Defense Tech Wire: DIB upgrade, F-15 variant

SAIC gives more support to ’s CREW

Everyone needs some support sometimes, and the USMC’s Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (CREW) program is no exception. Having received product-integration support from Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) under an existing CREW contract, the USMC recently issued a contract modification, raising the IDIQ contract’s cumulative total to $500 million and extending SAIC’s integration-support duties. The contract renders maintenance technicians and program management for CREW systems located both outside and within the continental U.S. (Figure 1). Contract work is slated for Afghanistan (77.7 percent), Twentynine Palms, CA (5.5 percent), and Charleston, SC (16.8 percent) and is anticipated for completion in August 2014. The contracting activity is the Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA.

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Figure 1: A recent contract mod has SAIC continuing CREW product-integration support services to the USMC. Pictured: A briefing on the CREW setup on an Delta tank. U.S. photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jon E. McMillan

Combat Operations Center () gets modern

Following the DoD modernization trend, the U.S. Navy recently issued a $64 million Combat Operations Center (COC) hardware modernization contract to iGov Technologies, Inc. Under the contract, iGov Technologies will replace servers and routers and transform the COC into a more SWAP-savvy, single baseline. The mobile COC command and control center comprises processing systems, cabling, power, shelter, and trailers. Contract options are included and could raise the contract’s total to nearly $1 billion if exercised. Work commences in Tampa, FL and is slated for completion by June next year. The contracting activity is the Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA.

Boeing’s variant passes its test

So is that an F-15? Not exactly, but it’s close. The Silent Eagle , an F-15 derivative, recently underwent successful wind tunnel testing of its Conformal Weapons Bay (). The testing featured a Silent Eagle scale model and examined the effects of myriad flight angles and airspeeds on CWB. Specifically, the tests analyzed CWB design enhancements, and more testing is planned for this year to assess multiple weapons loads’ aerodynamics in addition to the closing and opening of CWB’s doors. What makes the CWB unique is that it is able to be reconfigured as a Conformal Fuel Tank (CFT) for enhanced flexibility, increased weapons loading, and longer-range aircraft optimization. Meanwhile, the aircraft can still deliver air-to-surface and air-to-air functionality. Pairing with Korea Aerospace Industries in CWB design and production, the aircraft is Boeing’s entry in the Republic of Korea’s F-X competition for a multirole fighter aircraft.

12 companies are better than 1 for  vehicle

Apparently the USAF was serious about collaboration when it issued a nearly $1 billion IDIQ contract for a whopping 12 companies to come up with a support vehicle that will enable customer access to services including integration, migration, sustainment, help desk support, training, operational support, and testing (Figure 2). The contract’s fulfillment locale is unknown for the time being, and the companies specified in the contract span quite a geographic range: ActioNet, Inc., Vienna, VA; Array , Inc., Greenbelt, MD; SI Systems Technologies, Folsom, CA; Segue Technologies, Arlington, VA; IndraSoft, Reston, VA; Excellus Solutions, LLC, McLean, VA; Exeter Government Services, LLC, Gaithersburg, MD; Diversified Technical Services, Inc., El Paso, TX; DSD Laboratories, Inc., Sudbury, MA; Diligent Consulting, Inc., San Antonio, TX; Digital Management, Inc., Bethesda, MD; and, finally, Datum Software, Inc., John Creeks, GA. Contract work (after copious coordination indeed) is expected to be done by January of 2022.

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Figure 2: The USAF recently issued a nearly $1 billion contract to 12 companies to develop a vehicle for supporting customer access to services including testing, operational support, integration, migration, and much more. Stock photo

Northrop Grumman doubleheader

Both a contract and a separate contract modification were awarded in one day to Northrop Grumman Space & Mission Systems Corp. in San Diego, CA, courtesy of the USAF: 1) a $106 million “contract for modification to extend the deployment and operation of three Battlefield Airborne Communications Node payloads installed in Global Express BD-700 and three unmanned Aerial vehicles,” according to the DoD website (Figure 3). Work will occur worldwide in the locations where the relevant technology is already deployed, and will be finished by June of next year; 2) a $50.5 million modification to the contract known as the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node contract. The modification calls for E-11A platform maintenance support for eight months for 9001, 9358, and 9355 aircraft. Work will be completed at the Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan by next February.

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Figure 3: Northrop Grumman Space & Mission Systems Corp. received a contract and a separate contract modification from the USAF, both on the same day. Pictured: Global Hawk , photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman

Lockheed Martin upgrades

The Distributed Common Ground System () and its software infrastructure dubbed the “DCGS Integration Backbone” or “DIB” serve as a critical vehicle for intelligence sharing among coalition partners, national agencies, and the military services (Figure 4). Thus, it’s not a huge surprise that the DCGS Multi-Service Execution Team Office wants the DIB in top form. Accordingly, the Office issued a $2.6 million DIB upgrade contract to Lockheed Martin, including a new open source software Distributed Data Framework (DDF); the update also provides “increased security filtering capabilities, an enhanced data ingest framework, and orders of magnitude increases in ingest and query capability,” Lockheed Martin reports. Meanwhile, the DCGS continues to gather and combine data from myriad systems and sensors (unmanned or manned) and transform it all into a user-friendly, easily understood picture.

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Figure 4: The Multi-Service Execution Team Office issued a contract to Lockheed Martin to update the DIB for $2.6 million. Photo by Christian Marquardt (USAREUR)