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May 23, 2023 | International, C4ISR

NATO hunger for info driving deals for commercial satellite imagery

The U.S. and U.K. are leading contributors to NATO joint ISR, with “everybody else” tailing, an official said at the GEOINT Symposium.

On the same subject

  • Turkey’s removal from F-35 program to cause hike in engine price

    April 26, 2021 | International, Aerospace

    Turkey’s removal from F-35 program to cause hike in engine price

    By the end of the year, Turkey will no longer supply parts for the F-35's engine.

  • Missile Defense Agency to inject competition into homeland missile defense contract

    April 3, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Missile Defense Agency to inject competition into homeland missile defense contract

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — The U.S. Missile Defense Agency plans to hold a competition that could split up the work among contractors to modernize and sustain America's missile defense system, which is designed to destroy intercontinental ballistic missile threats. Boeing has held the development and sustainment contract for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense systems in place at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Boeing's contract is set to expire in 2023. The GMD system is made up of more than 44 Ground-Based Interceptors buried in silos in the ground along with ground control stations, detection and fire control systems, and other support infrastructure. Boeing received a sole-source $6.6 billion award in 2018 to build a new silo and 20 more GBIs, as well as to sustain the system. But Vice Adm. Jon Hill, the MDA's director, told an audience in March at an Association of the U.S. Army event that “we know that contract is not giving us everything that we need for the future, so we are going to compete that contract downstream.” The agency is working to develop a Next-Generation Interceptor that would replace the current GBIs with more capable interceptors. Its plan to upgrade the GBI's exoatmospheric kill vehicle with a redesigned version was canceled in 2019 due to technical problems. Rather than rework that program, the agency decided to design an entirely new interceptor and stop building new GBIs. A request for proposals for the NGI is due imminently. But along with a new NGI, “we are going to make sure that ground systems, sensors and fire control, all the rest of the system, we have the opportunity to inject that competition because I think that is very important,” Hill said. The MDA previously considered splitting up the contract several times, believing that would reduce cost and create efficiency in the program, but nothing materialized toward that goal. This time, the MDA has released two requests for information with the possibility of splitting up the contract. The most recent RFI was posted on Beta.Sam.Gov in March. “I will tell you that our lead system integrator does a great job today and the partnerships with industry within that construct do a great job, but we think that it's so large and complex we should be doing everybody a favor by being able to split that up without losing the integration among all those pieces,” Hill said, “so our intent is to move in that direction.” The agency “is exploring different approaches for fulfilling the GMD Program Element requirements. Acquisition approaches under consideration range from an award of multiple contracts to execute segments/missions of the program scope to a single contract to execute the entirety of the program scope,” the RFI states. “Essential to all of the acquisition approaches under consideration is the establishment of an enduring arrangement strategy for the execution of the [Weapon Systems Integration (WSI)] functions across the program lifecycle, either under a single prime contract, or as one of the multiple contracts.” The RFI lays out a possible plan to split up the contract into five pieces. One contractor would provide the NGI, which is being addressed through a separate request for proposals. Another would be responsible for legacy and future ground systems, and another for sustaining the existing GBIs. And a company would operate the weapon system along with military operators and would run fleet maintenance scheduling and deconfliction, site operations, test support, and depot and parts management, the RFI lays out. Lastly, a contractor would serve as the weapon systems integrator, making it responsible for overall GMD integration “including physical and logical integration of the GMD components, GMD system and MDA enterprise level integration, planning and execution of all necessary testing to verify and validate overall requirements compliance,” the RFI states. Responses to the RFI are due April 10.

  • Orbital Insight to build AI for intelligence community based on artificial data

    December 17, 2021 | International, C4ISR

    Orbital Insight to build AI for intelligence community based on artificial data

    The National Geospatial-Intelligence AGency sees human-machine pairing as critical for its success, with machine learning algorithms taking over the rote task of processing the torrent of satellite data to find potential intelligence and freeing up human operators to do more high level analysis and tasks.

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