Defense considers fewer sole-source contracts

Wednesday - 8/18/2010, 8:40am EDT

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  • The Missile Defense Agency considers boosting competition for multi-billion dollar contracts. GovExec reports the agency is reviewing $37-billion dollar in missile defense programs, to decide whether to open the contracts to competitive bids. In the past, the agency has often used sole-source contracts for its big programs. The news comes after Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced plans to cut more than $100 billion dollars from the Pentagon Budget. But the Missile Defense Agency's leader says the focus on more competition was planned before Gates made his announcement.

  • The Pentagon has blocked a $400 million dollar contract with Lockheed Martin because a component in an Army missile defense system had failed to pass key tests. A spokesman for the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency tells AFP that one safety device on board the missile hasn't passed its qualification test. So the the contract to build the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile is on hold until the problem is fixed. The THAAD missiles are designed to intercept incoming short and medium-range ballistic missiles in the outer edges of the Earth's atmosphere. The system was to play a key role in US plans to shield forces in the Middle East against Iranian missile attack.

  • Maryland Senator Ben Cardin is asking the Defense Department to move as quickly as possible to address contamination issues at Fort Detrick in Frederick. An investigation has been launched to determine whether chemicals from the fort are responsible for a rash of cancer cases in the area. Cardin has has called on the Army to expedite the signing of a Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by December 1, 2010. Learn more in an interview with Sen. Cardin on the Federal Drive by clicking here.

  • A passenger aboard a float plane headed for Lake Washington says it violated the airspace around Air Force One while President Obama was in Seattle. That caused the military to scramble fighter jets. Sonic booms from the Air National Guard F-15s startled many people throughout the Puget Sound area yesterday.

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