Restarting the Bunker Briefing on the eve of the DSEI 2021 expo, held at ExCel in London’s Docklands from 14-17 September, seems the appropriate time. Although this is not yet back to the full briefing, it will be next week.
It has been a pleasure to go to pre-DSEI press briefings hosted in London by Leonardo, Lockheed Martin and Airbus, as well as by the event organisers. There is some optimism that the event will bring a significant slice of the defence industry together with government and military representatives, both national and international (at least those who are allowed to travel in). It may not be as before COVID, but it is an important start.
But I also write this just after the anniversary of the 9/11 al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington, the events that triggered the 20 year war in Afghanistan which has just ended so ingloriously.
To be caught so off-guard, so unaware about the capability of Taliban to conduct such a rapid take-over of the country, poses serious questions regarding the intelligence network that the West continues to claim is ‘second-to-none.’ And if the intelligence community did know that the Taliban were organised to such an extent that they could rapidly move against multiple cities in the country with strength and determination, why weren’t the preparations for the extraction of military and civilians coordinated over a sharper and more organiser timeline – and with more support to allow it to happen?
The resulting chaos handed the Taliban a propaganda victory beyond their dreams. The US and NATO are now viewed as military powers that allowed huge mission creep over 20 years, extending to nation building. It was often claimed that the Afghan military were being trained and supported, but they quickly dissolved away when national organisation broke down, allowing them to run out of ammunition, supplies, air support (a section of which fled along with President Ashraf Ghani to Tajikistan) and much more – and can you blame them. Many had fought, been wounded and died with little chance of being relieved.
The very outcome that so many fought to prevent is now reality. The Taliban are rulers by force – not be consent or by intellect. Those civilians – particularly women – who were allowed to bloom over the last 20 years are now in hiding. Protest is met by gun barrels. And the terrorist group Daesh–Khorasan (ISIS-K), responsible for the atrocity at the airport during the last days of the evacuation, are no doubt able to plan their next moves inside Afghanistan with the potential to grown and use the country as a base once again, for the Taliban will find rooting them out almost as difficult as the Western forces found trying to eliminate the Taliban.
Best to all,
US MAJOR ARMS SALES (Defence Security Cooperation Agency – DSCA)
25 August – Australia, Defence Services Related to Future Standard Missile Production.
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of Defense Services Related to Future Standard Missile Production and related equipment for an estimated cost of $350 million.
25 August – Republic of Korea – Precision Guided Munitions.
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea of Precision Guided Munitions and related equipment for an estimated cost of $258 million.
4 August – Taiwan – 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer System.
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) of 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer System and related equipment for an estimated cost of $750 million.
4 August – Japan – Aegis Class Destroyer Support.
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Japan of AEGIS Class Destroyer Support and related equipment for an estimated cost of $134 million.
4 August – Japan – RAM Block 2 Tactical Missiles.
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Japan of RAM Block 2 Tactical Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $61.5 million.
3 August – Georgia – Javelin Missile.
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Georgia of Javelin Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $30 million.
3 August – Greece – F-16 Sustainment Materiel and Services
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Greece of F-16 Sustainment Materiel and Services and related equipment for an estimated cost of $270 million.
2 August – India – Harpoon Joint Common Test Sets (JCTS)
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India of Harpoon Joint Common Test Set (JCTS) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $82 million.
US GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
Highlighting a selection of $100 million+ government awarded contracts awarded between 6-10 September.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock was awarded a $138 million contract for dredging of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. US Army Corps of Engineers is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control was awarded a $101 million modification contract for procurement of Hellfire missiles and containers. Fiscal 2019, 2020 and 2021 procurement, defense-wide funds; and 2010 Foreign Military Sales (Indonesia, Greece, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait) funds in the amount of $101 million were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin is awarded an $11.9 million modification that adds scope and exercises options to procure material kits and special test/tooling equipment and provide non-recurring engineering in support of engineering change proposal development to support F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft retrofit and modification efforts for the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, non-U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) participants and the governments of Israel, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. Fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $3.4 million; fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $1.2 million; fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $220,104; non-U.S. DOD participants funds in the amount of $814,956; and Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $6.1 million will be obligated on this award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
(Largest award of the day). Booz Allen Hamilton was awarded a $91 million hybrid contract to assess energy vulnerabilities, defining requirements for energy resilience projects and identifying third-party funding sources for energy resilience and security projects. US Army Corps of Engineers is the contracting activity.
MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY
L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, doing business as L3 Aeromet, is being awarded an IDIQ contract with a maximum amount of $172 million. A single initial task order in the amount of $22.8 million is being issued. Under this contract, the contractor will provide support for the Airborne Sensors (ABS) program. These efforts will continue operations and sustainment of the High Altitude Observatory (HALO) aircraft and sensor equipment, mission planning and flight test execution, and improvement and modernisation efforts. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity.
WSM Pacific SIOP, a Joint Venture, is awarded a $500 million IDIQ contract for architect-engineer services for various structural and waterfront-related projects in support of the shipyard infrastructure optimisation program and other projects at locations under the cognisance of Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Pacific. Planned projects include primarily, but are not limited to, Navy military construction (MILCON) projects involving new construction, repair, and alteration of waterfront/marine facilities, and other shored-based facility projects. The type of structural and waterfront services expected to be performed under this contract include, but are not limited to, the execution and delivery of MILCON project documentation (DD Form 1391); 1391 charrettes; design charrettes, design-build request for proposal; design-bid-build design contract documents; technical surveys and reports including concept and engineering studies, engineering modeling, site engineering investigations, topographic surveys, geotechnical investigations, hazardous material surveys, munitions of explosive concern surveys, hydrographic surveys, and others; construction cost estimates; collateral equipment buy packages; comprehensive interior design including structural interior design and furniture, fixtures, and equipment; and post construction award services. NAVFAC Pacific is the contracting activity.
US AIR FORCE
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems was awarded a $30.5 million order to a previously awarded, IDIQ contract for the Italy Mid-Life Modernisation (MLM) Lot 1 MQ-9A Block 5 aircraft and Block 30 Mobile Ground Control Station (MGCS) procurement. This contract involves 100 percent Foreign Military Sales to Italy. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.
NEW EVENT CANCELLATIONS
DEFENCE AND SECURITY
1-4 November, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand.
This event has now been rescheduled for 29 August – 1 September 2022
IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok, Thailand
Keep safe and healthy everyone.
Armada International / Asian Military Review