April 21, 2021 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security
By: Tom Kington
ROME — As consensus grows in Italy that military planners need better access to civilian technology, a new law is being proposed to give the country its own version of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The new bill, which its authors claim has backing from the military and Italy's political parties, envisages the setup of a new agency able to stimulate and coordinate the development of civil technologies for military application.
“We want to make the newest technology more accessible,” said Alessandra Maiorino, the Italian senator who is steering the bill through parliament.
Established in 1958 in response to the Soviet Union launching its Sputnik satellite the year before, DARPA has since teamed with universities, corporations and government partners to fund research programs to improve America's defense capabilities.
Technologies it has worked on have also fed back into civilian applications, notably the internet, voice recognition and small GPS receivers.
“Thanks to the DARPA system, avangard civilian technologies are considered to have strategic value. This in turn has a cascade effect on the economy and on innovation in the U.S.,” according to the Italian bill.
The bill calls for the new Italian agency to be based near Pisa at an existing military research facility. An eight-person management board would include a military director, three civilian researchers and representatives from the four government ministries involved — the Department of Treasury, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Economic Development, and the Ministry for Education, University and Research.
The Joint Centre for Innovation and Strategic Technologies, known by its Italian acronym CINTES, will now be discussed in the Senate's Defence Committee, where representatives from the military, academia and industry will be invited to give their opinions, said Maiorino.
The bill does not cite the required funding for the agency — a figure which has yet to be decided. However, it claims that Italy must quickly set up its own version of DARPA to keep up with France and Germany, who are already ahead in launching such an agency.
The bill claims France's Innovation Défense Lab is now “allowing France's DGA procurement agency to map out and evaluate civilian technologies and acquire those which are of interest to the defense sector.”
Germany's planned ADIC agency is cited in the bill as an example of the government investigating “disruptive” technologies in cybernetics and other key technologies.
Maiorino, the senator backing the bill in Italy, is a member of the Five Star party, which has previously taken a unfavourable approach to defense investment. Before entering government in 2018, the party called for the cancellation of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.
As such, the party's support for the new bill reflects a progressively more positive view of the defense sector since it entered government.
April 21, 2021 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security
July 15, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence
NAVY General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, is being awarded a $173,805,431 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for engineering, technical, design agent and planning yard support for operational strategic and attack submarines. The contract provides for drawings and related technical data; design change documentation; logistics technical data; configuration management; hull, mechanical and electrical engineering; submarine safety design review; non-propulsion plant electrical system engineering; propulsion plant engineering; maintenance engineering; refit/availability technical support; on-site support; configuration change program design and installation support; configuration change program material support; submarine technical trade support; training and facility support; research development test and evaluation (Navy) program support; research and development submarine/submersibles support; miscellaneous special studies; temporary alteration support; modernization of submarine/submersible systems/subsystems; and affordability/cost reduction technical support. Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (70%); Kings Bay, Georgia (13%); Bangor, Washington (10%); Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (3%); North Kingston, Rhode Island (2%); and Newport, Rhode Island (2%), and is expected to be completed by September 2023. This contract includes options, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $1,043,513,079, and be complete by September 2023. Fiscal 2019 other procurement (Navy); 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy); and 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $24,556,100 will be obligated at time of award, and $4,415,300 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. In accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1), this contract was not competitively procured (only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements). The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-19-C-2125). Massa Products Corp., Hingham, Massachusetts, is being awarded a $32,419,133 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract for the design, document, manufacture, test, package and delivery of hydrophones. This requirement is to deliver hydrophones for new-construction platforms to support shipyard installation schedules and to replace failed hydrophones for all in-service platforms. As this is an IDIQ contract, in which only a minimum guarantee is established and all firm government requirements will be established at the order level, it does not include options. Work will be performed in Hingham, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by July 2024. Fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $1,051,578 will be obligated at time of award via the first delivery order and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, is the contracting activity (N66604-19-D-F900). Gryphon Technologies LC, Washington, District of Columbia, is being awarded a $23,842,331 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity services contract with cost reimbursable services for aircraft carrier program management, engineering, technical and logistics support services. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division, is the Navy's agent for the program management, engineering, technical and logistical support for hull, mechanical and electrical systems and equipment on Navy aircraft carriers. To execute these responsibilities, the Navy requires the support of engineering, technical, logistical and program management personnel to assist in the support of aircraft carrier type commanders and other Navy activities on Navy aircraft carriers while in port or underway. There are provisions for firm-fixed-price completion orders. As emergent requirements arise, work will be performed at various Navy bases, shipyards, repair facilities and contractor facilities in the continental U.S. and outside of the continental U.S., and is expected to be complete by July 2024. Fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $62,999 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website with two offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (N64498-19-D-4022). BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services, Rockville, Maryland, is being awarded a $23,456,568 modification (P00043) to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00421-15-C-0008). This modification provides for services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division's Special Communications Mission Solutions Division, to support integrated communications and information systems radio communications for Navy ships. Work will be performed in St. Inigoes, Maryland, and is expected to be completed in July 2024. Fiscal 2019 working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $4,000,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, is being awarded a $23,375,361 cost-plus-fixed-fee order (N00019-19-F-4058) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-16-G-0001). This order procures contractor logistics support for the United Kingdom's (UK's) P-8A program and aircraft. Contractor logistics support includes initial acceptance and breakdown of four aircraft and provision of training with an eight-month detachment to the UK to establish initial operational capability as well as subsequent full operational capability, scheduled aircraft maintenance, support equipment maintenance, engineering reach back and technical assistance. Work will be performed in Lossiemouth, Scotland (59%); Seattle, Washington (21%); and Jacksonville, Florida (20%), and is expected to be completed in December 2020. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $23,375,361 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. Aptim Federal Services LLC, Alexandria, Virginia, is being awarded a $15,309,450 firm-fixed-price task order 0005 (modification 02) under a multiple award construction contract for the cleaning, inspection and repair of mined-in-place military petroleum storage tanks (Red Hill Tanks 14, 17, and 18). The work to be performed provides for the additional repairs in Tank 17 as identified by Aptim Federal Services LLC, and subcontractor, Enterprise Engineering Inc.'s comprehensive American Petroleum Institute 653 out-of-service internal integrity inspection and suitability for service evaluation inspection report. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $36,078,000. Work will be performed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by May 2022. Fiscal 2016 working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $15,309,450 are obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (N39430-15-D-1632). U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND Gentex Corp., Simpson, Pennsylvania, was a awarded a $95,000,000 maximum, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract (H92403-19-D-0004) for the purchase of SOF personal equipment advance requirements (SPEAR) coxswain helmet systems, in support of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) procurement division. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $150,000 are being obligated at time of award. This is a five-year contract with a two-year option period. The majority of work will be performed in Simpson and is expected to be completed by July 2024. This contract was awarded through full and open competition and two proposals were received. USSOCOM headquarters, Tampa, Florida, is the contracting activity. ARMY Walsh Federal LLC, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a $52,929,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of a new two-bay general purpose aircraft maintenance hangar. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Burlington, New Jersey, with an estimated completion date of June 18, 2021. Fiscal 2018 military construction (Air Force) funds in the amount of $52,929,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York, New York, is the contracting activity (W912DS-19-C-0011). Pontchartrain Partners LLC,* New Orleans, Louisiana, was awarded an $8,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Mississippi River stone bank paving, Mississippi River and tributaries flood control, and channel improvement project. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2020. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, Mississippi, is the contracting activity (W912EE-19-D-0010). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Melbourne, Florida, has been awarded a $17,045,952 delivery order (SPRPA1-19-F-KY01) against a long-term contract (SPM4AX-12-D-9401) for E-2 aircraft high voltage power supplies. This is a firm-fixed-price contract. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. Location of performance is Florida, with an Oct. 30, 2021 performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2022 Navy working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Melbourne, Florida, has been awarded an $11,063,832 delivery order (SPRPA1-19-F-KY00) against a long-term contract (SPM4AX-12-D-9401) for E-2 aircraft power amplifier modules. This is a firm-fixed-price contract. This was a sole source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. Location of performance is Florida, with an Oct. 30, 2022 performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2022 Navy working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. *Small business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1902689/source/GovDelivery/
February 11, 2019 | International, C4ISR
By: Mark Pomerleau The Army, Navy and Air Force secretaries recently signed a memorandum that would establish common standards of information in future weapon systems, a move that will allow for greater coordination on a future battlefield that will require faster decision making. As the military is shifting its focus to so-called great powers and simultaneously each pursing its own version of multidomain operations — a concept of operating more seamlessly across the five domains of warfare — there is a recognition for the need for closer cooperation. According to an Air Force release Feb. 8, older weapon systems were not developed with common interface standards, which made interoperability more difficult. “This is vital to our success,” said Mark Esper, the secretary of the Army. “After reviewing the capabilities of common standards, we have collectively determined that continued implementation, and further development of modular open systems approaches are necessary to keep our competitive advantage.” In recent years, the services have developed, demonstrated and validated common data standards through a cooperative partnership with industry and academia to allow for a modular open systems approach, the release said. When the services follow the standards, contractors can build interoperable systems. This approach can lead significantly reduce development timelines and shrink costs by as much as 70 percent, the release said. “The ability for our systems and forces to exchange information and communicate effectively gives our war fighters the best capabilities to deliver the fight tonight,” Richard Spencer, the secretary of the Navy, said. “This reform will make us a highly integrated and more lethal fighting force.” With new approaches, such as multidomain operations, Pentagon leaders say it is critical for systems and forces to communicate across domains as well as cyber and land systems. "Victory in future conflict will in part be determined by our ability to rapidly share information across domains and platforms," Heather Wilson, secretary of the Air Force, said. "Sharing information from machine to machine requires common standards." Some in industry are helping the military answer some tough problems. “How do you take all the platforms that are out there and link them together and then be able to create decisions that happen a lot faster or get to decisions that you couldn't have gotten to if you were looking at each of the domains independently,” Rob Smith, vice president of C4ISR & UAS, Rotary and Mission Systems at Lockheed Martin, told reporters in July. While linking systems together may sound easy, Smith said differences in planning cycles, technologies and classifications is challenging. Going forward, the Air Force release said the joint memorandum directs service acquisition executives to publish specific implementation guidance for acquisition programs, continue to identify gaps and develop new standards when needed. Additionally, capability requirements officers must write modular open systems into future requirements documents as to be able to communicate across domains. https://www.c4isrnet.com/c2-comms/2019/02/08/the-military-wants-many-systems-to-share-one-language