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January 7, 2022 | International, Aerospace

Opinion: How the Aerospace Industry Can Weather 2022’s Turbulence

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  • Pandemic Hits Navy’s New Nuke Submarine Program

    June 2, 2020 | International, Naval

    Pandemic Hits Navy’s New Nuke Submarine Program

    Work on the missile tubes for the Navy's part of the nation's nuclear triad is months behind schedule after Babcock was smacked hard by the pandemic. By   PAUL MCLEARYon June 01, 2020 at 5:23 PM WASHINGTON: The Navy’s top priority — its new nuclear-powered Columbia-class submarine — has been struck by the COVID-19 virus. Workers’ absences at a critical supplier have delayed construction and welding of the boat’s missile tubes by several months a senior Navy official said today, and the service is scrambling to make that time up. While the service and its contractors are looking for ways to reclaim that time, the situation is something that Navy and Pentagon officials have most feared. Large-scale work on the first of the twelve planned Columbia submarines is slated to kick off in 2021, with deliveries starting in 2030 — just in time to begin replacing the Cold War-era Ohio-class subs as the Navy’s leg of the nation’s nuclear triad. The subs will carry 70 percent of the warheads allowed by the New Start treaty with Russia. Head of the Columbia program, Rear Adm. Scott Pappano, said during a video conference sponsored by the Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance today that the work experienced “a hiccup” earlier this year when less than 30 percent of workers at UK-based Babcock Marine showed up for work during the height of the COVID outbreak, leading to setbacks in the work schedule.  “There was an interruption in our ability to do work,” Pappano said, calling the delay of several months a “worst case” scenario that would stick if no actions were taken to speed up work going forward. “We’re analyzing the plan right now,” he added. “Prioritizing what tubes go where and then coming up with mid-term and long-term recovery plans to go deal with that.” Pappano said the Navy and industry may hire more workers and bring in more vendors to buy that time back. The missile tubes have already caused the service some pain. In 2018, contractor BWX, contracted to deliver three tubes to Electric Boat, discovered problems before the tubes were delivered, eventually paying $27 million to fix the problems. The company later said it is considering getting out of the missile tube business with the Navy, leaving BAE Systems as the only US-based company capable of doing the work.  The Navy is walking a tightrope on its Virginia and Columbia programs, and any slip on one program will affect the other. The two share the same missile tube design, which will also be fitted onto the UK’s forthcoming Dreadnaught class of submarines. “One of the biggest risks to Columbia is if Virginia gets out of its cadence,” James Geurts, the Navy’s acquisition chief, told reporters late last year.  Once the Columbia subs begin rolling out of Electric Boat’s shipyard, the Navy will have to produce one Columbia and two Virginias per year, a pace of submarine building the service has not seen in decades. But Columbia will remain the Navy’s top focus. Geurts said he’s structured both programs in a way that the shared supplier base is aware of what’s needed well in advance, but “if not, we can back off a little to make sure Columbia is successful.” Despite the setback, Babcock’s workforce has recovered in recent weeks, “and essentially they’re above 90% capacity” on the production line, Pappano said. “So my assessment is they’re essentially back up — or close to it — not where they were before” the virus struck.

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 15, 2018

    November 16, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 15, 2018

    NAVY Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $348,915,105 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to provide the infrastructure to support developmental laboratory facilities and flight test activities in support of F-35 development, production and sustainment.  Work will be performed at Edwards Air Force Base, California (35 percent); Patuxent River, Maryland (35 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2020.  Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy); and non-Department of Defense (DOD) participant funds in the amount of $177,042,349 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract combines purchases for the Air Force ($70,932,017; 40 percent); Marine Corps ($35,466,009; 20 percent); Navy ($35,466,008; 20 percent) and non-DOD participants ($35,178,315; 20 percent).  This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-0004). Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a not-to-exceed value $83,100,000 undefinitized contract action.  This contract provides for the development, integration, certification, and testing of dual capable aircraft capability to include hardware and software into the Air Force F-35A.  Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (70 percent); Edwards Air Force Base, California (29 percent); and St. Charles, Missouri (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in February 2024.  Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Air Force) funding in the amount of $24,630,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1).  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-0010). CSRA LLC, a General Dynamics Information Technology Co., Falls Church, Virginia, is awarded a $64,664,646 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.  This contract provides project management and engineering support for Navy and Marine Corps land, sea, and air platforms with a responsive, efficient, and reliable means to collect, detect, assess, identify, exploit, neutralize, and disseminate products to the U.S. and its interests.  The procurement supports the execution of systems engineering activities to meet current and future electronic warfare mission information engineering capabilities and security protection needs for Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division integrated product teams.  Work will be performed in Point Mugu, California (80 percent); Eglin Air Force Base, Florida (15 percent); and other locations in the U.S. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2023.  Fiscal 2018 working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $50,000 will be obligated at the time of award.   This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals; three offers were received.  The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, California, is the contracting activity (N68936-19-D-0016). Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Indiana, is awarded a $40,890,720 firm-fixed-price modification to previously-awarded contract N00019-17-C-0081 for the procurement of 20 production MT7 marine turbine engines for Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 100 class craft 109 through 113. This procurement is in support of the Ship-to-Shore Connector program. Each LCAC 100 craft incorporates four MT7 engines. Work to be performed includes production of the MT7 engines and delivery to Textron Marine Systems for the assembly of the LCAC 100 class craft.  Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is expected to be completed by January, 2020. Fiscal 2017 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $16,356,288; and fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $24,534,432 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, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity, working in conjunction with the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, St. Petersburg, Florida, is awarded a $33,848,885 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-13-C-5230 for Common Array Block antenna pre-production unit requirements in support of the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) program. The Common Array Block antenna is an integral component of the CEC system.  CEC is a sensor netting system that significantly improves battle force anti-air warfare capability by extracting and distributing sensor-derived information such that the superset of this data is available to all participating CEC units. CEC improves battle force effectiveness by improving overall situational awareness and by enabling longer range, cooperative, multiple, or layered engagement strategies. Work will be performed in Largo, Florida (70 percent); and Andover, Massachusetts (30 percent), and is expected to be completed by October 2020. Fiscal 2019 and 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $14,930,655 will be obligated at time of award, and funds in the amount of $2,494,788 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. AIR FORCE Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Florida, is awarded a $172,145,533 fixed-price incentive-fee contract for long range anti-ship missiles (LRASMs) Lot 2 production. The contract allows for the production of 50 LRASMs. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2021. The award is the result of sole- source acquisition.  Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8682-19-C-0010). Avix-BGI JV LLC, Yorktown, Virginia, is awarded a $45,262,100 firm-fixed-price contract for the EC-130H/A-10C Contract Aircrew Training and Courseware Development program.  The contractor shall furnish all personnel, equipment, tools, materials, supervision and all other items and services that are required to perform the contract. Work will be performed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Moody AFB, Georgia; and other places as required. Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and seven offers were received. The Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity (FA4890-19-C-0004). Parker-Hannifin Corp, Irvine, California, is awarded a $39,026,578 modification to contract FA8109-18-D-0004 for 12 additional spare national stock numbers items and the remanufacture of 11additional national stock numbers to support the A-10, B-1, B-52, C-135, C-5, C-130, C-17, E-3, F-15, F-16, and HH-60 aircraft.  These items also support the TF33, F100, F101, F110, and F118 engines. Work will be performed in Irvine, California; Glendale, Arizona; Mentor, Ohio; and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is expected to be completed by April 5, 2027. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. This is a requirements contract, so no funding is being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Sustainment Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity. Bismark Construction Corp., Newark, New Jersey, is awarded a $17,108,065 modification (P00007) to contract FA4484‐16‐D‐0003 for maintenance and repair services. The maintenance and repair contract is a large tri-service indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity that supports physical infrastructure. Work will be performed at Joint Base McGuire‐Dix‐Lakehurst, New Jersey, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 15, 2019. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. The 87th Contracting Squadron, JB McGuire‐Dix‐Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Federal Prison Industries Inc.,* doing business as Unicor, Washington, District of Columbia, has been awarded a maximum $49,920,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for various types of trousers. This is a four-year contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are District of Columbia, Texas and Alabama, with a May 15, 2023, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-19-D-F016). Southeast Power Systems of Orlando Inc.,** Orlando, Florida, has been awarded a maximum $9,342,729 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for fuel pumps for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. 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 five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Florida, with a Nov. 14, 2023, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Warren, Michigan (SPRDL1-19-D-0013). DEFENSE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AGENCY Peraton Government Communications Inc., Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a $9,289,610 contract modification (P00021) exercising Option Period Three on task order GS-35F-5497H / HC1013-16-F-0005. Performance directly supports American national security interests on the continent of Africa. This action is funded by fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds. The total cumulative face value of the task order is $50,089,527. Proposals were solicited via the General Services Administration's Federal Supply Schedule, Information Technology Schedule 70, and two proposals were received from 27 proposals solicited. The period of performance for Option Period Three is Nov. 15, 2018 – Nov. 14, 2019, and there is one remaining unexercised option period for this task order. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Nov. 14, 2018) *Mandatory Source **Small business

  • Advanced Air and Missile Defense, in the Hands of Soldiers

    May 29, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Land

    Advanced Air and Missile Defense, in the Hands of Soldiers

    May 27, 2020 - It’s a cold December morning at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, and two surrogate cruise missile targets have just been launched, one after the other. They are flying separate courses among the jagged San Andres and Sacramento mountains toward soldiers in a U.S. Army Air and Missile Defense unit at a test site called TAC-2 – Tactical Command Post 2. These sophisticated targets precisely mimic real cruise missile threats and can take advantage of this terrain to hide from the radars and sensors commanders have positioned in the area. This can create gaps in tracking that make the job of interceptor missiles or other defensive weapons more difficult – you can’t hit what you can’t see. Today, though, their maneuvers won’t enable them to evade detection. This is Flight Test 5 (FT-5), the most sophisticated and difficult development test yet for the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS), developed by Northrop Grumman. High above the range, sensors aboard U.S. Air Force F-35 fighter aircraft see and acquire the two surrogate missiles. IBCS integrates the aircraft sensor data with that of available ground sensors, including Sentinel, Patriot weapon system and U.S. Marine Corps TPS-59 radars. All share information via the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN). As one sensor loses sight of the threats – and each will at some point – the targets are acquired by other sensors on the IFCN, enabling IBCS to create a precise, uninterrupted composite track of each missile’s movements. With data from every sensor, IBCS produces a single integrated air picture on the screens of the air defense soldiers at TAC-2. They see every change in altitude and direction as the two surrogate missiles paint tracks across their screens. Because IBCS enables joint weapons as well as joint sensors, the defenders at the controls can select the best effector to use against these targets. Today, the soldiers are about to launch two Patriot Advanced Capability 2 (PAC-2) interceptor missiles. “Without IBCS, all those different sensors operate independently, creating opportunities for threats to avoid detection as they fly to a target,” explained Northrop Grumman IBCS Program Director Mark Rist. “Without being integrated onto a network, these sensors produce a more ambiguous, less-clear air picture, making engagements of threat systems more challenging.” He is monitoring FT-5 from miles away, in the test’s mission control room. The soldiers at TAC-2 can be heard on the radio, calm but urgent voices reporting “target acquired” by airborne sensor, and talking of the “IP” or intercept point, and “kill box.” It’s only been moments since the threats were launched, but now comes “Free to engage … Missile away … Missile away …” One, then another PAC-2 interceptor missile is launched by the soldiers. IBCS is not only able to launch the missiles, but also plays a critical role in the engagement by actively closing the fire control loop and providing in-flight updates as the PAC-2s converge on their targets. The surrogate cruise missile targets are closing in and can now be seen on video in the control room – and then suddenly they can’t: One, then the other disappears in a ball of fire as the PAC-2s destroy them. Cheers erupted in the control room, and those of Rist and his team may have been loudest among the many generals, colonels and visiting officials that day at White Sands. After years of effort, working closely and constantly with soldiers, FT-5 fully demonstrated IBCS’s unprecedented capability to integrate sensors and effectors to detect, track and simultaneously engage multiple targets in flight. “Information is ammunition, and IBCS is providing soldiers with more,” Rist said. “We brought a lot of things together in this development test. It was the first including joint operations with the Air Force F-35 and Marine Corps radar systems, the first with Air Defense Artillery soldiers at the controls, and the first involving software developed using our Agile methodology.” FT-5 was the latest in a series of test successes, and further evidence of the program’s maturity as soldiers train on IBCS equipment in preparation for an important Limited User Test (LUT) this spring. “I’m very proud of these soldiers and of the system’s performance,” said Colonel Phil Rottenborn, Army IAMD project manager. “This was the first time soldiers conducted a live engagement using IBCS in a developmental test, and they showed we are ready to go into the operational test phase.” “Success!” said Col. Tony Behrens, Army Capability Manager for the Air and Missile Defense (AMD) Command, and a nearly 26-year career Air Defense Artillery (ADA) officer. “It showed me that an Army operator – not an engineer or software developer – can sit at that console and do his or her job. I am very comfortable and confident about the path we’re on.” IBCS enables soldiers to be even more effective by integrating all the systems’ data and providing a common command-and-control (C2). Soldiers will only need to learn to use the IBCS C2, instead of spending time becoming specialists on only one or two of a dozen different sensor and weapon systems. That enhances IBCS’s already impressive battlefield survivability, because soldiers will be capable of using any of the available sensors with any available weapon systems at any command post connected to the self-connecting, self-healing IFCN. Also, less time will be spent in recurrent training, making more time available for teaching operators defense strategy and how to fight. The IBCS “every sensor; best effector” concept gives commanders greater flexibility in defense design, allowing them to position resources for greatest coverage in far less time essentially helping to change the way soldiers see and fight air battle. Northrop Grumman’s open-architecture system-of-systems approach to IBCS eases the integration of any new or legacy sensor and effector systems, which is important for U.S. joint operations and to foreign governments. Poland has an agreement with the U.S. Army to purchase IBCS for modernization of the nation’s WISLA medium-range air defense system, and other countries have expressed interest as well. With the success of FT-5, Northrop Grumman will now focus on the Army’s Limited User Test planned for later this year, followed by the low-rate initial production and full-rate production phases of the system, to field IBCS to Army air defenders in fiscal year 2021. Behrens said the Army must have the IBCS capabilities to be effective and successful in future combat operations. “To me, it’s beyond critical,” he said. “We’re not just giving soldiers a new piece of equipment, a new piece of gear. We’re going to give them an entirely new way of operating on the battlefield that is so much more efficient. But it has to start with the system that enables you to do that.” IBCS may also be the Army’s first big step toward multi-domain convergence – the next level above integration. “Enabling multi-domain – or more accurately, all-domain – operations is vital to ensuring battlefield advantage and superiority,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Gibson, director of the Army’s AMD Cross-Functional Team, at an Association of the U.S. Army event in early March. “When successfully fielded, IBCS will be one of the Army’s pathfinder capabilities into what is becoming a top priority for our military leaders: joint, all-domain command and control.” Media Contact Kenneth Kesner 256-327-6889  View source version on Northrop Grumman:

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