March 18, 2023

DoD Sticks With F-35 Current Engine


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The Pentagon is abandoning its efforts to develop a next-generation adaptive engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, reports Defense News. Instead, according to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, the military will stick with and upgrade the F-35’s current engine — a major win for F135 maker Pratt & Whitney.

The Pentagon is once again accepting new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters from Lockheed Martin, lifting a months-long pause put in place after the crash of an F-35B in December, reports Breaking Defense.

Two Russian fighter jets caused an Air Force MQ-9 drone to crash in international waters during their attempt to intercept the remotely operated aircraft over the Black Sea — a move that may lead to “unintended escalation,” according to officials, reports

The VA will cover Leqembi, a monoclonal antibody therapy made by pharmaceutical companies Eisai and Biogen, for veterans in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, reports, making the department the first and largest health program in the country to endorse the treatment.

Defense One reports on the Pentagon’s 2024 budget proposal, which includes $315 billion to develop and buy new weapons. The Pentagon’s share of the fiscal 2024 budget request sent to lawmakers Monday totals $842 billion — a defense-spending figure that jumps past $886 billion with the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons work and other federal projects.

Sixty-two faith-based organizations urge Congress to slash “militarized spending” and put that money toward health care, housing, education, and other areas of “human wellbeing,” reports The Pentagon budget is on track to top $1 trillion this decade. The organizations, led by the Quaker American Friends Service Committee, wrote in their letter, “We cannot continue down this morally bankrupt path.”

Defense News reports the Navy and Marine Corps’ budget would grow by more than $11 billion next year, the most of any of the military services, under the Biden administration’s $842 billion defense spending plan.

The Navy and Marine Corps’ budget request invests in long-range missiles and the platforms that shoot them — surface combatants, fighter jets, and nimble Marine Corps units — while slashing the amphibious ship fleet, reports Defense News. The $255.8 billion request matches CNO ADM Mike Gilday’s effort to prioritize readiness over the size of the force. The budget is up $11 billion, or 4.5%, from what Congress enacted for FY23.

The Pentagon wants to rev up the munitions industrial base and max out production lines for several top priority missiles in FY24. Defense News reports that the Pentagon, with an eye on Russia and China, would spend $30.6 billion for missiles and munitions ― 12% more than last year and 50% more than five years ago, when the US was still fighting the Islamic State and Taliban.

DoD is seeking $13.5 billion for cyberspace endeavors, including the hardening of information networks and research and development of virtual tools, reports C4ISRNET.

The White House budget for FY24 is calling for more troops with next year, but recruitment might not be able to reach those goals with low national unemployment and a shrinking pool of young people interested in serving, reports Military Times.

The Pentagon has kept Ukraine aid out of its budget, saying the plan is to continue to seek emergency funding from Congress, suggesting the Pentagon seeks to insulate its core programs against political cross-currents, says Defense News.

The Navy requested $192 million to continue with Project Overmatch, its clandestine effort to seamlessly connect people, vessels, and sensors, reports C4ISRNET.

The Navy intends to decommission 11 ships in fiscal 2024, including eight ahead of their planned end of service life — fewer than the 24 it requested to decommission in its FY23 submission, but still likely to reignite debate on Capitol Hill, reports Defense News.

The Air Force wants to retire 310 aircraft, including 42 A-10 Warthogs, as part of its fiscal 2024 budget to free up money for its modernization programs, reports Defense News.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has established a pilot program to identify vulnerabilities within critical infrastructure systems that are known to be exploited by ransomware groups and threat actors, reports NextGov.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall of Remembrance — a $22 million project unveiled last summer — contains more than one thousand spelling mistakes, incorrectly includes nearly 250 troops who died outside of the conflict, and omits about 500 others who should be on it, according to the independent Korean War Project, numbers first published by The New York Times. reports a group of bipartisan legislators are “deeply concerned” about the thousands of errors ended up permanently etched into a Korean War memorial meant to honor the more than 36,000 service members who died during the conflict. has 13 photos of military working dogs being awesome.

Shares in European banks got pummeled again on Wednesday, as Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) plunged to fresh record lows after the lender’s biggest shareholder said it could not raise its 10% stake citing regulatory issues, reports Reuters.


General Dynamics NASSCO-Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, is awarded an $8,997,563 modification to exercise options on previously awarded contract N00024-23-C-4413 for the USS Arlington (LPD 24) fiscal 2023 docking selected restricted availability. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by September 2024. Fiscal 2023 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $8,806,419 (98%); and fiscal 2023 Navy working capital funds in the amount of $191,144 (2%) will be obligated at time of award, of which $191,144 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC), Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Bowhead Program Management & Operations LLC, Springfield, Virginia, is awarded a $24,919,651 firm-fixed-price and cost-reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the purchase of expert enterprise data management consulting services to assist the Portfolio Manager, Command Element Systems, with determining a modern viable data strategy and data architecture. This contract contains five, one-year ordering periods with a maximum contract ceiling of $24,919,651. Work will be performed in Springfield, Virginia, with an expected completion date by March 2028 if all ordering periods are executed. The maximum dollar value for all five ordering periods, is $24,919,651. No funds will be obligated at time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual task orders as they are issued. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-5(b)(4). The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity (M67854-23-D-2021).

HDD JV, Leesburg, Virginia, was awarded a $13,168,000 firm-fixed-price contract for renovation of an Army Reserve area maintenance support activity/vehicle maintenance shop. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will be performed in Cross Lanes, West Virginia, with an estimated completion date of March 24, 2025. Fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance, Army Reserve funds in the amount of $13,168,000 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville, Kentucky, is the contracting activity (W912QR-23-F-0100). 

Next Evolution Logistics Solutions, Durham, New Hampshire (FA489023D0001); Resicum International, LLC, Warrenton, Virginia (FA489023D0002); Cambridge International Systems Inc., Arlington, Virginia (FA489023D0003); Culmen International LLC, Alexandria, Virginia (FA489023D0004); Fluor Intercontinental Inc., Greenville, South Carolina (FA489023D0005); Patriot Group International Inc., Warrenton, Virginia (FA489023D0006); PAE Applied Technologies LLC, Arlington, Virginia (FA489023D0007); Obera LLC, Herndon, Virginia (FA489023D0008); Advanced Engineering Solutions and Services LLC, Bel Air, Maryland, (FA489023D0009); AOC Program Solutions LLC, Chantilly, Virginia (FA489023D0010); Chimera Enterprises International, Edgewood, Maryland (FA489023D0011); HTGS-Culmen JV, Herndon, Virginia (FA489023D0012); BFS Solutions LLC JV, Hume, Virginia (FA489023D0013); BL-ACADEMI JV LLC, Lakeside, Montana (FA489023D0014); LRG Service LLC JV, Anchorage, Alaska (FA489023D0015); Commonwealth Trading Partners Inc., Alexandria, Virginia (FA489023D0016); SGI Global LLC, Alexandria, Virginia (FA489023D0017); and Weaponize LLC JV, Austin, Texas (FA489023D0018), have been awarded a combined not-to-exceed $960,000,000 multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Counter-Narcotics and Global Threats, Operations, Logistics and Training Support program. This contract provides for services, equipment, material, training support, products, minor construction, repair services, and other items as authorized by statute and regulation to meet national security objectives and improve the capability of the United States and partner nation agencies’ endeavors to detect, deter, disrupt, degrade and defeat national security threats, including those posed by illegal drugs, trafficking, piracy, transnational organized crime, threat finance networks. Performance locations under this contract shall be required both within the US and outside the continental U.S. (OCONUS), with the vast majority of work occurring OCONUS. OCONUS work may include dangerous areas including theaters of operations, combat zones and partner nations. Efforts under the scope of this contract will be completed on or before March 14, 2032. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with 75 offers received. Fiscal 2023 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $36,000 combined to all offerors are being obligated via eighteen task orders issued against each indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract at the time of award to satisfy the minimum guarantee. Air Combat Command Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

L3Harris Corp., Millersville, Maryland, is awarded a $19,901,705 fixed-priced-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost only modification to previously awarded contract N00024-16-C-6239 to establish and exercise an option for Navy equipment, components, engineering services, and other direct costs. Work will be performed in Millersville, Maryland (57%); Liverpool, New York (40%); and Ashaway, Rhode Island (3%), and expected to be completed by 21 November 2025. Fiscal 2023 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $9,574,738 (48%); fiscal 2022 ship building and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $4,325,982 (22%); fiscal 2021 ship building and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $3,150,284 (16%); fiscal 2023 ship building and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,475,281 (7%); and fiscal 2020 ship building and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,375,420 (7%) will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-16-C-6239).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, California, is awarded a $57,403,706 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00017) to a previously awarded contract (N0001921C0060). This modification exercises options to provide continued sustainment, engineering, logistics, and test support for MQ-4C Triton air vehicles, mission control and operator training systems; continued field service representative’s technical support to ensure that the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) aircraft are mission-capable for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions supporting aircraft early operational capability and initial operating capability; and continued reach-back engineering support for both the Navy and the government of Australia MQ-4C Triton UAS assets. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Maryland (36.5%); San Diego, California, California (22.5%); Jacksonville, Florida (7.7%); Mayport, Florida (6.5%); Baltimore, Maryland (5.3%); various location within the continental US (CONUS) (8.8%); and various location outside CONUS (12.7%) and is expected to be completed in March 2024. Fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $51,124,242; fiscal 2023 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,000; fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $5,280,677; and Foreign Cooperative Project funds in the amount of $997,787 will be obligated at the time of award, $56,404,919‬ of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, New Jersey, was awarded a $48,518,870 cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost-only modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-23-C-5123 for AEGIS fielding and sustainment engineering support, software development, in-service maintenance, integration, and logistics and fielding support for AEGIS combat system configurations already delivered, or in the process of being delivered, to the Navy fleet. Work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey (96%); and Dahlgren, Virginia (4%), and is expected to be completed by December 2023. Fiscal 2023 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $24,226,389 (50%); fiscal 2016 ship conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $19,330,122 (39%); fiscal 2023 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $4,837,458 (10%); and fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $124,901 (1%) will be obligated at time of award, and $124,901 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-23-C-5123). (Awarded March 9, 2023)

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