- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 12, 2008

Highlights from the world of military procurement from UPI


SPX to provide thermal equipment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UPI) | U.S.-based SPX Corp. announced a thermal equipment deal in Iceland.

SPX said it will provide equipment and services worth approximately $100 million to Orkuveita Reykjavikur (OR), an Icelandic utility company.

The announcement was made at a formal ceremony at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant in Iceland.

“Our products will help create one of the most modern and efficient geothermal facilities in the world,” said Drew Ladau, president of SPX Thermal Equipment and Services. “Iceland is a world leader in geothermal power generation, and we’re pleased to play a role in helping build their energy infrastructure.”

The SPX components are slated for OR’s five planned geothermal power plants to be built at the base of Hengill volcano in Iceland. Under the contract, SPX will supply engineering, design, manufacturing and installation of a steam condensing system.

The five plants will use hot steam from within the earth to produce electricity and are anticipated to begin operation in 2010-2011. They will have a total output of 225 megawatts.


200th ‘Buffalo’ joins U.S. military

CHARLESTON (UPI) | South Carolina-based Force Protection Inc. has delivered its 200th improvised-explosive-device-protected route-clearance vehicle to the U.S. military.

Force Protection’s Buffalo, a mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle, is designed to safely clear routes in dangerous combat zones for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Company officials are calling the delivery of the 200th Buffalo a milestone.

The Buffalo, which meets the U.S. military’s MRAP category III program requirements, has been deployed to Afghanistan since 2003.

“We are pleased to note the critical role the Buffalo has long filled for our armed forces,” said Michael Moody, Force Protection president and chief executive officer.

“As we acknowledge this milestone today, we reaffirm our commitment to build the finest protected vehicles in the world.


Iran ‘will consider’ joining pipeline project

TEHRAN (UPI) | Iranian officials said they would be open to an invitation to join the Nabucco gas pipeline project.

The $12.9 billion Nabucco gas pipeline is intended to carry natural gas from Turkey to Austria, passing through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. Its primary source will be Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan.

“Although we have not received an official suggestion to join the Nabucco project, if there would be an official request, we will consider it,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Alireza Attar told Iran’s Press TV.

The Nabucco pipeline will have a capacity of 317 billion cubic feet of gas per year when it comes online in 2013.

National Iranian Gas Exports Co. Director Nosratollah Seifi earlier speculated about involvement in the project due to supply concerns, but Mr. Attar later told Azerbaijani officials that Tehran was involved in negotiations on Nabucco.

The United States backs including Iraq in the project, though Washington opposes plans to use Iranian natural gas as a supply source for the pipeline


Satellites see arms aimed at Taiwan

HONG KONG (UPI) | Satellite photos of the Leping Ballistic Missile Base in China’s southeastern province of Jiangxi show it as a key site for the deployment of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s DF-15A campaign tactical missiles. The direct distance from the base to Taiwan is 435 miles.

It is apparent that the striking range of the earlier version, the DF-15 ballistic surface-to-surface missile, has been upgraded. It also appears that the DF-15A SSMs deployed at Leping are fitted with different variants of warheads, one of which seems to have the capability to strike underground targets.

The Leping base, home to the No. 815 Brigade of the PLA Second Artillery Force is armed with at least 27 DF-15 launch vehicles. Normally, each such vehicle can perform five consecutive short-range missile launches. It can be estimated that at least 135 DF-15 SSMs are now deployed at the Leping base.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense believes that at least 192 DF-15A SSMs have been deployed at Leping, based on its own satellite images of this location.


Logistics program private sector boon

The Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP), the Holy Grail of the private military-contracting industry, is an initiative established by the Army in 1985 to use civilian contractors in wartime and other contingencies. The contract covers everything from fixing trucks to warehousing ammunition to doing the laundry, running mess halls and building whole bases abroad, according to United Press International.

The first comprehensive LOGCAP umbrella contact was awarded in August 1992 and was used in December 1992 to support all U.S. services and U.N. forces in Somalia.

LOGCAP is not the only military service logistics program using civilian contractors. The Air Force has the Air Force Contract Augmentation Program, established in 1997, for a wide range of noncombatant, civil engineering services during wartime, contingency operation and humanitarian efforts.

But LOGCAP is by far the biggest and most lucrative.

The LOGCAP IV contract calls for three companies - DynCorp International LLC, Fluor Intercontinental Inc. and KBR - to compete four task orders and each company may be awarded up to $5 billion for troop support services per year. The Army can award a maximum annual value of $15 billion, and the maximum contract value is $150 billion.

The contract is considered one of the biggest deals in the contracting services industry. It has ballooned in value from $2 billion, when it was first awarded in 1992, to $23 billion under the previous LOGCAP III contract.

The contract will cover a range of services: supply operations, including food, water, fuel, spare parts and other items; field operations, including food, laundry, housing, sanitation, waste management, postal services and morale, welfare and recreation activities; and other operations, including engineering and construction; support to the communication networks; transportation and cargo services; and facilities and repair.



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