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September 13, 2018 | International, Aerospace

Australia Sees ‘Potential Upgrades’ For Super Hornets

CANBERRA—Upgrades to Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) are a possibility, the defense department in Canberra said, without suggesting that any such move is under ...

Full article: http://aviationweek.com/defense/australia-sees-potential-upgrades-super-hornets

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  • Critical flight-safety feature up for grabs in planned Eurodrone

    January 18, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Critical flight-safety feature up for grabs in planned Eurodrone

    By: Sebastian Sprenger COLOGNE, Germany — German radar specialist Hensoldt announced a successful test of the company's collision-warning radar for unmanned aircraft this week, joining an upcoming industry race to make subsystems for the Eurodrone. Commissioned by the German Defence Ministry's acquisition arm, the test entailed strapping a preliminary version of Hensoldt's detect-and-avoid system to the nose of a manned Dornier Do 228 of the German Aerospace Center. The radar “reliably detected the test aircraft approaching at different altitudes and angles,” the company wrote in a statement. Recreating a human pilot's ability to avert midair collisions remains a largely unsolved problem in unmanned aviation. Military drones flying at similar altitudes as commercial airliners therefore must remain in restricted areas until a suitable technology is found and certified as safe by regulators. The planned European medium-altitude drone, however, is intended by lead nations France, Germany, Italy and Spain to be safe enough to fly in the same airspace as civilian air traffic. That requirement brings back unpleasant memories in Germany, where a previous attempt to field the similarly sized Euro Hawk surveillance drone came crashing down because the aircraft never gained the required certifications. Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation, and Leonardo are the main contractors for the new drone program, officially dubbed European MALE RPAS and envisioned to be ready by the mid-2020s. The European multinational Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation, or OCCAR, manages the effort. Full article: https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/01/17/critical-flight-safety-feature-up-for-grabs-in-planned-eurodrone

  • MPF: Light Tank Competitors BAE & GD Head For Soldier Tests

    October 21, 2020 | International, Land

    MPF: Light Tank Competitors BAE & GD Head For Soldier Tests

    BAE and General Dynamics are vying to build 504 Mobile Protected Firepower vehicles to support light infantry units, especially in places the massive M1 Abrams cannot go. SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR. WASHINGTON: After 24 years without a light tank in Army service, soldiers will climb aboard brand-new Mobile Protected Firepower prototypes this January. “It's not just PowerPoint” anymore, Maj. Gen. Bryan Cummings, the Army's Program Executive Officer for Ground Combat Systems (PEO-GCS), told me in an interview. “On Jan. 4th, we will have ... vehicles arriving at Fort Bragg.” Army experts have already started safety testing on prototype MPF vehicles, officials told me. Actual combat soldiers will start training on two platoons of prototypes in January – four MPFs from BAE, four from rival General Dynamics – with field tests scheduled to begin in April. A formal Limited User Test will start in August or September, with the Army choosing the winning design in 2022 and the first operational unit of MPF entering active service in 2025. A General Dynamics spokesperson told me they've already delivered five MPF prototypes to the Army, with two more in final checkouts and another five being built for delivery by the end of the year. BAE Systems is also building 12 prototypes, but they declined to say whether they'd delivered vehicles yet or not. While the Army can't comment on either contractor while the competition is ongoing, Cummings said, “both are on track to meet the major milestones” – despite the disruptions of COVID-19. After three months of training, the troops will start what's being called the Soldier Vehicle Assessment (SVA): four to five months of intensive field testing, including force-on-force wargames. It's all part of the Army's new emphasis on getting real soldiers' feedback on new weapons early and often. “The soldiers actually get to drive the vehicles around, shoot them, train with them,” BAE business developer James Miller told me. “Their feedback [is] likely to be the most critical factor ... in the decision the Army's going to make about who wins this contract.” The soldier assessment isn't just testing out the vehicles, however, Cummings told me: It's also a test of the Army. Specifically, how can light infantry brigades, which today have few vehicles or mechanics, sustain and operate a 20-plus-ton tank? The crucial distinction: MPF is not going to the Army's heavy brigades, which have lots of support troops and specialized equipment to take care of tracked armored vehicles. Instead, 14 MPFs per brigade will go to airborne and other light infantry units, which haven't had tracked armor since the M551 Sheridan was retired and its replacement cancelled in 1990s. Now, MPF won't be as fuel-hungry or maintenance-intensive as the massive M1 Abrams, America's mainstay main battle tank. Even with add-on armor kits for high-threat deployments, it'll be less than half as heavy as the M1. That's because MPF isn't meant to take on enemy tanks, at least not modern ones. Instead, it's designed to be light enough to deploy rapidly by air, simple enough to sustain at the end of a long and tenuous supply line, but potent enough to take on enemy light armored vehicles, bunkers, dug-in machineguns, and the like. That's a tricky balance to strike. In fact, the Army has never found a light tank it really liked despite decades of trying. Only six M22 Locusts actually fought in World War II, the M41 Walker Bulldog was too heavy for airborne units, the M551 Sheridan was plagued by technical problems throughout its service from Vietnam to Panama, the M8 Armored Gun System and the Future Combat System were both cancelled. So how do BAE and General Dynamics plan to square this circle? General Dynamics emphasized lethality in their interview with me. Their Lima tank plant builds the M1 Abrams, and while the MPF is smaller – though the company didn't divulge details, GD's version reportedly has a 105mm cannon, compared to the Abrams' 120mm – it will have the same fire controls and electronics as the latest model of its big brother. “If you sat in a Mobile Protected Firepower turret, you would think you were sitting in a [M1] SEPV3 turret,” a GD spokesperson told me. “It's all the same displays, architectures, power distribution, etc.” GD's design evolved from their Griffin demonstrators, prominently displayed for several years at AUSA annual meetings. It's got automotive components derived from the ASCOD/Ajax family widely used in Europe and an 800 horsepower engine. GD didn't tell me how much their vehicle weighed, but, depending on the armor package installed, the demonstrators ranged from 28 tons to 50 tons. Those figures would give horsepower/weight ratios ranging from 28 hp/ton, better than any model of the Abrams, to 16, which would make MPF much more sluggish. BAE, by contrast, emphasized their design's compactness and ease of maintenance – considerations as critical as firepower for a light infantry unit. BAE actually built the M8 AGS cancelled in the '90s drawdown, and while they've thoroughly overhauled that design for MPS with a new engine, new electronics, and underbody blast-proofing against roadside bombs, they've tried to preserve its airborne-friendly qualities. “The old M8 fit inside a C-130; in fact, it was air droppable,” Miller told me. “There's no requirement for that in the current MPF program, but we decided to stick with that as a design constraint: [Our MPF can] fit inside a C-130; we can do three on a C-17.” BAE's engine is less potent than GD's, with only 550 horsepower. With the base configuration coming in at under 30 tons, that equates to over 18 hp/ton, with heavier armor packages reducing performance from there. But the big selling point of the engine is ease of access, Miller argued. Engine maintenance on a tank requires a crane and partially disassembling the armor, but a mechanic can slide the BAE MPF's engine in and out of the chassis with a hand crank. If the MPF breaks down or gets stuck, it can be towed away by a truck, without requiring a special heavy recovery vehicle as an M1 does. “The infantry brigades are light. They don't have long logistics tails. They don't have a ton of mechanics and recovery vehicles,” Miller emphasized. “The vehicle has to be as mobile as them and fit inside their organization.” The Army estimates the life-cycle cost of MPF, from development to procurement to maintenance and retirement, at $16 billion. Whichever vehicle wins the Army contract will have an edge in sales worldwide – including, potentially, to the Marine Corps, which is retiring its M1s as too heavy for modern amphibious warfare. https://breakingdefense.com/2020/10/mpf-light-tank-competitors-bae-gd-head-for-soldier-tests/

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 06, 2020

    November 9, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 06, 2020

    AIR FORCE Rockwell Collins Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa (FA8807-21-C-0005); Interstate Electronics Corp., Anaheim, California (FA8807-21-C-0006); and Raytheon Technologies Inc., El Segundo, California (FA8807-21-C-0007), have collectively been awarded contracts totaling $552,583,932 for a cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-award-fee contract for Military GPS Users Equipment Miniature Serial Interface Increment 2 Application Specific Integrated Circuit (MGUE Inc 2 MSI ASIC). This contract provides for all activities to design, develop, build, integrate, qualify the MSI receiver card with next generation ASIC to enable production of M-Code-capable GPS receiver products for various service applications identified in the MGUE Inc 2 Capability Development Document and all other user platforms that require secure positioning navigation and timing capability. Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Anaheim, California; and El Segundo, California, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2025. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with offers received. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $32,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Space Command, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity. Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, has been awarded a $13,750,000 cost-reimbursement, additional-work modification (P00005) to contract FA8650-19-C-5212 for research and development. The contract modification adds additional funding to expand various operational spectra (e.g., fighter, bomber, transport, etc.) to explore damage growth behavior representative design details such as wing-to-spar joint that exhibits multiple competing failure modes. Work will be performed in Wichita, Kansas, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 7, 2023. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $13,250,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $37,250,000. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. Millennium Health & Fitness Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona, is awarded a $9,200,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Civilian Health Promotion Services (CHPS). This requirement provides health promotion professionals that will develop, manage, and promote CHPS to all civilian employees in Air Force Materiel Command and Air Mobility Command. The CHPS program may include depending on location, but is not limited to, individual health counseling, group health education classes, telephonic wellness coaching, cardiac risk blood profile (HDL, LDL, cholesterol ratio and glucose), body composition analysis, online health risk appraisal, wellness challenges, and health awareness campaigns. The CHPS is a mobile worksite wellness program. The CHPS health promotion professionals will provide services at twelve staffed Air Force bases (including the CHPS office) and eight un-staffed/visited base locations appropriate for mass screenings and work is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2021. This award is the result of a 100% Small Business Set-aside acquisition. Fiscal 2020 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $1,235,167 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Installation Contracting Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8003-20-C-0004). ARMY Lockheed Martin Corp., Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded an Other Transaction Authority agreement with a ceiling of $339,318,582 for the Mid-Range Capability. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland; Akron, Ohio; Clearwater, Florida; Moorestown, New Jersey; Owego, New York; Syracuse, New York; and Orlando, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2023. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation, Army funds in the amount of $57,959,033 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, Alexandria, Virginia, is the contracting activity (W50RAJ-2-19-0001). InBios International Inc., Seattle, Washington, was awarded a $9,804,306 modification (P00001) to contract W81XWH-20-F-0253 for development, design controls, production and analytical studies and clinical trials for rapid human diagnostic component assays for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV-2) infection. Work will be performed in Seattle, Washington, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2022. Fiscal 2010 research, development, test and evaluation, Army funds in the amount of $9,804,306 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the contracting activity. NAVY Capital Center for Credibility Assessment Corp.,* Dublin, Virginia, is awarded a ceiling-priced $29,233,903 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to conduct Counter Intelligence Scope Polygraph examinations throughout the U.S. to support the Naval Criminal Investigative Service's Polygraph Services Field Office. The contract includes a five-year ordering period with no options and is expected to be completed by November 2025. Work will be performed at various contractor facilities (95%); and various government facilities (5%) throughout the U.S. in which the percentage of work at each of those locations cannot be determined at this time. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $100,000 will be obligated to fund the contract's minimum amount and funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Individual task orders will be subsequently funded with appropriate fiscal year appropriations at the time of their issuance. This contract was competitively procured with the solicitation posted on Navy Electronic Commerce Online and beta.SAM.gov as a 100 percent 8(a) small business set-aside requirement, with three offers received. Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Contracting Department, Philadelphia Office, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (N00189-21-D-Z010). MNDPI Pacific JV, Honolulu, Hawaii, is awarded a firm-fixed-price task order (N6274221F0302) at $25,978,991 under an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for various structural and waterfront projects and other projects at locations under the cognizance of Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Pacific. The work to be performed provides architect-engineer services to conduct a functional analysis concept development and prepare the 35% conceptual submittal of the design-build request for proposal documents (Phase 1), including construction package consisting of project requirements, concept plans, specifications, detailed cost estimate, and other services for the Dry Dock #3 Replacement, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Hawaii – Design Phase 1. Work will be performed at JBPHH, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by December 2021. Fiscal 2020 military construction (design) contract funds in the amount of $25,978,991 are obligated on this award, of which $24,848 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. NAVFAC Pacific, JBPHH, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (N62742-20-D-0004). Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Baltimore, Maryland, is awarded a $17,509,022 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-only modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-20-C-5392) to exercise options to provide design agent engineering services for the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) electronic systems and computer programs. This option exercise is for software design, systems engineering, ship/missile integration services, and depot operations services for the MK 41 VLS module electronics and launch control system. These services include new missile integration into MK 41 VLS including launcher design, launcher integration into new ship classes and the new AEGIS shore based component, Life Cycle Support Facility depot operations, system product improvements, predictability enhancements, reliability enhancements, and failure investigations. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland (35%); Norfolk, Virginia (18%); Seattle, Washington (18%); San Diego, California (18%); and Ventura, California (11%), and is expected to be completed by July 2021. Fiscal 2020 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $2,980,656 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. Brantley Construction Services LLC,* Charleston, South Carolina, is awarded a firm-fixed-price task order (N6945021F0870) at $16,540,566 under a multiple award construction contract for Destroyer Slip South Quay Wall restoration at Naval Station Mayport. The work to be performed includes replacement of the entire 550-foot wharf quay wall with a new steel sheet pile bulkhead, replacement of the existing fender system and connections to water, electrical, oily waste and sanitary sewer utilities. It also includes the procurement and installation of a pedestrian turnstile and vehicular gate. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Florida, and is expected to be completed by May 2022. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance, (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $16,540,566 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Five proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Florida, is the contracting activity (N69450-19-D-0916). Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is awarded a modification to exercise Option Year One to a previously awarded cost contract (N65236-19-C-8017) in the amount of $10,967,203 for Next-Generation Non-Surgical Neurotechnology (N3). Work will be performed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be completed by May 2022. This modification brings the total cumulative value of the contract to $14,079,282. Fiscal 2020 research, development, testing and evaluation (Department of Defense) funds in the amount of $1,500,000 will be obligated at time of award. Funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year. Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity. Innovative Defense Technologies LLC, Arlington, Virginia, was awarded an $8,163,883 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-20-C-6116) to exercise and fund options for Navy engineering services and material. Work will be performed in Fall River, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by December 2021. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of, $1,000,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. (Awarded Nov. 2, 2020) DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Sysco Central Texas Inc., New Braunfels, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $24,858,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-quantity contract for full-line food distribution. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a 356-day bridge contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Texas, with an Oct. 30, 2021, ordering period end date. Using customers are Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE300-21-D-3308). US Foods Inc., Port Orange, Florida, has been awarded a maximum $22,500,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-quantity contract for full-line food distribution. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a 102-day bridge contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are Florida, Cuba and Bahamas, with a Feb. 18, 2021, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE300-21-D-3301). MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY Lockheed Martin Overseas, Moorestown, New Jersey, is being awarded a $14,252,771 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00031) under the Poland Aegis Ashore Engineering Agent contract. This modification increases the total cumulative contract value by $10,123,968 from $83,536,564, to $93,660,532. Under this modification, the contractor will configure the Poland Aegis Ashore REU Integration Site (POL-AARIS) and perform integration, test, maintenance and upgrades of the Aegis Combat System prior to final installation within the Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense System. This contract modification contains options which, if exercised, will increase the cumulative value of this contract to $97,789,335. The work will be performed in both Moorestown, New Jersey (15%); and in Redzikowo, Poland (85%), with an expected completion date of Jan. 26, 2022. Procurement defense wide funds in the amount of $9,892,973 (Fiscal 2019: $2,422,418; Fiscal 2020: $7,470,555), are being obligated at the time of award. This contract modification is the result of a sole-source acquisition. The Missile Defense Agency, Dahlgren, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HQ0276-16-C-0001). *Small business https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2408669/source/GovDelivery/

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