Taiwan Buys $12.2M in Ship Fire Control Components (updated)
Communications and Power Industries’ Microwave Power Products Division won a maximum $12.2 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to supply the MK-74 TARTAR-D system’s traveling wave tubes (TWT) and solenoids to the government of Taiwan. Traveling wave tubes amplify radio frequency signals to high power, which is useful for radar systems.
The MK-74 TARTAR-D TWT is a component of the naval MK-74 Guided Missile Fire Control System (GMFCS). A recent article has provided more details regarding their exact use by Taiwan…
Upon receipt of position data for air, sea, or land targets, the GMFCS acquires, tracks, and provides accurate target position and rate data for weapon control and engagement processing. It is most frequently paired with medium-range RIM-66 Standard anti-aircraft missiles. The TARTAR system components will be used on 4 Kidd class (Kee Lung class) destroyers sold to Taiwan in 2003 for $700 million.
As a former U.S. defense official told Defense News, the TWT are: “an example of a critical spare part on the Kidds that has gone out of production. So this company needs to replicate the TWT that the original supplier produced decades ago…One of the questions that this raises is why Taiwan’s industry didn’t manufacture these TWTs for the ROC Navy as an alternative to procurement through the FMS [Foreign Military Sales] system. The component no longer exists in the U.S. Navy inventory. But the specification or blueprint for the TWT is publicly available, and this is 1970s vintage technology.”
One solution would be to allow Taiwan, which excels in the manufacture of information technology, to qualify as a supplier to the U.S. Department of Defense, he added.
Work on this FMS contract will be performed at the division’s headquarters in Palo Alto, CA, and is expected to be complete by May 2014. This contract was competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities, with 2 offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, IN, will manage the contract (N00164-09-D-GR11).