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International

North Korean Threat Increases Uncertainty

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

North Korea’s growing missile and nuclear capabilities “keep us awake at night,” according to the deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Command. Lt. Gen. Thomas L. Conant, USMC, warned that the communist government’s recent developments pose a much greater threat to peace and security than traditionally offered.

Embrace Uncertainty, Win the Future

December 1, 2013
By Lt. Ben Kohlmann, USN

Two pictures have taken up residence in my mind over the past few weeks. They highlight the growing disconnect between the U.S. Defense Department and the broader strategic environment—not just in terms of geopolitics but also in the way the rest of the world lives, works and interacts.

The first image captures how the Defense Department views the world. It is a simple map with neat lines delineating the different joint combatant commands. While the boundaries make sense in a conventional way, they are drawn merely for geographic convenience. Implicitly, those lines preclude interaction between constituent elements.

The second image is elegant, beautiful and haunting in its complexity. It is an image of the world as it actually is—interconnected, unbounded by geography, spanning the globe with dynamic diversity. This image was the project of Paul Butler, a Facebook intern whose curiosity led him to an interesting project: visualize the relationships for 10 million of the 250 million users on Facebook in 2009. He plotted not only the location of the Facebook user but also more critically the location of each of their friends. This second image is the result.

Each “line” represents the flow of goods, information, ideas and relationships, unbounded by traditional geography. Consider too, the many geopolitical implications inset in the image. For instance, China lacks much “light.” As China is the most populated country in the world, one would expect a beautiful montage of light and lines. Instead, China’s strict Internet controls leave it relatively dark and disconnected.

China Destroyer Consolidates Innovations, Other Ship Advances

December 1, 2013
By James C. Bussert

A new destroyer being deployed by China offers improvements in technology that rival those of the newest destroyers being built for the U.S. Navy. Its advances include phased array radars and improved missiles and launch systems. With room to grow, this ship seems destined to play a significant role in naval operations.

Exelis to Provide Radar Simulators to Australia and Brazil

November 22, 2013

Exelis Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., is being awarded a $7,028,919 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of up to 62 radar signal simulators in support of the MH-60R and S70-B aircraft for the U.S Navy (33), the government of Australia (27), and the government of Brazil (2) under the foreign military sales program. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-14-D-0005).

Firm to Provide Surveillance System for U.S. and African Nations

November 22, 2013

Pacific Architects and Engineers Applied Technologies, Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $44,577,164 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the development, testing, and installation of the SureTrak Surveillance System for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and governments in Africa under the foreign military sales program. The SureTrak System is a state-of-the-art, fully integrated, multi-sensor, data acquisition and display system used for airspace surveillance, waterway clearance, shoreline surveillance, and environmental monitoring functions. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-14-D-0001).

U.S. Military Aids Typhoon Victims

November 21, 2013

In coordination with Joint Task Force 505, the George Washington Strike Group is assisting the Philippine government in ongoing efforts in response to super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Republic of the Philippines.

Cubic to Provide Combat Trainer to Four Countries

November 4, 2013
George I. Seffers

Cubic Defense Applications Inc., San Diego, Calif., has been awarded a $24,999,949 firm-fixed-price contract for foreign military sales P5Combat Training System (P5CTS), combined hardware buy. Contractor will provide P5CTS hardware to provide an instrumented training capability that increases, maintains, and assesses combat proficiency in the following mission areas: counter air, close air support, strategic attack, air interdiction, and electronic combat. This award is for the governments of Singapore, Morocco, Oman and Saudi Arabia under the Foreign Military Sales program. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8678-14-C-0046).

General Atomics to Support French MQ-9

November 4, 2013
George I. Seffers

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, Calif., has been awarded a not-to-exceed $27,607,349 undefinitized contract action delivery order (0113) for an existing basic ordering agreement (FA8620-10-G-3038) for France's MQ-9 Unmanned Air System Contractor Logistics Support Phase I program. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

AAI Supports Shadow in Afghanistan

October 30, 2013
George I. Seffers

AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded a cost-plus-incentive-fee, option-included contract with a maximum value of $126,262,568 to provide logistics and operational support services to the Army and Marine Corps for Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft systems. A portion of this contract includes foreign military sales in support of Australia. Work will performed in Afghanistan. The Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-14-C-0001).

Lockheed Martin to Continue Supporting Persistent Surveillance in Afghanistan

October 22, 2013
George I. Seffers

Lockheed Martin will continue to support a tethered aerostat-based system that provides real-time, around-the-clock reconnaissance and surveillance for warfighters in Afghanistan.

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