Under a $37 million contract, Thales will provide its AN/PRC-148C Multiband Inter-Intra Team Radio (IMBITR) to security force assistance brigades (SFAB) in the U.S. Army. The dual-channel, certified networking radio technology will enhance communications at the tactical edge providing joint and coalition forces interoperability, a capability sought by the Amry's Office of the Chief of Staff. The IMBITR is a variant of the Multiband Inter-Intra Team Radio (MBITR) and the world’s first 2-channel handheld networking radio embedding the Tactical Scalable MANET waveform, Thales indicated. It will provide SFAB soldiers with narrowband and tactical satellite communications in an ad hoc capability.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Black Box Corporation, a digital solutions provider, will continue to provide supplies and services to the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, under a $10.4 million award from the U.S. Army. Under the new tasking, Black Box will expand the Ukraine Ministry of Defense’s enterprise information technology (IT) architecture to additional sites within Ukraine. Over the next 12 months, the company will provide IT supplies and services to both expand the enterprise system and enable command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities to more users at military installations throughout the country.
Within five years, the Army would like to start testing remote combat vehicle (RCV) prototypes that are as light and as fast as a Stryker but provide the same level of firepower as an M-1 Abrams tank, according to a service press release.
While the holy grail is the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV), the Army thinks it can more quickly field a limited number of RCVs, and importantly, the results of that testing could help inform the requirements for the NGCV, which is slated for fielding in 2035.
Leidos Incorporated of Reston, Virginia, has been awarded an $11,664,071 modification (P00003) to contract W911W4-17-C-0009 to maintain command, control, communications, computers and information management services in support of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command; and Army G2. Work will be performed in Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Arlington, Virginia; Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina; Huntsville, Alabama; Kuwait; and Belgium, with an estimated completion date of April 30, 3018. Fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $1 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity.
For the first time, researchers have successfully developed and tested networked acoustic emission sensors that can detect airframe damage on conceptual composite UH-60 Black Hawk rotorcraft, according to an announcement from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL). The discovery could lead to onboard features that immediately alert the flight crew to the state of structural damage, such as matrix cracking and delamination as they occur, giving the crew more time to take corrective actions before catastrophic failure.
Maranatha Industries Incorporated of Payne, Ohio, has been awarded a maximum $13,500,000 firm-fixed-price contract for handsets. It was under a competitive acquisition with one offer received. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Ohio, with a November 14, 2022, performance completion date. Type of appropriation is Fiscal Year 2018 through 2023 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland (SPRBL1-18-D-0001).
DCS Corporation subsidiary Infoscitex Corporation was awarded a three-year research contract with the U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Research, Development & Engineering Center (AMRDEC) to support the Army's Synergistic Unmanned Intelligent Teaming (SUMIT) evaluations program. The SUMIT program will evaluate the impact of new and recent autonomy, decision aiding, and human-machine interface technologies in Army Aviation missions under AMRDEC's Aviation Development Directorate. The overall program goal is to inform the acquisition and user communities of emerging capabilities that can meet the demands of the Army's next generation Future Vertical Lift program.
Millennium Engineering and Integration Company,* Arlington, Virginia, has been awarded a $90,853,338 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development of system and component technologies utilizing modeling simulation software and analysis for advanced technology concepts. Bids were solicited via the Internet with 10 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of November 6, 2022. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-18-D-0003). *Small Business
The Rand Corporation of Santa Monica, California, has been awarded a $21,281,475 modification (0020) to contract W91CRB-15-D-0022 for 35 individual research studies on matters of strategic importance to the Army. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of September 30, 2019. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and engineering funds in the amount of $8,000,000, were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
Four LLC,* Herndon, Virginia (modification P00018 to W52P1J-15-D-0006); Immix Technology Incorporated, McLean, Virginia (modification P00017 to W52P1J-15-D-0007); and Carahsoft Technology Corporation, Reston, Virginia (modification P00017 to W52P1J-15-D-0008), will share in a $130,000,000 modification to provide commercially available-off-the-shelf software products and maintenance that have obtained a full Certificate of Networthiness through the Army's Network Command networthiness process in the following categories: IT Utility and Security; Modeling and Simulation; Multimedia and Design; and Program and Development. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of February 10, 2020.
The worldwide cyber conflict is only going to increase and the risks and devastating economic impacts will continue to mount. The United States and other "like-minded" countries must spring into action, increase their cyber warfare capabilities, put in place national cyber policies and promulgate stronger international cyber laws to fend off aggressive cyber actors, warned experts at the CyConUS 2017 conference in Washington, D.C., on November 7. The event was co-hosted by the Army Cyber Institute, West Point and the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), Tallinn, Estonia.
The Army’s road to readiness runs through Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) and the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, in the opinion of Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, CECOM’s commanding general. The advantages of the command—aside from the beautiful 144 miles of shoreline on the Chesapeake Bay in Aberdeen, Maryland, and the 400 American bald eagles that also live there— is that it may be the one place in the military where research and development in science and technology; technology development; testing; acquisition; fielding; and sustainment are all at one installation.
An evolving Army needs equipment to be successful on the battlefield. It sounds simple, but it requires an orchestra of contracts, logistics support, parts, repairs and maintenance, all beginning with research and development and testing. For sustainment to happen, it’s a “team sport,” according to a panel of Army leaders at the recent MILCOM conference in Baltimore on October 25.
Experimentation is moving to the fore in cyberspace as the U.S. Army seeks to strengthen offensive and defensive cyber forces. This effort is complicated by the inclusion of electronic warfare in a realm that used to belong to signal professionals. With cyberspace maturing as a battle domain, Army experts are exploring cyber modeling and simulation as a key element of their new experimentation approach.
The Department of Defense is seeing its adversaries utilize off-the-shelf technologies, mobile networks and commercial applications that the U.S. military itself is not using as well. With this recognition, the “winds of change” are beginning to blow through the agency. The U.S. Army in particular must dust off some of its aging procurement processes and leverage commercial technology to regain the advantage over its peer adversaries, warned Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army chief information officer (CIO)/G-6 at the MILCOM 2017 conference in Baltimore on October 24.
Secure Wi-Fi for classified operations is now available to the U.S. military, thanks to recent policy, hardware and software improvements.
This is of great importance, especially to the Army, which faces challenges with command-post networks. Given size, weight and power constraints, these networks lack mobility, explained Paul Mehney, director of public communications for the Army's Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T). The Army needs more rapid network initialization and faster command-post setup and teardown.
To say that the Army’s network needs an update is an understatement. The 1.1 million user-network has, among other things, 17 mission command systems—all “stovepiped,” designed never to interact together. Some of the systems were used in the early 2000s to fight a static war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Faced with aging equipment and vehicles from a bygone era, the Army is set to modernize by standing up a new command to transform its acquisition processes, among other things. It is one of the Army’s most significant restructuring efforts in the last 40 years. The need for modernization is coming from an "eroding" competitive advantage, and the evolving needs of a modern—and future—battlefield.
“We do not have time to waste,” implored Gen. Mark Milley, USA, U.S. Army chief of staff, at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on October 9. “Our challenges are growing in scale and are in every domain of warfare: land, maritime, air, cyber and space.”
The U.S. Army Contracting Command has awarded Cape Henry Associates (CHA) a three-year, $49 million hybrid contract to mature an advanced Human Systems Engineering (HSE) Lighthouse framework and discrete functional modules. The company's Lighthouse product will be used in Manpower, Personnel, and Training (MPT) analysis, requirements definitions, and production of training systems. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of September 11, 2020. U.S.
The U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) and Army Game Studio are introducing an online multiplayer game that enables soldiers to help design the future battlespace. Called Operation Overmatch, the technology allows warfighters, research personnel and leaders to configure future concepts of vehicles and equipment, execute missions and complete objectives in a virtual complex environment.
Operation Overmatch was created with the help of Early Synthetic Prototyping (ESP), a process and set of tools that facilitates the radical transformation of development and acquisition decisions by designing and assessing emerging technology in a game environment.