Taiclet’s Focus. New Lockheed Martin President and CEO Jim Taiclet will be pursuing four primary missions, which include leading the defense industry with the best technology, developing an innovation culture throughout the company, further improving operational excellence, and keeping a focus on organic growth, said Sheila Kahyaoglu, an aerospace and defense analyst with Jefferies, following a sell-side analyst call Lockheed Martin hosted last week. The growth focus area also includes internal investment and potential mergers and acquisitions. On the innovation culture front, she said in an analyst note that “Taiclet believes he can bring his experience from technology and bring over practices to make sure every level can contribute across all domains. Areas such as AI, Quantum and 5G can be integrated into the workflow with lessons and learnings from the tech industry. There are also opportunities to partner with tech companies to improve LMT platforms.”
ManTech International appointed Matt Tait to the new position of chief operating officer effective July 1, reporting directly to Kevin Phillips, the company’s president and CEO. Tait previously was president of the company’s Mission Solutions & Services (MSS) group. ManTech also said it is realigning its MSS and Mission, Cyber & Intelligence Solutions groups into three business sectors: Intelligence; Defense; and Federal Civilian, and will be led, respectively, by Executive Vice Presidents and General Managers Adam Rudo, Andrew Twomey and Bryce Pippert, reporting to Tait. Canada’s CAE has named Heidi Wood as interim Group President of Defence and Security, replacing Todd Probert who is stepping down on June 26 to pursue a job opportunity within the U.S. national security community. Wood recently joined CAE as executive vice president for Business Development and Growth Initiatives after previously being at L3 Technologies and leading that company’s merger with Harris Corp. Before joining L3, Wood was an aerospace and defense analyst at Morgan Stanley.
Funding Needs. User fee shortfalls due to a drop in international trade and travel means that Customs and Border Protection needs an estimated $1.5 billion through the end of fiscal year 2021 to maintain staffing at ports of entry as trade and traffic rebounds, a federal union chief told a House panel on June 16. Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said that CBP data also shows a user fee funding shortfall of $400 million through the end of FY ’20. International travel and trade are down due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. User fees make up 40 percent of the operating budget of CBP’s Office of Field Operations, the agency’s arm that staffs the nation’s ports of entry, and salaries of one third of the officer workforce are covered by these fees, Reardon tells the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Management and Accountability.
Navy Nominations. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said President Trump nominated three admirals on June 16. Rear Adm. William Galinis is nominated to be vice admiral and commander of Naval Sea Systems Command; Rear Adm. Samuel Paparo is nominated to be vice admiral and assigned as commander of U.S. Naval Forces at Central Command, and commander of Fifth Fleet; and Rear Adm. Jeffrey Trussler is nominated to be vice admiral and assigned as deputy chief of naval operations.
MH-60R. Naval Air Systems Command awarded Lockheed Martin a $375 million modification providing non-recurring efforts to design and develop unique hardware and software for India’s Multi-Role Helicopter MH-60R Seahawk helicopter development program. Most of the work will occur in Oswego, N.Y. (81 percent), and is expected to be finished by June 2025. This comes a month after the Navy awarded the company a $905 million contract for 24 MH-60Rs, three for the U.S. Navy and 21 for India. Last year the State Department approved a potential $2.6 billion Foreign Military Sale (FMS) for India to procure 24 Seahawks.
DDG-56. The USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) crew completed basic Phase Certification on June 2, making the ship ready to rejoin operating forces in the 7th Fleet after almost three years of repairs and certifications following a fatal collision with a commercial vessel off the coast of Singapore in August 2017. The ship is now scheduled to operate in the Indo-Pacific, where it formerly operated. Repairs were finished last October and since then the ship has undergone extensive in-port and underway training with teams from Afloat Training Group and the Center for Surface Combat Systems.
NATO Missile Defense. The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency released an invitation for bids on June 3 for a $67 million contract to provide system engineering, integration and testing support to NATO’s ballistic missile defense (BMD) program through 2029. The contract will last four years and has four more option years. NCI Agency said it includes a preliminary transition period of up to six months “to guarantee business continuity and to enable a new winning bidder to familiarize with the Programme.” The work will be used in the ongoing development and fielding of NATO’s missile defense capabilities. Bids are due by Sept. 1 and the agency expects to award the contract in the second quarter of 2021.
…More Coming. The NCI Agency also said it expects to release another invitation for bids under the program later this summer at an estimated value of $12 million, covering “certain services for the BMD Integration Test Bed, which supports test and exercise events at both the system and architecture level.” The Test Bed is used to ensure technical requirements are met and assures operational interoperability with other NATO and national systems. The notice of intent to invite bids explained this contract will cover one part of the Test Bed, the test environment providing scenario preparation support, analysis tools, and network connectivity and monitoring.
New UUV. Dive Technologies, Inc. said June 15 it completed the integration and build of its first full-scale commercial large displacement unmanned undersea vehicle (LDUUV), called DIVE-LD. The company said it builds UUVs specifically with “inherent mission critical features” to allow longer range, endurance, and function for commercial, research and defense clients. The company plans for DIVE-LD at-sea testing to occur this summer, followed by commercial and defense demonstrations that will include deep ocean testing.
L3Harris UUV. L3Harris Technologies also announced its new man-portable Iver4 580 UUV, the second vehicle in the Iver4 family of UUVs on June 17. The company said the new vessel is suited for missions including survey; multi-domain intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; anti-submarine warfare; seabed warfare; and mine warfare. The vessel is 5.8 inches in diameter and 82 inches long, can travel at 4 knots, has a 200-nautical meter depth system, and has a sealed, hot-swappable battery sections that can be switched without special tools or a heading re-alignment. L3Harris underscored data from onboard sensors can be downloaded at gigabit Ethernet speeds.
JLTV. Oshkosh Defense has received a $61.8 million contract modification from the Army to produce over 3,500 trailers for its Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV). Deliveries under the new deal are expected to begin this year and continue through 2021. “When it comes to hauling mission critical equipment, a reliable trailer is just as essential as the vehicle it supports. Whether it’s hauling ammunition, weapons, or other supplies, the JLTV-T is the only trailer that can keep pace with the JLTV’s superior speed and off-road mobility,” George Mansfield, the company’s vice president of joint programs, said in a statement.
Cloud Security. McAfee said on June 18 the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit has selected the company to deliver a prototype secure cloud management solution designed to detect and respond to cyber threats. The security software firm said it will deliver a prototype based on its MVISION Unified Cloud Edge (UCE) cyber security solution, which brings together a secure web gateway, cloud access security broker and data loss prevention capabilities into a single platform. Google Cloud and information security firm ZScaler previously announced they had also been selected for the DIU prototype program to find a ‘zero trust’ capability to provide secure network access across the major cloud computing offerings.
COVID-19 Vaccine. The lead military official for the Project Warp Speed program to find a coronavirus vaccine told the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 18 he believes it’s likely the effort will result in a viable vaccine by the end of the year. Gen. Gus Perna, who also leads Army Materiel Command, said industry has indicated it has promising formulas for vaccine candidates, the ability to execute clinical trials and capabilities to move into mass production if a vaccine proves safe and successful. “What I thought was an aspirational goal 30 days ago, when I was announced by the president [to lead Project Warp Speed], I have recently come to the conclusion that it is more and more likely to occur. I believe this is so based on the updates I’ve received and the partnerships that we’re doing with industry,” Perna told lawmakers.
RPA Contract. GA-ASI has received a $12.1 million contract to upgrade MQ-9 Block 1 and Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft and Block 25 Dual Control Module Ground Control Station (DCMGCS) and Block 30 Ground Control Station (GCS) for the Air National Guard. The procurement includes kits for High-Definition (HD) displays and Barrett Asymmetrical Digital Datalink Computers (BADDC), as well as Multi-Intelligence Smart Processing (MISP), per a company release Thursday.
NRO Launches. Rocket Lab said Thursday that it recently signed a launch agreement for two back-to-back launches aboard the company’s Electron rocket for the National Reconnaissance Office. The missions were awarded through the NRO’s Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket (RASR) contract, an initiative that enables the agency to explore new opportunities for launching small satellites through a streamlined, commercial approach. The RASR-3 and RASR-4 missions are scheduled for launch within weeks of each other in late spring 2021 from two separate pads at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. Construction of the second pad at LC-1 began in December 2019 and will be complete by the end of 2020, the company said. Lars Hoffman, Rocket Lab’s Senior Vice President of Global Launch Services, said, “Given the threat to space capabilities posed by potential adversaries, there simply cannot be a waiting room to get on orbit. With Electron launch vehicles on standby for rapid call-up and three launch pads capable of supporting up to 130 missions per year, we stand ready to respond to the national security community’s needs with speed and precision, every time.”
Resignations. The Pentagon announced Tuesday that Acting DoD Comptroller Elaine McCusker submitted her resignation effective June 26. McCusker has served in the Defense Department since 2007; before that, she was a professional staff member for the Senate Armed Services Committee. She has served as acting comptroller since summer 2019, and had been nominated to the full position. However, the White House pulled her nomination this past March when emails surfaced in the media where she questioned the legality of the Trump administration’s efforts to withhold military aid to Ukraine. Reuters first reported Thursday that Kathryn Wheelbarger, acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, has also submitted her resignation to the Defense Department. She had been nominated in February to become the next deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, but her nomination had stalled in the Senate.
…and Nomination. The White House said Thursday it has formally nominated Bradley Hansell to become the next deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence, instead of Wheelbarger. Hansell currently serves as an associate director with the Boston Consulting Group, but also served as a special assistant for national security to the Trump administration from 2017-2019. Prior to that role, he spent six years in the Navy as a surface warfare officer before joining the Army Special Forces. If confirmed, Hansell would replace Kari Bingen, who resigned from the position of number-two intelligence official in the DoD this past January.
F-35s to Lakenheath. Despite COVID-19, plans remain in place for F-35s to arrive at RAF Lakenheath by 2021, Air Force Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian told reporters Thursday, Harrigian serves as the commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe, of U.S. Air Forces Africa and the Allied Air Command. “We remain on a good flight path to ensure we’re ready to bring the F-35 into theater,” he said in a Defense Writers Group-sponsored teleconference. The U.S. Air Force and the Royal Air Force have agreed to permanently base two squadrons of U.S. Air Force F-35As at Lakenheath, to include 48 aircraft, by November 2021. The United Kingdom currently operates F-35s s out of the nearby RAF Marham.
PEO EIS Split. The Navy has replaced Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) with two new PEOs: PEO Digital and Enterprise Services (PEO Digital) and PEO manpower, Logistics and Business Solution (PEO MLB). Assistant Secretary of the Navy James Geurts first outlined the split on May 4 and then Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Information Warfare and Enterprise Services (DASN IWAR), Jane Rathbun, launched the new offices in a virtual ceremony May 13. The Navy said PEO Digital will initially include the Naval Enterprise Networks (PMW 205), Special Networks and Intelligence Mission Applications (PMW 260), Navy Commercial Cloud Services (PMW 270), Special Access Program Networks (PMW 280) and Enterprise Information Technology Strategic Sourcing (PMW 290) program offices. Likewise, PEO MLB will initially include Navy Enterprise Business Solutions (PMW 220), Logistics Integrated Information Solutions-Marine Corps (PMW 230), Sea Warrior Program (PMW 240), Enterprise Systems and Services (PMW 250), and Navy Maritime Maintenance Enterprise Solutions – Tech Refresh (PMS 444).