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Federal Contracting Activities and Contract Types: Company Analyses (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

for this task, i was required to provide a current analysis on the issues affecting contracting activities within the US economy.

source..
Content:

Federal Contracting Activities and Contract Types: Company Analyses
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Federal Contracting Activities and Contract Types: Company Analyses
Introduction
The Federal Government of the U.S ensures there are necessary advancements of the military forces. This encompasses the U.S Navy, the U.S Army, the U.S Air Force as well as other Federal Reserve military groups such as the U.S National Guard and the US Coast Guard. Over the past decade, specifically after the 9/11 Terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the U.S launched a full scale war on terror. One key development in advancing the war on terror was the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) popularly referred to as Drones by the U.S Air Force to strike out terror targets and installations from the air. As the decade war on terror wore out, the use of drones multiplied to higher figures, such that most of the U.S Air Force airstrikes against terrorist targets are nowadays conducted by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are aircrafts that operate devoid of any human assistance on board, rather, the human assistance is based on the ground. Modern Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are mostly autonomously operated by onboard computer systems. The main reason of the increase of their production was the fact that human casualties are virtually nonexistent on the part of the U.S Air Force personnel. Furthermore, the development and maintenance of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is, in some instances, way cheaper than that of conventional fighter jets and bombers, making drones cheaper in a cost benefit analysis. All these have led to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles being popular with the U.S Air Force command as well as key policy makers in the Federal Government. To produce these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, the Federal Government has always contracted private military and defense contractors in order to design and develop drones. Some of the main U.S defense contractors who have been involved in the development and manufacture of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles include the well-known civilian aircraft maker Boeing, General Atomics, Raytheon, Northrop Grumann and Lockheed Martin among others(Cordesman, 2000).
In this research article, the study focuses on two of the huge defense contractors operating in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles sector of the aerospace industry. These two defense contractors are the Tomahawk Sheen Company and Vector Cal. Tomahawk Sheen Company is an American military contractor based in Phoenix, Arizona that was founded in 1934, in the years of the European arms race prior to World War 2. It is a leader in the manufacture of military aircrafts. It has previously been involved in the manufacture of F5 fighter jets in the course of 1960s and 70s (Cordesman, 2000).
Tomahawk Sheen major products and services range from aerospace systems and surveillance aircraft such as drones, to military grade sensors as well as radar systems that can be used for air defense. The defense contractor also provides training and communication services to various militaries around the world. Over the past few years, Tomahawk Sheen Company has been ranked as one of the largest defense contractor globally, with over US $25 billion in revenues. The defense contractor also provides employment to over 70, 0000 individuals in different parts of the globe. It has been awarded with numerous Federal Government military contractors since its existence. For instance, in the past year the defense contractor received over 13 defense and military contracts by Washington, covering different sectors of the military, with five of them focused on the aerospace industry alone. The other contracts deal with tracking and surveillance systems for missile defense systems, military engineering and software sustainment as well as orbital and space defense sensors. Therefore, the firm plays a key player in the defense and military production industry, not only in the U.S but globally (Cordesman, 2000).
The other major defense and military contractor is the Vector Cal Defense Corporation, which was founded in 1942 and it is based in Seattle, Washington. It was founded in the middle of World War 2 when the production of military and defense hardware was at its peak. It mainly deals in the defense, aerospace and security sectors of the military industry. Vector Cal Defense Corporation has over the years dealt in the production of military aircraft and bombers in the course of the World War 2. During this time, the corporation was supplying bombers to the U.S military, as well as to British and Japanese militaries(Stanford University, 2012).
Vector Cal Defense Corporation operates in five major business sectors, mainly aeronautics, missile and fire control, space systems, mission systems and training and also, information systems. In the past couple of years, Vector Cal Defense Corporation topped the US Federal list of contractors and it employs over 120,000 employees. It has been the recipient of many defense contracts from the US Federal Government. Most of these have been for the production of fighter jets, such as stealth fighter jets, the F-22 Raptor and F-35 lightning. The company also supplies the U.S military with Vector Cal Trident Missiles. In 2010 alone, Vector Cal Defense Corporation received U.S $ 38.4 billion from the Federal Government in regards to military sales (Stanford University, 2012).
One of the recent defense contracts awarded to Tomahawk Sheen Company was a contract by the U.S Navy Department for the continued improvement and development of combat system trainers and naval training systems, worth U.S $ 33 million. The contract, awarded in late 2013, will also enhance the command and control centers of the U.S Navy. The main reason as to why the firm was awarded this contract is possibly due to the company being a leader in naval training systems. Furthermore, the company has worked to help the Naval Undersea Warfare Division of the U.S Navyfor over 20 years, hence a highly reliable partner. The naval systems that are provided by the company are also easier to operate and a bit cheaper. These are some of the reasons as to why the company was offered this contract (CDI, 2002).
In regards to Vector Cal Defense Corporation, one of the most recent defense contracts they have been awarded is also by the U.S Navy in early 2014, worth about U.S $ 800 million. The contract involves the development and manufacture of two Littoral Combat Ships. The combat ships built by Vector Cal Defense Corporation are steel mono hull-design ships, and are designed to operate in littoral zones, close to the shores. The company earned the contract because it is a leader in the production of Littoral combat ships, which are agile, fast and with capabilities of Open Ocean tasking. Notwithstanding, the firm has been involved greatly in the production of cost effective and top-notch littoral combat ships since 2010, as such a good working relationship between the company and the U.S Navy Department stands to date (Stanford University,2012).
It is fair to stipulate that both Tomahawk Sheen Company and Vector Cal Defense Corporation are eligible for cost plus types of contracts.Cost plus contracts, also known as cost reimbursement, are a type of contracts where an agreement stipulates that a company is to be paid for a particular job based on the amount of money that has been used to procure the needed material for the production of given products. An added payment is also factored into the money given to the given company. Most of the defense and military contractors in the U.S normally sign cost plus contracts, due to a number of reasons; for example, these contractors engage in fields that entail new research and development.This is simply because determining in advance the costs of production of some defense hardware, such as fighter jets, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and military vessels. The U.S Federal Government has made it its culture to provide defense and military contractors with cost reimbursement contracts, as the contractors are involved in the development of new technologies for multiple national defense initiatives (Cordesman, 2000).
Both of these defense contractors faced three key direct...
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