Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Psychic Computers, IED Jammers, and Big Fricking Trucks

Oshkosh Truck won a $16+ million contract from the Army to make M1070 Heavy Equipment Transporter System (HETS) trucks (you may have seen them around town, albeit rarely). From

Oshkosh Truck Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on Sept. 21, 2007, a $16,847,245 firm-fixed-price contract for Foreign Military Sale of Heavy Equipment Transporter System M1070 Tractors, Trailers, and Spares. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wis. (71 percent), Princeton, Ky. (22 percent), Ann Arbor, Mich. (2.55 percent), Indianapolis, Ind. (0.45 percent), and Egypt (4 percent), and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This was a sole source contract initiated on Jan. 25, 2007. The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-C-0594).

Also from today's contract announcements, Pegasus was awarded a contract to make the kind of IED jammers that may possibly be found in MRAPs:

Pegasus Global Strategic Solutions, LLC, Reston, Va., is being awarded a $6,903,614 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide retro-fit of 100 Jukebox jammers and provide engineering and technical support for the 1,001 Jukebox systems currently fielded under the Counter-Radio-Controlled Improvised Electronic Warfare (CREW) system. Contractor will provide field service representatives; provide depot services, repair parts, system troubleshooting, and electronic repair. Work will be performed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is expected to be completed by June 2008. Contract funds in the amount of $6,903,614, will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Indian Head Division, Indian Head, Md., is the contracting agency. (N00174-07-D-0016)

But the most interesting contract was a $6 million job awarded to BBN Technologies Corp. out of Boston for its Integrated Crisis Early Warning System (ICEWS) program, which is intended to be a "prototype system of integrated computational social and political science models that forecast the occurrence and level of intensity of various conflict events of interest often associated with country instability. The work will examine and identify models relevant to country instability, develop predictive models for conflict events of interest, and integrate them into a single predictive model for potential use by Unified Combatant Command (COCOMs)."

In other words, they're trying to design a computer program that will predict the future.

Best of luck with that, guys ...

MORE: Gen. Arthur Lichte, the new leader of Air Mobility Command, also used the MRAP delivery as a reason for renovating the Air Force's fleet:

[Gen. Lichte] used figures at an Air Force Association symposium to underscore the command’s importance: 410 Cougar and Buffalo Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles sent to Iraq and Afghanistan so far; mobility command aircraft departures once every 85 seconds this week; and precise GPS-coordinated cargo drops from 25,000 feet in the air.

Lichte also said air cargo lifts have saved lives by keeping 9,400 personnel and 3,900 trucks off roads laced with improvised explosive devices. And medical air lifts, he said, have transported wounded troops — one involving a man with a knife jammed in his head by an Iraqi militant — from battlefield attacks to U.S. hospitals in 24 hours.


But the command, Lichte said, is beginning to suffer as its aircraft age. Its C-130 fleet is, on average, 42 years old. The E model KC-135 Stratotankers are, on average, more than 49 years old. With age comes problems, he said, such as cracks on C-17 thrust reverse systems and cracked equipment on C-5s.

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