Inappropriate decision in KF-16 upgrade project costs


Posted June. 17, 2016 07:19,   Updated June. 17, 2016 07:34

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA)’s inappropriate decision during the upgrade project of KF-16 fighter jets (pictured), the main fighter jet model of the Korean air forces, has resulted in a delay of four years and 90 million U.S. dollars in damages.

According to the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI)’s report on the “Progress of KF-16 Upgrade Project” on Thursday, the DAPA pursued upgrading the fighter jets through Foreign Military Sales (FMS), an inter-government contract whose quality is guaranteed by the U.S. government, in selecting the project partner. Therefore, the Korean government could not have any separate negotiation with other potential partners.

In July 2012, however, the DAPA made a unilateral decision to select British multinational defense firm BAE Systems who bade a low price, leading to a significant delay of the project and waste in defense budget. It turned out that the defense acquisition agency provided preferential treatment in the process of selection such as by modifying eval‎uation criteria.

The U.S. government asked to switch the partners from BAE Systems to Lockheed Martin, citing the British company’s lack of experience and inability to fulfill the project in terms of its total cost and period. However, it took more than a year to strike a deal with the U.S. government on the final price, and the Korean government agency paid 180 million dollars in initial deposit in September 2013. The move was to make sure that the budget should be used up. In November 2013, the Korean agency submitted a fake report to the Defense Acquisition Program Committee as if the agency had reached an agreement with the U.S. government on the final price at 1.7 billion dollars.

In the phase of final negotiation, the U.S. government demanded that Korea provide the U.S. with an additional 2.4 billion dollars in a secondary deposit to keep BAE Systems as partners. The DAPA had to switch the partners from BAE Systems to Lockheed Martin for lack of budget.

Following the decision to switch partners, the price went down from 2.4 billion dollars to 1.9 billion dollars, but project completion was delayed from 2011 to 2015 by four years, and the money that the agency had already spent on BAE Systems – an estimated 90 million dollars – was simply squandered. The Korean audit agency sent a notice of dismissal to the two DAPA officials in charge of the deal.

Original post @donga.com


Another scandal?

Republic of Korea (ROK) – KF-16 Upgrade Program

(Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued July 15, 2015)

WASHINGTON — The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea for the KF-16 Upgrade Program and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $2.5 billion.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 14, 2015.

The Government of the ROK requested a possible sale for the upgrade of 134 KF-16C/D Block 52 aircraft, to include: 150 Modular Mission Computers (MMC 7000AH), 150 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radars (AESA), 150 AN/APX-125 or equivalent Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) Systems, 150 LN-260 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems, 150 Upgraded Radar Warning Receivers (RWR), 150 AN/ALQ-213 EW Management Units, 3 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) II Group C Helmets, 150 JHMCS II Group A and B, 31 Joint Mission Planning Systems (JMPS), 5 GBU-54 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), 5 KMU-57C/B Bomb Tail Kits, 2 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb Guided Test Vehicles, 8 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb Tactical Training Rounds, 2 BRU-61 Small Diameter Bomb Common Carriage Assemblies, 5 MK-82 General Purpose Practice Bombs, 2 Joint Programmable Fuzes, 2 CBU-105 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) Sensor Fuzed Weapons (SFW), 1 CNU-411C/E, WCMD Container, 2 ATM-65 Maverick Training Missiles, 2 ATM-84 Harpoon Block II Training Missiles, 2 AGM-84 Harpoon Block II Guidance Units, 2 CATM-9X-2 Captive Air Training Missiles, and 1 AIM-9X-2 Guidance Unit.

Also included are containers, missile support and test equipment, provisioning, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor technical support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated cost is $2.5 billion.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by meeting the legitimate security and defense needs of an ally and partner nation. The ROK is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in that region. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our Korean ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability. The KF-16 Upgrade Program ensures interoperability and continued relations between the ROK and the U.S. Government for the foreseeable future.

The ROK Air Force is modernizing its KF-16 fleet to better support its air defense needs. This upgrade allows the ROK to protect and maintain critical airspace and provide a powerful defensive and offensive capability to preserve the security of the Korean peninsula and its vital national assets. The ROK will have no difficulty absorbing this additional equipment and support into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin Corporation in Fort Worth, Texas and Northrop Grumman Corporation in Falls Church, Virginia. The purchaser requested offsets. At this time, agreements are undetermined and will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and contractor.

Implementation of this proposed sale requires travel of approximately 2 U.S. Government personnel on a permanent basis (potentially until contract completion) for program technical support and management oversight. This program also requires contractor personnel to travel to the ROK to meet similar requirements. The exact number of personnel will be defined during the contract negotiation.

There is no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The State Dept. approved the KF-16 upgrade a week after South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) sued BAE Systems and Raytheon over a previous upgrade contract which was finally blocked by the US government, which took a very dim view of a foreign competitor (BAE) gaining a toe-hold in this very lucrative market.
The program approved above restores the work to what the US government considers its rightful owned, Lockheed Martin, at the expense of the United States mantra of free-markets and open competition.
It also is worth noting that the original (BAE) upgrade was projected to cost $1.6 billion, while the revised one above is priced at $2.5 billion (+55%), demonstrating Lockheed’s pricing power in a monopoly.
The price increase is not going down well in Korea, and could further delay the project, as noted in the story below.)


Source @defense-aerospace.com

Modular Mission Computers (MMC 7000AH)F-16 Modular Mission Computer (MMC)

A cost-effective mid-life update for the F-16, the MMC delivers enhanced computing power to the aircraft’s avionics and weapon systems. As a member of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 team, Raytheon developed a single high-performance system to replace the fighter jet’s three original computers. The MMC’s advanced features — and potential for expansion — enable the F-16 to meet present and future mission challenges.

For pilots, the MMC significantly improves situational awareness, air-to-air capabilities, targeting accuracy and information. Equipped with this powerful computer, the F-16 can take greater advantage of such growth technologies as helmet-mounted cueing systems, advanced weapons loads, reconnaissance pods and forward-looking infrared targeting and navigation systems. Source  @raytheon.com

Active Electronically Scanned Array Radars (AESA) AN/APG-83 

The new contract also sees the Koreans drop the Raytheon produced AN/APG-68 radar for the AN/APG-83 produced by Northrop Grumman. Source @defenceindustrydaily.com

Unlike traditional mechanically scanned radars, SABR’s electronic scanning eliminates the need for moving parts. The single, consolidated line-replaceable unit contains the receiver, exciter, and process functions. Solid-state electronics foster three- to five-times greater reliability versus current fire-control radar systems. Electronically scanned beams accelerate area searches, resulting in earlier and longer range target detections and tracking. This also ensures rapid target updates and enables interleaved mode operations for greater mission effectiveness, situational awareness, and survivability.

SABR utilizes a larger-area, high-definition, synthetic aperture radar capability named “BIG SAR.” This alternative mode provides pilots with detailed target areas and digital map displays that can be precisely tailored. This, too, enables greater situational awareness, as well as more flexibility and quicker all-weather targeting. (Lockheed Martin)

AN/APX-125 or equivalent Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) Systems

AI BAE APX-113 24 April 2013.jpg.scale.LARGE

Combined Interrogator Transponders (CIT)

The AN/APX-125 CIT was adapted from the BAE Systems APX-113 IFF interrogator and transponder. These CITs give the warfighter added ability to identify friendly aircraft in a secure environment.  The AN/APX-125 is fully Mode 5 capable. Source @baesystems.com

LN-260 Advanced Embedded INS/GPS (EGI)

The LN-260 is a high performance, low cost INS/GPS that utilizes the state-of-the-art fiber-optic gyroscope (FOG)-based inertial navigation sensor assembly with 24 channel Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) GPS. The LN-260 combines all of the latest SAASM capabilities, including enhanced Complementary Navigation Message.

The LN-260 sensor components offer the highest performance and reliability, lightest weight, lowest power INS/GPS available on the market. The non-dithered, low noise FOG technology eliminates self-induced acceleration and velocity noise. This results in superior navigation and Synthetic Aperture Radar stabilization performance as well as the most accurate target location.

LN-260 advantages

Northrop Grumman’s proven and lightweight INS/GPS has several advantages over its competitors. Our fiber-optic gyro is developed from the latest, proven fiber-optic technology and weighs less than 26 lb (11.79 kg). The LN-260 is equipped with three independent navigation solutions: blended INS/GPS, INS only and GPS only. Our INS/GPS solution provides more accurate velocity measurements, superior anti-jamming capabilities and has been highly reliable on each of its military platforms. Source @northropgrumman.com

AN/ALQ-213 EW Management Unit

AN-ALQ-213 EW Management Unit

The Electronic Warfare Management System (EWMS) ALQ-213 product family is the core system of Terma’s integrated Electronic Warfare (EW) systems solutions. As a subsystem and aircraft independent system, the ALQ-213 integrates individual subsystems into one combined system. The pilot has one single interface to all self-protection subsystems which results in increased survivability and reduced stress on the pilot in critical situations.

In collaboration with a large number of end users and aircraft manufacturers, the performance and capabilities of Terma’s EWMS have continuously been expanded over the past two decades. Today, the product represents the most common and mature Electronic Warfare management system in the market.

One Coherent System Solution
The ALQ-213 management system manages all subsystems automatically and displays alerts, status, etc. as one coherent system instead of a number of individual subsystems.

Cost-Effective Solutions
Terma’s management system is unique in the sense that, on one hand, it creates an integrated systems solution, but on the other hand, it does not need to be tightly integrated into the aircraft’s main control software. This means low integration costs as well as increased flexibility for the users.

Commonality across Platforms
The uniqueness of the ALQ-213 family of controllers is that the same product can be used across a mixed fleet of aircraft (fighters, helicopters, and fixed wing transport aircraft) because the products have been developed for generic solutions rather than dedicated platforms.

Freedom of Choice
The ALQ-213 allows for integration of any EW subsystem (Radar-, Missile-, Laser Warning, Direct InfraRed CounterMeasures systems, Jammers, Decoys, and Dispensers) enabling us to deliver the solution that best meet operational requirements and budget.

A Total EW Package
As a mature product, the ALQ-213 product family comes with all necessary tools supporting all phases of the flight from planning, recording, training, and analysis for continuous optimization of the operational performance.  Source @terma.com

Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS)

image 1

F-16C/D: Details

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