July 16, 2024

Chebi: Osprey Restrictions Will Remain Until 2025

Osprey
(US Navy photo)

Morning Coffee is a robust blend of links to news around the internet concerning the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Morning Coffee logoeconomic community. The opinions expressed here do not reflect opinions of the Leader’s owners or staff.

House lawmakers questioned Pentagon officials last week about the V-22 Osprey’s safety record, reports ABC News. After the hearing Wednesday, during which VADM Carl Chebi, head of US Naval Air Systems Command, said the aircraft will remain under safety restrictions until 2025, families of service members killed in Osprey crashes voiced frustration over unanswered questions and demanded accountability. VADM Chebi said the risk posed by the aircraft’s clutch problem will not be eliminated until a redesign is completed, which could take more than a year, and he will not lift the restrictions on Osprey flights until then. “I will not certify the V-22 to return to unrestricted flight operations until I am satisfied that we have sufficiently addressed the issues that may affect the safety of the aircraft …,” he said.

The Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems Program Office (PMA-272) at Pax River has welcomed new leadership. COL Russell A. “Bubba” Strange assumed command as program manager from BRIG GEN Tamara Campbell during a ceremony June 11, reports The BayNet.

The St. Mary’s County Economic Development Department has created an interactive map that shares success stories from businesses around the county. St. Mary’s Around the World features a mix of global brands rooted in the county. There’s Parraid, the small products-oriented business headquartered in Hollywood, and its Rugged USB 3.0 Hub that was used on the Perseverance Mission to Mars in 2020 and accompanied the SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket on its mission to the Moon in 2024. And Velos Rotors, an international company with operations in St. Mary’s providing drone helicopters for industrial application for agriculture, search and rescue, delivery, and surveillance customers all over the world.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker told the Senate Commerce Committee that the Federal Aviation Administration should have been more aware of manufacturing problems inside Boeing before a panel blew off a 737 Max during a flight in January, reports The Associated Press via MSN. Whitaker said Thursday the FAA’s approach was “too hands-off — too focused on paperwork audits and not focused enough on inspections.”

Lockheed Martin has offered Poland an opportunity to participate in the production of guided multiple-launch rocket systems, reports Defense News. Poland is considering purchasing up to 486 launchers and launcher-loader module kits for its M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, which Lockheed makes.

This Northrop Grumman 360° video shows the Manta Ray prototype during in-water testing, performing some diving and resurfacing maneuvers as part of the submerged operations’ testing, reports The Aviationist. The Manta Ray is the full-size uncrewed underwater vehicle (UUV) prototype being developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Development of the Manta Ray began in 2020 when DARPA tapped four companies to work on the program. By May 2024, Northrop Grumman took the lead and may provide the Department of Defense with its next UUV, reports SlashGear via MSN.

US Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicles designed by McQ, Textron Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems, and Oshkosh Defense, will compete this summer, reports C4ISRNET. The service will receive two prototypes each from the four teams competing to build the RCV platform. The service will then kick off a competition and “pick the best of breed,” said MAJ GEN Geoff Norman, who is in charge of the Army’s combat vehicle modernization efforts.

Anduril Industries has been awarded a $19 million contract to “design, build and test second stage rocket motors” for use in the Navy’s Standard Missile-6, a key win for the company’s relatively new efforts in the market, says Breaking Defense. The defense contractor was awarded $5.4 million in state tax incentives to open a new, submarine manufacturing plant in Rhode Island, reports yahoo!Finance. The company is also investing $75M at its McHenry, MS, operation, reports Mississippi Business Journal. The expansion will enhance the capabilities of that facility to increase the propellant mixing and solid rocket motor annual production capacity from 600 to more than 6,000 tactical-scale solid rocket motors.

A new Swedish plane that has been promised to Ukraine will amplify its F-16s and cut into Russia’s advantage in the air, reports Business Insider via MSN. The first-ever airborne control and surveillance aircraft should boost the effectiveness of Ukraine’s promised F-16s. The Swedish aircraft will “complement and reinforce the F-16 systems.”

France has said it will send Mirage 2000-5 fighter aircraft to Ukraine, likely to take part in both strike missions and protecting other airborne assets, reports Breaking Defense. The Dassault aircraft would potentially be the second western fighter aircraft to be flown by Ukraine’s armed forces, joining US-made F-16s donated by Denmark, Belgium, Norway, and the Netherlands.

NASA says it accidentally sent out an emergency signal meant for training purposes, reports NPR. Audio was inadvertently sent out by NASA about an injured crew member aboard the International Space Station. The ISS was using the audio to simulate a crew member having decompression sickness, but it was mistakenly picked up on NASA’s livestream.

A former Russian KGB spy said the US should be concerned about Russia sending three warships and a nuclear submarine to Cuban waters last week for routine military exercises, reports The Hill. “Vladimir Putin is again up to his own tricks. He likes to scare people,” Jack Barsky said. Pentagon officials have said the move poses no direct threat, reports News Nation.

The US Navy nuclear-powered fast attack submarine Helena has arrived in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a show of force as a fleet of Russian warships gather for military exercises in the Caribbean, reports Navy Times.

Navy Chief Aircrewman Peter Lagosh died last week during a surface rescue swimmer refresher course at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, reports Navy Times. Lagosh, 41, was on a stop in Florida en route to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 in Japan. The incident is under investigation.

A former San Diego-based Navy civilian employee pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from defense contractors to help them obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts, reports ABC10 News. James Soriano, 63, who worked at the Naval Information Warfare Center, accepted free meals, jobs for family members and friends, and tickets to major sporting events. Cambridge International Systems, based in Arlington, VA, pleaded guilty to federal charges earlier this year.

The VA online claims system to help reimburse veterans for travel costs to VA hospitals came under fire during a hearing before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, reports The Hill. Six years into the program, only about 30% of the claims are being processed, and a 2023 Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general report found that the Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System failed on all four key performance metrics.

A Virginia Institute of Marine Science study has analyzed marine heat waves below the first meter of water, reports Bay Journal. The VIMS study found that marine heat waves have seasonal patterns, which could disrupt blue crab migration in the Chesapeake Bay.

A Gallup poll shows that rising costs and other factors are leading to declining optimism in the Washington, DC, area, reports Maryland Matters via WTOP News. Many people said you have to be increasingly rich to afford to live in the region. Gallup surveyed more than 2,800 people, and the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8%. The poll was conducted for the Greater Washington Community Foundation, which found that 52% of the region would say they’re thriving right now. Another 44% are struggling, and 4% say they’re suffering.

Contracts:

A multiple-award contract to support current and future unmanned surface vehicle family of systems and subsystems is awarded to the following 49 industry partners: Anduril Industries Inc., Costa Mesa, California (N0002424D6306); Applied Research Associates Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico (N0002424D6307); Asymmetric Technologies LLC, Dublin, Ohio (N0002424D6308); AT&T Corp., Oakton, Virginia (N0002424D6309); Atlas Technologies Inc., North Charleston, South Carolina (N0002424D6313); Autonodyne LLC, Boston, Massachusetts (N0002424D6315); Beast Code LLC, Fort Walton Beach, Florida (N0002424D6316); Bigelow Family Holdings LLC, doing business as Mettle Ops, Sterling Heights, Michigan (N0002424D6317); Bollinger Shipyards Lockport LLC, Lockport, Louisiana (N0002424D6318); CACI Inc. – Federal, Chantilly, Virginia (N0002424D6319); Carnegie Robotics LLC, doing business as CR Tactical, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (N0002424D6320); Cydecor Inc., Arlington, Virginia (N0002424D6361); DELTA Resources Inc., Alexandria, Virginia (N0002424D6363); Fairbanks Morse LLC, Beloit, Wisconsin (N0002424D6364); Teledyne FLIR Surveillance Inc., North Billerica, Massachusetts (N0002424D6365); General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California (N0002424D6366); GIRD Systems Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio (N0002424D6367); Herren Associates Inc., Washington, DC (N0002424D6368); Honeywell International Inc., Clearwater, Florida (N0002424D6369); IERUS Technologies Inc., Huntsville, Alabama (N0002424D6370); Integer Technologies LLC, Columbia, South Carolina (N0002424D6371); KIHOMAC Inc., Reston, Virginia (N0002424D6372); Leonardo Electronics US Inc., Huntsville, Alabama (N0002424D6373); MAK Technologies Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts (N0002424D6374); Marine Ventures International Inc., Stuart, Florida (N0002424D6375); Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette, Wisconsin (N0002424D6376); Metron Inc., Reston, Virginia (N0002424D6378); Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Washington (N0002424D6379); Murtech Inc., Glen Burnie, Maryland (N0002424D6380); NewSat North America LLC, Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (N0002424D6381); Noblis MSD LLC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (N0002424D6382); Novetta Inc., McLean, Virginia (N0002424D6383); Ocean Specialists Inc., Stuart, Florida (N0002424D6384); PACMAR Technologies LLC, Honolulu, Hawaii (N0002424D6377); Persistent Systems LLC, New York, New York (N0002424D6385); Physical Sciences Inc., Andover, Massachusetts (N0002424D6386); Prescient Edge Corp., McLean, Virginia (N0002424D6387); Programs Management Analytics & Technologies Inc., San Diego, California (N0002424D6388); Reliability & Performance Technologies LLC, Dublin, Pennsylvania (N0002424D6389); Saab Inc., East Syracuse, New York (N0002424D6390); Scientific Systems Co. Inc., Woburn, Massachusetts (N0002424D6391); Secmation, LLC, Raleigh, North Carolina (N0002424D6392); SES Government Solutions Inc., Reston, Virginia (N0002424D6393); SIMIS Inc., Portsmouth, Virginia (N0002424D6394); Sparton DeLeon Springs LLC, De Leon Springs, Florida (N0002424D6395); Systems and Proposal Engineering Co., Manassas, Virginia (N0002424D6396); Systems Technology & Research Inc., Huntsville, Alabama (N0002424D6397); TDI Technologies Inc., King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (N0002424D6398); and Triton Systems Inc., Chelmsford, Massachusetts (N0002424D6399), are each awarded a firm-fixed-price, fixed-price-incentive-firm-target, cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost only, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurements involving one or more functional areas, i.e. payloads, non-payload sensors, mission support systems, autonomy and vehicle control systems, ashore and host platform elements, and logistics and sustainment for the Unmanned Surface Vehicle Family of Systems. The maximum dollar value for all (total number) contracts combined is $982,100,000. Each awardee will be awarded $1,000 (minimum contract guarantee per awardee) at contract award. Work will be performed in various locations in the contiguous US and is expected to be completed by February 2025. These contracts include a five-year ordering period option which, if exercised, will continue work through February 2030. Fiscal 2024 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $49,000 will be obligated at the time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. All other funding will be made available at the delivery or task order level as contracting actions occur. These contracts were competitively procured via SAM.gov and there were 55 offers received. Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, DC, is the contracting activity.

AMR Supply LLC, Bradenton, Florida (SPE8E6-24-D-0006); and CJ Connolly LLC, Baltimore, Maryland (SPE8E6-24-D-0007), are sharing a maximum $19,380,313 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract under solicitation SPE8E6-23-R-0006 for polypropylene and cotton duck sandbags. This was a competitive acquisition with three responses received. These are two-year base contracts with three one-year option periods. The ordering period end date is June 14, 2026. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2024 through 2026 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Schuyler Line Navigation Co. LLC, Annapolis, Maryland (HTC71124DW026), has been awarded a fixed-price contract with economic-price-adjustment in the amount of $15,533,341. This contract is to obtain ocean intermodal and related commercial services, for the movement of containerized and breakbulk cargo between Jacksonville and Blount Island, Florida, and US Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The base period of performance is from Aug. 1, 2024, to July 31, 2025. Working capital funds (transportation) will be obligated for fiscal 2024. The US Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity.

K2 Group Inc., Vienna, Virginia, was awarded an $8,894,241 cost-plus-fixed-fee, corrective action award (HDTRA124C0038) for Nimble Elder technical support group services. This contract provides for worldwide, military led, rapidly deployable teams that offer the Combatant Commands, and other US government agencies, the low-visibility search capability to counter chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats. The principal place of performance is Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Work is expected to be completed by June 13, 2025. Fiscal 2024 operations and maintenance funds are being obligated at the time of award. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition. The Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment was used to solicit proposals and two proposals were received. Mission Support Division, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Mission Systems Sector, Linthicum Heights, Maryland, was awarded a $244,692,240 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-5519 to exercise an option for production of Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program Block 3 electronic attack hemisphere systems and ancillary hardware equipment. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland (52%); Tampa, Florida (8%); Andover, Massachusetts (5%); Chelmsford, Massachusetts (5%); San Diego, California (3%); Saginaw, Michigan (2%); Rolling Meadows, Illinois (2%); Los Angeles, California (2%); Stafford Springs, Connecticut (2%); Woodridge, Illinois (1%); Passaic, New Jersey (1%); Minneapolis, Minnesota (1%); Glendale, Arizona (1%); Elk Grove Village, Illinois (1%); White Marsh, Maryland (1%); Tucson, Arizona (1%); Woburn, Massachusetts (1%); Washington, North Carolina (1%); Richardson, Texas (1%); El Cajon, California (1%); Hiawatha, Iowa (1%); Littleton, California (1%); Glendale, California (1%); Rochester, New York (1%); and miscellaneous locations – each less than 1% (4%), and is expected to be completed by April 2027. Fiscal 2024 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $124,541,031 (51%); and fiscal 2024 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $120,151,209 (49%), will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity. (Awarded on June 11, 2024)

Bluewater Management Group LLC, Chesapeake, Virginia, is awarded an indefinite-delivery, requirements, firm-fixed-price contract with a cumulative total value, if all options are exercised, of $51,368,908 to provide lodging and transportation services to civil service mariners assigned to Military Sealift Command, Norfolk, Virginia, from the contractor hotels to Naval Base Norfolk. The contract value for the base period is $8,931,438. The contract contains four one-year options and one six-month option and will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia; Chesapeake, Virginia; and Virginia Beach, Virginia, beginning June 16, 2024, and will conclude on Dec. 15, 2024, if all options are exercised. This contract was a competitive small business set aside with proposals solicited via the Government Point of Entry website; three timely proposals were received. Military Sealift Command, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

PAE Government Services Inc., Arlington, Virginia, is awarded a $33,101,924, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification to previously awarded contract N40084-21-D-0060 for base operation support services at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. This award brings the total cumulative value of the contract to $123,142,096. Work will be performed at Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, and is expected to be completed by June 2025. Fiscal 2024 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps), fiscal 2024 operations and maintenance (Navy), fiscal 2024 operations and maintenance (Defense Agencies), and fiscal 2024 Department of Defense (DOD) working capital funds in the amount of $18,189,947, for recurring work will be obligated on individual task orders and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. No funds will be obligated at time of award. Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Far East, Iwakuni, Japan, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, California, is awarded a $9,536,612 modification (P00009) to a firm-fixed-price order (N0001921F0806) to a previously awarded basic ordering agreement. This modification is for the procurement of last-time buys, material required for the continuance of the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System production and sustainment efforts for the Navy and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Work will be performed in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada (35.32%); Chantilly, Virginia (24.23%); San Diego, California (14.48%); Sterling, Virginia (12%); San Jose, California (7.08%); Pine Brook, New Jersey (2.49%); Farnborough, Hampshire, England (1.9%); and various locations within of the continental US (2.46%), and is expected to be completed in March 2028. Fiscal 2024 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $782,271; fiscal 2023 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $5,347,956; fiscal 2022 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,089,357; and RAAF funds in the amount of $2,317,028, will be obligated at the time of award, $1,089,357 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Norfolk Dredging Co., Chesapeake, Virginia, was awarded a $36,978,060 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Fire Island, New York, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 9, 2024. Fiscal 2024 military construction, Army funds in the amount of $36,978,060 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, New York, New York, is the contracting activity (W912DS-24-C-0014).

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