Army tries to speed cyber acquisition process

The Army is trying to speed cyber-related acquisition by using a template known as the Information Technology Box.

Officials said the goal is to quickly supply soldiers with IT tools such as sensors, forensics and “insider threat discovery capabilities” in a matter of weeks rather than the months or years a traditional acquisition might take.

“Cyber doesn’t fit the traditional acquisition process that you would use to deliver a tank,” said Kevin Fahey, executive director of the Army’s System of Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate, in an article on the Army’s website.

IT Box Model

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Lockheed protests Army’s JLTV contract to Oshkosh

Defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin Corp. on Tuesday (Sept. 8, 2015) confirmed it’s protesting the U.S. Army’s decision to award truck-maker Oshkosh Corp. the contract to build a replacement to the iconic Humvee.
Photo Credit: Oshkosh Defense
Photo Credit: Oshkosh Defense

The move came less than two weeks after the the Army awarded Oshkosh a $6.7 billion contract to build the first 17,000 production models of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

The work could eventually be worth some $30 billion, as the Army and Marine Corps plan to buy a total of nearly 55,000 of the combat vehicles, including 49,100 for the Army and 5,500 for the Corps, to replace about a third of the Humvee fleets.

“After evaluating the data provided at our debrief, Lockheed Martin has filed a protest of the award decision on the JLTV program,” according to a statement from the company. “We firmly believe we offered the most capable and affordable solution for the program. Lockheed Martin does not take protests lightly, but we are protesting to address our concerns regarding the evaluation of Lockheed Martin’s offer.”

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Read the earlier article about the Army’s intention to award to Oshkosh here:

Oshkosh wins $6.7 billion contract to replace Humvee vehicle with JLTV

Oshkosh Corp., the truck-maker based in the Wisconsin city of the same name, last week won a $6.7 billion military contract to begin building a replacement for the iconic Humvee called the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
Photo Credit: Oshkosh Defense
Photo Credit: Oshkosh Defense

Oshkosh beat out Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor, and AM General LLC, the maker of the Humvee, for the award.

“Oshkosh is honored to be selected for the JLTV production contract, which builds upon our 90-year history of producing tactical wheeled vehicles for U.S. military operations at home and abroad,” Chief Executive Officer Charles Szews, said in a statement. “We are fully prepared to build a fleet of exceptional JLTVs to serve our troops in future missions.

The agreement calls for Oshkosh — which also built a fleet of blast-resistant trucks for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — to produce about 17,000 of the light-duty JLTVs for the Army and Marine Corps beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, which starts Oct. 1.

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Pentagon contractor accused of overcharging millions

The federal government has alleged a military contractor overcharged it by at least $44 million for parts, labor and supplies on a multi-billion dollar contract for tens of thousands of trucks ordered by the Army’s acquisitions center based in Warren, MI.

TACOMFiling its complaint in U.S. District Court in Detroit, the Justice Department accused BAE Systems, the American subsidiary of a global defense and security contractor based in London, England, of “certifying and submitting false or fraudulent” prices to contracting officials at Michigan’s Army Tactical Command Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM).

“Private companies are entitled to earn an honest profit from procurement contracts with the U.S. government, but they may not knowingly overcharge the military for supplies and materials,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade in Detroit. “The conduct alleged in this complaint is akin to charging $600 for a hammer.”

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Top Army contracting official says oversight is too burdensome to promote cutting edge technology

The Defense Department acquisition process has become burdensome, leaving the Army behind in technology development, said Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology at an April 21 Center for Strategic and International Studies event.

Heidi Shyu,  Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology
Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology

Since 2011, the Army research, development and acquisition account declined at a rate twice as fast the Army budget declined, Shyu said. RDA makes up 18 percent of Army topline budget. That’s $23.1 billion of the total $126.5 billion budget. About four years ago, RDA made up 23 percent of the topline, Shyu said.

“We’ve definitely taken our hit,” she said.

But even with that, the DoD and Congress could do more to help promote development of the most advanced technology, Shyu said.

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