EDITOR’S BUNKER BRIEFING (28 September 2020) No.27

Andrew Drwiega, Editor-in-Chief, Armada International / Asian Military Review.

Dear Readers,

There are many new strategic directions being planned in defence circles, as the realisation dawns on planners that defence is increasingly reliant on the ‘Big Bang Theory’ guys with their specialist skills who can digitally effect tactical and strategic success without having to fire a shot themselves. This can be seen clearly in the UK Royal Air Force’s ASTRA strategy, as explained by Air Marshal Andrew Turner, deputy commander, Capability, in Armada International magazine (June/July 2020, Vol 3).

While the kinetic force will still be required, a quick read of the US Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 reveals surprising and ground breaking divestments of ‘iron hardware’ and ‘ground pounders’ in favour of better force dispersions and logistical supply together with a wider range of force options and capabilities, to increasingly address China’s growing strength in the Indo-Pacific region.

Having the most kinetic force won’t necessarily win the day any longer.



“Our shift from land centric to littoral focus requires a fair amount of adjustment in how we train and equip the Marine Corps,” stated General David H. Berger, USMC, 38th Commandant of the US Marine Corps, addressing virtual delegates at Modern Day Marine (22-23 September).

“We are not organised, trained or equipped for what will be required in the future,” continued Gen. Berger. “We will operate in smaller sized formations, distributed elements and have to be able to manoeuvre freely in a contested space – and I mean every day.”

“We need more organic mobility and lethality…and the ability to hide in plain site so we need to manage our signatures electronically and visually.”

Gen. Berger painted a picture of transformation away from locations where the Marines have been based for the last 30-40 years. He said the Marine Corps did not want to have to fight its way into anti-access, area denial regions, but actually be based there from the start.

This Editor’s personal reading of this is that there is now a determination not to be surprised by regional developments such as the way China was able to establish island bases throughout the South China Sea with little to no opposition.

Gen. Berger stated that the Marine Corps would be moving away from “overly expensive, single purpose capabilities” and would be divesting itself of some “much loved” legacy equipment as well as “newer equipment designed 15 years ago that will not be needed in 2025-2030 timeframe.”

To do this, he suggested, meant right sizing the Marine air-ground task force to be more balanced and in scale with each other. To do this, he added, “might need a change to the programme of record.”

Gen. Berger stated that in following the Force Design 2020 strategy as released by the Department of the Navy in March this year, there were numerous new requirements including:
– moving away from single purpose capabilities. Equipment should be affordable and distributable rather than expensive, exquisite platforms.
– transition ground fires into largely long range rocket fire which is anti-ship as well as anti-surface.
– a mosaic architecture of sensors and shooters.
– three to four times more unmanned aerial systems.
– L-class shipping (amphibious transport) as well as small classes of shipping.

Returning to basing and deployments Gen. Berger commented that logistics would be contested. He said that this would need distribution networks to be diversified.

He also drew particular attention to wargaming and training. “We need to modernise our wargaming which is different from an exercise. Wargaming is trying to find solutions for the future. Exercising is testing what you have,” he said. He explained that greater technology in conflict mean that “more diverse skills sets” would be require “We need wargaming at every level – leaders need to understand patterns when they are in conflict.”

In conclusion, Gen. Berger stated that the Marine Corps was returning to its historical roots of maritime littoral operations, which demanded greater integration with the US Navy and Joint operations.


NATO is staging Exercise Dynamic Mariner (DYMR20) off the French coast with the participation of seven national navies: Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the United States.

Dynamic Mariner runs from Friday 25 September through to Thursday 8 October and is designed to test NATO’s Response Force Maritime Component (NRF/M) as well as national interoperability.

A total of 31 surface ships, one submarine, three maritime patrol aircraft and other air assets will be involved in the exercise. Led by the NATO Maritime Command it comprises assets from Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2).

The exercise is going ahead despite COVID19 and some in-person interactions have been scaled down. A NATO statement confirmed: “We have not seen active transmission within any of NATO’s Standing Naval Forces. All our forces are able to continue conducting missions in a manner that takes precautionary measures, while still ensuring readiness.”


The UK’s Ministry of Defence Defence Digital department will use Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to operate within the MODCLOUD Multi-Hybrid suite of secure services. This infrastructure enables the choice and scale of technologies to manage data in a highly compliant environment, according to an Oracle statement.

The MOD Defence Digital application services and dev ops head Brigadier Sara Sharkey said: “The real opportunity of digital transformation – which includes artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, blockchain, and human interfaces – is to embrace data on a scale we’ve never seen before. Selecting Oracle Cloud Infrastructure within our MODCLOUD Multi-Hybrid suite of services offers new technologies that are reshaping how we approach IT and using this information, allowing us to focus on innovation and outcomes for both business and importantly, people.”

Digital Defence will enable cloud infrastructure, integrated suite of business applications and platform services to be made available to the wider Defence community under a pan-defence Oracle enterprise agreement, and through Oracle’s integrated suite of services under a ‘single-sign on.’ The Ministry of Defence will be able to access emerging technologies such as digital assistants, data visualisation, mobile hub, and low code development tools.


September 24, 2020 – The Netherlands. The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of the Netherlands of Patriot Advanced Capability‑3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $241million.

September 24, 2020 – the United Kingdom. The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of the United Kingdom of follow-on C-17 aircraft Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $401.3 million.


Highlighting a selection of $100 million+ government awarded contracts awarded between 21-25 September.

25 September
US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) awarded 46 IDIQ contracts worth $950 for Special Operations Forces Core Support services in support of USSOCOM enterprise requirements in the US and globally. Contracted subject matter expertise and knowledge-based services will support education, training, engineering, technical, professional, administrative, management support, program management and other requirements. The following companies were awarded: Core One Solutions; Crisis Response; Consulting Services Group; D3 Air and Space Operations; Defense Acquisition; EnGenius; Firebird AST; Federal Information Systems; FITT Scientific; Gemini Industries; Global Dimensions; Geo Owl; Iron EagleX; INTEROP-ISHPI JV; ITELITRAC; K2 Solutions; Legion Systems; Lukos; METIS Celestar JV; MHM Innovations; Nisga’a Tek); OSCAR DEUCE; Prescient Edge; ProCleared; Preting; Quiet Professionals; R3 Strategic Support Group; The Red Gate Group; RMGS; Special Applications Group; SOLUTE; Arrow Security and Training; Spathe Systems; Strategic Solutions Unlimited; Streamline Defense; T3i; TriDcor JV; Tyoneck Global Services; Threat Tec; Universal Strategy Group; Vistra Communications; VxL Enterprise; Walsingham Group; Webworld Technologies; ATSG; and Delan Associates.

ECRMJV; Encompass IDBO; Global Engineering and Construction; Royce Construction Services; and SES Construction and Fuel Services , will compete for each order of the $240 million contract in support of the Army Medical Command’s sustainment, restoration and modernisation programme. US Army Corps of Engineers, is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Technologies, is being awarded a $212 million contractr under a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) case to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The contractor will provide one Prime Power Unit and five years of sustainment services for two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Army/Navy Transportable Radar Surveillance and Control-Series 2 (AN/TPY-2) Radars for this contract. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Technologies Missiles and Defense is awarded an $11 million order for the production of Aegis spares and ordnance alteration kits. This order combines purchases for the Navy (3 percent); and the governments of Republic of Korea (79 percent); Australia (16 percent); and Spain (2 percent), under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems is awarded a $9 million order for engineering services and supplies in support of the MK92 Fire Control System. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (8 percent); and the governments of Saudi Arabia (35 percent); Taiwan (15 percent); Egypt (10 percent); Philippines (6 percent); Chile (5 percent); Poland (5 percent); Turkey (5 percent); Nigeria (3 percent); Bahrain (2 percent); Australia (1 percent); Bangladesh (1 percent); Japan (1 percent); Pakistan (1 percent); Spain (1 percent); and Vietnam (1 percent), under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. The Naval Surface Warfare Center is the contracting activity.

AT&T Technical Services received an ID/IQ contract for temporary telecommunications services in support of the Defense Information System Agency. The face value of the first task order will be $251 million funded by operations and maintenance funding. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $38,900,199. The place of performance will be at locations throughout the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. Proposals were solicited via System for Award Management (SAM) for full and open competition and one proposal was received. The period of performance for the one-year base period is Oct. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021, with four one-year option periods following consecutively through Sept. 30, 2025. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity (HC1013-20-D-0002).

24 September
Boeing has been awarded a $2.2 billion contract for the Small Diameter Bomb Increment I weapon program. This contract provides for a guaranteed minimum Lot 15 award and a five-year ordering period for Small Diameter Bomb Increment I, focused lethality munition, containers and carriages for the Department of Defense and Foreign Military Sales partner nations. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales to Australia, Belgium, Israel, Japan, Korea, Netherlands and Norway. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.

Advantaged Solutions ($265 million); and United Defense International ($265 million), have each been awarded a an IDIQ contract for logistics modernisation integration support. Using customer and contracting activity is Defense Logistics Agency Distribution.

Lockheed Martin is awarded a $245 million modification contract which extends services and adds hours in support of engineering, maintenance, logistics manpower and material support to continue to develop, sustain and produce software builds as well as carryout developmental flight tests for the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft in support of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and non-Department of Defense (DoD) participants. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Rolls-Royce is awarded a $197 million modification IDIQ contract which exercises an option to continue to provide intermediate and depot level maintenance, logistics and engineering support for the F405-RR-401 engine and the 096 MKII Gas Turbine Starter System. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division is the contracting activity.

Physical Optics is awarded an $84 million IDIQ contract that procures Advanced Data Transfer System components for installations on the UH-1Y, AH-1Z, MH-60R, MH-60S, H-53K platforms for the Navy, Air Force and Foreign Military Sales customers. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aviation Division is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems Ordnance System was awarded a $144 million modification contract to construct a new weak acetic acid recovery process facility and associated tank farm at Holston Army Ammunition Plant. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

23 September
Amazon Web Services; Anduril Industries; Colorado Engineering; Edgy Bees; Environmental Systems Research Institute; Global C2 Integration Technologies; General Atomics Aeronautical Systems; Grey Wolf Aerospace; Kratos Technology and Training Solutions; LinQuest; Oddball; Red River Technology; SES Government Solutions; Venator Solutions; and VivSoft Technologies, have been awarded a $950 million ceiling in IDIQ contracts to compete for future efforts associated with the maturation, demonstration and proliferation of capability across platforms and domains, leveraging open systems design, modern software and algorithm development in order to enable Joint All Domain Command and Control. These contracts provide for the development and operation of systems as a unified force across all domains (air, land, sea, space, cyber and electromagnetic spectrum) in an open architecture family of systems that enables capabilities via multiple integrated platforms. Air Force Life Cycle Management is the contracting activity.

L-3 Communications Integrated Systems has been awarded a $90 million contract modification for engineering, procurement and fabrication, which will result in Phase One modification to the mission aircraft. This contract involves 100 percent Foreign Military Sales (FMS). The 645th Aeronautical Systems Group is the contracting activity.

American Water Military Services has been awarded a $771 million contract for the ownership, operation and maintenance of the water and wastewater utility systems at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy.

Kokosing Alberici was awarded a $111 million contract for construction of new upstream approach walls at the Soo Lock Complex, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. US Army Corps of Engineers is the contracting activity.

Great Lakes Dredge and Dock was awarded a $104 million contract for dredging in Duval County, Florida. US Army Corps of Engineers is the contracting authority.

Lockheed Martin Sippican is awarded a $72 million modification contract to exercise options for the production of MK 48 Mod 7 Heavyweight guidance and control sections, upgrade Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System kits and torpedo equipment and support. This modification combines purchases for the Navy (87 percent); and the governments of Australia (7 percent); Taiwan (5 percent); and Turkey (1 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

22 September
Sysco Hampton Roads has been awarded a $804 million IDIQ contract for full-line food distribution. Using military services are Air Force and Navy. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency.

21 September
Heffler Contracting Group; HHI; I.E.-Pacific; Peter Vander Werff; and R. A. Burch Construction are each being awarded an IDIQ award construction contract for new construction, renovation and repair of general building construction at various government installations located in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. The maximum dollar value including the base period and one option period for all five contracts combined is $495 million. The work to be performed provides for new construction, renovation and repair of administration buildings, armories, auditoriums, bachelor enlisted quarters, child care centers, fire stations, gymnasiums, hangars, hospitals, maintenance/repair facilities, warehouses and other similar facilities. NAVFAC Southwest is the contracting activity.

Huntington Ingalls has been awarded a $351 million modification contract for the USS Boise (SSN 764) early production period that encompasses continued advance planning, execution services, production and availability preparations for the USS Boise engineered overhaul. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

MITRE has been awarded a $463 million contract for support to the Air Force as the administrator of the National Security Engineering Center Federally-Funded Research and Development Center. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $158,100 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity (FA8702-19-C-0001).

L3Harris Technologies has been awarded a $119 million contract for the Ground-Based Electro Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) System upgrade on Ground-Based Optical Sensor System (GBOSS) engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) pre-priced option. This modification provides for the exercise of an option for the GBOSS EMD Phase to complete the design for the integrated system; develop and/or modify software required to support the system; design and build new European and Pacific sites and add an additional sensor tower enclosure to the GEODSS White Sands Missile Range site; upgrade and/or acquire, integrate, test and field the 12 GEODSS Enhanced Technology sensor towers; and design, develop and/or acquire, integrate, test and field the three Advanced Technology Sensor towers. The Space and Missile Systems Center Directorate of Contracting is the contracting activity.

Alliant Enterprises has been awarded a maximum $225 million IDIQ contract for patient monitoring and capital equipment systems and accessories. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.


19-15 October, EURONAVAL, Paris, France
Faced with the new health regulations, the GICAN and its subsidiary SOGENA are reorienting the 2020 edition of the EURONAVAL exhibition towards a fully digital format.
The 2020 edition of EURONAVAL will be held exclusively online, thanks to the new EURONAVAL-ONLINE platform. Previously reserved for official delegations and exhibitors unable to travel to Paris-Le Bourget, EURONAVAL-ONLINE will now be open to all visitors and exhibitors who wish to use it.

Keep safe and healthy everyone.

Andrew Drwiega

Armada International / Asian Military Review