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July 22, 2020 | International, Naval

Navy issues $14M more for continued Knifefish testing

WASHINGTON - General Dynamics will continue providing engineering support for the U.S. Navy's Knifefish, an unmanned undersea mine hunter, as the service looks to increase testing and evaluation before entering full-rate production..

The Navy issued a $13.6 million contract modification to General Dynamics for continued engineering support for Knifefish on July 20, just as the original $9.2 million contract issued last July was set to expire. Work is now expected to be completed in September 2021. The contract extension will support test and evaluation, engineering change proposal development and upgrade initiatives.

The Knifefish is a medium-class unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) designed to be deployed from a littoral combat ship to detect bottom, volume and buried mines underwater. The two unmanned vehicles that comprise the Knifefish system use low-frequency broadband sonar and automated target recognition software to find mines and help their host ship steer clear. The program achieved its Milestone C authorization in August 2019, and the Navy issued the company a $44.6 million contract to prime contractor General Dynamics to begin low initial rate production of five Knifefish systems.

The Navy has previously stated that it plans to purchase 30 Knifefish systems in total.

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  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - January 23, 2019

    January 24, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - January 23, 2019

    ARMY Donley Construction,* Aberdeen, Maryland (W912DQ-19-D-4000); LGC Global Inc.,* Detroit, Michigan (W912DQ-19-D-4001); Southwind Construction,* Edmond, Oklahoma (W912DQ-19-D-4002); Walga Ross Group JV,* Topeka, Kansas (W912DQ-19-D-4003); RM Builders,* Alamogordo, New Mexico (W912DQ-19-D-4004); and SES Construction and Fuel Services,* Oak Ridge, Tennessee (W912DQ-19-D-4006), will share in a $95,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for design-build and design-bid-build construction work. Bids were solicited via the internet with 40 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 16, 2022. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City, Missouri, is the contracting activity. Inquip Associates Inc.,* McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $41,169,021 firm-fixed-price contract for levee improvement construction. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Sacramento, California, with an estimated completion date of April 13, 2021. Fiscal 2017 and 2019 general construction and non-federal sponsor funds in the amount of $41,169,021 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento, California, is the contracting activity (W91238-19-C-0006). ACC Construction Co. Inc., Augusta, Georgia, was awarded a $21,039,018 firm-fixed-price contract for a special operations forces tactical-equipment maintenance facility. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received. Work will be performed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 9, 2020. Fiscal 2018 military construction funds in the amount of $21,039,018 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington, North Carolina, is the contracting activity (W912PM-19-C-0011). Cottrell Contracting Corp.,* Chesapeake, Virginia, was awarded a $12,740,080 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Jekyll Island, Georgia; and Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 2, 2019. Fiscal 2017, 2018 and 2019 civil work Irma supplemental; civil work Matthew supplemental; and civil work operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $12,740,080 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah, Georgia, is the contracting activity (W912HN-19-C-5001). Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. LLC, Oak Brook, Illinois, was awarded a $7,814,143 modification (P00004) to contract W912HP-18-C-0006 to increase cubic yards of beach fill. Work will be performed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with an estimated completion date of June 17, 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $7,814,143 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum, Maryland, was awarded a $7,666,503 firm-fixed-price foreign military sales (Kuwait) contract for procurement of Army, Navy vehicle intercommunication systems. One bid was solicited via the internet with one bid received. Work will be performed in Elkridge, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 23, 2020. Fiscal 2019 foreign military sales funds in the amount of $7,666,503 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W91CRB-19-C-5007). AIR FORCE Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Savannah, Georgia, has been awarded an $80,607,877 firm-fixed-price modification (P00004) to contract FA8106-18-D-0002 for C-20/C-37 fleet sustainment. The contract modification is for exercise of Option Year II, to include issuance of task orders for one-year extension of contract term to support the C-20 and C-37 fleet for the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard; and funding uninterrupted continuation of contractor logistics. Work will be performed at Savannah, Georgia; Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy; Ramstein Air Base, Germany; Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland; Hickam AFB, Hawaii; Marine Corps Base Hawaii; MacDill AFB, Florida; and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington, District of Columbia. The work is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2020. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenances funds in the amount of $62,162,710 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $594,429,554. Air Force Lifecycle Management Center, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Planmeca U.S.A. Inc., Roselle, Illinois, has been awarded a maximum $29,850,000 firm-fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for medical equipment and accessories for the Defense Logistics Agency electronic catalog. This was a competitive acquisition with 70 responses received. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Illinois, with a Jan. 22, 2024, performance completion date. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and other federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2025 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE2D1-19-D-0009). NAVY General Atomics, Electromagnetics Systems Group, San Diego, California, is awarded $19,682,252 for firm-fixed-price delivery order N0001919F2406 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-16-G-0006). This order provides for the manufacture, assembly, inspection, integration, test and delivery of Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) spare parts in support of the CVN-78 prior to the Advanced Arresting Gear and EMALS material support dates. Work will be performed in San Diego, California (37 percent); Boston, Massachusetts (18 percent); Tupelo, Mississippi (10.7 percent); Aston, Pennsylvania (5.8 percent); Guilford, Connecticut (4.4 percent); San Leandro, California (3.5 percent); Cincinnati, Ohio (2.6 percent); Randolph, New Jersey (2.4 percent); Mankato, Minnesota (1.4 percent); Middletown, Ohio (1.2 percent); Bindlach, Bavaria, Germany (.53 percent); and various locations within the continental U.S. (12.47 percent), and is expected to be completed in January 2023. Fiscal 2018 and 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $19,682,252 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. *Small business

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    Fire Scout Tested for Potential Anti-Sub Mission

  • US Army awards air-launched effects contracts for future helicopters

    August 25, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    US Army awards air-launched effects contracts for future helicopters

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has awarded 10 contracts worth a total of $29.75 million to companies to provide mature technologies in the realm of air-launched effects, or ALE, for future vertical lift aircraft that are expected to come online around 2030, service aviation officials have told Defense News. Raytheon, Alliant Techsystems Operations of Northridge, California, and Area-I of Marietta, Georgia, were awarded contracts to develop air vehicles. L3 Technologies, Rockwell Collins and Aurora Flight Services Corporation were awarded contracts to provide mission systems. And Raytheon, Leonardo Electronics US Inc., Technology Service Corporation of Huntsville, Alabama, and Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC of Northridge, California, received contracts to provide ALE payloads. Through ALE, the Army hopes to provide current and future vertical lift fleets with “the eyes and ears” to penetrate enemy territory while manned aircraft are able to maintain standoff out of range of enemy attack, Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen, who is in charge of the Army's FVL modernization efforts, said in an exclusive interview with Defense News. “To do that, that has a whole host of capabilities embedded in it, and I would say it's not just the eyes and ears, but it's also, what we are finding, is the mouth, so our ability to communicate by bringing mesh network capabilities, by bringing an ability to hear in the electronic spectrum, and, again, the ability to collect in that spectrum so we can find, fix and finish on pacing threats,” he added. The Army plans to take these already technically mature capabilities through additional technology maturation, Col. Scott Anderson, the unmanned aircraft systems project manager for the Army's Program Executive Office for Aviation, said in the same interview. “We're looking for high technology readiness levels, so best of breed,” he said, “that we can buy and then we don't have to develop, spend a lot of developmental dollars getting ready to get out the door in a prototype.” The air vehicle, payloads and missions systems will all fit into a government-owned architecture by fiscal 2024. The service will first look at each major component of ALE individually, rather than as a whole system, to assess readiness, Anderson said. That will run through most of 2021. Then in 2022, the Army will take those capabilities and bring them together into a full system prototype working with Georgia Tech, which is helping the service write the underpinnings of the reference architecture, he added. In the final phase, the Army will integrate the system onto a platform, first targeting the Gray Eagle and AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. Ultimately the ALE capabilities to come out of the effort will be targeted for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) ecosystem, Anderson said. The Army is planning to field both FARA and a Future Long-Range Attack Aircraft (FLRAA) in the early 2030s. “We want to mature the [ALE] ecosystem and then have it ready to hand off to FARA in full bloom,” Rugen added. The Army has been looking at ALE since roughly late 2017, Rugen said, and has been working to refine the associated capabilities development documents for several years. Army Futures Command Commander Gen. Mike Murray signed an abbreviated capabilities development document in May. The service has been pleased with what it has seen so far in live prototype experimentation and physics-based modeling within the science and technology community and is prepared to move quickly on the effort, Rugen said. The Army selected Area-I's ALTIUS, the Air-Launched, Tube-Integrated Unmanned System, to launch from a rotary-wing test aircraft — a UH-60 Black Hawk — and was able to demonstrate the concept from a high altitude in August 2018. Then the service demonstrated the concept again during a ground robotic breach exercise at Yakima Air Base in Washington state in 2019 as well as a launch from a Black Hawk flying at a lower altitude — roughly 100 feet or less. In March, at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, the Army demonstrated multiple ALEs launched from a Black Hawk at very low altitudes to “maintain masking,” Rugen said. “We got our mesh network extended out to about 60 kilometers, so we were pretty happy with, again, the requirements pace and the experimentation pace with that.” The program will evolve beyond 2024 as the capability will align more closely with fitting into future formations. The Army could award future contracts to integrate the capability or could establish follow-on Other Transaction Authority contracts — which is the type of contract mechanism used for the 10 awardees that allows the Army to move faster to rapidly prototype. “We have the contractual mechanisms” to be “flexible and responsive,” which is key in a program like ALE, Joe Giunta, executive director of Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, said. Instead of looking for a vendor that could deliver every aspect of a system, “we can harvest from across multiple different vendors, who bring, if you will, the best characteristics,” Patrick Mason, the deputy PEO for Army Aviation, added. “Then as they merge into our government reference architecture and our open system approach, we are then able to bring those together to create a much more capable product,” he said, that “fits into the longer term on how we can modify that as technology comes along and we can ramp on increases in technologies as we get out into the '23, '24 time frame and then further into the future as we look out to FY30 and the fielding of FARA, FLRAA and the full establishment of the FVL ecosystem.” The Army released a notice to industry Aug. 12 looking for input on technology that could further advance the capability of ALE against sophisticated adversaries with plans to host an industry day in September. While the service will prototype mature technologies in the near term, Mason said, “when you look at the '25 and '26 time frame, there will be better technologies that are developed around the payload side of the house, advancements in air vehicles or advancements in the missions systems.” The RFI is “looking at the next increment that is out there as we move from now in 2020 to what we would have as a residual capability in '24 to what we could move to in 2030,” Mason said.

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