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Programs Will Perform or Face the Consequences

September 12, 2013
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Army no longer has the luxury of propping up program failures with extra money, causing big changes in the service’s decisions. “If a program doesn’t execute, it’s not going to be a program very long,” said Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, USA, deputy for acquisition and systems management, headquarters, Army, during TechNet Augusta. His repeated this main message throughout his presentation, emphasizing that programs must perform and meet budgets.
 
The general also addressed activities by the acquisition community related to modernizing the Army’s network. “If we’re going to get to one network, we’re really talking about enterprise,” Gen. Greene stated. Budget and world conditions are forcing the military branch to adjust how it carries out business.
 
Gen. Greene explained that under normal circumstances, acquisition officials would have the program objective memorandum for 2015-2019 complete and work on the 2016-2020 version would be underway. But because of issues with national budgets, personnel still are reworking the former version. “It’s going to be tough for my community,” Gen. Greene said. During the recent years of war, the Army has focused on immediate solutions, but now it will have to see further out to make decisions about where to place its bets for the future.  One of the most important investment bets is the network.
 

Silvus to Demonstrate Advanced Airborne Communications Link

September 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

Silvus Technologies Inc., Los Angeles, Calif. has been awarded a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract for the 100 Gigabits per second (Gb/s) Radio Frequency (RF) Backbone (100G) program. The total dollar value of this 20 month Phase I contract is approximately $3.7 million. As a final deliverable of this phase, Silvus is to demonstrate a multiple input, multiple output system capable of multiplexing eight independent streams, each carrying one Gb/s data over a line-of-sight wireless range above 50 kilometers. The goal of the 100G program is to design, build and test an airborne-based communications link with fiber-optic-equivalent capacity and long reach that can propagate through clouds and provide high availability. The system will provide 100 Gb/s capacity at ranges of 200 kilometers for air-to-air links and 100 kilometers for air-to-ground links from a high-altitude (e.g. 60,000 ft.) aerial platform. Additionally, the system will provide an all-weather, including cloud, rain, and fog, capability while maintaining tactically-relevant throughput and link ranges.

FLIR Systems Receives Contract Modification

September 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

FLIR Systems Inc., Wilsonville, Ore., is being awarded a $49,900,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the repair and sustainment of the electro-optic sensors systems for the Ground Based Operational Surveillance System. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-13-D-JQ38).

Lockheed Martin to Provide NATO Headquarters Network Infrastructure

September 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

Lockheed Martin has been selected to design the Active Network Infrastructure (ANWI) for NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. This contract, worth more than $100 million, includes options under which Lockheed Martin may also be contracted to maintain the NATO network for five years. Lockheed Martin’s team will develop an infrastructure to service more than 4,500 users at the alliance’s headquarters and support up to an additional 1,500 conference visitors. The team also will provide four integrated security networks interoperable with other NATO nations; cross domain information assurance solutions for secure, seamless interconnectivity; a robust, modern, high-availability data center; and comprehensive unified communication and collaboration services.

General Dynamics to Modernize Submarine Networks

September 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Fairfax, Va., was awarded two contracts totaling $50 million to support the continued modernization of the AN/BYG-1 combat control system aboard U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy submarines. The AN/BYG-1 modernization program integrates the tactical control, weapons control and tactical network subsystems to provide submarine fleet operators and commanders with a common operational picture that enhances real-time intelligence and improves situational awareness. General Dynamics will continue to upgrade the submarine electronics with commercial off-the-shelf software and hardware that integrates improved tactical and weapons control capabilities across multiple submarine classes.

Georgia Tech to Analyze Jamming Protection

September 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

Georgia Tech Applied Research Corp., Atlanta, Ga., has been awarded a $7,956,371 delivery order (HC1047-05-D-4000-0244) for Army electronic protection to analyze the response of Army systems to advanced jamming and develop mitigation techniques and methods against this jamming. Enterprise Sourcing Group, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity.

U.S. Marine Corps Modifies G/ATOR Contract

September 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Systems, Linthicum Heights, Md., is being awarded a $10,761,825 modification (P00115) under a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (M67854-07-C-2072) to increase the estimated cost ceiling by $10,761,825 for the ground/air task-oriented radar (G/ATOR) engineering and manufacturing development phase and associated other direct costs to account for the G/ATOR gallium nitride transition. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

JIE Moves Boldly Forward

September 12, 2013
By Rita Boland

The Joint Information Environment (JIE) is well on its way to becoming a pervasive reality for the U.S. Armed Services and its coalition partners. The version at U.S. European Command reached initial operational capability on July 31, and the Army now has 1.5 million users on enterprise email, a key service under the environment.
 
Today at TechNet Augusta, Lt. Gen. Mark S. Bowman, J6 of the Joint Staff, said that the JIE is necessary because of real problems that exist in current environments. The foundation of the new capability is a single security architecture. Though the effort began as a measure to increase efficiencies, the military now realizes it offers much more, the general explained. Over time, the various services, commands and agencies created their own information technology. “That didn’t help us a ton on the battlefield,” Gen. Bowman said. The JIE will provide a unified enterprise for everyone, including mission partners.
 
Industry will be essential to ensuring that evolving capabilities are integrated as appropriate. “There’s no single answer,” Gen. Bowman explained. “The JIE is not static.” It also is far-reaching, intended for use at all echelons in all operating environments.  Gen. Bowman said everyone will join the new plan, though not in the same way. He compared the JIE services to a menu. Users eventually will have all the items, but not at the same time or in the same order. Earlier this month, the Defense Department Chief Information Officer Teri Takai directed that all department members will migrate to enterprise email. Organizations must submit plans within 120 days.
 

Military Carries On the Lesson of Flight 93

TechNet Augusta 2013 Online Show Daily, Day Two
TechNet Augusta had a different feeling Wednesday than is normal for military communications conferences. This fact is unsurprising; it was September 11. The people at this event are not those who simply wear yellow ribbons. These are the men and women who have fought the fights that have raged because of those hijacked planes. Until you spend the anniversary of terrorist attacks in a convention center full of military members and veterans, it is difficult to grasp fully the impact of more than a decade of foreign war or the dedication of some human beings to ideals such as freedom or country.
 
Before the real business of the day began, there was a 9/11 remembrance ceremony that hailed heroes from fire departments, police departments, United Flight 93 and, of course, the military. As soon as Americans understood what was happening that fateful morning, they began to fight back, starting with that call of “Let’s Roll” on a plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and continuing today in nations far from here. As the discussions of the day progressed, they took on many of the themes associated with 9/11—supporting warfighters and partnerships. Unfortunately, recent changes also demanded attention to acquisition.
 

The Future of the Army Is More About People Than Technology

September 11, 2013
By Rita Boland

As often happens when discussions focus on military technology, talk during the first day of TechNet Augusta 2013 zeroed in on people, not capabilities. Leaders today shared their ideas on human resources and how they would make all the difference modernizing the Army network during a time of lean budgets.

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