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Defense

LinQuest to Provide System Engineering and Integration Support

July 1, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
LinQuest Corp., Los Angeles, Calif., has been awarded a $121,182,989 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for System Engineering and Integration Support Services (SE&I). The contractor will provide and maintain enterprise SE&I services for the current MILSATCOM Systems Directorate, execute and evolve standardized enterprise processes, control and manage the technical baseline and interface(s), perform system integration across the enterprise and within identified programs, develop and implement key systems engineering processes, developing tools and techniques to predict issues and enable timely action, and develop and maintain performance metrics. The Space and Missile Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the contracting activity.

U.S. Navy Modifies Harris Satellite Communications Contract

July 1, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Harris Corp., Palm Bay, Fla. is being awarded a $9,370,956 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed price contract for AN/WSC-6 E(V)9 satellite communication (SATCOM) systems. The AN/WSC-6 E(V)9 system is used by surface ships to provide a military SATCOM capability in the super high frequency range. This contract includes options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to an estimated $40,515,414. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman to Upgrade Targeting Laser

July 1, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Electronic Systems Sector, Land and Self Protection Systems Division, Rolling Meadows, Ill., is being awarded an $11,567,751 fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to produce, test, integrate, qualify and deliver an upgraded laser configuration for the Electro-Optical Third Generation Console for the F/A-18 E/F Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) and the SH-60 FLIR. This effort will provide two production representative units, 102 upgraded units, and associated technical data, as well as technical and logistics support for the upgrade. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity.

Engility Supports Combat UAS Landing Systems

July 1, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Engility Corp., Mount Laurel, N.J., is being awarded a $12,490,000 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to exercise an option for engineering services in support of the Joint Precision Approach and Landing Systems and the Navy Unmanned Combat Aerial Systems programs. Services to be provided include requirements definition and analysis; prototyping; test and evaluation; technical assistance; system analysis; engineering; software development, integration and maintenance; test data acquisition; reduction and analysis; technical logistic support; configuration management; training support; and program and project management. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity.

Exelis Radar Contract Modified

July 1, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Exelis Inc., Van Nuys, Calif., is being awarded a $20,285,451 modification to previously awarded contract for AN/SPS-48G(V) radar modification kits to support the Recovery Obsolescence Availability Radar. AN/SPS-48 radars are installed on USN ships for three-dimensional air search. The modification kits are expected to increase operational availability and decrease operating and support costs. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington,, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Receives G/ATOR Contract Modification

July 1, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Northrop Grumman Corp., Electronic Systems, Linthicum Heights, Md., is being awarded a $24,502,359 modification under a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee, firm-fixed-price contract to increase the estimated ceiling cost for the Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar engineering and manufacturing development phase and associated other direct costs to reflect the anticipated cost growth. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

A Joint Environment Changes Everything

July 1, 2013
By Max Cacas

Rear Adm. Robert Day Jr., USCG, assistant U.S. Coast Guard commandant for command, control, communications and information technology, sees the Joint Information Environment as an opportunity to resolve some of the most pressing information technology problems in the years to come as he faces a future with more challenges and fewer resources. He says a military-wide common operating environment will establish “enterprisewide mandates that programs cannot ignore.”

The admiral told the recent AFCEA Solutions Series–George Mason University Symposium, “Critical Issues in C4I,” the Joint Information Environment (JIE) will allow for more efficient system configurations and facilitate consolidation of the Coast Guard’s information technology work force. As the director of the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command, he also is mindful that the JIE will improve his ability to control what devices are attached to the network, giving him, for example, the opportunity to quickly detect and order the removal of an unauthorized USB thumb drive inserted into a secure network computer.

Hewing to the reality of doing more with less, the admiral also told conference attendees that within the next eight months, the Coast Guard is expected to move to the U.S. Defense Department’s enterprise email system. Adm. Day stated that even though this move initially may cost more in some cases, the long-term benefits to the service will mitigate and justify some of those costs. In addition, acknowledging the futility of reinventing the wheel, he noted that the Coast Guard is adopting the U.S. Air Force’s Virtual Flight Bag, which replaces nearly 300 pounds of printed manuals and charts carried aboard aircraft by crews. Apple iPads will be loaded with digital copies of the same material.

Resource Reductions Dominate Planning

July 1, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

Today’s financial skimping will lead to military forces and equipment that are short on readiness for future conflicts. Cutbacks in training and travel to conferences where service members network, learn about the latest in technologies and benefit from educational courses is one way to meet mandated budget cuts; but in the long term, they will result in service members who are ill-prepared to meet the challenges of what some believe will be a volatile future. Simultaneously, reductions in maintenance of vehicles, networks and ships will result in higher repair bills much like a car that is not routinely taken to the shop ends up costing the owner more to fix in the long run.

This was the general consensus of the military, government and industry experts who spoke at the East: Joint Warfighting 2013 conference at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in May. The participants represented all of the military services as well as the international community.

Adm. William E. Gortney, USN, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, opened the event saying that the military and industry are facing a decade of change and choices. As the services are ramping down from combat mode, they are refocusing on the Pacific theater, which is more of an intellectual shift in Washington, D.C., than a military change, Adm. Gortney said. While resources are on the decline now, the admiral believes economics is and always has been a sine wave, up at times and down at others. The U.S. Defense Department’s budget will increase again, and the department must be ready. “The only way we’re going to get through this is to lead our way to the other side,” the admiral said.

Hooked on Mobile 
Security

July 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers

Project Fishbowl spurs industry to
 meet military
 and intelligence 
community needs.

U.S. intelligence and defense officials are wrapping up a mobile device pilot program known as the Fishbowl project and are planning over the next year to expand on the capabilities it provides. Doing so is part of a larger strategy to wean the agency and the Defense Department off of government-designed mobile device technology, which will save time and money while providing secure, cutting-edge electronics for high-level government officials and to individual soldiers.

Fishbowl provided 100 Android devices to users across 25 organizations. The name is a reference to the fact that fishbowl users are a closed community capable of talking only to one another on the device, which provides secure voice and data services including email, calendar and some chat capability. “These are all Web-mediated services. We don’t store data directly on the device. It acts as a thin client back to the enterprise so that if the device gets lost, there’s very little data that can be obtained from the device itself,” says Troy Lange, National Security Agency (NSA) senior executive for the mobility mission. The NSA is teamed with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) on the project.

The next step is for DISA to implement an operational capability that will replace the pilot. DISA also will establish a government-owned app store that will add to the catalogue of available software applications for mobile products.

Satellite System Adds to Capabilities Menu

July 1, 2013
By Rita Boland

On-the-move communications go digital for 
troops in regular or disadvantaged locations. 


Personnel work on a Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite to prepare it before it launches into space. When complete, the MUOS constellation will have four active geosynchronous satellites and one on-orbit spare.

Military users of narrowband communications worldwide will have a range of upgraded capabilities once a new satellite constellation takes full flight. The second satellite in the set is scheduled for launch this month, meaning that soon half the globe will be covered by the enhanced services. When the system reaches full operational capability in 2015, it will include four active geosynchronous satellites and one on-orbit spare.

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