One acquisition process at a time

One acquisition process at a time

From the standpoint of ASA(ALT)’s test and evaluation unit, there’s a better way to support test and evaluation events, one that would directly improve operational readiness. by Ms. Laura Pegher, Mr. Adam Bussey and Ms. Amber Dufour In an acquisition environment concerned with all things cost, schedule and performance, logistics and product testing historically have tended to be an afterthought or overlooked altogether. The Army places a high priority on validating performance requirements in various developmental and operational tests, but acquisition test events such as the logistics demonstration (log demo) and verification of the technical manual often take a back seat. Based on historical data, the U.S. Army Forces Command […]

Delivering the next generation of 40 mm grenades

Delivering the next generation of 40 mm grenades

New family of munitions enhances training and increases capabilities and lethality. by Mr. James Terhune For nearly 30 years, 40 mm grenades have been a mainstay on the battlefield, undergoing little more than safety and reliability improvements. In 2009, the Army set out to take advantage of new technologies to help counter evolving threats and new tactics and to provide more realistic training to warfighters. The Product Director for Medium Caliber Ammunition (PD MCA), part of Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS), has created plans for the development of the next generation of 40 mm grenades. The 40 mm grenade family contains both high-velocity (HV) grenades, which are fired […]

Tobyhanna, Soldier Warrior achieve Nett Warrior milestone

Tobyhanna, Soldier Warrior achieve Nett Warrior milestone

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. — A mission here to provide situational awareness for warfighters during combat operations reached a major milestone recently with the completion of the 100,000th Nett Warrior cable. The achievement is the culmination of nearly five years of rapid response, innovation and continuous process improvement. In November 2012, Program Manager Soldier Warrior (PM SWAR) contacted depot personnel with an urgent requirement. At that time, PM SWAR was commissioning all Nett Warrior kitting, engineering and configuration management requirements to a contractor in Monmouth, New Jersey. The contractor’s facilities sustained significant damage from Hurricane Sandy, leaving them unable to meet the fielding requirements for the 10th Mountain Division at […]

A new ‘FACE’ for aviation acquisition

A new ‘FACE’ for aviation acquisition

Using the Future Airborne Capability Environment open system approach to disrupt the current acquisition process. by Dr. Alicia Taylor Technology is changing and progressing rapidly. Upgrades to sensors, cameras, communication devices and navigation have improved not only automobile safety, but also our driving experience. When it comes to incorporating new technologies, the automotive industry has an advantage over military platforms because the automotive industry’s business model is entirely different. Whereas most consumers might upgrade a vehicle by buying a new one, the military generally plans on a 30-year life cycle for a vehicle, and upgrades the actual vehicle instead of replacing it. That includes aviation vehicles. So, while many vehicle […]

BOMBS AWAY

BOMBS AWAY

PEO Ammunition helps the Army meet Air Force bomb demand head-on by Mr. Sean D. Brandt and Mr. Robert M. Moreira  After more than a decade of combat operations, the U.S. Air Force’s expenditures for 2,000- pound general purpose bombs have increased at a rate substantially higher than anticipated. These high-tempo operations are expected to continue for the foreseeable future. As bomb expenditures began to outpace funded orders, the Air Force increased its requirements to meet warfighter demand. In FY16, the Air Force more than quadrupled its budget for general purpose bombs, compared with a historical average. As the executor for the Single Manager for Conventional Ammunition (SMCA), the Program […]

Security cooperation for the 21st century

Security cooperation for the 21st century

Strengthening allied nations’ defense abilities through training, equipment sales and other forms of cooperation is a vital part of U.S. national security. The FY17 NDAA was the first NDAA to recognize this, reorganizing and reforming the security cooperation enterprise.  by Mr. Jim Stocks and Mr. Adam Genest Security cooperation—the United States government’s effort to build partner capacity through the provision of defense articles, military training and other defense services—has been a critical component of U.S. national security policy for decades. In recent years, people within and outside DOD have studied how to better organize and execute the government’s security cooperation mission in the 21st century. As a result of these […]

Decades to ‘ZAP’

Decades to ‘ZAP’

Everybody—at least, every branch of the military—wants a laser gun. The theoretical possibility of a silent beam of energy that turns enemy weapons to toast has been explored in the pages of AL&T magazine for decades. With high-energy lasers on Stryker combat vehicles and an Apache helicopter downing drones in tests, it now seems a matter of time before lasers are in use on the battlefield. by MS. Mary Kate Aylward Lasers, synonymous with precision from eye surgery to targeting, have long held out the possibility of an elegant and cheap solution to some of the messier, more expensive problems of war. A bomb is a single-use weapon; a laser […]

Design and engineering sleuths uncover time, cost savings

Design and engineering sleuths uncover time, cost savings

By Daniel Smith and Kathryn Bailey It’s possible that this is the most expensive phrase in the English language: “We have always done it this way.” For Army programs of record (PORs), “this way” may be to contract exclusively with industry partners to refresh, upgrade or redesign their systems rather than turning to the government organic base. However, keeping that work in-house can yield substantial cost and time-to-field savings—important drivers for Army force modernization and readiness—often because the government explores commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) options before diving into a custom design. The government’s prototype integration facilities (PIFs) are positioned to help PORs determine the most cost-effective, streamlined solution available. PIFs perform […]

HIGH-EXPLOSIVE VERSATILITY

HIGH-EXPLOSIVE VERSATILITY

The AMP tank round would give M1A2 Abrams tanks more lethality while combining the functions of four existing rounds—anti-armor, breaching and anti-personnel capabilities—in a single piece of ammunition. by Mr. Corey D. Hall The M1A2 Abrams main battle tank and its current suite of ammunition exist to defeat the hardest targets on the battlefield, normally enemy armored vehicles. The Army’s focus on counterinsurgency operations over the past decade presented mainly softer targets. In response, the Army developed and fielded the M1028 canister round, providing some increased short-range capability against enemy personnel. Still, the nature of operations did not provide significant opportunities to bring the Abrams’ lethality to bear in combined […]

Pentagon unveils plan to restructure USD(AT&L)

Pentagon unveils plan to restructure USD(AT&L)

By Michael Bold FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Aug. 3, 2017) — DOD on Tuesday released its plan for restructuring the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD(AT&L), envisioning two smaller organizations—an undersecretary of defense for research and engineering (USD(R&E)) “to drive innovation and accelerate the advancement of our warfighting capability” and an undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment (USD(A&S)) “to deliver proven technology into the hands of the warfighter more quickly and affordably.” The reorganization, part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, must be implemented by Feb. 1, 2018. However, the plan could be changed by Congress. The restructuring also […]