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HomeAsian NewsEDITOR’S BUNKER BRIEFING 5 JULY 2021 No.64

EDITOR’S BUNKER BRIEFING 5 JULY 2021 No.64


“It is fatal to enter an war without the will to win it.” – Douglas MacArthur

Dear Readers,

The Afghan forces are being pushed back; Taliban attacks are occurring around Kabul and the Afghan military outside of major cities cannot rely on regular resupply or medical evacuation. Rotating troops out of combat for rest is rare at best. Seriously wounded troops die because they cannot be evacuated to medical facilities. Corruption is still rife and the government’s power and influence hardly exists outside of major cities – as it cannot be enforced.

All the gains that the moderate and forward thinking Afghan society have been able to make during the period that US, NATO and coalition forces have been present in the country are now seriously threatened again. Where the Taliban control, the fabric of daily life with employment aspirations, women’s rights and the development of society is being stifled if not crushed.

Two decades of military operations, the eventual hunting down of Osama bin Laden (actually found less than a mile from Pakistan’s Military Academy in Abbottabad), and some progress made in basic modernisation of parts of Afghan society, will the whole US/NATO campaign in Afghanistan have made a difference if the Taliban (and whoever they ally themselves to in the future) eventually take back control?

What are the lessons learned and indeed, can any of those lessons be applied to any similar circumstances in the future with any hope of a different outcome? Hopefully Afghanistan will be able to resist the onrush of the Taliban to keep a part of the process that they have made – but the signs are not good.

Best to all,

Editor


EDA DELVES DEEPER INTO AI

The European Defence Agency (EDA) is organising a series of workshops on the impact and potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in defence, the first of which Defence Applications of Artificial Intelligence (DAAI 2021) was staged in June.

According to the EDA, “a more structured and focused dialogue with industry and the research community” is required. The EDA reports that is has generated “papers and presentations to its Steering Board, with a view to developing an action plan and a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) on Artificial Intelligence for defence.”

The findings generated by the workshops will help feed into the EDA’s wider planning relating to “the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA), the revised Capability Development Plan (CDP) and the associated Strategic Context Cases (SCC) through which the priorities are being implemented, as well as the Key Strategic Activities (KSA).”

The aim of the workshops will be to generate further “AI based ad hoc projects and technology building block (TBB) roadmaps to further stimulate the application of AI in future defence applications.”

The first two-day workshop included speeches from representatives of the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), the European Union Satellite Centre (SatCen) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX). There was also a roundtable discussion on current trends and future research goals for AI in security and defence sectors.


DARPA DRIVES NEUROMORPHIC CAMERA RESEARCH

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a study into event based – neuromorphic – cameras.

The Fast Event-based Neuromorphic Camera and Electronics (FENCE) programme aims to develop an emerging class of event-based (neuromorphic) cameras. According to DARPA; “these advanced models operate asynchronously and only transmit information about pixels that have changed. This means they produce significantly less data and operate with much lower latency and power.”

Three research teams led by Raytheon, BAE Systems, and Northrop Grumman will look to develop event-based infrared (IR) camera technologies.

“Neuromorphic refers to silicon circuits that mimic brain operation; they offer sparse output, low latency, and high energy efficiency,” said Dr. Whitney Mason, the program manager leading the FENCE program. “Event-based cameras operate under these same principles when dealing with sparse scenes, but currently lack advanced ‘intelligence’ to perform more difficult perception and control tasks.”

DARPA gives the example of a s plane moving through a clear blue sky which could be tracked by todays cameras. However, the technology fails “in highly cluttered and dynamic scenes, limiting their use among many military applications.”

The objective of FENCE is to develop and demonstrate a low latency, low power, event-based infrared (IR) focal plane array (FPA) and a new class of digital signal processing and learning algorithms to enable intelligent sensors that will work in dynamic scenes.

DARPA states: “The teams from Raytheon, BAE Systems, and Northrop Grumman will work to develop an asynchronous read-out integrated circuit (ROIC) with low-latency, as well as a processing layer that integrates with the ROIC to identify relevant spatial and temporal signals. Together the ROIC and processing layer will enable an integrated FENCE sensor to operate on less power than 1.5 Watts.

“The goal is to develop a ‘smart’ sensor that can intelligently reduce the amount of information that is transmitted from the camera, narrowing down the data for consideration to only the most relevant pixels,” noted Mason.


US MAJOR ARMS SALES (Defence Security Cooperation Agency – DSCA).

1 July, 2021 – Kuwait. Heavy Tactical Vehicles
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kuwait of Heavy Tactical Vehicles with support and related equipment for an estimated cost of $445 million.


US GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

Highlighting a selection of $100 million+ government awarded contracts awarded between 28 June – 2 July 2021 and Foreign Military Sales contracts.

2 July
US NAVY
Raytheon is awarded a $171 million contract that procures three Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band low rate initial production Lot One ship sets, associated spares, gold units for operational test program set development and associated technical data. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

VSE was awarded a $41.5 million delivery order for an in-country technical assistance team (ICTAT) to the Egyptian Navy for follow-on technical support. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the government of Egypt. The contractor shall provide ICTAT to include technical, logistics, training, and facilities and administration support to the Egyptian Navy for work on multiple ship platforms. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $77.5 million. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity. (Awarded 1 July, 2021)

1 July
US AIR FORCE
Raytheon Missiles and Defense has been awarded an approximately $2 billion (to include all options) contract for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the Long Range Standoff (LRSO) Weapon System. During the EMD phase, manufacturing processes will continue to mature and the manufacturing environment will be demonstrated and transitioned to a pilot line readiness state. The objective at the end of EMD is to demonstrate full production readiness. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center is the contracting activity.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has been awarded a $79 million delivery order to an IDIQ contract for the France MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft procurement program. This contract involves 100 percent Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to France. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Wornick Foods received a maximum $105 million IDIQ contract for production and delivery of modular operational ration enhancements. Using military services are Army and Marine Corps. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

US TRANSPORTATION COMMAND
Maersk Line has been awarded a $176 million modification to a previously awarded contract for international ocean and intermodal, time definite, port-to-port and door-to-door transportation service using ocean common or contract carriers offering regularly scheduled commercial service. Service includes shipment of both containerised and breakbulk cargo. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $519 million. US Transportation Command is the contracting activity.

American President Lines has been awarded a $145 million modification contract for international ocean and intermodal, time definite, port-to-port and door-to-door transportation service using ocean common or contract carriers offering regularly scheduled commercial service. Service includes shipment of both containerised and breakbulk cargo. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $428 million. US Transportation Command is the contracting activity.

US NAVY
Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems is awarded a $28 million modification order which exercises an option to procure mission computers (MC) and flight management computers (FMC) retrofit kits to upgrade the MH-60R/S aircraft. The quantities are as follows: 205 Generation 3i/5i MCs to upgrade from Generation III/V/VI, to include 187 for the Navy, nine for the government of Australia, five for the government of Saudi Arabia and four for the government of Denmark; 200 Generation 3i/5i FMCs to upgrade from Generation III/V FMCs, to include 182 for the Navy, nine for the government of Australia, five for the government of Saudi Arabia and four for the government of Denmark. Additionally, this modification procures 153 wiring kits to include 136 for the Navy, nine for the government of Australia, four for the government of Denmark, and four for the government of Saudi Arabia. Fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $25.3 million; and Foreign Military Sales customer funds in the amount of $2.7 million will be obligated at the time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

30 June
US NAVY
Lockheed Martin is awarded a $1.8 billion contract that provides for the procurement of recurring logistics services for delivered F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter air systems in support of the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Services to be provided include ground maintenance activities, action request resolution, depot activation activities, automatic logistics information system operations and maintenance, reliability, maintainability and health management implementation and support, supply chain management and activities to provide and support pilot and maintainer initial training. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Acciona CMS JV; Castellano Cobra, Spain; Constructora San Jose, Spain; Dragados Sociedad Anonima, Spain; Eiffage Group, Spain; Ferrovial Agroman, Spain; and Sociedad Espanola De Montajes Industriales, Spain are each awarded an IDIQ, multiple award, design-build, design-bid-build construction contract for general construction projects located primarily in the Rota, Spain, region. The maximum dollar value including the base period and seven option years for all seven contracts combined is $500 million. The work to be performed provides for tasks for general building projects including airfield, industrial, infrastructure, administrative, training, retail, food service, munition storage, and community support facilities. Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Atlantic is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Missile and Defense is awarded a $328 million contract that provides for the production and delivery of Lot 21 as follows: 483 AIM-9X Block II all up round tactical missiles (212 for the Navy, 187 for the Air Force and 84 for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers); 82 AIM-9X block II plus all up round missiles (eight for the Navy, eight for the Air Force and 66 for FMS customers); 156 Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (82 for the Air Force and 74 for FMS customers); eight Block II Special Air Training Missiles (two for the Air Force and six for FMS customers); 198 all up round containers (75 for the Navy, 73 for the Air Force and 50 for FMS customers); six spare advanced optical target detectors (two for the Air Force and four for FMS customers); five spare advanced optical target detector containers (two for the Air Force and three for FMS customers); 29 spare Block II guidance units (live battery) (13 for the Navy, four for the Air Force, and 12 for FMS customers); six spare Block II plus guidance units (live battery) for FMS customers; 41 guidance unit containers for FMS customers; 72 spare Captive Air Training Missile guidance units (inert battery) (22 for the Navy, three for the Air Force, and 47 for FMS customers); two spare Block I propulsion steering sections for the Air Force; seven spare Block II propulsion steering sections (two for the Navy, four for the Air Force, and one for FMS customers); 72 spare Block II electronics units (68 for the Navy and four for the Air Force); two classroom explosive ordnance disposal systems trainers for FMS customers; one practical explosive ordnance disposal systems trainer for a FMS customer; 11 multi-purpose training missiles for various FMS customers; 135 tail caps (eight for the Navy, 16 for the Air Force and 111 for FMS customers); 35 tail cap containers (two for the Navy, four for the Air Force, and 29 for FMS customers); one lot of spares assets for the Navy; one lot of spares assets for the Air Force; and one lot of spares assets for the governments of Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

General Dynamics Electric Boat is awarded a $300 million contract for lead yard support and development studies and design efforts related to Virginia-class submarines. This contract modification includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the modification to $1.8 billion. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

US ARMY
Environet has received a $300 million contract for design-bid-build construction services for the state of Hawaii. US Army Corps of Engineers is the contracting activity.

Oshkosh Defense was awarded a $152 million modification contract to support the fielding of trucks, packaged and installed kits, and trailers. Fiscal 2019 and 2020 Navy procurement; 2021 Air Force procurement; 2019, 2020 and 2021 other procurement, Army; 2021 Marine Corps procurement; and 2021 Foreign Military Sales (Lithuania, Macedonia, Slovenia and Romania) funds in the amount of $152 million were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

US AIR FORCE
ASRC Earthworks has been awarded a $133 million IDIQ contract for road and airfield paving requirements on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Anchorage, Alaska. The 673rd Contracting Squadron Alaska is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems, performing at Balad Air Base, Iraq, has been awarded a $19.2 million contract for contractor logistics support of Iraq’s C-172 & C-208 fleets. The award provides for the exercise of options to extend the term of the contract for the continued services that may be needed in order to effectively maintain and operate a fleet. This award involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Iraq. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.

Textron Aviation Defense has been awarded a $7.6 million contract for support and sustainment of the Iraq Peace Dragon program. This contract provides support of the field service representatives, program management, core/field engineering, and repair-and-return. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Iraq and is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.

29 June
US AIR FORCE
ASRC Earthworks has been awarded a $133 million IDIQ contract for road and airfield paving requirements on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska. The 673rd Contracting Squadron is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems has been awarded a $19.2 million contract for contractor logistics support of Iraq’s C-172 & C-208 fleets. The award provides for the exercise of options to extend the term of the contract for the continued services that may be needed in order to effectively maintain and operate a fleet. The location of performance is Balad Air Base, Iraq and involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Iraq. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.

Textron Aviation Defense has been awarded a $7.6 million contract for support and sustainment of the Iraq Peace Dragon Program. This contract provides support of the field service representatives, program management, core/field engineering and repair-and-return. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Iraq. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.

US NAVY
Lockheed Martin is awarded a $129 million modification contract which increases the scope for the production and delivery of three MH-60R aircraft as replacement-in-kind for the Navy. Work will be performed in Owego, New York (52%); Stratford, Connecticut (40%); and Troy, Alabama (8%), and is expected to be completed in May 2025. Fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $129,000,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

US ARMY
Federal Resources Supply was awarded a $17.2 million contract for water trucks, spare parts, training and manuals. Fiscal 2019 Foreign Military Sales (Jordan) funds in the amount of $17.2 million were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

28 June
DEFENCE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Noble Supply and Logistics has been awarded a $263 million IDIQ contract for hardware and abrasives used as spare parts in multiple weapon systems. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency.

US AIR FORCE
Boeing has been awarded a $128 million contract for the F-15 Mission Training Center (MTC) simulation services to support the Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Forces and Air Force in Europe locations. The contractor will provide all personnel, equipment, supplies, transportation, tools, materials, supervision and other items to perform all MTC services. These services will provide simulation capability to train F-15 pilots and system operators in high-fidelity training devices. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has been awarded a $79 million order to previously awarded IDIQ contract for the France MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft procurement program. This contract involves 100 percent Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to France. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.


EVENTS CONFIRMED

DEFEA, 13 – 15 July, 2021
Metropolitan Expo, Athens, Greece.


CANCELLED EVENT

No further updates.


Andrew Drwiega
Andrew Drwiega, Editor-in-Chief, Armada International / Asian Military Review.

Best wishes,

Andrew Drwiega

Editor-in-Chief
Armada International / Asian Military Review





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