DTN News: USAF Broadens Plans For Next-Generation UAV Source: DTN News / Defense News By John Reed
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 28, 2010: The U.S. Air Force has begun re-evaluating and expanding the missions its MQ-X next generation tactical UAV will be required to perform to go beyond battlefield strike and ISR, service officials announced.
The move is intended to make sure specifications outlined in the aircraft's initial capabilities document meet mission requirements for new UAVs in the service's just completed Remotely Piloted Vehicle Flight Plan, according to Col. Bruce Emig, chief of Air Combat Command's (ACC's) irregular warfare requirements division.
The flight plan calls for a next-generation, medium-size UAV such as the MQ-X to performseveral new mission sets, such as cargo hauling and aerial refueling, that don't fall under ACC's purview, according to Emig.
"We need to see if the [current definition of MQ-X] is a good solution" for those missions, Emig said during an April 27 speech at an Institute for Defense and Government Advancement conference in Tysons Corner, Va.
At a minimum, MQ-X is slated to replace the service's MQ-9 Reaper UAVs in their role as medium-sized strike and ISR planes.
ACC is now working with Air Force Materiel Command, Air Mobility Command and Air Force Special Operations Command to determine what they need out of a next generation UAV, according to Emig.
The service plans to have the requirements finalized in time to be included in its 2014 Program Objective Memorandum, he added.
At a minimum, the aircraft must have protected communications and datalinks, the ability to survive in contested airspace, and enough power generating and cargo capacity to allow it to carry a variety of sensors and weapons, according to Emig.
The aircraft must also incorporate so called sense-and-avoid technology to prevent collisions with nearby aircraft, he added.
Service officials want the MQ-X and all future UAVs to be able to carry and operate a variety of mission payloads in the same way a C-130 can today.
The Air Force's chief intelligence officer, Lt. Gen. David Deptula, said this probably won't have a serious impact on the service's plans to field the plane - which he described as "an order of magnitude" more advanced than the MQ-9 - close to 2020 to 2022.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: email@example.com
DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated April 27, 2010
Source: U.S. DoD issued April 27, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - April 28, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued April 27, 2010 are undermentioned;<>CONTRACTS
~Baldi Bros., Inc.*, Beaumont, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5479);
~Dynalectric Co., San Diego, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5480);
~NEI Contracting and Engineering, Inc.*, San Diego, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5481);
~RQ-Berg, JV, Carlsbad, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5482);
~Stronghold Engineering, Inc., Riverside, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5483);
~Syska Hennessey Group Construction, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif. (N62473-10-D-5484); and
~Watts Constructors, LLC, Honolulu, Hawaii (N62473-10-D-5485), are each being awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract for new construction and repair of dry utilities construction at various locations within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest area of responsibility (AOR). The maximum dollar value for all seven contracts combined is $300,000,000. The work to be performed provides for new construction, addition, repair, or upgrade of electrical distributions, lighting systems, cable television lines, airfield lighting, and communication transmission lines. Work will be performed at various federal sites within the NAVFAC Southwest AOR, including but not limited to: California (83 percent), Arizona (12 percent), Nevada (2 percent), Utah (1 percent), Colorado (1 percent), and New Mexico (1 percent). The terms of the contracts are not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of April 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 26 proposals received. These seven contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.
~Orbital Sciences Corp., Greenbelt, Md., is being awarded a $94,713,285 cost-plus-fixed-fee level of effort contract for spacecraft and airborne systems research analysis and prototype development. This includes the analysis, design, development, test, operation demonstration, and transition of these prototype systems and subsystems. Work will be performed in Washington, D.C. (87 percent), and Greenbelt, Md. (13 percent), and will be completed April 2015. Contract funds in the amount of $100,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured under Request for Proposal Number N000173-00-R-KS03 for which one offer was received. The Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., is the contracting facility (N000173-10-C-2026).
~Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc., Houston, Texas, is being awarded a $22,540,000 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a 202-room combat systems officer bachelor housing at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Work will be performed in Pensacola, Fla., and is expected to be completed by June 2012. 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 21 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-10-C-0754).
~Capstone Corp., Alexandria, Va., is being awarded a $17,362,431 modification under previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00189-07-D-Z006) for studies, analyses, logistics support, and specialized program support for the U.S. Joint Forces Command. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed by January 2011. Contract funds will not expire by the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk, Philadelphia Division, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.
~Ocean Systems Engineering Corp., Oceanside, Calif., is being awarded $10,373,686 for task order #0073 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M67854-02-A-9020). The scope of this effort is to provide Marine Corps Systems Command Systems engineering, interoperable, architectures and technology staff the detailed technical and analytical support required to define, integrate, certify, plan, and oversee the development and delivery of Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) systems. This effort consists of four domain areas: MAGTF systems engineering and integration; systems engineering and technology; joint certification; and architecture design and development. Work will be performed in Quantico, Va., and is expected to be completed in April 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $9,373,686 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.
~L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace, LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $10,300,000 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity delivery order contract (N68936-06-D-0024) to provide specialized technical services in support of depot level maintenance work (DLM) performed at the Fleet Readiness Center, Southwest (FRC-SW) on aircraft and rework of associated components and materials. Services to be provided include modifications, in-service repairs, and all other categories of service associated with aircraft DLM and its planning. The estimated level of effort for this modification is 260,100 man-hours. Work will be performed at FRC-SW, San Diego, Calif. (78 percent); the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), Camp Pendleton, Calif. (9 percent); the Naval Air Station (NAS), Lemoore, Calif. (4 percent); the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Point Mugu, Calif. (2 percent); NAS Whidbey Island, Bremerton, Wash. (2 percent); MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (2 percent); MCAS Yuma, Ariz. (2 percent); and MCAS Miramar, Calif. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in July 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity.
~Suffolk Construction Co., Inc., Sarasota, Fla., is being awarded a $9,498,000 firm-fixed-price contract for design and construction of a data center at Naval Weapons Station Charleston. Work will be performed in Charleston, S.C., and is expected to be completed by June 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 28 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-10-C-1762).
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY ~Husky Marketing and Supply Co., Dublin, Ohio, is being awarded a maximum $84,737,520 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other location of performance is in Lima, Ohio. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. The original proposal was Web solicited with 27 responses. The date of performance completion is April 30, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0477).
~AGE Refining, Inc.*, San Antonio, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $84,635,512 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other location of performance is in Lima, Ohio. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. The original proposal was Web solicited with 27 responses. The date of performance completion is April 30, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0462).
~Alon USA, LP, Dallas, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $70,772,090 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other location of performance is in Big Spring, Texas. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. The original proposal was Web solicited with 27 responses. The date of performance completion is April 30, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0461).
~Metals USA, dba I-Solutions Group, Fort Washington, Pa., is being awarded a maximum $48,000,000 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, prime-vendor contract supporting customer direct deliveries to locations within the central United States region. Other location of performance is in Pennsylvania. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. There were originally five proposals solicited with four responses. The date of performance completion is April 23, 2012. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM8EG-10-D-0002).
DTN News: French Are Hopeful On Concluding UAE Fighter Jets Deal Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) DUBAI, UAE - April 28, 2010: “This can never be frustrating, as these are massive projects, requiring huge investment, and decisions sometimes take as long as fifteen, 20 or even 30 years,” Thales International Middle East president Olivier Badard told Arabian Business at the launch event of the French firm’s new Dubai office.
Last year, state news agency WAM said that the UAE had been in negotiations to revamp its Mirage fighter fleet with the Dassault-built Rafale in a contract thought to be worth as much as $10bn.
Thales provides the radar systems for the state-of-the-art jet, which is used by the French Air Force and Navy.
The Rafale has so far not yet been sold to any other countries, although Brazil and Kuwait are known to be interested, as well as the UAE.
Asked whether Thales would provide an update on the potential deal, Badard said: “we typically do not comment on ongoing bids of this potential magnitude.”
“All I would say is that France and the UAE have a long history of cooperating in the area of military aircraft fighters and we’ll see what the UAE ultimately decide to do.”
Badard confirmed to reporters at the event that Thales’ Middle East and Western Asia division pulled in around $1.7bn of revenue last year, around ten percent of total global operations.
Asked whether he saw this percentage increasing in the future, the regional head said that the division had been earmarked as one that had greater potential for growth than its more domestic markets in Europe.
In the UAE, Thales has worked closely with local authorities, providing infrastructural systems both for the Dubai Metro and Dubai International Airport’s new Terminal 3. The firm has a total of 500 staff based in the country.
DTN News: U.S. Air Force To Retire 250 Aircraft And Fighter JetsSource: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) HILL AIR FORCE BASE - April 28, 2010: The U.S. Air Force will retire more than 250 aircraft and fighter jets in the next several months.
Those in the Air Force admit it's a bit of a risk phasing out so many of their fighter jets, but in the long run they hope it will make the force more effective.
As part of the Combat Air Force Reduction in Forces plan, Hill Air Force Base will send out 12 aircrafts in the next two months and another 12 this fall -- making their inventory smaller, but hopefully more lethal.
It's not just Hill Air Force Base losing fighter jets.
"As an Air Force, we are going to accelerate the retirement of 259 aircraft," said Col. David Hathaway with the 388th Fighter Wing unit.
It's all part of a master plan by the Air force, retiring several F-16s, F-15s and A-10s to save money.
"It frees up $355 million this fiscal year and over the next five fiscal years will free up $3.5 billion, which will allow us to reshape our force into a smaller, leaner, more agile and capable force for the future," Hathaway explains.
It also means Hill will be down one fighter squadron.
But the 617 military positions from the 388th Fighter Wing won't be lost, just reassigned somewhere else.
And though the retiring of these jets will mean the Air Force will have a smaller inventory right now, Hathaway says, "In the long term this makes us more lethal and combat capable, yet smaller force."
Another 12 aircraft will leave Hill Air Force Base late summer for Italy.
DTN News: Algeria Cooperating With North African Countries Move Against al-QaidaSource: DTN News / Algerian Daily News
(NSI News Source Info) ALGIERS, Algeria,- April 28, 2010: Algeria has launched a major military campaign against al-Qaida and its fellow travelers and Morocco says it rounded up a terrorist cell amid a campaign by North African states aimed at crushing the jihadists.
Insurgent groups within Algeria and parts of North Africa have become a franchise of Al-Qaeda, according to the US Intelligence reports. American military officials have evidence that a small insurgent group within Algeria has shifted tactics and it operates on the line of terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. The recent spate of attacks on tourists, kidnapping and suicide attacks in Algeria bear Al-Qaeda’s signature. There are footprints of Al-Qaeda type terrorist activities in various parts spread all over Northern Africa as well.
The campaign, dubbed Operation Ennasr -- Victory -- followed an April 20 summit attended by the military chiefs of four regional states -- Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Niger -- at the oasis town of Tamanrasset deep in the Sahara Desert south of Algiers.
They agreed to set up a joint military base there, with the quartet joined by Libya, Chad and Burkina Faso.
They will form a joint operational military committee with headquarters in the desert town to go after al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb -- the Arabic name for North Africa -- and Saharan drug smuggling and kidnap gangs associated with them.
AQIM was established in 2008 to create a region-wide jihadist alliance. This is largely made up of Algeria's jihadist group formerly known as the Salafist Group for Combat and Preaching.
AQIM has operated in all four countries but its main area of operations is in the mountains east of Algiers, which is the main focus of the Algerian operation.
The Americans, who have established training programs for regional security forces to combat the jihadists, have shown some interest in using Tamanrasset as a tactical air base.
So far there is no evidence of any direct U.S. involvement in developing the new base but the U.S. global security consultancy Stratfor noted: "AQIM is a clear priority for the United States as well … and any coherent regional effort (and it is not yet clear that this coherent) will be something the Americans will be interested in supporting and facilitating."
This could be done through the recently established U.S. Africa Command, set up to coordinate all U.S. military operations in Africa and to work with the continent's military forces.
Algeria, with a 47,000-person army and some 190 combat aircraft, has the largest and best-armed military in the region and is considered the driving force behind the current campaign.
It gained extensive combat and intelligence-gathering experience in fighting Islamist terrorists throughout the 1990s during a civil war between Islamist militants and the military-backed government in Algiers.
Morocco and Tunisia, the other Maghreb states, have also varying degrees of expertise in combating jihadist organizations, although they don't appear to be directly involved in the current planning.
Tunisia and Libya were represented at a March 16 meeting of seven regional foreign ministers in Algiers, the first high-level regional counterinsurgency meeting in years, to discuss joint action against the jihadists.
But traditional rivalries between the Maghreb states were clearly in evidence and are likely to impede cooperation. Indeed, Morocco seems to have been deliberately shut out of the new formation.
Still, its Interior Ministry announced it had dismantled a 24-member terror network linked to al-Qaida in mid-April. It said the group, based in Casablanca and Rabat, had been planning attacks and assassinations.
Morocco's security services claim to have rounded up more than 60 terrorist cells since May 16, 2003, when 45 people perished in five suicide bombings in Casablanca, the country's economic center.
At the March conference, the Algerians, AQIM's primary target, called for a program of interdicting the terrorists by restricting their access to water and fuel in the desert and porous borders where they operate.
Algeria advocated airstrikes and to facilitate these operations, the French army's engineering corps was reported to be looking at up to four airstrips in north and central Mali from which to conduct the air campaign.
The lack of surveillance and heavy transport aircraft, and especially helicopters, among the regional states has severely limited their counter-insurgency programs.
And, unless they get outside help, this could impede the current plans that will cover the vast Sahara-Sahel region, a vast, inhospitable desert territory that extends into Mauritania, Mali and Chad.
The Jamestown Foundation, which monitors global terrorism from Washington, said Algeria "has been urging Nigeria to add its air force to the campaign against AQIM."
The French-language magazine Jeune Afrique reported April 7 that Algeria has informed Nigeria "that AQIM emirs have begun recruiting in northern Nigeria."