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Defense

Raytheon Receives Additional Sensor Netting System Funding

April 17, 2013
George I. Seffers

Raytheon Co., Largo, Fla., is being awarded a $30,020,420 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-only modification to previously awarded contract for design agent and engineering services in support of the Cooperative Engagement Capabilities (CEC) program. The CEC is a sensor netting system that significantly improves battle force anti-air warfare capability by extracting and distributing sensor-derived information such that the superset of this data is available to all participating CEC units. CEC improves battle force effectiveness by improving overall situational awareness and by enabling longer range, cooperative, multiple, or layered engagement strategies. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Secretary Hagel Commits to Resolving Medical Record Interoperability Issues

April 16, 2013
By George I. Seffers

Defense Department will decide on a path forward within 30 days.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told members of Congress on April 16 that he is personally committed to solving the database interoperability problems between the Defense Department (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that have left thousands of veterans waiting months while benefits claims are processed.

According to VA officials, the agency has been breaking records in the number of claims processed, yet it now takes an average of 273 days to process a claim. The VA has fallen increasingly behind as veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan, and that backlog is expected to increase as the drawdown in Afghanistan continues.

Part of the issue is that the VA uses an electronic processing system known as the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), while the Defense Department uses the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA) for processing medical records.

Introduced in 1996, VistA offers an automated environment that supports day-to-day operations at local VA health care facilities. It is built on a client-server architecture, which ties together workstations and personal computers with graphical user interfaces at various VA facilities, as well as software developed by local medical facility staff. The system also includes the links that allow commercial off-the-shelf software and products to be used with existing and future technologies.

Guest Blog: The Next Generation of Defense IT--Network Modernization

April 15, 2013
By Anthony Robbins

At no time has information technology (IT) modernization and its role in protecting our nation been more important than it is today. The defense IT community has a full plate—from mandated efforts to consolidate data centers by migrating to the cloud by 2015, to improving IT security, to responding to the growing pressures and implications of mobility (not to mention sequestration, budget cuts and political pressures everywhere). The modernization of government IT systems needs to happen quickly.

What often stalls IT innovation has very little to do with technology and a lot to do with leadership. As government leaders need to increase productivity, functionality and return on investment from their IT networks, it is important to look at technology as an enabler of leadership and transformational change. Common challenges include:

  • Understanding how to invest in IT tools, systems and infrastructure with declining budgets
  • Managing the increasing cost of current IT infrastructure
  • Dealing with the high rate of IT systems that miss original intent or service level agreements
  • And, of course, responding to increasing security threats

The Defense Department spends more than $40 billion annually on IT, more than $250 billion in the last seven years or so. That’s a quarter of a trillion dollars—a lot of money. Modernizing IT systems and infrastructure, like most change or transformational agendas, comes down to leadership. There is an opportunity right now for a more aggressive leadership platform as it relates to the modernization of IT by the Defense Department, especially around the network.

Aggressive thought leadership and action can help in today’s complex environment. Examples of this involve following commercial best practices, the use of open standards, the OpEx vs. CapEx debate and more aggressive training around IT acquisition models.

iRobot Awarded Man Transportable Robotic System Funds

April 15, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
iRobot Corp., Bedford, Mass., is being awarded a $28,776,935 modification to previously awarded contract for the procurement of Man Transportable Robotic System production systems, depot level repair parts, spare kits, depot repair services, parts supply, training, engineering enhancements, configuration management and approved accessories. The Man Transportable Robotic System is a small robotic vehicle used by Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians to conduct remote reconnaissance, render safe, and/or dispose of explosive devices. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division, Indian Head, Md., is the contracting activity. 

Argon to Support Joint Protection System Research

April 15, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Argon ST Inc., Fairfax, Va., was awarded a $9,632,695 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide services in support of the Joint Unified Multi-Capable Protection System research and development program. The Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity. 

L-3 to Provide Transceivers to Egypt

April 15, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
L-3 Communication, San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $10,505,889 firm-fixed-price, foreign military sales contract to procure high frequency transceivers and components for RT-1606 systems and accessories in support of Egypt. The Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity.   

Holy Robotic Batwings!

April 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Researchers at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, have developed a robotic batwing that could one day lead to more dynamic, dexterous and sophisticated wings for aircraft. The National Science Foundation, which supports the research, announced the breakthrough in its online publication Science Nation, along with a video. Unlike the wings of birds or insects, batwings are more like the human hand with many joints and skin, allowing bats to change the shape of their wings in-flight, researchers say. 

Comtech to Provide Ship, Shore and Submarine Ethernet Bridging

April 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Comtech EF Data, Tempe, Ariz., is being awarded a potential $28,350,859 cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for development and production of Advanced Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) Interface Processor (ATIP). The ATIP will replace the legacy TDMA Interface Processor. The ATIP is a Layer-2 Ethernet bridging device that will be installed on ship, shore and submarine platforms. It provides transparent bridging capability among Internet protocol users that are geographically dispersed and connected via Milstar Medium Data Rate (MDR), Advanced Extremely High Frequency MDR/Extended Data Rate (XDR) or Enhanced Polar XDR links. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

BAE to Improve Airborne Mine Countermeasure Systems

April 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
BAE Systems Electronics Ltd, Maritime Services Division, Portsmouth, U.K., is being awarded an $8,268,703 modification to previously awarded contract that includes firm-fixed-price contract line item numbers (CLIN) for program management and support and calibration and maintenance services and a cost-plus-fixed-fee CLIN for engineering services support. This modification will complete production and delivery of Archerfish neutralizers (destructor, mine neutralization, Airborne EX64 Mod 0 Archerfish) system upgrade provides a significant reliability and performance improvement to the current MK-105, increasing the U.S. Navy's capability to conduct quick-response, high-speed airborne mine countermeasures for the next decade. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity. 

General Atomics to Activate MQ-1/MQ-9 Depot

April 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, Calif., is being awarded an $18,251,274 firm-fixed-price contract for MQ-1/MQ-9 organic depot activation.  Work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base (AFB), Utah, Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., and Tinker AFB, Okla., and is expected to be completed by April 4, 2015. The contracting activity is Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. 

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