SIGNALScape

Guest Blog: Budget Impact on Developing COTS Systems

March 25, 2013
By Michael Carter

The current driving force in the military and defense environment is to keep legacy systems operating longer, or the replacement of legacy systems with new systems that emulate one or more legacy systems with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology. However, there is insufficient budget to fund development of these COTS systems, and the burden of development falls upon private industry. The current sequestration environment adds another burden on industry to perform to the needs of the military, but without the benefit of nonrecurring engineering (NRE) costs being reimbursed. Programs although already funded (but not the NRE, as it is not initially funded) are being put on hold, cancelled, or are in a state of non-deterministic outcome.

Military and defense program managers and private industry face an uphill battle to find the intersection of needs, available resources and the expenditure of development costs. Small companies are at a distinct disadvantage when they develop technology to support the replacement of legacy systems when they are forced to use their own development resources without compensation and are not awarded a contract for production.

Whether a fixed-price, cost-plus, or IDIQ contract, the above scenario is increasingly commonplace in the face of budget constraints and sequestration. The burden on small companies doesn’t stop there; military program managers are also demanding engineering support without compensation for engineering-sustaining efforts, again without the presence of a production contract.

Although many systems are characterized as COTS, there are demands on the developer to perform military environment qualification testing, again without funding and no guarantee of a production contract.

EDO to Upgrade Magnetic Minesweeping System

March 25, 2013
George I. Seffers
E-mail About the Author

EDO Corp., Panama City, Fla., is being awarded a $10,984,400 firm-fixed-price contract to build and deliver one MK-105 Mod 4 Magnetic Minesweeping System for the Airborne Mine Countermeasures Program. This system upgrade provides a significant reliability and performance improvement to the current MK-105, increasing the Navy's capability to conduct quick response, high-speed airborne mine countermeasures for the next decade. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Airtec to Provide ISR Support to U.S. Army Southern Command

March 25, 2013
George I. Seffers
E-mail About the Author

Airtec Inc., California, Md., is being awarded a $12,500,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) services in support of the Army's Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). The contractor will provide ISR services utilizing two contractor-owned, contractor-operated aircraft, with government furnished property previously installed on the aircraft. The Naval Air Warfare Center, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Receives Electronic Warfare Funding

March 25, 2013
George I. Seffers
E-mail About the Author

Lockheed Martin Corp., Liverpool, N.Y., is being awarded a $27,399,999 modification to previously awarded contract to exercise and restructure the fixed-price-incentive-options for the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 2 System long-lead-material to firm-fixed-price options. SEWIP is an evolutionary acquisition program to upgrade the existing AN/SLQ-32(V) Electronic Warfare System. The SEWIP Block 2 will greatly improve the receiver/antenna group necessary to keep capabilities current with the pace of the threat and to yield improved system integration. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Pages