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).
BAE Systems Information & Electronic Systems Integration Inc., Greenlawn, N.Y., is being awarded a $6,715,693 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of 16 AN/UPX-41 (C) Digital Interrogators for the U.S. Navy (14) and the government of Japan (2) and 45 Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe field change kits for the U.S. Navy (33) and the government of Japan (12). This contract combines purchases for the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration has issued a request for proposals to further develop “extreme scale” supercomputer technology under the FastForward program.
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Largo Fla., is being awarded an $8,347,097 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-12-C-5231) to exercise options for Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) for two AN/USG-2B Shipboard System, one DDG Mod Kit, and one DDG Mod INCO-R Kit. CEC is a sensor netting system that significantly improves battle force anti-air warfare capability. CEC improves battle force effectiveness by improving overall situational awareness and by enabling longer range, cooperative, multiple, or layered engagement strategies.
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Rolling Meadows, Ill., has been awarded a $234,134,172 modification (P00082) on an existing contract (FA8625-12-C-6598) for the Large Aircraft Infrared Counter Measures (LAIRCM) calendar year 2014 base hardware buy and needed LAIRCM support. A majority of the acquisition supports U.S. Air Force aircraft needs using fiscal 2014, 2013, and 2012 funds as well as National Guard and overseas contingency operations funds with a total amount of $234,134,172 being obligated at time of award.
Exelis Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind. (W15P7T-14-D-0012); General Dynamics C4 Systems Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz. (W15P7T-14-D-0013); Harris Corp., Rochester, N.Y. (W15P7T-14-D-0014, W15P7T-14-D-0015); and Thales Defense & Security Inc., Clarksburg, Md. (W15P7T-14-D-0016), were awarded a $988 million firm-fixed-price contract for soldier radio waveform appliqué radio systems for use by brigade combat teams.
Thales-Raytheon Systems Co., LLC, was awarded a $17,743,765 modification (P00008) to contract W31P4Q-13-C-0082 to exercise the option to acquire Sentinel Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe kits and spares. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.
Northrop Grumman Information Systems, McLean, Va., was awarded a $25,220,493 modification (P00016) to contract W15QKN-13-F-0017 to exercise option year one for Army Knowledge Online Enterprise Services web-based enterprise information services. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $10,473,522 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity.
Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nev. was awarded a sole-source $46,500,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee multi-year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for dismounted counter radio-controlled, improvised explosive device, electronic warfare spares and services to sustain the Thor III and Baldr CREW systems. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15QKN-14-D-0041).
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, Calif., has been awarded a $141,444,171 delivery order (0089) to contract (FA8620-10-G-3038) to accomplish non-recurring engineering development of the Block 50 ground control stations (GCS) and production of two system test and qualification system integration laboratories (SIL), one technical order development SIL, two fixed GCS, two mobile GCS, two software developer kits, and the associated spares for the Block 50 configuration.