14 septembre 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Contracts for September 13, 2021

Sur le même sujet

  • Winning The Spectrum: Pentagon Unveils New Strategy

    19 mai 2020 | International, Sécurité

    Winning The Spectrum: Pentagon Unveils New Strategy

    By BRYAN CLARK and TIMOTHY WALTON on May 19, 2020 at 4:01 AM The Electromagnetic Spectrum is the key to waging electronic warfare, and EW is key to waging modern war. An enemy who can jam communications or GPS, mislead you (spoofing is the term of art) and stop your weapons from functioning (cyber attacks using radio waves). The US largely abandoned EW after the Cold War ended. Then the Russians made it very clear in their war against Ukraine just how effective EW could be and senior folks in the US military grew uneasy. They and Congress realized how much we had made ourselves vulnerable and the Hill ordered creation of a group to devise a strategy to restore American EW eminence. Bryan Clark and Tim Walton of the Hudson Institute preview the new strategy below — only at Breaking D Read on! The Editor. The electromagnetic spectrum is getting more popular and crowded every day. As Breaking D readers know, the DoD and FCC are battling over frequencies adjacent to those used by GPS, which the telecommunication company Ligado wants to use for its satellite-based 5G network. DoD worries that Ligado's transmissions will drown out the relatively weak signals that reach Earth from GPS satellites. Ligado fired what is only the first of what will be many salvos in the 5G spectrum battle. To achieve 5G's promised low latency and broadband speed telecommunication companies require wider swaths of spectrum compared to 4G–some of which they don't control. With high-frequency millimeter wave 5G towers only able to reach a few city blocks, telecom providers like Ligado are pursuing mid and low-band spectrum below 6 Ghz that enables greater coverage–but also puts them in conflict with FAA and military radars, radios, and GPS. The clamor for 5G spectrum comes as DoD is itself fielding a collection of new networks to support its concept of Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2. The Army Integrated Tactical Network, Air Force Air Battle Management System, and Navy Integrated Fire Control combine existing datalinks and radios with emerging communications systems to connect all U.S. forces across a theater, placing new demands on spectrum. But the EM spectrum is also a global common like the air or sea. To prevent U.S. forces from operating effectively, the Chinese and Russian militaries spent the last 20 years modernizing their electronic warfare equipment, training new EW operators and technicians, and placing EW forces in every unit or formation. During the same period, DoD rested on its Cold War laurels and failed to invest in EW systems or training. DoD strategies developed in 2013 and 2017 addressed the growing challenges of managing and controlling the EM spectrum by directing services to develop better versions of current capabilities and concepts but failed to significantly close the gaps between the U.S. and adversary militaries. Congress, increasingly worried, mandated that DoD stand up an EM Spectrum Operations Cross-Functional Team and create a new strategy. That is nearing completion and may be DoD's last opportunity to gain an enduring advantage in the EM spectrum. New EM Spectrum Superiority Strategy Instead of incrementally improving existing EM systems and tactics in a doomed effort to solve capability shortfalls, the new EM Spectrum Superiority Strategy will emphasize how to undermine the strengths and exploit the weaknesses of adversaries in the EM spectrum. The strategies' initiatives will be targeted at fundamental asymmetries between U.S. and opposing militaries that can provide DoD leverage. A change in approach is desperately needed. The U.S. military didn't fall behind in EW and EM Spectrum Operations due to a lack of funding, as spending for both rose steadily since 2015, but because the additional dollars were not spent implementing a coherent strategy. Funding instead upgraded legacy systems to fill various capability gaps, not all of which were high priorities. Under today's plans, DoD will take decades to catch great power adversaries enjoying “home team” advantages and the luxury of focusing on only one potential opponent. Moreover, post-pandemic budget constraints will likely prevent increasing funding to plug capability gaps faster. The key asymmetry between the U.S. and opposing great power militaries is the simple facft that Chinese and Russian are close to likely areas of conflict. China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Russian Armed Forces can place EW and sensor systems on their own territory or in nearby sea or airspace where they can rely on reliable and difficult-to-jam wired or line-of-sight EM communications. Leveraging their understanding of the environment, Chinese and Russian forces can employ passive, multistatic, and low-frequency EM sensors and pre-architected systems of systems and tactics to find and attack U.S. forces. The U.S. military must span the world. This requires a more expeditionary force and adaptable C2 process compared to the Chinese or Russians, and which can accommodate more contested communications, changing force packages, and the variety of local conditions. When communications are lost, junior leaders of U.S. forces would employ mission command, exploiting their initiative and judgement to improvise a course of action that follows the commander's intent. Giving The Enemy Something To Worry About The PLA's reliance on pre-planned, static systems of systems and tactics could be a liability against highly dynamic and unpredictable U.S. spectrum operations. The EM Spectrum Superiority Strategy should exploit this opportunity by adopting new operational concepts that emphasize maneuver and complexity. A maneuver-centric approach doesn't require across-the-board improvements to U.S. EM spectrum systems. To create complexity for opponents U.S. forces need capabilities for dynamic and automated spectrum sharing with commercial or military users guided by electronic support sensors and electromagnetic battle management, or EMBM, systems. To protect themselves from enemy attack, U.S. forces would rely on passive or multistatic sensing, complemented by LPI/LPD communications and electronic countermeasures. And U.S. electronic attacks would need the agility afforded by AI-enabled cognitive jammers that use photonics to move across wide ranges of spectrum. The ability of cognitive jammers or EMBM systems to understand the EM environment will depend on their access to information on threat, friendly, and civilian EM spectrum systems. Today, data and analysis from the Intelligence Community is slow to reach operators and slower still to be programmed into EW equipment. DoD will need to establish new frameworks for EM spectrum information sharing and build on its recent success in accelerating the reprogramming process by incorporating AI to a greater degree in deployed EW and EMBM systems. Capabilities for complex and unpredictable EM operations will be difficult to define for today's top-down requirements process, which seeks a point solution for a particular application and situation. DoD will need to identify potential new EM capabilities through comprehensive assessments of their mission impact in a variety scenarios using modeling and simulation or experimentation and mature them through new processes like the DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework. The most challenging element of a new strategy will be preparing EW and EM spectrum operators for maneuver warfare. DoD's current ranges are unable to provide realistic EM operating environments for experimentation or training due to a lack of modern threat systems and concerns that adversaries can monitor U.S. EM emissions during live, open-air events. Rather than focusing on expensive range upgrades, DoD should shift its emphasis to virtual and constructive events, which would enable concept development, tactics innovation, and training against the most challenging threats at all security levels. The urgency to change DoD cannot continue pursuing EMS superiority through incremental, evolutionary improvements. This approach is too unfocused, will take too long to reach fruition, is potentially unaffordable, and cedes the initiative to America's adversaries. DoD should move in a new direction and focus EM capability development on implementing concepts for maneuver warfare that create adaptability for U.S. forces and complexity for adversaries. If the DoD does not mount a new more strategic and proactive approach to fighting in the EM spectrum, adversaries could be emboldened to continue their efforts to gain territory and influence at the expense of U.S. allies and partners. Demonstrating the ability to survive and fight in a contested and congested EM spectrum could help U.S. forces slow Chinese and Russian activities and give them something to worry about for a change. Bryan Clark is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Timothy Walton is a fellow at Hudson. https://breakingdefense.com/2020/05/winning-the-spectrum-pentagon-unveils-new-strategy/

  • ‘The math doesn’t make sense’: Why venture capital firms are wary of defense-focused investments

    31 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    ‘The math doesn’t make sense’: Why venture capital firms are wary of defense-focused investments

    By: Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — In American's technology marketplace, venture capital funds are crucial for pumping capital into small companies in need of cash infusions to keep operating. Part of the venture capital model is acknowledging that many of those businesses will fail, but if a few are successful, venture capitalists can make huge returns on their investments. At a time when the Pentagon is working hard to entice small technology companies to work on defense projects, venture capital, or VC, funding could further mature technology and give entrepreneurs a chance to keep projects going. And yet, investors seem wary of putting forth cash to support companies with a defense focus. Why? In the wake of the very public fight inside Google over working with the Pentagon — which ended with the company pulling the plug on its Project Maven participation — there was a consensus from the defense establishment that there may be a culture gap that is simply too large to overcome. But according to a trio of venture capitalists who spoke to Defense News in December, the reasons are simpler. Katherine Boyle, with VC firm General Catalyst, said the culture issue is overblown for the VC community. The reluctance to work on defense programs comes down to a mix of “math and history," she said. "The math is the reason why investors are hesitant to put a third of their fund into these types of technologies because history shows us that they haven't worked out well,” Boyle explained. She said the math can be broken down into three factors: mergers, margins and interest rates. On the first, she pointed to the fact that the defense sector has seen thousands of firms exit the market, sometimes because of acquisitions by primes. But, she argued, where mergers and acquisitions tend to occur in other parts of the world to acquire new technology or capability, in the defense realm it's all about contracting value. That makes it “very difficult for new technologies to enter the market and ultimately be acquired at the valuations that venture investors would need to see in order to have a return for their fund.” In terms of margins, Boyle pointed out that defense firms are very focused on hardware, which requires a lot of investment upfront. That makes it “very difficult to invest in for venture capital firms because software has 80 percent margins, and it's much easier to build a company that can scale very quickly if it's software-based versus needing a lot of capital,” she said. The third factor, interest rates, ties into the last two. For decades interest rates have allowed VC firms to expand dramatically — something that requires a constant flow of return from investments in order to turn around funds and quickly invest in another opportunity. In the world of defense, investors with $3 billion to $5 billion under management by the VC community will find it difficult to get the kind of returns investors are accustomed to from other markets. All three of those factors come together in a mix that means there are very few chances for VC firms to invest in defense-related companies that match up with what a VC traditionally wants to see, said John Tenet, a partner with investment firm 8VC and vice chairman of the defense company Epirus. “VC investors invest based on speed and scale and probability of a 10 to 20 times return. And so I think that's where you've seen a little bit of apprehension, at least in [Silicon] Valley,” Tenet said. “The exits haven't been that fast, and you sort of have these five big players on one side [that] sort of monopolize the market.” From a pure numbers standpoint, a good benchmark for performance is to look at the S&P 500, according to Trae Stephens, co-founder and chairman of Anduril Industries and partner at Founders Fund. Over a 10-year period, an investor in the S&P can expect to get roughly 3 times their investment back. VC firms want to be able to beat that for an investment to be worth it. To highlight the challenge of attracting VC funding to defense firms with potentially limited return, Stephens pointed to the case of Blackbird Technologies. A venture-backed player in specialized communications tech aimed at the defense market, Blackbird was bought in 2014 by Raytheon for about $420 million. That looks good on paper, but the reality is the churn isn't strong enough for a big, Silicon Valley-based venture capital group. “A lot of times in the government, people say: ‘Oh, Blackbird is this, like, great example of a success story that was like a boost for venture.' It's actually not. It's not a venture scale of return for most funds,” he said. “There are some funds where the economics of [an exit that size] is really good, but for large, Silicon Valley tier-one funds, it doesn't move the needle. And so you have to have these multibillion-dollar opportunities in order for it to really make economic sense.” Another issue raised by Stephens will be familiar to defense primes as well: concerns over sharing intellectual property with the Defense Department. The department is essentially saying “you are the right product for us, now turn over your source code,” Stephens said. “It's crazy. We're literally doing to our companies in America what we're criticizing the Chinese for doing to their companies and to our companies when we enter that market. And so there has to be a better commercial practice for enabling companies to retain their IP and do business with the government without having to fight a legal battle every time they go through a contract.” ‘Knock down the doors' Despite those concerns, all three venture capitalists that spoke to Defense News are involved in investments in defense-focused firms. So why are they spending their money in the sector? Mission is part of it — the belief that, as Americans, a stronger Defense Department benefits their firms. But that only goes so far if dollars don't follow. Once again, it comes down to math. Investing in a company focused on defense technologies, which may have to wait years to secure a contract with the Pentagon, isn't a great strategy for a VC firm looking for quick returns. But if a company is able to get government funding early on, the business suddenly becomes more worthy of investment, said Boyle. “If the government is allocating capital in the right way, it will get VC dollars immediately. Like, it will follow so quickly,” Boyle said. “I see so many people come in to our office and they have an OTA [other transaction authority contract], and they're excited. It's a small, $1 million contract, and that is great for a seed company. But if that same company came in 18 months later and said, ‘Oh, by the way, the OTA has turned into a $10 million contract,' that would meet every milestone that I usually see to series A.” (An OTA is a type of contract that enables rapid prototyping; series A financing is the investment that follows growth from initial seed capital used to launch operations.) “$10 million to the US government is nothing, but to [a] startup — $10 million is the best startup I've seen all year, if they're an 18-month-old startup and they're getting that kind of capital early on,” she said. Added Stephens: “It means they're doing something right.” That creates a chicken and egg scenario: Venture capitalists only want to invest in companies that already have a Pentagon contract, but small firms often can't keep the doors open long enough without external funding while waiting for the department's contracting processes to progress. While groups such as the Defense Innovation Unit — the Pentagon's technology hub — are helping speed along that process, it remains a problem with no easy solution, at a time when the Pentagon needs the nondefense technology community in ways it hasn't for decades. Boyle believes there is a “growing group” of investors who see the strong success of a handful of companies like goTenna, Anduril or Shield AI that have managed to break through and become successful defense-focused investment vehicles. That means the next few years are going to be critical for everyone involved. “None of us would be here if we weren't optimistic,” she said. “I actually think this is an incredible time to be investing in deep tech, particularly deep-tech companies that are selling to the Department of Defense because if it doesn't happen now, it never will.” https://www.defensenews.com/smr/cultural-clash/2020/01/30/the-math-doesnt-make-sense-why-venture-capital-firms-are-wary-of-defense-focused-investments/

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - March 04, 2020

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

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - March 04, 2020

    NAVY Perspecta Enterprise Solutions LLC, Herndon, Virginia, is awarded $62,143,412 as part of receiving a modification (N00039-13-D-0013_P00205) to the previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a maximum potential value for the existing Next Generation Enterprise Network contract. Current and future work for the affected end user hardware seat services will be performed throughout the U.S. No additional funding will be placed on contract or obligated at the time of modification award. This modification will extend various end user hardware services from a six month (October 2019 to March 2020) to a 10 month ordering period (October 2019 to July 2020) during the contract's Option Year Six. This contract modification was not competitively procured because it is a sole-source acquisition pursuant to the authority of 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) and one source or limited sources (Federal Acquisition Regulations, subpart 6.302-1). This action is the result of a justification and approval that authorizes extending the ordering period by up to four months for end user hardware seat services through July 31, 2020. The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N00039-13-D-0013). Serco Inc., Reston, Virginia, is awarded $60,747,812 which provides for exercise of the fourth option period under a fixed-price contract for lifecycle sustainment of physical security/access control and command, communications, computers and intelligence systems in support of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command anti-terrorism/force protection ashore program at various Navy installations worldwide. Work will be performed in California (12.47%); District of Columbia (11.70%); Florida (7.98%); Italy (7.61%); Virginia (7.23%); Washington (6.59%); Hawaii (5.65%); Japan (5%); Maryland (4.52%); Guam (4.31%); Texas (2.67%); Rhode Island (2.57%); Bahrain (2.21%); Spain (2.06%); Mississippi (2.02%); Illinois (2%); Georgia (1.53%); Connecticut (1.23%); Tennessee (1.22%); Indiana (1.21%); Greece (1.10%); New Jersey (1.08%); Pennsylvania (0.98%); United Kingdom (0.86%); New Hampshire (0.81%); Cuba (0.72%); Nevada (0.63%); Louisiana (0.63%); Republic of Korea (0.54%); New York (0.52%); Singapore (0.26%); and Maine (0.09%). The work to be performed provides for preventive maintenance of hardware, associated firmware and software; response and resolution of service calls for corrective maintenance to include equipment repair, overhaul, or replacement; information assurance vulnerability alert to include version control, patch management and vulnerability scanning; asset management to track, maintain, upgrade and dispose of systems; configuration management to establish and maintain consistency of the system attributes with operational requirements and evolving technical baseline; technical refreshments, upgrades and installation of new systems; and programmatic trend analysis to identify systemic sustainment issues such as technology obsolescence. After award of this option, the total cumulative contract value will be $245,745,412. This option period is from March 2020 to March 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $55,365,560 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, California, is the contracting activity (N39430-16-C-1811). VLJM LLC,* Fullerton, California, is awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a maximum amount of $35,000,000 for 8(a) small business set-aside at various government installations within Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, California. No task orders are being issued at this time. The work to be performed provides for alterations, repairs, renovations and new construction within the North American Industry Classification System Code 237310 for paving projects. The terms of the contracts are not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of March 2025. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance, Navy (O&M, N) contract funds in the amount of $5,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Future task orders will be primarily funded by military construction (Navy); O&M, N; O&M, Marine Corps; and Navy working capital funds. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with five proposals received. Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N62473-20-D-0033). Larsen and Toubro Ltd., Mumbai, India, is awarded an $11,500,000 firm-fixed-price contract in the support of the government of Chile for an existing twin-screw Anchor Handling, Towing, Supply and Standby Vessel (AHTSSV) with hybrid propulsion and dynamic positioning system, hull number 71010. Work will be performed in Chennai, India, and is expected to be completed by May 2020. This contract involves foreign military sales (FMS) to Chile. FMS national funding in the amount of $11,500,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured, in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(4) (international agreement). The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-20-C-2214). Progeny Systems Corp.,* Manassas, Virginia, is awarded a $9,304,227 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the "Automation Entity Classification in Video Using Soft Biometrics." The contractor, with support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and other stakeholders, has developed a suite of machine learning, image processing and computer vision capabilities that collectively serve as building blocks for intelligent solutions to real-world data analytics problems. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia. The work to be performed is aimed at maturing these capabilities through further research and development, integrating them into operational systems, supporting testing and evaluation and transitioning into programs of record. The proposed research extends prior Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and is in scope of decision support, artificial intelligence, machine learning and graph analysis. Work is expected to be completed by March 2024. The total cumulative value of this contract is $9,304,227. The base period is $9,304,227 with no options. The action will be incrementally funded with an initial obligation of $1,566,206 utilizing fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured under Navy SBIR Solicitation 2008.1 (SBIR Phase III; Topic Number N08-077). One proposal was received in response to the solicitation. ONR, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N00014-20-C-2014). Lampson International LLC, Kennewick, Washington, is awarded a $7,907,692 firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for reactor compartment disposal land haul services. Work will be performed in Richland, Washington, and is for the off-load, transport and placement of defueled, decommissioned reactor compartment disposal packages from a barge at the Port of Benton in Richland, Washington, to a burial trench located on the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford site in support of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. Work is expected to be complete by March 2025. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $987,730 will be obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the beta.sam.gov website with three offers received. The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Bremerton, Washington, is the contracting activity (N4523A-20-D-4000). Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding Division, Newport News, Virginia, is awarded a $7,532,422 cost-plus-fixed-fee option exercise modification to previously-awarded contract (N00024-18-C-2102) for engineering and technical design effort to support research and development concept formulation for current and future submarine platforms. Work will be performed in Newport News, Virginia (80%); Modesto, California (13%); East Aurora, New York (3%); Bayview, Idaho (2%); and Westerly, Rhode Island (2%), and is expected to be completed by September 2020. This contract procures advanced submarine research and development, including studies to support the future development, production and sustainment phases of submarine platforms. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $795,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. AIR FORCE The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $36,721,743 undefinitized modification (P00206) to contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for KC-46 engineering, manufacturing and development contract. This modification is for the component build and development of the hardware system integration lab to conduct lab verification and ground test verification for the boom telescope actuator redesign. Work will be performed in Seattle. Fiscal 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $27,541,307 are being obligated at the time of award and is expected to be completed February 2023. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, KC-46 Program Office, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. ARMY Heckler & Koch Defense Inc.,* Ashburn, Virginia, was awarded a $33,500,000 modification (P00028) to contract W15QKN-16-D-0051 for the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems and the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 16, 2022. U.S. Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, is the contracting activity. Sauer Inc., Jacksonville, Florida, was awarded a $31,412,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Volar Barracks renovations at 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 Oct. 25, 2021. Fiscal 2020 sustainment, restoration and modernization; and operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $31,412,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9126G-20-C-0014). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Base Utilities Inc.,* Grand Forks and Cavalier, North Dakota, has been awarded a maximum $7,244,277 modification (P00009) to a 50-year utilities privatization contract (SP0600-18-C-8322) with no option periods for additional utility services for two water and two wastewater systems. This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract. Location of performance is North Dakota, with a Jan. 31, 2069, performance completion date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2069 Air Force operations and maintenance funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. *Small business https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2102247/source/GovDelivery/

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