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.
Additive manufacturing, more commonly understood in the technology world as 3-D printing, is here to stay. Integrating this technology into our fleet and logistical supply chains now could provide incredible benefits, even though the technology still is relatively nascent. The Economist calls this “the third industrial revolution,” and, indeed, these techniques could transform the way we supply materiel in the wars we fight.
Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $12,703,078 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement for the development and integration of the joint standoff weapon AGM-154C-1 into the F/A-18E/F aircraft's H10E operational flight program software. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.
GXM Consulting LLC, Ashburn, Va., is being awarded a $29,216,585 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This award supports the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Transformative Apps program. DARPA, Arlington, Va., is the contracting agency.
Carestream Health Inc., Rochester, N.Y., has been awarded a maximum $45 million modification exercising the first option year of a two year base contract with one two-year option and one one-year option for digital imaging network-picture archive communications system. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.
Raytheon Co., Marlborough, Mass., was awarded a $50,640,962 fixed-price-incentive, firm fixed-price, cost-reimbursement contract for 19 D-RAPCON systems. The D-RAPCON system is a deployable air traffic control surveillance system that provides a supportable, adaptable, persistent, expeditionary terminal approach and enroute surveillance and control capability for use by joint, coalition and civil aircraft worldwide. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/HBAK, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity.
Insitu Inc., Bingen, Wash., is being awarded a $7,826,247 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to exercise an option for operational and maintenance services in support of the ScanEagle unmanned aerial systems. These services will provide electro-optical/infra red and mid-wave infra red imagery in support of land based operations in Operation Enduring Freedom and other overseas contingency operations to provide real-time imagery and data. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.
ImSAR LLC, Springville, Utah, was awarded an $8,760,829 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, for research services in support of the ultra-small aperture radar. The total cumulative face value of this contract is $32,760,829. The Army Contracting Command, Natick, Mass., is the contracting activity.
Thales Raytheon Systems Co., LLC, Fullerton, Calif., was awarded a $23,147,096 modification, to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to procure Sentinel Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe kits and spares. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $30,442,096. The Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.