The INSIDER - June 14, 2012
Editor's Note: Updated June 15 at 10:36 a.m.
Up in the Air.
AFSAB Urges Strategic Shift In Air Force's Long-Term Sustainment Plans
An Air Force advisory panel is encouraging the service to overhaul the way it measures success in its aircraft sustainment enterprise and place much more emphasis on software sustainment than it currently does if the service hopes to keep its legacy aircraft viable into the future.
AFSAB Report On 'Sustaining Air Force Aging Aircraft Into The 21st Century'
In an Aug. 1, 2011, report released in June 2012, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board encourages the service to overhaul the way it measures success in its aircraft sustainment enterprise and place much more emphasis on software sustainment than it currently does if the service hopes to keep its legacy aircraft viable into the future.
Boeing To Open One Of Three Labs In October To Mitigate Risk On KC-46
As Boeing prepares to undergo a critical design review in preparation for the KC-46 tanker's continued development, the company is focusing on mitigating risk by constructing a series of systems-integration labs that would test the avionics and software to be used on the aircraft, according to its program manager.
USAF Says NATO Source Of Alleged Sub-Standard Aircraft Requirements
Allegations that the Air Force plans to provide unsafe aircraft to the Afghan military in the wake of a drawdown of U.S. forces has the service pointing to NATO Air Training Command as the agency responsible for defining the requirements for that aircraft.
Air Force Outlines Weather Satellite Follow-On Research Interests, Funding
The Air Force plans to invest $83 million in fiscal year 2012 and FY-13 dollars to fund research associated with the Weather Satellite Follow-on program, the service's next-generation weather sensor constellation.
GAO: DOD Should Draft Plans For Reduced JSF Funding
The Defense Department should draft contingency plans for the Joint Strike Fighter program that anticipate lower annual funding levels and account for how reduced spending will impact the aircraft's cost and the program's development and procurement schedule, according to the Government Accountability Office.
GAO 6/14/2012 Report On The JSF Program
The June 14, 2012, Government Accountability Office report finds that the Defense Department should draft contingency plans for the Joint Strike Fighter program that anticipate lower annual funding levels and account for how reduced spending will impact the aircraft's cost and the program's development and procurement schedule.
More documents of note:
Air Force 2012 Enterprise Corrosion Prevention and Control Strategic Plan
The May 21, 2012, document outlines the Air Force's "roadmap for Air Force stakeholders to utilize in tackling the near-term gaps in corrosion prevention and control policies, procedures and practices."
DOD's International Cooperation In Acquisition Handbook
The May 2012 Defense Department document "covers international cooperative research, development, test & evaluation, production, and logistics functional areas to assist DOD acquisition personnel in identifying, developing, and implementing any international activities related to their technology project or acquisition program responsibilities."
MARCORSYSCOM Acquisition Guidebook
The March 2012 document outlines Marine Corps Systems Command's internal acquisition processes.
UAS Research, Development And Demonstration Roadmap
The March 2012 document outlines "progress in producing a NextGen Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Development and Demonstration Roadmap."
Lawmakers' Letter To Rep. McKeon On The LAS Aircraft
In a June 7, 2012, letter, Reps. Rick Crawford (R-AR), Tim Griffin (R-AR), Mike Ross (D-AR), Steve Womack (R-AR), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Kevin Yoder (R-KS) call on House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) to keep an eye on the Air Force's Laight Air Support contract, which they claim lacks safeguards and could produce aircraft with the potential to endanger the pilots that use it.
Inside the Pentagon's lead story today:
DOD To Demo New Airborne Sense-And-Avoid Requirements For Drones
The Pentagon is developing a common set of airborne sense-and-avoid requirements for unmanned aircraft and plans to test the technology in a major demonstration this fall, according to an official leading the effort.
Mounted on unmanned aircraft systems, this technology is designed to help flying drones detect and avoid nearby planes. And through its autonomy feature, it is also designed to help mitigate the problems and concerns generated when a drone loses its link with the control station.
The Air Force is spearheading this effort to transition the airborne sense-and-avoid system (ABSAA) from science and technology to the acquisition and production phase, said Paul Schaeffer, the program manager. The transition of these technologies, which include the development of cooperative and non-cooperative sensors and collision-avoidance algorithms, is scheduled to occur this fall.
Kendall: Air Force Needs Greater Airspace Access For Unmanned Drones
The Air Force needs greater access to the national airspace to support its developmental sense-and-avoid objectives and projected training requirements for drones, according to a recent report signed by Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall.
The April report delivered to Congress on future unmanned aircraft systems training, operations and sustainability states that the demand for airspace to test systems and train UAS operators exceeds current access.
Without improved national-airspace access and improved access to special-use airspace, the capabilities of the Air Force UAS force "will stagnate or degrade," reducing the Air Force's "overall mission effectiveness," the report states.
DOD Report To Congress On Future UAS Training, Operations And Sustainability
The April 2012 Pentagon report to Congress "outlines planned force capability growth and forecasted attrition of [unmanned air system] aircraft through [fiscal year] 2017; Military Department personnel required for training and operations; personnel and aircraft basing intentions; and required military construction (MILCON) and airspace requirements for bases hosting UAS."
Learning to share:
DOD Signs CONOPS, Eyes Intelligence Information Enterprise Roadmap
The Defense Department is making "significant progress" developing new guidance on the sharing of intelligence information at the urging of the Government Accountability Office, according to a Pentagon report to Congress.
The April 20 report, signed by Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers, lays out a litany of actions taken since GAO's 2010 report, as well as a number of upcoming events. The intelligence shop has signed several concepts and called for a Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise (DI2E) framework to be developed. The department is also poised to deliver a reference implementation, compliance testing process and storefront for DI2E-complaint enterprise services, and plans to deliver a capability to U.S. Pacific Command.
"The department is confident that the ongoing actions are making significant progress toward satisfying the concerns identified in the GAO report," Vickers writes. "We will continue to direct and track progress towards building the objective ISR enterprise."
The Air Force spreads some spare cash around:
Air Force To Shift B-2 EHF Increment 2 Funds To MOP, New Radar Effort
The Air Force plans to divvy up fiscal year 2012 funding for the B-2 Extremely High Frequency Satellite Communications Increment 2 program, which the Pentagon terminated in February, between efforts to mature new radar technology for the stealth bomber and the development of Boeing's Massive Ordnance Penetrator bomb.
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, in a May 14 letter to the leaders of the four congressional defense committees, provided an accounting of the Pentagon's plans for allocating the balance of $145.4 million Congress appropriated in FY-12 for the B-2 EHF Increment 2 program.
"The Air Force will request the use of remaining FY-12 funding appropriated for EHF Increment 2 to further mature EHF Advanced Electronically Scanned Array critical technology elements and to support the ongoing accuracy improvement effort for the Massive Ordnance Penetrator program," Donley wrote in the letter.
Back to Inside the Pentagon's front page:
Navy Defends Planned SSC Buy Despite Report's Praise For L-CAT
The Navy's acquisition directorate is defending procurement plans for the Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) program despite program delays and recent praise for another potential connector, the French-designed L-CAT catamaran.
An April 27 report produced by the Marine Corps' Amphibious Capabilities Working Group touts the catamaran, noting the potential for "significant cost savings" relative to SSC could warrant rethinking procurement plans.
"The L-CAT landing catamaran is an innovative fast shore-connecting concept developed by the French and produced in the United States," the report states. "L-CAT purchase costs are significantly lower than the SSC. Significant analysis is required to measure the merit of this particular program, but its potential game-changing capability warrants consideration."
Marine Corps Report On Amphibious Capabilities
In an April 27, 2012, report, the Marine Corps' Amphibious Capabilities Working Group lays out its findings.
Staying on the water:
New Publication Lays Out Doctrine For Maritime Stability Operations
The Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have approved a new interim publication to launch the development of doctrine for maritime stability operations.
The document, which builds on related joint and Army guidance, aims to highlight the "unique aspects of stability operations in the maritime domain that must be addressed by the joint force commander and his planning staff," according to a copy of the publication obtained by Inside the Pentagon.
The document -- dated May 25 and formally known as Marine Corps Interim Publication 3-33.02/Navy Warfare Publication 3-07/Commandant Instruction M3120.11 -- seeks to "educate the broader elements of the joint force and other agencies on the role that naval forces play within government solutions to stability operations."
Maritime Stability Operations Guidance Document
The May 25, 2012, document "is the initial step in the development of Naval Service (Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) doctrine for maritime stability operations."
The Pentagon is buying less stuff from other countries:
DOD Purchases From Foreign Entities Declined By $4 Billion In FY-11
The Defense Department's spending on Canadian-made combat vehicles and other purchases from foreign entities dropped by $4 billion in fiscal year 2011 even as overall Pentagon procurement grew by double that amount, according to DOD reports issued this year and last.
In FY-11, the department spent about $374 billion on procurement -- of which $24 billion (6.4 percent) was for items and services bought from foreign entities, according to the latest annual report on the matter from the Pentagon's acquisition shop.
"The $24 billion covers military hardware, subsistence, fuel, construction, services and other miscellaneous items that are for use outside the United States," states the May 18 report from Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall.
DOD Report To Congress On Purchases Of Foreign Supplies In FY-11
On May 18, 2012, the Pentagon submitted a report to Congress outlining Defense Department "purchases of manufactured articles from foreign entities" during fiscal year 2011.
-- Dan Dupont
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