AMPV Deliveries. BAE Systems has delivered 20 of the Army’s new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles (AMPV) to date, including vehicles across all five variants, according to Maj. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross Functional Team. “The quality of those that we have received and accepted is good to go. It’s going to be the workhorse of the Armored Brigade Combat Team, not fancy just tough,” Coffman said during a recent CSIS discussion. “These things are absolutely paramount to our success and will allow us to keep pace with the killing systems.” The Army received the first AMPV last September to begin replacing its legacy M113 armored personnel carriers. The AMPV’s five variants include a general purpose vehicle, the mission command vehicle, a mortar carrier, a medical evacuation vehicle and a medical treatment vehicle.
Bomber Force Structure.
The U.S. Air Force said that it is preparing to deliver to Congress a classified report on bomber force structure. Section 133 of the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act said that the Air Force should deliver the report by Feb. 1 and that it should include the bomber force structure needed to meet the Air Force long-range strike mission under the 2018 National Defense Strategy: the minimum number of bombers, the minimum number of primary mission bombers, and the number of stealth bombers–the total and the number of primary mission aircraft–needed to meet the long-range strike mission. The congressional language says that the report “shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex” and that the Air Force “shall make available to the public the unclassified form of the report.”
…ISR Modernization. Section 142 of the fiscal 2021 NDAA says that the Air Force shall deliver to the congressional defense committees an unclassified Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Modernization Plan by March 30. The report is to include an assessment of all airborne ISR missions–current and future–to support the 2018 National Defense Strategy, an analysis of “platforms, capabilities, and capacities necessary to fulfill such current and future missions,” projected life-cycle costs for each platform, and what ISR modernization the Air Force needs through 2030. Congress turned back the Air Force request to retire 24 Block 20 and Block 30 RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drones by Northrop Grumman–a savings that was to fund a $50 million avionics/touchscreen cockpit/open mission systems (OMS) update for the U-2 reconnaissance plane by Lockheed Martin.
Autonomous Derigging. The Army is seeking industry’s input on a new capability to “airdrop and autonomously derig unmanned ground or sea vehicles.” A new RFI for the Autonomous Unmanned Vehicle Delivery System (AUVDS) details plans to fund a research and development effort between FY ‘22 and ‘24 in partnership with U.S. Transportation Command. The Army said its threshold requirement is for AUVDS to allow for autonomous derigging of unmanned systems in less than five minutes, with an objective goal for less than one minute. Responses to the RFI are due by April 9.
People. BAE Systems has named Shelly O’Neill Stoneman to become its top lobbyist in Washington, D.C., effective April 17. Stoneman, currently the company’s vice president for Executive Branch and International Government Relations, is the company’s main liaison to the Pentagon, State Department, intelligence community and White House. As Senior Vice President for Government Relations, Stoneman will succeed Frank Ruggiero, who will remain as a Legacy Fellow to advise the office of the CEO for several months. Stoneman will report to BAE Systems, Inc. president and CEO Tom Arseneault. And Science Applications International Corp. has appointed David Ray as senior vice president of its newly formed Space Business unit, reporting to Michael LaRouche, president of SAIC’s National Security and Space sector. The new unit combines the company’s civilian, defense and intelligence space operations. Ray joins SAIC from FLIR Systems, where he served as president of Government and Defense.
…Flournoy Back at CNAS. Michele Flournoy, who was passed over by President Joe Biden to be his Defense Secretary, has returned—at least part-time—to The Center for New American Security, which she co-founded more than a decade ago. Flournoy is now the chair of CNAS, which bills itself as “an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit organization that develops strong, pragmatic, and principled national security and defense policies.” Flournoy was seen as a top contender to become the first female Secretary of Defense in the Biden administration before the president selected Lloyd Austin. She was president of CNAS from 2007 to 2009 and CEO from 2014 to 2017, and served in the Defense Department under former President’s Bill Clinton as deputy assistant secretary for Strategy and Barack Obama as undersecretary for Policy.
Rapid Stock Buyback. CACI International said that it has agreed to quickly repurchase $500 million of its stock before the end of this year. The planned repurchases will equal about 2.1 million shares, representing about 8 percent of its outstanding common stock. Sheila Kahyaoglu, an aerospace and defense analyst with Jefferies, said in a note to clients that the accelerated share repurchase is supported by CACI’s strong free cash flow conversion and estimates the buybacks could add 7 percent to estimated fiscal year 2022 earnings. She also said CACI is confident in its cash generation being able to support acquisitions, share repurchases and capital expenditures.
Gone Stale. The Department of Homeland Security’s primary tool for detecting and preventing cyber hacks at the perimeter of federal civilian networks “has grown somewhat stale over time and now doesn’t provide” the department the visibility it needs to see and stop these threats, said Eric Goldstein, executive assistant director for Cybersecurity at the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The National Cybersecurity Protection System, known as Einstein, was designed to detect and prevent malicious threats at the “point where agency networks meet the open internet” but the increasing use of encrypted traffic entering and exiting agency networks means CISA no longer has the visibility it needs from this tool, he told the House Homeland Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee.
…New Tools. Goldstein said that CISA is putting its focus on increasing its visibility into federal civilian agency networks where the agency is “seeing adversary activity today” and moving away from a “perimeter defense construct.” CISA is “urgently” piloting tools to detect threats on servers and workstations, what Goldstein says are the civilian agency endpoints, and with $650 million in new funds for CISA included in the new COVID-19 relief spending package, the agency will “rapidly accelerate” the deployment of sensors on federal networks. This will be an “iterative” process with progress made monthly, he said.
HELIOS. The Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $20 million modification on March 9 to exercise options for technical engineering services and sustainment labor for High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance (HELIOS) directed energy system. Work will largely occur in Bothell, Wash. (52 percent), and Moorestown, N.J. (31 percent), and is expected to be finished by September 2022. $1.1 million in FY ’21 Navy research and development funds was obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of this fiscal year. The company delivered the production-unit HELIOS to the Navy by January and it is expected to be installed on a destroyer later this year.
SSN-796. Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division said this month it reached pressure hull complete on the future Virginia-class submarine USS New Jersey (SSN-796). This means as of Feb. 10 all of the vessels hull sections were joined to form a single, watertight unit. This is the last major milestone before the submarine is christened and floated off. “Achieving this milestone is especially significant as it continues to prove our teams can safely perform at a high level in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jason Ward, vice president of Virginia-class submarine construction at the company, said in a statement. SSN-796 will be the 23rd Virginia-class submarine. Construction started in March 2016 and is currently about 72 percent complete. Delivery to the Navy is scheduled for 2022.
DDG-59. The Navy awarded BAE Systems a $35 million contract on March 8 for ship maintenance, modernization and repair of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Russel (DDG-59) for a fiscal year 2021 selected restricted availability. This award includes options that, if exercised, would raise the total value to $50 million. This is a “long-term” availability and was solicited across the whole West Coast. Under this contract, BAE will provide the facilities and human resources capable of competing, coordinating and integrating multiple areas of DDG-59 maintenance, repair and modernization. Work will occur at BAE’s shipyard in San Diego and is expected to be finished by September 2022. The contract was competitively procured with three total offers received but DoD did not disclose the other offerors.
SSN-791. The Navy awarded General Dynamics’ Electric Boat a $15 million modification on March 8 to exercise options for a previously awarded contract for continued execution of USS Delaware (SSN-891) post-delivery work period. Under the mod, the company will “perform planning and execution efforts in preparation to accomplish the maintenance, repair, alterations, testing and other work” on the ship during its scheduled post-delivery work period. This will occur in Groton, Conn., and is expected to be finished by July 2021. The contracting activity is the service’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair in Groton, Conn.
T-AKE 5. Military Sealift Command awarded Philadelphia Ship Repair LLC a $16.2 million contract for a 46-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry docking for the USNS Robert E. Perry (T-AKE 5) dry cargo and ammunition ship. The contract includes options that, if awarded, would raise the total value to about $16.8 million. Work will occur in Philadelphia and is expected to be finished by the end of this May. The announcement noted this award was solicited as a small business set-aside via the beta.SAM.gov website with one offer received.