More Power, Please. The upcoming Flight III version of the Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class DDG-51 destroyer will require a power system upgrade to support various energy-hungry improvements, including the new Raytheon SPY-6 air-and-missile-defense radar, according to Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). “All the ships are headed to more power,” Moore says. “Not only do they generate more power but they have the ability to store that power and distribute it differently than we’ve done in the past.” General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is expected to be the lead contractor for the Flight III ship, which will be an upgrade from Flight IIA destroyers.
Polar MUOS. The Navy’s new Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) communication satellites, which were designed to work in the polar regions, have shown that they can indeed provide capability as far north as the Arctic and as far south as the Antarctic, according to Rear Adm. Christian “Boris” Becker, program executive officer for space systems and command, control, communications, computers and intelligence. In the Arctic, the Lockheed Martin-built satellite system has been demonstrated on a MUOS terminal on the Coast Guard Cutter Healy and at an ice station the Navy established last year. MUOS has also provided communications on an aircraft in the Antarctic. Becker says the Arctic capability could be especially useful in joint operations with Canada.
Echo Voyager Update. Boeing has four “active” contracts with undisclosed government customers for its 51-foot-long, diesel-electric Echo Voyager unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), which can accommodate a wide range of payloads, according to Lance Towers, director of sea and land at Boeing Phantom Works. Echo Voyager is also a potential candidate for the U.S. Navy’s Extra Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (XLUUV) program. Boeing is finishing pool testing of an Echo Voyager prototype in Huntington Beach, Calif., and plans to truck it to a southern California port in early 2017 to begin several months of sea trials, Towers says.
AMO’s Vision. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine Operations on Friday published its first vision document, Vision 2025, laying out for the first time its role in securing the homeland and establishing its approach to meeting border security challenges. Vision 2025 establishes core competencies around which AMO will deploy its resources, conduct operations, acquire aircraft and vessels, and develop policies. These competencies “are to interdict unlawful people and cargo approaching U.S. borders, investigate criminal networks, provide domain awareness in the air and maritime environments, and respond to contingencies and national taskings,” CBP says.
Orbital Cash Deployment. Orbital ATK says its board has expanded the company’s stock repurchase program by $50 million or 750,000 shares to $300 million or 4 million shares through the end of the first quarter of 2017. David Thompson, Orbital ATK’s president and CEO, says that the expanded share repurchase program is in line with the company’s balanced capital deployment strategy. The company also says it will host a call with financial analysts on Tuesday to discuss its 2016 annual guidance, and provide updates on new business activity, capital deployment, and operational activities. The company isn’t releasing third quarter results for the time being pending completion of a previously disclosed accounting review.
New HII Board Member. Huntington Ingalls Industries’ board has elected former Army Maj. Gen. Augustus Leon Collins to the board. Thomas Fargo, HII’s chairman, says that Collins’ “proven leadership, long and distinguished service to our country as an Army officer, combined with his business experience and deep understanding of the Gulf Coast region, make him a great fit for the HII board.” Collins retired from the Army in 2007 and in August as Commanding General of the Mississippi Army and Air National Guard.
Hypersonic Contracts. Raytheon has received a $174.7 million contract for a “research project” under DARPA’s Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) program. The award, announced Oct. 31, came about five weeks after Lockheed Martin received a similar contract, valued at $171.2 million. HAWC is a joint DARPA-Air Force effort to develop technologies for an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile.
Dayton DIUx… Defense Secretary Ash Carter sees Dayton, Ohio, as a candidate for future Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) expansion, he tells reporters Thursday at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Dayton. Carter says the city is a good candidate because not only is it a tech hub, it is home to AFRL, which leads the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for the Pentagon’s air, space, and cyberspace force. “What I will want to do is make sure we build any additional innovative outposts on top of the AFRL, which is already here,” Carter says. The Pentagon already has DIUx outposts in the Bay Area of California, Boston and Austin, Texas.
…CYBERCOM. Carter sees a “logical evolution” of raising U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) to its own combatant command from its current status as a subunified command to U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), but he gives no timetable for when such a decision could be made. Carter says there are some benefits to having CYBERCOM and the National Security Agency (NSA) co-located and operating under the same “hat” as they do similar things with technology. But, on the other hand, Carter sees some advantages for the Pentagon to having CYBERCOM operated as a more “normal” military command so it can be responsive to the needs of combatant commands located around the world. Carter thinks it will be possible to elevate CYBERCOM, but he believes this decision could take some time. The NSA and CYBERCOM operate out of Fort Meade, Md.
…Space Separation. Carter calls a mistake any suggestions to treat space as something separate, either organizationally, managerially or operationally. During his speech at the USSTRATCOM change-of-command ceremony Thursday at Offut AFB, Neb., Carter says the Pentagon should instead integrate everything it has and does in space because every DoD mission in every domain–air, land, sea and cyber–relies on space in some way. The ceremony was to commemorate Air Force Gen. John Hyten replacing Adm. Cecil Haney as the leader of USSTRATCOM.
Orbital/ULA. Orbital ATK will fly its next Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket in the spring timeframe, according to an Orbital ATK statement. Orbital ATK says this will provide schedule flexibility for the entire Antares workforce, which worked “tirelessly” over the past several months to prepare, and successfully return, Antares to flight. Orbital ATK says it will be ready to support three CRS missions to the International Space Station (ISS) next year and will work with NASA to finalize the flight schedule. The company says its remaining missions to be conducted in 2017 and 2018 under the CRS contract will be launched on Antares from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia. ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
GOES-R/WorldView-4 Launch Delays. The launch of the GOES-R weather satellite is delayed to an unspecified date from its Nov. 16 launch, according to NOAA. The agency blames the same minor Atlas V booster issue discovered on ULA’s WorldView-4 mission scheduled to launch from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. The launch of DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-4 imaging satellite is also delayed until Nov. 11, according to launch provider ULA. The launch window at Vandenberg is 1:30-1:46 p.m. EST.
Wallops Range Contract. NASA on Sept. 23 awarded LJT and Associates a sole-source bridge contract to continue launch range operations support at NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility, Va., according to an agency statement. The $54 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract includes cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed price task ordering capability beginning Oct. 1 and running through March 31, 2018, by which a follow-on contract should be in place, NASA says. The scope of the work includes launch range operations support such as radar, telemetry, logistics, tracking and communications services. Additional services include information and computer systems services; testing, modifying and installing communications and electronic systems at launch facilities, launch control centers and test facilities and range technology sustainment engineering services.
SpaceX Return To Flight. Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) plans to return to flight before the end of the year, according to company spokesman John Taylor. SpaceX and its Falcon 9 rocket have been out of commission since a pre-launch anomaly caused the rocket to explode on Sept. 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
New NIC Chair. James Clapper, U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI), selected Amy McAuliffe as chair of the National Intelligence Council (NIC). McAuliffe previously served as a career CIA officers for over 20 years, including at the agency’s Office of Middle East and North African Analysis as well as the ODNI’s President’s Daily Brief Staff. McAuliffe, who was reporter for Defense Daily and C4I News before starting her career in intelligence, succeeds Gregory Treverton, who previously served as NIC chair for the previous two and a half years. Treverton is returning to academia.
Kratos Cyber Event. RT Logic, a subsidiary of Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, Inc., is hosting a “21st Century Cyber Training” event at the subsidiary’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., from Oct. 31 – Nov. 4th. This event is organized by CyberWorx in conjunction with the Center for Technology, Research, and Commercialization (C-TRAC). CyberWorx is founded by the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) to unite industry partners, cadets, and academia to explore solutions to Air Force cyber-related problems. The event aims to facilitate collaboration among military, industry, and academia to solicit best practices. It also seems to help the groups create a cyberspace training model that us modular, flexible, and responsive to meet changes in cyberspace operation, threats, and cyberspace weapon development.
NIST Cyber Career Info. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) introduced CyberSeek, an interactive online tool meant to make it easier for job seekers to find cybersecurity job openings and for employers to identify the skilled workers they desire. Announced at the 2016 NICE (National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education) Conference in Kansas City, Mo., the tool looks like a weather map with varying shades of color revealing relative concentrations of cybersecurity job postings and worker supply. CyberSeek was created by the CompTIA IT trade association with the first year of a three-year NIST grant. The NIST-led NICE is a public-private partnership that focuses on cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development.
Cyber In-Scope Modification. The U.S. Air Force awarded a combined $200 million contract modification for additional in-scope activities to Assured Information Security Inc.; CACI Technologies Inc.; Global InfoTek Inc.; Harris Corp.; L-3 National Security Solutions Inc.; and Radiance Technologies Inc. The contracts will provide rapid development, prototyping, demonstration, evaluation, and transition of cyber capabilities. Work will be performed in Rome, N.Y.; Chantilly, Va.; Reston, Va.; Herndon, Va.; and Huntsville, Ala., with an expected completion date of Jan. 31, 2019. The contracting activity is the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y.
Huge JIDO Contract. CACI International Inc. won a $1.7 billion ceiling cost-plus-award-fee task order under the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO) with deployable analytical operations, intelligence, and training services to support JIDO’s Focused Support/Decisive Effort (FS/DE) mission anywhere in the world. The task order is aimed at allowing deploying joint forces to integrate capabilities, technologies, and lessons learned to defeat adversaries that employ improvised-threat weapons for strategic effect, the Defense Department says. Most of the work is performed in Virginia, however, contractor personnel will also be embedded as needed with globally deployed U.S. forces. The expected completion date is Oct. 30, 2021.
Valor Vendors. Bell Helicopter says Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will provide nacelles and seats for the V-280 Valor next-generation tiltrotor. IAI’s LAHAV Division supplies the nacelles and IAI’s GOLAN INDUSTRIES Division provides seating systems for the aircraft, which is the company’s offering for the Army’s Joint Multirole Demonstration (JMR) program and ultimately the Future Vertical Lift next-generation aviation platform. IAI and 10 additional aerospace companies are working on the project. IAI joined the V-280 effort in October of 2014. IAI deliveries for the V-280 started in May 2015 and concluded in August 2016. Participation in the V-280 program calls for IAI to become the first international teammate to be integrated into the Bell Helicopter digital environment, enabling rapid collaboration and reduced lead time.