November 19, 2017

Pentagon: Urgent Need for Underwater Drones

urgent need for 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.

RADM William Merz of the Pentagon’s submarine warfare office told an audience of submarine officers and military contractors, the Navy needs more underwater drones — and it needs them now, Navy Times reports. Merz said the slow development of autonomous drones can’t be an excuse for inaction on unmanned underwater vehicles that officials hope will multiply the presence and power of the world’s most fearsome undersea force.

Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, last week, DepDefSec Robert Work said the driving concept behind the Pentagon’s Third Offset Strategy comes down to this: “If we’re not changing, we’re losing to ‘pacing competitors’ like Russia and China in conventional warfare,” USNI News reports. Work said the two adversaries have reached parity in areas from sensor nets to logistics and support grids and both have put a lot of money in US systems and networks.

A Russian fighter flew within a half-mile of a US warplane over eastern Syria on Oct. 17, Air Force Times reports. Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, downplaying the incident, said Friday that the Russian jet was escorting a large spy plane late that day when it flew dangerously close to the American plane. He said the Russian pilot likely did not see the American plane because it was dark and the planes did not have their lights on.

CNN reports that Japanese military aircraft are increasingly engaging in dangerous intercepts of Chinese planes, putting the safety of Chinese fliers at risk and damaging bilateral relations. Japan reported that it has scrambled its warplanes 407 times between April 1 and Sept. 30 in reaction to increased Chinese military flights near Japan’s airspace.

China is expected to unveil its new generation J-20 stealth fighter jet at an air show this week, Reuters reports, the first public showing of a warplane China hopes will narrow the military gap with the US.

The US Navy will deploy to Japan one of its largest surface warships, the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, in fall 2017, The Diplomat reports. The USS Wasp will replace the USS Bonhomme Richard, which will return to San Diego to be modernized.

Engility received a $71 million contract from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division to provide systems engineering services on aerial platforms and weapons systems, ExecutiveBiz.com reports. On Friday, company officials said they will assess the technical performance, suitability, and risks of NAWCAD’s aircraft, weapons, and integrated systems as part of the contract and perform a majority of the work in Maryland.

Two California men have been arrested on federal charges of conspiring to smuggle more than $3 million in fighter aircraft parts to Iran, The Los Angeles Times reports. The defendants also are accused of buying and illegally exporting fluorocarbon rubber O-rings to Iran. Those parts have possible military applications, including use in aircraft hydraulic systems and landing gear, according to federal authorities.

Lockheed Martin’s facility in Canada is developing a reputation in the naval industry, one it’s hoping to capitalize on with the recent announcement of a competition for the contract to design the Royal Canadian Navy’s next generation of warships, Ottawa Business Journal reports.

Meanwhile in the US, Lockheed Martin isn’t the only company waiting for the Pentagon to award a contract for the last leg of funding on an F-35 contract comprising 151 jets. Northrop Grumman would like to see the program progress, Washington Business Journal reports. Northrop builds the center fuselage of the F-35.

The presidential election is 13 days away, but the US military likes to plan ahead, way ahead. Knowing the troops will have a leading role in January for the 58th presidential inauguration ceremonies and the country will have a new commander in chief, the Pentagon is getting ready on several fronts, CNN reports.

Two new policies took effect last week at Arlington National Cemetery. Pets are no longer allowed at the cemetery and bicyclists without family passes are no longer allowed, Army Times reports.

Contracts:

BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services, Rockville, Maryland, is being awarded a $12,149,950 modification (P00013) to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable contract (N00421-15-C-0008) to exercise an option for research, development, design, integration, testing, installation, training, and certification of shipboard C4I electronic communication systems in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Ship and Air Integrated Warfare Division (Air 4.11.3). Work will be performed in St. Inigoes, Maryland (75 percent); and California, Maryland (25 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2024. Fiscal 2016 working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $12,149,950 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Technical Services, Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a $33,918,230 modification (P00078) to contract W911SO-11-C-0014 to extend performance for another six months of services while the follow-on requirement is completed. Work will be performed in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with an estimated completion date of May 1, 2017. Fiscal 2017 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $33,813,054 were obligated at the time of the award.  Army Contracting Command, Fort Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., Norfolk, Virginia, is being awarded a $34,468,958 firm-fixed-price contract with an award fee for fiscal 2017 USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB 3) Post Shakedown Availability (PSA).  The PSA includes first-time significant alteration, modernization and integration requirements to deliver the full complement of Special Operation Forces capability as well as post-delivery repair and modernization items. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $38,255,579.  Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by April 2017. Fiscal 2016 other procurement (Navy), fiscal 2013 and 2016 National Defense Sealift Funds in the amount of $23,928,117 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Fiscal 2017 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $10,540,841 will be obligated at the time of award and will 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 Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-17-C-2212).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. Marine Systems, Sunnyvale, California, is being awarded $18,717,698 for modification P00006 to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00030-16-C-0015) to provide support for technical engineering services, design and development engineering, component and full scale test and evaluation engineering, and tactical underwater launcher hardware production to support the development and production of the common missile compartment. The maximum value of the contract if all options are exercised is $198,048,723. Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, California (55 percent); Ridgecrest, California (20 percent); Cape Canaveral, Florida (10 percent); Bangor, Washington (5 percent); Kings Bay, Georgia (5 percent); Barrow-In-Furness, England (2 percent); New London, Connecticut (1 percent); Quonset Point, Rhode Island (1 percent); and Arlington, Virginia (1.0 percent) with an expected completion date of September 2020.  Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $10,415,585, United Kingdom funds in the amount of $6,135,537.50, and fiscal 2016 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2,166,575, are being obligated on this award, none of which expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  Strategic Systems Programs, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. 

UNICOR/Federal Prison Industries, Washington, District of Columbia, has been awarded a maximum $12,315,000 modification (P00006) exercising the first one-year option of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-16-D-1008) with two one-year option periods for physical fitness uniforms. The modification brings the maximum dollar value of the contract to $24,390,000 from $12,075,000. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are District of Columbia, Virginia, Florida and Arizona, with an Oct. 29, 2018, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2017 through fiscal 2018 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Yorktown Systems Group Inc., Huntsville, Alabama (W911S0)-17-D-0005); FITT Scientific LLC, Arlington, Virginia (W911S0-17-D-0006); Cognition-Marton JV LLC, Washington, District of Columbia (W911S0-17-D-0007); and Red River Science and Technology LLC, Lawton, Oklahoma (W911S0-17-D-0008), together were awarded a $200,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for instructor, training support and training development services to support the institutional training mission at Fort Lee, Virginia. Bids were solicited via the Internet with 25 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 27, 2021. Army Contracting Command, Fort Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Virginia Electric and Power Co., Herndon, Virginia, is being awarded a firm-fixed-price contract for $23,361,613 to provide electricity distribution and supply services to the Pentagon and other buildings located in Northern Virginia area.  This is a sole-source acquisition using justification Federal Acquisition Regulation 5.202(a)(5). Work performance will take place in Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia. The expected completion date is Aug 21, 2018. Fiscal 2017 Pentagon Reservation Maintenance Revolving funds are being obligated at the time of the award. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting office (HQ0034-17-F-0003).

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