Monthly Archives: April 2009

U.S. Army Awards $30 Million EMS Contract to O’Neil & Associates

O’Neil & Associates has just been been awarded a five-year contract, valued at up to $30 million. The contract, issued by the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM LCMC) in Warren, Michigan, will enable O’Neil to continue their ongoing maintenance and development of the Army’s next-generation Electronic Maintenance System (EMS).

“We are excited that the U.S. Army is continuing to develop the EMS system, and believe that TACOM recognizes that we are a contractor dedicated to providing the best possible value to the Government. I am encouraged by the opportunities that will come from the foundation we’ve established in the past six years,” said Bob Heilman, CEO of O’Neil & Associates.

The EMS system enables intrusive diagnostics for tactical and combat vehicles within the Army fleet as well as other branches of the armed services. It seamlessly integrates the diagnostic information with the appropriate maintenance and parts information.

O’Neil’s Manager for the EMS Program, Hernan Olivas, says, “Through our work on EMS, we help the war fighters get their malfunctioning equipment working again as quickly as possible. That not only saves money, it saves lives.”

Technical Manuals created in EMS can be displayed on a wide range of standard computing devices, including ruggedized electronic service tools and PDAs. The EMS software will also generate data packets that are fed back into Army databases for parts ordering and predictive maintenance tracking. The communication can be done via land or wireless communications.

Jetbird launches new Brand, Aircraft livery and Website

Jetbird, the Pan-European, private jet airline, announced the launch of its new brand, aircraft livery and website www.flyjetbird.com marking further progress towards its full commercial launch in September, 2009.

Jetbird’s new brand focuses on the concept of “Creating Time”. Jetbird will transform European private air travel by offering a direct, on-demand private jet service at a fraction of the current cost. Jetbird’s service will be hassle-free, offering total flexibility by placing the scheduling power into the hands of the customer and, in so doing, save on the most valuable resource in the world – time. Jetbird will create time for more business or more leisure in today’s busy world.

The Jetbird aircraft livery, detailed on the new website, marks a significant change to the traditional concept of the private jet. Jetbird aircraft will be unique and easily identifiable for customers and set Jetbird, and its best-in-class Phenom 100 aircraft, apart from existing, high-cost private jet operators.

Jetbird also launches a new website on www.flyjetbird.com alongside its new brand and aircraft livery. Jetbird’s website will be further developed, over the course of 2009, to incorporate its on-line flight booking system and the capability to book events, package deals and other ancillary travel services such as cars and hotels. A German language version of the website will also be launched in May 2009.

Mr Stefan Vilner, Jetbird CEO, commented “We are delighted to unveil our new brand, aircraft livery and website. It marks an exciting moment in Jetbird’s development and the achievement of another milestone for the company.”

BAE Systems Awarded Role in $50 Billion Contract for US Government IT

BAE Systems received an indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for U.S. federal information technology work including infrastructure, applications, and IT management services under the government’s new Alliant program.

The selection qualifies the company to compete for an estimated $50 billion in future task orders awarded under the contract, administered by the General Services Administration (GSA). It has a base period of five years and a five-year option period.

“Our focus will be on supporting the government’s growing need for innovative solutions that reduce cost and increase the mission effectiveness of GSA’s client agencies,” said Gene Glazar, president of BAE Systems’ Information Solutions. “This award expands our company’s long-term partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration and enables us to offer IT solutions to any federal agency, anywhere in the world.”

BAE Systems has been providing enterprise information technology services to the GSA and its client agencies for almost 30 years.

U.S. Army Awards ITT $121 Million Contract for Night Vision Goggles

The ITT Corporation has received a $121 million order from the U.S. Army Research, Development & Engineering Command Acquisition Center for the AN/PVS-14, ITT’s most popular night vision goggle. This order represents the fifth largest ever received by the division.

“The Omnibus VII contract has allowed us to provide the Army with night vision goggles that are a critical component for soldiers to safely perform nighttime missions,” said Mike Hayman, president and general manager, ITT Night Vision. “We are excited to receive this latest order, and are even prouder to support our nation’s warfighters.”

The AN/PVS-14 is a high-performance, lightweight and reliable night vision goggle that provides enhanced resolution for target identification. These rugged devices can be hand-held, head- or weapon-mounted, or fitted to a camera. The AN/PVS-14 operates on a single AA battery, and comes equipped with ITT’s proprietary thin-filmed Pinnacle image intensifier tube. The Pinnacle tube’s ability to detect available light is more than 10 times the power of previous generations of tubes.

ITT has received Omnibus VII orders for more than 300,000 AN/PVS-14 monocular devices, 3,000 AN/PVS-7 goggles and 100,000 associated spare image intensifier tubes. ITT continues to be the world’s leader in night vision technology. In 2008, ITT became the sole supplier of the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) for the U.S. Army.

The ENVG allows the user to optically overlay thermal infrared (IR) for target detection and image intensification (I²) for target identification. ITT has also developed five prototype ENVG (Digital) which digitally fuse I² and IR allowing for images to be exported into the tactical network. These units will be field tested at Ft. Benning in April 2009. For 50 years, ITT’s contributions to night vision technology have made the company the leader in the field, and a trusted partner to the U.S. Military and allied militaries.

SpaceX Signs Argentina’s Space Agency for Two Falcon 9 Launches

SpaceX has signed an agreement with CONAE, Argentina’s National Commission on Space Activity, for two launches aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 medium-to-heavy lift vehicle. The flights will send the SAOCOM 1A and 1B Earth observation satellites into sun-synchronous orbits, where they will provide imagery for natural resources monitoring, as well as emergency and disaster management.

The identical SAOCOM satellites each carry an L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instrument. Among other civil applications, the main purpose of the constellation is the measurement of the soil moisture over the Pampa Húmeda in Argentina. The two SAOCOM satellites will join four X-band SAR COSMO-SkyMed satellites from the Italian Space Agency (ASI), creating the Italian-Argentine System of Satellites for Emergency Management (SIASGE) constellation. The first three of the ASI satellites were launched in 2007 and 2008 with the fourth expected to fly in 2010.

“SpaceX is excited to be CONAE’s launch service provider for the SAOCOM 1A and 1B missions,” said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX. “The Falcon 9 launch vehicle has been designed to the highest level of reliability and performance; we look forward to helping ensure the success of the SAOCOM satellites.”

The inaugural flight of Falcon 9 is scheduled for this year, with the first Dragon spacecraft scheduled to fly on a subsequent launch, both from SpaceX’s launch facility at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Boeing Boosts Learning for Employees

Boeing recently selected Boost eLearning Google Search Training to save Boeing employees time and improve search results when using Google to search the Internet or the Boeing intranet. Boeing will use Boost eLearning Google Search Training to enhance the skills of Boeing employees to obtain fast, accurate search results.

Victor D. Alhadeff, CEO and founder of Boost eLearning, commented, “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Boeing by providing Boost eLearning Google Search Training for Business Research as a performance enhancement tool. Our Google Search training courses will provide Boeing with significant savings by increasing the productivity of Boeing employees when searching the Boeing intranet or the Internet.”

BAE Sytems Delivers M-ATVs

caiman_matv

BAE Systems has delivered two different M-ATV (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles) prototypes to the U.S. Government for two months of testing and evaluation. Two different segments of the company’s Land & Armaments operating group produced a version for consideration.

M-ATVs are tactical vehicles designed for U.S. soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan. They are lighter, more mobile versions of the first-generation MRAPs, that can provide comparable protection from roadside bombs, explosively formed projectiles, and rocket propelled grenades when using appliqué armor.

USCS M-ATV

The M-ATV developed by BAE Systems’ U.S. Combat Systems (USCS) line of business is the product of more than 30-months of mine-protected light tactical vehicle development. This USCS M-ATV has completed thousands of test miles and scores of blast and ballistic tests.

“This vehicle has the survivability of an MRAP and the mobility of a HMMWV,” said Matt Riddle, Vice President and General Manager of USCS. “It has the optimum capabilities needed by our troops in Afghanistan.”

The vehicle drew on the developmental experience of the nine RG-33 MRAP variants, providing the same level of armored protection at a reduced vehicle weight. The company quickly designed, developed, produced and fielded over 2,000 RG-33 vehicles from 2007 to 2008 to meet the urgent government need for armored tactical vehicles.

With a curb weight of less than 9 tons and an incredibly high power-to-weight ratio, this USCS M-ATV offers better dash and slope speeds than any other ground vehicle in the U.S. inventory. The vehicle has a low center of gravity to prevent roll-overs and ensure maximum off-road mobility.

The vehicle features a rugged, commercial turbo-charged diesel V8 engine with a top speed of 80 mph and best-in-class fuel economy. It features a fully independent suspension that ensures superior mobility over rocky and steep terrain when compared to the standard straight axle systems of traditional MRAP vehicles. It also generates 10 kilowatts of vehicle host power and an additional 20 kilowatts of power for export and mission equipment.

The company’s USCS business is a leader in the creation and fielding of combat vehicles, including the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the M113, the RG-33 series, MRAPs, the Medium Mine Protected Vehicle, and the Amphibious Assault Vehicle, and is the lead developer on several of the ground combat vehicles for the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems.

GTS M-ATV

The company’s Global Tactical Systems (GTS) line of business submitted the GTS M-ATV prototype. GTS M-ATV incorporates the many lessons learned from development of the prototype Caiman Light MRAP and the rapid development and manufacturing of nearly 3,000 Caiman MRAPs from 2007 to 2008.

“Our M-ATV provides urgent life-saving technology, multi-mission effectiveness, and operational agility not currently available to the Army,” said Regis Luther, Vice President of Light Tactical Vehicles. “We combined the industry’s best in combat vehicle survivability and mine blast resistant platforms to develop our M-ATV.”

The GTS M-ATV balances the priority for crew protection and tactical mobility requirements against the rapid transition to high-rate production, vehicle delivery, and life-cycle sustainment requirements.

“We integrate modular EFP and RPG protection systems into a highly survivable M-ATV baseline chassis,” Luther said. “Our combat-proven RPG protection is the system of choice for lightweight RPG protection for blast resistant vehicles currently in theater.”

BAE Systems has a proven record of rapid production ramp-up and delivery of critical tactical vehicles. In 2006, it designed and tested the Caiman MRAP in an unprecedented contract to delivery time of 43 days. In 22 months of production, 2,868 Caimans were built. Caiman is one of the U.S. Army’s most successful MRAPs in Iraq and boasts unmatched dependability, survivability and a 94 percent operational readiness rate.

GTS MAT-V, and its Caiman predecessor, come from a long line of battle-tested, combat-proven tactical vehicles in the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicle (FMTV) line. This arrangement allows the GTS MAT-V to share a full 90 percent of its automotive systems with the FMTV. The GTS M-ATV and FMTV also use the common armor systems, power generation systems, seats, windows, and fire suppression systems, which greatly reducing logistics requirements Army-wide.

PFSweb Signs a $15.3 Million Services Contract with Army & Air Force Exchange Service

PFSweb, a business process outsourcing provider of end-to-end web commerce solutions today announced a five-year agreement with Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) to provide a comprehensive global fulfillment solution that supports the All Services Exchange Catalog and Online Store.

AAFES is a multi-channel retailer, offering products to authorized Exchange customers via retail stores, catalog and online. AAFES authorized customers include active duty and retired military personnel and their dependents. Over 18 million items are available through the Exchange Online Store and Exchange Online mall at aafes.com with an average savings of 10%-20%.

Under the agreement, PFSweb will support the printed Exchange AAFES catalog as well as the Exchange Online Store. PFSweb’s customized solution includes warehousing and order fulfillment utilizing its integrated OMS and WMS to receive, manage and safeguard inventory, fulfill direct-to-consumer orders and manage customer returns. PFSweb will also provide AAFES with the professional services required to create multiple technology interfaces with AAFES systems. PFSweb plans to utilize one of its Memphis, Tennessee facilities to support this new relationship.

The contract has been estimated by AAFES to generate a 5-year total of approximately $15.3 million in service fees to PFSweb, based on expected activities over the life of the contract.

Mike Willoughby, President of PFSweb’s services division, commented, “We are working with Army & Air Force Exchange Service to provide a custom logistics solution to support its catalog and website, which brings together over 32,000 warehoused products as well as inventories of numerous drop ship vendors. AAFES is a distinguished organization that offers products to active and retired U.S. military personnel and their families around the world, and we are pleased to have been selected to support these efforts. This contract is the previously unnamed client relationship that was referred to in our recent earnings release as the one new client relationship signed thus far since late-December 2008.”

GE Aviation's Role with Boeing

GE Aviation played a significant role in The Boeing Company’s successful first flight of the U.S. Air Force’s third C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) aircraft (the H-3) on Jan. 17, three weeks ahead of schedule. The flight marked another milestone for the most comprehensive C-130 avionics modification ever conducted.

The H3 aircraft accomplished both functional check flight and acceptance check flight tests. Boeing test pilot Mike Leone conducted the two-hour flight from the Boeing facility in San Antonio.

The avionic modernized C-130 features the proven flight management system originally designed for the Boeing 737 commercial airliner. The GE system meets Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) requirements and the CNS/ATM upgrade allows the C-130 fleet to be deployed worldwide.

GE provides the following hardware and software systems for the C-130 AMP:

Hardware elements:

  • Mission display processor consisting of general processing modules, graphics processing modules, interface modules, video distribution modules, and power supply.
  • Multi-function control displays
  • Flight data recorder/cockpit voice recorder
  • Integrated standby instrument system
  • Aircraft interface unit/Engine interface unit
  • Regulated transformer rectifier

Software:

  • ARINC-653 operating environment
  • Flight management application

GE facilities in Bishops Cleeve, UK, Florida, Michigan and New York are providing the hardware and software.

The C-130AMP provides enhanced digital avionics that increase situational awareness for the warfighter over old analog cockpits, dramatically increasing information available to aircrews at a glance, simplifying tasks and decreasing workload. Upgrade commonality brought by the AMP offers additional flexibility in assigning aircrews regardless of the model design type.

Boeing completed the major modification and upgrade package on H3 about 13 percent faster than the upgrade to H2.5. H3 will soon join aircraft H2 and H2.5 in the flight test program, which is 81 percent complete.

Ceradyne Receives $77 Million XSAPI Body Armor Order

Ceradyne announced that it has received a delivery order for approximately $77 million for XSAPI ceramic body armor plates. Ceradyne will begin shipping this XSAPI production release in the second quarter of 2009 and expects to complete the order in the fourth quarter of 2009. The release was issued under the $2.37 billion five- year ID/IQ (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) contract announced earlier in October 2008. The Company also announced it has successfully completed all First Article Testing and associated lot testing on its related ESAPI and XSAPI designs.

This approximately $77 million initial XSAPI production order replaces the $73 million XSAPI production order announced by Ceradyne on October 9, 2008; that order was subsequently withdrawn when a competitor protested the award.

As is Ceradyne’s policy, we book as orders only actual releases with firm delivery dates. Therefore, this release of approximately $77 million will become part of our backlog and not the $2.37 billion five-year ID/IQ contract.

David P. Reed, Ceradyne President North American Operations, commented: “We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this XSAPI contract. Although it was delayed, we intend to ship this release in its entirety in calendar 2009. Our large installed industrial base should allow us to provide the Army its XSAPI requirements with on-time deliveries and high quality. We believe that our track record on ESAPI and our vertically integrated strategy; i.e., from powder to final product, has been instrumental in our winning over 70% of the government’s needs.

“This new armor system was designed by Ceradyne’s extensive ceramic, polymer and ballistic research team here in Costa Mesa and Irvine, California. The XSAPI design is the most robust ballistic protection available to our American fighting men and women. It not only stops the most lethal ‘X’ ballistic threats, but also defeats other threats that the former ESAPI and SAPI systems were designed to address as well.”

Reed further commented: “During the balance of 2009, our engineers and senior staff will be working with the military to more clearly define battlefield threats and deployment plans through the year 2013.”