ORCA –A Whale of a Communications Project
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has embarked on a whale of an effort with ORCA—the Optical Radio Frequency (RF) Communications Adjunct project. ORCA is an all-weather, jam-resistant, high-bandwidth network that offers high connectivity. The program addresses the U.S. military’s increasing need for transmitting voice, image, video and other critical data simultaneously among dismounted and maneuvering forces, airborne assets and upper command echelons. The large amount of tactical data that must be shared currently is straining the capacity of available ground and satellite communications systems. DARPA awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $46.1 million contract for work on ORCA. Under the one-year, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, the company will develop and demonstrate a prototype tactical network that employs free-space optical and RF links. Northrop Grumman also will provide a “leave behind” capability for the warfighter. Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems (www.es.northropgrumman.com) sector is leading the effort under the contract administration of the Air Force Research Laboratory (www.afrl.af.mil).
Information Assurance for Military Medical Systems
The U.S. Navy has contracted to provide the Joint Medical Information Systems with necessary information assurance technical support services. This work includes network operations, network security, computer network defense, security lifecycle management, identity management, Public Key Infrastructure implementation and engineering support, security policy and standards guidance and development, secure wireless network infrastructure support, secure network infrastructure systems and applications, governance, certification and accreditation, risk management, security engineering, cryptographic repair, crypto modernization and cross-domain solutions supported by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Charleston and Naval Network Warfare Command. Work will be performed in Charleston, South Carolina. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems (www.spawar.navy.mil) Center Charleston is the contracting authority and Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems Incorporated (www.lockheedmartin.com) received the $37 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-incentive-fee/cost-plus-fixed-fee, performance-based contract with provisions for firm-fixed price orders. The effort is scheduled for completion in May 2009 but will extend to May 2013 if all options are exercised. The four one-year option periods would raise the cumulative value of the contract to $190 million.
Data Links Navy and Other Troops
The U.S. Navy will enhance situational awareness and communications for warfighters with the installation of the Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) system. The interoperable data link system will collect and transmit intelligence in real time. TCDL terminals will be installed on manned Navy aircraft and in ground command stations. A high-band digital link will transmit the data collected while flying over battlespace to the ground terminal. The TCDL meets the standards and specifications of the U.S. Defense Department’s Common Data Link program, which establishes compatibility and interoperability requirements between collection platforms and surface terminals across armed services and government agencies. The TCDL system is based in part on a technology developed by the Office of Naval Research. BAE Systems (www.baesystems.com) will provide the TCDL systems to the Navy under a $9 million contract. The agreement, which runs through March 2011, includes research, development and production of nine airborne and ground systems.
More Navy Flight Support
The U.S. Navy has guaranteed performance-based logistics support of mission computers in F/A-18 Hornet and AV-8B Harrier aircraft. The work, which will be performed in Bloomington, Minnesota, includes the repair of advanced mission computers for the F/A-18E, F/A-18F, EA-18G and AV-8B models. In addition, the effort encompasses logistics support of the systems, providing spare parts and modules, arranging transportation, managing obsolescence and controlling inventories. Work performed on the contract should help reduce turnaround type and repair costs for the systems. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (www.gd-ais.com) received the five-year, $27 million contract. General Dynamics developed the mission computers that it will upgrade under this agreement. The computers are high-performance/high-reliability mission and display-processing systems built on open-systems architectures, and users can configure them for various operating environments. The systems perform general purpose, input/output, video, voice and graphics processing and are designed to operate reliably in harsh environmental conditions experienced by fighter aircraft.
PM TRCS Funded for Expanded Efforts
The U.S. Army has increased the funding ceiling for its Project Manager, Tactical Radio Communications Systems (PM TRCS) (http://peoc3t.monmouth.army.mil/trcs/inco.html) to continue existing efforts and to incorporate new tasks. The tactical radio communications systems connect warfighters, first responders and military and government decision makers. The project fields more than 150 systems to offer airborne and ground radio communications in support of tactical operations including battlefield engagements in Iraq. CACI International Incorporated (www.caci.com) received an additional ceiling of $97.9 million to support the project, raising the total potential value of the four-year contract to $189.6 million. CACI already ensures specification and schedules are met and that costs are contained during the manufacture and testing of the systems. The company also assists PM TRCS in planning system distribution and deployment, supply allocation, and training development and scheduling. The new funding expands the effort to include aiding the Army to use technologies to sustain radio transmission more effectively during battle operations.
Global IP Networking for Homeland Security
More than 5,000 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sites worldwide will soon be linked through the DHS OneNet program. The effort will provide managed Internet protocol (IP) and security services to support the department’s mission. Under a contract agreement, the 22 agencies that make up DHS will combine multiple separate wide area networks into one common and secure IP network. Verizon Business (www.verizonbusiness.com) received a $678.5 million contract covering 10 years to deploy and manage the secure, global IP network through a Networx Universal task order awarded by DHS. The company will implement a security operations center for the department as part of the agreement and will employ emergency communications services (ECS), a new service available to government agencies. ECS will help DHS prepare for emergency response to manmade and natural disasters and enable the department to establish quick, mobile connectivity to any affected area within the United States and its territories during disaster response and recovery.
Authenticating Defense Manpower
Systems for the Defense Manpower Data Center’s (www.dmdc.osd.mil) identity protection and management programs are scheduled for implementation. Fielding and provision of maintenance support for the Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System will be provided, along with implementation of DMDC enterprise systems to provide worldwide maintenance support to the Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS) and the Non-Combat Evacuation Operations Tracking System. DBIDS supports authentication for the U.S. Defense Department physical access mission. The Non-Combat Evacuation Operations Tracking System identifies and tracks noncombatants who must be repatriated to the United States. The Defense Department awarded Telos Corporation (www.telos.com) the contract to implement and support the programs. The one-year contract includes four one-year options and has a potential total value of $582 million. Work will be performed by Telos affiliate Telos Identity Management Solutions LLC.
British Troops LEAPP for Better Situational Awareness
U.K. ground troops will have a new level of situational awareness after receiving the Land Environment Air Picture Provision (LEAPP) system. LEAPP provides ground commanders with “decision-quality” data in near real time, which they can use to coordinate, plan and strike more effectively. By improving situational awareness, LEAPP reduces the chances of friendly fire incidents and enables commanders to maximize the performance of their available equipment. The core capability is integrated into a truck, allowing it to be moved quickly around the battlefield. The system fuses the appropriate data and ensures the information is presented rapidly and in the correct format to key personnel, thereby providing a step change in the level of situational awareness. LEAPP works with the Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam Radar on the ground and Link 16 in the air, as well as with other sources to create a comprehensive picture of the air component. Team Athena, led by Lockheed Martin Corporation, was awarded the Ł100 million ($200 million) contract by the U.K. Ministry of Defence. Systems will be delivered beginning in 2010. Other Team Athena members include BAE Systems, L-3 Advanced Systems Architectures, Systems Consultants Services Limited, Saab AB, Rockwell Collins (UK) Ltd. and QinetiQ.
Training Virtually in Canada
The Canadian Forces are receiving 3D virtual equipment simulations for performance support, training and maintenance. The contract covers an entire suite of products and solutions, most notably the 3D Virtual Task Trainers. These trainers are 3D Knowledge Objects with animations, tasks and testing built to represent a series of procedures on specific equipment. They can be used as a stand-alone training or operational aid or can be embedded into courseware or technical publications. Canadian Department of National Defence personnel can interact with 3D virtual objects much as they would with a real piece of complex equipment. Once created, the 3D content can be used in multiple training courses, technical publications and logistics applications, and can be deployed on standard desktops, ruggedized laptops, tablet personal computers and personal digital assistants. This enables the rapid, efficient deployment of simulations and provides access to the most up-to-date information in the classroom or the field. NGRAIN received the one-year contract with four option years from Public Works and Government Services Canada on behalf of the Department of National Defence to be the sole supplier of interactive 3D equipment simulations. The Assistant Deputy Minister of Materiel sponsored the NGRAIN Enterprise Software 3D Modeling and Visualization contract as a national, multiyear, cross-services contract.
Australian Fuel Management Project
Upon operational acceptance of the acquisition system, a Joint Fuels Information Management System (JFIMS) support center will be established in Melbourne and staffed to provide technical support and configuration management services for the new system throughout the contract. SAIC was awarded two contracts by the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation to support the Joint Electronic Fuels Management Project. The single-award prime contracts have a total value of AU $13.5 million ($12.5 million) over a 49-month period if all options are exercised. The work will be conducted throughout Australia by Varec Incorporated, an SAIC company.
French Satellites, Spanish Usage
The ground segment of the Pleidaes, a French constellation of high-resolution optical satellites for Earth observation, will be developed, integrated and implemented for the Spanish Ministry of Defence. The purchase includes systems necessary for satellite imagery collection, treatment for final products and the program to request information from the satellites. With the new systems, the Spanish army can make use of the information supplied by civil and military satellites involved in Pleidaes, in which Spain has a 3 percent stake. The first satellite will enter orbit by the end of 2009 and the next will join it in 2011. The satellites will be able to capture images at the submetrical level. When both satellites are in operational service, building 3D imagery with a higher performance level and enhanced quality will be possible. The army’s observation of Earth and cartography will be more accurate using these satellites as a means for taking measurements for tactics and intelligence affairs. Indra won the contract valued at €13.7 million ($21.8 million).
Improving Organizational MessagingApril 2008
A Web-based, enterprise wide organizational messaging capability is being installed for the Canadian Ministry of Defence. A customized version of the Xacta Automated Message Handling System (AMHS) will be implemented in a regional communications node and at a backup site. It will begin providing operational messaging services as part of the Canadian Military Message Handling System. Ultimately, the AMHS will enable Canadian troops to send and receive messages within the Canadian Force structure. The forces also will be able to exchange message traffic with the U.S. military through specially configured gateways. Telos Corporation will carry out the work on the contract, which includes options for three years of maintenance following successful fielding. Telos will provide hardware, software, installation and special modifications to the baseline product. Some of the changes include the capability for the AMHS to offer services in French and English simultaneously, according to user preference.
Command and Control Information Services for NATO
The NATO Land Command and Control Information Services (LC2IS) for the NATO Command Structure will be provided beginning in July 2008. The LC2IS supports the decision process at NATO land forces headquarters in the execution of operational missions, collaborative working and administrative tasks by offering operational information services. The LC2IS will deploy to the allied NATO headquarters and theaters of operations where NATO forces are committed. It will equip allied land component commands and give them shared situational awareness, collaborative planning and synchronized maneuver abilities. The services are fully integrated into the NATO Bi-Strategic Command Automated Information Systems command and control infrastructure. The LC2IS implements NATO interoperability standards to manage resources, automate reporting processes, and disseminate commanders’ intent between operational and tactical command and control systems deployed by allied forces throughout the theater. The program is organized into three increments according to a spiral development process. The final operational capability will be fielded by May 2009. Thales was awarded the contract by the NATO C3 Agency.
Brits Buy New Intel Capability
British troops are being supplied with an Integrated Broadcast Service (IBS). The system will provide real-time intelligence capability to the U.K. Ministry of Defence and its operational forces. Under the initial contract, program management, system design, platform integration and system engineering for requirements development, test and evaluation, and full life-cycle sustainment will be carried out. The preliminary contract is valued at £46 million ($91 million). The full life of the program is expected to span 15 years with a total projected contract value greater than £70 million ($139 million). L-3 Communications Corporation won the contract from the Ministry of Defence. The company leads a team that includes U.K. partners BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies, Babcock Marine, Qi3, Healy Solicitors and Raytheon Systems Limited, as well as L-3 Advanced System Architectures Limited. At least 75 percent of the IBS effort will be performed in the United Kingdom.
Services for Foreign Military Sale
The U.S. government has contracted for engineering services related to the foreign military sale of a Patriot air and missile defense system to South Korea. The effort involves the preliminary planning and program development efforts for the integration of Patriot Fire Units into South Korea's national command and control structure. In addition to the initial contract, follow-on work is expected to complete system integration, and provide command and control, communications and maintenance support equipment, training of Korean operators and maintainers and technical assistance to the deployed systems. The systems are expected to provide South Korea with the capability to defend itself from the full spectrum of air and missile threats. Raytheon Company is the prime contractor on this program, referred to as SAM-X by the South Koreans.
Italians Aim to Replace Messaging System
A signed contract now submitted to the state audit court for registration would replace the current Italian military messaging system with the new Italian Joint Military Message Handling System that complies with the NATO Standardization Agreement 4406. The contract includes a delivery of hardware and software for a testbed as the first step. The next step is delivery of the overall messaging infrastructure for several operational sites related to the armed forces. The testbed validation includes an Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria security accreditation of the solution. When that is complete, the Joint General Staff will be the first operational site to be equipped. When the overall system deploys in 2011, the Italian Armed Forces will benefit from a modern messaging system that offers a secured and standardized interoperability among themselves and with other NATO and non-NATO nations. EADS Defense and Security signed the contract with the General Directorate of Telecommunications, Information and Advanced Technologies, a procurement agency of the Italian Ministry of Defence. With all its options, the award is worth €9 million ($14 million). EADS will be responsible for the engineering, manufacturing and installation of a testbed and of the first operational node for the Defence General Staff. Its local co-contractor Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.a will be responsible for the security certification and for the in-country support including manufacturing, installation and acceptance of the other optional operational nodes, as well as customer training and system operational support.
Luxembourg Soldiers Obtain Recon Wheels
A tactical reconnaissance capability integrated with KMW Dingo 2 vehicles will be delivered to the Luxembourg Army under the Protected Recce Vehicle contract. The vehicles will be equipped with a protection system based on the Protector remote-operated turret from Kongsberg, combined with laser detection systems and smoke grenade launchers; a complete observation system, including a long-range system integrated with a telescopic mast (already selected by France and Belgium), guaranteeing protection, discretion and rapid deployment because of all-weather optronic sensors and an off-vehicle surveillance system with Sophie Multi-Functions handheld thermal cameras; a command, control, communications, computers and intelligence system based on proven high frequency/very high frequency communication equipment; and a tactical situation awareness system to allow vehicle integration with an interoperable reconnaissance unit. These subsystems will be interconnected via an open electronic architecture called the Open Information Communication System, designed to optimize integration and enable information exchange internally and externally to the vehicle. The Luxembourg Ministry of Defence mandated the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency to conduct the competitive procurement procedure for the program. Thales was awarded the contract and will deliver 48 vehicles by the end of 2010.