Weekdays at 5 p.m. is a sacred time of day for defense reporters, and not just because of the promise of imminent alcohol. Come rain, shine or economic collapse, 5 p.m. is when the Pentagon emails out its list of contracts awarded that day, a laundry list of numbing, flat listings about massive amounts of money, like how Jacobs Technology, Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn., is being awarded a $170,647,013 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for system engineering services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD). Efforts to be provided include design studies and evaluations associated with research, development, production, and operations of weapons and weapons systems. You’re already not paying attention, and that’s just the first listing of ten from Friday, and it totals $170 million. Say what you will about the Pentagon, but the building knows how to make it rain.
What you rarely see in those emails is news of a contract being torn up. I mean really rarely — you can blame it on Teh Google, but I can’t find a single reference in my inbox, where these emails have gone for two and a half years, to such a cancellation. (There was a separate email on June 1 announcing the Navy cancellation of the VH-71 presidential helicopter.) But today is a new day. Today’s the day that Defense Secretary Bob Gates’ 2010 defense budget took money away from defense contractors.
The Air Force is terminating for convenience the Transformational Satellite Communications System Mission Operations System contract with Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services of San Jose, Calif., for $2,020,430,440. The contract termination is a result of the Department of Defense cancelling the TSAT Program in accordance with the priorities of the FY10 President’s Budget.
The Air Force is terminating for convenience the Transformational Satellite Communications Systems Engineering and Integration contract with Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., of McLean, Va., for $20,802,224. The contract termination is a result of the Department of Defense cancelling the TSAT Program in accordance with the priorities of the FY10 President’s Budget (FA8802-04-F-7044).
Gates announced that he was junking the Air Force’s so-called TSAT program in April, but it just doesn’t feel real until you see it in your inbox. The program, which is to be replaced by a different satellite program, is expected to cost $11 billion and has Boeing as an additional contractor. That means there’s going to be another round of emails announcing more cancellations. And I’m stone sober.