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BY corinna petry
Defense strategy

henever I start worrying about the demand picture for mass quantities of metals products, I turn to the U.S. Department of Defense page that shows contract awards and contract extensions. There is a great deal of business transacted with our military and with our allies throughout the world.

In addition, many service centers and others throughout the metals supply chain are qualified to work with the Defense Logistics Agency. Suppliers vetted and approved by the DLA provide a vast array of materials for trucks and airplanes, tanks and barracks, warehouses and weapons, barges and medical equipment.

Here’s a short list of rcent contract awards to indicate how diverse the applications are for metals-intensive military goods.

  • On July 14, a single U.S. Navy contract was awarded to shipyards in Virginia, California and Hawaii to repair, maintain and alter U.S. government waterborne vessels and surface ships visiting or homeported in the Hawaiian Islands. Types of trades required include ship fitting, sheet metal, welding and pipefitting. That contract is valued at a minimum of $49 million.
  • The Army Corps of Engineers awarded three contracts for rapid-response temporary roofing projects in the event of an emergency, valued at $45 million each.
  • On July 13, the Air Force awarded a $22.9 billion contract to Boeing Co. for the F-15EX system, a fighter jet program. Boeing will design, develop, integrate, manufacture, test, verify, certify, deliver, sustain and modify the aircraft, as well as supply spares, support equipment, training materials and technical support.
  • The Navy awarded a group of construction contractors, fabricators and erectors to perform construction work valued at $339 million at Navy and Marine Corps installations in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia.
  • The Navy granted a $35.3 million contract to a shipbuilder to repair, upgrade and modernize the USS Helena, a submarine first commissioned in 1987.
  • On July 9, the DLA awarded a $44 million contract to build diesel engines for high-mobility, multipurpose wheeled vehicles.
  • The Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract valued at $138 million for work related to the design and construction of a border wall in Yuma, Arizona.
  • On July 7, the Navy awarded a $7 million contract to a Louisiana shipbuilder to construct four 40-foot aluminum patrol boats.
  • On July 6, the Navy awarded a $33.7 million contract for the production and delivery of tactical missiles for the U.S. Navy and Air Force and other missile parts (spares assets) for the governments of Finland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Turkey and Poland.

The outcomes of such contracts can be seen, for example, in the July 15 commission of the USS Tripoli, an amphibious assault ship. “USS Tripoli is proof of what the teamwork of all of our people—civilian, contractor and military—can accomplish together,” said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. “This ship will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world.”

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