Fuel Deals Top Pentagon’s Weekly Contracts

Fuel Deals Top Pentagon’s Weekly Contracts

Deals to provide fuel for the U.S. military’s fleets of ships and aircraft topped the list of contracts announced by the Pentagon last week.

The Defense Department awarded 78 contracts potentially worth $5.6 billion in the week ending Aug. 15, according to a Military​.com analysis.

More than half of that value, or $3.5 billion, came from almost a dozen contracts for “aviation turbine fuel and naval fuel” from such companies as ExxonMobile Corp. and BP plc, according to the Aug. 11 announcements by the Defense Logistics Agency.

Excluding those deals and others for construction and logistics services, the biggest awards went to prime contractors for aircraft or aviation-related components.

General Electric Co. also on Aug. 11 landed a $311 million contract modification with the Navy for 75 F414 engines for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jet, including 48 engines for the Navy and 27 propulsion systems for the government of Australia. (The latter includes 24 engines and three spares.)

Boeing Co. on Aug. 14 won a $296 million deal with the Navy for parts in advance for a dozen P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, including eight for the sea service and four for the government of Australia.

Northrop Grumman Corp. on Aug. 15 received a $241 million pact with the Air Force for three Block 30M RQ-4B Global Hawk drones with enhanced integrated senor suites and airborne signals intelligence payloads. The Air Force in recent years had wanted to stop buying the Block 30 because it was costlier to fly than the U-2 spy plane with comparable performance, but lawmakers disagreed and ordered continued procurement of the drone.

Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor, on Aug. 15 received a $233 million contract modification with the Navy for 19 training devices and other support equipment as part of the Lot VI low rate initial production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the fifth-generation stealth fighter jet.

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Gee whiz, Wally, no mention at all of the huge contracts the Navy is signing to buy “green, renewable” biofuels at eight to ten times the cost of equivalent conventional biofuels.

This at a time when the number of ships and subs in the water is already inadequate to requirements, shrinks every year, and is projected to shrink every year for the next decade and a half.

Another case of the prez and congress cutting the DOD budget, AND AT THE SAME TIME TELLING DOD HOW TO SPEND WHAT’S LEFT OF THE DWINDLING MONIES! We really don’t need that $50– $60 a gallon fuel!!

The military invested in nuclear power as well, in conjunction with the basic research performed by DOE.

Though I think nuclear power is probably a better bet than ICE, but putting nukes onto aircraft and trucks is a little far into the future. And in the name of common fuel across the platforms it will be hydrocarbons for the time being.


Did DoD award any contracts for biofuels in the week ended 14–08-15?

This article is describing just a few of the contracts awarded in that particular week.

A search of DoD contracts didn’t reveal new biofuel contracts…

I recall seeing that Navy awarded is FY14 biofuels contract for ship fuel but don’t recall when. But isn’t the discussion high costs now for development and testing in exchange for lower costs when bought in bulk later? And that reduces conventional fueling dependencies and increases operational readiness and effectiveness? Nuclear power suffered the same learning/cost curve. So aren’t the naysayers a little too negative? After all, that solar panel on your roof was an immediate outlay and the lower energy costs achieved across a long time period? What’s different here?

Bio-fuels right now are about 10 times higher that fossil fuels. I guess that someday they will only be 5 times higher. That is still no bargain. If congress and the prez want to keep cutting the DOD budget; then they should not be telling DOD how to spend their money. I guess that maybe Hagel (the puppet) will buy anything green as long as he’s told, no matter what the cost.

China is investing significantly into nuclear reactors that use Thorium as fissile material and molten salt as working fluid. If successful they will likely have patents. Thorium is one of the most abundant fissile materials, and the waste products while far from benign are less problematic. Molten salt reactors hold some promise of being safer than light water reactors, though it is early days in development and costs remain one of the problems to solve in that.


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