Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Cubic, Events, IT, logistics, Press Releases
Cubic Technology Will Be On Display at Army Aviation Expo
NASHVILLE, TN–(Marketwire – March 30, 2012) – Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB) will showcase its latest innovations and technology in tactical military communications and training for the Army Aviation industry this weekend at the AAAA Annual Forum and Exposition.
Among the highlights will be Cubic’s new Multiband Miniature Transceiver (MMT), a much smaller, lighter and lower-cost integrated digital data link capable of providing voice, data and imagery information for both airborne and ground applications across four frequency bands.
“The MMT will save our customers size, weight and power, at a significantly lower cost than previous generations of data links,” said Brad Feldmann, president of Cubic Defense Applications, which makes the system. “It has the potential for broad application, and is another example of Cubic innovation producing cost-effective solutions.”
Cubic will also showcase its newest Personnel Locator System, the 2nd generation of a high-performance search-and-rescue system that has been used by NATO and U.S. forces for more than two decades to locate downed pilots and for other combat search and rescue missions. The advanced PLS is interoperable with all U.S. combat survival radios and standard civil emergency distress beacons. It is also compatible with many NATO survival radios.
Known as the Quad A Expo, the event is sponsored by the Army Aviation Association of America, a not-for-profit advocacy group for the U.S. Army aviation community. Companies from all over the world attend. This year, the expo is from April 1-4 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville.
Cubic technology and systems on display at the expo also will include:
- The Tactical Edge Analysis and Display System (TEADS), developed with partner 2D3, which enhances situational awareness and actionable intelligence by interconnecting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data links on unmanned aerial vehicles with existing tactical networks, dramatically improving the dissemination of video and other critical data to the warfighter.
- Cubic’s industry-leading air combat training systems, used in live simulated battles by fighter and attack pilots all over the world to gain tactical proficiency and test their skills.
- Cubic Global Tracking Solutions’ technology, which uses smart devices and satellite data links to track and monitor containers, trucks, equipment, pallets and almost anything else anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day.
Cubic Corporation is the parent company of three major business segments: Defense Systems, Mission Support Services and Transportation Systems. Cubic Defense Systems is a leading provider of realistic combat training systems, cyber technologies, asset tracking solutions, and defense electronics. Mission Support Services is a leading provider of training, operations, maintenance, technical and other support services. Cubic Transportation Systems is the world’s leading provider of automated fare collection systems and services for public transit authorities. For more information about Cubic, see the company’s website at www.cubic.com.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Events, Military Aviation, Press Releases, production program
EUROFIGHTER: Five year support contract signed
Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH has today signed a major contract with NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) to support the fleet of Typhoon jets across the four Eurofighter core nations: Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
The five-year support contract is part of a new contract suite agreed with the nations which includes integrated mechanisms for continuing development work on the aircraft and will replace a number of legacy contracts whilst extending the terms for a longer period. The agreement demonstrates a commitment by all parties in achieving continued efficiencies on the programme; long-term support for the sustainability of aircraft covering all three production tranches and future enhancements and upgrades of the platform.
The new contract will focus on performance and affordability and will ensure a range of support services to the Typhoon users. The contract will also help to sustain European aerospace engineering, capability and jobs.
As part of the contract, Eurofighter’s partner companies: AleniaAermacchi in Italy, BAE Systems in the UK and Cassidian in Germany and Spain will work closely with the local MOD’s and Air Forces to improve the way it delivers a range of support services. This work will provide a strong basis for future support requirements including potential export opportunities.
The contract will help to sustain the thousands of jobs that are supported by the Eurofighter programme across a range of disciplines such as engineering, supply chain and project management and is further confirmation of the role of the Eurofighter programme as catalyst of high-tech aerospace European manufacturing, engineering and technological capabilities. Today, around 100,000 jobs are supported by the programme in the four core nations and the economic impact generated largely off-sets the investments made to develop and manufacture the aircraft.
Enzo Casolini, Eurofighter CEO, said: “This contract is important for the Eurofighter programme but also for the nations and the Air Forces. The contract’s goal is not only to deliver savings to the customer, but also guarantee a better management for the processes involved in the sustainability of the aircraft in-service. This can be considered a massive step in supporting the enhancements programme planned for Eurofighter, which is a fantastic, young platform with plenty of development capability still to be exploited”.
Today Eurofighter is the largest new generation fighter programme in the world with 559 aircraft under production contract, 321 aircraft delivered and in-service with 16 units in six air forces. Based on the number of aircraft in service and the number of customer air forces, this multi-role aircraft can be considered the best coalition fighter available on the market. Eurofighter made its combat debut during Libya operations in 2011 performing in both air-to-air and air-to-ground roles.
Filed under: Brazil, Business Line, Companies, Congress, Contract Awards, Countries, Department of Defense, development program, EADS, Embraer, Events, Federal Budget Process, Hawker Beechcraft, Military Aviation, production program, Protest, Services, Sierra Nevada, U.S. Air Force
Late last year the U.S. Air Force awarded a contract to a team of Sierra Nevada and Brazil’s Embraer to provide light attack aircraft for use by the Afghan military. The contract also had the potential for further orders to support the U.S. military and other potential foreign customers. The only other company to submit a bid was Hawker Beechcraft.
The award was controversial as the Air Force eliminated Hawker’s bid for not being in the competitive range as well as denied their attempts to protest the decision. Hawker sued in Federal Court and it came out that the contract had already been awarded to Sierra Nevada. After reviewing the process the decision was made four weeks ago to cancel the contract and begin an investigation into the contracting process.
The Air Force has stated that the investigation will conclude next week and that it focused on documentation of the decision and not the actions of either contractor. Based on the data gathered so far the Air Force has decided to reinstate Hawker, allow new proposals and may conduct another evaluation. The service also may reserve the right to conduct a whole new competition with a new request for proposals and new bids.
At the same time there are reports that Hawker may have to file for bankruptcy due to its current debt load. If that is true then the Light Air Support contract may be key to keeping the company viable.
The Air Force has struggled over the last decade with evaluating bids and awarding contracts for new aircraft. The KC-X aerial tanker took three tries before Boeing (BA) won it with a version of their 767 airliner over Europe’s EADS. The CSAR-X rescue helicopter had two different competitions with no satisfactory result and the program ended up being cancelled. This contract follows in a similar vein.
The review seems to indicate that the Air Force found enough issues with the source selection process to warrant a new competition. Hopefully this one when it is completed will be conducted in such a way to avoid protest and strife and the service can move out with buying the aircraft.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, development program, Events, Federal Budget Process, Lockheed Martin, Proposal, Services, U.S. Air Force
The U.S. Air Force has announced a change in their proposed acquisition strategy for the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) program. This will replace the current TPS-75 radars used for deployment to operational areas to develop air pictures and identify enemy and friendly aircraft. The program is currently in its Technology Development Phase.
Unlike previously where the Air Force planned to award one contact to complete this phase they now expect to award up to three. This will be for the pre-EMD phase and support the transition into EMD and ultimately production.
The plan is also to try and use Firm Fixed Price or Fixed Price Incentive contracts rather then the more traditional Cost Plus for this phase. This means the winning contractors will be assuming more risk then normal and will have to have a good handle on their expected costs. The use of these types of contracts at this stage of the program can be risky if there are technical or test problems with the program which could add scope or schedule to the program.
Interested contractors include Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Sensis Corp.
Filed under: AM General, BAE Systems, Business Line, Companies, Department of Defense, development program, Events, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Navistar, northrop grumman, Oshkosh Truck Corp, production program, Proposal, Services, U.S. Army
This is an exclusive article I wrote for Seeking Alpha discussing the bids for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) EMD contract.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, development program, Events, Military Aviation, northrop grumman, Northrop Grumman Corp., production program, Services, U.S. Air Force
In this age military aircraft have service life measured in decades. They gain this by constant upgrades and modernization efforts as well as through their maintenance programs. The B-2 bomber is no exception and provides a special capability to the U.S. Air Force even though there are only 20 of aircraft available.
With this in mind Northrop Grumman (NOC) was recently awarded a 10 year, $2 billion contract to provide upgrades to the aircraft’s communications systems. Because of the length of the contract this will provide for continued improvements to the aircraft’s systems.
Northrop is the original manufacturer of the B-2 back in the 1990’s and this contract illustrates how work and funds will continue to come to them after completion of manufacturing. Aircraft and other military systems need long term maintenance and upgrades and this work often goes to the OEM and can add up to billions over the years.
Pratt & Whitney and Boeing Representatives Sign Engine Contract to Power U.S. Air Force’s KC-46 Tanker — Press Release
Filed under: Boeing, KC-X, KC-X Tanker News, Syndicated Industry News, Washington
MUKILTEO, Wash., March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Bennett Croswell, president of Pratt & Whitney’s Military Engines division, and Maureen Dougherty, Boeing vice president and program manager, KC-46 Tanker Program, hosted a ceremonial engine contract signing event today at Boeing’s Tanker Program Office in Mukilteo, Wash., for contracts previously awarded to Pratt & Whitney. The contracts support PW4062 engine purchases to power Boeing’s KC-46, the U.S. Air Force’s new airlift tanker. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.
“The PW4000 engine family that will power these aircraft has an exceptional track record of performance and reliability with numerous commercial customers operating the engine globally,” said Croswell. “We are confident these engines will continue to perform exceptionally well in a military application for Boeing and for our ultimate customer, the men and women in uniform.”
Two Pratt & Whitney PW4062 engines, each with a 94-inch fan blade diameter, will exclusively power each U.S. Air Force KC-46 aircraft. The program’s scope, if fully exercised, calls for as many as 368 PW4062 engines to be delivered between 2013 and 2027. Actual production engine procurement quantities will be determined over the life of the program as established by future purchase orders.
“Pratt & Whitney’s PW4062 engine offers the KC-46 program an engine that has proven performance, fuel economy, and durability – qualities that make it the clear choice to power the KC-46 Tanker,” said Dougherty. “These engines bring tremendous capability to the KC-46, which supports superior multi-role mission performance by delivering more fuel, transporting more passengers and cargo, and offering enhanced aeromedical capabilities to our United States Air Force customer.”
Pratt & Whitney has delivered more than 2,500 PW4000-94″ engines that have collectively logged nearly 110 million flight hours on commercial aircraft around the world. The PW4062 is the highest thrust model in Pratt & Whitney’s PW4000-94″ commercial engine family and is offered for both commercial freighter and military tanker applications. The two PW4062 engines that will power the KC-46 each deliver 62,000 pounds of thrust.
The PW4000 engine family has an outstanding safety record, high reliability, excellent performance and low maintenance costs. The PW4000-94″ family meets emissions and noise regulations, and offers superior fuel economy and maintainability. The PW4000-94″ engine operates commercially on the Boeing 767, MD-11 and earlier Boeing 747 models.
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and building industries.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices, budget plans and availability of funding, and in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in the companies’ Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
New Technology Promises Cost-Effective Solution to Military’s Virtual Training Requirements — Press Release
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Events, IT, logistics, Press Releases, training
LONDON, March 27, 2012/PRNewswire/ —
A new version of Caspian Learning’s powerful military training software was launched this morning. The software, called VBSWorlds, allows military and defense organisations to create virtual training scenarios that run on handheld tablets and mobile phones.
Caspian Learning today announced the release of a new version of their popular SCORM compliant military training simulation software, VBSWorlds. The software, currently being used by NATO to create maritime interdiction operations simulations, now includes technology that enables any virtual training scenario to be published to the internet, to an iOS-based device (iPhone/iPad) or to an Android device.
The latest version of the software is based on technology grounded in cognitive behaviour study, and is designed to ensure that actual learning and behaviour change takes place within training simulations. This is achieved by allowing developers to create highly immersive 3D training scenarios or ‘serious games’ to improve learner engagement, immersion and interactivity.
VBSWorlds is part of the Bohemia Interactive Simulations suite of products, which includes the formidable VBS2, and is compatible with existing VBS2 art objects. Virtual training scenarios created with VBSWorlds can be linked in to any SCORM compliant learning management system to support real-time performance feedback and tracking.
Lee Rushworth, a spokesman for Caspian Learning said that “VBSWorlds is one of the few mobile training applications that has been completely designed from the very beginning to support and encourage actual behaviour change. We’re extremely proud that scenarios created with VBSWorlds can contain all the information found in PowerPoint slides, pageturners and traditional elearning, whilst making their contents infinitely more engaging and effective.”
VBSWorlds was launched today and a free trial version is available to download from the VBSWorlds website [http://www.vbsworlds.com/?page_id=1106 ].
Caspian Learning will be at GameTech 2012 in Orlando, Florida this week on the Bohemia Interactive Simulations stand as a partner and would welcome the opportunity to speak to anyone about VBSWorlds.
About Caspian Learning
Caspian Learning are a multi award-winning serious games [http://www.caspianlearning.co.uk ] technology and design company. Formed in 2002, they are the developer of the acclaimed Thinking Worlds, whose globally unique technology allows instructional designers to create fully immersive 3D sims & games at costs previously restricted to 2D development. They are the global leader in the use of 3D games and simulations [http://www.thinkingworlds.com ] technology for performance improvement, having developed over 100 sims or games for clients all over the world including IBM, BBC, QinetiQ, Accenture, Volvo, the Ministry of Defence and the European Union among others.
Filed under: Boeing, EADS, GAO, KC-X, KC-X Tanker News, Syndicated Industry News
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the KC-46A new aerial tanker program and expressed some concerns with the schedule. Boeing (BA) won the contract to develop a version of their 767 airliner and deliver 17 aircraft after a long struggle with EADS (EADS:P).
GAO is worried that some of the software that is being developed to control the mission planning, defense and routing of the aircraft is being done at the same time as production and testing. GAO also considers the new fuel boom operating station and control higher risk as it has yet to be demonstrated in normal operating environment and at a high maturity. Similar systems are in use on only 3 tankers operated by non-U.S. military.
The KC-46A contract as expected has had some cost increases and earlier this year the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (D,OT&E) also expressed that the test schedule was not adequate and the program did not allow enough time for the necessary testing.
The Air Force and Boeing dispute the reports claiming the program is on track and risks manageable.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Events, GAO, logistics, medicine, Protest, Services, UnitedHealth
Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Defense decided to award the TRICARE West management contract to UnitedHealth Group (UNH). This was the culmination of almost two years of effort to award this very large contract. Previous attempts to award the nearly $20 billion contract were protested by the loser as TriWest Health Alliance the incumbent and UnitedHealth attempted to win the contract.
TRICARE is the main medical insurance program for the U.S. military. It covers active duty members, their dependents, retirees and some Reservists and National Guard members. Under TRICARE personnel utilize civil providers as well as military medical facilities and the companies with the contracts manage the execution of their benefits. The U.S. is divided into regions and different contracts are awarded to various contractors to operate them. TriWest had been formed to do the West contract and has had it until the latest round of contracts in 2009.
Now only ten days after the announcement of the award to UnitedHealth after two rounds of protest TriWest is saying it will file a protest against this latest decision. In their press release the company states that this is due to concerns that the “contract is the result of a flawed and unfair process.” Specifically they believe that due to their lower price the contest should be re-evaluated.
The normal process for the protest is that it will be reviewed by the Service awarding, then may go to the Government Accountability Organization (GAO) and ultimately to the Federal Courts if a party is not satisfied. The result of the review could be denying the protest allowing UnitedHealth to keep the contract, a direction to redo the source selection, a new contest or in rare cases the award is overturned and given to the protester. Protests normally are allowed 100 days. During the protest the new contract cannot be executed so UnitedHealth’s effort will be placed on hold.
The contract is the majority of TriWest’s business. The near term health of the company requires them to keep it. They have little to lose by protesting this award.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, development program, Events, missile defense, production program, Raytheon, Seeking Alpha
Here is an exclusive article I wrote for Seeking Alpha about Raytheon’s (RTN) near term stock performance.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, development program, Events, missile defense, Press Releases, production program, Raytheon
TEWKSBURY, Mass., March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) successfully completed a system-level guided flight test of the new-production Patriot at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The modernized Patriot provides an affordable, low-risk and rapid path to meet the warfighter’s current and future air and missile defense requirements.
“The system’s flawless performance using all newly-built major end items is a significant milestone for global air and missile defense. It also highlights the capability of the combat-proven Patriot and the viability of the global Patriot supply base,” said Sanjay Kapoor, vice president for Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. “Our customers and warfighters will greatly benefit from the new designs, such as the color LCD displays with touch screens and digital track via missile guidance.”
The system-level test used new-production major end items (radar, Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical [GEM-T] missile, launching station, Information Coordination Central, and Engagement Control Station) against a long-standing performance scenario to verify system capability.
In the guided test flight, the system searched, detected and tracked an air-breathing target flying at a low altitude in a high-clutter environment, which the GEM-T missile engaged and destroyed. This scenario was specifically chosen by Raytheon and the U.S. Army for its ability to provide a rigorous test of all aspects of the Patriot system. This builds on the successful test of the first new ground-up production GEM-T missile announced last October.
Patriot is the world’s most capable air and missile defense system, protecting against a full range of advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. It is the system of choice for 12 nations around the globe.
Raytheon is the prime contractor for both domestic and international Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems and system integrator for Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles.
Raytheon Company, with 2011 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 90 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 71,000 people worldwide. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter at @raytheon.
Filed under: Editorial, Syndicated Industry News
In this podcast, we look at the cuts to submarine programs, trouble in the cluster munitions business, and the possibility of permanent Coast Guard bases in the Arctic.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Events, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, production program, Services, U.S. Marine Corps
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) headed up by Lockheed Martin (LMT) is the largest defense acquisition program in history. It is facing a series of schedule delays and cost growth which is causing the Pentagon to buy less aircraft then originally planned and stretch out the deliveries. Many of the current customers are making noises about second thoughts due to these delays. Even so the program continues with test flights, production, development and the carrying out of other preparations.
This includes the issuance of a contract to build two hangers for the aircraft located at Marine Corps Air Station located in Yuma, AZ. This $70 million or more contract to Harper Construction will be for special buildings that are compliant with the F-35’s requirements. This includes special facilities to operate the logistics system being developed for the aircraft.
The Marines are currently planning on putting 6 squadrons of the aircraft at Yuma when fielding is complete and a further 6 squadrons at Mirimar MCAS near San Diego.
The F-35 like the F-22 Raptor fighter and B-2 bomber most likely utilizes construction materials to improve its “stealthiness”. This may mean it needs hangers adapted to the requirements for the maintenance and protection of those materials. This is probably why new ones must be built and old ones refurbished.
When the F-35 program is complete the U.S. will possess over two thousand of the advanced aircraft and allies another several hundred. That date right now is looking to be sometime in the 2030’s.
Filed under: Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Syndicated Industry News
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Events, logistics, Services, U.S. Navy
The U.S. military has paid for a lot of research and small scale production of biofuels. They have already flown aircraft and sailed ships powered by them. This research while it has received some criticism in Congress has also received funding and support and will continue in the near term. It only makes sense for the U.S. military to develop alternate sources of fuel and biofuel has proved capable although at a price.
In this vein the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, CA awarded Albemarle Corp. (ALB) a contract to manufacture biojet fuel utilizing a feedstock from another company Cobalt Technologies. No terms of the contract were announced but the goal is to produce reasonable quantities of fuel and get it certified for use in aircraft. This is a continuation of a joint effort by Cobalt and the Navy to develop a feedstock of n-butanol from woody biomass.
Albemarle will produce the fuel at their Louisiana based processing facility.
The butanol being made by Cobalt also has many other industrial uses including making paints, coatings and plastics. The ability of Albemarle to produce large quantities of butanol based on biomass rather then traditional sources such as fossil fuels.
Filed under: BAE Systems, Business Line, Companies, Countries, England, Events, production program, Services, U.S. Navy
UK Royal Navy Submarine HMS Astute returned to British shores earlier this month after a period of US Sea Trials – the most successful to date since it was launched in 1997. HMS Astute is the most powerful and advanced submarine that the UK has ever sent to sea and the first in its series of “Next Generation” machines. For almost five months she has been employed in extensive trials in North America which included trialling and firing her main weaponry for the very first time.
Brief History of HMS Astute
Astute was built at BAE’s Submarine facility in Northern England’s most famous shipbuilding town Barrow-In-Furness eleven years ago and finally launched after a delay of almost forty three months in 2007. The delay was caused in part by budgeting difficulties and issues concerning transferring funds to BAE Systems. She left her home of Barrow for good in 2009 and was finally sent to her new home port of Faslane the same year. She was given her HMS prefix in a ceremony that was presided over by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
A Unique Submarine
It is a submarine that will never need refuelling because it is powered by a nuclear reactor and its sonar can track ships that are as far away as 3,000 miles (or 4,380km). Similarly, her missiles have a target range of around 1,200 miles (or 1,930km). In a new technological breakthrough Astute has been built in such a way that it can be reprogrammed in mid flight to shoot missiles in another direction. Additional features on Astute are a digital optical mast system – this will replace the conventional and traditional periscope. It will offer low light and infrared capabilities. It is hoped that this will help the submarine to quickly capture and analyse data which can then be shared with other vessels.
The US Sea Trials
In February 2010 she underwent her first series of sea trials and dives, but it wasn’t until late last year that she began her stay with the US Navy’s Atlantic Undersea and Test Evaluation Centre which is situated in the Bahamas. This test situation was used to trial the submarine’s capability of firing Spearfish torpedoes as well as Tomahawk Missiles. Astute’s first Tomahawks were fired on 15th November 2011 into the US Navy’s Gulf Of Mexico range. All in all, four Tomahawks were fired in the direction of the Eglin Air Force Base – mainly to test for accuracy. Six Spearfish Torpedoes were also fired. These were the first salvo firings of a UK Submarine for more than 15 years. Earlier in February 2012, Astute came face to face with the USS Mexico in the Atlantic Undersea and Test Evaluation Centre for a series of staged war games in which the Heads of both the UK and US Navy met, in what was an historic and unprecedented occasion. Over the course of this tenure with the US she sailed some 16,400 miles (or 26,400km). The US Naval base in King’s Bay, Georgia was also visited and UK Naval Officers were impressed with what they saw. Astute is still very much in her trial period but it is hoped that this experiment and the help proffered by the US Navy will have strengthened and fortified its capabilities.
When it is officially commissioned it is hoped that it will undertake missions including anti-submarine and anti-ship missions, intelligence gathering and supporting land forces. Astute has, for now, returned to its base in Faslane for maintenance. It is hoped that later on during 2012 it will undertake more sea trials.
US Navy Official’s Impressed With Capabilities
Altogether she spent 77 days at sea and was inspected by 18 stars worth of US and UK Naval authority including America’s Chief Of Naval Operations ADM Jonathan Greenert, who has been in post since September last year. US Naval Officers were apparently “blown away” by the capabilities and strengths shown by Astute and felt that the Submarine had got tremendous capability and could only improve with time and more testing. The success of this test mission has not only strengthened the UK’s Naval Capabilities, but it has also shown the bond between the US and UK and their ability to work together in the name of defence if needed is stronger than ever.
Photo from U.S. Navy Imagery’s Flickr Photostream.
Filed under: Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Syndicated Industry News
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, development program, Events, Federal Budget Process, Harris Corporation, IT, logistics, medicine, Services
Earlier this month the Veteran’s Administration (VA) cancelled a contract with ASM Research that was intended to develop a key component of the agency’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. The $102 million contract was for the “enterprise service bus” which would allow other applications to communicate with each other and the overall system. Since the whole point of the EHR is to speed sharing of information the bus would be a major enabler of this.
The contract with ASM was cancelled less then two months after award due to what turned out to be issue with conflicts of interest with some of the sub-contractors hired by ASM that may have affected the bid process.
Now the vA has awarded a new contract for the work to Harris Corporation (HRS). This contract has a value of $80 million and is for the same basic work. While Harris is best known as a manufacturer of radios and communications systems it also has an active healthcare solutions group.
This works on information systems as well as those to share and manage data. Many defense contractors have looked at getting into this business as they DoD and Federal Government are expected to spend billions on healthcare over the next decade. Much of this will go to large scale IT programs and systems.
Filed under: Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Syndicated Industry News
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Congress, Department of Defense, development program, Events, Federal Budget Process, GAO, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, production program, Services, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy
Testifying to Congress yesterday the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on cost growth and overruns of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The JSF program headed by Lockheed Martin (LMT) suffered cost increases of a billion dollars on the first four production orders for the aircraft.
These buys are for 63 aircraft which means about an average of almost $16 million each. The F-35 is the largest acquisition program in the world and ultimately over 2,000 will be built for the U.S. and allies to replace the F-16, F/A-18 and A/V-8A aircraft.
The cost overruns will be shared by the government and Lockheed in about a 65-35 ratio.
The GAO stressed there have been some improvements in the program and its stability but expressed concerns that there is still too much concurrency in it with simultaneous production, development and testing. This could lead to changes to the aircraft as they are being built adding time and cost.
The F-35 has suffered from schedule delays as it works through the testing and development program. One of the reasons for this added time and cost is that there are three different versions of the aircraft. One has vertical takeoff ability, another short and the the third conventional. This is for use not only on aircraft carriers but also to replace the unique capabilities of the A/V-8 Harrier which can land and take off vertically.
With the expected decline in the defense budget further increases like this will not only stretch out the production timeline but also reduce available funds for other programs. The Air Force has to invest in new tankers and bomber aircraft as well as the JSF. The Navy could see it needing more funds for ship building and the Marines ground vehicle programs could suffer.
As with all defense programs as time goes by it will solve its issues but the Pentagon has to face the question as to at what cost.
Filed under: Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Syndicated Industry News
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Countries, Events, IT, logistics, Press Releases, UAE
Advanced security measures needed for USD 90 billion worth of GCC airport projects
March 20, 2012
Aviation security has emerged as a high-priority concern for the Middle East, as the region is expected to handle over 400 million passengers by 2020 based on projections by Airports Council International and the International Air Transportation Association. The GCC alone has an estimated USD 90 billion worth of airport projects lined up, including the new USD 11 billion Doha International Airport, the USD 10 billion Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International, and the multi billion Dollars expansion of Abu Dhabi Airport’s Midfield Terminal Complex. Such major investments need to be complemented by robust threat detection, prevention and response mechanisms.
Given the constant threat of terrorism and the spate of social unrest that recently swept the world, governments and airport authorities are seeking more advanced security measures to better protect their aviation assets, personnel, and passengers as well as aircraft and facilities serving civil aviation. The UAE, the Middle East’s largest international transit hub, has been leading regional efforts to improve screening procedures, deploy the latest detection, prevention and intervention equipments, and enhance communication to prevent security gaps and achieve high safety standards.
The 2012 International Security and National Resilience (ISNR) Abu Dhabi Exhibition and Conference to be held from March 19 to 21, 2012 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre will bring in some of the world’s leading aviation security companies to help address the security concerns of the Arab World’s rapidly growing aviation sector. Attendees will be able to examine solutions for the three primary categories of threats faced by airports, namely, to and from aircraft, to the aviation infrastructure, and from hostile exploitation of cargo.
Included in ISNR Abu Dhabi 2012’s distinguished aviation security exhibitor lineup is Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC). ADAC was established in 2006 to spearhead the development of the aviation infrastructure and service in Abu Dhabi. Today ADAC manages and operates the five airports of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Ain International Airport, Al Bateen Executive Airport, and the Delma Island and Sir Bani Yas Island Airports. In addition, ADAC is also overlooking a group of subsidiaries that provides services and products essential to the development of the air transport sector in the UAE. The company diversified its activities to include airline development, retail, property management, hospitality, ground handling, catering, and cargo.
“The airport environment is a breeding ground for numerous threats, so it requires heightened levels of vigilance and the reliable support of advanced security systems. As the Middle East’s definitive homeland security event, ISNR Abu Dhabi offers a major platform for aviation security decision makers to examine the full spectrum of solutions available in the global markets and determine which can meet the needs of the region’s burgeoning aviation field. The UAE is a very strategic host to aviation security –related exhibitions given its status as a gateway to the Gulf region and as a global transit center,” said Mohamad Bader-Eddin, Show Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East.
Eng. Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operating Officer at ADAC commented: “ADAC aims at transforming Abu Dhabi’s airports into world-class facilities. In thriving to achieve this, the company has gained significant experience and expertise in airport safety and security as it is a critical part of daily airport and aircraft operations; ISNR Abu Dhabi 2012 will provide ADAC with an ideal venue to showcase its capabilities while engaging with safety and security specialists from around the world.”
The 5th edition of ISNR Abu Dhabi gathers leading regional and international delegations and more than 150 exhibitors from over 24 countries. It enjoys full government support led by the UAE Ministry of Interior in association with the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority. The event’s sponsors include Strategic Partner Tawazun Holding, Abu Dhabi’s Critical National Infrastructure Authority, the UAE Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, and Rheinmetall Defence.. Complete event details are available at www.isnrabudhabi.com.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Congress, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Events, Federal Budget Process, logistics, medicine, Protest, Services, UnitedHealth
Almost two weeks ago it came out that the Department of Defense had made a final decision in to whom to award the TRICARE West management contract to. The rumors were that UnitedHealth (UNH) would be the winner and that was confirmed at the end of last week.
UnitedHealth won the over $20 billion, 5 year contract after a series of competitions, awards and protests that have taken almost three years to resolve. The losing company, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, had been formed to just manage the contract.
One of the issues facing TriWest was the fact that they had paid a fine of $10 million to the U.S. Government after a whistleblower lawsuit about pricing. How much this affected the source selection is of course impossible to know.
There are reports that UnitedHealth will most likely absorb some of the jobs that TriWest will lose to help it manage the contract.
TRICARE is the U.S. military’s primary medical provider. It is used to cover active duty members, their dependents, retirees and selected Reserve and National Guard personnel. In 2008-2009 new five year contracts to manage the different regions were awarded but several faced protests and took some years to work out.
Defense Department medical costs have increased greatly over the last ten years as the military has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, grown in size and also gained more retirees. This has caused the TRICARE, Veterans and other health care programs to grow significantly. The recent Obama budget proposal hopes to begin reining in this cost growth by in some ways requiring members to pay more in co-pays and fees. Whether that is politically acceptable remains to be seen. Certainly TRICARE will be a big part of that budget discussion.
Filed under: Alabama, Austal, Australia, Business Line, Companies, Congress, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Countries, Events, Lockheed Martin, production program, Services, States, U.S. Navy
Following up on this mornings post about Lockheed Martin (LMT) getting a contract for two more Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) is an announcement that Austal USA, Austal’s American subsidiary, received a contract for two of their design as well.
The option for LCS-10 and LCS-12 was announced today. This is the third and fourth ship under the 10 ship contract the company received a little over a year ago. The ships will be built at Austal USA’s Mobile, AL yard.
LCS-10 will be named for Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) who is recovering from an attempted assassination attempt.
Photo from Official U.S. Navy Imagery flickr photostream.