Two former employees of MD Helicopters, Inc filed a lawsuit under the False Claims Act back in 2013. Just last week, a Huntsville jury deliberated and decided the defense contractor to be liable in three claims, finding their actions to be fraudulent in inducing the U.S. Army into contracts with Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. The verdict results in $100 million to the two former employees, the whistleblowers who brought the case to court, and the federal government. According to the lawsuit, contract codes were not followed and an Army contracting officer found a new job at the defense contractor. While the defense countered that the there were no issues with the helicopters and the contractor had saved the Army $100 million on another deal, it was clear that the argument that a lack of intent for fraud wasn’t enough to change the jury’s decision. It’s also clear that contracting officers and legal play a vital role in the company.
Layoffs Impacting the Cleared Industry
|U.S. Navy||As of October 1, the Navy will start cutting about 1,000 civilian jobs across the country to reduce costs on domestic bases.
“Based on current projections, CNIC will be forced to curtail the level of base operations services (BOS) we provide to the Fleet, Fighter, and Family in [Fiscal Year 2022] and beyond,” Vice Adm. Yancey Lindsey, head of the navy Installations Command (CNIC), wrote in the Sept. 15 message.
A budget shortfall is cited as the reason for the cuts. However, with some positions vacant and some civilians headed for retirement, the Navy may not need to issue quite so many pink slips this year. In order to meet budget goals, the Navy will be trying to do more with less.
Hiring impacting the Cleared Industry
|Raytheon||Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) opened a new 178,000-square-foot Advanced Integration and Manufacturing Center at its McKinney, TX location. The center is a result of a $100 million investment and collaboration with the McKinney Economic Development Corporation that included a commitment to generate 500 skilled jobs, which is already complete.
“Our new Advanced Integration and Manufacturing Center and plans for greater expansion reflect a deliberate strategy to transform ourselves by investing in new digital capabilities,” said Roy Azevedo, president, RI&S. “We are laser focused on improving our agility as we develop and deliver the world’s finest technologies to our valued customers.”
RI&S unveiled its latest investment to build a 400,000-square-foot factory, lab and office space at its McKinney campus to open by 2025. The larger, consolidated modern manufacturing operation in McKinney will make it possible for RI&S to develop, build, test and deliver more advanced technology and will generate another 700 jobs. RI&S will also outfit a new 250,000-square-foot leased facility in North Texas to house technology programs.
“Raytheon Technologies is a truly respected and valued corporate partner, and we are proud to have their long-standing presence in our community. McKinney is known for fostering strong business relationships and creating an environment that not only allows these businesses to grow but provides their employees with a great place to call home,” said Mayor George Fuller. “City Council, city staff and the McKinney Economic Development Corporation look forward to continuing to position the city as one of the best places in America to raise a family and conduct business.”
Cleared Employer at Work: Northrop Grumman
Opportunity to Watch
DARPA has selected BAE Systems, Inc. to receive a $6.5 million Phase 2 contract to further develop software that will enable semi-autonomous, multi-domain mission planning. The Phase 2 award under the Adapting Cross-Domain Kill-Webs, or ACK, program follows a successful Phase 1 demonstration.
As part of Phase 1, BAE Systems’ FAST Labs™ research and development organization, along with teammates Carnegie Mellon University and Uncharted Software, created software called the Multi-domain Adaptive Request Service. The Phase 1 demonstration highlighted the software’s ability to update a plan in real time during a live exercise by ingesting information feeds to track the state of planned tasks, and then generating options to adapt the plan to insert new tasks. The Multi-domain Adaptive Request Service software adapts a plan with 100s of missions to insert tasks against new targets, requiring only fractions of a second per target added.
Under Phase 2, BAE Systems will continue to mature and advance the software to scale up the capabilities designed to help operators make informed decisions by automatically identifying available assets across domains, and then rapidly assessing the costs and benefits of using those assets when adapting mission tasks. Phase 2 is a step toward the ultimate goal of the program: demonstrating the techniques in a full scale, operationally realistic setting.
“Autonomy is a critical enabler for multi-domain mission planning,” said Chris Eisenbies, product line director of the Autonomy, Controls, and Estimation group at BAE Systems. “The Phase 2 award will focus on advancing the software designed for military operators to leverage battlespace resources from across various domains, including space, air, land, and sea, for more effective, efficient missions.”
Work on the ACK program is being performed at the company’s facilities in Burlington, MA and Arlington, VA.