July 24, 2012
Credit: Credit: Defense Imagery
About 13% of the $6.7 billion the Pentagon is slated to spend between fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2017 for fighting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is still up for grabs, with no contractor chosen yet, according to an Aviation Week Intelligence Network analysis of data provided by Avascent 050, an online market analysis toolkit for global defense programs.
Countering IEDs had become a major thrust for the Pentagon in the first half of the previous decade after the U.S. began operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Enemy forces started to attack the road convoys and ground logistic chains of U.S. and allied forces with the powerful, lethal and well-camouflaged roadside bombs.
Data lists the contractor as unknown for $3.5 billion in IED contracts during that time, the analysis shows, due in large part to the substantial number of contracts associated with the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (Jieddo), whose funding documentation makes it difficult to ascertain the exact contractor involved in many deals.
The single-largest named contractor for countering-IED programs during that time is ITT Exelis with $840.6 million for that type of work. Among other programs, ITT Exelis is known for its counter remote-controlled IED electronic warfare and proximity-fuse radio frequency jammers, as well as land-based active and passive countermeasure systems and defensive aids suites.
The third-largest named contractor for IED programs is the Naval Sea Systems Command (Navsea), according to the analysis, with about $198 million for that work.
Navsea recently reported a project sponsored by the service’s Office of Naval Research focusing on Synthetic Aperture Radar equipment.
Scientists at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren found a way to couple the long-range propagation characteristics of radar signals with digital electronics for high-resolution imagery to improve target detection and discrimination for things like IEDs.
The fourth-largest named contractor is Boeing with about $155 million for countering IED programs, such as the Avenger-laser systems. Nitek is the fifth largest named contractor with about $121.6 million in programs.