George W. Bush. The USA and Canada have had a special agreement for several decades, designed to remove many defense export restrictions on US-Canadian industrial cooperation. In June 2007, Britain and the USA also agreed to a treaty framework.
The new agreements with Britain and Australia were not fully defined when signed, however, and full implementation is a long and complicated process. This article explains the issues with the current system, the intent of the treaty, and the steps involved on the way to finally implementing it in May 2013.
It seems recent outreach efforts from US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and his deputy Ash Carter might be paying off: according to the Times of India a $1.4B order for 22 AH-64D Apache helicopters (and assorted weapons) is about to be signed. However such reports that Boeing had won the competition already surfaced up in October last year, while the initial DSCA request dates from December 2010.
Separately the Indian Navy has issued an RFP for 56 light naval utility helicopters that may be worth $1B. Induction planned for 2016.
Russia will deliver 55 Mi-171E transport helicopters to China at an estimated $10M+ each.
President Obama sticks to presenting a binary choice “between sequester going through or tax cuts continuing for millionaires and billionaires” as if these were the only two possible options.
Australia passed legislation banning the use of cluster munitions. Australians don’t own such ordnance anyway, but that means that if the US presence grows in Australia, Americans won’t be allowed to stockpile such munitions there. The US is not a party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, whereas Australia signed it and is moving ahead to ratify it.
Procurement data crunched by Bloomberg Government shows a surge of federal contract cancellations with 13,579 contracts worth $2.15B cancelled during the current – and almost finished – fiscal year. Some of these cancellations may be recompeted and are thus really postponed rather than terminated.
US Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) issued draft RFP W56HZV-12-R-0034 [PDF] for Joint Logistics Integrator (JLI) services for MRAP vehicles. The idea is to pool needs from all US and foreign MRAP users with a 1-year contract (extendable to 3) involving 2.1 million man hours of service to support operational readiness. The formal RFP is planned for mid-October 2012 will proposals due the next month and an award made by the end of May 2013. The document notes an organizational conflict of interest with ManTech, the prime contractor of Contractor Logistics Sustainment and Support (CLSS) as the JLI will have to monitor them.
The latest Defense AT&L [PDF] features an article that channels Nassim Nicholas Taleb and pushes back against bogus quantitative risk assessment methodologies. Also: how to form an integrated product team (IPT), and an interesting question: why is DoD not making money off commercial use of GPS?
On August 15, 2012 the Office of the Product Director for Joint Products (PDJP) awarded a single Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Firm Fixed Price (FFP) contract to Alliant Techsystems (ATK) to manufacture MK437 Multi Option Fuze for Navy (MOFN). Contract W15QKN12D0089, administered by the Army Contracting Command – New Jersey (ACC-NJ), spans FY12-16 split in five 1-year ordering period for a maximal potential value of $84.1M. MOFN fuzes are used in MK 186 HE-MOF rounds fired by 5″ (127mm) Mk45-mounted guns for anti-surface warfare (ASuW) and land attacks, while airborne threats are handled with the MK419 Multi-Function Fuze.
There are 3 standard approaches for protecting vehicles against incoming RPGs: (1) Heavy or layered armor the warhead can’t penetrate; (2) Reactive armor tiles that explode outward when hit, deflecting, disabling, and/or disrupting the rocket and its blast; and (3) “Cage armor” or similar add-ons that can prevent detonation, or prevent the shaped charge jet from forming, at least some of the time.
The bad news is that providing enough steel cage armor can add a couple of tons to vehicle weight.
Enter BAE Systems’ LROD, developed under a fast-response Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program to provide RPG protection for Hummers and MRAP mine-resistant vehicles. The project led BAE to ask if steel was really necessary – and the answer was: no.
Back in March the US Army issued a Request for Information to perform a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) and On-Condition Cyclic Maintenance (OCCM) on its fleet of 34 Landing Craft Utility 2000 (LCU 2000) vessels. They are following up with an RFI to replace [MS Word] the Main Propulsion Diesel Engine (MDPE), Ship Service Diesel Generator (SSDG), and Bow Thruster (BT) of these ships. Responses expected by September 17.
The Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) was one of the 14 Rapid Fielding Initiative items developed in 2004, for soldiers on their way to Iraq or Afghanistan. The ACH is made of a new type of Kevlar to provide improved ballistic and impact protection. Tests show it will withstand a hit from a 9mm round at close range, a test the previous helmets would fail. Some have even stopped IED fragments.
The ACH is smaller and 3.5 lbs lighter then the PASGT model (known colloquially as the “Fritz helmet”) and is cushioned on the inside, which sits more comfortably on a soldier’s head…
It is hard to be more terse than the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in their one-sentence statement last week that they “decided to open a criminal investigation into allegations concerning GPT and aspects of the conduct of their business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” GPT Special Project Management is a part of Paradigm, itself a subsidiary of EADS-owned Astrium. Since that statement, the Financial Times has reported that they have seen a copy of a project contract that lists costs without explaining what the “bought-in services” are supposed to be. The FT also explains how retired British lieutenant-colonel and GPT employee Ian Foxley fled Saudi Arabia with “evidence of apparently irregular payments to Saudi officials.” EADS has not offered any comment. The plot thickens given the fact it is the UK Ministry of Defense that is technically GPT’s customer, as part of a liaison program with the Saudi National Guard. This brings back to memory an aborted SFO investigation of Eurofighter contracts.