Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile FMS Contract


The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is being awarded a $244,714,371 not-to-exceed, firm-fixed-price contract to procure long lead material for Harpoon full-rate production Lot 91 in support of multiple Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.  Work will be performed in St. Charles, Missouri (54 percent); McKinney, Texas (23 percent); Toledo, Ohio (8 percent); Burnley, United Kingdom (3 percent); Middletown, Connecticut (2 percent); Grove, Oklahoma (2 percent); Elkton, Maryland (1 percent); Lititz, Pennsylvania (1 percent); Galena, Kansas (1 percent); Huntsville, Alabama (1 percent), and various locations within the continental U.S. (4 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2023.  FMS funds in the amount of $244,714,371 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1).  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-0016).

Source:  https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1677051/source/GovDelivery/

Harpoon is an over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile manufactured by Boeing’s Defence, Space & Security business division, which is capable of performing both land-strike and anti-ship missions. Its accurate navigation solution allows users to discriminate target ships from islands or other nearby land masses or ships.

This all-weather missile can engage a wide variety of land-based targets, including coastal defense sites, surface-to-air missile sites, aircraft, port or industrial facilities, and naval ships anchored in ports. The missile can be deployed from submarines and surface ships such as fast patrol boats, destroyers and frigates as well as mobile land-based truck platforms and a variety of U.S. military aircraft and mobile land-based truck platforms.

Source:  https://www.zacks.com/stock/news/243266/boeing-wins-208m-fms-contract-for-harpoon-antimissile

Battery Voltage vs Percent Charged

The charge state of a lead acid battery (% charged) can be estimated from the voltage measured at the terminals of the battery.  The chart below shows the relationship.

First, it is important to understand the terminology.  “C” is the capacity of the battery in amp-hours.  For example, this battery has a rating of 215AH when discharged over 20 hours.  Note:  The Duracell GC2 battery is a 6V golf cart battery.  So, the chart is applicable to two of these batteries connected in series.

For easy reference, here are calculations of the currents shown on the chart:

Curve Current Draw/Charge Approximate Wattage Draw/Charge

Here are several examples of interpreting voltage:

Scenario 1

It is night and no solar energy is available to charge the battery.  Several small pieces of electronic equipment are connected to the battery.  They consume about 25W or so.  The battery voltage is 12.5V.  This means that the battery is about 60% charged.

If the battery voltage were 12.0V, then the battery would only be 10% charged.  Likewise, if the voltage were about 12.7V, the battery would be pretty much fully charged.

Scenario 2

It is night and no solar energy is available to charge the battery.  An inverter, which draws about 2A (~25W) of current is powering a small air conditioner and 6 high intensity recessed LED lights.  The air conditioner consumes 500W of power and the lights consume 75W.  So, the total power drawn from the battery is about 600W, which is between the C/3 and the C/5 curve – but closer to the C5 curve.

If the battery voltage measures 12.0V, then the battery is almost certainly fully charged.  If it measures 11.5V, the battery is about 60% charged.  And if it measures 10.5V, it is somewhat less than 10% charged.

Note that discharging a battery at the C/3 or even the C/5 rate decreases the life of the battery.  C/10 or C/20 is much safer.  In addition, battery life is shorted by discharging a battery below 50% of its capacity.  600W represents 50A of current.  So, using a Duracell G2 battery pair like this for more than two hours decreases life because of the discharge rate as well as discharging too deeply.  For usage such as this, it is advisable to use at least 4, if not 6 of these batteries, in series/parallel combination.  6 batteries would reduce the discharge rate to C/16.7 and would increase the safe usage time to about 6 hours.

In the chart below, the area in green represents the safest discharge rates and amounts for best battery life.  Note that battery terminal voltages under 12.0V are always suboptimal.

Scenario 3

It is a sunny day, nothing is using power from the battery, and a solar panel system is producing about 10A of current.  The voltage at the battery terminals measures 14.0V.  This means that the battery is approximately 90% charged.  On the other hand, if the voltage at the battery terminals measures 13.0V, the battery is approximately 50% charged.

Non-DoD Strategic Support Facility for F-35 Aircraft


Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $8,700,187 for cost-plus-fixed-fee order N0001919F0276 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-14-G-0020).  This order provides support services to design a non-Department of Defense (DoD) participant strategic facility in support of the F-35 aircraft.  Work will be performed in Kansas City, Missouri (72 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (28 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2020.  Non-DoD participant funds in the amount of $8,700,187 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Source:  https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1669872/source/GovDelivery/

Security Classification Guide Changes


Rockwell Collins, Richardson, Texas, has been awarded a $12,010,975 definitization (P000013) to previously undefinitized contract FA8204-18-C-0010 (P00005) to implement Security Classification Guide changes. Work will be performed at Richardson, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 3, 2020. Fiscal 2018, research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $818,227 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Nuclear Weapon Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity.


Source:  https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1660999/source/GovDelivery/

Professer Messer Security+ Videos

A good video supplement to Mike Meyer’s Videos for Security + is the Professor Messer set of videos:

Professor Messer Security+ Videos and Notes

These videos are 100% free.  And they are transcribed for those who prefer audio or visual learning.  Professor Messer also has detailed notes for a reasonable fee.

Vertamax 3000W Inverter Review

I have used the Vertamax 3000W inverter on and off over the past two months with various types and configurations of solar panels and batteries. It performs well under a load of up to 1200W and probably performs well beyond that, although I have not tried. It is well built.

One thing that I have noticed is that, as stated in the description, it does shut off under low voltage. However, the shutoff voltage is around 11.8V or 11.9V – not the 10.5V (+/- 3V) shown in the instruction manual. Of course, this is good for a lead acid battery under load because the inverter will shut down before the battery completely runs down. Running the battery completely down will dramatically shorten its life.

The description/manual also states that “When the input voltage rises to approximately 11.4 – 11.9V DC, the inverter restores to normal operation and the red FAULT indicator will turn off.” This is not correct. Even after a battery is fully charged to 12.9V, the fault like still blinks and the inverter does not come back on. I called WindyNation and spoke with a knowledgeable gentleman who verified that the only way to get the inverter to resume normal operation is to manually toggle the ON/OFF switch. This means that, at a remote unmanned site, a low voltage condition will cause the power to be off until someone can visit and reset it.

WindyNation told me a good rule of thumb to minimize the likelihood of batteries being run down below 50% – which is about as low as it is safe to go without damaging lead acid batteries. The rule of thumb is that choose a bank of deep cycle batteries that have as many amp hours as your solar panels have wattage. For example, six 100 watt solar panels should have a battery system rated at 600AH. This is general guidance and the exact ratio depends on the amount of sunshine in your location and the season. But, my experience over the past few months in North Texas is pretty much in line with this recommendation.


An APT is an Advanced Persistent Threat.

An APT is underway when an attacker targets a particular system over a long period of time.  The goal is to gain information – not to damage or destroy the system.  His attack is perpetrated against well-chosen targets and the attackers have specific objectives.  For example, an enemy government may want to target a nuclear weapons facility.  Or an attacker might want to target a credit reporting company to get access to credit card numbers.

APTs usually target corporations, banks, government entities, and national defense systems for espionage purposes.  The attackers seldom want the target to discover their presence.

The steps to an APT attack are to gain access to a system, create backdoors and tunnels so that attackers can move around unnoticed, crack passwords and use other methods to gain enhanced privileges (like administrator rights), and then transfer targeted data to their own systems.

They often repeat this process until they are detected.

A Remote Access Trojan (RAT) is a program that includes a backdoor for the attacker to access administrative privileges on a target system.  These programs may be part of freeware programs from dubious sources.  Or they may be sent as an attachment to an email that the attacker entices the recipient to open.  One famous RAT is called Back Oriface.



The unfortunate reality is that, despite the best attempts at network security, attack attempts will occur.  Sometimes they will be successful. One way to detect an attack in progress is to set up a honeypot.

A honeypot is a system that is set up to attract an attack attempt and direct the attacker to a safe system where his actions can be tracked and assessed without compromising the system that we are really trying to protect. The honeypot could be:

  • A dedicated server
  • A simulated system or state machine
  • A service on a selected host.  An example would be Tiny Honeypot, which listens to ports not in legitimate use.
  • A virtual server
  • A single file with special attributes.  This is sometimes called a honeytoken.

A honeypot is never meant for authorized users to use.  So, any access to it is either accidental or hostile.

Searching for US DoD Contracts

There are several websites that ask for payment to provide US DoD contract award information.  But, there is no need to pay.  The DoD lists contract awards on a daily basis (after 5pm) at:


Here is another interesting link:


I have not quite figured out what it shows and what it does not show.  This is definitely not an exhaustive list of defense contracts.

The following link summaries all DoD contracts > $6.5M, by company, for 2007 – 2016:


Renogy Rover Monitoring with the Raspberry Pi

The information, below, was posted on the Renogy Forum by a user with the screenname lindsey.  The forum recently moved and the documentation was temporarily lost.  The information was reposted; but I wanted to put it here for easy reference in case it gets lost again.

This information is about connecting the Renogy Rover to the Raspberry Pi for monitoring.

First, here is a general link discussing connection of the Raspberry Pi to a solar battery charger.


Here is the wiring diagram that the Renogy Forum post provided:

Here is a sample output on an Android from the Python scripts.

Here is a sample database query.


The diagram, below, is a diagram of how the Rover’s RJ-12 port splits out into RS-232 signals.  Note that only TX, RX, and ground are used.

The link below was put together by lindsey.  It describes the needed hardware (in addition to the Pi) as well as the general functionality of the Python code.

Raspberry PI Writeup

Finally, here is a zip file with the Python code.  Unfortunately, I do not have a way to contact lindsey.  The code comments say that her name is Lindsey Crawford.  If anyone knows how to contact her, please let me know.