4 mars 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - March 03, 2020

AIR FORCE

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Maryland, has been awarded a $262,281,057 firm-fixed-price modification (P00027) to contract FA8615-17-C-6047 for Active Electronically Scanned Array radars of Air Force F-16 aircraft. This modification is for the exercise of options to include 15 engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD); and 90 production radars, as well as associated support equipment and spares. Work will be performed at Linthicum Heights, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by December 2022. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $553,448,803. Fiscal 2020 research and development funds in the amount of $34,182,567; fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $88,201,189; and fiscal 2020 procurement funds in the amount of $197,955,911 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Fighter Bomber Directorate, F-16 Division, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

CAE USA-Mission Solutions Inc., Tampa, Florida, has been awarded a $10,586,540 firm-fixed-price modification (P00033) to contract FA4890-17-C-0006 for the F-15E, F-16 and F-22A contract aircrew training and courseware development contract. The contract modification is for exercising Option Year Three. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $50,064,347. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds will be obligated in the amount of $10,586,540 by April 1, 2020. The performance locations are as follows: Langley Air Force Base (AFB), Virginia; Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina; Shaw AFB, South Carolina; Tyndall AFB, Florida; Nellis AFB, Nevada; Hill AFB, Utah; and Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. Work is expected to be completed by March 31, 2021, for this option period. Air Combat Command Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Langley AFB, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

ARMY

Technica, Charleston, South Carolina, was awarded a $181,708,286 cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for logistics support services at Fort Bliss, Texas. Bids were solicited via the internet with seven received. Work will be performed in Fort Bliss, Texas, with an estimated completion date of April 3, 2025. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $181,708,286 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity (W52P1J-20-F-0184).

Airbus Helicopters Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a $122,655,293 modification (P00012) to contract W58RGZ-18-C-0007 for procurement of 15 UH-72 Aircraft. Work will be performed in Columbus, Mississippi, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2022. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement, Army funds in the amount of $122,655,293 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

The Ross Group Construction Corp., Tulsa, Oklahoma, was awarded a $26,755,960 firm-fixed-price contract to renovate Bldg. 1634 Volar Barracks, Fort Polk, Louisiana. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received. Work will be performed in Fort Polk, Louisiana, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 12, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $26,755,960 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9126G-20-C-0013).

NAVY

QED Systems Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia (N64498-20-D-0005); Gryphon Technologies LC, Washington, District of Columbia (N64498-20-D-0006); McKean Defense Group LLC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (N64498-20-D-0007); and HII Fleet Support Group LLC, Virginia Beach, Virginia (N64498-20-D-0008), are awarded $49,497,614 for an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contracts for services related to technical, process and programmatic support for integrated logistics and technical documentation. Work locations will vary according to individual task orders; 25% of the work will be executed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and 75% of work will be accomplished at contractor site locations to include Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Norfolk, Virginia; San Diego, California; Marionette, Wisconsin; Kings Bay, Georgia; Port Hueneme, California; Corona, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; Bremerton, Washington; Mayport, Florida; Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; Yokosuka, Japan, Manama, Bahrain; Washington, District of Columbia, and other areas as directed. Work is expected to be completed by March 2025. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $100,000 ($25,000 per task order) will be obligated at time of award via individual task orders and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. These contracts are the result of a full and open competitive procurement via the Federal Business Opportunities website. Seven offers were received and in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(a). The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity.

Aptim Federal Services LLC, Alexandria, Virginia, was awarded a $10,498,157 firm-fixed-price task order (N62473-20-F-4299) under a multiple award construction contract for a mini-mart and gas station at Naval Base San Diego. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and consists of fuel dispensers and overhead canopies. The mini-mart will include a covered retail area, a walk-in beverage cooler, and reach-in coolers and freezers. Additionally, the building will include a receiving area, patron restrooms, employee lounge, office and support spaces. Work is expected to be complete by December 2021. Fiscal 2020 non-appropriated funds (Navy) and contract funds are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Two proposals were received for this task order. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N39430-15-D-1632). (Awarded Feb. 28, 2020)

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2100985/source/GovDelivery/

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  • GA-ASI Demonstrates AI Driven Targeting Computer with AFRL’s Agile Condor Pod

    8 septembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    GA-ASI Demonstrates AI Driven Targeting Computer with AFRL’s Agile Condor Pod

    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., with the support of SRC Inc., successfully integrated and flew the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Agile Condor Pod on an MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft  at GA-ASI’s Flight Test and Training Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota The Agile Condor Pod provides on-board high-speed computer processing coupled with machine learning algorithms to detect, correlate, identify, and track targets of interest. With this capability, the MQ-9 is able to identify objects autonomously utilizing its on-board Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensor and GA-ASI’s Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Defense contractor SRC, Inc. developed the Agile Condor system for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), delivering the first pod in 2016. It’s not clear whether the Air Force conducted any flight testing of the system on other platforms before hiring General Atomics to integrate it onto the Reaper in 2019. The service had previously said that it expected to take the initial pod aloft in some fashion before the end of 2016. High-powered computing at the edge enables autonomous target detection, identification and nomination at extended ranges and on-board processing reduces communication bandwidth requirements to share target information with other platforms. This is an important step towards greater automation, autonomous target detection, and rapid decision-making. GA-ASI will continue to work with AFRL to refine the capability and foster its transition to operational constructs that will improve warfighters’ ability to operate in contested or denied environments. “Sensors have rapidly increased in fidelity, and are now able to collect vast quantities of data, which must be analyzed promptly to provide mission critical information,” an SRC white paper on Agile Condor from 2018 explains. “Stored data [physically on a drone] … creates an unacceptable latency between data collection and analysis, as operators must wait for the RPA [remotely piloted aircraft] to return to base to review time sensitive data.” “In-mission data transfers, by contrast, can provide data more quickly, but this method requires more power and available bandwidth to send data,” the white paper continues. “Bandwidth limits result in slower downloads of large data files, a clogged communications link and increased latency that could allow potential changes in intel between data collection and analysis. The quantities of data being collected are also so vast, that analysts are unable to fully review the data received to ensure actionable information is obtained.” This is all particularly true for drones equipped with wide-area persistent surveillance systems, such as the Air Force’s Gorgon Stare system, which you can read about in more detail here, that grab immense amounts of imagery that can be overwhelming for sensor operators and intelligence analysts to scour through. Agile Condor is designed to parse through the sensor data a drone collects first, spotting and classifying objects of interest and then highlighting them for operators back at a control center or personnel receiving information at other remote locations for further analysis. Agile Condor would simply discard “empty” imagery and other data that shows nothing it deems useful, not even bothering to forward that on. “This selective ‘detect and notify’ process frees up bandwidth and increases transfer speeds, while reducing latency between data collection and analysis,” SRC’s 2018 white paper says. “Real time pre-processing of data with the Agile Condor system also ensures that all data collected is reviewed quickly, increasing the speed and effectiveness with which operators are notified of actionable information.” At least at present, the general idea is still to have a human operator in the ‘kill chain’ making decisions about how to act on such information, including whether or not to initiate a lethal strike. The Air Force has been emphatic about ensuring that there will be an actual person in the loop at all times, no matter how autonomous a drone or other unmanned vehicle may be in the future. An Air Force Research Laboratory briefing slide showing a concept of operations for how a drone might use Agile Condor to sense and avoid threats autonomously Still, developments such as Agile Condor will significantly reduce the amount of necessary human interaction in various parts of the targeting process, as well as general intelligence collection and initial analysis, and potentially much more, as time goes on. It could also fuse various forms of sensor data and other available intelligence together to specifically weight possible areas of interest over others and prioritize certain targets. The Air Force has also said that this system could use these capabilities to enable drones to navigate and detect and avoid potential threats automatically, including at times when its links to a control center or the GPS satellite navigation system are disrupted or blocked entirely. Sources: Press Release; The Drive https://www.uasvision.com/2020/09/07/ga-asi-demonstrates-ai-driven-targeting-computer-with-afrls-agile-condor-pod/

  • Pentagon Mulls F-35 Sustainment Proposal

    24 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Pentagon Mulls F-35 Sustainment Proposal

    The Pentagon is assessing Lockheed Martin’s proposal to reduce Joint Strike Fighter sustainment pricing by 16% over five years through a performance based logistics (PBL) contract, but the largest F-35 customer, the U.S. Air Force, says there are several things that must be worked out before signing the dotted line. The company delivered a white paper to Ellen Lord, under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, in August outlining how a five-year PBL contract could save the military money on F-35 sustainment, Ken Merchant, F-35 sustainment vice president for Lockheed Martin, told reporters last week at the Air Force Association’s annual conference in National Harbor, Maryland. Current F-35 sustainment contracts are annual and do not allow the Joint Strike Fighter’s supplier base to conduct forward planning, he said. “What a PBL would do for us is give a five-year contract with [the] government and it would allow our suppliers to make those investments knowing that they have five years worth of business guaranteed,” Merchant said. The F-35 program has delivered over 425 aircraft to the fleet and will continue to grow; in fact it will double over the next few years. This is something the Pentagon must consider before entering a PBL with Lockheed Martin, Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics, told Aerospace DAILY in an exclusive Sept. 18 interview. “Normally a performance-based logistics contract makes sense when you have a majority of the fleet fielded, then you can start doing stable buys,” Roper said. “Those are the details that we’ll need to look at. It’s not just, would the performance-based logistics contract make sense if the fleet size were frozen? Does it make sense as the fleet size grows?” The Pentagon also must consider supply chain issues and software for the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) as the fleet size grows, he said. “Those problems might grow linearly as the fleet size grows [or] we might get a non-linear effect where they compound,” Roper said. “Those are the things we’ll need to think through.” In a perfect world, Lockheed Martin would like to negotiate a multiyear sustainment contract for the F-35, but executives admit the construct would be hard to sell on Capitol Hill. “Multiyear contracts that are performance based can be very successful because they invite industry to make the upfront investment so that they can recoup their investment in terms of profit at a predictable period without worrying about the variability and the vacillations of the budgeting cycle,” Roper said. “The theory is sound, it’s just the practice that has to be reviewed.” Roper worries about F-35 software the most because it is not only needed to sustain the system but also is integral for modernization. “Agile software development is so critical on our programs and I think it’s not going to be a ‘nice to have’ for the F-35, it’s going to be an absolute ‘must have,’” he said. Under Roper’s direction the Air Force launched Mad Hatter, a software coding project tackling ALIS that has delivered initial applications to the flightline at Nellis AFB in Nevada. “I’m really pleased that new [F-35 Joint Program Office] leadership under [Lt. Gen.] Eric Fick have viewed that as a very favorable direction for all of F-35 software that goes forward,” Roper said. “We’re making the results available to them—not just the results in the field, but the process that produced them.” Lockheed Martin has pledged to migrate ALIS to the cloud by 2020 and Roper agrees this is paramount for the future of the program because the enterprise must use cloud-based development tools. This is the way the commercial industry is heading and it provides security benefits, he added. “I’ve directed numerous programs in the Air Force to move to our cloud-based DevSecOps stack, which is called Cloud One. F-16, F-22, B-21, [Ground Based Strategic Deterrent]—these are programs that need to write a lot of cloud quickly and securely,” Roper said. “Cloud-based development, if done correctly … you can write secure code really quickly and get it accredited quickly, which we also want.” https://aviationweek.com/defense/pentagon-mulls-f-35-sustainment-proposal

  • Top EU security chief emphasizes ‘shared self-interest’ in defense cooperation after Brexit

    26 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Top EU security chief emphasizes ‘shared self-interest’ in defense cooperation after Brexit

    By: Martin Banks BRUSSELS — The European Union security chief Julian King has called for the “closest possible cooperation” on defense and security issues after the U.K. leaves the 28-member bloc. “On some issues there will be winners and losers, but there is a mutual, shared self-interest when it comes to security and defense,” King said. Despite the failure of last week’s EU summit in Salzburg, Austria, to back British Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest Brexit proposals, King remains “optimistic” the U.K. and EU could continue to work together on security and defense. Some have questioned the effectiveness of European defense and security after the departure of the U.K. Britain is the second-largest net contributor to the EU, and its exit will result in an income shortfall of about €84 billion (U.S. $99 billion) for the EU’s next spending period from 2020. Another problem, according to U.S. President Donald Trump, is the continued “unwillingness of some member states to contribute more” to NATO. Speaking at a security debate in Brussels, King highlighted cyber and the ongoing threat from terrorism as key areas where the two sides must cooperate post Brexit, which will occur at the end of March 2019. “Of course, there are still a few things still to resolve between now and March, and the economic side will be tough. But we need the closest possible cooperation in tackling the security challenges we both face, and I am optimistic we can do this,” he said. “Those people who are trying to harm us do not make a distinction between member states. We are facing shared threats, which are best tackled if we act together. This is true today, and it will be true after March 2019. It is this shared self-interest that I believe will drive cooperation on the security side,” he added. There was “no dispute” on the need to support member states in the security and defense field, according to King, but rather the challenge is finding ways to strengthen such collaboration. He praised recent EU investment in new security and defense initiatives, such as the Permanent Structured Cooperation and the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence, which, he pointed out, involve “tens of billions of euros.” While the EU was “doing OK” in tackling the twin threats posed by cyberwarfare and terrorism, he conceded that there is “an enormous amount still to do.” One example, he said, involves addressing artificial intelligence. This could be a force for both good and bad, he suggested, but the EU has been “slow” in responding to the challenges posed by AI. King’s comments were echoed by Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO secretary general from 2004-2009, who said he also hopes that, post Brexit, the EU and U.K. will enjoy the “closest possible cooperation” on defense and security issues. “Yes, we all want the EU to take more responsibility in the defense sphere, but you have to ask: ‘What is European defense without the U.K.?’ ” Both were speaking during “A Brave New World,” a debate organized by Friends of Europe, a leading Brussels-based think tank. Elsewhere, a leading U.K.-based academic warned that the “Salzburg impasse” puts EU-U.K. security cooperation at risk. Last week’s summit of EU leaders in Salzburg ended acrimoniously with the EU saying May’s trade proposals “would not work.” This has led May to demand “more respect” from the EU side. Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, a professor at the University of London, said that “reaching a new security agreement independently of the main Brexit negotiations will be easier said than done.” “The threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit would seriously disrupt U.K. and EU capabilities in the fight against terrorism and organized crime, at a time when the EU is committed to stepping up its efforts to improve judicial and police cooperation in Europe," he said. Speaking separately, Gordon Sondland, the new U.S. ambassador to the EU, has pledged to work with the EU “honestly and constructively to address the global security threats that seek to destroy our shared history, values and culture.” “Whether defeating the Islamic State, countering North Korea’s belligerency or ensuring energy supplies will never be used for political coercion, we will stand together," the diplomat said. "There are a wealth of issues we can tackle together. From malign Russian activity (ranging from disinformation campaigns to invasion and occupation of sovereign nations), to data privacy, to Iran — yes, even Iran — we work best when we work in tandem.” https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/09/25/top-eu-security-chief-emphasizes-shared-self-interest-in-defense-cooperation-after-brexit

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