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

Dear Readers,

The gathering, understanding, distribution and actioning of data is now at the centre of modern military planning. As discussed in previous newsletters, this is a tremendous challenge even when national resources are allocated.

Two US Department of Defense (DoD) commitments that have recently been announced to understand not only how to organise data, make sense of it and send it back out to the people who need it, but also to address the next level of communications.

The international furore that resulted from the prospect of Chinese communications company Huawei being allowed to integrate its 5G equipment into national communications networks, looks to have encouraged the DoD to find funding to push forward with its own 5G testing, partnered by industry and the academic world.

Finally, North Korea likes nothing better than a public display of its kinetic capability, which now seems to include larger and more potent intercontinental ballistic missiles. But are they just for show?

Editor

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE REVEALS STRATEGY TO MANAGE AND DISSEMINATE DATA

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has realised that getting enough data is no longer a problem; the challenge is how to crunch it and use it effectively. To do this, the DoD has formulated a Data Strategy with the objective of using “data at speed and scale for operational advantage and increased efficiency.”

“The principal challenge in the Data Strategy isn’t getting data; the Department has access to vast data reserves, but we need to build the engine to turn this resource into insight for our service members at the speed of need,” stated DOD chief information officer Dana Deasy.

“Data is the ammunition in the Digital Modernisation Strategy and is increasingly central to warfighter advantage on and off the battlefield,” she continued, adding “this strategy is our first step to making that ammo persistently available to the men and women of the DOD regardless of echelon or geographic location.”

The strategy will be developed for three initial focus points:
– Joint All Domain Operations – using data for advantage on the battlefield
Senior Leader Decision Support – using data to improve DOD management
Business Analytics – using data to drive informed decisions at all echelons.

To achieve this, various data pipelines will address the discovery, ingestion, preparation, storage, processing, exposure / dissemination of data.

The DoD has identified seven goals (aka Vaultis) to be met:

  • Make Data Visible – Consumers can locate the needed data.
  • Make Data Accessible – Consumers can retrieve the data.
  • Make Data Understandable – Consumers can recognize the content, context, and applicability.
  • Make Data Linked – Consumers can exploit data elements through innate relationships.
  • Make Data Trustworthy – Consumers can be confident in all aspects of data for decision-making.
  • Make Data Interoperable – Consumers have a common representation/ comprehension of data.
  • Make Data Secure – Consumer data is protected from unauthorized use/manipulation.

DOD ALLOCATES $600 MILLION FOR 5G TESTING; BRINGS TOGETHER MILITARY, INDUSTRY AND ACADEMICS

The US Department of Defense (DoD) will spend $600 million on 5G experimentation and testing at five military test sites. According to the DoD, this represents “the largest full-scale 5G tests for dual-use applications in the world.”

Announced on Thursday 8 October, the five selected installation will bring together representatives of the military, industry and academia over a variety of projects. These will include: “piloting 5G-enabled augmented/virtual reality for mission planning and training, testing 5G-enabled Smart Warehouses, and evaluating 5G technologies to enhance distributed command and control.”

The test sites comprise: Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia; Naval Base San Diego, California; and Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The bases were chosen on the following basis: “to provide streamlined access to spectrum bands and mature fiber and wireless infrastructure, support new or improved infrastructure requirements, and conduct controlled experimentation with dynamic spectrum sharing.”

Industry invited to partner with this project, although not at every location, include: GBL System, AT&T, Oceus Networks, Booz-Allen Hamilton (BAH), GE Research, Vectrus Mission Solutions, Deloitte Consulting, Federated Wireless, KPMG, Scientific Research Corporation (SRC), Nokia, General Dynamics Mission Systems, KeyBridge Wireless, Shared Spectrum, and Ericsson.

NORTH KOREA PARADES NEW STRATEGIC ICBMS

The armed forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) displayed what defence watchers believe is a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) during a parade staged on Saturday 10 October which celebrated the 75th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party. It was reportedly larger that the Hwasong-15, which was also on display.

The four new ICBMs were borne on what were also believed to be new 11-axle transporter-erector-launch vehicles, the largest road-mobile transporters of their type in the world. It is not known whether these were modified versions of a Chinese system or were indigenously developed.

Michael Elleman, director, Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) tweeted: “…the missile, in principle, could deliver 2,000 – 3,500kg to any point on CONUS (Continental United States].”

However, the ICBMs show could potentially be ‘mock-ups’ or, if real, their operational capability complete with functioning warheads remains highly questionable.

US MAJOR ARMS SALES

9 October, 2020 – Finland. The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Finland of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft and weapons and related equipment for an estimated cost of $14.7 billion.

9 October 9, 2020 – Finland. The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Finland of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft with air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground precision guided munitions and related equipment for an estimated cost of $12.5 billion.

US GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

Highlighting a selection of $100 million+ government awarded contracts awarded between 5-9 October and Foreign Military Sales contracts.

9 October
US NAVY
Electric Boat was awarded a $327 million modification contract for lead yard support and development studies and design efforts related to Virginia class submarines. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

8 October
US NAVY
Gulf Warehousing, Qatar; Marine Agency Republic of Korea; and Seaway Agencies, Australia are awarded an estimated $1 billion under the previously awarded request for proposals multiple award IDIQ contracts to provide husbanding, management and integration services consisting of general charter and hire, utilities, force protection, communications and land transportation services to support maritime forces of the Department of Defense, other U.S. government agencies and nations, including Navy ships, Marine Corps, Military Sealift Command (MSC), Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, NATO and other foreign vessels participating in US military or NATO exercises and missions. If the option period is exercised, the total estimated value of the contracts combined will have a ceiling value of over $2 billion. The Naval Supply Systems Command, Italy, is the contracting activity.

McKean Defense Group is awarded a $12 million IDIQ contract to provide engineering support for Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services to include technical and programmatic services for networking, communications and computer systems and associated certification and information assurance for new developments, current operations and planned upgrades. Fiscal 2021 funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using other procurement (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); research, development, test and evaluation (Navy); shipbuilding construction (Navy); and other funding, which may include Foreign Military Sales; Program Directive Air; and Navy working capital fund. The Naval Information Warfare Center is the contracting activity.

US ARMY
Ibis Tek was awarded a $229 million contract for the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles protection kit. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

7 October
US AIR FORCE
Hydraulics International has been awarded a $377 million IDIQ contract for multiple pieces of hydraulic equipment and hydraulic fluid purification systems to be used on multiple aviation platforms. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.
PKL Services has been awarded a $13 million modification contract to continue providing military aircraft F15 SG maintenance and operations training. This contract provides for the Republic of Singapore Air Force training on F15 aircraft, and includes both maintenance and operations on the F15 aircraft. Foreign Military Sales funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award. The 366th Financial Acquisition Squadron is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Senn Brothers was awarded a maximum $225 million IDIQ contract for fresh fruit and vegetables. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Department of Agriculture schools. The contracting agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

Boeing has been awarded a maximum $149 million delivery order for KC-46 Commercial Common Program consumable parts. Using military service is Air Force. . The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation.

6 October
US TRANSPORTATION COMMAND
Maersk Line has been awarded a contract modification in the amount of $173 million that provides continued international ocean and intermodal distribution services. This modification increases the total cumulative face value of the contract from $170 million, to $343 million. The US Transportation Command is the contracting activity.

American President Lines was awarded a contract modification in the amount of $142 million that provides continued international ocean and intermodal distribution services. This modification increases the total cumulative face value of the contract from $140 million to $283 million. The US Transportation Command is the contracting activity.

US AIR FORCE
L-3 Communications Integrated Systems has been awarded a $44 million order for engineering, procurement and fabrication that will result in modification, installation and test of the aircraft mission system. This contract involves 100 percent Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and is the result of a sole-source acquisition. The 645th Aeronautical Systems Group is the contracting activity.

5 October
US ARMY
Science Applications International; General Dynamics Information Technology; and NCI Information Systems, will compete for each order of the $800 million contract for engineering related activities in support US Army Information Systems Engineering Command. The US Army Contracting Command.

General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded an $11 million modification contract for Abrams systems technical support. Fiscal 2019 weapons and tracked combat vehicle procurement (Army) funds; and 2010 Foreign Military Sales (Morocco) funds in the amount of $11million were obligated at the time of the award. The US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

SPACE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
L3Harris Technologies was awarded a $193 million contract for the Space Development Agency Tracking Layer Tranche 0, Wide Field of View program. The work to be performed under this contract will include on-time delivery of space vehicles and optical wide field of view payloads. The Space Development Agency is the contracting activity.

Space Exploration Technologies has been awarded a $149 million contract for the Space Development Agency Tracking Layer Tranche 0, Wide Field of View program. The work to be performed under this contract will include on-time delivery of space vehicles and optical wide field of view payloads. The Space Development Agency is the contracting activity.

EVENT STILL CONFIRMED

No new reconfirmations.

NEW EVENT CANCELLATIONS

No new event cancellations.

Keep safe and healthy everyone.

Andrew Drwiega

Editor-in-Chief
Armada International / Asian Military Review