Each week, we look at the biggest, coolest, and most interesting contracts the Department of Defense announces.
This week saw a relatively quiet period of Department of Defense procurement contracts, with one firm coming out as the smashing winner of the week.
Most contracts were for fuel, food, and assorted widgets.
But there were a couple of big awards going out for top-of-the-line tech, state of the art systems, and cool finds all around.
Lockheed is going to keep the grid on line
Lockheed Martin was awarded $1.9 billion to carry out the day-to-day operation of the Global Information Grid (GIG) network.
The GIG is an all-encompassing project of the Department of Defense, and is the network that facilitates all communication between defense department sources.
Think of it as an entirely different shadow-internet that the U.S. military uses.
It's got to be maintained, and Lockheed was hired on to do just that for the next three years. Final cost: $1,911,000,000 for three years.
They're also selling a bunch of F-35's already
Lockheed Martin also scored a contract for thirty five of the new Joint Strike Fighters for a variety of NATO nations.
The contract is worth a half billion dollars.
The U.S. Air Force is getting 19 fighters, Italy is buying three, Turkey gets two, the Marine Corps is getting six, the U.K. gets one, and the Navy gets four.
They're also designing a drag-chute by request of Norway. They'll be done by July of next year.
$20,000,000 worth of helmets
The Department of Defense is spending $21,616,200 on "foliage green advanced combat helmets" from Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) Co. of Pennsylvania.
The helmets are going to be used in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Marine Corps.
The military will receive the helmets by September, 2013. MSA makes mine, firefighting, and riot control equipment as well as combat helmets.
Four State-of-the-art Radar systems
The Army is upgrading four dilapidated and out-of-date radar systems at different army test centers.
The contract is worth $385,550,000.
General Dynamics C4 Systems, the wing that focuses on Command & Control Systems, is the contractor at work. They beat out four other companies for the job.
We're buying Afghanistan some new rides
The U.S. Army Contracting Command is paying almost $80 million for Medium Armored Security Vehicles.
But while they may be headed to Afghanistan, they're not for us. The Armored vehicles are going to the Afghanistan National Army.
Most of the work on the vehicles — made by Textron, Inc — will be completed in Louisiana.
The vehicles will be done by May 2014.
Textron was the sole bid on the contract. The full price is $79,182,680.
The Navy is buying 4,600 buoys
The Navy is buying 4,628 state-of-the-art sonobuoys from ERAPSCO to the tune of $25,392,401. That's $5,480 per buoy.
These buoys are extremely complex machines. Each one weighs 36 pounds, and can dive to four different depths — up to 500 ft.
The sonobouys — a portmanteau of "sonar" and "buoy" — are used in submarine warfare and undersea research.
The sonobuoys can be dropped into the water from planes. They then sink to a predetermined depth. They send out pings and report back to ships of what they pick up.
Think of them as underwater drones, only somewhat dumber and not very maneuverable.
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