EDITOR’S BUNKER BRIEFING (28 March 2022, No.79)

Ukraine Is Fighting Its Own ‘Patriotic War’ Against Russia

Dear Readers,

It would be fair to claim that the term ‘Patriotic War of the Ukrainian People ’ could be ironically used to describe the fight against President Putin’s armed forces, much along similar lines to its original Russian equivalent in World War II (although obviously not on the same scale). Nevertheless, the war in Ukraine is a national war involving the whole population against a ruthless enemy who has invaded Ukraine with the aim of subjugating the population and ending their democratic right to self-determination. But this time it is the Russians who are the aggressors.

amr_takeover_right

War, what war?

Putin’s determination to conceal what he is really doing in Ukraine from his own population is already being undermined by some brave Russian politicians and journalists. In addition to the celebrated Putin critic, Alexei Navalny, who has survived being poisoned by Russian security acting on behalf of the State and whose ongoing personal resistance has just earned him a further nine years imprisonment, Anatoly Chubais, a Russian business oligarch and special presidential envoy, as well as ex-head of the Russian Nanotechnology Corporation (RUSNANO) from 2008–2020, also resigned an fled to Turkey. Others who have spoken out at regional political level have also been reported to the authorities – often by their colleagues. Journalists such as Marina Ovsyannikova, who held up a placard against the war in Ukraine during the main evening news on the state-run Channel One Russia (where she worked), is now likely to be prosecuted under Russia’s laughable Disinformation Laws (where the State, of course, is the biggest perpetrator of disinformation of all).

Other journalists who have left include Zhanna Agalakova (Europe correspondent) and two long-standing journalists from rival NTV, Lilia Gildeyeva and Vadim Glusker (with 16 and 30 years experience respectively). Several international Russia Today (RT) journalists have also resigned since the invasion.

Ordinary Russians (who can still afford it) will find that their summer travel plans are severely limited (and hugely more expensive). And once out of the country they will discover the true nature of what is being done in their name when they are exposed to the extensive reporting of the international media.

General Chaos

Why is the Russian Army losing so many of its senior commanders? It appears that a lack of cohesion in the ground war – together with logistical chaos and plummeting morale – has meant that they have had to go forward to try and gain control and momentum, therefore exposing themselves to targeting by Ukrainian intelligence – and even forward snipers, reportedly in the case of the shooting of Major General Andrey Sukhovetsky..

According to a BBC online report (Russian general Yakov Rezantsev killed in Ukraine, 26 March), at least seven generals have died since the beginning of the invasion – two Lieutenant Generals and five Major Generals – as well as a host of those of Colonel rank and below.

Andrew Drwiega


Russian Air Force Relies on Kh-31 Missiles; Lacks Capability for Night Operations

Among the topics covered by speakers at The Royal United Service Institute’s (RUSI) Combat Air Power conference on 17 March was an evaluation of the Russian-Ukraine air war by RUSI’s Airpower and Research senior research fellow, Justin Bronk.

According to Bronk, at the time of his address the Russians were mounting “200-250 sorties per day, although the vast majority were not entering Ukrainian airspace for any serious length of time.”

However, Bronk said that one of the main weapons that they had been firing was the Kh-31 supersonic air-to-surface missile which could be fired from MiG-29s or Su-27s. They conducted this singly or in pairs, firing from high altitude around the Ukrainian border. Other air missions were largely conducted in the hours of morning or evening twilight suggesting a lack of confidence in their night fighting capabilities compared to western nations. Most of these missions seemed to focus on “dropping unguided weapons at low altitude,” said Bronk.

Another weakness of the Russian Air Force stated Bronk was its lack of ‘tanker’ aircraft that were supporting fighters: “the majority of Russian tankers support long range aviation not fighters.”

In terms of attrition, Bronk suggested that the Russian Air Force had lost between 15-20 fast jets, although these would be replaced.

Looking at NATO’S potential ‘weak spots’ in a similar conflict, particularly in operations without the United States Air Force, he pointed to a lack of Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD) capability, and encouraged forces within NATO to address this area as a matter of urgency.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower


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

24 March, 2022 – Bahrain. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) Upgrade.
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Bahrain of M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) Upgrade and related equipment for an estimated cost of $175.98 million.

17 March, 2022 – United Kingdom. Ballistic Missile Defence Radar (BMDR) and Command and Control Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC).
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of the United Kingdom of Ballistic Missile Defense Radar (BMDR) and Command and Control Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $700 million.

15 March, 2022 – Spain. MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters with Support.
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Spain of MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters with Support and related equipment for an estimated cost of $950 million.


US GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

Highlighting a selection of major equipment and support contracts and Foreign Military Sales between 14-18 March and 21-25 March 2022. This list is the Editor’s selection and is arbitrary.

25 March
US ARMY
Thales Defense and Security; and L3Harris Technologies, will compete for each order of the $6.1 billion contract to modernise Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) radios to align with the National Security Agency crypto modernisation requirements. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

US NAVY
BAE Systems Land & Armaments is awarded a $173 million modification contract for Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV) and provides for the exercise of options for the procurement of 36 full rate production ACVs and associated production, and fielding and support costs. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $1.7 billion. Marine Corps Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Boeing is awarded a $72 million contract modification for all efforts, tooling and equipment, and materials for the design, manufacture, and testing of an Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Test Asset System. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Technologies is awarded a $40 million modification contract that exercises an option to integrate, produce, qualify, test and field 29 Lot Two low rate production Maritime Strike Tomahawk seeker suites and all subsystems required to provide midcourse and terminal guidance to a modernised Tactical Tomahawk missile for prosecution of maritime targets from surface and subsurface platforms. The seeker suites will be installed in recertified Tomahawk missiles for the Navy. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Sikorsky Aircraft is awarded a $25.5 million modification order that provides non-recurring engineering efforts to integrate, test, and qualify re-designed data concentrator and blade fold distributor units that will mitigate component obsolescence and outdated test equipment used for the CH-53K aircraft. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

US AIR FORCE
InDyne Ihas been awarded a $66.2 million contract modification to exercise Option Year Four to extend the term of the contract for Solid State Phased Array Radar Systems. The modification provides for continued management, operation, maintenance and logistical support. The Space Acquisition Management Directorate is the contracting activity.

24 March
US ARMY
American International Contractors was awarded a $24 million contract to construct an F-16 maintenance hangar at Marsa Matrouh Air Base in Egypt. Fiscal 2019 Foreign Military Financing (Egypt) funds in the amount of $24 million were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers is the contracting activity.

US AIR FORCE
Bionetics has been awarded a $13.8 million contract modification for Air Force Primary Standards Laboratory services. This contract provides for calibration and technical order writing services. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $4.7 million; and Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $595,815 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management is the contracting activity.

US NAVY
Boeing is awarded a $71.8 million modification contract that adds scope to provide segregable effort support, unknown obsolescence, Class I change assessments and obsolescence monitoring in support of the P-8A Multi-mission Maritime aircraft Lot 12 production line. Fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $24.8million; Foreign Military Sales customer funds in the amount of $41.4 million; and Foreign Cooperative Project funds in the amount of $2 million will be obligated at the time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Gravois Aluminum Boats, doing business as Metal Shark, is awarded a $36.1 million modification contract to establish fiscal 2022 and fiscal 2023 pricing for Near Coastal Patrol Vessels (NCPVs) Seven through Ten, and accompanying outfitting, testing, spares, tools, travel, reactivation, crew familiarisation, exportation, and transportation. This modification supports Foreign Military Sales (FMS) orders from nations within the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

23 March
US NAVY
Raytheon Missiles & Defense is awarded a $93.5 million modification contract for MK15 Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) upgrades and conversions, system overhauls, and associated hardware. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is awarded a $16.6 million modification contract that adds scope to provide for the development, integration, and testing of the Israel unique software data load in support of integration of Technology Refresh 3 (TR3) onto the F-35 Lot 15 Israel production aircraft. The integration efforts will include reverification of a select subset of the 3F+ software capability captured in the Israel System Development and Demonstration TR-3 reverification systems requirements document, airworthiness related flight testing of 3F+ software on TR-3 enabled aircraft, and weapons certification updates for use with TR-3 aircraft. Foreign Military Sales customer funds in the amount of $16.6 million will be obligated at the time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

22 March
US NAVY
(Highest award of the day). Life Cycle Engineering; Gryphon Technologies; and HII-Fleet Support Group, are awarded a $48 million IDIQ contract that will include terms and conditions for the placement of firm-fixed-price task orders to provide engineering, technical, and maintenance support service providers for the Navy aircraft carriers for the East and West Coasts under the Engineering Maintenance Support services program in support of Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic and Pacific. Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center is the contracting activity.

21 March
US AIR FORCE
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has been awarded a $318 million contract modification for the exercise of an option to add 308 Lot 20 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range missiles with containers. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity. (Awarded 17 March, 2022)

US NAVY
Boeing is awarded a $95 million modification contract that increases the contract ceiling to provide depot level maintenance and modification efforts support for F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G aircraft inspections, modifications, and repairs, as well as F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G inner wing panel modifications and repairs. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

18 March
US AIR FORCE
ARD Global; Astranis Space Technologies; Atomus; Black Cape; CFD Research; CodeMettle; Conceptual Research; Dispel; Dittolive; Expeditionary Engineering; Fairwinds Technologies; Fearless Solutions; Feddata Technology Solutions; Fuse Integration; HawkEye 360; Oakman Aerospace; Primer Federal; Robust Intelligence; SciTec; Shift5; Tangram Flex; Tribalco; and The Ulysses Group, have been awarded a $950 million IDIQ contract to compete for future efforts associated with the maturation, demonstration and proliferation of capability across platforms and domains. This contract will leverage open systems design, modern software and algorithm development in order to enable Joint All Domain Command and Control, providing for the development and operation of systems as a unified force across all domains. Air Force Life Cycle Management is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $17.5 million contract modification that provides for the exercise of an option for six additional Long Range Anti-Ship Missile Lot 6 missiles with containers. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity. (Awarded 16 March, 2022)

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Garsite Progress has been awarded a maximum $421 million IDIQ contract for trucks and trailers. Using military services are Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

US NAVY
BAE Systems Land & Armaments is awarded a $34.9 million modification contract for Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV). The total cumulative face value of the contract is $1.5 billion. This contract modification procures labor and material for the design and development of the ACV maintenance/recovery Mission Role Variant. Marine Corps Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems is awarded a $21 million modification contract to exercise options for operational level spare and incorporate engineering change proposals into Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) Increment One Block One Systems. Foreign Military Sales (Australia) funding in the amount of $241,950 (44 percent); fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance (Air Force) funding in the amount of $203,182 (37 percent); and fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) in the amount of $105,458 (19 percent) will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

US ARMY
QuantiTech was awarded a $10.7 million modification contract for programmatic support for the Utility Helicopter’s Project Manager’s Office. Fiscal 2010 Foreign Military Sales (Australia, Austria, Colombia, Croatia, Egypt, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey) funds are included. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

17 March
US NAVY
Sikorsky Aircraft is awarded a $52.4 million modification contract that adds scope to procure long lead items in support of full rate production, Lot 7, CH-53K aircraft for the government of Israel. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $52.4 million will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Arête Associates is awarded a $15.3 million contract for the “Pushbroom Imaging LiDAR for Littoral Surveillance (PILLS).” This contract provides for the extension, adaptation and optimisation of the PILLS sensor to demonstrate Navy-specific performance metrics, and research to extend the PILLS sensing technology and signal processing/ data fusion algorithms to address additional future Navy capabilities. Future areas include, but are not limited to, bathymetric survey and charting, autonomous systems, mine countermeasures, unmanned underwater vehicle detection, target and/or feature detection, airborne or underwater based hazard detection and avoidance, and complimentary LiDAR/MSI multi-mode sensing. PILLS is a lightweight, low power, expeditionary sensor that enables high resolution and accurate topographic and bathymetric maps from manned and unmanned airborne platforms to greater depths than commercially available legacy systems. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Missiles and Defensewas awarded a $10.8 million contract modification for Air and Missile Defense Radar/Radar Suite Controller (AMDR/RSC) emulators. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity. (Awarded 15 March, 2022)

Spectranetix is awarded a $9.1 million contract for the effort entitled “Modular Open Suite of Standards/Sensor Open Systems Architecture Node Based Resilient Networking and Electronics Warfare Orchestration at the Edge.” This contract provides for the development, integration and demonstration of a Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) (C4ISR) Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS) / Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) aligned implementation of the Navy’s Enabling Dynamic Operational Radio Frequency (ENDOR) architecture that advances the objective of providing a secure tactical computing infrastructure that can be rapidly and dynamically updated with new tasking and applications. The Office of Naval Research is the contracting activity.


EVENT CONFIRMATION

DEFENCE SERVICES ASIA
28 – 31 March 2022, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

QUAD-A
Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit,
3-5 APRIL, Nashville, TN, USA

INDO-PACIFIC
10-12 May, International Convention Centre, Sydney, Australia

MODERN DAY MARINE
10-12 May, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington DC, USA


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

Thanks for reading,

Andrew Drwiega

Editor-in-Chief
Armada International / Asian Military Review