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By Debbie Gregory.

Despite the government’s lack of confidence in Boeing’s ability to deliver the KC-46 Pegasus military aerial refueling aircraft, Boeing has forecast delivery of 18 units by year’s end.

“Boeing has been overly optimistic in all of their scheduled reports,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told the House Armed Services Committee. “One of our frustrations with Boeing is that they’re much more focused on their commercial activity than they are on getting this right for the Air Force.”

Boeing’s design was seen as relatively low risk as the tanker bid was based on a modified commercial 767 passenger jet. But delivery of the first KC-46 aircraft is expected to be more than a year late.

Boeing has 34 tankers in various phases of completion.

Before delivery can be made, Boeing must conduct flight tests to certify that:

  • The F-16 fighter and the C-17 transport jet are capable of receiving fuel from the tanker under all conditions;
  • The new tanker can be refueled by the older KC-135 tanker; and
  • The newly developed fix for the camera systems is operational.

The price tag for the development and production of 179 tankers is estimated to be $41 billion.

In the international marketplace, the delays gave an advantage to the KC-46’s competition, the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport. But the USAF had awarded the development contract to Boeing which, at the time,  was declared “the clear winner” under a formula that considered the bid prices, how well each of the planes met war-fighting needs and what it would cost to operate them over 40 years

The tanker features a new advanced refueling boom that extends 58 feet out from the rear of the aircraft, a rigid pipe with wings sprouting either side to make it maneuverable.

In contrast to the older KC-135 tankers currently in use by the Air Force today, the KC-46 the operator sits at a computer station behind the tanker’s cockpit instead of laying prone on their belly at the rear of the plane. The cameras provide the visuals rather than the operator having to look out a window at the receiving aircraft.

“When you are flying and fighting at night, the capabilities of the cameras are a game-changer,” said Sean Martin, the KC-46 chief boom operator. “On this airplane, it’s the same as daytime.”

By Debbie Gregory.

Faced with criticism over how it awarded a contract to move computer systems to the Internet cloud, the Pentagon has slashed a nearly $1 billion contract down to no more than $65 million, while also scaling back the scope of the work. The revision will limit its use to only U.S. Transportation Command rather than the entire Defense Department.

The contract awarded to Herndon, Virginia-based REAN Cloud—an Amazon Web Services partner, has come under scrutiny by those who feel that the procurement wasn’t handled properly, charges that Pentagon officials strongly denied.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning said that after reviewing the contract, the Defense Department decided that “the agreement should be more narrowly tailored” so that Rean would build a prototype service for a single agency, the U.S. Transportation Command, instead of many agencies within the military.

Oracle filed a bid protest with the Government Accountability Office last month that called the procurement “an egregious abuse” of the procurement process for a contract that it charged was “shrouded in secrecy.”

Additionally, the Pentagon was criticized because the original contract was awarded by the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx ) which was created to procure the technology of Silicon Valley-type companies that mostly shy away from Pentagon work. DIUx is fast-moving to provide non-dilutive capital to companies to solve national defense problems, usually in under 90 days.

The procurement, a follow-on to a smaller competed contract, was awarded under an “other transaction authority,” a way for the Pentagon to procure goods and services quickly without being subject to the bureaucratic federal acquisitions process.

Critics of the “other transaction authority” process say such arrangements are not competitive and insufficiently transparent.

ehealth

 

By Debbie Gregory.

Having electronic health records vs. previous hard copy records will go a long way in saving money, time, and lives.

After a two year search, the Defense Department awarded a $4.3 billion contract to Leidos, Inc.

Previously known as Science Applications International Corporation, Leidos is an American company headquartered in Reston, Virginia. The company provides scientific, engineering, systems integration, and technical services.

The new contract will cover more than 9.5 million Defense Department beneficiaries and the more than 205,000 care professionals who provide them with support.

Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, called electronic health records “a critical enabler for supporting and maintaining medical readiness” around the world. The new system is global, and must operate in remote places like Afghanistan, in addition to DoD’s 55 hospitals and more than 600 clinics, according to Woodson.

“Even apart from the wartime requirements, the patients we serve are frequently on the move, as are our caregivers, so it is very important to have a highly integrated system that is portable to serve the needs wherever they may be required,” he said.

The DoD and the VA are interoperable now, said Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall, but this contract ensures it will continue by including future software upgrades.

Training is also included in the contract, he said.

“The trick … in getting a business system fielded isn’t about the product you’re buying, it’s about the training, the preparation of your people, it’s about minimizing the changes to the software that you’re buying,” Kendall said. “We’ve done a lot of work to ensure that our users … are prepared to take on this product and use it.”

The next big hurdle is testing the software to ensure it is secure and does what is needed. This will be carries out at eight locations in the Pacific Northwest late next year. Ultimately, the system will be fielded at more than 1,000 locations worldwide. The cost over 18 years was placed at $11 billion, but new figures suggest the ultimate cost will be below $9 billion, Kendall said.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business CoachingContracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

Leidos, Inc Wins DoD Contract: VAMBOA: By Debbie Gregory

 

military connection: ffvBy Debbie Gregory.

The Future Fighting Vehicle (FFV) program may not be totally down for the count. The Army has awarded two contracts, worth more than $28 million each, to BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems to develop design concepts for the FFV.

The effort is meant to determine whether the Army will produce an entirely new vehicle or a modern armed and armored personnel carrier to replace the Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

The Bradley, which the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program was to replace, has been in service since 1981, and is expected to remain in the Army inventory perhaps for decades in the future.

In October, Brig. Gen. David Bassett, commander PEO Ground Combat Systems, said the FFV program was largely a science-and-technology development effort, meant to help the Army explore its options while it pursues various engineering-change proposals for its existing armored vehicles.

The Army is asking BAE Systems and General Dynamics to study technologies, costs, and risks against future infantry fighting vehicle requirements for a FFV system.[Native Advertisement]

From their GCV work, BAE Systems engineers will try to recycle integrated hybrid-electric propulsion and mobility subsystems, automotive test rigs, and hybrid-electric integrated propulsion subsystems.

Due to the use of a hybrid-electric propulsion, the company will design and implement calibration maps for all components within their hybrid systems to test component efficiencies within integrated propulsion systems.

The Army’s other vehicle efforts include its pursuit of a Humvee replacement, the joint light tactical vehicle, and M113 infantry carrier replacement, the armored multipurpose vehicle, along with upgrades to the Abrams, Stryker and Paladin.

Currently in the development stage is a light vehicle that’s designed to enable airborne troops to move quickly to an objective after they’ve parachuted in. On May 28, Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno said the service is exploring the needs for a vehicle that provides mobile protected firepower, an infantry fighting vehicle and a light tank, using 20 collaborative war-fighting challenges to identify capability gaps — with near-, mid- and long-term solutions.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business CoachingContracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: US Army Awards Contracts for FFV Designs: By Debbie Gregory

F35The Department of Defense (DOD) contract watch for building F-35 fighter jets for the U.S. military has received a lot of publicity over the past several years. So far, the F-35 program has generated over $1 billion in contracts to companies involved with various components of the project.

On August 13, 2014, the Lockheed-Martin Corporation was given an additional $233 million to work on flight-training and maintenance simulators for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The contract increase calls for production of 19 training simulators and nearly 70 technical support systems. The bulk of the money and the work for this contract will be done at Lockheed’s facilities in and around Orlando, Florida.

Lockheed’s Orlando training systems unit manages the F-35 flight training center at Eglin AFB. This division of the company also produces automated logistics computers for the stealth fighter jets. More than 500 jobs in Orlando are tied to the F-35 work, including weapons-targeting systems produced by Lockheed’s missiles group.

The F-35 program has survived scrapping from the DOD through frequent schedule delays, cost overruns and technical problems. One of the most notable incidents was an engine fire on June 23rd that temporarily halted the project. The DOD acknowledged that Lockheed has taken a number of measures to cut costs and address performance issues over the past year.

Last month, Lockheed and its F-35 partners unveiled a plan to reduce costs on each individual aircraft by the end of the decade. The plan calls for spending $170 million through 2016 to shave costs from each F-35 to $80 million, down from $100 million.

But with a projected overall price of $400 billion, the F-35 is still on track to become the most expensive U.S. weapons system in history, with 2,400 planes built for the U.S. military and its allies.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: DOD Expands F-35 Contracts:  By Debbie Gregory

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