The Insider

By Cid Standifer
October 27, 2010 at 8:14 PM

The Navy's energy strategy, which came out this month and was obtained by Inside the Pentagon, takes a closer look at improving fuel efficiency for aircraft.

At the Navy Energy Forum earlier this month, Vice Adm. William Burke, head of N4, talked about expanding initiatives to encourage operators to be more energy-conscious to the service's air platforms, and Rear Adm. Randy Mahr of Naval Air Systems Command talked about future efforts to test biofuels on planes and helicopters.

According to the Navy Energy Vision, the service might also start trying out smaller efforts similar to ones initiated on ships to seek incremental savings.

"Naval Aviation is evaluating proven technology solutions to improve the energy efficiency of currently fielded systems," the document states. "Improved compressor and turbine designs, performance-seeking controls, and advanced materials are under development to reduce the specific fuel consumption of legacy propulsion systems up to 8 percent. Ongoing mission planning database updates and onboard flight performance modules offer an additional 1 to 3 percent reduction in sortie fuel consumption. Drag-resistant aircraft coatings are being evaluated for military applications after demonstrating up to 6 percent fuel savings in commercial aviation."

The report speculates that small and heavy fuel technology could garner 20 percent energy savings for unmanned aerial vehicles, while variable-cycle engines could save airplanes up to 25 percent of their fuel. It also touts simulated training as a way to save millions of gallons of fuel. And according to the document, the Navy's F/A-18s are already saving $250,000 annually by adjusting their flight altitude so that they cruise at heights normally reserved for commercial airliners.

Much of the rest of the report has long been part of the service's well-publicized push toward biofuels and energy savings.

By John Liang
October 27, 2010 at 3:03 PM

How many soldiers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

No one knows that yet, but when the service does find out, the bulb itself will be an energy-efficient one.

According to a Pentagon statement issued this morning, Katherine Hammack, the service's assistant secretary for installations, energy and the environment, has issued a new policy memo mandating that all light bulbs acquired for use in facilities and structures owned, leased or controlled by the Army must meet higher energy efficiency standards. "The goal is a complete replacement of all incandescent lighting on Army installations within five years. New efficient lighting will use three to five times less electricity than an incandescent bulb over the same period," the statement reads. Further:

Hammack issued today a 'Memorandum on the Utilization of Efficient Lighting' to reduce energy consumption and reduce adverse impacts to the environment. The memo establishes policy and guidance to use only efficient light bulbs that meet standards outlined in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. EISA requires the manufacture of energy efficient light bulbs, with efficiency standards phasing in between 2012 and 2014. It also requires the use of energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs in buildings constructed by the General Services Administration.

"Lighting efficiency improvements present a clear opportunity to decrease energy consumption, which is a priority for the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense and for the entire federal government," said Hammack. "It’s been over 130 years since Thomas Edison gave birth to the world’s first practical incandescent light bulb, and we’re undeniably overdue for a jump forward."

In order for the Army to capture energy efficiency savings consistent with these provisions, the new policy requires the use of the light bulbs as soon as possible. When installed bulbs fail and existing inventory is depleted, only efficient light bulbs may be purchased. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) require significantly less energy to produce the same amount of light, and need replacement 6 times less often.  This means a profound reduction in electricity, maintenance and labor costs.

Separately, the Army issued a second memo aimed at improving the service's "high-performance green buildings standards," according to the service statement.

"Energy security, sustainability and efficiency are national security imperatives," Hammack said. "This policy supports the Army's global missions in a cost-effective, safe and sustainable manner that will benefit Army soldiers, families and the entire nation." Further:

The memo, "Memorandum for Sustainable Design and Development Policy Update (Environmental and Energy Performance) (Revision)", changes the way the Army will approach efficient design of Army facilities.  Requirements throughout the planning, programming, budgeting, design and building stages will strengthen the Army's sustainability, energy security, and energy independence through more responsible consumption and planning.

Incorporation of sustainable design and development principles, following guidance as detailed in American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 189.1, will reduce water and energy consumption, optimize energy efficiencies and performance, and reduce negative impacts on the natural environment.  Through strategies such as siting, cool roofs, solar water heating, storm water management and water efficiency, the Army will reduce its impact on the environment.  Options will be investigated and documented for each project to evaluate the Army’s ability to utilize renewable and alternative power sources on its installations in a fashion that is compatible with training missions.

Commissioning, measurement and third-party verification are also required to track progress and identify opportunities for further improvement.  Lifecycle-cost analyses will be mandatory to promote best business practices.

The Army's commitment to sustainable design and development extends beyond construction or renovation savings, Hammack said, "High-performance buildings are critical to cost effective life cycle management of our infrastructure and national energy security. Maintaining access to vital resources, including energy, water and the environment is vital for accomplishing the Army’s global missions."

While the overall benefits gained through efficiencies and reduced consumption will vary based on location, buildings in compliance with the new policy are expected to yield significant energy savings for the Army over current construction standards.  Preliminary analysis by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicates energy savings over current design of 45 percent or greater.

In related news, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli has recently expressed frustration with the Defense Department's slow acquisition process, which he said was preventing the service from rapidly adopting technology that could make it more energy-efficient, Inside the Army reported earlier this month:

"If there's something that concerns me greatly . . . it's our inability to take advantage of rapid technological change," he said at an Oct. 13 energy forum at the Pentagon. "I worry that our acquisition system is too slow."

If the Army planned to replace an old vehicle engine with one that was more efficient, he said, the process as it is would take several years and result in a technological solution that was outdated by the time it was fielded.

Chiarelli also said Army leadership was waging a constant battle with Pentagon programmers who have the tendency to resist projects that do not show immediate benefits. For example, he said the Army wanted to construct new energy-efficient buildings that would not begin to show energy cost savings for 14 years.

"Programmers have this vision of the world that ends every year, every five-year period, and nothing happens after that," he said. "It takes leadership to argue against the programmers who say: 'Why should I build something in this five-year period that won't show savings until a period that I can't even envision yet?' It's not on their radar screen."

By John Liang
October 26, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Reid Davis, Raytheon's manager of air and missile defense programs, has been appointed as the No. 2 person in charge of the Lockheed Martin-Raytheon team bidding for the multibillion-dollar contract to continue developing the Missile Defense Agency's Ground-based Midcourse Defense program, according to statements from both companies.

The two firms announced their partnership in August. According to today's Lockheed statement, Orbital Sciences Corp. has joined the team as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for the GMD boost vehicle, and Northrop Grumman has joined the team as an OEM for the GMD fire control and communications system.

Northrop Grumman announced in June that it had joined Boeing as its strategic partner for the GMD development and sustainment contract.

Mathew Joyce, Lockheed's GMD vice president and program manager, told Inside Missile Defense this morning at the Association of the United States Army's annual convention in Washington that proper firewalls had been set up to make sure there would be no information sharing between workers who worked for the same company but were on different teams, especially since MDA had prohibited potential offerors from forming exclusive teams:

There's several companies responsible for the fielding of the existing system -- Raytheon doing the [exoatmospheric kill vehicle]; Northrop Grumman doing the ground systems; Orbital Sciences doing the boost vehicle; so in order to create as level a playing field as they could for this competition, MDA said, "For you OEMs, no exclusive teaming," which means Raytheon couldn't team with us exclusively.

Both Lockheed and Raytheon officials believe they can successfully support MDA's new testing schedule of one intercept attempt per year, and that enough data from those attempts along with a number of ground-based simulations can be obtained to keep the program from getting delayed. As Lockheed Martin's Joyce tells IMD:

You get data in various methods . . . but you do get a lot of information from ground tests -- stockpile, target reliability. . . . Between the two of our companies, we're pretty proud of our modeling and simulation capabilities and you'll see us coming forward with more information about that over the next couple months which will help you understand why we think [that under the] current constraints we can support the reliability and effectiveness assessments of the system.

Can we test more than once a year? I think if you look at our track records, my most recent history is in THAAD where we flew four times a year, so we obviously have the demonstrated capability to fly more than once a year if that's what the program decides it needs to do.

Reid Davis of Raytheon, who was also at AUSA, says:

I think it's important to strike a balance, because what you've got to do . . . is you do want to prove out those models and simulations but you also have to do the rigorous engineering to make sure that you understand what happened in the flight test. So you’re going to learn something on every test. And so you want to make sure that you learn from [both simulations as well as actual flight tests] and carry those lessons forward so that you don't repeat those same mistakes -- if there were any -- in future flight tests.

By Thomas Duffy
October 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Remember Teri Takai? She is the former chief information officer for the state of California who was nominated by President Obama in March to be assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration. Her nomination got caught up in Defense Secretary Robert Gates' hunt for operating efficiencies, an endeavor that saw that assistant secretary position eliminated. This morning the Defense Department announced that Takai was being appointed the department's new chief information officer.

The position Takai was originally nominated for required Senate confirmation. The Senate Armed Services Committee planned to consider Takai's nomination on Aug. 3. But the committee dropped Takai from its list of nominees for that August hearing because of Gates' decision to do away with the office Takai would have led.

During an August 9 press briefing Gates said:

We will stand up a refashioned and strengthened chief information officer, or CIO, and under its umbrella responsibility for daily operations will be assigned to the Defense Information Systems Agency.

According to this morning's DOD announcement, Takai will:

... help lead the effort to disestablish NII and define the successor CIO organization. Accordingly, Takai will also temporarily serve as the Acting NII during this transition period.

By Sebastian Sprenger
October 26, 2010 at 2:19 PM

The Biometrics Identity Management Agency confirmed this morning that Thomas Killion, the former Army chief scientist, is the agency's new director. What's unusual about the move is that Killion had just joined the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization a few months ago as science adviser. On learning this, in late September, we asked for an interview with Killion, only to be told by a JIEDDO spokeswoman that Killion was in line to be the new BIMA director.

BIMA was very surprised to hear about the impending change in directorship, to say the least. Myra Gray, the now-former director, was not going anywhere, we were told by a spokesman.

But, as it turns out, she is. Killion's first day at BIMA is today, the agency is slated to announce shortly.

By John Liang
October 25, 2010 at 9:03 PM

A new Congressional Research Service report has taken a deep look into the workings of the National Security Council. The report evaluates each council and its role under every president from the Truman administration in 1947 through the present.

As for its evaluation of the Obama administration, the report, highlighted this morning in the Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News blog, notes that in May 2009, the administration announced the integration of the staffs of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council into a single National Security Staff (NSS).

"The position of assistant to the president for homeland security, currently filled by John Brennan, will be retained 'with direct and immediate access' to the president, but the incumbent would organizationally report to the national security adviser," according to CRS. Further:

In the initial months of the Obama Administration, several steps have been taken to modify and enhance the role of the National Security Council. The integration of NSC and Homeland Security Council staffs may work to overcome the intelligence and law enforcement divide that many observers believe existed prior to 9/11. It may also facilitate closer cooperation of Federal agencies and state, local, and tribal entities in dealing with homeland security issues. These relationships are, however, complex and derive from separate statutory missions; observers suggest that establishing new organizational entities can affect, but not determine, the ability of different agencies to share information and cooperate on operational planning and programs. The relationships among the relevant senior officials and the role of the President will remain crucial. The Obama Administration has not had to contend with major public disputes between the NSC and the State and Defense Departments, but there have been some complaints that Mr. Brennan has exercised an influence on intelligence activities that more properly belongs to the Director of National Intelligence.

By John Liang
October 25, 2010 at 8:26 PM

The Army has awarded Boeing a $247 million contract to begin low-rate initial production for the AH-64D Apache Block III helicopter, the company announced today. The contract, signed by the Pentagon on Oct. 22, covers production of eight Apache Block III helicopters in the Lot 1 configuration, according to a Boeing statement. Further:

An Acquisition Decision Memorandum signed by the Department of Defense on Oct. 7 authorized the program to enter the LRIP phase to produce 51 aircraft. The first LRIP delivery is scheduled for October 2011.

The Apache Block III helicopter enhances the capabilities of the combat-proven AH-64D Apache by delivering superior flight performance and dramatically increased networked communications capabilities.

"The road map for the Apache Block III program has been clearly defined and the U.S. Army and Boeing are successfully working together to provide these advanced attack helicopters to soldiers in the field," said Lt. Col. Dan Bailey, Apache Block III product manager for the Army.

"Working together throughout the Apache Block III program's system development and demonstration phase since 2006, the Army, Boeing and our industry teammates have achieved our objectives on cost and on schedule," said Scott Rudy, Apache Block III program manager for Boeing. "I'm confident that the team will continue to effectively apply its collective expertise as the program moves into the production phase."

The current Army acquisition objective is for 690 AH-64D Apache Block III aircraft. The helicopters will be assembled, flight tested and delivered from the Boeing Global Strike facility in Mesa.

Inside the Army reported on Oct. 4 that the ADM comes on the heels of a Sept. 27 milestone C decision for the Apache Block III programs, clearing them to enter into low-rate initial production. In addition, according to an Oct. 18 story:

Contracts for LRIP of the Apache Block III remanufacture program were anticipated in the weeks following milestone C approval. Contractors for the program include Boeing for the helicopter and base platform, and a joint venture between Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin called Longbow Ltd. for sensor systems.

The "anticipated first LRIP contract award with Boeing is being planned for [no later than] 15 Oct. 2010 based on congressional notification post-ADM," Bailey wrote to ITA. "The LRIP contract award for [Longbow Ltd.] is anticipated in December 2010."

Though Bailey did not discuss contract specifics, he did say it is expected to encompass the LRIP program, which is slated to cover 51 remanufactured aircraft.

The Apache Block III new-build aircraft will not be covered by these near-term contracts, however, because the Army does not plan to procure the first of them until fiscal year 2013. According to Bailey, a follow-on contract action will occur after a full-rate production decision in FY-12.

By Marcus Weisgerber
October 25, 2010 at 7:10 PM

As the old saying goes: Better late than never. Boeing and the Air Force finally hammed out the termination details of the E-10 multimission intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, which has resulted in the defense giant crediting the service $30 million.

While the official cancellation of the E-10 program came three years ago today, the two parties finalized it last week. “The Air Force is finalizing a termination for convenience of the government with The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., for -$64,652,791,” an Oct. 22 contract announcement states. “The modification will result in a credit to the government of $30,052,79.”

The E-10 was supposed to be a Boeing 767-based aircraft that would replace the E-3 Sentry, the E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System and the RC-135 Rivet Joint. In 2003, the Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Raytheon a $215 million pre-system development and demonstration contract for E-10 aircraft and related integration work. As part of that contract, the service ordered a “green” 767 airliner.

But the service scaled the program back and eventually canceled the entire effort in 2007. As Inside the Air Force reported in August 2006:

Air Force officials are mulling plans to terminate the E-10A program as the service continues work on its fiscal year 2008 budget request, according to sources with knowledge of the thinking of service brass. The possibility of placing the embattled command and control aircraft program on the chopping block comes as service and Pentagon officials are looking to trim expenses. The Air Force, in its FY-07 budget blueprint, eliminated procurement funds for the E-10A program but left in place research and development dollars. Those R&D dollars were slated to be used for work on at least one E-10A plane, a plan that now appears in jeopardy, sources say.

After canceling the E-10 program, the 767 sat at a Boeing facility in Washington State for several years. In 2009, Flight Global reported that the government of Bahrain would acquire the aircraft for VIP transport.

By Thomas Duffy
October 25, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Since Oct. 1 the Pentagon comptroller's office has been using a new weapon in the fight to get its arms around the prickly problem of managing the Defense Department's finances. The Electronic Funds Distribution (EFD) system will replace many of the comptroller's stovepiped systems now in use. According to an Aug. 23 memo from the comptroller's shop that was just made publicly available:

The goal of the EFD system is to provide visibility, auditability, and traceability of appropriated funds distributed within DOD and to interface with components' funds distribution systems. The EFD system will distribute and manage budget authority for defense-wide military departments and appropriations using a web-based application. Specifically, the capabilities of the EFD system include: distributing budget authority to the components, managing recissions and continuing resolutions, and reprogramming/transferring budget authority as needed to support changes in funding priorities throughout the year.

Last week, Inside the Pentagon explained some of the problems the comptroller's shop is having in tracking where the dollars go and how it won't meet a Nov. 15 deadline for what was to be the first audit of the military's -- the Marine Corps in this case -- books. That story is here.

By Carlo Muñoz
October 22, 2010 at 8:53 PM

The Army is looking for ways to better protect soldiers on the ground from improvised explosive devices, according to a recently released notice to industry.

Looking to pursue near-term solutions based on existing technologies, Army officials want to field systems that will help ground troops detect "pressure plate" IEDs, as well as those set off by command and trip wires, the notice states. With a 300-meter radius, the system must be man-portable, able to operate nonstop for six hours and able to survive the unforgiving terrain in Afghanistan.

The notice comes shortly after Lt. Gen. Michael Oates, director of the Joint IED Defeat Task Force, announced the service's efforts to use unmanned ground sensors to detect IEDs has largely been ineffective."The local population is able to detect them almost as rapidly as we can put them in,” he said during an Oct. 20 briefing in Arlington, VA. “That has not panned out to be as effective as many people thought it might be.”

However, the three-star general did note that ground commanders have voiced an an increased need for unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct counter IED operations, as InsideDefense.com reported this week. “Their application to the counter-IED fight is enormous," he said. UAVs, Oates noted, can carry a range of payload packages that aid communication over mountain ranges in Afghanistan, and provide full-motion video at lower tactical levels.

By Christopher J. Castelli
October 22, 2010 at 8:03 PM

Today at the Marine Corps Barracks on Capitol Hill, Gen. James Amos officially took over as Marine Corps commandant as his predecessor, Gen. James Conway, stepped down from the role. Over the next four years, Amos' knowledge of the workings of the Pentagon and Washington will keep the Marine Corps "competitive" in a "resource-constrained environment," Conway predicted.

In a reference to an ongoing force structure review, Defense Secretary Robert Gates noted Amos will lead an effort to "look hard" at the role of the Marine Corps. "They need to preserve both their maritime soul and the hard-won counterinsurgency skills they've developed during this past decade," Gates said. No mention was made of procurement programs such as the troubled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.

The audience for the outdoor ceremony was packed with senior defense officials, top brass and retired Marine Corps leaders, including Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn; Pentagon policy chief Michèle Flournoy; Navy Secretary Ray Mabus; former Navy Secretary Donald Winter; U.S. Central Command chief Gen. James Mattis; the service chiefs; retired Gen. Peter Pace, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and retired Gen. James Jones, the former Marine commandant who recently stepped down as White House national security adviser.

By Carlo Muñoz
October 22, 2010 at 7:12 PM

The White House plans to cut off funding and support for a number of Pakistani Army units accused of killing prisoners and civilians during counterterrorism operations against the Taliban, according to a recent report in The New York Times. The administration's efforts are driven by mandates in the Leahy Amendment, which states the United States must cut off any foreign military assistance to any country accused of human rights violations, the article states.

Earlier this year, a videotape showing men dressed in Pakistani Army uniforms executing six civilians at an undisclosed location was released on the Internet. Even though an official inquiry into the incident was launched by Pakistani Army chief Gen. Asgfaq Kayani, The United States opted to withdraw its support for Pakistani forces, as mandated by U.S. law.

While ongoing joint counterterror operations between Pakistani troops and U.S. Special Operations Forces in the Swat Valley and South Warziristan will likely be affected by the move, the White House's decision could also derail a proposed sale of unmanned aerial vehicles to Islamabad.

In April, InsideDefense.com reported that Pentagon officials and their Pakistani counterparts were working a new slate of requirements to identify which unmanned aerial system being used by U.S. forces in Afghanistan will be sold to the Pakistani military.

Tactical-level drones -- particularly the Army's Shadow unmanned aerial system -- were among the many capabilities Pakistani Army Chief of Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani requested during a meeting with DOD officials in Washington, a senior defense official told reporters during a March 29 Pentagon briefing."We are working with [the Pakistanis] right now in order to correctly identify the requirements and match the best [UAS] platform to their needs," the official said.

During a trip to Islamabad in January, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States was prepared to sell a dozen RQ-7 Shadow UAS to the Pakistani military.

By Dan Dupont
October 22, 2010 at 6:16 PM

The Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting begins Monday, and InsideDefense.com will be covering it in force. Stay tuned here and throughout the site for frequent updates from the Inside the Army staff and other contributors.

And look for the new Inside the Army, which will set the stage well for the Army's biggest event of the year.

By Carlo Muñoz
October 21, 2010 at 8:20 PM

In Kandahar, if you run, you will only die tired.

Recent successes by U.S. and NATO troops against Taliban forces in Kandahar province is due in no small part to the expanded use of a key Army precision missile system, according to commanders on the ground.

Increased use of the Army's High Mobility Artillery Rocket System against mid-level Taliban leaders has been critical to the advances made by coalition forces as part of the ongoing Kandahar offensive, according to a recent report in The New York Times. Use of the HIMARS has been so successful that many Taliban leaders have been forced to seek safe haven across the border in Pakistan, according to the article.

Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, the British commander of NATO forces in Southern Afghanistan, told the Times that the devastating HIMARS strikes have given coalition troops the initiative in the ongoing Kandahar campaign. "We broke their neck," said Hajji Niaz Muhammad, the local police chief of the Arghandab district north of Kandahar.

In May, Inside the Army reported that the HIMARS system was one of the few bright spots in the Army and Pentagon's acquisition portfolio.

The weapon system was identified as a stable, on-track program for the ground service, according to a May 6 Government Accountability Office report. GAO said the design and requirements for HIMARS were also "well-understood and realistic from the outset," with rapid transportability, commonality maximization and use of existing hardware as key goals for program officials.

And with the subsequent cancellation of the service's Crusader artillery program, the HIMARS took on greater importance to Army operations, the report stated.

By Jason Sherman
October 20, 2010 at 7:09 PM

The Pentagon today notified Congress of a $60.5 billion package of potential arms sales to Saudi Arabia, a virtual bonanza for U.S. defense contractors that would feature 84 new F-15s and a fleet of 166 helicopters, including scores of attack and utility rotorcraft and associated gear, spare parts, and service support contracts.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which handles foreign military sales for the Pentagon, announced details of the potential deals in four separate statements.

The potential F-15SA deal -- worth $29.4 billion -- includes new aircraft as well as upgrades to the Royal Saudi Air Force's fleet of 70 F-15S aircraft to the F-15SA configuration, 170 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar (AESA) sets, 193 F-110-GE-129 engines, and substantial inventory of weaponry including bomb, sophisticated missile, and precision guided munitions.

According to the DSCA statement:

For the past twenty years the F-15 has been a cornerstone of the relationship between the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the RSAF. The procurement of the F-15SA, the conversion of the F-15S fleet to a common configuration, and the CONUS training contingent will provide interoperability, sustained professional contacts, and common ground for training and support well into the 21st century.

The F-15SA will help deter potential aggressors by increasing Saudi’s tactical air force capability to defend KSA against regional threats. The CONUS-based contingent would improve interoperability between the USAF and the RSAF. This approach will meet Saudi’s self-defense requirements and continue to foster the long-term military-to-military relationship between the United States and the KSA. Saudi Arabia, which currently has the F-15 in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing the F-15SA aircraft into its armed forces.

A second batch of aircraft, potentially worth $25.6 billion, would include 36 AH-64D Block III Apache helicopters, 72 UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters 36 HA-6i Light Attack Helicopters and 12 MD-530F Light Turbine Helicopters, according to the announcement. This deal could include trainers, simulators, munitions and assorted other equipment, according to the statement, which also says:

The Saudi Arabian National Guard will use the AH-64D for its national security and protecting its borders and oil infrastructure. The proposed sale will provide for the defense of vital installations and will provide close air support for the Saudi military ground forces. This sale also will increase the Saudi National Guard’s APACHE sustainability and interoperability with the U.S. Army, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and other coalition forces. Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.

In addition, DSC announced two additional potential sales, both for AH-64D Apache helicopters, one for 24 aircraft and associated equipment worth $3.3 billion, and a second for 10 aircraft and associated gear worth $2.2 billion.