Add Two. In addition to Leidos, which last week said it is a recipient on Customs and Border Protection’s potential $379 million multiple-award contract to supply high-energy rail inspection systems for rail cars entering the U.S., the agency told Defense Daily that OSI Systems and Smiths Detection were also selected for the contract. All three companies have received a minimum task order for four of their non-intrusive inspection systems. Of the 12 systems initially being purchased, six will be deployed to northern border locations and six to the southern border.
The Friedman. The Coast Guard has named its 11th National Security Cutter in honor of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, a code-breaker who worked for the service during the Prohibition Era and World War II, deciphering messages used by liquor smugglers and later codes generated by Germany’s Enigma machine. The Coast Guard said that Friedman, a member of the National Security Agency’s Hall of Honor, “has been dubbed ‘America’s first female cryptanalyst’ and in many ways could be considered the founder of the modern day Coast Guard Intelligence Program.” The Friedman, which is under contract to Huntington Ingalls Industries, is scheduled for delivery in fiscal year 2024.
Rebranding. Ibis Tek, a developer and manufacturer of transparent armor for military and public safety applications, has been renamed XPER. The company, which also includes Standard Bent Glass, is based near Pittsburgh and is a portfolio company of Rockwood Equity Partners. “We are excited to bring together the expertise and skills of these two businesses and form a vertically integrated market leader providing transparent and opaque armor, metal fabrication, coating, and kitting operations to support our warfighters,” said Vince Nardy, a Rockwood partner and XPER chairman.
LTAMDS. Orolia, a defense manufacturer for positioning, navigation and timing capabilities, has announced it has been selected to join Raytheon’s team building the Army’s LTAMDS future air and missile defense radar. Orolia will provide its rugged time and frequency system for LTAMDS, which is set to replace the Patriot system’s current radar. “Ultra-precise mission timing and sync technology are fundamental building blocks for the Resilient PNT systems that warfighters rely on for continuous operations in contested environments,” Hironori Sasaki, president of Orolia Defense & Security, said in a statement. “We are proud to be a Raytheon Missiles & Defense partner on LTAMDS and other programs that utilize GPS signals for timing, frequency and network synchronization across critical military systems.”
Exyn Technologies. Katrina McFarland, a former top Army and Pentagon acquisition official, has joined the board of Exyn Technologies, a start-up specializing in autonomous aerial robotics. “In my roles as Engineer, Program Executive, and Acquisition Leadership, I’ve often talked about the importance of small business in our economic and innovative futures. Small innovative businesses help bring improvements in technology areas to market. Exyn is a great example of this, and I hope to help grow their unique technologies and expand their use in the public and private sector,” McFarland said in a statement. Exyn said its autonomous aerial robot technologies have potential applications for “mining, construction, nuclear power, and military surveillance/reconnaissance.”
Army Ammunition. The Army has selected Northrop Grumman to develop the future airburst cartridge for its 30mm XM813 Bushmaster Chain Gun. Northrop Grumman said the new 30mm x 173mm airbus cartridge will feature “a contact set fuze design with three operational fuze modes: Programmable Airburst, Point Detonation and Point Detonation with Delay.” The new contract funds completion of the engineering and manufacturing development phase as well as final qualifications by the Army. “Northrop Grumman is leading the way in developing new ammunition types that provide existing gun systems with increased capabilities to defeat difficult targets ranging from threat drones to targets in defilade positions. Our air bursting technology is proven and the addition of this new round will provide the Army with an even more capable gun system for our soldiers,” Dan Olson, Northrop Grumman’s vice president of armament systems, said in a statement.
Patrol Boats. The Navy awarded Gravois Aluminum Boats’ Metal Shark Boats a $7 million delivery order from a previous contract to build, ship, and deliver four 40-foot patrol boats (PBs). This specifically covers PBs 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. The contract announcement said prices were previously established in an earlier indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract while the option for these boats was exercised on June 17. Work will occur in Jeanerette, La., and is expected to be finished by April 2023.
Galinis. The new head of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Vice Adm. Bill Galinis, visited Norfolk Naval Shipyard on June 30, meeting with leaders to discuss his command priorities and learning more about how the yard operates. Galinis said beyond on-time delivery of vessels and systems he is prioritizing digital capabilities, expanding leadership opportunities for all NAVSEA personnel, and establishing a culture of excellence. He also said beyond needed work with the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program they will focus on improving day-to-day infrastructure in the shipyards.
MCM Exercises. The U.S. Navy, U.K. Royal Navy and Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) participated in joint mine countermeasures (MCM) interoperability training in the Persian Gulf in June, the Navy said last week. The training included “realistic mine hunting simulations where participating units practiced detecting and classifying training aids shaped like mines while following standardized mine hunting procedures,” the Navy said. Participating ships included the U.S. Navy’s Avenger-class MCMs USS Dextrous (MCM-13) and USS Gladiator (MCM-11) as well as the U.K.’s MCMV HMS Brocklesby (M 33) and RSNF MCMV HMS Al-Shaqra (422). “Training like this emphasizes our commitment to the free flow of commerce and the safety of navigation,” Vice Adm. James Malloy, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet, said in a statement.
DDG-85. The USS McCampbell (DDG-85) left Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan on July 2 after serving for 13 years as a forward-deployed ship with the U.S. 7th Fleet. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is en route to Portland, Ore., to undergo a midlife modernization period. After upgrades and maintenance is finished, DDG-85 will then be homeported at Naval Station Everett, Wash. The ship is scheduled to eventually join the 3rd Fleet. In 2018, Navy officials said in 2017 they decided to rotate forward-deployed ships about every eight years, before a House defense bill provision would limit the length of such deployments. Then-Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said it would take some time to transition to that timeframe, but the Navy would do it as fast as possible.
Penny Wise? The House Appropriations Committee’s defense panel is recommending cutting $10 million from the budget of DoD Chief Management Officer (CMO) Lisa Hershman for “excess personnel growth.” The recommendation comes as the Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the fiscal 2021 defense authorization bill recommends the abolishment of Hershman’s office by Sept. 30, 2022 and the transferal of duties to the deputy defense secretary. The House Armed Services Committee’s version of the bill would end the office even sooner, within 30 days of enactment of the bill. DoD has said that Hershman is leading a defense-wide review to rank programs needed for the fight against near-peer competitors–an analysis that would inform the fiscal 2022 budget. Hershman, who assumed her duties last December, has said that her office has found billions in dollars in procurement and other savings across the Fourth Estate—the parts of DoD that do not include the military services or intelligence agencies. Congress created the office in fiscal 2018 to find such savings.
COVID Help. In the past two weeks, Lockheed Martin said it has accelerated an additional $600 million in payments to small businesses and at-risk suppliers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The company has been paying its supply chain sooner than normal since late March to help companies cope with impacts from the coronavirus. Lockheed Martin also said it has hired more than 9,600 new employees across the U.S. since COVID-19 began.
Major Milestone. The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center said that its Enhanced Polar System Recapitalization (EPS-R) program reached a major program milestone by completing a successful delta Critical Design Review (dCDR) of the Northrop Grumman-developed EPS-R Control and Planning Segment (CAPS) last month. SMC said that its assessment included risk, software and hardware requirement traceability, testing, performance, cost and schedule and that the review revealed “no significant issues or liens.” SMC said that Northrop Grumman, which received an $87 million contract in May last year, will move into the into the integration and test phase of the development cycle before providing command and control for all four of the EPS/EPS-R payloads. The U.S. Space Force has partnered with Space Norway on the program. As an EPS follow-on, EPS-R will include two eXtended Data Rate (XDR) payloads for protected satellite communications coverage in the North Polar Region until the Protected Tactical SATCOM and Evolved Strategic SATCOM polar variants are available, SMC said.