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  • Boeing wants government to force Northrop to partner on ICBM replacement

    September 18, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Boeing wants government to force Northrop to partner on ICBM replacement

    By: Aaron Mehta NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Months after announcing it would not bid on the Air Force's ICBM replacement program, Boeing is officially lobbying both Congress and the service to force a shotgun marriage with Northrop Grumman, against the latter company's will. Frank McCall, Boeing's director of strategic deterrence systems, told reporters Tuesday that the company was actively seeking “government intervention” on the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program, one which would require Northrop to add Boeing as at least a major sub-contractor, if not a co-equal partner. “We think clearly it's time for the Air Force or other governmental entities to engage and direct the right solution. Northrop has elected not to do that,” McCall said during the Air Force Association's annual conference. “So we're looking for government intervention to drive us to the best solution.” Technically, GBSD is still an open competition. However, Northrop stands as the only competitor still making a bid. Lockheed Martin was knocked out in late 2017, and Boeing dropped out of the competition in July. Boeing claimed Northrop's acquisition of solid-fueled rocket motor manufacturer Orbital ATK, now known as Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, gave the competitor an unfair advantage. Boeing has since made overtures toward Northrop, arguing that a partnership involving the two companies would benefit the development of GBSD. But Boeing on Friday announced that Northrop had rejected any teaming attempts. Now, it seems, the company has decided to stop playing nice and start getting real. McCall reiterated that Boeing would not be bidding as a prime on the GBSD request for proposal as is. He also would not rule out the possibility of launching a protest with the Government Accountability Office, should the Air Force not force Northrop to accept Boeing as part of its team. “I'm not spending any time thinking, ‘what if it doesn't work.' We're going to make it work,” he said. Both Boeing and Northrop are currently under contract for a tech maturation phase, which runs into next year. Asked whether the company was worried whether its TMRR contract could be cancelled early given its stance that it will not bid, McCall said: “Certainly that's a concern." However, “the service is maintaining our work," he added. They continue to accept our deliverables, continue to fund our contract. So, I think we're in good shape with the service.” Because both teams are under that development contract, McCall argued that the Air Force should take the two teams and let them begin sharing information, with the service making the final decision on what pieces of each bid would work best when combined. “What I am suggesting is the Air Force pull us in a room together and say ‘you've got 30 days to go figure out what is the right integrated baseline for the country to move forward with,'” he said. “While we have offered to Northrop a menu of things to choose from, we think the Air Force is really in a better position to go through that menu, go through the Northrop menu, and select the best option for the future.” Should the Air Force not choose that route, McCall was open that Boeing has begun engaging members of Congress to circumvent the Pentagon and force its hand. He pointed to Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama as someone who has already raised shown support for Boeing's position. McCall declined to name others, but should this turn into a legislative fight, it could come down to Boeing's supporters – with strongholds in Alabama, Washington and Missouri – versus those of Northrop Grumman. A wild card may come in the form of Lockheed Martin, who was announced as part of a ten-company national team for Northrop's bid earlier this week; as the world's largest defense firm, Lockheed could bring to bear significant firepower in Congress, and would likely be happy to knock Boeing out of the ICBM game. The Boeing executive declined to say what specific parts of the GBSD program Boeing was targeting should it end up with Northrop, but indicated that nuclear command and control — part of Lockheed's workshare under Northrop's planned team — would be one aree where Boeing's experience could come into play. Asked what percentage of workshare on the program Boeing would be satisfied with should the team-up happen, McCall declined to give a number, saying: “We told Northrop, we don't care if you're the prime or we're the prime. We're not dictating a workshare percentage.” https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/air-force-association/2019/09/17/boeing-calls-for-government-intervention-on-icbm-replacement-fight

  • Should the Air Force spend even more on missile warning satellites?

    September 18, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Should the Air Force spend even more on missile warning satellites?

    By: Nathan Strout Senate appropriators have a message for the Air Force: Make early warning missile satellites a priority. The Senate Appropriations Committee expressed concern over the Air Force's plan for funding the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared system in a report on their annual defense spending bill. While the Pentagon requested $1.4 billion for the program in fiscal year 2020, the Senate spending committee noted that the request was $630 million short of what the program needs. With such a gap, senators questioned whether OPIR was a priority for the Air Force. OPIR is the next-generation early warning missile defense satellite system that will ultimately replace the Space Based Infrared System. The Pentagon has contracts with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to build three satellites in geosynchronous orbit and two covering the polar regions, respectively. In order to close the funding gap, the Air Force has made a number of reprogramming requests. But according to Senate appropriators, that's not a responsible path forward. “If the program is to have any chance of success, the department cannot continue to rely on reprogramming requests for its funding,” the committee's report read. Instead, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a far larger budget of $1.9 billion for OPIR. While that is still less than the program need, it represents an increase of $535.5 million. Those funds are in addition to reprogramming requests that could meet the more than $2 billion program need. Lockheed Martin representatives told reporters at the annual Air Force Association conference Sept. 17 that the requested increase in fiscal year 2020 funding doesn't represent a growth in costs for the program, but is the result of the rapid acquisition approach to the OPIR program. “This shouldn't be perceived as cost growth,”said Kay Sears, Lockheed Martin's vice president and general manager for military space. “But it is an accelerated schedule, so it comes with an accelerated budget.” “Next Gen is an absolutely critical capability. We've been asked to deliver that capability in a ‘go fast' environment by 2025 and we are planning to do that. That comes with a funding profile that is a little bit different than a traditional defense program,” she added. Part of that go fast approach, which Sears says results in higher up front costs, includes a payload competition between a Northrop Grumman/Ball team and a Raytheon team. “There's a lot of spending that can happen at all of those companies at the same time,” explained Sears. “That is what is driving the funding profile ― it's the payload development and the fact that (...) we have two payload developers and two capabilities that we're going to have to choose from in that critical mission area.” Senate appropriators noted in their report that OPIR is breaking ground for how to provide rapid prototypes for programs in the future and needs to be fully funded as an example. “The Committee believes the program will be an exemplar for rapid acquisition of space programs, whether the program succeeds or fails,” read the report. “Failure will have implications for Congress's willingness to fund future programs using the National Defense Authorization Act section 804 rapid prototyping and fielding authorities for similarly large, or even middle tier programs, for years to come.” OPIR has been a point of contention between the House and Senate as they work through the two annual defense bills. Earlier in the summer the House balked at the massive increase in what the Pentagon wanted for OPIR in fiscal year 2020. While the $1.4 billion Pentagon request is $630 million below what the program needs, it's $459 million above what the Pentagon projected it would need for the program in fiscal year 2020 in the previous years' budget. The House Armed Services Committee ultimately authorized just $1 billion for the program in their National Defense Authorization Act citing unexplained growth, prompting a letter from the White House arguing that a failure to fund the Pentagon's full budget request now would lead to delays and higher costs over time. https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/space/2019/09/17/should-the-air-force-spend-even-more-missile-warning-satellites/

  • Virtual reality training — for pilots, maintainers and more — expands in 2020

    September 18, 2019 | International, Aerospace, C4ISR

    Virtual reality training — for pilots, maintainers and more — expands in 2020

    By: Stephen Losey One of the top priorities of Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, the newly minted head of Air Education and Training Command, will be expanding the Air Force's experiment with virtual reality training. So far, the Air Force has had success with Pilot Training Next, which uses VR, biometrics and artificial intelligence to better teach aspiring pilots how to fly. Webb is eyeing similar technologies, under the name Learning Next, to improve other forms of technical training. This could include teaching airmen how to maintain aircraft, fly remotely piloted aircraft or perform other technical tasks. These programs allow students' education to proceed more at their own pace, since they are based on competency and are not tied to a timetable, Wright said. A student who already has the fundamentals down can skip the basics and go right to what he or she needs to learn. AETC is now in the process of broadening Pilot Training Next, which has been a demonstration, to the next phase of wider experimentation, Webb said. He and Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, commander of the 19th Air Force, are working on plans to expand Pilot Training Next. By next summer, Webb wants to have set up Pilot Training Next elements at several squadrons, though it wouldn't be across all undergraduate pilot training bases. A few classes after that, Webb expects, Pilot Training Next will be expanded to all UPT bases. The Pilot Training Next expansion will likely be done methodically, at one base first, Webb said, though he would not say which base AETC is looking at. “What has happened in our last couple of years with Pilot Training Next has been an explosion, out of the box, of innovation,” Webb said. “Make no mistake, the Air Force wants this inculcated as fast as we can go,” he said. AETC is already in the “nascent stages” of testing VR and other technology-enhanced training for maintenance and other technical training as part of Learning Next, Webb said. Maintenance Next is a particular priority and is happening on an experimental basis at Kelly Field at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas, he said, and using VR for RPA training is also proceeding. As the VR pilot training shows, such programs can accelerate in a hurry, he said. Ethics Webb also wants to cultivate an “environment of excellence, professionalism, ethics and character development” during his time at AETC. Webb, who was previously commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, pointed to the ethical clouds that have fallen over parts of the special operations community in recent years. For example, the Navy relieved the entire senior leadership team of SEAL Team 7 earlier this month over what it described as leadership failures that resulted in a breakdown of good order and discipline while deployed. AFSOC took a hard look at itself, Webb said, to make sure it doesn't allow similar lapses to fester. “For a leader, you can never ... talk about core values enough,” Webb said. “If I had to look myself in the mirror from my last command, I can tell you my team knew our mission and vision of priorities backwards and forwards.” But while airmen at AFSOC understood Air Force core values, he acknowledged he didn't always articulate those values in his everyday “walk-around, talk-around” encounters. That can create problems if leaders assume airmen already know about the core values, he said. When a unit starts to feel the pressure from high operations tempos and a lack of resources, Webb said, that “get-'er-done” mentality can lead to bad decisions if airmen don't have a firm foundation of the Air Force core values. “If you don't have a firm foundation, you can go to a dark place with that ... ‘find a way to yes' mentality,” Webb said. “We've got to always talk about professionalism and ethics, and also always talk about our core values. That will be a capstone” of his time at AETC. Webb said he plans to continue with AETC's recent improvements in how special warfare airmen are recruited and trained, which included standing up the new Special Warfare Training Wing and the special warfare-focused 330th Recruiting Squadron. More work needs to be done to “normalize” and fine-tune those units, and more firmly fold them into AETC's everyday culture, he said. https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2019/09/16/virtual-reality-training-for-pilots-maintainers-and-more-expands-in-2020/

  • New deal moves Britain’s Protector drone closer to civilian airspace approval

    September 18, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    New deal moves Britain’s Protector drone closer to civilian airspace approval

    By: Sebastian Sprenger COLOGNE, Germany — General Atomics has nabbed a $125 million contract from the United Kingdom to make that country's Protector military strike drone certifiable to fly alongside civilian traffic, pushing the company's agenda to be first in Europe with such a system. The money will help “complete” test and evaluation activities needed to demonstrate all safety features leading up to an eventual certification of the aircraft by British authorities, the company said in a statement. Pairing drones with civil aviation in the same, unrestricted airspace involves a complex field of still-evolving regulations. In short, unmanned planes must be equipped with sensors and controls — collectively known under the name “detect-and-avoid” — to be able to avert midair collisions just a like a human pilot would. “This completes another important milestone as we work towards the delivery of Protector to the Royal Air Force (RAF),” General Atomics CEO Linden Blue is quoted as saying in a company statement. “We have completed more than 100 qualification test flights using our two company-owned SkyGuardian.” The British Royal Air Force is slated to receive the first Protector drones in 2024, according to a service statement released during the DSEI defense exhibit in London last week. Installing a detect-and-avoid package on the aircraft became an explicit objective of the program early this year. General Atomics officials said they are working toward a so-called military-type certification by the British authorities in the summer of 2023. According to General Atomics, the company's detect-and-avoid system consists of a “due-regard” air-to-air radar and processor, which is integrated with a “Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II),” and an “Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).” The Protector also will feature all-weather performance with lightning protection, damage tolerance and a de-icing system, the statement reads. The company hopes the sale of certification-ready drones to the U.K., plus a similar deal with Belgium, will jump-start sales on the continent just as unmanned aviation reaches further into military and everyday life. While General Atomics believes its previous work with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will translate into a tangible advantage, European manufacturers are busy readying their own drones for the challenge. One industry insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there is a trans-Atlantic rift emerging when it comes to the regulatory framework for integrating large military drones into routine air traffic. On one side, companies like General Atomics are pushing toward a unified approach on both sides of the Atlantic, while manufacturers in Europe are circling the wagons to push a uniquely European path that could make it difficult for the Americans to gain a foothold. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/dsei/2019/09/17/new-deal-puts-britains-protector-drone-closer-to-civilian-airspace-approval/

  • Two companies to square off for Australia’s $10 billion infantry fighting vehicle program

    September 18, 2019 | International, Land

    Two companies to square off for Australia’s $10 billion infantry fighting vehicle program

    By: Nigel Pittaway MELBOURNE, Australia – The Australian government has selected Hanwha and Rheinmetall to participate in the next phase of its A$15 billion (U.S. $10.3 billion) infantry fighting vehicle program, being delivered under Project Land 400 Phase 3. Hanwha's AS21 Redback IFV, a variant of the South Korean Army's K21 vehicle, and Rheinmetall's Lynx KF41 will now progress to a 12-month risk mitigation activity program later this year, which will test the vehicles under operational conditions. Land 400 Phase 3 (Mounted Close Combat Capability) will acquire up to 450 tracked IFVs to replace the Australian Army's ageing M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers. A decision on which tenderer will progress to the acquisition phase of the program will be presented to government for consideration in 2022. “The two companies have been assessed as offering vehicles that are best able to meet the requirements of the Army while offering value for money for defense,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said at the Sept. 16 announcement. The announcement reduces the field from four to two, with BAE Systems (CV90) and General Dynamics Land Systems (Ajax) now eliminated from the competition. Phase 3 of the overarching Land 400 program follows on from the A$5.2 billion (U.S. $3.6 billion) Phase 2, under which Rheinmetall is delivering 211 Boxer wheeled 8x8 combat reconnaissance vehicles to replace the Australian Army's light armored vehicles. Rheinmetall is assembling all but the first 25 Boxers at its recently established Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence at Ipswich, west of Brisbane. Local industry participation will be a key requirement for Land 400 Phase 3. “Australian industry involvement and Australian workers are vital to this project,” Price said. “Phase 3 is another important opportunity for Australian industry to deliver leading edge technology for the ADF.” Rheinmetall has indicated it will assemble the Lynx in its Ipswich facility and Hanwha announced on May 23 that it had teamed with EOS Group and Elbit Systems to develop the AS21 and build it in Geelong, south of Melbourne. Hanwha and Rheinmetall are also the prime contenders for the Australian Army's recently revitalized Land 8116 program, which will acquire 30 self-propelled howitzers, together with support vehicles and systems. Hanwha is proposing a local version of its K9 Thunder 155mm SPH, dubbed Aussie Thunder, which the company said in May would be assembled in Geelong irrespective of the Land 400 Phase 3 outcome. Rheinmetall is expected to offer a solution based on its PzH 2000 vehicle. https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2019/09/17/two-companies-to-square-off-for-australias-10-billion-fighting-vehicle-program/

  • Can the Army secure an American-made quadcopter?

    September 18, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Can the Army secure an American-made quadcopter?

    By: Kelsey D. Atherton In a nondescript parking lot in Andover, Massachusetts, outside an aggressively generic office building, I am piloting an InstantEye quadcopter gently over the Merrimack River. At around 300 feet above the ground, I can no longer hear its rotors or make out its roughly basketball-sized body against the bright sky. With a press of a button and a slight change in angle, the InstantEye MK-2 turns and moves its camera to the porch where I am standing. The shade hides us a little, but after pressing another button the infrared camera identifies several bodies. If I was not piloting the drone, I would have no idea it was out there, looking at me. In recent years, the quadcopter has moved from a hobbyist toy that might see battlefield use to a dedicated family of drones at hobbyist, commercial and military levels. They all aim to provide roughly the same advantage: an unobtrusive eye in the sky, priced cheaply enough to replace easily if lost. That hobbyist drones have been adapted by uniformed militaries and nonstate actors into bomb-dropping threats is a natural outgrowth of technology cheap enough to make expendable. Now the Army wants to take advantage of this paradigm shift. “The UAS asset should be designed to be a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft that is rapidly deployable in austere, harsh environments,” read an Army solicitation posted in April 2019 to the FedBizOpps website. Besides VTOL, the Army wanted a drone with a camera payload, providing electro-optical/infrared radar video on a stable gimbal. It is the kind of capability that an officer could likely pick up for a few hundred dollars at the Pentagon City Mall. The future of tactical war likely looks like what happened with quadcopters: commercial technology cheap and useful enough to be adapted to military ends. But the drone market is compounded by one fact: the majority of hobbyist drones and their components are built in China, and working outside that market means foregoing much of the cost savings that make quadcopters so attractive. “We paint a large portion of the intelligence picture with minimal risk to men and equipment. What may take a scout team a day to do, may only take three hours for us,” Sgt. Christopher Curley, an Army SUAS master trainer, said in 2018. “The quadcopter is a great tool for quick recon. I relate it to fishing; you cast your reel, check that area and then move on.” Curley's suite of drones included the longer-range fixed-wing Ravens and Pumas, built to military specifications. Combined, the set of small drones can gather up to 60 percent of intelligence in training exercises. When it came to the quadcopters, Curley's unit relied on off-the-shelf drones. The Army is already training for a future where military quadcopters are ubiquitous. But to get there, it's had to rely heavily on commercial products. The phantom of the ops era “We don't market our products toward military use, nor we do sell direct to commercial or industrial users,” said Michael Oldenburg, a spokesman for DJI North America. DJI's drones have become ubiquitous in the civilian world and ever-present in military use, both formal and informal, as one of the simplest, cheapest ways to put a camera in the sky. All this even though DJI never intended to be a military contractor, and largely shies away from that role. Formally Da Jiang Innovations, the China-based firm was founded in 2006 as a company that made components for remote-control hobbyists. The DJI as we know it today starts in 2013, with the release of the ready-to-fly out of the box Phantom quadcopter. In the six years since the Phantom's release, DJI-produced drones have shown up on battlefields in Ukraine and Iraq. None of this was intended; after footage was released of a DJI Mavic releasing bombs in Ukraine, the company said “DJI strongly deplores any attempts to use our drones to cause harm; we build our products for peaceful purposes.” That DJI looms so large over the military quadcopter market is a second-order effect of the company's market share in the civilian world. A 2018 survey by Skylogic Research (funded, in part, by DJI) estimated that the company owned 74 percent of the hobbyist drone market, a figure that climbed to 86 percent when considering drones that cost $1,000 - $1,999. How extensively has the Pentagon used these drones? DJI said it only offers its products through resellers and so doesn't track what gets purchased by who and only learns about any military acquisitions after the fact. But it is possible to infer the extent of DJI drone use by the agencies within the Pentagon that have explicitly banned the company's products. Consider the fact that the Army issued an order in August 2017 for soldiers to stop using DJI-made drones, which hit communities as diverse as public affairs officers and special operators. Acquisition requests from 2017 show that the Army purchased everything from Phantom 3 quadcopters to Mavic quadcopters to Matrice 600 hexacopters, all made by DJI. A 2018 memo from the Deputy Secretary of Defense suspended all purchases of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) drones, with an exception available by waiver. In May, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., boasted of a provision in the annual defense policy bill that specifically bans the Pentagon from purchasing drones made by a designated “strategic competitor,” primarily China. “We are okay with our products not meeting all of the needs of the DoD,” Oldenburg said. “They're not MilSpec; they're not designed to be used in the field of war or by any military organization that is conducting sensitive missions. We've never made that claim.” Robotic boom, robotic bust To understand how the Pentagon repeatedly found itself buying drones made outside the United States, consider another company: 3DR, a U.S.-based and venture-backed company that started making drone parts, transitioned to a retail quadcopter, and is now a software company for drones. “In 12 months,” Forbes wrote in 2016, “the company has gone from an industry leading U.S. drone startup to an organization struggling to survive – the result of mismanagement, ill-advised projections and a failed strategy that relied on a doomed flagship drone.” Still, there was one area where 3DR could reliably claim an advantage over DJI: the fact it was based in the United States. In August 2018, the Department of the Interior contracted 3DR for a modest purchase of 109 Solo quadcopters. This followed an earlier 2016 contract for the Solo, but by 2017, with 3DR transitioning from the hardware to the software business, Interior still needed a quadcopter that could meet its specific needs. So, the department turned to the makers of the quadcopters that kept showing up in the military. “Market research ... indicated the remaining UAS available from U.S.-based companies were up to 10x less capable for the same price, or up to 10x more costly than similarly capable DJI aircraft,” wrote the Department of the Interior in an evaluation of its DJI systems. In collaboration and consultation with the Interior Department, DJI created a more cyber-minded firmware and software suite for its existing drone hardware, dubbed “Government Edition.” That includes security features like the drone never needing to go online, and being unable to pair with regular, out-of-the-box commercial remotes. Government Edition drones come at a premium, but one of those quadcopters costs less than two retail models. Interior Department testing of the Government Edition hardware/firmware package, done in conjunction with NASA Kennedy Space Center, found “there was no indication that data was being transmitted outside the system and that they were operating as promised by DJI,” which largely matches the independent cybersecurity assessment DJI commissioned from Kivu Consulting. While not designed for military use, the Interior Department's evaluation of DJI quadcopters left an opening: the Pentagon could learn to work with the off-the-shelf drones it has, rather than buy the off-the-shelf drones it wants. Instant eye for the battlefield sky It is easy to assume the military is limited to hobbyist quadcopters built abroad. That's not the case. Most small uncrewed aerial systems used by the military are fixed-wing drones like the Raven, Dragon Eye and Wasp. Specialized quadcopters — such as the Canada-made Aeryon Scout, a high-end military quadcopter — were supplied to anti-Gaddafi forces in Libya in 2012. The problem is that the military version of Aeryon Scout is the $100,000 price tag. Commercial quadcopters — such as the DJI Phantom, Parrot drones and even 3DR Solo — were all available at a fraction of the price, and in many cases they were more than adequate to do the job. Pairing the lower cost in the civilian space with the capability and security expected from a product built to military specifications is tricky, but not impossible. But it is happening, for example, in Andover, Massachusetts. InstantEye is a product of Physical Science Inc. Developed with funding from, among other sources, the Army and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the InstantEye Mk-2 GEN3 quadcopters became a program of record for Special Operations Command in 2014. The InstantEye Mk2 and Mk3 quadcopters look like they could be sold on a shelf alongside hobbyist products, with the soft military gray casing slotting in between the bright whites and matte blacks of consumer models. Physical Science said the Pentagon has roughly 2,000 InstantEye kits across all combatant commands. (Each kit has two quadcopters, which means that's roughly 4,000 individual drones). These drones have seen action in Syria and the horn of Africa. A heavy-lift model can carry up to a 44-ounce payload, making it an ideal tool for clearing explosive ordnance with explosives of its own. Code in the drone allows it to maintain the same hovering position while releasing the payload, rather than the sudden loss of weight sending it rocketing upwards. Within the military specification drone market, PSI sees the InstantEye family as a direct competitor with the Black Hornet drone used by the U.S. Army, a sparrow-sized remote-control helicopter that fits into pockets and comes with a hefty price tag. PSI was vague on the cost but said it came in significantly less than the Black Hornet, which costs roughly $60,000 apiece. PSI officials said the drones are Buy American Act compliant, certified through the Defense Logistics Agency. At present capacity, PSI's Andover production facility makes about 50 two-drone kits a month. With greater demand and staffing, the company estimates it could produce between 80 and 100 such kits per month, if needed. In 2018, the Army requested roughly 1,700 small drones. Should FY2021 see a similar quantity of drones requested, it's possible that PSI's Andover facility could, with a modest increase in staffing, supply the whole lot. The Army can presently roll out quadcopters as a specialized piece of kit. But it might not be ready to provide quadcopters to every unit that wants one. Market forces, forces market The durability and use of InstantEye shows that the Pentagon can, if so determined, fund a quadcopter company into existence. It means that, in the face of concerns about the cybersecurity of off-the-shelf drones, the Pentagon still largely has access to the simple utility of an easy-to-fly aerial camera. What remains to be seen is if Pentagon investment can produce a drone made in the United States, priced at a point close to consumer drones and assembled abroad with parts sourced from across the globe. Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord announced in May the launch of the “Trusted Capital Marketplace,” a partnership to facilitate private and public capital going to investment in companies deemed critical to the defense industrial base and national security. At an August briefing, Lord announced that the first project for the marketplace would be the development of a small UAS. Why start with quadcopters? “It's because where we are right now in terms of having our entire U.S. marketplace eroded,” said Lord. “Essentially, we don't have much of a small UAS industrial base because DJI dumped so many low-price quadcopters on the markets. And we then became dependent on them, both from the defense point of view and the commercial point of view, and we know that a lot of the information is sent back to China from those.” DJI disputes Lord's claims, highlighting the Kivu Consulting cybersecurity audit that found no evidence of data automatically sent back to China, and stating that DJI's “market-leading position in the drone industry” is because it “continued to research, develop and deliver the most capable products to the market.” Lord gave other reasons for the focus on small drones as the marketplace's first project. One is that small drones are easy for the public to understand. There is also the possibility that, by funding military quadcopter development, the work could rebound into commercial market. “Plus, if we meet our defense needs, we feel that there are simpler versions that would be very, very attractive for the commercial market, as well,” said Lord. “So, there was a great pathway there for industry.” Matrice reloaded Ultimately, the present state of military and domestic quadcopter markets appears guided far more by happenstance than anything else. DJI, which fell into the off-the-shelf drone market following demand from the hobbyist market, has inadvertently found its products repeatedly sanctioned as inappropriate for roles they were never designed to fill. Companies like 3DR stumbled as much because of errors in execution as stiff competition. Through it all, the Pentagon has been able to foster and develop its own quadcopters built to military specifications, specifically by contracting for exactly what it needs. It just has yet to capture the same price point as commercial models. It remains to be seen if new initiatives such as the Trusted Capital Marketplace can balance stated goals of low-cost, military specifications and domestic production. But it is a problem the Army needs to solve. As one product manager for the service told Popular Science earlier this year, “There's no organic quadcopter capability in the Army.” https://www.c4isrnet.com/unmanned/2019/09/17/can-the-army-secure-an-american-made-quadcopter/

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - September 17, 2019

    September 18, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - September 17, 2019

    AIR FORCE The Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, California, has been awarded a $1,084,529,525 modification (P00017) to previously awarded contract FA8802-19-C-0001 for systems engineering and integration support for the National Space Community. This contract modification provides for the exercise of Option Year One for fiscal 2020 services being procured under the multiple year contract. Work will be performed at El Segundo, California, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2020. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $2,158,348,065. Fiscal 2020 research and development funds are being used and no funds are being obligated at the time of the award. The Space and Missile Systems Center, El Segundo, California, is the contracting activity. Semper Tek Inc., Lexington, Kentucky (FA8501-19-D-A010); Construction Services Group Inc., Charleston, South Carolina (FA8501-19-D-A011); Kmk Construction Inc., Jacksonville, Florida (FA8501-19-D-A012); Charlton Enterprise Inc., Folkston, Georgia (FA8501-19-D-A013); and York-Brawley JV LLC, Yorktown, Virginia (FA8501-19-D-A014), have been awarded a maximum value of $95,000,000, multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, civil engineer multiple award construction contract. This contract supports operational design and construction contract efforts to provide 78th Civil Engineering Group the capability to have design and construction maintained in a short time frame. Work will be performed at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and is expected to be completed by March 30, 2025. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and 20 offers were received. No funds have been obligated to the contract; task orders will be funded with operations and maintenance funds. The Air Force Material Command Operational Contracting, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia is the contracting activity. Gulfstream Aerospace, Savannah, Georgia, has been awarded a $31,899,999 firm-fixed-price task order against contract FA8134-19-D-0001 for the Gulfstream aircraft order and contractor logistic support (CLS) for Philippines Air Force. This order is for the purchase of one Gulfstream aircraft, parts, tooling and two years of CLS for sustainment of the aircraft. Work will be performed at Manila, Philippines, and is expected to be completed by May 31, 2022. This award is the result of a sole source acquisition. This contract involves 100% foreign military sales to the Philippines. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $2,070,000,000. Foreign Military Sales funding in the amount of $31,899,999 are being obligated at time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity (FA8124-19-F-2500). Major Tool and Machine Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $9,339,200 firm-fixed-price contract for low rate initial production modification (PZ0001) to previously awarded contract FA8681-19-C-0013 for the BLU-111 warhead. This modification provides for the definitization for a quantity of BLU-111 warheads produced under the basic contract. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is expected to be complete by April 30, 2020. Fiscal 2019 procurement funds in the amount of $9,339,200 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity. General Dynamics – Ordnance and Tactical Systems, Garland, Texas, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $9,691,384 firm-fixed-price contract for low rate initial production modification (PZ0001) to previously awarded contract FA8681-19-C-0015 for the BLU-111 warhead. This modification provides for the definitization for a quantity of BLU-111 warheads produced under the basic contract. Work will be performed in Garland, Texas, and is expected to be complete by April 30, 2020. Fiscal 2019 procurement funds in the amount of $9,691,384 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity. Alliant TechSystems Operations LLC – ATK Tactical Propulsion and Control, Rocket Center, West Virginia, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $8,762,690 firm-fixed-price contract for low rate initial production modification (PZ0001) to previously awarded contract FA8681-19-C-0016 for the BLU-111 warhead. This modification provides for the definitization for a quantity of BLU-111 warheads produced under the basic contract. Work will be performed in Rocket Center, West Virginia, and is expected to be complete by April 30, 2020. Fiscal 2019 ammunition procurement funds in the amount of $8,762,690 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity. Enfield Enterprises Inc., Springfield, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $7,221,081 requirements contract for the replacement of Halon and electrical at Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility. This contract consists of furnishing all plant, labor, materials and equipment, and performing all operations in connection with the replacement of Halon and electrical at Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in accordance with the specifications and drawings. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and is expected to be completed by May 26, 2020. This award was the result of a competitive acquisition and two offers were received. Fiscal 2019 3600 research, development, test and evaluation funds are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA2823-19-C-A044). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Alaska Structures Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona, has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for commercial shelters. This is a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Arizona and New Mexico, with a Sept. 25, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-19-D-1197). DJ Engineering Inc.,* Augusta, Kansas, has been awarded an estimated $26,174,400 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for A-10 elevators. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Kansas, with a Sept. 16, 2024, performance completion date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Ogden, Utah (SPRHA4-19-D-0004). W K Containers Inc.,* Mill Valley, California, has been awarded a maximum $7,007,122 fixed-price contract for commercial shipping and storage containers. This was a competitive acquisition with six offers received. This is a one-year contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are California and Korea, with a March 16, 2020, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE8ED-19-C-0008). NAVY BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair (BAE), San Diego, California, was awarded an $86,117,104 firm-fixed-price contract for the execution of USS Decatur (DDG 73) fiscal 2019 extended dry-docking selected restricted availability (EDSRA). This availability will include a combination of maintenance, modernization and repair of USS Decatur. This is a Chief of Naval Operations scheduled EDSRA. The purpose is to maintain, modernize and repair USS Decatur. This is a "long-term" availability and was solicited on a coast-wide (West Coast) basis without limiting the place of performance to the vessel's homeport. BAE will provide the facilities and human resources capable of completing, coordinating, and integrating multiple areas of ship maintenance, repair and modernization for USS Decatur. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $88,816,552. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed by October 2020. Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance (Navy); and fiscal 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $86,117,104 was obligated at time of award and funding in the amount of $72,807,997 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This requirement was competitively solicited using full and open competition via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-19-C-4455). (Awarded Sept. 7, 2019) BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair (BAE), San Diego, California, was awarded an $84,595,351firm-fixed-price contract for the execution of USS Stethem (DDG 63) fiscal 2019 extended dry-docking selected restricted availability (EDSRA). This is a Chief of Naval Operations scheduled EDSRA. This availability will include a combination of maintenance, modernization, and repair of the USS Stethem. This is a "long-term" availability and was solicited on a coast-wide (West Coast) basis without limiting the place of performance to the vessel's homeport. BAE will provide the facilities and human resources capable of completing, coordinating, and integrating multiple areas of ship maintenance, repair and modernization for USS Stethem. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $96,183,466. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed by October 2020. Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance (Navy); and fiscal 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $84,595,351 was obligated at time of award, and funding in the amount of $72,805,698 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This requirement was competitively solicited using full and open competition via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-19-C-4459). (Awarded Sept. 7, 2019) CH2M HILL Inc., Englewood, Colorado, is awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect-engineering (A-E) contract with a maximum amount of $75,000,000 for A-E services involving preparation of studies, plans, specifications, design, reports, cost estimates and all associated engineering services in support of Navy and other Department of Defense (DoD) environmental compliance programs for Navy, Marine Corps and other DoD installations and federal agencies. No task orders are being issued at this time. The work to be performed provides services for, but not limited to, petroleum storage tank and assets compliance, oil preparedness and planning compliance, air quality and Clean Air Act compliance, Safe Drinking Water Act compliance, Clean Water Act compliance (storm water), Clean Water Act Compliance (wastewater) and waste management. All work on this contract will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities within, but not limited to, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic area of responsibility including California (20%); Virginia (20%); North Carolina (20%); Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (15%); Florida (5%); Maryland (5%); Washington (5%); Georgia (5%); and Texas (5%). The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months with an expected completion date of September 2024. Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance, (Navy) (O&M, N) contract funds in the amount of $10,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Future task orders will be primarily funded by O&M, N. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with three proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N62470-19-D-4015). AH/BC Navy JV LLC, Newport News, Virginia, is awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect-engineering (A-E) contract with a maximum amount of $60,000,000 for compliance with Safe Water Act (SDWA), Clean Water Act (CWA) compliance program and all other environmental media regulations to support Navy, Marine Corps, other Department of Defense (DoD) installations and federal agencies worldwide. The work to be performed provides for support of compliance with the SDWA and CWA compliance program and all other environmental media regulations as required. The intent of this contract is to provide comprehensive A-E services to various Navy and other DoD installations/organizations worldwide in order to meet statutory compliance requirements for all applicable overseas environmental baseline guidance document, final governing standards, DoD, federal, state, local and installation-specific environmental laws, regulations, and guidance. This support includes preparation of studies, plans, specifications, design documents, reports, cost estimates and all associated engineering work including, but not limited to, work in SDWA compliance, storm water pollution prevention plans and CWA compliance, industrial pre-treatment/wastewater treatment plans and permit compliance, laboratory work and other miscellaneous environmental compliance services. No task orders are being issued at this time. All work on this contract will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities within, but not limited to, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic area of responsibility including, California (15%); Virginia (10%); North Carolina (10%); Florida (10%); Maryland (5%); Washington (5%); Georgia (5%); Far East Asia (5%); and Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (35%). The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months with an expected completion date of September 2024. Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance, (Navy) (O&M, N) contract funds in the amount of $10,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Future task orders will be primarily funded by O&M, N. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with three proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N62470-19-D-4001). General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, California, is awarded a $21,150,803 firm-fixed-price delivery order from multiple-award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract N00024-16-D-4418 for a selected restricted availability on USS Stockdale (DDG 106) to execute depot-level maintenance, alterations and modifications that will update and improve the ship's military and technical capabilities. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be complete by May 2020. This delivery order includes options, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $21,328,830 and be complete by May 2020. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $21,150,803 will be obligated at time of award and expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This delivery order was competitively procured with one request for proposal solicited and three offers received via all eligible multiple award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contractors in the San Diego, California, area. The Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity. The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded an $11,414,936 modification (P00004) to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00019-18-C-1057). This modification exercises an option for Phase 1 design maturity, analysis and test planning for the Stand-off Land Attack Missile – Expanded Response production for the government of Saudi Arabia under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Act. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri (37%); Indianapolis, Indiana (30%); Melbourne, Florida (10%); Pontiac, Michigan (10%); Middletown, Connecticut (7%); Black Mountain, North Carolina (2%); South Pasadena, California (1%); Albuquerque, New Mexico (1%); Stillwater, Oklahoma (1%); and various locations within the continental U.S. (1%). Work is expected to be completed in October 2019. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $11,414,936 are being obligated on this 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. Briartek Inc.,* Alexandria, Virginia (N64498-19-D-4033), was awarded an $11,233,400 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with provisions for cost-plus-fixed-fee services and firm-fixed-price supplies to support Man Overboard Indicators (MOBI) ship installations. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia (30%); San Diego, California (30%); Mayport, Florida (5%), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (5%); Pascagoula, Mississippi (5%); Marinette, Wisconsin (5%), Everett, Washington (5%); Bremerton, Washington (5%); Yokosuka, Japan (5%); and Sasebo, Japan (5%), and is expected to be completed by September 2024. Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance (Navy) funding in the total amount of $37,967 was obligated at time of award and 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 Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Sept. 13, 2019) The Boeing Co., Huntington Beach, California, is awarded a $10,849,103 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-17-C-6307) for engineering services in support of the Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV) program. Engineering services under the existing contract will be used to further develop and study additional capabilities, payloads, operational uses, and deployment scenarios for the XLUUV program. Work will be performed in Huntington Beach, California, and is expected to be completed by September 2020. Fiscal 2018 and 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $374,638 will be obligated at time of award and $192,415 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. United States Marine Inc.,* Gulfport, Mississippi, is awarded a $9,510,838 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-19-C-2226) in support of the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt for eight 11 meter Naval Special Warfare rigid-hull inflatable boats, eight forward looking infrared systems, ship spare parts and other technical assistance for the Egyptian navy. Work will be performed in Gulfport, Mississippi, and is expected to be completed by December 2020. Foreign Military Sales funding in the amount of $9,510,838 will be obligated at time of award and contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. In accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(4), this contract was not competitively procured: international agreement. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. Modern International Inc.,* Barrigada, Guam, is awarded a firm-fixed-price task order (N40192-19-F-4384) at $9,503,702 under an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award design-build construction contract to repair the aqueous film forming foam and sprinkler system at Building 2641, North Ramp, on Andersen Air Force Base. The work to be performed provides for the replacement of the fire and foam pumps, pump controllers, risers, sprinkler piping, heads, fittings, foam holding tanks, trench drains and monitor nozzle system, hose reels, fire suppression, discharge containment system, fire alarms, heat and flame detectors, monitors, mass notification system, electrical wiring and conduits, fuel tanks and containment, fuel piping, lighting fixtures, ceiling tiles and abatement of hazardous materials. Work will be performed in Yigo, Guam, and is expected to be completed by October 2020. Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance, (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $9,503,702 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Four proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Marianas, Guam, is the contracting activity (N40192-18-D-2801). ARMY Four Peaks Environmental Science & Data Solutions,* Wenatchee, Washington (W9127N-19-D-0005); Real Time Research Inc.,* Bend, Oregon (W9127N-19-D-0006); Environmental Assessment Services LLC,* Richland, Washington (W9127N-19-D-0007); R2 Resource Consultants Inc.,* Redmond, Washington (W9127N-19-D-0008): and S P Cramer & Associates Inc.,* Portland, Oregon (W9127N-19-D-0009), will compete for each order of the $40,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for biological and ecological services for studies related to fishery issues. Bids were solicited via the internet with nine received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 16, 2024. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland, Oregon, is the contracting activity. Bowhead Mission Solutions LLC,* Springfield, Virginia, was awarded a $33,659,910 modification (KX04) to contract W15P7T-12-D-E010 for software and system engineering services. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 15, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity. BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc., Kingsport, Tennessee, was awarded a $16,801,065 modification (P00693) to contract DAAA09-98-E-0006 for engineering and design for the Acetic Acid and Acetic Andhydride and Tank Farm Expansion project at Holston Army Ammunition Plant. Work will be performed in Kingsport, Tennessee, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2021. Fiscal 2021 procurement of ammunition, Army funds in the amount of $16,801,065 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity. General Dynamics Mission Systems Inc., Huntsville, Alabama, was awarded a $15,001,571 modification (P00036) to contract W58RGZ-18-C-0043 for engineering services. Work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 17, 2023. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $2,297,086 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. Hamilton Sundstrand Corp., Phoenix, Arizona, was awarded a $13,944,038 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance and overhaul, and upgrade and repair of the flight control computer. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 16, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-19-D-0032). *Small Business https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/1963450/source/GovDelivery/

  • NGC Selected to Sustain Aircraft Protection Systems for the RAAF

    September 18, 2019 | International, C4ISR

    NGC Selected to Sustain Aircraft Protection Systems for the RAAF

    Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has been selected by the Australian Defence Organisation on behalf of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to continue its support of the service's Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) systems. Northrop Grumman's LAIRCM functions by automatically detecting a missile launch, determining whether it is a threat, and activating a high-intensity, laser-based countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile. Under the terms of the $96 million award, Northrop Grumman will provide sustainment, repair, engineering, logistics and training support services for LAIRCM, AN/AAR-47 and AN/APR-39. Currently, five aircraft types in the RAAF are protected with LAIRCM. “Since 2001, Northrop Grumman and the RAAF have been working in partnership to keep aircrews safe from the threat of infrared guided missiles. This Australia-based sustainment activity is critical to keeping the LAIRCM system ready for aircrew safety and mission success,” said Bob Gough, vice president, land and avionics C4ISR, Northrop Grumman. Work will be performed at Northrop Grumman's repair facility at the RAAF Edinburgh base in South Australia. The facility provides efficient in-country support services for the repair and maintenance of LAIRCM systems, cutting the time to return a system to service by as much as 50 percent. Northrop Grumman's infrared countermeasures systems have been installed on more 1,500 aircraft of more than 80 different types, including both fixed and rotary wing. Source: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) Date: Sep 13, 2019 http://www.asdnews.com/news/defense/2019/09/13/ngc-selected-sustain-aircraft-protection-systems-raaf

  • The DARPA Small Business Programs Office (SBPO) has pre-released the following SBIR/STTR Opportunities (SBOs)

    September 17, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    The DARPA Small Business Programs Office (SBPO) has pre-released the following SBIR/STTR Opportunities (SBOs)

    The DARPA Small Business Programs Office (SBPO) has pre-released the following SBIR/STTR Opportunities (SBOs): "Holistic Object Tracking", FBO Solicitation Number HR001119S0035-13, published at: https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/HR001119S0035-13/listing.html. "Patterned, Responsive Cellular Therapies Using Novel Mammalian Cellular Regulator Systems", FBO Solicitation Number HR001119S0035-16, published at: https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/HR001119S0035-16/listing.html. "Sparse Information Orbit Estimation for Proliferated LEO", FBO Solicitation Number HR001119S0035-22, published at: https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/HR001119S0035-22/listing.html. "Self-Reconfigurable Modular Ground Robots", FBO Solicitation Number HR001119S0035-23, published at: https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/HR001119S0035-23/listing.html. "Fabrication and Testing of Large Aperture Achromatic Visible Metalens for Imaging Applications", FBO Solicitation Number HR001119S0035-24, published at: https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/HR001119S0035-24/listing.html. These SBOs will open for proposals on September 27, 2019 and close on October 28, 2019.

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