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Defense

Military Trolls for Disruptive Technologies

July 1, 2014
By Rita Boland

The next big breakthrough to affect the U.S. military might come from a different country or industry altogether, and discovering it in emerging stages could provide advantages. Developers with the Defense Department have launched a pilot system that aims to find these potential game changers before they become full-blown trends. Along the way, the research will explore what criteria are necessary to perform such a task.

This system rolled out earlier in the year as part of the advancement of the Technology Watch and Horizon Scanning programs—two complementary efforts designed to identify emerging technologies but from different angles. The former tracks key technology buzzwords while the latter looks for emerging scientific concepts and technology applications with disruptive potential. The capabilities these projects seek to detect might be outside the defense realm or might have been previously considered too immature to have much relevance to the technical landscape. The researchers for these programs look more at the science and technology facets of a project than at the application-space adaptation.

The initiatives, which began two years ago, aim to identify emerging technologies that improve the work force or infrastructure, or that have potential enough to lead the department to sponsor research in new areas. “I mean those systems that change or could potentially change the way we do business,” says Brian Beachkofski, director, Office of Technical Intelligence for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering. What the military wants are developments that could alter operational constructs, not upgrade plug-and-play capabilities, he adds.

Commercial Geospatial Processing Goes Underwater

July 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy submarine force is moving to use a commercial geospatial information product to provide an integrated data picture to its crew members. The undersea fleet is striving to implement Google Earth as a common geospatial foundation across all systems aboard its submarines.

Slowing Down Rapid Acquisition

August 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

With the war in Afghanistan winding down, the U.S. Defense Department’s rapid deployment office, which specializes in identifying, developing and quickly fielding game-changing technologies, now will take a more long-term approach. Slightly stretching out the process will offer more flexibility to procure the best possible systems, will present more opportunities for interagency and international cooperation and may cut costs.

Network Complexities Challenge Army, Force Structure Changes

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The complexities of the U.S. Army’s networks and spectrum allocation processes interfere with the need to reassign units to different tasks, creating major delays and presenting serious challenges.

A Eureka Moment Looms for Wearable Army Technology

July 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. Army engineers and scientists are working to eventually equip dismounted soldiers with wearable computers such as Google Glass. The up-and-coming wearables technology is being touted by officials as one of the next game-changers for warriors.

Exelis to Provide Ground Control Approach System to Saudi Arabia

June 11, 2014

Exelis Incorporated Radar, Reconnaissance and Acoustic Systems, Van Nuys, California, has been awarded a $9,647,241 firm-fixed- price contract for a Ground Control Approach System (GCA). This effort is a new program in support of a foreign military sales case for the Saudi Arabian National Guard. This action will provide a GCA for installation at a Khasham Al An Airbase. The GCA system will be utilized for aircraft approach and landing guidance, including airspace control services in support of air traffic control operations and Saudi Arabian National Guard aviation mission requirements. Work will be performed in Saudi Arabia, and is expected to be completed by June 10, 2024. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity (FA8730-14-C-0008).

Goodrich to Support Pakistan Reconnaissance Vehicle

June 11, 2014

Goodrich Corporation, Westford, Massachusetts, has been awarded an $11 million firm-fixed-price contract for Pakistan DB-110 sustainment effort that includes upgrade capabilities, spare and support equipment. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition, and is 100 percent foreign military sales for Pakistan. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-14-C-4017).

Aurora Receives X-Plane Contract Modification

June 11, 2014

Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, Manassas, Virginia, has been awarded a $10,457,663 modification (P00003) exercising the first option period on a seven-month base contract (HR0011-14-C-0014), with one 16-month option period. The contractor shall provide the personnel, equipment, materials, tools, facilities and program management and technical effort to design, develop, integrate, test and deliver the contractual requirements of the program for building two X-Plane aircraft. The contracting activity is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia.

Navmar Supports TigerShark in Afghanistan

June 11, 2014

Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation, Warminster, Pennsylvania, is being awarded a $7,958,350 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N68335-12-C-0353) to exercise an option for the procurement of logistic services and mission travel in support of the TigerShark persistent surveillance unmanned aerial system. Work will be performed in Afghanistan (92 percent), and Warminster (8 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2015. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

Miltec Awarded Advanced Hypersonic Weapon Contract

June 11, 2014

Miltec Corporation, Huntsville, Alabama, was awarded a $44 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with options for labor, material, travel for research and development for the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon-Technology Demonstration for Space and Missile Defense Command, with an estimated completion date of June 5, 2019. The Army Space and Missile Defense Command is the contracting activity (W9113M-14-C-0015).

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