04 Jun 15. The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer has approved awarding Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. a contract valued at as much as $4bn to start building the second in the new Ford class of aircraft carriers. Frank Kendall issued a decision memo for the Navy to proceed with detailed design and construction of the USS John F. Kennedy and make a down payment on the third carrier in the $42.8bn program. The memo, signed on Wednesday evening, was obtained by Bloomberg News. In a victory for the Navy, Kendall directed the service to budget the carrier at its cost estimate of $11.498bn, keeping it within a cap set by Congress. The Pentagon’s independent cost-assessment office has estimated the ship will exceed the budget cap by at least $370m. That would have required the Navy to reduce some of the Kennedy’s planned capabilities or request that Congress increase the cap. Beci Brenton, a spokeswoman for Newport News, Virginia-based Huntington, said in an e-mail last month that the company expected a contract to be issued by June 30. The Navy had planned to award the contract by Sept. 30, 2013, but after the cost of the first carrier, the Gerald R. Ford, increased 22 percent since 2010 to about $12.88bn it extended preliminary work and cooperated with the shipbuilder to reduce costs and improve construction practices. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Bloomberg)
04 Jun 15. General Electric Co has assembled an “exploratory team” to look at moving its headquarters out of Connecticut after lawmakers passed a budget raising taxes by $1.2bn, despite protests from some of the state’s biggest corporations. In an email sent on Thursday to GE’s Connecticut employees and obtained by Reuters, Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said he had asked the team to examine the company’s options to relocate the headquarters to a state with a “more pro-business environment.” GE has 5,700 employees in Connecticut. (Source: Reuters)
04 Jun 15. Lockheed Martin Corp has won a contract valued at $920m to start buying materials and parts for a tenth batch of 94 F-35 fighter jets, the Pentagon announced Thursday. The “advanced procurement” contract will allow the company to start ordering parts and material that take a long time to procure, such as titanium, according to a spokesman for the Pentagon’s F-35 program office. Lockheed and the government are still negotiating the terms of the overall contract for jets in the 10th batch, a deal that will be valued at well over.
The order covers 78 F-35 A-model jets to be built for the U.S. Air Force, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Norway and a number of other countries; 14 F-35 B-model jets for the U.S. Marine Corps, Italy and Britain; and 2 F-35 C-model jets for the Navy and Marine Corps, according to a daily digest of large arms contracts. (Source: Reuters)
04 Jun 15. DoD Notified of OPM Cybersecurity Incident. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced today a recent cybersecurity incident affecting its systems and data that may have exposed the personal information of current and former federal employees.
According to a Defense Department news release, OPM subsequently notified federal government departments and agencies, including the DoD.
OPM is notifying approximately 4 million individuals whose personally identifiable information may have been compromised, the release said. The notifications will be sent beginning June 8 and will continue through June 19 by email and U.S. mail.
OPM will offer affected individuals credit monitoring services and identity theft insurance through CSID, a company that specializes in identity theft protection and fraud resolution, the release said. This comprehensive, 18-month membership includes credit report access, credit monitoring, identity theft insurance and recovery services and is available immediately at no cost to affected individuals identified by OPM. Employees whose information was affected will receive a notification directly from CSID, the release said.