Photo: UK Defence Select Committee.

“Tracers work both ways.” – US Army Ordnance

Dear Readers,

The opening summary of the House of Commons Defence Committee report: Protecting those who protect us: Women in the Armed Forces from Recruitment to Civilian Life, published on 25 July 2021 makes shocking reading: “Although the Forces generally welcome servicewomen today, it gravely concerns us that bullying, harassment and discrimination (BHD) – already affecting too many service personnel – was experienced by nearly 62 percent of female service personnel and veterans who completed our survey.” Over 4,000 female service personnel and female veterans took part in the survey, comprising 1,637 female Service personnel and 2,469 veterans.

Furthermore, the report continues: “Our inquiry received truly shocking evidence from female Service personnel of bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape they experienced, some of which – even more disturbingly – involved senior officers acting as wrongdoers.”

The complaints system was given an “extremely poor” verdict with complaints being “brushed under the carpet”. The report states that this “lack of faith in the system contributes to 89 percent of both male and female personnel in the Regular Forces not making a formal complaint about BHD.”

With more women being encouraged to enter the armed forces in virtually every role available, and despite the reports findings, “nearly 90 percent of these military women would recommend the Forces to other women.”

The cross-party report details many measures that are currently being put into place to rectify the serious issues that are detailed at length. It can be found at: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/6959/documents/72771/default

There has been a significant change within the armed forces, certainly over the last three decades. The move to technology is opening up many more equal opportunities that allow all sectors of civil society to play a part. This report suggests that the male oriented traditional attitudes of the Services have been much slower to adapt to a new age of equality than civil society, which in many respects is not surprising. Aggression and physical violence has been traditionally taught as being the cornerstone of what makes a soldier effective, not just in the UK’s forces but around the world. But this requirement is reducing in this digital, technological age. The drive for the Services to be more inclusive in terms of gender and background is a good step forward, but the systems that manage this transformation must evolve at the same pace.

Best to all,



Setting a foundation for the next-generation multifunction radio-frequency (RF) system based on Active Electronically Scanned Arrays (AESA) technology is the task of the CROWN consortium.

CROWN – a European active electronically scanned array with Combined Radar, cOmmunications, and electronic Warfare fuNctions for military applications – is an $11.8 million project set to run over 30 months.

Founded as a result of a call for proposals for ‘Electromagnetic Spectrum Dominance’ under the EDA-managed EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) in 2019, an international consortium of 11 participants from seven countries has been established.

The CROWN consortium is coordinated by Indra (Spain) and brings together 11 leading industry members, research centres and an SME from seven EU countries: Indra (Spain), Thales (France), Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aerospatiales – ONERA (France), Hensoldt Sensors (Germany), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Germany), Saab (Sweden), Totalforsvarets Forskningsinstitut – FOI (Sweden) Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek – TNO (Netherlands), Leonardo (Italy), Elettronica (Italy) and Baltijos Pazangiu Technologiju Institutas – BPTI (Lithuania).

The project will examine critical technologies, R&T activities on system and component level and will look to design, manufacture and test a small-scale prototype.

The PADR was established by the European Commission in 2017 to assess and demonstrate the added-value of EU supported defence research and technology (R&T). According to the EDA: “It paved the way for a proper European Defence Programme to come as part of the European Defence Fund (EDF), under the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027).”


Traditionally an information technology leader, the United States’ Department of Defense (DoD) is now recognising that its adversaries are challenging that advantage in sectors including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning and supply chain risk management.

“To confront these technology challenges, we must be united across the DOD in how we are scaling and operationalising the IT infrastructure and securing it to provide for the best advanced technologies,” said Cynthia J. Mendoza, the DoD’s deputy chief information officer for special access program information technology speaking at a GovExec forum last week.

Mendoza said that the task ahead was to “scale and operationalise IT-enabling capabilities by leveraging key advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, 5G wireless technology and quantum computing.”

Her call for a “back to basics” approach was guided by a need to understand “mission results and outcomes”. This would combine the experience not only of the DoD, but also the intelligence community, international partners, the private sector, academia and Congress.

US MAJOR ARMS SALES (Defence Security Cooperation Agency – DSCA).

No further updates.


Highlighting a selection of $100 million+ government awarded contracts awarded between 19-23 July 2021 and Foreign Military Sales contracts.

23 July
Pfizer was awarded a $1.3 billion modification contract for the production of vaccine BNT162b2. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity. (Awarded July 20, 2021).

SupplyCore; I-Solutions Direct; and TW Metals, are sharing a maximum $900 million IDIQ contract for commercial metal products. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

22 July
(Highest award of the day). Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, Arizona, is being awarded a $90.2 million modification contract [to] complete transition to production activities for previously awarded Guidance Electronic Unit engineering development activities. The transition to production activities include: (1) perform test, development and systems engineering tasks; (2) develop software load capability; (3) convert legacy test equipment to test configured-hardware; and (4) develop new common platform test equipment. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity.

21 July
Parsons Government Services has been awarded a ceiling $953 million IDIQ contract for US Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) Air Base Air Defense services. This contract provides the USAFE-AFAFRICA with a layered base defense capability. This capability will be employed across various sites within the area of responsibility. The 764th Enterprise Sourcing Squadron is the contracting activity.

Braxton Technologies has been awarded a $139 million modification contract for satellite operations, prototyping, and integration for support and delivery, network, infrastructure, hardware, and architecture solutions. This modification provides cross-domain solutions, design, integration, and rapid delivery team services. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $233 million. Space and Missile Systems Center is the contracting activity.

20 July
Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems is awarded a $231 million modification contract to definitise the initial award, and procure an additional 70 MK41 Vertical Launching System modules and ancillary equipment for DDG 51-class destroyers and FFG 62-class frigates. This contract modification combines purchases for the U.S. government (80 percent); the Commonwealth of Australia (13 percent); and Spain (seven percent) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Fiscal 2021 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $91.6 million (40 percent); fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $91.6 (40 percent); FMS Australia funds in the amount of $30.6 (13 percent); and FMS Spain funds in the amount of $17.4 million (seven percent) will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems was awarded an $80.2 million modification for the delivery of Technical Insertion-20 (TI-20) AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 Surface Ship Undersea Warfare Combat System and AN/SQS-53C transmitter infrastructure shipset hardware. This contract combines purchases for the US government (94 percent) and the Commonwealth of Australia (six percent) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity. (Awarded July 15, 2021)

19 July
Booz Allen Hamilton; CAE USA Mission Solutions; JANUS Research Group; and Valiant Global Defense Services, will compete for each order of the $240n million contract for mission support services for the Futures and Concepts Center. US Army Field Directorate Office is the contracting activity.

Serco; CACI International; Gryphon Technologies; Life Cycle Engineering; McKean Defense Group; and Reliability & Performance Technologies, are each awarded an IDIQ contract for the procurement of engineering and technical services program management, and information technology support services for Navy surface ship programs including DDG-51, DDG-1000, LCS, LPD, LX(R), LHA(R), Landing Crafts, Military Sealift Command, Coast Guard, International Program (Foreign Naval program initiatives) and test sites for the Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division. The maximum combined value of all six contracts is $218 million. Serco is awarded a maximum value $39.5 million; CACI is awarded a maximum value $35.7 million; Gryphon is awarded a maximum value $38.8 million; LCE is awarded a maximum value $35.7 million; McKean is awarded a maximum value $32.8; and R&P is awarded a maximum value $35.8 million. The Naval Surface Warfare Center is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Missiles and Defense is awarded a $35.6 million order under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement for the procurement of AEGIS modernisation (AMOD) kits for Navy DDG 51-class destroyers and for the government of Japan under the Foreign Military Sales program. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (59 percent); and the government of Japan (41 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.


SEA, AIR, SPACE – 1-4 August, 2021
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, USA

IDEF21, 17-20 August, 2021
Tüyap İstanbul Fair and Congress Center, Turkey.

DSEI, 14-17 September, 2021
ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, London UK

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

Best wishes,

Andrew Drwiega

Armada International / Asian Military Review