Tuesday, March 06, 2012

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated March 6, 2012

 DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated March 6, 2012
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 6, 2012: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued  March 6, 2012 are undermentioned;

            Atlantic Diving Supply, Inc.*, Virginia Beach, Va. (N65236-12-D-4113); CDW Government, L.L.C., Vernon Hills, Ill. (N65236-12-D-4114); Global Technology Resources, Inc.*, Denver, Colo. (N65236-12-D-4115); GTSI Corp.*, Herndon, Va. (N65236-12-D-4116); iGov Technologies, Inc.*, McLean, Va. (N65236-12-D-4117); Mercom, Inc.*, Pawleys Island, S.C. (N65236-12-D-4118); Science Applications International Corp., McLean, Va. (N65236-12-D-4119); Scientific Research Corp., Atlanta, Ga. (N65236-12-D-4120); and World Wide Technology, Inc., St. Louis, Mo. (N65236-12-D-4121), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price, multiple award supply contract for the procurement of commercial-off-the-shelf, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, information operations, and information awareness equipment and related incidental support services.  Each contractor will be awarded $11,111 at the time of award.  These contracts include options, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative combined value of these contracts to an estimated $500,000,000.  Work will be performed in Virginia Beach, Va.; Vernon Hills, Ill.; Denver, Colo.; Herndon, Va.; McLean, Va.; Pawleys Island, S.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; and St. Louis, Mo.  Work is expected to be completed by March 2013; if all options are exercised, work could continue until March 2017.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The multiple award contracts were competitively procured by full and open competition via the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center e-Commerce Central website and the Federal Business Opportunities website, with 13 offers received.  The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Charleston, S.C. is the contracting activity.

            The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded an $8,086,000 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, fixed-price-incentive-fee contract (N00019-09-C-0019) to procure aircraft armament equipment for the F/A-18 E/F and EA-18 G fighter aircraft including 57 SUU-78 A/A pylons, and 40 ALE-50 well covers.  Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed in December 2014.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

            CareFusion Solutions, San Diego, Calif., was awarded a fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract with a maximum $75,000,000 for medical equipment, maintenance and/or spare parts/repair parts of medical equipment.  There are no other locations of performance.  Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies.  There were 70 responses to the Web solicitation.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2012 through 2017 Defense Working Capital Funds.  The date of performance completion is March 5, 2017.  The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM2D1-12-D-8302).

            Applied Research Associates, Albuquerque, N.M., is being awarded a $15,295,188 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a program to develop technologies to aid the analyst in geolocating images and videos in any outdoor terrestrial location in the world.  The location of the performance is Albuquerque, N.M.  Work is expected to be completed Aug 6, 2016.  AFRL/PKDB, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-12-C-7214).

*Small business

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Source: U.S. DoD issued No. 157-12 March 6, 2012
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com 

DTN News - INDIA DEFENSE NEWS: Ripple Effect From India's Biggest Defense Deal

DTN News - INDIA DEFENSE NEWS: Ripple Effect From India's Biggest Defense Deal
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Harsh V. Pant - Special to The Japan Times
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 6, 2012: First it was the United States that got annoyed, and now it is Britain's turn to ask some tough questions about its India policy. Ever since the French Rafale fighter was declared the lowest bidder in the multibillion dollar contract to provide a new generation fighter for the Indian Air Force, a debate has been raging in the United Kingdom as to what went wrong with Prime Minister David Cameron's charm offensive in wooing India.

His visit to India in 2010 was widely viewed as a highly successful. He made all the right noises in India about Pakistan and terrorism, and there was a sense that U.K.-India ties had finally turned a corner. The Cameron government has also decided to give India £1.4 billion between now and 2015, amounting to almost 1 percent of Britain's own £159 billion debt.

But when it came to the much sought-after Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract, France was the winner and the Eurofighter, produced by a consortium of four nations, including Britain's BAE systems, lost. Apparently, saying the right things and giving aid doesn't get you any influence in New Delhi!

From the very beginning, this saga has been rather interesting. Last year in April, India rejected bids by Lockheed Martin and Boeing (along with Russian and Swedish bids) for the $10 billion-plus contract for the 126 combat aircraft, despite extensive lobbying by the U.S. military-industrial complex, supported by President Barack Obama himself.

Nothing works better in New Delhi than a putdown to the U.S. — and that was quite a snub indeed! Instead, New Delhi short-listed Dassault Aviation's Rafale and the Eurofighter Consortium's Typhoon. There were extensive field trials, and technical considerations ostensibly drove the final decision. But the dismay in Washington was widespread and, to some extent, understandable given the investment that the U.S. has made in cultivating India in recent years.

The focus then shifted to the French vs. British, Rafale vs. Eurofighter rivalry in which the French came out on top. Dassault Aviation, Rafale's French manufacturer, will be entering into commercial negotiations with India over the next few months before final deals are signed. As this is a company that has been struggling to get foreign buyers, it would be keen on signing the contract more or less on Indian terms.

Deemed expensive and not cutting edge, the Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore, Morocco, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland have all turned Rafale down in the last few years. India, in more ways than one, will now be subsidizing the French defense sector.

India's decision was clearly influenced by the price factor as the EADS Eurofighter Typhoon is a much more expensive venture. But technology transfer was clearly another guiding factor with the tender stipulating 50 percent direct offset obligation for the winning bidder.

The Indian Air Force's familiarity with French Mirage 2000 aircraft would also have helped as Rafale is operationally and technically similar to the Mirage 2000. India would be buying the aircraft over 10 years with 18 Rafale jets constructed in Dassault plants in France and 108 assembled by Hindustan Aeronautics in India.

Coming just before French elections in which President Nicholas Sarkozy is trailing, this decision will boost his prospects.

It's no wonder that Sarkozy was euphoric, suggesting that "France is delighted at the decision by the Indian government. ... It will include important technology transfers guaranteed by the French government."

At a time when major European countries are drastically cutting their defense budgets, the defense sector needs external help to survive and India's decision will be a big help to France. Dassault was quick to react, saying it is "honored and grateful to the government and people of India." In Britain, on the other hand, there are fears of job losses at BAE Systems, which owns 33 percent of Eurofighter. The deal has been described a "major win for France and a major loss for the U.K." The U.K. government, at least publicly, is still hoping that New Delhi could yet reject the French offer and turn to the Eurofighter.

This is India's largest defense contract at a time when India's defense modernization has been attracting a lot of attention. The fighter levels in the IAF have dropped to an all-time low of 32 squadrons compared with an official level of 39.5 and a desired 42 squadrons. The IAF is desperate to replace its aging fleet of MiG 21 fighters.

At one level, the seeming transparency of the process should indeed be heartening to those who have puzzled over India's inability to get its defense modernization program on track for some time now.

For a usually lackadaisical Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) this is a welcome change. After years of returning unspent money, the MoD last year not only managed to spend its entire budget but also asked for capital procurement funds.

Now, with movement on the MMRCA bids, it is clear that the ministry wants to move swiftly on new defense procurement, relegating its ultra-cautious approach to the sidelines.

But there is a larger question that still needs to be answered. Major defense purchases are not an end in themselves. Ideally, they should be a means of helping a nation achieve its strategic objectives.

It's not readily evident what strategic objectives of India are being served by choosing Rafale over Typhoon. One can only hope that the Indian defense establishment is not missing the wood for the trees.

Harsh V. Pant is a professor of defense studies at King's College, London.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Harsh V. Pant - Special to The Japan Times
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com 

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: Boeing Delivers 1st P-8A Poseidon Production Aircraft To US Navy‏

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: Boeing Delivers 1st P-8A Poseidon Production Aircraft To US Navy‏
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 6, 2012: Boeing [NYSE: BA] on March 4 officially delivered the first production P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the U.S. Navy in Seattle. The P-8A is the first of 13 anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft Boeing will deliver as part of a low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract awarded in 2011.

“Delivering this capability to the warfighter is the ultimate goal and we’re proud to be able to meet our commitment and hand over the P-8A ‘keys’ to the Navy fleet,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. “This is a great day for Boeing, our supplier teammates and our Navy customer.”
“The Navy fleet is more than ready to receive the P-8A, which will provide the users and operators a step increase in mission capabilities,” said Rear Admiral Paul Grosklags, U.S. Navy Program Executive Officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault & Special Mission Programs. “Thanks to Boeing and the entire team for its efforts and great partnership to date.”
Following delivery in Seattle, Navy pilots flew the first production P-8A, LRIP1-1, to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., where it will be used for aircrew training.
The Poseidon team is using a first-in-industry in-line production process that draws on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737 production system. All P-8A-unique aircraft modifications are made in sequence during fabrication and assembly.
Along with production aircraft, the P-8A team also has built and is testing six flight-test and two ground-test aircraft. The flight-test aircraft are based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and have completed more than 1,500 flight hours.
A derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the Poseidon is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.
The Navy plans to purchase 117 Boeing 737-based P-8A aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 62,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.
Chick Ramey
The Boeing Company
Office: 253-657-5636
Mobile: 206-851-4147
LaToya Graddy
U.S. Navy

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Boeing
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com 

DTN News - CHINA THE FIRE DRAGON : Assessing China's Strategy ~ By Stratfor

DTN News - CHINA THE FIRE DRAGON : Assessing China's Strategy ~ By Stratfor
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By George Friedman - Stratfor
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 6, 2012: Simply put, China has three core strategic interests.

Paramount among them is the maintenance of domestic security. Historically, when China involves itself in global trade, as it did in the 19th and early 20th century, the coastal region prospers, while the interior of China -- which begins about 100 miles from the coast and runs about 1,000 miles to the west -- languishes. Roughly 80 percent of all Chinese citizens currently have household incomes lower than the average household income in Bolivia. Most of China's poor are located west of the richer coastal region; this disparity of wealth time and again has exposed tensions between the interests of the coast and those of the interior. After a failed rising in Shanghai in 1927, Mao Zedong exploited these tensions by undertaking the Long March into the interior, raising a peasant army and ultimately conquering the coastal region. He shut China off from the international trading system, leaving China more united and equal, but extremely poor.
The current government has sought a more wealth-friendly means of achieving stability: buying popular loyalty with mass employment. Plans for industrial expansion are implemented with little thought to markets or margins; instead, maximum employment is the driving goal. Private savings are harnessed to finance the industrial effort, leaving little domestic capital to purchase the output. China must export accordingly.
China's second strategic concern derives from the first. China's industrial base by design produces more than its domestic economy can consume, so China must export goods to the rest of the world while importing raw materials. The Chinese therefore must do everything possible to ensure international demand for their exports. This includes a range of activities, from investing money in the economies of consumer countries to establishing unfettered access to global sea-lanes.
The third strategic interest is in maintaining control over buffer states. The population of the historic Han Chinese heartland is clustered in the eastern third of the country, where ample precipitation distinguishes it from the much more dry and arid central and western thirds. China's physical security therefore depends on controlling the four non-Han Chinese buffer states that surround it: Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet. Securing these regions means China can insulate itself from Russia to the north, any attack from the western steppes, and any attack from India or Southeast Asia.
Controlling the buffer states provides China geographical barriers -- jungles, mountains, steppes and the Siberian wasteland -- that are difficult to surmount and creates a defense in depth that puts any attacker at a grave disadvantage.

Challenged Interests

Today, China faces challenges on all three of these interests. 
The economic downturn in Europe and the United States -- China's two main customers -- has exposed Chinese exports to increased competition and decreased appetite. Meanwhile, China has been unable to appropriately increase domestic demand and guarantee access to global sea-lanes independent of what the U.S. Navy is willing to allow.
Those same economic stresses also challenge China domestically. The wealthier coast depends on trade that is now faltering, and the impoverished interior requires subsidies that are difficult to provide when economic growth is slowing substantially.
In addition, two of China's buffer regions are in flux. Elements within Tibet and Xinjiang adamantly resist Han Chinese occupation. China understands that the loss of these regions could pose severe threats to China's security -- particularly if such losses would draw India north of the Himalayas or create a radical Islamic regime in Xinjiang.
The situation in Tibet is potentially the most troubling. Outright war between India and China -- anything beyond minor skirmishes -- is impossible so long as both are separated by the Himalayas. Neither side could logistically sustain large-scale multi-divisional warfare in that terrain. But China and India could threaten one another if they were to cross the Himalayas and establish a military presence on the either side of the mountain chain. For India, the threat would emerge if Chinese forces entered Pakistan in large numbers. For China, the threat would occur if large numbers of Indian troops entered Tibet.
China therefore constantly postures as if it were going to send large numbers of forces into Pakistan, but in the end, the Pakistanis have no interest in de facto Chinese occupation -- even if the occupation were directed against India. The Chinese likewise are not interested in undertaking security operations in Pakistan. The Indians have little interest in sending forces into Tibet in the event of a Tibetan revolution. For India, an independent Tibet without Chinese forces would be interesting, but a Tibet where the Indians would have to commit significant forces would not be. As much as the Tibetans represent a problem for China, the problem is manageable. Tibetan insurgents might receive some minimal encouragement and support from India, but not to a degree that would threaten Chinese control.
So long as the internal problems in Han China are manageable, so is Chinese domination of the buffer states, albeit with some effort and some damage to China's reputation abroad.
The key for China is maintaining interior stability. If this portion of Han China destabilizes, control of the buffers becomes impossible. Maintaining interior stability requires the transfer of resources, which in turn requires continued robust growth of the Chinese coastal economy to generate the capital to transfer inland. Should exports stop flowing out and raw materials in, incomes in the interior would quickly fall to politically explosive levels. (China today is far from revolution, but social tensions are increasing, and China must use its security apparatus and the People's Liberation Army to control these tensions.)
Maintaining those flows is a considerable challenge. The very model of employment and market share over profitability misallocates scores of resources and breaks the normally self-regulating link between supply and demand. One of the more disruptive results is inflation, which alternatively raises the costs of subsidizing the interior while eroding China's competitiveness with other low-cost global exporters.
For the Chinese, this represents a strategic challenge, a challenge that can only be countered by increasing the profitability on Chinese economic activity. This is nearly impossible for low value-added producers. The solution is to begin manufacturing higher value-added products (fewer shoes, more cars), but this necessitates a different sort of work force, one with years more education and training than the average Chinese coastal inhabitant, much less someone from the interior. It also requires direct competition with the well-established economies of Japan, Germany and the United States. This is the strategic battleground that China must attack if it is to maintain its stability.

A Military Component

Besides the issues with its economic model, China also faces a primarily military problem. China depends on the high seas to survive. The configuration of the South China Sea and the East China Sea render China relatively easy to blockade. The East China Sea is enclosed on a line from Korea to Japan to Taiwan, with a string of islands between Japan and Taiwan. The South China Sea is even more enclosed on a line from Taiwan to the Philippines, and from Indonesia to Singapore. Beijing's single greatest strategic concern is that the United States would impose a blockade on China, not by positioning its 7th Fleet inside the two island barriers but outside them. From there, the United States could compel China to send its naval forces far away from the mainland to force an opening -- and encounter U.S. warships -- and still be able to close off China's exits.
That China does not have a navy capable of challenging the United States compounds the problem. China is still in the process of completing its first aircraft carrier; indeed, its navy is insufficient in size and quality to challenge the United States. But naval hardware is not China's greatest challenge. The United States commissioned its first aircraft carrier in 1922 and has been refining both carrier aviation and battle group tactics ever since. Developing admirals and staffs capable of commanding carrier battle groups takes generations. Since the Chinese have never had a carrier battle group in the first place, they have never had an admiral commanding a carrier battle group.
China understands this problem and has chosen a different strategy to deter a U.S. naval blockade: anti-ship missiles capable of engaging and perhaps penetrating U.S. carrier defensive systems, along with a substantial submarine presence. The United States has no desire to engage the Chinese at all, but were this to change, the Chinese response would be fraught with difficulty.
While China has a robust land-based missile system, a land-based missile system is inherently vulnerable to strikes by cruise missiles, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles currently in development and other types of attack. China's ability to fight a sustained battle is limited. Moreover, a missile strategy works only with an effective reconnaissance capability. You can't destroy a ship if you don't know where it is. This in turn necessitates space-based systems able to identify U.S. ships and a tightly integrated fire-control system. That raises the question of whether the United States has an anti-satellite capability. We would assume that it does, and if the United States used it, it would leave China blind.
China is therefore supplementing this strategy by acquiring port access in countries in the Indian Ocean and outside the South China Sea box. Beijing has plans to build ports in Myanmar, which is flirting with ending its international isolation, and Pakistan. Beijing already has financed and developed port access to Gwadar in Pakistan, Colombo and Hambantota in Sri Lanka, Chittagong in Bangladesh, and it has hopes for a deepwater port at Sittwe, Myanmar. In order for this strategy to work, China needs transportation infrastructure linking China to the ports. This means extensive rail and road systems. The difficulty of building this in Myanmar, for example, should not be underestimated.
But more important, China needs to maintain political relationships that will allow it to access the ports. Pakistan and Myanmar, for example, have a degree of instability, and China cannot assume that cooperative governments will always be in place in such countries. In Myanmar's case, recent political openings could result in Naypyidaw's falling out of China's sphere of influence. Building a port and roads and finding that a coup or an election has created an anti-Chinese government is a possibility. Given that this is one of China's fundamental strategic interests, Beijing cannot simply assume that building a port will give it unrestricted access to the port. Add to this that roads and rail lines are easily sabotaged by guerrilla forces or destroyed by air or missile attacks.
In order for the ports on the Indian Ocean to prove useful, Beijing must be confident in its ability to control the political situation in the host country for a long time. That sort of extended control can only be guaranteed by having overwhelming power available to force access to the ports and the transportation system. It is important to bear in mind that since the Communists took power, China has undertaken offensive military operations infrequently -- and to undesirable results. Its invasion of Tibet was successful, but it was met with minimal effective resistance. Its intervention in Korea did achieve a stalemate but at horrendous cost to the Chinese, who endured the losses but became very cautious in the future. In 1979 China attacked Vietnam, but suffered a significant defeat. China has managed to project an image of itself as a competent military force, but in reality it has had little experience in force projection, and that experience has not been pleasant.

Internal Security vs. Power Projection

The reason for this inexperience stems from internal security. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is primarily configured as a domestic security force -- a necessity because of China's history of internal tensions. It is not a question of whether China is currently experiencing such tensions; it is a question of possibility. Prudent strategic planning requires building forces to deal with worst-case situations. Having been designed for internal security, the PLA is doctrinally and logistically disinclined toward offensive operations. Using a force trained for security as a force for offensive operations leads either to defeat or very painful stalemates. And given the size of China's potential internal issues and the challenge of occupying a country like Myanmar, let alone Pakistan, building a secondary force of sufficient capability might not outstrip China's available manpower but would certainly outstrip its command and logistical capabilities. The PLA was built to control China, not to project power outward, and strategies built around the potential need for power projection are risky at best.
It should be noted that since the 1980s the Chinese have been attempting to transfer internal security responsibilities to the People's Armed Police, the border forces and other internal security forces that have been expanded and trained to deal with social instability. But despite this restructuring, there remain enormous limitations on China's ability to project military power on a scale sufficient to challenge the United States directly.
There is a disjuncture between the perception of China as a regional power and the reality. China can control its interior, but its ability to control its neighbors through military force is limited. Indeed, the fear of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is unfounded. It cannot mount an amphibious assault at that distance, let alone sustain extended combat logistically. One option China does have is surrogate guerrilla warfare in places like the Philippines or Indonesia. The problem with such warfare is that China needs to open sea-lanes, and guerrillas -- even guerrillas armed with anti-ship missiles or mines -- can at best close them.

Political Solution

China therefore faces a significant strategic problem. China must base its national security strategy on what the United States is capable of doing, not on what Beijing seems to want at the moment. China cannot counter the United States at sea, and its strategy of building ports in the Indian Ocean suffers from the fact that its costs are huge and the political conditions for access uncertain. The demands of creating a force capable of guaranteeing access runs counter to the security requirements inside China itself.
As long as the United States is the world's dominant naval power, China's strategy must be the political neutralization of the United States. But Beijing must make certain that Washington does not feel so pressured that it chooses blockade as an option. Therefore China must present itself as an essential part of U.S. economic life. But the United States does not necessarily see China's economic activity as beneficial, and it is unclear whether China can maintain its unique position with the United States indefinitely. Other, cheaper alternatives are available. China's official rhetoric and hard-line stances -- designed to generate nationalist support inside the country -- might be useful politically, but strain relations with the United States. It doesn't strain relations to the point of risking military conflict, but given China's weakness, any strain is dangerous. The Chinese feel they know how to walk the line between rhetoric and real danger with the United States. It is still a delicate balance.
There is a perception that China is a rising regional and even global power. It may be rising but it is still far from solving its fundamental strategic problems and further yet from challenging the United States. The tensions within China's strategy are certainly debilitating, if not fatal. All of its options have serious weaknesses. China's real strategy must be to avoid having to make risky strategic choices. China has been fortunate for the past 30 years being able to avoid such decisions, but Beijing utterly lacks the tools required to reshape that environment. Considering how much of China's world is in play right now -- Sudanese energy disputes and Myanmar's political experimentation leap to mind -- this is essentially a policy of blind hope.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By George Friedman - Stratfor
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com