DTN News: Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama Hints At Leaving Disputed US Base On Okinawa
Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) TOKYO, Japan - March 19, 2010: Facing mounting pressure from Washington, Japan's centre-left Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Friday suggested a disputed US military base could stay on the southern island of Okinawa.
Hatoyama, who was elected last year promising a less subservient relationship with Washington, has been reviewing a 2006 pact to relocate the Futenma airbase within Okinawa prefecture and suggested in the past it may be moved off the island instead.
But Hatoyama told reporters Friday that "it is difficult to move it from the prefecture". He immediately added: "But we want to cherish what Okinawa people hope for. I'm working hard on that situation."
Local media reported Hatoyama was preparing an alternative option.
Japan's prime minister, who has promised a final decision by May, said his government would decide by the end of March on a basic relocation plan.
Washington says the base is vital to defending Japan, which relies heavily on the United States for regional security and is home to some 47,000 US troops, of which more than half are based on Okinawa.
"Peace and stability in the region depend in no small part on the enduring presence of forward deployed US forces in Japan," Michael Schiffer, a senior Pentagon official, told Congress on Wednesday.
If implemented, the 2006 pact between the two countries would move the base from a crowded residential district to a quieter coastal part of the island.
Some allies of Hatoyama's ruling coalition want it to be moved off Okinawa or even outside Japan, citing local complaints about the heavy American military presence.
Japan's defence minister plans to visit Okinawa next week to meet the local governor to discuss the relocation of the base.
DTN News: Automobile News March 19, 2010 ~ McLaren Launches New Supercar
Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON - March 19, 2010: Formula One automaker McLaren has launched a supercar, part of a drive by the firm to shift up a gear in its battle to capture the high-performance commercial sports car market. The MP4-12C -- modelled on technology used by McLaren's Formula One team -- will go into production next year with 1,000 of the cars expected to roll off the production line in 2011, the firm said at a launch Thursday.
It will have a price tag of 150,000 pounds (230,000 dollars, 170,000 euros) and its production will create 300 new jobs, said McLaren.
The firm hopes to be producing 4,000 of the vehicles by the middle of the decade, and it is the first of a series of top-end sports cars McLaren plans to build in the coming years.
"We have long held the dream of building a range of McLaren high-performance sports cars that take the raw elements of Formula 1 principles," said McLaren Automotive chairman Ron Dennis.
"It is inspired by Formula One, built on the pride and passion to the highest quality and rich in McLaren DNA," he added.
Dennis said the plans "confirm our intention to challenge convention at the highest levels of automotive design, from a hi-tech home that I am proud to say will deliver jobs, expertise and innovation in manufacturing and engineering."
The 12C will be built at a specially designed plant south of London due to start production next year.
McLaren will sell the car through retailers in 19 countries, with North America expected to account for up to 40 percent of the market.
DTN News: Technology News March 19, 2010 ~ Google May Cease Operations In China By April 10 (Information Technology News)
Source: DTN News / Asian Defense News
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 19, 2010: Internet search engine Google could cease operations in China by April 10, according to a Chinese newspaper.
The Times quoted an authorised Google spokesperson as saying that the departure date could be announced on Monday - a day after the company's staff are due to receive their annual year-end bonus.
"I have received information that Google will leave China on April 10, but this information has not at present been confirmed by Google," the Google spokesperson said.
Since the search engine's January announcement that it no longer wished to be under the pressure of the country's Internet restrictions, speculations have been rife as to when Google would pull out of China and which of its services would be affected.
China's online population is eager to know whether Gmail, Google Earth, its Chinese music search business and the popular Chinese version of its knowledge market site, Google Answers, will remain accessible after the closing of google.cn.
Last week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he hoped to have an outcome soon from talks with Chinese officials on offering an uncensored google.cn search engine in the country.
However, the chances that Chinese authorities will agree to such a request are believed to be nil.
Meanwhile, Google has continued to filter google.cn results to abide by Chinese regulations but it said it if China did not permit it to cease the screening it would be forced to withdraw from the market.
However, its google.com search engine, which is hosted on an offshore server, is unlikely to be affected unless Chinese cyber censors decide to block the service.
Youtube, Facebook and Twitter are all blocked in China and the Great Firewall also prevents access to many other sites deemed to contain sensitive content. (ANI)
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. To read this article from Asian Defense News, click here or above.
DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated March 18, 2010Source: U.S. DoD issued March 18, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 19, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued March18,2010 are undermentioned;
NAVY~Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Irvine, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5405);
~Harper Construction Co., Inc., San Diego, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5406);
~Barnhart, Inc., San Diego, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5407);
~Sundt Construction, Inc., Tempe, Ariz. (N62473-10-D-5408);
~RQ Construction, Inc., Carlsbad, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5409);
~R. A. Burch Construction Co., Inc., Ramona, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5410);
~Solpac Construction, Inc., dba Soltek Pacific Construction Co., San Diego, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5411);
~T. B. Penick & Sons, Inc., San Diego, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5412); and
~Clark Construction Group - California, LP, Costa Mesa, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5413), are each being awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple-award construction contract for commercial and institutional building construction at various locations predominantly within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest area of responsibility (AOR). The maximum dollar value, including the base period and four option years, for all nine contracts combined is $900,000,000. Hensel Phelps Construction Co. is being awarded task order 0001 at $5,775,000 for the design and construction of an industrial machine shop facility at the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow, Calif. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by December 2010. All work will be performed at various federal sites within the NAVFAC Southwest AOR including, but not limited to, Southern California (94 percent), Arizona (5 percent), and New Mexico (1 percent). The term of the contracts is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of March 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with 54 proposals received. These nine contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contracts. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, is the contracting activity.
~Lockheed Martin Corp., Simulation, Training and Support, Orlando, Fla., is being awarded an $83,305,442 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to design, develop, fabricate, integrate, and test the electronic Consolidated Automated Support System. In addition, this provides for the procurement of 14 engineering development models during the system design and development phase of the contract. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla. (61 percent); Hunt Valley, Md. (26 percent); North Reading, Mass.(12 percent); and Reston, Va. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals; three offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-10-C-0225).
~AECOM Technical Services, Inc., Raleigh, N.C., is being awarded a maximum $30,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect-engineering contract for utilities design and engineering services for projects located at Marine Corps installations at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. Work performed includes utility infrastructure design projects; providing/replacing/upgrading sanitary collection and treatment systems; potable water supply, treatment, and distribution systems; stormwater collection and conveyance systems; installation of security fencing and entry control facilities; installation/repair of shoreline erosion control measures; design of new and resurfacing of existing airfields, roads, and parking lots; performing property and topographic surveys; and facility site work to include demolition, underground storage tank removal, layout, and site preparation. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, N.C. (75 percent), and Havelock, N.C. (25 percent), and is expected to be completed by March 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with 28 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-10-D-5313).
~Mikros Systems Corp.*, Fort Washington, Pa.,is being awarded a maximum amount $25,959,991 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of adaptive diagnostic electronic portable test sets that will be used by technicians to maintain, calibrate and diagnose problems with complex electronic radar systems. Work will be performed in Fort Washington, Pa. (90 percent), and various other locations (10 percent), and is expected be completed by September 2015. Contract funds willnot expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured as a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research action; one offer was received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-10-D-GR63).
~Raytheon Network Centric Systems, St. Petersburg, Fla., is being awarded a $13,680,670 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-5202) for the design agent and engineering services for the cooperative engagement capability (CEC) system. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (97 percent) and the government of the United Kingdom (3 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Largo, Fla. (80 percent); St. Petersburg, Fla. (19 percent); and Dallas, Texas (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
~Ocean Systems Engineering Corp., Oceanside, Calif., is being awarded $9,034,935 for task order # 0068 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M67854-02-A-9020). The scope of this effort is to provide on-going engineering, technical, acquisition, administrative, and management support to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Command and Control Systems Program Management Office; and a liaison representative on-site at Communications-Electronics Command, Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications Tactical, Project Manager Battle Command. This statement of work includes Combat Operations Center; MAGTF command and control combat operations center capability blocks 2010 and 2012; joint tactical common operational picture workstation; target location designation handoff system; advanced field artillery tactical data system; blue force situational awareness family of systems; joint interface control officer support system; and potential technology insertion opportunities under the science and technology transition office. The programs require support through all phases of the acquisition cycle. Work will be performed in Quantico, Va., and is expected to be completed in March 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $4,458,469 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.
~Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.,Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $7,873,660 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3002) for the development, fabrication, and qualification of a polymer matrix composite drag brace for use on the main landing gear on the F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft. Work will be performed in Helmond, the Netherlands (67 percent), and Ft. Worth, Texas (33 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.
~P&S Construction, Inc.*, Lowell, Mass., is being awarded a $6,257,000 firm-fixed-price contract for main gate security improvements at Naval Weapons Station Earle. Work includes gate access realignment; reinforced fencing; new security fencing surrounding the guardhouse area; new hardened guard house; base-wide alarm duress system; site lighting; permanent vehicle inspection shelter with closed circuit television; undercarriage video surveillance equipment; permanent passive security barriers; two active pop-up vehicle barriers; new connector road to explosive ordnance disposal; demolition of existing pass and identification office; construction of new pass and identification office within a new inspection facility; and 54 parking spaces. The contract also contains one unexercised option which, if exercised, would increase cumulative contract value to $6,276,950. Work will be performed in Colts Neck, N.J., and is expected to be completed by Oct. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site with 16 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-10-C-9441).
~Boeing Co., Long Beach, Calif., was awarded a $272,581,553 contract which will exercise FY10 third quarter option contract line items for the C17 Globemaster III sustainment partnership contract. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 330 ASW, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8614-04-C-2004, P00525).
DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY~Kentucky Bioprocessing, LLC, is being awarded a $17,900,500 other transaction/technology investment agreement for developing a proof-of-concept platform capable of yielding a purified vaccine candidate using a whole plant-based process. Work will be performed in Owensboro, Ky., and is expected to be completed in March 2011. Funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. A solicitation was issued via Federal Business Opportunities on March 6, 2009; more than 25 bids were received. The contracting activity is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va. (HR0011-10-3-0004).
ARMY~Disc-O-Bed, LP, Duluth, Ga., was awarded on March 16, 2010, a $12,000,000 firm-fixed-fee contract to procure bunk beds with foot lockers and spare parts. The original estimated dollar value was $1,000,000. This action is to increase the amount of this indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity to $12,000,000. Work is to be performed in Duluth, Ga., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 3, 2013. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with one bid received. RDECOM Contracting Center, Natick Contracting Division, Natick, Mass., is the contracting activity (W58P05-08-D-0015).
~Arete Associates, Northridge, Calif., was awarded on March 17, 2010, a $7,810,252 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The program seeks to develop advanced technologies to provide superior situational awareness to war fighters operating in maritime environments. Work is to be performed in Arlington, Va. (76.6 percent); Tucson, Ariz. (9.9 percent); North Billerica, Mass. (4.9 percent); and various other locations (8.9 percent), with an estimated completion date of June 16, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-10-C-0006).
~NextiraOne Federal, LLC, Herndon, Va., was awarded on March 12, 2010, a $6,954,688 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This project manager, network service center performance work statement addresses the Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program effort to engineer, furnish, install, secure, test, document, migrate, and cutover a turn-key solution to upgrade the existing infrastructure and facilities at Germany 3C (Hohenfels). Work is to be performed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, with an estimated completion date of June 12, 2011. Ten bids were solicited with ten bids received. Army Contracting Command, National Capitol Regional Contracting Center, Alexandria, Va., is the contracting activity (W91QUZ-06-D-0027-0005).
DTN News: US May Extend Tanker Deadline To Allow EADS BidSource: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 19, 2010: The Pentagon said it might extend a deadline for bids on a new aerial refueling tanker after Airbus parent EADS signalled it could return to the competition.
Having been informed by EADS of its possible interest in the contract, the Defense Department "would consider a reasonable extension to the RFP (Request for Proposals) deadline," press secretary Geoff Morrell told AFP.
The US Air Force tanker aircraft project has been plagued by controversy and scandal, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European officials accusing Washington of setting up rules to favor US aviation giant Boeing.
European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, parent of aircraft maker Airbus, said earlier Thursday that it would be "impossible" to meet the mid-May deadline for bidding on the 35-billion-dollar contract.
"Its clear that in the 60-day timeframe, that its impossible for anybody, even for Lockheed Martin, to build a solution," EADS chief Louis Gallois said at a briefing in New York, according to his spokesman.
The 60-day period roughly is the time left after EADS's US bid partner Northrop Grumman dropped out of the competition on March 8.
Asked about Northrop's decision to bow out, Gallois called it a "huge frustration."
Northrop Grumman's exit from the competition left the field open to Boeing, arch-rival of France-based Airbus.
The Pentagon was committed to a "fair and open competition" and would "welcome" a decision by EADS to participate, Morrell said.
Extending the deadline for proposals is "not unusual," he said.
Deadlines for proposals have been postponed for other defense programs, Morrell said, including the US Navy's unmanned aircraft system (BAMS), the VH-71 helicopter, and a new version of the precision-guided small diameter bomb, SDB II.
But it remained unclear if EADS would decide to take part, with analysts saying the terms of the contest favor Boeing's smaller, cheaper plane.
In the last competition, EADS and Northrop offered a modified version of the Airbus 330, while Boeing proposed an altered 767 in its bid.
Northrop, EADS, key European officials and US lawmakers whose states would have benefited from a Northrop victory have accused the Pentagon of unfairly structuring the bid requirements to benefit Boeing's smaller plane.
The Pentagon has rejected the charges and insisted the terms of the project favor neither side.
EADS, which enjoys support from key Republicans in Congress, could be trying to prolong the contest until legislative elections in November when Republicans are expected to make gains against rival Democrats, said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group Corporation.
"I think one of EADSs goals is to extend the competition beyond the US election, in the hope that Republicans take back the House of Representatives," he told AFP. "But the Pentagon seems to want to move forward now."
The Defense Department released the final requirements for the contract to build 197 tanker planes on February 24, opening bidding for 75 days.
Sarkozy last week criticised the United States over the tanker contest, saying it was not the way for Washington to treat its European allies.
"These are methods which are not good for the partners of the United States, which is a great nation with which we are close and friends with," Sarkozy said in London.
The Northrop-EADS team originally won the contract in February 2008, but the deal was cancelled after Boeing successfully appealed the decision to the investigative arm of Congress.
In 2003, the Pentagon awarded a contract to Boeing but later suspended the deal after an ethics scandal involving a company executive and an Air Force official. The Air Force official was later convicted of criminal conspiracy.
Military commanders view the planned KC-X aircraft as crucial to sustaining US air power and are anxious to replace the older Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers that date back to the 1950s.