August 22, 2019

Navy Tests Cutting-Edge V-BAT Drone

V-BAT Drone

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The US Navy sent its expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Spearhead to sea to experiment with a number of cutting-edge technologies, including MartinUAV’s V-BAT drone, reports The Drive. V-BAT is capable of vertical takeoff and landings while also retaining the high efficiency of a fixed-wing aircraft for long-endurance missions.

The US Army National Guard used for the first time its RQ-7 Shadow drones in a mission supporting a state emergency, reports Defence Blog. The Shadow unit was activated to assist with efforts to contain the deadly Camp Fire in California, according to the 69th Public Affairs Detachment.

Four companies will compete to build a replacement for the Army’s RQ-7 Shadow drone after the service added another two challengers to the $100 million program, reports Rotor & Wing International.

VADM Sean Buck became the Naval Academy’s new superintendent Friday, reports Capital Gazette. He sees infrastructure and sexual assault as two challenges facing the institution. “Naval Academy infrastructure must improve to meet modern technological demands and rising Severn tides,” he said at a change of command ceremony in Annapolis. “The prevention and elimination of sexual assault and sexual harassment remains at the forefront of my mind.”

The US Supreme Court cleared the way for the Trump administration to use billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico, The Associated Press reports.

President Trump is nominating Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-TX) to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, reports CBS News. Mr. Coats and the president were often at odds over Russian interference in the 2016 election, reports Military Times.

Lt. Gen. Joseph M. Martin was promoted to general and sworn in as the Army’s 37th vice chief of staff, reports Army Times. Gen. Martin is replacing Gen. James McConville, who will be the new Army chief of staff.

Representatives of five world powers met with Iranian diplomats over the weekend in an effort to save the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal the US withdrew from in 2018, The Hill reports.

US Navy Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen assigned to Naval Special Warfare launch an unmanned aerial system, June 20, 2019, during a patrol on the Black Sea as part of Trojan Footprint 2019. Trojan Footprint is an annual US Special Operations Command Europe-led exercise that incorporates Allied and partner special operations forces, this year’s exercise brought together 1,400 SOF from ten nations for training over land, sea and air across Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and the Black Sea. (US Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jayme Pastoric)

The US Air Force is seeking to give an extra boost to its light attack aircraft effort by shifting unspent money to the program, Military.com reports.

By Veterans Day 2019, former combat photographer Stacy Pearsall will have traveled to all 50 states, snapping black-and-white portraits of more than 7,500 military veterans, reports Task & Purpose. Ms. Pearsall’s “Veterans Portrait Project” began as a sort of self-styled therapy as she recovered from injuries from a roadside bomb blast in Iraq in 2007.

Two engineers from Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division — Brandon Cochenour and James Hing — will receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, reports The Baynet.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) took the helm of the National Governors Association on Friday at the group’s summer meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. During his yearlong tenure, the governor plans to push for an overhaul of the nation’s aging infrastructure, reports Maryland Matters.

Contracts:

DRS Laurel Technologies, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, is awarded a $382,535,170 cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract for the development, integration, and production of hardware solutions. This contract will provide design, procurement, production, sparing, test, installation, and support of displays, workstations, processors, and network systems; the production of subsequent systems, kits and enclosures; and engineering and technical services. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (92.7 percent); and the government of the United Kingdom under the Foreign Military Sales program (4.6 percent), and per a memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth of Australia (2.7 percent). Work will be performed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (82 percent); Burnsville, Minnesota (15 percent); Germantown, Maryland (1 percent); Largo, Florida (1 percent); and Chesapeake, Virginia (1 percent), and is expected be complete in July 2025. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to an estimated $830,711,796, and be complete in December 2026. Fiscal 2019 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $296,895 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 Federal Business Opportunities website, with two offers received. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport, Keyport, Washington, is the contracting activity (N00253-19-D-0004).

General Dynamics Missions Systems Inc., Marion, Virginia, is awarded a $16,313,717 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the manufacturing of AN/SPG-62 antenna systems parabolic radio frequency reflectors. The AN/SPG-62 antenna systems are mounted and operated in the ship’s open spaces and are subsystems of the Mk-99 fire control system, part of the AEGIS combat system suite. The AN/SPG-62 antenna system reflector enables the continuous-wave radio frequency signal from the Mk-99’s radar transmitter to illuminate targets to be engaged, fired upon and destroyed by the ship’s weapons. Work will be performed in Marion, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by December 2024. Fiscal 2017, 2018 and 2019 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $941,313 will be obligated at time of award, and $387,014 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured, in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1 (only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements). The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Indiana, is the contracting activity (N00164-19-D-WP49).

Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, was awarded a $24,905,967 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to support the government with development of prototypes, test plans, rapid fielding, operational experiments and changes in existing acquisition programs, with a focus on identification and reduction of programmatic and technical risk provides for applied research. Work performance will take place in Laurel, Maryland. Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $1,512,000; and fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $23,393,697 are being awarded. This contract was not competitively procured because the task order is executed against a single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity. The expected completion date is May 30, 2020. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HQ0034-19-D-0006). (Awarded July 26, 2019)

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