June 22, 2024

US Foreign Military Sales Hit All-Time High in FY23

Foreign Military Sales
F-35As fly in formation over the Utah Test and Training Range in 2017. (US Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

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US foreign military sales and deliveries hit $80.9 billion last year, reports Breaking Defense. The fiscal 2023 total was 55% higher than the previous year. FY22 saw $51.9 billion in foreign arms sales.

The Czech Republic is the latest customer of the F-35 stealth fighter, reports The Drive. This comes amid a growing F-35 footprint in Europe, particularly among NATO members. The US signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance “officially marking its intent to procure 24 F-35A aircraft. This makes them the 18th nation to join the program,” reads an F-35 Lightning II post on X.

The US and the United Kingdom launched airstrikes Saturday targeting the Houthis in Yemen, reports The Hill. These counterstrikes are a continuation of retaliatory strikes against the Iran-backed militant group that has destabilized the Red Sea region and trade routes in the area with strikes amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

AP reports that the Saturday airstrikes struck 36 Houthi targets in Yemen. The strikes were launched by warships in the Red Sea — the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, USS Gravely, and the USS Carney.

The US Navy is working on a new response plan that would affect how ships and crews prepare and deploy for combat, reports Navy Times. The service has pushed additional destroyers into the Red Sea and Eastern Mediterranean regions as well as extended ships’ deployments to keep a heightened presence there. The moves are necessary as Houthi militants in Yemen continue to fire missiles and send drones at naval and merchant ships, military forces ashore, and Israeli targets.

After the deadly drone attack in Jordan late last month that killed three American service members, US Central Command is reassessing its air defense needs, reports Breaking Defense. CENTCOM is looking at how it can “better refine not only your air defenses, but prevent future attacks like this from happening again,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said.

The US military has attributed the drone attack in Jordan to the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iran-backed militias, reports Military Times.

Textron Systems’ Aerosonde uncrewed aircraft system took its inaugural operational flight from its first Littoral Combat Ship, the LCS-28 USS Savannah, reports UAS Magazine. General Atomics conducted the first flight of the Gray Eagle 25M UAS at its El Mirage, Calif. flight facility in December. The first flight marks a significant milestone in the Gray Eagle modernization program, reports UAS Magazine.

Lockheed Martin will be laying off 200 workers at its F-35 assembly plant in Fort Worth, TX, reports keranews.org. The company also will lay off an additional 100 workers in the aeronautics division at its factories in Marietta, GA, and Palmdale, CA. The layoffs are part of the company’s recent plan to reduce its overall workforce by 1%, CNBC had reported last week.

Lockheed Martin will invest in Meteomatics, a weather intelligence and technology firm, reports dronelife.com. The investment will allow Meteomatics to scale its high-resolution weather and climate technology, reaching new heights in weather reporting accuracy and reliability.

The National Security Agency and US Cyber Command has a new chief, reports Defense News. US Air Force GEN Timothy Haugh is the new head of the country’s premier intelligence agency and cyber-fighting organization. Army GEN Paul Nakasone left the post on Friday. The change-of-command ceremony took place at Fort Meade, MD.

NavSec Carlos Del Toro visited the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, VA, on Friday, the service reports. Del Toro visited the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center’s Surface Warfare Technical Division on base and hosted two Small Business Roundtables in coordination with the Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs at the University of Mary Washington Dahlgren campus.

At the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland campus, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore toured the new Southern Maryland Autonomous Research and Technology, or SMART, building in California. (Photo courtesy of the governor’s office)

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) and members of his cabinet toured St. Mary’s County on Friday, the governor’s office reports. The group visited various locations throughout the county including the Naval Air Station Pax River and University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland campus. Throughout the day, Gov. Moore met with local elected officials, business owners, and community members about opportunities for economic growth around the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport. Other cabinet members visited Clover Hill Dairy Farm, Garvey Senior Activity Center and Leonardtown Library, the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, and the Booz Allen Hamilton Pax River Mission Systems Integration Facility.

Naval Air Systems Command has named its 2023 Mentors of the Year, reports The BayNet. Of 86 nominations, 11 employees received the honor.

US Space Force COL Nick Hague is expected to pilot SpaceX’s Crew-9 mission later this year making him the first guardian to go into space on a NASA mission, reports Air Force Times. The Crew-9 mission will carry four crew members aboard the company’s Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station sometime in August or later.

Former acting NavSec Thomas Modly’s memoir offers an inside look at life inside the Pentagon, serving under President Trump, and the difficulties of pushing change forward within the Department of the Navy, reports Navy Times. The book, “Vectors: Heroes, Villains and Heartbreak on the Bridge of the US Navy,” also details how Modly and his family faced death threats after he fired CAPT Brett Crozier, commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, after a COVID outbreak on the aircraft carrier.

The US Air Force resumed some South Korea-based flight operations Thursday after an F-16 fighter jet crashed off the Korean peninsula’s coast a day earlier, reports Air Force Times. The pilot ejected safely and was reported in good condition.

US aircraft carriers led exercises with Japan east of Taiwan last week, reports CNN. A dozen United States and Japanese warships, including the USS Carl Vinson and Theodore Roosevelt, put on a show of military might in the Philippine Sea. The US and Japan’s coordination comes at a time when the Japanese military is working to increase its military capabilities. Japan, concerned over a rising and adversarial Chinese military, invested a record $50 billion in its military this fiscal year.

A Lockheed Martin satellite that was placed in the wrong orbit in December is expected to fall back to Earth this month, reports Space News. The 300-pound payload — a newly designed electronically steerable antenna flying on a Terran Orbital Nebula bus — went to the wrong orbit following an upper stage problem with the Firefly Aerospace Alpha rocket placed that launched the mission December 22.

NASA explains how the 2024 total solar eclipse on April 8 is different than the 2017 eclipse. For starters, the path of totality – where viewers can see the moon totally block the sun – is much wider during the upcoming total solar eclipse than it was during the eclipse in 2017. The path will also pass over more cities and densely populated areas than the 2017 path did.

Troop pay and housing problems lead senior enlisted leaders’ concerns, reports Navy Times. Military leaders on Wednesday urged members of the House Armed Services Committee to accelerate improvements to service member pay and housing issues, saying they should be the top priorities to help boost the military’s recruiting and retention efforts.

Contracts:

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, New Jersey, is awarded a $92,032,532 cost type modification to previously awarded contract N00024-23-C-5117 to exercise an option for other direct costs supporting Systems Engineering and Software Integration for the Integrated Combat System across the Surface Force portfolio of the Navy and Coast Guard. Work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey (41%); Columbia, Maryland (30%); Norfolk, Virginia (7%); Middletown, Rhode Island (6%); College Park, Maryland (5%); Mount Laurel, New Jersey (4%); Huntsville, Alabama (3%); Wallops Island, Virginia (1%); Arlington, Virginia (1%); San Diego, California (1%); and Herndon, Virginia (1%), and is expected to be completed by September 2024. Fiscal 2024 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,905,818 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Manassas, Virginia, is awarded a $55,544,062 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-6117 to exercise options for Navy equipment and spares. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia (65%); Clearwater, Florida (32%); Syracuse, New York (2%); and Marion, Florida (1%), and is expected to be completed by January 2032. Fiscal 2024 Shipbuilding and Conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $55,544,062 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Rotary and Mission Systems, Manassas, Virginia, is awarded a $8,234,682 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-18-C-6258 to exercise options for engineering support, component procurements, and other direct costs in support of the Integrated Submarine Imaging System. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia (49%); Orlando, Florida (33%); Virginia Beach, Virginia (15%); Clearwater, Florida (1%); Andover, Massachusetts (1%); and Arlington, Virginia (1%), and is expected to be completed by September 2024. Fiscal 2023 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $8,234,682 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, District of Columbia is the contracting activity.

Group W Inc., Vienna, Virginia, is awarded a $52,318,986 hybrid indefinite quantity contract consisting of firm-fixed-price and cost reimbursement (travel only) contract line items. The contract consists of a five-year ordering period. This contract provides for research and innovative technical analysis (RITA 3.0) capabilities to support the Operations Analysis Directorate, Headquarters Marine Corps, Combat Development and Integration mission, and the Marine Corps Study System (MCSS). The studies and analyses obtained from this contract support the MCSS program. Support includes, but is not limited to, conducting studies that relate to the nature, theory, preparation, and conduct of warfighting. Work will be performed at Quantico, Virginia, with an expected completion date of January 2029. Fiscal 2024 operation and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $3,500 will be obligated at the time of award for task order one and will satisfy the required minimum guaranteed on the contract. Funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Subsequent task orders will utilize fiscal operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds available at time of task order award. This contract was competitively procured via the SAM.gov website, with two proposals received. The Marine Corps Installations National Capital Region-Regional Contracting Office, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity (M00264-24-D-00).

Utah State University Research Foundation/Space Dynamics Laboratory, Logan, Utah, was awarded a $10,719,010 firm-fixed-price contract to establish and maintain services in support of Distributed Common Ground and Surface System – Marine Corps. This effort will establish and maintain services to support engineering, software maintenance, fiber patching, antenna, and server maintenance for the Vantage software. This contract will include one one-year base period and four one-year option periods which, if exercised, would increase the cumulative contract value to $49,956,951. Work will be performed in Logan, Utah (67%); and Stafford, Virginia (33%). The period of performance for this effort from Feb. 1, 2024, through Jan. 31, 2029. Funds will be incrementally obligated in the total amount of $2,614,141 at the time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual contract Line Item numbers as appropriate. Fiscal 2024 operation and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $1,463,001; and fiscal 2024 research, development, test, and evaluation (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $1,151,140, will be obligated on the contract. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 US Code § 3204(a)(3)(B), as implemented by the Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-3(a)(2)(ii). The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity (M67854-24-C-2010). (Awarded Jan. 31, 2024)

Federal Prison Industries Inc., doing business as UNICOR, Washington, DC, has been awarded a maximum $22,980,000 modification (P00019) exercising the fourth one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-F057) with four one-year option periods for various types of coats. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Texas, Illinois, and North Carolina, with a Feb. 5, 2025, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2024 through 2025 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

InDyne Inc., Sterling, Virginia, has been awarded a $12,906,561 contract modification (P00043) to previously awarded contract FA2518-22-C-0001 for Solid State Phase Array Radar Systems (SSPARS). This modification adds missile defense radar organizational maintainer and system administrator support to the Long-Range Discrimination Radar, a system that is on the SSPARS contract. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $397,962,428. Work will be performed at Clear Space Force Station, Alaska, and is expected to be complete by Oct. 31, 2026. Fiscal 2024 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $181,242 are being obligated at time of award. Space Operations Command, Space Acquisition and Integration Office, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, is the contracting activity.

Atom Rail LLC, Liberty Hill, South Carolina, has been awarded a $8,488,793 firm-fixed-price contract for managing General Services Administration vehicle fleet and rail engine operations on Fort Eustis, Virginia. This contract requires the contractor to manage government owned vehicles, provide shuttle services for students, and operate government owned rail engines. Work will be performed on Fort Eustis, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2029. This contract was competitive acquisition, and three offers were received. Fiscal 2024 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $385,810 are being obligated at time of award. The 633rd Contracting Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Hampton, Virginia, is the contracting activity (FA4800-24-P-0009).

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