Photo: Lance Cheung
June may have ended with devastating storms to the D.C. area, but not even expansive power outages could stop the pentagon from spending billions on acquisition and procurement last week. All told, last week the Department of defence signed $4 billion worth of contracts.
Last week the Department of defence spent money on food service for Guantanamo, uniforms for the Marine Corps, and a quarter billion on space vehicles for the Air Force that have very few publicly available details
But we did our best to find the most compelling contracts of the 56 concluded in the past week of June and see where the money went.
America…enjoy your recent purchases:
$1.8 billion for Saudi Arabian F-15 upgradesBoeing was awarded a $1.86 billion contract to provide a suite of upgrades to Saudi Arabian F-15 jets.
This contract was through the Pentagon’s foreign military sales program, where foreign nations pay for United States military technology but use the Department of defence as the middleman. This way, the government can ensure that foreign sales only go to countries it approves. In short, this isn’t costing the U.S. taxpayer a dime.
Still. this is a pretty significant purchase for the Saudis. The billions buy 68 upgrade kits designed to convert the F-15S to the F-15SA. The F-15S is a variant on the F-15E Strike Eagle. The F-15SA (Saudi Advanced) variant includes and active electronically scanned array radar, digital electronic warfare systems and infrared search and track systems. It’s quite an upgrade.
Photo: Ft. Leavenworth
$500 million for Anti-IED devicesSAIC is awarded a maximum of $500 million to support the Marine Corps’ Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (CREW) program.
That was a mouthful.
Essentially, SAIC provides support for the devices used by ground forces to electronically jam IEDs. Many IEDs are detonated via a radio signal, and SAIC has been awarded a half-billion to make sure the devices that jam those signals continue to do so.
The jammers are equipped in vehicles in Afghanistan, so they protect convoys on the go. The CREW program is a huge endeavour by the military to reduce casualties from IED attacks.
$44 million to keep Marine One in the airLockheed Martin Logistic Services, Inc, was awarded $44.6 million to maintain and upgrade Marine One, the president’s helicopter, up to 2017.
Marine One, operated by the Marine Corps, is one of the preferred alternatives to motorcades for presidential travel as the helicopter provides a way to avoid the logistical nightmare involved in moving the presidential caravan through cities.
The maintenance contract — keep in mind that Marine One is not a specific aircraft, just the call sign of any helicopter carrying the Chief Executive, and the fact that additional, identical helicopters caravan with the President’s chopper — accounts for technical services, avionics systems, electromechanical equipment, and other digital resources for the presidential helicopter and executive transport programs.
Photo: Solon Corp.
$38 million for solar energyWho ever said the Military is opposed to green energy?
The Air Force is paying Sun Edison, L.L.C., $38.4 million for electricity for a period of up to 25 years. Sun Edison built, owns, and operates a photovoltaic array on leased property at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.
The Air Force is basically buying the energy produced by those solar panels until 2032.
This measure could really cut costs for the Air Base at the same time that it appeases environmentalists peeved by Congress’ recent decision to bar the military from any investment or research into the use of biofuels in operations.
Photo: ExpertInfantry / Flickr
$36 million for Minuteman missile wafersBoeing was awarded $36 million to procure 12 modified wafers for the Minuteman III missile system.
Wafers, in the context of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile warfare, carry radio parts, batteries, and the mechanisms for a launch control to provide in-flight telemetry. They’re also the part of the missile that can remotely detonate it, or the self-destruct mechanism.
These devices must be secure against radio assault which could enable a target to remotely detonate the missile prematurely as a countermeasure.
What does this mean? In essence, the military remains committed to keeping the ICBM stockpiles up to date and ready to go.
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