4 Jan 08 ASN RDA Clips 1. Washington Post 4 Jan 08 - GAO Upholds Challenge To $1.2 Billion Boeing Contract 2. Mississippi Press 4 Jan 08 - Global Hawk assembled at Moss Point 3. Defense Daily 4 Jan 08 - Navy SDD Effort Putting Data Links On Harpoon, JSOW 4. Govexec.com 3 Jan 08 - Surging Oil Prices Send Military Costs Skyrocketing 5. Mississippi Press 4 Jan 08 - Unmanned aircraft is another feather in county's cap Washington Post 4 Jan 08 GAO Upholds Challenge To $1.2 Billion Boeing Contract By Dana Hedgpeth The Government Accountability Office has upheld a competitor's protest of a $1.2 billion contract awarded to Boeing to maintain a fleet of Air Force refueling tankers. In September, Pemco Aeroplex of Birmingham, Ala., protested the Air Force's award of the deal to Boeing, saying that the Air Force's evaluation was flawed in "various aspects, including the evaluation of offerors' past performance, mission capability and cost/price." The GAO last week sustained Pemco's protest over how cost and price were evaluated. Its decision said the "record does not reflect any Air Force analysis as to the realism of certain changes" in Boeing's final proposals "or the potential risk associated with those changes." Officials in the procurement division of the Air Force said they expect to respond to the GAO's findings soon. The GAO did not rule on Pemco's allegations that a senior Air Force official in the office that awarded the contract had a conflict of interest. Pemco made the allegation after a story in The Washington Post detailed the relationship between the official, Charles D. Riechers, and an Air Force contractor. That contractor was a subsidiary of an organization that claims Boeing as a client, the Pemco protest said. While waiting to be confirmed as the Air Force principal deputy assistant secretary for acquisitions, Riechers did no work for the firm, Commonwealth Research Institute. Instead, he worked for Sue C. Payton, assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition. But the Air Force defended the arrangement as a way to keep Riechers involved while his nomination was pending. The arrangement later drew scrutiny from Congress and the Pentagon's inspector general. On Oct. 14, days after Pemco's allegation, Riechers, 47, was found dead at his home, an apparent suicide. Boeing denied any connection with Riechers. The Pentagon's inspector general, a special investigative office of the Air Force and local law enforcement agencies are looking into Riechers's work and his death. The GAO said it had been advised by the Air Force that "both local law enforcement and federal government investigative authorities are conducting an ongoing investigation into 'the root cause' of Mr. Riechers' death." The agency's statement said that "it is our understanding that this investigation will encompass matters that may have a bearing on Pemco's allegations of bias." Because of the ongoing investigations, the GAO "does not express any opinion regarding Pemco's bias allegations." Mississippi Press 4 Jan 08 Global Hawk assembled at Moss Point Staff Report MOSS POINT -- Northrop Grumman could play a key role in the development of unmanned aircraft if it wins the U.S. Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance contract. Northrop is competing against Boeing and a Lockheed-Martin-led group to win the seven-year deal to build unmanned aircraft. The $3 billion contract is expected to be awarded in early February. The fuselage of an unmanned surveillance aircraft, the Global Hawk, is currently built in Moss Point. Sensors on the Global Hawk can keep track of any ship or vessel at sea, said Northrop Grumman spokesman Tom Twoney. If operators wanted to take a closer look at a ship they can bring the unmanned aircraft closer for a better view. If Northrop Grumman is awarded the Navy contract, the number of employees at the company's Moss Point Unmanned Systems Center could double. Site Manager Bryan Mahoney recently said there are 37 employees. The Moss Point Unmanned Systems Center is a 101,000-square-foot facility completed in April 2006 at a cost of $13 million. The facility released its first Global Hawk fuselage in March 2007. Once a fuselage is built, it is shipped to Northrop Grumman's Antelope Manufacturing Center in Palmdale, Calif., where the wings, sensors and other components are assembled for a complete aircraft. Twoney said a Global Hawk costs about $27 million without sensors. If more Global Hawks are ordered, he said the price of each aircraft could go down. The Navy wants to put unmanned aircraft at five bases around the world, Northrop officials have said. According to the presentation made to county leaders in December, at least one aircraft at each base would always be in the air. The five bases will allow the Navy to track most global shipping. Twoney said the Global Hawk is suited to the project because it can remain in the air for periods of 36 hours or more at a speed of 310 knots. He said the Global Hawk can fly at any altitude from 50 feet to 60,000 feet. The company could see more international sales. Company spokesman James Stratford said South Korea, Spain and Japan are waiting for the Navy to make a decision on the surveillance program before ordering unmanned aircraft for their defense forces. Workers at Northrop Grumman's Moss Point facility build the fuselage for the EuroHawk in addition to work on the Global Hawk. The EuroHawk is the Global Hawk's European equivalent. Another development in the unmanned aircraft industry announced in December is Northrop Grumman's plans to test its Fire Scout, an unmanned helicopter, at the Trent Lott International Airport. A $1 million access road will connect Northrop Grumman's facility in the Airport Industrial Park to the runway in preparation for flight testing, instead of trucking the Fire Scout to Maryland, where it's currently tested, according to Twoney. George Freeland, executive director of the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation, said the access road will be built with Community Development Block Grant funds. Construction is expected to begin early this year. At least 11 testing jobs will move here from Maryland when the access road is completed and the site is approved for testing, Mahoney said. Mahoney said the primary advantage of the Fire Scout and the Global Hawk is that both are unmanned, so they can fly dangerous missions or in inclement weather without risking the lives of pilots. zBecause the aircraft are operated remotely, he said, the unmanned aircraft can be used to provide "over the horizon" views for smaller ships or other forces using the systems. Defense Daily 4 Jan 08 Navy SDD Effort Putting Data Links On Harpoon, JSOW By Geoff Fein The Navy has begun a Systems Design and Development (SDD) effort to incorporate a data link into Boeing's [BA] Harpoon missile and Raytheon's [RTN] Joint Stand-Off Weapon making the two systems the first true network enabled development efforts, a Navy official said. The goal is to develop a better target selectivity capability without having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a development effort, Capt. Mat Winter, the Navy's program manager for Precision Strike Weapons, told Defense Daily in a recent interview. "What we have done, the Navy and Air Force together, is generated a new network enabled (NEW) message set on the Link 16 architecture. So it is a NEW J message called [a] J-11 message," Winter said. Combat commanders told the Navy that Harpoon Block I is good, "but it is like a bulldog," Winter said. "When it opens up and it starts searching, the first contact it sees it is going to kill," he said. "We need better target selectivity capability, at a blue collar cost." Along with the traditional longitude, latitude, velocity and height attributes that are carried in the message set, there is also a set of error attributes of the sensor that is painting the target, Winter explained. "So that you know if its error ellipsoid is north, south, east, west, that [information] can be provided to the missile and the missile can then, because of what we are doing in the missile's operational flight program (OFP), take that and it can fly its logic," Winter said. The data will minimize the error sensitivities of whoever is painting the target, so that the missile can fly toward the target of interest, he added. "The idea here is to engage in a target ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) perspective, painting those targets, providing that information somehow to the missile so that missile continually gets the latitude and longitude update," Winter said. "But more importantly, [it] gets some heuristic information of the ISR sensor that's painting it, because what happens is the error sensitivities of that radar or the platform that is painting that information, in and of itself, reduces errors that the missile doesn't know about." The Navy is doing the same thing with JSOW, Winter noted. "The idea here is that you need to be able to have ISR platforms--the Littoral Surveillance Radar Surveillance (LSRS), Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), E-2s...to be able to not just paint, which they can do now, but generate J-11 messages, transmit J-11 messages, and receive J-11 messages," he said. "Right now they don't have that in their OFPs. We need to be able to send that out on the net to F-18s that have Harpoons and JSOWs on their wing that they are getting ready to launch and then you have to have the missiles be able to receive that." The effort that is bringing that all together is called the Joint Surface Warfare Joint Capabilities Technology Demonstration (JSUW JCTD), Winter said. "We are the technical manager for this. We are working on behalf of PACOM (Pacific Command). PACOM has a MCO (major combat operations) scenario out there that might have lots of ships running around in water where they want to kill one but not another one," Winter said. "So they asked us to demonstrate the ability to increase the probability of kill. That's all they asked, that's what they want to do. We came back and said should we use dumb bombs, should we use special ops...hey, we got these things called Harpoons and JSOWs in our inventory, why don't we see if we can do something with that." The JSUW JCTD right now is coordinating LSRS and JSTARS, F-18s, DDGs, JSOW and Harpoon, he added. "So the Block III Harpoon, programmatically, we are in the process...just kicking off and going on contract with Boeing," Winter said. "Boeing is our industry partner for Harpoon and we will modify the missile. We will not build a new missile. We have taken missiles out of inventory and we are squirting in a new OFP so it can receive and generate J-11 messages. "But that is the primary thing we are doing to the missile and then we are making sure the F-18 can generate J-11 messages, and also the DDGs and CGs because Harpoon is a surface and air launched capability for the Navy," he added. The Navy will have that capability, ready to demonstrate as a military utility assessment for the JCTD at the end of FY '10, Winter said. The Harpoon Block III will go to initial operational capability (IOC) for the Navy in FY '11. A similar effort is underway with the JSOW-C1. In fact, Winter pointed out that the data link that is going to be used in the JSOW-C1 is similar to the one that will be used in the Harpoon Block III. He said the Navy did that for a reason. "We brought Raytheon and Boeing together, an incredible demonstration of industry cooperation, and they competed and selected a single vendor to provide the weapon's data link," Winter said. "[It's] an incredible cost avoidance to the taxpayer and for the life cycle for both of these [weapons]...a very good business case for commonality for capability." Raytheon is developing JSOW-C1, and the weapon should go to IOC in FY '10, Winter noted. "We are exceeding all expectations right now. JSOW-C1 is doing very well." The modification will include adding the data link and updating JSOW's software, but the lethality package stays the same as does the seeker, he added. "So when we talk about testing it, we are not going to have to go through a complete series of lethality testing because it's already done that," Winter said. "The real testing, along with Harpoon Block III, is that interoperability and systems of systems validation." The Navy will need to demonstrate that it is not putting something on the weapon that can talk on the net, but there is nobody else out there to answer back. "We are not only doing the development of the OFP and networking, we also got our warfighters coming in and doing simulation to develop the CONOPS (concept of operations) so it is not just program managers out here talking about putting things together," Winter said. The Navy hired Mitre to help with system engineering. Winter said the company has already raised questions about passing targeting information from an LSRS straight to a F-18's missile. Winter added the Navy is having those discussion in FY '08 so that in FY '10 when network weapons come out, the service has a rule book. So that the rules have not just been thought up by guys wearing uniforms doing acquisition, but by the COCOMS, the COCOM staffs, and the men and women fighting the war right now, he said. While JSOW-C1 will be able to go after moving targets, Winter said the Navy will first have to show the weapon's ability for pursuing maritime targets. That testing occurs at the end of FY '09, beginning of FY '10, for a mid FY '10 IOC. Winter added he envisions that as JSOW-C1 is deployed, if the Navy can demonstrate a need for moving land target acquisition, they will probably put together the case to conduct a couple of target tests out at Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake, Calif. "But that is not in our scope right now." Govexec.com 3 Jan 08 Surging Oil Prices Send Military Costs Skyrocketing By Greg Grant The surging price of oil, which recently passed the $100-a-barrel mark, has sent airline stocks falling and American drivers searching for more fuel-efficient cars. For the world's largest single consumer of petroleum, a U.S. military that is dependent on oil to fuel nearly all of its weapons systems, the increase has meant a 30 percent jump in the price of a gallon of gas in just three months. Currently, the military pays $3.04 per gallon for its most commonly used fuel -- an aviation fuel known as JP8 -- up from $2.31 in October. In the midst of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military can do little to curtail its operations to cut back on fuel consumption. Reducing training flights could raise accident rates. More fuel-efficient vehicles are on the drawing board, but won't be delivered to troops in the field for decades. So for now, the military services are oil- dependent, stuck with skyrocketing prices, and passing those costs along to the taxpayers. The U.S. military has been paying more than $100 a barrel for oil since late 2006, when the price jumped to $106.26 per barrel, or $2.53 a gallon. In 2005, the standard fuel price was $73.08 a barrel. As of Dec. 19, 2007, the price was $127.68 per barrel, or $3.04 per gallon, according to the Defense Energy Support Center, part of the Defense Logistics Agency. DESC buys fuel on the world markets and then sells it to the military services. The process is designed to allow the military to negotiate better prices and get a greater degree of price stability. DESC sets a predetermined "standard price" for fuel delivered to the tank of a plane, ship or vehicle. It's based on projections of the price of fuel 18 months in the future, and factors in the costs of transporting, storing and managing fuel. DLA's contracts with fuel producers are adjusted up or down according to fuel price fluctuation. The military spent $11.6 billion on petroleum in 2007, up from $7.8 billion in 2005, although the services purchased roughly the same amount of fuel -- 132 million barrels -- both years. The standard price in 2005 was $1.34 a gallon. The Air Force is DESC's largest customer. Its planes burn 7.1 million gallons of fuel a day. Half of every dollar DESC earns comes from the Air Force, versus 28 cents from the Navy and just 12 cents from the Army. A DESC fact book noted that the Air Force bought $6.1 billion worth of fuel in 2006. Figures supplied by the Air Force indicate that every $10 rise in the price of a barrel of oil increases the service's operating costs by $610 million a year. According to a report produced last year by LMI Government Consulting, the military uses nearly 60,000 barrels of oil a day to support combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Overall, though, combat operations have only slightly increased the amount of oil the military buys. Prior to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military bought 110 million barrels of oil annually from DESC. The top three petroleum suppliers to the military in 2006 were BP, ExxonMobil and Shell. Together, they sold the Defense Department $3.4 billion worth of oil, 27 percent of the total fuel purchased. Coming in a close fourth was the Kuwait Petroleum Corp., with 7 percent of total contracts, valued at $909 million. Mississippi Press 4 Jan 08 Unmanned aircraft is another feather in county's cap Opinion Rather than the location of cutting-edge technology, Jackson County is often thought of as a place of shipbuilding and petro-chemical plants. But, think again about the nature of what's produced in Jackson County. While it has been noted before, a recent report reinforces the changing character of what's produced here. Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point is putting Jackson County on the map as much as the company's shipyard or Chevron's refinery. The Global Hawk is at the forefront in a transformation of the nation's military assets, and its fuselage is produced in Moss Point. The Global Hawk and other unmanned aircraft are becoming the workhorses for aerial surveillance systems. Drones, such as the Predator, are even used to attack targets. An Associated Press story reported unmanned aircraft usage has risen to 500,000 hours in the air, largely through use over Iraq. The AP reports the dramatic increase in drone use is projected to continue over the next 25 years. The main advantage of the unmanned aircraft is they can be flown in hazardous conditions without risking the life of a pilot. The drones also offer the advantage of hours-long loitering times. As former shipyard executive Jerry St. Pé recently observed, the production of unmanned aircraft here may become as important as shipbuilding to Jackson County. In fact, the drones are projected to become vital assets for ships at sea. So, there is a linkage to the time-honored craft of shipbuilding. The unmanned aircraft development continues at Trent Lott International Airport. A new road is planned at the airport, which will allow flight-testing operations. The unmanned helicopter, Fire Scout, is to be tested at the airport instead of in Maryland. The cutting-edge aircraft industry is an industry that will only grow. As it does grow, drone production will likely change work force skills needed here. That will mean the need for continued improvements in the education system as industry demands new skills. Nurturing this industry should be a top priority. The county is fortunate to have an industry located here that is becoming an exciting and dominant force.