November 15, 2018

Drones Change the Battlefield & Bases

drones

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.

Increased reliance on remote and robotic controls portend fewer personnel needed to operate drone bases, reducing the human footprint of counterinsurgency. C4isrnet cites several examples: the SEFIAM 1602, built by Turgis et Gaillard Industri, is an electrically powered ammunition loader and use of satellite links to control the General Atomics Reaper drone  under the control of a remotely situated human crew.

Iranian drones are now common above US warships in Persian Gulf, reports USNI. Capt. Jack Killman, commander of Amphibious Squadron 4, Iwo Jima ARG: “We did go to the Persian Gulf. We got the normal welcome form the Iranians, UAVs overflights, exactly as we trained for; no surprises there.” Shortly after Iwo Jima departed the Persian Gulf, RADM Ali Reza Tangsiri, the recently installed commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy, announced Iran would take charge of maintaining security in the Persian Gulf and the US Navy was not welcome.

Saudi and US ties run deep in the cyber security arena, reports the Fifth Domain. After a 2012 hack, Saudia Arabia relied on US contractors. American firms who have partnered with the Saudi government or public institutions include IronNet Cybersecurity, led by Keith Alexander, former head of the National Security Agency and US Cyber Command and some of the largest military contractors of the US government, including Raytheon, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin.

Two pilots, one American and one Ukrainian, are believed to have been killed in a crash during joint war games in the Ukraine, reports Business Insider.

In a surprise decision, SpaceX was left out of next stage in Air Force’s next-generation rocket program, reports Defense News. The Air Force has awarded contracts to Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems — formerly known as Orbital ATK — and United Launch Alliance to continue developing next-generation rockets.

South Korean military will buy ship-based SM-3 interceptors to thwart potential ballistic missile attacks from North Korea,  reports Defense News. For lower-altitude interceptions, American-built Patriot missiles and locally developed medium-range surface-to-air missiles, dubbed M-SAM, have been deployed in the field.

DefSec James Mattis was optimistic about repairing F-22s and other aircraft damaged by Hurricane Michael at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida last week, reports Air Force Times.  He did caution that a deeper inspection is necessary before the Air Force can be sure.

Air Force subcontractor Alpha Research & Technology Inc. agrees to pay $1 million to settle allegations that it padded its bills, reports Air Force Times. The government alleged that between 2006 and 2011, the Sacramento-area company submitted inflated subcontracting proposals to Boeing, Raytheon, and other firms for DoD work.

Thunderbirds pilot Maj. Stephen Del Bagno temporarily lost consciousness during a high G-force maneuver and was incapacitated right before a fatal crash, reports Air Force Times. The Air Force released the report on the investigation into the April 4 crash at the Nevada Test and Training Range near Nellis Air Force Base.

Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson is set to break another glass ceiling in the US Army, reports CNN, and become the first woman to lead the US Army Forces Command, the largest command in the Army, representing 776,000 soldiers and 96,000 civilians.

Navy extends Rockwell Collins contract for F/A-18 avionics display support, reports Defense News. The four-year extension is continuation of the previous performance-based logistics agreement between the Navy and Rockwell.

Contracts:

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., doing business as Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Sector, Bethpage, New York, is awarded a $697,029,788 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for system upgrades for the EA-18G system configuration sets, Airborne Electronic Attack and Electronic Warfare systems and final upgrades for the EA-6B system for the Navy and the government of Australia under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Pt. Mugu, California (50 percent); Baltimore, Maryland (29 percent); Bethpage, New York (20 percent); and Rolling Meadows, Illinois (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2023. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in amount of $996,902 are being obligated at time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Point Mugu, California, is the contracting activity (N68936-19-D-0007).

LGS Innovations LLC, Westminster, Colorado, is awarded a $15,528,008 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for engineering services, materials, training, and testing to support integration and operation of information operations payloads into unmanned aerial vehicles used by the US Special Operations Command and the Navy. This two-year contract includes a three-year option which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $34,996,905. Work will be performed across three geographic zones in the areas of Westminster, Colorado (40 percent); Florham Park, New Jersey (40 percent); and Jessup, Maryland (20 percent). The work is expected to be completed Oct. 16, 2020. If the option is exercised, the period of performance would extend through Oct. 16, 2023. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funding will be obligated via task/delivery orders using anticipated types of funding to include: operations and maintenance (Navy); other procurement (Navy); and research, development, test and evaluation (Navy). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This sole-source procurement is issued using other than full and open competition in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation Subpart 6.302-1 and 10 US Code 2304(c)(1) – only one responsible source. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-19-D-3401).

Wiley Wilson Burns and McDonnell JV, Alexandria, Virginia, is awarded $15,000,000 firm-fixed-price modification under a previously awarded indefinite-quantity architect-engineering contract (N40080-15-D-0452) to exercise option four for engineering and design services for general and administrative facilities within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be is $75,000,000. No task orders are being issued at this time. Work will be performed at various administrative facilities within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington area of responsibility, including but not limited to, Maryland (45 percent); Washington, District of Columbia (30 percent); and Virginia (20 percent). Work may also be performed in the remainder of the US (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2019. 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 fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy and Marine Corps); and fiscal 2019 Navy working capital funds. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.

TGS USA, McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $39,543,009 firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (Iraq) contract for Toyota Land Cruisers and spare parts. 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 Oct. 16, 2018. US Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-19-D-0010).

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