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By Debbie Gregory.

If Lockheed Martin is able to deliver on its laser weapon system in development, the U.S. Air Force may boast a fleet of fighter jets that can shoot lasers from a small, compact cannon.

As part of the Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments (LANCE program ) the $26.3 million contract with the Air Force Research Lab should result in a weapon system that is not only compact, but also light enough to be mounted on fighter jets.

Currently, most of these systems are limited to ground and sea use due to their weight and size. Such is the case for the ground vehicle–mounted system that Lockheed Martin just delivered to the U.S. Army that can burn through tanks and knock mortars out of the sky.

Lockheed Martin will be adapting the system it developed for the Army to address the challenge of self-protection against ground-to-air and air-to-air missiles.

The program’s work will be divided among three subsystems: the Shield Turret Research in Aero Effects (Strafe) includes the beam control system; the Laser Pod Research and Development (LPRD) will power and cool the laser on the fighter jet; and finally, the LANCE laser itself.

“The ability of a helicopter or bomber or fighter jet to shoot down or sufficiently damage or distract an incoming missile could allow them to operate in places they haven’t been able to operate recently,” said military analyst Peter Singer.

Raytheon became the first company to destroy a target with a laser fired from a helicopter at White Sands Missile Range when an Apache AH-64 shot a truck from more than a mile away. Raytheon is also building a laser-firing, drone-killing dune buggy. Boeing has its own anti-drone laser cannon.

Under the terms of the contract, Lockheed Martin plans to test a high-energy laser weapon mounted on a fighter jet by 2021.

 


By Debbie Gregory.

Due to a potential gap in the capability of ground forces and infantry to penetrate body armor using existing ammunition, the U.S. Army is looking for an Interim Combat Service Rifle (ICSR) to address this need.

The competition for a new 7.62mm Interim Service Combat Rifle will result in up to eight contracts, procuring seven types of weapons from each gunmaker for evaluating and testing.

At the end of the testing, the Army “may award a single follow-on Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) based contract for the production of up to 50,000 weapons,” according to a solicitation on FedBizOpps.gov.

The service’s present plan is to evaluate the submissions against a three main factors, which are, in order of importance, the features of the “bid sample” itself, the production capability of the vendor or vendors, and the price.

The Interim Combat Service Rifle should have either 16-inch or 20-inch barrels, a collapsible buttstock, an extended forward rail and weigh less than 12 pounds unloaded and without an optic.

There is definitely a need for this sort of weapon. For years, critics have complained that insurgents and terrorists with Soviet-era weapons had better range and terminal ballistics than their American counterparts armed mainly with 5.56mm weapons.

Multiple proposals may be submitted by the same organization; however, each proposal must consist of the weapons, proposal, and System Safety Assessment Report. All proposals are due by 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded $22.3 billion in contracts to 21 large businesses, information pills small businesses and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs). The contracts will be in support of information technology infrastructure improvements, sales cyber security and operations and network management. This is a boon for veteran business owners.

The awards are part of VA’s Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation acquisition program, also known as T4NG.

“This T4NG award is one of the many ways the Department is supporting the MyVA breakthrough initiatives by directly providing the technology that our Veterans need to support the services they receive from VA,” said Secretary Robert McDonald. “The T4NG will help meet and strengthen VA’s long-term technology needs.”

Of the 21 contract awarded, 10 were made to Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs), two awards were made to small businesses, and nine awards were made to large businesses.

T4NG is the largest Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract awarded out of the VA. The T4NG program will replace the original T4 multiple-award contract that expires in June 2016.

The Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses awarded the contracts are:

AbleVets, LLC, B3 Group, Inc., Fairfax, VA,  Business Information Technology Solutions, Inc., Falls Church, VA, Favor TechConsulting, LLC, Richmond, VA, Halfaker & Associates, LLC, Arlington, VA, HMS Technologies, LLC, Martinsburg, WV, Intelligent Waves, LLC, Reston, VA, Liberty IT Solutions, LLC, Herndon, VA, Nester Consulting LLC, dba GovernmentCIO, Columbia, MD and TISTA Science and Technology Corp., Rockville, MD.

T4NG is a Multi-Agency (MAC) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Multiple Award Task Order (MATO) contract with a base ordering period of 5 years and one 5-year option period, with a program ceiling of $22.3 billion.  The contract is being managed by VA’s Technology Acquisition Center in Eatontown, New Jersey.

We hope the government will continue to seek out and support Veteran Business Owners and Service Disabled Veteran Business Owners and award contracts to them.

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HMS Technologies has been awarded one of only ten Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) contracts by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The contract is for the VA’s Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation program, or T4NG. The contract will enable HMS to provide the VA and its employees an avenue to offer veterans, worldwide, the means to quickly access the Department for their specific IT needs, expedite service delivery, and improve filing and speed of processing claims.

“The entire HMS Team is honored to receive this award and we are excited about having this contract vehicle so we can continue to provide VA the Information Technology services that will enhance services that support our veterans,” said HMS CEO Bill Kirkpatrick. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the VA to serve our nations heroes.”

HMS ranks 68th on the Federal Government’s list of Top 100 Government-wide Acquisition Contractors and was also named SBA’s Small Business of the Year for 2008 in WV.

With an anticipated ceiling value of approximately $22.3 billion, T4NG is the largest Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract awarded out of the VA. The T4NG program will replace the original T4 multiple-award contract that expires in June 2016.

HMS was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Martinsburg, WV.

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The Boeing Company was awarded a contract Jan. 29 for risk reduction activities for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program, stomach which will field the next Air Force One.

This is the first contract the Air Force has awarded for this program. Additional modifications will be made to this contract in the future to purchase the commercial 747-8 aircraft, more about as well as to design, cheap modify and test those aircraft to meet the presidential mission.

These efforts are the first step in a deliberate process to control program risks and life cycle costs. These activities will include the definition of detailed requirements and design trade-offs required to support informed decisions that will lead to a lower risk Engineering and Manufacturing Development program and lower life cycle costs.

“This is the start of our contractual relationship with Boeing. It will allow Boeing to begin working on what will be the next Air Force One,” said Col. Amy McCain, the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program manager. “This initial effort is about reducing risk, really understanding where the tough work will be, finding affordability opportunities, and getting the best value for the taxpayer, while continuing to meet the needs of our commander in chief.”

The secretary of the Air Force has made it clear that affordability will be a key element of the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program.

“We will continue to insist upon program affordability through cost conscious procurement practices,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James.

“The presidential aircraft is one of the most visible symbols of the United States of America at home and abroad,” James said. “We will ensure the next Air Force One meets the necessary capabilities established to execute the presidential support mission, while reflecting the office of the president of the United States of America consistent with the national public interest.”

The Air Force wants to own enough of the technical baseline to permit competition for modifications and sustainment throughout the aircraft’s planned 30-year life cycle. Competition can keep costs down, spur innovation and provide technical options.

“We are focused on ensuring this program is affordable,” McCain said. “This contract gets us started on determining how to modify a 747-8 to become the next Air Force One, and finding opportunities for cost reduction through detailed requirements choices, competition of subsystems, and in the sustainment of the aircraft after it has been fielded.”

“The current fleet of VC-25A presidential aircraft has performed exceptionally well, a testament to the Airmen who support, maintain and fly the aircraft,” James said. “Yet, it is time to replace them. Parts obsolescence, diminishing manufacturing sources and increased down times for maintenance are existing challenges that will increase until a new aircraft is fielded.”

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