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International

Access, Not Oil, Fuels China's South China Sea Policy

June 1, 2014
By James C. Bussert

China’s encroachment in the South China Sea for more than 40 years has much more impact on freedom of navigation and international confrontations than on pursuit of resources. While it has been staking territorial rights to oil- and gas-rich island regions also claimed by multiple countries, the Middle Kingdom has been employing maritime forces ranging from fishing boats to Coast Guard and People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels in ways that suggest expanded control over oceangoing traffic.

Boeing Awarded Signals Intelligence Funds

May 2, 2014

Boeing has received its first production order for the Ship’s Signal Exploitation Equipment (SSEE) Modifications program from the U.S. Navy, as well as a fifth order for SSEE Increment F systems, six for the U.S. Navy and four that will support the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. The modifications will advance maritime forces’ ability to detect, geolocate and exploit signals sent by potential threats on selected SSEE Increment E and F systems. The fifth order for the current system will bring SSEE's real-time capabilities to a U.S. ally for the first time.  

Logos to Support Kestrel Surveillance in Afghanistan

May 2, 2014

Logos Technologies Incorporated, Fairfax, Virginia, is being awarded a $23,648,907 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for field service representatives, operators and analysts required to support Persistent Ground Surveillance Systems Kestrel systems deployed outside of the continental United States for the U.S. Army. Work will be performed in Fairfax; Afghanistan; and Raleigh, North Carolina, and is expected to be completed in December. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (N68335-14-C-0196).

U.S. Navy Procures Seasparrow Laser Range Finder

May 2, 2014

Ball Aerospace Technologies Incorporated, Boulder, Colorado, is being awarded a $23,933,170 firm-fixed-price contract for "Stalker" or long-range electro-optical/infrared/laser range finder (SLREOSS) production. SLREOSS is used with the NATO Seasparrow Missile System MK 57 on the MK 9 Tracker Illuminator System. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-14-C-5412).

Kongsberg Supports Remotely Operated Weapon Station

May 2, 2014

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Kongsberg, Norway, was awarded a $29,702,000 modification (P00079) to contract W15QKN-12-C-0103 for depot support for the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

Firms to Provide Technical Support in Multiple Countries

April 29, 2014

SOS International LLC, Reston, Va., (FA5641-14-D-0001); Mission Essential Personnel LLC, Columbus, Ohio, (FA5641-14-D-0002); Digital Management Incorporated, Bethesda, Md., (FA5641-14-D-0003); L-3 National Security Solutions, Reston, Va., (FA5641-14-D-0004); General Dynamics Information Technology, Herndon, Va., (FA5641-14-D-0005); and Decypher Technologies, San Antonio, Texas, (FA5641-14-D-0006), have been awarded a $33 million multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for advisory and assistance services. The contract shall serve as a vehicle to provide broad technical and analytical services to support and improve policy development, decision making and management and administration, as well as improve the operation of systems within the primary using activities' areas of responsibility. Outputs may take the form of information, advice, alternatives, analyses, evaluations, recommendations, training and the day-to-day aid of support personnel needed to complement the government's technical expertise. In addition, the contract serves as a vehicle for non-advisory and assistance service support that is incidental to the advisory and assistance services. Work will be performed in Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, United States and other in-scope locations, and is expected to be complete by April 30, 2015. Air Force Installation Contracting Agency's 764th Specialized Contracting Squadron, Kaiserslautern, Germany, is the contracting activity.

Draper Labs to Support Trident Guidance Systems

April 29, 2014

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc., Cambridge, Mass, is being awarded a maximum $283,126,264 firm-fixed-price, fixed-price-incentive, and cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the ongoing acquisition of Trident (D5) MK 6 Guidance System Repair Program with failure verification, test, repair and recertification of inertial measurement units, electronic assemblies, and electronic modules. Fiscal 2014 weapons procurement, Navy contract funds in the amount of $243,150,264 and fiscal 2014 United Kingdom contract funds in the amount of $39,976,000 are being obligated at time of award. Strategic Systems Program, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00030-14-C-0001).

Two Firms to Support Air Traffic Control in Southwest Asia

April 25, 2014

Midwest Air Traffic Control Service Inc., Overland Park, Kan. (N65236-14-D-4984) and Readiness Management Support LC, Panama City, Fla. (N65236-14-D-4985), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, with provisions for firm-fixed-price task orders, performance based contract. The contracts are for the procurement of air traffic management and electronic equipment maintenance services to support air traffic control operations, airfield management, air to ground communications operations and maintenance, surveillance and precision radar systems operations and maintenance, voice communications systems operations and maintenance, and aviation command and control operations and maintenance. The cumulative, estimated ceiling value of the base year is $109,874,600. These contracts include options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative ceiling value of these contracts to an estimated $330,295,200. Work will be performed in Southwest Asia. Work is expected to be completed by April 2015. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity.

Robots Learn With Heads in the Cloud

May 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Researchers working on multiple projects in Europe and the United States are using cloud computing to teach robotic systems to perform a multitude of tasks ranging from household chores to serving hospital patients and flipping pancakes. The research, which one day could be applied to robotic systems used for national defense, homeland security or medical uses, lowers costs while allowing robots to learn more quickly, share information and better cooperate with one another.

Cloud robotics is an emerging research field rooted in cloud computing, cloud storage and other technologies centered around the benefits of converged infrastructure and shared services, according to researchers with the recently completed RoboEarth project, which was funded primarily by the European Commission. Cloud robotics allows robots to benefit from the powerful computational, storage and communications resources of modern data centers. In addition, it lowers costs for maintenance and updates and reduces dependence on custom middleware.

Researchers with the RoboEarth project envision an Internet for robots that will allow systems to share information and learn from each other about their behavior and their environment, paving the way for rapid advances in machine cognition and behavior and, ultimately, for more subtle and sophisticated human-machine interaction.

BAE to Provide Friend or Foe Identification to Japan

April 16, 2014

BAE Systems Information & Electronic Systems Integration Inc., Greenlawn, N.Y., is being awarded a $6,715,693 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of 16 AN/UPX-41 (C) Digital Interrogators for the U.S. Navy (14) and the government of Japan (2) and 45 Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe field change kits for the U.S. Navy (33) and the government of Japan (12). This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($5,399,417; 80.4 percent) and the government of Japan ($1,316,276; 19.6 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-14-D-0004).

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