When the U.S. Marines needed to set up an emergency communications system on site in the wake of the devastating typhoon that ravaged the Philippines in November, they used an existing rapid deployment networking suite, which allowed nearly instant links with the two governments and with nongovernmental organizations as well. And, it all began with equipment carried into theater as if it were checked baggage.
The retrograde of equipment from Afghanistan requires a monumental effort after almost 13 years of war and an influx of billions of dollars’ worth of materiel to the country. To return the necessary pieces along with personnel from the landlocked location, logisticians around the military are developing creative solutions that offer redundancy. Plans are progressing more smoothly than in Iraq, as experts apply lessons learned and a hub-and-spoke model that allows for a controlled collapsing of installations.
The U.S. Defense Department now is advancing into the third generation of information technologies. This progress is characterized by migration from an emphasis on server-based computing to a concentration on the management of huge amounts of data. It calls for technical innovation and the abandonment of primary dependence on a multiplicity of contractors.
As European military acquisitions are decreasing, the market in Asia and the Middle East is growing. This transition masks underlying complexities in the international defense market. European nations are shifting from buying tanks and fighter jets to purchasing cyberwarfare and networking equipment while Asian militaries consider maritime surveillance platforms, missile defense systems and power projection capabilities, such as submarines and aircraft carriers.
The U.S. Army is adjusting its Network Integration Evaluations to facilitate acquisitions more rapidly. Calls from industry and soldiers themselves have precipitated the moves. As companies face reduced funding streams, and technology advances in increasingly shorter intervals, implementing briefer time frames between testing and deployment is imperative to remaining viable on and off the field.
The U.S. Army is looking at the current state of the art in ground robots to revise its requirements for a future unmanned squad support platform. A number of robots were recently evaluated by the service to collect data on their ability to carry supplies, follow infantry over rough terrain and fire weapons in a tactical environment. Army officials say the results of this demonstration will help refine the service’s operational needs and goals before the Army considers launching a procurement program.
Fiscal constraints and technology evolution are forcing the government to re-evaluate procurement efforts with a renewed vigor. Industry has suggestions for improving processes, but progress will require a different level of dialogue between companies and their public-sector clients. Company leaders believe they can help government overcome some of its issues because they understand both realistic technical solutions as well as the effect policies have on acquisition cycles. But they need the opportunity to show what is available.
Historical trends during military drawdowns indicate that current Defense Department budget cuts could last for more than a decade. This situation could endanger major acquisition programs and negatively impact the ability of the United States both to pivot forces to the Asia-Pacific region and to maintain a presence in the Middle East, experts say. But the department may have a short window of opportunity to reconcile strategy with lower budgets.
Few people go more than a few days without updating their Facebook status, “checking-in” at some location on their social media application or tweeting their opinions on Twitter. Service members are no exception. However, they must take extra precautions to avoid the legal pitfalls of compromising operational security or making inappropriate remarks when posting anything on public websites.
Bored soldiers often invent ways to pass the time. Out on the wide steppes of Central Asia, the conscript regiments of the old Imperial Russian Army found themselves and their men isolated in hundred-man wooden stockades. Their mission involved border defense, keeping watch for bands of horse brigands who raided by day and for parties of well-armed smugglers who slipped across by night. These furtive foes might appear one day in 300. In the long, dreary, dusty interim, glum Russians practiced marching and marksmanship, cleaned weapons and uniforms and stared out at the endless, flat, grassy horizon.
Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Sudbury, Mass., has been awarded a $6,896,385 modification (P0005) on an existing cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursement contract (FA8730-13-C-0003) for the Taiwan Surveillance Radar program follow-on support string upgrade engineering change proposal. The contract modification provides a continental United States sustainment string upgrade that creates a controlled site-like testing environment for build deployment and system troubleshooting at the continental United States development facili
The Boeing Co., Seal Beach, Calif., has been awarded a $59,617,404 modification (P00024) on an existing firm-fixed-price contract (FA8807-13-C-0001) for on-orbit support, factory reach-back, maintenance, and storage. This contract provides for exercise of options for additional launch and on-orbit support for GPS IIF space vehicles. The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center Contracting Directorate, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the contracting activity.
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Md., was awarded a $65,288,028 contract modification (P00037) to contract W15P7T-11-C-H267 for continued operations and sustainment of the vehicle and dismount exploitation radar (VADER) currently deployed in theater. Work will be performed at Linthicum Heights, Md., Hagerstown, Md., and Afghanistan. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal (Aviation), Ala., is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $92,915,233 contract modification (P00015) to contract W58RGZ-12-C-0009 to exercise option year two of the Apache attack helicopter performance based logistics program to modernize target designation sight/pilot’s night vision sensor equipment. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal (Aviation), Ala., is the contracting activity.
General Atomics Aeronautical, Poway, Calif., was awarded an $110,453,269 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for continuing logistic services to the Warrior unmanned aircraft system. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $8,000,000 were obligated at the time of the award. Work will be performed in Afghanistan and Poway, Calif. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal (Aviation), Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-14-C-0008).
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Bethpage, N.Y., is being awarded an $11,764,551 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N68936-11-D-0028) to provide additional engineering, technical and programmatic support services for development of products within the Airborne Electronic Attack Integrated Product Team; to include, EA-6B operational flight software, EA-6B unique planning component and EA-18G operational flight software. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Pt.
Science Applications International Corp., McLean, Va., is being awarded a $14,425,908 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00421-11-D-0030) to exercise an option for technical and engineering services in support of the Naval Air Systems Command's Air Vehicle Engineering Department and the Manned Flight Simulator/Air Combat Environment Test and Evaluation Facilities. Services to be provided support the development and utilization of advanced air vehicle technology for evaluating air vehicle flying qualities
Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Training, Liverpool, N.Y., is being awarded a $24,462,051 fixed-price incentive, firm-fixed-price, and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the production and support of AN/BQS-25 low-cost conformal arrays (LCCA). The AN/BQS-25 LCCA is a passive planar array mounted on the aft submarine sail structure that is integrated with the acoustic rapid commercial-off-the-shelf insertion AN/BQQ-10 system to provide situational awareness and collision avoidance for improved tactical control in high-density enviro
Lockheed Martin Corp., Mission Systems and Training, Manassas, Va., is being awarded a $124,531,317 modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-11-C-6294) for the development and production of the acoustic rapid commercial-off-the-shelf insertion (A-RCI) and common acoustics processing for Technology Insertion 12 (TI12) through Technology Insertion 14 (TI14) for the U.S.
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with an estimated ceiling-price of $872,766,714 for system upgrades for F/A-18 A/B, C/D, E/F and EA-18G aircraft for the U.S. Navy and the governments of Australia, Finland, Switzerland, Kuwait, Malaysia, and Canada. This contract provides for deliverables and services based on system configuration set life cycle phases for the aircraft. This contract combines purchases for the U.S.