GSA Releases $50B Contract RFP for EIS | Troops Borrow from NATO Allies Due to Budget Cuts | UK’s MoD Breaks Ground on Defence Fulfilment Centre
- The General Services Administration has released a final $50 billion contract vehicle Request for Proposals (RFP), with these now pushed back to a deadline of mid-January 2016. The Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle is intended to provide telecommunications and IT services as part of the Network Services 2020 program, replacing the Networx vehicle. EIS will include a wide variety of commonly-procured items to cut back on single procurement orders, as well as other features designed to rationalize inter-agency spending on services and equipment. Expected to last for approximately ten years, the GSA also wants the DoD ‘s Defense Information Services Agency to make significant use of the EIS vehicle.
- As budget cuts begin to bite, US forces in Europe have been forced to use equipment loaned from NATO allies, including British helicopters, Hungarian air defense systems and German bridging equipment. Budgetary uncertainty is also a worry for Army leaders, particularly over recently-unveiled plans to procure upgrades and new vehicle fleets for the Army, including proposed upgrades for Stryker vehicles along the lines of those approved for European-deployed forces earlier this month, with the program contingent on approval of the FY2016 budget.
- The Navy has accepted delivery of the sixth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS 5), the future USS Milwaukee. The Freedom-class vessel is the third of eight to be manufactured by Lockheed Martin, with the ship now scheduled for commissioning on 21 November. The USS Milwaukee will be homeported in San Diego with the rest of the LCS fleet.
- The Royal Navy’s future Queen Elizabeth-class carrier looks set to feature unmanned boats, with BAE Systems and ASV demonstrating an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) boat near Portsmouth Naval Base. The system is purportedly capable of allowing the boats to operate for up to twelve hours at a time in a reconnaissance and surveillance capacity. The technology – designed to be retrofitted onto Pacific 24 Rigid Inflatable Boats – could also equip manned RIBs deployed on Type 23 Frigates and Type 45 destroyers.
- The UK’s Ministry of Defence has broken ground on a new defense logistics center in the west of England. The GBP83 million ($128.5 million) facility – which will be run by a team of contractors led by US firm Leidos along with Kuehne+Nagel and TVS Supply Chain Solutions – is slated for completion next year. The Defence Fulfilment Centre will consist of two large warehouses storing supplies, food and medical equipment for the UK’s Armed Forces.
- Fourteen companies have responded to a tender released by the Polish Armaments Inspectorate for a new fleet of light utility trucks, intended to replace Soviet-era Tarpan Honkers. The Inspectorate intends to buy 881 new vehicles, the majority of which will be unarmored troop transports, with these pencilled-in for delivery between 2016 and 2022. The majority of bids have come from Polish companies, with the exception being France’s Renault Trucks Defense and AM General, which has jointly-bid with Warsaw-based MMC Consulting.
- The Royal Navy has received the first of seven AgustaWestland HC3 Merlin helicopters, forming the first tranche of 25 helicopters as part of the Merlin Capability Sustainment Program. With the seven helicopters expected to reach initial operating capability next spring, they will replace Sea King HC4s from March.
- Israel Aerospace Industries is teaming with South Korean firm Hankuk Carbon to market the former’s VTOL Panther unmanned aerial vehicle to the South Korean government. The tilt-rotor UAV model being pitched is a gasoline-electric version of the Panther – usually powered by an all-electric motor – incorporating some composite components from Hankuk Carbon. The teaming agreement also covers research and development work on other types of dual-power propulsion systems.
- China is reportedly engaged in talks with Russia over a possible sale of an undisclosed number of A-050 Ekranoplan ground effect vehicles. The Lun-class vehicles are produced by Alekseyev Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau to the east of Moscow. The Russian Ekranoplan was recently revived by the company, with the vehicles purportedly capable of reaching speeds of between 350 and 450 km/h.
- The Indonesian Coast Guard has commissioned [Indonesian] three new indigenously-developed patrol vessels. The new, 42m-long vessels were built in eight months by local company PT Karimun Anugrah Sejati. They will be based at Surabaya, Bitung and Tanjang Uban.
- The ASV/BAE Systems Unmanned Surface Vehicle:
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