A satellite view of the Iraq-Syria border crossing and destroyed buildings after US airstrikes on Feb 26, 2021. Photo: Maxar Technologies

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Dear Readers,

The COVID break from normal life should be seized upon by corporate presenters speaking at international conferences to reinvigorate their presentations, inform their captive delegate audience about breakthrough products and new directions, and not just regurgitate the company’s corporate sales brochure over 20 of the 25 minutes normally allocated for such appearances.

Several times now over the last few months I have sat at home, virtually listening in to corporate presentations (used by most conference organisers to fill the gap between the meaty subjects in exchange for sponsorship money) hoping to hear how the company is innovating while being provided with great examples of how it has helped customers to achieve their ambitions. Too often however, what is delivered is akin to a prisoner of war determined to part with only ‘name, rank and serial number.’

Reading from a script telling delegates about the company, from the number of international locations it has, to its employee count, to its complete product line since Noah set sail is boring. If a delegate wants to know, those ‘jewels of information’ are mere key stokes away. For the most part, this approach is simply a waste of time, both for the delegates and the presenter. Most of the audience in international conferences are professionals within each sector and have heard, read and been bombarded with many such corporate promotions over many years.

This is an opportunity to be dynamic, show energy and innovation. Delegates will flock to explore further what the company has just achieved, particularly when examples are provided that illustrate problems that have been overcome and customers satisfied – and if possible involve those customers. A recent – it has to be current – video of a satisfied customer stating how your product has helped them achieve their goal is much better that a corporate video of it driving, flying or sailing to background rock music.

Carpe diem!

Editor


AIR ATTACK ON DAESH PART OF BIGGER POLITICAL STRATEGY

President Biden’s first authorised international military attack took place on Thursday 25 February when air strikes were conducted against militia groups in Syria who have been identified by the US government as being responsible for an earlier attack on 15 February against US and coalition personnel based in Iraq.

John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, stated on Friday 26 February that “US military forces earlier this evening (25th) conducted air strikes against infrastructure utilised by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria.”

Aside from the obvious message sent in such a retaliatory strike of this nature, it speaks to a number of recent developments that have happened in the Middle East, and the Gulf in particular. While the US is reviewing its arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to the backdrop of the war in Yemen (where Iran backs the Houthis), it is far from abandoning its regional allies and if anything the air attack in Syria has demonstrated that the new President will not step back from military action in the region should the case warrant it.

It also sends a secondary message to Russia and Turkey that the US is still involved in the war against Daesh and nothing should be taken for granted (although the abandonment of the Kurds by ex-President Trump will live long as a low point in US involvement in the region).

The much larger strategy revolves around the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran, the UK, France, China, Russia, Germany and the US known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal that ex-President Trump subsequently walked away from in 2018. While the Biden Administration has shown a potential interest in rejoining the accord, Iran is insisting that all sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration would have to be lifted first.

Editor


FRENCH CARRIER GROUP AND US NUCLEAR ATTACK SUB JOIN NATO’S DYNAMIC MANTRA EXERCISE

On Monday 22 February NATO’s annual anti-submarine exercise, Dynamic Mantra (DYMA21), began in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Sicily. The exercise runs for two weeks through to 5 March and this year mustered naval forces from eight nations: Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United States.

Surface ships included the French Carrier Strike Group Charles De Gaulle together with the Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 2 high-readiness unit which currently comprises the flagship ESPS Cristóbal Colón (F-105), Turkish frigate TCG Kemalreis (F-247), Greek frigate HS Kountouriotis (F-462) and Italian frigate ITS Virginio Fasan (F-591). The French frigate Languedoc (D-653) is also participating.

The submarine force comprises two Italian, one Turkish and one Greek diesel-electric submarine, as well as an American Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN-688 class).

US Navy Rear Admiral Andrew Burcher, the commander of NATO submarines and the exercise director, said: “Anti-submarine warfare is a team sport; it requires surface, air and submarine assets to locate another submarine.”

Although the French carrier group’s participation is limited, RAdm Burcher stated that the submarines would get an opportunity to establish “how they would prosecute a high-value unit” while the carrier strike group will benefit from transiting “through a high-submarine-dense environment and practice its anti-submarine warfare skills.”

Maritime patrol aircraft are also part of the exercise scenario: two US Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, together with German and Greek P-3C Orion MPAs, a French Atlantique 2 MPA and an Italian AgustaWestland AW101 ASW helicopter will support surface vessels.


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

No further updates.


US GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

Highlighting a selection of $100 million+ government awarded contracts awarded between 22 – 26 February 2021 and Foreign Military Sales contracts.

26 February
US AIR FORCE
General Dynamics Once Source; ManTech Advanced Systems International; and Northrop Grumman Systems C, were awarded a ceiling $4.4 billion multiple award, IDIQ contract for the Air Force (AF) Special Access Program (SAP) security support services effort. This contract provides for assistance of the AF cognisant security authority in oversight of enhanced national security objectives supporting AF SAP interests. Air Force Text Center is the contracting activity.

US ARMY
Eli Lilly was awarded a $2.5 billion contract for Eli Lilly’s combination monoclonal antibody therapeutic LY-CoV555 and LY-CoV016. The company was also awarded a $210 million contract for 100,000 doses of Lilly’s combination monoclonal antibody therapeutic treatment. Both contracts were through the US Army Contracting Command.

Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin JV was awarded a $18 million modification contract for support services for the Javelin Weapon System. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance, Army and Foreign Military Sales (Australia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine) funds in the amount of $18 million were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

US NAVY
Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office received a $309 million modification contract for the production and delivery of four CMV-22B variation in quantity aircraft for the Navy. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Contrack Watts; Manson Construction; Nova Group; R.E. Staite Engineering; The Dutra Group; Triton Marine Construction Group; Western Marine Construction; and McMillen are awarded a combined maximum $240 million IDIQ multiple award design-build or design-bid-build construction contract for construction projects, located primarily within the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Northwest area of operations (AO). Types of projects will include, but are not limited to, marine piers, wharves, quay walls, bulkheads, sea walls, dry docks, boat ramps, docks and marinas, shore protection, rip rap, breakwaters, wave attenuation, mooring dolphins, buoys, primary and secondary fendering, pile driving, sheet piles, dredging and disposal. The work may also include design and construction of all utilities and other facilities in the marine waterfront area and/or related to marine waterfront operations, in support of Navy vessels and port operations. These eight contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. NAVFAC Northwest is the contracting activity.

Austal USA has received $235 million contract modification for the detail design and construction of Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) 15. Work performed is for the detail design and construction of EPF 15. The EPF class provides high speed, shallow draft transportation capability to support the intra-theater maneuver of personnel, supplies and equipment for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Army. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory is awarded a $207 million contract for production of Trident II (D5) Strategic Weapon System MK6 Guidance Equivalent Units. Strategic Systems Programs is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems received a $55 million modification contract which exercises an option to procure 18 Lot 15 full rate production GQM-163A Coyote Supersonic Sea Skimming Targets (14 for the Navy; three for the Missile Defense Agency; and one for the government of Japan) in support of developmental, operational test and evaluation of major combat weapon systems. Additionally, this contract procures associated technical and administrative data in support of full rate production Lot 15 deliveries. Fiscal 2021 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $43 million; fiscal 2021 working capital (defense) funds in the amount of $9 million; and Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $3 million will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Raytheon is awarded a $32 million modification contract which exercises an option to procure 11 APY-10 radar system production kits for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the Navy and the government of Australia. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $26 million; and foreign cooperative project funds in the amount of $5.9 million will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

25 February
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
BPPNA GOT/IST ($223 million); Petromax Refining ($211 million); ExxonMobil ($114 million); Valero Marketing & Supply ($95 million); Phillips 66 ($71 million); Placid Refining ($60 million); Calumet Shreveport Fuels ($30 million); Wynnewood Energy ($29 million); Alon USA ($27 million); Husky Marketing & Supply ($26 million); Hunt Refining ($25 million); BP Products North America ($13 million); Tesoro Refining & Marketing ($11 million); Hermes Consolidated, doing business as Wyoming Refining ($11 million); Epic Aviation ($10 million); Marathon Petroleum ($8 million); and Lazarus Energy Holdings ($8 million), have each been awarded an IDIQ contract for various types of fuel. Using customer is Defense Logistics Agency Energy.

WASHINGTON HEADQUARTERS SERVICES
Comprehensive Health Services was awarded an IDIQ contract with a maximum amount of $100 million. The Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service (DCPAS) has a requirement to procure Occupational Health and Medical Case Review Support Services. The principal objective is for the contractor to provide a network of qualified medical providers to deliver occupational health services within the contiguous US as well as outside the contiguous US, to include the Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska. Providers will perform services at a variety of health and wellness service facilities and may conduct outreach services using mobile vans and outreach staff. The contractor shall provide all personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, transportation, tools, materials, supervision and other items and non-personal services necessary to perform Occupational Health and Medical Case Review services in support of DCPAS. Washington Headquarters Services is the contracting activity.

US ARMY
Atlantic Diving Supply; Aquila International; Government Suppliers & Associates; RRDS; and US 21, will compete for each order of the $28 million contract for the procurement of organisational clothing and individual equipment to support Foreign Military Sales requirements. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

CAS was awarded a $24 million modification contract for technical engineering services in support of the Lower Tier Project Office. Fiscal 2021 missile procurement (Army) funds; fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation (Army) funds; and fiscal 2021 Foreign Military Sales (Bahrain, Germany, Greece, Israel, Kuwait, Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden and United Arab Emirates) funds in the amount of $24 million were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

AITC-Five Domains JV was awarded a $16 million contract for train, advise, assist and mentor services for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Transformation program. Fiscal 2021 Foreign Military Sales (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) funds in the amount of $16 million were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

US AIR FORCE
L-3 Technologies has been awarded a $17 million modification contract for additional ground systems development effort. This modification provides for additional labor and material required to develop and install aircraft ground systems in multiple operating locations. 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.

24 February
US NAVY
Vertex Aerospace received a $24 million modification IDIQ contract which exercises an option to provide contractor owned and operated aircraft to Navy fleet customers, Foreign Military Sales customers, as well as Department of Defense and other government agencies in support of the Contracted Air Services (CAS) program. The CAS program provides airborne threat simulation capabilities to train shipboard and aircraft squadron weapon systems operators and aircrew on how to counter potential enemy electronic warfare and electronic attack operations in today’s electronic combat environment. The Naval Air Warfare Center is the contracting activity.

23 February
US AIR FORCE
ASRC Federal Field Services has been awarded a $457 million contract for Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, base operation support. The 338th Enterprise Sourcing Squadron is the contracting activity.

22 February
US AIR FORCE
Georgia Tech Applied Research has been awarded a ceiling $998 million IDIQ contract for Defense Research, Engineering, Science and Technology Development II. This contract provides for the continued acquisition of essential engineering, and research and development capability by GTARC. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has received a $428 million contract, for 400 Lot 19 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range missiles with containers, training and production preparation, tooling and test equipment and hardware spares. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $414 million contract, for 137 Lots 4 and 5 Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles, tooling and test equipment. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2020 Navy weapon procurement funds in the amount of $56 million; fiscal 2021 Navy weapon procurement funds in the amount of $125 million; fiscal 2021 Air Force missile procurement funds in the amount of $17 million; fiscal 2021 Office of the Secretary of Defense, Strategic Capabilities Office research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $5 million; and FMS funds in the amount of $208 million are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.

US ARMY
General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded a $16 million modification contract for engineering efforts to develop a conversion approach for one M1A2S tank and one M1A2K tank provided by the government to be converted into two M1A2T tanks. Fiscal 2020 Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $16 million were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.


EVENTS STILL CONFIRMED

No events reconfirmed.


CANCELLED EVENT

No cancelled events advised.


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

Best wishes,

Andrew Drwiega

Editor-in-Chief
Armada International / Asian Military Review