Northrop Grumman Space and Missile Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., was awarded an $89,425,943 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification that extends the operation and logistics support for Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) payloads. The contractor shall provide all labor, resources, equipment other direct costs, and travel of contractor personnel for deployment support and operation of the fielded BACN equipped systems. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, Calif., was awarded a $110,261,703 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems product support and fleet sustainment operations. The total cumulative face value of this contract is $354,683,431. Work will be performed in Afghanistan. The Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.
Unmanned vehicles may become joint platforms as new software allows operators using a standard control system to use craft employed by different services. So, an Army squad deep in the battlefield may be able to use data accessed directly from a Navy unmanned aerial vehicle to bring an Air Force strike to bear against enemy forces.
Northrop Grumman, Bethpage, N.Y. is being awarded $7 million for ceiling-priced delivery order #7168 under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement for the repair of 13 line items on the advanced electronic attack system used on the EA-18G Growler aircraft. The Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.
The U.S. Army is expanding its Range Radar Replacement Program (RRRP) with a high/medium power close-in radar system. The new mobile system will provide fine detail when tracking munitions and other targets at a range of at least 37 miles. The close-in radar system joins the fly-out radar system, the first range instrumentation radar system developed as part of the RRRP. The program aims to help the Army modernize test ranges through cost-effective, digital technologies.
Boeing Defense, Space & Security, St.
Logos Technologies Inc., Arlington, Va., was awarded a ceiling $49,750,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to develop and evolve enhanced and advanced techniques and capabilities for efficient collection, advance analytics and analysis of multiple sources of large data stores. Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, N.Y., is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an $830,000,000 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to contract for additional production of 18 Iraq F-16 aircraft and associated support equipment, technical orders, integrated logistics support, contractor logistics support and an electronic warfare system. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity.
U.S. Navy and Marine Corps officials describe the K-MAX unmanned cargo helicopter as having met or exceeded requirements in Afghanistan, but they also report that the Marines have not yet developed requirements for the system to become a program of record and say they are unsure what effect sequestration will have on the system.
NATO has established a new organization in Afghanistan to manage the communications and information systems there in an attempt to revolutionize its approach to those services. The group subsumes operations that used to fall under multiple regional commands, streamlining activities while conserving resources.
Two brigades from the Army's 10th Mountain Division are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan with a host of technologies that will allow the units to provide their own network down to the tactical edge. The new equipment provides battalion and company commanders with a communications on the move capability and pushes critical data down to the individual squad level.
The same approach used to test and implement the Army’s single largest networking system is laying the groundwork for extending the network down to the individual soldier. As laboratory tests and field exercises validate the interoperability of separate elements in a network, system conflicts are giving way to greater commonality among different elements.
A military exercise designed to refine and improve the way coalition partners share vital information will, for the first time, include the network that is supporting troops in Afghanistan. Scheduled to take place in Poland next month, the event will feature military command and control communications experts from NATO, partner organizations and nations who share the goal of rigorously testing communications interoperability among coalition members.
U.S. Army researchers have developed micro materials that fold when hit with a low-intensity laser. The advance may eliminate the need for relatively bulky power systems—such as battery packs—on tiny robotic systems. It also could enable robotic microthrusters, unattended ground sensors, or even—theoretically—programmable, easily changeable camouflage patterns.
Opportunities abound for industry to add technical expertise to diverse scientific exploration efforts.
Scientists at the Office of Naval Research are creating the world that will exist half a decade from now through projects that will change the face of the battlefield. With specific programs already decided, officials are turning their attention to garnering the support they need to make their burgeoning technologies a reality.
Academic, research and industry teams join forces to improve uniform materials.
Moving forward through sequester, next fiscal year's evaluations include new contracts and contacts.
As the U.S. Army prepares its network of the future, it plans to make some changes to the way it approaches working with government and private partners. The moves will increase interoperability downrange while attempting to shorten the ever-frustrating acquisition cycle that keeps the military behind the curve in implementing cutting-edge technologies.
Coalition interoperability has received a good deal of focus during the past few years. The Afghan Mission Network (AMN) has given many hope that a repeatable solution for coalition operations could be developed that would allow rapid deployment of a coalition-compatible network for future conflicts. The Future Mission Network (FMN) is envisioned to allow coalition partners to plug into a standards-compliant network with the functionality and security needed to support complex operations.