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  • RAF Retiring Reaper In 2024, Paving Way For Protector

    30 juillet 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    RAF Retiring Reaper In 2024, Paving Way For Protector

    By Tony Osborne LONDON—Britain is planning to retire its General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft systems in 2024 as the Royal Air Force transitions to its new Protector platform. Although Royal Air Force (RAF) officers have not detailed when the first of the new Protector aircraft will arrive, there will be a transition as crews retrain from Reaper onto Protector, with the Reaper complementing the Protector on operations, Wing Commander Judith Graham, the RAF's Protector Program Manager, told Aerospace DAILY at the Royal International Air Tattoo earlier this month. “Reaper is an extraordinarily valuable capability for the UK government, so we don't want there to be a capability gap,” Graham said. The plan for avoiding a capability gap between Reaper and Protector suggests that a significant number of Protectors will have entered service by the time the Reaper is retired. The UK currently has 10 MQ-9 Reapers that it purchased as an urgent operational requirement for operations in Afghanistan. Today, they operate over Iraq and Syria, but none are destined for use in UK airspace. Work also is underway to select the site for a new facility at RAF Waddington, UK, from which the Protector fleet and the UK's new E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning aircraft will be operated. Graham said the facility needs “to be ready for Protector by the end of 2021,” suggesting that first Protector deliveries could take place in 2022. Britain plans to centralize its Protector operations from Waddington, resulting in the UK presence at Creech AFB, Nevada being scaled down. Because of the Protector's ability to self-deploy and perform autonomous landing and take-off, there also is a significantly reduced need for forward-based personnel to land the aircraft at forward-operating locations, further reducing the personnel burden. The UK currently is planning to buy 16 Protectors, a derivative of General Atomics' self-developed, certifiable SkyGuardian platform, which has been redesigned to pave the way for it to meet military airworthiness requirements. As a result, the aircraft now features an all-weather capability with an electro-expulsive de-icing system that blows the ice off the leading edges of the wings and Y-stabilizers. General Atomics also has increased the fatigue life and damage tolerance of the aircraft and produced flight-critical software certifiable to the DO-178 standard. British Protectors will be armed with the Raytheon Paveway IV laser-guided-bomb and MBDA Brimstone air-to-ground missile. There also are plans to fit it with Leonardo's Sage Electronic Support Measures system. The aircraft will also be equipped with General Atomics' Lynx synthetic aperture radar, but there are studies to look at installing a larger radar, such as Leonardo's Seaspray surface-search radar. Work on the integration of such a radar, which could allow the Protector to support the UK's new P-8 Poseidon in the maritime patrol role, is being scoped but is not yet funded. RAF officers are working alongside General Atomics at its San Diego, California, facility as part of a combined test team to pave the way for the platform's certification by the UK Military Aviation Authority, which the RAF hopes will allow the aircraft to fly in non-segregated airspace for training and support to national authorities. They are hoping to do this even without the immediate installation of General Atomics internally developed sense-and-avoid radar. The RAF's Protectors will be compatible, but not immediately equipped, with the active electronically scanned array radar, but Graham said work was underway with the UK's newly renamed Strategic Command (formerly Joint Forces Command) to understand the requirement for the radar, and test and evaluation work was underway. Officials state that the radar likely will be introduced as part of the full operational capability for the platform. The UK also will use the General Atomics Advanced Cockpit ground control station, which uses a similar flight management system to the Beechcraft King Air 350. Under current plans, the British Protectors will be flown by a crew of three—a pilot, a sensor operator and a mission intelligence coordinator. Rather than flying the aircraft from inside transportable containers, the seven ground control stations will occupy a permanent building with room for expansion. There also will be scope to add an additional mission specialist, should a particular mission require it, officials say. https://aviationweek.com/defense/raf-retiring-reaper-2024-paving-way-protector

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - July 29, 2019

    30 juillet 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité, Autre défense

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - July 29, 2019

    NAVY DRS Laurel Technologies, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, is awarded a $382,535,170 cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract for the development, integration, and production of hardware solutions. This contract will provide design, procurement, production, sparing, test, installation, and support of displays, workstations, processors, and network systems; the production of subsequent systems, kits and enclosures; and engineering and technical services. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (92.7 percent); and the government of the United Kingdom under the Foreign Military Sales program (4.6 percent), and per a memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth of Australia (2.7 percent). Work will be performed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (82 percent); Burnsville, Minnesota (15 percent); Germantown, Maryland (1 percent); Largo, Florida (1 percent); and Chesapeake, Virginia (1 percent), and is expected be complete in July 2025. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to an estimated $830,711,796, and be complete in December 2026. Fiscal 2019 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $296,895 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 two offers received. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport, Keyport, Washington, is the contracting activity (N00253-19-D-0004). Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems Inc., Northridge, California, is being awarded a $167,338,657 firm-fixed-price contract for 263 full-rate production Lot 8 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGM). This contract provides for conversion of U.S. government-provided AGM-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles into 260 AGM-88E AARGM all-up-rounds and 3 Captive Air Training Missiles, including supplies and services required for manufacture, spares, and fleet deployment. Work will be performed in Northridge, California (80%); and Ridgecrest, California (20%), and is expected to be completed in March 2022. Fiscal 2017, 2018, and 2019 weapons procurement (Navy); fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy); and fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $167,338,657 will be obligated at time of award, $1,319,319 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-5. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N0001919C0049). Allied Pacific Builders Inc.,* Waipahu, Hawaii (N62478-16-D-4006); Environet Inc.,* Kamuela, Hawaii (N62478-16-D-4007); Hako Plumbing Inc.,* Honolulu, Hawaii (N62478-16-D-4008); Heartwood Pacific LLC,* Keaau, Hawaii (N62478-16-D-4009); Raass Brothers Inc.,* Provo, Utah (N62478-16-D-4010); and TOMCO Corp.,* Honolulu, Hawaii (N62478-16-D-4011), are awarded a combined $95,000,000 firm-fixed-price modification to increase the maximum dollar value of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award, design-build/design-bid-build construction contract for construction projects located primarily within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Hawaii area of operations (AO). The work to be performed provides for but is not limited to labor, supervision, tools, materials and equipment necessary to perform new construction, repair, alteration and related demolition of existing infrastructure based on design-build, or design-bid-build (full plans and specifications) for infrastructure within the state of Hawaii. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $340,000,000. No task orders are being issued at this time. Work will be performed at various Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and miscellaneous federal and other facilities in the NAVFAC Hawaii AO, and is expected to be completed by March 2021. No funds will be obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated on individual task orders as they are issued. Task orders will be primarily funded by operations and maintenance (Navy); and Navy working capital funds. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity. PAE Aviation and Technical Services LLC, Greenville, South Carolina, is awarded $50,396,007 for modification P00023 to a previously issued firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursable indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract N00421-15-D-0007 to exercises an option for organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot maintenance and logistics support for F-5F and F-5N aircraft. Work will be performed in Fallon, Nevada; Yuma, Arizona; and Key West, Florida, and is expected to be completed in July 2020. No funds are being obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated on individual task orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Katmai Health Services LLC,* Anchorage, Alaska, is awarded ceiling value $19,562,319 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide role player services for Infantry Immersion Training. Work will be performed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (40%); Camp Pendleton, California (40%); and Marine Corps Base, Hawaii (20%), and work is expected to be completed July 2021, having an ordering period of two years. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $1,618,452 will be obligated on the first task order immediately following contract award and funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-5 and 15 U.S. Code 637. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contract activity (M67854-19-D-7836). General Dynamics Missions Systems Inc., Marion, Virginia, is awarded a $16,313,717 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the manufacturing of AN/SPG-62 antenna systems parabolic radio frequency reflectors. The AN/SPG-62 antenna systems are mounted and operated in the ship's open spaces and are subsystems of the Mk-99 fire control system, part of the AEGIS combat system suite. The AN/SPG-62 antenna system reflector enables the continuous-wave radio frequency signal from the Mk-99's radar transmitter to illuminate targets to be engaged, fired upon and destroyed by the ship's weapons. Work will be performed in Marion, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by December 2024. Fiscal 2017, 2018 and 2019 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $941,313 will be obligated at time of award, and $387,014 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured, in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1 (only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements). The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Indiana, is the contracting activity (N00164-19-D-WP49). AIR FORCE Kilgore Flares Co., Toone, Tennessee, has been awarded a $90,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for MJU-53/B countermeasure flares. This contract provides an infrared countermeasure flare which is a magnesium based flare utilized on USAF Air Mobility Command C-17 and C-5 aircraft. Work will be performed at Toone, Tennessee, and is expected to be completed by July 2023. This contract involves foreign military sales, however, the countries are unknown at this time. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with two offers received. Fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $3,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8213-19-D-0012). Armtec Countermeasures Co., Coachella, California, has been awarded a $90,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for MJU-53/B countermeasure flare. This contract provides an infrared countermeasure flare which is a magnesium based flare utilized on Air Force Air Mobility Command C-17 and C-5 aircraft. Work will be performed at Camden, Arkansas, and is expected to be completed by July 2023. This contract involves foreign military sales, however, the countries are unknown at this time. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with two offers received. Fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $3,000 is being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8213-19-D-0013). Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nevada, has been awarded a $23,248,916 modification (P00001) to previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract FA3002-19-D-A003 for A-29 pilot and maintenance training for the Afghanistan Air Force at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia; and in Afghanistan. The contract modification provides for the addition of outside the continental U.S. instructor pilots in Afghanistan. This modification involves building partner capacity/pseudo-foreign military sales to Afghanistan. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2023. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. The 338th Contracting Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio, Randolph, Texas, is the contracting activity. Merrill Corp., doing business as Mission Support, Clearfield, Utah, has been awarded a $20,466,034 ceiling indefinite-delivery/indefinite‐quantity contract for the acquisition of A‐10 flap assemblies. This contract provides for the acquisition of left and right outboard flap assemblies and left and right inboard flap assemblies. Work will be performed in Clearfield, Utah, and is expected to be complete by July 28, 2025. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and five offers were received. Consolidated sustainment activity group working capital funds in the amount of $4,997,734 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Sustainment Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8212‐19‐D‐0002). Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, California, has been awarded a $13,150,000 cost‐plus‐fixed‐fee modification (P00151) to contract FA8810‐13‐C‐0002 for space based infrared system contractor logistics support for studies and modification projects. Work will be performed at Peterson Air Force Base, Buckley AFB, Greeley Air National Guard Station, and Boulder, Colorado, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2021. Fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $13,150,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the contracting activity. The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded a $10,395,313 firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00005) to previously awarded delivery order contract FA8634-17-F-0002 for F-15 Advanced Display Core Processor (ADCP) II low-rate initial production Lot 1. This engineering change proposal provides for the production and integration of the ADCPII boxes and related equipment into the F-15 platform. Work will be performed at St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be completed by July 31, 2021. This award is the result of a sole source acquisition. Fiscal 2019 procurement; and fiscal 2018 and 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $10,395,313 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Fighter/Bomber Directorate, F-15 Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded a $9,244,494 firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00006) to previously awarded delivery order contract FA8634-17-F-0002, for F-15 Advanced Display Core Processor II low-rate initial production Lot 1. This modification provides for the performance of a study to mitigate risks posed to the F-15E to reduce its flight risk from serious to medium. Work will be performed at St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be completed by July 31, 2021. This award is the result of a sole source acquisition. Fiscal 2018 research and development funds in the amount of $9,244,494 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Fighter/Bomber Directorate, F-15 Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. ARMY Dawson-Zapata JV,* Honolulu, Hawaii, was awarded a $40,000,000 hybrid (cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price) contract for range maintenance and support activities utilizing robotic technology. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 2, 2024. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W912DY-19-D-0002). WASHINGTON HEADQUARTERS SERVICES Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, was awarded a $24,905,967 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to support the government with development of prototypes, test plans, rapid fielding, operational experiments and changes in existing acquisition programs, with a focus on identification and reduction of programmatic and technical risk provides for applied research. Work performance will take place in Laurel, Maryland. Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $1,512,000; and fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $23,393,697 are being awarded. This contract was not competitively procured because the task order is executed against a single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity. The expected completion date is May 30, 2020. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HQ0034-19-D-0006). (Awarded July 26, 2019) DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Sopakco Inc.,* Mullins, South Carolina (SPE3S1-19-D-Z123, $16,888,463); and The Wornick Co., Cincinnati, Ohio (SPE3S1-19-D-Z122, $16,618,875), have both been awarded firm-fixed-price contracts under solicitation SPE3S1-19-R-0005 for Tailored Operational Training Meals. These are five-year contracts with no option periods. This was a competitive acquisition with three responses received. Locations of performance are South Carolina and Ohio, with a July 28, 2024, performance completion date. Using military services are National Guard and Reserve Forces. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Skurka Aerospace Inc., Camarillo, California, has been awarded a maximum $9,428,066 firm-fixed-price contract for direct current motors. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a one-year base contract with one, one-year option period. Location of performance is California, with a July 28, 2020, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency, Land and Maritime, Warren, Michigan (SPRDL1-19-C-0190). MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY Cummings Aerospace,* Huntsville, Alabama, is being awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a maximum amount of $9,982,641. Under this new contract, the contractor will integrate and enhance the Simulation Framework ToolKit and Coordinated Cyber/Electronic Warfare Integrated Fires Tool to conduct quick-turn, end-to-end, left through right of launch analysis with varying sensor and weapon technologies. A task order in the amount of $1,894,626 is being issued. The work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama. The ordering period is from July 29, 2019, through July 28, 2024. A special topic broad agency announcement (BAA) number HQ0147-17-S0002 was posted to the Federal Business Opportunities web site to solicit white papers related to advanced research technology and development in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.102(d)(2)(i) to meet full and open competition requirements. The government received 26 white papers in response to the BAA and selected seven white papers from which proposals were requested. This award results from one of seven proposals received. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,894,626 for the first task order are being obligated on this award. The Missile Defense Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (HQ0147-19-D-0009). *Small Business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1918513/source/GovDelivery/

  • NAVFAC Pacific Awards Contract for Communications/Crypto Facility at JBPHH Wahiawa Annex

    29 juillet 2019 | Naval, Sécurité

    NAVFAC Pacific Awards Contract for Communications/Crypto Facility at JBPHH Wahiawa Annex

    By Krista Cummins, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific Public Affairs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific awarded a $49 million firm-fixed price contract July 26 to Nan, Inc. of Honolulu, Hawaii, for work at the Communications/Crypto Facility at Naval Computer Telecommunications Area Master Station (NCTAMS) Pacific on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH) Wahiawa Annex. “This project will result in a substantive improvement in our ability to execute a range of Information Warfare missions at the Wahiawa Annex - from assuring command and control to Navy and Joint Commanders across the Pacific to Cyberspace Operations,” said Capt. Bryan Braswell, NCTAMS Pacific commanding officer. “Ultimately this investment in the Wahiawa infrastructure will improve our Information Warfare readiness in the Pacific.” The work includes renovating three existing buildings – Buildings 261, 105 and 10 and consists of removing walls and equipment; modifying electrical mechanical, fire sprinklers, lighting, communication and security systems; renovating restroom facilities, power, uninterruptible power supply, heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems, ceiling and doors; and painting interior and exterior areas. Work on this contract will be performed at JBPHH Wahiawa Annex, Hawaii with an expected completion date of April 2021. The contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities website with three proposals received. https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=110374

  • Ottawa company receives Royal Canadian Navy support contract

    29 juillet 2019 | Local, Naval

    Ottawa company receives Royal Canadian Navy support contract

    DAVID PUGLIESE BMT Canada Ltd. has been awarded a $77.8 million contract to provide engineering, logistics, management, and support services to the Royal Canadian Navy's fleet. The contract initially runs for five years but there are options to extend that. The Ottawa-based company will provide a wide variety of work such as standards development and logistics services for equipment sustainment, according to the Department of National Defence. This contract will support the RCN's current and future fleet in instances where DND does not have the capacity to perform all of this work in-house, the department noted. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/ottawa-company-receives-navy-support-contract

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - July 26, 2019

    29 juillet 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité, Autre défense

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - July 26, 2019

    Contracts for July 26, 2019 ARMY Blue Tech Inc.,* San Diego, California (W52P1J-19-D-0051); Ace Computers doing business as JC Technology Inc.,* Elk Grove Village, Illinois (W52P1J-19-D-0055); Strategic Communications LLC,* Louisville, Kentucky (W52P1J-19-D-0050); NCS Technologies Inc.,* Gainesville, Virginia (W52P1J-19-D-0048); HPI Federal LLC, Washington, District of Columbia (W52P1J-19-D-0054); Dell Federal Systems LP, Round Rock, Texas (W52P1J-19-D-0049); Iron Bow Technologies LLC, Herndon, Virginia (W52P1J-19-D-0052); and Sterling Computers Corp.,* North Sioux City, South Dakota (W52P1J-19-D-0053), will compete for each order of the $5,000,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Army Desktop and Mobile Computing-3. Bids were solicited via the internet with 58 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 23, 2029. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity. BCF Solutions Inc.,* Arlington, Virginia (W15QKN-18-C-0088); BCF Solutions Inc.,* Arlington, Virginia (W15QKN-19-D-0089); Trijicon Inc.,* Wixom, Michigan (W15QKN-19-D-0095); and Trijicon Inc.,* Wixom, Michigan (W15QKN-19-D-0094), will compete for each order of the $48,800,000 firm-fixed-price contract for mounted machine gun optic mounts on the M2 and M2A1 machine guns, the M240 family of machine guns, and the MK19 grenade launcher. 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 July 26, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, is the contracting activity. Riverside Construction Co. Inc.,* Vicksburg, Mississippi, was awarded a $24,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for stone repairs to revetments and dikes, flood control and channel improvement to the Mississippi River Basin and tributaries. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2020. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, Mississippi, is the contracting activity (W912EE-19-D-0011). PROJECTXYZ Inc.,* Huntsville, Alabama, was awarded a $17,227,000 firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (Egypt) contract to develop and deliver M48A3 Chaparral Fire Unit system modifications. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work will be performed in Cairo, Egypt, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 30, 2020. Fiscal 2019 Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $17,227,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-19-C-0105). HNTB Corp., Kansas City, Missouri, was awarded a $13,500,000 modification (P00007) to contract W91236-14-D-0035 for multidiscipline design and architect-engineer services for planning and design support to the southern expansion project at Arlington National Cemetery. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 28, 2024. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity. Modern Technology Solutions Inc.,* Alexandria, Virginia, was awarded an $8,458,222 modification (P00019) to contract W9133L-16-F-0027 for modernization and engineering support. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of July 25, 2020. Fiscal 2019 National Guard Bureau funds in the amount of $8,458,222 were obligated at the time of the award. National Guard Bureau, Operations Contracting, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. NAVY AAR Government Services Inc., Wood Dale, Illinois, is awarded an $118,616,793 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement, modification and delivery of two C-40 aircraft and associated peculiar support equipment and common support equipment for the Marine Corps (USMC). This contract is for the acquisition, modification, acceptance and delivery of two Boeing 737-700 Increased Gross Weight (IGW) series commercial aircraft that will meet USMC C-9B replacement medium lift requirements and will be designated C-40A. This statement of work (SOW) will procure and modify a 737-700 IGW series airframe and engines that will meet cargo/passenger, communication, navigation, safety and military mission system capabilities. The military mission systems consist of requirements for military navigation and communication system. The aircraft shall be certified in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 25 (airworthiness standards) for an all-passenger configuration that can carry 121 passengers and an all-cargo configuration of eight 463L (HCU-6/E) cargo pallets. A passenger-cargo configuration (combi-configuration) shall be certified to meet 14 CFR Part 25 or military airworthiness standards that will consist of seating and cargo pallets that will provide the USMC the added mission flexibility to configure the aircraft in a cargo-passenger configuration. Naval Aviation (NAVAIR) will be responsible for the airworthiness related to the combination configuration unless the configuration falls within an existing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification. The contract will also require training the aircrew (pilots, crew chiefs and loadmasters) and training for unique equipment. Work will be performed in Wood Dale, Illinois (79%); Indianapolis, Indiana (11%); Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (9%); Miami, Florida (1%); and is expected to be completed in September 2021. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $118,616,793 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposal; two offers were received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-0070). Nan Inc., Honolulu, Hawaii, is awarded a $49,777,312 firm-fixed-price contract for communications/crypto facility at Naval Computer Telecommunications Area, Maser Station, Pacific. The work includes renovating three existing buildings, Buildings 261, 105 and 10. Building 261 renovation work consists of removing walls, equipment, electrical mechanical, fire sprinklers, communication and security systems; renovate restroom facilities, power, uninterruptible power supply, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, ceiling, doors, painting interior and exterior and penetration of secure areas. Building 105 renovation of work consists of removing walls and raised access flooring; modifying electrical, mechanical, fire sprinklers, lighting, communication, security systems, interior painting and doors. Building 10 renovation work consists of replacing window air conditioning units and doors, modifying electrical and communication systems and incidental work. The option, if exercised, provides for furniture, fixtures and equipment. Work will be performed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Wahiawa Annex, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by April 2021. The contract also contains one unexercised option, which, if exercised, would increase the cumulative contract value to $50,286,129. Fiscal 2018 military construction (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $49,777,312 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities website with three proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (N62742-19-C-1317). General Dynamics Mission Systems, Fairfax, Virginia, is awarded a $27,713,041 cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost-only modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-09-C-6250 for the procurement of Navy systems engineering services. This contract is for the completion and modernization of Navy systems. This contract involves foreign military sales to Australia. Work will be performed in Fairfax, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by July 2021. Fiscal 2017 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $1,367,558; fiscal 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $2,532,437; fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $499,914 and Royal Australian Navy funding in the amount of $728,283 will be obligated at time of award, and $499,914 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Modification is pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) (only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements). The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. Progeny Systems Corp.,* Manassas, Virginia, is awarded a $17,633,753 cost-plus-fixed fee level-of-effort and cost-only modification to previously awarded contract N00024-18-C-6265 to exercise options for the procurement of engineering and technical services, including software development, commercial off-the-shelf products, hardware and software integration for submarine and undersea warfare weapons systems. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia (65%); Middletown, Rhode Island (25%); and San Diego, California (10%), and is expected to be complete by July 2020. Fiscal 2019 and 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy); 2016 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); and 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $13,083,051 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 (N00024-18-C-6265). Draeger Inc., Teleford, Pennsylvania, is awarded a $9,945,261 firm-fixed-price contract for anesthesia recording and monitoring devices (ARMD) sustainment services in support of Navy, Army, Air Force, and National Capital Region military treatment facilities inside and outside the continental U.S. Work may be performed at locations throughout the U.S. to include: San Antonio Military Medical Center, Texas (7%); Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Maryland (7%); Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia (6%); Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California (5%); Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Virginia (3%); Fort Bliss, Texas (3%); Fort Bragg, North Carolina (3%); Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii (3%); Lackland Air Force Base, Texas (3%); Eglin Air Force Base Hospital, Florida (2%); Fort Benning, Georgia (2%); Fort Campbell, Kentucky (2%); Fort Carson, Colorado (2%); Fort Gordon, Georgia (2%); Fort Hood, Texas (2%); Fort Stewart, Georgia (2%); Keesler Air Force Base, Georgia (2%); Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton, California (2%); Naval Hospital Pensacola, Florida (2%); Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada (2%); United States Army Institute of Surgical Research, Texas (2%); Wright-Patterson Air Force Medical Center, Ohio (2%); Andrews Air Force Base Hospital, Maryland (1%); Langley Air Force Base Medical Center, Virginia (1%); Elmendorf Air Force Base Hospital, Alaska (1%); Travis Air Force Base, California (1%); Fort Wainwright, Alaska (1%); West Point Academy, New York (1%); Fort Riley, Kansas (1%); Fort Meade, Maryland (1%); Fort Irwin, California (1%); Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri (1%); Fort Polk, Louisiana (1%); Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Maryland (1%); Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (1%); Naval Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida (1%); Naval Hospital, Lemoore, California (1%); Naval Hospital, Beaufort, South Carolina (1%); Naval Hospital, Twentynine Palms, California (1%); Naval Hospital, Cherry Point, North Carolina (1%); and Air Force Medical Operations Agency Lab, Texas (less than 1%). Work may be performed at locations outside of the contiguous United States to include Landsuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany (3%); Aviano Air Base Hospital, Italy (1%); Lakenheath Air Force Base Hospital, United Kingdom (1%); Misawa Air Force Base, Japan (1%); Naval Hospital, Guam, Guam (1%); Naval Hospital, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (1%); Naval Hospital, Naples, Italy (1%); Naval Hospital, Okinawa, Japan (1%); Osan Air Base Hospital, Korea (1%); Naval Hospital, Rota, Spain (1%); Naval Hospital, Sigonella, Italy (1%); Waegwan (Seoul), South Korea (1%); Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan and Iwakuni, Japan (1%); and Yokota Air Force Base Hospital, Japan (1%). This contract has a five-year period of performance and all work is expected to be completed by July 26, 2024. Fiscal 2019 Defense Health Program operation & maintenance funds will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was a non-competitive, sole-source procurement in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1(c) issued via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one proposal received. The Naval Medical Logistics Command, Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N62645-19-C-0005). Coastal Marine Services,* San Diego, California (N55236-19-D-0007); DLP Enterprises,* National City, California (N55236-19-D-0008); Paige Floor Covering Services,* San Diego, California (N55236-19-D-0009); Surface Technologies Corp.,* San Diego, California (N55236-19-D-0010); and YYK Enterprises,* National City, California (N55236-19-D-0011), are awarded a combined $8,750,359 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award contracts with a five-year base ordering period to provide interior decking onboard Navy ships vessels within a 50-mile radius of San Diego, California. Each contractor shall provide services, equipment, and materials for interior decking on Navy ships and other government vessels within a 50-mile radius of San Diego, California, which may include Oceanside, California. Further, the contractor must be familiar with and conform to all prescribed procedures set forth in applicable instructions, directives, publications, etc. issued by the Department of Defense (DoD), Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Supply Systems Command, Navy Sea Systems Command, Commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific Fleet, Fleet Forces Command and other DoD-related activities. These five companies will have an opportunity to compete for individual delivery orders. Work will be performed in or near San Diego, California, and will be complete by July 2024. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $50,000 ($10,000 for minimum guarantee per contract) will be obligated under each contract's initial delivery order and expire at the end of the current fiscal year. These contracts were competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website with seven offers received. The Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity. AIR FORCE CPI Aerostructures, Edgewood, New York, has been awarded a $65,700,000 ceiling contract for T-38A/B/C sustainment. This contract provides for T-38 A/B/C structural and fastener kits. Work will be performed at Edgewood, New York, and is expected to be completed by July 25, 2030. This award is the result of a competitive-source acquisition with three offers received. Fiscal 2018 and 2019 procurement funds in the amount of $3,398,478 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hill Air Force Base, Roy, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8220-19-D-0002). Smiths Detection Inc., Edgewood, Maryland, has been awarded a $16,314,800 firm-fixed-price contract for Azerbaijan X-rays and screening equipment. This contract provides for X-ray screening systems, installation, initial spares, training and extended warranty and maintenance support for Republic of Azerbaijan, State Customs Committee, supporting U.S. European Command Theater Campaign Plan line of effort to counter transnational threats. Work will be performed in the Republic of Azerbaijan, and expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2021. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $16,314,800 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Combat Command, Acquisition Management & Integration Center, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, is the contracting activity (FA4890-19-C-A015). Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Connecticut, has been awarded a $9,453,990 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00088) to previously awarded contract FA8629-14-C-2403 for initial capabilities upgrades. This contract modification provides for the engineering analysis and integration (or removal) of capabilities such as situational awareness data link, automatic direction finder, distributed aperture infrared countermeasures and electro-optical/infrared with primary flight reference symbology. Work will be performed at Stratford, Connecticut; and Owego, New York, and is expected to be completed by July 24, 2020. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $9,453,990 are being obligated at the time of award. Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Carter Enterprises LLC, doing business as Mil-Spec Enterprises, Brooklyn, New York, has been awarded a maximum $24,252,013 modification (P00029) to a one-year contract (SPE1C1-16-D-1071) with three one-year option periods for the Improved Outer Tactical Vest, Generation IV. This is a firm-fixed price, indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is New York, with a Sept. 15, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cutter Aviation Phoenix Inc.,* Phoenix, Arizona, has been awarded a maximum $9,490,256 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for fuel. This was a competitive acquisition with 148 responses received. This is a 44-month contract with a six-month option period. Location of performance is Arizona, with a March 31, 2023, performance completion date. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Virginia (SPE607-19-D-0110). CORRECTION: The contract announced on July 24, 2019, Communications & Power Industries, Palo Alto, California (SPE7LX-19-D-0169) for $7,050,384 was announced with an incorrect award date. The correct award date is July 26, 2019. *Small Business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1918406/

  • Japan wants to be an official F-35 partner. The Pentagon plans to say no.

    29 juillet 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Japan wants to be an official F-35 partner. The Pentagon plans to say no.

    By: Aaron Mehta , Valerie Insinna , and Mike Yeo WASHINGTON and MELBOURNE, Australia — Japan has formally expressed interest in joining the F-35 program as a full partner, but the Pentagon plans to shoot down that request, Defense News has learned. Sources say Japan's request to join the partnership creates major political headaches for the Pentagon, with fears it would cause new tensions among the international production base for the joint strike fighter and open the door for other customer nations to demand a greater role in future capability development. In a June 18 letter from Japan's Ministry of Defense to Pentagon acquisition head Ellen Lord, obtained by Defense News, Atsuo Suzuki, director general for the Bureau of Defense Buildup Planning, formally requests information on how Japan could move from being a customer of the F-35 to a full-fledged member of the industrial base consortium. “I believe becoming a partner country in F-35 program is an option,” the letter reads. “I would like to have your thoughts on whether or not Japan has a possibility to be a partner country in the first place. Also, I would like you to provide the Ministry of Defense with detailed information about the responsibilities and rights of a partner country, as well as cost sharing and conditions such as the approval process and the required period.” “We would like to make a final decision whether we could proceed to become a partner country by thoroughly examining the rights and obligations associated with becoming a partner country based on the terms and conditions you would provide,” the letter concludes. Lord, the Pentagon acquisition head, is scheduled to meet with Japanese officials this week, and the question of membership is expected to come up. But Tokyo won't like the answer. Although Lord's office will be responsible for carrying the final message to Japan, the F-35 Joint Program Office told Defense News that the partnership remains limited to the initial wave of F-35 investors. “The F-35 cooperative Partnership closed on 15 July 2002,” stated Brandi Schiff, a spokesperson for the F-35 JPO. The decision was documented in an April 2002 memo by the Pentagon's acquisition executive stating that, “except for those countries with which we are already engaged in Level III System Development and Demonstration partnership negotiation by 15 July 2002, we will not be able to accommodate any additional Level III partners due to our inability to offer equitable government-to-government benefits and U.S. industry's inability to offer equitable 'best value' workshare arrangements,” according to Schiff. The F-35 partners in 2007 reiterated in a separate memo that only the partners who participated in the development phase of the F-35 program would be eligible to remain partners during the production, sustainment and modernization stages. A source familiar with internal discussions says the Pentagon is concerned that letting Japan become a program partner would lead to other nations demanding similar access. Japan's query is hitting the F-35 program at a time of change. Vice Adm. Mat Winter, the head of the JPO, retired this month after only two years on the job, and Turkey's pursuit of a Russian air defense system has resulted in them being booted from the F-35 consortium, with all work being done by its companies to end early next year. So in many ways, Japan asking to be made a full partner now makes sense, said a former senior official in the F-35 program, who agreed to speak on background out of respect for current decision makers. “You now lost a partner in Turkey, so there is a vacant parking space, so to speak. And other than the U.S. services, [Japan] will be the one nation with the most F-35s,” the former official said, noting two changes that have happened in just the last year. “Ultimately, the Department of Defense, in coordination with the State Department, made up the rules," the former official said. "The Department of Defense can change the rules.” Global impact There are two tiers of participation in the F-35 program. The first-tier members are considered “partners” in the program, which comes with direct involvement in the joint program office. That includes having national representatives stationed in the JPO, weighing in on decisions about future capabilities, and deciding what future industrial participation looks like. And that industrial participation is important — building parts of the jet that go into the global supply chain is expected to net the partner nations billions in revenue over the lifetime of the program. The partners are made up of the first nine nations to sign onto the program: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The second tier consists of “customers” for the jet, comprising nations that came later to the program. Those nations command less industrial participation, lack voting power on what future development of the jet looks like, and do not have officials assigned to the JPO. That tier is made up of Israel, South Korea, Belgium and Japan, but could expand in the future with Finland, Singapore and other nations. In December 2018, Japan announced a plan to expand procurement of F-35s from 42 to 147 jets, making it the single largest F-35 operator outside of the United States, as well as one of only three foreign nations to operate the F-35B jump-jet model. But Tokyo appears interested in increasing its teaming with the program, in large part because it wishes to take part in guiding new capabilities development as the plane gets ready for its Block 4 upgrade. “There are various merits in participating in continuous capability development and delivery deliberation process by partner countries. In addition, there is a further need to obtain flight safety information for accountability to the public,” the letter from the Japanese defense ministry reads. “I understand that partner countries are allowed to join [JSF Executive Steering Board], to be involved in capability improvement, to dispatch their personnel to JPO, to participate in parts production and to access further information.” The emphasis on the need to obtain flight safety information is notable, after an F-35A crashed into the ocean in April, resulting in the loss of both the plane and its pilot. Japanese officials have since blamed the crash on spatial distortion for the pilot. However, customer nations receive the same safety information that partners do, albeit slightly delayed due to the need to clear information. The letter also acknowledges that “partner countries share significant costs,” an indication that Japan would be willing to pony up more cash in order to join the inner circle of F-35 members. From a pure program logistics perspective, Japan becoming a partner would not be a problem, and in fact program officials would likely find it easier to deal with the largest foreign buyer of the F-35 as a partner rather than customer overall. The politics, however, quickly get tricky. Should Japan be allowed to join, the former official noted, “you've opened Pandora's box.” The former official specifically said that South Korea, due to its complicated political relationship with Japan, and Israel, which was the first nation to be added as a customer after the partnership option was closed, would try to use Japan's joining the program as a way in, as well. The official also highlighted Belgium, for now the sole NATO ally buying the F-35 as a customer and not a partner, as a nation with a strong case for promotion should Japan be allowed in. The best argument DoD could make would be that the sheer size of Japan's buy deserves special privileges, but that sets a bar that other nations could look to climb and effectively buy their way into a partnership. “This is a very interesting political football that DoD has to wrestle with. This is a bigger political decision than a programmatic one,” the former official noted. “I personally think DoD doesn't want the headache if they say yes.” No other countries have made formal requests to join the program, Schiff confirmed. Requests for comment from Lord's office, as well as the Japanese MoD, were not returned by press time. Benefits for Japan In terms of industrial participation, there are opportunities for Japanese firms to pick up work that has been removed from Turkey, said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group. Major Turkish defense firms have had a hand in building hundreds of parts for the jet. Turkey's expulsion from the program, which includes the United States blocking Turkey's planned procurement of 100 fighters, means that production will at least temporarily move to the United States, with a plan to farm it out to other partners in the future. Turkey's aerostructures work could be picked up by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and to a lesser extent Kawasaki and Subaru, Aboulafia said. But he said he was “baffled” by the idea Japan would want more industrial participation at the same time they have publicly moved away from its domestic final assembly and check out (FACO) facility, which since 2013 has handled final production on Japan's domestic F-35s. The FACO facility, which is operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, will continue to carry out production work until FY22 to fulfill the F-35As contracted by Japan between FY15 and FY18. Instead, Aboulafia sees Japan's interest as being driven by a desire for future developments, given the decision to increase the island nation's planned procurement of the jet. “If they are going to base their fighter force on this plane for decades to come, they clearly want a say in how this plane is upgraded,” he said. “It's a sovereignty thing.” And floating in the background is another potential complicating factor for the Pentagon: Japan's continued drive to develop an indigenous fighter. Japan is developing a new fighter type to replace the indigenous Mitsubishi F-2 fighter currently in service, and wants the new design to enter service in the 2030s. It is also looking at development pathways for this project, with a fully indigenous design, collaboration with a foreign partner, or a spinoff from an existing fighter design being considered as possible options. The country is already conducting research and development into a number of relevant areas for fighter design, including stealth technologies, fighter engines and active electronically scanned radars, and had previously built a technology demonstrator, the X-2 Shinshin, and carried out a series of test flights with this aircraft to validate these technologies. Asked if the Japanese could be considering the fighter program in their decision to pursue membership in the F-35, Aboulafia bluntly responded, “How could they not?” Schiff, the JPO spokesperson, said the F-35 remains a critical focal point of the U.S.-Japan alliance. “Any opportunities to strengthen the alliance through interoperability and cooperation will be emphasized. As an FMS customer, Japan participates in F-35 user groups and other bi-lateral forums and engagements," she said. https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2019/07/29/japan-wants-to-be-an-official-f-35-partner-the-pentagon-plans-to-say-no/

  • Royal Australian Air Force and US Air Force technicians on the tools together

    29 juillet 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Royal Australian Air Force and US Air Force technicians on the tools together

    For the first time, No. 36 Squadron (36SQN) has worked to get United States Air Force (USAF) C-17A Globemasters back into the air under a new cross-servicing arrangement. Technicians from 36SQN were able to assist the crews of two USAF C-17As on separate tasks in Australia. The work came following both countries agreeing to a C-17A Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Service - Implementing Arrangement (ARMS-IA), which allows RAAF and USAF technicians to work on each other's C-17As. On 4 July , ARMS-IA was enacted to help support a USAF C-17A at RAAF Base Richmond. Warrant Officer (WOFF) Pete Ranson, Warrant Officer Engineering at 36SQN, said the request for assistance came via the Boeing Defence Australia representatives at RAAF Base Amberley. “We supplied a co-pilot Multi-Function Control Panel for the cockpit, fitted it and carried out the associated operational checks to verify the replacement,” WOFF Ranson said. “After that rectification, another unserviceability appeared, and was successfully rectified.” This issue related to a Secondary Flight Control Computer, and saw 36SQN engage fellow RAAF technicians at 37SQN for tooling and consumables. Throughout the repair on the USAF C-17A, RAAF and USAF technicians worked side-by-side. “The issues with the affected aircraft were outside the expertise of the USAF maintenance personnel on that task,” WOFF Ranson said. “The USAF aviation technician trades are more specialised than the RAAF, where we stream to either Aircraft Technician or Avionics Technician.” “We carry a broader experience in a range of tasks, and 36SQN maintenance personnel were able to guide the USAF counterparts in rectifying the jet.” The fix at RAAF Base Richmond came just days after 36SQN technicians assisted another USAF C-17A with a suspected fuel leak fault at Rockhampton. “On that occasion, we sent maintenance personnel to troubleshoot the problem,” WOFF Ranson said. “We found it was a faulty valve and not a fuel leak from the tank, which gave confidence to the USAF crew that they could carry on to an appropriate location to replace the valve.” Group Captain (GPCAPT) Steve Pesce, Officer Commanding No. 86 Wing, said the work of 36SQN technicians had immediately validated the ARMS-IA. “The ARMS-IA recognised the close relationship between RAAF and USAF C-17A communities, and the reality that we operate this aircraft a long way from home,” GPCAPT Pesce said. “Both of these examples witnessed a C-17A getting back on a task much sooner than would have been otherwise possible, which is invaluable support.” “I am very proud of the 36SQN team for the assistance it's rendered to its USAF counterparts.” https://www.jber.jb.mil/News/News-Articles/Article/1917908/royal-australian-air-force-and-us-air-force-technicians-on-the-tools-together/source/GovD/

  • FRANCE PLANS TO BOOST ITS SELF-DEFENSE POSTURE IN SPACE

    29 juillet 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    FRANCE PLANS TO BOOST ITS SELF-DEFENSE POSTURE IN SPACE

    By: Christina Mackenzie PARIS – France has decided that by 2025 it will invest another €700 million ($780 million), in addition to the €3.6 billion ($4 billion) already earmarked, to boost its space capabilities, strengthening its means of surveillance and acquiring the means to self-defend in space. “If our satellites are threatened, we will blind those of our adversaries. We reserve the right to choose the time and means of the riposte: it could imply using powerful lasers deployed from our satellites or from patroller nano-satellites,” explained Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly on July 25. The announcement comes on the heels of the one made by President Emmanuel Macron on July 13 that a Space Command would be created on Sept. 1 in Toulouse, south-west France. Initially staffed by 220 people, it will be subordinated to the Air Force whose name will change to become the Air and Space Force (Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace). “Eventually, this command will be responsible for all our space operations, under the orders of the chief of staff of the armed forces,” Parly said at the Air Defense and Air Operations Command (CDAOA) on Airbase 942 in Lyon-Mont Verdun. She explained that “today our allies and our military adversaries are militarizing space. [...] We must act. We must be ready.” To this end she announced a new weapons program called “Mastering Space” with two major components: surveillance and active defense. France is one of the few countries to have its own space surveillance system thanks to the Graves and Satam radars and the telescopes deployed by the Ariane Group and the CNRS (the state-funded scientific research center). “The successor of Graves must be able to detect satellites 1,500 kilometers away that are no bigger than a shoe-box,” she declared. Actions would be taken to protect satellites, such as adding surveillance cameras to the Syracuse communications satellites and procuring patroller nano-satellites from 2023, according to the defense minister. Officials stress that this new strategy falls entirely within international legal framworks, which guarantee freedom of exploration and use of space as well as the principle of self-defense. However, France's own National Space Law will have to be adapted within an inter-ministerial framework in order to take account of the specifics of military space. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/07/26/france-plans-to-boost-its-self-defense-posture-in-space/

  • CSCSU Great Lakes Opens New VMS Lab

    29 juillet 2019 | International, Naval

    CSCSU Great Lakes Opens New VMS Lab

    By Brian Walsh, Training Support Center Public Affairs GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit (CSCSU) Great Lakes held a ribbon cutting ceremony unveiling a new Voyage Management System (VMS) lab for operations specialist (OS) A School July 26. CSCSU staff overhauled a space that was previously used for chart plotting and converted it into the new VMS lab. Eight instructors were dedicated to the process working a total 320 man-hours creating the lab that will be used in the training of students to meet fleet VMS requirements. “The dedication of the staff was highly important in this process,” said Chief Operations Specialist James Rodney, leading chief petty officer of CSCSU Great Lakes' operations specialist A School. “Without their hard work and determination to finish the lab, it would not have been ready for the implementation of OS Ready Relevant Learning (RRL).” The benefits of opening the new VMS lab allows us to alleviate lab bottleneck concerns, which can result in lost training time when another class is already in the lab. CSCSU can also raise their annual throughput of students because of the additional VMS lab. VMS is a computer-based system for navigation planning and monitoring. Its primary purpose is to contribute to safe navigation. The system is designed to increase the situational awareness of watch standers on the bridge and at other shipboard locations where the system is made available. The VMS user interface consists of one or more computer workstations that are linked via the ship's network or a Local Area Network (LAN). Multiple workstations and/or remote monitors may be provided, to place a VMS display at any required shipboard location. The lab is critical to OS “A” students because they are learning about safety of navigation. The addition of 80 hours of classroom and lab time will ensure VMS certified operations specialist report to their follow on commands better prepared to assist the bridge and combat information center watch teams with safe navigation soon after reporting onboard. “This lab is a benefit to students because they are provided access to the most up to date VMS lab Great Lakes has to offer with the most current version of VMS,” Rodney said. “It benefits CSCSU because it a tool the instructors can use to better provide training to the students and it alleviates potential bottle necks with classes. It benefits the Navy because every OS “A” student is leaving the schoolhouse with a VMS certification and this helps take pressure off the ships because it will lower the number of personnel they will need to send to VMS school in the Fleet.” On hand to praise the staff was CSCSU Commanding Officer Cmdr. Richie Enriquez. “Today's ribbon-cutting is a significant accomplishment to better prepare our students and support the fleet," Enriquez said. "The new VMS lab allows us to have a dedicated space for the training of our operations specialist and it is vital to implementing OS RRL curriculum. The time put in to ensure our students receive the highest caliber of training shows the professionalism, excellence and pride CSCSU takes in supporting our mission to develop and deliver surface ship combat systems training to achieve surface warfare superiority.” https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=110365

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