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07 June 19. Beca secures Australian Defence contract. Beca has been awarded a contract for the project management and contract administration of P0008 and P0009 National Airfield Maintenance Works, for the Capital Facilities and Infrastructure Branch of the Estate and Infrastructure Group, Department of Defence.

These are major projects for Defence and an extension of the work the company has delivered already for the P1004 program (partnering with Aurecon) and P0007 program. The latest projects combine the expertise of people across its defence, project management and airports teams, and involve airfield works at the following Defence bases:

  • RAAF Base Williamtown;
  • RAAF Base Darwin;
  • Robertson Barracks; and
  • Mount Bundey Training Area.

Beca has been providing aircraft pavement maintenance advice and design services to the Australian Defence Force since 2009. And since 2013 it has been delivering full design and PMCA services with joint venture partner Aurecon. Beca inspects all 28 airfields across the country; prepares pavement inspection reports; recommends annual maintenance programs; advises on inputs into defence capital works; plans, designs and specifies works; and provides technical construction monitoring and PMCA services.

David Barter, business director – estate and infrastructure at Beca, said, “We are delighted to be given this opportunity to deliver major works to maintain capability and operability on these bases.”

It’s a major task, so airfields are prioritised based on a three-tier system of relative importance. From RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory to RAAF Base Williamstown in NSW, every airfield is unique – some serve helicopters, others have the capacity for fighter jets, almost all are used for training, and some are shared with civilian airports.

Beca is currently undertaking the design, and will be heavily involved in the procurement and construction, of a variety of essential work at four Defence Bases to ensure their continued safe operation.

This includes new asphalt overlay of runways and taxiways, plus new aeronautical ground lighting (AGL), movement area guidance signs, distance to run markers, precision approach path indicators, wind indicators, and new airfield lighting equipment rooms. Certain parts of the apron and their associated drainage also had to be reconstructed.

“The win reinforces our reputation as a Defence airfield team with our ongoing works across the Defence National Airfields Program,” Barter added. (Source: Defence Connect)

06 June 19. Lawmakers order deeper TransDigm probe by DoD watchdog. It’s not over yet for TransDigm, the defense contractor forced to repay the government $16m in overcharges amid heat from U.S. lawmakers.

Members of the House Oversight and Government Committee, weeks after grilling TransDigm’s chairman at a hearing on Capitol Hill, on Thursday requested the Department of Defense Inspector General probe the aircraft parts supplier.

The request came in a letter to DoDIG from Committee chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; National Security sub-panel chairman Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., and members Jackie Speier and Ro Khanna, both Democrats from California.

The lawmakers want to know whether TransDigm overcharged the government on widespread basis. The previous DoDIG examination, requested by Khanna in 2017, only covered a small sample of TransDigm’s contracts―and it still found the Defense Logistics Agency and Army overpaid for nearly all of them.

“Because you identified so many overcharges in just the small sample of contracts you examined, we believe it is highly likely that TransDigm is receiving additional excess profits that have not yet been identified,” the lawmakers wrote. Days after members at TransDigm’s May 15 hearing asked that it repay the money, TransDigm sent the Defense Department an $11.5m instalment.

The outrage has been bipartisan. Last month, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, President Donald Trump’s intended nominee to lead the department, seeking more information. The lawmakers who requested a new probe asked that DoDIG review all contracts awarded to TransDigm by DoD from 2017 to the present, with a value between $200,000 and $250,000, and between $600,000 and $750,000.

TransDigm told the committee it received $782m in revenue from 7,931 contracts with DoD between 2015 and 2019. (Source: Defense News)

05 June 19. KBR (NYSE: KBR) announced today it has been awarded a $530m contract by the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) to provide worldwide maintenance and supply chain services for the USMC Blount Island Command. The maximum value of this potential eight-year contract is $950m.

Under this indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, KBR will provide a full range of logistics services to support three Marine Corps Prepositioning Programs: the Maritime Prepositioning Ships (MPS) Program, Marine Corps Prepositioning Program – Norway (MCPP-N) and the Marine Expeditionary Unit Augmentation Program Kuwait (MAP-K).

These services will include corrective and preventive maintenance, modifications, and Care of Supplies in Storage (COSIS) for equipment at locations around the world. KBR will primarily perform this work at Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island in Jacksonville, Florida, as well as in Kuwait, Norway, and on 12 prepositioned ships in the Asia-Pacific and Diego Garcia regions.

This cost-reimbursable contract has a base period of five years with one optional ordering period of three years and a six month option for extension of contract services. The total contract value if all options are exercised is $950m. KBR also won the previous 10-year contract to provide similar services to USMC Blount Island Command in 2009.

“KBR understands the responsibility of the USMC’s prepositioning programs to the U.S. military’s readiness strategy,” said Stuart Bradie, KBR President and CEO. “We will uphold our legacy of ensuring U.S. Marines have quick access to the best combat-ready equipment wherever they are in the world.”

05 June 19. USAF to upgrade 176 Guard and Reserve C-130H airlifters. The US Air Force (USAF) is to upgrade the avionics of 176 Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules transport aircraft operated by the Air National Guard (ANG) and the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC), it was disclosed on 4 June. The Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded L-3 Communications Integrated Systems a USD499.6 billion contract to complete the work at its Waco facility in Texas by 30 September 2029.

While neither the nature nor the scope of the work to be performed on the 1970s-era aircraft has been revealed, L-3 has performed avionic upgrades for other C-130H operators over recent years. These other projects have seen L-3 install new communication, navigation, and global air traffic management avionics capabilities, as well as reliability upgrades on critical environmental and power systems to increase mission availability.

The older variant Hercules’, including the C-130H, have over recent years displayed some of the lowest availability figures (reported to Jane’s as being as low as 50% in the early 2010s) and the highest operating costs of the entire USAF inventory. This upgrade should go a long way to tackling this. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

04 June 19. Wright-Patterson AFB to host F-35 support programme. US Air Force has confirmed Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB) will host a support programme called the F-35 Hybrid Product Support Integrator (HPSI) Organization. Wright-Patterson AFB’s selection was confirmed by the US Air Force outgoing secretary Heather Wilson. The decision confirms the completion of the strategic basing process, which identified Wright-Patterson AFB as the preferred location in December last year and an environmental assessment that found no significant impact.

The F-35 HPSI Organization was established as part of the F-35 Joint Program Office in 2016 in Crystal City, Virginia, US, and is already operational. At present, there are HPSI personnel at 16 locations across the globe.

The HPSI is the Joint Program Office’s sustainment execution arm for the complete F-35 fleet to include joint and international partner aircraft and is focused on the delivery of readiness and sustainment performance for the F-35 user.

A planning team with the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is now preparing for the HPSI Organization’s reception and bed down at Area A of the AFB.

The F-35 HPSI Organization will comprise 440 people once fully staffed. Most of the staff will be located at Wright-Patterson AFB.

Representatives of the airforce, navy, marine corps, partner nations and industry personnel will be part of HPSI and report to the product support manager in the F-35 Joint Program Office. Integrating support across the supply chain, maintenance, sustainment engineering, logistics information technology and training disciplines, the F-35 HPSI delivers global support for fielded F-35s while preparing for force expansion in the future. The organisation is being led by Royal Air Force Air Commodore Charles ‘Doc’ Docherty at the Crystal City location in the interim. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

05 June 19. DoD IG finds US Navy mismanaged backup aircraft and depot maintenance float allowance. The US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC) mismanaged their backup aircraft and depot maintenance float allowance (DMFA), affecting the readiness of a portion of its fighter and helicopter fleets, according to the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG). The IG, in its semiannual report to Congress for the first half of fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) released on 31 May, said it reviewed the backup aircraft for the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet fighter, the Boeing T-45 Goshawk jet trainer, and Sikorsky MH-60R personnel recovery helicopters. The USN and USMC provide operational units with replacement aircraft or vehicles, known as backup aircraft and DMFA, to maintain readiness levels when a unit’s aircraft or vehicles undergo depot maintenance, modification, or repair. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

03 June 19. Sener and Babcock complete AB-212 helicopter LEP for Spain’s Navy. Sener and Babcock have concluded the AB-212 helicopter life-extension programme (LEP) for the Spanish Navy’s third squadron. Carried out in a joint venture (JV) by the companies, the PEVH AB-212 programme involved upgrade and delivery of seven Spanish Navy AB-212 helicopters to the Spanish Defence Ministry’s General Armaments and Materials Department. Due to the addition of advanced equipment and avionics, the programme is aimed at extending the helicopters’ service-life by at least 15 years. In the life-extension programme, the helicopters have been upgraded with features such as surveillance radar, EO/IR Vision system, and GPS navigation system with moving map.

Navigation and instrument systems have been replaced by a new full glass cockpit, NVG compatible, and integrated with new mission systems. The helicopters have also been upgraded with modern communications systems and avionics systems. Under the JV, Sener was responsible for the global management of the programme and has centralised the design and integration engineering works.

The company provided all the necessary documentation for the manufacture and installation of the modification, in addition to the necessary analyses and evidences for certification.

Andrés Sendagorta of Sener said: “This is a programme carried out in a model way between the Spanish Navy, the Ministry of Defence and the industry, in which our engineers have been able to fully interact with the end-user and, therefore, have a firsthand knowledge about the client’s needs.

“In this way, we have been able to provide the best solutions in a fully collaborative environment. In short, the commitment assumed by Sener and Babcock has led to the delivery of a well-finished product to the navy.”

The Design and Certification team of Babcock provided services that include the design and integration of certain systems, as well as the industrialisation process and ground and flight certification tests.

In addition, the company has been in charge of the National Aerospace Technical Institute (INTA) certification process.

The upgrade has been carried out at Babcock’s Aeronautical Maintenance Center in Albacete (Spain). (Source: naval-technology.com)

03 June 19. Duqm Naval Dockyard (DND) has successfully completed its first dry docking project, the Repair, Overhaul and Dry Docking (ROH DD) of the Fast Expeditionary Transport ship, the USNS Choctaw County.

DND, a Joint Venture (JV) between Babcock International and the Oman Dry Dock Company (ODC) was established in Duqm, Oman in June 2017 and is a strategic location in Babcock International’s global support footprint.

The completed contract for the U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) represents another significant milestone in the JV and demonstrates the capability of DND for future work packages with the U.S Navy.

The work, which was carried out in No2 Dry dock at Duqm, involved complex work on hull systems, internal systems and the ship’s stern ramp, which is a key feature of these flexible platforms, enabling the swift embarkation and disembarkation of vehicles, stores and personnel in challenging conditions where pier side support may not be available.

The USNS Choctaw County is a ‘Spearhead’ Class Fast Expeditionary Transport, used by U.S. Military Sealift Command for the fast transport of troops and material in the Middle East theatre of operations.

Al Stangroom, Babcock Oman’s Managing Director said: “With an ‘on cost, on time’ contract delivery, our team at Duqm has the proven expertise and capability to successfully deliver complex warship and auxiliary contracts, including dry docking of specialist vessels like USNS Choctaw County. We have already undertaken successful contracts with U.S. and Royal Navy warships, confirming that DND is well positioned, both in geographical and in technical support terms.”

Said Hamood Said Al Maawali, CEO of ODC, said: “Our experienced commercial repair team has worked hand in glove as partners since June 2017, and I welcome the additional warship repair capability that is now represented by the increasingly mature JV.

“The successful completion of this contract is a major step forward, demonstrating Duqm is a competitive and fully capable dockyard for the maintenance, overhaul and repair of customer’s warships.”

Representatives from Duqm Naval Dockyard and Babcock are attending the Future Surface Fleet 2019 conference in Portsmouth UK, from 4-6 June, to showcase the facility’s proven through-life support capabilities.


About Oshkosh Defense

Oshkosh Defense is a leading provider of tactical wheeled vehicles and life cycle sustainment services. For decades Oshkosh has been mobilizing military and security forces around the globe by offering a full portfolio of heavy, medium, light and highly protected military vehicles to support our customers’ missions. In addition, Oshkosh offers advanced technologies and vehicle components such as TAK-4® independent suspension systems, TerraMax™ unmanned ground vehicle solutions, Command Zone™ integrated control and diagnostics system, and ProPulse® diesel electric and on-board vehicle power solutions, to provide our customers with a technical edge as they fulfill their missions. Every Oshkosh vehicle is backed by a team of defense industry experts and complete range of sustainment and training services to optimize fleet readiness and performance. Oshkosh Defense, LLC is an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK].

To learn more about Oshkosh Defense, please visit us at www.oshkoshdefense.com.


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