Northrop Grumman, Annapolis, Md., is being awarded a $25 million modification to previously awarded contract (N61331-10-D-0009) for the continuation of depot level repair, maintenance, related engineering services, change kits and integrated logistics support documentation for the AN/AQS-14A Sonar Detecting Set, AQS-24 Mine Hunting System, ALQ-141 Acoustic Minehunting/Minesweeping System, USM-668 Intermediate Level Test Equipment (ILTE) and the Modified USM-668A ILTE and the Swivel Slip-Ring Assembly.
Airborne Systems North America, Pennsauken, N.J. was awarded a $30 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract for 110 Joint Precision Airdrop Systems of 10,000 pounds, to include the Parachute and Autonomous Guidance Unit. Army Contracting Command, Natick, Mass., is the contracting activity (W911QY-14-D-0014).
Lockheed Martin Corp., Owego, N.Y., is being awarded $ 7,265,034 for firm-fixed-priced delivery order 7026 against a previously awarded basic ordering agreement (N00383-12-G-010F) for the repair of 12 items of the common cockpit for H-60R/S helicopters. The Naval Supply Systems Command, Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.
3 Phoenix Inc., Chantilly, Va., is being awarded a $7,263,632 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-13-C-6264) to procure two TB-29A Inverted Passive Electrical Network (iPEN) Towed Array production representative units, associated spares and test equipment. iPEN leverages technology developed under Small Business Innovation Research Topic N04-138, Real-time Data Fusion and Visualization Interface for Environmental Research Data. iPEN telemetry acts as a data fusion point for the integration of towed array handling system sensor data.
Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $24,449,293 cost-plus-fixed-fee, sole-source contract to install a vehicle and dismounted exploitation radar (VADER) system and an aerial precision geolocation kit on a King Air 350ER aircraft. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-14-C-0040).
Gadgets and gizmos are not the only things beset by the U.S. Defense Department’s continued battle with shrinking budget dollars. While some projects may be delayed, and others even derailed, the civilian work force “is now showing the early signs of stress,” Alan Shaffer, acting assistant defense secretary for research and engineering, recently warned Congress.
Furloughs, the government shutdown and sequestration, and decreasing budgets have an adverse impact on the 100,000 personnel that make up the Defense Department’s science and technology (S&T) work force.
Dealing with the world’s increasing complexity is the primary challenge to keeping the homeland secure, according to Adm. Thad Allen, USCG, (Ret.), executive vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton and former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. He lists border security, the cyberthreat, information sharing, terrorism, criminal organizations and climate change as elements adding to that complexity.
As a group, generals tend to be relentlessly positive. The pre-eminent U.S. soldier of recent years, Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.), likes to remind us that, “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” War and military operations are hard enough, but gloom and defeatism only make things harder. In combat, a morale edge sure helps. It is not by accident that Medal of Honor recipient Audie Murphy’s outfit, the U.S. Army’s famous 15th Infantry Regiment, has as its motto, “Can Do.”
Anyone following the progress of the Joint Information Environment (JIE) knows by now that it is not a program of record. No one will see large procurements to provide the JIE. It definitely is a framework: it defines standards and architectures for consistency across the defense environment. It defines a core environment and interfaces for the connection of networks and systems to the core.
The U.S. Air Force networking that links its air assets has extended its reach into the rest of the service and the joint realm as it moves a greater variety of information among warfighters and decision makers. This builds on existing networking efforts, but it also seeks to change longtime acquisition habits that have been detrimental to industry—and, by connection, to the goal of speeding innovative capabilities to the warfighter.
Technologies including voice over Internet protocol, high-definition video and satellite communications altered the battlefield during years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but as combat operations draw to a close, different challenges are emerging. Technical, fiscal and personnel changes all are shifting, forcing decision makers to reevaluate activities.
Researchers working on multiple projects in Europe and the United States are using cloud computing to teach robotic systems to perform a multitude of tasks ranging from household chores to serving hospital patients and flipping pancakes. The research, which one day could be applied to robotic systems used for national defense, homeland security or medical uses, lowers costs while allowing robots to learn more quickly, share information and better cooperate with one another.
A critical U.S. Air Force program designed to refurbish the service’s operations centers around the world likely will begin by upgrading the first site next year. The potential $504 million effort will automate services, improve interoperability, speed decision making, enhance cybersecurity and lower costs.
Air operations centers are the command and control centers for planning, executing and assessing joint air operations during a contingency or conflict. They support joint force air component commanders in planning and executing missions.
The U.S. Air Force is emerging from almost 13 years of conflict in the Middle East with a different perspective on its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Lessons learned from those battlefields are leading to new directions that will entail abandoning traditional approaches and methods.
U.S. Air Force officials are working to replace by 2019 aging command and control terminals that are part of the U.S. Air Force’s nuclear bomber mission. The new terminals will communicate with advanced satellite constellations and also will add capabilities not in current systems.
The Defense Department drive toward its Joint Information Environment is picking up speed as it progresses toward its goal of assimilating military networks across the warfighting realm. Individual services are developing solutions, some of which are targeted for their own requirements, that are being applied to the overarching goal of linking the entire defense environment.
Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Va. (FA8075-14-D-0002); Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio (FA8075-14-D-0003); Jacobs Technology Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn. (FA8075-14-D-0004); MacAulay-Brown Inc., Dayton, Ohio (FA8075-14-D-0005); MRI Global, Kansas City, Mo. (FA8075-14-D-0006); National Security Information Associates, Chantilly, Va.
iRobot Corp., Bedford, Mass., is being awarded a $59,220,496 modification to previously awarded contract (N00174-11-D-0013) for the procurement of Man Transportable Robotic System (MTRS) production systems, depot level repair parts, spare kits, depot repair services, parts supply, training, engineering enhancements, configuration management, and approved accessories. The MTRS is a small robotic vehicle used by explosive ordnance disposal technicians to conduct remote reconnaissance, render safe, and/or dispose of explosive devices.
Insitu Inc., Bingen, Wash., is being awarded $10,222,289 for firm-fixed-price delivery order 0015 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-12-G-0008) for interim contractor services in support of the RQ-21A unmanned aircraft system, including all requirements necessary to support the system at the organizational level during planned and surge flight operations.
L-3 GSS, Reston, Va., was awarded a $50,925,735 firm-fixed-price, multi-year contract to provide automated installation entry hardware and software for up to 35 military installations. Army Contracting Command, Natick, Mass., is the contracting activity (W911QY-14-D-0005).