Experts have given lip service to building the force around national security priorities. But now, budgetary pressures require that those priorities are applied to the new lean military.
The key to doing more with less may lie with innovative thinking applied to existing assets, suggested the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., USN, speaking to a packed house for the morning keynote address at AFCEA/USNI West 2013 in San Diego, said that both the military and industry must be innovative in their approach to readiness.
Adm. Winnefeld cited examples of how innovative applications could enhance existing assets. He mentioned how the littoral combat ship could be adapted for use in missions beyond those for which it originally was designed. The admiral also called for inexpensive, highly adaptive electronics pods for unmanned aerial vehicles.
He singled out industry as a potential source of vital innovation, and he called on the private sector to produce these solutions.
“Bring it on; I want to hear it,” the admiral said.
Sequestration is “a wolf in the fold” that will force potentially catastrophic cuts to the U.S. military, crippling its ability to defend U.S. and allied interests around the globe. This gloomy assessment comes not from a politician or industrialist, but from the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The latest version of the Apache Block III attack helicopter, the AH-64E, was approved for full rate production in October 2012. Improvements to the aircraft include an Improved Drive System, increased engine capabilities, technologically advanced composite main rotor blades and sensor enhancements. For more information—and some pretty cool video of the AH-64E in action—see the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command YouTube Channel video.
Southeast Aerospace Inc., Melbourne, Fla., is being awarded a $9,108,235 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, requirements contract for the purchase of part kits for Avionics System Upgrade (ASU) for the T-44 aircraft. This contract contains two option years, which if exercised, would bring the contract value to $18,275,151. No contract funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be provided under individual delivery order. The Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.
Alion Science and Technology, McLean, Va., was awarded a $1.5 million contract by the Spectrum Policy and Programs office, within the Defense Department’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, to study the impact of potentially reallocating or sharing the radio frequency bands between the military and commercial sector. Alion will assist in developing a long-term spectrum strategy that will anticipate, guide and respond to changes in technology, policy and regulation and ensure spectrum access for all current and future military systems. Alion will perform analyses of the potential impacts to defense systems currently using the targeted bands and provide recommendations to Defense Department stakeholders. The task order was awarded through the Weapons Systems Technology Information Analysis Center (WSTIAC) with the period of performance through July 1, 2015. WSTIAC, operated by Alion, is one of nine Defense Technical Information Center Information Analysis Centers.
Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors, Moorestown, N.J., is being awarded a $43,867,055 modification to previously awarded fixed-price-incentive contract for the production of fiscal 2013 Multi-Mission Signal Processor equipment, Ballistic Missile Defense equipment and associated spares and engineering services for USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51); USS Mitscher (DDG 57), and USS Milius (DDG 69). The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington D.C., is the contracting activity.