February 21, 2024

F-35 Production Flight Operations Resume

F-35

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.

Lockheed Martin resumed accepting flights of newly built F-35 Joint Strike Fighters early this week, nearly three months after an engine problem grounded new jets and halted deliveries, reports Defense News. Lockheed announced Monday that the first flight took off from Fort Worth, TX, where it builds the majority of F-35 fighters.

The F-35 Joint Program Office and Pratt & Whitney have finalized the lot 15-17 contract for the stealth fighter’s F135 engines, reaching an agreement that could top out around $8 billion, reports Breaking Defense. The official $5.2 billion award covers 278 lot 15 and 16 engines. The option for lot 17 that the government plans to exercise in the spring could raise it to the $8 billion figure claimed by Pratt.

The Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit awarded up to $65 million to Air Co. to convert carbon dioxide into synthetic aviation fuel, reports C4ISRNET. The award is part of a DIU effort to create small, mobile fuel production systems that could be quickly deployed during wartime.

US officials are growing concerned that giant Chinese-made cranes operating at American ports across the country, including at several used by the military, could give Beijing a possible spying tool hiding in plain sight, reports Wall Street Journal.

The Biden administration released its 35-page National Cybersecurity Strategy last week with a goal “to secure the full benefits of a safe and secure digital ecosystem for all Americans.” The law blog Crowell provides an analysis and summary of the strategy which seeks to shift the burden of cybersecurity from individuals, small businesses, and local government to the entities with the greatest expertise and resources, such as large owners and operators of critical infrastructure, vendors and software developers.

A leading trade association representing the information and communications technology industries has pushed back on a series of software liability reforms featured in the new national cybersecurity strategy this week, reports FCW.  The new national cybersecurity strategy calls for software providers to be held accountable for vulnerabilities in their products – a fundamental shift in approach that sparked concerns among some technology associations and firms.

The National Institutes of Standards and Technology launched a new cybersecurity community of interest following announcement of the new strategy, reports FedScoop.com.

Nearly 20 years since a US-led military coalition invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein and US troops are still fighting alongside the Iraqi government to stabilize the country’s security situation, reports Task & Purpose.

The US Marshals Service was hacked earlier this month, compromising sensitive information, reports FCW. The Marshals Service is a division of the Justice Department responsible for protecting judges, transporting federal prisoners, and operating the witness protection program.

The US military spent $1.6 million to $2 million last month to shoot down three unidentified, high-altitude objects over North America, with half of that spent on the mission over Lake Huron in Michigan, reports Detroit News.

Air and Space Forces Magazine reports Ukraine has lost roughly 60 aircraft since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, while the Russians have lost more than 70, according to the top US Air Force commander for Europe, GEN James B. Hecker, who said the air picture has turned into a mutually denied environment.

California National Guard crews were called to the San Bernardino Mountains, where several communities were stranded by back-to-back winter storms that have dumped so much snow some residents can barely see out their windows, reports ABC.com.

Individuals will no longer be required to wear face masks throughout all Veterans Affairs medical facilities, a mandate which had been in place since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, reports Military Times.

Military cadets will no longer face expulsion or worse if they become parents, reports Military Times. Previously, cadets and midshipmen had three choices: abort a pregnancy, sign away parental rights, or drop out of the academy altogether, which also meant paying back the cost of their education if they had made it to their junior years and signed their service obligation contracts. The Pentagon expects to roll out the new congressionally mandated policy in the next couple of months, allowing cadets and midshipmen at West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy to finish their degrees and earn their commissions while maintaining guardianship of their children

The 95th Academy Awards are coming up on March 12. Task & Purpose reports that of the 10 films up for Best Picture, two focused on the military — Top Gun: Maverick and the German remake of All Quiet on the Western Front. As of press time, the Las Vegas odds are not leaning toward either film.

Contracts:

Lockheed Martin Corp., Liverpool, New York, is awarded an $8,444,082 fixed-price-incentive-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-19-C-6120 to exercise options for Navy equipment and engineering services. Work will be performed in Liverpool, New York (66%); Millersville, Maryland (33%); and Marion, Massachusetts (1%), and is expected to be completed by January 2025. Fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $5,629,388 (66%); fiscal 2021 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,407,347 (17%); and fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,407,347 (17%) will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Textron Systems Corp., Hunt Valley, Maryland, is awarded a $20,790,809 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Magnetic and Acoustic Generation Next Unmanned Superconducting Sweep (MAGNUSS). This contract provides for the development of a mine countermeasure technology referred to as MAGNUSS. The MAGNUSS payload technology is composed of a high temperature superconducting magnetic source with an advanced acoustic generator. The MAGNUSS program is an Office of Naval Research sponsored Future Naval Capability effort for the development, fabrication, integration and demonstration of the payload which is expected to transition to the Naval Sea Systems Command program for the Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Surface Vehicle. Work will be performed in Ayer, Massachusetts (47%); Hunt Valley, Maryland (35%); and Groton, Connecticut (18%). Work is expected to be completed by March 7, 2026. The total cumulative value of the 36-month base period is $20,790,809, with an additional 12 months for the options in the amount of $54,072,789. The option periods of performance are of various lengths, all of which, if exercised, may run concurrently with the base and other options. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $7,089,000 are obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured under Long Range Broad Agency Announcement N00014-22-S-B001 and Special Notice N00014-21-S-SN12, MAGNUSS. Three proposals were received in response to the solicitation. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N00014-23-C-2006).

BAE Systems Land & Armaments LP, Sterling Heights, Michigan, is awarded a $256,885,866 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract M67854-16-C-0006 for Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV). The total cumulative face value of the contract is $2,327,974,121. This contract modification provides for the exercise of options for the procurement of 27 full rate production (FRP) ACV personnel variants, 17 FRP ACV command variants, and associated production, and fielding and support costs. Work will be performed in York, Pennsylvania (60%); Aiken, South Carolina (15%); San Jose, California (15%); Sterling Heights, Michigan (5%); and Stafford, Virginia (5%), with an expected completion date of July 2025. Fiscal 2023 procurement (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $256,885,866 will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Alliance Consulting Group, Alexandria, Virginia, is awarded a $15,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for cost engineering and related services for projects located throughout the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Atlantic area of operations. This contract provides for development and preparation of detailed cost estimates for complex facilities. Work will be performed at Department of Navy installations throughout the US, and abroad, and is expected to be completed by March 2028. The maximum dollar value, including the base period and four option years, is $15,000,000. Fiscal 2023 military construction, Navy funds in the amount of $5,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Sam.gov website, with six offers received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N62470-23-D-0010).

Serco Inc., Herndon, Virginia, has been awarded an $8,683,092, option modification (P00018) to previously awarded, firm-fixed-price contract FA2517-20-C-0003 for the exercise of Option Year Three from May 1, 2023, through April 30, 2024, to provide operations and maintenance support for the Ground-based Electro-optical Deep Space Surveillance System (GEODSS). Work will be performed in Socorro, New Mexico; Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory; and Maui, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2027, if all future option periods are exercised. Fiscal 2023 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $8,683,092 are being obligated at time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $30,631,810. The Space Acquisition and Integration Office, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, is the contracting activity.

Ernst and Young, Falls Church, Virginia, was awarded $9,890,951 modification to exercise Option Year Two of a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (HT001121F0085). The purpose of this contract is to continue the audit sustainment, audit response, remediation of notices of findings and recommendation, internal control oversight and management, financial reporting compilation and analysis, and continuous risk management and internal control training and program services. The follow-on to bridge HT001121F0085 will be completed by US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity. Fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance funds will be obligated at the time of award. The period of performance for this option period exercise is March 8, 2023, to Sept. 7, 2023, and the place of performance is Falls Church, Virginia. The Defense Health Agency, Professional Services Contracting Division, Falls Church, Virginia, is the contracting activity. (Awarded March 7, 2023)

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