BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.20 ISSUE 18
30 April 2018
NEWS IN BRIEF – EUROPE
Greece F-16 jet upgrade
Simon Bollom appointed at DE&S
NATO Discusses Afghanistan
Germany misses Nato spending
EIB to finalise CFM
Lockheed and German F-35 politics
Germany, France weapons developments
UK to join fighter partnership?
Harmonised export rules in Europe?
German missile contract by year-end?
EU supply chains open to SMEs
Australian co-operation with Germany
No stealth? No problem
Airbus and Dassault join forces
New European air combat system
Finland joins EDA’s R&D projects
Exercise Joint Warrior begins
Submarine Delivery Agency launched
Germany/France joint fighter program
Airbus Warns Against F-35 Purchase
UK Guardian Air C2 System
Germany wants to spend billions
NEWS IN BRIEF – USA
Cheaper for foreigners to buy US
Black Hawk multi-year deal
Lawmakers Push Pentagon on Reforms
USMC Braces For 2020 Budget Cuts
F-35 transfers to Turkey blocked?
New defense strategy won’t work
Efforts to Restore Military
Budget Path to Military Recovery
Foreign arms sales surcharge
Building on Recent DoD Successes
USAF tankers into nuke sniffers
New Air Assault Concept tested
Civilian Agencies More Productive
New Trump arms export rules
NEWS IN BRIEF – REST OF THE WORLD
- Korea nuclear site collapsed
Syrian Democratic Forces Fight
Aus Defence Trade Controls Act
Ghanaian defence budget
Airbus reports Q1 2018 results
MBDA plans US tie-ups
FLIR pays for ITAR violations
Foresight Geospatial Insight buy
CS to acquire Novidy
FLIR Q1 2018 Financial Results
KBR Q1 2018 Financial Results
Saab’s Q1 2018 Financial Results
Clark clears Melrose GKN takeover
Boeing cruises past forecasts
Cobham AGM Statement
Northrop’s upbeat results
LM foreign sales rising
Lockheed shares fall
UTC results beat expectations
Hexcel Q1 sales rise
Airbus post-Brexit shift
Meggitt Sells Precision Micro
QinetiQ buys E.I.S.
Melrose confident’ over GKN
Trading Update for GKN
HorizonX Invests in Morf3D
Capita rights issue
MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS
BMC Wins Turkey’s Tank contract
NP Aerospace to close
UK MoD names Boxer as best choice
Polaris Teams Up With AutoSource
E2 air field repair kit for USAF
Roshel’s Senator APC
Vietnam upgrades armour fleet
US Airborne units getting GMV
Malaysian companies SOF vehicles
Milrem propane tank hauler
NEW TECHNOLOGIES, NETWORKS AND COMMUNICATIONS
New CW rugged graphics modules
MTU’s next-gen fighter engine
Rohde & Schwarz’s SDAR for H-47
Thales upgrades Spanish PR4G radios
Cellula AUV fuel cell technology
Pentagon AI center progressing
SATELLITE SYSTEMS, SATCOM AND SPACE SYSTEMS UPDATE
IGC to Deliver TV Programming
UK explores producing Galileo
Phase Four Thruster’s Results
Honeywell and Ball Combine Forces
RADAR, EO/IR, NIGHT VISION AND SURVEILLANCE UPDATE
Blighter B400 sale into India
NiteSite exhibiting at NRA
MASE equipped RNLAF NH90
HENSOLDT Counter-UAV System
JSTARS recap to continue?
US Army Scopes Out Sensors
Terma presents MASE pod
Patriot radar’s 3,000 ops hours
Esri releases DSA
Dedrone partnership with DIUx
Japan role in French-German MPA?
Canadian MRR Radar from Rheinmetall
Quantum radar detects stealth
KRAS expands product profile
DigitalGlobe imagery into SecureWatch
Leonardo eyes 3 jets for BriteCloud
LCS datalink’s imagery from aircraft
MISSILE, BALLISTICS AND SOLDIER SYSTEMS UPDATE
Russia displays cruise missiles
New Orbital ATK missile warhead
China deploys DF-26 missile
Brazil eyes towed howitzers
US Army Rapid Capabilities Office
Poland Struggles With HIMARS Buy
Russian S-400 deal with India
Stingers, lasers on USMC vehicles
Indian Army reduces ammo purchases
USS Coronado tests COBRA system
SDI LOI with the KADDB
Electromagnetic Railgun Heats Up
Raytheon SDB II testing
UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
MALE RPAS model unveiled
DARPA cancels LightningStrike
VTOL Variant of PD-1 from Ukraine
Belarus Berkut-2 UAV Upgraded
European MALE programme team
LM MQ-25 prototype in one year
Airbus and Schiebel MUM-T
New U.S. Drone Export Policy
Phase 3 of DARPA Gremlins Program
VR-Technologies VRT300 tests
Kratos onto Gremlins Phase III
UAS Remote ID for NASA UTM Trials
CYBER, EW, CLOUD COMPUTING AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE
Escort Jamming solution EDGE
Syrian EW environment
Cloud Data Edge to Dominate
Portugal, Australia join NATO center
Case for one cloud contract for DoD?
JEDI Backpack Servers To Front Line
Esri Releases ArcGIS
BAE and Dell DoD cloud solution
Raytheon alliance with Virsec
DoD’s Korean cyber cell
Thales digital factory in Asia
INTERNATIONAL PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES
UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
New Fleet Solid Support ships
German Tornado-replacement bids in
Eurofighter touts Typhoon as pathway
Boeing, German STH Partners
Team Eurofighter offer to Germany
Finland Seeks Fighter Bids
Ireland-Co Kildare: Ammunition
German Army Tiger and NH90 upgrade
Luftwaffe release of STH helo RFP
Hellenic Navy leasing FREMM frigates
Northrop didn’t bid for GPS III
CH-53K helo program on track
Army extends ADMC-2 contract
Partnerships for MRO market
REST OF THE WORLD
Israeli Chilean F-16 upgrade
India offers refurbed materiel
Australian agreement with BAE
Argentina adds new equipment
RoK anti-submarine helos bids
Australian OPV decision failure
Ships to be built by Aus companies
Iraq to work with Iran
India withdraws from FGFA project
Indian designs for ASW corvette
RFIs open for Aus Future Submarine
Aus Defence Industrial Capability Plan
CONTRACT NEWS IN BRIEF
UK Guardian project
BMC Turkey tank contract
Netherlands – M1156 Kits
Saab FMV contract
Sellier ammo contract
Astilleros Gondán contract
Netherlands CONUS FMS
Harris Counter Comms contract
Orbital ATK C-UAV contract
DRS Laurel contract
Raytheon CDMaST contract
BAE LIMWS contract
KBR TENCAP contract
Lockheed F-35 contract
Agile cyber R&D contract
REST OF THE WORLD
Blighter India contract
Comtech Philippine contract
Rheinmetall Asian contract
Austal Timor Leste contract
RNZN selects FarSounder
Survitec A&P contract
Airbus JCG H225 contract
Thales Senegal contract
MANAGEMENT ON THE MOVE
TopEngineer.com Job Of the Week!
Navantia’s Aus design centre
CAE office in Canberra
Aus Defence Export Office opens
RMN’s training ships
Indian Mk IV landing craft
Indonesian Nagapasa-class sub
India P-17A frigate design
Damen OPVs for Pakistan Navy
OCEA patrol boats to Nigeria
KC-46 completed STC tests
MV-22 into a refueling tanker
German SF H145M operational?
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
Top Angolan generals sacked
Up to 223 jobs to go at ASC
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
UK amphibious HQ disappears
Rear Adm. C.S. Faller appointed
LG Paul Nakasone appointed
Mira Ricardel appointed
Dr. GP Sandhoo appointed
USAF LG B. Shwedo appointed
USN Capt. R.T. Clark appointed
Aero Vodochody/IAI JV
Andrew Tyler leaves Northrop UK
Airbus names Grazia Vittadini
Siemens named Barbara Humpton
EXHIBITIONS AND CONFERENCES
Clarion launches DSEI Japan
Eurosatory LAB launched
Modernising Defence programme.
Commitment to UK space
House of Commons and House of Lords Hansard Written Answers
Type 45 Destroyers: Radar
Strong Showing From US Majors
German Defense Spending – Trouble Ahead?
By Howard Wheeldon, FRAeS, Wheeldon Strategic Advisory Ltd.
China’s First Domestically Built Carrier Set to Begin Sea Trials
By Bonnie S. Glaser and Matthew P. Funaiole
Saving the JCPOA: the EU has to work with Russia and China
By Andrey Baklitskiy, Consultant at the PIR Center and Adlan Margoev, Director of Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation Program, PIR Center
Macron and Merkel Must Flex Muscles to Save Iran Nuclear Deal
By Axel Hellman, Axel Hellman is a Policy Fellow at the European Leadership Network (ELN).
Of Parliamentary Democracy and WPP By Howard Wheeldon, FRAeS, Wheeldon Strategic Advisory Ltd.
Lessons Learned? Success and Failure in Managing Russia-West Military Incidents 2014-2018
By Thomas Frear, Research Fellow
8 Sinclair Gardens
London W14 0AT
Tel/Fax: +44 (0)207 6105520
Mobile: +44 077689 54766
NEWS IN BRIEF – EUROPE
Web Page sponsored by Harris Corporation
28 Apr 18. Greece approves F-16 fighter jet upgrade deal with the United States. Greece on Saturday approved a deal with the United States to upgrade dozens of its F-16 fighter jets at a cost of roughly 1.2bon euros, a measure the bailed-out country said would not harm its future fiscal progress.
The potential deal to overhaul the aircraft came to light during a visit by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to the White House in October.
Greece’s top decision-making body on foreign affairs and defense matters, KYSEA, which Tsipras heads, unanimously sealed the agreement for the upgrade on Saturday, the premier’s press office said in a statement.
Three of the 85 jets earmarked for modernization will be upgraded in the United States while the rest will be refurbished in Greece, a Greek defense ministry source said, adding that the cost would be about 1.2bn euros ($1.45bn).
The government said last year the overhaul would be paid in annual instalments of about 110m euros over a decade.
Athens said on Saturday that Washington had accepted a revised Greek proposal that takes into consideration the country’s fiscal obligations in the coming years. It did not give details on the revised proposal.
Greece, which will exit its third international bailout in August but will still have to attain primary budget surpluses in the medium term, has said the deal should not worry its EU lenders.
Defence spending has been reduced during Greece’s seven-year debt crisis, which shrank the size of its economy by more than a quarter and drove its jobless rate to nearly 28 percent.
However, the country still spends about 2 percent of its gross domestic product — roughly 3.5bn euros — on defense, more than the EU’s average. That is largely due to long-standing tensions with its neighbor and fellow NATO member Turkey, which have risen in recent months. (Source: News Now/Reuters)
27 Apr 18. Britain’s defense procurement agency finds news leadership from within. Britain’s defense and procurement arm has turned to an insider to run the £14bn (U.S. $20bn) a year organization, the government announced April 27.
Simon Bollom, a retired air marshal who is currently the chief of materiel (ships) at the Defence Equipment & Support organization, takes up the post of chief executive. The job has been vacant since Tony Douglas unexpectedly jumped ship and returned to industry last year.
Bollom takes up one of the toughest jobs in Britain’s defense sector on May 21, just ahead of the expected publication of the government’s defense modernization review, which could cull or delay programs and capabilities unless more money is found for the Ministry of Defence.
Alex Ashbourne Walmsley, of Ashbourne Consulting, said Bollom has the experience needed for DE&S having worked on two challenging portfolio’s covering air and maritime procurement and support.
“He’s as good as they have got. His experience at DE&S has given him a good grasp of the challenges. I think he is the right man for the job,” she said.
The appointment reverses recent trends, with the previous two holders of the post coming from outside the defense sector.
The most recent, Tony Douglas, caught the MoD by surprise when he suddenly left the post after two years to take up a position as chief executive of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Aviation Group.
The previous incumbent, Bernard Gray, had been a financial reporter and businessman who wrote a blistering critique of DE&S for the government before being invited in to sort out the business.
Some executives Defense News talked to said this time around the government had tapped industry executives as part of the recruitment process, but that anybody who would have been seen as a sensible choice had turned them down.
“No one in their right mind would touch it, it’s a very, very difficult job,” said one executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A second industry executive, who also spoke on the same condition, said the government had made a good choice by going for an internal candidate. “They needed an insider to maintain some stability and maintain the transformation agenda that’s underway. Bollon fits that bill, he’s full of energy and enthusiasm, and he understands the inner working of DE&S and the MoD. He is also well-liked by just about everybody,” the executive said.
For his part, Gray was renowned for his sometimes hostile relationship with industry and some of his staff.
Ashbourne-Walmsley said the MoD has come full circle in appointing Bollom.
“The MoD has gone back to the traditional route of appointing someone who already has DE&S experience, particularly on project delivery. The experience of recruiting outside has not worked as well as had been anticipated,” she said.
“It’s a vocational job. The experience of [the] last two candidates made that even more clear, but you really need somebody who is doing the job for the love of the armed forces. It can be a thankless task, and you don’t do it for the money,” she said.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said he ”looked forward to working with him (Bollom) on the organization’s important task of driving performance in the supply chain, building capability to support our armed forces and delivering value for the taxpayer.” (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
27 Apr 18. NATO Foreign Ministers Discuss Afghanistan, Open Door. Military operations in Afghanistan are crucial to the Taliban that there is no victory on the battlefield and the best option is to negotiate with the government, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said today at the end of the alliance’s foreign minister meeting in Brussels.
The foreign ministers held a strategic discussion on Afghanistan, including the Afghan peace process, progress on the country’s reform agenda, and the regional context of the conflict. The foreign ministers met to plan the NATO summit set for July.
New Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended for the United States.
Progress in Afghanistan
Stoltenberg said there has been in Afghanistan, with Afghan forces fully in charge of their security. He noted that the alliance had more than 100,000 troops in the country just a few short years ago. “We now have around 16,000 [troops] in a training role,” he said. “NATO’s continued presence creates the conditions for peace and reconciliation.”
The alliance welcomes Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s unprecedented offer of peace talks to the Taliban, a step he could not have taken without the guarantee of long-term NATO support.
The Taliban has not taken up Ghani’s offer and Stoltenberg urged the Taliban to take part in an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.
The foreign ministers also urged Pakistan to take additional steps to close all terrorist sanctuaries and prevent terrorist financial flows and cross-border attacks. “We also encourage Iran and Russia to contribute to regional stability,” the said.
NATO welcomes the Afghan announcement of parliamentary elections in October, Stoltenberg said.
“Fair, inclusive and timely elections are also essential for Afghanistan’s progress,” he said. “We encourage Afghanistan to continue on the path to reform, including the promotion of human rights, good governance fighting corruption.”
The foreign ministers also discussed NATO’s “open door policy,” talking about the progress of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Georgia. Stoltenberg noted that Ukraine has also indicated interest in joining the alliance.
“Our open door policy is a historic success,” he said. “It has brought stability, peace prosperity to millions across the Euro-Atlantic region and built greater cooperation. As demonstrated by the accession of Montenegro to NATO last year, NATO’s door remains open. For a country to join NATO it takes one country to apply, and 29 allies to agree. Nobody else has a say or a veto.” (Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
27 Apr 18. Germany to miss Nato defence spending pledge Target to devote 2% of GDP to military will not be reached despite big rise in budget. Germany’s defence budget would rise from €38.9bn this year to €43.9bn in 2022, an increase of nearly 13 per cent. Germany will not meet its commitment to spend 2 per cent of gross domestic product on defence in the next four years and the ratio will in fact decline from 2020, according to FT calculations based on government budget plans. The failure to meet the target comes despite a sharp ramp-up in military expenditure and will provide ammunition for US president Donald Trump, who has argued that Berlin is “freeriding” on Washington’s defence capabilities. Nato burden-sharing was one of many contentious issues addressed in talks between Mr Trump and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, in Washington on Friday, which came with US-German relations languishing at a low point. Ms Merkel hoped to persuade Mr Trump to exempt the EU from threatened tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, which are scheduled to go into effect on May 1 — although prior to her trip, German officials played down expectations of success. At a press conference after their talks on Friday, Mr Trump renewed his attack on Germany over military expenditure, saying he and Ms Merkel had discussed the “responsibility of European nations to properly contribute to their own defence” and “honour their commitment to spend 2 per cent — and hopefully much more — of GDP” on the military. “We have a far greater burden than we should have,” he said, referring to the US. “We’re protecting Europe and yet we pay . . . far more than anybody else.” Ms Merkel said Germany had increased expenditure on the armed forces over the past few years and would spend 1.3 per cent of GDP on defence next year. “But we’re by no means where we should be, and we know that,” she acknowledged. On Friday the German finance ministry set out broad spending plans until 2022, which include a big increase in military expenditure. The defence budget would rise from €38.9bn this year to €43.9bn in 2022, an increase of nearly 13 per cent. But based on IMF projections of the size of the German economy, the figures translate into annual spending of a little over 1 per cent of GDP. Indeed, with the economy set to continue expanding, the ratio slightly declines between 2020 and 2022. Germany says it remains committed to the pledge given at the Nato summit in Wales in 2014 to move towards the 2 per cent target over the next 10 years — though it is currently only at 1.2 per cent. Spending has increased substantially over the last parliament, from €32.8bn in 2013 to €36.9bn last year. €43.9bn Germany’s predicted defence budget by 2022 As the US turns inward, Germany is also showing more willingness to take on a bigger security role in the world, with soldiers engaged in more than a dozen foreign missions, from Afghanistan to Mali. German forces are also playing a critical role in restoring Nato’s power of deterrence towards a newly assertive Russia. Germany is committed to raising two whole divisions with five armoured brigades each by 2032, as part of a new Nato initiative to boost the alliance’s long-term defence capabilities. After a G7 summit last year exposed deep divisions between the US and European allies, Ms Merkel said that the “times when we could completely rely on others are, to a certain extent, over.” “We Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands,” she added, in a speech that appeared to mark a sea-change in Germany’s perception of its international role. But there is so far little hard evidence that is translating into a more muscular projection of German military capability. The coalition agreement reached in February between Ms Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc and the left-of-centre Social Democrats (SPD) envisages a modest rise in defence spending and a promise to equip the Bundeswehr in the “best possible” manner, but lacks detail. Experts say that German voters, traditionally suspicious of the military, would recoil from anything more ambitious, as would the SPD. Their candidate for chancellor in last year’s elections, Martin Schulz, warned that by promising to increase defence spending Ms Merkel was threatening to plunge Germany into a “new arms race”. Yet there is a growing clamour to invest more in the Bundeswehr, amid mounting evidence of the damage caused by a quarter-century of budget cuts. An official report published in February by Hans-Peter Bartels, the German parliament’s armed forces commissioner, said the state of Germany’s military equipment was “dramatically bad”. Mr Bartels found that at the end of last year only a fraction of several crucial weapons systems was operational; that all six of Germany’s submarines were not in use; and that at times, not one of its A-400M transport aircraft could fly. (Source: FT.com)
27 Apr 18. EU defence agency and investment bank to finalise lending accord before 2019. The European Defence Agency and the European Investment Bank (EIB) aim to finalise their envisioned “co-operative financial mechanism” (CFM) by the end of 2018, thus placing the EIB’s vast borrowing muscle at the service of multination defence research and acquisition activities across the EU.
“We strongly believe in the huge potential of this to increase public expenditure in favour of security and defence,” Dennis Roger, the EDA’s director of synergies and innovation, told a 25 April hearing in Brussels of the European Parliament’s sub-committee on security and defence. “Our [defence ministries] have constantly expressed their concern about the risks attached to project financing, and this will go a long way to address that.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Apr 18. Lockheed tries to steer clear of German F-35 politics. Lockheed Martin executives Thursday dismissed critics’ claims that a German move to buy the F-35 fighter jet now would jeopardize future German-French combat aircraft cooperation.
Jack Crisler, vice president of business development, argued the U.S. defense giant’s product would be “complementary” to plans for future aircraft to be developed initially by Berlin and Paris.
“I don’t see it as competition,” he said.
Speaking to reporters at the Berlin Air Show, Crisler said operating the fifth-generation jet would give the German Air Force a taste of the types of technology to come, which could be helpful in making the generational jump later.
Company officials sought to frame the contractor’s response to a German request for information as a sheer business matter, independent of any political sensitivities surrounding the U.S. defense giant’s move toward the German market.
However, the playing field is anything but apolitical. Outgoing Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Karl Müllner reportedly was considered too outspoken by Defence Ministry leaders in his openness for the F-35, previously noting the stealth and standoff combat capabilities as desirable features for the service.
But Berlin officially favors an upgraded version of the fourth-generation Eurofighter ― built by a consortium of Airbus, Leonardo and BAE Systems ― as a replacement for the 90-strong Tornado jet fleet. The main argument is to keep European companies involved in building combat aircraft and, perhaps even more importantly, staying clear of disturbing Franco-German momentum in armaments cooperation.
Airbus Defence and Space chief Dirk Hoke told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper over the weekend that if Germany picks the American F-35, it would upend plans for the European co-development of a new-generation aircraft that would begin service sometime in the 2040s.
Crisler said Lockheed is working toward a per-unit cost of $80m by 2020, at which point the global fleet will be roughly 50-50 in U.S. and international users. Company officials now aim to lower F-35 sustainment costs.
“We realize that the cost of ownership is a significant part of the aircraft,” Crisler noted.
U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Olson, who flew one of two F-35A aircraft from the United States to Germany, praised the advanced capabilities of the jet. The sensor package automates many tasks that were previously manual, such as those related to targeting, he said.
But he added that fourth-generation planes still have their place in combat scenarios for their ability to “put a lot of iron on target,” as their load capacities aren’t constrained by the limitations of stealth designs.
The F-35′s role, he said, is to sneak into enemy airspace undetected, “kick down the door” and allow other aircraft to stream in safely.
Besides the Eurofigher and the F-35, the Boeing-made F-15 and F/A-18 also are possible picks for what Berlin considers a bridging solution until a sixth-generation weapon is developed. (Source: Defense News)
26 Apr 18. Germany, France press ahead on ‘historic’ joint weapons developments. German and French officials on Thursday pressed ahead with plans to jointly develop a next-generation fighter jet, a drone and a maritime airborne warfare aircraft, saying the projects showed European unity and strength in an increasingly uncertain world.
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her French counterpart Florence Parly stood side by side at the ILA Berlin Air Show and hailed the ambitious Franco-German weapons push as “historic” and a key step for European autonomy.
“This is a historic agreement,” Parly told a throng of journalists, military officials and industry executives. “It shows that Europe is more than a sum of medium-sized powers, and can take its fate into its own hands and ensure its autonomy.”
The ministers signed a letter of intent to explore joint development of a maritime warfare aircraft for use from 2035, a document outlining the high-level common requirements for a new fighter jet, and a concept of operations for a joint training and operation of a fleet of C-130J transport planes. They also agreed to continue working on a Euro-drone project with Italy and Spain, after three European defence companies unveiled a first full-scale model of their planned Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) drone.
The companies – Airbus (AIR.PA), Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) and Leonardo (LDOF.MI) – said the project underscored their commitment to build a European version of an unmanned aerial system in a world dominated by U.S. and Israeli designs.
But the biggest and most ambitious of the new projects seeks to develop a new manned fighter jet to replace Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale warplanes beginning in 2040.
The move to develop a new warplane is seen as a preliminary step towards overcoming differences that have left Europe struggling to maintain three competing fighter programmes – France’s Rafale, Sweden’s Gripen and the Eurofighter, involving Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain.
Von der Leyen said other countries would “naturally” be allowed to join in, but Parly cautioned that requirements for the jet would be set by France and Germany first. Italy, Spain and Britain have already expressed interest.
Airbus and Dassault on Wednesday signed an agreement to work together on the new project, but avoided saying which of the two aerospace companies would be in charge.
The political documents signed on Thursday revealed continuing differences between Germany and France on how narrowly or broadly to proceed with the fighter and maritime aircraft programmes. It also remains unclear whether the countries will develop a new maritime aircraft, or build on an existing design.(Source: Reuters)
26 Apr 18. France says it will consider letting UK join fighter aircraft partnership with Germany. Though France is focused on its work with Germany on a Future Combat Air System, Paris will later consider the U.K. as a partner on the wide-ranging project for a network of manned and unmanned fighter aircraft, according to the Armed Forces Ministry.
The goal of the Franco-German alliance is to design and build a new fighter jet to eventually replace the Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon. Other armed and unarmed aircraft will be integrated into that Future Combat Air System.
“Today, the priority is that the Franco-German link be solid before starting to open it up to other partners,” the ministry said April 26 in a briefing note. Talks between the French and German teams on the future system are “intense,” the ministry added.
That bilateral project may later be opened up to London, which has been working with Paris on a technology demonstrator for a combat drone.
“In parallel, we will continue the Anglo-French work which complements the Franco-German project; and we will see, when the work has reached sufficient maturity, how to integrate that into the [FCAS] project,” the ministry said.
The work with Britain on the Future Combat Air System Demonstration Program is “in the process of evolving since the Anglo-French summit on Jan. 19,” the ministry noted.
That plan to build a demonstrator for a combat drone for France and the U.K. has effectively stalled due to uncertainty arising from Britain’s planned exit from the European Union, Eric Trappier, chairman of Gifas, the French aerospace trade body, has said.(Source: Defense News)
26 Apr 18. Arms maker Diehl calls for harmonised export rules in Europe. German arms maker Diehl called for harmonised export rules in Europe, as German companies seek to take advantage of greater worldwide spending on defence programmes.
Diehl, which focuses on missiles and ammunition, said if not European-wide standards, then there should at least be joint export rules between France and Germany, which are planning closer cooperation, such as on a future combat air system centred around a new fighter jet.
“As a minimum, if you have joint projects, then you should say from the start how you want to want to approach exports of the product,” Carl Guenther, head of Diehl Defence told journalists at the Berlin air show on Thursday.
Germany imposes very tight rules on arms exports, with the right to approve them vested in a committee of senior ministers. The current conservative-Social Democrat government has adopted even more restrictive rules, banning the export of weapons to countries involved in war in Yemen.
Like rivals, Diehl currently benefits from increased spending on defence, with the market for military products boosted by discussion among NATO countries on reaching the 2 percent of GDP spending target.
Guenther said though that the German government needed to do more to foster acceptance of the German army and its partners on missions.
“And we must also have acceptance of the necessity of a German weaponry industry,” he said, saying it was important for German troops to be supplied with German equipment.
MTU Aero Engines’ (MTXGn.DE) Chief Programme Officer Michael Schreyoegg also said the programme offered a chance to boost the European defence supply chain, though repeated comments that politicians needed to move fast to determine the requirements so that the companies could get to work on the technology.
“We will of course work with others and we do,” Diehl’s Guenther said as he unveiled a partnership with Boeing (BA.N) for a precision-guided weapon.
“But we think we need the lead in certain things that are important to us,” he said.
Attitudes towards the army are complicated in Germany, where shame felt at professional soldiers’ crimes in World War Two is tempered by pride some feel in the dovish posture of the post-war Federal Republic, whose army was placed under strict parliamentary control to make it better able to resist illegal or immoral orders. (Source: Reuters)
25 Apr 18. Lockheed, MBDA eye German missile defence contract by year-end. U.S. arms maker Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and Europe’s MBDA hope to finalise a contract with the German government by the end of the year for a new air and missile defence system worth bns of euros, a top Lockheed executive said on Wednesday. MBDA’s German unit and Lockheed formed a 60-40 joint venture in March to press ahead with the new TLVS defence system after years of negotiations with the German defence ministry.
The German defence ministry announced in 2015 that it had chosen the Medium Extended Air Defence System (MEADS) — developed with $4bn (3bn pounds) in funding from Germany, Italy and the United States — over Raytheon Co’s (RTN.N) Patriot system.
TLVS is the German version of MEADS.
However, the two sides have been struggling to work out the details and terms of the programme ever since.
Frank St. John, who took over as executive vice president of Lockheed’s Missiles and Fire Control division in January, told Reuters the process had taken longer than expected but he was feeling more confident and enthusiastic now.
“The goal is to be on contract by the end of this year, but the process will take as long as required,” St. John said in an interview at the ILA Berlin Air Show, where the companies are displaying the mobile air defence system.
Progress on the German deal could also trigger more interest by other countries in the system, which will offer the ability to knit together a variety of different systems, including Patriot, St. John said.
Lockheed builds the PAC-3 Missile Enhancement Segment (MSE) missiles used by the Patriot system.
“The good thing about TLVS is, because of the open architecture, you can plug in some legacy capabilities and then phase those out as you plug in new capabilities,” he said.
Thomas Gottschild, managing director of the German unit of MBDA, told a news conference the team was “in the final straight” on the project but did not predict when a contract would be signed. MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus Group (AIR.PA), Britain’s BAE Systems (BAES.L) and Italy’s Leonardo (LDOF.MI).
St. John said the German ministry was expected to issue a final request for proposals to the joint venture in about two weeks, with a final response to be submitted in 60 days. That would be followed by a “hopefully short negotiation process,” and a contract signing at the end of this year or early next, he said. Years of discussion and negotiation meant the technical issues were now well understood. The TLVS programme was initially slated to cost about 4bn euros (3.5bn pounds), but sources familiar with the proposal have said the final cost is likely to be several billion euros higher. The MEADS system was developed jointly by Germany, Italy and the United States, though the U.S. Army later decided not to buy the system for its own use. (Source: Reuters)
25 Apr 18. EU recommendation targets ways to open national defence supply chains to SMEs. The European Commission (EC) released new guidelines on 23 April designed to boost the participation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in national and cross-border defence supply chains across the European Union. The move is part of the Commission’s European defence action plan of November 2016. “SMEs face too many barriers to participating in defence procurement, particularly across borders,” said Elżbieta Bieńkowska, commissioner responsible for the internal market, industry, and SMEs, when unveiling the measure (2018/624), adding that it “should foster a more dynamic defence market”. The recommendation contains concrete ideas for public authorities to open their defence supply chains to Europe’s smaller operators. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. Deeper defence co-operation with Germany being realised: Turnbull. Australia’s selection of two German companies to undertake key Defence projects is strengthening its relationship and export opportunities between the two nations, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said.
The Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Marise Payne this week visited German’s Defence Ministry and inspected Rheinmetall’s Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) which Australia recently selected for the $5bn LAND 400 Phase 2 project.
At least 211 vehicles will be built, 25 in Germany and the rest in Queensland. The PM said the project will create up to 1,450 highly skilled jobs across Australia.
The government also selected German ship designer Lürssen last November to design 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). The first two will be built in South Australia by ASC while the remaining 10 will be built in Western Australia.
“I look forward to closer co-operation on defence and national security,” the Prime Minister said in Berlin.
“So deeper defence industry co-operation is being realised and delivers strategic and economic benefits to both our countries.”
The Prime Minister also talked up the two projects while giving a keynote address at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Berlin, saying the projects will give the German businesses a better chance at targeting opportunities in the south-east Asia region.
“We want to facilitate European defence industry, working with us to develop the industrial base we need in Australia, to pursue the largest re-equipment of our armed forces in peacetime,” he said.
“These projects are key investments in our military capability, but they’ll also create export opportunities. Rheinmetall will be able to leverage a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in south-east #
Queensland in pursuit of new opportunities in the south-east Asian market.” (Source: Defence Connect)
25 Apr 18. No stealth? No problem ― Eurofighter makes its pitch against F-35 in Berlin. Eurofighter officials are downplaying the F-35 fighter′s stealth capability at the Berlin Air Show, positing that the consortium’s non-stealthy Typhoon still beats out the American competition in the race to replace Germany’s Tornado fleet.
“Stealth is only 10 percent of the capability mix,” Eurofighter marketing chief Raffael Klaschke told Defense News on Wednesday. “We’re still better at the other 90 percent,” he argued, referring to the aircraft’s combat capabilities.
While the company could rest easy with the German Defence Ministry’s recent proclamation that the Eurofighter is the preferred path for the upcoming multibn-dollar Tornado-replacement program, Lockheed Martin’s massive showing at the air show may have some officials nervous.
Eurofighter CEO Volker Paltzo doubled down on the argument that the Typhoon would guarantee continued vibrancy in the European military aircraft market. “I want to underscore that every euro spent on Eurofighter within Europe stays in Europe,” he told reporters.
Executives also stressed that the European aircraft would come free of any “black boxes,” a reference to the expectation that all technological and operational details would be owned by Europeans, which may not be the case with the F-35.
F-35 advocates have touted the fifth-generation aircraft’s stealth and other advanced capabilities for deep-strike and standoff combat, and there are some in Germany, especially in the Air Force, who believe that European technology simply cannot compare.
At the same time, whatever follow-on aircraft Berlin chooses for its 90-strong Tornado fleet is only expected to be a bridge toward a brand-new development, raising the question of whether a costly acquisition of the U.S. planes would be a worthwhile investment.
Klaschke described stealth as a “niche capability,” adding with a nod to the F-35′s competition: “We’re not scared.”
Officials were less willing to discuss the expected nuclear-weapons capability of the Eurofighter, which it would pick up from the Tornado. Paltzo pointed to “confidentiality” in discussing the topic, referring to the Defence Ministry for information.
What is clear, however, is that the Eurofighter will be able to carry forward Germany’s pledge to deploy U.S. atomic arms at the behest of NATO, according to Paltzo.
And while the U.S. Defense Department must certify the aircraft-weapon pairing, the CEO said he does not expect America to influence the fighter decision toward its own industry’s product.
“This is a subject where we would not expect leverage by the U.S. over the Eurofighter,” Paltzo said. (Source: Defense News)
25 Apr 18. Airbus and Dassault Aviation join forces on Future Combat Air System.
- Landmark agreement to develop and produce Europe’s next generation combat aircraft
- Fosters European high-tech leadership in the military aviation sector for decades to come
- Future Combat Air System to be developed as a system of systems, including unmanned aerial vehicles, connectivity and secure communications
- Next generation fighter aircraft to complement and eventually replace current generation of Eurofighter and Rafale fighter aircraft by 2035-2040
- Overall development contract to be launched to follow study and to include demonstrators to support FCAS planned as of 2025
Airbus (stock exchange symbol: AIR) and Dassault Aviation (stock exchange symbol: AM) have decided to join forces for the development and production of Europe’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which is slated to complement and eventually replace current generation of Eurofighter and Rafale fighter aircraft between 2035 and 2040.
The partnership, sealed in Berlin by Dirk Hoke, Airbus Defence and Space Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, represents a landmark industrial agreement to secure European sovereignty and technological leadership in the military aviation sector for the coming decades.
“Never before has Europe been more determined to safeguard and foster its political and industrial autonomy and sovereignty in the defence sector. Airbus and Dassault Aviation have absolutely the right expertise to lead the FCAS project. Both companies are already cooperating successfully on Europe’s medium altitude long endurance new generation drone programme,” said Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “FCAS takes this successful cooperation to the next level and we are absolutely committed to tackling this challenging mission together with Dassault Aviation. The schedule is tight, so we need to start working together immediately by defining a joint roadmap on how best to meet the requirements and timelines to be set by the two nations. It is therefore of key importance that France and Germany launch an initial joint study this year to address this task.”
Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, said: “We are convinced that by deploying our joint expertise, Dassault Aviation and
Airbus can best meet the operational requirements of the Forces in the development of this critically important European programme. Both companies fully intend to work together in the most pragmatic and efficient manner. Our joint roadmap will include proposals to develop demonstrators for the FCAS programme as of 2025. I am convinced that European sovereignty and strategic autonomy can and will only be ensured through independent European solutions. The vision that France and Germany have set forth with FCAS is a bold one and it’s an important signal in, and for, Europe. The FCAS programme will strengthen the political and military ties between Europe’s core nations and it will reinvigorate its aerospace industry.”
Airbus Defence and Space and Dassault Aviation agree on the importance of efficient industrial governance in military programmes. This also includes the involvement of other key European defence industrial players and nations based on government funding and on the principle of best contribution.
Overall, FCAS defines a system of systems combining a wide range of elements connected and operating together, including a next generation fighter aircraft together with Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the existing fleet of aircraft (which will still operate beyond 2040), future cruise missiles and drones flying in swarms. The overall system will be interoperable and connected in a larger perimeter with mission aircraft, satellites, NATO systems and land and naval combat systems.
25 Apr 18. Airbus and Dassault join forces for new European air combat system. Project covers plane, missiles and ‘drones flying in swarms.’ Airbus and France’s Dassault Aviation have agreed to join forces for the development and production of Europe’s Future Combat Air System. The two companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday that they will work together on the project “which is slated to complement and eventually replace current generation of Eurofighter and Rafale fighter aircraft between 2035 and 2040.” Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, said: Our joint roadmap will include proposals to develop demonstrators for the FCAS programme as of 2025. I am convinced that European sovereignty and strategic autonomy can and will only be ensured through independent European solutions. The vision that France and Germany have set forth with FCAS is a bold one and it’s an important signal in, and for, Europe. The FCAS programme will strengthen the political and military ties between Europe’s core nations and it will reinvigorate its aerospace industry. France and Germany announced plans last July to develop a next generation manned combat aircraft. The Future Combat Air System, or FCAS, will combine a next generation fighter plane, the existing fleet of aircraft and, the companies say, “future cruise missiles and drones flying in swarms”. The decision sparked concern in the UK, which is also facing questions over how it will maintain capability once work finishes on the Eurofighter Typhoon in the next few years. Britain is co-operating with France on a €2bn demonstrator for a future generation unmanned combat drone, but it will not — for now, at least — have any say in early plans for Europe’s newest fighter project. The row over British industrial involvement in secure aspects of the Galileo satellite system after the UK leaves the EU in 2019 has prompted questions over whether such collaboration will be possible in the defence sector. Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, told Reuters on Wednesday in Berlin that Britain’s role in future projects would likely depend on the conditions around its exit from the European Union. Mr Hoke also underlined in the joint statement that the French and German governments must still provide precise details of the FCAS programmes: “The schedule is tight, so we need to start working together immediately by defining a joint roadmap on how best to meet the requirements and timelines to be set by the two nations. It is therefore of key importance that France and Germany launch an initial joint study this year to address this task.” (Source: FT.com)
25 Apr 18. Finland to join EDA’s defence research and development projects. Finland is set to participate in three research and development projects carried out under the European Defence Agency (EDA).
Finland is providing approximately €1.5m of funding to contribute to the €20m total estimated cost of the three projects.
The three EDA projects will focus on developing means to transfer underwater networked acoustic data, improve 3D printing methods and ensure wireless tactical data transfer.
Participation in the European defence research and development serves the defence research needs of Finland.
Cooperation between Finland and the EDA will offer benefits such as broader and more in-depth views on research problems and support networking with other European cooperation partners.
The EDA has been functioning under the council of the European Union (EU) since 2004 to support member nations in the development of their military capabilities.
In addition, the defence agency plays a major role in developing Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), in addition to developing the EU’s defence dimension.
All EU countries apart from Denmark take part in EDA activities that promote cooperation, support new projects, and generate solutions to develop defence capabilities.
The agency also plays a critical role in developing resources for the common defence and security policy. (Source: army-technology.com)
25 Apr 18. Exercise Joint Warrior begins in UK. The UK-led Joint Warrior 2018 has started off the coast of Scotland as Nato’s biggest multinational military exercise.
More than 11,600 military personnel from 17 countries across the globe are participating in the two-week exercise, which will enable Nato allies and partner nations to train jointly across air, land, sea and cyber domains.
The exercise involves all three UK military services and maritime forces from countries such as Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, and the US, as well as non-Nato partners Australia, Finland, and Sweden.
UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Joint Warrior prepares our troops in the best way to meet the intensifying threats our country faces by providing a major opportunity to exercise with our allies.
“Our armed forces are the face of global Britain, and training side by side with troops from 16 other nations means we are stronger and more capable when it comes to keeping our countries safe and protecting our way of life.”
The bi-annual Joint Warrior exercise is linked to the Nato exercise programme and is open to Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) Partner Nations.
This year’s exercise involves scenarios such as sovereign nations disputing resources and territories, counter-terrorism, anti-smuggling, information warfare, and evacuation procedures.
In addition, JEF forces will conduct urban combat operations, including troops from the UK Parachute Regiment, the Danish Jutland Dragoon Regiment, the Lithuanian Iron Wolf Brigade and the Latvian Mechanised Infantry Brigade.
This part of the exercise will be carried out on Salisbury Plain Training Area in the UK, with air support from Apaches, Chinooks, Wildcats and Tornados.
Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff captain Royal Navy captain Paul Pitcher said: “This exercise gives the UK participants a chance to train with our allies and partners, honing our skills and developing our tactics.
“It is hugely important in making sure that we can fuse all elements of our capabilities, enhancing our ability to conduct joint operations now and in the future.” (Source: army-technology.com)
23 Apr 18. Defence Secretary Marks Major Step Forward for UK’s Nuclear Submarine Capability. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has today announced a major step forward for Britain’s new nuclear submarines. In a move that signals the UK’s commitment to a continuous-at-sea deterrent, the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) was today officially launched. The announcement comes after an extra £800m was secured by the Ministry of Defence – £600m of which will ensure the UK is protected by the new Dreadnought submarine fleet into the 2030s and beyond.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said, Our nuclear deterrent is our ultimate defence from the most extreme threats while our attack submarines are busier than ever providing unprecedented levels of protection across the world. A Royal Navy submarine is on patrol 24 hours a day, every day of the year, protecting our way of life. These advanced and complex vessels are more important than ever as the world becomes an increasingly dangerous place and establishing this new Agency sends a clear signal of our commitment to continue deterring conflict and protecting the nation.
The stand-up of the SDA marks the delivery of a milestone set out in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review that strengthens arrangements to support the UK’s submarine capability.
The Executive Agency will lead on the procurement, in-service support and decommissioning of all UK nuclear submarines.
The SDA will procure and project manage the construction of future Royal Navy submarines, and support those in-service, working with Navy Command and the newly established Defence Nuclear Organisation.
The vision of the SDA is to lead a high-performing industrial enterprise to deliver and support the UK’s submarine capability safely, securely and more effectively and cost efficiently.
Headed by Chief Executive Officer Ian Booth – who has a wealth of experience in delivering complex private and public sector procurement programmes – the SDA employs around 1,300 people and already has a talented and extremely knowledgeable workforce, including some of the nation’s most experienced nuclear experts.
The Agency will have the authority and freedom to recruit and retain the best people to manage the Submarine Enterprise. The majority of SDA staff will be based in Bristol, with other colleagues located at sites such as Barrow, Derby, Devonport, Rosyth and Faslane.
Chief Executive Officer of the Submarine Delivery Agency, Ian Booth said:
The SDA is to lead a high-performing industrial enterprise that is committed to strengthening the safety, availability, reliability and security of UK submarines, including our Continuous At Sea Deterrent. The Agency will draw on best practice from both the public and private sectors with a focus on cost effective and timely delivery to achieve the best possible outcomes for Defence.
The SDA has learnt from other successful programmes of a similar scale and complexity such as the 2012 Olympics and Crossrail. It will maintain vital links with industry and public sector partners to preserve the UK’s technology advantage and skills-base and to ensure submarine manufacturing and maintenance capability is sufficient to support the UK’s submarine requirements.
A key facet of the SDA is to manage the Dreadnought and Astute nuclear submarine programmes to time and budget, alongside providing day-to-day support to the in-service fleet of Trafalgar, Astute and Vanguard Class submarines. As a responsible nuclear operator, the organisation will also manage the decommissioning and disposal of submarines in a safe and environmentally sound way. (Source: ASD Network)
24 Apr 18. Germany, France agree main needs of new joint fighter program. Germany and France have agreed on the central requirements for a new fighter jet to replace Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale warplanes beginning in 2040, German military sources said.
This will kick start a program first launched in July last year and officials from the two countries will sign an outline document on the sidelines of the ILA Berlin Air Show, which will be opened on Wednesday by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
As well as being capable of acting on its own, or commanding a squadron of other weapons, including drones, the plane will also need to have the ability to carry out offensive or defensive missions, the sources said on Tuesday.
It had not yet been decided if the new plane would be only manned or also have an unmanned option. The goal is to start operating the new warplanes, with limited capabilities, in 2040.
The move to develop a new warplane is seen as a preliminary step toward overcoming differences that have left Europe struggling to maintain three competing fighter programs – France’s Rafale, the Eurofighter – representing Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain – and Sweden’s Gripen.
Merkel and Emmanuel Macron first unveiled plans for the new program shortly after the French President’s election in May in a significant gesture designed to give fresh impetus to Franco-German relations in the aftermath of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Most defense experts believe the UK will eventually be invited to join the program.
The statement of political intent is expected to be followed by an industrial declaration that sets out in more detail how the partners, notably Dassault Aviation and Airbus, Germany’s defense aeronautics champion and a Eurofighter consortium member, will approach the multibn-euro project for which Dassault has made a strong pitch to be senior partner.
France was originally part of the European Eurofighter consortium that includes Britain, Germany and Italy, but opted in the 1980s to develop its own independent Dassault-built Rafale fighter, partly in order to guarantee high-value work for its state-owned engine maker, now part of Safran.
Airbus and Dassault declined comment ahead of the air show.
Germany and France also plan sign a document at the air show in which they agree to explore the joint development of a new maritime surveillance aircraft, with a goal of making it operational by 2035, the German military sources said.
That program, to be focused on anti-submarine warfare, surveillance and support, will be opened in the longer term to other countries in the European Union, NATO and elsewhere, the sources said.
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen will discuss ways to strengthen European defenses and NATO issues with her French counterpart, Florence Parly, when she visits Berlin on Thursday. The two ministers also plan to visit the air show.
France and Germany already cooperate on a variety of military missions and projects, including in deployments in Mali and a plan to acquire and then jointly operate a fleet of C-130J transport planes built by Lockheed Martin Corp. (Source: glstrade.com/Reuters)
22 Apr 18. Airbus Manager Warns Federal Government Against Purchase of US Fighter Jets. A leading Airbus manager has warned that the German federal government would snub France for its aircraft procurement. Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space, has warned the German government against the purchase of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter aircraft. “As soon as Germany becomes an F-35 nation, cooperation on all combat aircraft issues with France will die,” Hoke said in an interview with Welt Am Sonntag ahead of the ILA International Aerospace Exhibition which opens Wednesday in Berlin. For the first time, the US combat aircraft will be presented as a possible successor to the German Tornado strike fighter. At the same time, however, further details are expected to be released on the development of a completely new fighter aircraft, which for the first time France and Germany want to jointly develop. The project was announced almost a year ago by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). The future German-French fighter jet is to become a building block of an overall system called the Future Combat Air System comprising drones, missiles and reconnaissance satellites, and whose development costs are estimated at up to 80bn euros.
“Both sides are ready to compromise”
Airbus manager Hoke sees a historic opportunity in the competition with France on the fighter jet. “Europe needs to define its sovereignty more clearly, and to clearly state that we need to maintain independence in defense and space,” he stressed.
When it comes to exporting the fighter jets, Hoke hopes for common European standards, or at least for an agreement between the two countries not to block each other. That’s the only way to be a reliable supplier. “Our business collapses when, for political reasons, we are perceived as an insecure partner,” says Hoke.
On the question of the leadership of the bns project, Hoke pragmatically states: “Both sides are ready to find compromises and to accelerate topics.” The project in itself is definitely more important than the leadership. So far, the defense contractor Dassault is building the Rafale fighter jet in France, while Germany operates the Eurofighter, in whose construction and development Airbus is involved. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Welt am Sonntag; published April 22, 2018) (unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
22 Apr 18. Defence Secretary announces £80m Guardian to protect the skies
The Ministry of Defence will invest up to £80m in a new computer system to boost the RAF’s speed and accuracy in protecting the skies, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced.
Known as Project Guardian, the new Air Command and Control System will support the continued early detection and rapid response to potential hostile or suspect aircraft that pose a threat to UK sovereignty, be that terrorists or state-based actors.
This project will see the current systems at RAF bases in the UK and Falkland Islands replaced with the new technology. It will allow the RAF to exercise command and control of UK and NATO fighters to intercept aggressive or suspect aircraft that are a threat. The RAF routinely intercept, identify and escort aircraft that transit international airspace within the UK’s area of interest and continue to be on call 365 days a year.
Since 2013 RAF jets have launched 68 times to intercept or monitor suspect aircraft in the skies around Britain – half of these in response to Russian planes.
IBM Services in the UK is leading the way to develop and install the replacement system, with work being carried out by a dedicated team of specialists at IBM locations across the country.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said, With hostile regimes such as President Putin’s Kremlin ripping up the international rulebook and terrorists still targeting our way of life, this cutting-edge technology gives our RAF the upper hand in the face of rapidly changing and intensifying global threats. This investment will play a vital role in making sure our fighter pilots are primed and ready to keep Britain safe and to counter aggression from those who seek to cause us harm.The Air Command and Control System is the computer system that takes in data to generate the Recognised Air Picture – a dynamic, real time depiction of aircraft in the airspace the UK control or patrol, with each being identified as friendly or hostile. The upgrades will continue improving the rapid exchange of real time command and control information and speed and accuracy of decision making. The announcement comes as the RAF celebrates 100 years since its formation and demonstrates how the service is continuously looking at ways to design and innovate to meet the full spectrum of threats that the UK is currently facing.”
The contract, which IBM UK won in competition, is for approximately £60m with costed options that the MOD can exercise which would take the total value towards £80m. It represents a continuation of IBM UK supplying the equipment to UK armed forces and includes five years of support services following the installations.
Director Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance, Dr Simon Dakin, of the MOD’s procurement organisation, Defence Equipment and Support, said, Guardian will provide a new Air Command and Control system connecting the UK’s defence network of radars and radio and delivering several new capabilities to improve communication and interoperability between UK, NATO and coalition aircraft, vital to the protection of the UK’s skies.
Group Captain Steven Blockley, director of the RAF’s Director, National Air Defence and Space Operations, said: The new system provides a quantum leap in technology and information exchange for the personnel charged with the Defence of the Homeland and will ensure that future homeland operations are conducted with equipment befitting the RAF as it reaches its 100th year. The equipment will ensure that new digital technologies, along with new requirements for future capabilities, will also allow us to seamlessly exchange data and threat information across the new RAF platforms, such as the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft and F-35 Lightning II, as well as continue to integrate with our NATO colleagues to ensure the UK National mission to protect our skies and the NATO Air Policing task are met fully.” (Source: News Now/U.K. MoD)
22 Apr 18. German defence ministry wants to spend billions on armaments this year – report. The German Defence Ministry plans to spend billions of euros on armaments this year to tackle deficiencies in the armed forces’ equipment, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Sunday.
Germany sharply curtailed military spending after the end of the Cold War, but began boosting spending again after Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014. A report this year found missing spare parts and quality defects mean less than half of Germany’s submarines, warplanes and some other key weapons are ready for use.
The newspaper report, citing a list of purchases the ministry wants to make, said the budget and defence committees were due to approve 18 contracts each worth more than 25m euros.
The ministry was not immediately available for comment on the report.
Handelsblatt said orders include procuring Israeli Heron TP drones, which Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and their junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), agreed in their coalition deal earlier this year.
Germany’s armed forces are also due to get seven rescue helicopters, the newspaper said. It said the Defence Ministry wanted to extend the contract for the deployment of Ukrainian Antonov transport aircraft for the period 2019 to 2021.
The ministry also wants to procure six of Lockheed Martin Corp’s C-130J Hercules transport aircraft, the newspaper said.
It said the list included several improvements for Puma armoured personnel carriers, a maintenance contract for NH90 helicopters, radar technology for the Eurofighter, telecommunication facilities for frigates and new uniforms and protective equipment.
It said officials had described the list as “preliminary” and would depend on the 2018 budget. (Source: Reuters)
About Harris Corporation
Harris Corporation is a leading technology innovator, solving customers’ toughest mission-critical challenges by providing solutions that connect, inform and protect. Harris supports government and commercial customers in more than 100 countries and has approximately $6bn in annual revenue. The company is organized into three business segments: Communication Systems, Space and Intelligence Systems and Electronic Systems. Learn more at harris.com.
NEWS IN BRIEF – USA
Web Page sponsored by Harris Corporation
27 Apr 18. US makes it cheaper for foreign nations to buy American weapons. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced this week that it is reducing a surcharge on American defense goods sold abroad from 3.5 percent to 3.2 percent, effectively dropping the price foreign nations have to pay when buying weapons through the Foreign Military Sales system.
The change will go into effect June 1. The funding from the surcharge is used to support the FMS process, by which the U.S. government acts as the go-between for industry and a foreign customer, using the American acquisition system.
The announcement comes days after the Trump administration rolled out a new set of guidelines for conventional arms transfers and unmanned systems as part of a broader push to increase American weapon sales abroad.
The U.S. sold $41.9bn in arms through the FMS process in fiscal 2017, per a DSCA statement. Based on that figure, the U.S. took in roughly $1.46bn through the 3.5 percent surcharge. Reducing it to 3.2 percent would drop that number to around $1.34bn.
DSCA head Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper tied the surcharge cut directly to that broader goal, saying in the announcement that the change “will immediately reduce the cost of doing business for our international partners.”
“It demonstrates the Department of Defense’s commitment to charge only what is needed in order to support the administration of the FMS program which includes the sale of defense articles, defense services, and military training,” Hooper added. (Source: Defense News)
27 Apr 18. Sikorsky in talks with US Army for 10th Black Hawk multi-year deal. Key Points:
- Sikorsky is in talks with the US Army over a 10th multi-year contract for Black Hawks
- The last multi-year deal could be worth as much as USD5.2bn with options
Sikorsky is in initial stage of negotiations with the US Army regarding a 10th multi-year order of the company’s H-60 Black Hawk helicopters, according to a company official. Sikorsky Market Segment Leader for Army and Air Force Systems Tim Healy told Jane’s on 26 April that these multi-year deals are one way the company helps reduce costs through predictability in manufacturing. He said predictable base production numbers allow the company to negotiate long-term agreements. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Apr 18. Lawmakers Push Pentagon on Reforms, AI, New Missiles
The push from Capitol Hill follows a year of the Pentagon promising to do more, and do it quickly, when it comes to developing and buying next-generation technologies.
Lawmakers are calling on the Pentagon to build new long-range missiles, close tech innovation offices and transfer experimental missile defense programs from development offices to the Missile Defense Agency in a wide-ranging series of markups to the 2019 defense budget.
The moves, far from being made into law, show that members of the House Armed Services Committee are ready to hold the Pentagon to its recent promises of speeding technology development and fielding to meet the rapid modernization programs undertaken by China and Russia, while hedging against Iranian and North Korean threats.
One of the biggest changes being proposed is to shutter the Strategic Capabilities Office, once seen as one of the most innovative shops in the Pentagon. The office — set up by former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who insisted it report directly to him — has already lost its hard-charging director Will Roper, who moved to the Air Force, and has had its direct line to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis disconnected.
The shop has yet to get a new permanent director, and has been moved under the supervision of Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of research and engineering.
Now, the House Armed Services Committee emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee is asking the Pentagon for plans on how to shut down the office and transfer its authorities elsewhere within the department. If the markup of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act passes, the SCO will be history by October 2020.
Roper, who is now the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, had lobbied hard to beep the SCO independent, but lost the fight after Defense Secretary James Mattis and his team set out to reorganize the department.
One Hill aide said the move to close the office is designed to “think about what’s next” in rapid technology development and acquisition, while “taking that culture and making sure its spread across the services.”
Another Carter project, the Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental (DIUx), received full marks from the committee, and is being asked to brief Congress on how the Pentagon can improve its technical infrastructure security.
When it comes to specific technologies, a markup by the subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities states that lawmakers are looking to hold 50 percent of the funding for high energy lasers in check until the DoD “provides the High Energy Laser logical roadmap and assessment to the congressional defense committees.”
Elsewhere, the strategic forces subcommittee instructs Elle Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, to work with the Air Force to speed both the development and fielding of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program and the Long-Range Standoff cruise missile program by at least a year. Strategic Command’s leader, Gen. John Hyten, has repeatedly bewailed the slow place of these programs. However, this may not attract bipartisan support. One Democratic aide said that the Democrats would be unlikely to support that measure, as there is no compelling national security reason to speed both projects up, and take funding from other urgent needs.
Kingston Reif, a missile defense expert at the Arms Control Association, Tweeted that “there is currently no military requirement for a conventional variant,” of the LRSO, and “that requirement is filled by the JASSM-ER. And a conventional variant would add to total program cost.”
On Thursday, emerging threats and capabilities chair Rep. Elise Stefanik said in statement that the markup “better organizes the Department of Defense to oversee, accelerate, and integrate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning across the defense enterprise. The mark will establish an AI policy and oversight council, and conduct a thorough review of the wide-ranging military applications of this decisive technology.”
(Source: Breaking Defense.com)
26 Apr 18. Marine Corps Braces For 2020 Budget Cuts: Gen. Neller
The Marines are plenty happy about getting more money in 2018 and 2019, but are nervously eyeing the potential return of sequestration in 2020. And it’s influencing how the Corps is spending that money today.
The Marine Corps Commandant has joined the chorus of senior Pentagon officials who say they’re bracing for potential budget cuts in 2020. That’s when the 2018-2019 budget deal expires and the Budget Control Act caps on spending come back in force (sometimes called “sequestration”), unless Congress can scrape together another compromise.
Gen. Robert Neller made it clear he’s grateful for budget increases in 2018 and 2019, though he noted the ’19 appropriations haven’t passed yet. He promised to make the most of every dollar to modernize the Marine Corps to prepare for major warsagainst high-tech adversaries like Russia and China. But, like Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — a retired Marine general himself — and Pentagon comptroller David Norquist at a Senate hearing this morning, Neller also made it clear he isn’t counting on the good times to continue.
“This money is here and we’re going to take advantage of it,” Neller said. “The Secretary of Defense has been absolutely crystal clear on that, and I do not want to be standing in front of his desk on the 1st of October explaining why we didn’t spend all our money. I will not be.”
But in the long term, “nobody expects this to go on — I don’t expect it to go on indefinitely,” Neller said. “As military members and the civilian leadership of the department… we know what the trend lines are as far as deficits and all that. We don’t have our heads in the sand.”
Who are “we”? Army Secretary Mark Esper and his deputy, Ryan McCarthy, have been the most explicit about their preparations for 2020: They’re scrubbing the ’20 budget for potential savings — from business process improvements to weapons program cancellations — that they could reinvest to keep their Big Six modernization priorities alive even if Budget Control Act caps return. Similarly, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has said she’s reviewing her service’s 1,200 smaller programs to find places to cut in 2020. The outgoing commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Paul Zukunft, has also worried publicly that budget increases will be two-year blip. So far, we haven’t heard similarly specific warnings from Navy Secretary Richard Spencer or the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson.
Neller didn’t outline potential cuts or say specifically he was scrubbing the Marine Corps’s 2020 budget, but he said his staff is preparing contingency plans. “We could be back to Budget Control (Act), BCA, levels, because that’s what the law is,” he said. “And so are we looking at what’s going to happen when that happens? Yes.”
People & Technology
If the Marines have to cut their budget significantly, Neller said, they’d have to reduce their No. 1 expense, personnel, which would require shrinking the force. Even with the current budget’s increases in personnel funding, Neller said he only planned to grow the Marine Corps by 1,100 troops. The additional money is going not to more Marines but to more expensive Marines, he said, especially cyber specialists who are older, extensively trained, higher-ranked, and highly paid to reduce their temptation to quit for six-figure salaries in the private sector. Overall, the Commandant said, the Marine Corps will grow older as modern warfare requires ever more technical training, with even lowly infantry squads boasting their own mini-drones to scout ahead or deliver supplies.
Neller’s top modernization priorities include
- cyber, electronic, and information warfare, now consolidated in a new corps-level Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group;
- long-range artillery missiles and rockets, aka Long-Range Precision Fires;
- air and missile defense against everything from mini-drones to ballistic missiles;
- “protected maneuver,” i.e. armored vehicles and aircraft to move quickly under fire; and
- resilient networks that can keep the force connected in the face of enemy jamming and hacking.
If you think this sounds a lot like the Army’s Big Six modernization priorities — right down to the shared use of the term “Long Range Precision Fires” — well, General Neller agrees.
“We have a lot of things, capabilities, that we’re looking at that are similar to the capability sets the Army’s looking at, (like) long-range precision munitions or armored vehicles,” Neller said. Generals from the two services meet monthly to coordinate investments, he said; there’s also Marine Corps participation in Army development of both weapons and concepts. “We’re watching, we’re following,” Neller said. “They’re making a lot of progress in certain areas. As those things mature, we’ll invest in them as long as they meet out requirements.”
Compared to the other armed services, “we’re kind of the smallest child at the dinner table, (though) we’re pretty scrappy,” Neller said. So Marines are always eager for opportunities to pool their limited buying power with the larger services and exploit their economies of scale.
The new technology opens up a lot of tactical possibilities. “We can fly darn near everything we’ve got now without having a human being in the cockpit,” Neller said, and, in the future, he expects the “great majority” of aircraft will be unmanned, along with many robots on the ground.
But the foundation of military power is still the human, not the machine, Neller emphasized. “You’re still going to need somebody down there on the ground saying ‘this is mine, you can’t have it,’” he said. “We are human beings….We’re not androids. There’s a human part of this.” (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
27 Apr 18. Three U.S. senators move to block F-35 transfers to Turkey. Three U.S. senators introduced a measure on Thursday aimed at blocking the transfer of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Turkey, a NATO ally and one of nine partner nations involved in producing the high-tech, radar-evading aircraft.
The bill, by Republicans James Lankford and Thom Tillis, and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, comes at a time of deteriorating relations between the United States and Turkey, which supported the fight against Islamic State but has become increasingly worried about U.S. backing for Kurdish fighters in north Syria.
The three senators, in introducing the bill, issued a statement expressing concern that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had embarked on a “path of reckless governance and disregard for the rule of law.”
“Turkey’s strategic decisions regrettably fall more and more out of line with, and at times in contrast to, U.S. interests. These factors make the transfer of sensitive F-35 technology and cutting-edge capabilities to Erdogan’s regime increasingly risky,” Lankford said in the statement.
The Turkish embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Erdogan declared a state of emergency in Turkey following an attempted coup in July 2016. Since then, he has detained tens of thousands of people, cracked down on dissent and carried out purges in the military and bureaucracy. He charges that followers of a U.S.-based cleric were behind the coup attempt.
Erdogan has been a key U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State but sent troops into the Kurdish-dominated Afrin region of northwestern Syria earlier this year and threatened to quash U.S. plans for a local security force in northern Syria.
The three senators voiced concern about Turkey’s detention of an American evangelical preacher, Andrew Brunson, a long-time resident of Turkey who was jailed during Erdogan’s crackdown.
“President Erdogan’s choice to take hostages and imprison innocent Americans, to try to gain leverage over the United States, is egregious and unlawful,” Shaheen said in the statement.
Turkey plans to buy more than 100 of the F-35 aircraft. Turkish companies have been involved in producing parts for the fighter, and Ankara is scheduled to begin receiving its first aircraft within a year.
The bill would restrict the transfer of F-35s to Turkey and limit Ankara from receiving intellectual property or technical data needed to maintain and support the fighters.
It would allow the U.S. president to waive the restrictions by certifying Turkey is not taking steps that would undermine NATO security and not wrongfully detaining U.S. citizens. (Source: Reuters)
26 Apr 18. Mattis: New defense strategy won’t work under budget caps. Who’s the top enemy of America’s new National Defense Strategy? The answer may be Congress, if lawmakers fail to act.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told lawmakers Thursday the strategy is “not sustainable” under budget caps due to return in 2020 and 2021, unless Congress arrives at a way to ease or eliminate them.
“If [budget caps] were to go into effect, the first cut would be $85 bn for FY20. That means the strategy is not sustainable,” Mattis told AirLand Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cotton, R-Ark.
“The strategy is designed to protect America and our interests. I could not provide you with the same strategy. I would have to rewrite it. It would be reductions in what we are able to do,” the secretary added.
Mattis, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford and Pentagon Comproller David Norquist appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where lawmakers’ questions suggested the contours of the budget battles that will follow the Pentagon-friendly two-year deal.
The Pentagon’s $686 bn budget for fiscal 2019 is the first under the new strategy, which is framed around America’s “great power conflict” with Russia and China.
Dunford’s written remarks reiterated his call for 3 percent real budget growth to preserve the nation’s military edge. He told lawmakers the strategic impact of budget caps and their enforcement mechanism ― sequestration ― hindered America’s ability to project power until recent budgets.
“If we had returned to the Budget Control Act and sequestration levels, we would not have completed the recovery we have been on,” Dunford said. “The challenges we have now took us 10 years to develop, it’s going to take us more than two to three years to recover.”
The Senate Armed Services Committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Jack Reed, of Rhode Island, suggested that beyond current “moment of stability,” Congress will be debating the FY20 budget next spring — and then, he suggested, debt will add pressure on negotiations.
Reed argued the GOP’s $1.5 trillion debt-financed tax cuts Congress passed last year will lead to ballooning deficits, which will in turn distract from thoughtful debate and responsible action on national security.
“If our nation’s fiscal strategy does not take into consideration the need for revenue, deficit-driven measures like these will likely make it exceedingly difficult to follow through with a long-term strategy with regard to any serious challenge facing us from the international arena,” Reed said.
Reed’s remarks were in the vein of the House Armed Services Committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith, who warned Mattis earlier this month of likely deficit pressures on defense spending.
Cotton, in his questions, expressed hope that with a budget deal for 2019 in hand, Congress would have the cooperation to avoid Democratic delay tactics and pass a bill in the summer.
Sign up for our Daily News Roundup
The top Defense News stories of the day
The goal is politically charged, as Republicans may seek to tout the bill’s passage in midterm political campaigns. Plus, Democrats have resisted passage of defense appropriations without a nondefense match, part of what’s stretched the process beyond the end of the fiscal year in recent budget cycles.
“How important is it to the Department of Defense that Congress pass a DoD appropriations bill in a timely fashion this summer as opposed to having a continuing resolution as we approach the end of this fiscal year, Sept. 30?” Cotton asked.
Mattis, in response, called it “critical, and I think that budget certainty reverberates into American industry as we try to rearm the country with the modern capability. They cannot do that … unless we give them that predictability.”
Mattis’ remarks come amid word from the Pentagon that an in-depth review of the American defense-industrial base will be publicly released in mid-May. A complementary report from the Aerospace Industries Association released this week called for robust and stable budgeting. (Source: Defense News)
26 Apr 18. Mattis Highlights Efforts to Restore Military, Fight Tomorrow’s Wars. The United States has a clear way forward with the 2018 National Defense Strategy to restore the military’s competitive edge in an era of re-emerging long-term great power competition, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee today.
Mattis, who spoke in a hearing on the Defense Department’s budget, highlighted the three priorities of the defense strategy: build a more lethal force, strengthen alliances and build new partnerships, and reform the department’s business practices for performance and affordability.
“The strategy is the guidepost for all our actions, including this year’s strategy-driven budget request, driving meaningful reform to establish an enduring culture of performance, affordability agility,” Mattis said.
The National Defense Strategy, framed within President Donald J. Trump’s National Security Strategy, supports a strong and lethal military, the secretary said. A lethal military enhances the persuasiveness of U.S. diplomats, allowing them to negotiate from a position of strength, he added.
“All our department’s policies, expenditures, and training must contribute to the lethality of our military,” he said. “We cannot expect success fighting tomorrow’s conflicts with yesterday’s thinking, yesterday’s weapons or yesterday’s equipment.”
Mattis appeared before the committee with Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and David L. Norquist, the Defense Department’s comptroller and chief financial officer.
Mattis highlighted progress, including in Afghanistan and with the global effort to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorists. Uncertainty in South Asia has been “replaced by the certainty of the administration’s South Asia strategy,” he said.
“Concurrently in the Middle East, we have dramatically reduced ISIS’ physical caliphate,” he said, with a “coordinated, whole-of-government approach that works by, with, and through our allies and partners to crush ISIS’ claim of invincibility and deny them a geographic haven from which to plot murder.”
Budget Supports Defense Priorities
The defense strategy prioritizes investing in technological innovation to increase lethality and fight and win the wars of the future, Mattis said. He highlighted those areas as cyber, advanced computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, miniaturization, additive manufacturing and directed energy.
Mattis commended lawmakers for their support of the department, saying current funding ends the uncertainty surrounding short-term “inefficient and damaging” continuing resolutions and prioritizes spending for key areas.
The secretary noted “predictable and sufficient funding” from the fiscal year 2018 budget and the two-year budget agreement passed as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act, which Trump signed into law in February.
The budget, according to Mattis, supports the defense strategy in building a more lethal force by restoring current and future readiness, modernizing nuclear deterrent forces and their command and control systems, building for the future by improving military’s technological competitive edge, and reforming the department’s business processes to establish a culture of performance and affordability.
Year 2019 Budget Request
The fiscal year 2019 budget request seeks the resources necessary to provide the combat-credible military forces needed to deter war and, if deterrence fails, to win in any conflict, Mattis said. It also funds the three overarching priorities of the defense and fully funds modernizing the nation’s nuclear deterrent delivery systems.
Future defense secretaries will inherit a military equipped and ready for the wars of tomorrow, he pointed out.
“Those seeking to threaten America’s experiment in should know: if you challenge us, it will be your longest and worst day,” he said. (Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)
26 Apr 18. Budget Request Continues on Path to Military Recovery, Chairman Says. The current budget situation will allow the military to restore its competitive advantage over any possible adversary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Senate Armed Services Committee today.
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford stressed that the U.S. military has a competitive advantage over any potential adversary right now.
“I’m confident we can deter a nuclear attack, defend the homeland, meet our alliance commitments and prevail in any conflict,” he said. “But as we’ve previously discussed, after years of sustained operational commitments, budgetary instability and advances by our adversaries, our competitive advantage has eroded and our readiness degraded.”
The appropriations in fiscal years 2017 and 2018 and the proposed fiscal 2019 budget support building the lethal and joint force the nation needs, he said.
The chairman detailed the strategic environment the United States military faces. Russia and China are the immediate priority, he said. But the United States must be able to confront rogue regimes such as Iran and North Korea and continue to keep violent extremist groups in check.
China and Russia are America’s near-peer competitors, and those countries continue to invest across the full range of nuclear, cyber, space and conventional capabilities, Dunford told the senators. “Both states are focused on limiting our ability to project power and undermining the credibility of our alliances,” the chairman said. “They are also increasingly adept … at enhancing their interests through coercive competitive activity below the threshold of armed conflict.”
North Korea has been on a relentless pursuit of nuclear capability and the means to launch those weapons. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been clear that these capabilities are intended to threaten the United States and U.S. allies in the region.
Iran continues to spread malign influence and create instabilities across the Middle East. Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said earlier this year that Iran has its hands in every conflict in the region.
The United States and its allies and partners have made tremendous progress against violent extremist groups in the past year, Dunford said, but more must happen to deal with the challenges of violent extremism, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, al-Qaida and associated movements.
“Defending our homeland and our allies, and advancing our interests in the context of these and other challenges requires us to maintain a balanced inventory of ready, lethal and flexible forces that are relevant across the range of military operations,” the general said.
Dunford said the U.S. military is on a path toward developing the force that is needed for the future. “This year’s budget again builds on the readiness recovery that we started in fiscal ’17 and accelerates our efforts to develop the capabilities we need both today and tomorrow,” he said. “In requesting your support for this year’s budget, I – along with all the senior leaders in the department – are making a commitment to you to make every dollar count.”
To restore the military’s competitive advantage and make sure service members never find themselves in a fair fight, the U.S. military requires sustained, sufficient and predictable funding, he said.
“The funding in this budget is sufficient,” Dunford said. “I look forward to working with Congress to make sure that it is sustained and predictable in the future.” (Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
25 Apr 18. United States to lower foreign arms sales surcharge – DSCA director. The U.S. government will reduce its administrative surcharge on foreign arms sales to 3.2 percent from 3.5 percent from June as part of a broader effort to make U.S. weapons more competitive internationally, a top U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday.
U.S. Lieutenant General Charles Hooper, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, announced the change during an interview at the ILA Berlin Air Show, where Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), Boeing Co (BA.N) and U.S. companies are showcasing helicopters, fighter jets and other military equipment.
“This rate reduction will immediately reduce the cost of new business for our international partners,” said Hooper, whose agency facilitates all foreign military sales. “We think this rate reduction will allow the U.S. to become more competitive in the global defence market.”
The U.S. government assesses the surcharge on the full value of all government-to-government foreign arms sales to cover its administrative costs and to avoid any charge to U.S. taxpayers for such transactions.
The move comes days after the Trump administration announced an overhaul of U.S. arms export policy aimed at expanding sales to allies, saying it would bolster the American defence industry and create jobs at home.
Hooper’s announcement was welcomed at the biennial German air show, where U.S. companies this year are showcasing a wide range of military equipment, including Lockheed’s F-35 stealth fighter jet and its CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter, and Boeing Co’s CH-47 Chinook twin-rotor helicopter.
U.S. Air Force Deputy Undersecretary Heidi Grant told Reuters at the show that she saw strong demand for U.S. products and technology, given increasing concern about “the adversaries that are out there, Russia and China in particular.”
She said lowering the surcharge was part of the U.S. government’s ongoing efforts to speed up the arms sales and policy-making process, noting that strengthening allies was now a stated priority of the U.S. national defence strategy.
At the same time, she said, the Trump administration was also removing barriers and making it easier for companies to do business. “There’s been a big focus on doing as much as we can for companies to make them more competitive,” she said.
Michael Hostetter, director of Boeing Co’s (BA.N) Vertical Lift Programs in Germany, told Reuters the lower surcharge rate was good news for Boeing, the largest U.S. exporter. About 36 percent of Boeing’s defence sales last year came from exports.
“When you’re talking about bns of dollars, a small change is a significant difference in the total price for our customer,” he said. “It’s a benefit to the Boeing Company.”
Frank St. John, who heads Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT.N) Missiles and Fire Control division, welcomed U.S. efforts to accelerate the arms sales process, and said the decision to drop the administrative fee was significant.
“On a $1bn deal, that would be $30m,” he said.
Speeding up approvals of arms sales and lowering costs would help U.S. firms and the allies that were buying equipment, while ensuring that military capabilities reached allies sooner, he said. “Everyone wins in that situation.” (Source: Reuters)
25 Apr 18. Mattis Asks House Committee to Build on Recent DoD Successes.
Operationally and financially, the Defense Department has had a good year and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis urged the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee to build on this.
The secretary and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified in a closed hearing before the subcommittee today. DoD released the secretary’s opening statement.
Mattis highlighted the National Defense Strategy, noting the document provides “clear direction for America’s military to restore its competitive edge in an era of re-emerging long-term great power competition.”
Confronting Current, Future Threats
He also talked of the need for the nation to refurbish and modernize its nuclear deterrent to confront 21st century threats.
The secretary also spoke about operations in Iraq and Syria, where the “by, with and through” strategy has driven the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from 98 percent of the territory it once held.
“In South Asia and Afghanistan, uncertainty in the region has been replaced by the certainty of the administration’s South Asia Strategy,” he said in his remarks.
Mattis thanked the House panel for its efforts to provide the funding needed to face the threats of this new age.
“Last month, … President Trump signed an omnibus spending bill that funds the government for the remainder of the fiscal year,” he said. “This law — along with the two-year budget agreement passed as part of February’s Bipartisan Budget Act — finally freed us from the inefficient and damaging continuing resolution funding process.”
The law provides predictable and sufficient funding needed to continue implementing the National Defense Strategy.
The fiscal year 2019 DoD budget requests the resources necessary to fulfill the department’s enduring mission to provide the combat-credible military forces needed to deter war and, if deterrence fails, to win in the event of conflict. A strong military provides the sinew behind diplomacy.
Lethal U.S. Military, Strong Alliances, Business Reform
Mattis described what needs to happen to restore America’s military edge: the military must be more lethal, the United States must work to strengthen alliances and build new partnerships and DoD must reform business practices for performance and affordability.
“All our department’s policies, expenditures, and training must contribute to the lethality of our military,” the secretary said. “We cannot expect success fighting tomorrow’s conflicts with yesterday’s thinking, yesterday’s weapons or yesterday’s equipment.”
This must cover the gamut of conflict, he said. “The paradox of war is that an adversary will move against any perceived weakness, so we cannot adopt a single, preclusive form of warfare,” Mattis said. “We must be able to fight across the entire spectrum of combat.”
The fiscal 2019 budget funds the nuclear deterrent and ballistic missile defense expansion, the secretary said.
The budget also “will modestly increase end strength for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to restore readiness; adding 25,900 to the active and reserve force,” Mattis said.
The budget calls for a 2.6 percent pay increase for service members, and continues increased procurement of preferred and advanced munitions, a necessity due to ongoing operations in the Middle East and the need for war reserves.
The budget calls for 10 combat ships and eight support ships and funds production of 77 F-35 and 24 F/A-18 aircraft.
“This budget request funds systems to enhance communications and resiliency in space, addressing overhead persistent infrared capabilities; positioning, navigation, and timing; plus space-launch systems,” Mattis said.
The National Defense Strategy also prioritizes investing in technological innovation to increase lethality, he said. “Cyber, advanced computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, miniaturization, additive manufacturing, directed energy, and hypersonics are the very technologies that we need to fight and win wars of the future,” Mattis said.
Alliances go to the bedrock of U.S. defense, Mattis said.
“In the past, I had the privilege of fighting many times in defense of the United States, but I never fought in a solely American formation; it was always alongside foreign troops,” the secretary said. “History proves that we are stronger when we stand united with others. Accordingly, our military will be designed, trained, and ready to fight alongside allies.”
Reforming business practices is a necessity, Mattis said. “We will continue to establish a culture of performance where results and accountability matter on every expenditure to gain full benefit from every single taxpayer dollar spent on defense,” he said.
“The department is transitioning to a culture of performance and affordability that operates at the speed of relevance,” Mattis continued. “We will prioritize speed of delivery, continuous adaptation and frequent modular upgrades.”
DoD’s management structure and processes are simply a means to an end, the secretary said. “If current structures inhibit our pursuit of lethality, I have directed service secretaries and agency heads to consolidate, eliminate or restructure to achieve their mission,” Mattis said. (Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
25 Apr 18. USAF to start transforming tankers into WC-135 ‘nuke sniffers’ in FY19. The Air Force is set to begin turning the first of three KC-135R tankers into WC-135 Constant Phoenix “nuclear sniffers” in fall 2019, a conversion the service’s top general said Tuesday is necessary given the legacy aircraft’s advanced age.
The Air Force’s two WC-135s planes are among the most rare and specialized aircraft in the service’s inventory, outfitted with highly classified equipment that allows its crew to monitor the atmosphere for signs of nuclear explosions. But the planes date from the mid 1960s and are reaching the end of their lifespans.
“The current airplanes are old. They’re wearing out,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
“Our mission capable rates, and more importantly our aircraft availability rates to go do this mission, are much lower than not only the secretary of defense but the combatant commander’s requirements for that mission.”
The Air Force’s solution? Take three KC-135R tankers and upgrade them, transforming them into WC-135s — an effort that increases the total inventory and thus allows “for better availability to execute time sensitive missions,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in response to emailed questions from Defense News.
Then, retire the old Constant Phoenix aircraft, which are assigned to 45th Reconnaissance Squadron at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
The service’s plan, which was spelled out for the first time in the fiscal year 2019 budget, “allows us to give more time to be able to continue to accomplish this mission,” Goldfein said.
It also can be viewed as part of a larger Defense Department focus on the modernization and expansion of its nuclear capabilities, driven in part by a new Nuclear Posture Review and growing concern about Russian, Chinese, Iranian and North Korean weapons.
The Air Force is requesting $208 m in FY19 for the Constant Phoenix upgrade effort, with an additional $8 m planned in FY20. Its analysis showed “that it was more cost-effective to convert KC-135R aircraft into WC-135Rs than to modify existing WC-135W aircraft,” budget documents said
Although the service rarely speaks about the Constant Phoenix or the mission it conducts, the aircraft has garnered more attention over the past year as tensions with North Korea ramped up. It deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, in September, where it was sent to sniff out radioactive clouds after North Korea’s sixth nuclear test that month.
The first KC-135R is projected to start the modification process in September 2019, Stefanek said. L3 Technologies, which conducts depot maintenance and modifications for all variants of RC-135 special mission aircraft, will convert the tankers at its facility in Greenville, Texas.
During the upgrade period, the Air Force will purchase modification kits — basically, the unique atmospheric collection suite and mission sensors carried by the WC-135 — which L3 will integrate on the tankers. It will take about 18 to 24 months for each aircraft to undergo the modification process.
“Additional inductions will be addressed in future budgets,” Stefanek said.
Meanwhile, “due to the age of the engines and cockpits, the plan is to divest the current WC-135W and WC-135C and send them to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, more commonly called the boneyard, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona,” she said. (Source: Defense News)
25 Apr 18. Air Cavalry, ‘Sky Soldiers’ Test New Air Assault Concept. As the setting sun marked the start of another spring evening at the training area here, the roar of helicopter turbine engines competed against the thrumming rhythm of rotor blades beating the air as 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division soldiers began their work.
Helicopter flight crews with the 1st ACB partnered with “Sky Soldiers” of the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade to conduct an air assault/infiltration exercise in the late hours of April 23.
Night Assault Training
The night assault, with the objective to secure an airfield to integrate vehicles into an airborne infantry formation, was part of Army Joint Modernization Command’s Joint Warfighting Assessment 18.
JWA is a training event designed for soldiers to operate realistically and test new concepts and capabilities required for the joint force to win across multiple environments.
“We are conducting a battalion-sized air assault and providing aviation support to 1st Battalion of the 173rd Airborne Brigade while they test a new vehicle concept,” said Army Lt. Col. Nathan Surrey, commander of the 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st ACB and aviation task force for JWA.
“The exercise is complex and part of a much larger combined arms training event for JWA, but we are inserting these paratroopers deep into enemy territory at multiple landing zones with an equal opposing force present,” Surrey said.
Four CH-47 Chinook and four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flight crews transported and inserted nearly 300 soldiers into the training area. Additionally, four AH-64 Apache helicopter crews provided security and attack aviation support during the infiltration.
Employing Speed, Surprise
“It’s all about speed, surprise and operational reach,” Surrey said. “That’s what we provide to our ground forces.”
The assault mission tested both units’ capabilities and challenged them with new operational concepts that emphasize the importance of decisive action.
The key focus of the training was to integrate vehicles into a light infantry formation, Army Maj. Chris Zagursky, the executive officer for 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, said.
“The purpose of this exercise is to test an emerging concept that could be used in the future and in combat with a peer adversary where we could conduct a joint forcible entry into contested terrain,” Zagursky explained. “1st ACB provides us the ability to get deep into enemy territory with lift and attack assets before we seize and maneuver with vehicles on the ground.”
Air Assault Insertion Exercise
In most situations, the “Sky Soldiers” would parachute in to conduct their operations, but 1st ACB allowed the operational flexibility to replace the airborne drop with an air assault to validate the future concepts.
“We inserted them into multiple landing zones to allow them to isolate and secure the airfield,” said Army Capt. Eric Murphy, the assistant operations officer for 3rd AHB. “This allowed them to conduct air-land operations to allow their vehicles, the new concept being tested, to come in and be utilized as an advantage against the enemy.”
After the infiltration was complete, ground forces continued to seize and secure territory while using vehicles to maneuver and defeat the enemy.
From planning to execution, the units worked together to complete the mission and strengthened their relationships along the way.
“Planning and training with 1st ACB has been a privilege,” Zagursky said. “We have learned a tremendous amount from working with them and look forward to working together again in the future.”
Those feelings were mutual.
“Building partnerships with our ground force brothers and sisters is a great opportunity for us,” Murphy said. “It’s great to get out here and train with a skilled ground force while testing some new concepts for ourselves.” (Source: US DoD)
24 Apr 18. DoD Seeks to Make Civilian Agencies More Productive, Efficient. The Defense Department is already looking at ways to make its agencies more productive and efficient, the deputy defense secretary told the Defense Writers Group here today.
Patrick M. Shanahan welcomed House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry’s interest in the so-called Fourth Estate. The Texas representative has issued “discussion drafts” of legislation that calls for elimination of some organizations and reforms of others.
Thornberry defines the Fourth Estate as civilian-dominated military agencies such as the Defense Contract Audit Agency, the Defense Information Systems Agency or the Defense Logistics Agency.
“The Fourth estate is an area I have been spending an awful lot of time in,” Shanahan said. He believes there is tremendous opportunity for reform in DoD, he told the defense writers, adding that those reforms would tremendously boost productivity and modernization in the department.
The National Defense Authorization Act called for the creation of a department chief management officer position, and that person – John H. Gibson II – has been leading the effort that gets after reform in the Fourth Estate.
Shanahan said he looks at the Fourth Estate in three different segments: intelligence, acquisition, and business operations such as health care, information technology and so on. “The way I tend to think about it is, ‘How do we restructure ourselves so we can be much more productive and much more responsive?’” he said.
That question has different answers, depending on the segment he said. On the intelligence side, he explained, it boils down to leveraging artificial intelligence to make better decisions with the volumes of information that comes to DoD.
Another organization in the Fourth Estate is the Defense Health Agency, which has hundreds of clinics. “How do we combine them in a way that drives cost down because there is a common procurement system?” he asked.
Six Major Areas
The DoD chief management officer is going after six major areas that need to be re-engineered and consolidated, Shanahan said, noting that the biggest leverage there is real synergy at the DoD level. “Today, we are parsed by service and we are leaving a lot of productivity on the floor,” he said. “We have 10 different ways to do the same thing. These are issues that every large organization runs into.”
In the world of Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, Shanahan said, reform and re-engineering are different, so she needs to understand how to make it easier to do business with the government. It also entails how the department picks the right industrial partners for modernization, he added.
The fact that the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is also approaching this issue gives support to DoD’s efforts, Shanahan said.
Not a ‘People Problem’
The deputy secretary said he doesn’t want this effort to be viewed as a “people problem” or as a way to reduce the workforce. “There is this assumption that there are all these people standing around with their hands in their pockets and not working hard,” he said. “What we find is we have processes and management systems and [information technology] systems that have evolved over years and years that were never designed to scale to the size that we are, and so people are stuck in processes that … aren’t as productive as they could be.”
The Defense Information Systems Agency has a number of data centers, he noted, and if those are consolidated there will be a reduction in the number of people needed to run them.
“The art form here is, ‘Then what do you do with the benefits?’” he said. “The reason I hesitate to talk about it as a people issue is it is not a people issue. People are the solution, not the problem. From a management standpoint, the easiest thing to do is redraw the lines and boxes on an org chart, but it is actually the hardest thing to implement.”
The department must look at processes, Shanahan said. There needs to be enough people to perform the mission, he added, and then an examination of back-office inefficiencies. “It’s our processes, not our people,” he said. (Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
23 Apr 18. Do new Trump arms export rules live up to the hype? For the greater part of a year, the defense industry has been eagerly awaiting a wave of new rules for defense exports that would ease regulations and open up potential sales for U.S. weaponry, particularly for drones.
While the new policy, released April 19, does indeed ease the way for drone manufacturers to sell more of their wares abroad, it falls short of what had been anticipated by industry.
And when it comes to the conventional arms transfer policy, analysts are struggling to find major differences between the Trump policy and that of his predecessors.
Peter Navarro, White House National Trade Council head, said the new language will allow allies and partners “to more easily obtain” American security goods, which in turn improves the security of the Untied States while “reducing” the need for them to buy Chinese and Russian systems.
“For too long we have hamstrung ourselves and limited our ability to provide our allies and partners with the defensive capabilities they require, even when in the U.S.,” Navarro said.
Rhetorically, the conventional arms policy does indeed emphasize the industrial base more than previous documents ― a welcome change for industry, which is looking toward using a 60-day feedback period to push for their top priorities.
“This is a really big deal. These are issues that had typically been relegated to the second tier,” said Remy Nathan, vice president of the Aerospace Industries Association, which is planning to push for, among other things, an all-of-government National Security Cooperation strategy.
But where major growth for the defense industry could come from is unclear to analysts. According to numbers from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, America accounted for 34 percent of total arms exports from 2013–17, with 98 countries buying American goods. The second-largest exporter in the world, Russia, accounted for 22 percent of weapon exports during that same period, with 47 countries as clients; China, the fifth-ranked exporter, represented only 5.7 percent of global exports, with 48 countries.
Joel Johnson, an industry analyst with the Teal Group, said the conventional arms policy looks less like a game-changer and more “simply an extension of U.S. policy since [President] Jimmy Carter.”
“I don’t see anything dramatic here, nor do I see any great untapped demand out there for additional sales ― the current U.S. backlog is huge,” Johnson added.
Said Rachel Stohl of the Stimson Center: “What does it actually do that will change anything? I’m unclear because we were already selling more weapons than ever before, the Trump administration has already put human rights on the back burner. So in practical terms, I don’t know what the impact will be or what will actually change.”
And Byron Callan of Capital Alpha Partners said he suspects any impact from the new policy will be “below the radar screen,” with small goods like communications gear or munitions. “It’s a sentiment positive, but does it entail a surge in U.S. defense exports? I doubt it.”
But where the U.S. is indeed seeing a steep rise in competition is in the unmanned vehicle sector, particular from China, which has made inroads into the traditionally U.S.-dominated Middle East with its cheaper UAVs.
According to analytics firm Avascent, between 2013 and 2018 there were 56 countries that invested in a non-U.S.-made unmanned system, with the majority of the systems coming from Israel, China, the United Kingdom or indigenous suppliers. Investment in non-American military UAS amounted to $1.9bn in 2013 and grew to $3.5bn in 2018 ― an estimate that may be low due to a lack of transparency from Israeli and Chinese firms.
Overall demand for non-Russian, Chinese or U.S. unmanned systems is expected to reach $4.1bn in 2025, $1.6bn of which is not yet under contract, said Avascent’s Doug Berenson, who added “the majority of the value in the opportunity space lies in MALE/HALE systems, Combat UAS, and Tactical UAS. The new regulations should let U.S. firms access [the] first two markets more easily.”
Tina Kaidanow, principal deputy assistant secretary for political-military affairs at the U.S. State Department, said the drone rule change represents “efforts to do things a little bit more strategically. We need to do, the U.S. government, a better job of strategic advocacy for some of our companies. We need to think about those areas where we can really enable sales overseas.”
The drone policy change included two important changes. The first is opening up the opportunity for companies to sell systems via the Direct Commercial Sales process, under which a company and another nation can directly negotiate, rather than requiring a more formal Foreign Military Sales process, where the U.S. government acts as a go-between. DCS sales are seen as faster than FMS sales.
Secondly, the government is eliminating rules that marked unarmed systems with laser-designator technology as “strike enabling,” which put them in the same category as armed drones, and hence received higher scrutiny.
Kaidanow said the goal was to make sure “U.S. industry faces fewer barriers and less confusion when they are attempting to compete against other countries and marketing and selling those similar systems to our partners. “
While those changes will be welcomed by the UAV industry, they fall short of what was expected and hoped for by major producers of military drones. Industry was looking for the administration to reinterpret the “strong presumption of denial” clause in the Missile Technology Control Regime, an international arms control agreement among 35 nations that governs the export of missiles and drones.
The current clause makes it difficult to approve the sale of category-1 drones capable of carrying 500-kilogram payloads for more than 300 kilometers. The Obama administration had set a standard of how it interprets the MTCR language that some in industry have complained is too strict, and had expected to see changed with this policy a “presumption of approval” for a specific set of allies and partners in Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.
“U.S. drone export policy had gotten out of sync with both the technology and the realities of Chinese and Israeli exports,” said Michael Horowitz, a former Pentagon official now with the University of Pennsylvania who has studied drone issues. He added that the new drone policy seeks to balance the realities of ongoing drone proliferation and the growing international market with U.S. responsibilities under the MTCR,” but warned that future opening up of drone sales will likely require dealing with the MTCR directly.”
Kaidanow acknowledged an intent to try and reform MTCR, without details. But American officials in October floated a whitepaper to allies proposing that any air vehicle that flies under 650 kilometers per hour would drop to “category-2” and thus be subject to approval on a case-by-case basis, as opposed to having to follow the more strict “category-1” policies.
Human rights groups had also been bracing for a major shift in how drone sales were handled, with an expected de-emphasis on monitoring how systems were used by foreign customers. Instead, the language largely remains, although Stohl notes it has been deemphasized in favor of economic priorities.
“Human rights are clearly not at the forefront of this policy. This is a policy about the economy. It is a policy about America first,” Stohl said. (Source: Defense News)
About Harris Corporation
Harris Corporation is a leading technology innovator, solving customers’ toughest mission-critical challenges by providing solutions that connect, inform and protect. Harris supports government and commercial customers in more than 100 countries and has approximately $6 bn in annual revenue. The company is organized into three business segments: Communication Systems, Space and Intelligence Systems and Electronic Systems. Learn more at harris.com.
NEWS IN BRIEF – REST OF THE WORLD
Web Page sponsored by Harris Corporation
26 Apr 18. North Korea nuclear test site said to have ‘collapsed.’ Damage could explain Pyongyang’s willingness to halt testing, experts say. Damage to North Korea’s nuclear testing facility has caused it to collapse, according to Chinese scientists, casting new light on Pyongyang’s offer to halt its nuclear testing programme and close the site. However, the conclusions of the Chinese have been disputed by US experts who point to evidence that the Punggye-ri site in the north-west of North Korea is still operational. The paring back of Pyongyang’s nuclear programme is a key bargaining chip for North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un when he meets South Korean president Moon Jae-in at a historic summit on Friday. The topic will also be the focus of talks between Mr Kim and US president Donald Trump at a summit in May or June. Two groups of Chinese experts said the testing site at Punggye-ri, under a mountain near China’s border, caved in after a test on September 3 and was leaking radiation. The test detonated a 100-kilotonne bomb that excavated a cavern 200 metres in diameter and opened a hole in the surface of Mount Mantap, the peak under which the facility is located, they said. Trump caution on North Korea nuclear pledge “In view of the collapse of the North Korea nuclear test site . . . it was necessary to continue to monitor the leakage of radioactive materials that may have been caused by the collapse event,” said a statement by geophysicists led by Wen Lianxing at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei. Mr Wen’s team findings are expected to be published next month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported. Another Chinese study, published last month in Geophysical Research Letters by a team led by Liu Junqing of the Jilin Earthquake Agency said: “The explosion created a cavity and a damaged ‘chimney’ of rocks above it.” However, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies said on Monday that it was wrong to conclude the test site had been destroyed and was inoperative. Share this graphic “There remain two portal areas located in more pristine competent rock that can be used for future tests if Pyongyang were to give the order,” it said. Mr Kim said last Saturday that North Korea’s nuclear testing programme was “complete” and the facility would be closed. “Under the proven condition of complete nuclear weapons, we no longer need any nuclear tests, mid-range and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests, and that the nuclear test site in northern area has also completed its mission,” Mr Kim was quoted as saying by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. The US and South Korea welcomed Mr Kim’s offer of halting nuclear testing, which they said was a sign of progress and a promising start to upcoming talks. Damage to Punggye-ri is likely to have dealt a huge blow to the country’s nuclear weapons programme, experts said. Recommended Roula Khalaf Kim Jong Un’s new diplomacy: miracle or a mirage? However, they also pointed out instances when North Korea had faked damage to its nuclear weapons infrastructure in an effort to win wriggle room from the international community on sanctions. In 2008, North Korea blew up a cooling tower in its Yongbyon reactor complex and invited international media to view the event. “It was a largely symbolical gesture: a cooling tower is neither expensive nor technologically difficult to build,” said Andrei Lankov, a specialist on North Korea at Seoul’s Kookmin University. However, he added that he could not say with any certainty what had happened at Punggye-ri. (Source: FT.com)
23 Apr 18. Syrian Democratic Forces Continue Defeat-ISIS Fight, Official Says. Syrian Democratic Forces are continuing the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the middle Euphrates River valley, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Robert Manning said today.
The SDF continues to develop defensive positions in the Euphrates River valley, Manning said, and coalition aircraft launched attacks against ISIS positions near Abu Kamal on the border with Iraq on April 19-20.
Coalition forces continue to support the SDF effort against the extremist group, Manning said. “All forces in the region as part of that 70-plus-nation global coalition remain focused on ISIS,” he added.
The SDF is reinforcing positions in the valley and will not cede territory already taken from ISIS back to the terror group, Manning said.
Focus Remains on ISIS
“Our focus in the area remains ISIS,” he said. “We’re going to hold the ground we have, we will reinforce positions we have, and we’re going to continue to seek out and destroy ISIS wherever they are.”
Manning acknowledged that operations in the south against ISIS were not going at the pace the coalition would wish. “But we are getting back to a point where we are postured to defeat ISIS,” he said.
The colonel also addressed the ISIS in Afghanistan attack on a voter registration site in the national capital of Kabul that killed about 60 people and wounded more than 100 others. He called it a senseless attack that targeted unarmed civilians trying to exercise their right to vote.
The attack “exposes the savagery and inhumanity” of ISIS in Afghanistan, he said.
“We stand with the people and government of Afghanistan in their stand against terrorism,” the colonel said. “This attack on this polling station reaffirms our commitment to our Afghan partners and reaffirms on why we have to focus on rooting out violent extremism. When citizens can’t go and register and exercise their democratic right to vote, that’s a problem. They certainly deserve it, and that’s why we are going to stay there to make sure we can work with our Afghan partners to afford them that right.”
The colonel also announced Exercise African Lion, which runs through April 30 in Morocco and Tunisia. This year, the annual exercise has 900 U.S. military personnel in Morocco. The exercise is designed to foster interoperability and mutual understanding of each nations’ tactics, techniques and procedures, he said. (Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
20 Apr 18. Australian Defence Trade Controls Act under review. Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne has announced the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 will come under review.
Minister Payne said the Defence Trade Controls Act is an important element in the government’s effort to protect current and future national security and Australian Defence Force (ADF) capability.
The act regulates the supply of military and dual-use technology overseas and brokering in defence goods and technology and is required to be reviewed after two years.
“The review of the act will consider the adequacy of both safeguards of national defence capability and its operation to prevent trade and collaboration that could advance the military capabilities of potential adversaries or see the transfer of technology that would not be in Australia’s national interests,” Minister Payne said.
“This review is also important to ensure the act appropriately balances the protection of national defence capability, while not unnecessarily restricting trade, innovation or research collaboration.”
Dr Vivienne Thom AM, a former Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and a former Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman overseeing law enforcement, immigration, taxation and defence agencies, has been appointed to conduct the review.
Thom will undertake public consultation including direct engagement with key stakeholders. The government has advised the review, which will take around six months, and will be publicly released in “due course”. Interested parties are invited to submit written comment during the consultation by 31 May. (Source: Defence Connect)
20 Apr 18. Report: Ghanaian defence budget to reach $390.5m by 2023. Ghana’s defence spending is anticipated to reach $390.5m in 2023, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.12% over the forecast period according to a report by Strategic Defence Intelligence (SDI).
Titled ‘Future of the Ghanaian Defense Industry – Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2023’, the report provides insights about the Ghanaian defence industry.
The country’s annual defence spending reached $223.6m in 2018, recording a CAGR of -0.83%.
Though the defence budget registered a steady growth in local currency terms, the significant decline in exchange rates resulted in the decrease of the budget.
Major factors that are expected to drive Ghana’s defence spending include efforts to counter emerging security threats and tackle piracy and drug smuggling, as well as its participation in peacekeeping missions.
It is estimated that the country will spend a total of $1.6bn on its armed forces during the forecast period, the report adds.
Allocation of capital expenditure is expected to increase to an average of 14.5% of the total defence budget over the forecast period, compared with 13.3% in 2018.
Ghanaian homeland security (HLS) spending is anticipated to reach $841.6m in 2023m, representing a CAGR of 10.72% compared with $560.1m in 2019.
The HLS budget increased from $340.8m in 2014 to $502.6m in 2018, reporting a CAGR of 10.20% during the period. Defence imports are also anticipated to grow during the forecast period. (Source: army-technology.com)
About Harris Corporation
Harris Corporation is a leading technology innovator, solving customers’ toughest mission-critical challenges by providing solutions that connect, inform and protect. Harris supports government and commercial customers in more than 100 countries and has approximately $6 bn in annual revenue. The company is organized into three business segments: Communication Systems, Space and Intelligence Systems and Electronic Systems. Learn more at harris.com.
Web Page sponsored by Odyssey Corporate Finance
Contact: Tom McCarthy, Director, Odyssey Corporate Finance
M: 07867 459 600
D: 0121 503 2375
27 Apr 18. Airbus reports First Quarter (Q1) 2018 results, confirms guidance.
- Backlog and commercial momentum support ramp-up plans
- Q1 financials reflect engine and aircraft delivery phasing
- Revenues € 10bn; EBIT Adjusted € 14m
- EBIT (reported) € 199m; EPS (reported) € 0.37
- 2018 guidance confirmed
Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) reported First Quarter 2018 consolidated financial results and confirmed its guidance for the full year.
“The first quarter performance reflects the shortage of A320neo engines and back-loaded aircraft deliveries as we indicated in the full-year disclosure. This is clearly shown in the financials,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders. “It’s a challenging situation for all but based on the confidence expressed by the engine makers and their ability to deliver on commitments, we can confirm our full-year outlook. This still leaves us with plenty to do this year to reach the target of around 800 commercial aircraft deliveries.”
A total of 45 net commercial aircraft orders were received (Q1 2017: six aircraft) with gross orders of 68 aircraft including 20 A380s for Emirates Airline. The backlog by units totalled 7,189 commercial aircraft as of 31 March, 2018. Net helicopter orders increased to 104 units (Q1 2017: 60 units), including 10 H160s and 51 additional Lakota UH-72As for the US Army to bring the total orders in the programme above 450 helicopters. Airbus Defence and Space’s order intake included an additional A330 MRTT following Belgium’s participation in the multinational European NATO tanker fleet.
Consolidated revenues totalled € 10.1bn (Q1 2017: € 11.4bn(1)), mainly reflecting lower commercial aircraft and helicopter deliveries. Airbus deliveries totalled 121 commercial aircraft (Q1 2017: 136 aircraft), comprising 95 A320 Family, 8 A330s, 17 A350 XWBs and one A380. Airbus Helicopters delivered 52 units (Q1 2017: 78 units) with its revenues also reflecting the deconsolidation of services business Vector Aerospace in late 2017. Revenues at Airbus Defence and Space were slightly lower, reflecting the perimeter change from the sale of Defence Electronics in February 2017.
Consolidated EBIT Adjusted – an alternative performance measure and key indicator capturing the underlying business margin by excluding material charges or profits caused by movements in provisions related to programmes, restructuring or foreign exchange impacts as well as capital gains/losses from the disposal and acquisition of businesses – totalled € 14m (Q1 2017: € -19m(1)).
Airbus’ EBIT Adjusted of € -41m (Q1 2017: € -103m(1)) mainly reflected the back-loaded aircraft delivery phasing, compensated by A350 improvements in both unit cost and price.
On the A320neo programme, new engines with a knife edge seal fix have started to be received from supplier Pratt & Whitney and GTF-powered aircraft deliveries have resumed. Airbus is also working closely with the other A320neo engine supplier, CFM International, which is working to catch-up on the production delays it encountered. Given the significant demand for the A320neo and the robust backlog, Airbus has started a feasibility study with the supply chain to investigate higher production rates. Airbus and its engine manufacturers are committed to delivering in line with the full year overall delivery objective of around 800 commercial aircraft, which leaves a lot to do in the second half of 2018. On the A330 programme, the transition to the NEO version continues with the first delivery expected this summer. Based on the current programme assessment, Airbus has decided to reduce A330 deliveries to around 50 per year in 2019. The A350 programme continues to make good progress on the ramp-up to the targeted monthly rate of 10 aircraft by year-end. The focus remains on further recurring cost convergence. Deliveries in the first quarter included the first A350-1000 while the first flight of the A350-900 ULR (Ultra Long Range) version took place in April.
Airbus Helicopters’ EBIT Adjusted was stable at € -3m (Q1 2017: € -6m(1)), supported by the Division’s transformation efforts compensating market softness.
Airbus Defence and Space’s EBIT Adjusted was broadly stable at € 112m (Q1 2017: € 118 m(1)).
Four A400M aircraft were delivered in the first quarter. The A400M launch customer programme is being baselined to eight aircraft per year from 2020. The Company is focused on securing export orders, achieving military capabilities, the new delivery plan and retrofit of in-service aircraft as agreed with the Nations. Following the Declaration of Intent reached with customers in February 2018, finalising the contract amendment and delivering in line with commitments are key priorities for this year.
Consolidated self-financed R&D expenses totalled € 616m (Q1 2017: € 548m).
Consolidated EBIT (reported) was € 199m (Q1 2017: € 575m(1)) including Adjustments totalling a net positive € 185m. These comprised:
- A net capital gain of € 159m from the divestment of Plant Holdings, Inc., which held the Airbus DS Communications Inc. business;
- A positive impact of € 46m from the dollar pre-delivery payment mismatch and balance sheet revaluation;
- € 2m of other costs including compliance and M&A costs.
Consolidated net income(2) totalled € 283m (Q1 2017: € 409 m(1)) with earnings per share of € 0.37 (Q1 2017: € 0.53(1)) also including a positive impact mainly from the revaluation of certain equity investments. The finance result was € 39 m (Q1 2017: € -206m).
Consolidated free cash flow before M&A and customer financing amounted to € -3,839m (Q1 2017: € -1,269m), reflecting the back-loaded delivery profile and continuing production ramp-up. Consolidated free cash flow of € -3,656m (Q1 2017: € -1,116m) included net proceeds of € 191 m from the sale of the Airbus DS Communications Inc. business.
Cash flow for aircraft financing was very limited in the quarter at € -7m. Export Credit Agency cover resumed in the first quarter and Airbus anticipates ECA cover for a limited number of transactions in 2018. The appetite for commercial financing remains high.
The consolidated net cash position on 31 March 2018 was € 9.8bn (year-end 2017: € 13.4bn) with a gross cash position of € 20.9bn (year-end 2017: € 24.6bn).
As the basis for its 2018 guidance, the Company expects the world economy and air traffic to grow in line with prevailing independent forecasts, which assume no major disruptions. The 2018 earnings and Free Cash Flow guidance is based on a constant perimeter, before M&A.
- Airbus expects to deliver around 800 commercial aircraft, which depends on engine manufacturers meeting commitments.
Based on around 800 deliveries:
- Compared to 2017 EBIT Adjusted of € 4.25bn as reported, pre-IFRS 15, the Company expects, before M&A:
➢ An increase in EBIT Adjusted of approximately 20 percent.
➢ IFRS 15 is expected to further increase EBIT Adjusted by an estimated € 0.1bn.
➢ Therefore, the Company expects to report EBIT Adjusted of approximately € 5.2bn prepared under IFRS 15 in 2018.
- 2017 Free Cash Flow before M&A and Customer Financing was € 2,949 m. Free Cash Flow is expected to be at a similar level as 2017, before M&A and Customer Financing.
26 Apr 18. Missile maker MBDA plans tie-ups not takeovers in U.S. push. European missile maker MBDA prefers to form cooperation agreements with U.S. companies instead of using takeovers to gain access to the large U.S. arms market, Chief Executive Antoine Bouvier told Reuters in an interview. MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus Group, Britain’s BAE Systems and Italy’s Leonardo.
“It is not in our plan to take over U.S. companies. There is a very tight regulation and our view is that to partner with large U.S. companies is the preferred option, Bouvier said in an interview on the sidelines of the ILA Berlin Air Show.
He said MBDA would pursue cooperation deals inside and outside the United States, but did not name potential partners.
MBDA has faced stiff challenges in selling its Brimstone missiles and other equipment in the U.S. market, which constitutes about 40 percent of the world missile market, excluding Russia and China, he said.
Bouvier noted that MBDA was already working closely with top U.S. arms maker Lockheed Martin Corp in Germany, where the two companies have formed a joint venture to hammer out an agreement with the defence ministry about a multibn-euro missile defence system called TLVS.
The head of Lockheed’s missiles and fire control business on Wednesday said the two companies hoped to finalise a contract for TLVS by the end of 2018.
Bouvier said that cooperation could expand outside Germany in the future, given what he called the “huge potential for export” of the TLVS system.
“When the German customer confirms TLVS then we will have a number of opportunities outside Germany with Lockheed Martin,” he said, citing current Patriot operators outside Europe as possible buyers. (Source: Reuters)
26 Apr 18. FLIR Systems penalised USD30m over ITAR violations. US imaging specialist FLIR Systems is to pay civil penalties of USD30m to the US government under a settlement over violations of the country’s Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the US State Department announced on 25 April.
Half of the penalty has been suspended and will be used by the company to implement State Department-approved compliance and training measures. FLIR will also hire an external official to oversee the compliance measures agreed under a consent agreement with the State Department.
The allegations against FLIR amounted to 347 violations of regulations and date back to 2008. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Apr 18. Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund invests £1.68m into Geospatial Insight.
- Geospatial Insight is a leading provider of satellite imagery analysis for insurance, investment and corporate sectors
- Established team with +20-year track record in the sector
- The Fund supports disruptive technologies with high performance engineering capability and proven investment management
Foresight Group (“Foresight”) announces the £1.68m investment from the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund (“the Fund”) into Geospatial Insight (the “Company”).
Geospatial Insight is a leading provider of satellite imagery analysis for the insurance, investment and corporate sectors. Their product combines satellite imagery with video, positioning and commercial data and provides qualitative and quantitative analysis to produce actionable business intelligence tailored specifically to their clients. The Company also provides loss estimation and claims analysis services to the insurance sector.
Established in 2012 by industry experts Dave Fox (CEO), Dan Schnurr (CIO), Adrian Watson (CFO) and Paul Fearn (CTO), a team that has worked together for more than 20 years in the sector, Geospatial Insight currently has 28 employees and plans to hire additional developers to expand its machine learning capabilities as well as specialist business development staff.
Alongside the Fund’s investment, Geospatial Insight will benefit from the investment management and growth experience from Foresight’s team of investment professionals. In addition, the Company will benefit from the link to Williams Advanced Engineering (“Williams”) who are well-equipped to help accelerate the development of Geospatial Insight’s machine learning capabilities. The Company’s focus will continue to be on the creation of scalable information products, delivered by proprietary machine learning software, enabling significant reductions in labour costs and greater overall capacity.
John Holden, Principal, Foresight said: “We are delighted to be backing this experienced and capable team. Since the company’s foundation in 2012, they have established a strong market position and our investment will support further product development and a growing customer base. The Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund has had a busy and successful start to 2018 and we look forward to the rest of the year with more deals in the pipeline.”
Craig Wilson, Managing Director, Williams Advanced Engineering, said: “Williams is pleased to be entering into this new partnership agreement with Geospatial Insight and to have the opportunity to be involved in enhancing its valuable business intelligence service offerings within a growing market.”
Dave Fox, CEO, Geospatial Insight said: “We are delighted to receive investment from the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund. During the next 12 months we will be strengthening our machine learning expertise and developing new customer propositions that better inform enterprise decision making. By doing so we will also further extend our unique expertise and solidify our position as market leaders in intelligence derived from satellite, aerial and drone imagery.”
This is the Fund’s fourth investment, following investments into following a £500,000 investment into Southampton-based Utonomy, a ground-breaking intelligent gas grid solutions provider last September; Codeplay, an Edinburgh-based software developer and software consultancy business involved in Heterogeneous Systems and The Salford Valve Company (“Salvalco”), a company providing ecologically sustainable aerosol valves.
25 Apr 18. French firm joins exclusive talks to acquire cybersecurity company Novidy’s in $43m deal. Communications & Systèmes, a specialist in mission-critical systems, is in exclusive negotiations to acquire cybersecurity company Novidy’s in a deal worth €35.6m (U.S. $43.6m), CS said. CS will also raise €10m in a rights issue to continue its expansion through mergers and acquisitions, the company said in a April 23 statement.
“This is a first step in CS’s strategic plan, Ambition 2021, which aims to double the group’s size by 2021,” company CEO Eric Blanc Garin told Defense News on April 24. There had been competing bids for Novidy’s, which picked CS as the preferred bidder.
“I am happy they chose CS,” he said. “Novidy’s is a great company with a great team.”
That acquisition is key in the CS expansion drive, which seeks to boost annual sales to €300m by 2021. Cybersecurity is a strategic sector, and an acquisition of Novidy’s is part of CS’ aim to be among the top-five French cybersecurity firms, he added.
According to a CS representative, the top-five French cybersecurity companies are Atos, Orange, Sogeti, Sopra and Thales.
Cybersecurity specialists will help clients set up “cybersecurity operating centers running 24/7,” as companies are looking for protection of information and embedded systems while guarding themselves against external intrusion, he noted.
The executive said cybersecurity is a strategic activity for his company, along with defense, public safety and space.
CS will acquire some 70 percent of Novidy’s by paying €30m in cash, which will be funded by a bank loan. CS will issue new stock and share warrants to acquire the remaining stake.
The CS annual general meeting will vote June 26 on the proposed deal, which will be presented to CS staff and regulatory authorities. Sopra Steria Group, which holds 11.4 percent of CS, has signaled it will subscribe to the share issue and has said it backs Ambition 2021, according to CS.
Novidy’s posted its 2017 operating profit of €3.2m on sales of €32m. The company grew annual sales of more than 20 percent over the last four years and employs 130 staff. CS posted its 2017 operating profit of €8.3m on sales of €178.1m. (Source: Fifth Domain)
25 Apr 18. FLIR Systems Announces First Quarter 2018 Financial Results. First Quarter Revenue Growth of 8% Over Prior Year; Organic Revenue Growth of 13% Over Prior Year
GAAP EPS of $0.28; Adjusted EPS of $0.48, Up 33% Over Prior Year
Gross Margins Improve 260 Basis Points Over Prior Year
FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018. Commenting on these results, Jim Cannon, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “With these record first quarter results, we are off to a great start to 2018. Our top line grew 13% organically while our adjusted earnings per share grew 33%. All three of our business units had double-digit organic revenue growth and we saw significant operating leverage with this growth.”
Mr. Cannon continued, “We have an improved outlook for the year as we commit to innovating around our customers’ needs while we fuel, feed, and focus our businesses. Our teams continue their hard work to deploy The FLIR Method initiatives and tools for disciplined continuous improvement to drive value for our shareholders and our customers. And our repurchase of 1.7m shares in the quarter is further demonstration of how we create value for our shareholders.”
First Quarter 2018
First quarter 2018 revenue was $439.6m, up 8% over first quarter 2017 revenue of $406.8 m. Organic revenue growth was 13%, which excludes the first quarter results in 2017 and 2018 of the previously disclosed divested portion of the Security division that closed on February 6, 2018.
GAAP Earnings Results
GAAP gross profit in the first quarter increased 14% to $217.9m, or 49.6% of revenue, compared to $191.3m, or 47.0% of revenue in the first quarter of 2017. GAAP operating income in the first quarter decreased 6% to $55.5m, compared to $59.1m in the prior year. First quarter 2018 GAAP results were negatively impacted by a $10m pre-tax loss on the divested Security businesses and a $15m charge related to a U.S. Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls(DDTC) penalty of $30m, with $15 m suspended based on verifiable past and future expenditures for remedial compliance measures, in connection with a consent agreement executed yesterday to resolve various alleged violations of the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) referred to in FLIR’s 2017 10-K filing.
First quarter 2018 GAAP net earnings were $39.2m, or $0.28 per diluted share, compared with GAAP net earnings of $42.6m, or $0.31 per diluted share in the first quarter a year ago.
Cash provided by operations was $43.2m in the first quarter of 2018, compared to $75.1m in the first quarter of the prior year. The decline compared to the prior year was due primarily to U.S. repatriation tax payments and timing of other tax payments. Approximately 1.7m shares were repurchased in the quarter at an average price of $49.34.
Non-GAAP Earnings Results
Adjusted gross profit was $222.0m in the first quarter, representing 50.5% of revenue and increasing 13% over adjusted gross profit of $196.9m in the first quarter of 2017. Adjusted operating income was $87.8m in the first quarter, which was 26% higher than adjusted operating income of $69.6m in the first quarter of 2017. Adjusted operating margin increased 290 basis points to 20.0%, compared with 17.1% in the first quarter of 2017.
Adjusted net earnings in the first quarter were $68.2m, or $0.48 per diluted share, which was 33% higher than adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.36 in the first quarter of 2017.
Business Unit Results
Revenue from the Industrial Business Unit was $170.7m, an increase of 10% over the first quarter results of last year, due to increased handheld thermal imager and camera core sales. The Government and Defense Business Unit contributed $159.3m of revenue during the first quarter, up 15% over the prior year, and was driven by international deliveries. The Commercial Business Unit recorded revenue of $109.6m in the first quarter, down 4% from the prior year, but up 12% excluding revenue related to the divested portion of the Security division. Strong results in the Raymarine and ITS businesses contributed to the organic growth.
Revenue and Earnings Outlook for 2018
Based on financial results for the first quarter of the year and the outlook for the remainder of the year, FLIR now expects revenue in 2018 to be in the range of $1.760bn to $1.790bn, increased from the previous $1.730bn to $1.760bn amount. Adjusted net earnings per diluted share is now expected to be in the range of $2.11 to $2.16 per diluted share, up from the previous outlook of $2.05 to $2.10 per diluted share.
CEO Contract Extension
FLIR also announced today that its Board of Directors has approved the extension of Jim Cannon’s employment agreement through April 2022. “We are delighted that Jim has agreed to extend his contract,” said Earl Lewis, FLIR’s Chairman of the Board. “This extension recognizes the significant impact Jim has had on the business since he’s joined the team and signifies the Board of Directors’ conviction in his leadership capabilities, his commitment to our customers, and his long term strategy.”
FLIR’s Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.16 per share on FLIR common stock, payable June 8, 2018, to shareholders of record as of close of business on May 25, 2018.
26 Apr 18. KBR Announces First Quarter 2018 Financial Results.
– Strong earnings of $138m, up 273% versus prior year
– GAAP EPS of $0.97; Adjusted EPS of $0.34, up 273% and 21% respectively
– Adjusted EPS Guidance re-affirmed at $1.35-$1.45
– Recently Completed (April 2018) the Acquisitions of SGT and Carillion’s interest in Aspire Defence
KBR, Inc. (NYSE: KBR), a global provider of differentiated, professional services and technologies across the asset and program life cycle within the government services and hydrocarbons industries today announced first quarter 2018 financial results.
“It’s an exciting time to be part of the KBR team. End markets are buoyant, backlog and bookings are strong and execution is delivering excellent safety performance and robust margins,” said Stuart Bradie, KBR President and CEO.
“We remain committed to building a portfolio of recurring and predictable professional services and technologies businesses and this strategy is delivering stable revenues year on year (excluding non-strategic) and strong EPS growth. We posted excellent organic growth in our government business, increased sustainable margins in technology and are seeing the recovery in our hydrocarbons business with key wins coupled with earnings growth from last quarter. We were also pleased by our execution across KBR including Ichthys which is performing within the estimates provided in February,” Bradie continued.
“In addition, in April we completed the planned acquisitions of Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT) and also Carillion’s interest in Aspire Defence. These acquisitions advance our portfolio goals and give us additional long-term, stable backlog as a platform for earnings growth.”
Effective fiscal 2018, we are making the following changes in our reporting:
- We are changing the name of the Engineering & Construction (E&C) segment to the “Hydrocarbons Services” segment (HS). This change reflects strategic shifts we have made in this business over recent years to evolve to more recurring and reimbursable engineering, consulting and industrial maintenance services, coupled our de-emphasis in engaging in fixed price EPC projects except for those that fit within our commercial discipline.
- We have moved the Consulting division formerly reported in the Technology and Consulting segment to the Hydrocarbons Services segment. This aligns with our focus on high technology professional services engagements across the full life cycle of projects in Hydrocarbon end markets.
Revenue: The decrease in consolidated revenues was primarily driven by completion or substantial completion of several projects within our HS business segment. The decrease was partially offset by the consolidation of newly acquired entities in the Aspire Defence program and strong organic growth of 11% in our GS business segment.
Gross Profit: The consolidation of the Aspire Defence entities coupled with strong organic growth in our GS business segment and increased gross profits in the Technology segment offset decreases in gross profits from the HS segment caused by completion or substantial completion of several projects.
Equity in earnings: The increase in equity in earnings was driven by progress on the Ichthys project within our HS business segment. In the prior year first quarter, Ichthys was impacted by increases in estimated costs to complete the project, which adversely impacted equity in earnings in Q1 2017.
Gain on consolidation of Aspire entities: The gain was recognized upon consolidation of the Aspire entities as a result of adjusting our investment to fair value as required by U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
Operating cash flow: The cash used in operations totaled $130 m in the three months ended March 31, 2018 compared to cash used of $115 m in the three months ended March 31, 2017. Operating cash flows were unfavorably impacted by timing delays in billing and collections in the GS segment which are expected to be resolved in Q2 2018.
- We were awarded a $42m contract by the U.K. Ministry of Defence to bring into service a water purification, storage and distribution system to deliver potable water to deployed U.K. forces.
- We were awarded a $32m task order to assist the U.S. Air Force in enhancing the operational capability and efficiency of air and space systems.
- We were awarded a $34m task order to provide analytical and engineering weapons systems support to assist the U.S. Air Force with air traffic safety and cyber threats.
- We were awarded a $69m indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide engineering and technical services to the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division.
- We were awarded an ammonia plant contract by Toyo Engineering Corporation to provide licensing and basic engineering design services for the HURL project in Gorakhpur, India.
- We were awarded a license and engineering contract by ENAP Refinerias SA to utilize our ROSE solvent deasphalting technology at their refinery in Chile.
- We have entered into an agreement with PT Panca Amara Utama to provide our Ammonia InSite technology for their ammonia plant complex in Indonesia.
- We were awarded (April) a significant reimbursable pre FEED and FEED for a major petrochemicals complex in the ME.
- We were awarded a FEED leading to reimbursable EPC for a refinery expansion for a tier 1 customer in Texas.
KBR backlog increased from $10.6bn as of December 31, 2017 to $13.2bn as of March 31, 2018, primarily due to the inclusion of 100% of backlog associated with the consolidated Aspire entities and new awards, partially offset by workoff and other adjustments. Excluding Aspire, GS backlog improved by $150m. Technology segment backlog improved by $36m.
We are re-affirming the company’s full year 2018 fully diluted adjusted earnings per share guidance range of $1.35 to $1.45 per share. Our guidance of earnings per share is on an adjusted EPS basis, which excludes legacy legal costs for U.S. Government contracts, acquisition & integration-related expenses associated with the Aspire and SGT acquisitions, new amortization associated with the Aspire acquisitions and the gain on the Aspire consolidation. The estimated legacy legal costs do not assume any cost reimbursement from the U.S. Government that could occur in the future. A reconciliation of GAAP EPS to adjusted EPS guidance is located at the end of this release.
Our estimated effective tax rate for 2018 is unchanged and estimated to range from 22% to 24%. The operating cash flows are also unchanged and estimated to range from $125m to $175m for 2018.
26 Apr 18. Saab’s results January-March 2018. Saab presents the results for January-March 2018.
Statement by the President and CEO Håkan Buskhe:
Continued strong order bookings
During the quarter, Saab made a successful first flight with the new generation of the GlobalEye, Airborne Early Warning & Control, aircraft. The flight marked an important milestone for the development of the system.
Adjusted for two large orders received in 2017, order bookings in the first quarter 2018 were strong and amounted to MSEK 6,135. In the first quarter of 2017, Saab received two major orders totalling SEK 5.2 bn. In the first quarter of 2018 a major order was received from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, to provide operational and development support for Gripen valued at BSEK 1.35. Bookings of medium-sized orders were strong in the quarter, Finland for example selected Saab as one of the major suppliers for the Finnish Navy’s Squadron 2000 Mid-Life Upgrade programme. As part of the same programme, Saab received a contract for production and delivery of Saab’s New Lightweight Torpedo. This is the first order for this system from a customer outside Sweden.
The interest in Saab’s products is great, and Gripen has a strong market position. Due to the strong interest in Gripen E/F, Saab has now accelerated the pace of investment to develop the system for future exports.
Sales and operating income
Sales amounted to MSEK 7,766 with organic growth of 2 per cent. The business areas Aeronautics and Surveillance saw strong growth driven by increased activity in the Gripen business as well as in Airborne Early Warning & Control systems.
Operating income amounted to MSEK 447 (539) and the operating margin was 5.8 per cent (7.1) in the period. The operating margin was lower than in 2017 due to fewer deliveries during the period, a change in the project mix and a change of the project margin in a few smaller projects.
Operational cash flow amounted to MSEK -2,211 (986), which was according to plan. The main reason for the negative cash flow was the high level of capital employed in major projects and utilisation of advances and milestone payments.
Saab’s focus in 2018 is on strengthening its market position and delivering on the major development projects in the order backlog.
Outlook statement for 2018:
We estimate that sales growth in 2018 will be in line with Saab’s long-term financial goal: annual organic sales growth of 5 per cent.
The operating margin in 2018, excluding material non-recurring items, is expected to improve compared to 2017, bringing Saab a step closer to its financial goal: an operating margin of 10 per cent over a business cycle.
24 Apr 18. Clark clears Melrose Industries’ £8bn GKN takeover. Business secretary secures binding undertakings on future of target’s defence business. Melrose has agreed to give ministers ‘early visibility’ on any prospective buyers for GKN assets. Melrose Industries’ contentious £8bn acquisition of engineering company GKN has been cleared by business secretary Greg Clark, after Melrose gave detailed binding undertakings on the future of the defence business. Mr Clark told MPs on Tuesday that in addition to giving the government the right to veto the disposal of defence assets considered to have national security implications, Melrose had agreed to give ministers “early visibility” on any prospective buyers. It had also pledged to secure protections for the UK on intellectual property and on capability from purchasers. Melrose will meet ministers every six months to update the government on its ownership of GKN, one of the UK’s oldest engineering companies and a leading supplier to the automotive and aerospace industries. Melrose’s business model of buying industrial companies with a view to improving their performance and selling them on within five years sparked a public controversy over the takeover by financial buyers of one of the UK’s oldest engineering firms. The agreement on “deeds of undertakings” are in addition to binding post-offer pledges made in late March, which included retaining the aerospace division for five years, maintaining research and development spending at pre-takeover levels, and keeping Melrose’s headquarters and listing in the UK. The business secretary said he had decided, after taking advice from defence secretary Gavin Williamson and the security services, that there were no grounds to refer the purchase to the Competition and Markets Authority. “My judgment is there are no reasonable and proportionate grounds to make a reference on grounds of national security,” Mr Clark said. He added that there had never been such a reference where one British company was bought by another. But the acquisition by Melrose sparked political criticism, with claims that its purchase was incompatible with a long-term industrial strategy. Rebecca Long-Bailey, Labour business spokeswoman, and Vince Cable, former Liberal Democrat business secretary, argued that Mr Clark should introduce new powers to intervene in such takeovers. But Mr Clark insisted that the new system, introduced after Kraft’s acrimonious takeover of Cadbury in 2009, had worked well and had allowed ministers to secure legally binding undertakings from Melrose. He said these were “legal deeds set out as post-offer undertakings” by Melrose, some of which were made to the Takeover Panel, and that the sanction for breaking these undertakings included imprisonment. Mr Clark was pressed by Mr Cable to take action to restrict the voting rights in takeovers by “short-term investors”, claiming that their acquisition of GKN stock had been “highly destabilising” to the 259-year-old company. But the business secretary argued that the sale of stock by GKN shareholders — some of whom were long-term investors — was part of the process of capitalism, where one management team was favoured over another to maximise value in a company. He said he would “keep under review” corporate governance issues, but pointed out that Mr Cable had himself decided not to impose a voting ban on investors who bought shares in a takeover target months before a bid was launched. Mr Williamson was pleased with the new undertakings secured from Melrose, with suggestions from his supporters that the defence secretary was instrumental in securing new guarantees on GKN’s military business. GKN supplies parts for military aircraft including the A400M transporter and the F-35 and Typhoon fighters. The composite technology used in the A400M’s wing spars is regarded as important to the UK’s future wing strategy. Michael Heseltine, former business secretary, and the Daily Mail led the campaign to stop the Melrose purchase, with accounts of how GKN was a proud part of the country’s engineering heritage, involved in making Spitfire fighters in the second world war and cannonballs used at the Battle of Waterloo. However, defence makes up a relatively small part of GKN’s overall engineering business and the company does not feature among the top 50 suppliers to the MoD. (Source: FT.com)
25 Apr 18. Boeing cruises past forecasts, sees no sign of cost trouble. Boeing Co’s (BA.N) profit surged past Wall Street estimates in the first quarter and booming demand for commercial jets pushed the world’s biggest planemaker to raise forecasts for cash flow and earnings in what promises to be another record year.
Speaking after the results, Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg also played down concerns expressed by fellow U.S. manufacturing export giant Caterpillar (CAT.N) about rising materials costs, which could squeeze profit margins.
Boeing’s core earnings, which exclude certain pension costs, jumped to $3.64 per share from $2.17 a year earlier, dwarfing a consensus forecast of $2.58 per share. Its shares rose as much as 4.5 percent before ending up 4.2 percent.
“We’re not seeing anything there (in costs) that’s a material effect right now,” Muilenburg said.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s crackdown on steel and aluminum imports has constrained supplies in the domestic market, inflating costs of the metals.
Muilenburg said he does not anticipate a full-blown trade war between the United States and China, as both countries seem to working towards finding negotiated solutions.
“While some initial statements have been made about potential tariffs, none of those severe actions have been implemented. And we’re frankly encouraged by the continuing dialogue,” he said.
Boeing was seen by investors as one of the big potential losers when Trump unveiled a 10-percent tariff on aluminum on March 8, but those worries have eased somewhat and its shares are now down only 3 percent in the six weeks since.
“The good thing is that Boeing tends to have multi-year contracts in place, general inflationary adjustments on sales, and raw materials are a relatively modest portion of a plane’s costs,” Morgan Stanley analyst Rajeev Lalwani said.
Analysts also say Chinese buyers, who account for more than 20 percent of Boeing sales, would have no alternative supplier for the aircraft if trade relations threatened ties with the U.S. company, because rival Airbus has only limited capacity to produce more quickly in the immediate term.
Speaking as Airbus confirmed an increase in its production plans for its narrowbody A320 jet, Muilenburg said Boeing also continued to face pressure to make more of its equivalent 737s, but would be “disciplined” in output decisions.
Boeing has faced some disruption in engine and fuselage supplies for the popular jet, but is confident of meeting its existing production targets which are underpinned by a record backlog of orders and strong demand, Muilenburg said.
Boeing said it had not made a launch decision regarding a potential new mid-sized jet, adding that it was taking hard look at the business case.
“We still see that airplane, if we decide to launch, as a 2025 time frame airplane in terms of entry into service,” Muilenburg said.
Boeing’s new wide-body 777X aircraft development is on track for 2020 delivery, Muilenburg said, and costs of the 787 Dreamliner are coming down, boosting cash generation – a trend he expects to remain going forward.
Boeing sold a record 763 aircraft last year and has already announced a 9 percent rise in commercial deliveries in the first three months of the year.
It raised its full-year operating cash flow forecast to $15.0bn-$15.5bn from about $15bn, previously.
“The wall of cash that the company is generating makes it hard to be absent from the stock. Based on our revised estimates, we are showing a free cash flow yield of 8 percent,” Vertical Research Partners analyst Robert Stallard said.
The company also increased its 2018 core earnings per share forecast to $14.30-14.50 from its previous projection of $13.80-$14.00.
Core operating margin rose to 10.7 percent from 8.5 percent a year earlier while revenue rose 6.5 percent to $23.38bn, beating expectations of $22.26bn.
Boeing’s commercial aircraft deliveries rose 9 percent to 184 in the first quarter ended March 31, due to strong demand from airlines dealing with booming passenger air travel.
The company also said it planned to increase production on its 767 aircraft program from 2.5 to 3 per month beginning in 2020, reflecting strength in the global cargo market.
Global freight traffic grew on average by 7.7 percent in January and February, marking the strongest start to the year since 2015, according to the International Air Transport Association. (Source: Reuters)
(See: Features ‘Strong Showing From US Majors’)
26 Apr 18. Cobham AGM Statement and Trading Update. Cobham plc (‘Cobham’ or ‘the Group’) today issues a trading update covering the period 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2018. The statement is issued ahead of Cobham’s 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held today.
Progress in the Year to Date
Overall, the Group’s trading performance in the first quarter of the year for the ongoing business was in line with the Board’s expectations with continued execution of Cobham’s operational turnaround.
There remains a focus on mitigating the material risks and uncertainties facing the Group, including its onerous contracts and other legacy issues. In this respect, Cobham continues to support qualification and flight test on the challenging KC-46 tanker programme under its development and low rate initial production contract which, as previously stated in the 1 March 2018 preliminary results announcement, contains some significant terms related to delayed performance. The Aviation Services Sector’s UK Defence Helicopter Flying School contract concluded on schedule at the end of the first quarter of 2018.
As previously announced on 16 March 2018, Cobham completed the divestment of its AvComm and Wireless test and measurement business for an all-cash consideration of US$455m (subject to certain post-completion adjustments and expenses). The transaction completed sooner than expected due to the early termination of the US Hart-Scott-Rodino anti-trust review process. The business delivered a small underlying operating loss in 2018 whilst still owned by Cobham.
Following the divestment, US$573m of private placement debt (senior notes) were repaid on 17 April 2018 and the Group has also repaid and cancelled a US$75m credit agreement. The resulting total accelerated interest costs (‘make-wholes’) were approximately US$29m and the Group’s annualised interest saving on its debt is estimated to be US$26m.
As previously announced, René Médori, who joined the Board on 1 January 2018, will become Non-executive Chairman of the Audit Committee on conclusion of the AGM today, following the retirement from the Board of Alan Semple. General Michael Hagee (retired) and Birgit Nørgaard will also retire from the Board today. The Board is extremely grateful for the contribution of the three outgoing Non-executive Directors.
The Board’s expectations for the ongoing business in 2018 remain unchanged from those set out on 1 March 2018. There continues to be a range of potential outcomes, although the early completion of the Wireless and AvComm divestment has removed one factor from the 2018 performance. As previously announced, the Group anticipates limited cash generation in 2018. This is partly due to the pattern of receipts and payments relating to its onerous contracts with a weighting of cash outflows in H1 2018. The Board continues to have confidence in the Group’s medium term prospects.
Notice of Results
Cobham’s interim results will be announced on 2 August 2018.
David Lockwood, Cobham Chief Executive Officer, said, “Cobham’s turnaround has continued in the first quarter and our overall trading performance within our ongoing business was in line with the Board’s expectations. I continue to have confidence in our medium term prospects, supported by a more resilient balance sheet, despite the risks and challenges that remain.”
25 Apr 18. Northrop Grumman posts upbeat results, lifts earnings outlook. US defence contractor Northrop Grumman on Wednesday posted upbeat earnings aided by a lower tax rate and lifted its earnings outlook for the year. The Virginia-based company said its net income rose to $739m or $4.21 a share, compared with $650m or $3.69 a share in the year ago period. That topped analysts’ estimates for earnings of $3.61 a share, according to a Thomson Reuters poll. Profits were partly boosted by the US tax overhaul which saw Northrop’s tax rate slip to 15.2 per cent in the first quarter from 17.5 per cent in the year ago period. Sales rose 5 per cent from a year ago to $6.7bn, compared with forecasts for $6.6bn. That was driven by a 10 per cent rise in its aerospace systems because of higher demand for its manned aircraft and a 3 per cent increase in missions systems which were boosted by demand for sensors and processing programs. The gains in the two units that account for the bulk of Northrop’s sales was partially offset by a decline in its technology services unit. Following the upbeat first-quarter results, Northrop boosted its full-year earnings outlook to $15.40 to $15.65 a share, up from its previous expectation for $15 to $15.25 a share. The company maintained its outlook for sales of $27bn and free cash flow in the range of $2bn to $2.3bn. A failure by Lockheed Martin to raise its outlook for cash flow this year even as the US government boosts defence spending, had prompted a sell-off in defence stocks on Tuesday. After capital expenditures of about $305m Northrop on Wednesday announced a negative cash flow of $542m, compared with $655m in the year ago quarter. Northrop has previously said that its $9.2bn acquisition of Orbital ATK will prove accretive to free cash flow in the first full-year after the deal closes. Northrop shares, up 11 per cent year-to-date, rose 1.5 per cent in pre-market trading. (See: Features ‘Strong Showing From US Majors’) (Source: FT.com)
24 Apr 18. Lockheed lauds U.S. arms sales push, sees foreign sales rising. Top U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) welcomed a push by U.S. President Donald Trump to speed up approvals of arms sales, saying it would reassure allies who had been frustrated by bureaucratic delays in the past. The Trump administration last week rolled out an overhaul of U.S. arms export policy aimed at expanding sales to allies, saying it would bolster the American defence industry and create jobs at home.
Rick Edwards, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin International, told Reuters the initiative should help speed up progress on foreign weapons sales that have already helped fuel his company’s growth in recent years.
“It will reassure some of our allies that we’re going to move the process faster,” he said in an interview on the eve of the ILA Berlin Air Show. “They get frustrated with how long it takes to get through all the wickets.”
Foreign sales accounted for about 30 percent of Lockheed’s revenues in 2017 and should expand further in coming years, Edwards said, although he declined to name a specific target.
Lockheed on Tuesday reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecast, helped in part by sales of its stealthy F-35 combat jets.
Edwards said that he would not be surprised if U.S. allies in the Gulf began requesting information about the F-35 during the Trump presidency, although future sales would depend on political decisions in that region and the United States.
“These countries are very strong allies, and they’re buying a lot of American equipment, so the logical next step is that they’ll pursue the rest of American capabilities,” he said.
At the same time, he said, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbours were working to beef up their air and missile defence capabilities and meet other military needs, which would probably take precedence before they moved ahead on any F-35 purchases.
A planned sale of Lockheed’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defence system is currently in the contract review process in Saudi Arabia, he said.
Lockheed is working closely with Saudi Arabian Military Industries, or SAMI, to work out details on local jobs and local sovereignty, and is likely to wind up with hundreds of Lockheed employees in the kingdom, Edwards said.
Saudi Arabia has announced “ambitious” plans to increase the percentage of local work done on weapons contracts to around 50 percent from 2 to 3 percent currently by 2030, he said.
Lockheed is also “bullish” on sales in Europe, where it already has 3,500 employees and eight offices, Edwards added.
The company is focused heavily on several German competitions, including a multi-bn-euro heavy-lift helicopter competition in which its CH-53K King Stallion will square off against Boeing’s twin-rotor CH-47 Chinook. The CH-53K will make its international debut at the air show this week.
Edwards said he was confident that the company’s joint venture with European missile maker MBDA would be able to make a deal with Germany for a missile defence system after years of negotiations. “I don’t see any showstoppers and the messaging from our customers has been great,” he said.
Lockheed is also hoping to score Germany as a new buyer for its F-35 stealth combat jets. The U.S. government on Tuesday provided data to the German defence ministry on the F-35 and the F-15E and F/A-18E/F fighter jets built by Boeing Co (BA.N). (Source: Reuters)
24 Apr 18. Lockheed Martin shares fall as cash flow outlook disappoints
Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), the Pentagon’s No. 1 weapons supplier, did not raise its 2018 cash flow projections on Tuesday even as the U.S. government spends more on defense, disappointing investors and pushing its shares lower.
Lockheed reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecast, helped in part by higher sales of its stealthy F-35 combat jets.
The company’s shares, however, fell 6.1 percent to $336.49 on the cash flow predictions amid a broader market sell-off. Its chief financial officer told Wall Street analysts on a conference call that pension contributions could cause “negative cash from operations in the second quarter.”
The outlook for annual cash flow was the only major financial category that Lockheed did not revise higher.
“There could be some modest disappointment that the cash guidance has not been raised, but it is early in the year and cash is trickier to predict,” analyst Robert Stallard of Vertical Research said in a note.
Revenue from the company’s aeronautics business, which makes the F-35 jet, rose 6.7 percent to $4.4bn. The business accounted for about 38 percent of total revenue in the quarter.
The F-35 jet is central to the company’s growth and already delivers about a quarter of its sales.
The program has been in the news recently after Reuters reported this month that the U.S. Department of Defense stopped accepting most deliveries of the F-35 over a dispute about who will cover costs for fixing a production error.
The dispute centers around whether Lockheed or its customer should pay what a source said was $119m to fix a corrosion issue discovered last year. The source spoke on condition of anonymity.
Lockheed confirmed on April 11 that the Pentagon had halted deliveries of the jet over a contractual issue, but did not give further details.
“It’s just a temporary suspension that they have on accepting some aircraft until we reach agreement on a contractual issue,” Chief Executive Marillyn Hewson told analysts. Lockheed’s finance chief said the hold encompassed less than 10 jets as of Tuesday.
“This was a good operating quarter from Lockheed, with an operations/tax boost to the earnings per share,” Stallard said in his note.
Looking forward, Hewson said Lockheed and the U.S. government were “exploring options that we could bring forward to” Japan for a future jet fighter. Last week Reuters reported Lockheed planned to offer Japan a stealth fighter design based on its export-banned F-22 Raptor and advanced F-35 Lightning II aircraft. [nL3N1RX2AF}
Following the U.S. tax law change passed last year, Lockheed reported its effective tax rate was 14.9 percent, compared with 23.8 percent for the year-ago quarter. The rate was helped in part by a $1.5bn contribution to the company’s pension plan this quarter.
Profits were up at Lockheed’s Missiles and Fire Control business unit, as well as its Rotary and Mission Systems business unit, which makes Sikorsky helicopters. The Space unit’s profits fell modestly from 12 percent to 11.3 percent in part because of lower sales of a space-based infrared sensor system.
The Bethesda, Maryland-based company raised its 2018 net sales forecast to a range of $50.35bn to $51.85bn from a range of $50bn to $51.50 bn.
Full-year profit is expected to rise between $15.80 and $16.10 per share, compared with its earlier estimate of $15.20 to $15.50 per share.
Net income rose to $1.16bn, or $4.02 per share, in the first quarter ended March 25 from $789m, or $2.69 per share, a year earlier.
Net sales rose to $11.64bn from $11.21 bn. Analysts were expecting an adjusted profit of $3.40 per shares and revenue of $11.6bn, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Up to Monday’s close, Lockheed’s shares had risen 31.3 percent in the past 12 months, compared with a 13.7 percent rise in the S&P 500 index. (See: Features ‘Strong Showing From US Majors’) (Source: Reuters)
24 Apr 18. United Technologies results beat as booming air travel spurs demand. United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) reported quarterly results that topped analysts’ estimates on Tuesday and raised its full-year forecasts, citing higher demand for spare parts and services from airlines dealing with booming passenger travel. Shares of the maker of Otis Elevators, Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines and Carrier air conditioners rose as much as 3 percent to $125.50 (89.8 pounds).
Chief Financial Officer Akhil Johri told Reuters that United Tech expects to meet its full-year target for engine deliveries to Airbus SE (AIR.PA) and is optimistic that its suppliers can keep pace with rising engine production.
The Pratt & Whitney unit, which has faced a series of setbacks with its geared turbofan engine, halted deliveries for the Airbus A320neo for almost a month earlier this year after discovering a new problem.
The issues are coming under control and “we feel very good about the supply chain and our ability to support Airbus requirements,” Johri said.
The company raised its 2018 adjusted earnings per share forecast to a range of $6.95-$7.15 from $6.85-$7.10, and full-year sales to a range of $63bn to $64.5bn from $62.5bn to $64bn.
United Tech said the decision to increase its earnings and sales forecasts this early in the year is unusual and reflected its confidence in its performance.
“We never raise the outlook in the first quarter,” Johri said.
The company said sales in its Pratt & Whitney unit, which also makes the engine for Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT.N) F-35 combat jets, rose 15.2 percent.
Its aerospace systems division, which makes engine components and provides spare parts, overhaul and repair services, reported a 5.7 percent rise in sales.
“United Tech’s first quarter aero aftermarket results were strong once again and read across well to other aero suppliers (Safran, Rolls-Royce and TransDigm) as we begin 1Q18 earnings season,” Vertical Research Partners analyst Robert Stallard said.
Sales in the company’s unit that makes Carrier air conditioners and video surveillance systems were up 7 percent.
United Tech has seen about a 1 percent increase in costs so far because of recent U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
“We are hoping it just results in negotiations (between United States and China) and (more) tariffs don’t come into play,” Johri said.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.77 per share, beating analysts’ expectation of $1.52 per share.
Net sales rose to $15.24bn, above the $14.64bn expected by the market, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (See: Features ‘Strong Showing From US Majors’) (Source: Reuters)
25 Apr 18. Hexcel Corporation’s Q1 sales show 12.8 per cent rise. Hexcel Corporation, the US composites giant whose European research hub is based in Duxford near Cambridge, recorded significantly increased first quarter sales of $540m – up 12.8 per cent year-on-year.
The board has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.125 per share, payable on May 11.
Nick Stanage, chairman, CEO and president said: “2018 is off to a solid start with Hexcel generating record sales with growth across all of our markets, as well as increasing adjusted diluted earnings per share by over 13 per cent year-over-year.
“We also generated positive free cashflow during the quarter – the first time in recent history we have done so in the first three months of the year – further underscoring Hexcel’s transition to a cash generation cycle.
“We remain focused on operational excellence, innovation to support next-generation composite solutions for our customers, and continued cash generation.”
Commercial aerospace sales were $382.7m – up 10.2 per cent. The quarter saw positive growth for most programs with particularly strong performance for the A320neo, 737MAX and the A350.
The build rate outlook for key aerospace programmes remains strong and provides confidence in the company’s projected growth for the year. Sales to other commercial aerospace, which includes regional and business aircraft, were up over 30 per cent for the first quarter, driven by business and regional jets which were up substantially versus the first quarter of 2017.
Space & Defence sales were up 17.5 per cent to $90.1m while total industrial sales of $67.3m represented an increase of 22.6 per cent.
Hexcel develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials, including carbon fibres, specialty reinforcements, prepregs and other fibre-reinforced matrix materials, honeycomb, adhesives, engineered core and composite structures, used in commercial aerospace, space and defence and industrial applications.
24 Apr 18. Airbus CEO says post-Brexit production shift open for discussion. Airbus (AIR.PA) will not move its existing activities out of Britain when the country leaves the European Union but could forgo basing new projects there, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
“I do not see that we kind of pick up and move somewhere else. But of course for future activities, future production, future development, that is open for discussion,” Tom Enders said in an interview on the sidelines of the Berlin Aviation Summit.
Airbus employs 15,000 in Britain where it makes all the wings for its commercial aircraft. (Source: Reuters)
26 Apr 18. Reliance struggles to stay afloat. Concern is growing about the future of Indian shipbuilder Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited (RNEL) after auditors for the company raised doubts about its ability to continue its operations and commitments.
These concerns caused RNEL’s share price to decline to a record low of INR19.5 (USD0.29) on 26 April.
Responding to RNEL’s latest financial results, which showed falling sales and widening losses, the company’s auditors, Pathak HD & Associates, said that RNEL’s financial conditions indicate the existence of “uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as going concern”.
The auditors added that the “assumption of going concern” depends on factors including a finance resolution plan approved by secured lenders and the company’s ability to generate cash flows to meet future obligations and to earn future profits. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Apr 18. Meggitt Sells Precision Micro To Lloyds Unit For GBP22.5m Cash. Defence and aerospace firm Meggitt PLC said Tuesday it sold its Precision Micro business for GBP22.5m in cash to the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group PLC. Precision Micro – a photo etching firm for the automotive and medical sectors – generated GBP15mi in revenue in 2017. For 2017, FTSE 250-listed Meggitt itself reported GBP262.4m in pretax profit on GBP2.03n revenue. Precision Micro was sold to LDC, an arm of FTSE 100-listed Lloyds. The sale was in line with Meggitt’s strategy to focus on businesses of scale in attractive markets, it said. (Source: Google/alliance-news)
24 Apr 18. EQT to Sell E.I.S. Aircraft Group’s Aviation Operations Business to QinetiQ. EQT Mid Market sells airborne training services business E.I.S. Aircraft Operations, part of E.I.S. Aircraft Group, to QinetiQ
- EQT Mid Market remains invested in E.I.S. Aircraft Group’s light-weight aviation cabin interior products and maintenance services business E.I.S. Aircraft Products & Services
- The transaction has a strong industrial fit and will benefit both parties’ international growth strategies, both in terms of regional and global reach and the ability to deliver additional customer services
Supported by EQT Mid Market since 2015, E.I.S. Aircraft Operations, part of portfolio company E.I.S. Aircraft Group, has strengthened its position as a leading provider of airborne training services for threat representation and operational readiness. The positive development is the result of a continuous broadening of the airborne training service offering, and the provision of aircraft modification for special missions through the integration of sensors and digital systems for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (“ISR”).
By increasing the number of airplanes operated by E.I.S. Aircraft Operations from 9 to 14, the company achieved a compound annual revenue growth rate of 17% over the past three years.
The combination of E.I.S. Aircraft Operations, as a leading provider in Germany, and QinetiQ, a world leader in training, test and evaluation, makes a strong industrial fit and both parties look forward to a successful development of their partnership.
“We look forward to welcoming the E.I.S. Aircraft Operations’ team in Germany to QinetiQ and working with them to continue to grow the business both within their existing markets and beyond”, comments Steve Wadey, CEO at QinetiQ.
Christoph Otten, Head of E.I.S. Aircraft Operations, adds: “This is an important and logical next step for E.I.S. Aircraft Operations. With EQT’s support and as part of E.I.S. Aircraft Group, we have become a leading player in Germany. We now look forward to entering the partnership with QinetiQ and joining forces with a world leader in training, test and evaluation”.
Andreas Fischer, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market, comments: “We are proud of the high growth development of E.I.S. Aircraft Operations over the last three years and are convinced that QinetiQ is the right strategic partner for the company’s next growth phase”.
Christoph Otten, Head of E.I.S. Aircraft Operations, as well as his team will stay with the company and continue to be responsible for the business. The transaction is subject to approval from the relevant authorities. (Source: Google/www.prnewswire.co.uk)
24 Apr 18. Melrose ‘still confident’ in GKN prospects after drab quarter. Turnround group sees validation of its analysis that GKN was struggling for profits. Engineering group GKN had a tough run in the weeks leading up to the conclusion of its takeover by Melrose, but the turnround group said its expectations for the company are undimmed. Melrose was successful in its hostile efforts to buy GKN in March, despite a series of reservations from the government, unions and even customers. It had convinced shareholders, however, that the company had “lost its way” and needed a strategic and managerial revamp to support profits. The results for GKN for the three months to the end of March, before Melrose took control, lend some weight to that analysis. Sales dipped to a little under £2.6bn, Melrose said, stressing that it had no role in preparing the figures, while operating profits sank by 15 per cent to £181.5m. “The first quarter results show a continuation of the trend noted by Melrose previously of GKN achieving sales growth at the expense of operating margins,” Melrose said in a statement to the stock exchange. It added: Aerospace showed the most variance in performance in the Period compared to the corresponding period last year with sales 1% down and operating margin falling further to approximately 5% as the North American business continued to struggle and was loss making for the Period. The operating performance of this business is unacceptable and addressing this is a key immediate objective. While the performance is downbeat, Melrose said it had allowed for some disappointment. It said it “remains confident it will be able to deliver on all the statements it made during the offer period over the medium term, including creating significant shareholder value by improving the performance of the GKN businesses over time and being a responsible owner for all stakeholders.” (Source: FT.com)
24 Apr 18. Trading Update for GKN Prior to Melrose Ownership. The following is a trading update1 for GKN PLC (“GKN”) for the period prior to Melrose ownership, being the 13 weeks from 1 January 2018 to the 31 March 2018 (“the Period”). The results are sourced directly from the GKN Group management accounts which were produced prior to Melrose acquiring the business on 19 April 2018. Melrose had no part in their preparation and has made no changes to their presentation.
As expected by Melrose, and consistent with its acquisition assumptions, the GKN performance in the Period was below the levels seen in the corresponding period in 2017.
GKN PLC Group Trading
At Actual Exchange Rates
On a management basis as defined in the 2017 GKN Annual Report, GKN Group sales in the Period were £2,599m (2017: £2,611m), Group operating profit was £181.5m (2017: £215.1m) and Group operating profit margin was 7.0% (2017: 8.2%).
At Constant Exchange Rates
On a management basis GKN sales in the Period were 5% up on last year, however operating profit was 10% below the corresponding period last year. The first quarter results show a continuation of the trend noted by Melrose previously of GKN achieving sales growth at the expense of operating margins.
Aerospace showed the most variance in performance in the Period compared to the corresponding period last year with sales 1% down and operating margin falling further to approximately 5% as the North American business continued to struggle and was loss making for the Period. The operating performance of this business is unacceptable and addressing this is a key immediate objective.
The Driveline business delivered sales growth in the Period of 7% but at the expense of operating margin, meaning profits were flat.
Powder Metallurgy achieved sales growth of 5% in the Period with operating margins of approximately 11%.
GKN Exchange Rate Sensitivity
If exchange rates stay as they were at the end of March 2018 for the balance of the year, this will likely mean there is an approximate 6% to 7% headwind to the 2018 full year results compared to 2017.
Adoption of IFRS 15
Melrose notes that while IFRS 15 (Revenue from Contracts with Customers) was introduced on 1 January this year, GKN has yet to give specific guidance on the impact of these new rules. Melrose will issue guidance on the likely impact of the introduction of IFRS 15 on GKN’s revenue recognition at Melrose’s half year results announcement in the first week of September.
GKN Net Debt
GKN’s net debt at the end of March was £1,124m, up from £889m at the end of last year. The bigger than normal outflow in the first three months of the year of £235m was partly caused by the payment of £107m of GKN deal fees. These were higher than the deal fees previously announced by GKN and did not include the break fee payment due on the aborted Driveline sale to Dana Incorporated. In addition, in the first quarter GKN unwound approximately £150m of creditor stretch that was imposed on suppliers to lower the GKN Group debt at the 2017 year end.
Despite these cash headwinds inherited from GKN, Melrose is confident its net debt levels at the 2018 year end will be consistent with its previous guidance.
The GKN PLC performance in the period before Melrose ownership showed trends below current market expectations for GKN for profit and cash generation. While this gives Melrose a lower starting point for GKN than current market consensus opinion, Melrose allowed for further underperformance by GKN prior to its ownership in its acquisition assumptions, and remains confident it will be able to deliver on all the statements it made during the offer period over the medium term, including creating significant shareholder value by improving the performance of the GKN businesses over time and being a responsible owner for all stakeholders.
When it announces its interim results in the first week of September 2018, Melrose looks forward to giving a comprehensive review of performance and guiding the market on its exciting plans for the long term future of the GKN businesses.
1The GKN management accounts for the three months ended 31 March 2018 are based on GKN accounting policies prior to the Melrose ownership of GKN and have not been subject to a detailed review by Melrose or audited or reviewed by either GKN or Melrose auditors. The results for the Period could therefore be subject to change post further examination and review by Melrose.
23 Apr 18. Boeing HorizonX Invests in 3D Printing Startup Morf3D.
Investment furthers Boeing’s commitment to a competitive ecosystem for aerospace-quality 3D-printed parts. Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced its investment in Morf3D, an El Segundo, Calif.-based company specializing in metal-based additive engineering and manufacturing. Morf3D’s technology enables lighter and stronger 3D-printed parts for aerospace applications.
Since Morf3D was established in late 2015, the company has produced 3D-printed titanium and aluminum components for Boeing satellites and helicopters. With this investment, Morf3D will collaborate with Boeing to further develop manufacturing processes and engineering capabilities.
“Developing standard additive manufacturing processes for aerospace components benefits both companies and empowers us to fully unleash the value of this transformative technology,” said Kim Smith, vice president and general manager of Fabrication for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Additive Manufacturing leader.
Morf3D’s metallurgy experts leverage a new set of additive manufacturing design rules to advance the technology and accelerate 3D-printing capabilities for commercial use. The company utilizes state-of-the-art software combined with engineering expertise to significantly reduce mass, and increase the performance and functionality of manufactured parts.
“We are excited to be a distinguished and trusted partner of Boeing’s additive manufacturing supplier base, as we continue to industrialize our processes for the high-rate production of flight-worthy additively manufactured components,” said Ivan Madera, CEO of Morf3D. “This investment will enable us to increase our engineering staff and expand our technology footprint of EOS M400-4 DMLS systems to better serve the growing demands of our aerospace customers.”
“As innovative companies continue to revolutionize technologies and methods, we are proud to invest in the rapidly growing and competitive additive manufacturing landscape,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX.
Boeing HorizonX Ventures co-led this Series A funding round. The Boeing HorizonX Ventures investment portfolio is made up of companies specializing in technologies for aerospace and manufacturing innovations, including autonomous systems, energy storage, advanced materials, augmented reality systems and software, machine learning, hybrid-electric and hypersonic propulsion, and Internet of Things connectivity.
Boeing’s investment in Morf3D is the latest example of the company’s achievements with additive manufacturing partners worldwide. In March 2018, Boeing and Norsk Titanium received the Aviation Week Laureate Award for Commercial Supplier Innovation for qualifying the first additively manufactured structural titanium parts on a commercial airplane. In February 2018, Boeing announced a five-year research agreement with Swiss-based supplier Oerlikon to develop standard materials and processes for titanium powder bed additive manufacturing.
23 Apr 18. Capita offers steep discount for rights issue and ‘more focused’ strategy. Outsourcer’s shares have been hit hard since January profit warning. Capita has launched a heavily discounted £701m rights issue as the debt-laden outsourcer seeks to repair its balance sheet. The company, which provides a range of public services including the collection of licence fees for the BBC, electronic tagging for offenders and recruitment for the British army, is issuing 1m new shares at 70p – a 34 per cent discount to the theoretical price that the shares should trade after the rights issue. The three-for-two rights issue, which will raise £662m after fees to advisers, will be used to reduce its £1.2bn net debt, fund the company’s overhaul and invest in new technology. It has been fully underwritten by Citi and Goldman Sachs and is expected to be completed by June. Shares in Capita have fallen more than 70 per cent in the past year following a string of profit warnings and contract problems, which led to the ousting of former chief executive Andy Parker. Capita reported an underlying pre-tax loss of £513m for the year to end December 2017, which included an impairment on goodwill associated with prior acquisitions. The company is not expecting revenue growth until 2020, when it will decide whether the dividend will be restored. In a statement the company said: Capita’s objective is to become a more focused and predictable, client-centric company, generating sustainable free cash flow. Capita believes that under its new strategy, through introducing greater rigour in how it operates, together with re-focusing the business on its areas of strength, it will deliver enhanced performance through increased simplification, efficiency, standardisation and focus. (Source: FT.com)
Odyssey is an independent corporate finance firm which advises on acquisitions, business sales, management buy-outs and raising finance, typically in the £5m to £100m range. We have extensive experience in the niche manufacturing sector with our most recent completed deal being the sale of MacNeillie to Babcock Plc. Details can be seen at: http://www.odysseycf.com/case-study-macneillie/
As a result of this and related projects we have developed relationships with buyers and funders looking to acquire or invest in the sector. We would be happy to share further insights into the sector and to carry out reviews of businesses whose shareholders are considering an exit, acquisition or fundraise.
The review will include:
* Market review
* Comparative deals and structures
* Initial thoughts on buyers/ investors/ targets
* MBO viability
* Feasibility review and identification of any issues to be addressed pre-deal
There is no charge for this review.
If this is of interest we would be happy to meet at your convenience.
MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS
Web Page sponsored by MILLBROOK
Tel: +44 (0) 1525 408408
24 Apr 18. BMC Wins Contract for Turkey’s Indigenous Battle Tank. BMC, a Turkish-Qatari armored vehicles manufacturer, has won a key contract on the road to developing and producing the country’s main battle tank, dubbed “Altay,” defense sources told state-run Anadolu Agency on April 24. It was decided to start contract talks with BMC for the mass production of Altay and the development of its engine, according to sources. Any financial or production details were not yet released. The selection of BMC to produce the first 250 Altay tanks was announced April 24 by the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industries, known by its Turkish acronym SSM. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Hurriyet Daily News)
25 Apr 18. NP Aerospace to close. Sources close to BATTLESPACE say that NP Aerospace has been put up for sale by Morgan Advanced materials. Since the departure of the management led by Roger Medwell six years ago, the company seemed to lose its way and its ability to react to MoD requirements. The loss of the British Army helmet contract which the company had held since the First World war was the first sign of the decline. NP currently holds the PDS contract for Mastiff and Ridgback but this is bring put up for rebid by the MoD with companies such as BAE Systems, GDUK, TVS, Raytheon and Thales expected to bid.
24 Apr 18. British MoD names Boxer vehicle as best choice for Army brigades, but lawmakers skeptical. British Ministry of Defence officials have defended the decision to forgo a competition and instead name the Boxer wheeled armored vehicle as its preferred choice to equip new Army strike brigades.
In explaining the move to lawmakers, the officials said the German-developed machine stood out from its rivals.
“When we looked at the marketplace, the Boxer was the standout vehicle, and procuring through OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) offers us a lot of value in the way we can acquire that vehicle,” Lt. Gen. Paul Jaques, the MoD’s chief of materiel (land) told the parliamentary Defence Committee on April 24.
Jaques said the Boxer was chosen without competition because it is the best protected vehicle available, has the best power-to-weight ratio, has the best mobility and has proven its reliability in service with the German military in Afghanistan.
Rivals had questioned the high costs of the Boxer, but to that point, Jaques said: “It offers us the best value for money, taking together performance and cost.”
The British had come to the same conclusion as the Australian Army, which recently announced it was purchasing the Boxer, Jaques noted.
“We carried out an exercise done at reasonably low cost, working with our allies and doing some very sensible interrogation of the marketplace based on what exists, and we came to a conclusion. And the Australians, running a parallel fully competed system, which cost them a lot of time and money, came to the same conclusion,” Jaques told the committee.
“The Australians last week have opened up to us all the data from their competition. What that gives us is a mine of data for us to understand what we will shape, what we will do in the demonstration phase,” he said.
He added that exactly the same vehicles considered by the Australians were looked at by the British.
Jaques said working through OCCAR was a big plus and will bring transparency to the procurement effort. OCCAR manages the program for the German and Dutch governments, which are joint partners in the program. Lithuania has also purchased the Boxer, and Slovenia also recently selected the vehicle.
The Defence Committee quizzed MoD officials, including Jacques and Minister for Defence Procurement Guto Bebb, as well as Boxer industry officials over the decision to select the Artec-developed machine without holding a competition ― a move that has angered rival eight-wheel drive armored vehicle makers and subsystems suppliers.
The committee called the one-off session after the MoD slipped out the widely expected announcement during parliamentary recess that it had chosen the Boxer for the mechanized infantry vehicle program. Bebb offered reasons for the curious timing of the announcement, Chairman Julian Lewis seemed less than convinced.
Subject to commercial negotiations, the British Army will buy about 500 Boxer vehicles over a five-year period with the first platforms scheduled for delivery in 2023.
The procurement minister said the program was fully funded and set to cost £4.4bn (U.S. $5.4bn) for procurement and the first 10 years of support costs.
Bebb said the decision to go forward with the Boxer proposal did not mean the MoD had reached main gate ― what the British call the manufacturing contract stage in the procurement cycle.
The program was now in the assessment phase and a final go-ahead decision will be made by the final quarter of 2019.
“We still need to ensure we get the right value for money from this process, but we are confident this offers the best opportunity to secure the best possible deal for taxpayer and the best capability for the Army,” Bebb said.
If there were “unforeseen circumstances,” Bebb said, the issue would need revisited. However, he noted, that would prove challenging because of the need to ensure provision of the capability within the Army’s envisaged timescale.
It wouldn’t be the first time the British had come unstuck in final negotiations for an eight-wheel drive vehicle.
General Dynamics was selected as the preferred contractor by the British to supply its Piranha V for the Army as part of the Future Rapid Effects System program, but the deal fell through in 2007 when the two sides failed to agree on terms.
One of the rival vehicles it beat in the competition was the Boxer.
Now, the British want the Boxer as a key component of two strike brigades now in the process of being formed by the Army. The other major vehicle requirement is for the tracked Ajax armored scout machines built by General Dynamics.
A final go-ahead to buy Boxer next year would mean the eight-wheel drive vehicle will have gone full circle for the Army
The MoD was part of the Boxer program alongside the Germans, but the ministry exited the development 14 years ago, citing weight growth that made the vehicle too heavy for transport by Royal Air Force C-130. It also cited requirement changes as a reason behind the departure. Now, it has opted to rejoin the program.
In the meantime, the Dutch had joined the program alongside the Germans with several hundred vehicles being delivered to both nations from assembly lines in both countries.
Artec ― the joint venture between Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann ― who is responsible for the Boxer program, said it is committed to creating or sustaining at least 1,000 jobs in the U.K. if the procurement actually happens.
At least 60 percent of the value of the program will be generated by companies in the U.K.
Artec has already signed a memorandum of understanding with several local firms in Britain, including Pearson Engineering, Raytheon UK and Thales UK, to undertake significant work on the program. Hull fabrication and assembly will occur in the U.K.
Boxer looks unlikely to be the only armoured vehicle purchased by the British without a competition this year.
The procurement minister told Parliament earlier this month that the MoD soon expects to buy a second armored vehicle off the shelf ― this time from Oshkosh.
“The Multi-Role Vehicle―Protected program is being delivered in two packages. For package one, the command, liaison and logistics vehicles, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle manufactured in the United States by Oshkosh has been identified as the preferred option, with the U.S. Department of Defense Foreign Military Sales acceptance letters expected to be signed shortly,” Bebb had said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
23 Apr 18. Polaris Teams Up With Military AutoSource and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service to Offer Off-Road Vehicle to Overseas U.S. Troops. Polaris® has signed on exclusively with Military AutoSource, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service and Navy Exchange to be the first and only off-road vehicle manufacturer to offer military members privileged pricing on vehicles purchased on overseas military bases.
“We are thrilled to be adding Polaris® to the family of brands available through Military AutoSource,” said Ken Engberg, senior vice president of marketing, Military AutoSource. “Polaris and their incredible products exemplify the passion, personal freedom and leadership that truly reflects our men and women in uniform. As always, Military AutoSource stands ready to enable our service members to make the most of their well-deserved downtime in pursuit of their own personal adventures on, and now off-road.”
The full Polaris® off-road vehicles line up is now available for purchase exclusively at overseas Exchanges.
- The Polaris RANGER® is the industry’s best-selling utility side-by-side (SxS), known for its rugged off-road capability and smooth ride. Perfect for farms, hunting, or simply working.
- The Polaris RZR® is the best-selling recreational SxS, known for delivering the ultimate combination of power, suspension and agility. The RZR® is engineered for all off-road recreational riding with friends and family, including for trails, deserts, dunes, rocks, and mud.
- Polaris GENERAL® is the best-selling crossover utility vehicle (UTV) on the market. Polaris has expanded the Polaris GENERAL® line-up with more models to choose from including a military-inspired, limited-edition vehicle. The Polaris GENERAL® provides riders the best combination of recreational performance with RZR®-inspired suspension and power paired with a 600-pound dumping cargo box to get work done.
- The best-selling Polaris Sportsman® all-terrain vehicle offers legendary ride and handling for the toughest trails and tasks.
- Polaris ACE® continues to bring the revolutionary, single-seat experience to riders. The Polaris ACE® line has a standard roll over protection system and a full line for trail riders of all types.
U.S. military stationed overseas can now buy an industry leading vehicle through this exclusive program on an overseas base and you, a friend or a family member can then receive it at your local U.S. Polaris® dealer.
23 Apr 18. E2 Robotics to develop a drop-in robotic air field repair kit for USAF. RE2 Robotics is developing a kit to convert manned construction vehicles into unmanned platforms that are capable of airfield repair.
The Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) efforts, for which the US Air Force (USAF) awarded RE2 Robotics a USD2.9m contract in April, will develop a kit to be used as a Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery (RADR) robotic system
RADR is to be a rapidly installed robotic appliqué kit that converts legacy construction equipment (not drive-by-wire, for example) into tele-operable vehicles. The vehicle would not be permanently altered in any way.
Airfield damage repair efforts open, expand, maintain, and recover airfields. The missions are time consuming and need to be done on any day, in any weather, and for all aircraft types.
The system would minimise exposure to risks associated with hazardous operations. According to the USAF, several automated ground systems are being developed to perform air force Civil Engineer Operations such as aviation firefighting, hazardous incident response, aircraft decontamination, explosive ordnance disposal, and airfield repair.
RADR vehicles will be required to locate, classify, and measure damage to airfields and runways by utilising remote sensing and GIS technologies. Unexploded ordnance is to be located and neutralised; explosives are to be eliminated and damage to pavement (such as craters and camouflets) is to be repaired; and lighting systems are to be emplaced and marking and striping drawn.
The concept is for the kit to be rapidly installed on a construction vehicle if a need arises, and an operator could then safely perform the mission remotely. Once complete, the kit can be removed so the vehicle could once again be used by a human for other construction tasks.
(Source: Defense News Early Bird/IHS Jane’s)
23 Apr 18. Roshel begins production of Senator armoured personnel vehicle. Canadian company Roshel Defence Solutions has started serial production of its multi-purpose Senator armoured personnel carrier (APC).
Senator APCs are being manufactured at the company’s production facility in Toronto, Canada, following testing. The new armoured platform is a tactical, highly mobile multi-purpose transport vehicle that has been designed to support peacekeeping and law enforcement operations.
Roshel Defence Solutions CEO Roman Shimonov said: “With our new series of vehicles, we are continuously focusing on providing our clients with future-proof solutions by further development of both hardware and software.”
Featuring high manoeuvrability and enhanced off-road capabilities, the Senator APC is capable of successfully accomplishing several missions in urban and cross-country terrain.
In addition, the vehicle provides various interchangeable function modules such as medical evacuation, anti-riot, command and control, explosive ordnance disposal, and reconnaissance.
The Senator APC platform can also be deployed to provide ballistic and mine protection for up to CEN B7 / STANAG 4569 Level II.
In addition, the carrier provides advanced integration capabilities that allow the vehicle to be equipped with comprehensive security measures such as observation and surveillance, thermal and infrared imaging, as well as two-way communications with command control centres.
Other security systems are featured for night vision, fire source detection, laser range finder, remote control weapons and chemical protection.
Roshel’s base model includes perimeter gunports, escape hatches, gas extraction system, military-grade mine protected seats, and three-point military-grade seatbelts.
The company intends to roll out the first batch of the Senator vehicles in the third quarter of this year. (Source: army-technology.com)
20 Apr 18. Vietnam upgrades heavy armour fleet. The People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) is upgrading its fleet of heavy armoured vehicles, Russian and Vietnamese defence sources have told Jane’s. Hanoi is receiving Russian T-90S main battle tanks (MBTs). “Deliveries of the T-90S/SK MBTs to Vietnam have already begun. The contract is to be implemented before the end of 2019,” a Russian defence industry source told Jane’s. According to the 2016 annual report of the manufacturer Uralvagonzavod (UVZ), Vietnam is to receive 64 T-90S/SK tanks. This means Hanoi is receiving the baseline and command (T-90SK) version of the T-90S.
Meanwhile, the PAVN is upgrading some of its legacy T-54/55 tanks to the T-54M3 standard. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Apr 18. US Airborne units getting new vehicle this year; legs will have to wait. The Army’s five airborne infantry brigade combat teams are slated to begin fielding 300 Ground Mobility Vehicles in use by special operations forces troops this year. The legs? They’ll get theirs next year, if the funding request is approved.
Thirty non-airborne Army IBCTS are slated to receive 1,700 GMVs, beginning in 2019.
Lt. Gen. John Murray and Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski told members of the House Armed Services Committee on April 18 that the GMV acquisition was sped up to get the lightweight all-terrain vehicle this year rather than in 2020 as originally planned.
The vehicle selected for airborne infantry units can be configured to carry nine soldiers and equipment. It is air-droppable and capable of being sling-loaded on a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.
The version that the airborne units will get doesn’t have all the “bells and whistles” of the Special Operations Command vehicle but is the same base package, Ostrowski said.
That’s because leaders are looking at a simple function – moving troops quickly.
“What we needed is a capability to move in a period of darkness from a drop zone to a landing strip at the speed that is faster than the boot,” Ostrowski said.
The Army chose the General Dynamics Flyer 72 as its initial purchase, according to Military Times’ sister publication Defense News.
But one congressman had questions about the price tag and how it was acquired.
Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-California, asked the generals why the Army went with a sole source contract and was paying $271,000 each for the vehicles, twice the cost of the Humvee.
Murray explained that by modifying the SOCOM contract the Army saved money required by years of requirements to start from scratch.
“Is the ($270,000) high?” he said. “It is higher than some of the options on the market. But this was the fastest way to get this requirement to the field because the competition was done.”
Though they moved quickly on picking the Flyer 72, the vehicle that hits the rest of the infantry could be different because they are competing that with other contenders originally involved in going after the contract.
Other than General Dynamics, the following competed in a vehicle demonstration in 2014: the Boeing-MSI Defense Phantom Badger; Polaris Defense’s air-transportable off-road combat vehicle DAGOR; Hendrick Dynamics’ Commando Jeep; Vyper Adamas’ Viper; and Lockheed Martin’s High Versatility Tactical Vehicle, which is a version of the British Army’s HMT-400 Jackal, according to Defense News. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Army Times)
16 Apr 18. Malaysian companies unveil special operations vehicles. Two Malaysian companies unveiled at the 16-19 Defence Services Asia 2018 (DSA 2018) new 4×4 vehicles that are being marketed for special operations forces (SOF) in Southeast Asia.
Selangor-based firm Kembara Suci (KS) showcased its 5.3 m-long Tafuq special operations vehicle (SOV), which has been primarily designed to meet a requirement for the commando units of the Malaysian armed forces, but is also being offered to other Southeast Asian countries.
Powered by a 197 bhp diesel engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, the 1.86 m-wide and 1.81 m-high vehicle can be equipped with up to three weapon mounts that can carry a 7.62mm, a 12.7mm machine gun, and a 40mm automatic grenade launcher.
Designed for quick-reaction teams the recently developed four-seat platform has a kerb weight of 2,010kg, a maximum payload capacity of 1,500kg, a ground clearance of 250mm, and a fording capability of 500mm.
An SOV currently under development by Putrajaya-based Cendana Auto was also displayed at the show. The 4.95 m-long and 1.85 m-wide platform is powered by a 2.8-litre diesel engine generating 197 bhp and can reach a top cruising speed of 170 km/h.
The 1.8 tonne vehicle, which has a lower centre of gravity to enhance manoeuvrability, has a fording capability of 750mm and is fitted with two Rubtec-made soft mounts for 7.62mm light machine guns and one ring mount for a 12.7mm machine gun or a 50mm grenade launcher.
Once development of the four-seat platform is completed the company wants to offer it primarily to the Malaysian Army for the service’s fast-assault-vehicle requirement, but a company official told Jane’s that Cendana Auto will also promote the vehicle for the broader Asian market.
(Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Apr 18. Mac’s Trax Inc has contracted the developer of smart unmanned robotic systems Milrem Robotics to develop a new tracked propane tank hauler.
“Milrem Robotics is well known as the developer of the tracked hybrid modular infantry system the THeMIS, an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) to help soldiers on the battlefield. It’s cooperation developing this UGV that lead us to contract Milrem Robotics to develop this vehicle for us.“ explained Craig F. McCullough, CEO of Mac’s Trax.
Mac’s Trax is the supplier of tracks for the THeMIS. “Seeing the dedication and professionalism of Milrem Robotics’ engineers and of course the tracked UGV they have managed to develop in a short period of time, gave us confidence to work together on a larger scale,” McCullough added.
The remotely controlled and optionally manned tracked propane tank hauler must be able to carry a 1000 gal propane tank.
By signing the contract with Mac’s Trax Milrem Robotics is expanding into the product development sales business. Product development services will be offered under the trademark Milrem Engineering.
“We will focus on more complicated projects where we can apply our expertise in mechanics but also artificial intelligence,” said Kuldar Vaarsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. “Milrem Engineering will cover everything starting with concept development and requirements analysis ending with testing and evaluating prototypes,” he added.
In the coming year Milrem Robotics will increase their staff by 50 percent to meet the demand in the product development sector in the US and Europe.
Milrem Robotics is best known for manufacturing unmanned ground vehicles and smart warfare systems for the military. During the last year the company has also started developing unmanned vehicles for the commercial sector and has manufactured the Multiscope – an UGV for the civil sector.
At the moment the Multiscope is being developed together with rescue services for firefighting and search and rescue purposes. However, the Multiscope can also be applied in agriculture and mining. Milrem Robotics and Milrem Engineering are based in Tallinn, Estonia. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
Millbrook, based in Bedfordshire, UK, makes a significant contribution to the quality and performance of military vehicles worldwide. Its specialist expertise is focussed in two distinct areas: test programmes to help armed services and their suppliers ensure that their vehicles and systems work as the specification requires; and design and build work to upgrade new or existing vehicles, evaluate vehicle capability and investigate in-service failures. Complementing these is driver and service training and a hospitality business that allows customers to use selected areas of Millbrook’s remarkable facilities for demonstrations and exhibitions.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES, NETWORKS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Web Page sponsor Oxley Developments
24 Apr 18. Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division today announced the first members of a new series of rugged graphics modules for video capture, processing, and display applications in deployed embedded defense and aerospace systems. As the number of high-resolution cameras and sensors and graphics-intensive applications, such as digital moving maps and diminished visual environment (DVE) systems, proliferate on deployed platforms, embedded system integrators seek the highest performance video capture, image processing, and graphics display technology. To meet these requirements, Curtiss-Wright has added three new graphics modules to its industry-leading range of OpenVPX and XMC modules. The XMC-4730 XMC Graphics mezzanine module and VPX3-4731 3U OpenVPX Graphics Processor bring the NVIDIA Pascal GPU architecture to embedded defense and aerospace applications. Both modules provide digital DVI, DP, and HD/3G-SDI interfaces, and include analog capture interfaces for legacy compatibility. For embedded systems that don’t require the NVIDIA GPU, the XMC-4701 XMC Video Capture mezzanine card eases the integration of video capture functionality. It also supports HD/3G-SDI and analog interfaces.
Resulting from its recently announced Reseller Agreement with WOLF Advanced Technology, these high-performance, pre-validated XMC and OpenVPX modules complement Curtiss-Wright’s previously announced family of NVIDIA Pascal GPGPU modules by speeding and easing the integration of video acquisition and graphics processing functionality in demanding video capture, process, encode and display applications.
“Our customers are increasingly demanding the best-in-breed benefits of NVIDIA graphics technology on open standards-based 3U OpenVPX boards and XMC mezzanine modules,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions division at Curtiss-Wright. “Resulting from our recently announced VAR relationship with WOLF Advanced Technology, our new series of 3U VPX and XMC card graphics solutions provides system designers with a selection of size, weight and power-optimized COTS solutions using the latest NVIDIA Pascal graphics technology for powerful video and display applications.”
25 Apr 18. MTU reveals next-generation fighter engine. MTU Aero Engines has revealed a new future powerplant for combat aircraft to be ready for fielding in the early 2030s. The manufacturer disclosed the Next European Fighter Engine (NEFE) in a product brochure distributed at the ILA Airshow in Berlin in late April. As noted in the brochure, the NEFE is being developed alongside the New Fighter (NF) combat aircraft and the Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS) as part of a wider drive to preserve European defence industrial sovereignty under the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) project. To meet the planned 2040 in-service date of the future combat aircraft being developed by Airbus and Dassault, MTU is already engaged in defining the aircraft’s twin-engined powerplant under the direction of the German Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg).
In developing the NEFE, MTU has to meet a number of exacting requirements that include improved thrust and lower fuel consumption over current powerplants; low development and manufacturing costs; efficient maintenance and long projectable maintenance intervals; high electrical power extraction for aircraft systems; as well as maximum robustness and reliability.
“For the next-generation engine, MTU has identified various technologies of the future, which it wants to develop further,” the brochure stated, adding that these include multi-disciplinary methods and simulations in the design of engine concepts and in the components. Additive manufacturing and the use of ‘bionic design’ also open up new possibilities, MTU said. Furthermore, new designs and new materials, such as ceramic matrix composites, reduce the weight while enabling higher engine temperatures for more power delivery. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Rohde & Schwarz have reached an agreement to offer Rohde & Schwarz’s next-generation software-defined airborne radio (SDAR) into the flight systems of H-47 Chinook helicopters. The R&S SDAR will give operators of the Boeing-built Chinook significant communications capabilities.
“This is yet another example of how we can accommodate unique customer requirements,” said Michael Hostetter, director, Boeing Vertical Lift Programs in Germany. “Customers will enjoy tailorable encryption, frequency hopping, agility, and excellent voice and data connectivity advantages compared to conventional radios.”
This is the first time Rohde & Schwarz’s airborne radios will be available for the H-47 Chinook, adding to the existing supplier footprint in Germany, where Boeing conducts $1.3bn of business annually with nearly 100 suppliers. Rohde & Schwarz in the U.S. has been a supplier to Boeing since 2006.
“We are delighted that we are establishing this partnership with Boeing, a partnership that will put the next generation of software-defined airborne radios on Chinook helicopters,” added Stefan Pleyer, vice president of Market Segment Avionics at Rohde & Schwarz.
To date, Boeing has delivered more than 900 H-47 Chinook helicopters that are on order or operation in 20 countries, including eight NATO nations; Canada, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the U.S., allowing for increased interoperability between NATO nations during joint training and deployment operations worldwide.
25 Apr 18. Thales to upgrade PR4G radios for Spanish Army. Thales has been awarded a contract by the Spanish Ministry of Defense (MoD) to upgrade the existing PR4G radios used by the country’s armed forces to meet modern battlefield requirements.
The current contract is part of the MoD’s effort to finalise the deployment of the new Supermux waveform for the Spanish Army.
Supermux belongs to Geomux waveform family, which will equip all PR4G F@stnet radio models, including handheld, manpack and vehicle stations.
PR4G F@stnet radio is designed to deliver combat voice, data and Blue Force Tracking (BFT) simultaneously and independently.
Supermux will help the Spanish Army’s PR4G F@stnet radio to expand data transmission capacity and provide increased capability for high priority information distribution.
In addition, the latest Supermux waveform provides unique automatic BFT sharing capability at radio-level between two upgraded very high-frequency (VHF) networks. This speeds up the situational awareness dissemination and avoids friendly fire.
The modernisation will enhance operational benefits of the PR4G F@stnet radios within the army’s tactical control and command information systems.
Supermux is part of the range of advanced waveforms developed by the company for its new family of software-defined Synaps radios.
Synaps radios are integrated with the new European Secure Software Defined Radio (ESSOR) Coalition waveform, in addition to the Maneuver suite of solutions. (Source: army-technology.com)
25 Apr 18. Cellula Robotics developing AUV fuel cell technology for Canadian DND. British Columbia-based Cellula Robotics is to begin initial development work on fuel cell technology for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) under the first of a possible three phases for Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND).
The company was awarded a CAD647,944 (USD506,055) contract by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on 12 April on behalf of the DND’s science and technology organisation, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC).
Cellula Robotics develops specialist underwater robotic engineering systems and put forward a bid as part of a 2016 call for proposals under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology programme. The ADSA programme seeks to develop future situational awareness technology for the Arctic under a bilateral North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) modernisation effort. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Apr 18. Pentagon AI center progressing, but hypersonics and lasers may not get same treatment. The Pentagon’s new hub for artificial intelligence could be stood up within six months, according to Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan.
However, the decision to go forward with an AI Center of Excellence does not mean that hypersonics or directed energy, two other high-priority tech developments for the department, will get the same treatment.
Shanahan, speaking at a Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington on Tuesday, told reporters that his goal is to have the AI center stood up “within” six months, but indicated that management of that group will flow to either Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin or Dana Deasy, a former JPMorgan Chase executive who will join the department in May as its top IT official.
Griffin revealed the plan to create a physical AI center during testimony last week, but acknowledged it was still very much a work in progress as the department sorts through the current 592 projects that involve some form of AI.
“I’m working right now with folks on my staff to answer questions like: ‘Who should lead it, where should it be, what projects should it do, and most importantly how does such a center fit into the overall AI strategy for the department and the nation?’” Griffin said April 18.
Pentagon officials have been open that hypersonic and directed-energy weapons join AI as a holy trinity for new tech developments. But asked whether other centers of excellence need to be stood up for those technologies, Shanahan sounded ambivalent.
With directed energy, “it may not be that there’s a center,” he said. “What we may do is parse things out until someone’s doing power supply, somebody’s doing beam control. It’s different aspects of the technology that we’ll probably parse out, either to a service or one of the research labs.”
As to hypersonics, Shanahan said Griffin is working to consolidate the various programs underway into a cohesive road map, adding he wants Griffin to find “synergies” between the various programs.
“There are obviously differences if something is launched form the sea versus land versus air, [but] the basic physics, propulsion, the real technical building blocks are common,” Shanahan said. “It’s mostly around risk reduction, the overlap of the technical challenges is pretty high. If you drew a Venn diagram, most things would lay on top of each other.”
More broadly, Shanahan said Griffin has delivered an interim report on the future of 10 key technology areas for the Pentagon, with a final report due in July. That report lays out the key milestones for testing and prototyping between now and 2023 to make sure those technologies are viable within the next decade. That report would then drive investment planning for the fiscal 2020 budget, which is now underway. (Source: Defense News)
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.
SATELLITE SYSTEMS, SATCOM AND SPACE SYSTEMS UPDATE
Web Page sponsor Viasat
24 Apr 18. Intelsat General (IGC) Again Selected to Deliver Radio and Television Programming to U.S. Troops Worldwide. Intelsat General, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intelsat (NYSE: I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network and leader in integrated satellite communications, today announced that the Company will distribute television and radio programing to U.S. servicemen and women stationed around the world, working with the support of three other satellite and ground service providers.
Intelsat General has been carrying the global satellite feed for the American Forces Network (AFN) for more than 15 years, bringing U.S. troops on land and at sea a wide variety of television and radio programming. The new one-year contract with four renewable option years will involve six satellites and five teleports at various locations around the globe, as well as the IntelsatOne terrestrial fiber network. The other partners involved in providing the service are SES Government Solutions, Korea Telecom and Allen Communications.
“We have been supporting the American Forces Network for a number of years and this new contract will allow us to continue to distribute programming that is so important to the morale of our troops at home, at sea and abroad,” said Rick Henry, VP of Sales and Marketing for Intelsat General. “Our globalized network enables AFN programming to reach more than one m service men and women stationed in the most remote areas of the globe, allowing them to feel closer to home whether they are watching an NFL football game or an episode of a television series.”
The AFN will provide Intelsat General with three data streams for distribution globally, using uplink teleports in California and Maryland in the United States as well as South Korea and Germany. Intelsat will distribute the AFN programming to ships at sea and fixed military bases in the Atlantic Ocean Region, the Indian Ocean Region, and the Continental U.S., Greenland, Central America and Cuba.
The American Forces Network, based at Fort Meade in Maryland, traces its origins to a single Army radio station established in Kodiak, Alaska, to entertain isolated soldiers at the beginning of World War II. It has since grown to provide a wide range of around-the-clock radio and television programming from a variety of commercial sources, giving U.S. troops worldwide the same access to news, sports and entertainment that they might enjoy at home. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
24 Apr 18. UK explores producing own satellite system after EU’s Galileo snub. Britain could seek €1.4bn refund as tempers flare over post-Brexit security. Britain is exploring plans to launch a satellite navigation system as a rival to the EU’s €10bn Galileo project in an escalating row with Brussels over whether the UK can be trusted with Europe’s most sensitive security information after Brexit. Greg Clark, the UK business secretary, is also taking legal advice on whether Britain can reclaim the €1.4bn it has invested in Galileo since the project’s launch in 2003 after a recent Brussels decision to shut the UK out of secure parts of the project. The dispute over Galileo has become the first practical consequence of the British vote to leave the EU, prompting UK ministers to weigh a scorched-earth negotiating strategy to claw back its role in the programme. Without participation in EU projects, Britain’s industry would face major questions about its ability to become a leader in the global space race. Airbus, which has led Galileo’s ground control services from Portsmouth in the south of England, said on Tuesday it had committed, as part of its bid to continue its role, that all work would be run out of EU member states after Brexit. “We have made it clear we do not accept the commission’s position on Galileo, which could seriously damage mutually beneficial collaboration on security and defence matters,” Mr Clark said. “Given the UK’s integral role in the programme, any such exclusion could cause years of delays and a cost increase stretching into the bns.” As part of its rearguard actions to reverse the EU’s decision, Britain is preparing to block the approval of procurement for the next batch of Galileo satellites, designed as a rival to the Pentagon’s GPS system, at a Berlin meeting of the European Space Agency council on Wednesday. The plan must be approved unanimously by ESA member states. A previous vote was postponed at the last minute in March as the row over UK involvement in the secure elements of Galileo spiralled. A UK government official warned that if the vote went ahead, “we will vote against”. Ministers are also looking at whether the UK could respond by refusing to let the EU use ground stations for Galileo in two British overseas territories, the Falkland Islands and Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has said the Galileo project “needs to be prepared for Brexit”. While Brussels is excluding UK companies from being involved in developing its sensitive infrastructure, the EU insists UK use of the highly-encrypted part of the Galileo system is open to negotiation. An Ariane 5 rocket carrying four Galileo satellites lifts off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana “The EU cannot share security-relevant proprietary information with countries outside the EU,” Mr Barnier said. “But there are of course ways Galileo can co-operate with third countries and these are open to the UK as well.” In a letter to the European Commission last week, Mr Clark hinted that the UK would take tough action if Brussels did not back down on barring UK access to Galileo’s secure elements. He said Britain hosted “infrastructure” for Galileo services, adding he hoped the UK could “continue to do so” under an EU security partnership. He called for a three-month freeze on procurement early this week, just before final bids were due for a contract to manage Galileo’s ground control services. An Airbus spokesman acknowledged the company’s commitment to shift its ground control services work to the EU post-Brexit “puts 100 jobs in Portsmouth at risk”. Other bidders also confirmed to the Financial Times that they had made the same commitment. Mr Clark said the government would “continue to work with the UK space sector on this issue and through our modern Industrial Strategy will ensure the UK can realise the opportunities of the commercial space age”. Tension has risen in recent days after the commission refused to back down despite repeated entreaties by London, which has urged a post-Brexit security and defence treaty with the EU. “They’re playing hardball,” said one senior UK government official. “We’re looking at a range of options, but unless they back down, we will withdraw from Galileo. We are scoping the possibility of launching our own system.” Although Britain’s defence budget is already strained, ministers are studying the possibility of pooling existing resources to create a lower-cost GPS rival. They are also looking at whether the UK could work with the US to create a complementary and highly secure system akin to Galileo’s Public Regulated Service, the highly-encrypted part that is designed to continue operating even if other navigation systems are jammed. The UK armed forces were planning to use Galileo to supplement its use of the US GPS system, which remains under the control of Washington. The US, which initially opposed the development of Galileo, is now negotiating access to PRS, as is Norway. Industry officials said the government is giving serious consideration to UK-designed alternatives, which could be cheaper than the “Rolls-Royce” approach taken by Galileo. The UK is already providing some of the most crucial technology including ground control, navigation payloads and encryption. “We have the expertise,” said one senior executive. David Davis, Brexit secretary, is also said by colleagues to be “furious” over the commission’s stance, while Olly Robbins, the UK’s Brexit negotiator, held frosty discussions with his counterparts in Brussels last week. (Source: FT.com)
17 Apr 18. At 34th Space Symposium, the Phase Four Thruster’s Test Results by the Aerospace Corporation are Revealed. Phase Four, a provider of electric radio frequency (RF) thrusters for in-space propulsion, has announced the results of third party performance testing by The Aerospace Corporation, a provider of independent technical and scientific research to national security space (NSS) programs. The testing found that Phase Four’s second generation of RF thrusters achieved their best performance to date, demonstrating performance on par with today’s state-of-the-art Hall Effect Thrusters (HETs) and a 3000 percent efficiency increase over all existing RF plasma thrusters.
The Phase Four CubeSat Class RF thruster tested by The Aerospace Corporation achieved the highest performing electrode-free RF engine data ever directly measured, producing up to 3.3mN of thrust at 700 seconds specific impulse. The improvements were 6x greater than the proof-of-concept “RFT-0″ and were a 30x improvement in specific impulse per Watt over any RF thruster ever directly tested on a thrust stand. Phase Four’s RF thruster achieved this despite being less than 10% mass and volume of other systems. This is significant as the RF thruster is particularly easy to manufacture compared to incumbents, making it a strong candidate for a mass-produced engine for satellite mega-constellations.
Dr. M. Umair Siddiqui, Chief Scientist of Phase Four, said that these results validate the company’s vision: to increase access to space by producing a thruster that can be used by all satellites, while matching performance levels previously available only to huge and expensive spacecraft. This sets a new bar for what can be achieved with these smaller electric thrusters, which offer high levels of power while eliminating many of the design and manufacturability issues — electrodes, complex electronics, and complex fabrication — which have plagued electric propulsion systems to date.”
Simon Halpern, Founder and CEO of Phase Four, added that from the outset, the company’s goal has been to match the incredible innovation happening within the small satellite sector by tackling the two largest challenges to its growth: cost and performance. In this testing, Phase Four thrusters achieved a first for the industry — performance rates that exceed those of existing state-of-the-art Gridded Ion Engines and Hall Effect Thrusters. Rather than attempting to working around 50-year-old thruster technology, the company started from scratch, with the goal of providing more efficiency, maneuverability and inherent manufacturability. The results achieved point to a promising new range of capabilities for the entire satellite industry. (Source: Satnews)
16 Apr 18. Honeywell and Ball Aerospace Combine Forces for Optical Comms Data Links — Also at 34th Space Symposium. Honeywell (NYSE: HON) is joining forces with Ball Aerospace to create and produce advanced optical communication data links. With this product, satellite operators will be able to offer high-speed, high-capacity and affordable connectivity to commercial and government users worldwide.
Since the 1990s, Ball Aerospace and Honeywell have combined their knowledge and expertise on various optical communications capabilities. This new collaboration provides a unique North American solution for commercial and U.S. government markets. The optical communication terminals are manufactured entirely from North American-sourced parts, ensuring secure solutions for critical domestic missions.
Free-space optical communication systems provide an innovative complement to traditional radio frequency (RF) solutions, bringing the internet speeds of terrestrial fiber optics to space. Using laser technology, optical communication systems offer a much narrower and more focused beam than traditional RF links, resulting in higher data rates, more capacity, greater security, and smaller, lighter and more affordable terminals.
Marina Mississian, the Senior Director, Space Payloads, Honeywell Aerospace, said that working with Ball Aerospace, combining the company’s optical and space manufacturing technologies with Ball’s extensive expertise in optical systems and solutions, creates a powerful world-class team to enable the transition of space communications into the optical communications era.
Brad Tousley, VP, Strategic Technology Development and Commercial Aerospace, Ball Aerospace, added that Ball and Honeywell are leveraging their respective strengths to collaboratively develop advanced optical terminals for inter-satellite links. The company team’s strong, proven capabilities in developing and manufacturing precision space-based optical systems will ensure the success of future LEO constellations.”
At Viasat, we’re driven to connect every warfighter, platform, and node on the battlefield. As a global communications company, we power ms of fast, resilient connections for military forces around the world – connections that have the capacity to revolutionize the mission – in the air, on the ground, and at sea. Our customers depend on us for connectivity that brings greater operational capabilities, whether we’re securing the U.S. Government’s networks, delivering satellite and wireless communications to the remote edges of the battlefield, or providing senior leaders with the ability to perform mission-critical communications while in flight. We’re a team of fearless innovators, driven to redefine what’s possible. And we’re not done – we’re just beginning.
RADAR, EO/IR, NIGHT VISION AND SURVEILLANCE UPDATE
Web Page sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
24 Apr 18. Blighter Surveillance Systems Ltd (www.blighter.com), a British designer and manufacturer of electronic-scanning (E-scan) radars and surveillance solutions, has secured its first sale into India for its Blighter B400 series E-scan micro Doppler ground surveillance radars.
The contract was awarded by system integrator Tata Power Company Limited (Strategic Engineering Division) following Blighter’s success at a radar/sensor trial organised by India’s border management organisation in Gwalior in November/December 2016. The Blighter radars will be deployed by Tata Power during 2018 as part of the Indian Government’s Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS).
The CIBMS programme aims to establish a multi-tier security ring – ground surveillance radar, thermal cameras, unattended ground sensors, seismic vibration systems, fences and fence protection systems – to protect the country’s long international borders. Pilot projects are already underway as part of this modernisation programme.
Mark Radford, CEO, Blighter Surveillance Systems, said: “This is great news for Blighter in India and further confirmation of the quality of our ultra-reliable, zero-maintenance Blighter B400 series radar. Yet again, our product outperformed all the other radars in a Government-sponsored trial achieving the highest benchmarking performance and top technical score during the evaluation.”
The Blighter radar’s wide (20-degree) elevation beam was a key feature for the Indian CIBMS project as it ensures that the radar can operate effectively in all terrains allowing the hills, mountains, plains, riverine territories and marshes to be scanned simultaneously, without the need to tilt the radar. The wide beam also provides detection of low flying manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones.
The solid-state passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar detects small and slow-moving targets – even in cluttered environments – due to the radar’s coactive frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) micro Doppler fast-scan processing.
“Our radar’s PESA technology and wide elevation beams are a big advantage for border security and were a key factor in securing this Indian contract,” added Mark Radford, “as they allow the radars to be mounted on towers, buildings and other infrastructure and to surveil an area of over 3,000 km² (1,800 square miles) in just seconds.”
The Blighter B400 E-scan micro Doppler radar delivers a 24x7x365 all-weather persistent surveillance capability. It can detect and track a walking person at 11km (6.8 miles), a crawler at 4.6km (2.9 miles) or a large moving vehicle at 25km (15.5 miles) and then cue a camera system to follow and identify targets.
Blighter Surveillance Systems has now sold hundreds of its E-scan ground surveillance radars across 35 different countries. It has systems deployed along the Korean demilitarised zone (DMZ), on the US Southern border, in several Middle Eastern countries, and now in India too.
Blighter Surveillance Systems delivers an integrated multi-sensor package to systems integrators comprising the Blighter radars plus cameras, thermal imagers, trackers and software solutions. Its ITAR-free systems are used worldwide in commercial, government and defence markets in area and asset protection for national border security, homeland security, critical infrastructure protection such as oil and gas facilities, coastal surveillance, and in military applications.
26 Apr 18. NiteSite®LLC will be exhibiting at booth 12137 at the upcoming 2018 Annual NRA Meetings and Exhibits, to be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, May 4 – 6, 2018. On display will be the popular RTEK night vision systems: the Eagle, Wolf and Viper. NiteSite is the US Sales Division of NiteSite LTD, the UK company and developers of infrared technology for predator hunting.
The RTEK night vision systems are capable of being used in both day and night situations and work with an existing rifle and scope. NiteSite RTEK systems allow for a night vision identification range of up to 500 meters (depending upon model and weather conditions). Easy and quick to assemble, NiteSite’s RTEK systems convert a day scope into a night vision system. NiteSite utilizes infrared in an innovative way, making their systems more affordable, reliable and more user friendly than traditional light amplification technologies. The RTEK night vision systems deliver crisp, ultra-clear night vision, regardless of the ambient light conditions.
“We are very excited to also reveal our Dark Ops and Dark Ops Elite night vision systems,” Marty Keena, Sales Manager for NiteSite LLC, said. “The Dark Ops concept is built on our successful RTEK systems, except the IR is a different wavelength, allowing the Dark Ops systems to be more covert. With the 940NM IR wavelength, the IR signature is greatly reduced so the subject is much less likely to notice you. This system is perfect for law enforcement and security, as well as hunters wanting to reduce the chances of spooking game. The new Dark Ops and Dark Ops Elite night vision systems will be available this summer.”
The Dark Ops allows for recording to a micro SD card and offers LCD screen dimming and an external camera focus. The Dark Ops Elite features are the same with the addition of a Laser Rangefinder. The MSRP for the Dark Ops from short range to long range starts at $749.00 to $1,249.00. The MSRP for the Dark Ops Elite from short range to long range starts at $999.00 to $1,499.00.
26 Apr 18. The first MASE equipped Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) NH90 helicopter has successfully passed a comprehensive test program consisting of ground, flight, and certification tests. It is now awaiting operational use. The MASE installation consists of the proven modular Aircraft Survivability Equipment concept including the ALQ-213 EW controller, a modular self-protection pod equipped with MILDS-F Missile Warning System, and the Advanced Countermeasures Dispenser System updated with the latest generation Terma Digital Sequencer Switch.
The pod is mounted on a dedicated carrier for optimum threat detection and countermeasures dispensing without compromising other NH90 capabilities. Control and operation of the system are provided through the Electronic Warfare Management System, ALQ-213, in the latest version. The basic design of the installation allows for future growth, such as Directed Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) or new sensors for e.g. radar warning or laser warning.
As part of the NH90 specific requirements, Terma’s system has been optimized to withstand the harsh operating environment helicopters are exposed to when operating over salt water. In addition, design considerations have been taken to ensure that the installation is practical to handle and operate from a helicopter deck on a frigate, such as easy access to and installation of the pod even in rough weather conditions.
In 2012, Terma completed a study program for RNLAF to identify the best possible way of protecting the NH90 aircraft against IR seeking missiles. The study identified a number of solutions all centered around a Missile Warning System, the Terma Advanced Countermeasures Dispenser System, and ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare (EW) controller.
Based on the recommendations from the study program, Terma was contracted in 2014 to integrate the Terma Modular Aircraft Survivability Equipment (MASE) onto the RNLAF NH90 helicopters to meet current needs and prepare them for future growth options.
The modularity of the MASE pod has enabled tailoring for a number of helicopter platforms, including AH-64D, EH-101, Mi-17, Mi-24, and AS 550 Fennec. Terma’s electronic self-protection systems are in use on the AS 532 U2 Cougar Mk2, the F-16 fighter, C-130 transport aircraft, and other aircraft throughout the world.
26 Apr 18. HENSOLDT Unveils Deployable Counter-UAV System. At this year’s International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA) in Berlin, the sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT unveils its Xpeller counter-UAV system for the first time in a compact and deployable version called “Xpeller Rapid”. The new configuration combines a radar system, a camera, radio detectors and jammers. The system can either be integrated into a vehicle or can be used in a transport container for rapid deployment. Thanks to sensor fusion, which is effected via a smart control software application, all UAV-relevant signals are detected with high precision and extremely short reaction times are ensured. The modular Xpeller product family includes various sensors such as radar systems, cameras and radio frequency detectors as well as direction finders and jammers. Xpeller uses sensors to detect and identify a drone and assess its threat potential at ranges from a few hundred metres up to several kilometres. Based on real-time analyses of the control signals, a jammer then interrupts the link between drone and pilot or interferes with its navigation.
The modular Xpeller system concept allows customised solutions to be created by combining individual devices from the product family depending on customer requirements and the local conditions. This way, the customer can select from a set of components and countermeasures.
HENSOLDT also supports the development of individual security concepts offering consultancy and weak point analysis. (Source: UAS VISION)
25 Apr 18. House lawmakers move to stop Air Force from canceling JSTARS recap. Members of the House Armed Services Committee have taken the first step to prohibit the U.S. Air Force from killing the JSTARS recap program and starting afresh with a family-of-systems approach called the Advanced Battle Management System.
The HASC’s Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee on Wednesday put forward its portion of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill. Included in it is a provision that would cap funding for the Advanced Battle Management System at 50 percent until the Air Force puts JSTARS recap on contract.
“The restriction would remain in effect until the Secretary of the Air Force certifies to the congressional defense committees that the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Recapitalization program, as submitted and described in the fiscal year 2018 budget request, is proceeding unhindered with originally planned activities associated with engineering, manufacturing, and development; low-rate initial production; production; and initial contractor support,” the text of the subcommittee’s part of the bill stated.
Or in short: Proceed with the original JSTARS recap plan, or move forward with serious financial constraints on its alternative approach.
The Air Force had initially planned to purchase 17 aircraft to replace its E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System battlefield management and control aircraft, with a $6.9bn contract originally slated to be decided this year.
All competitors — Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman — remain in source selection, even as the service announced its intention to cancel the program during a February rollout of the FY19 budget.
The Air Force wants to proceed with a concept it’s calling the Advanced Battle Management System, or ABMS, which calls for upgrading existing platforms and improving how they are networked together.
For instance, the service intends to put a miniaturized ground moving target indicator radar on the MQ-9 Reaper drone, which would allow it to detect, find and shoot down adversaries without help from another platform. It also would revitalize seven E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System planes with new communications gear.
But HASC members questioned the maturity of the Air Force’s plan during a March hearing, raising concerns that if the service backed out of JSTARS recap now, it could find itself without a key command-and-control capability if ABMS doesn’t pan out.
In its markup, subcommittee members also pushed up against the Air Force’s intention to retire three JSTARS aircraft in FY19. Instead, it would only allow the service to divest one of its 16 JSTARS planes.
The subcommittee also included provisions calling for a number of reports on the program, including an assessment of the ABMS acquisition strategy by the comptroller general and an Air Force report on whether it could accelerate JSTARS recap.
What the language doesn’t do, HASC staffers told reporters, is require the Air Force to purchase all 17 JSTARS aircraft originally included in the program of record.
That could lead the way to a potential compromise that would see the service procure some of the JSTARS recap aircraft as a stopgap before ABMS comes online.
The JSTARS provisions still have a long way to go before becoming law, including HASC subcommittee and full committee markups where members have a chance to amend the bill. From there, it moves onto debate by the House, and afterward will enter into “conference,” in which both chambers of Congress settle on one version of the defense bill.
However, the decision to fund or defund a program ultimately rests with the Appropriations committees — meaning that even if the House and Senate Armed Services committees agree to force the Air Force to continue JSTARS recap, appropriations will still need to sign onto continued funding for the program.
In the upper chamber, Senate Armed Services Committee member David Perdue, R-Ga., has raised concerns about a capability gap should the Air Force mothball its fleet. He is pushing for his own interim solution.
Perdue had been working to defend the surveillance aircraft, whose mission is carried out at Robins Air Force Base in his home state. On Wednesday, he declined to say how he would attempt to address the issue in the SASC’s version of the NDAA, only that “we’re talking about it.”
“The current fleet is aging out, and before the new fleet comes on, there’s a four- to eight-year gap,” Perdue said. “We are asking questions, expressing concerns. The Air Force is developing a new capability ― it’s space-based and land-based. I get that, but I’m concerned about the mid 2020s.”
Instead of extending the life of the JSTARS fleet, Perdue argues the Air Force could build a new low-cost fleet for the interim. It’s in keeping with the spirit of the program, as JSTARS originated with used Boeing 707s as a cheap way to surveil over the horizon in Europe.
“Go to Arizona and buy a platform that’s sitting there for nothing, put the capability on there, and keep flying it,” Perdue said. “The current cost to maintain these 707s is outrageously expensive.” (Source: Defense News)
25 Apr 18. Army Under Secretary Scopes Out Sensors: Fielding Fast
“It’s very encouraging,” McCarthy said. “It gives you high confidence in some of these investments we’re going to make….We’ve got these decisions coming up here by the middle of the summer for the POM 20” — the five-year budget plan (Program Objective Memorandum) for 2020-25.
The fog of war is getting thinner. Sure, the US Army expects future combat to be as brutally chaotic as ever, but as researchers showed the service’s No. 2 civilian here yesterday, soldiers will have new sights and sensors to let them see through darkness, dust storms, the ground, and even literal fog. It’s enough of an advantage to save lives.
Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy, a former Army Ranger now putting together the 2020 budget, saw a host of technologies and demonstrations here at Fort Belvoir on Tuesday. The common theme? New sensors, combined with the computing power to display their data intelligibly so soldiers can use it tactically.
In one demonstration, for example, McCarthy watched an indoor shooting range fill with smoke, which a soldier proceeded to shoot through, unaffected. A sensor called FWS-I (Family of Weapon Sights – Individual) allowed the soldier to see the target as if the smoke wasn’t there.
That’s the kind of edge the US Army is eager for. Decades ago, the Army took the lead on night vision and, combining tactics and technology, “owned the night,” able to operate in conditions that hamstrung its opponents. But now night vision has spread not just to rivals like Russia but irregulars like the Taliban. Being able to see through the dust and smoke that obscure the modern battlefield — while your enemies can’t see you, let alone shoot you — could be a crushing advantage.
Sensors for Soldiers
The hottest item on display was one of the smallest: the ENVG-B head-mounted sight entering service this fall — probably in December, according to Army officials at Fort Belvoir. The sight so excited Army leaders, and its development was so far along, that ENVG-B was accelerated to become the first piece of kit entering service as part of the new Big Six modernization program. The Army wants to issue it ASAP to all infantry soldiers and scouts, with the Marines and Special Operations interested as well.
Why so sexy? Formally the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle – Binocular, the ENVG-B combines light enhancement for both eyes, giving depth perception in the dark (hence “binocular”), with infrared (in one eye), superimposing both views on a single display. It can also superimpose a navigational pointer from its built-in compass.
Plugged into the right kind of gunsight, the ENVG-B will further superimpose cross-hairs telling the soldier exactly where his or her weapon is aimed. (The technical term here is Rapid Target Acquisition). Plugged into the Nett Warrior networking device, the ENVG-B can also display pointers showing the direction to friendly troops, reported enemies, and tactical objectives. Historically, to get all this information, a soldier would have to look at one device, then another, then another — weighing him down with gadgetry and potentially taking his eyes off potential threats as he looked down at a screen or compass.
The Army actually let reporters try on a helmet kitted out with the ENVG-B and counterbalancing battery pack. That was pretty gutsy considering (a) I’d already almost knocked a $10,000 sight off the table and (b) the ENVG-B costs even more, with the Army hoping to get its price below $23,000 a soldier.
Once I had it on, I had three thoughts, one after another:
- This is neat.
- This is heavy.
- I can’t actually see that much.
It turns out that the ENVG-B, for all its advances, still has the same narrow field of view as current night vision devices: a 40 degree cone directly in front of your face. The problem is that, in combat, peripheral vision is pretty important.
So how to get a wider view? Part of the answer was on the other side of the same room: a display of tiny LEDs — using organic chemistry instead of traditional methods — that provide a clear, crisp image on a screen the size of my thumbnail. On a normal screen, an individual pixel is 200 microns wide, or about 0.008 of an inch; on these screens, a pixel is 10 microns, or 0.0004 inches. Built into a heads-up display and mounted on a helmet, the organic LEDs could provide a low-power, high-resolution way to give soldiers some peripheral vision while using the latest sights.
Sensors for Vehicles
The bane of Army helicopters in the Middle East hasn’t been enemy fire: It’s been dust, thick clouds of it kicked up by their rotors as they try to land which blind the pilots to potential obstacles. The blandness of the official term, “Degraded Visual Environment,” believes the real danger. “I’ve lost more friends due to degraded visual environment than to enemy action,” one aviation veteran told Under Secretary Ryan.
To demonstrate the latest DVE sensor, Army soldiers and civilians filled an air-tight tent with blowing sand — completely obscuring vision in seconds — while a nearby screen showed the view through the sensor: black-and-white but perfectly clear. Even the trees beyond the demonstration area were distinct.
Using a prototype sensor, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter has made over 600 landings at desert test sites, the demonstration team said. They also tried the sensor on a CH-47 Chinook, a huge helicopter that produces huge clouds of dust, and the crew liked it so much they didn’t want to give it up.
The next step, the researchers said, will be to get the sensor to see through atmospheric moisture such as fog — not much of an issue in Iraq but potentially a big problem in Eastern Europe.
Sensors can also look underground, say for buried land mines. Consider the Husky vehicle, a kind of Mad Max contraption that looks for roadside bombs. A mainstay in Afghanistan and Iraq, it would still be relevant in a war with Russia, which has stockpiled ms of land mines, including offensive types that can be scattered at long range by rocket launcher.
The Husky’s been upgraded with ground-penetrating radar, but the human operator has to eyeball the screen and interpret the often ambiguous signals. That means the vehicle has to crawl along at about three miles an hour to give the driver time to recognize a mine and stop before running over it.
But now Army researchers have developed an algorithm that automatically looks for tell-tale indicators of buried mines and warns the operator, giving more time to react. They’ve also developed a miniaturized robotic Husky and a sensor compact enough to add to existing vehicles that can see mines 30 meters (100 feet) away. They’re also working on mine-detecting sensors that can fit on drones to scout ahead: currently the 14-pound Puma but ultimately a mini-quadcopter.
McCarthy also saw eight-wheel drive Stryker vehicle outfitted with ring of day and night sensors to let troops inside see their environment before disembarking for an assault. Compared to the traditional windowless-box experience of riding in an armored vehicle, that’s tactically precious. Again, the algorithms are critical: The sensors can pick up hostile gunfire and show the soldiers exactly where it came from while they’re still inside and under armor, instead of them frantically peering through periscopes or sticking their heads out hatches.
That kind of capability might seem more relevant against terrorists and guerrillas, than the Russian Army. While irregular forces strike from hiding and fall back, when the Russians are firing at you, the answer to “where’s it coming from?” tends to be “everywhere.” But with Vladimir Putin heavily reliant on deniable proxies and Spetsnaz commandos, any crisis will probably involve lone snipers instead of at least ahead of heavy mechanized forces.
What’s more, the researchers argued, automated threat detection will be critical for unmanned ground vehicles, which have no humans aboard to figure out where danger is coming from. The team is preparing sensor packages to go on both the Robotic Combat Vehicle and the “optionally manned” Next Generation Combat Vehicle with the prototypes enter testing in 2019. It’s part of a whole wave of technologies than the normally lumbering Army wants fast, fast, fast.
McCarthy Sums Up
“This helps me more than anybody,” Under Secretary McCarthy told reporters after the demonstrations, “because we’ve got these decisions coming up here by the middle of the summer for the POM 20” — the five-year budget plan (Program Objective Memorandum) for 2020-25.
“(I’m) talking to researchers and operators about…the maturity of these investments, so you can make some of these hard choices. It’s very encouraging,” McCarthy said. “It gives you high confidence in some of these investments we’re going to make.”
McCarthy didn’t come to Belvoir alone. Besides his own staff, he brought the directors of three of the eight Cross Functional Teams (CFTs) spearheading different aspects of Army modernization: Brig. Gen. Chris Donahue, who heads the “soldier lethality” team; Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, networks team; and Maj. Gen. Maria Gervais, virtual and augmented reality training. Donahue is concerned with anything a soldier wears or carries, Gallagher’s network provides vital data that soldiers see on their displays, with Gervais’ simulators will project training scenarios on the same displays, superimposing fictional opponents and terrain on the real world.
McCarthy has visited some of the CFTs at their home bases, but he tries not to do it too much, he said, for fear of distracting or micromanaging them.
“I want to just allow them to do what they need to do. They’re empowered and they have our trust,” McCarthy said of the CFTs. “We stood them up in October and look at the progress they’ve made. That’s because, in large measure, we’ve given them guidance and resources, and they moved out.”
(Source: Breaking Defense.com)
25 Apr 18. At ILA Berlin, Aerospace, Defense and Security provider Terma presents the Modular Aircraft Survivability Equipment (MASE) pod for light attack and rotary-wing platforms in a new upgraded and cost-effective version that meets the needs of operators, OEMs, and international users for today and tomorrow.
When countries approach the need for self-protection on aircraft that have already been delivered to the operating nations, adding EW equipment quickly and cost effectively often leads to external pods becoming a natural solution with the following benefits:
- No cutting of holes in the main body for sensors, etc.
- Flexibility of mounting and un-mounting the EW equipment as a single unit
- Pods are mounted with stand-off from the main body of the fuselage and therefore produce good locations to minimize sensor blind spots and ease safe separation of expendables
- A more consistently accurate interface for sensor orientations.
The MASE pod is developed for installation of role-fit solutions for a wide range of platforms. The pod can be configured to house the complete sensor and countermeasures suite, and as a consequence of the modular approach and design, the MASE pod can be configured to meet the operational needs, e.g. Directed IR Counter Measures (DIRCM) turret, chaff/flare dispensers (CMDS), electronics, and Missile Warning System (MWS) sensors in a small, lightweight, and rigid structure.
Normally, the MASE pod mounts to hard-points, installing a lightweight bespoke adapter without ejector-release unit for accurately aligned installation of the MASE pod, with a reasonable stand-off from the platform in order to obtain good sensor and effector fields of coverage.
The open architecture is fully adaptable to any DIRCM, LWS, Missile Warning Sensor, as well as Terma or third-party CMDS, which facilitates flexible options for stand-alone installations or as part of an Aircraft Survivability Equipment system.
By using proven structures, we ensure that cost efficiency and low risk integration is paramount. Our objective is to ensure that our customers and user community benefit from the latest technology at the lowest acquisition price, including through-life costs at a fraction of our competitors’ systems. MASE pods are a compelling solution.
Terma has delivered 2,500+ combat-proven EW installations, including mounting structures, for 25+ aircraft types, both rotary and fixed wing. In-service installations include the CH-47, CH-147, AH-64, AS532, EH-101, NH-90 as well as P-8A, F-16, C-130s, and the IOMAX Archangel aircraft.
25 Apr 18. Raytheon Company’s [NYSE:RTN] 360-degree capable, gallium nitride -powered active electronically scanned array, a Raytheon funded and proposed upgrade to the Patriot® Air and Missile Defense System, recently completed 3,000 hours of operation.
“The company-funded radar has demonstrated 360-degree capability, tracking tactical targets such as maneuvering fighter aircraft, simulated cruise and ballistic missiles, and drones,” said Tom Laliberty, Raytheon Vice President of Integrated Air and Missile Defense for Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business at the ILA Berlin Air Show.
To prove 360-degree capability of the Raytheon-funded radar, a main AESA GaN antenna array worked with a second GaN-based AESA antenna that was pointed in a different direction. As targets flew out of one array’s field of view and into another, the two arrays seamlessly passed information back and forth, continuously tracking — and providing quality fire control data — on multiple targets.
“It is clear that our partner Raytheon’s radar has far surpassed the decades-old, 20th-century gallium arsenide radar technology being proposed by the MEADS development project,” said Harald Mannheim, Rheinmetall’s Senior Vice President and Head of Air Defence Programmes Germany. “Raytheon’s AESA GaN technology is capable, mature and ideally suited for the needs of the German Air Force.”
Rheinmetall and Raytheon have a strategic teaming agreement, providing a full spectrum integrated air defense solution for the German Air Force.
“Our partner Raytheon is able to rapidly deliver this capability, ensuring that Germany will have the ability to defend its forces from threats in any direction, even, if required for the upcoming Baltic deployment in 2023 in support of NATO operations,” Mannheim added.
The Raytheon-funded GaN-based AESA radar will work with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System and other open architectures. It maintains compatibility with the current Patriot Engagement Control Station and is full interoperability with NATO systems, such as the German SAMOC.
24 Apr 18. Esri’s Developer Technology Supports Situational Awareness Workflows in Disconnected Environments. Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, today announced it is releasing the Dynamic Situational Awareness (DSA) Example Application, an open-source, fully functional app for mobile devices that showcases Esri’s latest ArcGIS Runtime Software Development Kit (SDK) release. ArcGIS Runtime SDKs enable developers to create situational awareness apps specifically for personnel who must operate in disconnected, intermittent, or low bandwidth (DIL) environments.
Field operators, such as soldiers and first responders, must coordinate with each other in the field using in-vehicle and handheld situational awareness apps that share location intelligence in real time. The DSA Example App highlights best practices for developers creating mobile field solutions to help the field operator answer questions such as, Where am I? Where are my teammates? Am I visible to a suspect location? What is my team leader’s latest order? and When am I within 20 meters of a hazardous area? Due to security and survivability concerns, this information is typically transmitted using secure peer-to-peer network technology, without any reliance on the Internet.
“The DSA Example App demonstrates how developers can use Esri’s tools to help maintain field personnel’s situational awareness with critical information, analysis, and collaboration even in austere network environments,” said Jeff Peters, head of the national government sector at Esri. “We continue to strive to meet the unique needs of our users in defense, intelligence, and public safety, and this is an example of that effort.”
The DSA Example App is an open-source application based on the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Qt, which developers can download, customize, compile, and configure for in-vehicle and handheld devices on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS platforms. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
25 Apr 18. Dedrone to Test Protecting Military Installations. Dedrone has announced a partnership with Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), a United States Department of Defense (DoD) organization focused on accelerating commercial technologies to the U.S. military. DIUx and DoD are experimenting with Dedrone’s technology in assessing, measuring, and responding to adversarial UAS threats as they relate to flight operations and base security within the United States.
Dedrone provides a commercial, off-the-shelf UAS detection system for both militaries and companies. Their technology platform is designed for integration into passive sensors, including their radio frequency sensors, RF-100 and RF-300, as well as third party sensors including radar, cameras, and microphones. DroneTracker, Dedrone’s software platform, gathers intelligence from these sensors to detect drone activity and collect forensic evidence, including the communications protocol of the drone, its flight path and the location of the pilot. Once a drone is detected, a defeat countermeasure can be automatically deployed.
“Anecdotal information of drone incidents near military bases are leaving military security personnel with insufficient details about the nature of airspace threats,” says Joerg Lamprecht, CEO and co-founder of Dedrone. “Our partnership with DIUx is an opportunity for us to work directly with military installations and inform defense leaders on how to protect military airspace against rogue drone pilots.”
DIUx is experimenting with Dedrone’s technology to provide situational awareness of drone activity over protected sites. Dedrone has worked with the DoD previously through a two-month airspace activity survey with Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Washington, D.C. During this time, Dedrone and JBM-HH detected unauthorized drones infiltrating the airspace, despite the area being a no-fly zone.
The DoD operates over 800 military bases and high-security facilities worldwide, and in 2017 industry analysts estimated revenues for counter-UAS equipment in the defense market to be between $500 m to $1 bn annually and poised for double digit growth. Market growth aligns with regulatory activity by allowing military installations to protect themselves against drone threats. In April 2017, the FAA extended their authority over military operations areas (MOAs) by instituting restrictions that specifically apply to drones, and extended these rules to protect 133 facilities. In August 2017, The Pentagon implemented a new policy permitting military bases to shoot down drones that are deemed a threat.
Drones pose a number of potential threats from espionage and threats to physical security. Most notably, drones have nearly collided with Coast Guard and Army helicopters, disrupted Air Force and Central Command flight operations, among other incidents both domestically and abroad. Defense cannot exist without detection, and Dedrone technology provides an opportunity to proactively detect drones and understand airspace breaches before any defeat technology needs to be deployed. (Source: UAS VISION)
24 Apr 18. Japan seeks role in French-German marine surveillance plane project – sources. In a fresh bid to win its first major foreign arms deal since World War Two, Japan is proposing its P-1 submarine hunter for a French-German project to develop a marine surveillance aircraft, two Japanese government sources said.
Discussion between the three governments began last year. Japanese officials also asked Kawasaki Heavy Industries (7012.T), which makes the P-1, to discuss possible partnerships with France’s Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) and Thales SA (TCFP.PA), said the sources, who have direct knowledge of the proposal but are not authorised to speak to the media.
“If they try and build it from scratch it will cost a lot and their potential market is small, even if Spain or other European countries buy it,” one of the sources said of the European project.
But the P-1 may be a tough sell in a competition with plenty of home-field heavyweights.
Airbus (AIR.PA) has said it is exploring military applications for its A320neo passenger jet family, including a maritime patrol version. Two European defence sources said French planemaker Dassault Aviation is ready to adapt its Falcon 8X business jet for such missions. Both companies declined to comment.
Boeing is also likely to offer its P-8A Poseidon.
“We have introduced the P-1 to other countries with the backing of the Japanese Ministry of Defence,” a Kawasaki Heavy spokeswoman said. “However, we are not able to discuss individual cases.”
Japan’s Ministry of Defense did not respond to a request for comment.
Germany wants to replace its ageing fleet of maritime surveillance planes in response to an increase in Russian submarine patrols to a level not seen since the end of the Cold War.
The defence ministers from Germany and France will sign a document at this week’s Berlin Airshow agreeing to explore the joint development of a new maritime surveillance aircraft, German military sources said.
A spokesman for the German defence ministry declined to comment on discussions, adding, “Germany and France are considering many possibilities to expand the existing good cooperation between the two countries’ militaries.”
The two countries are exploring several other joint procurement or development projects, including a new fighter jet and a military drone. The two countries will also jointly operate a new fleet of Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) C-130J transport planes.
Officials at the French embassy in Tokyo were not immediately available to comment.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ended a decades-long ban on arms exports four years ago.
But since then, his government has been unable to sell defence gear overseas as long-isolated Japanese defence contractors struggled in the competitive global arms market.
In 2015, Japan offered the P-1 to Britain, which chose Boeing’s (BA.N) P-8 instead from a crowded field. In 2016 it lost out on a lucrative contract to supply Australia with a fleet of diesel-powered submarines, work that went to French naval contractor DCNS.
European defence analysts and military sources cautioned that the P-1 would face stiff competition for the French-German project, which aims to field a new aircraft by 2035.
“At this point, it’s completely premature to either say Japan and Kawasaki have a chance or that they do not,” said one of the military sources.
Japan, which wants stronger security ties with France and Germany, plans to display two of its P-1 aircraft at the five-day Berlin air show. The P-1, which is designed to operate both at high altitude and at low speeds closer to the water, is replacing Japan’s fleet of turboprop Lockheed Martin P-3C Orions.
Germany also operates the Orion, while France flies the Atlantique 2, or ATL2, produced by Dassault Aviation in the 1980s.
Saab (SAABb.ST), Bombardier (BBDb.TO), Israel Aerospace Industry and Leonardo (LDOF.MI) are among other companies seeking to enter the maritime patrol market.
The P-1 patrols Japan’s territorial waters stretching from the Pacific to the East China Sea, where Beijing and Tokyo are locked in a territorial dispute over a group of uninhabited islets.
The four-engine aircraft, which was delayed by fuselage and wing cracks and engine problems, entered service in 2015. It is the world’s first production aircraft to use fibre optic cables to transmit flight control commands from its cockpit. (Source: Reuters)
24 Apr 18. Canadian Army acquires Medium Range Radar from Rheinmetall. The Canadian Army has chosen the portable and powerful medium range radar (MRR) to identify smaller weapons that are difficult to detect.
Developed by Israel-based manufacturer Elta and acquired from prime contractor Rheinmetall Canada, MRR is a transportable system that can help quickly detect and identify sources of indirect fire.
It can identify rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, rockets and other munitions fired without a direct sightline to the target.
The radar can be easily set up and dismantled within 20 minutes and controlled remotely by troops from a distance of up to 100m.
MRR project team member major Raymond Dupuis said: “You always want to set up and tear down as quickly as possible so that if there’s a threat we can move out of that location and move on to another one.
“That’s why we’ll use these in pairs so that as one’s transmitting, the other’s ready to move.”
The MRR helps track airborne threats and generates a tactical display that can be shared with other Canadian units and allied forces.
Dupuis added: “We’re going to have the ability to give early warning to our troops of air threats.
“We don’t have the ability to fire on aircraft right now but we do have a project and will eventually purchase an air defence weapon.”
Currently, the Canadian Army is purchasing a total of ten MRR systems, the majority of which will be deployed in New Brunswick with 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support), Royal Canadian Artillery.
Earlier this year, a successful round of field tests was carried out at the regiment. The MRR project is part of the larger Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) programme, which was first announced in 2003. (Source: army-technology.com)
23 Apr 18. Even stealthy aircraft will now be detected By Quantum radar. Even stealthy aircraft will now be detected By Quantum radar
The development of new quantum radar and it’s research at the University of Waterloo will now help in detecting stealthy aircraft and missiles by cutting through heavy background noise and isolate objects.
Jonathan Baugh- a faculty member at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and a professor in the Department of Chemistry is leading this project with three other researchers at IQC and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) said,
“In the Arctic, space weather such as geomagnetic storms and solar flares interfere with radar operation and make the effective identification of objects more challenging.”
Stealth aircraft are specially made to absorb the radio waves and make themselves invisible from radar singles. They also use electronic jamming of swamp detectors with artificial noise. Now with quantum radar at service, they will be easily detected.
Technology to improve national defense
Quantum illumination is used by the Quantum radar for sensing and detecting objects. At its base, it leverages the quantum principle of entanglement, where two photons form a connected, or entangled, pair. In this method, one photon is sent to the object while the other one pairs with it from the base. Photons in the return signal are checked for telltale signatures of entanglement, allowing photons from the noisy environmental background to be discarded. This can greatly improve the radar signal-to-noise in certain situations. Before using it in the field, a proper research is to be conducted to ensure a fast and available source of entangled photons which helps in detection.
On this matter, Baugh said,
“The goal of our project is to create a robust source of entangled photons that can be generated at the press of a button.”
Till date, it has only experimented in the lab. An investment of $2.7 m has been made by the Government of Canada, under the Department of National Defence’s All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology program for enhancing the scope of the project and start using it in the field.
By the end of 2025, the 54 North Warning System (NWS) radar stations, based in the Arctic and operated by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will be replaced as it is running towards its end.
“This project will allow us to develop the technology to help move quantum radar from the lab to the field.” (Source: Google/technostalls.com)
23 Apr 18. Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS) announces Expansion. Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS), a joint venture between Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd. and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd. of Israel has announced plans to expand its product profile. The venture will now enter into missile systems with the new generation precision guided munitions (NGPGM), air defence systems and capabilities for medium range surface to air missiles (MRSAM), low-level quick reaction missile (LLQRM) system and quick reaction surface-to-air missile (QRSAM) programs.
The expansion will also include the drone dome system, a radar and laser beam system for detecting, jamming and destroying drones, and the naval remote control weapon station systems program.
Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems was established in 2015 to enter the defence industry with requisite infrastructure, technology and associated intellectual property rights related to design, development, modification, manufacturing, integration, life cycle support and obsolescence management of Spike missiles systems, upgrade of the BMP II amphibious infantry fighting vehicle and add-on armour solutions.
Kalyani Rafael has a state-of-the-art facility at Hyderabad for manufacturing of defence sub systems. This facility enables production of high end technology systems for the Indian armed forces.
As part of its first phase of expansion in March 2017, Kalyani Rafael included provision of indigenous solutions to new generation precision guided munitions and long range guided bomb (LRGB) in the company’s production facility at Hyderabad.
As part of its second phase of expansion, KRAS will now also provide indigenous solutions for Missiles Systems like MRSAM, LLQRM, QRSAM as well as the naval gun program and drone dome system.
According to the company, this expansion will bring-in niche technology in the country for such advanced defence systems and will further boost the JV’s commitment to ‘Make in India’. One of the fastest growing defence JVs, Kalyani Rafael has been granted defence industrial license by department of industrial policy & promotion (DIPP).
Kalyani Group is a $2.5bn Indian multinational conglomerate with high technology, engineering and manufacturing capability across critical sectors such as defence and aerospace, engineering steel, automotive, industrial, renewable energy, urban infrastructure and specialty chemicals. The group’s defence and aerospace initiatives are handled by Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd. (KSSL). From being a traditional supplier of components and subsystems to Indian defence it has emerged a complete system and solutions provider and aims to become a leading global defence player.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is one of Israel’s largest defence companies with annual revenues of $2.9bn. Rafael develops and manufactures advanced defense systems for the Israeli Defense Forces, as well as for foreign customers, in underwater systems through naval, ground, and air superiority systems to space system and cyber solutions. Rafael is one of the world’s leading missile design and manufacturing companies offering best-in-class products and systems for anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), surface to air missile (SAM), precision weapons.
22 Apr 18. Maxar Technologies’ DigitalGlobe Integrates Highest Resolution Satellite Imagery from WorldView-4 into SecureWatch™ and Celebrates 20th Defense and Intelligence Subscriber to the GEOINT Platform. DigitalGlobe, a Maxar Technologies company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR), announced today that with the complete integration of DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-4 satellite imagery into SecureWatch, the company’s powerful, cloud-based geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) platform, customers can now access more of the world’s highest resolution satellite imagery.
WorldView-4’s daily imagery collections more than double SecureWatch’s daily volume of valuable 30 cm imagery, enhancing defense and intelligence analysts’ ability to closely monitor activity in their areas of interest. WorldView-4 collection plans are constantly analyzed and improved to deliver more refreshed 30 cm imagery over the rapidly changing geographies that SecureWatch customers need to make mission-critical decisions with confidence.
The subscription-based platform will expand further this summer when RADARSAT-2 imagery from MDA, another Maxar company, becomes available. MDA’s RADARSAT-2 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery will expand the capacity for analysts to monitor key locations around the world, regardless of weather and light conditions.
When layering radar and optical imagery together, an analyst can quickly flag areas of change and develop richer situational reports. The planned addition of MDA’s RADARSAT-2 imagery into DigitalGlobe’s SecureWatch product is yet another example of how Maxar is extending cross-business technology to accelerate innovation and offer integrated solutions to customers.
“The combination of RADARSAT-2 imagery and DigitalGlobe’s optical imagery, with the other enriched data sources within SecureWatch, will create powerful solutions for analysts to maintain situational awareness and achieve mission success no matter what’s happening on the planet,” said Jeff Kerridge, Senior Vice President and General Manager of DigitalGlobe International Defense and Intelligence.
DigitalGlobe also celebrates the signing of its 20th SecureWatch defense and intelligence agency customer since launching the product in February 2017. The first 10 customers started using SecureWatch before the end of 2017 and another 10 have also subscribed this year, joining defense and intelligence analysts around the world who rely on complete access to both DigitalGlobe’s 18-year, 100 petabyte imagery archive and the over three m square kilometers of fresh high-resolution imagery added daily.
“DigitalGlobe is proud to be the trusted partner to 20 SecureWatch subscribers, 70% of whom are new to DigitalGlobe, who understand the demonstrated value of allowing us to help hundreds of analysts deliver GEOINT that is rich, accurate and current,” added Kerridge.
New features within SecureWatch are routinely released to improve user experience by putting more GEOINT sources at analysts’ fingertips, in addition to the tools to analyze and exploit the data contained within those sources. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
20 Apr 18. Leonardo eyes 3 jets for new decoy able to trick radar-guided missiles. Italy’s Leonardo is targeting the Eurofighter, F-15 and F-16 aircraft as the next customers for its new BriteCloud Expendable Missile Decoy after an order was placed by the the British Royal Air Force for its Tornado jets. Leonardo said last month that the decoy, which is designed to fool radar-guided missiles, had been accepted by the Royal Air Force for its Tornadoes following tests carried out by the service’s 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron in the U.S. last year.
Now, the 1.1-kilogram, 55mm-in-diameter cylindrical BriteCloud rounds produced for the Roayl Air Force are being matched by a square format weighing ― 0.5 kilograms for F-15s and F-16s ― to be fired from the widely used ALE-47 chaff and flare dispenser.
Last year, the soda can-sized system was trialed with Danish F-16s. It is also being offered with the Gripen.
Released when a radar-guided missile approaches an aircraft, BriteCloud includes a radar-jamming system and produces a ghost signal that fools radar guidance systems.
Leonardo hopes customers looking to add decoys to aircraft will buy the system instead of a towed decoy, “which is a huge integration issue,” according to Jon McCullagh, head of combat air sales for electronic warfare at the Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems. Division
The firm is also talking to Eurofighter about the BriteCloud complementing the towed decoy already used on the aircraft, said McCullagh, because it can put more distance between itself and the aircraft than the towed version, drawing missiles further away.
“The battery lasts approximately 10 seconds, by which time the decoy has drawn radars sufficiently far away from the aircraft that it takes a significant time for a system to switch back to searching for the target and locking on,” McCullagh said.
The U.S. has previously used the Gen-X expendable decoy, but Leonardo claims its new product is the first digital expendable decoy on the market and the most powerful to date. It did not give details of the cost.
“The Tornado contract was let under single-source contract regulations, as there are no alternative suppliers of this technology,” McCullagh noted. (Source: Defense News)
20 Apr 18. New data link to allow LCS to simultaneously get imagery from more than one aircraft. Today, a littoral combat ship can only receive surveillance data from one aircraft at a time. That is about to change due to new communications gear that will be fitted on LCS 25, 26 and 28, officials from L3 Technologies told Defense News.
The Navy has selected L3 to provide its Maritime Surface Terminal aboard Freedom-class LCS Marinette and Independence-class LCSs Mobile and Savannah, John Van Brabant, L3’s vice president of business development for Navy programs, said during an April 10 interview at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition.
L3 beat out competitor Cubic for the opportunity, and the company is moving into contract negotiations with Naval Air Systems Command with an award expected sometime this summer.
Like the T-Series Model S Surface Terminals — the L3-manufactured communications terminals for the first 24 LCS hulls — the Maritime Surface Terminal, or MST, operates on the Ku-band and allows Navy pilots of platforms like the MQ-4 Triton or MH-60S to share full-motion video and other data with the ship.
However, the MST is almost 700 pounds lighter than the older system and can transmit 45 megabits a second compared to 22 megabits, VanBrabant said.
It also has two data links instead of just one, meaning that up to two aircraft can share data at the same time, a departure from the current construct where aircraft have to take turns.
“What it does is give the ship’s captain … it extends their eyes and ears, frankly,” Van Brabant said. “Now they get a radar picture of the aircraft 120 miles away, and the radar is seeing another 80 miles that they’ve essentially extended their vision 200 miles.”
That will also help support the LCS’s manned-unmanned teaming construct, whereby MH-60S helicopters are paired with MQ-8 Fire Scout drones. The aircraft are intended to work together, with the Fire Scout passing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data and targeting information to the MH-60 and back to the ship.
MST will allow both platforms to send full-motion video to the LCS at the same time.
Increasing the reach of ships has been a major goal of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, who has said interoperability and networking will be a focus in future competitions.
“How do all these platforms work together?” Richardson said in 2017. “In the extreme, I’d want to network everything to everything.”
In 2016, the Navy awarded contracts to Lockheed Martin for the Freedom-class LCS Marinette and to Austal for Independence-class LCS Mobile. A contract for the Savannah followed in 2017. (Source: Defense News)
Blighter® Surveillance Systems (BSS) is a UK-based electronic-scanning radar and sensor solution provider delivering an integrated multi-sensor package to systems integrators comprising the Blighter electronic-scanning radars, cameras, thermal imagers, trackers and software solutions. Blighter radars combine patented solid-state Passive Electronic Scanning Array (PESA) technology with advanced Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) and Doppler processing to provide a robust and persistent surveillance capability. Blighter Surveillance Systems is a Plextek Group company, a leading British design house and technology innovator, and is based at Great Chesterford on the outskirts of Cambridge, England.
The Blighter electronic-scanning (e-scan) FMCW Doppler ground surveillance radar (GSR) is a unique patented product that provides robust intruder detection capabilities under the most difficult terrain and weather conditions. With no mechanical moving parts and 100% solid-state design, the Blighter radar family of products are extremely reliable and robust and require no routine maintenance for five years. The Blighter radar can operate over land and water rapidly searching for intruders as small a crawling person, kayaks and even low-flying objects. In its long-range modes the Blighter radar can rapidly scan an area in excess of 3,000 km² to ensure that intruders are detected, identified and intercepted before they reach critical areas.
MISSILE, BALLISTICS AND SOLDIER SYSTEMS UPDATE
Sponsored by Control Solutions LLC.
26 Apr 18. Russia displays cruise missiles ‘shot down’ in Syria. Key Points:
- The Russian MoD has provided different figures for the number of Western weapons intercepted in Syria on 14 April
- The missile remnants it displayed could have come from missiles that hit their targets or failed in a previous attack
In a second attempt to cast doubt on the effectiveness of the Western allies’ strikes against Syrian targets on 14 April, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) appeared to contradict its earlier account of the event, but supported its claims by displaying the remnants of cruise missiles. Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy, the head of the General Staff’s Operational Directorate, told a briefing in Moscow on 25 April that the Russian assessment of the strikes showed that only 22 missiles hit their targets. This was a lower figure than implied by MoD spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov in a 16 April briefing, during which he said that 71 of the 103 weapons launched by the allies had been shot down by Syrian air defences. Col Gen Rudskoy said the Syrians shot down 66 missiles, but said an unspecified number appeared to have suffered technical malfunctions. He said these included two Tomahawks and an air-launched cruise missile that were subsequently transferred to Moscow. The US military has stated that all 105 missiles that were launched hit their targets. Unlike Maj Gen Konashenkov, who said most of the weapons were launched against airbases, Col Gen Rudskoy confirmed that all three sites identified by the US military as the targets were hit and did not explicitly claim the allies attempted to attack the Syrian air force. However, he added that Russian analysis of the damage caused at the three sites showed they were not hit with as many weapons as claimed by the allies. As an example he said that the 76 missiles that the US military said hit the Barzah Scientific Studies and Research Centre in Damascus would have carried at least 8.5 tonnes of explosives, but a commensurate level of damage was not seen at the site. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Apr 18. Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, has successfully demonstrated its new advanced missile warhead designed to survive in high temperature environments and function at hyper velocities. Using decades of experience in developing and fielding advanced warheads, Orbital ATK designed, built and validated the new missile warhead for hypersonic speeds in less than 60 days.
For the demonstration, Orbital ATK employed its proven modeling capability, which correlates real world results to accurately predict weapon performance in order to reduce time spent in the design phase. In addition, the tested warheads were built with additive manufacturing to produce the warheads’ precise and complicated geometric shapes relatively quickly, speeding up their readiness for testing.
“Successfully completing an R&D program in less than 60 days does not happen by accident. There are very few companies that can offer a similar combination of technical expertise and schedule responsiveness,” said Pat Nolan, Vice President and General Manager of Missile Products at Orbital ATK. “Our deep heritage in high speed systems as well as warheads, fuzes and rocket motors, enables our team to develop innovative technologies that will ultimately help the warfighter be ready for challenges on the battlefield and able to execute their missions reliably, precisely and safely.”
Designing a warhead for high velocities is dramatically different than designing a normal warhead, as it needs to be shaped differently to ensure the fragmentation occurs as intended against the target. The tested warheads leveraged Orbital ATK’s Lethality Enhanced Ordnance (LEO) fragmentation technology, a scalable solution with the ability to provide an extended range in a variety of warhead sizes. Orbital ATK’s Defense Systems Group is an industry leader in providing innovative and affordable precision and strike weapons, advanced propulsion and hypersonics, missile components across air-, sea- and land-based systems, ammunition and related energetic products. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
26 Apr 18. NRL Researchers Push Nanoscience Boundaries to Lighten, Strengthen Warfighter Armor
A multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) pushed grain size engineering to the limit and recently discovered previously unseen behaviors in nanocrystalline ceramics that could lead to the design of better performing ceramic armor.
The discovery, a continuation of NRL research published in 2014, was made possible by a cutting-edge nanosintering technique, which is the process of essentially bonding nano-sized particles together.
“A few years ago, NRL was the first to show that if you decrease the grain size of ceramics to tens of nanometers, the hardness and strength increase,” said Dr. James Wollmershauser, a materials research engineer in NRL’s Materials Science and Technology Division. “Our current work takes this much further. We decreased the grain size of fully dense ceramics to record breaking single digits, and analyzed the elasticity, hardness, energy dissipation and fracture behavior in ceramics with a wide range of nanosize grains.”
Dr. Heonjune Ryou, a postdoctoral fellow in NRL’s Chemistry Division, characterized the mechanics of the nanocrystalline ceramics and found that they accommodate mechanical energy in a unique way. This aspect had never been seen before in bulk nanocrystalline ceramics, and may revolutionize the design of ceramic armor.
“NRL was the first to see the increase of energy dissipation in single digit nano-grain ceramics,” said Dr. Boris Feygelson, a materials research engineer in NRL’s Electronics Science and Technology Division, leading the team’s efforts in nanosintering. “The better the material can accommodate mechanical energy, the better it can stop an incoming threat.”
The key to unlocking these materials and their phenomenon is NRL’s unique approach to forming large-scale nanostructured solids. The unparalleled nanosintering approach is called Environmentally Controlled Pressure Assisted Sintering, or EC-PAS. It allowed NRL to break the world record for the smallest grain size in dense ceramics at 3.6 nanometers, which is about 30,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
“What we’ve done is develop a new way to make nanocrystalline materials and demonstrated that by varying the nano-grain size there is the capability to design a ceramic with specific combinations of properties,” said Feygelson.
By pushing the boundaries of nanosintering science, NRL researchers showed that it may be possible to one day design a lightweight, nanocrystalline ceramic material that can better dissipate mechanical energy, say from a sharp projectile, absorbing more damage while retaining its very high hardness. This discovery could pave the way for more efficient armor for Sailors and Marines.
“In general, the Navy wants to lighten the load of the warfighter,” said Wollmershauser. “If you can make harder armor, or better performing armor, then you can put less armor on a person or vehicle, in turn increasing capacity for other things like munitions and electronics.”
Behind the collaborative effort were individuals from three divisions across NRL, including chemistry, materials science and technology, and electronics science and technology.
“We are fortunate to have a team from three different divisions,” said Ryou. “The diverse expertise of our team members allowed this work to happen.”
The team hopes to continue their work in bulk nanocrystalline ceramics, the development of the EC-PAS nanosintering technique being the key to future innovation.
“When we were doing this research we started to develop a vision for other applications. We realized that we could approach this research in nanocrystalline materials with a much broader perspective,” said Feygelson. “EC-PAS opens the door to explore limits of many phenomena in nanostructured materials. Armor materials is just the beginning. So, suffice it to say… stay tuned.”
The team’s research was recently published in American Chemical Society Nano and can be found at the following link, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.7b07380 .
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country’s position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. (Source: ASD Network/US Navy)
26 Apr 18. China deploys advanced DF-26 missile. China’s advanced DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile has been incorporated into its rocket force, boosting its ability to counter opponents on land and at sea, a defense ministry spokesman said Thursday.
The missile is capable of lofting both conventional and nuclear warheads, the latter to carry out a rapid retaliatory strike, ministry spokesman Wu Qian told reporters at a monthly news briefing.
The missile is believed to have a range of up to 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles), leaving vulnerable the crucial U.S. military installations on the island of Guam, along with other bases in the region.
Despite that, Wu said China remained firm in its defensive military posture, including a policy of never launching a nuclear first strike against an opponent.
China’s missile force is largely designed to degrade Taiwan’s defenses in a move to conquer the self-governing island, while holding off U.S. military support.
Included in the arsenal is the DF-21D, which is built to take out an aircraft carrier, and a new air-to-air missile with a range of some 400 kilometers (249 miles) that could attack assets such as early warning aircraft and refueling tankers crucial to U.S. Air Force operations. (Source: Defense News)
25 Apr 18. Brazilian Army eyes towed howitzers. The Brazilian Army is exploring a potential acquisition of 105mm M119 Light Gun and 155 mm M198 towed howitzers, hoping to procure surplus items from the US Army. The service is prospecting the market and has run early studies to inform an eventual purchase as part of its Army Strategic Program “Achieving Full Operational Capacity”, it told Jane’s. Existing Brazilian Army towed artillery assets include 105 mm L118 Light Gun (the original British version of the M119 gun being sought from the US), Mod 56 PH (pack howitzer), and M101/M101A1, as well as 155mm M114/M114A2 howitzers and 120 mm M2R rifled mortars. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. Army Rapid Capabilities Office takes on long-range fires projects alongside 3 other priorities. The U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office is delving into a few long-range fires projects, which ventures from its original priorities set when the office was stood up roughly a year and a half ago.
The RCO was established in August 2016 to address some of the Army’s most pressing capability gaps by rapidly prototyping and fielding systems to units within one to five years. The new office has been laser-focused on three priorities: cyber, electronic warfare, and position, navigation and timing.
But with the service’s No. 1 modernization priority being Long-Range Precision Fires, or LRPF, it’s no surprise the RCO was tasked to work on meeting some immediate capability gaps in the area in addition to its other three efforts.
The RCO is working on two separate projects that are related to long-range fires, Doug Wiltsie, the Army’s outgoing RCO director, told Defense News in an April 5 interview. Wiltsie is soon set to retire from the Army.
The office has had several conversations with the one-star general newly in charge of the Army’s LRPF modernization efforts to ensure what the RCO is synced with the Army’s vision. Brig. Gen. Stephen Maranian, who is in charge of the LRPF cross-functional team that falls under the newly formed four-star Futures Command, told Defense News in March that it was tackling precision fires modernization in three separate ways.
The first would extend the range of cannon artillery; the second addresses deep-strike capabilities through an ongoing development competition called the Precision Strike Missile Program; and the third assesses complex technologies such as hypersonics and ramjet to achieve precision strike at strategic ranges.
The focus of two projects within the RCO falls in the first bucket: extending the range of current systems, according to Wiltsie. But for the second effort, the capability is focused specifically on the Korean Peninsula and Europe.
“We are supporting some of those efforts that [Maranian] is doing, not in the exact same configuration, but in a configuration that is both useful to Korea and Europe, but will also buy down his risk and give him a lot more information about long-range fires,” Wiltsie said.
Adding something new to the RCO’s plate hasn’t stopped it from plugging ahead on its top three priorities in a phased approach.
The RCO has extensively tested electronic warfare prototypes in Europe as well as at the Network Integration Evaluation at Fort, Bliss, Texas, last year, which included evaluating sensors on both dismounted and mounted platforms as well as a command-and-control system.
In February, the office fielded an EW capability to three EW platoons: one in the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division; one in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment; and one in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which they will use in their operations and exercises.
The team also “flawlessly” executed a second phase effort that added an aerial asset and more dedicated ground assets along with other improvements to the EW systems.
“That’s on track,” Wiltsie said, and “by the end of this calendar year, we will see that in an operational assessment.”
It is possible the newer kit could find its way into the Army’s final NIE at Fort Bliss in November, but whether that happens is up in the air, according to Wiltsie.
The RCO is also considering a third phase for the EW program and plans to release a call for artificial intelligence capabilities.
“What we are looking for is to see whether we can develop an algorithm that will aid the electronic warfare officers in identifying signals quickly so that it reduces the workload and we can get the confidence level up high enough [that] potentially allows them to reorganize, and that’s a critical function,” Wiltsie said.
The hope is to be finished with an AI challenge by the end of July that will allow the RCO to integrate it into an operational assessment somewhere like White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, according to Wiltsie. He added extensive testing can also be done in a laboratory environment.
Position, navigation and timing
The RCO is also making rapid progress in bringing PNT capability online in order to operate in GPS-denied environment. “We are doing that by using things that were already in the research and development arm of the Army,” Wiltsie said.
The office has taken a solution that provides independent timing, if the GPS signal cuts off, as well as adding antennas that are “significantly more robust,” which allows them to hold a signal much longer, he said. The system is being integrated into four different combat vehicles starting with the Stryker.
The plan is to test the system on a Stryker in June, having already tested it on a surrogate vehicle in March, Wiltsie said.
The Army will make a production decision for the first combat vehicle equipped with the PNT capability in the late summer or early fall, according to Wiltsie. The other three will be complete in the fall with a decision on production soon following. While the focus of development has been on Europe, the RCO has been looking at how to apply both EW and PNT to the Korean Peninsula, although there are different challenges to building a system when it comes to enabling ground maneuver in a contested environment, Wiltsie said.
“It’s a larger problem, and our team’s been leaning forward to make sure that we understand the problem,” he added.
The RCO has incremental designs it could deliver to the theater, from capabilities that could be fielded in six months, a year or 18 months, which have been sent to Army leadership, Wiltsie said.
On the cyber front, the RCO has turned over defensive cyber kits it developed to a program manager within the Army’s cyber community, who is working on what a next-generation kit will look like.
So the RCO has shifted its focus on what is commercially available to harden systems against cyberattacks and plans to conduct a couple of demonstrations to help understand the capabilities out there.
The office has backed away from counter-unmanned aircraft systems efforts it was previously looking into because the Army chief and the RCO board decided it should focus on higher priorities, Wiltsie said.
Other parts of the Army are actively getting after C-UAS capability, and there are many solutions being tested and that have already been fielded in combat environments. (Source: Defense News)
25 Apr 18. Poland Struggles With HIMARS Buy. The $250m package for the rocket launcher along with guided warheads and other tactical missiles was seen as a way for Poland and NATO to push back against the Russian military buildup in neighboring Kaliningrad, which gives Moscow the ability to track and knock down Polish aircraft over Polish airspace. The Polish government is working to renegotiate an arms deal approved by the State Department last year for the U.S.-made HIMARS long-range rocket artillery system after experiencing some sticker shock when seeing the final price tag.
The $250 m package for the rocket launcher along with guided warheads and other tactical missiles was seen as a way for Poland and NATO to push back against the Russian military buildup in neighboring Kaliningrad, which gives Moscow the ability to track and knock down Polish aircraft over Polish airspace. The HIMARS, Polish officials told me, would give them the ability to hit targets at a longer range if their aircraft were unable to fly.
But almost six months on, the deal remains a work in progress even as the Trump administration has kicked off a new initiative to eliminate red tape, speed up timelines, and cut costs for sales of U.S. military equipment to allies overseas.
Maj. Gen. Cezary Wiśniewski — a former F-16 pilot now serving as Poland’s Defense Attache to the United States — told me during a recent conversation at the Polish consulate here, his government very much wants to move forward with the HIMARS deal, but can’t at the current price. The Polish government and HIMARS-maker Lockheed Martin continue to hash out possibilities for making the deal happen, but neither side would, for the moment, give much insight on how to bring costs down.
Wiśniewski said that the mobile rocket artillery system remains a priority due to the continued Russian buildup in Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea that allows Russian radars and S-400 missile systems to reach deep inside Polish territory, essentially taking away any home field advantage Polish pilots might have in the event of a conflict.
Crucially, the deal also supports a Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) between Lockheed and PGZ, Poland’s state-run defense group, which is the prime contractor in Poland.
A spokesperson for Lockheed told me that the company “is fully committed” to working the deal, and “has remained engaged and flexible with PGZ, ready to finalize a [missile defense] offering that will provide commonality and interoperability with U.S. forces and NATO partners.”
One thing that Warsaw wants out of the deal are offsets, which would allow PGZ to build components in Poland.
Just last month, as part of inking the largest arms deal in Polish history — a $4.75bn contract for Patriot air defense systems and other associated equipment — Lockheed, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman agreed to offsets worth about $280m.
Negotiations over Phase II of that Patriot program began on April 16, and include talks about buying a 360 degree radar, and additional offsets.
“We would like to procure the same 360 degree radar that is under development by the U.S. Army,” Wiśniewski said. “It has not been selected by the Army, yet so we are waiting. We would like to use the same system so the integration and sustainment costs would be lower.”
But the Polish government is also looking to shift more work to its own defense industry. “We expect the Phase II would provide us more technology transfer than Phase I,” Wiśniewski said, “we’re looking for more technology transfer for our industry.”
One key element of the current negotiations is Raytheon’s low-cost SkyCeptor interceptor missile, which would be used in a nascent short-range interceptor program called Narew, which Warsaw wants to build locally, according to Wiśniewski.
The general described a gap in the budding Polish air defense ecosystem between shoulder-fired MANPADS and the Patriot, a gap that will be filled by Narew, which his government considers crucial in bulking up its borders with Kaliningrad and providing the NATO alliance with more ground punch.
“It helps us to deter,” he said.
Analysis haven’t been surprised by the Polish interest in more air defenses, and its willingness to spend a lot of money to acquire the. “I think this is a natural case of Poland looking to balance Russian military modernization and leverage their sizable defense budget to adjust for a new generation of capabilities deployed in Kaliningrad,” said Michael Kofman, an expert on the Russian military at CNA. “Of course there is also the political aspect to defense procurement, seeking to leverage defense spending as another instrument to further build ties with the United States,” he told me.
The original HIMARS announcement in November was part of a wave of big buys — including September’s $1.25bn agreement to sell the HIMARS and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems to Romania, who also agreed on a deal for seven Patriot Configuration 3 units in November — that signaled to Moscow that the alliance was meeting Russian buildups in Kaliningrad and Crimea.
Any HIMARS deal with Poland would be significant for NATO, as other than Romania, the only foreign buyers have been Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, while Qatar has received authorization to buy the system.
The government in Bucharest announced during in the summer of 2017 that it planned to buy HIMARS, along with 36 F-16 fighter jets by 2022, part of a long-term plan to lay out $11.6bn on military procurements between 2017 through 202. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
25 Apr 18. Russia says expects to sign deal with India on S-400 missiles sale – Ifax. Russia said on Wednesday that it expected to sign a deal with India this year on the sale of S-400 surface-to-air missiles, the Interfax news agency reported.
It cited Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation as saying that all the technical aspects of the contract had been agreed and a price just needed to be decided.
“I think that in the current year we will sign the corresponding contract document,” Interfax quoted Dmitry Shugaev, the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, as saying. (Source: Reuters)
23 Apr 18. USMC adds Stinger missiles, lasers to vehicles to make up for lagging air defense. Right now, Marine Corps vehicles are exposed, and threatened by drones and other airborne dangers that could target the entire ground fleet, which lacks built-in defenses. But testing, fielding and money is charging at the problem at all levels, two Marine generals told Congress on April 18 during a House Armed Services Committee hearing. That work will add lasers and missiles to the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and is putting a counter-drone system on a two-person all-terrain vehicle.
Committee Chairman Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, asked what the Marines Corps is doing about its air defense vulnerability: “We are aware that the Marine ground units are almost wholly without an effective organic air defense system.”
They’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Air defense work hasn’t been a priority for the Marines since the end of the Cold War.
Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, head of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, rattled off a list of efforts that Marines are pursuing.
He described an approach that includes counter-drone technology, counter-electronic warfare, missiles and lasers.
And it’s at the lowest level of vehicles.
One such device, the Lightweight Marine Air Defense System has been fielded on 14 Marine RZRs, the all-terrain vehicle used by reconnaissance Marines to access remote locations.
That work will continue, said Lt. Gen. Joe Shrader, head of Marine Corps Systems Command.
The Corps is integrating Stinger missiles for both rotary and fixed-wing air defense on its Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, the eventual Humvee and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles that have been in use in recent decades.
Marines are using a disposable, lightweight drone called “Coyote” that have shown capabilities of launching in swarms, according to Raytheon, which manufactures the drone.
For electronic warfare they’ve got the Modi, a man-packable EW countermeasure device that can disrupt enemy communications, especially useful for jamming radio-controlled IEDs.
Shrader added that the Marines are also working with the Army as they field a vehicle-mounted, 2-kW laser to disable drones on the JLTV. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Marine Times)
23 Apr 18. Indian Army reduces ammunition purchases as cost-saving measure. Faced with a severe financial crunch the Indian Army (IA) has shortlisted assorted ammunition and spares that will be affected by cost-cutting measures, despite existing stocks falling short of the approved levels required for 10 days of ‘intense warfighting’. Official sources said at the bi-annual Army Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi that concluded on 22 April that the IA has opted to either not acquire or only procure “limited quantities” of “expensive munition” such as that used by the Konkurs man-portable anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) system and the BM 9A52 Smerch multiple rocket launcher. Influence mines and 125mm armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) munition for T-72M1 and T-90S tanks are also included in this list. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/IHS Jane’s)
24 Apr 18. USS Coronado completes operational testing of COBRA system. The US Navy’s Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) has successfully completed the operational testing of a new mine detection solution known as the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) system.
The operational testing represents the second phase of testing for USS Coronado and followed the completion of developmental testing.
LCS 4 engaged in various port and underway operations with support from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 and Mine Countermeasure Detachment 6 during the latest phase. The test programme included the identification of possible landing zones for amphibious forces, as well as detecting mines and locating obstacles that would help prevent forces from entering mission-critical areas.
Aviation detachment officer in charge lieutenant commander James Gelsinon said: “We worked diligently to prepare for COBRA operational testing.
“The lessons learned during developmental testing, and the close relationship with the crew, were key to our success.”
Navy personnel used an MQ-8B Fire Scout helicopter and an MH-60 Sierra aircraft to process data and plan beach zone operations as part of the trial initiative.
In addition, the operational testing involved the upgrade of the Fire Scout and Mission Package Computing Environment to enable the system to support coastal mine reconnaissance missions.
The keel was originally laid for LCS 4 on 17 December 2009 at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.
The vessel was christened Coronado on 11 January 2012 and subsequently commissioned with the US Navy on 5 April 2014.
LCS vessels are high-speed, agile, shallow draft, focused-mission surface combatants that have been specifically designed to conduct a variety of operations in the littoral environment, as well as in open oceans.
The US Navy’s LCS surface vessels have the ability to counter evolving threats, either independently or within a network of surface combatants. (Source: naval-technology.com)
23 Apr 18. SDI Signs Letter of Intent with King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau. Security Devices International Inc. (“SDI” or the “Company”) announces the signing of a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (“KADDB”), the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The LOI was formalized to establish a partnership between SDI and KADDB to open a production line in Jordan to supply SDI’s less lethal 40mm munitions in the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) region. The Middle East Non-Lethal Weapons Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.15% until 2020, according to the firm Research and Markets.
“We are very excited to develop our partnership with SDI,” said KADDB CEO Support Brig. Gen. Eng. Mohammad Arajneh, “SDI has proven themselves to be leaders in innovating new technologies that offer improved safety, accuracy and effectiveness in the use of less lethal force.”
Paul Jensen, President of SDI added, “KADDB is an ideal partner for SDI to introduce our patented collapsible head technology into one of our targeted areas, the MENA region. Jordan, through the establishment of KADDB, continues to demonstrate real leadership in the region by embracing innovative solutions and advanced technologies to serve National Security. We are honored to assist them in this worthy effort.”
(Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
23 Apr 18. US Army’s Pursuit of Electromagnetic Railguns Heats Up. General Atomics has been awarded a contract to develop electromagnetic railgun technology for the Army as the service pursues cutting-edge weapons to take on advanced adversaries.
The Army’s growing interest in this capability comes after years of research by the Navy, which has yet to field one of the weapons.
Railguns utilize magnetic fields generated by electrical currents to slide a projectile between two rails inside the barrel. The technology enables the projectiles to travel at hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 (3,800 miles per hour) or faster. When the systems are mature, they are expected to have far greater range and lethality than standard artillery or naval guns.
The Defense Department has identified hypervelocity weapons as a top research-and-development priority.
“It’s an important area of … R&D that we’re pursuing very quickly,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said during a recent House Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing.
The service’s No. 1 priority for modernization is long-range precision fires, he noted.
“A subset of that is the hypersonics piece,” he said. “I do believe that it’s technologically possible. And I believe we will be able to test and then acquire and procure long-range precision weapons that go significantly longer in range than any existing artillery system on the Earth today.”
The railgun concept is also promising for air and missile defense because it could dramatically change the cost equation, noted Peter W. Singer, a military technology expert at New America, a Washington, D.C. think tank. Traditional missile interceptors can cost ms of dollars each, whereas railgun projectiles are expected to cost tens of thousands of dollars per shot.
“It’s a little bit of a parallel to what the Israelis ran into using expensive missiles to shoot down cheap drones or using them to shoot down incoming rockets and mortars,” Singer said. “There’s a lot of excitement” about the cost-effectiveness of railguns, he added.
General Atomics’ electromagnetic systems division announced in March that it had been awarded a contract through the Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium to evaluate and mature railgun weapon system capabilities in support of U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Command.
During the three-year performance period, the contractor will team with ARDEC to deliver a series of prototypes, and perform system integration and testing for mission effectiveness and possible integration with Army vehicles, the company said in a press release.
General Atomics has been working on railgun technologies since the 1990s. It delivered a prototype to the Navy in 2012, but the company has significantly advanced the capabilities since then, said Nick Bucci, vice president of missile defense and space systems.
“We have been on a very progressive development campaign on our own nickel as part of our independent research and development, and over the last four to five years we have progressed the technology,” he said in an interview.
That includes the development of a third-generation electromagnetic launcher and a fifth-generation pulse power system prototype. Its newest projectiles are slated for testing later this year, he said.
The company is confident that its IRAD efforts will pay off.
“I don’t think you would get anyone to disagree with the fact that … hypersonic projectiles are the next generation of capabilities for all of the services, and so that’s why we’ve been investing in this,” Bucci said.
The company’s 10MJ multi-mission medium-range railgun weapon system is already out at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. The company is upgrading subsystems and further testing is slated for this summer, he said.
“The idea of the contract is essentially take what we’ve been doing on our IRAD and working with the Army on … getting it on the right vehicles, making it the right size, providing the right kind of capabilities for the different types of missions that you would want a railgun [to perform] as part of the Army’s capability suite,” he said.
The existing prototype is geared toward defeating air and missile threats and providing indirect fires, but the technology could potentially be used for other missions such as direct fires if that’s what the Army wants, he noted.
Bucci declined to disclose the dollar value of the contract.
The company is taking a systems approach to its R&D efforts for the Army, he noted.
“The prototypes will be all of the different components of the system,” he said. “It’s not just about forwarding the capability of say, a launcher or a projectile or the pulse power. It’s … forwarding the technologies in all those areas.
“What we’re doing with the Army here is essentially taking the prototypes and evolving that into a real system capability for the warfighter,” he added.
Officials at ARDEC declined to discuss the railgun project.
Developing an effective railgun presents a number of technical challenges that industry and the Defense Department have been working to overcome.
“Years ago … the pulse power for this system was so large that the Army kind of lost interest because they couldn’t fit it on a typical Army vehicle, certainly not something that could maneuver with the force or be part of the mobile force,” Bucci said.
Major progress has been made since then, he noted. General Atomics subsequently built much more efficient systems that have reduced the footprint by a factor of eight, he said.
The company has been in discussions with Army officials about potentially deploying the railgun on heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks. Power would be supplied by the vehicles equipped with hybrid electric drives, Bucci explained.
However, it’s unclear if that idea will come to fruition, he noted.
“The work we’re going to be doing with the Army at this point is [deciding] what is the right vehicle or vehicles to put the system on,” he said. “There are many who would prefer to have this on a tank or a tank-like vehicle, and that introduces a lot of other things into the picture. So it just depends on who you talk to and what they want the mission of this thing to be.”
Precision-guided projectiles is another critical technology area where a number of capabilities have to come together for the weapons to function effectively. The projectiles need components that enable the required amount of computing, sensing and maneuverability, Bucci noted. They must also be able to withstand the launch loads and the electromagnetic fields inside the launcher. Over the last three years, the company has demonstrated through testing that the technology is viable, he said.
Durability is another critical factor that has bedeviled railgun development.
“You could get a few shots out of it, and in between the wear on the rails and the stresses on the barrels you were pretty much done after handfuls of shots,” Bucci said of older systems. But today’s prototypes could probably fire 1,000-plus rounds before wearing out, he said.
The medium-range prototype that the company has built has a range of more than 60 miles and is expected to fire about 20 rounds per minute. But as technology and materials improve that capability could be increased, he said.
However, efforts to enhance railgun capabilities have implications for size, weight and power, an engineering challenge known as SWAP, he noted.
“Say I want either more velocity or I want more muzzle energy, which then means I need to grow the components of the system like the pulse power and power generation and things like that,” he explained. “The challenge … is how do I get more capability and still keep it in the box from a SWAP perspective for Army vehicles.”
Meanwhile, the Navy’s work on railguns continues despite suggestions by some observers that the service’s interest in the technology has diminished.
At a recent House Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson pushed back on that notion.
The Navy is “fully invested in railgun,” he told lawmakers. “We continue to test it. We’ve demonstrated it at lower firing rates and smaller ranges, shorter ranges. And now we have to do the engineering to sort of crank it up and get it at the designated firing rates” with a range of 80 to 100 miles. The Office of Naval Research said it is in the final stages of its current science and technology effort, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
Much progress has been made, Tom Boucher, ONR program officer for the electromagnetic railgun, noted in a written response to questions submitted by National Defense. The launchers have achieved energy objectives, and the barrels have adequate bore life. The size and weight of the system have also been reduced, and the energy density and packaging of the pulse power modules have been improved to enable the weapon to fit on a destroyer-sized hull, he said.
“We will be ramping up in power and firing rate” this year, Boucher said. “We have not encountered any technical showstoppers.”
The only significant issue remaining is engineering development of a railgun mount to enable installation on a ship, he said.
Follow-on development work and additional land-based testing will better define the timeline for a deployable system, he added.
The Office of Naval Research is closely monitoring the ARDEC railgun project for advances that could contribute to its effort. The teams have done technical exchanges and are sharing lessons learned, Boucher noted. “We are confident we are on the right track to make railgun a reality,” he said.
Meanwhile, the national security community is keeping an eye on China’s railgun efforts. Photos recently surfaced of a Chinese ship that appeared to be outfitted with that type of weapon. Singer said it’s hard to know what to make of it.
“They have a ship that shows what looks like a railgun for a test, but we cannot say anything about whether this is truly operative, whether it’s effective, how the tests went, [or] if they conducted a test,” he said.
“Maybe it’s just … a big trick and they’re putting a mockup out there to make us think that they’ve gone further in their program than they have,” he added.
Singer is co-author of Ghost Fleet, a science-based novel that depicts a high-tech war between the United States and China in the not-too-distant future. In it, U.S. Navy destroyers use railguns to turn the tide against the enemy fleet. The book has been widely read in Pentagon circles and is sometimes referenced at conferences by service officials.
China’s long-range missiles have put it in an advantageous position. But the railgun could be a game-changer for both sides, Singer said.
“In a shootout and a naval fistfight, they can punch farther than we can. That’s the current situation,” he said. “The railgun maybe flips that script” if the United States deploys it first, he noted.
However, “if China gains an operative system like that, not only does it mean that we’re not able to flip the script, it gives them an incredibly useful technology,” he said. “It makes life a lot more difficult for U.S. military planners.”
Despite the enthusiasm for the technology among some in the defense community, it’s too early to tell if the railgun will ever cross the Valley of Death in the Pentagon’s acquisition system and be fielded in large numbers, Singer said.
“It’s mostly been experimentation and testing, and it’s not yet locked in in either the Navy or the Army … in a program of record,” he noted. “That puts a lot of uncertainty on it.” (Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
20 Apr 18. Raytheon finalises SDB II developmental testing. Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) has finalised the developmental testing (DT) campaign for the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II) network-enabled precision-guided glide munition. Developed under a US Air Force (USAF) and US Navy (USN) joint interest programme (with the USAF as the lead service), the SDB II is a 250lb-class unpowered miniaturised precision attack weapon designed to provide tactical aircraft with an ability to strike mobile/relocatable and stationary targets at range (stated as up to 40 n miles [74 km]), in all weather conditions, and with limited collateral damage. RMS is the prime contractor for the SDB II programme.
Weighing 94.3kg (208 lb), 177cm (70 in) in length and 17.8cm (7 in) in diameter, SDB II features a dual-waveform datalink – for in-flight target updates, in-flight re-targeting, weapon in-flight tracking, and weapon abort – flip-out wings to achieve stand-off range, GPS/INS navigation for mid-course guidance, an advanced tri-mode (millimeter wave (MMW), imaging infrared and semi-active laser) seeker for terminal engagement, and a low-collateral, multi-effects warhead. The SDB II design features three attack modes: normal – the primary mode to engage moving targets through weather using MMW radar and IR for terminal guidance; laser illuminated attack – using the laser spot tracker for terminal guidance; and co-ordinated attack mode: to attack fixed or stationary targets at a given set of co-ordinates.
During the DT campaign, some 44 SDB II munitions were dropped and tested from a USAF F-15E Strike Eagle – the weapon’s threshold platform – using all modes of operation and including strikes against manoeuvering targets in adverse weather conditions, demonstrating third-party control through the datalink, and discriminating a correct target from among decoys.
(Source: IHS Jane’s)
Control Solutions LLC is a turnkey design and manufacturing corporation with over 20 years experience solving tough military motion control problems. We focus on improving the safety, survivability, and mission effectiveness for personnel in tactical vehicles. We will be showcasing our CS5100 Lightweight Motorized Turret System as well as new JLTV-ready gun turrets. We have fielded over 60,000 ITDS and BPMTU motorized turret systems for the HMMWV, MRAP, and other tactical vehicle programs. We will present a family of accessories including weapon-mounted actuators, turret power and spotlight kits, and novel soldier power solutions. Control Solutions is on a mission to help solve your toughest motion control challenges.
UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
26 Apr 18. The first full scale model of the European Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft (MALE RPAS) was unveiled today during a ceremony held at the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show, which opened its gates at Schönefeld airport. The reveal ceremony, led by Dirk Hoke, Airbus Defence and Space Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO and Lucio Valerio Cioffi, Leonardo’s Aircraft Division Managing Director, confirms the commitment of the four European States and Industrial partners to jointly develop a sovereign solution for European Defence and Security.
The unveiling of the full scale model and the reaffirmed commitment comes after a nearly two-year definition study launched in September 2016 by the four participating nations Germany, France, Italy and Spain and follows the Declaration of Intent to work together on a European MALE unmanned aerial system signed by the countries in May 2015.
“While still a lot of work lies ahead of us, this full scale model represents a first milestone of what Europe can achieve in a high-technology sector if it bundles its industrial strength and know-how ” said Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “The MALE RPAS will become an integral part in guaranteeing Europe’s sovereignty in the future. This programme is ideally suited to meet urgent capability requirements of Europe’s armed forces. This innovative partnership also eases the countries’ constrained budgetary situation through clever pooling of research and development funds.” He added.
“Today’s unveiling reflects our companies’ total dedication to the European Defence and Security sovereignty. Cooperation and high technology legitimate the leadership of the European Industry and guarantee the strategic autonomy of Europe.” declared Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. “Innovative programmes through efficient partnerships will serve European competitiveness and will offer new alternatives to the off-the-shelf acquisition of non-European products. Dassault Aviation reaffirms its full support to Airbus Defence and Space as programme leader of the MALE RPAS.”
“Unmanned technologies and their applications represent one of the key technological foundations for the future evolution of European Defence Industries” said Lucio Valerio Cioffi, Leonardo’s Aircraft Division Managing Director. “The European MALE RPAS is orientated to foster the development of high technologies and will contribute to sustaining key competencies and jobs within Europe providing Armed Forces with an high performance and sovereign operational system” he added.
25 Apr 18. DARPA cancels LightningStrike eVTOL X-plane programme. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) cancelled its LightningStrike XV-24A electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) X-plane programme.
DARPA Tactical Technology Office (TTO) Director Fred Kennedy said in a 25 April email that the agency recognised, during a recent programme review, that the major objectives of the VTOL X-plane were achieved with the subscale demonstrator. There appears to be strong interest in a civil or commercial transition for the VTOL X-plane or its technology, he said, however, there is no immediate transition partner.
Kennedy said the subscale demonstrator will allow DARPA the flexibility to pursue other priorities. The subscale demonstrator, he said, advanced many technologies such as 3D-printed plastics for flight structures and aerodynamic surfaces as well as embedded distributed electric propulsion.
Kennedy said the subscale demonstrator also improved methods to develop the aerodynamic databases upon which future air vehicle control systems can be modelled and provided lessons for flight control systems. DARPA spokesman Jared Adams said test flights for the full-scale demonstrator did not take place.
Aurora Flight Sciences was the contractor for the LightningStrike programme with subcontractors Honeywell and Rolls-Royce North America. The company said in a 24 April statement that it reached an agreement with DARPA to transition its X-plane programme technology to commercial applications, including expanding its research into commercial eVTOL systems.
Aurora said its XV-24A subscale vehicle demonstrator delivered other milestones, including distributed electric propulsion ducted fans, an innovative synchronous electric-drive system, tilt-wing- and tilt-canard-based propulsion for VTOL, and high efficiency in hover and high-speed forward flight. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Apr 18. VTOL Variant of PD-1 from Ukraine. Ukrainian company Ukrspecsystems has unveiled a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) variant of its PD-1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at Defexpo 2018.
The company’s general manager, Jacob Cereteli, told Jane’s that the conventional fixed-wing UAV has now been fitted with four electrically powered rotors, two on each wing, which enables for VTOL operations.
The system has an endurance of more than 10 hours and can carry an improved payload of 10kg, an improvement from the 8kg in an earlier version. The UAV has a service ceiling of 3,000m, with operational range of more than 500km when fitted with an on-board 150W generator.
Its surveillance capability is stated as 100km, and can be fitted with a range of payloads, including high-definition video cameras, and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensors. Output from these sensors can be streamed in real time to the operator. The UAV can also be equipped to dispense two self-inflatable life-saving buoys. The PD-1 utilises the AES-256 encrypted digital datalink, and is equipped with an inertial navigation unit. It can take off and land conventionally on runways that are at least 100m, or launched using a catapult and recovered with an in-built parachute. The UAV has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 40kg, is powered by a four-stroke engine, and can attain a cruising speed of 25m/s. The PD-1 can broadcast multiple portable video terminals within a range of 50km, and these feeds can also be integrated into artillery combat systems to assist with target identification and fire corrections. The UAV features a composite airframe with no metal parts, which makes it lighter and less prone to detection. In fully autonomous mode, the system has an endurance of 10 hours, and an operational range of 400km. (Source: UAS VISION/Jane’s 360)
24 Apr 18. Belarus Berkut-2 UAV Upgraded. Belarus’ JSC Agat – Control Systems has upgraded the Berkut-2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) adopted by Belarusian Armed Forces and the State Board Committee of the country, according to the press department of the State Military Industrial Committee (Goskomvoenprom) of the Republic of Belarus.
“In March 2015, JSC Agat – Control Systems, the managing company of the Geoinformational Control Systems holding, has decided to upgrade the Berkut-2 tactical UAVs delivered to the troops, considering the experience of the vehicle’s use,” the press department of Goskomvoenprom said in a statement.
The modernization was aimed at the increase of the UAV’s reliability and effectiveness. The structure of the vehicle’s catapult launcher has been reinforced, while the servos of the Berkut-2 have been replaced by magnets. The software of the unmanned aerial system’s (UAS’s) ground control station has also been improved.
“The developer provides technical support of the software in real-time mode,” the press department added. Foreign-originated automatic control system and components of payloads have been replaced by Belarusian-made analogues.
The crews of the Berkut-2 UAS have been retrained, Goskomvoenprom emphasized. According to the official catalogue of JSC Agat – Control Systems, the export-oriented Berkut-2E (E stands for Export-oriented, Eksportny) UAS comprises two UAVs, various payloads (a camera, a thermal imager, and a TV camera), a ground control station, a transceiver, a catapult launcher, and two containers. The Berkut-2E UAV has a flight range of 35km, a service ceiling of 3,000m, a cruise speed of 80-100km/h, an endurance of up to 120 minutes, a weight of up to 10kg, and a service life of no less than five years. The system’s crew totals two. (Source: UAS VISION/Army Recognition)
24 Apr 18. Defence Mission Systems Champions team up for European MALE drone programme. Four European Champions in the area of Defence Mission Systems intend to combine their unique and complementary capabilities to provide the MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance) drone programme of France, Germany, Italy and Spain – designated European MALE RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) – with a future-proof ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) function.
The companies Elettronica, Hensoldt, Indra and Thales signed a memorandum of agreement, in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, confirming their common goal to offer a coherent ISTAR functional chain for the MALE RPAS comprising all elements from sensors and computing through data processing and communications. The team is open to cooperation with other companies.
The four companies will bring their longstanding experience and technology leadership in Defence electronics and mission systems into the joint approach, thereby substantially reducing the inherent risk of such challenging programme. This will safeguard the target-oriented implementation in time and cost while guaranteeing the growth potential required to address future tasks.
“The future operating environment of Air Forces will bring a variety of flying platforms into one force-multiplying network”, said Hensoldt-CEO Thomas Müller. “The close cooperation of the various platforms’ mission systems is paramount to leverage the advantage of such highly complex network. Therefore, the architecture of the new RPAS mission system must be in the hands of the subject-matter experts from the start, tailoring its development irrespective of single platform aspects.”
“Thales, Hensoldt, Elettronica and Indra, have big ambitions based on a shared vision of the digital transformation of their industries and customers. Thales will be using its expertise in Defence Mission Systems mastering four key digital technologies of Connectivity, Big Data, AI, and Cybersecurity. We offer our clients decisive technologies to take the best decision in real time.” said Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO at Thales.
“We are building industrial cooperation in Europe and preparing for a future in which Defence investments will be mainly performed at European level. This alliance will pave the way for future large programmes currently being defined in Europe” said Ignacio Mataix, Executive Director at Indra.
“Our long term experience in collaboration programmes and our mindset will be beneficial in terms of risk reduction and full capability achievement. The teaming with our historical European partners will lead to a high level of success” said Enzo Benigni, Chairman and CEO of Elettronica.
The European MALE RPAS programme is managed by the European procurement agency OCCAR. A Definition Study contract was signed on 26 August 2016 with the European aircraft manufacturers Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault and Leonardo. The Development Phase is expected to be launched in 2019.
23 Apr 18. Lockheed Martin capable of fielding MQ-25 prototype in one year. Key Points:
- Lockheed Martin decided against building a MQ-25 prototype
- It wanted to focus on the navy’s new requirements instead of older requirements
Lockheed Martin could develop its MQ-25 Stingray prototype for the US Navy (USN) in 12 months, but the company does not expect the sea service to want a prototype developed that quickly, according to a company executive.
Lockheed Martin MQ-25 programme manager John Vinson told Jane’s on 18 April that the company has performed several programmes where it has gone from concept design to first aircraft flight in the order of a year. He said the USN is more focused on when it can get to initial operational capability (IOC) with an operational system and field the capability to the fleet. Vinson added that Lockheed Martin in the past, on aircraft with a level of complexity comparable to MQ-25, moved from a similar level of performance to fielding a capability operationally in roughly six years.
MQ-25 is the USN’s effort to develop an unmanned carrier aviation air system (UCAAS). It will deliver a robust organic refuelling capability to make better use of USN combat strike fighters and extend the range of aircraft carriers, according to the service. MQ-25 will be the first air system procured by the navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation Program Office (PMA-268).
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Atomics Aeronautical System Inc (GA-ASI) are competing for the award. Boeing is also a part of GA-ASI’s team. The navy appears on track to identify a contractor by the end of the third quarter in 2018, a Boeing official said recently. Navy spokesperson Jamie Cosgrove said on 23 April that the service wants IOC for MQ-25 by the mid-2020s. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Apr 18. Airbus Helicopters and Schiebel have tested Manned Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) capabilities between an H145 platform and a CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS), thus becoming the first European helicopter manufacturers to demonstrate this technology with the highest level of interoperability (LOI°5). The companies carried out test flights with the support of the Austrian Armaments and Defence Technology Agency. The two aircraft jointly flew different scenarios including the detection of objects hidden in places not accessible by traditional helicopters. The S-100 was controlled and piloted by an operator sitting in the helicopter. During the flights, the control was also temporarily handed over to a ground-based control station by the pilot in order to simulate the return of the manned helicopter for refueling. The trials carried out by Airbus Helicopters and Schiebel went up to MUM-T LOI 5. This allows the manned platform to exercise full control of the UAS including its take-off and landing. LOI 1, the lowest level, is the indirect receipt and /or transmission of sensor data obtained by the UAS to the manned aircraft.
“Manned-Unmanned Teaming multiplies the capabilities of both systems”, said Mark R. Henning, Program Manager at Airbus Helicopters. “Smaller UAS with vertical take-off and landing capabilities can, for example, fly around obstacles as trees or buildings closer than a helicopter could. They are able to explore unknown territory and deliver information to the helicopter crew which is operating from a safe position and which can then step in with the helicopter’s superior effects, having received a clear picture from the UAS. Our airborne MUM-T management system will become a highly attractive feature for our entire product range including the NH90, NFH, and the Tiger together with the H145 as it adds an extremely valuable operational capability. The MUM-T capability can be implemented in any kind of helicopter and can interact with all types of unmanned systems, in particular Airbus Helicopters’ new VSR 700 UAS.
In the framework of the test, the challenges of data transfer interference and electromagnetic compatibility of the UAS with the helicopter as well as the integration of a complete UAS mission planning and control system into the helicopter’s architecture were successfully managed. The S-100 mission planning and control system was provided by Schiebel. The next step will be to optimize the human machine interface based on a thorough analysis of the crew workload using the results of the flight tests.
The H145 is a tried-and-tested, twin-engine H145 civil helicopter that was first delivered in 2014. It is a rugged workhorse and best in its class for rough EMS and police missions. The H145M is the helicopter’s military version.
24 Apr 18. State Policy Posts Fact Sheet on New U.S. Drone Export Policy.
The U.S. Department of State has posted on its website a Fact Sheet on the new U.S. policy on the export of unmanned aerial systems. This policy updates and replaces the previous policy announced February 17, 2015. This policy will apply to all U.S.-origin UAS transfers, whether under the authority of the United States Munitions List (USML) or the Commerce Control List (CCL). All potential military UAS transfers will be subject to Department of State-led assessment under the Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) Policy and Department of Defense (DOD)-led assessment regarding technology security, as applicable. All UAS transfers, to include military UAS transfers, will be reviewed consistent with U.S. international nonproliferation commitments, including under the Missile Technology Control Regime.
- Armed UAS: Transfers of armed UAS may be made via Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) or Foreign Military Sales (FMS), unless other guidance or restrictions relevant to that particular case requires the transfer to take place using FMS. Recipients must agree as a condition of transfer not to arm armed UAS with a foreign system or unauthorized U.S. system without prior U.S. government authorization.
- Unarmed UAS: Transfers of unarmed UAS may be made via Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) or Foreign Military Sales (FMS), unless other guidance or restrictions relevant to that particular case requires the transfer to take place using FMS. Recipients must agree as a condition of transfer not to arm, whether with U.S. or foreign equipment, a U.S.-origin UAS without United States Government permission.
- Civil UAS: All Civil UAS will continue to be subject to the licensing requirements and policies of the Export Administration Regulations and will take into account the objectives outlined in this policy and the six non-proliferation factors in section 3 of the MTCR Guidelines.
Provisions to Guard Against Proliferation and Ensure Proper Use:
- End-Use Assurances for Military UAS: Each recipient state shall agree to use U.S.-origin military UAS in accordance with applicable international law, applicable provisions of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and its implementing regulation, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), other relevant provisions of U.S. law, and for FMS cases, the transfer agreement. Specifically, each recipient state must agree not to transfer title to or possession of any defense article or related training or other defense service associated with a U.S.-origin military UAS so furnished to it to anyone not an officer, employee, or agent of that country.
Recipient nations must agree not to use or permit the use of a U.S.-origin military UAS for purposes other than those for which the UAS was furnished unless the consent of the United States Government has first been obtained. Prior to a potential transfer, the recipient country shall have agreed that it will maintain the security of the military UAS and its related components and will provide substantially the same degree of security protection afforded to such article or service by the United States Government. All military UAS systems will also be transferred only with appropriate technology security measures.
- End-Use Monitoring and Additional Security Conditions: all military UAS transfers may be subject to enhanced end-use monitoring and may also be subject to additional security conditions. Transfers of U.S.-origin armed and MTCR Category I UAS shall require periodic consultations with the United States Government on their use of U.S.-origin UAS systems. (Source: glstrade.com)
20 Apr 18. Dynetics Moves to Phase 3 of DARPA Gremlins Program. Dynetics, Inc. has been selected as the top performer for Phase 3 of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Gremlins program. Managed out of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO), the objective of Gremlins is to accelerate the ability to perform aerial launch and recovery of volley quantities of low-cost, reusable unmanned aerial systems (UASs).
This capability, once demonstrated and matured, enables a significant expansion of distributed architectures for airborne operations.
The Phase 3 contract is a 21-month, $38.6m award. The entire program will last 43 months and totaling $64m.
“Dynetics is very pleased for our Gremlins offering to be selected for the Phase 3 demonstration phase. This contract award is a natural progression of our expansion into providing the Government innovative solutions to solve challenging problems, often under highly accelerated schedules. While we offer prime contractor-like capabilities in several areas, the nature of our company structure and philosophy is well-suited for programs such as Gremlins where innovation, agility and affordability are necessary for success,” said Mark Miller, Dynetics vice president for Missile and Aviation Systems.
The Dynetics solution involves deploying a towed, stabilized capture device below and away from the C-130. The air vehicle docks with the device much like an airborne refueling operation. Once docked and powered off, the air vehicle is raised to the C-130, where it is mechanically secured and stowed. The key technologies can be straightforwardly adapted to allow under-wing recovery and bay recovery by other cargo aircraft.
The Gremlins system also benefits in both contested environments and low-intensity, routine operations. The ability for a single, manned aircraft to stand off from danger yet manage multiple air vehicles equipped with sensors and other payloads lends itself well to enhanced support of tactical strike, reconnaissance/surveillance and close air support missions.
“The unmanned air vehicles utilized in these future operations will carry a variety of different sensors and other payloads, working together to manage and conduct complex, highly-adaptive operations in contested environments,” said Tim Keeter, Dynetics deputy program manager and chief engineer. “When they complete their mission, they return to airborne manned platforms to be recovered to a forward operating base where they can be quickly refurbished and put back into the fight. The potential to overwhelm an adversary continuously with multiple volleys is tremendous.”
A Best-In-Class Team
For the Gremlins program, Dynetics assembled a team of industry partners to bring best-in-class past performance, key technologies, and capabilities needed to successfully develop and demonstrate the Gremlins system. Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems is leading the fabrication, assembly, integration, and test of each Gremlins air vehicle. The Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) – Salt Lake City group provides the precision navigation system essential to rendezvous and dock the air vehicle with the C-130. Key subsystems are provided by a number of companies. Williams International will provide the turbofan engine. Moog will deliver the control actuation systems. Airborne Systems will produce the parachute recovery system. Systima will prepare the C-130 pylon and launch controller hardware. Applied Systems Engineering, Inc. will deliver the flight computer. SNC/Kutta will produce the multi-vehicle control services. International Air Response will provide C-130 aircraft and flight test support.
Selecting the Team
Dynetics and three other companies were awarded a Phase 1 contract in 2016 to conduct preliminary studies to develop an operational system concept with an air recovery capability and to formulate a program plan to demonstrate the Gremlins system. After a down select to two companies in 2017, Dynetics completed the system design under a Phase 2 contract. For the Phase 3 demonstration, the potential to transition to operational use will be demonstrated through a series of ground and flight tests starting in 2018 and culminating in the airborne launch and safe recovery of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles onto a C-130 aircraft in late 2019.
The Phase 3 award follows several recent prime contractor wins for Dynetics in the military hardware area, including the rapid development and fielding the precision guided munition, GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition for the U.S. Special Operations Command. It was recently named a recipient of the Aviation Week Laureate Awards for outstanding program execution. The company is also competing for a DARPA contract award for the Mobile Force Protection program. (Source: UAS VISION)
20 Apr 18. VR-Technologies design bureau, part of Russian Helicopters (part of Rostec State Corporation) started bench tests of the main systems and assemblies of VRT300 unmanned helicopter. Aircraft flight tests are scheduled to begin by the end of 2018.
To date, functional and technical configuration of civil unmanned helicopter has been agreed with a range of Russian companies and authorities. This configuration has become a basis for the development of flight prototype with MTOW of 300 kg. This prototype will be used as a flying test-bed for testing of all UAV’s systems and equipment, as well as for testing of its interaction with payload elements and ground-based monitor and control equipment.
“To date, we have defined configuration and technical requirements for this helicopter, and carried out an extensive work to select suppliers of the main systems and assemblies of VRT300. The start of bench tests serves as a reference point, and if everything goes as planned, by the end of this year we will start flight tests. Technical solutions of VRT300 will ensure the level of failure-free operation, reliability and safety that is required for the operation in the international market of civil UAVs”, – Alexander Okhonko, VR-Technologies director general, said.
VRT300 system is developed in two versions: Arctic Supervision – equipped with a side-view radar for ice reconnaissance and operation in Arctic conditions, and Opticvision – with increased flight range to perform monitoring and remote sensing missions.
The priority missions of VRT300 Arctic Supervision is to expand transport infrastructure of the Northern Sea Route, as well as to aid in the Arctic Regions’ exploration. For that purpose, the UAV has been equipped with a side-view high-resolution on-board radar, which allows for a prompt assessment of ice sheet dynamics. A heavy-oil engine and shipborne capabilities make the Arctic version of VRT300 irreplaceable for icebreakers and drilling platforms.
Due to a big payload of 70 kilograms the aircraft can transport various cargoes, such as food and medical supplies, can be engaged in search-and-rescue operations and used to determine the size of ice fields suitable for scientific Polar stations.
VRT300 in Opticvision configuration is designed to improve the diagnostic system, prevent and eliminate emergency situations in the area of energy sources development and transporting. Its other missions include: diagnostics of overhead power lines, mapping, cargo transportation, exploration works, as well as monitoring of environmental situation, roads and road-side infrastructure.
20 Apr 18. Kratos Advances to Gremlins Phase III. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. has announced that its subsidiary, Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems, Inc. as part of the Dynetics led team, has been selected for award on Phase III of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Gremlins program.
On the Gremlins program, Kratos is a critical team member responsible for providing the Gremlin Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) through both development and ultimate production. Under the Phase III contract, Kratos will lead fabrication, structural and subsystem testing, assembly, integration, and test of prototype Gremlin UAVs. Additionally, Kratos will support air vehicle flight tests, recovery tests and system demonstration, as well as planning for potential future capabilities and ultimately the fielding of an operational system.
Steve Fendley, President of the Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said,
“We are proud to support Dynetics on the Gremlins program which has been a key element of our strategic focus to position Kratos as the world leader in low-cost, high performance jet powered Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). To satisfy the complex and multi-faceted elements and challenges on the Gremlins program, with Dynetics, an industry leader in complex system engineering and integration, as the prime and Kratos providing the low cost high performance UAS, we have enjoyed a strong, cooperative, and successful partnership which has enabled our progression to the important Phase III award. The ultimate goal is to transition this technology to an operational program, which will substantially increase the utility of tactical UAVs as compared to today’s operations and will greatly enhance our warfighter’s capability through technology, mass (in terms of quantity), and range. We see this Phase III win and the upcoming demonstration as a critical step and prerequisite in progressing to that transition.”
Mark Miller, Vice President for Dynetics Missile and Aviation Systems, said, “Kratos is a critical part of our Gremlins team. Our respective companies’ corporate cultures align well, and our capabilities complement one another. The expertise and experience Kratos brings in rapid development of low-cost, re-usable, composite airframes combined with an innovative, agile, design team is exactly what this fast-paced program requires.”
Eric DeMarco, President and CEO of Kratos, said, “Our team is proud to have been successful in this very competitive solicitation with our Prime Partner Dynetics. Kratos is the world leader in high performance jet powered unmanned aerial drone systems, and we are applying this leadership to the Gremlins program.” (Source: UAS VISION)
20 Apr 18. uAvionix Successfully Tests UAS Remote Identification for NASA UTM Trials. uAvionix Corporation announced that it has successfully completed testing and demonstration of the DroneAware™ uAvionix UAS Remote Identification solution for NASA’s Technical Capability Level 3 (TCL3) UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system. The tests were conducted in coordination with North Dakota’s Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NP UAS TS), Simulyze, and Rockwell Collins. A uAvionix DroneAware transmitter was flown on a Pulse Aerospace Vapor 55 operated by Rockwell Collins. Transmissions were received and decoded by two separate types of uAvionix ground-based receivers and transmitted to the Simulyze UAS Service Supplier (USS) platform, where it was communicated to the NASA UTM backbone. The prototype DroneAware system weighing 10 grams consisted of a combined transmitter unit and FYXNAV GPS module.
DroneAware is an entirely new remote identification platform being developed by uAvionix. DroneAware is a subscription-free, RF broadcast, “ADS-B like” solution modified for the special needs of security, law enforcement, and media personnel who wish to cooperatively identify drone operations. The DroneAware system operates on non-ADS-B frequencies and lets the operator voluntarily provide operations information such as the UAS unique identifier, UAS location via GPS coordinates, UAS launch location, mission type, and operator phone number. Personnel within receiving range of the broadcasts with a receiver will be able to receive the transmission and display the information on a mobile device.
Christian Ramsey, President uAvionix said, “Our vision is to include DroneAware receivers in everything we develop, from ground-based receivers to airborne avionics. We are planning a family of products ranging from retrofit solutions for existing UAS to OEM modules for direct integration. We are especially thankful to the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, Simulyze, Rockwell Collins, and NASA for allowing us to achieve this first testing milestone.” (Source: UAS VISION)
The British Robotics Seed Fund is the first SEIS-qualifying investment fund specialising in UK-based robotics businesses. The focus of the fund is to deliver superior returns to investors by making targeted investments in a mixed basket of the most innovative and disruptive businesses that are exploiting the new generation of robotics technologies in defence and other sector applications.
Automation and robotisation are beginning to drive significant productivity improvements in the global economy heralding a new industrial revolution. The fund allows investors to benefit from this exciting opportunity, whilst also delivering the extremely attractive tax reliefs offered by the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). For many private investors, the amount of specialist knowledge required to assess investments in robotics is not practical and hence investing through a fund structure makes good sense.
The fund appoints expert mentors to work with each investee company to further maximise the chance of success for investors. Further details are available on request.
CYBER, EW, CLOUD COMPUTING AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE
Sponsored by Spectra Cyber Security Solutions
26 Apr 18. Electronic and Cyber Warfare Solutions. At the ILA, ELETTRONICA and its subsidiary ELT (Meckenheim) presented the Escort Jamming solution EDGE and the new DIRCM generation ELT/600 from the product range Cyberabwehr, Electronic Warfare & Intelligence. EDGE is the latest Escort Jamming Pod solution from Elettronica. It is a fully integrated system that can intercept and automatically process radar signals and effectively block multiple radar threats with High Power Radar (ERP) transmitters. The main task of the Escort Jammer is to carry out a comprehensive early warning and countermeasure cycle against enemy threats that attack the attacking troops and the accompanying flight formation and increase your own mission success.
EJ devices use the latest technology (DRFM, digital receiver, solid-state X/TX modules) and phased array antennas with electronic beam guidance. The DIRCM family ELT/160 serves for self-protection of flying platforms against threats, especially with MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems). The quantum cascade laser technology used is the latest technology that improves performance, effectiveness, reliability and efficiency in combating this type of threat. The system uses a small, high-speed rotating tower driven by sophisticated algo-rithms to focus the laser fire precisely on the sensors of the incoming missiles, ensuring effective protection of the platform even with multiple simultaneous threats. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
24 Apr 18. Why Syria may be the most aggressive electronic warfare environment on Earth. Syria today presents the “most aggressive [electronic warfare] environment on the planet from our adversaries,” according to the head of Special Operations Command.
Speaking before an audience at the annual GEOINT symposium April 24 in Tampa, Florida, Gen. Raymond “Tony” Thomas said adversaries are testing the U.S. every day.
This, he said, has come in the form of knocking down communications and disabling AC-130 aircraft.
While he did not specifically name any one perpetrator, it is well known that Russia not only possesses advanced EW capabilities, but has deployed it on battlefields in Syria and Eastern Ukraine.
“They have used Syria as a testing ground for not just aircraft, but also their munitions as well,” Air Force Lt. Gen. VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson, deputy chief of staff for ISR, said of the Russians at a January event in Washington.
“I would highlight they have fired off cruise missiles; they have fired off air-to-air missiles; they have used long-range aviation; they have conducted really what I could characterize as their first away-game operations in a complete and continuous deployment arena.”
NBC News recently reported that Russia has begun to jam small, tactical U.S. drones in Syria. Moreover, defense officials described the use of electronic warfare aircraft, such as the EA-6B for electronic warfare suppression, in the April 13 strikes against alleged Syrian chemical weapons facilities. This could have been to jam advanced air defenses Russia has deployed to the region.
These factors, along with others including the testing of equipment and concepts in the Ukraine, have influenced the U.S. decision to rebuild electronic warfare capability that atrophied at the conclusion of the Cold War. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
24 Apr 18. Cloud Data to Give Warfighters Edge to ‘Dominate’ in Battlefield, DoD Official Says. The Defense Department’s enterprisewide cloud solution will give warfighters the information they need at speed, providing the critical battlefield advantage in the wars of tomorrow, DoD officials told reporters yesterday.
“It’s about data,” DoD Chief Management Officer John H. Gibson II said at a Pentagon roundtable.
The warfighters’ accessibility to data, timeliness of that information and the security of the data, along with the ability to use that data for machine learning and artificial capabilities, will give the competitive edge in the wars of tomorrow, he said.
That will allow the warfighters to “dominate in the battlefield,” he said.
The first priority of Defense Secretary James N. Mattis is to increase lethality, Gibson pointed out. “We see this effort as doing just that,” he said.
Highlighting Single Cloud Solution
Machine learning and being able to process data at machine speeds will be critical components in the wars of tomorrow, said Robert Daigle, director of cost analysis and program evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. “Arguably, it is a critical component of how the warfighters of today should be fighting, if they had the capabilities,” Daigle said.
The best solution for the department is to have a single cloud solution, he said. Multiple cloud solutions would add to the number of people involved in the process, demand increased security measures, cost more than a single cloud solution, and hinder warfighters through the added time and layers in the bureaucratic process, he explained.
The wars of tomorrow will center on the ability to process massive amounts of data at machine-learning speeds, he said. “Anything that detracts from that is a degradation in the capability that the department is providing to the warfighter,” he added.
Known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, Cloud, the planned contracting action is a full and open competition. It is a two-year contract with two option periods – for five years and then three – for a potential 10-year contract, Daigle explained.
“The whole reason we’re engaging in this is all about enabling tomorrow’s warfighter to operate at speed,” he said. “Whoever can process the information more quickly tomorrow has an advantage on the battlefield.”
The draft DoD JEDI Cloud request for proposals went live following a March 7 industry day. The final request for proposals is expected to be released in May, with an award in fiscal year 2018, DoD officials have said. (Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)
23 Apr 18. Portugal, Australia to join NATO cyber center. Portugal and Australia is set to join NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCD COE) April 24, becoming the 21st and 22nd nations to join the center.
“We are glad to welcome Portugal, another strong NATO Ally joining the Centre,” Merle Maigre, director of the CCD COE, said in a release. The center “offers a unique opportunity for all NATO Allies to practice together new interdisciplinary approaches in cyber defense.”
Maigre added that Australia’s accession to the group “expands the reach and cooperation of like-minded nations in cyber defence beyond the Euro-Atlantic area, making our cyber defense hub truly global.”
Based in Estonia, the CCD COE brings together researchers, analysts and educators to analyze issues of cyber defense. The center functions as a focal point for international cooperation on cyber security issues by hosting an annual Cyber Conference, or CyCon, and by coordinating live-fire cyber defense exercises. The center is the home of the Tallin Manual 2.0, a document that articulates how cyber operations relate to international law. Norway and Japan joined the Center in September 2017 and January 2018, respectively. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
23 Apr 18. The case for one giant, multibn-dollar cloud contract for DoD. Top Pentagon officials are defending the decision to award a potentially multibn-dollar cloud contract to a single vendor, pointing to the current state of the commercial marketplace, existing acquisition laws and battlefield requirements as critical components.
“What [troops] have today to work with … is very limited and that puts them in a sub-optimal situation to execute the next move of their mission,” John Gibson, the Department of Defense’s chief management officer, told reporters at the Pentagon April 23. “We know there is a cost to operating multiple clouds. Not only is there a degradation of services provided — the accessibility of data, the speed of access — there’s also a financial cost to … making the data work in the best possible.”
“The elephant in the room” is the choice to go with a single-award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for the likely massive Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, billed as the future go-to vehicle for military data needs for as long as the next decade.
“There’s no question that machine learning and the ability to process data at machine speeds is going to be a critical component of the way war fighters of tomorrow fight. Arguably it is a critical component of how the war fighters of today should be fighting,” Robert Daigle, director of cost analysis and program evaluation at the Pentagon, said. “In order to get there, by definition you’re not buying a strictly commercial off-the-shelf product.”
That global access is a chief reason for looking toward a single provider, Daigle said. Security is another, and DoD officials don’t want the burden of managing the seams between multiple clouds and multiple data “ponds” that would come with multiple providers. Instead, they’re looking to get the military’s widely scattered and heterogeneous data homogenized into a system that can more easily be accessed far and wide by hundreds of thousands of users.
Then there is the current acquisition system. Giving the example of migrating approximately 133,000 DoD unclassified operating systems, each requiring a roughly three-month task order, it would take more than 400,000 man-months to do that under a multiple-award IDIQ contract, Daigle said.
“Think about that from the point of view of a war fighter, when we have somebody sitting at a [forward operating base] … in today’s environment it takes months and months to get access to a server and storage,” Daigle said.
“We’ve not heard anybody say that a multiple-cloud solution is a better solution for providing that capability to the war fighter, and that’s why we’re saying that based on where technology is today, based on where the offerings of the commercial cloud providers are and based on current acquisition law, the department’s optimal solution is a single award contract.”
Gibson and Daigle downplayed the idea that JEDI is the be-all, end-all cloud contract for the entirety of DoD.
“Folks are trying to present this as the Department of Defense moving to a single award for all cloud computing,” Daigle said. “This contract, even if we max out the annual spend, represents about 16 percent of our hosting costs currently, which represent about 12 or 13 percent of our overall business system IT costs. So really the amount that we’re talking about here is not the end of history; it’s one cloud contract.”
Daigle declined to put a potential dollar figure on the program, and Gibson emphasized that JEDI is just the first step in a long journey toward achieving the vision of universally available access to data on-demand.
“If you look at where we are, there is not some silver bullet where you will design something, flip a switch and then it all just happens. So we have to start this process,” Gibson said. “We don’t know the ultimate end state. We do know a single environment is much better than the federated environment we have. It’s about getting started, getting going and we are very comfortable that this will put us in a much better place.”
(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
23 Apr 18. War Cloud: JEDI To Deploy Backpack Servers To Front Line
In a world where knowledge increasingly matters more than physical power, US troops can’t quickly access vital information in a labyrinth of often incompatible and inaccessible databases. The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure — archly acronymized as JEDI — aims to fix all that. The Defense Department’s 10-year, $10bn cloud computing contract isn’t just a huge information technology initiative. It’s also a weapon system.
As plans stand now, JEDI will include ruggedized, miniature servers — small enough to fit in a Humvee or, in some models, even a soldier’s backpack — to ensure frontline forces can quickly access all the data in the network. Larger versions of these “tactical edge computing devices” will go on ships or fit in shipping containers to form “rapidly deployable data centers” in combat zones, said Tim Van Name of the Defense Digital Service. Van Name called me from Irbil, Iraq, where he was inspecting current battlefield tech.
As a result, JEDI will give frontline warfighters the kind of information once reserved for generals, Brig. Gen. David Krumm of the Joint Staff told me. “We need to make sure we understand information is no longer only reserved for senior leaders to make decisions and then provide orders to the soldier, sailor, marine, airman on the battlefield,” Krumm said. “It’s for those people on the battlefield to have the information to make the right decision.
The problem is the Defense Department’s information technology is historically set up to serve big headquarters and Pentagon agencies, each with its own in-house servers and mainframes. The intelligence community has already moved away from this disjointed model to a unified cloud called ICITE, in which different organizations rely on a single common provider of data storage and computing power. (Gmail is probably the most common cloud application: Your emails are stored on Google’s servers instead of on your own computer or your company’s).
The Department of Defense has tried to adopt cloud computing. But instead of replacing its fragmented infrastructure with a single common cloud that all can share, DoD’s just ported its fragmentation to the cloud.
“In DoD, we have over 500 cloud applications right now, and they don’t all talk to each other,” Krumm said. “What we have to have is a way to integrate all of that. The JEDI cloud is our first initiative to try to do that.”
Knowledge (Shared) Is Power
So in a world where knowledge increasingly matters more than physical power, US troops can’t quickly access vital information in a labyrinth of often incompatible and inaccessible databases. You can get the information eventually, but it generally requires asking a human being with access to the desired database to find it for you, convert it into something you can access, and send it along. That’s a vastly slower process than the frontline user just accessing the data directly.
It also makes it impossible to use cutting edge techniques in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analysis, which require giving algorithms access to large amounts of data. Industry has developed great tools to manage masses of information, Van Name said, but they won’t work on the Defense Department’s existing, fragmented infrastructure.
The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure — archly acronymized as JEDI — aims to fix all that. Instead of the Force in Star Wars, which connects individual warrior-sages to the power of the cosmos, JEDI will connect individual combat troops, officers, intelligence analysts, and others to a wider universe of information.
The bottom line for warfighters? “They’ll be able to make more informed decisions,” Krumm said, especially with the aid of artificial intelligence. “When we look at AI machine learning, what we’re really talking about is the ability to glean information from what is a massive amount of data, coming from all sorts of sources, that gives us the advantage in making decisions really quickly.”
“When you have the information available globally, it creates all sorts of new possibilities for the warfighter to realize it,” he went on. With cloud connectivity providing data to frontline forces, he said, “it might go directly to an F-35, it might go directly to an M1 Abrams tank, it might to go a submarine…..As we go towards some of the new innovative technologies (like) autonomy, unmanned vehicles, the availability and accessibility of this data will drive effectiveness of those machines as well.”
All this sounds ambitious — and when the government tries an ambitious information technology program, it rarely ends well. The JEDI contract has already come under heavy criticism, particularly over its call for a single winner-take-all contract award, a provision which has survived revisions of the Request For Proposal: Most big companies rely on several cloud providers as insurance against any one going down. Congress has ordered the Defense Department to explain its reasoning. The Pentagon, for its part, emphasizes that the initial JEI contract is only two years, only reaching the full 10 years (and an estimated $10bn value) if all options are exercised — giving plenty of opportunities, in theory, to jettison an unsatisfactory contractor.
For all JEDI’s controversial ambitions, however, it’s important to understand what is not trying to do. It’s not trying to reinvent the wheel, in two different ways: It’ll rely on existing military communications systems to carry the data, and it’ll rely on existing commercial software to handle the data.
The military already has a vast network of tactical radios, communications satellites, command posts, and so on. JEDI will use them, not replace them, Van Name emphasized, and even rely on them for much of its security. “It will rely on the significant transport capabilities that the department already has,” he told me. “The applications themselves will still need to be secure, (but) the underlying infrastructure is pretty hardened, and that’s a great thing for the department.”
Meanwhile, the commercial world has invested heavily in the software to manage a cloud and analyze masses of data. Whichever company wins the JEDI contract will take its commercial offerings and “replicate those services in their entirety for use in the classified space,” Van Name said.
JEDI also plans to tap into ongoing commercial software development cycles to keep the cloud up to date. If the military needs an application that exists in the commercial world but not in the military cloud, the JEDI contractor can simply port that existing app from the unclassified world to the secure network, rather than reinvent it from scratch.
“I don’t want to measure requirements in months,” Krumm told me. “As opposed to…going through months of acquisition, we’re hoping days or maybe even hours of being able to go into JEDI, get the services we need, and start.” (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
23 Apr 18. Esri Releases ArcGIS Pro Workstation Customized for the Intelligence Community. Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, today announced that it is releasing the Intelligence Configuration for ArcGIS Pro (ICAP), a workstation for intelligence analysts. ICAP leverages ArcGIS Pro SDK to provide a custom managed configuration and add-ins, offering streamlined user experiences and specialized tools to aid analysts in examining relationships and patterns and determining probabilities relating to the target’s most likely course of action.
The scale, complexity, nature, and pace of modern conflicts require a new approach to delivering intelligence capabilities. For instance, when tracking smugglers who are crossing borders, an intelligence analyst has a mass of point locations — received through observations, sensors, and reports — and can use a spatial query in ICAP to filter for the relevant data and identify the smugglers’ possible routes. The analyst can visualize the relationships between the people, groups, and objects, and determine the threat’s likely course of action.
The capabilities in this new configuration include the following:
- Link charts — Intelligence Configuration for ArcGIS Pro provides the ability to visualize entities and their relationships. This capability allows analysts to easily see, edit, and manipulate link diagrams of people, groups, and events that would otherwise be viewed in a table or on a map. In one single interface, analysts can see the complex relationships between different assets, with minimal data and little or no learning curve. The link chart is created dynamically based on the source data, which can be manipulated via the chart or the map.
- Conditions and alerts — To ease the burden of filtering and querying data to discover its value, ICAP provides a way for analysts to designate conditions based on a set of queries and then be alerted when these conditions are met. For instance, when a mortar activity is within 7 kilometers of a reported location, an alert notifies the analyst, and the activity is logged for further analysis.
- Data management — ArcGIS Pro already has many robust data management tools and workflows. To better support intelligence analysts, ICAP will bring the most commonly used data management tools to the forefront, placing widely used tools in a custom data management ribbon. In addition, ICAP introduces a tool that grabs files commonly used by the intelligence analyst (such as .shp, .kml and .kmz) and adds them to the map with the right symbology, including standard 2525 military symbology.
“Esri is very pleased to be making ArcGIS Pro customized for the needs of the intelligence community,” said Phil Suarez, intelligence support to operations at Esri. “Intelligence analysts have a specific set of needs, and they all contain the component of location. The unique configuration that ICAP brings to the intelligence community enables a more efficient and streamlined workflow for data gathering and analysis than has ever been possible.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
23 Apr 18. BAE Systems and Dell EMC collaborate to offer mission-ready cloud solution for the U.S. Government. BAE Systems and Dell EMC today announced a collaboration to offer the first scalable, hybrid cloud solution of its kind for the U.S. government. The federated secure cloud is flexible enough to power agency-level IT modernization or support smaller, forward-operating units. The solution empowers users to collaborate securely through common business applications while also providing users with common access to mission-essential tools. Its environment includes zero-anonymity security features for security administrators to monitor, track, and control in real time all software, hardware, and user access to their respective clouds.
“Our federated secure cloud is not just a modified commercial cloud environment for government use. It was designed from the start with high-assurance security in mind,” said Al Whitmore, president of BAE Systems’ Intelligence & Security sector. “Our solution arrives mission-ready and pre-engineered with the security credentials required to operate in a secure government environment.”
“When it comes to enterprise IT and cloud, U.S. government agencies want mission-ready turnkey solutions,” said Steve Harris, senior vice president and general manager of Dell EMC’s federal business. “Our federated secure cloud arrives embedded with customizable Dell EMC and VMware technologies to meet an agency’s unique mission needs. This allows us to shorten the typical lead-time required to deliver and stand-up a federal cloud solution.”
The solution satisfies more than 900 security controls and offers the highest assurance enterprise desktop services available in the government, with more than 30 controls from Intelligence Community overlay subpart C (INT-C) for rapid deployment authorization. This architecture enables administrators to automate the process of facilitating patches and updates, minimizing disruptions to users and missions while also reducing localized IT administrative costs. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
23 Apr 18. Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) announced an alliance with Virsec to bring commercial cybersecurity tools to global government and critical infrastructure customers. Combined with Raytheon’s decades of cybersecurity defense expertise, Virsec’s patented Trusted Execution™ technology protects networks by detecting deviations in software applications caused by cyber intrusions.
“Critical infrastructure – from the electrical grid to transportation – is under assault, and hackers are evading conventional security defenses,” said John DeSimone, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. “Commercial tools from companies like Virsec can help bridge the gap for our global government and commercial customers and provide effective protection against the growing cyber threat.”
Trusted Execution protects against attacks on critical systems that bypass conventional network security tools using advanced hacking techniques and memory exploits. Commercially available, this technology protects memory and processes in real-time and instantly detects deviations in software applications. This deterministic process blocks attacks within milliseconds, providing precise forensics at every step.
“It’s time to change the equation for security and deliver better protection for our most critical infrastructure,” said Atiq Raza, CEO of Virsec. “Our philosophy is simple – rather than eternally chasing elusive threats, we need to take the guess-work out of cybersecurity and stop attacks, at the application level, in real-time.”
21 Apr 18. Why DoD is starting a new cyber cell on the Korean Peninsula. The Department of Defense is establishing a new cyber planning cell on the Korean Peninsula to in response to the threat from North Korea.
The small team, known as a cyber operations-integrated planning elements (CO-IPE), will help better coordinate offensive and defensive cyber tools with traditional military operations.
While U.S. Cyber Command is standing up cyber planning cells locally at all the combatant command headquarters, a Cyber Command spokesman said U.S. Forces Korea is the only sub-unified command with a team.
“Given North Korea’s activities, the decision to establish a CO-IPE at the sub-unified level was well-advised,” the spokesman said.
During written congressional testimony March 13, Vice Adm. Michael Gilday, commander of 10th Fleet/Fleet Cyber Command, said his organization is in the process of standing up three planning elements. While Fleet Cyber Command, through what’s known as the Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber construct, supports Pacific Command and Southern Command, Gilday said they are also standing up a planning element for U.S. Forces Korea, a sub-unified command of Pacific Command designed to deter aggression and defend South Korea.
“The establishment of [CO-IPE] at U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Forces Korea is a top priority for our command,” a spokesman from Fleet Cyber Command said. “The challenges associated with the stand-up of this new planning element are no different than any administrative challenges associated with establishment of a new conventional command, unit, or detachment … These elements will ensure we fully integrate cyberspace operations into operational plans, ensuring timing and tempo are set by the commanders for use of cyberspace effects in the field.”
Defense and industry officials have repeatedly noted North Korea’s substantial offensive cyber power.
“The North Koreans have penetrated classified networks, ICS/SCADA systems, and successfully disrupted [South Korea’s] financial industry, and all while under an armistice,” said Ross Rustici, senior director of intelligence services at Cybereason, a cybersecurity company.
“The North’s cyber capability fits very well into the overall war-fighting posture of the North. Theirs would be a conflict of attrition and guerrilla tactics far more closely resembling Afghanistan than Desert Storm.”
Rustici told Fifth Domain that what makes North Korea so effective in cyberspace is, given its limited connectivity, the majority of its cyber forces are outside the country. This means a traditional conflict would do little to disrupt them and going after these forces in anything but a cyber capacity would require precise strikes where North Korean hackers are launching cyberattacks from, substantially expanding the conflict.
Moreover, adversaries are always going to try to penetrate networks, Rustici said, which means even if the U.S. networks are fortified, the chance that allied networks aren’t creates an avenue to gain the same intelligence about operational readiness war plans and contingencies with less effort.
“This slow bleed of information is something that the U.S. combatant commands need to address if they want to maintain information superiority on any future or potential battlefield,” he said.
These planning elements will be staffed by personnel from the service cyber components under the JFHQ-C construct, one of three headquarters elements of Cyber Command that provides planning, targeting, intelligence and cyber support to combatant commands they support. Each of the heads of the various service cyber components are dual-hatted as commander of the various JFHQ-Cybers.
While each service is standing up planning elements at the combatant commands, Central Command and Pacific Command are the farthest along and will be used as test cases going forward, Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of Cyber Command, told lawmakers during an April hearing.
“A couple of [combatant commands] are a little further than others and we’re using this as kind of a test case … I’d highlight PACOM and CENTCOM,” he said.
Rogers said in those cases DoD is “bringing our cyber capabilities to bears” because of “some of the broader activity in their theaters that are of high interest.”
One of the reasons for standing up the cells, Rogers added, was that DoD, in order to integrate cyber into the breadth of operations, has got to be integrated at all the combatant commands. This includes the knowledge and expertise at the combatant command level to plan and execute cyber operations, but the other critical component, Rogers said, is this has to tie back to Cyber Command.
Military leaders have always been quick to note that cyber is not done just for cyber’s sake, but rather delivering cyber effects in war. Cyber can be tied to conventional military capabilities in any conflict. For example, the New York Times reported on a months-long covert effort to hack North Korean missiles preventing them from firing, a tactic known as left of launch.
The Joint Staff also updated Joint Publication 3-01 “Countering Air and Missile Threats” to include a discussion on “cyberspace operations support to countering air and missile threats.” Such a tactic would likely be included in any conflict on the Korean Peninsula given the conventional ballistic missile threat North Korea poses to the region.
(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
23 Apr 18. Thales to open “digital factory” in Asia. French transport, aerospace, defence and aviation systems heavyweight Thales will open what it calls a “digital factory” in the Asia-Pacific region, with India and Australia potential candidates for the new coding centre.
Thales is also bulking up on developer muscle for its software centre of excellence in Melbourne, Australia, one of two centres in the world, the other being in Paris.
Thales chairman and CEO Patrice Caine announced the new digital factory at a company media day in Paris this month.
The company launched a digital factory in Paris last year and has another one in Montreal, Canada. The idea behind the digital factories is to meld a start-up hub with a developer centre for Thales’ customers’ digital transformation projects, in a bid to inject the best of start-up culture and Thales’ long-term experience into projects.
“This digital factory is a key asset for our group and our customers to lead them to digital transformation,” Caine said.
The Paris facility has 150 people and is expected to grow to 200 by the end of this year.
“We will open a third branch of our digital factory in Asia this year and that will give us global coverage starting from Paris through North America and into Asia,” Caine said.
The decision on where in Asia the third digital factory would be has yet to be made, but Caine said both India and Australia were possibilities.
Caine also announced the creation of a cyber hub in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that will harden up digital security on local infrastructure projects. He said the UAE was on a “huge digital mission”, and was becoming digitised across its major infrastructure.
Regardless of where it plants the new Asia digital factory, Thales needs developers to help build the $1.2bn OneSky project, a combined civil and military air traffic control system that will supervise Australasian air space as far away as the middle of the Indian Ocean.
The OneSky deal is jointly funded by the government-owned Airservices Australia and the Australian Defence Department.
Thales inked the OneSky deal with the Australian government in February 2018 after a drawn out selection process that has set back completion of the project from 2021 to 2023 and beyond. The first instalment of the project, a new voice communications system, is expected to be completed in 2019.
Caine defended the length of the contract negotiation, noting that because of the high complexity of the deal, it was important to start on an “extremely precise and common understanding with the two customers and ourselves”.
“I think it was a wise decision to take a bit more time before, to save time after,” he said.
Local software development and support for OneSky will come from the Melbourne Thales centre of excellence.
“It will grow, of course, because of the size of the project,” said Caine, adding that local jobs would also be created along the OneSky supply chain.
The OneSky development team will ramp up from about 290 to a peak of about 325 people in 2021. Thales currently employs more than 3,000 workers in Australia. (Source: Google/www.computerweekly.com)
Spectra Cyber Security Solutions
If your data resides on a computer, server or other electronic device with an outward facing connection, like the internet, then it is vulnerable to attack.
As a minimum, you should take steps that include encrypting your data and ensuring your digital perimeter is protected by firewalls, user authentication and other measures to prevent an unauthorised intrusion.
As well as managing integrity of data, ensuring a high Quality of Service is always available is crucial. With 15 years of success, securing, designing and delivering voice and data networks for Defence, Security, Public and Commercial organisations, Spectra understands the threat of Cyber Security and the vital importance of ensuring data arrives on time, error free and uncompromised.
Spectra Group is ISO 27001 accredited which, as an information security management standard, is clear and precise, listing 114 key security controls that should always be at the heart of any organisation’s approach to securing its information assets
Spectra Cyber Security Solutions provide defence-in-depth, with proactive testing, to identify weaknesses in networks and procedures and protect your data, to further minimise risk. Services include Network Health Checks, Cyber Security Compliance, System Engineering and Cyber Security Training.
To enhance your security, Spectra operate a Network Operating Centre (NOC) which provides 24/7/365 monitoring of your network to immediately identify any breach, or potential breach, as well as providing a UK based helpdesk. This enables the Customer to have proactive monitoring and provides the User with a 24-hour contact if they have concerns or issues with their network.
INTERNATIONAL PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Sponsored by American Panel Corporation
UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
24 Apr 18. Shipyards in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea and Spain now eyeing up critical defence contract, GMB investigation reveals.
GMB, the union for shipbuilding workers, today said in the aftermath of the blue passports fiasco, Ministers must reverse their decision to put a crucial £1bn order for three new military support ships out to non-UK bidders.
New Fleet Solid Support ships are needed to service the UK’s £6.3bn Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and their strikeforce of new F-35 fighter planes. The Ministry of Defence has said that the order will go out to full international tender on 30 April 2018.
GMB research, published today, shows that up to 6,700 jobs could be created or secured in the UK if the order went to a domestic shipbuilder – including 1,800 much needed shipyard jobs.
A further 4,700 jobs could be secured in the wider supply chain – including in the steel industry.
The union estimates that £285m would also be returned to the taxpayer through income tax, national insurance contributions and lower welfare payments.
Exclusive Survation polling, commissioned by GMB, found that 74 per cent of people want the new Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships built in the UK. GMB maintains that RFA ships are military vessels that are crucial to the UK’s defence capabilities.
Leave voters were also significantly more likely to support a general policy of retaining defence manufacturing orders in the UK than Remain voters (by 64 per cent to 52 per cent).
The Government’s current policy is to build all Royal Navy warships in the UK but orders for RFA ships are put out to international tender.
Shipbuilding companies from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea and Spain attended a recent Ministry of Defence industry day on the Fleet Solid Support order according to documents obtained by GMB under the Freedom of Information Act.
The last contract that went overseas was the MARS Tide Class tanker order, which was awarded to South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in 2012. The order has been hit by cost overruns and delays.
Shipbuilding and ship repair employment in Great Britain has fallen from an estimated 122,200 in 1981 to under 32,000 in 2016 – threatening the UK’s sovereign defence manufacturing capability [see the notes for regional breakdowns of shipbuilding jobs].
Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer for Shipbuilding, said:
“The Government looks set to repeat the blue passports fiasco by putting another order of national significance out to tender abroad.
“Ministers are not bound by normal EU rules on competitive tendering when it comes to military ships. There really can be no excuse for sending our shipbuilding contracts overseas.
“We have a highly skilled shipbuilding workforce in the UK that is more than capable of making these ships at a fair market price. We face being sold down the river if the work goes to artificially subsidised international competitor shipyards instead.
“At a time when global tensions are rising, the Government should use this order to ‘buy for Britain’ and rebuild our defence shipbuilding manufacturing capabilities.
“Shipbuilding workers are disillusioned by orders flowing overseas while highly skilled jobs at UK shipyards are being cut.
“It would be a gross betrayal of the spirit of the ‘red, white and blue Brexit’ that Theresa May promised if this crucial contract is awarded outside of the UK and jobs here are lost as a result.” (Source: News Now)
25 Apr 18. All industry bids for German Tornado-replacement submitted. The three companies vying to replace the Luftwaffe’s Panavia Tornado fleet have each submitted their proposals to the German government.
The bids from Eurofighter, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin were handed in during the week of the ILA Airshow in Berlin, with the two US responses having been submitted by that country’s government.
With the Luftwaffe looking to retire its 90 Tornado aircraft from 2030 and needing a replacement to enter service in about 2025, a request for proposals (RFP) for an aircraft to perform 10 current Tornado missions and two additional but undisclosed missions was issued to these particular companies some months ago.
Eurofighter announced on 24 April that it has responded to the RFP with a proposal that the service acquire additional Typhoons. Boeing told Jane’s at the event on 25 April that its offer of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler derivative, as well as that for its F-15 Advanced Eagle has been submitted while Lockheed Martin announced during its show press conference on 26 April that its offering of the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) had also been submitted.
With the Luftwaffe currently fielding 130 Typhoons, Eurofighter has made the case that it is “the logical choice” for the service to acquire more of the same type. “As the Eurofighter system is already in use by Germany, this system could seamlessly adopt the capabilities of the Tornado aircraft. In addition, increased use of the same type of aircraft would result in considerable cost savings in terms of support services and training costs due to economies of scale, which would also reduce per-hour flying costs within the German armed forces,” Airbus said in a statement. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. Eurofighter touts Typhoon as pathway to FCAS future combat aircraft. Eurofighter has touted its Typhoon as a technological pathway to the new Future Combat Air System (FCAS) being developed by France and Germany. Speaking at the ILA Airshow in Berlin, consortium representatives said that upgrades planned for the Typhoon over the coming years would better enable Airbus and Dassault to fully develop their FCAS solution by the 2040 timeline currently set out.
“The Typhoon is Europe’s largest defence project, with 623 aircraft ordered across nine nations. Of these, 536 have been delivered and more than 450,000 hours flown,” Volker Paltzo, Eurofighter CEO said on 25 April, adding: “There are further potential orders for the core nations [of Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom] that would take production well into the 2030s, and the aircraft itself will remain in service through to the 2060s. As we continue to develop new technologies and capabilities, the Typhoon will serve as a natural bridge into the FCAS project.”
With Germany looking to procure up to 90 new aircraft to replace its Panavia Tornados, and the Typhoon declared to be the government’s preferred option, it is this requirement that is driving the Eurofighters development path. As Paltzo noted, enhancements earmarked include upgrades to the E-Scan radar now being developed; long-range and standoff weapons; enhanced defensive aids; improvements to the efficiency and power output of the EJ200 engines (he cited a 15% increase in power); as well as enhancements related to the suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) role currently undertaken by the Luftwaffe’s Tornado Electronic Combat Reconnaissance (ECR) platforms. While Paltzo said that securing the German requirement is not essential to these enhancements being rolled out (besides Germany, a follow-on order with Saudi Arabia has been all-but-signed and other deals with other current and new operators could yet be fulfilled), it would be best solution for Germany to select the aircraft that it already operates. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. Boeing pitches Growler to Germany. Boeing is pitching its EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to the Luftwaffe as part of a wider drive to replace Germany’s Panavia Tornados with the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Speaking to Jane’s at the ILA Airshow in Berlin, Boeing director for global sales for strike, surveillance, and mobility, Bryan Crutchfield, said the EA-18G is the only platform now available that can replace the Electronic Combat Reconnaissance (ECR)-variant Tornados that are due to be retired in about 2030, at the same time as the service’s wider Interdiction Strike (IDS) fleet.
“Any country with an electronic warfare mission in an A2AD [anti-access area denial] environment needs the Growler,” Crutchfield said on 25 April, adding, “We are now actively pitching this solution to the Germans.” As part of this pitch, the company stand at ILA featured a scale model of the aircraft, while the static display featured a pair of USN Growlers.
The Luftwaffe has a requirement to field a replacement for its fleet of 90 Tornado IDS and ECR aircraft from about 2025 to enable a smooth transition into the retirement of the Tornado in about 2030. The German government stated that its preferred choice is to procure additional Eurofighter Typhoons, but the Super Hornet is on the list of preferred alternatives along with Boeing’s F-15 Advanced Eagle and Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
While each of these platforms could take on the strike role of the Tornado IDS, only the Super Hornet-derived Growler has the dedicated electronic warfare (EW) and suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) roles of the Tornado ECR. While the other aircraft could be adapted to this role through the fitting of externals pods, Crutchfield noted that this would not be enough to put them on par with the Growler’s integrated and bespoke capabilities. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. Boeing, German Aerospace Companies Partner for STH Heavy-Lift Helicopter Competition. Boeing [NYSE: BA] and ten German aerospace companies reached agreements today to partner on a range of business opportunities on the H-47 Chinook, a contender in Germany’s STH heavy-lift helicopter competition.
The agreements with AERO-Bildungs GmbH, Aircraft Philipp, CAE Elektronik GmbH, COTESA, Diehl Defence, Honeywell, Liebherr-Aerospace, Reiser Simulation and Training GmbH, Rockwell Collins, and Rolls-Royce are the first of many partners in Boeing’s industrial plan related to its H-47 Chinook offering to Germany.
Should the H-47 Chinook be selected by the Government of Germany for its heavy-lift helicopter requirement, these German companies will be partnered with Boeing for delivery, maintenance and training. Additional German companies will be joining Boeing’s industrial plan for collaboration on communication and mission systems integration. This industrial plan will provide the German government a local long-term support and training solution including aircraft maintenance; aircrew and technical training; research, development and technology; and supply chain enhancements.
“We have a strong team behind our Chinook offer to Germany,” said Michael Hostetter, director, Vertical Lift Programs in Germany. “The Chinook is a modern, proven and reliable heavy-lift helicopter with a high availability rate and low maintenance requirements. Boeing and its German industry team stand ready to support the requirements of the German government, the Bundeswehr and the men and women in uniform that will be flying and maintaining the aircraft.”
Boeing is focused on providing a low risk, proven and reliable solution to the customer on time and at a very competitive cost. The German partners were carefully selected to provide additional capabilities, value and local expertise to the highly efficient platform and logistics solution, while maintaining the reliability and low-risk approach that is the hallmark of the Chinook program. Additional partners to the Boeing Germany team will be announced at a later date.
“With these partnerships, Boeing is providing opportunities for German industry to join Boeing’s established supplier network in Germany or to expand their existing scope of work with Boeing,” said Dr. Michael Haidinger, president, Boeing Germany. Boeing appreciates the technology leadership of the German aerospace industry and continues to work across its German supply base to grow the scope of work on Boeing’s commercial, defense, space, security, and services businesses.
The Chinook is the most advanced transport rotorcraft in the United States Army inventory, with the expectation that it will remain in service into the 2060’s. As chosen by the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Canada, the Chinook gives Germany interoperability that other helicopters cannot while meeting a wide range of mission needs.
Boeing has been a strong contributor to the German economy for many decades. Today Boeing directly employs approximately 600 people at 11 locations throughout Germany and sustains many thousands additional jobs in Germany through its supply chain and other activities. In 2016, Boeing and its supply-chain partners spent almost $1.3bn with its established network of nearly 100 suppliers located across Germany. Boeing works together with many more sub-tier and German-owned suppliers worldwide. Germany is a key market for Boeing to invest in research and technology partnerships. Boeing has established two research sites in Germany, the Research & Technology Office in Munich and the Digital Aviation & Analytics Lab in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt and invests in a growing portfolio of research and technology projects with German industry, universities and research organizations.
24 Apr 18. Tornado successor: Team Eurofighter presents offer to Germany. On the eve of the ILA Berlin Air Show 2018, Airbus and Eurofighter GmbH have submitted their offer to the German Ministry of Defence for a replacement of the Bundeswehr’s ageing Tornado combat aircraft, which was developed in the 1960s, and have established the Eurofighter as its ideal successor. Currently, the German Air Force is planning to phase out the Tornado from 2025 onwards and to transfer capabilities to another weapon system. As the Eurofighter system is already in use by Germany, this system could seamlessly adopt the capabilities of the Tornado aircraft. In addition, increased use of the same type of aircraft would result in considerable cost savings in terms of support services and training costs due to economies of scale, which would also reduce per-hour flying costs within the German Armed Forces.
“The Eurofighter is already the backbone of the German Air Force and is therefore the logical option to adopt the capabilities of the Tornado in the medium term,” said Bernhard Brenner, Head of Marketing & Sales at Airbus Defence and Space. “We have an excellent aircraft, its production secures important aircraft construction know-how in Germany and, at the same time, strongly supports European sovereignty in defence. The successful continuation of Eurofighter production could also lead to further cooperation with other European nations such as Switzerland, Belgium and Finland.” Volker Paltzo, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH CEO, said: “I am confident that Eurofighter Typhoon can provide a cost effective and attractive solution for Germany, which will deliver every capability and perform every mission the German Air Force needs.”
In the medium term, the further development of the Eurofighter will provide the technological basis for the next generation of European combat aircraft. The intent of collaboration was agreed between France and Germany in July 2017 and these aircraft are currently expected to enter into service around 2040. In the UK, Eurofighter is already increasingly taking over the tasks of the Tornado, as the Royal Air Force has decided to retire its Tornado fleet in 2019. The Bundeswehr currently operates 130 Eurofighters and 90 Tornados. The German Air Force’s fleet of combat aircraft is used both for missions to secure airspace sovereignty over Germany and in international NATO alliance missions around the world.
23 Apr 18. Finland Seeks Bids for €10bn Fighter Jet Purchase. A massive investment in new warplanes must be made in the next few years – but a possible announcement about a new joint venture option at this week’s Berlin Air Show could complicate Finland’s decision. Finnish officials are about to send out requests for bids for one of the country’s biggest investments ever: some 7-10bn euros to buy multi-role fighter aircraft. They are to replace the current ageing fleet of 64 F/A-18 Hornet jets. Yle has learned that letters will be sent imminently to five airplane manufacturers asking for bids. It will be up to the next government, set to take office next spring, to decide which type of aircraft to procure.
The five planes now in the running include three from EU companies and two from the United States: the British-made Eurofighter Typhoon, France’s Dassault Rafale, Sweden’s Saab Gripen E and the US planes Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin F-35. The selection also includes many other elements, including assembly, interoperability, operating systems and weapons. And the impact will reach far into the future, as Finland hopes to use the new planes into the 2050s.
Sticker price only 1/3 of total investment
The purchase price of 7-10bn euros will probably only represent about one third of the overall costs to be incurred during the airplanes’ lifetime. The cost of buying, maintaining and upgrading the aircraft will depend partly on how many of Finland’s allies and neighbours are using the same model.
“The more users there are, the more opportunities there are to find other countries with interests similar to those of Finland,” says Jyri Raitasalo, Military Professor of War Studies at the Finnish National Defence University.
The security policy stand of the other nations using the same plane is also a relevant question, particularly for the politicians who are setting Finland’s policy and will decide on the procurement in the early 2020s.
Trump erroneously announced Hornet buy
Yle has learned that Finnish defence officials have been closely monitoring the progress of the Gripen E, made by neighbouring Sweden – a close ally which, like Finland, has an ‘enhanced membership’ in NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme.
The latest version of the plane, known as the Gripen JAS 39E/F, was first tested last year. So far fewer than 100 of the planes have been sold, only to Sweden and Brazil. In comparison, the American planes are sold in vast numbers and are assured of a long future. For instance, the US Navy plans to fly Boeing’s Super Hornets into the 2040s, so service and support for the planes will not be phased out anytime soon. Rival Lockheed Martin, meanwhile, has sold fewer than 300 of its F-35, but many orders for the plane are pending – including from European countries including neighbouring Norway. During the Cold War years, non-aligned Finland sought to carefully balance military procurements from the East and West, but since the fall of the USSR, it has had a freer hand. In 1992, Finland decided to buy Boeing Hornets and has been flying them since 1995, the year it joined the EU. So clearly they would be strong contenders to replace the existing fleet. However last August President Sauli Niinistö hastened to deny a claim by US President Donald Trump that Finland would buy new Boeing fighter jets.
New Eurofighter on the horizon?
Meanwhile the fighter jet sector may be shaken up by France and Germany’s plans to team up to produce a new type of Eurofighter jet. So far there is only a political plan, not an actual industrial venture.
Yle has learned from French sources that the two countries plan to make a major joint announcement about military aviation at the Berlin Air Show, which opens on Wednesday.
French reports indicate it could replace both the Rafale and the current Eurofighter. However, no new French-German Eurofighter is expected before 2035. Therefore, it is unclear how the plan might affect Finland, which needs new aircraft by the middle of the next decade, says Raitasalo. There are also reports that Sweden’s Saab might join a new Eurofighter project.
All the candidate planes are now at the same starting line, says Lauri Puranen, who is coordinating the project at the Defence Ministry. He says it is important that other countries besides Finland will be using the planes through their entire lifespan.
“It is difficult to say, for instance, whether this European venture will bring uncertainty,” Puranen says.
(Source: defense-aerospace.com/YLE Finnish Broadcasting Corp)
23 Apr 18. Ireland-Co Kildare: Ammunition, 2018/S 078-175532, Contract notice, Services, Directive 2009/81/EC.
Section I: Contracting authority/entity
I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)
Department of Defence
For the attention of: Contracts Branch
Newbridge Co Kildare
Telephone: +353 45492428
Address of the buyer profile: http://irl.eu-supply.com/ctm/Supplier/CompanyInformation/Index/292
Electronic access to information: http://irl.eu-supply.com/app/rfq/rwlentrance_s.asp?PID=127916&B=ETENDERS_SIMPLE
Electronic submission of tenders and requests to participate: http://irl.eu-supply.com/app/rfq/rwlentrance_s.asp?PID=127916&B=ETENDERS_SIMPLE
Further information can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact
II.1.1)Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority:
Ammunition (Rounds 150mm HE Shells & Cartridges)
II.1.5)Short description of the contract or purchase(s):
The requirement exists for the supply of 1 500 shells and 1 700 cartridges of 105 mm high explosive shells C/W nose fuse and cartridge cases, C/W propellant charges and electrical primer for L118 105 mm light gun for the Irish Defence Forces.
VI.4.1)Body responsible for appeal procedures
The High Court
Internet address: http://www.courts.ie
VI.4.2)Lodging of appeals
VI.4.3)Service from which information about the lodging of appeals may be obtained
VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice:
(Source: Europa TED)
20 Apr 18. German Army spells out Tiger and NH90 upgrade plan, timelines. The Germany Army has spelled out plans to upgrade and modernise its Airbus Helicopter Tiger and NHIndustries NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) rotorcraft over the coming years and decades.
Speaking ahead of the ILA Airshow in Berlin, Colonel Dr Volker Bauersachs, Commander Attack Helicopter Regiment, Division Schnelle Krafte (DSK) of the German Army, outlined some of the key capabilities that will be incorporated into the Tiger attack helicopter out to 2038 and into the NH90 transport helicopter out to 2031.
“Continuous operations in Afghanistan and Mali have led to a high degree of wear on the DSK’s helicopters, for instance the rotor blades,” Col Bauersachs said. “The high temperatures are also causing difficulties. Workarounds are required to deal with these, but for the future further development is needed across the platforms.”
The DSK, which fulfils all of the Germany Army’s air mobility requirements, has received nearly all of its contracted 32 Tiger attack helicopters. In terms of their upgrades, Col Bauersachs noted that this will be done in three stages.
The first stage will bring all of the aircraft up to the same standard so as to have a common fleet. “We have used pre-serial production versions of the Tiger so as to get them into service as soon as possible for training. This means we now have aircraft that have differing configurations. By the end of this stage, the whole fleet will be at the ASGARD standard,” Col Bauersachs said.
This Afghanistan Stabilization German Army Rapid Deployment (ASGARD) standard comprise the fitting of up-rated engines for improved ‘hot and high’ performance, sand filters, additional defence weaponry, a mission data recorder, and enhanced communications equipment for multinational missions. This phase will run from 2019 through to 2024, with obsolescence issues also being addressed. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
22 Apr 18. Luftwaffe set for imminent release of heavy-lift helo RFP. The Schwere Transporthubschrauber (STH) replacement programme for the Luftwaffe’s ageing VFW-Sikorsky CH-53G-series helicopters is soon to enter into its realisation phase, with the request for proposals (RFP) set to be issued in May.
Boeing and Lockheed Martin are competing the requirement with their CH-47F Chinook and CH-53K King Stallion platforms respectively. The Luftwaffe is looking for between 40 and 60 new helicopters to enter service from 2023 to coincide with the planned out-of-service date of 2025 for the nearly 70 CH-53GA/GS/GE platforms.
Speaking ahead of the ILA Berlin Airshow running from 25 to 29 April, Colonel Bernhard Martin of the Luftwaffe’s Plans and Policy Office spelled out some of the history of the STH requirement, the goals the Luftwaffe has for the requirement, and the current state of proceedings.
“With the CH-53 in use today a number of capability shortfalls have been identified and it is expected to be removed from service in 2025,” Col Martin said. “The end of industrial support in combination with other technical issues is resulting already in substantial shortfalls in our flying hours [from the required 9,000 hours per year to just 6,000 hours]. Also, the German Air Force has agreed within the NATO Defence Planning Process [NDPP] to support CSAR [combat search and rescue] and SOF [special operations forces] missions. These requirements cannot be accomplished with the CH-53 without substantial limitations.”
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) Planning Office and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment and Information technology are the two relevant offices for German military procurement processes and decisions, as well as in-service support. Decisions are usually taken for a timeline of about 15 years, comparing actual and future capability requirements. When the services and the procurement managers identify a potential future capability gap, the procurement process is initiated. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Apr 18. Hellenic Navy moves closer to leasing FREMM frigates from France. The Hellenic Navy is edging closer to leasing two FREMM (frégate européenne multi-missions) class frigates from France, the Greek Deputy Defence Minister has announced.
Fotis Kouvelis on 20 April confirmed that an agreement had been reached on a five-year leasing deal that could see two FREMM ships handed over to the Hellenic Navy as early as August 2018.
This follows years of inactivity since the original statement of intent to acquire the FREMMs and months of negotiations between the French and Greek governments. Kouvelis also hinted that a further two vessels of unknown design could be procured in the future. It is widely speculated that the FREMM deal is a stop-gap solution until the Hellenic Navy formally agrees on the procurement of new vessels of the Gowind- or Belh@rra-class after the FREMM leasing agreement ends in about 2023. Payment is believed to be connected to European Central Bank bonds, although precise details have yet to emerge. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Apr 18. Why Northrop Grumman didn’t bid in the GPS III satellite, F-35 contests. Northrop Grumman for the first time has acknowledged it did not bid on the next-generation of GPS III satellites. The company also announced Wednesday it did not make a bid for F-35 distributed aperture system, or DAS, upgrades.
Boeing has also publicly stated it did not bid for the program, leaving Lockheed Martin as the de facto contract winner.
While the specific reasoning motivating these decisions was not fully articulated, the contracts were described as “not attractive for us” by Northrop President and Chief Operating Officer Kathy Warden on an April 25 earnings call.
When asked if the decision to not bid on GPS was influenced by setbacks the company is experiencing with the James Webb Space Telescope, Wes Bush, Northrop’s chairman and CEO, said the “GPS decision had absolutely nothing to do with anything else going on in the space portfolio other than a relative comparison of the attractiveness of the different opportunities we are pursuing there.”
The U.S. Air Force intends to procure up to 22 new satellites during the second phase of GPS III follow-on, with the first vehicle planned for a 2026 delivery.
Lockheed is under contract for the first 10 GPS III satellites and already has six satellites in some state of production, with one of those ready for an expected launch this year.
The decision to not bid on F-35 DAS upgrades is more surprising, as Northrop is the incumbent on the contract. Warden explained on the call that even though Northrop has been successfully building these sensors and delivering them on time for many years, the company “looked at the future procurement and decided it wasn’t an attractive business deal for us.”
But that does not mean Northrop, which manufactures the F-35’s center fuselage, is not sold on the program.
“We continue to be very optimistic and to be positive on the F-35 as an important part of our business,” Bush said. “F-35 is a very important program to us, the partnership is important to us, but we do take a look at every aspect of the our portfolio from a business case opportunity in a broad sense, and we make very discrete decisions on those.”
Bush added that it is not unprecedented for a contract incumbent not to bid on upgrades.
“To some extent, [with] the experience we had on X-47B, everyone thought we were a shoo-in on MQ-25,” he said. “And when we looked at the deal, we said: ‘Eh, I don’t think so.’ So we look at each and every one of these opportunities and test them aggressively to see is this something that merits our investment, merits the application of our broad set of resources and are we really going to be investing them in a wise way to pursue them.”
These no-bids follow a larger pattern for Northrop. The no bids are the fourth and fifth for the company on major defense acquisition programs after earlier decisions to abstain from the Air Force’s T-X training aircraft competition — which saw the company developing and flying a prototype aircraft — the Long Range Standoff Weapon and the MQ-25.
(Source: Defense News)
26 Apr 18. U.S. Marines say new CH-53K helicopter program on track. The U.S. Marine Corps is on track to declare an initial four CH-53K heavy-lift helicopters, built by Lockheed Martin Corp’s Sikorsky unit , ready for combat use as planned in December 2019, senior Marine Corps officials said on Thursday.
Colonel Hank Vanderborght, who manages the CH-53K program for the U.S. military branch, told reporters at the ILA Berlin Air Show the new aircraft was performing well in testing, and “many, many” routine technical issues that emerged during development had been solved.
He dismissed as “dated” a Pentagon document leaked earlier this week which cited over 1,000 current or projected deficiencies that could delay the December 2019 goal.
“We are on our timeline. Timelines can always change, but right now we’re on target,” he said.
The current plan called for the Marines to carry out an operational evaluation after testing ends in December 2019 that will pave the way for a declaration of “initial operational capability”.
Marine Corps Assistant Commandant Lieutenant General Glenn Walters said he was confident the Marines would meet their schedule.
The CH-53K, which offers three times the carrying power of its predecessor, made its international debut at the Berlin show on Wednesday after being transported to Germany in a C-17 transport plane.
Germany will choose between the CH-53K and Boeing Co’s smaller, twin-rotor CH-47 Chinook to replace its ageing fleet of CH-53G heavy-lift helicopters, an order valued at around 4 bn euros.
The German defense ministry expects to release a formal request for proposals in the second half of 2018, with a contract award due in mid-2020, for deliveries to start in 2023.
Sikorsky President Dan Schultz told reporters in a separate briefing his company was working hard to reduce the expected average procurement cost of $87 m for each of the CH-53K helicopters.
Purchases by Germany, which is considering buying 45 to 60 aircraft, and Israel, which wants to purchase over 20 aircraft, could help drive the cost down further by increasing efficiencies and order quantities, he said. (Source: Reuters)
24 Apr 18. Army extends ADMC-2 contract into 2020. Court battle over ADMC-3 forces extension. The Army has awarded an extension on its current contract for hardware, software and related services as the service branch awaits the outcome of a court ruling on the follow-on award.
Companies on the Army Desktop and Mobile Compuing-2 contract will continue their work for up to two additional years through April 23, 2020 with the ADMC-3 contract tied up in U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The Army issued an $870 m modification to the ceiling for ADMC-2, the Defense Department said in its Friday contracts digest.
ADMC-3 has been the subject of numerous protests since the Army first attempted awards in September 2016 and is currently with Court of Federal Claims for a second time after numerous protests.
After the initial awards, the Army took a corrective action to re-evaluate bids and chose the same group of nine companies that won in the first evaluation.
Mercom then filed a lawsuit over not being selected for ADMC 3 in Court of Federal Claims in September of last year after the company was not selected in either evaluation.
The Government Accountability Office then dismissed 12 other protests as the court’s jurisdiction outweighs that of GAO. ADMC-2 incumbent Telos joined Mercom’s lawsuit as did J.C. Technology and CounterTradeProducts.
Other incumbents in CDW Government and HPI Federal were among the 12 protests dismissed by GAO.
Companies currently on ADMC-2 are:
- HPI Federal
- Integrated Technologies Group
- NCS Technologies
- Transcource Services Group
(Source: Defense Systems)
24 Apr 18. Pentagon, industry eye partnerships for expanding MRO market. The Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) market for military aviation is steadily expanding, but the US Department of Defense (DoD) – which has its own organic MRO operations – faces challenges such as an ageing workforce and competition from industry.
A key issue, said Brigadier General John Kubinec, Commander of the USAF Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, is an ageing population that is steeped in Cold War-era customs and practice. Gen Kabinec said developing a new talent pool is a significant challenge, and new skills in software and IT will be essential for MRO efforts.
However, defence companies are also competing to hire those personnel, so various government officials – including Kevin Rees, chief of the US Army Aviation Engineering Directorate’s Maintenance Engineering Division, and Colonel Allan Lanceta, commander of the Corpus Christi Army Depot, underscored the need for greater partnering between public and private sectors, particularly given the increasing draw of the commercial aviation market for niche aircraft MRO capabilities.
Moreover, migrating from old to new platforms can be costly and result in readiness issues, officials explained. For example, the USN is migrating to F-35B and F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters while readiness of the ‘legacy’ fleets of F/A-18C/Ds, AV-8Bs, and early production F/A-18E/Fs proved problematic. Slower procurement of the F-35, the formerly planned end to Super Hornet production, and the nearly 20 years of high-tempo combat operations, produced aviation readiness and availability rates for the USMC and Naval Aviation. Those rates are at an all-time post-Second World War low. Additionally, technology insertion in legacy and newer platforms is often too slow, hindered partly by acquisition regulations; and again, government-industry partnering is seen as the only way to address this issue. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
REST OF THE WORLD
26 Apr 18. US controls drive Chile toward Israeli F-16 upgrade. The Chilean Air Force is looking again at putting some of its 46 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters through a service life extension programme (SLEP), local military sources have told Jane’s. The SLEP, which would incorporate upgrades to avionics and weapons sourced from Israel, would free the aircraft from end-user controls and limitations set by the United States under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. According to the sources, the deployment of F-16s armed with AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) to provide security over Santiago City during a 2013 summit between Latin American, Caribbean, and EU leaders required US authorisation. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. India to offer dated, refurbished materiel to ‘friendly’ countries. India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has recently called upon the armed forces to draw up a list of outdated equipment that can be refurbished and gifted to ‘friendly’ countries in an effort to deepen New Delhi’s regional defence ties. Official sources told Jane’s that the list is expected to include artillery field guns, armoured vehicles, helicopters, naval patrol vessels, and radar systems that are dated or nearing obsolescence. They said the move was prompted by requests from “friendly” African and Asian countries to acquire the equipment. India’s practice of gifting second-hand defence weapons and platforms is not new, with several countries such as Afghanistan and Myanmar receiving such equipment in recent years. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. Australian unions sign agreement with SEA 5000 contender.
A Principles Agreement that would revitalise manufacturing, build Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding capability and secure highly skilled jobs for the future has been signed by key Australian trade unions and BAE Systems.
Signatories to the agreement include the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), Australian Workers Union (AWU), Professionals Australia, and Electrical Trades Union (ETU).
BAE Systems and the signatories said the agreement will underpin a “competitive and positive” workplace relations environment that will support the successful delivery of the nine Future Frigates, should BAE Systems be selected as the successful bidder.
BAE Systems CEO Gabby Costigan said the commitments within the agreement signal a genuine co-operative approach between BAE Systems and the shipbuilding unions.
“BAE Systems Australia welcomes the signing of this Principles Agreement with the Australian shipbuilding unions,” said Costigan. “This agreement is a further demonstration of the mutual respect and co-operation developed throughout a number of major programs including the building of Anzac-class frigates, the New Zealand frigates HMNZS Otago and Wellington, the on-time delivery of the Landing Helicopter Dock Ships and the construction of blocks for the Air Warfare Destroyer program.”
BAE Systems is proposing its Global Combat Ship – Australia for the federal government’s SEA 5000 program. Based in South Australia the project will employ many thousands of highly skilled people from across the nation, including 1,000 graduates and apprentices during the 30+ year program to build nine Anti-Submarine Warships for the Royal Australian Navy.
AMWU assistant national secretary Glenn Thompson said the agreement will deliver jobs for the Australian workforce.
“This agreement is another milestone in our campaign for an Australian shipbuilding industry that delivers good jobs and meets Australia’s future needs,” Thompson said.
“Thousands of shipbuilding workers have campaigned to secure the future of this industry. We look forward to working with BAE Systems to build a workforce that has the skills to deliver this critical project.”
Professionals Australia said the Future Frigates project will be crucial in developing “smart jobs” of the future.
“Australia is in dire need of major projects which generate good, steady jobs for engineers and other workers in the shipbuilding industry,” the union said.
“This is the most important and complex project in Australia, providing an enormous opportunity to fast track our move into advanced manufacturing and create the smart jobs of the future through. That opportunity will only be seized if we do the vast majority of work locally in Australia to get the flow-on benefit to Australian workers through direct jobs in the supply chain.”
BAE Systems is up against Navantia and Fincantieri for the SEA 5000 project. Fincantieri has also signed an agreement with the AMWU, the AWU, the ETU Professionals Australia and the ACTU. A decision of the $35bn project is expected by June this year. (Source: Defence Connect)
24 Apr 18. Argentine Army adds new and modernised equipment. On 19 April the Argentine Army took delivery of a diverse range of new and modernised equipment, part of a broader modernisation of land assets for the army.
New equipment included Steyr Mannlicher HS.50 M1 12,7mm rifles, Thales Ground Observer 80 radars, Zodiac assault boats, Sany STC800 cranes, JCB and Komatsu excavators, Iveco Tector, Stralis and Mercedes-Benz 1726 Atego trucks, second-hand AM General AM939 trucks and Iveco Daily ambulances, Kärcher MFK 2/96 field kitchens and a range of ancillary items. Modernised equipment included refurbished Mercedes-Benz Unimog 416 trucks, M113 armoured personnel carriers and M106 mortar carriers, TAM VCA 155mm self-propelled howitzers and one Bell UH-1H helicopter upgraded to the Huey II standard. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Apr 18. South Korea to open bid for anti-submarine helicopters. South Korea’s arms procurement agency has announced a plan to purchase at least 10 anti-submarine helicopters overseas at a time when the military is keeping weapons procurement programs low-key amid thawing inter-Korean relations. The plan was approved by the executive committee of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, or DAPA, presided over by Defense Minister Song Young-moo.
“The DAPA decided to invite foreign bidders to buy advanced anti-submarine warfare helicopters,” the DAPA said in a news release. “The bid is to open next month while a preferred bidder is to be selected through a comprehensive assessment of operational capabilities and costs.”
The South Korean Navy wants to procure 12 more helicopters for maritime operations by 2022 to mainly help thwart North Korea’s submarine threats, according to Navy sources. The service now operates eight AW159 Wildcats that can be mounted on combat ships and can perform anti-submarine, anti-ship and naval reconnaissance missions.
“Once maritime operation helicopters are deployed additionally, the Navy’s multidimensional operation capabilities are to be improved further,” a Navy source said, referring to the AW159 of Leonardo Helicopters, Sikorsky’s MH-60R and NHIndustries’ NH-90 as viable candidates.
The DAPA also endorsed a $535m program to buy new Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles as part of efforts to defend against North Korea’s ballistic missile threat.
The purchase of PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement, or MSE, built by Lockheed Martin, is to be made through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, according to DAPA officials.
“This procurement plan is at acquiring more advanced PAC-3 precision-guided missiles to help protect key facilities in the Seoul metropolitan area,” the release said.
The PAC-3 MSE uses a two-pulse solid rocket motor that increases altitude and range to defend against evolving threats. The missile is known to be able to hit an incoming missile flying at an altitude of 25 to 30 kilometers, higher than the normal PAC-3 interceptor that can hit a target at an altitude of 20 kilometers.
In 2015, South Korea ordered PAC-3 interceptors and launcher modification kits to upgrade its used PAC-2 systems bought from Germany.
The deployment of PAC-3 MSE is expected to help enhance the South Korean military’s multilayered shield of PAC-3 interceptors, along with the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system that was successfully deployed in the southern region of South Korea last year.
The South Korean military is also set to produce an indigenous midrange surface-to-air missile shield code-named Cheongung-II, being developed by LIG Nex1, a precision-guided weapons maker in South Korea. The Cheongung-II is a modified version of the Cheongung anti-aircraft interceptor dubbed Iron Hawk, which was developed based on Russian technology.
In addition, LIG Nex1 is pushing ahead with plans to build a long-range surface-to-air missile interceptor that can destroy targets at an altitude of 40 to 60 kilometers. (Source: Defense News)
24 Apr 18. Australian OPV decision a failure of rationale: Marles. Shadow defence minister Richard Marles has slammed the government for failing to “develop a proper rationale for an Australian defence industry” in the wake of the Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) project.
Minister Marles will today give a speech to the National Press Club regarding the exclusion of Austal in a design capacity on the SEA 1180 OPV project having hindered the development of an Australian naval export industry.
Austal, which was in a joint bid with Fassmer and would have seen a large bulk of the design capability done in Australia, is currently in negotiations with winning designer, Germany’s Lürssen, to be included in the build of the vessels, as per the government’s request.
The shadow defence minister will argue that the Australian shipbuilder, which has designed and built ships for Australia, Egypt, Oman and the United States, is one victim of the government failing to incorporate Australia’s defence industry in tender arrangements for future projects.
“For all its abilities and deficiencies the design house at Austal in Henderson is the only significant naval design house in Australia,” Minister Marles said.
“The failure of the government to develop a proper rationale for an Australian defence industry and its corresponding inability to bring the defence community along with it can be seen in the recent decision about the building of the Navy’s next generation of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).”
Marles will say that while developing an export based defence industry must be the long-term goal if the industry is to survive, Australia’s existing capabilities should have been leveraged in the OPV project, as well as the Future Frigates.
“The best opportunity to do this is by leveraging the domestic capability which is developed through the building of equipment for the ADF,” said Marles. “Making sure we get the key procurement decisions right, from the perspective of the Australian defence industry, is therefore essential if we are to develop that industry. But this is unlikely to happen if the development of our national defence industry is not a clear goal in the procurement process.”
The OPV project is widely regarded as the upcoming naval project most likely to deliver potential export success. Kim Gillis, the deputy secretary of CASG, recently said during Senate Estimates “that class of vessel is very in-demand from a range of navies around the world, and the export of those size vessels is far more likely than much larger combatant vessels.”
Marles will argue that the decision has failed to provide Australian industry with an export based business, given the design of naval vessels “is where the intellectual property of the vessel exists” and “is where true ownership of the ship lives.”
“I am not in a position and certainly do not have the expertise to assess which bid provided the better option for the navy. I can only assume, given the government’s decision, that the answer to this question is that the Lürssen design was the better boat,” he will say.
“But the consequence of this decision is that there will be no Australian, or even part Australian, design of the next OPV which could have been the foundation for the development of an Australian vessel which could be sold to the world. If we assume that Lürssen did design the better boat then in the making of this decision Navy capability trumped the development of Australian defence industry capability.”
The shadow defence minister will also caution the ramifications of the decision could see Australia lose one its largest and most successful defence stories, likening the loss to the collapse of Australia’s automotive industry.
“The decision has left Austal in a quandary. It can win naval design work abroad, including in the US, but not in Australia. It can build huge commercial ferries for export in Fremantle, as it is doing today, but also has the option to build them in its facility in the Philippines. Its future in Australia looks uncertain. And given its unique status as the one Australian defence industry company which resembles the profile of the global defence industry primes, to lose it would be a disaster,” he will tell the National Press Club.
“This government stood by and watched the loss of the car industry. Despite all the defence industry hoopla, were it to lose Austal, along with the thousands of shipbuilding jobs already lost, its defence industry scorecard would be grim.” (Source: Defence Connect)
23 Apr 18. Politicians push for all navy ships to be built by Australian companies. Senate crossbenchers have proposed a new law that would ensure all Australian naval vessels be built in Australia by Australian companies. The Centre Alliance party, made up of South Australian senators Rex Patrick, Stirling Griff and Rebekha Sharkie, will introduce a bill into the Senate when parliament resumes next month.
The Defence (Sovereign Naval Shipbuilding) Bill 2018 will seek to amend the Defence Act 1903 to require all new naval vessels, including Australia’s Future Submarines and Future Frigates, to be built in Australia except in times of defence emergency or in war time.
Responsibility for any vessels built in Australia would also need to be contracted to a “well-established, high performance Australian controlled shipbuilder”. Currently, this would be ASC or Austal.
If the bill passes, it would not prevent foreign shipbuilders tendering to be the prime contractors in any shipbuilding program, but would make it mandatory for the foreign designer to sub-contract the entire build to an Australian shipbuilder that meets the above requirements.
Former submariner and Defence contractor Senator Rex Patrick said the bill would allow for Australia to obtain more naval sovereignty.
“Australia’s uncertain strategic future requires a much greater measure of self-sufficiency as a pacific maritime power,” Senator Patrick said.
“Australia needs to be able to exercise a much greater measure of independent maritime power in our region and to do that we need a sovereign naval shipbuilding and support sector.”
The origin of the bill has come out of what he described as a potentially “treacherous approach” by those within the Department of Defence that deliberately excluded sovereign shipbuilder ASC from the Future Frigates and Future Submarines project.
“The bill is designed to counter what may in the future come to be seen as the treacherous approach taken by Russell Hill bureaucrats in the Future Frigate program whereby Australia’s two established and highly capable shipbuilders, ASC and Austal, have been excluded in the tender documents from having responsibility for the build,” the senator said.
“Instead the government has invited three foreign ship designers to bid for the job, offering them a taxpayer-funded shipyard in Adelaide and a $35bn contract to establish themselves to compete with the long-standing Australian companies. This approach to the project makes ASC’s future rather bleak.”
Senator Patrick argues there has been a gradual but shift away from the use of local shipbuilders in Navy programs. The supply ships set to replace the RAN’s French designed Durance-class supply ship, built by an Australian-controlled company, are now being built in Spain by Navan while the Aurora Australis, the Antarctic Division’s Icebreaker, which was built in Newcastle by an Australian controlled company, will be replaced by RSV Nuyina which is being built by Damen in Romania.
“It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the bureaucrats advising government are determined to see the quiet death of a sovereign shipbuilding capability in Australia and its replacement with foreign entities operating on Australian waterfront real estate,” he said.
“This has to stop. The new bill will contain a provision that will mean the law applies from the date it was announced – as has been done for other government bills. This will have effect on both the Future Submarine Program, for which no build contract has yet been signed, and the Future Frigate Program.
“While the bill will allow overseas procurement of naval vessels in time of a defence emergency or war, it will provide an unambiguous legislative direction that Australian naval construction must take place in Australia by Australian companies with the consequent benefits for our defence industrial base and long-term strategic self-reliance.”
Senator Patrick said the use of Australian companies for the build will ensure the know-how of these programs is transferred to an Australian-controlled company, rather than a “daughter company” of a foreign entity and will ensure foreign companies will not have veto power over any export opportunities Australian shipbuilders wish to engage in.
While the Centre Alliance Party is likely to garner support from other crossbenchers and members of the Labor Party, Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne shot down the bill.
“You … need to keep competitive tension in the market otherwise the taxpayer of Australia loses in two ways — in value for money and in the quality of the productions of the products or the service,” the minister said at the opening of the Australian Defence Export Office.
“If the Australian government was to mandate only two shipbuilders in Australia, the ASC which was a very troubled institution until the last few years, and Austal, then the competitive tension would be removed from the market. The loser from that would be the taxpayer, the defence force of course would be the loser potentially in terms of the quality of the product provided because if a company knows that they cannot be defeated in a tender or a contract then of course what they offer doesn’t have the competitive tension that’s required to make sure that the quality of the service offered is the best it could possibly be.” (Source: Defence Connect)
20 Apr 18. Iraq to work with Iran on military industrial development. Iran and Iraq are to collaborate on reviving Iraq’s military industrial capabilities, Iraqi news media reported on 19 April.
The National Iraqi News Agency stated that Iraq’s Acting Minister of Industry and Minerals, Mohammad Shiaa al-Sudani had signed a co-operation agreement with Iran’s Defence Minister, Amir Hatami.
According to the outlet, the agreement covers the transfer of technology to Iraq and the localisation of military and civilian products, as well as efforts to “improve and expand future co-operation in military and civilian industrial projects.”
While specific projects were not detailed, al-Sudani stressed that the country was seeking to improve its self-sufficiency in military equipment manufacturing, particularly on systems such as ammunition, mortars, artillery, unmanned aerial vehicles, and communications systems.
(Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Apr 18. India withdraws from FGFA project, leaving Russia to go it alone. Key Points:
- India has pulled out of its 11-year collaborative programme with Russia to build a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft
- The decision has ramifications for both the IAF and the Russian aerospace industry
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has shelved its 11-year old collaborative Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme with Russia following enduring differences over its developmental cost and technological capabilities.
Senior Indian officials, including National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, recently informed a visiting Russian ministerial delegation that India was withdrawing from the programme, official sources told Jane’s on 20 April FGFA project, which was based on the Su-57, has gone belly up. The Indian officials are believed to have stated that the IAF could, at a later date, ‘revisit’ the FGFA project or alternatively acquire the fully developed platform once it had been inducted into the Russian Air Force, but did not elaborate.
Industry officials said the FGFA project, in which India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was the lead developmental agency, also did not feature in talks during Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to Moscow in early April.
“The FGFA project had become an instance of too little, too late,” said military analyst and retired air marshal V K Bhatia. To pursue it any longer would not have served the IAF interests in any way as it struggles to make up fast-depleting fighter numbers, he added.
The IAF believes that the Sukhoi Su-57 (T-50 PAK-FA) fighter, which India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) designated the Perspective Multi-Role Fighter, does not meet its requirements for stealth, combat avionics, radars and sensors. Seven FGFA prototypes are currently undergoing flight-testing in Russia, but for now there is no indication as to when the platform is likely to enter series production. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/IHS Jane’s)
20 Apr 18. Indian shipyards unveil designs for country’s ASW corvette programme. Two companies shortlisted for the Indian Navy’s 16-ship anti-submarine warfare shallow water craft (ASWSWC) programme have unveiled imagery of their respective proposals at Defexpo India 2018, held in Chennai from 11 to 14 April. The programme calls for a 70 m waterjet-powered corvette that displaces 700 tonnes and can be deployed for maritime security, coastal anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and minelaying operations.
Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) emerged as the two lowest bidders in the programme, and as such, production for the programme would be evenly split between the two companies based on the lowest bidder’s cost.
CSL’s design has a length of 74 m, a beam of 10.5 m, and a top speed of 25 kt. GRSE has not released specifics of its proposal, but its design shares common features with that presented by CSL, including its weapon and funnel positions. Both designs feature an RBU 6000 ASW rocket launcher, a small calibre cannon, and torpedo tubes. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Apr 18. RFIs open for Future Submarine equipment and services. Naval Group, designer of Australia’s Future Submarines, has released more Requests for Information (RFIs) to Australian industry for the $50bn SEA 1000 program.
Twenty-two packages for a range of equipment and services required to deliver the future submarines have been released this month, including valves, fire protection equipment, thermostats, sensors, laboratories and testing.
The RFIs close 30 April.
In a cover letter available to businesses, Naval Group said it is crucial that Australian businesses are capable of meeting the company’s “technical, time scale and safety needs”.
“The purpose of this RFI is to collect written information from Australian companies on their capability to supply products and technologies required to manufacture and sustain these submarines in Australia,” the letter said.
Businesses looking to submit RFIs can access the information on the ICN gateway.
The latest RFIs come after 15 packages opened in March, 10 in January and 14 opened in November last year.
Naval Group was selected as the designer and builder of Australia’s Future Submarines in 2016.
The submarines will be built in Adelaide with construction to commence in 2021-22. Construction will run into the late 2040-50 time frame. (Source: Defence Connect)
23 Apr 18. Australian Defence Industrial Capability Plan launched. The long-awaited Defence Industrial Capability Plan, heralded as the “long-term vision and roadmap for Australian defence industry” has been released by Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.
The Plan outlines Australia’s long-term vision and objectives for Australia’s defence industry, and how government and defence plan to partner with industry to achieve that vision.
In a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Minister Pyne today launched the plan, which argues in favour of a stronger, more resilient and internationally competitive defence industry.
“The plan addresses Australian defence and defence industry sovereignty and outlines the initial Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities,” Minister Pyne said.
“Importantly, the Plan makes clear that to be considered an Australian defence company, having an ABN and a shopfront is no longer enough – we want to see Australian leadership, an Australian board, and an Australian workforce value-adding right here at home.”
The plan also includes an initial list of Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities which Minister Pyne said are critical to achieving the Australian Defence Force’s operational mission and to the development of our future force over the next few years.
The initial Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities are:
- Collins Class Submarine maintenance and technology upgrade
- Continuous Shipbuilding Program (including rolling submarine acquisition)
- Land Combat Vehicle and technology upgrade
- Enhanced Active and Passive Phased Array Radar Capability
- Combat clothing survivability and signature reduction technologies
- Advanced signal processing capability in Electronic Warfare, Cyber and Information Security, and Signature Management technologies and operations
- Surveillance and intelligence data collection, analysis, dissemination and complex systems integration
- Test, evaluation, certification and systems assurance
- Munitions and small arms research, design, development and manufacture
- Aerospace platform deep maintenance.
Minister Pyne said the initial Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities, which will take the place of the previous Priority Industry Capabilities, took in the strategic, capability, and resource dimensions of industrial sovereignty, as well as judgements based on defence needs.
A new program with grant funding will also be launched to support the priorities and will be delivered by the Centre for Defence Industry Capability.
“The priorities will be strategically managed across defence planning and decision-making processes from strategic guidance to force design, the Capability Life Cycle, including the Australian Industry Capability Program, and industry and innovation programs,” the minister said.
“A dedicated Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grants program with funding of up to $17m per year will commence in the second half of 2018.”
Implementation Plans for the 10 priorities will be released by the government from mid-2019.
Implementation of the plan will also be supported by Australian industrial strategies for each of the six Integrated Investment Program capability streams and Implementation Plans for each Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority from mid-2019. (Source: Defence Connect)
American Panel Corporation
American Panel Corporation (APC) since 1998, specializes in display products installed in defence land systems, as well as military and commercial aerospace platforms, having delivered well over 100,000 displays worldwide. Military aviators worldwide operate their aircraft and perform their missions using APC displays, including F-22, F-18, F-16, F-15, Euro-fighter Typhoon, Mirage 2000, C-130, C-17, P-3, S-3, U-2, AH-64 Apache Helicopter, V-22 tilt-rotor, as well as numerous other military and commercial aviation aircraft including Boeing 717 – 787 aircraft and several Airbus aircraft. APC panels are found in nearly every tactical aircraft in the US and around the world.
APC manufactures the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Large Area Display (LAD) display (20 inch by 8 inch) with dual pixel fields, power and video interfaces to provide complete display redundancy. At DSEI 2017 we are exhibiting the LAD with a more advanced design, dual display on single substrate with redundant characteristics and a bespoke purpose 8 inch by 6 inch armoured vehicle display.
In order to fully meet the demanding environmental and optical requirements without sacrificing critical tradeoffs in performance, APC designs, develops and manufactures these highly specialized displays in multiple sizes and configurations, controlling all AMLCD optical panel, mechanical and electrical design aspects. APC provides both ITAR and non-ITAR displays across the globe to OEM Prime and tiered vetronics and avionics integrators.
————————————————————————-CONTRACT NEWS IN BRIEF
22 Apr 18. Defence Secretary announces £80m Guardian to protect the skies. The Ministry of Defence will invest up to £80m in a new computer system to boost the RAF’s speed and accuracy in protecting the skies, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced. Known as Project Guardian, the new Air Command and Control System will support the continued early detection and rapid response to potential hostile or suspect aircraft that pose a threat to UK sovereignty, be that terrorists or state-based actors. This project will see the current systems at RAF bases in the UK and Falkland Islands replaced with the new technology. It will allow the RAF to exercise command and control of UK and NATO fighters to intercept aggressive or suspect aircraft that are a threat. The RAF routinely intercept, identify and escort aircraft that transit international airspace within the UK’s area of interest and continue to be on call 365 days a year.
24 Apr 18. BMC Wins Contract for Turkey’s Indigenous Battle Tank. BMC, a Turkish-Qatari armored vehicles manufacturer, has won a key contract on the road to developing and producing the country’s main battle tank, dubbed “Altay,” defense sources told state-run Anadolu Agency on April 24. It was decided to start contract talks with BMC for the mass production of Altay and the development of its engine, according to sources. Any financial or production details were not yet released. The selection of BMC to produce the first 250 Altay tanks was announced April 24 by the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industries, known by its Turkish acronym SSM. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Hurriyet Daily News)
24 Apr 18. Netherlands – M1156 Precision Guided Kits. The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Netherlands of three thousand five hundred (3,500) M1156 Precision Guided Kits for an estimated cost of $70m. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today. The Netherlands has requested to buy three thousand five hundred (3,500) M1156 Precision Guided Kits. Also included are six (6) PGK settable trainers; two (2) PGK cut away models; one hundred (100) M76 PGK fuze wrenches; ten (10) Extended Length Artillery Projectile Extractors (ELAPEs); PGK technical data and publications; U.S. Government engineering and technical support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated total cost is $70. This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of the Netherlands which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe. It is important to the U.S. national interests to assist the Netherlands to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. The Netherlands has been a consistent coalition partner supporting the United States in various coalition combat operations to include counter-ISIS, Stabilization Force in Iraq, and Afghanistan.
The proposed sale of PGK will provide a precision guided capability to 155mm artillery projectiles and improve Netherlands’s capability to meet current and future enemy threats. The Netherlands will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defenses, deter regional threats, and provide direct support to coalition and security cooperation efforts. The Netherlands will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment will not impact the basic military balance in the region. The principal contractor will be Orbital ATK. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor. (Source: ASD Network/DCSA)
20 Apr 18. Saab has signed a contract with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, for training systems for the Swedish Army. The order value amounts to SEK 51m and deliveries will take place at the end of 2018. The contract include deliveries of the Manpack 300 training system to most of the regiments in Sweden and a number of networked base stations. The Manpack 300 systems, used for controlling, monitoring and collecting training data for analyse of exercises, comes with commercial 4G-functionality. This upgraded system will give the Swedish Army an improved capability during exercises. The base stations come in the form of mobile containers, which gives the Swedish Army the opportunity to deploy the equipment and practice anywhere.
23 Apr 18. Austria-Vienna: Ammunition, 2018/S 078-175432. Directive 2009/81/EC.
Section I: Contracting authority/entity
I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)
Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung / Kaufmännische Abteilung / Referat 1
Roßauer Lände 1
Contact point(s): BMLV/KA/I
Telephone: +43 502011023915
Fax: +43 502011017028
General address of the contracting authority: www.bundesheer.at
II.2.1)Total final value of contract(s)
Value: 555 000,00 EUR
Section V: Award of contract
Contract No: E90023/20/01-14-KA/2017
V.3)Name and address of economic operator in favour of whom the contract award decision has been taken
Sellier & Bellot Lidicka
Lidicka 667 258 01 Vlasim Tschechische Republik
258 01 Vlasim 667
V.4)Information on value of contract
Total final value of the contract:
Value: 555 000,00 EUR
(Source: Europa TED)
26 Apr 18. Spanish shipyard Astilleros Gondán has won a EUR6m (USD7.3m) order to build three new patrol boats for the maritime service (Semar) of the country’s paramilitary Guardia Civil police force. Astilleros Gondán was one of two yards to bid for the glass-reinforced plastic (GRP)-hulled boats that will be used mainly for combating illegal immigration crossing from North and West Africa. Other tasks will include combating drug trafficking, part of which is also channelled through Africa, and protection of the marine environment. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Apr 18. The Government of the Netherlands has requested to buy defense articles and services in support of continuation of a Continental United States (CONUS) based Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 Formal Training Unit, to include up to twenty-seven (27) GBU-12 Inert Paveway IIs. Also included are PGU-27 Inert training rounds, Impulse Cartridges, MJU-7/B Flares, RR-188 Chaff, BDU-33/B and BDU-50/B training munitions, fuel and air refueling support, airlift services, base operating support, facilities, publications and technical documentation, pilot training, personnel training and training equipment, weapon system and software support, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated program value is $110 m. There is no prime contractor involved in this proposed sale. The Tucson Air National Guard will provide instruction, flight operations, and maintenance support and facilities with defense articles anticipated to come from U.S. stocks, as needed. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
24 Apr 18. Harris Corp., Space and Intelligence Systems, Palm Bay, Florida, has been awarded a $44,691,048 firm-fixed-price modification (P00006) to previously awarded contract FA8819-17-C-0004 for production of the Counter Communication System Block 10.2. This modification will upgrade Block 10.1 systems to the Block 10.2 configuration and deliver three new Block 10.2 systems including depot spares. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $127,106,640. Work will be performed in Palm Bay, Florida, and is expected to be complete by Feb. 28, 2020. Fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $44,691,048 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Space Superiority Systems Directorate, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity.
24 Apr 18. J.C. Bamford Excavators, Pooler, Georgia, was awarded an $8,666,814 modification (0011) to contract W56HZV-14-D-0066 for the procurement of 34 high mobility engineer excavators. Work will be performed in Pooler, Georgia, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2019. Fiscal 2018 other procurement (Army) funds in the amount of $8,666,814 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity.
24 Apr 18. Orbital ATK, with sub-contractors Liteye, Numerica, and Pratt & Miller, was awarded an $8,499,990 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract on November 1st, 2017 for integrating the mobile-anti unmanned aerial vehicle defense system with a networked low, slow, small, unmanned aerial system integrated defeat system into a mobile platform.
One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work was to be performed in Plymouth, Minnesota, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 26, 2018. Fiscal 2018 aviation procurement (Army) funds in the amount of $4,164,995 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-18-C-0006). In fact, work began in November 2017, and with delivery having started in in January 2018, all vehicles were delivered by February 2018. The full $8+m order has now been fulfilled. Orbital ATK and Liteye are now working on follow-on orders. (Source: UAS VISION/DoD, Vimeo)
26 Apr 18. DRS Laurel Technologies, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, is awarded a $64,290,515 firm-fixed-price contract for delivery of AN/SPQ-9B ASMD radar systems and associated equipment. This contract is for the manufacture of up to 59 AN/SPQ-9B radar systems. The AN/SPQ-9B provides Navy ships the capability to detect and track low-flying, high-speed, small Radar Cross Section (RCS) anti-ship missile targets in heavy clutter environments. The system uses a high-resolution, track-while-scan, X-band, pulse-doppler radar to provide real time acquisition and automatic tracking of multiple surface and air targets while maintaining the surface detection, gunfire control and navigational capabilities. AN/SPQ-9B maximizes the use of commercial-off-the-shelf and non-developmental item equipment. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $261,983,690. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (88.2 percent); and the government of Japan (11.8 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Largo, Florida (70 percent); and Johnstown, Pennsylvania (30 percent), and is expected to be completed by June 2022. Fiscal 2017 other procurement (Navy); fiscal 2017 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); fiscal 2016 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); fiscal 2018 other procurement (Navy); and foreign military sales (Japan) funding in the amounts of $18,908,515; $15,127,594; $15,127,203; $7,563,797; and $7,563,406 respectively will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with two offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-18-C-5395).
26 Apr 18. Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Tewksbury, Massachusetts, is awarded a $29,990,292 cost-plus-fixed fee contract for Cross Domain Maritime Surveillance and Targeting (CDMaST). Work will be performed in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (37 percent); Woburn, Massachusetts (20 percent); Cambridge, Massachusetts (15 percent); Portsmouth, Rhode Island (12 percent); Groton, Connecticut (8 percent); San Diego, California (6 percent); and various places below one percent (2 percent), and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2020. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,416,157 will be placed on contract and obligated at the time of award. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via a broad agency announcement, with two offers received. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, North Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity (N65236-18-C-8009).
26 Apr 18. US Army selects BAE Systems to develop aircraft missile warning system. The US Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract worth as much as USD98m to develop a quick reaction capability (QRC) next-generation missile warning system for aircraft, according to a company statement. Under the Limited Interim Missile Warning System (LIMWS) contract, BAE Systems’ 2-Color Advanced Warning System (2C-AWS) will provide aircraft with missile warning and hostile fire protection to improve survivability and mission effectiveness in contested environments. BAE Systems spokesman Mark Daly told Jane’s on 25 April that the company’s 2C-AWS system uses different wavelengths of light in the infrared (IR) range, but by using two wavelengths, it improves the threat-detection capabilities of the system. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Apr 18. KBR, Inc. (NYSE: KBR) announced today that its global government services business, KBRwyle, has been awarded a $32.3m task order to assist the U.S. Air Force in enhancing the operational capability and efficiency of air and space systems. Under this contract, KBRwyle will support the Air Force’s Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP) Program, providing a full spectrum of systems engineering services for the rapid prototype development and integration of national-level space, intelligence, and air and missile defense capabilities. KBRwyle will assist the Air Force with cost-effective research, development, and test and evaluation of emerging technologies, materials, and manufacturing processes. This work will significantly advance the functionality and capability of military systems, while shortening the timeline from prototyping to fielding fully operational systems. KBRwyle will primarily perform this work at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado as well as other locations around the world. The task order award period is 54 months. The Air Force awarded this cost-plus-fixed-fee task order under the DoD’s Information Analysis Center’s (IAC) Defense Systems Technical Area Task (DSTAT) multi-award contract. KBRwyle won a seat on the DSTAT contract in June 2014.
25 Apr 18. Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $38,499,420 modification to the previously awarded F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter advance acquisition contract (N00019-17-C-0001). This modification provides additional funding for the low-rate initial production of long lead materials, parts, components, and effort for economic order quantity increases for the Navy (Lot) 12; and the government of Italy (Lots 13 and 14). Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (30 percent); El Segundo, California (25 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (20 percent); Orlando, Florida (10 percent); Nashua, New Hampshire (5 percent); Nagoya, Japan (5 percent); and Baltimore, Maryland (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2019. Fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement (Navy); and non-Department of Defense(DoD) participant funds in the amount of $38,499,420 are obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the Navy ($28,499,120; 74 percent); and non-DoD participants ($10,000,000; 20.03 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
13 Apr 18. USAF announces $950m contract for agile cyber R&D.
Those winners are:
- Assured Information Security
- CNF Technologies
- Global InfoTek
- Invictus International Consulting
- Radiance Technologies
Solicitation documents detail AFRL’s vision of the program as helping enable global vigilance, global reach and global power in air, space and cyberspace. (Source: Defense Systems)
REST OF THE WORLD
24 Apr 18. Blighter Surveillance Systems Ltd (www.blighter.com), a British designer and manufacturer of electronic-scanning (E-scan) radars and surveillance solutions, has secured its first sale into India for its Blighter B400 series E-scan micro Doppler ground surveillance radars. The contract was awarded by system integrator Tata Power Company Limited (Strategic Engineering Division) following Blighter’s success at a radar/sensor trial organised by India’s border management organisation in Gwalior in November/December 2016. The Blighter radars will be deployed by Tata Power during 2018 as part of the Indian Government’s Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS). The CIBMS programme aims to establish a multi-tier security ring – ground surveillance radar, thermal cameras, unattended ground sensors, seismic vibration systems, fences and fence protection systems – to protect the country’s long international borders. Pilot projects are already underway as part of this modernisation programme.
24 Apr 18. Comtech to deliver MTTS terminals and ISR Downlinks to Philippines. Comtech Systems has received new orders for the delivery of tactical troposcatter equipment, in addition to the design and installation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) video downlink systems for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Based in Orlando, Florida, US, Comtech Systems is a subsidiary of Comtech Telecommunications and is part of the company’s Government Solutions segment. As part of the $6.5m orders, the AFP will purchase the modular transportable transmission system (MTTS) troposcatter terminals to establish data links between island locations that were previously beyond the reach of high-bandwidth terrestrial communications. The MTTS is part of the AFP’s command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) modernisation plan. It can be used to transport different types of data from remote locations to command centres for real-time decision-making. ISR video downlink systems will enable airborne assets to deliver real-time ISR data for distribution to ground-based decision makers. The systems have also been designed to support future upgrades of the AFP ISR capabilities. (Source: army-technology.com)
23 Apr 18. Rheinmetall to supply Asian customer with Skyshield air defence systems – order worth over €100m. An Asian nation has contracted with Rheinmetall to supply it with advanced air defence technology. In a competitive bidding process, Rheinmetall Air Defence won the order to supply the customer with the latest generation of its Skyshield systems. The contract, booked in April of this year, is worth over €100m. Production of the systems is already under way. Shipment will take place over the course of the next three years. Besides reconnaissance sensors, 35mm fire units and the accompanying command and control equipment, the contract includes a comprehensive logistics and service package. Rheinmetall will be providing complete training for operators and maintenance personnel as well as technical assistance and live fire exercise support in the customer country. Moreover, local companies will take part in the project, including construction of buildings and vehicle procurement. Rheinmetall attaches great commercial importance to this contract, with follow-up orders already on the horizon. The current project underscores once again Rheinmetall’s globally leading role in the field of state-of-the-art short-range air defence systems.
24 Apr 18. Australian shipbuilder Austal has signed a deal for the delivery of two more Guardian-class patrol boats (Pacific Patrol Boats) for Timor Leste. The signing of the contract follows an announcement made last year by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Timor-Leste leader Mari Alkatiri. The A$29.7m ($22.68m) contract extends the existing Pacific Patrol Boat (PPB) contract and increases the total production from the original 19 to 21 vessels. Austal was previously awarded the original A$305m ($232.94m) deal in May 2016. The company has also agreed to provide associated in-service support as part of the agreement. (Source: naval-technology.com)
23 Apr 18. The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has selected FarSounder’s long-range sonar for installation on-board its future fleet replenishment tanker HMNZS Aotearoa (A12). FarSounder is set to deliver its flagship forward-looking sonar, FarSounder-1000, under the arrangement.
The FarSounder-1000 sonar is designed to provide real-time 3D data to the vessel in order to enhance safety and security for the ship’s crew.
FarSounder’s sonar will also support the maritime sustainment capability (MSC) vessel during operations in disaster zones featuring hazardous debris and changing seafloors. FarSounder’s Oceantech is slated to serve as the facilitator for the project. The South Korean dealer will be responsible for the delivery and installation of FarSounder-1000 as part of the arrangement. (Source: naval-technology.com)
23 Apr 18. Safety solutions provider Survitec has agreed a deal with service support operator Atlantic & Peninsula (A&P) Australia to upgrade the Marin Ark marine evacuation system (MES) on board the Australian Navy vessel HMAS Choules. The contract, worth $450,000 AUD (£245,000 GBP), will see Survitec upgrade all rafts and chutes in two on-board MES systems. Marin Ark 1 is uniquely designed to ensure utmost stability in the toughest heavy sea conditions and can be fully inflated and operational within 90 seconds of deployment. The liferafts are fully reversible, ensuring Marin Ark 1 inflates upright every time, and evacuation chutes are fully enclosed ensuring no passenger is exposed to the elements during evacuation. Its compact all-in-one stowage design means it requires a minimal deck footprint and allows for easy system swap-outs, ensuring minimal vessel downtime.
25 Apr 18. Airbus Helicopters has secured an additional order of one H225 helicopter from the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), bringing JCG’s H225 fleet to ten units. JCG currently operates three AS332s and five H225s, both from the Super Puma family. With this new order, the customer’s Super Puma fleet will grow to 13 units by March 2021, becoming the largest Super Puma operator in Japan. The new H225 will join the rest of the fleet in security enforcement, territorial coastal activities, as well as disaster relief missions in Japan.
23 Apr 18. Thales has agreed to deliver a helicopter mission trainer for the Senegalese Armed Forces to enable collective and tactical instruction and training of attack helicopter pilots.
The Thales helicopter trainer-simulator will be used to train Mi-35 attack helicopter and Mi-17 transport helicopter pilots.
The tactical training of Senegalese pilots, who conduct a wide range of remote missions beyond their homeland defence operations, will allow them to be mission-ready.
To be installed at the Air Force Academy at Thiès, near Dakar, the trainer is designed to recreate realistic operational conditions that will enable the aircrews to develop and improve their tactical skills.
MANAGEMENT ON THE MOVE
www.topengineer.com is the world’s largest specialist engineering jobs search engine, hosting thousands of job opportunities worldwide at any one time.
TopEngineer.com Job Of the Week!
Job – Security Specialist – Cyber Defence in London
Location: London, UK
Job type: Permanent
Category: Automotive Engineering
Job Reference: 352321266
Posted on: 7 Feb 2018
About the Role:
Security Specialist – Cyber Defence
Why is our Cyber Defence team the next step for you?
As part of this team, you’ll provide cyber security incident analysis and support on a global scale. You will be a crucial member of a team that are integral to Worldpay’s ongoing success.
How will you add value on a day-to-day basis?
In this role, you’ll take ownership of security incident response activities, analysing output from in-house security technologies and recommend continuous ways to improve our processes internally. You’ll perform cyber threat analysis, pro-active threat hunting, reporting and remediation.
Working with colleagues across Worldpay, you will ensure that our platforms are active and delivering the most efficient protection and value. You’ll be expected to produce detailed documentation on incidents and analyse the results of advice originating from the MSSP based on Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), and Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) toolset.
What will make you the ideal candidate?
You’ll currently be working within Cyber Security and will have proven experience within security operations or cyber defence. You’ll have deep knowledge of security technologies and experience with SIEM-based analysis and development. Working in environments subject to compliance standards (PCI DSS, ISO 27001 etc.) you’ll have experience with proactive threat hunting, incident response to security issues and threat management.
As we’re a fast paced organisation, you’ll be able to cope with pressure and be adaptable to change. You’ll be an excellent communicator, able to engage with stakeholders across the business at all levels. You’ll have experience with Windows, Unix, Networks, Firewalls and IDS monitoring. Experience with SourceFire, Websense, FireEye, F5 ASM and Qualys are ideal.
How is Worldpay changing the world?
We are leaders in modern money. Each and every time you use your debit card or credit card to pay for something, whether online or face-to-face, there’s a good chance it happened because of us. On an annual basis our innovations, systems and technology enable bns of money transactions globally. Working with customers large and small, we help them to take your payments quickly, safely and reliably, allowing them to grow their businesses and making your life more convenient in the process. As a leader in global fintech and the largest London IPO since 2011, this is a great time to join us in building for the next phase of the Worldpay journey.
26 Apr 18. Navantia opens naval design centre in Australia. Navantia Australia inaugurated a Naval Design and Engineering Centre in Melbourne on 26 April.
The company said the new centre will be focused on developing capability in support of its bid to meet the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) project to procure future frigates.
The facility will also support the RAN’s Navantia-designed Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs), following the government’s selection of Navantia Australia in February as responsible for the vessels’ future management and development.
Navantia Australia said the new facility is also intended to complement the company’s Operations and Design Centre, which was established in Adelaide in 2016.
In the RAN’s future frigate programme Navantia Australia is offering its F-5000 design, which is a modification of the F-100 Alvaro de Bazan-class on which the RAN’s AWDs are also based. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. CAE expands profile in Australia. Canadian simulation and training specialist CAE has inaugurated a new office in Canberra, Australia, to support growth within the market, it announced on 25 April.
CAE said the new office will be run by its defence and security division and adds to “already significant presence” in Australia.
Across CAE’s defence, civil aviation, and healthcare business units, the company employs about 300 people at almost 20 sites in the country. The company’s local subsidiary, CAE Australia, was established in 1994 and is headquartered in Sydney. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. Hanwha launches US defence subsidiary. Hanwha Corporation has established a US subsidiary and opened a new office in Washington, DC, the South Korean group announced on 25 April. Hanwha said its expansion in the US will support efforts to expand sales of defence and security products to the market. The US subsidiary will be headed by Bernard Champoux, a former US Army commander based in South Korea. Champoux said that while the US defence market has high barriers to entry, it offers Hanwha the “biggest opportunity” for growth. He added that Hanwha’s strategy in the market will be based on building partnerships with local defence companies. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Apr 18. Australian Defence Export Office opens. A key pillar of the recently released Defence Export Strategy has come to fruition, with Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne opening the new Defence Export Office. The new office is set to deliver a range of initiatives to assist and support Australian defence industry, including producing market intelligence, partnering with industry in multi-year campaigns, and leading the Australian Military Sales and Team Defence Australia initiatives
Minister Pyne said the establishment of the Australian Defence Export Office was a critical step in achieving the export success we need to support and develop the Australian defence industry of tomorrow.
“The Australian Defence Export Office will provide a focal point for whole-of-government delivery of the systematic approach and initiatives set out in the strategy,” Minister Pyne said.
“We have a clear strategic vision for a sovereign Australian defence industry that underpins our defence capability. A defence industry that is sustainable and internationally competitive is crucial to this vision. I look forward to seeing Australian defence industry achieving greater export success, supported by the Australian Defence Export Office.”
The opening of the office comes just two weeks after former minister for defence David Johnston was announced as the inaugural Defence Export Advocate, another key initiative of the Defence Export Strategy.
The strategy also included $20m per year to implement the Defence Export Strategy and support defence industry exports, including $6.35m to develop and implement strategic multi-year export campaigns, $3.2m to enhance and expand the Global Supply Chain Program, and an additional $4.1m for grants to help build the capability of small and medium enterprises to compete internationally. (Source: Defence Connect)
26 Apr 18. Royal Malaysian Navy commissions two new training ships. The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) commissioned two new training ships in a ceremony held at the Lumut Naval Base on 26 April. Named KD Gagah Samudera(with pennant number 271) and KD Teguh Samudera (with pennant number 272) the ships, which have an overall beam of 11 m and a draught of 3 m, had been launched from Malaysian shipbuilder NGV Tech’s shipyards at Sijangkang, Selangor State, in December 2012 and February 2013, respectively. Displacing about 1,270 tonnes, the vessels are equipped with twin MAN diesel engines providing a maximum speed of 20kt. Endurance is 21 days at 12kt, with a range of 2,500n miles, according to Jane’s Fighting Ships. While the ships’ primary role will be training, they will also be capable of conducting patrols and search-and-rescue missions. The combat system includes one MSI-Defence Seahawk DS-30M 30 mm gun, two 7.62mm machine guns, and a Samsung/Thales fire-control system, as well as radar, navigation, and communication equipment. A helicopter deck aft can accommodate a Fennec or a Super Lynx platform, and there are also provisions on board for two rigid hull inflatable boats, as Jane’s previously reported. The ships will carry a complement of 50 crew and 60 trainees. The contract for the construction of the vessels was signed between the Malaysian government and NGV Tech in February 2012. The ships are based on a design by South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). Blocks of the first vessel were built at DSME and assembled and fitted out by NGV Tech. The second vessel was constructed in Malaysia.
(Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. India bolsters Andaman and Nicobar territories with third Mk IV landing craft. Key Points:
- The Indian Navy has commissioned its third Mk IV landing craft
- Programme is part of New Delhi’s plan to improve capabilities at India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Indian Navy has commissioned a third Mk IV landing craft utility (LCU) platform that was built by state-owned shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).
The vessel, which has been named INLCU L53, was commissioned on 25 April at Port Blair in a ceremony officiated by Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, commander-in-chief of India’s Andaman and Nicobar Command. It is part of an INR21bn (USD310m) contract for eight LCUs signed between GRSE and the Indian government in September 2011. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. Indonesian Navy receives second Nagapasa-class submarine. South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has handed over the second of three Nagapasa (Type 209/1400)-class diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) ordered by the Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) in 2011. The TNI-AL received the 61.2 m-long boat, which will be known as KRI Ardadedali (with pennant number 404) once commissioned later this year, in a ceremony held on 25 April at DSME’s Okpo shipyard on South Korea’s Geoje Island, according to a company statement. The boat, which displaces about 1,400 tonnes when dived, was launched in October 2016. Powered by four MTU 12V493 diesel engines, the submarine has a top speed of 21.5 kt when dived and 11 kt when surfaced. Ardadedali, which has a crew complement of 40, is part of a KRW1.3trn (USD12.1bn) contract signed between DSME and the Indonesian government in December 2011 for three SSKs. First-of-class KRI Nagapasa (with pennant number 403), which was also built by DSME, was commissioned in August 2017, while a third vessel, Alugoro, is currently under construction at the facilities of Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL in Surabaya, with delivery expected by 2021. As Jane’s reported, the Nagapasa class is equipped with the Wärtsilä ELAC KaleidoScope suite of sensors, which consists of a cylindrical array sonar (CAS), a flank array sonar (FAS), an acoustic intercept sonar (AIS), and a mine avoidance sonar (MAS). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. India reveals P-17A frigate configuration. Indian naval shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL) unveiled a scale model of the Project 17A (P-17A) frigate at the Defexpo 2018 exhibition. MDSL is building four ships in the class, while the remaining three are being constructed by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE). The P-17A platform has been described as an enlarged, stealthier variant of the three-ship Project 17 (P-17) Shivalik class frigates. The new ships are 149m long, with a beam of 17.8m, a draught of 5.15m, a displacement of 6,673 tonnes, and a crew complement of 226. The platform will be powered by two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, and two MAN 12V28/33D STC diesels driving two shafts in a combined diesel or gas (CODOG) arrangement. Top speed is given as 28kt, while range is 5,500n miles at 16–18kt or 1,000n miles at 28kt. The ship will be armed with launchers for the Indo-Israeli Barak-8 or Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LR-SAM) missile system, two of which are mounted forward while another two are installed with two clusters mounted forward and two mounted abaft the funnel, and one eight-cell BrahMos missile launcher unit located forward.
Anti-submarine weapons comprise a pair of rocket launchers that are an indigenous modification of the RBU 6000, and a pair of triple-tube torpedo launchers. Armament includes a 76mm Oto Melara gun and a pair of AK-630M close-in weapon systems sited at aft above the hangar. The ships will be equipped with two anti-torpedo decoy systems, and what appear to be four decoy launchers. Sensors include the Elta MF-STAR radar for the LR-SAM housed in an enclosed mast, a number of unspecified navigation radars, and a bow-mounted sonar. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Apr 18. Damen begins work on first of two OPVs for Pakistan Navy. Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards has begun work on the first of two 1,900 tonne multipurpose offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Pakistan Navy (PN).
An article published in the April issue of the PN’s Navy News magazine revealed that a steel-cutting ceremony for the first ship was held at Damen’s shipyard in Galati, Romania, where the second ship will also be built.
Images have also emerged of a keel-laying ceremony recently held at the same yard showing that the vessel class is being designated the OPV 1900. The ceremony was attended by PN Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (Projects), Rear Admiral Farrokh Ahmad.
The contract for the OPVs was signed in June 2017.
The 90m-long vessels will have a full-load displacement of about 1,900 tonnes, and a top speed of 22kt. The OPVs have been described by the PN as “state-of-the-art vessels” especially suited for anti-surface, anti-air, and maritime security operations. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Apr 18. OCEA delivers two more patrol boats to the Nigerian Navy. The Nigerian Navy has received two OCEA-built FPB 110 Mk II fast patrol boats. The transport ship carrying these two patrol boats docked at the port of Lagos around 20-21 April, according to AIS data. The patrol boats – NNS Nguru (P187) and Ekulu (P188) – are the newest additions to the Nigerian Navy’s growing fleet of OCEA-built patrol boats. In addition to the FPB 110 Mk II hulls, OCEA has delivered seven FPB 72 Mk II hulls in three tranches – three in 2012, two in 2017, and two in early 2018 – and a single FPB 98 in 2013. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Apr 18. Boeing’s [NYSE: BA] KC-46 tanker program has now completed all required Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) flight tests following a successful refueling/communications flight with a C-17 Globemaster III. The STC encompasses the military systems installed on the 767-2C aircraft to make it a tanker, and is one of two required FAA airworthiness certifications. Boeing will now submit the resulting data and reports to the FAA for review in advance of the STC award.
“This is a huge milestone for the program and moves us closer to first KC-46 delivery,” said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager. “We’ve got the best of Boeing working together to ensure the Air Force is getting a game-changing tanker with unmatched capabilities.”
As part of STC testing, the combined Boeing/Air Force team had to validate both the boom and drogue systems for aerial refueling with multiple receiver aircraft. They also demonstrated the KC-46 can take on fuel from KC-135, KC-10 and other KC-46 tankers, conducted night and day lighting tests and tested the aircraft defensive systems and avionics.
“While the majority of our testing was conducted out of Boeing Field in Seattle, we connected with assets out of Nellis and Edwards Air Force Bases and also travelled to Naval Air Station Patuxent River for centerline drogue system testing,” said Jeanette Croppi, KC-46 test program manager. “This was truly a great team effort.”
Boeing previously received its Amended Type Certificate from the FAA for its core 767-2C configuration in December 2017. The 767-2C is a modified version of the company’s commercial 767 with revised structure, wiring and plumbing.
The program has six aircraft that have supported various segments of ATC and STC testing. Overall they have completed 2,900 flight hours as well as more than 2,500 “contacts” during refueling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10, KC-10 and KC-46 aircraft.
The KC-46, derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe, is built in the company’s Everett, Wash., facility. Boeing is currently on contract for the first 34 of an expected 179 tankers for the U.S. Air Force.
The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.
23 Apr 18. USMC on track to turn the MV-22 into a refueling tanker. The vastness of the Pacific Ocean presents a major obstacle to Marine forces. As such, the Corps wants to bridge that “tyranny of distance” by turning its MV-22 Ospreys into an air refueling tanker to extend the range of its fighter and tilt-rotor aircraft.
Known as the V-22 Aerial Refueling System, or VARS, the system will help extend the range of F-35Bs, and other V-22s by providing an additional 10,000 pounds of fuel to aircraft forward deployed with Marine Expeditionary Units. The Corps expects its new refueling system to be operational by fiscal year 2019.
Flight tests are expected to kick off this fall, and the system already has undergone concept demonstrations, according to a recent command release from Naval Air Systems Command.
“MV-22 VARS capacity will increase to 10,000 pounds of fuel by 2020,” Capt. Sarah Burns, a Marine spokeswoman, told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement Friday. “This will significantly enhance range, as well as the aircraft’s ability to remain on target for a longer period. Overall, VARS will be a huge force multiplier for both a sea-based MAGTF [Marine Air-Ground Task Force] and forward deployed expeditionary forces.”
With a rising China in the Corps’ crosshairs, the force is amid one of the greatest shifts of Marines into the Pacific, which means the Corps will need extended range and lethality of its weapon systems and aerial platforms to compete in the magnitude of the region.
Currently, the block C MV-22, which began production in 2010, has a flight radius of 428 nautical miles when carrying 24 troops and a ramp mounted weapon system, according to a Boeing fact sheet. The extra 10,000 pounds of fuel will greatly extend this range as well as other aircraft in the Corps’ arsenal, like the F-35B.
The F-35B has a combat radius range of a little over 450 nautical miles and a fuel capacity of 13,100 pounds of fuel, according to a Lockheed Martin fact sheet.
As the Corps flexes to the Pacific, nearly nine thousand Marines are being moved off Okinawa, Japan, where they will be disbursed to other locations like Guam and Hawaii.
And on top of that, the Corps is kicking off its largest deployment yet to Darwin Australia, at nearly 1,587 Marines as part of its annual six-month rotation. Additional assets will include MV-22s and M777 howitzers.
The Corps’ strategy here is simple: decentralize Marine forces in the Pacific to make it harder for a near-peer competitor like China to hit Marine forces in the region, should the U.S. enter conflict with the Pacific heavyweight.
“China is approaching near-peer rival status with increased investments in the military and an aggressive force modernization campaign,” Matthew Merighi, assistant director of Fletcher’s Maritime Studies Program, told Marine Corps Times. “The greatest threat is posed by advanced anti-ship ballistic missiles, which can threaten the Navy’s super carriers, and expanded conventional navy.”
To counter these developments the Corps rapidly has been seeking to upgrade the range and lethality of its weapons systems and aerial platforms to conform with a new fighting concept known as Expeditionary Advance Based Operations, which will see Marine forces operating from a distributed network of small land bases and floating barge-like bases.
To maintain this distributed network, the Corps will need to push the range and capabilities of already existing platforms, while other futuristic concepts like the gigantic MUX sea drone remain sitting on the drawing board.
In the fall, the Corps successfully test fired and destroyed a target with the typically land-based rocket artillery platform, known as M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, from a U.S. Navy ship. And now the Corps is packing a refueling system on its MV-22s to help push the range of its aircraft.
To challenge U.S. dominance in the region, “China is building man-made islands to provide bases of operation in the South China Sea and exert de facto control over the body of water,” Merighi said.
With much of the world’s commerce flowing through the Pacific the region is ripe for competition and confrontation.
“The South China Sea is the main highway for China’s energy imports and a conveyor for its export-driven economy. China sees securing these avenues as crucial for its economic security,” Merighi added.
The Corps is pushing its current air and weapons systems to the max in preparation for a potential war in the region.
But not every development in the region requires a military solution, according to Merighi.
The U.S. can counter China through trade, economic investment and international law.
“U.S. Freedom of Navigation operations against China’s island-building campaign needs to be supported with an integrated legal campaign to put pressure on China to stop,” Merighi explained. “This approach would counter China’s ‘lawfare’ strategy but it requires shrewd diplomacy and engaging international organizations.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Marine Times)
22 Apr 18. German special forces H145M helos close to being fully operational. The fleet of Airbus Helicopters H145M helicopters that the German government has procured for the country’s special forces are nearing full capability as operational trials progress towards a conclusion.
Speaking ahead of the ILA Berlin Airshow running from 25 to 29 April, Colonel Bernhard Martin of the Luftwaffe’s Plans and Policy Office said that, with all 15 helicopters now with the air force’s new special operations section, some operational tests and evaluations still need to be conducted before the Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) special forces command can employ them for real.
“While in-service at Laupheim in southern Germany, it is still in an operational testing phase by the KSK special forces that will field the type,” the colonel said. “The basic airframe is now available but not all of the extra equipment needed for the special operations role is yet ready for use and is still being certified and tested. This includes equipment for fire-support [door-mounted Gatling-guns] and insertion and extraction, as well as equipment to enable a worldwide deployment.”
The Bundeswehr told Jane’s that this final phase of testing will run through to the end of 2018.
The H145M is a militarised version of the H145 that was selected by German Army as its new special forces support helicopter before that role was transferred over to the air force in 2013. “When the decision to transfer types and role across the services, the selection had already taken place. Though the decision had already been taken by the army, the air force had to integrate the new aircraft into the armed forces in terms of personnel, training, logistics, infrastructure and so on,” the colonel noted. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
24 Apr 18. Top Angolan generals sacked. Angolan President João Lourenço’s office announced on 23 April that 17 senior commanders had been dismissed and a new chief of staff appointed. State media reported on 26 March that the previous chief, General Sachipengo Nunda, was being investigated in connection with a false credit line worth USD50bn. He has now been replaced by General António Egídio de Sousa Santos, previously the Angolan Armed Forces’ (FAA’s) head of education. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Apr 18. Up to 223 jobs to go at ASC by June. Despite claims from the government that the naval shipbuilding “valley of death” is over, ASC will shed over 200 jobs by June as the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) project winds down. In a written statement, ASC advised that while the taxpayer-owned company is working to secure more work on major naval shipbuilding projects, reductions in workforce are needed as the AWD program wraps up. The second of the three destroyers is now in the water while work on the third vessel, Sydney, is nearing its end.
“ASC Shipbuilding, together with the federal government, has been working to retain as much shipbuilding capability as possible ahead of the start of the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) and Future Frigate programs. This is being achieved by transferring shipbuilding personnel to work on ASC’s submarine maintenance operations and on to other shipbuilding-related work and training opportunities,” the company said in a statement.
“However, planned workforce reductions on the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Program are now required to ensure the workforce profile meets operational requirements as the project nears completion.”
ASC confirmed that a six-week consultation phase with staff will now commence, and both voluntary and forced redundancies will be offered.
“ASC Shipbuilding is briefing employees on the impact of the changes and support will be provided through the company’s employee assistance program and career transition centre,” the statement said.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has lashed the federal government for the latest bout of job losses at ASC.
“Minister Pyne and the Turnbull government have betrayed shipbuilders by not standing by their commitment to transition jobs of South Australian shipbuilders to future projects,” the AMWU said in a statement.
AMWU South Australian assistant secretary Peter Bauer hit out at Minister Pyne, arguing no consultation has taken place with ASC workers.
“The minister publicly announced that shipbuilding’s valley of death was now over,” said Bauer. “If the Valley of Death is over, how do they explain today’s announcement?
“The minister needs to immediately take urgent steps to secure this workforce – or they won’t have the skilled workers required for the future.”
A statement from Minister Pyne blamed the reduction of the workforce on the Labor governments led by Rudd and Gillard.
“The slowdown of work for the ASC is the direct result of Labor’s failure to commission a single vessel from an Australian yard,” Minister Pyne said.
“This inaction has impacted on the stability of shipbuilding jobs as well as the capability of our Navy. Under Labor, the NUSHIP Sydney would have been the last vessel built at Osborne, however in stark contrast, the Turnbull government has committed to build 11 new ships at Osborne, and 12 new submarines.”
Opposition minister for Defence Richard Marles rejected the claims and slammed the government for not acting sooner.
“A competent government would have seen this coming. A caring government would have done something about it,” Minister Marles said.
“This government is neither, and the result is people losing their job.”
ASC Shipbuilding will commence construction work on the first two OPVs later and is actively pursuing a major role in the Future Frigates program. A decision on the project, which will see either BAE Systems, Fincantieri or Navantia design and construct nine vessels, is expected by June this year. (Source: Defence Connect)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
20 Apr 18. UK amphibious headquarters to disappear in merger. The UK’s standalone two-star amphibious headquarters is to be lost in a shake-up of maritime command and control organisations by the Royal Navy (RN), which controls the country’s amphibious shipping and the Royal Marines landing forces. The Commander UK Amphibious Forces (COMUKAMPHIBFOR) Headquarters is to be folded into a revamped Maritime Battle Staff (MBS) later this year, according to a briefing document for Royal Marines personnel seen by Jane’s. Naval sources have claimed that the re-organisation would free up navy and marine staff officers to be redeployed to expand the one-star Carrier Strike Group headquarters supporting operations by the new carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Apr 18. Rear Adm. Craig S. Faller for appointment to the rank of vice admiral while serving as senior military assistant to the secretary of defense.
24 Apr 18. The Senate unanimously confirmed Lt. Gen Paul Nakasone as the commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency in a voice vote Tuesday. Nakasone will take over as the head of the military’s preeminent cyber war-fighting organization, Cyber Command, and take the reins at the NSA, the nation’s premier signals intelligence agency, under what is a dual-hat arrangement. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, Nakasone advocated that Cyber Command be prepared to “impose costs” on adversaries in retaliation to cyberattacks. His hawkish approach to cyberspace was welcomed by members of Congress who have been critical of previous administrations for a lack of cyber deterrence policies.
Nakasone went on to say cyber readiness would be his top priority if confirmed and that he must be able to assess the ability of cyber teams to perform their missions in combating the exponential growth in cyberthreats to the nation. (Source: glstrade.com/Fifth Domain)
20 Apr 18. White House National Security Adviser John Bolton on Friday named Undersecretary of Commerce Mira Ricardel as his deputy, his first move adding to the National Security Council’s ranks since starting the job last week. Ms. Ricardel, a former Boeing executive who served in the Pentagon under former President George W. Bush, advised President Donald Trump’s transition team on defense issues in late 2016 and early 2017. Mr. Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and ex-Fox News commentator, said in a statement that he had tapped Ms. Ricardel for the role because of her “broad-based” expertise. (Source: glstrade.com/WSJ)
15 Apr 18. Dr. Gurpartap Sandhoo is Appointed to Senior Executive Service by U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and Assignment as Superintendent for Spacecraft Engineering at NCST. On April 1, 2018, Dr. Gurpartap “GP” Sandhoo was selected for appointment to the Senior Executive Service at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and for assignment as the Superintendent for Spacecraft Engineering department of the Naval Center for Space Technology (NCST) — he previously served as the executive assistant to the Director of Research for technology development, a position he has held since 2012.
The Center’s mission is to preserve and enhance a strong space technology base and provide expert assistance in the development and acquisition of space systems which support naval missions. The spacecraft engineering division’s work includes the satellite and orbital transfer vehicle systems, with an emphasis on new and advanced space systems and technologies to improve the performance of the Navy mission. After working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, and in industry, Sandhoo began his career at NRL in 2005 as a senior aerospace engineer in the Spacecraft Engineering Division on the Operationally Responsive Space initiative. He progressed into broader roles at NRL, including time as the science advisor for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, and as a member of Naval Warfare Integration group (N00X) on the staff of Chief of Naval Operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, master’s from the U.S. Naval War College, a master’s and a doctorate in Aeronautics and Astronautics from George Washington University, and is an MIT Seminar XXI Fellow. Since 1986, he has served in the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy. Currently, Sandhoo is a Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an Engineering Duty Officer. (Source: Satnews)
25 Apr 18. USAF LG Bradford J. Shwedo for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, and assignment as director for command, control, communications, and computers/cyber; and chief information officer J6, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia. Shwedo is currently serving as chief, information dominance; and chief information officer, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.
25 Apr 18. USN Res. Capt. Robert T. Clark for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Clark is currently serving as deputy commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Reserve Component Command, Norfolk, Virginia
25 Apr 18. Aero Vodochody, IAI announce collaboration. Czech Republic’s Aero Vodochody and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced on 24 April that they are to collaborate on the Aero L-159 light combat and trainer aircraft and Aero L-39NG training system. The announcement, made at the ILA air show in Berlin, will see the companies work on integrating avionics from IAI onto the L-159, as well as jointly marketing the aircraft. Currently, the L-159 is equipped with an IAI Elta radar, with IAI also pitching the potential addition of real-time data link systems to the aircraft’s on-board systems. The companies are also to collaborate on the virtual training system that comes with the overall L-39NG pilot training system. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Apr 18. Top Northrop boss in UK, Europe to leave company. The executive responsible for leading Northrop Grumman’s business across Europe is leaving the company in the next few weeks.
The exit of U.K. and Europe chief executive Andrew Tyler has not yet been officially announced, but there is an entry in the LinkedIn account of the man who is temporarily taking over his role that reflects the change in leadership.
Ben Palmer, Northrop Grumman’s strategy and business development director for Europe, is now acting CEO while the U.S. company considers its replacement options.
Palmer’s LinkedIn account say he has been in the role since the start of the month.
A company spokesman in London declined to comment.
Tyler ’s departure brings to a close his five-year stint with Northrop Grumman.
He joined the company in the new role of CEO for the U.K. and Europe with the task of boosting the company’s business across the region.
Northrop Grumman’s Andrew Tyler gives Defense News an interview at DSEI.
Northrop Grumman has some significant work in Europe, but with a relatively low profile. That’s despite being a leading player in the development and manufacture of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 strike jet already purchased by a number of air forces in the region.
The company also leads the Global Hawk-equipped NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance program, provides support for the British Royal Air Force Sentry E-3 airborne early warning fleet and has a growing cyber business in the region.
Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Tyler’s most important role had been as the chief operating officer for the British Ministry of Defence’s £14bn (U.S. $20bn) procurement arm, the Defence Equipment and Support organization.
News of Tyler’s departure initially sparked some speculation among industry executives that he might be heading back to DE&S to fill the post left vacant by the departure last year of CEO Tony Douglas.
Sources, however, said Tyler was not in the frame for the job, but was instead believed to be moving into the construction-related business outside of the defense sector. (Source: Defense News)
27 Apr 18. Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) has appointed Grazia Vittadini, 48, Chief Technology Officer (CTO). In her new capacity, Vittadini will report to Airbus Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Enders and join the company’s Executive Committee as of 1 May 2018. Currently, Grazia Vittadini is serving as Executive Vice President of Engineering within Airbus Defence and Space. She succeeds Paul Eremenko, who left the company at the end of last year. Since Paul Eremenko’s departure, Marc Fontaine, Airbus’ Digital Transformation Officer, served also as acting CTO. Italian-born Grazia Vittadini was appointed to her current position at Airbus Defence and Space in January 2017, where she also has been serving as a Member of the divisional Executive Committee. Prior to assuming this role, she was Head of Corporate Audit & Forensics, responsible for all company-wide audit activities worldwide. An engineer by education, with a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University Politecnico di Milano, Grazia Vittadini joined Airbus in 2002 and quickly climbed the management ranks. Among others, she served as Chief Engineer on the Wing High Lift Devices for the A380 in Bremen as well as Head of Airframe Design and Technical Authority for all Airbus aircraft, based out of Hamburg.
26 Apr 18. Siemens (SIEGn.DE) has named Barbara Humpton as its chief executive officer in the United States, effective June 1. Humpton, who was previously head of Siemens Government Technologies in the United States, will be responsible for the German company’s largest market where it generated sales of 16.98bn euros ($20.71bn) in 2017. The 57-year-old will take over from Lisa Davis, Siemens’s regional head for the Americas. Davis had been doing the job on an interim basis after Judy Marks left Siemens last October to take over at United Technology Corp’s (UTX.N) lift maker Otis. (Source: Reuters)
TopEngineer was founded by serial digital recruitment entrepreneurs, the Potts brothers, the founders and former owners of Jobsite and the Evenbase digital recruitment group. They have used all of their knowledge and experience of digital recruitment and candidate attraction to deliver this global platform. TopEngineer was launched in 2015 to help organisations drive down the cost of engineering recruitment and to provide engineers with a one-stop-shop for all of their job hunting needs as well as career advice, news and events.
If you would like to know how TopEngineer can help your organisation, please contact the team on 03300 555850 or visit the site: www.topengineer.com Alternatively, if you are looking for a job, feel free to visit the site and apply for relevant roles.
EXHIBITIONS AND CONFERENCES
23 Apr 18. Clarion Defence & Security and Crisis Intelligence launch DSEI Japan. Clarion Defence & Security and Crisis Intelligence Japan have today announced the signing of an agreement under which both parties will collaborate to launch and operate Japan’s first tri-service defence exhibition & conference – “DSEI Japan”.
Clarion is the largest organiser of major defence exhibitions worldwide with a portfolio including DSEI (London, UK), LAAD (Brazil), BIDEC (Bahrain) and EDEX (Cairo, Egypt). Crisis Intelligence Japan has operated in the defence and security industry in Japan for many years, and is responsible for the organisation of Japanese industrial and military participation in many leading international defence exhibitions, where it works in close co-operation with the Japanese Ministry Of Defense (“JMOD”) to support Japanese industry in their export efforts.
DSEI Japan will be organised by Crisis Intelligence & Clarion Events, and will take place for the first time at Makuhari Messe from November 18-20, 2019. The exhibition and associated conferences will run biennially thereafter, and in keeping with the themes of DSEI in London, DSEI Japan will cover all four domains of Land, Naval, Aviation and Security.
Clarion Defence & Security’s Managing Director Tim Porter said: “We have been working with Asari-san and his team at Crisis Intelligence for many years now, and have been tremendously impressed with the relationships they have built up right across the Japanese defence industry, especially with ATLA, JMOD and other official bodies.”
Mr Porter added: “We have seen first-hand at our DSEI event in London the tremendous professionalism and enthusiasm that the CI team always bring to supporting and organising Japan’s attendance at international defence exhibitions, and so I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work CI in Japan to create a brand new show in Tokyo – DSEI Japan 2019.”
Mr Asari, CEO of Crisis Intelligence said: “We have been honoured to support ATLA and Japanese industry in their participation at very many international defence events across the world over the past 6 years, and it is a logical progression of that activity to now be working with Clarion to create a tri-service event in Japan.“
Mr Asari added: “It is important for all of the defence community here in Japan to have an internationally-recognised defence event in Japan, and we are delighted that Clarion have agreed to partner with us to create exactly such a world-class event. Their vast experience and network of contacts across the global industry is unrivalled, and so we very much look forward to working with them to ensure that DSEI Japan 2019 is a great success.”
26 Apr 18. The COGES, in partnership with Starburst Accelerator, presents for the first time at the largest land and airland Defence & Security international exhibition: the Eurosatory LAB. Throughout the duration of the exhibit, this unprecedented space will showcase up to 70 start-ups building the defence and security of tomorrow.
From June 11th to June 15th, 2018, Eurosatory LAB will open its doors: a new space dedicated to emerging and innovative companies with applications in land and airland defence and security. Up to 70 French and foreign start-ups will present, for the duration of the event, their innovations and technologies to official delegations and industry professionals of these sectors.
The space will consist of three main areas:
- An exhibition space gathering start-ups from 13 countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, United States.
- An Agora hosting daily conferences around major issues of innovation: counter-terrorism, startup funding in the Defence, GAFA …
- Twice a day, emblematic industry leaders will open the “pitch” sessions where each start-up will have the opportunity to present its projects and technologies.
Eurosatory LAB: The Defence and Security start-up area
Within a vast 900 m² space located in the Hall 5A, start-ups will be organised around the following key themes:
- Surveillance & Intelligence
- Cybersecurity & IT
- Man Support
- Intervention & Force engagement
- Production, Equipment, Maintenance & Logistics
- Enabling technologies
27 Apr 18. Defence Committee. Modernising Defence programme.
Tuesday 1 May 2018.
The Wilson Room, Portcullis House.
- Sir Mark Sedwill KCMG, National Security Adviser
In its fourth session on the Modernising Defence Programme (MDP), the Defence Committee will be taking evidence from Sir Mark Sedwill, the National Security Adviser. The MDP has its origins in the Defence strand of the National Security Capability Review (NSCR), which reported in late March and was co-ordinated by Sir Mark. The Committee will explore the relationship between the NSCR process and the MDP, and what the implications of the Government’s new national security policy might be for Defence.
23 Apr 18. The House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has written to Sam Gyimah MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, to raise concerns about the progress of, and the Government’s commitment to UK space programmes after Brexit. The letter highlights the UK’s outstanding experience, expertise and heritage in EU space programmes and the speed at which uncertainty has already impacted the UK space sector. The letter calls on the Government to act quickly to achieve an agreement that preserves UK access to EU space programmes. The letter follows a roundtable discussion held by the Sub-Committee on Thursday 15 March 2018 on the impact of Brexit on the UK space sector with witnesses from academia, research facilities, professional bodies and industry. The Sub-Committee followed up the evidence session with a highly informative visit to the ‘space cluster’ at Harwell Campus. Much of the evidence heard related to the UK’s participation in the EU’s Galileo and Copernicus programmes. The threat to UK participation and access to Galileo was felt most sharply in relation to the programme’s security aspects, specifically the Public Regulated Service (PRS), which is restricted to qualified government users—one of which would have been the Ministry of Defence.
House of Commons and House of Lords Hansard Written Answers
Asked by Mr Paul Sweeney
(Glasgow North East)
Asked on: 20 April 2018
Ministry of Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to support SMEs to tender for contracts issued as a result of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 25 April 2018
The National Shipbuilding Strategy aims to re-energise the UK’s shipbuilding industry by encouraging participation from the wider UK shipbuilding enterprise, ensuring that we receive bids from the widest range of suppliers possible. This will ensure that the UK remains globally competitive, and that the Ministry of Defenceprocurement process is as competitive as possible.
We are committed to making it easier to do business with defence, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As part of this we are working to improve our engagement with smaller businesses; making it easier for them to find opportunities and win defence business.
Since March 2016 we have implemented a range of measures to support SMEs, including revising our polices, advertising all our contracts above £10,000 online, and requiring our prime contractors to similarly advertise subcontract opportunities. Furthermore, we have introduced a new Supplier Portal page, bringing together the key information for suppliers of all sizes.
Asked by Mr Paul Sweeney
(Glasgow North East)
Asked on: 20 April 2018
Ministry of Defence
Type 45 Destroyers: Radar
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to upgrade the Sampson radars on the Type 45 destroyers to provide those destroyers with ballistic missile detection and tracking capability.
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 25 April 2018
There has been some initial investment to investigate the potential for anti-ship Ballistic Missile Defenceenhancements to the Type 45 destroyers. These investigations include the Sampson Multi-Function Radar. No decisions have yet been made.
Asked by Mr Paul Sweeney
(Glasgow North East)
Asked on: 20 April 2018
Ministry of Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons the existing Type 102 radar held in storage by BAE Systems is not currently deployed.
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 25 April 2018
The Type 102 radar system is held in storage as there is, currently, no operational requirement to deploy it.