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May 13, 2022 | International, Aerospace

Georgia lawmakers fight plan to close military pilot training center

President Joe Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal 2023 would eliminate funding for the Air Dominance Center at the Savannah Air National Guard Base.

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  • DARPA: Program Targets Innovative Propulsion Solutions for Ground-Based Weapons Delivery System

    November 12, 2018 | International, Land, C4ISR

    DARPA: Program Targets Innovative Propulsion Solutions for Ground-Based Weapons Delivery System

    Three performers selected to develop and demonstrate a novel ground-launched system to improve precision engagement of time sensitive targets The joint DARPA/U.S. Army Operational Fires (OpFires) program will soon kick off with three performers awarded contracts to begin work: Aerojet Rocketdyne, Exquadrum, and Sierra Nevada Corporation. OpFires aims to develop and demonstrate a novel ground-launched system enabling hypersonic boost glide weapons to penetrate modern enemy air defenses and rapidly and precisely engage critical time sensitive targets. OpFires seeks to develop innovative propulsion solutions that will enable a mobile, ground-launched tactical weapons delivery system capable of carrying a variety of payloads to a variety of ranges. Phase 1 of the program will be a 12-month effort focused on early development and demonstration of booster solutions that provide variable thrust propulsion across robust operational parameters in large tactical missiles. “OpFires represents a critical capability development in support of the Army’s investments in long-range precision fires,” says DARPA’s OpFires program manager, Maj. Amber Walker (U.S. Army). “These awards are the first step in the process to deliver this capability in support of U.S. overmatch.” The OpFires program will conduct a series of subsystem tests designed to evaluate component design and system compatibility for future tactical operating environments. Phase 2 will mature designs and demonstrate performance with hot/static fire tests targeted for late 2020. Phase 3, which will focus on weapon system integration, will culminate in integrated end-to-end flight tests in 2022.

  • Defense Contractors Keep Most Plants Running Despite Outbreak

    April 14, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Defense Contractors Keep Most Plants Running Despite Outbreak

    By Anthony Capaccio   As of Wednesday, 86 sites were closed out of 10,509 locations Boeing’s aircraft plant closings are one big exception The Pentagon’s contractors have largely avoided widespread closings or “major impacts” so far from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a running tally compiled by its contracts management office. Of 10,509 locations tracked or monitored by the Defense Contract Management Agency, 135 had closed at some point as of Wednesday. Forty-nine of those reopened after an average of about 10 days. “These closures have generally been short-term in order to clean facilities” or to “reduce the potential exposure of employees,” agency spokesman Matthew Montgomery said in a statement. The agency doesn’t track how many workers are affected, he said. And the numbers on closings don’t reflect defense contractors that have cut back their operations -- or the outsized impact of Boeing Co.’s shutdowns. Boeing, the No. 2 U.S. defense contractor, has indefinitely halted assembly of the KC-46 refueling tanker and the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft at its facilities in Washington State, the initial U.S. center of the pandemic. Last Friday, the company began a two-week shutdown of the Philadelphia-area factory where it manufactures military rotorcraft, including the Chinook CH-47 cargo helicopter and the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey. Huntington Is Open By contrast, Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., has had no closings to this point, according to spokeswoman Beci Brenton. With 42,000 employees, it’s the sole U.S. builder of aircraft carriers and the co-contractor of Navy attack submarines and DDG-51 destroyers. Montgomery said the Defense Department “has worked closely with local and state governments to ensure that the defense industrial base is considered critical infrastructure to help minimize the impact of statewide closures.” Impacts from closings “are being seen across all sectors including but not limited to clothing and textiles, aerospace, shipbuilding, and ground vehicles,” he said. Many Pentagon contractors “are struggling to maintain a mission-ready workforce due to work site closures, personnel quarantines and state and local restrictions on movement” that can’t “be resolved through remote work,” Kim Herrington, the Defense Department’s pricing and contracting director, said in a memo Wednesday. To support the defense industry, the DCMA has modified about 1,400 contracts to increase the rate for “progress payments” for work completed on time from 80% to 90% of costs incurred for large businesses and from 90% of cost to 95% for small businesses. The move resulted in $3 billion being advanced to industry, according to Herrington. That’s in addition to $882 million that the Air Force is providing to Chicago-based Boeing. The funds were being withheld until the company corrected or provided sufficient plans to correct numerous deficiencies with KC-46 tankers. Most of those flaws remain unresolved. Also, the Pentagon issued guidance Thursday that lets military contracting officers reimburse companies for documented payments to employees who can’t work because of coronavirus facility closings or related restrictions.

  • Peraton to acquire SATCOM for US Africa Command

    March 4, 2020 | International, C4ISR

    Peraton to acquire SATCOM for US Africa Command

    By: Nathan Strout  Peraton will receive $219 million to provide satellite communications fpr US Africa Command, the company announced. Mar. 3. Under the five-year contract, Peraton will be expected to rapidly acquire commercial satellite services to meet the needs of AFRICOM and its mission partners in the region. The company will utilize communications services from multiple satellite communications companies. “As an independent service integrator, Peraton takes a neutral, vendor-agnostic approach to leverage the best technologies available from across the entire commercial satellite industry,” said David Myers, president of Peraton Communications sector, in a statement. “As a result, customers like AFRICOM are assured a solution tailored to prioritize consistent mission performance, without being dependent on any particular satellite fleet or vendor assets.” Peraton has a longstanding relationship with AFRICOM, acting as a consultative mission partner to the command for more than 10 years and currently supporting it through other task orders. The contract was awarded via a blanket purchase agreement issued by Air Force Space Command in coordination with the Defense Information Systems Agency. The task order is the first of its kind to be awarded under the Future Commercial SATCOM Acquisition program.

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