Screwed-up contract award or scoop of the decade?

This contract award awarded by the US Navy last January is so screwed up I don’t know where to start. If even half of it is true, it would reveal both an all-new fighter and the resurrection of the F-117 Nighthawk. My guess is we’re dealing with freakish typo issues here. See link for contract award announcement, or read excerpt below: 

                Universal Propulsion Co., Fairfield, Calif., is being awarded a $16,015,378 firm-fixed-price, definite-delivery/definite-quantity contract for the manufacture of digital recovery sequencer kits, power modules and electronic modules in support of the F-15, F-16 F-17 and F-117 aircraft. Work will be performed in Fairfield, Calif., and work is expected to be completed by July 2011. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This announcement includes foreign military sales to the governments of Taiwan (11 percent); the Netherlands (10 percent); Saudi Arabia (4 percent); Singapore (3 percent); Korea (3 percent); Thailand (2 percent); Norway (2 percent); Egypt (2 percent); Israel (1 percent); Denmark (1 percent); Oman (1 percent); and Pakistan, Jordan, Italy, Poland, Chile and United Arab Emirates (less than one percent). This contract was not competitively awarded. The Naval Inventory Control Point is the contracting activity (N00104-10-C-K026).

Let’s count the problems:

  1. The Navy doesn’t own any F-15s and only a handful of F-16s for aggressor training.
  2. The “F-17″ doesn’t exist. The YF-17 prototype, which became the F/A-18A, flew in the mid-1970s.
  3. The USAF allegedly retired the F-117stealth fighter in March 2008, although there have been recent sightings as reported on this blog last week.
  4. Foreign Military Sales customers probably aren’t in the market for propulsion components for the F-117.

I’ve asked the Navy’s press office to explain this contract. In the meantime, any theories?


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11 Responses to Screwed-up contract award or scoop of the decade?

  1. Dave 18 October, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    Incompetence with a dash of stupidity on the side?

  2. Dave Collins 18 October, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Goodrich bought Universal Propulsion Co in 1998…. no sign of them on the web from what I can tell. Maybe the invoice address only lives on in the pockets of congressmen..

  3. John S. 18 October, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    A digital recovery sequencer is the brains of an ACES II ejection seat.

    You’re looking at parts for ejection seats. Even Teledyne lists the F-17 as one of their users.

  4. Drop Bear 18 October, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    The ‘F-17′ is the Pakistani Air Force airframe ‘F-17 Thunder’ (Note Pakistan is one of the customers). That aside, the F-117 inserted is very interesting – but then they did keep 6 in flyable storage at Tonopah.

    So now they got them back in the air they will need need bits and pieces to make them all ship shape and above board.

  5. Stephen Trimble 18 October, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    So maybe there’s a legitimate reason for this contract after all? And if the F-117 still needs working parts for its ejection seats, maybe that’s a clue?

  6. Urban 19 October, 2010 at 5:41 am #

    However, the JF-17 has Martin Baker ejection seats. I’m sure the Teledyne list is a typo since it lists F-17 after F-22, so it’s meant to be F-117. Probably the contract award document’s list is a typo too; There’s no comma between F-16 and F-17.

  7. ProwlerAMDO 20 October, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    This isn’t a big deal at all actually.

    1.) The Navy doesn’t have to fly any of those airframes, the NAVICP is the inventory manager for the part being contracted and therefore they let the contract, even if it’s USAF funds for USAF applications. This happens all the time for parts, especially components that appear in multiple services aircraft. The Army and Navy for example split management of parts on the H-60′s each branch taking sole responsibility for inventory management of its assigned part for both branches and FMS.

    2.) Probably just bureaucratic “IT” on this one. All the aircraft listed are Air Force assets (although the Navy bought the F/A-18, the Air Force paid for development of the YF-17) and all probably used the same part. I see Technical Directives on a near daily basis that still list applicability to S-3′s or H-3′s, or other aircraft no longer in service but which used the part the TD is for. There’s a database somewhere that automatically lists platforms by Type Equipment Code (TEC) for each part number or something along those lines. No “secret” tidbits or anything exciting here.

    3.) See 2.)

    4.) All foreign customers listed are either F-15 or F-16 operators.

  8. Derrick Doser 21 October, 2010 at 5:32 am #

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  9. jetcal1 25 October, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Now you took a little of the mystery out of procurement.

  10. Moe DeLaun 3 November, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    It might be a coded message for some spooks…lotta bandwidth even in that bit of text.

  11. JWC 4 November, 2010 at 3:25 am #

    Just thought I would mention that the S-3 and H-3 are STILL in service. up to 3 S-3′s were and are being refurbished at NAS Jacksonville for use by I believe VX-30 for test support out at Point Mugu, CA. And the Marines still fly the VH-3D as the primary Presidential helicopter.

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