The rise of new global flashpoints along with a strategic rebalancing are presenting the U.S. Navy with a new set of challenges and obligations concurrent with significant force reductions. The sum of the budget cuts would be enough to tax the service under any circumstances, but they are being implemented against a backdrop of a broader mission set and increased activities by potential foes.
Researchers working on behalf of the U.S. intelligence agencies can use reams of open source, anonymous data to foretell social turmoil such as disease outbreaks or international political unrest. Once fully developed, the capability to predict coming events may allow U.S. officials to more effectively respond to public health threats; to improve embassy security before an imminent attack; or to more quickly and effectively respond to humanitarian crises.
The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center awarded Lockheed Martin a $9 million foreign military sales contract to support the Republic of Korea’s Peace Krypton reconnaissance aircraft system. The Peace Krypton system is used for tactical intelligence and is comprised of militarized business jets and ground stations that process data from the aircraft. Lockheed Martin’s sustainment work scope involves maintenance of the aircraft fleet, which includes spare and repair parts, as well as providing support and test equipment for both the aircraft and its fixed and mobile ground stations.
DRS Technical Services Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $30,271,266 hybrid firm-fixed price, cost-plus fixed-fee and cost reimbursable multi-year contract to operate control and maintain satellite communications between the continental United States and worldwide locations. It will also provide help desk and field operations support. Work will be performed in Rock Island, Ill., Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Germany. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-14-C-0026).
Gen. Tom Lawson, RCAF, chief of the Defence Staff, outlined four priorities for the Canadian Armed Forces in a speech last month at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. The highest priority is delivering excellence in operations. That is followed, Gen. Lawson said, by preparing the armed forces for tomorrow’s challenges, providing warfighters with training and professional development, and caring for warfighters and their families.
Engility Corp., Chantilly, Va., is being awarded a $39,969,545 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for electronic warfare (EW) weapons systems modifications for U.S. Navy and Australian EA-6B, EA-18G, E-2C, MH-60R, BAMS, P-8A aircraft, Unmanned Air Systems, flight simulators, training systems, other advanced electronic attack derivatives and initiatives.
Internal change may be the key to managing external change as the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Coast Guard enter a new era of limited budgets and unlimited global challenges. From research and development to acquisition, these services are looking toward changing methods and technologies to keep the force viable and accomplish their missions. Meanwhile, a range of adversaries continue striving to find and exploit weaknesses in U.S. capabilities and operations.
The threat of armed conflict arising from China’s disputed assertions of territorial claims could be defused if all parties concerned agree to use international law institutions, said a U.S. Navy attorney. Capt Stuart Bell, USN, deputy assistant judge advocate general (international and operations law), told a Thursday panel audience at West 2014 in San Diego that the rule of law can be applied in most cases involving disputes between China and its neighbors to achieve a peaceful resolution.
Even though the Cold War has ended and the monolithic threat against the West has disappeared, the relationship between Europe and the United States remains vital. Europe includes some of the United States’ strongest coalition partners and alliances; the two economies are closely tied and interdependent; and defense and security in Europe are evolving rapidly, just as in the United States. AFCEA chapters and members outside the United States number the greatest in Europe.
Romania has opted to extend its force modernization period rather than cut important purchases as it deals with its version of the global budget crisis. Despite suffering from the severe economic downturn that began more than five years ago, the Black Sea country continues to upgrade its military with the goal of being a significant security force in an uncertain region.
The U.K. Royal Navy has re-established itself as a world-class force in the area of maritime air defense through the launch of its new destroyers, the most advanced ships the British ever have sent to sea. The latest of the vessels recently returned from its maiden deployment, proving not only the capabilities of its class but also its own flexibility and adaptability.
Homeland security officials are battling privacy and technology issues amid the new social media era that offers both challenges and opportunities. Just as new technologies and information sharing architectures have improved interagency data sharing, new sources of potentially valuable information have emerged to vex planners who must handle technical obstacles and personal rights.
NATO’s efforts to defend against terrorism now are focusing on cyberspace as a tool of terrorists instead of merely as a vulnerability for striking at alliance nations and their critical infrastructure. These efforts cover aspects of cyber exploitation that range from understanding terrorists’ behavior to how they might use social media.
Europe’s defense markets have been contracting for the past decade because of the continent’s financial crisis and national priorities shifting away from military spending. But while fewer tanks and fighter jets are being acquired, money is being spent on modernizing computers and communications equipment—a trend that will continue into the foreseeable future, according to an industry analyst.
The budget reductions that will be a fact of military life for the foreseeable future promise to impel dramatic changes in force structure and military operations. Ongoing needs such as high technology and overseas commitments offer the possibility of being both challenges and solutions, as planners endeavor to plan around a smaller but, hopefully, more capable force.
L-3 Communications Corp., Communication Systems West, Salt Lake City, Utah, has been awarded a $17,919,946 delivery order (0003) on an existing firm-fixed-price and cost-reimbursable contract (FA8620-13-G-4051) for supply of Satellite Communications Terminals, Test and Monitor Sub-Systems, Satellite Earth Terminal Sub-Systems (SETTS) Site Monitor and Radomes for the United States, United Kingdom and France. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.
Elbit Systems Ltd., Haifa, Israel, announced today that it was awarded an Israeli Ministry of Defense contract, in the amount of approximately $23 million, for the operation and maintenance of its ground simulators in use by the Israeli ground forces. The 5-year contract includes a variety of simulators, both fixed and mobile, dedicated to training for tanks, armored combat vehicles, driving simulators, intelligence training and other applications.
Thales has signed a five-year contract with the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence to provide support for the Sonar 2050 anti-submarine sensor used on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate fleet. Sonar 2050 is a medium-range bow sonar currently fitted to thirteen Type 23 frigates and is the Royal Navy’s primary hull-mounted anti- submarine warfare sensor. It also provides the ship with passive detection capabilities at lower frequencies.
Raytheon Co., McKinney, Texas, was awarded a $16,286,396 firm-fixed-price, foreign military sales contract for 22 modified improved target acquisition systems for the Royal Saudi Land Forces SWORD program and three for the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-14-C-0066).
Lockheed Martin Corp., Missions Systems and Training, Liverpool, N.Y., has been awarded an $8,534,310 modification (P00017) on an existing firm-fixed-price contract (FA8217-11-C-0005) for the modernization of AN/FPS-117 Long Range Radars via the Essential Parts Replacement Program. This contract modification provides for the exercise of unpriced options for a quantity of 13 field maintenance equipment kits to provide spare single point failure items in support of the radar site modernizations in Canada, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Hill Air Force Base, Utah.