January 25, 2021

Art & Lifestyle:

F-35 Full-Rate Production Put on Hold

Production

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.

The US Defense Department has put a hold on the full-rate production of the F-35, reports The Drive. “Technical challenges and the impact of COVID-19” have delayed preparation of the simulation facility at NAS Pax River where the sophisticated testing of the costliest US weapons system will be conducted, according to a Pentagon statement. Officials are unable to say when the fighter jet will be ready for combat testing, reports Bloomberg.

An artificial intelligence pilot developed by Heron Systems of Lexington Park beating one of the US Air Force’s top F-16 fighter pilots in a dogfight simulation made Breaking Defense’s list of its top 10 stories of 2020.

The USS Nimitz strike group remains in the Middle East in the wake of threats from Iranian government officials on the one-year anniversary of the US killing of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani, reports USNI News. The US is vowing a swift and devastating response if there is any such attack, reports Military.com.

Concerns of a confrontation that could take place in the Mideast before President Donald Trump leaves the White House this month are increasing, reports Breaking Defense.

Iran’s armed forces seized a South Korean oil tanker Monday, reports UPI, saying the ship was causing “environmental and chemical problems in the Persian Gulf.” The ship had been carrying an unknown chemical shipment, reports The Associated Press.

The US Africom Command says the US conducted the first airstrikes of the New Year in Somalia as a sign of continuing support for the Mogadishu government against al-Shabaab insurgents as US troops continue to pull out of the country, reports Military.com. The US conducted at least 51 airstrikes in Somalia last year, compared to 63 in 2019 and 47 in 2018.

The cost of tactical aircraft purchased by the US Navy has grown by approximately 80-fold, reports Popular Mechanics, sending costs spiraling above the $100 million mark. In 1916, the service paid $6,000 for its first airplane. Today’s price tag on the F-35 is $110 million.

 

 

China’s Shenyang FC-31, the Korean KAI KF-X, the Boeing F-15EX. These are some of the new fighter jets expected in the skies or in later development stages this year, reports Aerotime Hub.

The US and South Korea are discussing plans for potential military exercises, reports UPI, but the two countries are concerned about the impact the drills would have on North Korea.

Australia’s defense department is set to acquire two more Boeing P-8A Poseidon surveillance and response aircraft, bringing the total fleet size to 14, reports Australian Times. The acquisition of the P-8s is part of that country’s plan to invest $205 billion in expanding defense capabilities in the next decade, reports eurasiantimes.com.

Five hundred employers who have committed to recruiting, hiring, promoting, and retaining military spouses, reports Military Times, as a result of 86 new partners who were inducted last month into DoD’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership.

Horseshoe crabs found in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, carry within them a “highly-prized, copper-based, blue-colored blood” that’s used worldwide for testing vaccines and medical devices for toxins, reports The Baltimore Sun. The crab blood has been the worldwide testing-standard for many years. Pharmaceutical companies are relying on the blood to ensure the new COVID-19 vaccines are clean and safe.

A utilities deal between the US Navy and the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commissioner might be in the “long-term interest” of the Navy, but it is not a good move for the people of St. Mary’s County who will pay for costly remediation stemming from the Navy’s use of the toxins, reports LA Progressive. MetCom is considering taking over operation of the water and sewer utilities at Naval Air Station Pax River.

US Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Israel Nunez, an operations flight chief for the 69th Aerial Port Squadron out of Joint Base Andrews, was awarded the Bronze Star and Air Force Commendation Medal late last year, reports Task & Purpose, for his heroic efforts during a deployment to Camp Taji, Iraq, which saw dozens of enemy rocket attacks in March 2020.

Jonathan Pollard, who spent 30 years in US prison for spying for Israel, arrived in Israel last week, reports The Associated Press. Mr. Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy, sold military secrets to Israel while working at the Pentagon in the 1980s.

A British judge ruled Monday that WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the US, where he faces charges for publishing official defense documents, reports UPI.

The rules of Congress’ session Wednesday, Jan. 6, governing the counting of Electoral College votes will remain identical to those used for decades, under a resolution adopted Sunday by the House and Senate, reports Politico.

Contracts:

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $21,670,000 fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee and time and materials undefinitized contract action for F-15S to F-15SA conversion support. This contract provides support for the conversion of the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15S into an F-15SA aircraft, which includes program management, reach-back support for the 48 continental United States and Washington, DC; temporary on-site for outside the continental US assistance (if needed); and round robin repairs. Work will primarily be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be complete by Dec. 30, 2022. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is the result of a sole-source acquisition. FMS funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity (FA8575-21-F-0001). (Awarded Dec. 31, 2020)

ECS Federal LLC, Fairfax, Virginia, was awarded a $32,303,584 modification (P00010) to contract W911QX-18-C-0037 to develop an environment plan, a model plan and cloud services. Work will be performed in Fairfax, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 3, 2022. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation, Defense funds in the amount of $32,303,584 were obligated at the time of the award. The US Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

American Systems Corp., Chantilly, Virginia, was awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with a value of $17,734,184. The contract provides sustainment of the software suites contained in the Theater Medical Information Program-Joint. This contract has a period of performance from Jan. 5, 2021, to Sept. 4, 2021. Work will primarily occur in Chantilly, Virginia. The contract will be funded by fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance funds. Defense Health Agency, Contracting Division – Defense Healthcare Management Systems, Falls Church, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HT0038-21-C-0001).

CORRECTION: The $16,290,940 modification (0003BP) to contract W52P1J-12-G-0028 announced on Dec. 30, 2020, to Amentum Services Inc., Germantown, Maryland, for Army prepositioned stocks was actually awarded Dec. 31, 2020.

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