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  • Federal bureaucrats considering proposal to award Irving contracts for more Arctic coast guard ships

    May 9, 2019 | Local, Naval

    Federal bureaucrats considering proposal to award Irving contracts for more Arctic coast guard ships

    David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen Federal officials are setting the stage to award Irving Shipbuilding contracts to build two more Arctic and offshore patrol ships but the vessels will be delivered to the Canadian Coast Guard instead of the navy. Irving has been warning the Liberal government it might have to lay off employees at its Halifax shipyard if it doesn't get more shipbuilding work. Industry and defence sources say to deal with that issue a proposal is being put together that would see the construction of two more Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, known as AOPS. Irving is currently building six AOPS for the Royal Canadian Navy. But under this new plan, described by government officials as being at a “pre-decision” level, the vessels would be turned over to the coast guard. The additional ships would help head off any layoffs at Irving and allow the Liberal government to head into the federal election in the fall claiming it was delivering on its promise to rebuild the coast guard. The Liberals have yet to sign off on the plan, the sources added. Ashley Michnowski, a spokeswoman for Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough, said the national shipbuilding strategy or NSS is designed as a “made-in-Canada plan” to meet federal shipbuilding requirements. “Additional AOPS are currently not included in the NSS,” she added. Irving Shipbuilding did not respond to a request for comment. The NSS was supposed to prevent the boom and bust in the country's shipbuilding industry by providing Seaspan on the West Coast and Irving on the East Coast with continual work. But that hasn't happened. Even though the government is proceeding with the ships outlined in the NSS, both Seaspan and Irving have complained they might have to let employees go because of gaps in construction schedules. Irving has said it needs addition work to deal with a downturn that comes after the end of construction of AOPS and the start of work on a new fleet of surface combatant ships. The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships project was for the construction of five vessels. A sixth ship would be built only if Irving could find savings in the construction process, according to the federal government. That, however, didn't happen. In November the Liberal government announced it would award Irving a contract for a sixth AOPS as part of its efforts to stop layoffs. That $800-million initiative is double the usual cost of a single AOPS as there are hefty fees associated with stretching out the production of the fleet. It is unclear how much extra a plan to build two more AOPS would cost. If the plan does proceed there would have to be changes made to the design of the ship as the AOPS are outfitted with weapons and a combat management system for the navy. The AOPS program has made headlines over the years. The first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship was supposed to be delivered in 2013 but the program has faced delays, and it is now expected to be delivered to the navy this summer. In March, Postmedia sent Procurement Canada questions about potential issues with welds on the ships. But the department immediately warned Irving that the news organization was asking questions. Department officials also provided Irving with personal information about the journalist inquiring about the welds. Procurement Canada never did answer the questions but a short time later Irving Shipbuilding threatened a lawsuit against Postmedia if an article was published claiming there were substantial problems with welds on the ships. The Department of National Defence later confirmed to the news chain there were issues with welds but they were minor. https://nationalpost.com/news/federal-bureaucrats-considering-proposal-to-award-irving-contracts-for-more-arctic-coast-guard-ships

  • DARPA: Training AI to Win a Dogfight

    May 9, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Other Defence

    DARPA: Training AI to Win a Dogfight

    Artificial intelligence has defeated chess grandmasters, Go champions, professional poker players, and, now, world-class human experts in the online strategy games Dota 2 and StarCraft II. No AI currently exists, however, that can outduel a human strapped into a fighter jet in a high-speed, high-G dogfight. As modern warfare evolves to incorporate more human-machine teaming, DARPA seeks to automate air-to-air combat, enabling reaction times at machine speeds and freeing pilots to concentrate on the larger air battle. Turning aerial dogfighting over to AI is less about dogfighting, which should be rare in the future, and more about giving pilots the confidence that AI and automation can handle a high-end fight. As soon as new human fighter pilots learn to take-off, navigate, and land, they are taught aerial combat maneuvers. Contrary to popular belief, new fighter pilots learn to dogfight because it represents a crucible where pilot performance and trust can be refined. To accelerate the transformation of pilots from aircraft operators to mission battle commanders — who can entrust dynamic air combat tasks to unmanned, semi-autonomous airborne assets from the cockpit — the AI must first prove it can handle the basics. To pursue this vision, DARPA created the Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program. ACE aims to increase warfighter trust in autonomous combat technology by using human-machine collaborative dogfighting as its initial challenge scenario. DARPA will hold a Proposers Day for interested researchers on May 17, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia. “Being able to trust autonomy is critical as we move toward a future of warfare involving manned platforms fighting alongside unmanned systems,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Javorsek (Ph.D.), ACE program manager in DARPA's Strategic Technology Office (STO). “We envision a future in which AI handles the split-second maneuvering during within-visual-range dogfights, keeping pilots safer and more effective as they orchestrate large numbers of unmanned systems into a web of overwhelming combat effects.” ACE is one of several STO programs designed to enable DARPA's “mosaic warfare” vision. Mosaic warfare shifts warfighting concepts away from a primary emphasis on highly capable manned systems — with their high costs and lengthy development timelines — to a mix of manned and less-expensive unmanned systems that can be rapidly developed, fielded, and upgraded with the latest technology to address changing threats. Linking together manned aircraft with significantly cheaper unmanned systems creates a “mosaic” where the individual “pieces” can easily be recomposed to create different effects or quickly replaced if destroyed, resulting in a more resilient warfighting capability. The ACE program will train AI in the rules of aerial dogfighting similar to how new fighter pilots are taught, starting with basic fighter maneuvers in simple, one-on-one scenarios. While highly nonlinear in behavior, dogfights have a clearly defined objective, measureable outcome, and the inherent physical limitations of aircraft dynamics, making them a good test case for advanced tactical automation. Like human pilot combat training, the AI performance expansion will be closely monitored by fighter instructor pilots in the autonomous aircraft, which will help co-evolve tactics with the technology. These subject matter experts will play a key role throughout the program. “Only after human pilots are confident that the AI algorithms are trustworthy in handling bounded, transparent and predictable behaviors will the aerial engagement scenarios increase in difficulty and realism,” Javorsek said. “Following virtual testing, we plan to demonstrate the dogfighting algorithms on sub-scale aircraft leading ultimately to live, full-scale manned-unmanned team dogfighting with operationally representative aircraft.” DARPA seeks a broad spectrum of potential proposers for each area of study, including small companies and academics with little previous experience with the Defense Department. To that end, before Phase 1 of the program begins, DARPA will sponsor a stand-alone, limited-scope effort focused on the first technical area: automating individual tactical behavior for one-on-one dogfights. Called the “AlphaDogfight Trials,” this initial solicitation will be issued by AFWERX, an Air Force innovation catalyst with the mission of finding novel solutions to Air Force challenges at startup speed. The AFWERX trials will pit AI dogfighting algorithms against each other in a tournament-style competition. “Through the AFWERX trials, we intend to tap the top algorithm developers in the air combat simulation and gaming communities,” Javorsek said. “We want them to help lay the foundational AI elements for dogfights, on which we can build as the program progresses.” AFWERX will announce the trials in the near future on its website: https://www.afwerx.af.mil/. For ACE Proposers Day registration details, please visit: https://go.usa.gov/xmnMn https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2019-05-08

  • The US military’s logistical train is slowly snaking toward China

    May 9, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval

    The US military’s logistical train is slowly snaking toward China

    By: Kyle Rempfer A failed Venezuela coup, Iranian missiles and Russian hybrid warfare make for interesting side stories, but the center of military policy is increasingly gravitating toward U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, according to U.S. government officials. If anything, the challenge is how to quicken the pace because the logistical tail of warfare takes time to put in place and because the Pacific theater is one of the most difficult environments for moving supplies. “If there's a challenge, it's moving enough focus and enough direction from everything else we're doing towards the Pacific," said Joel Szabat, the assistant secretary for international affairs within the Department of Transportation. Szabat, whose department deals with U.S. military logistics in wartime, said the center of gravity has shifted so much toward the Asia-Pacific region that even a major crisis on par with 9/11 won't derail the change. “I don't see, in the near term at least, things that would have us pull back,” Szabat said. But he warned that new lines of effort must be implemented if that shift is to be sustainable during a war with the region's biggest player — China. The baggage train challenge The Department of Transportation is the coordinating arm for civilian airlift and sealift capacity in peacetime and wartime. But the sealift fleet is old and in need of recapitalization. The size of the fleet is also too small to support the long logistical train required in a Pacific-based conflict, and the ships that do exist are poorly positioned across the operating area and would lack armed escorts in the event of a conflict, according to Szabat. “For small or moderate-scale warfare exercises, it's adequate," Szabat said. “For the maximum deployment that our military is built for ... it is not adequate to move and sustain. We don't have the mariners. We don't have the U.S. flagged Merchant Marine that we need for that purpose.” The Marine Corps represents a large component of the military force that would need to be delivered in the event of a war. “There are 40,000 Marines at any one time that are moving around the world, and 23,000 of those are west of the international date line, so they're in the Pacific,” said Gayle Von Eckartsberg, policy director at Headquarters Marine Corps' Pacific Division. “And then you have your Marines in Hawaii, and that brings that number to over 30,000. And the rest are distributed across other places in the world.” "The Marine Corps' natural environment is the Asia-Pacific region, and I think we're uniquely capable of operating effectively [there],” she added. The Corps is posturing to act as the inside force of the region, as it practices littoral operations in contested environments and expeditionary base operations from deep in the Pacific. “We're today engaged in aggressive war gaming, training and exercises to test out and refine these concepts,” Von Eckartsberg said. “We're going to hug the enemy and we're going to be there first, operate at this level below armed conflict.” But there remains an “enduring gap in lift capability," Von Eckartsberg acknowledged. No armed escorts The Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration is responsible for managing much of the Navy's sealift capability that would be responsible for delivering Marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen and their equipment into a war. If there was a conflict with China, Szabat said, there is a high degree of confidence that the Navy, with the use of pre-positioned vessels, will be able to move the initial salvo of personnel and equipment quickly into the area of operations. “But sustaining a battle means getting supplies and getting the remainder of your forces from [the continental United States] to wherever the battle is,” Szabat said, adding that the fleet for this isn't currently in place. After the initial war push, 90 percent of logistics would move via civilian vessels and aircraft, according to Szabat. Those civilian assets will need armed escorts at sea, but the Navy has no dedicated escort vessels for the Merchant Marine fleet, he added. “I used to serve in the European theater. That was a challenge. But crossing the Pacific is four times as difficult in terms of logistics and supplies," Szabat said. “We are not able to move our logistics according to war plans unless we have cooperation from our allies.” That presents a unique challenge altogether. The biggest change to U.S. policy in the region has been an increased reliance on allies to accomplish missions and long-term goals, and one would assume that the goal is for them to pick up some of the logistical burden. “But by statute, and national security presidential directive, we are supposed to be able to provide sealift with U.S. ships and U.S. mariners without relying on allies," Szabat said. "We can't do that unless we have the escorts.” However, allies and partnerships still play an important role. China's growth is followed closely by that of U.S. ally India. U.S. Pacific Command understands the power dynamics between India and China, which is part of why it renamed itself U.S. Indo-Pacific Command last year, according to Deputy Assistant Secretary Walter Douglas, who leads the U.S. State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. “Bringing the countries of South Asia in is absolutely crucial to what we do,” he said. “India is very much a partner in everything that we do and is central in the Indo-Pacific as we move forward." Allies, while unable to provide sealift under current war plans, remain crucial to U.S. efforts to counter China. The U.S. is helping train naval forces for countries like Vietnam; promising to defend the territorial integrity of countries like Japan and the Philippines; performing freedom of navigation patrols through contested waterways; and courting new allies like the small Pacific island nations in Oceania. “I expect that to continue," Douglas said. "I never want to promise resources until they're delivered, but I think the indications are pretty good that we're going to be doing more.” https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2019/05/08/the-us-militarys-logistical-train-is-slowly-snaking-toward-china

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - May 8, 2019

    May 9, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - May 8, 2019

    ARMY BFBC, Bozeman, Montana (W9126G-19-D-0018); Texas Sterling Construction Co., Houston, Texas (W9126G-19-D-0019); Bristol Construction Services LLC,* Anchorage, Alaska (W9126G-19-D-0023); Burgos Group LLC,* Albuquerque, New Mexico (W9126G-19-D-0026); Gibraltar-Caddell JV, Montgomery, Alabama (W9126G-19-D-0022); Fisher Sand & Gravel, Dickinson, North Dakota (W9126G-19-D-0027); Southwest Valley Constructors Co., Albuquerque, New Mexico (W9126G-19-D-0017); Randy Kinder Excavating Inc.,* Dexter, Missouri (W9126G-19-D-0024); Martin Brothers Construction,* Sacramento, California (W9126G-19-D-0028); SLSCO Ltd., Galveston, Texas (W9126G-19-D-0021); Posillico Civil Inc. Coastal Environmental Group Inc., Farmingdale, New York (W9126G-19-D-0020); and CJW JV, Santa Ana, California (W9126G-19-D-0025), will compete for each order of the $5,000,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for design-build, design-bid-build horizontal construction task orders in support of the Department of Homeland Security San Diego, El Centro, Yuma and Tucson Border Patrol sectors, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South-Western Division and South Pacific Division. Bids were solicited via the internet with 38 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of May 7, 2024. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity. Science and Engineering Services LLC,* Huntsville, Alabama (W58RGZ-19-D-0045); Y-Tech Services Inc.,* Huntsville, Alabama (W58RGZ-19-D-0046); and Tyonek Worldwide Services Inc.,* Madison, Alabama (W58RGZ-19-D-0047), will compete for each order of the $2,440,000,000 hybrid (cost, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-plus-incentive-fee, and firm-fixed-price) contract to provide modifications to aviation systems. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of May 3, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. Ashridge Inc.,* St. Stephen, South Carolina, was awarded a $16,951,622 firm-fixed-price contract for the Savannah Harbor oysterbed revetment repair, rock along the shoreline to prevent erosion, repairing the boat dock, and repairing the barge dock. Bids were solicited via the internet with eight received. Work will be performed in Hardeeville, South Carolina, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 29, 2020. Fiscal 2018 civil works; and operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $16,951,622 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah, Georgia, is the contracting activity (W912HN-19-C-5003). Southeast Cherokee Construction Inc.,* Montgomery, Alabama, was awarded a $13,341,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Judge Advocate General School expansion. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Montgomery, Alabama, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 20, 2020. Fiscal 2017 military construction funds in the amount of $13,341,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W91278-19-C-0017). NAVY ICF Inc. LLC, Fairfax, Virginia, is awarded a $330,714,321 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for professional technical and management support services to establish and maintain cyberspace operations and enable product lines, programs and projects to include interoperability of systems, services and capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. This is one of nine multiple award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes two two-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $802,045,896. All work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed May 6, 2022. If all options are exercised, the period of performance would extend through May 6, 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy); other procurement (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); and potential other funding to include Defense Working Capital Fund and Foreign Military Sales funding. This contract was competitively procured via request for proposal N66001-18-R-0001 which was published on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website. Eighteen offers were received and nine were selected for award. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-19-D-3409). Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, is being awarded a $304,326,147 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for professional technical and management support services to establish and maintain cyberspace operations and enable product lines, programs and projects to include interoperability of systems, services and capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. This is one of nine multiple award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes two two-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $741,278,402. All work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed May 6, 2022. If all options are exercised, the period of performance would extend through May 6, 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy); other procurement (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); and potential other funding to include Defense Working Capital Fund and Foreign Military Sales funding. This contract was competitively procured via request for proposal N66001-18-R-0001 which was published on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website. Eighteen offers were received and nine were selected for award. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-19-D-3410). Perspecta Engineering Inc., Chantilly, Virginia, is awarded a $303,565,184 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for professional technical and management support services to establish and maintain cyberspace operations and enable product lines, programs and projects to include interoperability of systems, services and capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. This is one of nine multiple award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes two two-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $739,941,512. All work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed May 6, 2022. If all options are exercised, the period of performance would extend through May 6, 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy); other procurement (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); and potential other funding to include Defense Working Capital Fund and Foreign Military Sales funding. This contract was competitively procured via request for proposal N66001-18-R-0001 which was published on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website. Eighteen offers were received and nine were selected for award. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-19-D-3415). Parsons Government Services Inc., Pasadena, California, is awarded a $293,786,547 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for professional technical and management support services to establish and maintain cyberspace operations and enable product lines, programs and projects to include interoperability of systems, services and capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. This is one of nine multiple award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes two two-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $710,979,159. All work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed May 6, 2022. If all options are exercised, the period of performance would extend through May 6, 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy); other procurement (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); and potential other funding to include Defense Working Capital Fund and Foreign Military Sales funding. This contract was competitively procured via request for proposal N66001-18-R-0001 which was published on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website. Eighteen offers were received and nine were selected for award. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-19-D-3412). BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland, is awarded a $276,573,342 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for professional technical and management support services to establish and maintain cyberspace operations and enable product lines, programs and projects to include interoperability of systems, services and capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. This is one of nine multiple award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes two two-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $677,769,136. All work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed May 6, 2022. If all options are exercised, the period of performance would extend through May 6, 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy); other procurement (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); and potential other funding to include Defense Working Capital Fund and Foreign Military Sales funding. This contract was competitively procured via request for proposal N66001-18-R-0001 which was published on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website. Eighteen offers were received and nine were selected for award. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-19-D-3407). Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia, is awarded a $273,941,498 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for professional technical and management support services to establish and maintain cyberspace operations and enable product lines, programs and projects to include interoperability of systems, services and capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. This is one of nine multiple award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes two two-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $672,034,026. All work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed May 6, 2022. If all options are exercised, the period of performance would extend through May 6, 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy); other procurement (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); and potential other funding to include Defense Working Capital Fund and Foreign Military Sales funding. This contract was competitively procured via request for proposal N66001-18-R-0001 which was published on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website. Eighteen offers were received and nine were selected for award. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-19-D-3408). Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Herndon, Virginia, is awarded a $273,242,902 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for professional technical and management support services to establish and maintain cyberspace operations and enable product lines, programs and projects to include interoperability of systems, services and capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. This is one of nine multiple award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes two two-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $673,172,297. All work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed May 6, 2022. If all options are exercised, the period of performance would extend through May 6, 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy); other procurement (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); and potential other funding to include Defense Working Capital Fund and Foreign Military Sales funding. This contract was competitively procured via request for proposal N66001-18-R-0001 which was published on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website. Eighteen offers were received and nine were selected for award. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-19-D-3411). Scientific Research Corp., Atlanta, Georgia, is awarded a $240,305,587 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for professional technical and management support services to establish and maintain cyberspace operations and enable product lines, programs and projects to include interoperability of systems, services and capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. This is one of nine multiple award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes two two-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $577,918,499. All work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed May 6, 2022. If all options are exercised, the period of performance would extend through May 6, 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy); other procurement (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); and potential other funding to include Defense Working Capital Fund and Foreign Military Sales funding. This contract was competitively procured via request for proposal N66001-18-R-0001 which was published on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website. Eighteen offers were received and nine were selected for award. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-19-D-3414). Science Applications International Corp., Reston, Virginia, is awarded a $234,743,621 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for professional technical and management support services to establish and maintain cyberspace operations and enable product lines, programs and projects to include interoperability of systems, services and capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. This is one of nine multiple award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes two two-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $569,177,650. All work will be performed in San Diego, California, and work is expected to be completed May 6, 2022. If all options are exercised, the period of performance would extend through May 6, 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy); other procurement (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); and potential other funding to include Defense Working Capital Fund and Foreign Military Sales funding. This contract was competitively procured via request for proposal N66001-18-R-0001 which was published on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website. Eighteen offers were received and nine were selected for award. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-19-D-3413). Raytheon Co., Largo, Florida, is awarded a $15,267,422 cost-plus-incentive-fee, firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost-only contract for design agent and engineering services efforts to support the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC). The CEC program provides a sensor network with integrated fire control capability that significantly improves strike force air and missile defense capabilities by coordinating measurement data from strike force air search sensors on CEC-equipped units into a single, integrated real-time, composite track air picture. CEC improves battle force effectiveness by improving overall situational awareness and by enabling longer range, cooperative, multiple, or layered engagement strategies. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $279,340,117. Work will be performed in St. Petersburg, Florida (95 percent); and Largo, Florida (5 percent), and is expected to be complete by September 2022. If all options are exercised, work will continue through April 2024. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $8,009,206 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-19-C-5200). Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Aerospace Systems, Melbourne, Florida, is awarded $15,264,314 for modification P00025 to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-14-C-0036). This modification increases the ceiling and period of performance of the contract. In addition, this modification increases the full-scale fatigue repair time on contract to achieve the required simulated flight hours. Work will be performed in El Segundo, California (59 percent); Melbourne, Florida (35 percent); and Bethpage, New York (6 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2022. No funds will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. L3 Technologies Inc., doing business as L3 KEO, Northampton, Massachusetts, is awarded a $14,110,638 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-16-C-5366 for MK 20 MOD 1 Electro-Optical Sensor Systems, radar cross section kits, shock ring kits, engineering support services, and spares for both the Navy and Coast Guard. The MK 20 Electro-Optical Sensor System is a major component of the MK 34 Gun Weapon Systems employed by the DDG 51 class, CG 47 class and the Coast Guard's offshore patrol centers. The systems procured are required to support the Gun Weapon Systems by performing safety check-sighting, look-point-shoot, target ranges, identification of air and surface targets in support of anti-air warfare and anti-surface warfare. This contract modification includes options, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $79,453,206. Work will be performed in Northampton, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by August 2021. If all options are exercised, work will continue through November 2021. Fiscal 2018 and 2019 other procurement (Navy); and fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $14,110,638 will be obligated at time of the award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. L3 Technologies Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, is awarded $13,686,773 for modification P00004 to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N0001919C0014) to expand the analysis and design of the Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ LB) controller, receiver, exciter, and power generation subsystems. In addition, this modification provides for NGJ LB technique development, incorporation of updated goals documents, and environmental testing of the transmitter group. Work will be performed in Salt Lake City, Utah (53 percent); Carlsbad, California (15 percent); Boulder, Colorado (14 percent); Stuart, Florida (14 percent); Guthrie, Oklahoma (2 percent); and Fullerton, California (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2020. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $13,686,773 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Bethpage, New York, is awarded a $13,517,069 modification (P00003) to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N0001919C0015) to expand the analysis and design of the Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ LB) controller, receiver, exciter, and power generation subsystems. In addition, this modification provides for NGJ LB technique development, incorporation of updated goals documents, and environmental testing of the transmitter group. Work will be performed in Bethpage, New York (40 percent); Linthicum, Maryland (32 percent); North Amityville, New York (12 percent); Tempe, Arizona (12 percent); and Melville, New York (4 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2020. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $13,517,069 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Georgia Tech Research Corp., Atlanta, Georgia, is awarded an $8,138,096 cost reimbursement contract for development of vector sensors and arrays for deep and shallow water applications. Work will be performed at the contractor's facility in Atlanta, Georgia, and is expected to be completed March 31, 2024. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $332,401 will be obligated at the time of award. No funds will expire at end of current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured under long range broad agency announcement (BAA) N00014-18-S-B001 for science and technology projects for advancement and improvement of Navy and Marine Corps operations. Proposals will be received throughout the year under the long range BAA; therefore, the number of proposals received in response to the solicitation is unknown. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N00014-19-C-2045). AIR FORCE M1 Support Services L.P., Denton, Texas, has been awarded a $23,342,767 firm-fixed-price modification (P00088) to previously awarded contract FA8106-13-C-0008 for C-21 sustainment. This modification provides for the exercise of Option Six, which includes maintenance and repair support of the C-21 fleet. Work will be performed at various locations worldwide, and is expected to be complete by May 31, 2020. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $124,152,363. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind,** Little Rock, Arkansas, has been awarded a maximum $11,085,645 modification (P00015) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-17-D-B019) with two-one-year option periods for flame resistant, operational camouflage pattern, intermediate weather outer layer jackets. This is a firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Arkansas, with an Oct. 31, 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. *Small business **Mandatory source https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1842189/source/GovDelivery/

  • Démocratisation de l’accès des développeurs aux images satellites : Airbus lance une plateforme dédiée

    May 9, 2019 | International, Aerospace, C4ISR

    Démocratisation de l’accès des développeurs aux images satellites : Airbus lance une plateforme dédiée

    (CIO Mag) – L'avionneur français affiche plus que jamais sa détermination à ouvrir davantage les données géospatiales, les images satellites et les algorithmes aux start-up et développeurs. Objectif : les aider à développer leurs propres services et de les vendre. Pour ce faire, Airbus a officialisé cette semaine le lancement à Berlin d'une plateforme dédiée et dénommée UP42. Selon le site des « Echos » qui donne l'information, le groupe français a mobilisé une trentaine de personnes au sein de cette filiale. Laquelle doit permettre à la société de surfer sur un marché de l'imagerie satellitaire en pleine expansion à l'heure actuelle et évalué à plusieurs dizaines de milliards d'Euros. https://cio-mag.com/democratisation-de-lacces-des-developpeurs-aux-images-satellites-airbus-lance-une-plateforme-dediee/

  • Smart drones to command and launch smarter missiles

    May 9, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Smart drones to command and launch smarter missiles

    By: Kelsey D. Atherton The future of war is a synergy in euphemisms, launched as a co-branding event. AeroVironment — maker of missile systems, including the one-way guided flying “switchblade” missile — announced May 7 that it is partnering with Kratos, maker of target and combat drones. The desired effect is cheap but smart drones to launch cheaper but smart missiles. It's an attempt at answering a question that has plagued the United States since the dawn of the jet age: As the costs of piloted craft go up, can anything be done to restore a numerical advantage in the sky? “AeroVironment tube-launched small unmanned aircraft and tactical missile systems to be integrated with Kratos high-speed, low-cost attritable drones to dramatically enhance situational awareness and system effectiveness,” reads the announcement. Switchblade is tube-launched, and it flies like a small unmanned aircraft up until the point where it hits its target and explodes. “Tactical missile system” is the formal term, though it's also known as a kamikaze drone or a suicide drone. Its flight time is too short to lump it in with the larger category of “loitering munitions,” but they're kindred spirits in function. As sensors got cheap and powerful and small, smart missiles with drone-like navigation systems became possible. The high-speed low-cost attritable drone made by Kratos is the Mako, an adaptation of the company's BQM-167 Aerial Target. Like the roughly $900,000 apiece target it's based upon, the Mako is designed to be cheap enough that it can be fielded in numbers and replaced without straining the Pentagon's budget. (In 2017, the combat-capable Mako was pitched as costing between $1.5 million and $2 million each. Not cheap in most senses, but relative to the going rate for a fifth-generation fighter, it's a bargain.) Taken together, the Switchblade and the Mako could be “attritable aerial assets,” flying things that are useful, but not so expensive that losing them drastically alters the ability of commanders to direct fights or of pilots to win them. Cheap and flying alone doesn't win much on its own; the craft have to prove that they can actually perform the tasks assigned them. Here, here is that crucial synergy. Kratos and AeroVironment are working together to see if the Mako can launch, communicate with and control Switchblades. The larger drone would serve as a node in a network between a human and the airborne munition. The exact location of control, between the drone and the flying munitions and the human directing them, is unclear. Would the Switchblades seek targets based on what the Mako's sensors could spot? Would that information get relayed to the human controller in time to approve of or call off the strike? These are questions that can be answered in the course of a development. If the combination of drone mothership and munition wingmates works, it could reduce the overall material cost of conducting an airstrike, while likely leaving unchanged the potential human toll. https://www.c4isrnet.com/unmanned/2019/05/08/smart-drones-to-command-and-launch-smarter-missiles

  • Saab to build new plant in Indiana for T-X trainer jet

    May 9, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Saab to build new plant in Indiana for T-X trainer jet

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — Swedish aircraft manufacturer Saab will build a T-X production facility in West Lafayette, Indiana, where it will manufacture its portion of the Air Force trainer jet it is developing with Boeing, the company announced Wednesday. The company plans to invest $37 million in the site, which will produce “major structural sections” and conduct final assembly of Saab's piece of the jet, according to a Saab news release. Then those elements will be sent to Boeing's facility in St. Louis, Missouri, to be mated with the rest of the trainer. Construction on the new facility will begin in 2020, and Saab intends to hire at least 300 full-time employees from the area during the initial years of the site's operation. The announcement, made Wednesday during a ceremony at West Lafayette-based Purdue University, fulfills a promise Saab officials made in 2017 to establish a new manufacturing center in the United States once the Boeing-Saab team had won the T-X contract. At the time, Saab President and CEO Håkan Buskhe said the company was still considering site locations, as well as whether to repurpose an existing production facility or construct a new campus. However, he was confident at least 90 percent of the jet could be made in the United States — an important qualifier under the Trump administration, which has touted “Buy American” policies. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels and Buskhe attended the ceremony on Wednesday. “After careful consideration, we have chosen West Lafayette, thanks to the visionary leadership of both the State of Indiana and the world-leading Purdue University,” Buskhe said. “Today's announcement is a part of our growth strategy in the United States, and deepens our relationship with the U.S. customer. We see great possibilities here for this facility and our partnerships.” In addition to building the new facility, the Swedish company will partner with Purdue University, a hub of engineering talent in the Midwest, to conduct research on advances in sensors, artificial intelligence and autonomous technologies. During the ceremony, Buskhe noted the scope and level of investment of these activities has not been decided. Under the T-X program, Saab and Boeing will produce at least 351 trainers for the U.S. Air Force. The Navy and Marine Corps is also interested in buying the jet, and the Air Force is considering its use for simulating adversaries during combat and for light-attack missions — a prospect that could land the Saab-Boeing team additional sales in the hundreds. The Air Force awarded the $9.2 billion T-X contract to Saab and Boeing last year, and the service's first T-X squadron is expected to be operational in fiscal 2024. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2019/05/08/saab-to-build-new-t-x-plant-in-indiana/

  • Air Force to give Sierra Nevada Corp. a sole-source contract for light-attack planes, but Textron will also get an award

    May 9, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Air Force to give Sierra Nevada Corp. a sole-source contract for light-attack planes, but Textron will also get an award

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force on Wednesday stated its intent to sole source A-29 Super Tucanos from Sierra Nevada Corp. and Embraer. But a similar solicitation for Textron's AT-6 Wolverine will be forthcoming, an Air Force spokeswoman confirmed. The Air Force intends to put out a final solicitation to the SNC-Embraer team this month and will award a contract by the end of the fiscal year, according to a May 8 notice on FedBizOpps. “We expect a separate procurement action for the AT-6,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Defense News. Stefanek added that the service still intends to buy two to three of each aircraft for more experiments at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and with the special operations community at Hurlburt Field, Florida. Earlier this year, the Air Force acknowledged it was unprepared to move its light-attack experimentation effortinto a full-fledged program of record. Instead, the service kept both options — Textron's AT-6 and the SNC-Embraer A-29 — on the table and requested $35 million to continue testing the jets in fiscal 2020. Some analysts and lawmakers have accused the Air Force of slow-rolling the program in an attempt to see it quietly canceled, despite congressional enthusiasm for buying new attack planes. However, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein maintains that future experiments will help the Air Force narrow down light-attack capabilities that the service and foreign nations need. He has also said the service will be ready to make procurement decisions around the FY22-FY24 time frame. “The United States Marine Corps has already said they're joining us,” Goldfein said in March. “We're going to invite allies and partners, and with the authorities you've given us now that we own those prototypes, we will continue to experiment to build the interoperable network that we've already advanced.” According to the pre-solicitation, the light-attack aircraft “will provide an affordable, non-developmental aircraft intended to operate globally in the types of Irregular Warfare environments that have characterized combat operations over the past 25 years. Additionally, it will support Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) with the ability to accomplish its mission of Close Combat Air support to partner nations.” The Air Force has said that funding for the initial AT-6 and A-29 buys will come out of the estimated $160 million in unspent funds that Congress appropriated for the effort in previous budgets. Congress has appropriated $200 million in total for the effort since it was announced in late 2016. https://www.defensenews.com/2019/05/08/air-force-to-give-sierra-nevada-corp-a-sole-source-contract-for-light-attack-planes-but-textron-will-be-getting-an-award-too

  • QinetiQ Wins C$51m Contract with the Canadian Armed Forces’ Unmanned Aircraft System Service program

    May 8, 2019 | Local, Aerospace

    QinetiQ Wins C$51m Contract with the Canadian Armed Forces’ Unmanned Aircraft System Service program

    QinetiQ has been awarded a C$51m (c£30m) contract to deliver unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that will drive enhanced situational awareness for the Canadian Armed Forces. The contract will be delivered from QinetiQ's state-of-the-art unmanned vehicle manufacturing and operational facilities in Medicine Hat, Alberta. The vertical take-off UAS will provide Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) services to the Royal Canadian Navy and Special Operations Forces Command, for both domestic and international operations. The system, based on the UMS SKELDAR V-200 UAS, will be equipped with a number of sensors including an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and Electro-optic infrared (EO/IR) camera. Robert Aube, Managing Director of QinetiQ in Canada says, “We are delighted with this contract win to deliver critical over-the-horizon situation awareness to the Royal Canadian Navy and Special Operations Forces Command. This generates tactical advantages for commanders while minimising the risk to manned helicopters and personnel. As a result of the contract, we will be pleased to see a large number of jobs created in the Southern Alberta region where UAS repair and overhaul services will be carried out.” Aube continues, “We are dedicated to providing a world-class service for the Canadian Armed Forces and the information collected and used by a UAS system of this calibre will be critical for the men and women serving Canada, both domestically and abroad.” Iain Farley, Managing Director International Business at QinetiQ says, “International growth is a core part of QinetiQ's strategy and to facilitate this, we continue to make significant investments in our subsidiary businesses and complementary acquisitions. This contract provides an important proof point that this strategy is delivering. The investment we have made in Canada has helped secure our largest Canadian contract to date and provides us with a solid foundation for delivering further QinetiQ products and services into the Canadian market and beyond.” QinetiQ will work with four principal partners to deliver the ISTAR services: Canadian-UAV, Leonardo, UMS SKELDAR and Wescam: “This is an important contract win for us alongside our partners including QinetiQ and confirms our stated strategic commitment to working with global navies following our announcement last year with the German Navy,” explains Axel Cavalli-Björkman, CEO of UMS SKELDAR, the UAV joint venture between Sweden's Saab and UMS AERO GROUP of Switzerland. “With multiple systems to be delivered in Q3 this year, the Royal Canadian Navy have secured a maritime UAV platform that not only includes our heavy fuel engine manufactured by German-based Hirth Engines, but also has an ability to carry multiple payloads.” “L3 WESCAM is proud to have been chosen by QinetiQ, as it confirms our role as a trusted global supplier of advanced imaging technologies to the UAS market,” said Cameron McKenzie, Vice President, Global Sales & Business Development of L3 WESCAM. “In fact, this order marks many strategic firsts for WESCAM in the Canadian marketplace, including a first for our MX™ Series turrets to be used by the Royal Canadian Navy, a first order for our MX-8 and MX-10D in Canada and our first contract with QinetiQ in Canada.” Sean Greenwood, President, and CEO of Canadian UAVs says, “It's a privilege and an honor to be able to work with the Canadian Armed Forces and QinetiQ, especially on such a novel project. This is the foundational contract the Canadian UAV industry has been waiting for to become world-class in autonomous vehicle service delivery and technology development. QinetiQ's recognition of CUAVS' work to date with Transport Canada in developing advanced UAV operations and their commitment to supporting local SMEs has been fundamental to our growth and cannot be understated.” Wayne Smith, Head of Radar Campaigns from Leonardo says, “We are pleased to be a part of this project with QinetiQ. Our PicoSAR Active Electronically Scanned Array radar provides an unrivalled all-weather capability for Unmanned Aerial Systems. It delivers a high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar imaging and Ground Moving Target Indication capability that will allow the SKELDAR V-200 to easily acquire a true, all-weather ground mapping and surveillance capability.” https://www.suasnews.com/2019/05/qinetiq-wins-c51m-contract-with-the-canadian-armed-forces-unmanned-aircraft-system-service-program

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