Pentagon May Award FAB-T Contract in March

Pentagon May Award FAB-T Contract in March

The Pentagon is expected to announce by late March the winner of a competition to develop satellite communications devices to ensure the president can talk to commanders after a nuclear attack, a company official said.

Raytheon Co. is challenging Boeing Co. to build the so-called Family of Advanced Beyond-Line-of-Site Terminals, known in military parlance as FAB-T. Outfitted in ground stations and aircraft, the terminals can relay secure communications at higher bandwidth using a network of military satellites.

Air Force Col. Cordell DeLaPena, who manages the program at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. “will have a decision before the end of March,” Scott Whatmough, Raytheon’s vice president of integrated communications systems, said in a recent telephone interview with reporters.


The Air Force in 2012 invited Waltham, Mass.-based Raytheon to compete to build the presidential conference system after becoming concerned that Chicago-based Boeing, which began developing the technology more than a decade ago, would have to further delay the schedule because of design changes.

The program was most recently projected to cost $4.67 billion, a 48-percent increase from the original estimate of $3.17 billion, according to Pentagon acquisition figures from last year. Almost half of that amount has been spent.

That estimate assumes buying a total of 246 devices to upgrade existing command post terminals located on the ground and in E-4B and E-6 aircraft, and to install in B-2 and B-52 bombers and RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft.

Budget reductions have forced Air Force officials to scrap plans, at least temporarily, to outfit the bomber fleets with the terminals, Whatmough said. The upcoming production contract is only expected to cover 84 systems for ground and airborne command posts, he said.

Under such a move, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, has warned, “FAB-T may not meet its full range of planned communications capabilities as some are based on the interaction of bomber aircraft with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft and command terminals.”

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Apparently this program was put in place because of Bush’s repeated attempt’s in the chaos of 911 to find out how The Pet Goat finished.

“What about the goat ? What happened to the goat ? — I asked everyone repeatedly — I asked Cheney I asked Condi but no-one had the answer.” — GW Bush recalling 911

And what will happen to Boeing due to the 48% increase in the cost of this program? They will make 48% more money from the program. Gee, I wonder why everything costs so much and takes so long?

Boeing will make much more than an additional 48% because a lot of the so called costs are just disguised profits. Real costs will decrease because a lot less has to be delivered.

You’re right, we should hold Boeing to their original estimate and not allow ANY EXCEEDANCES. Teach ‘em a lesson.

Of course we wouldn’t get any airplanes, because Boeing would stop working on the contract once they ran out of money, but hey, at least we taught ‘em a lesson about trying to defraud the American taxpayers, right?

48% overruns to be blamed on the lazy 47%. That is all.

A decade to develop a piece of electronics! Really? Just declare that Boeing failed — and make it very public that they did and that will weigh on future DoD competitions — and open it to competitive bidding. But this time, with a two-year to fielding goal.

Plenty of other companies willing to do the work if Boeing wont.

Were any program mangers held accountable — Air Force or Boeing? Were they all promoted under the “cooperate and graduate” mentality? If a kid steals a car he goes to jail. If Boeing stealsl billions its a business success! What’s tolerated is encouraged… where’s the investigative press?

Is Boeing do the work, or is it the integrator/prime contractor?

Raytheon designed and built a working system in a little over one year on a shoe string budget. Nice work!

Well, since you need AEHF for the system, which wasn’t even finalized until a few years ago and continues to be a moving target that isat least 4 years behind schedule (that would be Northrop Grumman not Boeing but then if you read further some of that is NSA not getting the crypto in time), it makes a little more sense.

They got hundreds of millions from the Navy and Army over the past 20 years to design and build EHF systems so they had a pretty good baseline to start from. The Air Force kept changing requirements and that accounts for the bulk of the Boeing cost overruns.

Let’s see per your figures:

Raytheon worked 20 years delivering AEHF terminals to 2 military branches with ongoing requirements changes as is common in such developments. TOTAL COST = $200 million

Boeing worked 12 years and has not yet delivered terminals for 1 military branch with requirements changes. TOTAL COST = $4,670 million

So, are you really saying that the Air Force is the problem in giving Boeing all those funds or perhaps that they really don’t know what they want?????

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