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  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - October 12, 2018

    October 15, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - October 12, 2018

    DEFENSE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AGENCY Iridium Satellite LLC, Tempe, Arizona, was awarded a non-competitive, firm-fixed-price $44,000,000 contract modification (P00008) for the extension of services on the current airtime contract (HC104714C4000) in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 52.217-8. Fiscal 2019 defense working capital funds will be used. Performance will be at the contractor's facility. The period of performance for the option period is Oct. 22, 2018, through April 21, 2019. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott AFB, Illinois, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Creighton AB Inc., Reidsville, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $35,000,000 fixed-price contract for Air Force lightweight jackets. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Maximum dollar amount is for the life of the contract. Locations of performance are New York and North Carolina, with an Oct. 11, 2023, performance completion date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-19-D-1104). Simmonds Precision Products Inc., Vergennes, Vermont, has been awarded an $11,024,500 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for electro-me actuators. This is a five-year base contract with four one-year option periods. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. Location of performance is Vermont, with an Oct. 15, 2023, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama (SPRRA1-19-D-0004). Transaero Inc., Melville, New York, has been awarded a $9,500,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for assembly clutches. This is a five-year base contract with four one-year options periods. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. Location of performance is New York, with a Nov. 30, 2023, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama (SPRRA1-19-D-0002). ARMY Medvolt LLC,* Colorado Springs, Colorado, was awarded a $19,978,985 firm-fixed-price contract for upgrading the chilled water line system at the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 15, 2020. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $19,978,985 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, Nebraska, is the contracting activity (W9128F-19-C-0001). AIR FORCE Rockwell Collins, Richardson, Texas, has been awarded a $12,010,975 definitization (P000013) to previously undefinitized contract FA8204-18-C-0010 (P00005) to implement Security Classification Guide changes. Work will be performed at Richardson, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 3, 2020. Fiscal 2018, research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $818,227 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Nuclear Weapon Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity. NAVY Complete Parachute Solutions, Deland, Florida, is awarded a $9,270,000 modification under previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M00264-18-C-0007) for the Multi-Mission Parachute Course. The Multi-Mission Parachute Course provides training and technical support for all Military Free-Fall training to ensure compliance with all Federal Aviation Administration Regulations and Marine Corps Orders to safely meet the Marine Corps Training Input requirements. This contract includes four one-year option periods which, if exercised, could bring the cumulative value of this contract to $42,763,854. Work will be performed in Coolidge, Arizona, and is expected to be completed Sept. 27, 2019. If all options are exercised, work will continue through Sept. 27, 2022. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $9,270,000 will be obligated at the time of contract modification award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The original contract was competitively solicited and competitively procured via solicitation on the Federal Business Opportunity website, with one proposal received. The Marine Corps Installation National Capital Region-Regional Contracting Office, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity. FlightSafety Services Corp., Centennial, Colorado, is awarded an $8,354,866 modification (P00004) under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N6134018C0019) for aircrew training services in support of the TH-57B/C community, including instruction, operation, and curriculum support. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station, Whiting Field, Florida, and is expected to be completed in October 2019. No funds are being obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity. Huntington Ingalls Inc., Newport News, Virginia, is awarded a $7,031,737 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-17-C-2103) to exercise an option for the accomplishment of planning and design yard functions for standard Navy valves of nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. Work will be performed in Newport News, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by September 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $600,000 will be obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. *Small Business

  • Harris and L3 CEOs talk merger, divestitures and why we all should have seen this coming

    October 15, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Harris and L3 CEOs talk merger, divestitures and why we all should have seen this coming

    By: Jill Aitoro If you ask Chris Kubasik, CEO of L3 Technologies, the company's pending merger with Harris Corp. should not come as a surprise to anyone. Such a move made sense on paper for years, even if the timing was never quite right. Now it is: Both companies are on an upswing, and both companies are led by individuals with an inclination to get it done. The result will be a deal — the largest defense merger in history, if you look at market capitalization — to create the seventh largest defense prime in the world. Defense News spoke to Kubasik and Bill Brown, the CEO of Harris, to find out more about the newly rechristened L3 Harris Technologies. Chris, you called this an acquisition that many felt made sense. So what were the challenges to making it happen, and why is now the perfect time? Chris Kubasik: I think in reality, people thought for years that this combination made sense. It was due to Bill and I working hard that we actually got it done. I think that now is the perfect time because of the customer's needs and demands for innovation and solution. Like I said, with the upswing in both companies, and both companies being strong, I think that gives us the opportunity to put this together, generate the cash and the synergies and position us for long-term value creation for our shareholders. The challenges of all these acquisitions [are so often] culture and leadership. Here, the cultures are aligned. Bill and I are completely aligned. We've known each other for years. We have a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities. We're going to jointly chair the integration committee to make sure we get the best of the best — best people, best processes, best system. I'm sure I've never been more excited in my career than I am today, so it's going to be a lot of fun. The stakeholders are all going to benefit. Bill, how much was the 2015 acquisition of Exelis a building block toward this deal? Not necessarily a merger with L3 specifically, but really big merger that would really transform the company? Did you see this coming? Bill Brown: I've been here for seven years, so we really started early on in developing a culture of operational excellence. I think that has been pretty well embedded within the company. We've made some good progress here. We've leveraged a lot of those tools, effectively integrating Exelis. We reached the cost savings targets we thought we would deliver and we delivered it a year early. So I think we built a little bit of a muscle on how to do an integration. I think this is a great potential combination for us. It does position us well within the defense industrial based hierarchy. We'll generate a lot of savings. But more importantly, the portfolio capabilities is going to allow us to do different things, to provide different capabilities to the war fighter and different things that are clearly laid out in the National Defense Strategy. So as I look at this, it's the right transaction. It's the right time. It's the right environment to do this. A lot of this comes down to the leaders of the organization, and Chris and I [are] completely aligned in what to do and how to create value. So much of this also involves combining and integrating in a smart and efficient way, so should we expect any more divestitures? I know L3 just did a couple recently. Any more to come? Brown: I think if you look at what L3 has done recently, and what we've done over the last five or six years, we both have taken a critical eye to the business portfolio we had. If there's assets we think that are better owned by somebody other than [ourselves], we take a dispassionate view of that. And we transition those assets to a different owner. I think Chris and I will take a look at that going forward. I think there will be [divestitures], given the diversity of the business mix we'll have together. It does create the optionality for additional portfolio shaping. Nothing to mention today, but something we'll be taking a close look at over the coming months and years. Okay, so the couple of years before the transition, in terms of leadership — should I figure that those two years are going to be spent really establishing the integrated company? Kubasik: Absolutely. The top two focuses of Bill and I and the team will be the integration, and continuing to execute on our existing programs and commitments. That is first and foremost. We're going to generate a lot of cash. It's going to take several hundred million dollars of investments to integrate these companies. Then the rest of the cash we're going to maintain a competitive dividend, consistent with what we've done. We're very similar in that regard. In the first year, we're going to use the excess cash to repurchase shares. So the likelihood of acquisition from those first two years are very low. As Bill said, we'll look at the portfolio. We've clearly spent a lot of time together, but the next few months we'll get into it more and more and see what makes sense. The way I sum it up is, the merger creates better benefits and growth opportunities than either company could have achieved alone. I know both companies are incredibly strong in terms of C4ISR and a lot of what you might call the future warfare capabilities. What kind of growth do you anticipate in that area? Brown: When I look at the next several years, you're hitting on the right spot. When you look at C4ISR, it's a broad category. When you look at the pieces underneath that, I think Chris and I, our companies, bring great capabilities [that are] complementary. When you think about what we do at Harris, we've got a very strong position in tactical radios — global leadership, U.S. leadership. A lot of it's ground, starting the movements to airborne tier, starting to provide systems. Chris's business is very strong in avionics. It's very strong in data links, very strong in satcom, very strong between the two of us in optical capability. When you look at all of that broad way of getting better ISR information, I think we bring the right capabilities to the fight. Kubasik: We'll be spending about 4% of our revenues on R&D, which I think is aggressive. And we talk about the customers, just to clarify — we have two sets. We have the usual industry partners, who I think will benefit from this combination, the same way that our end-user DoD customer will as well. Are there any programs that you both were competing on, where there's going to need to be some sort management to eliminate conflicts of interest? Brown: Very, very small. It's almost negligible in terms of where we compete head to head. Again, it's a very complimentary set of businesses, so we don't see that as being a big concern. What kind of layoffs are you all anticipating? Brown: We expect half a billion dollars of cost savings, and half of it is going to come from supply chain and facility rationalization — consolidating our mutual footprint. About half of that other half, so 25 percent, is split from corporate and segment overhead reduction in functional efficiencies, shared services — things that we've done and Chris is now driving at all three. But we're in a market today where the unemployment rate's very low. We both were out there hiring people, trying to hire talented engineers and scientists, get people through clearances. So fortunately, we're in an environment where we need more people, not fewer people. Okay, so you think it'll be relatively modest, getting rid of where there might be overlap? Brown: There's going to be some overlap. There'll be some movement of people, but we're not prepared to talk about any employment reduction today. But again, look, it's an environment today where we're looking for more people, especially in the STEM field. The decision to make Melbourne, Florida the headquarters — will that be permanent? Brown: Yeah, it'll be as soon as we close. It'll be the headquarters in Melbourne, and Chris is going to move to Melbourne. We have about 7,000 people in Brevard County. We've been there for 40 years, very deep, entrenched infrastructure. If you know the area, a lot of the defense players, aerospace defense players, are moving now to the Space Coast. It's a very vibrant community. Again, we've been there for a while. We're deeply embedded into the community with a lot of infrastructure at Harris, so that's what we decided to do. Bill, I was convinced you guys were going to move to Washington for a while, but you proved me wrong. Brown: You know, it's interesting. Look, that came up for us, when we did Exelis, but Chris and I've talked about this. It just doesn't make sense for both companies to move headquarters at the same time. That provides an additional risk in a deal. We thought we need to move to one place or the other. We both thought that Melbourne was a better place for the headquarters of the company. Chris, you get to move again. Kubasik: You know, it's been a couple of years, time to move. I'm getting used to it, so if things slow down this week, maybe one night at 10:00 I'll log onto a real estate website and try to be a first mover before the prices increase down there. [laughter] I know you said in the next couple years no acquisitions would be on the horizon, but do you anticipate even more areas of business that would meld with those that you already play well in? Brown: Look, I would say you started out the question the way I'd answer it, which is: it's too soon to determine that. I think the next couple of years will be about integrating the companies. It'll be about divesting. If we see opportunities for portfolio shaping, making sure that happens, so we stay focused on the business where strategically it makes sense for us to be in longer term. But I think Chris and I both have talked very publicly, individually as companies, about M&A is a part of our long-term growth strategy. So over time, we do anticipate, under Chris's leadership, that there'll be other M&As that will happen over time. But I think in the next couple of years, unless it's something exceptional, must have, we're going to stand down on M&A and really focus on integrating the portfolios that we have. Kubasik: Now the organic growth opportunities, and the beauty of having two leaders at the top, will allow us to focus on our customers, not only in D.C., but globally. And you know how much I love to travel internationally — we're going to have customers in over 100 countries. I still look at that in amazement. We'll be able to deepen those relationships. We both work in a lot of the same countries, but when you have a larger combined content, I think we'll be able to advance internationally maybe further, quicker than we would have individually. So I think one of my focus areas is going to be to help grow the business and meet with those customers around the globe. Chris I've spoken to you a couple of times on the big plans and aspirations to be a non-traditional six prime. You got there way faster than I thought you would. Kubasik: Oh, thank you, I'm an impatient person. I know you also said to me that you didn't envision, and I quote, “building multi-billion-dollar satellites, airplanes and ships.” Does that vision of what the company is, and will be, as a six prime remain intact with this merger? Kubasik: We don't really have any major platforms, [but] when I look at the different domains that we're going to be able to serve, whether it's air, space, land or sea or cyber, that's the exciting part. On the air side, as an example, on a combined basis we have some pretty exciting capabilities with avionics and electronic warfare, as an example. So we'll be able to be on the legacy programs, like the F-16 and F-18, which we already are, and we'll have more content on the next-gen platforms like an F-35. So if we go domain by domain, you see the ability to better connect the different platforms to focus on the secured communication. I think we're well positioned for the multi-domain, command and control and communication systems. I'm excited about the small satellite business that Harris had. I think that's great. You know about our UUVs, our UAVs. I think it's going to work well in conjunction with the industry prime. It'll be a collaborative, cooperative relationship. Brown: I think we're not a company that does or will do a lot of these big, major platforms that the big primes are doing today. The way we look at it, 72 percent of the combined business will be prime, meaning sales to and customers. I think that's an important point to make. Bill you've talked to me about space superiority. How key is space to the combined business? Brown: We have a pretty broad business in space in terms of space superiority. A lot of it, it's ground-based capabilities that provide offensive and defensive capabilities to that space architecture. We've developed a lot of exquisite systems and components that have now moved into end-to-end mission solutions for small satellites. We've got a lot of capabilities on our end, in optics. Chris's business, L3, is also strong in small optics, and they've got really good signal intelligence capabilities that I think can augment the things that we do with some of the space architecture. So I see that as helping us continue to broaden that set of mission solutions in the space domain, that I think we spent the last several decades, actually, developing. What does this merger mean to the top primes? Brown: We have at Harris a great relationship with all of the primes. [We] do a lot of work particularly with Boeing and Lockheed. We do quite a bit now with Raytheon as well, so I think we have great partnerships, and I think if anything [this] is going to be additive to that partnership. I think it'll be favorably received by those guys. Kubasik: I agree a 100 percent. I think they're going to be equally excited as the DoD customer for the same reasons. We'll have the money to innovate the R&D, maybe bundle some solutions. They'll also share over time in the affordability of this synergy. I think it's a win-win for the industry and the DoD customers. Bill, in two years you hand the CEO spot to Chris. I'm asking you to look at a couple years down the road, and I know you're remaining on the board, but any other big plans? Brown: Look, that's three and a half years down the road. If I look at six months between sign and close – that's a lifetime year, as you can imagine. I've been CEO here for seven years. That puts me 10 years at the company. I think with Chris, we'll put the company together on the right track. Look, I'll find something productive to do with my life at that point.

  • Canada gets green light to buy King Air surveillance aircraft

    October 12, 2018 | Local, Aerospace, C4ISR

    Canada gets green light to buy King Air surveillance aircraft

    by Chris Thatcher The U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of three King Air 350ER aircraft to meet a Canadian requirement for a manned airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (MAISR) platform. Airborne ISR systems were one of five investments specifically identified in the government's 2017 defence policy for Canadian special operations forces. The foreign military sale would provide a capability that special forces' command (CANSOFCOM) has been seeking for several years, but it could come with a high price tag. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on Oct. 4 approval for the sale of three extended range King Air 350 twin-turboprops from Wichita, Kansas-based Beechcraft, part of Textron Aviation. With Canadian modifications for some of the ISR systems, the estimated cost was pegged at $300 million, the agency said. A spokesperson for National Defence noted in an email that the cited cost “is not the final price; it is the full and all-inclusive value of every aspect of the aircraft, their supporting systems, and all potentially related costs, including contingency and risk. The final cost is anticipated to be much lower.” Ashley Lemire said the Canadian and U.S. governments would work to more clearly define the requirements in the coming months and “negotiate an acceptable price.” According to DSCA, the proposed sale would include the three aircraft fitted with WESCAM MX-15D electro-optical and infrared imaging sensors, AN/AAR-47B(V)2 missile and laser warning systems, AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispenser systems, KIV-77 Mode 4/5 crypto applique computers for friend and foe identification, plus various advanced receivers and transponders and network encryptors. It would also include mission equipment, communication and navigation equipment, special tools and test equipment, ground support equipment, airframe and engine spare parts, as well as training. “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the military capability of Canada,” DSCA said in a statement. “The proposed sale improves Canada's capability to meet current and future threats; strengthen its homeland defence and the combined defence of North America; and supports coalition partners overseas. This proposed sale will improve interoperability with U.S. forces and other regional allies.” Though CANSOFCOM had been looking at options from a number of potential suppliers, including Canadian manufacturers, a DND spokesperson told ***Skies*** in May that the U.S. government was “identified as the only source of supply capable of providing the fully-integrated solution.” “Aircraft such as these will help enhance the ability of our Special Operations Forces to improve their understanding of the operational environment,” said Jessica Lamirande. “MAISR will have the capacity to be deployed on short notice and will provide the [Canadian Armed Forces] with better situational awareness on the ground and thus positively affecting the ability of CAF leaders to make decisions leading to mission success.” Though the aircraft will be a special forces asset, the King Airs will be operated and maintained by the Royal Canadian Air Force. “The RCAF is the lead force generator for the actual capability,” BGen Michel Lalumiere, director general of Air Force Development, told ***Skies***. “This is a sophisticated system, so there's a lot of integration” for near-real data transfer and ensuring interoperability with allies. ‪ “We will be in contested areas with this aircraft and sometimes adversaries have a vote,” he said. “This aircraft needs to bring, definitely, a set of capabilities to be able to operate in those types of environments.” In addition to modifying the aircraft with ISR equipment, the Canadian government will also seek to procure in-service support (ISS) through a competitive process. On Oct. 4, Public Services and Procurement Canada issued a letter of interest inviting industry to attend a presentation from CANSOFCOM and procurement officials on the sustainment requirements, which have national security implications. A letter of interest for feedback on MAISR in-service support was issued in April and over 15 companies registered to attend an ISS industry day in June. Further industry engagement activities are expected to continue until the spring of 2019. Delivery of the first King Air is expected by 2020.

  • Vancouver Island company to advance aerospace innovation and firefighting technology

    October 12, 2018 | Local, Aerospace, Security

    Vancouver Island company to advance aerospace innovation and firefighting technology

    Investment helps create up to 15 new high-value, local jobs and global opportunities PORT ALBERNI, BC, Oct. 11, 2018 /CNW/ - Canadians will benefit from a stronger aerospace industry and better aerial firefighting technology thanks in part to a new investment in a British Columbian firm specializing in firefighting aircraft. Today the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Minister of Accessibility and Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Federal Recovery Efforts for the 2017 and 2018 British Columbia Wildfires, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced a repayable investment of nearly $3.4 million in Coulson Aircrane Ltd., a small aviation company based in Port Alberni, British Columbia. This investment helps create good middle-class jobs and strengthens Coulson's position in the aerospace supply chain. The project will facilitate collaboration with post-secondary institutions, ensure workers have the skills they need and generate new Canadian intellectual property. This funding supports Coulson's first-of-its-kind research and development (R&D) initiative to convert a Boeing 737 plane into a dual-purpose aerial firefighting tanker / passenger aircraft that can be used to fight fires in Canada and elsewhere. This investment is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy by encouraging R&D that will accelerate the transfer of technology and the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services and will facilitate the growth of innovative firms. Quotes "Our government's support for Coulson Aircrane demonstrates our commitment to Canada's aerospace industry—a major engine of innovation and a key contributor of well-paying jobs to the national economy. By investing in innovative projects like this one at Coulson, we're creating new opportunities for Canadians from coast to coast. That's how, through the Strategic Innovation Fund, we're investing in innovation today to create the jobs of tomorrow." – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development "Innovative companies such as Coulson Aircrane are a key part of our government's plan to grow the economy and create well-paying middle-class jobs for British Columbians. As a world leader in aerial firefighting, Coulson is a testament to the kind of quality work that this region is capable of—and the quality talent that is right here in British Columbia. The development of this innovative technology will better protect our forests from wildfire damage and increase efficiency by providing the ability to deliver both fire retardant and fire-fighting personnel at the same time. This is a great demonstration of how Canada can lead in the technology economy.." – The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement "Coulson Aviation is appreciative of Minister Qualtrough's announcement of Government of Canada support for innovation in Canada. This investment has been instrumental in our company's conversion of airliners into tankers for fighting fires as well as carrying passengers. Extensive aircraft modifications took place here at the Port Alberni airport, involving 140,000 hours of work in the community. We are proud that the newly completed air tankers will begin fighting forest fires globally this fall and that we are currently converting another airliner." – Wayne Coulson, CEO, Coulson Group Quick facts Coulson Aircrane is a family-owned company and a key player in the aerial firefighting business. The company works with firefighting agencies in Canada, the United States and Australia. Canada's aerospace industry includes 700 firms, directly contributes close to $12.6 billion in GDP to Canada'seconomy and employs more than 85,000 Canadians. The Strategic Innovation Fund is a flexible program that reflects the diversity of innovation in all sectors of the economy. In addition to the Strategic Innovation Fund, there are hundreds of programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada's economy. With a simple, story-based user interface, the Innovation Canadaplatform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes. Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada For further information: Nilani Logeswaran, A/Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, 613-668-1794; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 343-291-1777,

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - October 11, 2018

    October 12, 2018 | Aerospace, Land, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - October 11, 2018

    ARMY L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Mississippi (W58RGZ-18-D-0008); AAR Supply Chain Inc., Wood Dale, Illinois (W58RGZ-18-D-0030); Dyncorp International Inc., Fort Worth, Texas (W58RGZ-18-D-0031); Arma Aviation Corp., Tampa, Florida (W58RGZ-18-D-0032); North American Surveillance Systems Inc.,* Titusville, Florida (W58RGZ-18-D-0033); Pinnacle Solutions Inc.,* Huntsville, Alabama (W58RGZ-18-D-0034); Black Hall Aerospace Inc.,* Huntsville, Alabama (W58RGZ-19-D-0008); and Leidos Innovations Corp., Gaithersburg, Maryland (W58RGZ-19-D-0009), will share in a $25,500,000,000 cost, cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for worldwide logistics support services. Bids were solicited via the internet with 10 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 11, 2028. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. AECOM Technical Services Inc., Los Angeles, California (W912DQ-19-D-3001); Black & Veatch - Geosyntec JV, Overland Park, Kansas (W912DQ-19-D-3002); and Ecology and Environment Inc., Lancaster, New York (W912DQ-19-D-3003), will share in a $120,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for multiple environmental government acquisition unrestricted architect-engineer services. Bids were solicited via the internet with 11 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 10, 2023. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City, Missouri, is the contracting activity. L-3 Communications Corp., Muskegon, Michigan, was awarded a $29,937,585 modification (P00061) to contract W56HZV-15-C-0119 for hydro mechanically propelled transmissions for the Integrated Logistics Support Center. Work will be performed in Muskegon, Michigan, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 11, 2018. Fiscal 2019 Army working capital funds in the amount of $29,937,585 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity. AIR FORCE Rolls-Royce North American Technologies-LibertyWorks, Indianapolis, Indiana, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $100,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract (FA8650-19-D-2063) for Advanced Turbine Technologies for Affordable Mission-Capability (ATTAM) Phase I. The mission of the ATTAM Phase I program is to develop, demonstrate, and transition advanced turbine propulsion, power and thermal technologies that provides improvement in affordable mission capability. This approach extends to a range of legacy, emerging, and future military propulsion, power and thermal technology needs in multiple applications. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is expected to be completed by October 2026. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and 54 offers were received. No specific funds are obligated on the basic IDIQ, although in conjunction with the basic IDIQ award, the first task order (FA8650-19-F-2078) is incrementally funded with fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $17,000 at time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Marketing Assessment Inc., Sterling, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $48,125,000 firm-fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for medical equipment. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. This was a competitive acquisition with 20 responses received. Location of performance is Virginia, with an Oct. 10, 2023, performance completion date. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE2D1-19-D-0002). Goodrich Corp., Rome, New York, has been awarded a maximum $11,098,944 firm‐fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite‐quantity contract for tail rotor shaft assemblies. 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 New York, with a Sept. 30, 2023, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2018 through 2023 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama (SPRRA1-18-D-0231). Timken Aerospace Drive Systems LLC, Manchester, Connecticut, has been awarded a maximum $7,240,500 firm-fixed-price contract for aircraft gearbox assemblies. This was a limited competitive acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1 (a)(2), with one offer received. This is a one-time buy with no option periods. Location of performance is Connecticut, with a May 30, 2021, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama (SPRRA1-19-C-0001). *Small Business

  • The answer to battlefield logistics problems could be IoT

    October 12, 2018 | International, Land, C4ISR

    The answer to battlefield logistics problems could be IoT

    By: Adam Stone A world of interconnected everything is just around the corner, and the military wants a piece of the action. Global investment in the Internet of Things, or IoT, will top $15 trillion by 2025, according to analysts at Business Insider. The Defense Logistics Agency estimates more than 20 billion IoT devices will be in use by 2020 in homes, businesses and government, and the agency sees a military opportunity in this coming wave of connected devices. “IoT is not just hardware for the sake of hardware, It's a way to capture more data, and we can have an enormous number of potential uses for that,” said Air Force Maj Ricky Dickens, deputy program manager for the Distribution Modernization Program (DMP) at the Defense Logistics Agency. The modernization program is looking to leverage IoT in support of warfighter needs. Tagging everything From a logistics perspective, IoT offers the possibility of giving planners deeper, more consistent insight into the location of needed equipment and supplies. It starts with an effort to deploy electronic tags to make materials on the move more readily visible to automated tracking. “We are look at passive RFID tags and bluetooth tags, different technologies that can give us better visibility on our material as they make their way through our facilities and our processes,” Dickens said. Such a capability speaks directly to issues of force readiness. “We are looking to tag commonly used equipment like forklifts. If management could see that they had four forklifts in the building, they could bring two back over here in order to better manage their resources,” Dickens said. IoT-based tracking could help the military to better manage the flow of the tens of thousands of items – from guns to tanks to uniforms – that are in transit daily among forces positioned around the globe. “As material goes through our facilities we want to see where things are bottling up, where there are process chokepoints and inefficiencies that can eliminate,” Dickens said. “You can see where your faster-moving items are and where your slower-moving items are. You can do efficiency studies to see time for moving material based on where it is located in the warehouse and then you can make better decisions about how things are distributed in your facilities.” Watching industry As DLA looks to IoT to enhance logistics, the military is takings its cues from the private sector. Analysts at Market Research Engine expect the market for logistics-related IoT to be worth $10 billion by 2022. Ahead of retail, automotive and healthcare, the analysts identify aerospace and defense as the top emerging end-user of these capabilities. “What's exciting in industry is that they already have this base of IoT and equipment providing more data. The analysis they can do is astounding,” Dickens said. “Some industries are using artificial intelligence to network with this data to see underlying information that isn't readily available, and some of the outcomes have been game-changers for industry.” DLA's own early implementations include pilot projects slated to deploy soon at Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas and at Anniston Army Depot in Bynum, Alabama. “We are going to roll out a real-time location system to be able to provide more visibility into the materials stored at those locations,” Dickens said. At Anniston the system will be used to track a vast inventory of small arms, while at Red River the system will be used to help manage outdoor vehicle storage. “There are tens of thousands of vehicles there over multiple square miles,” Dickens said. As DLA implements an IoT approach over the coming months, facility operators should gain a much finer-grain view of that operation. In the long term, DLA officials say they would like to incorporate some 12,000 commercial suppliers into their IoT-based approach, covering everything “from windows to bolts to air compressors,” Dickens said. Whether, or when, that will happen depends largely on the shifting price of these emerging technologies. “We need to see the pricing curve come down. There is a lot of technology out there but right now it can be very expensive, especially when you consider the scale of DoD operations: We manage 6 million line-items,” Dickens said. “There will have to be a business-case analysis so we are not putting $10 sensors on 5 cent bolts.”

  • To up fighter readiness levels, Pentagon looks to retire older planes and fix supply chains

    October 12, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    To up fighter readiness levels, Pentagon looks to retire older planes and fix supply chains

    By: Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — With Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis issuing new guidancedemanding readiness for tactical air assets increase in just one year, the Pentagon is openly acknowledging that older planes will have to be retired and cannibalized for parts to make it happen. The department will also look to overhaul how it handles its supply chain, according to the department's No. 2 official. In a September memo, first reported by Defense News, Mattis ordered the Air Force, Navy and Marines to get the Pentagon's fleets of F-16, F-18, F-22 and F-35 fighters to a minimum of 80 percent mission ready. That would represent a major jump in readiness over a short period of time, raising skepticism amongst analysts. From a pure numbers-on-paper standpoint, the easiest way for getting readiness rates up on the fleet would involve retiring older, less ready aircraft — essentially increasing the percentage of good-to-go planes by reducing the overall size of the fleets. Such a move may not be popular on the Hill, which routinely complains about the size of the military compared with previous eras. But it's a logical step being endorsed by both Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps chief of staff. “You gotta get rid of airplanes. At some point, you gotta get rid of the old ones,” Neller told reporters Wednesday at a Defense Writer's Group event, when asked how he would hit that 80 percent mark. Neller added that such a move has to be part of a broader spectrum of moves, including better quality parts from vendors, being more efficient with maintainers, and adjusting the flying hours for pilots to make sure the wings aren't being worn off on jets. “It's not going to be a single thing, so we've got to do our part,” he added. Speaking to reporters at the AUSA conference the same day, Shanahan seemed to zero in on the oldest Navy jets as ones that could be retired. “Well, when you look at the size of the fleet of the F-18s, you got [F-18A models] out there, then you look at what it would take to restore them to a certain level of readiness, you might say it's much easier just to retire those,” he said. “So, I mean, there's a mix of answers.” “It probably doesn't make sense to generate a lot of activity to make something that is older more reliable, but when you think about the joint strike fighter and the hundreds of those that we're going to take, 80 percent should be the minimum, OK? It shouldn't be some aspirational goal, it should be the minimum.” However, he pushed back at the idea that anyone will “game the system” to get those readiness percentages up. Commercial practices In the memo, Mattis specifically notes the commercial aviation industry is able to maintain higher readiness rates and directs the service to look that way for inspiration. “I am confident in our department's ability to generate additional capacity from our current aircraft inventory, alongside the commercial aviation industry's sustainment of high availability rates,” Mattis wrote. “As we seek to achieve our goals, we can learn from industry's benchmarks for measuring speed, cost and mission capability, as well as its best practices for implementing a sustainable, Department-wide system.” Shanahan, who will be the overall leader of the readiness rate improvement efforts, is a longtime Boeing executive who worked directly on a number of commercial jet production programs. And to him, there are absolutely lessons that can be drawn from passenger aviation. “A jet engine is a jet engine; no one will convince me otherwise,” he said. “I've lived in both worlds, I've been on more airplanes than anybody in the United States, I know these things, OK?” The deputy said his focus was on helping the service develop “methods, systems and practices” that will lead to systemic changes in how maintenance is done and provide dividends for years to come. “When you look at the F-18s, this is the same size of fleet as Southwest has. It's not a super-large fleet, they're all basically the same,” Shanahan noted. “So how do we put in place, you know, the support practices and the parts so that people aren't working as hard?” The need to keep part quality and quantity up were on display just a day after Shanahan and Neller's comments. On Thursday, the Pentagon ordered a temporary stop to flying the F-35 as it investigated a fuel tube inside the engines of the fleet. That same day, an F-22 crashed on its side following a landing gear malfunction. During his talk with reporters, the Navy was singled out as already having committed to improving their methodologies. And he called out the need to “restructure” how both the Navy and Air Force handle their supply chains — something he said will ultimately bleed over into maintenance beyond the four selected jet fleets. “The real end game to me is as a department, how do we end up with a single sustainment system? And what was good about this is that once you get the F-18 right, it spills over into the P-8, because they're side-by-side, so [the P-8 maintainers] going to be like, ‘Those guys, they're working a lot less hard than we are and they're getting much better results, why don't we just do it that way?' “And then as people see the methods they apply to shipbuilding or ship maintenance,” he added. Shawn Snow of Marine Corps Times contributed to this report.

  • All US F-35s grounded worldwide

    October 12, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    All US F-35s grounded worldwide

    By: Tara Copp and Shawn Snow The Pentagon announced Thursday it is grounding its entire fleet of F-35s, just days after the first crash of an F-35B led investigators to suspect there is a widespread problem with the advanced fighter's fuel tubes. “The U.S. Services and international partners have temporarily suspended F-35 flight operations while the enterprise conducts a fleet-wide inspection of a fuel tube within the engine on all F-35 aircraft,” the F-35 Joint Program Office announced in a statement Thursday morning. “If suspect fuel tubes are installed, the part will be removed and replaced. If known good fuel tubes are already installed, then those aircraft will be returned to flight status. Inspections are expected to be completed within the next 24 to 48 hours.” The office said the grounding “is driven from initial data from the ongoing investigation of the F-35B that crashed in the vicinity of Beaufort, South Carolina on 28 September. The aircraft mishap board is continuing its work and the U.S. Marine Corps will provide additional information when it becomes available.” In the Sept. 28 crash in South Carolina near the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the pilot safely ejected from the aircraft, which belonged to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, known as the “Warlords.” While the F-35′s U.S-based Joint Program Office had indicated that the grounding included aircraft purchased by foreign militaries, the British military signaled Monday that its entire fleet is not grounded. The F-35 Joint Program Office has said safety is a top priority. “The primary goal following any mishap is the prevention of future incidents. We will take every measure to ensure safe operations while we deliver, sustain and modernize the F-35 for the warfighter and our defense partners.” The U.S. grounding comes after the Pentagon announced that a Marine Corps F-35B conducted the platform's first-ever combat mission on Sept. 27. The Marine Corps' aircraft launched from the amphibious warship Essex, striking targets in Afghanistan. In April, a Marine Corps F-35B out the Marine Corps air station at Cherry Point, North Carolina, was forced to make an emergency landing when the aircraft fuel light came on. The grounding news also comes two days after Defense News reported that Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has ordered the military services to get readiness rates on four planes, including the F-35, up above 80 percent by next September. According to data for fiscal year 2017, the most recent available, the Air Force's F-35A models had around a 55 percent readiness rate, well below that target. Although the Marine Corps is the first U.S. service to fly its joint strike fighters in combat, the aircraft has been used by the Israeli air force to strike targets. In May, Israel Defense Forces officials confirmed that the country's F-35 “Adir” fighters had seen combat in two airstrikes somewhere in the Middle East. The Marine Corps declared the F-35B operational in 2015, becoming the first service to integrate the joint strike fighter into its fleet. The Air Force followed by declaring initial operational capability for the F-35A conventional variant in 2016, while the Navy plans to declare initial operational capability for the F-35C carrier variant in February 2019. The F-35 joint strike fighter is the most expensive program in the Pentagon's history. Currently, the U.S. military has purchased 245 aircraft from Lockheed Martin. The Air Force has 156, the Marine Corps has 61 and the Navy has 28, according to data provided by the joint program office. The U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps plan to buy a total of 2,456 F-35s, at an estimated cost of $325 billion. In total, the aircraft program is projected to cost about $1 trillion to develop, produce, field and sustain over its lifetime, according to the Government Accountability Office. The F-35B is the short takeoff, vertical landing variant of the aircraft, which allows the pilot to hover and land vertically like a helicopter — a necessity for the Marines, which typically operate from amphibious ships with smaller decks than aircraft carriers. Because the problem is related to a fleetwide engine issue, rather than just in the F-35B models, it appears unlikely that the problem is unrelated to the short-takeoff and vertical-landing capabilities of the Marine's design. The issue as described by the JPO indicates the issue is believed to come from a subcontractor who supplied the fuel tubes for engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. A spokesman for the F-35s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, said Thursday morning that industry partners were working with the F-35's Joint Program Office to investigate the problems. "We are actively partnering with the Pentagon's F-35 Joint Program Office, our global customers and Pratt & Whitney to support the resolution of this issue and limit disruption to the fleet,” said Friedman, Michael, the spokesman for Lockheed. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has projected a total lifetime cost of $1 trillion for the program. F-35s have already been delivered to the United Kingdom, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Norway. This story is developing and will be updated. Defense News staff writers Aaron Mehta and Valerie Insinna contributed to this report.

  • Purchase of three spy planes from the U.S. could cost Canada $140 million more than planned

    October 11, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    Purchase of three spy planes from the U.S. could cost Canada $140 million more than planned

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Canadian companies had wanted to provide the aircraft, but the Canadian military decided it needed the planes quicker than they believed Canadian firms could deliver The cost of three small surveillance aircraft Canada is buying from the U.S. could be $140 million more than the Canadian military had originally estimated. The three Beechcraft King Air planes, to be based at CFB Trenton in Ontario, will be outfitted with sensors and equipment to intercept cell phone and other electronic transmissions. Canadian special forces and, potentially, other government departments will use them for missions overseas and in Canada. On Oct. 1 the Canadian Forces told Postmedia the three outfitted planes and initial in-service support would cost between $100 million and $249 million, as outlined in the Liberal government's defence policy documents. However, on Oct. 4 the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency revealed the final tally, informing Congress that the deal was underway with an estimated cost of US $300 million — around $389 million. Canadian companies had wanted to provide the aircraft and on-board equipment, and several have formed alliances with U.S. firms who supply the Pentagon with the same or similar aircraft. But the Canadian military decided it needed the planes more quickly than they believed Canadian companies could deliver, and that U.S. security regulations governing the on-board sensor equipment might cause delays. As a result, it determined the U.S. government was the only supplier capable of providing the planes. The Canadian Forces says it hopes to get a better deal. The cost the U.S. government agency presented to Congress is not the final tally and the “final cost is anticipated to be much lower,” the Canadian Forces claimed in an email. “Over the coming months, we will work to more clearly define our interests and requirements for the purchase, and negotiate an acceptable price with the U.S.,” the email said. Department of National Defence spokeswoman Ashley Lemire said in an email to Postmedia that the delivery of the first plane would take place sometime between 2020 and 2021. The final delivery of the three aircraft would be wrapped up by 2022. The main contractor is Beechcraft in Wichita, Kan. The Canadian government will run a separate program to allow companies to compete to provide in-service support for the planes. The government expects to ask for bids for that 20-year contract sometime in the spring of 2019, said Lemire. DND declined to provide an estimate of what that long-term support would cost taxpayers. Industry representatives have complained over the years that the Canadian Forces cut domestic firms out of the project and reduced the role they could play. Lemire rejected that claim, saying Canadian firms would have a role in servicing the planes.

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