BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.20 ISSUE 23
04 June 2018
NEWS IN BRIEF – EUROPE
Land Ceptor: Baltic Trials
Sea Venom: Trials Success
CATT: Support Contract
Georgia: Ministerial Visit
Kenya: Training Mission
Chile: Foreign Sec. Visit
Chemical Weapons: Conference
Space Strategy: Leaflet
U.S. missiles for Germany?
UK receives first F-35B jets
Germany rejects US drone tech
Belgian Minister Hoisted
Poland wants US presence
French Senate Adopts Bill
Dassault Will Play Role
NEWS IN BRIEF – USA
MQ-4C Triton Welcomed To Fleet
USN selects Raytheon Naval Missile
American Panel at Eurosatory
Trump tariff fallout
Dogfight over aircraft
NEWS IN BRIEF – REST OF THE WORLD
Operation Roundup Hits ISIS Remnants
Canadian Investment Plan
Chinese carrier group readiness
Over 70 Taliban leaders killed
Foreign Troops Must Leave Syria
Gaza Terror Groups Agree Ceasefire
Afghanistan Strategy Shows Results
KADEX 2018 defence contracts
India’s gross defence budget
Saudi Arabia shuts out Germany
Chinese jets do night landings
US firms losing edge
Mettis Aerospace Results
Thales extends Gemalto period
Airbus wait for new CEO
Axiom purchases FRH
L3’s growth strategy
BHEL net up 112%
Verint to Buy NSO
ST Engineering branding
Elbit reported results
Terma order intake up
Lürssen teams up with Civmec
MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS
US Navy’s new robot road map
UK Gears up for MRV(P)
Otokar Presents ARMA 8×8
First Dutch-German Leopard
New variant of PIRANHA IFV
French VBMR-L 2019 rollout
LOGISTICS AND THROUGH LIFE UPDATE
Oshkosh sponsors Logistics
GDLS parts contract
TEST-FUCHS selects IFS
Improved King Air Navigation
Autonomous Drone Navigation
US post-Vietnam tech advances
SATELLITE SYSTEMS, SATCOM AND SPACE SYSTEMS UPDATE
Gogo offers Iridium Certus
Thales Alenia SCNTPL Agreement
Saab Develops Space Offer
SpaceDataHighway Laser Connections
SpaceX launched Iridium Satellites
SpaceX’s Launches Satellites
BridgeSat’s Agreement with ICEYE
Global Satellite Modem Market
Kymeta demos during SOFIC
Kymeta Appoints CopaSAT
VT iDirect market lead
RADAR, EO/IR, NIGHT VISION AND SURVEILLANCE UPDATE
Raytheon expands center
Arms race for surveillance
Japan buys AN/ALR-69A(V)RWR
Germany’s new spy drone search
Cambridge Pixel RadarWatch
Sierra Nevada counter-UAV system
Thales and CarteNav ISR solution
Philippine Navy TC-90 aircraft
BEL IRST For Sukhoi Su-30 MKI
Don’t freeze UK out of Sentry
3D Radar Market
Photonis/Night Vision Devices JV
MISSILE, BALLISTICS AND SOLDIER SYSTEMS UPDATE
Berlin’s combat drone
USS The Sullivans launches SM-2
Success for MBDA’s Sea Venom/ANL
SIG SAUER’s Thin Blue Line pistol
Russia Tests Laser Weaponry
Swedish $1bn Patriot deal closes
Turkey, Pakistan T129 ATAK contract
Smart Rifles For Foot Soldiers
Airtronic HEAT round for PSRL
Land Ceptor destroys target
Diamond Age’s Bastion Helmet
Epsilor chargers for Canada
Rafael launches Fire Weaver
Slovakia unveils Predator AX-1
B-1B uses Lockheed LRASMs
Rosoboronexport loses in India?
UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
India’s Rustom-2 by 2020
MQ-9 Operations out of Poland
UMS SKELDAR and QinetiQ Partner
Kratos High Performance UAS
Team SkyGuardian® Canada Launched
Cormorant IDF Mission Demo
IIT-Kanpur Develops VTOL UAV
C2, TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, AI, CYBER, EW, CLOUD COMPUTING AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE
US needs more than one cloud
New TerraLens SDK unveiled
Airbus Viewcor application
Chemring launches VIPER
AI in EW countermeasures
F-15C EW upgrade cancelled
Information warfare Top Guns
F/A-18/F-35 Face Stealth Dilemma
Raytheon EW agreement with Aus DST
INTERNATIONAL PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES
UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
Babcock Team 31 Arrowhead 140
Turkey, Rolls-Royce deadline
Sierra Nevada UH-1N replacement
USAF aircraft contract delayed
REST OF THE WORLD
Babcock Canadian sub contract
L3 teams with IAI for RCAF RPAS
Japan seeks Cobra replacement
CASG head rejects ANAO concerns
CSC rivals await selection
India, Russia sanctions plan
France and Ukraine helo contract
Canada proceeds with CMLU
Argentine Navy seeks spares
Australian Submarine costs
Future Australian Submarine
CONTRACT NEWS IN BRIEF
Airbus Nato comms contract
Raytheon Romanian contract
Saab Carl-Gustaf FMV contract
AM General HMMV contract
American Ordnance contract
DRS MFOCS contract
FLIR Black Hornet® contract
Harris HH-VDL contract
Mack Defense M917A3 contract
Orbital ATK AARGM contract
Orolia PNT contract
Oshkosh MTV contract
Raytheon OHW contract
Raytheon AIM-120D contract
UTC F-35 contract
REST OF THE WORLD
Rafael Aus Spike contract
Babcock Canada contract
Elbit contract from STX
XTEK Australian contract
Boeing Saudi CH-47F contract
Kazakhstan orders Mil Mi-35M
Raytheon Japan RWR contract
Rockwell selected by Cascade
MANAGEMENT ON THE MOVE
Satcom Direct European office
IN commissions floating dock
Australia launches Patrol Boat
USS SIOUX CITY Acceptance Trials
Indian Navy’s new landing craft
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
LG Austin S. Miller appointed
Rear Adm. R.A. Correll assigned
Capt. J.S. Scheidt selected
Serge Dassault dies at 93
Airbus hires E. Dominguez Puerta
Boughton appoints Graeme McGregor
EXHIBITIONS AND CONFERENCES
Qioptiq sponsors Owning The Night
Eurosatory held from 11-15 June
Military vehicle systems
Naval Innovation Days
House of Commons and House of Lords Hansard Written Answers
Sudan: Peace Negotiations
Defence Fire and Rescue
European Fighter Aircraft
European Fighter Aircraft
Defence Fire and Rescue
A roadmap for energy storage on board armoured vehicle
By Ori Kost, Large Format Battery Program Manager at Epsilor
Keda, a former Army explosives search dog, has won The Sun’s Hero Dog award for her work in helping sick and injured soldiers recover from their conditions. (Army website, 31 May 18.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/20, 04 Jun 18)
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NEWS IN BRIEF – EUROPE
Sponsored by Harris Corporation
28 May 18. Land Ceptor: Baltic Trials. The Defence Secretary announced (28 May 18) that trials of the Land Ceptor weapon system have taken place on a Swedish test fire range close to the Baltic Sea. Built by MBDA, Land Ceptor consists of the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM), a launcher vehicle and two fire unit support vehicles. Land Ceptor is to provide the
‘stopping power’ within the Sky Sabre air defence system and will equip 16 Regiment, Royal Artillery. Sky Sabre is expected to enter service in the early 2020s, replacing the Rapier system.
Comment: The success of the Land Ceptor trials follows the Defence Secretary’s recent announcement (24 May 18) of Sea Ceptor entering service with the RN. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/20, 04 Jun 18)
30 May 18. Sea Venom: Trials Success. MBDA reported (30 May 18) that Sea Venom (also known as ANL in French service) has completed its second
development firing from a French test helicopter. The firing, which took place on 18 Apr 18, highlighted
Sea Venom’s ‘lock on after launch’ capabilities. The firing also validated the missile’s aptitude for low-altitude,
sea-skimming flight and Sea Venom’s autonomous guidance capability.
Comment: In UK service the missile will be deployed from the AW159 Wildcat helicopter, while France will operate the missile from its future Light Joint Helicopter. Sea Venom is designed to destroy vessels ranging
from fast inshore attack craft, through medium-sized fast attack craft up to large vessels such as corvettes. Unlike previous semi-active radar guided missiles, Sea Venom uses an imaging infrared seeker which offers
‘fire and forget’ capabilities (as indicated above). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/20, 04 Jun 18)
15 May 18. Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT): Support Contract. Lockheed Martin reported (15 May 18) that it has signed a contract with the MoD for the operation, maintenance and technical support for the British Army’s CATT. The two-year interim support contract began
on 1 Mar 18 and is worth approximately £10m. The CATT simulator was introduced in 2002 and, according to the Company, “has trained more than 100,000 troops over the last 15 years”.
Comment: CATT is based at two sites: the British Army Land Warfare Centre in Warminster and Sennelager in Germany. The system comprises over 150 networked simulators which provide realistic scenarios and a “virtual
and immersive” training experience. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/20, 04 Jun 18)
16 May 18. Georgia: Ministerial Visit. During a two-day visit to Georgia (16-18 May 18) the Armed Forces’ Minister discussed regional Defence and security issues with officials from the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence. The Minister also met crew members of the Type 45 destroyer HMS DUNCAN which is currently flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, on deployment to the Black Sea.
Comment: The RAF reported (11 May 18) that HMS DUNCAN has been taking part in a maritime exercise with NATO allies, led by the Romanian Navy Fleet Command, in the Black Sea. As part of EX SEA SHIELD, the
ship worked with an RAF Typhoon (part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission based in Romania) and two Romanian Air Force MIG21s. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/20, 04 Jun 18)
25 May 18. Kenya: Training Mission. The RAF reported (25 May 18) that a short-term training team of RAF Regiment Gunners from RAF Honington has been delivering a specialist training package for Kenyan Army personnel. The team, which arrived in Kenya on 16 May 18, has provided instruction in the techniques of tracking that helps to counter the threat from
improvised explosive devices (IED). The training will help prepare Kenyan soldiers deploying to Somalia as part of the Kenyan contribution to the fight against the terrorist group Al Shabaab.
Comment: The training, conducted at the Kenyan Defence Force School of Infantry in Isiolo, was supported by the resident British Peace Support Team (Africa). The RAF Gunners were due to complete the delivery of the
training package by the beginning of June 2018. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/20, 04 Jun 18)
29 May 18. Malawi: Poaching. The Defence Secretary met (29 May 18) British Army personnel who are preparing to deliver training to Park Rangers in Malawi. A specialist team of 24 troops, drawn from a variety of Army units, will deploy to Malawi during June 2018. The team will deliver training in techniques that will help the Park Rangers protect African
elephants and black rhinos from poachers.
Comment: In the past year British Army teams have been working in Gabon and Malawi to help Park Rangers improve their tracking of poachers. The training forms part of a three-year plan, agreed by the MoD and the
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to support and fund a series of military-led counter-poaching activities. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/20, 04 Jun 18)
23 May 18. Chile: Foreign-Secretary’s Visit. The Foreign Secretary and the Foreign Minister of Chile met in Santiago on 23 May 18 to set the agenda for the next four years, with an emphasis on increasing bilateral trade. In a wide-ranging speech, the Foreign Secretary welcomed Chile’s role on the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the statement supporting the OPCW findings on the use of a nerve agent in Salisbury.
Comment: The two Foreign Ministers reiterated the importance of Defence relations between the two Countries, with naval links going back over 200 years. The Chilean Defence Ministry and MoD are to “continue
their strategic Defence dialogue, sharing best practice and identifying opportunities for future co-ordination and collaboration.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/20, 04 Jun 18)
25 May 18. Chemical Weapons: Demilitarisation Conference. The House of Lords Spokesman on Defence addressed the 21st annual Chemical Weapons Demilitarisation Conference in London on 25 May 18. The Minister highlighted the success of the OPCW in carrying out missions in Syria “in the most challenging operational circumstances in the history of the organisation”. Over 96% of the world’s declared chemical weapon stocks have now been destroyed, as verified by inspectors of the OPCW Technical Secretariat.
Comment: During the Conference it was announced that the Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Defense will be launching a Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition in September 2018 “to seek
innovative technical solutions to the safe destruction of small caches of munitions found on the battlefield”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/20, 04 Jun 18)
30 May 18. Defence Space Strategy: Leaflet. The MoD has published (30 May 18) a leaflet entitled Towards a Defence Space Strategy. The leaflet is
included as an update to an MoD ‘news story’ on the Defence Space Strategy published on 21 May 18. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/20, 04 Jun 18)
01 Jun 18. U.S. military looking at deploying anti-missile system in Germany – sources. The U.S. military has held preliminary discussions about moving a powerful missile defence system to Germany to boost European defences, according to two sources familiar with the issue, a move that experts said could trigger fresh tensions with Moscow.
The tentative proposal to send the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to Europe predates U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, and comes amid a broader push to strengthen Europe’s air and missile defences.
While Europe and the United States are at odds over the fate of the nuclear agreement, they share concerns about Iran’s continued development of ballistic missiles.
Iran’s Shahab 3 missiles can already travel 2,000 km, enough to reach southern Europe, and its Revolutionary Guards have said they will increase the range if threatened since the range is capped by strategic doctrine, not technology constraints.
U.S. European Command has been pushing for a THAAD system inEurope for years, but the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord has added urgency to the issue, said Riki Ellison, head of the non-profit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance.
A senior German military official cited the need to add more radars across Europe to better track and monitor potential threats, and cue interceptors if needed.
The U.S. Defense Dept said no such action had been decided.
“There are currently no plans to station THAAD systems in Germany. We do not discuss potential future military planning, as we would not want to signal our intent to potential adversaries. Germany remains among our closest partners and strongest allies,” said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon.
Deploying another U.S. defensive system to Europe could reassure NATO allies in southern Europe already within striking range of Iran’s missiles, said one military official from that region.
Talk of deploying a THAAD system in Europe also comes against the backdrop of rising tensions between the West and Russia.
NATO has long insisted that its missile defence programme is not directed at Russia, but the alliance has adopted a tougher tone toward Moscow in the wake of the poisoning of a Russian former spy in England.
Moscow denies any involvement in the poisoning, and blames the tensions on NATO’s military expansion eastward, and its assembly of a ballistic missile shield with a key site inRomania that was declared combat-ready in 2016.
Moving THAAD to Germany could plug a radar gap caused by a two-year delay in completion of a second Aegis Ashore missile defence site in Poland that was initially due to open this year.
The issue may be raised in a new Pentagon missile defence review expected in early June.
The review may draw a closer connection between missile defence and a need to deter Russia that was highlighted in the new U.S. national defence strategy, said Tom Karako, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
MESSAGE TO EUROPEAN ALLIES
One U.S. military official said there had been preliminary talks with German military officials on moving a THAAD system to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, headquarters for the U.S. Air Force in Europe and NATO Allied Air Command.
“It would be a further political message to the Europeans that we’re serious about protecting our allies,” said the official. “The initial assessment is that Germany would very likely not have a problem with a THAAD deployment,” U.S. General Curtis Scaparrotti, head of U.S. European Command, last week said he was seeking more troops and equipment to deter Russia, but declined further comment.
A second source said German officials were open to the move as a way to better protect civilian populations.
The German defence ministry is working to rebuild its own short- and medium-range missile defences after years of cuts.
Starting later this year, it also plans to review territorial missile defence needs in a conceptual study that will also look at THAAD and the Arrow 3 anti-missile system built by Israel and the United States, a spokesman said.
The German foreign ministry, which oversees foreign troops stationed in Germany, said it could not confirm sending any signals about a possible THAAD deployment to the United States.
Washington does not need Germany’s permission to move such equipment under existing basing contracts, but the sources said a formal notification would be sent before any move to proceed.
The THAAD system is built by Lockheed Martin Corpwith a powerful Raytheon Co AN/TPY-2 radar, to shoot down short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. (Source: Reuters)
01 Jun 18. UK expects to receive first F-35B fighters. The UK is expecting the first delivery of the newest F-35B Lightning II fighter jets from the US, said Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.
In addition, Williamson confirmed that the country continues to support its commitment for the acquisition of 138 units of the F-35B aircraft, reported Forces Network.
Williamson was quoted by the website as saying: “We’re hoping that the first ones are going to arrive next week, standing up 617 Squadron.
“It’s about giving us a capability that far extends beyond any of our adversaries, and also absolutely critical in terms of the capabilities of the aircraft carrier.
“We are doing a Modernising Defence Programme at the moment to look at the whole range of capabilities. We’ve absolutely committed to 138 of the F-35B and there’s not been any change on that.”
The Lightning II fighter jets have been based in the US since their production and are currently being tested, evaluated and used for training by UK Royal Air Force (RAF) and UK Royal Navy pilots.
Four of the F-35Bs are currently stationed at the US Marine Corps (USMC) Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina. They are expected to cross the Atlantic and arrive at the air force base at RAF Marham in Norfolk, UK, reported Metro.
Following the delivery of the initial four £100m aircraft, the UK is expected to receive five additional F-35B jets at the beginning of August.
The F-35B short takeoff / vertical landing (STOVL) variant is the first supersonic STOVL stealth fighter jet in the world. It has been designed to operate from most challenging bases. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
31 May 18. German lawmakers cite NSA and Facebook scandals in rejecting US drone tech. In an attempt to rally fellow Social Democrats behind a key vote on Israel-supplied drones, a group of lawmakers this week argued that U.S. vendors were rightfully excluded from the program because of past scandals involving spying by the National Security Agency and Facebook data breaches. The three members, who belong to the SPD contingent in the Bundestag’s Defence Committee, made the connection in a May 28 letter to Social Democrats in parliament. The missive came just as the government had requested approval for a plan to lease five weapons-capable Heron TP drones from Israel at a cost of roughly $1bn.
Given the SPD’s support for the Heron TP plan, passage in the Bundestag in the next few weeks is likely, though officials said surprises remain possible given the topic’s thorniness.
“Following the experiences with American high-tech in view of the NSA scandal, the ‘black boxes’ of the Euro Hawk and the scandals surrounding Facebook, we are disinclined to make ourselves dependent on U.S. technology when it comes to reconnaissance capabilities,” wrote Rolf Mützenich, Fritz Felgentreu and Karl-Heinz Brunner.
The paragraph appears to refer to revelations some years ago of the NSA’s spying on leaders of U.S. allies and Facebook’s large-scale loss of user data. The term “black boxes” refers to the defunct Euro Hawk spy drone, whose encryption and data links would have remained in U.S. hands and out Germany’s control.
General Atomics, which had hoped to sell its Sky Guardian drone, a derivative of the Predator, was excluded from the competition on the grounds that the company would be unable to meet the Bundeswehr’s performance specifications. The company has unsuccessfully appealed the decision, arguing it can deliver at a lower cost.
To be clear, the SPD lawmakers’ argument in favor of the Israeli solution relies on more than reference to past scandals that made huge waves in Germany. For example, the three members cite the benefits of keeping in place the key players of an existing arrangement with the Heron TP’s predecessor, the Heron 1, that they claim has served German forces well.
But mention of a latent mistrust toward U.S. defense equipment is noteworthy because it comes from lawmakers of one of the majority parties, serving as evidence that crucial U.S. allies could jump on the chance to diversify their roster of suppliers.
The motion also comes as Europeans brace for a trade war with the United States. On May 31, the Trump administration announced that tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from the European Union would go into effect at midnight. Such a trade war is sure to bring more uncertainty for defense companies on both sides of the Atlantic. (Source: Defense News)
31 May 18. Belgian Minister Hoisted by Own Petard in F-16 Duel. A new controversy broke out in Belgium on Wednesday, after Defense Minister Steven Vandeput’s staff attacked the authenticity of an internal MoD e-mail released by an opposition party to bolster its call for the minister’s resignation. The SP.A (Flemish Socialist) party on Wednesday released copies of e-mails that it says were written by the nation’s top military officers, and which it alleges prove that Vandeput lied to Parliament when he said he had no knowledge that the service life of the Belgian Air Force’s F-16 fighters could be extended, the Belga news service reported May 30. The Ministry of Defence immediately questioned the e-mail’s authenticity, questioned the credibility of SP.A and accused it of being manipulated.
“Pathetic,” tweeted Vandeput’s spokeswoman Laurence Mortier, adding that “a grievous error in one of the e-mails” [which mentions Block 20 F-16s, while she maintains Belgium operates only Block 15s—Ed.] proves “Credibility nil; top ten #FakeNews.”
Appearing on the “Terzake” television show Wednesday night, Vandeput said this and previous e-mails “is fabricated material,” and added that “I don’t know any ‘Block 20 F-16s’, either.”
In fact, and embarassingly for the minister of defense and his staff, “Block 20″ is the official designation for F-16 aircraft that have been upgraded under the Mid-Life Update (MLU) program, like Belgium’s. It is surprising that neither he nor his staff were aware of this, even though that designation is used in the e-mail photographed here:
SP.A president John Crombez also released several other e-mails he had previously brandished in Parliament to support a no-confidence motion he has tabled calling for Vandeput’s resignation. Parliament is to vote on this and eight other motions in plenary session Thursday afternoon (after our deadline—Ed) , according to the House of Representative’s website.
It is highly unlikely that the motions will succeed, as the ruling coalition has a solid majority in Parliament, but they could influence public opinion and ultimately persuade the government to postpone a decision for fear of losing voter support in the lead-up to the May 2019 general elections.
Crombez maintains that Belgium’s military hierarchy has manipulated the F-16 replacement issue for years, “in complete collusion with the minister,” to ensure Belgium buys the Lockheed Martin F-35.
The latest e-mail released by SP.A, and dated April 2017, was allegedly sent to the minister’s then chief of staff, Claude Van de Voorde and copied to Vandeput. It mentions “the replacement of Belgium’s “F-16 Block 20” fighters, and according to Crombez proves again that the military and Vandeput hid the F-16 upgrade option from Parliament.
“This is simply pathetic,” Vandeput’s office also told Belga, questioning the e-mail’s authenticity since it mentions Block 20 fighters whereas Vandeput’s office said Belgium only operates Block 15s.
Accusation backfires on Minister Vandeput
In fact, the F-16A Block 15 that Belgium currently operates were updated under the NATO-wide Mid-Life Update (MLU) program, after which their designation was changed to Block 20, as clearly explained in this history of the program posted by Lockheed Martin, its manufacturer.
Mortier apparently ignored this inconvenient fact, which negates her attack on the credibility of the e-mail tabled by SP.A, and does not reflect kindly on the competence of Minister Vandeput’s staff.
It also reinforces the accusations of partiality and incompetence made by opposition lawmakers, who maintain that the F-16 upgrade option was initially hidden from Vandeput, who has been accused of subsequently lying to Parliament to cover up his role in the lackluster management of the competition to replace the F-16s.
But Vandeput continues to maintain he had never seen the e-mails released by SP.A. “This is fabricated material,” he said Wednesday night appearing on the “Terzake” television show. “The name of the author of the e-mail is not mentioned, nor is the person for whom it is intended and, furthermore, the language used is not the way the military speak,” adding that “I don’t know any ‘Block 20 F-16s’, either.”
In fact, the 160 General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16A/Bs ordered by Belgium in the late 1970s were all delivered as Block 1, Block 5, Block 10 Block 15 and, for the final 44 aircraft, Block 15OCU.
They were subsequently all brought up to Block 15 standard, and were officially redesignated F-16AM/BM Block 20 after going through the MLU process.
Airframes good for at least 10 more years
Interestingly, Lockheed’s document also confirms that the lifetime of Block 20 aircraft is 8,000 flight hours, making a Service Life Extension Program cost-effective; this seriously undermining the defense ministry’s claims that the F-16 replacement was operationally urgent.
According to the latest figures we have obtained, as of May 2015 Belgium’s F-16s had flown, on average, about 5,500 flight hours, with the lowest-time aircraft having logged 4,184 hours and the highest-time aircraft having logged 5,886 hours.
As each aircraft averages about 220 flight hours per year, their airframes still have a useful life of at least ten years, even before a hypothetical service life extension program which Vandeput has said is technically not feasible.
In fact, their service life could be extended to 2025-2032, depending on the airframe condition of each individual aircraft, as stated in previous e-mails, because the Belgian Air Force has used them rather gently.
As modern combat aircraft have a production cycle of about three years, this means that Belgium could delay contracting for a new fighter – and paying the €3.7bn earmarked for the program — until at least 2022, and possibly later, without any loss in operational effectiveness. A delay would make it impossible for Vandeput to steal the limelight by announcing the investment at the NATO Summit meeting in Brussels in July, as he is said to want. It could also be seen embarrassing by Belgian Air Force commanders, whose pilots would continue to fly F-16s while their European colleagues would fly spiffy new, if very imperfect and hugely expensive, Lockheed F-35s. But these are minor questions of ego which should not be allowed to pollute the final decision. (Source: defense-aerospace.com)
29 May 18. Poland offers up to $2bn for a permanent US military presence
The Polish Ministry of Defence has offered the U.S. financial support in the range of $1.5bn to $2bn for the deployment of a permanent U.S. armored division in Poland, according to a ministry proposal.
Following an April 28 meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Washington, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said he was “an optimist regarding an increase of U.S. military presence in Poland.”
“The decisions on this matter are moving in a good direction,” Blaszczak said, as quoted in a ministry statement.
The document, titled “Proposal for a U.S. Permanent Presence in Poland,” was obtained by local news site Onet.pl, which first broke the news. It was distributed to U.S. government institutions, Congress and some of the leading U.S. think tanks, according to information obtained from the ministry.
The ministry did not officially release the document; however, in a statement issued to local journalists, it said it was not classified and was developed “as part of the activities performed to deepen [Poland’s] defense cooperation with the U.S., including increasing the presence of U.S. forces in Poland.”
“The Government of Poland will offer significant funding for this action … as it is important to share the burden of defense spending, make the decision more cost-effective for the U.S. Government, and allay any concerns for Congress in uncertain budgetary times,” the document states.
The Russian factor
The move is likely to trigger a bellicose reaction by Russia, which has opposed various initiatives to expand U.S. military presence in Eastern Europe. In 2014, Moscow launched a military intervention in Poland’s neighbor Ukraine. Since then, Russia has occupied parts of the country, including the Crimean Peninsula.
As a result, numerous member states from the region have called on NATO to deploy additional troops to Eastern Europe amid increased concern over potential Russian aggression.
Poland has also intensified efforts to upgrade its defense capabilities. On March 28, Warsaw signed a letter of offer and acceptance with the U.S. to acquire Raytheon’s medium-range Patriot system. The acquisition, developed under the Wisla program, is worth $4.75bn, according to the ministry. The purchase will consume a large portion of the country’s military expenditure, as for 2018, the ministry forecasts defense spending of 41.5bn zloty (U.S. $11.2bn).
Łukasz Kister, an independent security analyst with the Jagiellonian Institute, a Warsaw-based think tank, told Defense News it is good that Poland’s authorities are willing to safeguard Poland’s security by various means, but that co-financing the deployment of U.S. troops on Polish soil could jeopardize the country’s military modernization program.
“The proposal to pay the U.S. for ensuring our security raises doubts whether we will be able to finance the modernization of our own armed forces,” Kister said. “Outsourcing our security could deprive Poland of the necessary funds for various programs to upgrade our military capacities.”
According to the analyst, Polish authorities should put emphasis on industrial cooperation between U.S. and Polish defense manufacturers and ensure the transfer of knowledge to local plants.
“Poland cannot afford highly offensive military capabilities, and the U.S. is definitely a key partner with whom we should cooperate. But this cooperation should be placed at a different level. We should pay the U.S. for top technologies, know-how, gear and training, and not for the deployment of troops,” Kister said.
“The funds that are to be spent on the Patriot contract should also benefit Poland, providing training to Polish soldiers, allowing local plants to perform maintenance and overhaul works on this gear, and providing the Polish industry with know-how. This could also be beneficial to the U.S. manufacturer, as it would have an industrial outpost in Europe, which could service and repair this equipment.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
29 May 18. French Senate Adopts 2019-2025 Military Program Bill. Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, hails the Senate’s adoption by a very large majority of the draft Loi de Programmation Militaire (Military Program Law, or LPM) for 2019-2025. The aim of the military program bill 2019-2025 is to modernize our armed forces by providing them with all the means they need to perform their missions in the service of France and the French people. This ambitious bill puts an end to decades of declining defense spending, and meets the imperatives of strategic autonomy, the consolidation of European defense and fiscal sovereignty, and provides the means to achieve the President of the Republic’s of devoting 2% of GDP to defense by 2025.
This text stands out in particular:
— by the speed with which it was prepared: less than six months elapsed between the publication of the Strategic Review and the presentation of the draft law to the Council of Ministers;
— by the volume of funding invested and the size of personnel increase: while previous LPMs were marked by cancellations, weapon program delays and cuts of tens of thousands of personnel positions, the draft LPM 2019-2025 devotes 295bn euros to defense over the next seven years, including 198bn euros for the years 2019 to 2023 and 6,000 additional positions;
— by the nature of these funds: the financial trajectory is based solely on budgetary appropriations, and not on exceptional revenue which is necessarily random;
— by choosing to place at its core the men and women of defense;
— by choosing to consolidate the current format of our army model, by reinforcing certain strategic capabilities (patrol boats, tankers, medium armor), modernizing all our equipment and investing in the future (innovation, intelligence, strategic cooperation). Prepared by the Armed Forces Ministry, the bill has been considerably enriched in the National Assembly and the Senate, in committee as well as in plenary session, thanks to a close and constructive work between the executive and the legislature. Florence Parly welcomes the quality of the parliamentary debates in the National Assembly and in the Senate, and sees this this as proof that theNational Representation has been able to measure the importance of this text for the armed forces and for the defense of France. The results of the public votes in both the National Assembly and the Senate also showed the consensus surrounding this military programming bill.
The text must now be examined by a Joint Committee. Faced with the stakes for the defense of France and the future of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly is confident about the ability of both chambers to agree on a common text, with one and only objective that necessarily exceeds partisan debate: the revival of the French armed forces in a constantly changing strategic environment.
defense-aerospace.com EDITOR’S NOTE: While the new LPM earmarks a significant increase in French defense spending, most of the increase is pushed back to the last three years, well after the term of the current parliament and of President Emmanuel Macron ends in 2022.
The LPM’s full implementation depends on the outcome of the 2022 elections, as a new political majority could decide to amend or even gut it, as has happened to all previous LPMs.
Bringing more of the funding increase forward to 2019-2022 would have secured it, but as always it is easier to push promises to “mañana.” (Source: defense-aerospace.com/French Armed Forces Ministry)
29 May 18. Dassault Will Continue to Play Strategic Role: French Defense Minister. The Dassault company will continue to play a strategic role for the French armed forces, French defense minister Florence Parly said on Tuesday, following the death of Serge Dassault, CEO of the eponymous industrial group that includes Dassault Aviation, Dassault Systèmes and a 24.9% stake in electronics giant Thales.
“This is a company which the state cannot ignore,” Parly told the Public Senat channel in an interview. “On the contrary, it plays a very strategic role for the ministry that I lead… We all know Dassault Aviation, especially at the Ministry of the Armed Forces, since we fly a lot of Dassault planes, the Mirages, and now the Rafales.”
Parly also said the French government would keep a close eye on the succession plans.
“It’s up to the family and the shareholders to decide,” says Florence Parly. “Of course, the state will be very present and will closely follow the evolution of these discussions.
Serge Dassault was chairman of the Dassault Group, which owns diverse interests ranging from real estate to winemaking in addition to aviation and software, and whose chief executive, Charles Edelstenne, is a former CEO of Dassault Aviation. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Defense-Aerospace.com)
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01 Jun 18. Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) joined the U.S. Navy in officially welcoming the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system to the fleet with a ceremony on May 31 to celebrate the commencement of flight operations. Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu is home to the maintenance detachment of Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP)-19 DET Point Mugu, the Navy’s first unmanned patrol squadron. Maintainers are conducting training and tests on the Triton aircraft before it deploys to Guam later this year.
Point Mugu has also completely refurbished an existing hangar that will accommodate up to four Triton aircraft with its 130.9-foot wingspan. The first two Triton aircraft are located at Point Mugu.
Brian Chappel, sector vice president and general manager, Autonomous Systems, Northrop Grumman, joined Doug Shaffer, vice president, Triton programs, Northrop Grumman, and Rear Admiral William Wheeler III in cutting the ribbon on the refurbished hangar.
“With each new part of the Triton infrastructure that the Navy stands up, we move closer to making Triton operational and showing the fleet what this remarkable aircraft system can do,” Shaffer said. “I look forward to the day when this hangar is full of activity leading up to the Guam employment.”
“As Naval Base Ventura County’s representative in Congress, I am proud to support the MQ-4C Triton aircraft system,” said U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley, Ventura County. “The Triton is an essential component of the Navy’s future intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, and a critical program for the continued strength of Naval Base Ventura County and our national security. I have made funding for research, development, and procurement of the Triton a top priority. When fully developed, this program will bring jobs and an economic boost to Ventura County.
01 Jun 18. The U.S. Navy has selected the Naval Strike Missile, offered by Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and Kongsberg Gruppen, to meet its over-the-horizon requirement for littoral combat ships and future frigates.
Raytheon will manufacture and deliver over-the-horizon weapon systems under a $14.8m contract for offensive missiles loaded into launching mechanisms, and a single fire control suite. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $847.6 million.
NSM is a long-range precision missile that strikes heavily defended land and sea targets. The missile, which can defeat enemy defenses up to 100 nautical miles away, uses advanced seeker and target identification technology.
“Raytheon and Kongsberg are providing the Navy with a proven, off-the-shelf solution that exceeds requirements for the over-the-horizon mission,” said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems. “Because it is operational now, NSM saves the United States billions of dollars in development costs and creates new high-tech jobs in this country.”
Raytheon will manufacture NSM launchers, missiles and components in the U.S. The company has begun launcher production at its factory in Louisville, Kentucky, and will perform missile final assembly and test at its Tucson, Arizona, facility. The contract will generate business for more than two dozen U.S. suppliers. The missile program is the latest product of a longtime partnership with trusted ally Norway and its defense leader Kongsberg.
“Raytheon and Kongsberg are celebrating 50 years of cooperation, and the selection of the NSM marks another successful step for our close relationship,” said Eirik Lie, president of Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace AS. “We are able to provide the U.S. Navy with the best of two worlds by combining the capability of NSM with Raytheon’s proficiency as the world’s largest missile maker.”
01 Jun 18. American Panel Corporation is Attending the 2018 Eurosatory. American Panel Corporation (APC) is attending Eurosatory 2018, in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, in Hall 5, Booth #DC500 within the US Pavilion. APC will be exhibiting both bespoke NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture (NGVA) compliant Display Head Assemblies for Armoured Combat Vehicles (ACV), incorporating native 10 bit driver technologies (30 bit RGB now commonly found in 4K commercial televisions) offering optimum alignment to 3rd generation Infrared (IR) sensors. APC will also demonstrate the Large Area Display (LAD), with dual displays and redundant video and power circuits, incorporated on a single Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Display (AMLCD) substrate. The LAD offers redundant displays for the cockpit, allowing our customers to maximize the usable display area by utilizing a single large format AMLCD rather than multiple smaller displays in the cockpit. APC’s technology saves weight, power and cost while increasing the active image area available for presentation of critical mission information. The entire instrument panel surface can be available for display of information, rather than smaller individual discrete displays without giving up system redundancy. This technology has already been fielded in our 8 inch by 20 inch display currently flying on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. APC’s next generation 10 inch by 19 inch product, the world’s largest single substrate cockpit display, will be used in future F-15 and F-18 cockpits. These technologies further enhance APC’s position in the arena of specialized displays for extreme environments. APC offers its’ extreme performance displays, currently in use on M1A2 Abrams MBT, M1126 Stryker APC and M2/3 Bradley IFV. APC further continues its’ long-standing reputation as a leading edge technology display manufacturer, offering custom displays for the extreme operating conditions and performance requirements of both tactical military and commercial aviation. Among the APC displays in current use are those also found on the Eurofighter EFA 1000, JAS-39 Gripen, F22, F18, F16, V-22, C17, C130 and many commercial Boeing, and Airbus commercial aircraft. For additional information on APC Products, please contact Jamie Boulet at or 470-336-0465.
31 May 18. US defense sector braces for Trump tariff fallout. The Trump administration’s announcement that it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada may hurt America‘s defense sector and imperil domestic jobs, analysts warn.
The tariffs, which will impose a 25 percent surcharge on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, will go into effect Friday, as the administration follows through on the penalties after earlier granting exemptions to buy time for negotiations. U.S. President Donald Trump announced the tariffs in March, citing national security concerns.
Europe and Mexico pledged to retaliate, exacerbating trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions. The European Commission’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Trump’s decision amounted to trade “protectionism, pure and simple,” adding that Europe would respond with countermeasures.
Mexico said it would penalize U.S. imports including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel. Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s premier, made it clear more retaliation is coming, saying: “Donald Trump is a bully. And the only way to do deal with a bully is to stand up and push back.”
The U.S. action widens a rift with Germany and other close allies, and it threatens to drive up prices for companies and consumers that buy steel and aluminum. The move also heightens uncertainty for businesses and is already alarming investors in global financial markets.
Financial markets fell amid fears of a trade war, as the Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 200 points. The stocks of the “big five” defense firms followed the market, trading down amid predictions of weaker demand from abroad and rising prices at home — but they stayed well above their 52-week lows.
The worst damage to U.S. defense firms may be on the horizon, should overseas defense markets ― which are heavily government-influenced ― punish America over the new tariffs. The Trump administration has sought to increase American defense exports, but analysts warn that’s now in danger.
Aerospace Industries Association CEO Eric Fanning told reporters Thursday that he understands the need to focus on fair trade, but shared fears that American firms in the aerospace and defense sector could be particularly hurt by retaliation from potential customers.
“We have concerns about tariffs for a number of reasons: Its impact on the global supply chain, what that could mean to our companies. Certainly what escalation might mean in retaliation,” Fanning said. He noted that AIA’s member companies rely heavily on exports and employ 2.4 million Americans with above-average paying jobs.
Asked if those concerns had been conveyed to the White House, Fanning said: “They know. I think we can find ways to focus on fair trade and free trade. I don’t think it has to be either-or. “
Analyst Byron Callan, a director at Capital Alpha Partners, predicted the tariffs will “ripple through security relationships.”
In areas where there are no competing European products, like heavy-lift helicopters or C-130J cargo aircraft, Callan expected U.S. products to hold steady. “But if Europe has options, I would expect the U.S. will be its second choice,” Callan said.
There are dimmer prospects for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sales to Belgium, Finland and Germany — where the slim possibility has been up for debate. Germany is an “even less likely” customer now, Callan said.
Brookings Institution’s Michael O’Hanlon downplayed fears of retaliation, however, citing the military interdependence among NATO allies, many of which rely on U.S. suppliers. “As such, I don’t expect dramatic repercussions — at least at this stage of the incipient would-be trade war,” O’Hanlon said.
Yet, America’s defense industry, which already faces a shortage of qualified workers and other long-term challenges, could eventually see parts suppliers move operations overseas — the exact opposite of the Trump administration’s stated goal.
“It’s possible that some of those companies could decide they’re in an untenable business situation and shift operations offshore, where tariffs don’t have to be paid,” said Andrew Hunter, a former Pentagon acquisitions official now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The parts can be imported without tariffs. It’s the raw material that’s being taxed.”
Though the American defense industry buys the majority of its steel and aluminum from domestic suppliers, the tariffs are expected to allow those suppliers to raise prices unhindered by foreign competition. Price increases should find their way into the supply chain as firms use up their stockpiles, Hunter said.
Even some Trump allies in Congress said the trade moves are a raw deal for the American public. “Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are a tax hike on Americans and will have damaging consequences for consumers, manufacturers and workers,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., has said the tariffs would raise the cost of critical military systems the U.S. needs to maintain its military edge.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said Thursday the move hurts American jobs by hindering American exports. He called on the administration to “continue exemptions and negotiations with these important national security partners.” (Source: Defense News)
30 May 18. Congress on target for dogfight over military aircraft. Due to rising F-35 sustainment costs, the U.S. Senate’s annual defense policy bill proposes shaving two aircraft off the president’s request to buy 77 in 2019. And that means there’s some closed-door wrangling ahead as staff and lawmakers reconcile competing House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate Armed Services Committee-approved bill approached not only the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but the KC-46 tanker aircraft and E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or JSTARS, differently than the House-approved bill.
The SASC bill would authorize one fewer of the Lockheed Martin-made F-35s for the Air Force and Navy to redirect the savings into funding for spares, modifications and depot repair capability. The bill also mandates quarterly updates to Congress on the status and direction of the F-35 program, codifying already regular communication with Congress.
“There was concern the program wasn’t sufficiently balanced for sustainment costs of the aircraft, so within the monies for F-35, the adjustment was made to put the money into sustainment that would be sufficient,” an SASC aide said Friday. “That entailed a minor reduction in aircraft procurement.”
The idea, according to an SASC summary of its bill, was to “establish a solid sustainment base before the steep ramp of production overwhelms the enterprise’s ability to sustain the aircraft.”
The move comes as Air Force officials have sought to drive down sustainment costs to that of fourth-generation fighters like the F-16 and in the wake of reports the service would cut its purchases if costs don’t sufficiently fall.
The Government Accountability Office projected in 2017 that total sustainment costs over the life of the F-35 program could amount to more than $1trn during a 60-year life cycle.
The SASC approved its version of the massive NDAA after meeting behind closed doors last week, but the text of the bill itself is not expected for at least several days. The NDAA is several steps from becoming law. The House passed its version May 24, and the Senate must pass its version before the two are reconciled over the summer into a final bill for both chambers to pass.
The House bill would force the Pentagon to proceed with its JSTARS recapitalization plans the Air Force would like to abandon in favor of a new advanced battle management system. Even though the House and SASC would put restrictions on retiring the legacy JSTARS, the SASC bill would supporting the Air Force’s pursuit of advanced battle management systems by including funding to accelerate it.
The idea behind the ABMS is instead of having a commercial business jet-sized surveillance aircraft close to the battlefield ― where it is vulnerable to surface-to-air missiles ― troops would have a fused picture from the Air Force’s current inventory of aircraft and drones to do the ground surveillance mission.
Lawmakers in both chambers have expressed concerns that it will take so long accomplish that it’s unwise to scrap the existing program.
“There’s a recognition in the Senate bill that we don’t want to retire aircraft too quickly before a replacement capability arises such that we end up with a gap,” an SASC staffer said. “We do not direct them to proceed with the recap out of concerns with survivability, which we share with the department.”
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, in Senate testimony May 17, said that to operate both JSTARs and the ABMS, it would take a whopping $7 billion more than the Air Force’s budget proposal.
The SASC bill authorizes $2.3bn to procure 14 KC-46 aircraft, which is one aircraft fewer than the administration’s request, to — according to the bill summary — “restore program accountability.”
The committee was concerned with the program’s repeated delays and is applying its leverage. “It’s a signal to the [Defense] Department and to Boeing that we feel strongly that they need to get their act together and get this program moving forward,“ another SASC aide said.
Boeing has racked up more than $3bn worth of pretax charges on the KC-46 due to cost overruns and schedule delays. Plus, the Air Force may not accept the first KC-46 tanker until it reverses a serious technical issue involving the refueling boom — an issue Boeing has vowed to fix before delivery of the first tanker this summer. (Source: News Now/Defense News)
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01 Jun 18. Operation Roundup Hits ISIS Remnants in Iraq, Syria. Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve and its partners increased offensive activity against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria targets in designated parts of Iraq and Syria throughout May.
Since the May 1 start of Operation Roundup, Syrian Democratic Forces resumed major offensive operations in the middle Euphrates River valley. Since then, the SDF has continued to gain ground through offensive operations, coupled with precision coalition strike support.
During May, the coalition has conducted 225 strikes with 280 engagements. This demonstrates a 304 percent increase over the 74 strikes conducted in March, and a 123 percent increase over the 183 strikes recorded in April.
Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve and its partner forces continue to exert pressure on ISIS senior leaders and associates to degrade, disrupt and dismantle ISIS structures and remove terrorists throughout Iraq and Syria. ISIS morale is sinking on the front lines as privileged ISIS leaders increasingly abandon their own fighters on the battlefield, taking resources with them as they flee, task force officials said.
Over the coming weeks, Operation Roundup will continue to build momentum against ISIS remnants remaining in the Iraq-Syria border region and the middle Euphrates River valley.
Coalition military forces conducted 41 strikes May 25-31, consisting of 49 engagements in Iraq and Syria:
May 31 Strikes
On May 31 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets. Near Abu Kamal, four strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit, destroying three ISIS vehicles, an ISIS command-and-control center and an ISIS fighting position. Near Shadaddi, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two ISIS command-and-control centers.
On May 31 near Basheer in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement again an ISIS tactical unit.
May 30 Strikes
On May 30 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of six engagements against ISIS targets. Near Abu Kamal, three strikes destroyed an ISIS fighting position. Near Shafah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two ISIS vehicles. Near Hajin, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two ISIS fighting positions.
There were no reported strikes in Iraq on May 30.
May 29 Strikes
On May 29 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted a strike engaging an ISIS tactical unit, destroying an ISIS vehicle.
There were no reported strikes in Iraq on May 29.
May 28 Strikes
There were no reported strikes in Syria on May 28.
On May 28 near Qayyarah in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets.
May 27 Strikes
On May 27 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets. Near Abu Kamal, four strikes destroyed three ISIS fighting positions. Near Shadaddi, a strike engaged an ISIS unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
On May 27 near Baghdad, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS-held building.
May 26 Strikes
On May 26 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted 11 strikes consisting of 12 engagements against ISIS targets. Near Abu Kamal, 11 strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit, destroying two ISIS logistics hubs and two ISIS vehicles.
There were no reported strikes in Iraq on May 26.
May 25 Strikes
On May 25 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted eight strikes consisting of 11 engagements against ISIS targets. Near Abu Kamal, seven strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed three ISIS fighting positions. Near Shadaddi, a strike destroyed six ISIS fighting systems and three ISIS logistics hubs.
On May 25 near Kirkuk in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets, destroying two ISIS-held buildings.
Definition of Strikes
The coalition’s strike report contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing, or remotely piloted aircraft, rocket propelled artillery and ground-based tactical artillery.
A strike, as defined by coalition officials, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative effect in that location. For example, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined.
Task force officials do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.
(Source: US DoD)
31 May 18. Defence Investment Plan launched. Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, announced the release of a new Defence Investment Plan on day one of CANSEC. The initiative will include expected characteristics, costs and timings of the broad requirements announced in the government’s 2017 Strong, Secure, Engaged strategy. “When we talk about IDEaS [an innovation programme] on page 77 of the defence policy,” said Sajjan, “you can be sure to find it there in the Investment Plan.”
The initiative is expected to benefit industry players who will now be able to search online for more than 200 possible contract opportunities by service (for example, Army, Navy, Air Force), capability, investment area or key word. The projected costs listed in the Defence Investment Plan will be in ranges. This will allow for flexibility in the funding process as needs require. Sajjan also re-committed to boosting Canada’s annual defence spending by C$32.7bn (a more than 70 per cent increase) during the coming decade. He contrasted the Defence Investment Plan with the previous Conservative government’s Defence Acquisition Guide, which he characterised as “aspirational and unfunded”.
“We have made sure that over the next 20 years our defence policy remains not only fully costed… but fully funded,” said Sajjan.
The defence minister also addressed a projected C$2.3bn shortfall in defence spending. The government had planned C$6.2bn in capital investments last year, but was able to implement only C$3. bn worth.
“About 30 per cent of the funds were unspent because we were able to cut costs through better contracts and unused risk mitigation strategy,” said Sajjan. “[This] is a good thing.” The defence minister committed to keeping the unused funds available for when they are needed. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
31 May 18. China says carrier group has reached ‘initial’ combat readiness. The carrier group led by China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has reached “initial” combat readiness, the defence ministry said on Thursday, in another significant step in the country’s ambitious military modernisation programme. Little is known about the aircraft carrier programme, which China regards as a state secret. It is part of President Xi Jinping’s sweeping plan to refurbish the armed forces by developing everything from stealth jets to anti-satellite missiles, as China ramps up its presence in the disputed South China Sea and around self-ruled Taiwan. China bought the Soviet-era Liaoning secondhand from Ukraine in 1998, before refitting mainly for training use as it honed the ability to operate fighter jets at sea and with other warships.
But the Liaoning has gone on increasingly high-profile missions recently, such as sailing around Taiwan, which China claims, and into the South China Sea. The Liaoning and its accompanying carrier group had successfully been carrying out training missions, Defence Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang told a monthly news briefing.
“The carrier group’s exercises have been deepened to include combat operations in the open seas. It has initially formed a system combat capability,” Ren said, without elaborating.
China’s second, domestically-developed, carrier, began sea trials earlier in May. It is as yet unnamed. Chinese military experts have told state media the new carrier, built in the northeastern port of Dalian, is not expected to enter service until 2020, once it has been fully fitted out and armed. Unlike the U.S. Navy’s longer-range nuclear carriers, both of China’s feature Soviet-design ski-jump bows, intended to provide sufficient take-off lift for fighter jets. They lack the powerful catapult launch technology that U.S. carriers have.
State media have quoted experts as saying China needs at least six carriers. The United States operates 10 and plans to build two more.
Most experts agree that developing such a force will be a decades-long task for China, but progress on a home-built carrier boosts prestige for Beijing, seen by many analysts as keen to eventually erode U.S. military prominence in the region. Ren said he had no details to provide on whether China was building any other carriers. (Source: Reuters)
31 May 18. Over 70 Taliban leaders killed in US precision strikes in Afghanistan, says ‘Resolute Support.’ More than 70 senior Taliban leaders were killed in a series of precision strikes carried out by US forces in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand Province from May 17 to 26: a move described by the NATO-led ‘Resolute Support’ mission as “one of the largest blows” dealt to the Taliban leadership in the past 12 months.
‘Resolute Support’ said in a statement on 30 May that the largest of these strikes occurred on 24 May when four missiles, fired from High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, destroyed a “known Taliban command-and-control node” in Musa Qala during a high-level meeting of Taliban commanders. Among the more than 50 casualties of that strike were “the deputy shadow governor of Helmand, multiple Taliban district governors, intelligence commanders, and key provincial-level leadership from Kandahar, Kunduz, Herat, Farah, Uruzgan and Helmand provinces”, according to the statement. That same day a commander of Taliban special units in Helmand and an associate were killed in a US Air Force (USAF) airstrike while they were transiting in Sangin district, said ‘Resolute Support’, adding that USAF A-10 ground-attack aircraft also targeted a shadow district governor and destroyed a shadow district headquarters in Nahri Saraj the following day. Moreover, a “senior improvised explosive device [IED] facilitator” was killed in an airstrike launched on 26 May from a MQ-1C Gray Eagle medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle, according to the statement. The Taliban member had reportedly been responsible for co-ordinating IED operations against Afghan and international forces as well as civilians for the past 13 years. An additional 15 Taliban members were killed in separate strikes conducted around the province during the 10-day period. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 May 18. Russian FM Lavrov: All Foreign Troops, Including Iran’s, Must Leave Syria. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said all non-Syrian forces should withdraw from southwestern Syria as soon as possible, echoing his calls from earlier this week in an attempt to cool tensions between Israel and Iran. The Times of Israel reported that Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is scheduled to travel to Moscow on Wednesday afternoon for talks with his Russian counterpart on a possible settlement governing the presence of Iranian troops in Syria.
Israel’s Channel 2 reported the agreement would have Israel consent to Syrian regime forces taking positions in southwestern Syria and, in return, Russia would supervise the removal of Iranian and Hezbollah forces from the region near the Golan Heights. Russia would also accept Israel’s “freedom of action against Iranian consolidation in all of Syria.”
Lavrov told reporters earlier this week that only Syrian troops should be stationed in rebel-held Daraa province, a region adjacent to the Israeli border. Russia is concerned that hostilities between Israel and Iran could spiral into war, thereby undermining the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Twitter, stressed that Israel would not agree to any arrangement that allowed the presence of any Iranian troops in Syria, “The long-range missiles Iran is working to station in Syria will endanger us even beyond the range of several kilometers from southern Syria; therefore, Iran needs to leave Syria altogether. We’re not party to understandings to the effect that we have agreed to less than this.” (Source: theisraelproject.org)
30 May 18. After Firing 110 Rockets and Mortars into Israel, Gaza Terror Groups Agree to Ceasefire. After firing more than 110 rockets and mortars into Israel over two days, Gaza-based terror groups have apparently agreed to a ceasefire The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Hamas, the terrorist group that exercises complete military and political control over Gaza, announced that it had returned to the Egyptian-brokered understandings reached to end Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas. It announced that other terror groups operating in Gaza would also agree to the ceasefire as long as Israel would do so too. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, both of which are backed by Iran, took credit for the attacks against Israeli population centers. Israel did not say that it had agreed to a ceasefire, but that it would not attack unless it is attacked. The Times of Israel reported that in response to the more than 70 projectiles fired into Israel on Tuesday, and 40 more overnight, the Israeli military said that its aircraft struck a Hamas drone facility, a rocket manufacturing plant, a weapons depot, and other military targets inside Gaza. Israel also said that it destroyed a “unique” tunnel that traveled from Gaza through Egypt, and 900 meters (a half-mile) into Israel.
“At end of day, we have taken some very effective strikes against the positions and elements of the terrorist infrastructure of Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” Yossi Kuperwasser, a former director general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, said at a press briefing hosted by The Israel Project. (Source: theisraelproject.org)
30 May 18. South Asia Strategy in Afghanistan Shows Results, Nicholson Says. The South Asia strategy in Afghanistan has spawned intensified dialogue and a drop in Taliban violence, Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission and U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, told reporters today.
Speaking to Pentagon media via teleconference from Kabul, Afghanistan, the commander said the goal of the South Asia strategy is reconciliation, and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani has called it a game changer.
Six months into the strategy, Nicholson said, “we had the elements of a peace proposal outlined by the Taliban in an open letter to America and a formal peace offer by President Ghani,” followed by other communication channels.
Between February, when the peace offers were made, and the end of April, the levels of enemy-initiated violence dropped to 30 percent below the five-year average, Nicholson said.
But on April 25, the Taliban announced their offensive and since then, the violence has increased, but still stands at a level that’s 10 percent to 20 percent below the five-year average, he said.
“I call this talking and fighting,” Nicholson said. “And, as [Defense Secretary James N. Mattis] has said, ‘violence and progress can coexist,’ and that’s what we’re seeing.”
The South Asia policy brought additional firepower and authorities, he said, noting that the Taliban have sought to avoid attacks by air, and have targeted more remote district centers.
During the period of violence, the Afghan National Defense and security forces defeated more than 80 percent of the enemy attacks on district centers, meaning the Taliban failed to achieve their target goals, the general noted.
The 20 percent of the attacks in which the Taliban were successful in taking five district centers have been retaken by Afghan forces, the commander said, adding some were retaken in anywhere from hours to 10 days.
Driving the Enemy From Farah
“The one exception to a remote district center being attacked [by the Taliban] was the city of Farah. Within 24 hours of the attack, these Afghan forces, supported by the Afghan air force, and enabled by the United States, drove the enemy out of the city and into surrounding districts, where they pursued them for a week,” Nicholson said.
He added, “During this pursuit, a number of these Taliban leaders and fighters returned to Helmand, and through some great intelligence work by our Marines, … they tracked 50 of them to a meeting in Musa Qala and struck them with rockets, killing dozens of the enemy leaders.”
Another example of a failed enemy attack took place today, the general said.
Eight terrorists in a captured Humvee attempted to penetrate the ministry of interior headquarters in downtown Kabul, he said.
“They were stopped, and in a sharp firefight with special police, all of the were killed, with the exception of one, who was captured. We did lose one friendly casualty and had a few wounded, but the enemy attack failed and never was able to penetrate MOI headquarters,” Nicholson said.
“[These] are just a few examples of the improvements we’ve seen in the [Afghan forces] fighting abilities, which … is the focus of our investment and one of the key parts of the South Asia strategy — defeating 80 percent of enemy attacks, retaking any fallen district centers, successfully defending Farah, pursuing and killing the attackers, defeating terrorist attacks,” the general said.
Counterterrorism is the other key mission in Afghanistan, and the top two targets remain the Islamic State-Khorasan Province and al-Qaida, the commander said, noting that while the Islamic State aspires to spread around the country, it is geographically limited to Jowzjan, Nangarhar Kunar.
“Our [counterterrorism] team recently killed the leader of the Jowzjan enclave, Qari Hekmatullah, and many of his fighters, which caused many of them to fade away or to flip sides to the Taliban, severely disrupted,” Nicholson said.
“We are maintaining the pressure on that particular enclave to defeat this group, and we’re also maintaining pressure on the group in Nangarhar, with what is called Operation Hamza,” he said, “which has been going on for the past year and steadily reducing their space and inflicting casualties.” (Follow Terri Moon Cronk @MoonCronkDoD)
29 May 18. KADEX 2018 results in numerous defence contracts. KADEX 2018, the fifth international weapons systems and military equipment exhibition, was held May 23-26 at the military sector of Astana International Airport.
“Our country, as you know, is pursuing a peace-loving policy aimed at strengthening good-neighbourliness with all its neighbours and distant neighbours, but today’s world situation forces everyone to strengthen their defences, and we are doing the same within the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). At the same time, the defence sector and armed forces development are one of the state priorities and an effective instrument of their implementation is an international exhibition, the only one of its kind in Central Asia,” said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the May 23 opening ceremony.
The head of state stressed KADEX 2018 has become an event of global importance in armament and information security. He noted the large-scale exhibit is one of the most effective sites for strengthening defence potential and developing military-industrial cooperation between countries.
“The exhibition demonstrates advanced products, the best achievements of Kazakh and foreign enterprises. The latest developments of leading design bureaus in the field of information security are presented here,” he added.
KADEX, held biennially since 2010, has evolved into a useful platform to create mutually beneficial contacts between defence industry manufacturers and consumers, as well as an opportunity to exchange experience in technological armed forces development. This year, the exhibition was organised for the first time by the Kazakh Ministry of Defence and Aerospace Industry and the conference session was opened by Deputy Prime Minister Askar Zhumagaliyev and Defence and Aerospace Industry Minister Beibut Atamkulov.
The event attracted official delegations from 40 countries and 108 heads of foreign companies, with approximately 3,000 military-diplomatic corps representatives in attendance. Local and international defence-industrial complex and space industry companies, leading design bureaus and information security research institutes participated in the exhibit, presenting the latest examples of space technology and information security development. Weapons, defence equipment, military and dual-purpose products by leading global manufacturers were presented. Particular emphasis was placed on electronic systems, communication systems and weapons control and the search for modern information security solutions.
Companies presented 124 land equipment items and 18 types of aircraft and drones. The ten pavilions included national displays by China, Russia and Turkey and exhibits by Kazakhstan Engineering, Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering and Kaztechnology. Means of monitoring, tracking and protecting information took the leading place in the pavilions.
For the first time, one pavilion was dedicated solely to space technology and organisers prepared a separate pavilion devoted to domestic and international cosmonaut achievements. Another innovation was the Days of Space in Kazakhstan international forum.
The extensive scientific and business programme included whole and sectional meetings, conferences and roundtables on defence and security, world cosmonautics development and ensuring cybersecurity. The business schedule included cyber and digital security and advanced defence tech conferences dedicated to information security, communication technologies and critical information and communication infrastructure protection. Individuals from 28 organisations from 14 countries and more than 500 representatives of central state bodies, higher educational institutions, quasi-governmental organisations and foreign and domestic companies participated in the international cybersecurity conference.
The Ministry of Defence and Aerospace Industry signed memoranda of understanding and cooperation with King Abdullah’s Office (Jordan) and leading Belgian, Russian and Turkish companies. Memoranda on collaboration were also inked between Kazakh companies, Belarusian and Kazakh scientific institutes and TransTelecom (Kazakhstan) and CyberX (Israel), noted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press office.
“Modernisation will increase the localisation of production from 30 percent to 70 percent and increases the country’s defence capacity through its own production and expands the export of military equipment,” said Kazakh Defence and Aerospace Industry Vice Minister Asset Kurmangaliyev.
The first two days of KADEX 2018 were open only to specialists, with visitors welcomed on the remaining two days. Guests became acquainted with the latest military-industrial and aerospace achievements and advanced developments, such as Kazakh helicopters and planes, helicopters modernised by Ukrainian companies, a Turkish Air Force Airbus A400 and Kazakh Army CASA C-295 aircraft and Su-30 fighter. Visitors could not only see and touch the exhibits, but also had a chance to sit at the controls of Arlan and Barys armoured cars and certain aircraft.
“Those wishing to see the submachine guns, tanks and planes gathered at the exhibition in the morning. None of the visitors remained disappointed. They were happy to share their emotions on social media after the spectacular performance,” said Astana Military Unit No. 68665 serviceperson Daniyar Aitkozhin.
A memorial issue of the Kazcosmos 25th anniversary stamp was presented on opening day at a ceremony attended by the heads of the Ministries of Defence and Aerospace Industry and Information and Communication, KazPost and guests of honour. Commemorative stamps and first-day covers were available for purchase.
KADEX 2018 resulted in contracts, agreements and memoranda which have the potential to promote partnerships in military-technical cooperation, cybersecurity and outer space exploration. Kazakh and leading foreign companies signed a significant package of documents, which Nazarbayev noted would contribute to developing international defence industry cooperation and domestic and foreign partnerships. Kazakhstan Engineering agreed to develop military-technical cooperation with Thales, a French company, and signed a memorandum with Turkish company Otokar to produce vehicles, including armoured cars, according to the Ministry of Defence and Aerospace Industry. (Source: Google/https://astanatimes.com)
27 May 18. India’s gross defence budget expected to reach $112 bn by FY27: Report. The report pointed out that the country’s capital expenditure for defence procurement is expected to exceed $250bn over the next 10 years, primarily to replace the Soviet-era vintage equipment
Initiatives to bolster India’s position as a major aerospace and defence power are expected to push Indias gross defence budget higher to $112bn by FY27, revealed an Assocham-KPMG joint study on Sunday.
According to the joint study report, India’s gross defence budget is expected to reach “$112bn by FY27 from $45 bn announced by the government of India in 2018-19, owing to significant steps been taken by the centre to bolster the country’s position as a major aerospace and defence power”.
The study noted that while the 2018-19 budgetary increase was “a meagre 7.8 per cent over the previous year”, it is expected to clock an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 11 per cent until FY27.
However, the report raised concerns that about 10 per cent of the defence budget is surrendered “to Ministry of Defence (MoD) at the end of each financial year owing to underutilisation as the reserved budget is not mapped with capital acquisition”.
Besides, the report pointed out that the country’s capital expenditure for defence procurement is expected to exceed $250 bn over the next 10 years, primarily to replace the Soviet-era vintage equipment and meet the growing modernisation needs of the Indian armed forces.
“However, out of this the domestic industry would only be able to manufacture defence equipment worth just about $80 bn while the rest of it would have to be imported,” the report said.
“Thus, the study suggested the government to incentivise private enterprises for developing large scale research and development (R&D) and manufacturing capabilities.”
The joint study added that “a vibrant domestic manufacturing ecosystem that includes both public and private defence manufacturing entities is essential for success of ‘Make in India,’ in the defence sector”. (Source: Google/http://www.business-standard.com)
27 May 18. Saudi Arabia shutting out German businesses – report.
Germany’s Der Spiegel reported that the unconfirmed move will have an impact on major firms such as Siemens and Daimler. Saudi Arabia has ordered a freeze on government contracts being awarded to German companies, according to a new report from Der Spiegel magazine.
According to the popular weekly magazine, the freeze, which is based on Saudi sources, comes after six months of increasingly strained diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Germany which began after the kingdom calls its ambassador in Berlin home for consultations over comments made by then-Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel about Saudi Arabia’s role in Lebanon.
“For Germans, the doors in Riyadh have suddenly been closed,” a German businessman was quoted as saying by the magazine.
The magazine also reported that meetings set up before the diplomatic crisis began are being cancelled.
“That hurts,” said Oliver Oehms of the German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs in Riyadh.
The report added that the move is likely to have a significant impact on major companies such as Bayer, Siemens, Daimler and Boehringer Ingelheim.
Siemens, Boehriner and Bayer declined to comment for the magazine report, while Daimler said that its business – which includes an order for 600 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses made last year – was continuing in Saudi Arabia. According to German government statistics, the country’s exports to Saudi Arabia were worth $7.7bn in 2017. Approximately 800 German companies conduct business in Saudi Arabia, of which about 200 have officers in the kingdom. In March, Bloomberg reported that Saudi government agencies were told not to renew non-essential contracts with German firms. (Source: ArabianBusiness.com)
25 May 18. Chinese fighter jets complete night landings on carrier, live-fire drills. Chinese fighter pilots have carried out night landings on the country’s first aircraft carrier, the official China Daily reported on Saturday, the latest demonstration of military muscle as Beijing’s pushes to modernise its armed forces.
Pilots flying J-15 jets landed at night on the Liaoning, the official paper said, citing a video posted by China’s navy. It said this was a complex manoeuvre that marked a “huge leap towards gaining full combat capability”.
China has ambitious plans to overhaul its armed forces as it ramps up its presence in the disputed South China Sea and around self-ruled Taiwan, an island China considers its own.
The official newspaper of the People’s Liberation army also said on Saturday that Chinese fighter jets had recently carried out live-fire drills in the South China Sea.
China has been ramping up naval military exercises amid growing tensions with Taiwan. Last month, President Xi Jinping presided over the navy’s largest-ever military display, with 76 fighter jets and a flotilla of 48 warships and submarines.
China’s first domestically developed aircraft carrier set off on sea trials earlier this month. The older Liaoning, which is expected to serve more as a training vessel, was bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998.
Its navy has also been taking an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with the Liaoning sailing around Taiwan and new Chinese warships popping up in far-flung places.
State media has quoted experts as saying China needs at least six carriers. The United States operates 10 and plans to build two more.
Many experts agree that developing such a force would be a decades-long endeavour but that the drive to bolster its forces at sea will be crucial in the longer term as China looks to erode U.S. military prominence in the region. (Source: Reuters)
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31 May 18. US defense firms are at risk of losing their edge to new rivals. Despite a growing defense budget, U.S. defense and aerospace companies are at risk to be superseded by emerging competitors, a new PwC sector trends report cautions.
Not only are established companies receiving domestic pressure from emerging innovators like Elon Musk’s SpaceX, but also Chinese and Russian companies backed by state funding. The PwC report notes “China is making a big push to develop military artificial intelligence technologies, and China and Russia are developing sophisticated air-to-air missile systems that use advanced imagery and sensors to thwart enemy intrusions before they pierce the skies.”
The defense sectors reluctance to take risks by investing their own funds in research and development also is a major impediment. Despite their large budgets, aerospace and defense companies spend less on R&D than nearly every other industry.
That’s going to have to change if these firms want to remain competitive. PwC’s report recommends companies “adopt a more rigorous and less risk-averse approach to evaluating and making strategic investment choices (for example, product development, technology innovation, and R&D) that yield long-term value. Accept uncertainty as part of the normal course of business; view it as an opportunity, not a danger.”
Some companies are also trying to diversify their portfolios through mergers and acquisitions. The report cites Thales $5bn acquisition of Dutch-based Gemalto as one example of such diversification. The buy gained Thales a strong position in the cybersecurity market, opening up new revenue streams from technology.
So how can company’s adjust their investment strategies to combat challenging, ambitious newcomers? PwC suggests companies reduce costs by earmarking R&D funds for specific project priorities, rather than allocating the funds to business units to decide how to spend the money.
The group also suggests a change in corporate culture, and encourages firms to hire a younger workforce with “the tech aptitude that increasingly drives weapons equipment efforts and advances today.”
Companies can also alter incentive and compensation programs. Offering traditional bonuses for meeting annual performance metrics, according to the report, “is counterproductive because executives can achieve these goals while actually destroying value in the company by, for instance, seeking savings through cutbacks in R&D.” (Source: Defense News)
31 May 18. Mettis Aerospace, which can trace its roots back to the 1930s, has posted a turnover of £75m for the year to 31 December 2017, up from £67.9m in 2016. The company, which moved to Redditch in 1938, also posted pre-tax profits of £10.3m, up from £5.5m.
Mettis’ chief executive Gordon Fraser also told Insider that between 20 to 25 new jobs could be created in the next 12 months. Mettis Aerospace started life as High Duty Alloys and is a supplier of high-performance components to the aerospace, defence and other specialist markets. It now employs more than 500 staff at its 1.2 million sq ft base on Windsor Road in Redditch and is one of the largest employers in the town. Fraser said: “We are very pleased with the results as there was some good growth and progress.
“We are in a good financial situation considering global uncertainty over issues such as Trump and Brexit.
“Our top line is expected to grow by up to 13 per cent this year while our bottom line could grow by 15 per cent as well.
“We are looking at making acquisitions in the UK, Europe and the United States over the coming year.”
A statement signed off by the board said: “The outlook for civil aerospace original equipment remains positive as passenger travel volumes continue to increase.
“Long-term agreements are in place with many customers which gives the company excellent visibility of future demand and growth.
“Overall growth in demand is still expected to average around five per cent for both passenger and cargo traffic.
“The highest growth rates are expected to be in the Asia Pacific region and China with India, the Middle East and Latin America following closely behind.
“This anticipated growth means that the existing world airline fleet is forecast to grow from the current 21,600 aircraft to 43,560 by 2034.
“Mettis Aerospace has positions on virtually all major civil programmes and is particularly well represented on the single aisle aircraft which are expected to account for around 70 per cent of the new aircraft required.
“With a strong position in both engine and airframe component manufacture and a growing order pipeline, the directors consider that Mettis Aerospace is well placed for the future.”
In February 2016, the business was acquired from Saints Chamonix by Stirling Square Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum. (Source: Google/www.insidermedia.com)
01 Jun 18. Thales extends the acceptance period of the offer for Gemalto until 15 August 2018 and confirms it expects to complete the acquisition in the course of the second half of 2018. Reference is made to the joint press release by Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) and Gemalto (Euronext Amsterdam and Paris: GTO) dated 27 March 2018 in relation to the launch of the recommended all-cash offer by Thales for all the issued and outstanding shares of Gemalto (the “Offer”) and the publication of the Offer Document. Terms not defined in the press release will have the meaning as set forth in the Offer Document.
In accordance with Dutch offer rules, and as set out in the Offer Document, Thales has decided to extend the Acceptance Period of the Offer by ten weeks until August 15Th, 17:40 hours CET (11:40 hours New York time).
The Acceptance Period has effectively been extended because the Offer Conditions for completion of the Offer, in particular with respect to Regulatory Clearances, will not be fulfilled before the expiry of the initial Acceptance Period at 17:40 hours CET (11:40 am New York time) on 6 June 2018.
As a reminder, Thales and Gemalto are seeking Regulatory Clearances from the competent antitrust authorities in Australia, in China, for the European Union, in Israel, in Mexico, in New Zealand, in Russia, in South Africa, in Turkey and in the United States. In addition to CFIUS approval in the United States, Thales and Gemalto are seeking Regulatory Clearances relating to foreign investments from the competent authorities in Australia, Canada and Russia.
As announced on 17 December 2017, it is expected that the transaction will be completed shortly after receipt by Thales of all Regulatory Clearances, in the course of the second half of the year 2018.
In accordance with the Offer Document, Thales will request an exemption from the Dutch authority for the financial markets (AFM) to further extend the Acceptance Period beyond 15 August 2018. Subject to receipt of such exemption, the Acceptance Period will be extended until such time as Thales, in consultation with Gemalto, will reasonably believe is necessary to allow the Offer Condition relating to the Regulatory Clearances to be satisfied.
During the extended Acceptance Period, Shares tendered may be withdrawn in accordance with the provisions of Article 15, paragraph 3 of the Decree and the procedures described in the Offer Document. Any Shares tendered during the initial Acceptance Period and which are not withdrawn will remain subject to the Offer.
01 Jun 18. Airbus “not paralysed” by wait for new CEO – planemaking chief. Airbus (AIR.PA) is not hampered by uncertainty over who will lead the company in the future, its planemaking boss Guillaume Faury told a German newspaper after the European aerospace company said it would nominate a new CEO at the end of the year.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Airbus Group is seen on the company’s headquarters building in Toulouse, Southwestern France, April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo
“Airbus is not paralysed,” Die Welt quoted Faury as saying in an interview published on Friday. He said he himself was “available to the group”, without elaborating.
Faury, the former head of the group’s helicopter unit, who took over leadership of the civil planemaking business three months ago, is seen as the main internal candidate to succeed Tom Enders when he leaves next year.
Le Figaro had reported in March that Faury could combine the CEO role with day-to-day control of the planemaking arm.
Faury also said Airbus was in talks with its suppliers to manage an increase in the A320 production rate to 70 a month early in the next decade, compared with around 55 now.
He said the group did not plan to add further assembly plants to achieve production increases. It currently has plants in Hamburg, Toulouse, Tianjin in China and Mobile, Alabama in the United States.
Production rates in China and the United States could rise the most as they come from a low base there.
Airbus is also adding a second CSeries production line to its factory in Alabama after buying a controlling stake in the CSeries programme from Bombardier (BBDb.TO).
Faury said the CSeries deal was progressing “faster than expected”.
31 May 18. Axiom purchases assets of FRH Technical Engineering. The assets of FRH Technical Engineering, a machining, rapid prototyping and tooling business based in Chichester have been purchased by Axiom Product Development, which plans to grow the company, expand the team and develop new markets.
Axiom will continue to design and manufacture complex tooling and patterns for the automotive, defence, aerospace and marine industries as well as designing and producing manufacturing aids and providing milling, turning and other finishing services. Axiom has already made some strategic staff appointments with Alan Rendle-Eames joining to head the team as managing director and shareholder.
Mr Rendle-Eames has over 17 years’ experience in the machine engineering sector and was most recently project manager leading a team of five designers at Formaplex, a specialist machining and composites company. Mr Rendle-Eames previously spent 14 years at FRH Technical Engineering and is therefore an ideal person to oversee the running of the business.
Luke Newman will also be joining the Axiom management team as technical director and shareholder. Mr Newman is a qualified toolmaker with over 10 years’ experience in the sector, most recently as technical sales manager at Formaplex where he specialised in growing the Formula One, motorsport, automotive, defence, aerospace and energy sector accounts.
Axiom has been set up by Michael Last and Clive Johnson who are both experienced CEOs with complimentary backgrounds in finance, mergers & acquisitions, engineering and manufacturing. Mr Last was CEO at Formaplex from 2008-2017, a manufacturer of complex tooling and components, where he oversaw a period of successful growth and expansion. Mr Last has extensive experience across a broad range of technology led businesses in multiple industries. Clive Johnson, a mechanical engineer by training, has managed and grown a range of businesses from start-ups through to high-tech manufacturing businesses. Mr Johnson was CEO at Portsmouth-based Magma Structures, builders of what the company says is tallest composite Superyachts masts in the world.
FRH was founded in 1952 by Frank Hay as a hand pattern machine shop. The family business has passed through three generations with Mr Hay’s grandson, Adrian Hay running the business for the last 20 years. Axiom plan to re-energise the business, bring in new skills and develop new sectors and markets. Family connections will continue with Tom Hay, great-grandson of the founder, remaining as production director and shareholder of the new company. Tom Hay has been with the company for 7 years and is a qualified engineer.
Commenting on the news, Adrian Hay, managing director said: “After 20 years at the helm I am pleased to have secured a successful future for the staff and customers of FRH. The breadth of experience and skills of the new owners will be a great asset to the new business and will ensure the continuity of service to our existing customers.”
Michael Last and Clive Johnson added: “We are excited to have completed the purchase and have already made some key strategic appointments to expand the team and bring in new skills. We have put in place a hugely experienced team who have ambition to steadily grow the business and diversify into new markets.” (Source: Google/www.pesmedia.com)
31 May 18. L3’s growth strategy guided by credit rating risk. For L3 Technologies Inc, it’s not a case of if but when the maker of everything from airport scanners to night vision equipment for the military will get bigger through acquisitions.
The path that recently minted Chairman and CEO Chris Kubasik takes to deliver that growth to investors, however, is the big question. Bankers and industry executives are watching closely to see if L3 risks its investment grade credit rating with a major deal that could dwarf its acquisitions in the past.
Kubasik, who took the helm at the sensor and communications company in January was named chairman earlier this month, is not shy about being on the prowl.
He told Reuters in an interview that he has looked at several deals recently, but has taken a pass “because we haven’t found anything that makes sense to us.”
Kubasik said the firm could buy a company as large as $3bn dollars using a mix of cash and debt.
Wall Street power brokers familiar with Kubasik’s plan told Reuters he would love to bulk up the company quickly. However, acquisitions of technologically sophisticated, high-profit margin companies remain either too small to be significant or too large for the $15.6bn market-cap company to afford.
The bankers said infrared camera maker FLIR Systems Inc, which has a $7.4bn market capitalization, or Textron Inc with its $17.1bn market capitalization, are examples of the deals Kubasik is interested in but are not within reach because of credit risk and cost.
The investment bankers and a credit analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity said even a $3bn deal could endanger L3’s investment grade credit which hovers one notch above junk. One way L3 could preserve its credit rating with such a deal is if L3 promised to aggressively pay down debt in conjunction with a big deal announcement, the debt analyst said.
Kubasik told Reuters it was important to preserve the company’s investment grade credit rating “for now.”
FLIR and Textron declined to comment. A representative for L3 did not comment.
LET’S MAKE A DEAL
Dealmaking is part of the culture at L3. Since going public in 1997, the company has made over 130 acquisitions in building a business that now gets 70 percent of its revenue from the Pentagon and the remaining 30 from commercial and international customers.
Last year, while Kubasik was chief operating officer at L3, he told investors that he was eyeing 28 potential deals. Since then, he said half were ruled out and Heidi Wood – the head of L3’s internal mergers and acquisitions team – added four to L3’s current target list of 18 companies.
In early May, Kubasik boosted L3’s acquisition war chest to more than $1bin of cash by selling Vertex, a division that provided services for aviation to American Industrial Partners, a private equity firm for $540m.
Kubasik told Reuters there is nothing big in the market tempting him now, and added that if he could not find $1 or $2bn dollar deals, he aims to double the size of L3 over five years organically and through tuck-in – or smaller – acquisitions.
The goal for Kubasik is to ultimately be “the 6th prime,” meaning L3 will compete with the largest defense companies which have cultivated prized relationships with generals and admirals at the Department of Defense. Bigger competitors like Northrop Grumman Corp, or General Dynamics Corp enjoy many of these direct contact relationships and Kubasik wants to increase L3’s share.
To achieve this, Kubasik wants more government contracts that name L3 as the “prime” contractor, putting the company in direct contact the main customer, the Pentagon.
He said L3 would never make jets or planes, but unmanned under water systems and other smaller format defense equipment like night vision equipment and protected communications can provide the access Kubasik thinks will pay off.
Kubasik is confident that the company would increase its dividend as it has over the last 13 years, but his priority is to make a deal.
“One at $3bn doesn’t bother me, three at $1bn doesn’t bother me. But right now, we’ve been doing $100, $200m because that’s what’s available,” he said. (Source: Reuters)
29 May 18. BHEL net up 112% at Rs 457 Cr in March quarter. State-owned power equipment maker BHEL posted more than doubling of its standalone net profit to Rs 457.12 crore for the March quarter of last fiscal on higher revenues. Its net profit was Rs 215.55 crore for the January-March quarter of the preceding fiscal, 2016-17, BHEL said in a statement.
The total income of the company was Rs 10,341.58 crore in the fourth quarter of 2017-18, slightly down from Rs 10,476.28 crore a year ago. The turnover (sales) for the quarter was Rs 9,833 crore as against Rs 9,479 crore in the last year.
The company’s standalone net profit for the entire fiscal, 2017-18 was Rs 806.60 crore, up from Rs 495.86 in the previous fiscal. The turnover was Rs 27,850 crore, as against Rs 27,740 crore in the previous year.
It said the turnover for 2017-18 would have been higher by Rs 488 crore totalling to Rs 28,338 crore, a jump of 2.2 per cent over the previous year, considering the duties and taxes on bought-out items and Civil Turnover which were forming part of the turnover in the pre-GST regime.
An interim equity dividend of 40 per cent has been paid for 2017-18, on the enhanced equity following a bonus issue earlier in the year, maintaining the track-record of paying dividends uninterruptedly since 1976-77.
In addition, the company has recommended a final dividend of 51 per cent, subject to the approval of shareholders. With this, the total dividend for the year 2017-18 would stand at 91 per cent, on the enhanced equity. This will be the highest dividend in last four years.
Talking to, BHEL Chairman and Managing Director Atul Sobti said: “Prudent strategies of garnering higher market share in a shrunken and highly competitive business environment enabled the BHEL to book orders worth Rs 40,932 crore in 2017-18. Significantly, this is a quantum jump of 74 per cent over 2016-17.”
The orders in last fiscal comprise of Rs 33,342 crore in the Power segment and Rs 7,590 Crore in the industry and overseas segments combined.
BHEL has ended 2017-18 with a total order book of over Rs 1,18,000 crore – the highest in the last five years.
Sobti said, “Focus on increased localisation of supercritical technology, higher technology depth, and design optimization enabled the company to enhance its competitiveness and strengthen its leadership in the power plant and associated equipment segment of the Indian utility market.”
All the orders for new thermal units are on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis and have been won outbidding Indian and multinational equipment suppliers under International Competitive Bidding (ICB), he said.
In the nuclear segment, the BHEL secured an order for the supply of Steam Generator package (4 SGs) for 2×700 MWe Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP) Units-1&2 through Domestic Competitive Bidding (DCB).
“The enhanced thrust on enlarging non-coal business has resulted in an upsurge with order inflows from the industry sector business segment at the highest level in the last six years. This includes highest ever orders won in transportation, defence, aerospace and water business resulting from our unflinching focus on increasing non-coal business. ”
In the transportation segment, the company has bagged orders for thirty 3-phase IGBT-based WAG-9H Electric Locomotives from the Railway Board after a gap of over one decade. In the defence and aerospace segment, orders have been secured for 76/62 mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM), the most distinctive armament on Indian Naval warships, from the Indian Navy and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. Prestigious orders have also been received for 24 sets of pressure vessel parts from LPSC – ISRO and heat exchanger for LCA Tejas Programme from HAL.
The company has entered into a technology collaboration agreement with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Japan for the manufacture of stainless steel coaches and bogies for Metro Rail.
As part of its diversification strategy, BHEL has also entered into a Technology Transfer Agreement with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the manufacture of space-grade Lithium-ion cells of various capacities utilising the technology developed by ISRO at its Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
This transfer of technology will enable BHEL to manufacture Lithium-ion cells, in-house, for ISRO and other suitable applications. (Source: Google/https://timesofindia)
28 May 18. U.S. Software Firm Verint Is in Talks to Buy NSO for About $1bn. U.S. software company Verint Systems Inc. is in talks to buy NSO Group, an Israeli maker of cyber surveillance products, for about $1bn, according to a person familiar with the situation. NSO is known for selling military-grade technology including Pegasus spyware mainly to government security agencies. Verint has offered to pay NSO’s controlling shareholder, San Francisco-based private-equity firm Francisco Partners, with its own stock and assumed debt, the person said. Francisco Partners would become the largest shareholder in Melville, New York-based Verint if the deal is completed, the person said. Verint trades on the Nasdaq stock exchange with a market value of about $2.8bn. . . . In 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that NSO products were used to help foreign governments spy on their citizens. Researchers at Citizen Lab, a group that investigates surveillance technology, said they discovered NSO software in a link sent to the phone of a human-rights activist in the United Arab Emirates. An NSO spokesman said at the time that the company had no knowledge of the case. (Source: glstrade.com/WSJ)
30 May 18. ST Engineering today announced that it is undertaking a group-wide branding exercise to firstly, adopt a single brand approach by harmonising all its corporate brands by using “ST Engineering” as a masterbrand, and secondly to align the nomenclature of its subsidiaries’ company legal names with that of “ST Engineering”. The brand harmonisation and alignment of company legal names will take effect from
1 June 2018 in a phased approach. The brand harmonisation will help drive higher brand visibility and position the Group for greater commercial impact and marketing presence as it expands into new global markets and industry segments.
“A single brand approach is as important a strategy as innovating or creating new products or solutions,” said Mr Chew Men Leong, Chief Marketing Officer, ST Engineering. “With two-thirds of ST Engineering’s growth over the next five years projected to be from overseas, uniting all our corporate brands into a masterbrand will enable us to leverage scale and enhance competitiveness, and at the same time help cement the reputation of the Group as a global technology, defence and engineering group.”
The brand harmonisation will first cover ST Engineering subsidiaries in Singapore and all its global subsidiaries in the Aerospace sector, followed by other overseas companies. The corporate brands of ST Aerospace, ST Electronics, ST Kinetics and ST Marine will be dropped as they take on the masterbrand with sector descriptors of Aerospace, Electronics, Land Systems, and Marine respectively.
On company legal name change, the holding companies of these four business sectors will be the first to adopt “ST Engineering” into their existing company legal names. The alignment of the company legal names of other local and overseas subsidiaries with the ST Engineering brand will be done progressively from 1 June 2018 onwards.
29 May 18. Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESLT and TASE: ESLT), (the “Company”) the international high technology company, reported today its consolidated results for the quarter ended March 31, 2018. The financial information presented below as of March 31, 2018 and for the three-month period then ended, have been measured and presented according to Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606. The comparison periods financial information for the first quarter of 2017, and for December 31, 2017, are under ASC 605 (see Accounting Policies Update on page 3).
Management Comment: Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, commented: “We are pleased with our start to 2018, especially with the solid increase in our backlog, which grew 14% year over year. Defense budgets in many of our target markets remain strong. We also continue to see good revenue diversification, based both on our geographic spread as well as by areas of operation. These factors support the potential for top line growth in both the short and the long term. Our continued organic growth, combined with our strategy of acquiring synergistic related businesses, support our position as an increasingly competitive global provider of technologically advanced defense and homeland security solutions.”
First quarter 2018 results:
Revenues in the first quarter of 2018 were $818.5m, as compared to $749.2m in the first quarter of 2017. The growth in revenues in the first quarter of 2018 was driven by sales from the increased backlog and by the adoption of the ASC 606 revenue recognition standard.
Non-GAAP (*) gross profit amounted to $239.8m (29.3% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to $226.8m (30.3% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2017. GAAP gross profit in the first quarter of 2018 was $235.4m (28.8% of revenues), as compared to $221.2m (29.5% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2017.
Research and development expenses, net were $68.2m (8.3% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to $58.4m (7.8% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2017.
Marketing and selling expenses, net were $68.2m (8.3% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to $65.8m (8.8% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2017.
General and administrative expenses, net were $35.7m (4.4% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to $38.7m (5.2% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2017.
Non-GAAP(*) operating income was $69.4m (8.5% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to $65.5m (8.7% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2017. GAAP operating income in the first quarter of 2018 was $63.3m (7.7% of revenues), as compared to $58.2m (7.8% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2017.
Financial expenses, net were $10.2m in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to $8.6m in the first quarter of 2017.
Taxes on income were $6.4m (effective tax rate of 12.0%) in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to $5.3m (effective tax rate of 10.6%) in the first quarter of 2017. The effective tax rate is affected by the mix of the tax rates in the various jurisdictions in which the Company’s entities generate taxable income.
Equity in net earnings of affiliated companies and partnerships was $3.1m (0.4% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to $1.6m (0.2% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2017.
Net income attributable to non-controlling interests was $0.2m in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to $0.3m in the first quarter of 2017.
Non-GAAP(*) net income attributable to the Company’s shareholders in the first quarter of 2018 was $54.9m (6.7% of revenues), as compared to $51.7m (6.9% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2017. GAAP net income in the first quarter of 2018 was $49.6m (6.1% of revenues), as compared to $45.6 m (6.1% of revenues) in the first quarter of 2017.
Non-GAAP(*) diluted net earnings per share attributable to the Company’s shareholders were $1.28 for the first quarter of 2018, as compared to $1.21 for the first quarter of 2017. GAAP diluted earnings per share in the first quarter of 2018 were $1.16, as compared to $1.07 for the first quarter of 2017.
The Company’s backlog of orders for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 totaled $8,046m, as compared to $7,067m as of March 31, 2017. Approximately 74% of the current backlog is attributable to orders from outside Israel. Approximately 60% of the current backlog is scheduled to be performed during 2018 and 2019.
Operating cash flow used in the quarter ended March 31, 2018 was $147.9m, as compared to $51.3m in the quarter ended March 31, 2017.
25 May 18. With an order backlog at year-end of 2,374 MDKK, Terma has a comfortable base for business developments in the coming years. Increased activities in the international defense, aerospace, and security markets ensured an order intake in 2017/18 of 1,728 MDKK.
“In all Business Areas, we have again this year seen a positive development, which has ensured a good result for Terma. We continue the high investment level in development of key technologies and new products. Combined with our targeted market strategy, this has secured a solid foundation for the coming years’ global sale of high-tech solutions in the aerospace and defense industry,” says Terma’s CEO Jens Maaløe, and continues:
“The revenue to international customers constitutes 94% of our total revenue. In the past year, we have witnessed an increase in sales to customers in Asia as well as the Middle East and North Africa, while maintaining a solid foothold in North America and Europe.”
In the fall 2017, Terma opened a new innovation center in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Terma has a close collaboration with the U.S. Air Force on self-protection equipment, based at the U.S. Air Force base in Warner Robins south of Atlanta. With the establishment of Terma Innovation Center in Atlanta, this collaboration is further strengthened in concert with the establishment of a collaboration with Georgia Institute of Technology. This is implemented to meet our recruiting requirements for highly skilled employees with a technical background which is crucial for our continued growth and development,” says Jens Maaløe.
During the fiscal year, Terma has had a net increase of 120 new employees, and at year-end, total staff was 1,458 Full-Time Employees.
Revenue for the fiscal year was 1,785 MDKK compared to 1,719 MDKK in 2016/17. Earnings before tax were 124 MDKK before special items in 2017/18, compared to 120 MDKK in 2016/17. Special items include extraordinary costs related to a reorganization in the summer 2017, as part of a major efficiency project, and downwards adjustment of the order value of a customer program.
With significant orders from the Belgian and the Dutch air forces and a framework agreement with U.S. Air National Guard/U.S. Air Force Reserve for 3D-Audio/Active Noise Reduction, Terma experienced an international breakthrough at the turn of the year 2017/18 for this special audio technology which warns pilots of incoming threats and reduces the noise considerably in cockpits. Additional orders are in the pipeline in the coming years.
With ASIM (Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor), Terma and DTU Space positioned Denmark in the international space and climate research arena. Terma holds the overall management and technical responsibility for the observatory which is now installed on the International Space Station, from where it will monitor giant lightning which is meant to affect the climate on Earth.
Jens Maaløe has agreed with Terma’s Board of Directors that he will retire after 16 years as President & CEO, after completing the fiscal year 2018/19 and securing onboarding of his successor. Jens Maaløe will turn 64 in January 2019. The Board has initiated a process to find his replacement.
In connection with the Annual General Meeting on Friday, 25 May 2018, the Board welcomed a new member, Karen-Marie Katholm. She holds a position as Integrated Operations Leader and member of the management team in DuPont Nutrition & Health. Karen-Marie Katholm replaces Anders Eldrup, who has not accepted renomination after eight years as member of Terma’s Board of Directors.
The external members of Terma’s Board of Directors are: Flemming H. Tomdrup (Chairman), Jørgen Huno Rasmussen (Deputy Chairman), Christina Grumstrup Sørensen, Carsten Dilling, and Karen-Marie Katholm. The members elected by the Terma employees are: Bo Laursen, Martin Anders Hedegaard, and Benny Daugaard Laursen. The Annual Report covers the period 1 Marts 2017 – 28 February 2018.
26 May 18. New force in Australian shipbuilding enters the market. Offshore Patrol Vessel designer, Lürssen, has teamed up with Australian engineering and construction firm Civmec in a joint venture to create the Australian Maritime Shipbuilding & Export Group (AMSEG).
It is intended that AMSEG will play a significant role in the build of 10 OPVs in Henderson, Western Australia and in driving an export shipbuilding business that will target opportunities around the region.
The joint venture will be chaired by former Chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral (Ret’d) Chris Ritchie.
“This new company will be governed by an Australian board and operate under Australian management to build world-class naval vessels in best practice Australian shipyards,” Ritchie said.
“We will invest in Australian skills and infrastructure and transfer expertise from SEA 1180 prime, Lürssen Australia, to develop capability and support the foundation of a sustainable naval shipbuilding industry that is able to export to the global market.”
Executive chairman of Civmec and AMSEG director Jim Fitzgerald said the formation of the new company was further evidence of the commitment the SEA 1180 industrial team had made to materially growing Australia’s shipbuilding industry.
“This is a huge step forward for Australia’s shipbuilding industry. It is an exciting development that will fully underpin the development of the new state of the art shipbuilding facility at Civmec’s Henderson headquarters,” Fitzgerald said.
Tim Wagner, managing director of Lürssen Defence and AMSEG director, echoed these sentiments.
“Lürssen has always believed in the vision of the Australian government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan and wanted to not only be a part of it, but to help make it a reality,” Wagner said.
“We set up Lürssen Australia in May 2017, today we have announced this important joint venture and later this year we will open applications to our program, which will fund scholarships and apprenticeships for aspiring Australian shipbuilders. The future of Australian naval shipbuilding looks bright.”
West Australian-based Civmec will soon list on the Australian Stock Exchange. (Source: Defence Connect)
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
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If this is of interest we would be happy to meet at your convenience.
MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS
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30 May 18. 3 big takeaways from the US Navy’s new robot road map. Where the Navy goes, it doesn’t need roads. It does need road maps, however, and as incongruous as a metaphor about terrestrial travel is for a maritime military, the Navy’s Strategic Roadmap for Unmanned Systems offers a guide to the sailor-less seas of the future.
The road map was formally signed in March, with a summary released in May. From this rough outline we can spot three trends: robots will fight alongside sailors, not replace them; that robots will be developed alongside the laws governing autonomous weapons; and to get robots as quickly as they’re developed, the Navy will need to rethink acquisitions.
Robots alongside people, not replacing people
“Unmanned and autonomous technologies will become a powerful and ubiquitous force multiplier in an integrated human-machine team. The combination will provide capabilities that far exceed the effectiveness of platforms or humans alone,” states the report. “The combination will provide capabilities that far exceed the effectiveness of platforms or humans alone.”
When we think of automation, and robots in general, we tend to think of them replacing people entirely, as though a mechanical person steps into the exact role. Hardly any robots come close to that, and even the ones that are much more autonomous are designed to augment human abilities, instead of entirely replacing humans.
It is a further degree of specialization: nothing about the job of tracking submarines at sea requires that humans be physically present, so if the Sea Hunter autonomous ship can do the job while humans remotely monitor the data it collects, all the better.
Humans augmented by machines have a lot of names in the Pentagon. One not mentioned in the Navy’s road map but relevant to the whole concept is “Centaur Warfighting,” borrowing the term “centaur” from chess, where it describes amateurs using computers to help plot moves that allow them to can defeat far more skilled humans playing on their own.
Autonomous robots are coming, and so are laws of robotics
Experiments with human/machine teaming date back to at least World War II. So what sort of tasks will the Navy ask of its robots?The Navy will eventually want robots that can use weapons for offensive purposes, of course.
The Navy will eventually want robots that can use weapons for offensive purposes, of course.
As framed in the road map, “capability developers must consider mission requirements, potential offensive use of existing threats, and governing law and policy,” which is phrased blandly enough that it obscures the lack of settled or even agreed-to law regarding autonomous weapons.
As the European Union looks to move forward with defense funding, it also sidestepped languageprohibiting the development of autonomous weapons, instead deferring to the same unfinished deliberations of international law.
Rather than simply wait for the rules about autonomous weapons to be negotiated in their absence, however, the Navy notes that it should “influence policy and law regarding the use of weaponized [unmanned systems].” This will tackle the legality of the capabilities from both ends: making sure that the autonomous machines the Navy builds fall within the law is easier when the Navy is also actively shaping the law.
A related objective is promoting the national public acceptance of use of unmanned systems, which the road map notes will have to take into account public input on privacy, offensive use and safety.
Still, everything in this suggests the Navy is looking for some for some form of lethal autonomy, and the matter in question is not if it will employ autonomous weapons, but what type of autonomy those weapons will use. Provided, of course, that the Navy can actually get the machines made on time, which brings us to the third big takeaway.
Keeping pace with technology means faster acquisitions
No amount of theory or legal wrangling will mean anything for the Navy if it cannot move machine from concept to functional, deployable tool in time for the machines to be useful. A specific solution for the slowness of the acquisitions isn’t offered, and would be beyond the scope of this road map summary anyway, but the need for one is real and felt.
“Technological advancements are outpacing all aspects of acquisition, hindering insertion of innovative capabilities into the fleet and full realization of employment,” the road map states plainly, “Development and use of new policy must match the pace of technology and threats.”
The Navy is hardly alone in this; the Army is looking at ways to field imperfect but useful and upgradeable equipment for tasks like electronic warfare, rather than waiting for a perfect tool that ships after the adversary’s technology has moved on.
As for getting around the present obstacles to field new forms of useful autonomy, we can expect that is covered in more depth in the full road map; the summary notes that the Comprehensive Roadmap outlines 30 specific barriers to adoption of unmanned systems as desired, and likely those descriptions of barriers come with ways around them.
Until then, the summary tells us upfront that the Navy is not looking to replace sailors or Marines with robots, but rather augment them; that the Navy wants a hand in both shaping the laws around autonomous weapons and developing robots in accordance with those laws; and that all of this hinges on an ability to get around the current hurdles of acquisitions. Then, and only then, can the Navy get the drones its looking for.
The full text of the summary road map is available at USNI News.
(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
31 May 18. UK Gears up for MRV(P). As the UK ramps up the process to acquire over 2000 MRV(P)vehicles from Oshkosh, BATTLESPACE understands that the UK MoD has launched a programme to slim down its existing fleet of armoured light vehicles, many of them bought under UOR during Operation Herrick. The first vehicles to be disposed of are believed to be the 400 Panther vehicles with the possibility that Husky may follow. Foxhound is currently n service in Afghanistan but believed to be under review, although the Army will still require a ‘SNATCH Type vehicle.’ Jackal will certainly be retained for SF duties.
30 May 18. Otokar to Present ARMA 8×8 in HEMUS 2018. Otokar, a Koç Group company, with products used in more than 30 countries across the world, attends at HEMUS Exhibition set to take place between May, 30th and June, 3rd, 2018 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. During the five-day exhibition Otokar will promote ARMA 8×8 armored fighting vehicle at its stand.
Emphasizing Otokar’s outstanding success in international markets, General Manager Serdar Görgüç said “Our strength in the defense industry is driven by our experience, engineering and R&D capabilities, and successful use of technology. Today over 30,000 Otokar military vehicles are in service in many different parts of the world. The success of our vehicles has always been a reference for new orders. Otokar as a registered NATO and United Nations supplier is ready to meet Bulgarian Armed Forces’ needs with its wide product range. Apart from the our displayed ARMA 8×8 we are well aware the further potential in the country for our 6×6 and 4×4 vehicles. With the advantage of having such wide product range, we also desire to contribute to Bulgarian economy through creating added value in the country.”
ARMA: MODULAR 8×8 ARMORED VEHICLES
Otokar presents ARMA 8×8 in HEMUS; the modular multi-wheeled vehicle with superior tactical and technical features. Thanks to its superior mobility, high mine and ballistic protection, medium and high calibre weapon system integration options; ARMA is capable to serve modern armies in the real battlefield, peace keeping and human relief operations in most difficult terrain and climatic conditions. ARMA 8×8; is available in various types of configurations such as Personnel Carrier, Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Fire Support Vehicle, Mortar Carrier, Short and Medium Range Air Defence, Mobile Gun Carrier, Command and Control Vehicle with optional amphibious capability. ARMA is suitable for integration of various weapon systems from light machine gun weapon stations up to 25-30mm medium calibre cannon and 105mm cannon.
30 May 18. Dutch-German tank battalion receives first Leopard 2A6MA2. The German Army’s Panzerbataillon (Armour Battalion) 414, which includes a Dutch tank company, received its first Leopard 2A6MA2 recently, the Bundeswehr announced on 25 May. The remaining 16 main battle tanks are scheduled to be delivered to the battalion in Lohheide, northern Germany, by the end of June, the Bundeswehr added.
Panzerbataillon 414, which the German and Dutch armies began forming in 2015, comes under the command of the Royal Netherlands Army’s 43 Mechanised Brigade, which is in turn part of the German 1st Panzer Division.
Panzerbataillon 414 Commander Lieutenant Colonel Marco Niemeyer described the “hand over – take over” of the Leopard 2A6MA2, which will equip the Dutch tank company, as a major step in the integration of the unit, with the tank’s Dutch Essential Land based Information Application & Services (ELIAS) battlefield management system providing technical interoperability with 43 Mechanised Brigade.
Panzerbataillon 414’s German Leopard 2s will also be upgraded to the 2A6MA2 standard and equipped with ELIAS so they can operate with 43 Mechanised Brigade, bringing the total number of tanks to be upgraded to 48.
29 May 18. General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) presented a new variant of its advanced 8×8 wheeled infantry fighting vehicle PIRANHA IFV, at the XIII International Defence Exhibition HEMUS 2018 between May 30 and June 2 in Plodiv, Bulgaria. The PIRANHA IFV will be fitted with the latest Elbit UT30MK2 unmanned turret armed with an Orbital ATK Armament Systems 30 mm MK44 dual feed cannon, 7.62 mm co-axial MG, a
pod of two anti-tank guided weapons (ATGW) and an advanced digital Communication and Information System (CIS) from General Dynamics Mission Systems. The vehicle is a candidate for the Bulgarian Army’s Battalion Battle Group (BBG) acquisition project.
“It is key for us to present to our customer various options of armament systems so he can choose the optimum for his specific needs,” said Thomas Kauffmann, General Dynamics European Land Systems Vice President International Business & Services.
In 2017, General Dynamics European Land Systems presented the PIRANHA IFV with a medium calibre armament system from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to the Bulgarian Army at the Military polygon Tylbeto near the city of Kazanlak, Bulgaria. The PIRANHA is one of the most successful Western 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicle in the world. More than 12,000 vehicles of the PIRANHA family are in service with 20 user nations including Canada, the United States and European countries like Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Romania, Spain, and Switzerland.
29 May 18. French VBMR-L set for 2019 rollout. The first 4×4 Vehicule Blinde Multi-Role-Light (VBMR-L) vehicles developed by Nexter Systems for the French Army will be completed in 2019, with an initial operating capability (IOC) expected in 2021. The company is currently developing three variants of the VBMR-L: 10 vehicles configured for armoured patrol missions – operated by a two-person crew and carrying eight dismounts – expected to be qualified in 2021, as well four communications and three reconnaissance vehicles scheduled to be qualified in 2022 and 2023 respectively. The VBMR-L will have a conventional layout with the power pack at the front, commander and driver to the immediate rear, and troop/mission area extending to the rear. A gross vehicle weight (GVW) of between 15 and 17 tonnes is also expected, with growth potential to 18 tonnes. The hull will be of welded aluminium or steel construction to which an applique passive armour can be added.
Texelis will provide the powerpack, drivetrain, suspension, and wheels.
The powerpack comprises a Cummins 375-hp diesel engine coupled to an Allison SP3000 automatic transmission and a two-speed transfer case, which will provide a maximum road speed of up to 100km/h and range of up to 600km.
The VBMR-L will also be fitted with Texelis’ T700 axle system, which incorporates the company’s existing proven wheel-end and differential components with Timoney’s double wishbone suspension concept. An anti-skid braking system (ABS), a central tyre inflating system (CTIS), and run-flat tyres will be fitted to the axle system as standard equipment.
The system is already in production in France for the 4×4 Serbian Yugoimport Milosh Armoured Multi-Purpose Combat Vehicle (AMPCV) BOV M16 vehicle, which has entered production, with 14 vehicle sets to be delivered from late 2017.
In terms of mission equipment, the VBMR-L will include the Synergie du COntact Renforcé par la Polyvalence et l’InfovalorisatiON (SCORPION) electronic architecture, Systeme d’Information du Combat Scorpion (SICS) battle management system, and the Thales Communications Numériques Tactiques et de Théatre (CONTACT) radio system. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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.
LOGISTICS AND THROUGH LIFE UPDATE
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01 Jun 18. New sponsor! We are delighted to welcome Oshkosh as the sponsor for our new Logistics And Through Life Update. Oshkosh Defense is a leading provider of tactical wheeled vehicles and life cycle sustainment services. For decades Oshkosh has been mobilizing military and security forces around the globe by offering a full portfolio of heavy, medium, light and highly protected military vehicles to support our customers’ missions. In addition, Oshkosh offers advanced technologies and vehicle components such as TAK-4® independent suspension systems, TerraMax™ unmanned ground vehicle solutions, Command Zone™ integrated control and diagnostics system, and ProPulse® diesel electric and on-board vehicle power solutions, to provide our customers with a technical edge as they fulfill their missions. Every Oshkosh vehicle is backed by a team of defense industry experts and complete range of sustainment and training services to optimize fleet readiness and performance. Oshkosh Defense, LLC is an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK].
31 May 18. General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc., Sterling Heights, Michigan, has been awarded a $9,151,320 modification (P00022) to a three-year base contract (SPE7MX-16-D-0100) with two one-year option periods adding vehicle spare parts. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Michigan and South Carolina, with an Aug. 11, 2019, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2018 through 2019 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Columbus, Ohio. (Awarded May 30, 2018)
30 May 18. Self-Maintaining Machines. Indra is envisionig a new way for the logistical management of system and platform life cycles. A new way that Indra’s Director of Defense and Air Vehicles Logistics, José Manuel Sánchez Serrano, said to become a revolution. “The revolution in logistical processes is rapidly and inexorably leading to Support 4.0 through the application of the Industry 4.0 concept, or the fourth industrial revolution in the field of de-fence.”
This will not only enable aircraft to monitor their own state of health, they will also be able to gather information about the mission environment in which they are going to operate and take it into account, so they are ready to take off at the scheduled time. According to Sánchez Serrano maintenance will become more predictive due to artificial intelligence systems processing huge volumes of information to determine the remaining life of each of their components. This will enable armies to avoid excessive maintenance and the high costs which that entails, to launch maintenance actions before failures occur, and to prevent the malfunctions that reduce their availability and operability.
Supply processes will also be smart, using proactive organisation to anticipate needs. All the actors involved will be integrated and the system will offer end-to-end traceability and logistics intelligence throughout the whole supply chain. Achieving all of these capabilities will demand enormous research and coordination efforts as well as the use of the most innovative technologies such as big data and data analytics, machine learning, cyber-physical systems, smart logistics, integration and new communications, Sánchez Serrano pointed out.
Indra is also implementing a new operating concept in which systems behave practically like humans, capable of feeling, understanding, acting and learning. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
29 May 18. IFS, the global enterprise applications company, today announced that the TEST-FUCHS Group, a leading manufacturer of test systems and components for the aerospace and defence (A&D) industry, is one of the first A&D customers to select the recently launched IFS Applications™ 10 as its global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) solution.
Headquartered in Austria, TEST-FUCHS selected IFS because of its industry-specific capabilities, completeness of the solution, and its long-term aerospace and defence industry experience. TEST-FUCHS will roll out IFS Applications 10 across Austria, Germany, Italy, France, UK, USA, Singapore, and China to support its global mechanical engineering and maintenance operations, which serve some of the world’s major aircraft manufacturers, airlines, OEMs and MROs, including Airbus, Boeing, Air France, British Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Sikorsky, and Embraer.
IFS Applications 10 has been designed to help companies connect their business to a digital backbone and capitalise on disruptive technologies, processes, and business models such as automation, connected devices, and servitization. The implementation at TEST-FUCHS will cover preventive maintenance, fleet & asset management, component MRO, manufacturing, human resources, financials, supply chain, CRM, service management, document management, quality management, and quality assurance.
In addition to the new deployment, TEST-FUCHS will enter into a long-term strategic partnership with IFS to help organisations in the aerospace and defence sector react to industry changes by implementing IFS Applications.
“As a fast-growing international technology and engineering company, it is essential that our operations are supported by enterprise software that can adapt and scale at the same rate as the business,” said Armin Havlik, CFO, TEST-FUCHS Group. “The flexibility of IFS Applications and the numerous optimisation possibilities to further refine our business processes was a key factor in our decision, as was its built-in internationality, which enables TEST-FUCHS to easily adapt to country-specific requirements.”
Peter Höhne, VP Sales & Marketing for IFS in Central Europe, added, “For over 70 years, TEST-FUCHS has focused on technology and innovation to help its customers stay ahead in the fast-paced aerospace sector. This is why the company sought an integrated solution to manage and optimise all key business areas and enable it to continue providing a world-class service to its global customer base. The agreement with TEST-FUCHS is yet another example of a leading A&D organisation that selects IFS’s solution to get ahead of the disruptive technology challenges facing the industry. We are very pleased to win TEST-FUCHS as a strategic new customer as we expand our footprint in the A&D industry in the region.”
About Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense is a leading provider of tactical wheeled vehicles and life cycle sustainment services. For decades Oshkosh has been mobilizing military and security forces around the globe by offering a full portfolio of heavy, medium, light and highly protected military vehicles to support our customers’ missions. In addition, Oshkosh offers advanced technologies and vehicle components such as TAK-4® independent suspension systems, TerraMax™ unmanned ground vehicle solutions, Command Zone™ integrated control and diagnostics system, and ProPulse® diesel electric and on-board vehicle power solutions, to provide our customers with a technical edge as they fulfill their missions. Every Oshkosh vehicle is backed by a team of defense industry experts and complete range of sustainment and training services to optimize fleet readiness and performance. Oshkosh Defense, LLC is an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK].
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30 May 18. Beechcraft King Air 350i Rolls Out Improved Situational Awareness, Navigation. Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, today announced during the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) 2018 that iTAWS is now standard on the Pro Line Fusion-equipped Beechcraft King Air 350i/ER turboprop aircraft. The system provides an integrated Terrain Awareness and Warning System (iTAWS) with the Fusion’s high-resolution Synthetic Vision System (SVS) for easy operation. iTAWS brings aural and visual warnings to the primary flight display and multi-function displays, and it eliminates the standalone TAWS line-replaceable unit along with all related wiring and complexity. Also newly standard for the King Air 350i is multi-scan radar with turbulence detection that automatically detects short, mid and long-range weather. This provides an optimized weather picture regardless of the aircraft altitude or the range selected. Additionally, mobile enablement is now available as an option that allows wireless chart and flight plan uploads from an iPad via the ARINCDirect app, in addition to allowing the avionics to wirelessly receive and upload v-speeds.
“Integration of the latest technology and comfort throughout the cockpit and cabin have made the Pro Line Fusion-equipped King Air 350i a success since it achieved certification and entered service in late 2015,” said Rob Scholl, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing. “We continue to invest in the world’s best-selling business turboprop family, bringing owners/operators features that are important to them. Better navigation, more accurate storm information and increased situational awareness lower the pilot workload and boost the comfort of everyone on board.”
All new Beechcraft King Air turboprops come equipped with Pro Line Fusion flight decks. The company expects to roll out the above new features on the King Air 250 in the near future.
24 May 18. Humatics & Hangar Partner to Deliver Precision Autonomous Drone Navigation. Microlocation services to support autonomous drones in Smart Cities and other challenging environments. Humatics Corporation, the company developing breakthrough microlocation products, today announced a partnership with Hangar Technology, Inc., the world’s first autonomous data acquisition platform for 4D Visual Insights™. The combination will add unprecedented centimeter- and millimeter-scale positioning to Hangar’s autonomous flight control engine – opening the possibility of true, scalable indoor and outdoor precision-captured asset imagery, bringing real-time microlocation to autonomous drones, cars and robotics. Enabling these capabilities in a complex urban environment is made possible by the integration of technology among the partners. The commercial implementation of this unique partnership will include installations at Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge™, a platform that will enable high-precision navigation, industrial automation, next-generation construction, autonomous vehicles, and ultimately bring smart cities to life. The partnership is expected to collaborate on joint solution development and demonstrations in 2018, with commercial deployments in 2019.
Autonomous Robotics at the Kinetic Edge
The Humatics partnership expands on Hangar’s existing autonomous infrastructure leveraging Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge to plan and execute autonomous missions to produce 4D Visual Insights™. The Kinetic Edge will be rolled out in the US via Project Volutus, a partnership that was announced in June of last year. Project Volutus will deploy a nationwide network of Kinetic Edge micro data centers in key metropolitan cities, including Chicago as the first Kinetic Edge city.
Hangar’s Robotics-as-a-System on top of the Kinetic Edge will provide intelligent infrastructure for autonomous robotics across the entire network of Project Volutus cities as they come online. Together, Hangar and Humatics will enable new services for autonomous vehicles that include precision navigation, microlocation, and universal traffic assistance.
“The physical world moves rapidly and unpredictably. As autonomous systems such as drones, vehicles, and robots gain mass adoption, they’re going to require precise awareness of the environment around them,” says Jeff DeCoux, CEO and founder of Hangar. “Fractions of seconds and location accuracy are paramount. Humatics gives us the added ability to safely and seamlessly navigate complex environments with centimeter- and millimeter-scale accuracy.”
The Humatics Spatial Intelligence Platform™ is comprised of its centimeter- and millimeter-scale microlocation systems and analytics software, capable of capturing and calculating precise 3D positions, both outside and indoors. This data stream allows for quick and robust drone positioning and navigation in any environment.
“We are piloting our breakthrough microlocation system with key smart city innovators like Hangar,” said David Mindell, Humatics co-founder and CEO. “High precision position data can dramatically improve safety, efficiency and productivity. We envision many applications for precise drone navigation in smart cities, from inspections of construction, transportation and other infrastructure, all the way inside buildings, where precision becomes even more critical.”
- Hangar’s Robotics-as-a-System at the Kinetic Edge
- Previous Hangar and Vapor Release
- Kinetic Edge Video
(Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
24 May 18. US Army ‘living off the fat’ of post-Vietnam tech advances. After the losses of the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army experienced a wake-up call that it needed to improve its warfighting technologies, which in turn led to many of the tools and practices that made it a world military power.
But according to Maj. Gen. William Hix, deputy director of the Army Modernization Command Task Force, the Army has since been “living off the fat” of those technological advances, and will have to do more to keep ahead of the other rising world powers.
China and Russia have set goals to improve their military prowess through technology over the next couple decades, with China especially aiming to become the world military power by 2050.
“We have to recognize that it’s a challenge, and that they are serious-minded about what they intend to achieve, as are the Russians,” Hix said. “The IT revolution is fundamental to the combat output of the Army. And our adversaries’ perception of that output, our competitive advantage, is fundamental to preventing war, which is our first job.”
According to Hix, Operation Desert Storm was a sign for China and Russia that they were not capable of military combat on the same level as the U.S. But those events also drove their leaders to push harder for military advancement.
“We should give them something else to recognize that they’re not ready for,” Hix said. He explained that network capabilities would be at the core of the Army’s advancements.
The advantage the United States has, Hix said, is that it has already cultivated a culture that prioritizes innovation in ways that China and Russia do not.
“I believe that their systems, their political and economic systems, effectively create a ceiling that they can’t get through. And because of the dynamic nature of our society and our political and economics, we always reward top doers and innovators in ways that they will not be able to match,” Hix said.
At the top of the list of technologies that will aid the Army war fighter, Hix said, are networks such as the cloud that can connect troops more effectively and virtual reality training systems.
“The idea is that the immersion in a virtual environment gives the average leader the sets of reps to raise their game in ways that we have not been able to do because of the expense of live training,” Hix said.
But having all the technology in the world won’t mean anything if the Army doesn’t have a clear plan of how to use it, he said.
“Technology by itself is not a panacea, ownership is not nine-tenths of the law in war,” Hix said. “You have to have an intellectual concept that compliments and provides an integrated approach to how you leverage and integrate and eventually apply technology to solve problems.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
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
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01 Jun 18. Gogo to offer complete Iridium Certus global connectivity package. Gogo pioneered business aviation connectivity with Iridium in 2002, connecting thousands of business aviation aircraft with Aircell/Gogo Iridium solutions. Today we are proud to announce a new evolution in our long-standing partnership. Gogo has been selected as an Iridium Certus℠ service provider and a Value Added Manufacturer (VAM), enabling us to design and manufacture terminals and small-form factor antennas. Gogo will offer a turnkey Iridium Certus package to business aviation customers around the globe, after the network becomes available in 2019. Iridium Certus complements Gogo’s current air-to-ground systems and is a great choice for customers looking to add global satellite connectivity as it will offer the industry’s fastest L-Band speeds.
We will provide you with updates as they become available.
25 May 18. Thales Alenia Space Signs Partnership Agreement With SCNTPL Polish Technology Center. Thales Alenia Space (JV Thales 67% and Leonardo 33%) together with Thales Alenia Space in Poland today signed a partnership agreement with SCNTPL (Slaskie Centrum Naukowo – Technologiczne Przemyslu Lotniczego Sp. z o.o.), the Silesian Science and Technology Center of Aviation Industry Ltd., based in Czechowice-Dziedzice, Poland, specialized in composite materials.
This partnership is the culmination of joint work between the partners reaching back several years, bolstered by the creation of Thales Alenia Space in Poland in 2015. The agreement signed today also confirms a new joint initiative by SCNTPL and Thales Alenia Space, focused on both Research & Development and the production of satellite structures, and anchored in transfers of composite technologies. Based on this agreement, Thales Alenia Space has placed an initial order with SCNTPL, to provide structural panels for its Spacebus NEO platform.
“With this agreement, Thales Alenia Space shows its sustained commitment to becoming a major partner in the Polish space industry, by calling on the large pool of skills in the country and proposing even broader partnership initiatives, focused not only on government requirements, but also the commercial market,” said Jean Loïc Galle, Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space. “This agreement confirms SCNTPL’s role in building sophisticated satellite structures to meet the needs of both the domestic and international markets.”
Bartlomiej Plonka, President of the Management Board of SCNTPL, added, “The agreement signed today reflects our efforts over the last few years to develop materials processes and facilities with the support of both national and European institutions. We are very proud to have been chosen as a partner by Thales Alenia Space, and to work as a team to enhance the competitiveness of satellite solutions. It also allows to foster involvement of Poland on key ESA programs in the domain of spacecraft structures”. (Source: ASD Network)
23 May 18. Saab Develops Space Offer. Saab broadens its offer with a solution connecting several of the company’s existing products and combat management systems with satellite data. Saab will also offer a surface-based space surveillance radar. The new solution will allow fusion of satellite data with other products, including Saab’s airborne surveillance solution GlobalEye, the Giraffe family of surface radar and the 9LV combat management system. It will allow users to compare big data from a wide range of sources simultaneously. Saab is also developing its existing radar technology offer to include satellite- space debris and intercontinental ballistic missile surveillance.
“With tensions growing around us we see an increasing demand for more comprehensive situational awareness. We are now developing a platform that allows fusion of satellite data from space with our existing products”, says Anders Carp, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab’s Business Area Surveillance.
Space solutions can support existing military technology and improve accuracy in determining time and location. It can also be used for surveillance, early warning and to detect what others are doing in space.
“Analyses of how movement patterns change over time can be used not only for military purposes but also for other things, such as tracking iceberg movements in the Arctic to prevent ships colliding with them or protecting societies by tracking how wildfires are spreading”, says Anders Carp.
The international space industry is expanding fast. Almost 2,000 active satellites are currently circulating the Earth and this number is expected to increase rapidly over the next few years. (Source: ASD Network)
21 May 18. The SpaceDataHighway Accomplishes 10,000 Successful Laser Connections. The SpaceDataHighway system — the world’s first ‘optical fiber in the sky’ based on cutting-edge laser technology — has achieved 10,000 successful laser connections — the reliability rate has reached 99.8 percent and, during the first one-and-a-half years of routine operations, these successful connections have downloaded more than 500 terabytes of data. The system’s satellites are designed to lock on to low-orbiting satellites via laser and collect their data as they travel in LEO scanning the Earth. From its position in geostationary orbit, the SpaceDataHighway acts as a relay, transmitting the large quantities of data acquired by these observation satellites down to Earth in near-real time at a speed of 1.8 Gbit/s, instead of storing the data on board until the satellites pass over their own ground station.
The establishment of the laser connections is controlled by the SpaceDataHighway’s Mission Operation Center, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at Airbus premises near Munich. Operators receive transmission requests from customers, program the space and ground segment and monitor the performance of communications. Each day, the SpaceDataHighway is capable of relaying as much as 40 terabytes of data that has been acquired by observation satellites, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or aircraft, to Earth. It is currently used by the European Union’s Copernicus program; however, its capacities could be used by many more customers.
In 2019, the system will also relay information from the Columbus module of the International Space Station (ISS). From 2020, the Pleiades Neo satellites will start to use the SpaceDataHighway.
The SpaceDataHighway is a public-private partnership between the European Space Agency and Airbus, which today owns and operates the system, with the laser communication terminals developed by Tesat-Spacecom and the DLR German Space Administration. EDRS-A, the first SpaceDataHighway relay satellite launched in 2016, offers coverage from the American East Coast to India. A second satellite, EDRS-C, will be launched in 2019 and will double the system’s capacity as well as extend the coverage and redundancy of the system. Airbus intends to expand the SpaceDataHighway with a third node, ERDS-D, to be positioned over the Asia-Pacific region.
Hughes Boulnois, Head of the SpaceDataHighway program at Airbus Defence and Space, said that the total amount of data transferred is equivalent to around 100 million MP3 music files, but the transmission capacity of the SpaceDataHighway goes far beyond that. (Source: Satnews)
23 May 18. Iridium’s Sixth Successful Iridium® NEXT Launch With 55 in Orbit, 20 More to Go. Always good news when all goes perfectly at a launch such as Iridium Communications Inc.’s (NASDAQ: IRDM) announcement today that at 12:47:58pm PDT (19:47:58 UTC) SpaceX successfully launched five Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Iridium satellites were joined by the twin spacecraft for the NASA/German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, in a unique “rideshare” launch.
Shortly after deployment, Iridium confirmed successful communication with all five new satellites, formally bringing the total number of Iridium NEXT satellites in orbit to 55. This leaves just two more launches of 10 satellites each to complete this ambitious launch program. The Iridium NEXT constellation, featuring 66 interconnected low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, will enable never before possible services like the AireonSM global aircraft tracking and surveillance system and its new broadband service, Iridium Certus.
Iridium NEXT is the Company’s $3bn, next-generation, mobile, global satellite network scheduled for completion this year. It will replace the existing network in one of the largest technology upgrades ever completed in space. Today’s launch delivered all five Iridium NEXT satellites to orbital plane six where they will immediately begin preparations for the pre-operational testing and validation processes. The network is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each hosting 11 satellites, blanketing the Earth with reliable satellite connectivity.
Iridium Certus is stated to be the world’s first truly global broadband service, providing reliable connections for the aviation, maritime, land-mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) related industries, including essential safety services. And while Iridium is already relied upon by first responders, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and a variety of industries worldwide, Iridium Certus will bring users an upgraded infrastructure using Iridium’s resilient L-band spectrum, but with higher throughputs and faster speeds.
Iridium’s safety services portfolio includes multiple capabilities including aircraft tracking and communications, emergency voice and data communications, personal tracking and remote monitoring applications. Specific to the maritime industry, Iridium has been recognized as the second-ever satellite communications provider for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and plans to begin providing service in early 2020. This is a critical, life-saving service for mariners, and the addition of Iridium will for the first time extend the reach of satellite-enabled GMDSS to even the most remote waterways.
“Our strong presence in the world of safety services is a testament to the unique benefits our network can enable,” said Matt Desch, chief executive officer at Iridium. “With every successful launch, we are one step closer to Iridium NEXT being fully operational, which officially starts a new age of satellite connectivity. When it comes to safety communications, especially for those operating in the skies or out at sea, having built-in network redundancy and resiliency enabled by our satellite’s crosslinks is paramount, especially during times of distress. We recognize this and feel that as the only network covering the entire planet, we have an inherent responsibility to constantly innovate for this critical arena.”
To date, Iridium has completed six launches, all with SpaceX out of its west coast launch facility, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A total of eight Iridium NEXT launches are currently planned with SpaceX and will deliver 75 new satellites to orbit. In total, 81 satellites are being built, with 66 in the operational constellation, nine serving as on-orbit spares and six as ground spares. (Source: Satnews)
22 May 18. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Successfully Launches Iridium-6 and GRACE-FO Satellites. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launched a total of seven satellites on Tuesday, May 22, at 12:47 p.m. PDT. The launch includes Iridium-6 and GRACE-FO satellites from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The instantaneous launch opportunity occurred right on the second. The GRACE-FO were deployed approximately eleven minutes and thirty seconds after launch, that will be followed by the deployment of five Iridium® NEXT satellites beginning about an hour after launch. SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage after launch. This isn’t a first meeting for Iridium’s GRACE-FO as the Falcon 9’s first stage for the Iridium-6/GRACE-FO mission previously supported the Zuma mission from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in January 2018.
For this sixth Iridium mission, five Iridium® NEXT satellites will be launched as part of the company’s campaign to replace the world’s largest commercial satellite network. A total of eight Iridium NEXT launches are planned with SpaceX, which will deliver 75 new satellites to orbit. In total, 81 satellites are being built, with 66 in the operational constellation, nine serving as on-orbit spares and six as ground spares. Iridium is the only satellite communications network that spans the entire globe.
Iridium NEXT is one of the largest “tech upgrades” in space history. The process of replacing the satellites one by one in a constellation of this size and scale has never been completed before. The new constellation is enabling the development of innovative products and services including Iridium CertusSM, the Company’s next-generation broadband solution for specialized applications, like safety services, data and communications, remote monitoring, tracking and more.
The NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) GRACE Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission will continue GRACE’s 15-year legacy of tracking the movement of Earth’s mass. As its twin satellites fly over areas of higher and lower mass, the distance between them changes slightly due to gravitational forces. By precisely measuring these changes, the distribution of Earth’s mass can be mapped monthly and tracked over time. This data can be used to monitor changes in ice sheets and glaciers, underground water storage, water in large lakes and rivers, and sea level, providing a unique view of Earth’s evolving climate and its water and energy cycles, with far-reaching societal benefits.
SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, has a long history dating back to the early 1960s. Originally an Atlas launch pad activated in 1962, SLC-4E was in active use until its last Titan IV launch in 2005. SpaceX’s groundbreaking was in July 2011, and the pad was completed just 17 months later in November 2012.
SpaceX took advantage of some existing pad infrastructure, but implemented extensive modifications and reconstruction of the launch complex. Part of the renovation included tearing down a 30+ story mobile service tower and a 20+ story umbilical tower. Ninety-seven percent of these units were recycled.
SLC-4E consists of a concrete launch pad/apron and a flame exhaust duct. Surrounding the pad are RP-1 and liquid oxygen storage tanks and an integration hangar. Before launch, Falcon 9’s stages, fairing and the mission payload are housed inside the hangar. A crane/lift system moves Falcon 9 into a transporter erector system and the fairing and its payload are mated to the rocket. The vehicle is rolled from the hangar to the launch pad shortly before launch to minimize exposure to the elements.
GRACE-FO carries on the legacy of the original GRACE mission, which launched in 2002 on a planned five-year mission and concluded operations in October 2017 (well beyond the anticipated expiration date). Among its insights, GRACE transformed the information of the global water cycle by showing how masses of liquid water and ice are changing each month. The mission also added to the knowledge of large-scale changes in the solid Earth. GRACE-FO will provide continuity for GRACE’s landmark measurements for at least another five years, further improving scientific understanding of Earth system processes and the accuracy of environmental monitoring and forecasts.
GRACE obtained its data on the movement of Earth’s mass by precisely measuring slight changes in the distance between two spacecraft that flew one behind the other around Earth. When the satellites encountered a change in the distribution of Earth’s mass, such as a mountain range or mass of underground water, Earth’s gravitational pull on the spacecraft changed the distance between them. The Himalaya Mountains, for example, changed the separation distance by about three-hundredths of an inch (80 micrometers). By accurately calculating each month how the satellites’ separation distance changed during each orbit and over time, it was possible to precisely detect changes in Earth’s mass distribution.
Measuring the change in the separation between the spacecraft was possible to a high degree of precision because each spacecraft was transmitting microwaves toward the other. The way the waves interacted with each other — the way they interfered with each other— created a microwave interferometer in space. This process essentially transformed the two spacecraft into a single instrument that could very precisely measure the distance change between them, which in turn can be related to changes in the mass distribution on Earth.
This latest version of GRACE-FO works on these same principles. Each spacecraft again carries a microwave instrument to track changes in the separation distance. But GRACE-FO also carries something new: a technology demonstration of a laser ranging interferometer (LRI), jointly managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert-Einstein Institut) in Hanover, Germany. In addition to transmitting microwaves between each other, the GRACE-FO satellites will shine lasers at each other.
Since the wavelengths in a laser beam are significantly shorter than microwave wavelengths, the laser ranging interferometer will improve the tracking precision of separation changes — just as measuring in millimeters instead of centimeters would be more precise. GRACE-FO’s interferometer will detect changes in distance more than 10 times smaller than what the microwave instrument detects — changes on the order of 100 times narrower than a human hair.
“With GRACE-FO, we’re taking something cutting-edge from the lab and making it ready for space flight,” said Kirk McKenzie, the LRI instrument manager at JPL. “The reason we spend decades working in the lab is to see our technology enable a new type of measurement and result in scientific discoveries.” The rest of the information regarding GRACE-FO can be obtained here.
GRACE-FO is a partnership between NASA and German Research Centre for Geoscience (GFZ) in Potsdam, Germany. JPL manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Additional contributors to the laser ranging interferometer include SpaceTech in Immenstaad; Tesat-Spacecom in Backnang, Germany; Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado; iXblue in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France; the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics in Adlershof and Institute of Space Systems in Bremen; Hensoldt Optronics in Oberkochen; Apcon AeroSpace and Defence in Neubiberg/Munich; Diamond USA, Inc., and Diamond SA in Losone, Switzerland; and Airbus Defence and Space in Friedrichshafen. (Source: Satnews)
22 May 18. BridgeSat’s Agreement with ICEYE Provides Laser Satellite Terminals and Data Services to Microsatellite SAR Constellation. An agreement has been reached in which BridgeSat will provide space laser terminals and data services to ICEYE, the first commercial microsatellite synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) constellation. BridgeSat’s low-cost terminals and associated ground services give businesses and government agencies a faster, less expensive alternative to traditional radio frequency (RF) solutions for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) applications.
ICEYE provides turnkey data delivery and analytics services for commercial and government applications worldwide, including global disaster response, agricultural management, city planning, maritime port traffic management and forest management. It’s the first organization in the world to successfully deploy SAR satellites with a launch mass under 100kg.
BridgeSat will provide ICEYE its Compact Laser Comms Terminals (CLCT), which provide up to 10 Gbps LEO downlinks in a compact form factor that weighs less than 2 kg. BridgeSat will also provide ground services through BridgeSat’s free-space optical network.
Barry Matsumori, BridgeSat CEO said that pioneers seek out other pioneers to change the world. They’re the first to commercialize laser-based free space optical communication and associated ground services, which are an ideal match for ICEYE, the world’s first commercial microsatellite synthetic aperture radar constellation.
Rafal Modrzewski, ICEYE CEO added that by leveraging next-gen satellite technology, ICEYE is giving commercial and government users affordable new options for making informed decisions. BridgeSat’s compact, low-cost, high-speed space laser communicaitons terminals and ground services are key for achieving their goal of democratizing access to Earth observation data. (Source: Satnews)
21 May 18. The Global Satellite Modem Market Analyzed in New Technavio Report. Technavio projects the global satellite modem market to post a CAGR of more than 5 percent during the forecast period with their new Gobal Satellite Modem Market 2018-2002 report — the increasing need to enhance off-shore communication is a key driver, which is expected to positively impact market growth during the period 2018-2022.
There is a growing need to deploy efficient communication networks for crews and passengers including fishermen, sailors, engineers at oil-rigs, and tourists on cruise ships. Providing a cellular network off-shore is difficult as the installation of cell phone towers is a challenging and rather expensive task. Satellite communication can fulfill the need for off-shore communication. A satellite modem is one of the core equipment required to establish satellite communications.
In this report, Technavio highlights the high preference for MEO and LEO over GEO satellites as one of the key emerging trends to drive the global satellite modem market.
High preference for MEO and LEO over GEO satellites
Geostationary orbit (GEO) satellites are located 35,800 km above the equator. As these satellites have a large distance between them and the Earth station, the delay and losses are high. However, the major advantage of a GEO satellite is that it has more coverage and it does not need to be tracked.
Although the gateway costs of MEO and LEO satellites are higher, they do offer a lot of advantages. One of the reasons for the increasing popularity of these satellites is the increasing interest in GPS, which has become an integral part of satellite communications network. Numerous MEO satellites are launched into space to provide GPS. This will lead to an increase in demand for satellite modems to be installed across base stations for efficient signal transmission. LEO satellites are useful in areas where obtaining a signal is difficult such as oil rigs.
“The increase in demand for GPS, and growing need to strengthen the network signal and bandwidth is leading to increased adoption of LEO and MEO satellites, despite the high cost. The high ROI is compelling several firms to adopt satellite communication which is established using LEO and MEO satellites,” said a senior analyst for embedded systems research at Technavio.
Market segmentation and analysis through 2022
This market research report segments the global satellite modem market by application (communications, IP trunking, and tracking and monitoring), by type (MCPC and SCPC), and key regions (the Americas, APAC, and EMEA).
In 2017, the global satellite modem market was led by the Americas which accounted for 50% share followed by APAC and EMEA respectively. The Americas and APAC are also expected to witness an increase in their market share over the forecast period, while EMEA will see a commensurate decline in its market share. (Source: Satnews)
15 May 18. Kymeta—the leader in flat-panel satellite antennas enabling always-on mobile broadband—and Microsoft today announced simultaneous land mobile, maritime defense and first responder demonstrations during the 2018 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) and Connectivity Expo (Connect X). The companies will be jointly demonstrating end-to-end communications and network on the edge with Microsoft’s patrol and tactical vehicles featuring cutting-edge hardware, software, Windows Apportals, Azure Cloud integration, and connectivity to the Internet of Things (IoT), all connected using a flat-panel, satellite Kymeta™ KyWay™ Terminal (KyWay Terminal).
“Microsoft’s Azure cloud-based services can be locally replicated in a deployed environment such as a patrol vehicle, firehouse or command post, and can significantly enhance the capabilities of first responders and defense users, especially when using drones, robots, and IoT devices. Combined with Microsoft Artificial Intelligence tools, this forms the intelligent edge, enabled by Microsoft and Kymeta,” said Scott Montgomery, Senior Industry Solution Manager, Microsoft. “This is a huge leap forward provided by the combined Microsoft-Kymeta solution, using Kymeta’s advanced flat-panel satellite antenna technology to enable reliable mobile communications, in a way that has never been done before.”
“Kymeta is providing a dependable, flexible, on-the-move satellite connectivity solution that defense and first responder organizations can rely on” said David Kervin, General Manager & SVP Kymeta Solutions. “Our ability to move communications, video, audio, and other sensor data to the Azure cloud, via Kymeta satellite terminals, provides an always-connected experience, regardless of how remote the location, or how congested or unavailable a terrestrial cellular network may become. This represents a significant advancement in operational tactics, situational awareness and command and control, enabled by Kymeta’s revolutionary KyWay satellite terminal and Microsoft Azure at the edge.”
Microsoft built two vehicles designed for demonstration purposes including a Chevrolet Suburban Tactical Vehicle (at SOFIC) and a Chevrolet Tahoe Advanced Patrol Vehicle (at Connect X). Both vehicles feature a Kymeta KyWay Terminal for always-on connectivity.
15 May 18. Kymeta Appoints CopaSAT as Kymeta Government Solutions Authorized Partner for U.S. Department of Defense. Kymeta—the leader in flat-panel satellite antennas enabling always-on mobile broadband—announced today that CopaSAT LLC—a leader in reliable, secure communications technology—has joined forces with Kymeta Government Solutions to deploy Kymeta satellite communications (SATCOM) products and services for military users.
The partnership makes the full line of Kymeta products available to U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
“Welcoming CopaSAT as an important distribution partner marks another milestone in our record of success within the U.S. Department of Defense and Special Operations community,” said David Kervin, General Manager & SVP, Kymeta Global Solutions. “CopaSAT’s history of providing SATCOM solutions to units within SOF and DoD makes them an ideal partner to serve these specialized customers.”
CopaSAT will provide installation, integration, and training support for the entire line of Kymeta solutions. In addition, CopaSAT will provide a 24/7 network operations center out of its brand new Tampa, Florida facility, covering tier 1 and tier 2 support for all Kymeta solutions, including the KyWay™ on-the-move satellite terminal and KyWay™ Go portable terminal.
“The partnership with Kymeta Government Solutions takes our capability of providing leading-edge technology to the most sophisticated warfighters in the world to the next level,” said Scott Bohnsack, COO, CopaSAT. “Bundling Kymeta solutions with our newly released AxialOne service provides global Ku bandwidth at the cost of a single region. Users can now take advantage of the world’s most sophisticated flat-panel SATCOM terminal and a network of high-throughput satellites around the globe to create a very powerful capability. We are very excited about the possibilities that are on the horizon for our military customers.”
VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), has extended its partnership with Kymeta in an agreement to become an official reseller of the KyWay™ Terminal (KyWay Terminal) to its global base of mobility-focused partners. The Kymeta™ KyWay Terminal integrates ground breaking mTenna™ flat-panel antenna technology and the industry’s leading iDirect X7 modem, to serve a broad range of mobility applications, uniting high throughput performance with a sleek form factor, electronic steering, and attractive price point.
09 May 18. VT iDirect holds the market share lead for VSAT ground infrastructure in key mobility markets. This agreement provides VT iDirect customers with a strong competitive advantage to expand their footprint into new emerging mobility markets for the land mobile, maritime, government and defence. The KyWay Terminal is the only commercially available electronically-steered flat-panel antenna solution built to scale and support many different mobility applications. The unique design and form factor of the Kymeta antenna, combined with VT iDirect’s established Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) platform, enables a new connectivity solution for land mobile markets such as trains, buses, agriculture and construction. The ability to offer a viable solution in these new segments is creating new demand for satellite services. The KyWay Terminal has already gained traction in key markets like maritime, government and military.
“Kymeta’s mission is to enable seamless, always-connected mobile communications,” said Neville Meijers, Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President, Kymeta. “We are excited to make KyWay Terminals available to iDirect’s ecosystem of leading connectivity solution providers. Together, our companies will enable a broad range of new mobility use cases that will make broadband available where it has never been before.”
“Kymeta is playing a major role in revolutionizing satellite communications with its KyWay electronically-steered, flat-panel terminals,” said Kevin Steen, VT iDirect’s Chief Executive Officer. “By combining the KyWay Terminal with our iDirect infrastructure, our channel of satellite service providers will gain a powerful competitive advantage to expand their mobility footprint and will be well-positioned to capture the emerging land mobility market.”
At Viasat, we’re driven to connect every warfighter, platform, and node on the battlefield. As a global communications company, we power millions 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
31 May 18. Raytheon Company [NYSE: RTN] is expanding the footprint of its Forest-based manufacturing center, company and state officials announced today. A new building on the campus will be a hub for test, integration and production of s-band radars – including the U.S. Navy’s next generation SPY-6, Air and Missile Defense Radar program.
“Construction of a new radar production facility is the next step in our decades-long partnership with the state of Mississippi and its highly skilled workforce,” said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. “Together we will integrate, test and deliver the most technologically advanced military radar systems to our U.S. and international customers.”
Raytheon is investing $100m in the new 50,000 square foot Leadership in Environmental Design, or LEED, certified facility that will provide future growth opportunities across the company’s diverse product portfolio. The new radar production facility will bring dozens of jobs to Forest over the next five years – including the potential for future personnel growth – in addition to many dozens of external jobs from the local community in support of the construction, supply and design of the facility.
Governor Phil Bryant said, “Raytheon recognizes the value of continued investment in the state of Mississippi. Together, along with Raytheon’s outstanding employees, we will continue supporting the U.S. military and strengthening our national defense through the innovative, high-tech radar systems developed in East Mississippi.”
The facility will become the newest addition to Raytheon’s existing Consolidated Manufacturing Center campus in Forest, which will continue uninterrupted delivery on critical commitments across the airborne radar and electronic warfare markets.
30 May 18. At Beijing security fair, an arms race for surveillance tech. It can crack your smartphone password in seconds, rip personal data from call and messaging apps, and peruse your contact book. The Chinese-made XDH-CF-5600 scanner – or “mobile phone sleuth”, as sales staff described it when touting its claimed features – was one of hundreds of surveillance gadgets on display at a recent police equipment fair in Beijing. The China International Exhibition on Police Equipment is something of a one-stop shop for China’s police forces looking to arm up with the latest in “black tech” – a term widely used to refer to cutting-edge surveillance gadgets.
The fair underscores the extent to which China’s security forces are using technology to monitor and punish behavior that runs counter to the ruling Communist Party.
That sort of monitoring – both offline and online – is stoking concerns from human rights groups about the development of a nationwide surveillance system to quell dissent.
The Ministry of Public Security, which hosted the Beijing fair, did not respond to a request for comment.
At the fair, Reuters also saw stalls offering cute-looking robots, equipped with artificial intelligence systems to detect criminals, as well as an array of drones, smart glasses, DNA database software and facial-recognition cameras.
At the fair, which is held annually, most buyers appeared to be local Chinese police, though some global firms attended, selling mainly vehicles and aircraft. Ford Motor Co, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Airbus SE had cars and model helicopters on display.
The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment. It is not unusual for western companies to sell vehicles to overseas police forces.
It was not possible to verify all the claims made about the products at the fair, including the XDH-CF-5600 scanner, which is made by Xiamen Meiya Pico Information Co Ltd, a Chinese provider of security products and services.
Scanners like the XDH-CF-5600 exist in other markets around the world, including the United States, but their use is contentious, especially regarding the forcible extraction of data from mobile phone devices.
Chinese firms are rushing to meet the growing demand from the country’s security services, fuelling a surveillance tech arms race as companies look to outdo each others’ tracking and monitoring capabilities. Western firms have played little overt role so far in China’s surveillance boom.
Beijing-based Hisign Technology said its desktop and portable phone scanners can retrieve even deleted data from over 90 mobile applications on smart phones, including overseas platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
A big selling point of the technology, according to one policeman from the restive far western region of Xinjiang who was eyeing a Hisign scanner, was its claimed ability to get data from Apple Inc’s iOS operating system, used in products like the widely popular iPhone.
“We are actually using these kinds of scanners in Xinjiang already, but I am interested in this one as it claims to be more successful with iOS phones than other brands,” said the policeman, surnamed Gu, who traveled 3,000 kilometers to attend the fair. He declined to provide his given name.
The iPhone’s iOS system is seen by many analysts as the most secure operating system. A handful of firms in Israel and the United States have been able to crack into the iOS system, according to media reports. That ability is often shrouded in secrecy, however.
“The ability to crack iOS has been around,” said Matthew Warren, the deputy director of the Deakin University Center for Cyber Security Research in Melbourne. “What’s different in this situation is that Chinese authorities are admitting that they have the capabilities to do that.”
At the Beijing fair, several firms told Reuters they could crack 4-digit passwords on platforms ranging from iOS 6 to iOS 8.1, and were working to break through security of the latest iOS 10 platform.
30 May 18. Japan buys radar warning receivers that adapt to new threats. Raytheon has won a U.S. Air Force contract to manufacture AN/ALR-69A(V) digital radar warning receivers (RWR) for Japan under a foreign military sale, the Department of Defense announced May 29. The $90m indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract includes the fabrication, integration, testing and delivery of the radar Raytheon says is the first all-digital RWR.
But what does the receiver actually do?
In general, RWRs detect radio signals emitted by radars, and alerts users through visual prompts and audible tones if the signal could be a threat. These receivers can also identify radar signal types and distinguish between ground-based and air-based radars. Essentially, RWRs are much more advanced versions of radar detectors some lead-footed drivers have in their cars to avoid speeding tickets.
According to Raytheon, the ALR-69A ups the ante on RWR technology. The system adds capabilities unattainable in previous iterations, like enemy air defense suppression, simplified cross-platform integration, improved spectral and spatial coverage for high-sensitivity detection in cluttered signal environments and single-ship geolocation.
Discussing a recent deal made by the USAF to purchase 779 ALR-69A’s, Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems Vice President Travis Slocumb said, “The ALR-69A provides USAF pilots the situational awareness required to operate in current and future complex emitter environments.”
“We will continue to upgrade the receiver and add machine learning-based modules so the system can autonomously adapt to new threats,” Slocumb added.
The latest contract is the result of a direct request from Japan, which will pay Raytheon $51.5m from the Japanese FMS fund after placing its initial delivery order. The ALR-69A is currently installed on USAF C-130H and KC-46A aircraft, and is being tested on F-16 Fighting Falcons.
Work on the radar warning systems will be conducted in California and Mississippi, and is expected to be complete by May 2023. (Source: Defense News)
26 May 18. ‘Euro Hawk’ fiasco looms large in Germany’s new spy drone search. Bruised by a failed program that ate through $700m five years ago, defense officials here are eager to avoid painful mistakes as they prepare the purchase of three Northrop Grumman-made “Triton” unmanned aircraft from the U.S. Navy. Especially when it comes to the new drones’ airworthiness in shared airspace, Berlin wants to make sure there are program off-ramps predefined in case the aircraft fail to get the necessary permits, the government has told lawmakers. For example, officials want a section in the contract dedicated to an “airworthiness qualification plan,” states a defense ministry response to members of the leftist Die Linke party, first reported by the Tagesschau website.
In addition, Germany wants to be able to walk away if certification of the Triton’s sense-and-avoid system by U.S. authorities fails to translate into approval by the Bundeswehr’s own safety inspectors.
The acquisition of the U.S. Navy’s derivative of the Global Hawk is called “Pegasus” in Germany, which is short for “Persistent German Airborne Surveillance System.” Berlin recently received word from Washington that a foreign military sales case would be granted in response to Germany’s request for the aircraft.
Contract negotiations are expected to conclude in the first half of 2019. The first Pegasus drone will reach the Bundeswehr inventory in 2025.
The “Euro Hawk,” canceled in 2013, was a textbook example of seemingly trivial acquisition oversights that end up sinking a program. Designed to carry the awkwardly named “ISIS” signals-intelligence sensor, made by an Airbus subsidiary, regulators never certified the Euro Hawk to fly safely in the skies above Europe. The program almost sacked the German defense minister at the time, who was criticized for failing to flag the airworthiness-certification problem early enough in the program.
Mimicking a human’s course of action to avert an impending mid-air collision remains a difficult problem in drone aviation. German officials have justified the Triton purchases, worth more than $2bn, by arguing the U.S. work on flight-safety issues was more advanced than German efforts, and that the U.S. Navy’s certifications to that effect would be more or less applicable in Europe. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
30 May 18. Cambridge Pixel, a developer of radar display, tracking and recording sub-systems, has announced RadarWatch, its new radar and sensor-agnostic display software application designed for in-country integrators developing coastal surveillance, small port & harbour security, and short-range vessel traffic management system (VTS-Lite) applications. The Windows-based RadarWatch software application can display tiled maps, S57/S63 electronic charts, video from up to 2 radars and video from up to 16 cameras, within multiple windows and across multiple screens. RadarWatch is compatible with a wide range of radar scanners, including those from Kelvin Hughes, Simrad, Terma and Furuno, and provides a common software architecture that can be scaled to single or multi-sensor installations.
Augmented vision is implemented within RadarWatch to fuse primary radar tracks with data from ship (AIS) and, where appropriate, aircraft (ADS-B and IFF) transponders and then display this as an overlay to camera video. This feature aids the interpretation of a complex surveillance situation enabling a faster response to threats, clarity of decision making and improved situational awareness, as well as enabling features such as slew-to-cue.
David Johnson, CEO, Cambridge Pixel, said, “RadarWatch provides an in-country integrator with a modern, multi-screen, multi-window display solution that fuses information from radar sensors, transponders and cameras to present a consolidated view of maritime information. Our product works seamlessly with many different radar and camera sensors and by implementing augmented vision, we can allow targets to be labelled within the camera video footage, easing the burden on the operator and enabling faster, clearer and better-informed decisions.”
RadarWatch also features comprehensive alarm logic allowing alarms to be configured based on areas, target activity, or target behaviour. Full recording of sensor data, cameras, network traffic and operator screens is provided by the optional RDR software. Target tracking is provided by Cambridge Pixel’s SPx Server, which can run local to the RadarWatch display, or remotely if the radar sensor is distant.
Cambridge Pixel provides integrators with a highly flexible solution. The RadarWatch software accepts open data formats such as ASTERIX and NMEA-0183 and works with Cambridge Pixel’s own software modules too, such as SPx Fusion, SPx Camera Manager and SPx Radar Data Recorder.
“This open and modular approach gives systems integrators the flexibility to design and build a complete coastal security solution selecting from us just the functional modules they need to meet the requirements of the particular project,” said David Johnson. “This enables them to add their own value and not get locked into an expensive and inflexible coastal surveillance solution.”
Cambridge Pixel’s radar technology is used in naval, air traffic control, vessel traffic, commercial shipping, security, surveillance and airborne radar applications. Its systems have been implemented in mission-critical applications with companies such as BAE Systems, Frontier Electronic Systems, Blighter Surveillance Systems, Exelis, Hanwha Systems, Kelvin Hughes, Lockheed Martin, Navtech Radar, Raytheon, Saab Sensis, Royal Thai Air Force, Sofresud and Tellumat.
26 May 18. Sierra Nevada has a counter-drone system that works on the move. The counter-drone solution set is already crowded, but a Sierra Nevada-led team is seeking to set itself apart with a system that can work on the move.
Sierra Nevada brought its X-MADIS mobile drone defeat system mounted on a Chevy Colorado pickup truck to the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference this week, stirring up interest within the special operations community.
Over the past year, Sierra Nevada, in partnership with Ascentvision and Israeli company RADA Technologies Inc., developed the C-UAS system for a customer within the U.S. Department of Defense. The team was formed because the customer chose each for “best of breed” capabilities essential to a highly mobile system, according to Jerry Coburn, Sierra Nevada’s director of business development, who spoke to Defense News at the show.
RADA provides radar technologies; Ascentvision brings electro-optical, software and user-interface expertise; and Sierra Nevada provides the electronic warfare piece of the solution.
The system can detect, identify and defeat threats through EW attack while on the move at up to 50 mph, Coburn said. It requires just a single user or operator to manage the system from within ― in this case, the cab of the truck.
X-MADIS has been tested on other military-specific platforms including a much smaller Polaris MRZR vehicle and a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle.
The team decided to showcase the system on a pickup truck at SOFIC to demonstrate the possible utility for non-DoD customers as well, such as law enforcement, border protection or other organizations that work on securing critical infrastructure within the U.S., where a climate-controlled, road-worthy vehicle would be the platform of choice, Coburn said.
But it can be integrated onto other platforms, such as a palette or even a boat. The current DoD customer is using the system in a fixed configuration.
The team continues to upgrade the system to get after what could be emerging threats.
“We recognize the effectiveness of the system is only as good as our knowledge of the threats that exist out there around the globe,” Coburn said. “And currently those are largely commercial off-the-shelf. But we know that our adversaries will never rest as they continue to develop their tactics, techniques and procedures and incorporate new controller technologies.”
The challenge is to maintain pace with the UAS market, Coburn added.
The team will participate in the SOFWERX ThunderDrone Rapid Prototyping event at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, next month. SOFWERX is a U.S. Special Operations Command organization that helps industry better interface with the government and rapidly test and acquire new capabilities. (Source: Defense News)
30 May 18. Thales and CarteNav to collaborate on new ISR solution that will transform aircraft surveillance capabilities at home and abroad. As countries tackle emerging risks such as piracy, border disputes and mass migration, they need to monitor their land and maritime borders more closely than ever before. Challenges including the protection of maritime sovereignty, the surveillance of shipping activity and the monitoring of an increasing number of submarine fleets, demands new ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) capabilities.
At CANSEC 2018, Thales and PAL Aerospace, via its CarteNav Solutions subsidiary, announced a new collaboration agreement and expanding their partnership in a manner that promises to engage Canadian industry and deliver future economic benefits to Canada. Under the agreement, the partners will move quickly to define a solution for fewer operators based on CarteNav’s mission system software integrated with a set of on-board radar, electro-optical, acoustic and electronic warfare sensors provided by Thales. The surveillance solution will be an ideal response to the needs of countries like Canada that operate aircraft designed for a variety of platform and mission types and require improved ISR capabilities. It will combine CarteNav’s expertise in mission system software with Thales’s technological capabilities in sensors and mission system integration through AMASCOS©, a powerful, integrated multi-mission system. Thales and CarteNav will work together to explore international opportunities for this new surveillance solution.
30 May 18. Philippine Navy commissions third TC-90 aircraft. Key Points:
- The Philippine Navy has enhanced its aerial maritime surveillance capabilities with a third TC-90
- Service is on track to operate a fleet of five aircraft in the coming months
The Philippine Navy’s Naval Air Group (NAG) has commissioned a third Beechcraft TC-90 King Air aircraft that was formerly in service with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).
The aircraft, which bears the serial number 394, was commissioned on 29 May in a ceremony officiated by the Philippine Navy’s flag officer in command, Vice Admiral Robert A Empedrad, at the NAG’s headquarters at Sangley Point, Cavite City.
The airframe is part of an assistance package of five TC-90s donated by the Japanese government to improve the Philippine Navy’s aerial maritime surveillance capabilities. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 May 18. BEL In Race To Develop Infrared Tracking System For Sukhoi Su-30 MKI Jet. India’s Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is in the race to develop a thermal imaging sights for rocket launchers and infrared image search and track system (IRST) for Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircraft of the Indian armed forces. The two systems is part of an INR 6,900 crore (US$ 1.01B) procurement cleared by India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Monday.
BEL Chairman and Managing Director M V Gautama said today that his company had received an expression of interest from the MoD seeking its interest in bidding to supply these two systems. Gautama told defenseworld.net that BEL had the required technical expertise to execute the project.
“The TI sight for 84mm RL will be used by troops in operations to facilitate accurate and continuous engagement of moving and static enemy targets and destruction of field fortifications (bunkers) during hours of complete darkness,” an MoD statement said yesterday.
The DAC headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also accorded approval for design and development of the Long Range Dual Band Infrared Imaging Search and Track System (IRST) for Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft.
The IRST system will help the Su-30MKI to detect ultra-stealthy aircraft like the F-22 and Chengdu J-20. which are made up of radar-absorbing materials. The system relies on its infrared detection capability to plot and track the target and could be a game-changer enhancing the capabilities of the Indian jet. (Source: Google/http://www.defenseworld.net)
28 May 18. Don’t freeze UK defence sector out of Sentry contract, ministers warned. A battle is brewing between defence companies and government over upgrading or replacing the RAF’s fleet of airborne early warning “Sentry” jets. The E-3D Awacs aircraft are used to detect enemy aircraft and guide fighters to intercept them. The ones currently in service were built by Boeing and first began protecting Britain’s skies in the Nineties. With the heavy demands placed on them the RAF’s Sentries are worn out, with maintenance on the ageing aircraft becoming prohibitively expensive. It has been argued that rather than spend an estimated £2bn on upgrades, it would be cheaper to replace them in the long term. However, fears are growing that a contract for new aircraft will be handed to US defence giant Boeing without a competitive process, freezing out companies in the UK.
This could be the latest in a series of multi-billion arms contracts handed to US and other foreign manufacturers at the expensive of companies in the UK.
Recent examples include the MoD’s agreements with Boeing to buy P-8 Poseidon maritime spyplanes and Apache attack helicopters. Last month MPs heard the MoD had awarded a £4.4bn deal to a German-led consortium for new armoured vehicles for the Army without a full competition.
MP Madeleine Moon, a member of the defence select committee, has called for any Sentry contract to be bid for in an “open and transparent” way.
She said: “Buying from Boeing forgets the importance of British defence jobs and maintaining this country’s defence industry’s capabilities.
“By buying off the shelf without an open competition how will we know we will be getting not only the best deal but also the best equipment?”
The MP also claimed Boeing has a “poor record” in the UK for “offsetting” defence deals. Offsetting is the process where companies agree to build or maintain equipment in the country which is buying it, keeping some of the value of a defence order within the economy making the purchases.
Defence industry insiders say that UK and European companies – and even US groups with a UK footprint – are preparing for battle with Whitehall to have an open competition held over renewing the Sentry fleet.
“It’s looking like the P-8 Poseidon all over again,” said one industry source. “We’re ready to fight to have a chance to take part.”
Companies likely to offer their version of the Sentry include Airbus, using a design based on it A330 airliner whose wings are made in company’s factory in North Wales. Sweden’s SAAB could also be a contender. Rival bids are likely to pledge to offset as much work in the UK with subcontractors as they can to secure the deal.
Answering parliamentary questions on Sentry, Guto Bebb, defence procurement minister, said: “No decision has been made with regard to the future delivery of the UK’s airborne warning and control capabilities, although a range of options are being explored.” (Source: News Now/Daily Telegraph)
25 May 18. 3D Radar Market – Global Scenario, Market Size, Outlook, Trend and Forecast, 2016 – 2025. By Range: Long Range, Medium Range and Short Range; By Platform: Airborne, Ground and Naval: By Frequency Band: C/S/X Band, E/F Band, L Band and Other Frequency Bands; By Geography: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Row. Global 3D Radar Market is estimated to reach $3,195 million by 2025; growing at a CAGR of 20.8% from 2017 to 2025. 3D Radar is an essential part of any defense inventory and this technology is used for tracking & detecting the visions and information. The 3D radar delivers a complete subsurface detection system that utilize an arrangement of COTS (commercial off the shelf), GPR components and custom software to achieve robust non-metallic and metallic object detection performance. This system is ready off the shelf to be fitted to a wide range of commercial and military vehicles, and can be customized for operation on almost any vehicle platform. It also provides reliable automatic detection of subsurface objects to depths beyond a meter. Moreover system provides an alternative detection solution for roadway and airfield inspection, tunnel detection, and route clearance patrols.
Growing usage of modern warfare techniques by the defense organization, and adoption of 3D radar by airports are the drivers propelling the growth of the market. In addition, geopolitical instabilities in the Middle East and Asia Pacific have also stimulated the market growth. However, high pricing of 3D radar and installation may hamper the market growth. Moreover, rising deployment of air & missile defense organizations, and miniaturization of 3D radar for unmanned combat vehicles and UAVs are expected to equally influence the overall growth of market during the forecast period.
Range, platform, frequency band, and geography are the segmentation of the global 3D radar market. Range segment is bifurcated into long range, medium range and short range. Platform segment comprises airborne, ground, and naval. Frequency band segment is classified into C/S/X band, E/F band, L band and other frequency bands.
24 May 18. Photonis USA Pennsylvania, Inc. has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Night Vision Devices, Inc. as the United States’ exclusive distributor and integrator for Photonis’ lightweight and small form factor 16mm night vision image intensifier tubes. This announcement comes as the US night vision market continues to expand, and solutions that offer lighter weight, less volume and enhanced capabilities are becoming the norm for specialized operations which rely on the best in night vision technology.
Photonis is the world leader in Image Intensifier Tubes, which form the heart of any night vision system and has been manufacturing Image Intensifier Tubes for over 60 years for integration into a variety of night vision systems, whether helmet mounted or hand-held. Photonis 16mm Image Intensifier Tubes are the lightest mass-produced tubes on the market, customized with a choice of photocathode, phosphor screen, gating speed, and power supply. Photonis image intensifier tubes provide a distinct advantage to the warfighter in the full spectrum of low light conditions.
“This partnership is a key step in bringing together two companies with a shared common goal – to provide the best and most capable night vision devices to our nation’s finest,” said Photonis USA CEO Larry Stack, while visiting Night Vision Devices’ manufacturing facilities. Also in attendance was James Brennan, Vice President for Night Vision and Digital Vision at Photonis. “Through the use of our Image Intensifier Tubes in their systems, Photonis and Night Vision Devices together will offer the highest quality, comprehensive night vision solutions, designed to help our military and first responders see through the night.”
Bill Grube, CEO of Night Vision Devices said, “Over the years we’ve been working with Photonis Image Intensifier Tubes and have been exceptionally impressed with their performance. Their new 16mm tubes are the perfect companion to our entire product line of night vision devices, and we’ve been looking forward to this partnership for quite some time.”
Night Vision Devices is the premier source for the highest quality US manufactured night vision binoculars, monoculars, weapon sights, and night vision parts and service. Through their tremendous experience in working directly with the Department of Defense, and other Federal, State and Local agencies, Night Vision Devices is a trusted source for the finest in professional-level night vision products.
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.
31 May 18. Berlin nears its first-ever combat drone – minus the weapons. Government leaders are close to winning parliamentary approval for the country’s first weapons-capable drone, pitching a plan this week to lease the aircraft now and negotiate for the missiles later.
While the plan had been in the works for months, Bundestag staffers in Berlin were nevertheless relieved to see the defense ministry stick to its promise of forgoing a fully armed aircraft at this time. That is because many here are still skeptical of the weapons as legitimate instruments of war or counterterrorism operations, roles in which U.S. forces have used them for years.
The government’s funding petition arrived at the Bundestag in the form of a so-called €25m request. Its approval would enable the defense ministry the spend roughly $1bn on the program. Given that the investment would without any strike capabilities, observers say passage is likely.
The plan is to lease five aircraft from manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries, managed by Airbus under a contract to be finalized in June. The fleet would be stationed in Israel and, lacking missiles, simply provide intelligence for German forces.
The likely deal comes one year later than defense leaders had planned. A similar request fell through in June 2017 after the governing Christian Democratic Party’s coalition partner, the Social Democrats, walked away because of what they said was a last-minute inclusion of a “weapons-ready” configuration of the Heron-TP.
Lawmakers must now decide on the program before June 15, when the contractors’ offer terms expire. If parliament gives the thumbs-up, an industry contract would be signed as well as an intergovernmental agreement with Israel.
The deal with industry includes having the aircraft available for deployment into a conflict zone within two years of contract signing, a defense ministry spokesman told Defense News. At that time, training flights out of Israel also would commence.
The Heron TP is something of a trial balloon for Germany in the field of armed drones. An envisioned joint European drone project — with Germany, France, Italy at the core — is widely expected to produce a strike-capable unmanned aircraft by roughly the middle of the next decade. Still, officials are making a distinction in the so-called “Eurodrone” program, arguing that the base configuration will include a reconnaissance capability only, to be augmented by weapons if national policy permits it.
Meanwhile, a last-ditch effort by U.S. vendor General Atomics risks coming up empty in trying to prevent the Heron-TP leasing deal. The company has been trying to lobby defense leaders for some time to buying the MQ-9B Sky Guardian, a variant of the Certifiable Predator B, instead.
General Atomics last year fought, but lost in court, the Berlin government’s decision to effectively sole-source the drone deal to Israel without giving the U.S. company a chance to bid.
Chief executive officer Linden Blue appealed to Peter Tauber, one of the defense ministry deputies, in a March 2018 letter, arguing that the Sky Guardian acquisition would cost roughly half of what Heron TP would require.
Tauber wrote back one month later, simply noting General Atomics’ defeat in court and asking for the American’s understanding that the source selection would go ahead as planned. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
31 May 18. US Navy destroyer USS The Sullivans launches SM-2 missile. The US Navy has launched a standard missile (SM-2) in the Virginia Capes operating area from on-board its Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68). The missile launch targeted a BQM-74E air-launched drone and displayed the destroyer’s ability to defend and protect the ship against a close-in aerial attack. In addition, the navy vessel successfully demonstrated its ability to employ a layered defence strategy to engage a target using the Mk 45 MOD2 five-inch, 54-calibre gun weapon along with the Aegis Weapons System. DDG 68 was initially deployed on 26 May as part of the US Navy’s Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG), which is currently forward-deployed in the US 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations. USS The Sullivans commanding officer commander Russ Moore said: “Our crew has trained and prepared for over a year to be ready to deploy with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group.
“We are a team. The success of this missile exercise is a testament to the abilities and preparedness of our combat systems and our outstanding crew as we deploy to support maritime security overseas.”
USS The Sullivans is 505ft-long, has a full load displacement of approximately 8,300t and can travel at a speed of more than 30k.
The keel for the vessel was laid on 14 June 1993. It was subsequently launched on 12 August 1995 and commissioned on 19 April 1997.
The US Navy’s SM-2 missile is a primary surface-to-air air-defence weapon that forms an integral part of the AEGIS Weapon System.
It is primarily deployed on-board the service’s Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.
The missile is launched from the Mark 41 vertical launcher system (VLS) and uses tail controls and a solid-fuel rocket motor for propulsion and manoeuvrability. (Source: naval-technology.com)
31 May 18. Second trial success for MBDA’s Sea Venom/ANL missile. MBDA’s Sea Venom/ANL missile has successfully completed its second development firing from a French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA – Direction Générale de l’Armement) Panther test helicopter at Ile Du Levant in southeast France. The firing, which took place on 18 April 2018, highlighted Sea Venom/ANL’s lock on after launch (LOAL) capabilities. It also validated its aptitude for low-altitude, sea-skimming flight, the effectiveness of the data link between the missile and helicopter and Sea Venom/ANL’s autonomous guidance capability, using images from its infrared seeker.
Guto Bebb, UK Minister for Defence Procurement, said:
“Sea Venom is yet another weapon that will help our Royal Navy keep the United Kingdom safe amid intensifying global threats. The lightweight subsonic sea-skimming missile, which will equip our Wildcat helicopters, will add to our Navy’s impressive capabilities while at sea and ensure they remain equipped to face every eventuality. The test firing partnership between France and the United Kingdom is also another fantastic display of the two nations working together to protect global waters.”
Frank Bastart, head of the Sea Venom/ANL programme at MBDA said:.
“We’re delighted that the second development firing of Sea Venom/ANL was a complete success. We have now tested a range of the missile’s capabilities and it has performed to the very edge of its operational envelope, which is testament to the hard work and skills of our development and production teams in conjunction with DGA Trials Ranges. This is a significant milestone in the development of the missile and when it enters service Sea Venom/ANL will provide a major increase in capability to the UK and French navies.”
Sea Venom/ANL is part of an Anglo-French programme linked to the Lancaster House treaty agreed between the UK and France in November 2010 and possesses a ‘fire and forget’ mode along with ‘operator above the loop’ capability to maintain control over the entire missile trajectory. It has been designed for use from the widest range of platforms; in UK service the missile will be used from the AW159 Wildcat helicopter, while France will operate the missile from its future Light Joint Helicopter (HIL – Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger). The missile is designed to enable the helicopters of both countries’ navies to deal with a range of threats including fast moving patrol boats, corvettes and coastal targets.
MBDA was awarded the production contract for Sea Venom/ANL in March 2014. The joint programme is the first to take full advantage of mutual dependency arrangements agreed under the ‘One Complex Weapons’ initiative designed to consolidate the Anglo-French missile industry around MBDA.
29 May 18. SIG SAUER, Inc., in partnership with the National Association of Police Equipment Distributors (NAPED), it will begin offering a Special Edition Thin Blue Line SIG SAUER P320 Carry-size pistol. Availability for this special edition pistol will begin at the NAPED Annual General Meeting being held June 8th – 10th in Savannah, Georgia and extend through December 2018.
“More and more law enforcement agencies across the country are choosing the SIG SAUER P320 as their standard duty pistol due to its modularity, dependability, and accuracy,” said Tim Brown, President of NAPED and GT Distributors. “SIG SAUER’s commitment to the law enforcement community is unwavering, and we are proud to participate in this very important and meaningful partnership with an associate member of our organization.”
The Special Edition Thin Blue Line SIG SAUER P320 Carry-size pistol is a 9mm, modular striker-fired pistol with serialized trigger group, interchangeable polymer group module, and SIGLITE Night Sights. The slide is adorned with the imagery of a Thin Blue Line Flag; the thin blue line representing the officer and the courage they find in the face of adversity, and the black background serving as a constant reminder of their fallen officers.
“It’s an honor for all of us here at SIG SAUER to serve our law enforcement community, and it’s humbling to earn the trust of police departments across the country through the selection of our firearms as their official duty sidearm,” said Tom Jankiewicz, Executive Vice President, Law Enforcement Sales. “The Thin Blue Line Flag is a powerful image that evokes emotion. We felt that by creating this Special Edition Thin Blue Line SIG SAUER P320 Carry-size pistol, in partnership with NAPED, was a compelling tribute to honor the fallen, and the sacrifices being made every day by our men and women in blue.”
The Special Edition Thin Blue Line SIG SAUER P320 Carry-size pistol is only available to the law enforcement community through the National Association of Police Equipment Distributors. NAPED is a non-profit association for law enforcement and public safety distributors, manufacturers, and industry professionals. It was founded for the purpose of developing strong business relationships, and to provide a resource for the best quality products and services for law enforcement professionals.
29 May 18. Russia Reportedly Tests Prohibited Blinding Laser Weaponry In Donbas. At least six Ukrainian servicemen deployed to the Donbas war zone have suffered serious eye damage from unidentified optical radiation devices used by Kremlin-backed militants on several occasions since 2016. The military believes that the soldiers were likely targeted with blinding laser devices, which Russia brought to Donbas in order to test this new advanced technology in battlefield conditions. If independently confirmed, the usage of such weapons can be qualified as a war crime, according to international law. Since the war’s outbreak in 2014, there have been at least three such incidents recorded by the State Border Service and the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.
On July 18, 2016, three Ukrainian border guards deployed to a forward checkpoint between the city of Maryinka just west of Russian-occupied Donetsk suffered severe eye injuries as they surveyed enemy territory in front of them through binoculars and monoculars.
According to the Border Service’s spokesperson, Oleh Slobodyan, the details of the incident leave little doubt that the Russian-backed militants used laser weaponry.
“Above all, the servicemen who were watching the location through monoculars had only one of their eyes injured, while the one using binoculars had both eyes burned,” Slobodyan commented shortly after the incident on Aug. 16, 2016. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Kyiv Post)
30 May 18. Sweden set to close $1bn Patriot missile deal. Sweden will close a deal in the next few weeks with U.S. arms maker Raytheon Co (RTN.N) to buy the Patriot air defense missile system as it modernizes its armed forces amid heightened tensions with Russia.
Moscow’s brief war with Georgia in 2008 and its annexation of the Crimea Peninsula six years later has pushed Sweden, not a NATO member but with close ties to the alliance, to rebuild its armed forces after decades of neglect.
“We are now done negotiating with the U.S. about Patriot and will now ask the government’s permission to sign the contract,” said Joakim Lewin, head of the Army Design Office at the Swedish Materiel Administration (FMV), which procures and maintains equipment for the military.
The deal is initially worth around 10bn crowns ($1.13bn) and is the biggest military purchase since 2013 when Sweden started to upgrade 60 Saab SAAB.ST Gripen fighters, a deal worth around 47bn crowns.
Sweden’s current air defense system, which is over a decade old, cannot shoot down enemy ballistic robots.
According to Lewin, the Patriot deal includes four firing units, parts, training and an undisclosed number of missiles.
The contract also includes an option to expand the purchase to up to 300 missiles. If the option is used, the final bill will be around $3bn, Lewin said.
Delivery is expected to start in 2021.
So far, 15 other countries have purchased the Patriots, including NATO members Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Poland. Neutral Switzerland has said it is considering Patriot among other systems.
The Swedish government has until August 10th to make a final decision on the deal. (Source: Reuters)
29 May 18. Turkey, Pakistan reach their largest-ever defense contract. Turkey and Pakistan have agreed on the sale of a batch of 30 Turkish-made T129 ATAK multirole combat helicopters, Turkish officials have said.
A government election manifesto revealed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey and Pakistan “just recently” agreed on the contract, which is the largest-ever Turkish-Pakistani defense contract.
The two countries have been negotiating a T129 deal since 2014. This is the first export contract for the helicopter.
Turkish Aerospace Industries, or TAI, maker of the T129 under license from the Italian-British AgustaWestland, has so far delivered 35 T129s to the Turkish Army and the Gendarmerie force.
Before the deal, the T129 went through various tests in Pakistan. Most recently, the T129 was showcased at a March 23 military parade for Pakistani National Day.
“We expect further [T-129] contracts to follow the order from Pakistan,” a Turkish defense procurement official said. “We are in talks with a number of countries.”
The official declined to name any of the potential T129 buyers. One TAI official said, however, that potential buyers could include Jordan, Libya and Azerbaijan.
The Turkish government has not disclosed a price for the T129 deal with Pakistan, but aerospace industry sources estimate the contract to be worth about $1.5bn, almost equivalent of Turkey’s annual defense exports.
Turkey’s defense exports rose slightly from $1.677bn in 2016 to $1.739bn in 2017. Turkish officials aim to attain $10bn in defense and aerospace exports by 2021.
TAI started to deliver the T129 to the Turkish Army in April 2014. Under the full program, a batch of 59 helicopter gunships will be delivered. There is an option for a follow-on order of 32 more choppers. TAI officials say the T129 features 97 percent sovereign production.
The Turkish Army deploys T129 gunships at its domestic southeastern military bases to support anti-terror operations against Kurdish rebels fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey, northern Iraq and northwest Syria.
The T129 choppers are Turkey’s first locally made platforms under license. The T129 features a tandem seat, twin-engine and NATO-interoperability for attack, armed reconnaissance, and precision-strike and deep-strike mission capabilities for day and night and in all weather conditions.
The T129 incorporates asymmetric weapon-loading capability and enables the use of all weapons according to mission requirements. For close-combat support missions, a 20mm gun turret with a capacity of 500 rounds as well as 70mm rockets with a capacity of 76 rockets have been integrated.
For multipurpose missions, 16 CIRIT 70mm laser-guided air-to-ground missiles, 8 UMTAS long-range anti-tank missiles and 8 Stinger air-to-air missiles are integrated, in addition to advanced electronic warfare and electro-optical systems.
The T129 cockpit provides situational awareness through visibility arcs and integrated mission and communication systems. The Aselflir-300T targeting sight system increases image quality and range performance with real-time image processing and multiple target tracking with a thermal camera, laser rangefinder, designator and spot tracker. The AVCI helmet-mounted display system provides integrated display capabilities to crew for extensive missions.
The T129 deal is the largest-ever Turkish-Pakistani defense contract. Earlier, in 2013, Pakistan’s Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works penned a deal to build a replenishment tanker designed by Turkish technology and systems engineering company Savunma Teknolojileri Muhendislik ve Ticaret.
In another deal, TAI upgraded a batch of 41 F-16 fighter jets for the Pakistani Air Force. That program involved avionics and structural modernization of the aircraft.
TAI also is in talks with Pakistan for the sale of its Hurkus basic trainer aircraft.
Turkey and Pakistan have been traditional allies, and defense industry observers say smooth political relations between the two Muslim countries help boost procurement cooperation. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
29 May 18. Smart Rifles For Foot Soldiers: Army NGSW Prototype Contracts Out In June. The Army is just weeks away from awarding contracts to begin buying prototypes of new infantry weapons, with live-fire tests next year. The Army is just weeks away from awarding contracts to begin buying prototypes of new infantry weapons, with live-fire tests next year. After years of struggle to replace the Vietnam-era M16/M4 family, these prototypes are a big step towards giving squads precision-guided firepower, a key part of both the Army’s Big Six modernization plan and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s urgent effort to overhaul the infantry. (The Marines, by contrast, are buying off-the-shelf replacements for the M16).
“We’re planning on awarding in June. It’s very fast,” said Sergio Aponte, who works on the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) for Program Executive Office – Soldier at the Army’s celebrated Picatinny Arsenal. He spoke to reporters at a science-fair-style event last week in the Pentagon courtyard. Sponsored by Mattis’s Close Combat Lethality Task Force, the displays were heavily attended by Army personnel like Brig. Gen. Chris Donahue, head of the Army’s handpicked Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team (CFT), who stopped by to sing the Picatinny team’s praises to reporters.
Now, Donahue’s most urgent project for Soldier Lethality is not a new weapon. It’s a sophisticated night-vision sight, the ENVG-B, with a built-in targeting scope that has markedly improved soldiers’ accuracy in testing. Other initiatives include a fighter-jet-style Head Up Display, new sensors, mini-drones and exoskeletons. So while weapons are important, any new firearm can’t just stand on its own: It has to plug in — literally — to this wider electronic armory.
So for the Next Gen Squad Weapon, the Army doesn’t just want bigger bullets, longer range, or lighter weight, though those are all welcome. It wants hand-held smart weapons with the electrical and data connections to plug into high-tech sights, including technologies that can correct a soldier’s aim amidst the chaos of combat.
A Variable Timeline
The Army plans to phase in these technologies:
- Phase one — the one about to award prototyping contracts — will replace the 1980s-vintage M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. The M249 SAW is a powerful but heavy and awkward weapon; today’s nine-man infantry squad carries two of them for heavy firepower.
- Then the second phase of NGSW will replace the M16 rifle — controversial since its debut in Vietnam — and its cut-down M4 carbine variant, developing a new standard-issue weapon for all infantrymen, combat engineers, scouts and other frontline soldiers. (While it would be ideal to have both the new rifle and the SAW replacement use the same ammunition, the way the M249 and M16/M4 do today, Aponte said, it’s not mandatory).
- Not everyone will get the new weapons: For now, support troops will keep their M4s in order to save the Army money.
The goal is to reequip the soldiers who need it most, as fast as possible. No less a figure than Army Secretary Mark Esper has said he want the first of the new weapons (the SAW replacements) in operational units by 2023. With such intense interest from the Army’s top leadership, Aponte said, “we are doing as much as possible to accelerate.”
Prototype weapons and ammo for testing will be due back to the Army one year after the contracts are awarded, Aponte said. Data from those tests will then help the companies refine their designs and the Army refine its requirements for an Engineering & Manufacturing Development competition later in 2019.
Any company will be able to compete for an EMD contract in ’19, Aponte emphasized, not just ones that get a prototyping contact this June. (Of course, next month’s winners will have the advantage of federal funding to develop their design). Three companies will get EMD award to develop their products in parallel, but only one will win the final award for mass production.
What’s the timeline to get through EMD and actually field a weapon to troops? “It depends,” Aponte said, on what industry comes back with and how well it tests. “Right now we could plan for three years and it could turn out these things are more mature than we thought, (so) it could be more accelerated — or it may end up being longer if we’re just not there yet.”
“We are going to be honest brokers,” Aponte promised. If the industry needs more time to work out the bugs, he said, “we’re not just going to push a system just to push a system.”
“It’s Wide Open”
The fundamental technical challenge is to kill or incapacitate the target at long range, for example in the mountains of Afghanistan — something the M4/M16 family and its 5.56 mm bullet have struggled to deliver. But as for how to achieve that goal, “it’s wide open,” Aponte said. “We are not telling industry or anyone else what caliber it is. We’re not telling them what materials they need to use, what cycling….” (The M16/M4 family’s unusual direct impingement recoil cycle makes the weapon lighter but harder to maintain, creating controversy since Vietnam).
Yes, the government will make available 6.8 mm bullets that meet Army ballistic requirements to any company that wants to use them, Aponte says. (That’s bullets, not full cartridges. The Army provides just the projectiles. Companies must provide gunpowder and casing). But companies that can get access to classified testing data can use that information to design their own bullet, of whatever caliber, that meet the Army’s need. In other words, the Army’s 6.8 mm bullets are one potential solution, but analyzing the full database may well suggest others.
At least as important as the physical projectile, however, is the electronic technology that ensures it’s on target. Picatinny is already famous for developing the standardized “Picatinny rail” that goes on firearms to accommodate a wide range of interchangeable accessories such as targeting scopes. More recently, NATO has agreed on a common standard (or STANAG) for how a rail can provide electrical power to the accessories attached. The next phase, which Picatinny is developing, is a standard protocol for data transfer.
The holy grail here is to combine electronic gunsights with what’s called an electromechanical trigger, creating a personalized fire control system. A civilian example of this is TrackingPoint, where, when you pull the trigger, it doesn’t immediately, mechanically fire a shot. Instead, there’s a “smart” electronic component to the trigger that holds off on firing until the gunsight calculates you’re exactly on target. That eliminates errors from an unsteady hand — say, of an exhausted and terrified young soldier under enemy fire — or a last-microsecond movement by the target.
Making small arms “smart” this way opens up opportunities for radical and rapid progress. You can improve software more rapidly than hardware, electronics more rapidly than physical mechanisms.
That’s why the Army will build its Next-Generation Squad Weapons with what’s called an open architecture to simplify new upgrades. Making soldiers wait until you’ve developed something perfect takes too long — if it’s even possible — so you need to build in room for upgrades. “We’re building this system with the ability to grow,” Aponte said. (Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)
30 May 18. Airtronic readies new HEAT round for PSRL, updates launchers. Airtronic USA is developing a new high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) round for its Precision Shoulder-fired Rocket Launcher (PSRL), the company has revealed. The new HEAT round retains the same warhead diameter of 93mm but features a redesigned rocket motor with a new ignitor and propellant. The company claims a range of about 850 m for the single shaped-charge warhead HEAT round, which gives a significant range increase over the PG-7VL round launched by the RPG-7. The latter is understood to have a direct fire range of 250m. “The development is currently at TRL-7/8 and we believe we will be at TRL-9 in 90 days,” Richard Vandiver, Chief Operating Officer told Jane’s. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
28 May 18. MBDA’s Land Ceptor air defence system has successfully destroyed its target during an end-to-end system demonstration firing at the Vidsel Test Range in Sweden, an important milestone for the project prior to entry to service with the British Army.
Land Ceptor utilises the proven Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) currently in production and delivering a common stockpile to meet the air defence needs of both the British Army and the Royal Navy (as Sea Ceptor). In British Army service Land Ceptor will replace the current Rapier air defence system and provides a step-change in capability, including over triple the range and the ability to intercept a much more challenging target set.
The system demonstration trial showcased the maturity of the Land Ceptor system across a full engagement sequence. This included launcher deployment; munition loading; receipt of air tracks from a Giraffe-AMB radar; air track processing by Land Ceptor’s onboard command and control (C2) system; and execution of a full engagement chain, with two-way data exchange with the missile during its mid-course fly-out phase, and successful interception and destruction of a target using the missile’s seeker in the terminal phase. Land Ceptor with CAMM is the latest generation of air defence system, providing exceptional capability from very short ranges (VSHORAD) below 1 km into the medium range air defence (MRAD) tier beyond 25km. Key features of CAMM are its next generation solid-state active radar seeker, two way data-link, low-signature rocket motor and its 360° soft-vertical launch system. These combine to enable the missile to rapidly intercept the most challenging and dangerous of threats including saturation attacks from precision guided munitions and manoeuvring high-speed missiles emerging late from low altitude and from multiple directions simultaneously. The demonstration in Vidsel coincides with the transition into production of the Land Ceptor weapon system, which will now undergo system-of-system integration and test as part of the British Army’s Sky Sabre air defence architecture. It is the latest in a series of highly successful trials of CAMM and its related systems over several years that have consistently proven its maturity and game changing performance.
About CAMM family of missile systems
The Royal Navy has recently conducted a large set of service acceptance trials of its related Sea Ceptor system. Sea Ceptor, which uses the same CAMM interceptor, has been introduced into service to replace the Vertical Launch Seawolf system on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates. The Sea Ceptor system provides a major step-change in capability for the Royal Navy’s frigates, as they will gain the ability to protect other ships within their local area, in addition to having an excellent self-defence capability. Sea Ceptor will also be fitted to the Royal Navy’s future Type 26 and Type 31e frigates.
Land Ceptor is the UK launch configuration of the Enhanced Modular Air Defence Solutions (EMADS) product family. EMADS brings together best-of-breed systems and technologies from across MBDA’s European base to save time, development costs and provide a flexible system for air defence provision. EMADS has been designed for ease of integration with existing equipment and infrastructure through modular design and use of standard interfaces. CAMM is a family of missiles that includes CAMM-ER which shares all the same components as CAMM other than a larger rocket motor to extend its range out to beyond 40km.
25 May 18. Diamond Age, a materials science and engineering firm focused on the R&D of leading-edge anti-ballistic armor systems announce their new rifle resistant Bastion Helmet and the Forcefield armor. In addition to their work with ceramic materials and armor alloys, Diamond Age is a leading producer of boron nitride nanotubes for ceramic reinforcement. Boron Nitride Nanotubes are a nanomaterial that strengthens metal, glass and ceramic composites. Diamond Age is able to offer this material in an 80 – 90% purity and in a dense form (HD-BNNT) suitable for composite production.
“Regardless of the science behind our products, all our customer base of law enforcement and military professionals really want are lightweight products that can be worn all day, in a variety of environmental conditions while offering superior ballistic protection,” Jake Ganor, CEO of Diamond Age said. “It’s our job as engineers to come up with a level of protection that goes beyond NIJ regulations. This is not the next generation of anti-ballistic armor, but the ultimate generation.”
The BASTION Helmet is the first combat helmet that can withstand direct hits from all common rifle rounds including steel core rounds, at muzzle velocities. It has been tested and withstood rounds from 7.62 x 51mm M80, 7.62 x 39mm PS ball, 5.56 x 45mm M855A1, 5.56 x 45mm M193, 5.7x28mm SS190, and various handgun and SMG threats.
It is augmented with an ultra-lightweight carbon fiber and ceramic strike-face and designed for extreme use in the field. The BASTION helmet is completely modular featuring a full 5-plate configuration which covers the entirety of the helmet shell for manning turrets, vehicular patrols and tactical raids and entries. Infantrymen can configure to a lighter set up using on the front and back tiles, while snipers may choose to wear only the front tile. The BASTION accommodates Wilcox® shrouds without sacrificing any coverage and M-Lok rails are also available. The helmet includes the industry’s most advanced padding system, from 4D Tactical, for comfort and optimal performance against high-impact rifle rounds.
The Diamond Age Forcefield armor panel offers superior protection from a variety of high-velocity SMG special threats such as 7.62 x 25mm Tokarev (over 1700 fps), 5.7 x 29mm (over 2100 fps) and the HK 4.6 x 30mm (over 2000 fps). Further handgun special threats tested and defeated include 80-grain solid copper 9mm SCS rounds. Knives, spikes and needles have also met their match with the Forcefield. The Forcefield also exceeds the military’s requirement for military-grad frag with a V50 against the 16fr RCC tested at over 2180 ft per second.
Yet the Forcefield for all its protective qualities is as thin and light as the average soft armor panel in its class at just 6.8mm and 1.17 pounds per square foot. Designed for uncompromising protection for SWAT, military and high-risk security personnel, the Forcefield is available in BALCS-cut panels and BALCS armor carriers are also available.
30 May 18. Israel’s Epsilor to supply battery chargers for Canada’s Integrated Soldier System. Epsilor, an Israeli battery and charger manufacturer, has been chosen by the Canadian Armed Forces to supply a battery charging solution for Canada’s Integrated Soldier System (ISS) programme.
The USD3m contract will see Epsilor develop and deliver 400 multi-channel chargers, spares, and services, with an option for an additional 350 chargers, over the next four years, the company said in a statement.
The ISS programme seeks to equip thousands of personnel with soldier-borne C4I systems, including battle management, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, all of which require battery supplies for lengthy field operations.
“The Canadian Armed Forces identified battery recharging as a critical capability of the ISS and decided to obtain a dedicated charger that will support its soldiers in the field, in vehicles, in forward operating bases, and for high volume recharging of thousands of batteries simultaneously,” Epsilor added.
“Our new charger supports the LI-145/LI-80 family and BB-2525/U conformal wearable batteries used by the Canadian forces, as well as by various NATO armed forces. Epsilor’s 12-channel charger is packed in a rugged case that will enable soldiers to charge large numbers of batteries in depot as well as in the field and in moving vehicles,” the company said. “The charger, which is designed to receive power from different sources, such as an electric grid and different vehicle sources, is intended to improve tactical flexibility and the energy independence of its users.”
Felix Frisch, vice-president of marketing and sales at Epsilor, told Jane’s that the new charger joins a family of digital products for soldiers. “The company’s conformal batteries, wearable charger, and data switch, NETWALKER, are aimed at becoming the hardware backbone of digital soldier systems,” said Frisch. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 May 18. Rafael launches Fire Weaver networked attack system. Rafael Advanced Defence Systems has unveiled the development of an advanced networked attack system designed to deliver multiple simultaneous selected precision effects on time-critical targets within seconds of their acquisition. Fire Weaver is an open-architecture target acquisition and precision engagement system that sits above, and is complementary to, battlefield C4I systems, sensors, and shooters. While typical C4I systems are a command-level decision-support tool, Fire Weaver, leveraging any secure tactical communications system, effectively connects all sensor and effector types (many-to-many) in the operational battlespace, to enable the secure exchange of real-time targeting data and the immediate management and execution of autonomous multiple target engagement for tactical level requirements and above.
Fire Weaver supports distributed target data between all sensors and shooters in the battlespace in GPS-independent common visual language using Rafael’s Match Guide technology.
“Match Guide is a development of the ‘geographical pixel’ revolution: we stopped talking about geographical grids and started talking in terms of geographical pixels,” Yoav Har Even, president and CEO, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, told Jane’s. “Typically, the sensor-to-shooter process is enabled through the transfer of geographic grid co-ordinates, but this only works if your GPS is not being jammed.
“We developed an advanced image processing capability that can locate and designate the target within individual geographical pixels – our electro-optic-equipped weapons are furnished with scene-matching algorithms that recognise the pixel and target accordingly,” Har Even said. “This common visual language provides a shared operational picture across command-and-control networks, sensors, and shooters to within a few pixels and enables the fast and effective engagement of time-critical targets.”
However, Fire Weaver also uses geographical grid and laser designator technologies to complement/augment the Match Guide system.
“Fire Weaver, using Match Guide technology, allows the sensor and effector components to speak in a common language on a 3D model,” Shmulik ‘O’, head of Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Land Division Innovation Programs Centre told Jane’s. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 May 18. Slovakia unveils Predator AX-1 loitering munition. Slovakian companies Incoff Aerospace and Compel Industries presented a new lightweight loitering munition development at the IDEB 2018 exhibition in Bratislava on 16–18 May. Development of the new loitering munition, designated Predator AX-1, began in May 2017 in response to a Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) requirement for an expansion of its unmanned systems inventory. Predator AX-1 is manufactured from carbon fibre composites and features a mid-body wing set unfolded mechanically after launch. Powered by two electric motors with slewed push turbine propulsion, the loitering munition system is equipped with a 40mm calibre warhead section originally developed for the RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launcher offering both PG-7VM HEAT-T or TB-7V thermobaric warhead options. Predator AX-1 features a dual-axis stabilised ULIS Pico640 Gen2 thermal imaging sensor for target identification and acquisition.
Predator AX-1 is 1,120 mm in length and 300 mm in width; its height with stowed wings is 155 mm, wingspan with unfolded wings is 1,860 mm, and the span of its tail surfaces is 690 mm. The maximum launch weight of the system is given as 10 kg, including an optimal payload of 2 kg; minimum flight speed (stall speed) of air vehicle is 130 km/h, maximum speed is 250km/h, and regular cruise speed is 190 km/h. The system’s maximum operational range given as 20 km and total flight/loitering endurance as 20 minutes. The ground-launched application of the Predator AX-1 system features the loitering munition, launcher, and ground station, all of which is backpack-portable by the operator. Additional munitions can also be carried by the operator, who can control up to three Predator AX-1 systems from the ground station. Incoff Aerospace and Compel Industries are currently focused on the ground launched application of the system, although company officials disclosed that a parallel initiative is evaluating an air-droppable variant, potentially from the Incoff Aerospace/Compel Industries developmental FX-1 fully-composite optionally piloted air vehicle. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 May 18. USAF B-1B conducts dual-missile test using Lockheed LRASMs. The US Air Force’s (USAF) B-1B Lancer bomber has successfully carried out the test firing of two production representative long-range anti-ship missiles (LRASMs). Developed by Lockheed Martin, the two LRASMs were launched in the US over the Point Mugu Sea Range, California, by the USAF B-1B bomber from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Once fired, the missiles travelled through all planned waypoints, transitioned to mid-course guidance and navigated toward the moving maritime target using inputs from the on-board sensors. Following this, the pair of LRASMs ‘positively’ identified the intended target and successfully hit it.
Designed based on the joint air-to-surface standoff missile extended range, the LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile that has been designed specifically to meet the requirements of USAF and US Navy troops in challenging environments.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control LRASM programme director David Helsel said: “The success of this second dual-LRASM test event speaks volumes. As LRASM moves toward early operational fielding for the US Air Force and US Navy, the weapon system continues to demonstrate critical capabilities that our warfighters need.”
LRASM is capable of identifying and destroying specific targets within groups of vessels by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, network links and GPS navigation in remote areas.
With its increased ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges, the missile will ensure military access to operate in open waters.
In service with the USAF since 1985, the Boeing-built B-1B Lancer is a long-range, multi-mission, supersonic conventional bomber. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
24 May 18. Even as low bidder, Russia’s Rosoboronexport may still loose air defense program in India. Even though Rosoboronexport has emerged as lowest bidder in the Indian army’s $1.5bn very short range air defense or VSHORAD program, the Russian company may loose the contract following serious complaints from the other competitors in the fray.
The Indian Ministry of Defence last week opened the commercial bids of the long pending VSHORAD program, in which Rosoboronexport was declared lowest bidder against Saab of Sweden and MBDA of France, a senior MoD official said.
“But the Russian defense company is not going to get [VSHORAD] contract any time soon and the program may face cancellation following complaints from one of the competitor,” he noted.
The Indian Army floated a restricted global tender for purchase of more than 5,000 VSHORAD portable systems to Saab of Sweden, Rafael of Israel, MBDA and Thales of France, Raytheon of United States, Rosoboronexport of Russia and LIG Nex 1 of South Korea. Rafael, Thales and LIG Nex 1 did not qualify after the technical evaluation and Raytheon did not participate in the bid. Only Igla-S by Rosoboronexport, RBS 70 NG by Saab and Mistral by MBDA were qualified for trials after completion of technical evaluation in 2012.
The Indian army conducted two rounds of separate trials before opening the commercial bids last week. A senior service official said the “Indian army discovered Igla-S system fielded by Rosoboronexport to be non-compliant and not-recommended for induction into the service because it failed missile locking and direct hit repeatedly during both separate trials.”
However, the Russian system was permitted and eventually approved by some officials within the service and MoD, despite the strict defense procurement guidelines that non-compliant systems should be rejected outright.
MoD is not expected to award this contact anytime soon, given the current funds crunch in India. Any award to a Russian company could also lead to U.S. sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act or CAATSA, another MoD official noted. He also pointed to plans for a thorough review before any decision is made to move forward or cancel this program.
Of the 5,175 missiles and associated equipment sought in the VSHORAD program, 2,315 missiles are to be bought in fully formed condition, 260 semi- knocked down condition and 1,000 missiles in completely knocked down condition and 600 missiles will be produced in India. In addition, Indian army is seeking other equipments including launchers, sensors, thermal imaging sights and command & control units.
An executive with the industry group, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry or FICCI, who requested anonymity alleged that the Russian company never followed the technology transfer norms in the VSHORAD program. Since the tender involved domestic transfer of technology, Saab teamed up with state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd and MBDA tied-up with private sector Larsen & Toubro Ltd, but Rosoboronexport chose to go alone.
“Indian defense forces including army and the air force have large requirements of short range air defense systems,” said Mahindra Singh, a retired army major general. “It makes sense to produce these systems in the country with full transfer of technology from suitable overseas original equipment manufacturers.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
31 May 18. India’s Rustom-2 Delivered to Armed Forces by 2020. The Rustom-II which is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), will be delivered to the armed forces by 2020, said DRDO Chairman S Christopher, in Pune on Friday.
Christopher was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the 10th convocation ceremony of the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT), a technological university of the Ministry of Defence. Christopher is also the chairman of the Governing Council of the DIAT.
After the convocation ceremony, Christopher told media:
“Rustom II has completed one test at Chitradurga in Karnataka. At present, the bird (basic UAV system) is being perfected. Attempts are also being made to increase the altitude. By the end of this year, we will be ready with the bird, after which the focus will be on the machine systems on it.”
The drone is being developed for use by all three services of the Indian Armed Forces, primarily for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations. The medium-altitude prototype can fly at over 22,000 feet and is a long-endurance UAV that has a 20 hours approximate flight time.
Christopher said, “After perfecting the bird, the manufacturing will be done by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd, as per the contract. By 2020, our target is to deliver it to the user, the armed forces.” (Source: UAS VISION/The Indian Express)
31 May 18. US Air Force Starts MQ-9 Operations out of Poland.
The United States and Poland have a standing relationship to address issues of regional and global security. To advance those interests, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, the air component of U.S. European Command, is operating MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft at Miroslawiec Air Base as a visible expression of U.S. efforts to enhance regional stability.
This mission, starting in May 2018, has been fully coordinated with the Polish government. It is designed to promote stability and security within the region and to strengthen relationships with NATO allies and other European partners. (Source: UAS VISION/USAF Press Release)
01 Jun 18. UMS SKELDAR and QinetiQ Target Systems Partner for Royal Canadian Navy UAV Program. UMS SKELDAR, has joined forces with a provider of unmanned air, land and surface vehicle targets QinetiQ Target Systems. The partnership has been formed to enable both organizations to provide the platforms and solutions for a joint Canadian maritime program, including the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) UAV contract.
With platforms like the SKELDAR V-200 and QinetiQ’s Obsidian Counter UAV Drone Detection solution, this new partnership could provide the solutions to the military and civilian maritime community’s UAV requirements.
Carl Foucard, Head of Sales for UMS SKELDAR, explains:
“Both UMS and QinetiQ Target Systems have a proven track-record operating unmanned systems on ships, which we believe is a compelling proposition central to our highly targeted maritime program designed to provide the next generation in UAV capabilities. For example, with our world-class SKELDAR V-200, which is proven to run on heavy fuel, provides unrivalled TBO (Time Before Overhaul) and operates multiple payloads all with a minimal logistical footprint, we have a VTOL platform that is completely fit for the maritime environment.”
Vincent Malley, International Business Development Manager for QinetiQ Target Systems, says: “The use of technologies including UAVs, drone detection systems and next generation electronic warfare solutions are increasing year-on-year across the globe. For example, the requirement for multirole UAVs that can carry out a wide range of applications such as reconnaissance, identification, target acquisition and electronic warfare all the while being able to run on heavy fuels, is becoming ever greater in the maritime sector. With our combined capabilities and expertise, I expect QinetiQ Target Systems and UMS SKELDAR to successfully execute on a number of sizeable contracts not only in Canada, but in other countries across the globe, in the coming years.”
(Source: UAS VISION)
30 May 18. Kratos Successfully Demos Unmatched Level of Capability with High Performance UAS. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that its Unmanned Systems Division (KUSD) has recently successfully performed a series of demonstration flights for one of its highest performance jet unmanned aircraft systems, currently in production and deployed at multiple locations around the globe. These flights successfully demonstrated and validated multiple capabilities unachievable by previous unmanned aircraft systems in this category. Due to customer related, competitive, and other considerations, no additional information will be provided related to these flights.
Kratos is a leading provider of affordable high performance unmanned aerial threat representation target drone systems and tactical drone systems for force augmentation, multiplication, distributed lethality, anti-access/area denied environment survivability, and other missions.
Steve Fendley, President of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said, “Being able to provide these critical and challenging levels of performance to our customers reinforces our commitment to technology advancement and focus on our customers’ objectives, even at the most challenging edges of the performance envelope. Our recent successful demonstration flights represent a great success for our customers, for the company, and for our employees who enable these achievements.”
Eric DeMarco, President and CEO of Kratos said, “Our commitment to evolving unmanned aerial drone systems technology and pushing the boundaries while remaining true to our core differentiator, affordability, remains the primary focus of our unmanned systems division. This achievement exemplifies the successful execution of Kratos corporate strategy and I am truly proud of this continued progress and our important role in support of the warfighter with our transformational systems.”
(Source: ASD Network)
29 May 18. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), announced the official launch of Team SkyGuardian® Canada, consisting of Canadian teammates CAE Canada, MDA, and L3 WESCAM. The team is combining the best of Canadian industry with the world’s most advanced Medium-altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) RPAS, the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, to fulfil Canada’s RPAS project requirements. The MQ-9B is a 5,700kg Gross Takeoff Weight aircraft with over 40 hours of un-refueled mission endurance, capable of carrying wide-area maritime radars, long-range, HD-video, and other sensor payloads. It can operate in far northern latitudes through a SATCOM datalink, and transmit collected sensor data to any location in Canada in real-time.
“General Atomics Aeronautical Systems recognizes the importance of partnering with established Canadian companies and building on the important contributions that Canadian industry is playing in the global success of GA-ASI,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. We have a long-standing global relationship with CAE and L3 WESCAM and look forward to growing our relationship with MDA as a part of this new team in Canada.”
“We have assembled a team with proven capabilities and a history of industry innovation and support. Our objective is to expand the capabilities of our Team SkyGuardian Canada by seeking additional Canadian teammates – particularly small and medium sized businesses – as the RPAS Project progresses. Mr. Blue continued.
“We are pleased to join Team SkyGuardian Canada to leverage our proud heritage in delivering aircrew training and in-service support to the RCAF and continue growing our international partnership with General Atomics to provide comprehensive training solutions for their family of RPAS,” said Joe Armstrong, vice president and general manager, CAE Canada. “Our expertise as a training systems integrator and our established supply chain of industry partners across Canada will help ensure we grow Canada’s defence and aerospace sector. Training and in-country sustainment services are key industrial capabilities that are critical to mission readiness for the RCAF as well as important drivers of export opportunities and success for Canadian industry.”
“MDA is proud to join the GA-ASI team. MDA has extensive experience across the breadth, land, maritime and Arctic, of Canadian Defence surveillance and intelligence systems and particularly as the primary supplier of unmanned systems and services to the Canadian Armed Forces. We will bring these deep made-in-Canada capabilities to the GA-ASI team to help deliver a world-class, operational Canadian capability based on the best-of-breed aircraft in this class,” said Mike Greenley, group president of MDA. “We are extremely pleased to have been selected by General Atomics to be a key team member of the SkyGuardian Canada program,” said Cameron McKenzie, vice president, global sales and business development for L3 WESCAM. “Our innovative and mission-proven MX™-25 EO/IR sensor system was designed, engineered and built right here in Canada and has demonstrated its effectiveness in the extreme environments and weather conditions experienced across much of Canada’s 18 million square kilometers.”
The RPAS Project will provide the Canadian Armed Forces with a MALE RPAS, and include indigenous capabilities, systems and services. This Project will provide new capabilities to the Canadian Armed Forces and bring new jobs to Canada’s high-technology sectors. The RPAS Project will enhance existing and future fighter, ISR and space assets through seamless NORAD/FVEY/NATO interoperability – ensuring strength in the Arctic, the security of North America, and stability abroad.
28 May 18. Cormorant Achieves IDF Mission Demo Milestone. On May 7th, Tactical Robotics (a subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics Ltd), based in Yavne. Israel, successfully performed a ﬁrst “mission representative” demonstration for its lead customer, the Israel Defence Forces. This milestone was announced for the ﬁrst time today at the Israel Combat Rescue and Emergency Medicine conference where the company also presented *Cormorant’s capability to be the ﬁrst UAS system ﬁelded for unmanned casualty evacuation missions.
The demo took place at Megiddo Airﬁeld in the Galilee and consisted of taking oﬀ with a load of cargo, preforming a pre-planned ﬂight to a speciﬁed point of delivery, oﬄoading the cargo, and loading of a specialized, medical training manikin simulating a casualty which was then returned to the point of origin. A monitor supplied by the IDF’s chief surgeon Trauma Branch transmits vital information to the crews on the ground, in addition to a video camera for two-way communication with the patient. With the exception of the loading of the ‘casualty’ and oﬀ-loading of cargo, the entire simulated mission was performed autonomously.
The demonstration, a combination of cargo delivery and casualty evacuation, reﬂects Cormorant’s unique dual-role capability as the only UAS recognized by NATO to fulﬁll both cargo delivery and CasEvac missions. As such, the aircraft is designed to exceed the standard reliability and handling qualities required of a typical, tactical UAS in order to meet the requirements to safely ferry human “cargo” back from the battleﬁeld. (Source: UAS VISION)
27 May 18. IIT-Kanpur To Develop Vertical Take-Off And Landing Aircraft Prototypes. The Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur has signed a Rs 15 crore-Memorandum of Understanding to develop prototypes for self-piloted vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. These prototypes will be used as air taxis for civilians, said Ajay Ghosh, head of IIT-Kanpur’s Aerospace Engineering and Flight Lab.
The deal was signed a couple of months ago with the VTOL Aviation Pvt Ltd, he said, adding the project will be completed within a span of five years. Ghosh said the project will be a milestone under the ‘Make In India’ project.
A couple of instalments have already been allotted to IIT-Kanpur researchers to conduct a pre-feasibility study before embarking on the project, he said. The official said the project was challenging, but at the same time offered several advantages. “We have hopes that the development of such prototypes would be revolutionary and help ease traffic congestion, owing to the flexibility of aircraft to take off from and land on any terrain,” the IIT official said. (Source: Google/defenceaviationpost.com)
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C2, TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, AI, CYBER, EW, CLOUD COMPUTING AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE
Sponsored by Spectra Group
25 May 18. DOD CIO: Military needs more than one. It hasn’t taken long for the Defense Department’s new CIO Dana Deasy to get up to speed on the Pentagon’s plans for cloud.
“In a cloud world, there is no such thing as one solution that’s going to solve for all,” Deasy told lawmakers when asked his opinion on a multi-cloud environment during a House Oversight for Government Reform’s Information Technology Subcommittee hearing May 23.
“You’re going to always have a need — when you build anything — where you’re going to have specific requirements that are going to be best served by unique providers,” he said. “That is no different than [what] has always been the case with technology.”
Deasy’s testimony followed the White House’s release of its policy positions on the draft 2019 National Defense Authorization Act May 22, which supported congressional oversight of DOD cloud acquisitions to “prevent delays in the delivery of new capabilities.”
During the hearing, Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd, who chairs the IT subcommittee, asked about the DOD’s controversial Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud acquisition and whether the CIO was properly involved.
Deasy, who has only two weeks on the job, told legislators that he wasn’t completely abreast of DOD’s cloud strategy, namely any discussions specific to contracts, arrangements, or requests for proposals, due to his ongoing public financial disclosure review.
Kevin Fahey, DOD’s assistant secretary for acquisition, testified that Undersecretary for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord had the final say on the strategy, but that the CIO office was very involved and the process was “in the final throes.”
However, Deasy emphasized the potential for increased cost-savings and organizational efficiency that cloud infrastructure can bring, adding that he plans to ramp up cloud migrations across the military services.
“The delivery of new cloud capability promises to provide commercial solutions that will accelerate data center closures, achieve cost efficiencies and improve return on investments,” Deasy said in his opening statement. In addition to migrating support agencies to MilCloud 2.0, “we expect the military departments to also ramp up migrations and closures now that efficient capabilities are readily available,” he said.
DOD spends up to seven percent of its total budget on information technology, according to Deputy Chief Financial Officer Mark Easton, who also testified May 23. The projected cost saving for fiscal 2018 through 2023 is approximately $3.2bn, Deasy said. (Source: Defense Systems)
30 May 18. New TerraLens SDK unveiled. Geospatial Ltd (Booth 915) has released TerraLens 9.0 – the latest version of its software development toolkit (SDK) for geospatial visualisation. TerraLens provides real-time 2D and 3D mapping with powerful data visualisation tools, and includes a flexible and full-featured user interface (UI) development toolset that incorporates a robust set of advanced multi-touch features. The latest SDK release – TerraLens 9.0 – leverages a new shader language implementation for improved use of the advanced capabilities of modern graphics processing units (GPUs), and provides a unified pipeline for creating desktop-, mobile- and web-based geospatial applications.
The new engine includes support for extremely high-resolution data sets, and features significant performance boosts – maintaining high frame rates when panning and zooming high-resolution maps, and faster video-draping over terrain. New platform features include Physically Based Rendering (PBR) materials for 3D models; simplified runtime use for developers, including automatic data discovery; encrypted S63 map support; and support for S102, (submarine terrain features) map formats. The TerraLens 9 solution also includes an OGC-certified map server that provides open standards support for WMTS, as well as proprietary features that include advanced terrain and vector support, and a MIL-SPEC military symbol server.
While TerraLens 9 is intended to leverage modern hardware, Kongsberg Geospatial will continue to support legacy rendering modes such as X11 and GDI in its TerraLens 8.x product line, which will be maintained in parallel with TerraLens 9. TerraLens has been fielded in some of the most demanding applications in the world, including AEGIS, Global Hawk, THAAD, NATO AWACS, and the Joint Battle Command-Platform.
In a parallel development, CarteNav Solutions Inc of Halifax, Nova Scotia (Booth 1327) has selected the TerraLens platform for its new generation of AIMS mission system software. AIMS is designed to enhance situational awareness and improve mission effectiveness on airborne, land-based, and maritime platforms. By processing and managing imagery and data from a variety of sensors, AIMS provides the operator with a real-time, geo-referenced local operating picture for mission planning, delivery, recording, and review. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 May 18. Monitoring of Secure Tetra and Broadband Networks. Airbus introduces the new version of the Viewcor application, which not only checks Tetra systems but also ensures the quality of service of broadband networks. This solution helps user organizations to control their group communication – both voice and multimedia communication. Network operators can monitor network coverage, capacity and base station status at any time with a single glance at the screen. In this way, commanders at the police or fire brigade can display two different networks simultaneously on a single screen. Viewcor enables real-time monitoring and visualisation of the systems on one card – either simultaneously or separately. Service reports and analyses are also available after an operation. Airbus will present the new Viewcor to the public at Critical Communications World. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
30 May 18. Chemring Technology Solutions today launches VIPER, a whole-mission support and information system, delivering actionable intelligence and the world’s first Electronic Warfare (EW) manpack geofencing capability. Integrated into Chemring Technology Solutions’ RESOLVE EW system, VIPER’s geofencing technology provides operators with pinpoint accuracy for superior target precision. Traditionally, EW operators would expect to analyse all signals, whether of significance or not. VIPER allows them to focus on a specific area of interest, such as a valley or building, significantly reducing the task and time burden and communications and reporting load.
VIPER’s path profile tools support highly targeted pre-mission planning and real-time mission adaptation, by processing terrain height against relative radio frequency (RF) to pinpoint the optimum locations for EW data collection nodes. Automated database analysis quickly delivers operators relevant target insight via a user-friendly interface, enabling commanders and operators to respond faster to the evolving battlefield situation.
VIPER simplifies operations and minimises the training burden by automating many processes that would have previously been undertaken by the operator. Non-expert users can easily access the database storage, providing them the information they need, formatted for ease of understanding and requiring minimal interpretation. VIPER has been developed to remove the issues of complex RF-data presentation and laborious information access. For example, VIPER visualises information by overlaying a map so that the operator can quickly identify a precise target fix.
Eric Herron, Regional Manager, at Chemring Technology Solutions, said: “VIPER is another market-first for us as it delivers a level of EW capability usually associated with larger systems. Developed by EW operators for EW operators, we believe that we have created the most capable and user-friendly EW manpack system, offering the next step to counter current and evolving threats. VIPER delivers a highly automated and intuitive system that requires minimal operator input, so that they do not have to wade through large amounts of data capture and the noise on the RF spectrum, but can instead focus on genuine signals of interest to find that needle in a haystack much faster. It is deployed at this year’s CyberQuest exercise in the USA to show exactly this capability.”
CESMO and JICD compatible, VIPER can contribute to, and receive data from, coalition partners operating in the land, sea and air domains – critical for combined missions.
RESOLVE’s innovative multi-role capability in tactical EW, and its continued focus on contemporary operational needs, make it the market-leading solution. A single RESOLVE EW Manpack provides both full spectrum wideband surveillance and wideband direction finding capabilities, with collaborative synchronous position fix between any two or more systems. The solution for contingent operations, RESOLVE is designed for simplicity in operation, enabling rapid deployment preparation, rapid role change, simultaneous support for tactical operations, and remote reporting via IP network radios and beyond line-of-sight links.
The new VIPER system will be launched at EW Europe on the Chemring Technology Solutions’ Stand (D16).
30 May 18. Artificial intelligence (AI) can enable an evolution in Electronic Warfare countermeasures development by automating the process in which the threat is identified and an effective countermeasure is developed, according to experts at Cohort company MASS.
The EW specialists will outline the progress they have made in designing an end to end process that supports the full cycle of threat vulnerability analysis and countermeasure development (TVACD) and how automation can enhance this process in a presentation at EW Europe in Lausanne on 5-7 June.
MASS Mission Data Technical Services Manager, Brian Tottingham, says that significant operational advantage can be delivered by using automated analysis of threat parameters and exploiting the advances in machine learning to extract aerodynamic, guidance, control, fuse, warhead and signal processing data from open source intelligence (OSINT).
The key to automating Electronic Warfare Operational Support (EWOS) and speeding up the TVACD lifecycle is to consider the overall process and then ensuring that data standards are defined so that the required data can flow freely throughout the process.
One of the major challenges is that processes are currently ill-defined or not defined at all and the data that flows from one part of the process to another is not standardised. Equally, many different stakeholders collect their own data but it is not centrally managed.
“But many of these challenges have been or are being resolved. MASS’ TVACD process has enabled tools to be developed that support and enable the more complex procedural areas and, having standardised the data between tools, automation is within grasp” says Tottingham.
The automation process will be further enhanced by bringing together the set of basic databases currently used for PHOTOINT, OSINT, HUMINT, TECHINT and SIGINT so that all data can be stored within a single data management system. Performing signals analysis automatically and storing the data automatically will therefore increase the speed it is available from ‘collect’ to ‘campaign’.
MASS, which provides EW support in the UK and for several overseas customers, is continually developing its THURBON™ data management system as part of its TVACD process and Tottingham adds that today’s computational power and AI is rapidly moving EW towards automation.
“Process, data and Artificial Intelligence are the key to automation, speeding up the TVACD lifecycle and pulling EW into the 21st century. Faster, more efficient platform protection is coming soon” Tottingham will tell the EW Europe audience.
28 May 18. Why did the USAF cancel the F-15C electronic warfare upgrade? When the U.S. Air Force canceled the procurement of a new electronic warfare system for its F-15C models, it failed to notify a key Defense Department oversight organization, the Defense Department’s inspector general found in a report.
The IG report — which was declassified and released on May 21 — concerns the F-15’s Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System, or EPAWSS, a new electronic warfare suite meant to enhance the service’s legacy air superiority jet with a greater ability to protect itself in contested environments.
The Air Force initially planned to install EPAWSS on 196 F-15C and 217 F-15E aircraft, but cut all 196 EPAWSS units meant for the C models in its FY18 budget request.
That decision represents a 47 percent decrease in production capacity, the IG noted. It also suggests that Air Force leadership could still be moving forward to retire its F-15C/D inventory in the near term — an option officials told Congress in March 2017 is within the realm of possibility.
Normally, when a service drastically reduces procurement of a major program, it must revalidate its new strategy with the Joint Requirements Oversight Council. However, because the Air Force did not do that after cutting EPAWSS, it’s uncertain whether F-15Cs will be able to accomplish its core missions in the future, the IG report said.
“Using the F-15C aircraft without EPAWSS will limit the warfighter’s ability to detect and identify air and ground threats, employ counter-measures, and jam enemy radar signals,” it said.
EPAWSS will be manufactured by F-15 prime contractor Boeing, with BAE Systems also charged with designing and developing the system. Boeing received a $478m contract in 2016 for the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program, and in 2017 completed EPAWSS’ critical design review.
In August 2019, the company is set to begin installing EPAWSS on F-15 jets.
According to the report, the Air Force’s director of staff for its strategic plans and programs division stated that program officials will revalidate the lower EPAWSS production quantities with the JROC in 2019, before it hits Milestone C.
Once completed, the inspector general’s concerns will be satisfied, the IG office responded.
What’s the future of the F-15C/D?
Information about the planned retirement of the F-15C/D are among the few redacted portions of the IG report, showing the lengths that the Air Force is willing to go in order to conceal exactly when it may mothball the F-15C/D fleet or the internal guidance supporting such a decision.
“In February 2017, the DCS AF/A5/8 issued the [redacted] to retire the F-15C aircraft beginning in [redacted] and fully retire the aircraft by the end of [redacted]. However, [redacted],” reads one section of the report, using an acronym that refers to part of the Air Force headquarters staff.
“The [redacted] communicated the Air Force’s long-term strategic intention to build and sustain a capable, right-sized Air Force and directed program resource allocation. The DCS AF/A5/8 planned to use F-15C EPAWSS procurement funds to develop a higher priority Air Superiority program.”
In response to the IG’s findings, the Air Force has agreed to provide Congress with “specific plans and justifications” for phasing out the F-15C/D. According to the report, the service was expected to finalize its decision on the F-15 retirement issue as part of FY19 planning choices — which took place late last year. The Air Force has still not publicly announced when the F-15 could begin leaving its inventory.
“If Congress does not approve the F-15C aircraft retirement, the director of staff stated that Air Force officials would review the requirement and restore procurement funding for sufficient EPAWSS quantities to provide increased F-15C electronic warfare capabilities, as the mission requires,” the report stated. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
28 May 18. Here’s how the Navy is developing information warfare ‘Top Guns.’ The Navy recently celebrated the one-year mark of its development center aimed at growing more robust information warfare personnel for 21st century battlefronts.
Top Navy officials have described the stand up of the Naval Information Warfighting Development Center, or NIWDC, as one of the most important things the service has done in the past two years.
Many leaders have analogized the NIWDC as a United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program for the information battlespace — a challenging community where advanced training will produce Top Guns.
“We’ll be building essentially the same thing in information warfare,” Capt. John Watkins, NIWDC’s commanding officer, told C4ISRNET in a recent interview.
He said he’s prioritized the development of what are called warfare tactics instructors, or WTIs, which will be the subject matter experts relative to their war-fighting areas when inserted back into the fleet.
These WTIs will receive a patch they’ll wear for the rest of their career as they carry that resident expertise to potential command assignments.
“Those Top Gun patch wearers are quite often the ones who go on to make CAG, commander of air groups … they’re the ones that frankly go on and make flag [officer],” Watkins said. “We’ve got to incentivize our WTIs just as robustly … as the other communities have done.”
At the end of the day, Watkins said, NIWDC is a training organization that will develop playbooks for the service’s information warfare officers, enlisted and civilians focused primarily at the tactical edge.
The first wave of WTIs will comprise electronic warfare WTIs, intelligence operations WTIs and assured command control WTIs split off into radio frequency and networks.
Watkins noted that there are multiple subsections within each of these categories; however, as far as the outside community is concerned, the fleet will just be getting an “intelligence operator” WTI or an EW WTI.
For example, one civilian going through the intelligence operations course will come out of NIWDC with an emphasis on intelligence support to cyber. Others might have expertise in over-the-horizon targeting, collection management or advanced analytics.
“We get these strands down to a niche, but at the end of the day, we’ll call them all intelligence operations WTIs,” Watkins said.
Describing the projected pipeline for this young organization, Watkins explained how a newly minted lieutenant commander might go through the training and then go on to serve as the deputy intelligence officer in a carrier strike group.
Or, cyber WTIs could serve on the staff of a numbered fleet, assisting in delivering cyber effects, Watkins said.
Given how new the organization is, Watkins said they haven’t had a lot of throughput yet.
The first advanced level information warfare baseline course was executed in February with 20 students, and the hope is by the end of the calendar year there’ll be some level force certified WTIs, Watkins said.
There are 16 candidates coming in for the second advanced level information warfare baseline course in July.
A Defense Department personnel announcement May 25 named Capt. Jeffrey Scheidt as the first commander of NIWDC along with his promotion to get his first star. In it’s stand up, NIWDC had not been assigned a flag officer as its commander, though top officials had indicated as recently as February that would change. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
28 May 18. Advanced Super Hornet, F-35 Face Stealth Dilemma. As the U.S. Navy expands its aircraft fleet with the fourth-generation F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornet and fifth-gen F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, a challenge remains: How will the jets connect and share information without sacrificing stealth?
Boeing Co. on Wednesday showcased its Block III Super Hornet, which comes with a larger variety of weapons, extended range, advanced targeting and sensor systems, and better fuel efficiency, among other enhancements. The company noted the Block III isn’t meant to be a direct competitor to the F-35 Lightning II; it’s meant to be its partner.
The Super Hornet and F-35 “are the Navy’s two frontline fighters, and will be for decades to come,” said Dan Gillian, manager of F/A-18 and EA-18programs at Boeing.
Yet the two aircraft currently don’t have a way to communicate without compromising the F-35’s stealth.
“For sure, that is part of the roadmap, and how do we get that right?” said Capt. David Kindley, F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager. Kindley briefed reporters at Boeing’s facilities in Arlington, Virginia, on Wednesday, alongside officials who lead the program.
“It’s fairly a statement of the obvious: F-35’s challenge is they need to stay sneaky, and they need to transmit. Those can be [incompatible] to each other. So how do we solve that? So we’re trying to offer as many options as we can to plug into, and we’re talking about this going forward,” he said.
Even if the F/A-18 — now undergoing modifications to give it upgraded stealth capabilities — is a little less detectable from enemy radar, the F-35 would likely lead the charge in a heavy surface-to-air missile environment.
“We’re not going to send Super Hornets into the heart of an IADS [Integrated Air Defense System],” Kindley said. “But that’s always a trade-off we’re going to have to work on.”
Fifth-generation platforms like the F-35 use the Link 16 datalink to transfer information to fourth-gen counterparts. But the F-35 also internally operates on its Multifunction Advanced Data Link system, known as MADL.
“There’s a whole discussion ongoing within [the Defense Department] on how you link F-35s, all aircraft together,” said Bob Kornegay, senior manager of business development for the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G at Boeing.
Interoperability is at the heart of how a strike wing will operate in the future, Kindley added.
Boeing will deliver its first test Block III jets to the Navy in 2019, with a production line starting sometime in 2020, Gillian said.
The Navy intends to have Boeing convert more than 500 of its Block II jets and produce 116 new Block IIIs by 2024. The new jets’ first deployment is expected sometime in 2022.
When asked whether President Donald Trump’s involvement has given the defense firm confidence, Boeing officials said Block III has been in discussion “for some time.”
“The president’s engagement has certainly brought energy and drive to [this] discussion,” Gillian said.
Trump in recent months has repeatedly cited a desire to see Boeing build a stealthy F/A-18 Super Hornet and potentially scale back F-35 production from competitor Lockheed Martin Corp.
“It’s the collection of things together: next-generation fighter, we’ve delivered 100 percent of our airplanes on time, on cost, and that resonates with this administration,” Gillian said. (Source: Military.com)
28 May 18. Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) signed an interactive project agreement with Defence Science and Technology (DST) to work collaboratively to develop and prototype advanced electronic warfare capabilities for the Australian Defence Force’s priorities and programs.
Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist, Dr Alex Zelinsky, has welcomed the agreement saying it further strengthens the partnership between DST and Raytheon.
“Our ability to build Defence capability relies on support from industry to deliver leading-edge innovation and research,” said Dr Zelinsky. “Scientific organisations alone cannot achieve the needed advances without extensive collaboration with industry and academia.”
Under the agreement, Raytheon will provide its Multi-Function Receiver Exciter System test bench, a control system and a modeling and simulation environment. The lab will use MFIRES, a part of a product family that includes Raytheon’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-band, to evolve and test advanced EW techniques.
“Controlling the electromagnetic spectrum is essential to today’s mission success,” said Doug Marimon, director of Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems. “By combining U.S. and Australian strengths, we enhance our ability to deliver decisive EW capabilities in the Pacific and beyond.”
Along with its electronic attack capability, MFIRES is also a radar warning receiver, providing electronic support and protection. Integrating multiple functions enables system success across the full EW mission by using less power, weight and space, all crucial elements in creating a significant advantage in electronic warfare.
Raytheon brings 50 years of EW experience and an established reputation for electromagnetic spectrum reliability and performance. DST Group, Australian industry and Raytheon will stand-up the lab in Adelaide, where they will take the first step toward creating a sovereign, integrated electronic warfare solution in Australia.
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra has a proven record of accomplishment – with over 15 years of experience in delivering secure communications and cybersecurity solutions for governments around the globe; elite militaries; and private enterprises of all sizes.
As a dynamic, agile, security accredited organisation, Spectra can leverage this experience to deliver Cyber Advisory and secure Hosted and Managed Solutions on time, to spec and on budget, ensuring compliance with industry standards and best practices.
Spectra’s SlingShot® is a unique low SWaP system that enables in-service U/VHF tactical radios to utilise Inmarsat’s commercial satellite network for BLOS COTM. Including omnidirectional antenna for the man, vehicle, maritime and aviation platforms, the tactical net can broadcast over 1000s miles between forward units and a rear HQ, no matter how or where the deployment. Unlike many BLOS options, SlingShot maintains full COTM (Communications On The Move) capability and low size and weight
On 23 November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced that it had recently been listed as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier for 2015-2016 by the UK Crown Commercial Services
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 BATTLESPACE Businessman of the Year by BATTLESPACE magazine and is a finalist in the inaugural British Ex-Forces In Business Awards in the Innovator Of The Year category.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.
INTERNATIONAL PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Sponsored by American Panel Corporation
UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
31 May 18. Babcock Team 31 unveiled Arrowhead 140 as its design for the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) new £1.25bn Type 31e general purpose light frigate programme. Launching the new platform, ‘Team 31’ – led by Babcock and including fellow industry experts Thales, OMT, BMT, Harland and Wolff and Ferguson Marine – underlined the vessel’s established, ‘at sea’ design baseline which can be developed to meet global requirements.
With UK engineering at its core, and developing OMT’s Iver Huitfeldt hull form currently in-service for the Royal Danish Navy, Arrowhead 140 will lower programme risks through its tried and tested baseline design and is engineered to minimise through-life costs whilst delivering a truly leading edge frigate.
Craig Lockhart, Babcock’s Managing Director, Naval Marine said: “Arrowhead 140 is a proven, capable, and adaptable general purpose frigate design that, if selected, will meet the UK Royal Navy’s and global customers’ expectations both now and in the future.”
At almost 140m the platform will optimise operational flexibility. This ‘wide beam’ ship is easier to design, easier to build and easier to maintain due to its slightly larger size. And with embedded iFrigate™ technology able to deliver digitally enabled through life support, it offers extensive value for money – all within the same budget.
Craig Lockhart said: “Arrowhead 140 will provide increased survivability, operability and capability – compared to a standard 120m design. When you consider that this ship can be delivered at no extra cost and that it will support improved radar performance, increase platform stability and facilitate better helicopter operations in bad weather, whilst enhancing crew comfort – we believe it will bring a significant edge to modern naval capability.”
Arrowhead 140’s distributed build and assembly approach, comprising Babcock Appledore in North Devon, Ferguson Marine on the Clyde, Harland and Wolff in Belfast with integration at Babcock Rosyth, Fife, optimises the partners’ first-class UK facilities, innovation and skills whilst cleverly ensuring capacity for parallel programmes remains. All of which is geared to generate a genuine resurgence in shipbuilding across the UK and when coupled with the virtual design alliance between Babcock, OMT and BMT it squarely supports the intent of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Craig Lockhart continued: “More than just building a ship, Babcock Team 31 offers a unique opportunity for global navies to tap into the complete design, build and support capability for the T31e frigate. Individually all of the Babcock Team 31 members have exceptionally strong portfolios of activity and collectively we are able to introduce to the market Arrowhead 140; a general purpose light frigate package that we believe is second to none.”
Incorporating the latest iteration of Thales’ TACTICOS combat management system with fully open architecture sets Arrowhead 140 combat systems apart. Currently in service for 25 years and exported to 24 navies globally, this system and equipment in-service support package is flexible to customers’ needs over the lifetime of the platform and will maximise the combat system capability for customers. It is a system that has time and time again proven to be a leading edge solution for navies fighting tomorrow’s war.
And with extensive procurement required throughout the lifetime of the project, opportunities predominantly for UK based small to medium sized enterprises will be available to help to meet time, costs and quality standards. Interest is already strong in Team 31’s bid with more than 100 supply companies meeting Team 31 representatives at a Society of Maritime Industries facilitated suppliers’ conference in Fife.
Based on Arrowhead 140, Team 31 can build modern platforms that navies can use to tailor to their own specifications and when you add world leading experience in naval platform in-service support with a deep understanding of support cost drivers, Babcock Team 31 offers a glimpse into an exciting new world of UK and international ship build delivery and intelligent ship support with Arrowhead 140.
29 May 18. Turkey, Rolls-Royce set deadline for talks over homemade jet’s engine. Rolls-Royce and Turkey’s defense procurement agency have signed a letter of intent to finalize negotiations by July 31 on an engine program that will power the TF-X, Turkey’s indigenous fighter jet in the making.
Selecting an engine is presently viewed as the most critical stage of the TF-X program. “The choice of engine will shape up various other parameters in the next stages of the program,” a Turkish aerospace official noted. The letter was signed by Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) chief Ismail Demir and British Minister for Defence Procurement Guto Bebb along the sidelines of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s state visit to Britain on May 15. Under the plan, the engine for the TF-X would be developed and co-produced in Turkey.
A senior Turkish procurement official familiar with the project said Rolls-Royce and SSM would thrive to sort out several differences until the deadline.
“There are several outstanding issues … we must resolve before moving onto another stage,” the official said. “We will seek to find common ground on disputed issues like export licenses, restrictions, technology transfers and know-how, local work share, intellectual property rights, and development costs.”
Turkish officials say the idea is to rely on foreign technology in order to build, in the longer term, an indigenous engine that will power the TF-X. In October 2016, Rolls-Royce offered a joint production partnership to Turkey with a view to powering planned Turkish platforms and potential sales to third parties. The British company’s proposal involved a production unit in Turkey to manufacture engines for the TF-X, as well as for helicopters, tanks and missiles.
A year before that, in October 2015, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Turkey and Rolls-Royce for technological know-how and a production unit. Under the plan, Rolls-Royce would launch an advanced manufacturing and technology center in Turkey ― the company’s eighth such unit worldwide. Earlier this year the Turkish government earmarked an initial investment of 4.817bn Turkish liras (U.S. $1.041bn) on the conceptual design phase of the TF-X program. The investment plan has been taken under a government incentive scheme. Turkey wants to build the TF-X with know-how from BAE Systems. In January 2017, Britain and Turkey signed a deal worth more than £100m (U.S. $133m) to develop the Turkish fighter jet. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
01 Jun 18. Sierra Nevada utilising Army’s Black Hawk exchange programme for UH-1N replacement. Key Points:
- SNC is using an Army helicopter exchange programme for its USAF UH-1N replacement offering
- It could acquire newer L-model Black Hawks through the programme for faster delivery
Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC) will utilise a US Army used Black Hawk helicopter exchange programme in its pursuit of the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) Bell UH-1N Huey replacement effort, according to a company official. The programme is the Black Hawk Exchange and Sales Transaction (BEST), which the Army uses to divest A-model Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks out of its inventory. The service can pursue a one-for-one aircraft exchange or other equitable trade, sale, or reimbursable transfer, provided all proceeds are used to purchase, rent, or lease a replacement aircraft, according to a service statement. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 May 18. Another US Air Force aircraft contract got delayed. Here are the details. The Air Force had planned to award two contracts this summer for major aircraft competitions, but one of them — the UH-1N Huey replacement — may slip into the fall, the service’s top civilian said Tuesday. For the UH-1N Huey replacement, the service had planned to decide among three competitors sometime in June. However, a pre-award protest by Sikorsky, denied by the Government Accountability Office last week, resulted in a delay of contract award to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 — or sometime before Oct. 1, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement. Meanwhile, the service seems to finally be getting ready for a downselect on the T-X trainer program, which was originally set for contract award by calendar year 2017.
UH-1N replacement program
Replacing the aging UH-1N — which is used to secure nuclear missile silos, among other tasks — has been a priority in Congress as well as the head of U.S. Strategic Command, Gen. John Hyten. However, the Air Force has struggled for years to get a program steaming ahead, considering options such as sole-sourcing UH-60 Black Hawks before settling on an open competition.
At the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said she understood the importance of moving the Huey replacement effort along, but that a contract award in June probably isn’t in the cards.
“We’re going to try and not let that slip too much because we know we need to get the Hueys replaced, but we did get a delay,” she said.
The Air Force wants to buy 84 new armored helicopters. The Huey replacements must be capable of carrying nine fully loaded troops without needing to be refueled for an endurance of at least 225 nautical miles. They also should be able to fly three hours while maintaining a 135-knot cruise speed.
The competition comes down to three entrants: Sikorsky’s HH-60U, a version of the Black Hawk with rescue hoist and electro-optical sensor; a Boeing-Leonardo team that is putting forward the MH-139, a militarized version of the commercial AW139 helicopter; and Sierra Nevada Corp., which is offering life-extended versions of used Army UH-60Ls.
Because the Air Force had originally wanted to buy new Black Hawks, Sikorsky was viewed as the likely winner of the competition. However, the company took issue with the technical data rights requirements specified by the service and filed a protest with the GAO in February. The office shot it down on May 22.
Wilson said the Air Force received formal notification of the protest the next day and is now moving forward with the program.
The service is planning for the arrival of its first new helicopter sometime in the 2020/2021 time frame.
T-X trainer jet program
Wilson believes the Air Force will be ready to award a contract for the T-X program sometime during the next few months. “As I understand it, we are still on track to make that decision this summer, but they’ve got all their proposals in and they’re in the proposal evaluation phase,” she said.
“I intentionally don’t ask the specifics for evaluation of proposals, but they’ve told me that they’re on time for a summer decision. So summer means when? June, July, maybe August.”
Over the $16bn program, the Air Force plans on buying 350 T-X aircraft to replace its aging fleet of T-38s.
Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries have teamed to offer the T-50A; Boeing and Saab have collaborated on a clean sheet T-X design; and Leonardo is marketing a version of its M-346 trainer called the T-100.
(Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
REST OF THE WORLD
31 May 18. Babcock, the global engineering services company, has secured a $384m (CAD) three year extension to its existing strategic submarine support contract from the Canadian Department of National Defense for its fleet of four Victoria Class submarines.
The original VISSC contract has been further extended to June 2021 and will see a team of more than 400 highly experienced Babcock engineers, project managers and specialist support staff continue to support all four submarines in refit and in service. VISSC is the largest naval in service support contract in Canada and includes project management, refits and maintenance, capability upgrades, logistics, configuration/safety records and engineering support. The main contract covers core work and tasking with deep maintenance periods – termed Extended Docking Work Periods (EDWPs), included as required by the submarine operating schedules.
Mike Whalley, President Babcock Canada said: “Babcock is a trusted industrial partner to the Royal Canadian Navy and the further extension to the VISSC underlines the belief in our expert delivery and our team’s world class support. We continue to invest in Canada’s strategic submarine capability through our skilled people, Canadian supply chain and our processes and this contract extension is a real endorsement of everyone’s hard work and technical outputs. We are delighted to be continuing this relationship with a much valued customer.”
Babcock’s experts design, build, manage, operate and maintain assets vital to the delivery of a wide assortment of mission critical services. Babcock Canada is recognised as a leading naval in -service support specialist with the ability to leverage international best practice from a wide range of similar navies and vessels around the World.
In December 2014, Babcock Canada handed over HMCS Chicoutimi back to the Royal Canadian Navy following a successful EDWP, the first managed by Babcock Canada through the Victoria In-Service Support Contract (VISSC). Chicoutimi has subsequently undertaken a highly successful trans pacific deployment and joint operations with the US and Japanese navies. Babcock is currently undertaking HMCS Corner Brook’s EDWP and is in the planning phase for HMCS Victoria.
Since its inception in 2008 Babcock Canada has continued to grow and has now established facilities in Victoria, British Columbia, Halifax, Nova Scotia and Ottawa, Ontario.
31 May 18. L3 MAS teams with Israel Aerospace Industries for RCAF RPAS project. L3 MAS announced on May 31, 2018, that it has teamed with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to form Team Artemis to offer the state-of-the-art Artemis Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), based on IAI’s Heron TP, for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF’s) remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) program.
The Artemis UAS is a mature and highly capable platform with a proven operational track record. This medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAS will be equipped with a wide variety of sensors and other payloads designed specifically to meet Canada’s requirements.
The Artemis UAS is uniquely positioned to assist Canada in preserving its national security and sovereignty interests at home and abroad. L3 MAS will be the prime contractor for the team, building on its extensive in-service support (ISS), airworthiness, integrated logistics and program management experience.
It will also lead the Artemis Canadian industrial team, including Pratt & Whitney Canada, which will provide the power plant for the air vehicle, as well as other prominent Canadian partners to be named at a later date.
The Artemis solution will deliver substantial economic benefits to Canada, including the creation of high-value Canadian jobs.
“RPAS provides a welcome opportunity to deliver a world-class UAS capability to the RCAF,” said Jacques Comtois, vice-president and general manager of L3 MAS.
“As the prime contractor, mission systems integrator and ISS provider, L3 MAS looks forward to breaking new ground in Canada’s defence and aviation sectors with IAI’s Artemis UAS.”
“IAI is excited to propose our advanced, flexible and operationally proven Artemis solution for Canada’s RPAS project,” said Shaul Shahar, IAI executive vice-president. “We are excited to have L3 MAS as our partner to cooperate with and bring this impressive capability to the Royal Canadian Air Force. The unique solutions we are offering provide tremendous advantages to Canada, and we look forward to the opportunity to compete on the RPAS project.”
Under the RPAS program, the Department of National Defence (DND) will procure a number of MALE UAS aircraft, with associated ground control stations (GCS), sensor suites and support equipment.
The contract is scheduled to be awarded in 2021-2022 and will include the acquisition of the equipment and the full spectrum of in-service support for 20 years. (Source: Google/www.skiesmag.com)
31 May 18. Japan seeks Cobra replacement. Japan has issued a request for information(RFI) to replace its ageing Fuji-Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters. The RFI, reported by national media earlier in May, is aimed at finding a replacement for the 71 AH-1S helicopters fielded by the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) since 1979 (of which 59 are reported to still be operational). The effort to replace the AH-1S is known as the AH-X project and while no details of the RFI were released in respect to the manufacturers being approached or the helicopter types being considered, the front-runners are expected to be the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian and the Bell AH-1Z Viper. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 May 18. CASG head rejects concerns raised from ANAO report. Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group Deputy Secretary Kim Gillis sought to set the record straight at Senate estimates, rejecting concerns raised “in the general media” following the release of the Australian National Audit Office’s Naval Construction Programs ‑ Mobilisation report.
In what was seen by many in Defence, industry and government as a scathing report, the ANAO called on Defence to revisit the cost assumption of its naval shipbuilding projects.
The report found that the Naval Shipbuilding Plan was based off assumptions made when the 2016 Defence White Paper was published, but key factors have since changed, with the Future Submarines now confirmed for construction in Australia and the OPVs and Future Frigates commencing construction earlier than expected.
“That Defence, in line with a 2015 undertaking to the government, determine the affordability of its 2017 Naval Shipbuilding Plan and related programs and advise the government of the additional funding required to deliver these programs, or the Australian Defence Force capability trade-offs that may need to be considered,” the ANAO recommended.
The report also said that key risks to the naval shipbuilding projects “relate to the delivery of expected capability, program cost, ability to meet program schedules, and management of the industrial base. The Naval Shipbuilding Plan did not address the management of these risks in any detail”.
The integration of the Aegis Combat Management System, which will have a tactical interface from Saab Australia, was also highlighted as a concern by the ANAO, while the first phase of the Naval Shipbuilding College has blown out to $62m, two and a half times more than the original cost estimate of $25m.
In various statements to Senate estimates, head of CASG Kim Gillis said the statements in the ANAO report, which spoke of high to extreme risks in the government’s Future Frigates program, were based on or quoting Defence’s own assessments of the program in early 2016.
“This was our statement that the audit office was reporting on. It wasn’t the audit office’s assessment that this program is high to extreme, they were reporting on the documentation that we provided them, this was Defence’s assessment of the risk in 2016,” Gillis said.
“I’m taking this opportunity to correct the public record on what has been selective reporting and interpretation of the Australian National Audit Office recent performance audit into Naval ship construction mobilisation. The audit itself was conducted across a number of months throughout 2017.”
Gillis said Defence has already identified how to ensure Australia undertakes a successful and continuous shipbuilding exercise.
“In their conclusion, the ANAO found Defence continues to work towards effective planning and mobilisation to deliver the Australian government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan. Defence has identified the key elements for a successful, continuous shipbuilding exercise and Defence is currently meeting all scheduled milestones for naval construction programs, noting that each program is in its early stages,” he said.
“I do note, however, that the commentary and media that followed this has conveniently ignored these findings. Let me set the record straight and a few of those more outlandish claims following the release of that report.”
Gillis told Senate estimates “there is no cost blowout in relation to the OPVs”, and that Defence has undertaken “standard shipbuilding practice” in putting together the sustainment date for the Offshore Patrol Vessels project.
“This is a fixed price contract, Defence understands precisely how much the ships will cost to build both in South Australia and Western Australia. The government was provided with the sustainment data for the Offshore Patrol Vessels based on historical usage and designer forecasts. This is standard shipbuilding practice. Defence provided government with an indicative life cycle costs for the Offshore Patrol Vessels across a 20-year life cycle. This indicative cost was based on previous programs, historical usage and upkeep data provided by the tenderers. This is typical for shipbuilding projects at this stage,” he said.
The head of CASG also said “a number of mitigations have been put in place by government” to reduce the high to extreme levels of risk identified by Defence in 2016 in relation to the Future Frigates project.
“The first risk level strategy is to commence the Future Frigate production prototyping in 2020 to demonstrate the ship design, shipyard processes and workforce are production ready. Prototyping is used widely around the world, including in the construction of the United States’ Queen Elizabeth Class, two Queen Elizabeth the second aircraft carrier[s] and the United States Navy Littoral Combat Ships,” Gillis said.
“Prototyping has been shown to be one of the most effective strategies to reduce overall program cost in ship and submarine construction. The second strategy was to decouple the shipyard infrastructure from the projects, including the creation of the ANI. This has allowed for the early commencement of shipyard design and construction ahead of the Future Frigates decision.
“And finally, the government’s announcement in October 2017 to take an enterprise approach to combat management systems and to bring forward the commencement of the Future Frigate Combat Management decision has allowed the commencement of studies prior to the future frigate decision.”
Gillis said the changes associated with the domestic builds of the Future Submarines, which the ANAO said had not been costed for in Defence’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan, and the Future Frigates.
“All of the changes associated with the domestic build of the Future Submarine and Future Frigate program are reflected in the Defence’s Integrated Investment Program,” he said.
“The shipbuilding provisions identified in the IIP are consolidated to enable government to consider the affordability of the naval construction program as each of the projects is presented to government. Offsets are recommended for any shortfalls between funding requirements and existing provision.
“The reality is that we are making steady progress on the implementation of the government’s naval shipbuilding enterprise. In the year since the release of the government’s naval shipbuilding plan, Defence has progressed the key policy initiatives and critical milestones outlined in the plan in a timely and co-ordinated national effort. Implementation of the plan is subject to unprecedented levels oversight and accountability, including regular audits by the ANAO.
“As identified in the plan, most far reaching government policy initiatives will take time to develop and mature. The ANAO supports this premise and at this early stage of the process they made only a single recommendation which Defence asserts, and the government agrees, is already in place.”
Labor senator Kim Carr questioned Gillis about the “unprecedented” levels of strong, negative language in the report, but Gillis disagreed, saying he thought the report was “relatively positive”.
Outgoing Vice Chief of the Defence Force Vice Admiral Ray Griggs added there would always be adjustments made to shipbuilding project costs.
“As we learn more about each of these projects … these adjustments will need to be made,” VADM Griggs said.
“There has not been a budget shortfall.” (Source: Defence Connect)
30 May 18. CSC rivals await design selection. A decision is expected by the end of the summer on the surface combatant design that will form the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) through to the late 2040s.
Under the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) project, a single class of up to 15 ships is planned to replace the Halifax-class patrol frigates and the now decommissioned Iroquois-class destroyers.
The new ships will be built by Irving Shipbuilding, previously selected as the prime contractor for both the CSC project definition and implementation phases under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Construction activity is planned to start in the early 2020s, with the first ship delivery envisaged in the mid-2020s.
The government and Irving Shipbuilding are currently evaluating bids submitted last November from Alion Science and Technology, Lockheed Martin Canada and Navantia. The CSC programme is estimated at C$56- 60bn, including the ships themselves, integrated logistics and support, infrastructure, project office and contingency.
Alion is bidding a ship design based on the Royal Netherlands Navy’s De Zeven Provinciën-class air defence and command frigate. Atlas Elektronik and Hensoldt Sensors are responsible for the combat system solution being offered by the Alion team; other key suppliers include Damen, L3 Technologies Canada, Raytheon Canada, DRS Technologies Canada and Rheinmetall Canada.
Lockheed Martin Canada, leading a grouping of BAE Systems, CAE, L3 Technologies, MDA and Ultra Electronics, is proposing a Type 26 Global Combat Ship variant under the banner of Canada’s Combat Ship Team. This solution marries the Type 26 platform, on order for the UK Royal Navy, with a combat system based on the Lockheed Martin Canada CMS 330 combat management system (CMS) already in service on the RCN’s Halifax-class frigates.
Navantia’s proposition for CSC is founded on the F-105 frigate design already in Spanish service and which forms the basis for Australia’s Air Warfare Destroyer programme. The Spanish shipbuilder has partnered with Saab Australia (as combat systems integrator) and CEA Technologies (radar suite).
The competitive process now underway is expected to result in the award of two contracts. The primary contract will be the CSC definition subcontract, which will be awarded by Irving Shipbuilding a er Canada has awarded Irving the prime definition contract (this being the vehicle for procuring the required design licence rights and for conducting the design work).
The second contract will be the Combat Management System So ware Support Contract, which will be awarded directly by represents the core of the combat system and the Department of National Defence needs to ensure that it is in a position to properly maintain and support the system. Due to security restrictions this contract will only be awarded to a Canadian company, and almost all of the work must be done in-country.
Public Services and Procurement Canada told the Show Daily: “We are currently in Stage 2 of the process [and] targeting to complete the evaluation by the end of this summer.
“We expect to award the contract later in 2018. The start of ship construction remains scheduled for the early 2020s.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 May 18. India, Russia team up to overcome US sanctions on defense deals. India and Russia have pledged to jointly create a plan to resolve U.S. sanctions on Russia that is hampering defense deals between New Delhi and Moscow. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to formulate the plan during a May 21 informal summit in the Russian city Sochi. The U.S. law, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, is negatively affecting defense business with Russia, according to an official with the Indian Ministry of Defence, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“It is an extremely complex issue and has direct consequences on defense supplies from Russia, but Indian government will ensure that [defense] ties are not with Moscow,” the official said.
Notably mum about the impact of CAATSA on Russian defense deals, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs released a statement May 21 saying: “The two leaders agreed that the special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia is an important factor for global peace and stability. The two leaders also reiterated the significance of longstanding partnership in the military, security and nuclear energy fields and welcomed the ongoing cooperation in these areas.“
Russia and India maintain a high strategic level of partnership with close cooperation between the two countries defense ministries, Putin said. “Our Defence Ministries maintain very close contacts and cooperation. It speaks about a very high strategic level of our partnership,” he said, according to TASS news agency.
The U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs said Friday in Washington that U.S. allies should consider the law, under which any significant purchase of military equipment from Moscow would attract American sanctions.
“CAATSA is a feature, and we need to take it seriously. The (Trump) administration is always bound by U.S. law. This is a U.S. law. I’m hoping that not just India, but all of the partners that we engage with will understand that we will have to evaluate any potential large defense purchase from Russia seriously because that’s what the law demands of us,” Tina Kaidanow told reporters.
Earlier this month, Modi dispatched top Indian officials to Moscow to find solution to the U.S. sanctions on Russian defense companies that are doing business in India.
Nearly 65 percent of Indian weaponry is of Russian origin, an Indian MoD official noted, and so sanctions could impact the supply of spare parts.
Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Moscow in April to speed up the procurement of new weapons worth more than $10bn.
India’s national security adviser, Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale also held talks with top Russian officials, including national security adviser Nikolai Pathrushev and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on May 10.
Another Indian MoD official said the government will continue to pursue new defense deals will Russia, noting that price negotiations are nearly over for the purchase of 5 Russian-made S-400 air-defense systems at a cost of $5bn, with a deal expected to be signed in the next four months.
India is working out ways to keep this deal out of CAATSA, he added.
(Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
29 May 18. France and Ukraine Sign an Agreement Paving the Way for One of the Biggest Contracts Between the Two Countries. Delphine Gény-Stephann, undersecretary at the [French] ministry of Economy and Finance, and Arsen Avakov, Ukraine’s Minister of the Interior, this morning signed an intergovernmental agreement for the acquisition of helicopters by Ukraine for civil safety missions. France will financially support this acquisition by providing public guarantees and a loan from the Treasury.
The project covers the acquisition of 55 Airbus helicopters valued at €555m. Some of the helicopters were previously owned by the French state, and the rest are new aircraft. The implementation of this project, which also includes the creation of a training and maintenance center in Ukraine, will rely heavily on Airbus’ production facility in Marignane, France. This agreement marks a decisive milestone for the implementation of this bilateral project, the most important one between the two countries since the independence of Ukraine in 1991. It must be ratified by the Ukrainian Parliament, in the coming weeks, before coming into effect. This project illustrates the quality of the French-Ukrainian relationship, and recognizes France’s know-how in the aerospace field.
(defense-aerospace.com EDITOR’S NOTE: Part of the H225s to be delivered as part of this agreement are repurposed second-hand civilian helicopters owned by French banks, a spokesman for Airbus Helicopters said in a telephone interview today. They were repossessed after CHC Helicopters defaulted on their lease payments when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2016. The spokesman added that lease was guaranteed by the French government’s export insurance program, and the helicopters have ultimately become its property after the US bankruptcy judge allowed their return to the lessors. There are now 21 H225 Super Pumas – 18 configured for transport and 3 for SAR – in this fleet, currently stored in southern France. The detail of the rest of the order, and the split between H145 and H125 models, has not been made public.) (Source: defense-aerospace.com/French Ministry of Economy and Finance)
29 May 18. Leonardo Welcomes Canada’s Intention to Move Forward on CH-149 Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade and Fleet Augmentation. Leonardo welcomes the Government of Canada’s intention to proceed with the CH-149 Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade Program (CMLU) to be carried out by the Company to deliver a comprehensive upgrade to Canada’s AW101 primary search and rescue helicopter fleet and expand the current fleet of 14 AW101s by up to seven additional AW101s. Leonardo with IMP Aerospace and Defence and the other members of Team Cormorant – CAE, Rockwell Collins Canada, and GE Canada – comprise a strong Canadian team for the CH-149 CMLU.
The Government of Canada’s CMLU announcement recognizes that the AW101 is the only helicopter to meet Canada’s primary rotary wing search and rescue requirements and that it has been an excellent search and rescue asset providing outstanding coverage and capability for the men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force search and rescue squadrons.
Leonardo, together with Team Cormorant, looks forward to continuing working with the Government of Canada to conclude the Options Analysis and finalize the requirements for the CH-149 CMLU and fleet augmentation, simulation and training program. Based on the AW101-612 standard, Leonardo and Team Cormorant will provide a very low risk solution to upgrade, enhance and address obsolescence, as well augment the fleet to return the Cormorant to all four RCAF Main Operating Bases.
Over the past two years, in-support support from Leonardo, IMP and GE Canada has helped the Government of Canada achieve significant reduction in cost of ownership in the operation of the current Cormorant fleet. The CH-149 CMLU and augmentation will position the rotary wing SAR fleet for further reductions in cost of ownership over the extended life of the fleet to 2040 and beyond.
Leonardo and Team Cormorant are also committed to working with Canada’s aerospace and defence sector and academia to develop a robust Value Proposition program through Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs), delivering high-value direct and indirect benefits to Canada in support of areas of key strategic interest to Canada.
Leonardo has a demonstrated track record of outstanding ITB performance, delivering 121% of its obligation on the original AW101 Cormorant acquisition contract two years ahead of schedule. Since then, Leonardo has continued to support Canada’s aerospace and defence sector, procuring more than $1.5bn in Canadian goods and services for its civil and military helicopter programs around the world. Leonardo will showcase the proposed CMLU solutions based on the AW101-612 at CANSEC May 30 and 31, at booth 1511. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Leonardo)
30 May 18. Argentine Navy seeks spares to maintain aircraft. The Argentine Navy has requested from the United States spare parts aimed at maintaining a number of its aircraft types in operational service.
The Argentine Naval Logistics Mission has a number of open bids for spare parts aimed at repairing various aerial platforms that include Beechcraft Super King Air 200 and Lockheed P-3 Orion aircraft, as well as Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopters. The equipment that will be acquired includes electrical spare parts and landing gear for the Super King Air; auxiliary power unit supplies and accessories for the P-3; and spare parts for the amplifier and actuator for the Sea King helicopters. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 May 18. Future Australian Submarine costs under interrogation at Senate estimates. Price estimates of Australia’s fleet of 12 Future Submarines for the next 60 years have come in at $100bn, Senate estimates has heard.
Department of Defence officials told Senate estimates that the cost of the design and build of the Future Submarine project is estimated at $50 bn and an additional $50bn has been estimated for the sustainment of the 12 vessels.
“The acquisition cost as quoted in the IIP for the Future Submarine Program is $50bn on constant price basis – that is acquisition,” Rear Admiral Greg Sammut, Head Future Submarine program, told Senate estimates.
“At this stage the estimated sustainment cost for the Future Submarine, and I caveat this by saying that we’re still in the design process for the Future Submarine, so indeed many of the detailed costs of acquisition and sustainment will be determined during the design process through choices made.
“But at this point early estimation of the sustainment cost for the fleet are of the order of up to $50bn on a constant price basis and that looks at sustainment out to the period of around 2080.”
The breakdown costs of the design and the build are yet to be determined as the government prepares to enter into full contract with French shipbuilder and designer Naval Group.
“Those costs are being determined in greater detail as we complete preparations to enter the full contract for design and the build of the submarine,” RADM Sammut said.
The first steel for the Australian submarines is expected to be cut by 2022 and the first vessels are due to enter service in the early 2030s. All 12 submarines will be built in Osborne, South Australia. (Source: Defence Connect)
29 May 18. Accusations fly over Future Australian Submarine build.
The latest round of Senate estimates has seen Defence confirm that a partnership between ASC and Naval Group for the $50bn Future Submarine project was proposed by the French designer, with accusations from crossbenchers that the government has deliberately sought to exclude ASC.
Under questioning from Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick, Defence officials confirmed that Naval Group did engage with ASC and propose a partnership with the sovereign shipbuilder for the $50bn project.
Despite these proposed partnerships, Defence is currently working on the Strategic Partnership Alliance (SPA), which Defence officials confirmed would commit Australia to using Naval Group Australia for the build of the 12 submarines.
“There was talk of involvement with ASC in various forms and also the arrangements in which Naval Group would put in place to deliver the submarines,” Rear Admiral Greg Sammut told Senate estimates.
“I think we need to think about partner as being many things … it doesn’t necessarily mean one form of an arrangement.
“We have often made this point that the design and build of the submarine is a very complex process, ships are very hard, submarines are even more complex. We do not foresee a situation whereby the submarine can be designed by one entity and passed to another for its build, particularly for a new design.”
Without going into the detail of Naval Group’s proposal involving ASC, RADM Sammut said various risks were considered by government before commencing the program with Naval Group.
“The manner in which Naval Group were proposing to partner not only talked about how it could be done but it would talk about also the particular terms and conditions depending on the way Naval Group was permitted to proceed with the build,” the Head Future Submarine Program said.
“We had to consider all of those factors to make sure that we understood what risks the Commonwealth was inviting upon itself as it proceeded with this complex program noting of course that the decision was there to build all of the submarines in Australia with an Australian workforce.”
While the extent of the proposed partnership with ASC remains uncertain, speculation is rife that it would have seen ASC act as the builder, with Naval Group committing to transfer of technology and ‘know-how’.
A redacted version of Naval Group’s Australian Industry Plan (AIP) was recently released under Freedom of Information, with sections relating to technology transfer methods and build scenario proposals blacked out.
The AIP includes a bar graph explaining how the company planned to utilise ASC staff, listing 1,700 employees as part of its anticipated employment outcomes.
Also available in the public domain is a document titled ‘Establishing a rolling acquisition program – a choice between two options’, where Naval Group proposed a ‘Two Shipyards as One’ strategy in which the company said it was prepared to work with ASC for the project.
“The ‘Two Shipyards as One’ strategy comprises a dedicated program of work to prepare ASC in every respect for the build,” the document said.
Former submariner and defence contractor Senator Patrick said the responses at Senate estimates confirmed the government did not want ASC involved in the project
“The Defence Minister, the admirals and the bureaucrats weren’t all that forthcoming, but eventually they admitted what people in the shipbuilding industry have suspected for some time – that the Coalition government doesn’t want the Adelaide-based ASC to build the new subs,” Senator Patrick told Defence Connect.
“Indeed it became clear from the Senate estimates hearing that the government and the Defence Department have never wanted ASC to build the new submarines. They set up the entire procurement process to exclude ASC in what they claimed to be a risk minimisation strategy.
“Even when the French designers, Naval Group, proposed to work with ASC, Defence told them to go another way.”
Senator Patrick said the evidence given today has reignited long-held fears that the Liberal Party does not trust ASC to build navy vessels.
“In no other Western industrialised country would the government actively oppose the involvement of its own shipbuilder in a key naval construction project; but that’s what has happened here. They want to scrap all the accumulated expertise, skills and knowledge built up at ASC and have a foreign shipbuilder start from scratch,” he said.
“The Canberra Defence bureaucrats simply don’t trust Australian workers. They don’t trust Australian managers. They have no faith in or commitment to our own industry. They want Australians to be employed, but only under close foreign supervision. It’s clear the Coalition government’s position has not changed one iota since former defence minister [David] Johnston infamously said he wouldn’t trust ASC to build a canoe. They have betrayed ASC, they have betrayed Australian shipbuilders, and they have betrayed our country.” (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
31 May 18. Airbus wins €40m for Nato communications project. Airbus has secured a new contract from the Nato Communications and Information (NCI) Agency to carry out the first phase of the Nato Communications Infrastructure Project (NCIP). Valued at €40m, the contract also includes options for future phases of the project, which together would be worth up to €50m. The NCIP has been designed to replace a major part of the Nato General Communications System (NGCS), which involves 72 Nato sites.
The project will provide a major enhancement of wide-area network protected Internet Protocol address (IP) communications across the Nato command structure, Nato headquarters and Nato points of presence in member nations. The project also includes the supply of upgraded IP access and transport services across different security classifications with increased capacity, quality of service and traffic engineering capabilities. In addition, it covers Nato unclassified voice services through the replacement of old telephony switches by voice over IP telephony at 25 sites. The design review of the project is expected to be completed by December and Phase I of implementation is estimated to be completed by the end of 2019. The NCIP, along with the IT Modernisation Project and the Enterprise Nato Public Key Infrastructure Project, is part of the larger IT Modernisation Programme that focuses on changing Nato’s static IT infrastructure into a homogeneous enterprise. (Source: army-technology.com)
24 May 18. The U.S. Army has awarded Raytheon Company [NYSE: RTN] a $395.8m contract for production of Romania’s Patriot™ Air and Missile Defense System. Announced by the Department of Defense on May 24, the contract calls for Raytheon to build Romania’s first brand-new Patriot fire unit. Raytheon has already ordered thousands of critical long-lead items from hundreds of suppliers, and begun production of:
- Critical electronic components
- Machined parts
- Circuit card assemblies and cables
Patriot is the backbone of NATO and Europe’s defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, advanced aircraft and drones.
24 May 18. Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for deliveries of the Carl-Gustaf® M4, the latest version of the Carl-Gustaf weapon system, to the Swedish Armed Forces. With this order, five countries have ordered the new system since it was launched in late 2014. Delivery will take place during 2018.
Since 1948, the Carl-Gustaf multi-purpose weapon system has been supporting dismounted infantry around the world in dealing with a full range of battlefield challenges. The new version, Carl-Gustaf M4, launched in 2014, has all the effectiveness and versatility of the Carl-Gustaf system but its improved and lightweight design, weighing less than 7 kg, offers significant mobility improvements to the soldier. With Sweden as a new Carl-Gustaf M4 customer, Saab has signed contracts with five different nations since the system was launched to the market in 2014.
31 May 18. AM General LLC, South Bend, Indiana, was awarded a $44,139,080 modification (P00003) to contract W56HZV-17-D-0071 for 300 High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle Expanded Capacity Vehicles and optional equipment. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2023. U.S. Army Contacting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity.
25 May 18. American Ordnance LLC, Middletown, Iowa (W52P1J-18-D-0058); and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, Marion, Illinois (W52P1J-18-D-0059), will compete for each order of the $511,226,923 firm-fixed-price contract for 60mm, 81mm, and 120mm mortar propelling charges. Bids were solicited via the Internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of May 24, 2023. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity
25 May 18. DRS Network & Imaging Systems LLC, Melbourne, Florida, was awarded a competitive, single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for an Army requirement known as Mounted Family of Computer Systems (MFOCS) II. The MFOCS is a modular family of computing platforms which integrates networked-battle command information system capabilities onto a common computing platform. MFOCS supports situational awareness, command and control, and maneuver capability using next-generation computing and display hardware at multiple configurable levels. These MFOCS systems include dismountable tablets, processor units, keyboard units, removable solid-state disk storage, display units, and cabling designed for various platforms, and all ruggedized for continuous operation in a wide range of military and combat environments. It is the government’s objective to procure MFOCS II hardware and engineering support services to address full-rate production fielding and replacement requirements to meet the Joint Battle Command – Platform program’s approved acquisition objective. The contract ceiling is $841,500,000, and the minimum guarantee to be awarded via issuance of the first task order is $5,000,000, funded with Army’s fiscal 2018 other procurement funds. Performance will be at DRS’s location. Proposals were solicited via FedBizOpps and one proposal was received. The ordering period for the initial five-year base period is from May 25, 2018, through May 24, 2023, with five one-year option periods. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott AFB, Illinois, is the procuring contracting activity (HC102818D0045).
30 May 18. FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) has been awarded a $2.6m order from the United States Army to deliver FLIR Black Hornet® Personal Reconnaissance Systems (PRS). The units delivered under this contract will support squad-level surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in the Army’s first batch order for the Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS) program. The United States Army purchased the Black Hornet PRS from FLIR for test and evaluation purposes in both 2016 and 2017. The Army will continue its evaluation and consider broader scale roll out of the Black Hornet for full operational deployment within all infantry units. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
31 May 18. The U.S. Air Force has awarded Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) a five-year, $130m ceiling, single-award IDIQ contract to develop and deliver Hand Held Video Data Link (HH-VDL) radios that will significantly increase situational awareness and connectivity for warfighters. The new Harris HH VDL radio will securely deliver data to and from multiple airborne assets – creating an expanded, mobile communications network. This enables real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information – such as full-motion video – to be distributed from the air to warfighters on the ground. HH VDL radios will replace existing incumbent ground ISR terminals operating at the tactical edge of the battlespace, providing increased capability in a more mobile solution. The radios will leverage next-generation, proven Harris technology via Bandwidth Efficient Common Data Link (BE CDL) – a communications waveform that enables secure, real-time distribution of time-critical data and full-motion video. Additionally, the HH VDL radio will be fully Cryptographic Modernization Initiative (CMI) compliant. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
29 May 18. Mack Defense LLC, Allentown, Pennsylvania, was awarded a $296,403,688 firm-fixed-price contract for Heavy Dump Truck M917A3. Two bids were solicited with two bids received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of May 18, 2025. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-18-D-0042).
30 May 18. Orbital ATK Inc., Defense Electronic Systems, Northridge, California, is awarded $171,215,447 for modification P00004 to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-17-C-0005). This modification exercises an option for the procurement of full-rate Production Lot 7 for the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) for the Navy and the government of Australia. This option exercise provides for the conversion of 271 Navy provided AGM-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles into 253 Navy AGM-88E AARGM all-up-rounds (AURs), eight Captive Air Training Missiles and 10 AGM-88E AARGM AURs for foreign military sales (FMS) customers. Additionally, this option exercise procures related supplies and services necessary for AARGM manufacture, sparing, and fleet deployment to include AUR kits, as well as guidance and control section spares. Work will be performed in Northridge, California (90 percent); and Ridgecrest, California (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2020. Fiscal 2016, 2017 and 2018 weapons procurement (Navy); FMS; and other customer funds in the amount of $171,215,447 will be obligated at time of award, $240,288 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This effort combines purchases for the Navy ($162,837,185; 95 percent); the government of Australia ($6,878,262; 4 percent); and other customer funds from the government of Italy ($1,500,000; 1 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
30 May 18. Orolia, a global leader in Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) solutions, has announced that its subsidiary McMurdo Inc. was awarded a $33,986,800 contract to manufacture Personnel Recovery Devices (PRD) for the US Army. Their dual-mode, MIL-SPEC Personal Locator Beacon that will be integrated into the Army’s Personnel Recovery Support System (PRSS).
Capable of transmitting both open and secure signals (training-combat dual mode), the PRD will provide alerts and notification if a soldier:
- is alone in a remote area
- goes missing
- is detained
- is captured
The positioning device will optimise successful rescue operations for soldiers in emergency situations through secure enhanced capabilities. Designed to meet military standards and specifications, it benefits from:
- improved accuracy
- smaller size
- lower weight and power (SWaP) requirements
The PRD uses Orolia’s new robust PNT platform dedicated to Combat Search and Rescue (C-SAR) and other dismounted soldier-assured PNT applications. The Personnel Recovery Support System Personnel Recovery Device contract was awarded by the US Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland on behalf of the Army Air Warrior Product Management Office at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama with an estimated completion date of 6th March 2022.
25 May 18. Oshkosh Defense LLC, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is awarded a $43,239,803 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to procure Engineering Change Proposal kits, parts and/or hardware components to support the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement for Program Executive Officer Land Systems and Marine Corps Systems Command. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and is expected to be completed by May 2023. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funding will be provided at the task order level. This contract was awarded on a sole-source basis under the authority of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Part 6.302-1. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity (M67854-18-D-0038).
31 May 18. Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded a $14,856,016 firm-fixed-price contract for Over-the-Horizon Weapon Systems. This contract will manufacture and deliver Over-the-Horizon Weapon Systems, which consists of encanistered missiles (EM) loaded into launching mechanisms (LM); and a single fire control suite (FCS). This contract consists of EMs (tactical, telemetered and inert operational); FCSs; LMs; mission support equipment, training equipment and courses; engineering services; and travel and other direct costs. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $847,611,857. Work will be performed in Kongsberg, Norway (75 percent); Tucson, Arizona (15 percent); Schrobenhausen, Germany (4 percent); Raufoss, Norway (3 percent); McKinney, Texas (2 percent); and Louisville, Kentucky (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by May 2020. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding; and fiscal 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $14,856,016 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 one offer received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-18-C-5432).
31 May 18. Raytheon Missile Co., Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $14,131,006 fixed-price-incentive (firm target) contract modification (P00005) to a previously awarded contract (FA8675-18-C-0003) for Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile production Lot 32, for 18 additional AIM-120D missiles. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, with an expected completion date of Jan. 31, 2021. Fiscal 2018 production funds in the amount of $14,131,006 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Dominance Contracting Office, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.
31 May 18. Raytheon Co., McKinney, Texas, is awarded an $11,016,000 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract (N00164-18-C-JQ40) for the procurement of eight common sensor payloads (CSP) (one turret and one electronics unit in each system) and data. The CSP is an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor system for the Army Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system. The primary mission of the EO/IR sensor system is to provide enhanced visual imagery to augment existing electronic sensors that will enhance low visibility and night navigation; interception, observation and surveillance; insertion and extraction operations; combat search and rescue; identification, real-time situational awareness and threat warning; reconnaissance and surveillance; as well as visit, board, search and seizure operations. Work will be performed in McKinney, Texas, and is expected to be completed by March 2020. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Army) funding in the amount of $11,016,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Indiana, is the contracting activity
31 May 18. United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut, is awarded $2,016,115,217 for modification P00004 to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm target, cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00019-17-C-0020) in support of the F-35 Lightning II low-rate initial production Lot 11 aircraft. This modification provides additional funding for production non-recurring/tooling, administrative labor, partner unique items and Lot 11 production propulsion systems to include 10 F135-PW-100 propulsions systems for the Navy; 51 F135-PW-100 propulsion systems for the Air Force; and 24 F135-PW-600 propulsion systems for the Marine Corps. Additionally, this contract procures 49 F135-PW-100 and 1 F135-PW-600 propulsion system for non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants and foreign military sales (FMS) customers. Work will be performed in East Hartford, Connecticut (67 percent); Indianapolis, Indiana (26.5 percent); and Bristol, United Kingdom (6.5 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2021. Fiscal 2016 and 2017 aircraft procurement (Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy); and non-U.S. DoD participant and FMS funds in the amount of $2,016,115,217 will be obligated at time of award, $288,147,086 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the Marine Corps ($663,472,076, 33 percent); Air Force ($592,022,963, 29 percent); Navy ($136,042,051, 7 percent); non-U.S. DoD participants ($335,600,247; 17 percent); and FMS customers ($288,977,880; 14 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
REST OF THE WORLD
30 May 18. Australia confirms Spike LR2 selection. Key Points:
- Defence official confirms Land 400 rivals both selected Rafael’s Spike to meet ATGM requirement
- Rafael plans to build and support the Spike system through its joint venture with local company Varley
Australia has confirmed its selection of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) to meet a requirement under Land 400 Phase 2. An official from the Australian Department of Defence’s (DoD’s) Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) told a Senate hearing on 30 May that the Spike was selected ahead of its rival in the programme, MBDA’s Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP). Under the programme, the Spike LR2 will be integrated onto the Rheinmetall Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle (CRV), which was selected as prime contractor on Land 400 Phase 2 in mid-March. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
31 May 18. Babcock International announced on 31 May that it had secured a three-year extension valued at GBP225m (USD300m) to an existing contract to provide in-service support for the Royal Canadian Navy’s fleet of Victoria-class submarines.
“The contract which has been extended to 2021 is the largest naval in-service support contract in Canada,” Babcock said in a statement.
“It will see more than 400 highly experienced Babcock engineers, project managers, and specialist support staff continue to support all four [Victoria-class] submarines in refit and in service, including deep maintenance periods as required.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 May 18. Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESLT and TASE: ESLT) (“Elbit Systems”) announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary in Canada, GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc. (“GTI”), was awarded a contract from STX Engine Co., to deliver a full end-to-end Underwater Sound Source System (USSS) and software package to the Republic of Korea (“ROK”) Navy. The systems will be supplied by the end of 2018. The contract is in an amount that is not material to Elbit Systems. This fully integrated, end-to-end system is based on GTI’s Towed Acoustic Target, which has already been delivered to other Defence customers. It consists of an acoustic projector body, winch, handling package and power amplifier and will be used to test sonar systems for the ROK Navy’s Harbor Underwater Surveillance System.
31 May 18. XTEK has secured a $42,000 order for its Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) plates from the Australian Defence Force’s Diggerworks. This order marks the ADF’s first order for XTEK’s latest high-end ballistic armour, which has been produced in-house at its Adelaide plant using XTEK’s XTclave technology. The plates for Diggerworks will be used for evaluation purposes.
XTEK said the key factor in Diggerwork’s decision to purchase the plates was the lightweight nature of the armour. (Source: Defence Connect)
25 May 18. The Boeing Co.-Philadelphia, Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, was awarded a $25,747,525 modification (P00091) to Foreign Military Sales (Saudi Arabia) contract W58RGZ-13-C-0002 for eight CH-47F new-build helicopters for the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command. Work will be performed in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2021. Fiscal 2017 foreign military sales funds in the amount of $25,747,525 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
30 May 18. Kazakhstan has ordered four more Mil Mi-35M (‘Hind-E’) combat helicopters from Russia, according to a 29 May statement by the TASS news agency. As all Mi-24s are understood to have been withdrawn from service, the Kazakhstan Air Defence Forces are quickly moving to address the gap in rotary-wing combat capability by obtaining Mil Mi-35M platforms. According to Jane’s World Air Forces, the first four Mi-35s were delivered to Kazakhstan in late 2016, with another four scheduled for arrival by the end of 2018 as part of a contract signed with Russian Helicopters in 2017. The recent announcement comes after Kazakhstan ordered another batch of Sukhoi Su-30SM multirole fighters from Russia during the KADEX 2018 defence exhibition in Astana, with the TASS news agency quoting Yuri Slyusar, the president of Irkut Corporation’s parent company, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), as saying that the deal is for the delivery of eight Su-30SM platforms. According to TASS, the Central Asian country also ordered a battalion of Buk-M2E self-propelled surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems during the exhibition. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 May 18. Raytheon Self Protect Systems, Goleta, California, has been awarded a $90,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the AN/ALR‐69A digital radar warning receiver system required to support foreign military sales production requirements. This contract provides for the fabrication, integration, testing and delivery of line replaceable units and shop replaceable units. Work will be performed in Goleta, California; and Forest, Mississippi, and is expected to be complete by May 2023. This award is the result of a sole-source, country-directed acquisition. Japanese Foreign Military Sales funds in an amount not to exceed $51,480,161 will be awarded on the first delivery order at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Electronic Warfare, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity (FA8523‐18‐D‐0003).
30 May 18. Rockwell Collins has been selected by Cascade Aerospace to provide a modern weather radar for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) C-130H fleet. The solution will include WXR-2100 MultiScan™ as well as new MFD-255 and MFD-268 Multi-Function Displays.
The upgrade will provide an enhanced level of weather threat detection to help RCAF pilots perform unique search and rescue missions using the C-130, assisting with the descent into visual flight conditions in order to define coastal boundaries or areas of rugged terrain. During its role in C-130 missions for the RCAF, the WXR-2100 will use advanced weather radar technology to automatically scan the environment, analyze the hazards, adjust for geographic differences in weather, eliminate ground clutter and provide a simple intuitive presentation of the entire weather threat to the pilots during flight. This hands-off approach reduces overall workload, improves situational awareness and allows for the most efficient operation of the aircraft when deviating flight paths to avoid turbulent weather. (Source: ASD Network)
MANAGEMENT ON THE MOVE
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25 May 18. Satcom Direct, the business aviation connectivity, software and hardware provider, has strengthened its European presence with the opening of its fourth European office. Situated at EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, one of Switzerland’s busiest executive aviation centres, the office is located in close proximity to a number of Europe’s leading completion, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) centres where upgrades and completions of large-, narrow- and wide-body cabins form a significant part of the MRO business. It positions SD at the heart of Europe’s satcom installation business and supports the increased demand for the installation of Jet ConneX, the ultra-high-speed data transfer service, for large-cabin, long-range jets. Powered by SD hardware and software applications Jet ConneX delivers the fastest connectivity in the skies. SD was one of the first companies to prove the Ka-band technology for business aviation, and now supplies over 70% of activated tails using the service worldwide. To maximize this experience SD has developed industry-first Service Level Agreements (SLA), which include onsite support, proactive monitoring, outage notifications and guaranteed email and phone call response times. The Basel team will support the SLAs and provide configuration, installation and educational support to SD customers in the region.
30 May 18. IN commissions first indigenously built floating dock. The Indian Navy (IN) has commissioned its first indigenously designed and built floating dock to repair and service its major platforms.
Referred to as Floating Dock Navy-2 (FDN-2), the 185 m-long and 40 m-wide platform was inducted into the service on 25 May in a ceremony held at Port Blair, the capital of India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands and headquarters of the IN-headed tri-service command. The platform is equipped with “state-of-art automated systems with all modern facilities to ensure quality and swift repairs of warships”, said the IN in a 27 May statement.
FDN-2, which is now the second floating dock in service with the IN, has the capability to lift ships and submarines of up to 8,000 tons displacement, which includes almost the entire range of the IN’s combat assets.
“The floating dock is designed for berthing alongside a jetty, or moored in calm waters, enabling planned and emergency docking operations for ships,” stated the IN, adding that FDN-2 will be based alongside FDN-1 at Port Blair and is expected to “substantially enhance” the repair and refit facility for IN warships deployed in the archipelago.
FDN-2 was launched in June 2017 at the Larsen & Toubro (L&T) shipyard at Kattupalli near Chennai. It has high-capacity ballast pumps along with an advanced automated ballast control system, and is provided with a hauling-in system to handle a ship’s docking and undocking operations, according to L&T. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 May 18. Australia launches first Pacific Patrol Boat. Key Points:
- Australia has launched the first vessel under its Pacific Patrol Boat security assistance initiative
- First vessel is on track for delivery to Papua New Guinea in October 2018
Australian shipbuilder Austal has launched the first vessel ordered under Canberra’s SEA 3036 Pacific Patrol Boat programme. The vessel, which bears the name Ted Diro with pennant number 401, was launched on 29 May at the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson, Western Australia. It is the first of 21 boats that will be gifted to 12 Pacific Island nations as part of Australia’s security assistance to countries in the region. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
31 May 18. Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 11, the future USS SIOUX CITY, completed Acceptance Trials in the waters of Lake Michigan. LCS 11 is the sixth Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-led industry team, and is slated for delivery to the U.S. Navy later this summer.
“LCS 11’s completion of Acceptance Trials means this ship is one step closer to joining the fleet and conducting critical maritime operations for the Navy,” said Joe DePietro, vice president, Small Combatants and Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin. “This ship is agile, powerful and lethal, and the industry team and I are looking forward to her delivery, commissioning and deployment.”
The trials, conducted May 20-24, included surface and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship’s combat system. Major systems and features were demonstrated, including aviation support, small boat launch handling and recovery and ride control.
“I am extremely proud of our LCS team including our shipbuilders at Fincantieri Marinette Marine,” said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine President and CEO. “These are complex vessels, and it takes a strong team effort to design, build and test these American warships.”
The future USS SIOUX CITY is one of eight ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with one more in long-lead production.
The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS 13, the future USS WICHITA. LCS 13 is slated to complete Acceptance Trials in early summer with delivery this year.
Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused-missions in the areas of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.
31 May 18. Indian Navy commissions fourth Mk IV landing craft. The Indian Navy (IN) has commissioned its fourth Mk IV landing craft utility (LCU) platform built by state-owned shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE). Named IN LCU L54, the 62.8 m vessel entered service in a ceremony held on 25 May at Port Blair, the capital of India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands and headquarters of the IN-headed tri-service command. The platform, which is part of an INR21bn (USD310m) contract for eight LCUs signed between GRSE and the Indian government in September 2011, was launched at GRSE’s facility in Kolkata in March 2015, and now joins three other vessels of the class – L51, L52, L53 – that entered service in March 2017, August 2017, and April 2018, respectively.
The remaining four LCUs of the class, all of which have been launched, are in advanced stages of construction in Kolkata and are scheduled to be inducted over the next year and a half, according to the IN.
The class has a crew of 46, including five officers, and is fitted with “state-of-the-art equipment and advanced systems” such as a locally designed integrated bridge system (IBS) and an integrated platform management system (IPMS), the IN said.
Each of the vessels has a standard displacement of 830 tonnes and is capable of transporting up to 160 troops, armoured vehicles, and other military equipment such as containerised mission modules for amphibious and sealift operations. Based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), these vessels will also be deployed for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions and limited search-and-rescue duties when required. Each of the LCUs is powered by two German-built MTU 16V 4000 M53 diesel engines, and can attain a top speed of 15kt, with a standard range of 1,500n miles at 12kt. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
31 May 18. Russian Helicopters firms up Mi-171Sh update. The Ulan-Ude Aircraft Plant (U-UAZ), a subsidiary of Rostec’s Russian Helicopters, has finalised the development of an updated Mil Mi-171Sh medium helicopter – unveiled as the Mi-171Sh-VN prototype at the 2017 MAKS Airshow in Russia – and plans to actively market it internationally in 2019.
Jane’s understands that the company has incorporated user feedback from Russian special operations forces that operated the prototype in Syria since its public unveiling, to incorporate further refinements to the Mi-171Sh platform.
“In 2017 we presented the upgraded Mi-171Sh-VN prototype at the MAKS airshow, and over 70 foreign delegations visited the static display,” Russian Helicopters CEO Andrey Boginsky told Jane’s . “The interest in the rotorcraft is high and we are planning to produce a ready-to-fly helicopter next year to offer it to the customers.”
The all-weather, day/night-capable Mi-171Sh-VN is the latest variant of the Mi-171Sh (Hip-H) utility helicopter that is configured as a special operations gunship, based on operational experience from Syria. The helicopter features a new flight-navigation suite including digital autopilot, as well as a digital ‘glass’ cockpit with backup analogue instruments. It is also equipped with the President-S direct infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system, which automatically detects a missile launch, jams its seeker, and launches chaff countermeasures. The floor of the cockpit and troop/cargo compartment is fully covered with removable Kevlar armour cladding to improve survivability against small arms and heavy machine gun fire. Shock absorbing seats protect the crew and dismounts against hard landings. Armaments include two door-mounted 12.7 mm Kord heavy machine guns, with two more mounted on the stub wings, Ataka (AT-9 ‘Spiral-2’) guided missiles, UPK-23-250 gun pods with GSh-23 twin-barrel automatic cannon, B-8V20A 20-cell rocket pods, and OFAB-250 bombs. Targeting and surveillance is supported by a chin-mounted electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) system. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
29 May 18. Army LG Austin S. Miller for appointment to the grade of general, and assignment as commander, Resolute Support Mission, North Atlantic Treaty Organization; and commander, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. Miller currently serves as commander, Joint Special Operations Command, Joint Special Operations Command Forward, U.S. Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
25 May 18. Rear Adm. Richard A. Correll will be assigned as director, plans and policy, J5, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Correll is currently serving as commander, Submarine Group Seven; commander, Task Force Seven Four; and commander, Task Force Fifty Four, Yokosuka, Japan.
25 May 18. Capt. Jeffrey S. Scheidt, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as commander, Naval Information Warfighting Development Center, Norfolk, Virginia. Scheidt is currently serving as executive assistant, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, N2N6, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia.
31 May 18. The Pratt & Whitney (P&W) PW815 engine was selected by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) to power their proposed solution for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial refueling aircraft. On April 5th, the GA-ASI/P&W team completed its first powered run of the PW815 with the GA-ASI MQ-25A inlet and exhaust configuration. The test met all objectives and collected extensive data that the team is now evaluating.
“Through the superb efforts of personnel from both companies, we were able to move the test date forward by almost two months, from the originally scheduled date in late May,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “This is just another example of how we are working to reduce risk and accelerate capability. GA-ASI has a 14 year history working with P&W and selected the PW815 engine for the MQ-25 based on its exceptional performance and fuel efficiency. This performance and efficiency will subsequently translate into more available fuel for the receiving aircraft. Additionally, initial studies have shown the PW815 is well-suited for a carrier environment.”
The rapid development of the engine test stand demonstrates the team’s dedication to the principles of the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Accelerated Capability Office (MACO). The test stand was commissioned at the beginning of 2018 and the first test run was ready just three months later. A PW815 engine was delivered to GA-ASI’s test facility on March 5th and by early April, the team successfully performed the first test.
“Through many years of working with GA-ASI, we are routinely impressed with the quality of work produced and speed at which it is accomplished,” said Kinda Eastwood, senior director of F117 and Tanker Programs of Pratt & Whitney. “This engine run was no exception. It performed flawlessly and met all test requirements. GA-ASI continuously pushes the envelope to meet the objectives and timelines for their customers.”
The GA-ASI and Pratt & Whitney team will continue risk reduction testing in anticipation of the Navy’s MQ-25 selection in the coming months.
28 May 18. French industrialist Serge Dassault dies at 93. French billionaire industrialist Serge Dassault, whose group builds the Rafale war planes and owns Le Figaro newspaper, died in Paris on Monday aged 93, a spokesman for Dassault Group said.
Dassault, a former conservative senator and mayor, was the fifth richest person in France according to Challenges magazine. The Dassault group which his father had created controls Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) and Le Figaro, and holds major stakes in Dassault Systemes (DAST.PA) and Thales (TCFP.PA). Dassault had passed on leadership of Dassault Aviation in 2000 but he was still chairing Dassault Group. The family-owned Dassault Group had in 2014 appointed Charles Edelstenne as eventual successor to Serge Dassault, saying at the time that the succession would be automatic. Edelstenne is currently CEO of the group. Dassault, a father of four, died in his Paris office around 4 pm (1400 GMT), the spokesman said.
Dassault had a number of run-ins with the law. Last year he was fined €2m ($2.32m) after a court found him guilty of money laundering and failing to disclose fully his wealth to authorities. Dassault’s legal team said, in his defence, he had inherited many of the financial tax structures at the centre of the case from his father, and had since rectified his situation with French tax authorities. (Source: Reuters)
28 May 18. Airbus (stock exchange symbol: AIR) has appointed Eduardo Dominguez Puerta, 40, Head of Urban Air Mobility (UAM), a new Airbus unit, effective 1 June 2018. In his new function, he will report to Patrick de Castelbajac, Executive Vice President Strategy and International. With this appointment, Airbus is integrating all its UAM activities – except its current air vehicle projects – through the set-up of a new unit to foster coordination both vis-à-vis internal as well as external parties such as Certification Authorities, Customers, Partners and Suppliers. Based in Munich, the UAM unit will be operating in proximity of the company’s Corporate Technology Office and Unmanned Aerial Systems in Ottobrunn as well as the company’s helicopter plant in Donauwörth. Currently ongoing vehicle projects will remain in their respective business units and will now be coordinated by the UAM unit. These include
- CityAirbus, an electrically-powered Vertical Take-off and Landing air vehicle demonstrator (eVTOL), developed by Airbus Helicopters;
- Vahana, a self-piloted eVTOL small passenger aircraft, developed by A3, the company’s US-based Innovation Centre in Silicon Valley;
- VOOM, the world’s premier on-demand helicopter booking platform.
“After a two-year exploratory phase we now need to gear up, build partnerships with various stakeholders, including air safety agencies, and define and conduct pilot projects. While we continue our vehicle projects, the new unit will be platform-agnostic and open for cooperation with other vehicle manufacturers,” said Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus. “Eduardo with his broad experience is the right person to lead us into the new phase.”
Eduardo Dominguez Puerta joined Airbus in 2002 and has held various operational management positions including overseeing Supplier Development and Lean Management. Before heading New Business Strategy at Airbus, Eduardo Dominguez Puerta was instrumental in setting up operations of A3 where he served as Chief Operating Officer. He received a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad Pontificia de Comillas in Spain in 2002.
01 Jun 18. Boughton Engineering, Britain’s longest established manufacturer of hook loaders and skip loaders – and which now also incorporates the Oldbury defence and specialist engineering business, has announced the appointment of Graeme McGregor as the company’s first Chief Operations Officer. Graeme brings a wealth of experience at senior levels in manufacturing and operations management, having spent much of his career in the automotive and marine industries. Graeme’s background includes studying lean manufacturing at the Gemba Institute in Japan and his qualifications include a Certificate in Management (IOM).
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
31 May 2018. Qioptiq, the South Wales, UK, optronics company has once again confirmed its Prime sponsorship for Owning The Night 2018.
Craig Taylor of Qioptiq said, “We are delighted to be the Prime sponsor for Owning The Night 2018. Owning The Night provides the MoD, industry and other users with a unique opportunity to discuss and demonstrate night vision equipment in a night-time environment which allows exhibitors to display the full potential of their systems.
Nick Lindley of Symposia at Shrivenham said, “We are delighted that Qioptiq has agreed to return as Prime sponsor and we are very much looking forward to running the event in association with them. This year’s Owning The Night promises to be particularly good as Chepstow racecourse is the perfect location for the event”.
Julian Nettlefold of BATTLESPACE said, “Qioptiq has been a key supporter of Owning The Night since its inception and we are delighted that they have agreed to sponsor at our new Chepstow location. Holding OTN at Chepstow this year allows us to expand the scope and range of equipment on offer. With over 400 acres of display area and little ambient light, it provides a perfect location for night vision demonstrations.”
Owning the Night 2018 is to be held at Chepstow Racecourse, Monmouthshire, South Wales, UK, in Association with Symposia at Shrivenham, on Tuesday 20th November 2018 from 1000 to 2000 hours.
Owning the Night 2018 Details
Cranfield Defence and Security ‘Symposia at Shrivenham’, and BATTLESPACE Publications present: Battlefield Surveillance – ‘Owning the Night’
Tuesday 20th November 2018
Event time: 10:00
Monmouthshire, South Wales,
NOTIFICATION AND CALL FOR PAPERS
The 2018 biannual Owning the Night symposium is scheduled totake place at Chepstow racecourse on Tuesday 20th November. This location offers the best combination of presentation and networking facilities, and outdoor vistas for demonstrating night vision equipment. The demonstrations can be done from the balcony of private boxes, or under cover on the steps and hardstanding of the racecourse stand. Silks restaurant provides an excellent conference venue and has an expansive view of the course and park estate. The day will comprise a number of technology presentations and discussions, followed after nightfall by actual demonstrations including night driving and UAV technology. Onsite carparking is free and refreshments including a buffet lunch and evening supper are included.
The theme of the event is about helping the soldier not only to operate at night, but to manage the information and data that is available to him in order to improve decision-making in terms of both time and outcome. In particular, the conference will look to see how systems can deliver both better visibility and be fused with other informations streams. Owning the Night 2018 will give Defence, Police, Government and Industry a taste of the future and the ability to try the latest night vision devices from weapon sights through night driving aids to advanced target tracking and identification systems.
Call for Papers
If you wish to present a paper on a topic you feel is relevant to the theme, please submit an abstract of around 200 words by e-mail to Leanne Lawson; no later than Friday 7 September 2018. Papers should be planned to take 20 minutes to present followed by 10 minutes for questions. If you wish to express an interest in attending as a delegate ahead of online registrations please also e-mail or call Leanne directly on 01793 785648.
Displays, Demonstrations and Sponsorship
We offer companies, departments and establishments an opportunity to display their equipment or advertise their capability. There are also unique opportunities for sponsoring the event. A range of packages are available. Once again, please e-mail or call Leanne to discuss your requirements further.
Chepstow racecourse is located just 5km beyond the M48 Severn Bridge and about 23km or 24 minutes drive from the M4/M32 junction at Bristol. The racecourse includes 400 acres of estate which is bounded by hills and parkland to the north, and parkland and the Wye Valley to the east. Within the interior of the racecourse is a service road that can be used for driving.
Chepstow: The view from the end of the main stand looking north.
Silks restaurant provides an excellent conference venue with full height windows that look out over the course and parkland. On the same floor and above are a number of private boxes that each have a balcony. These are available for hire and provide a superb venue for displaying systems whilst also providing an opportunity for private hospitality.
For a 360 degree tour, see: http://www.360virtualtours.co.uk/tours/chepstow_racecourse/view3_1.html
There are numerous hotels in the area and further advice on prices and discounts can be sought from Leanne Lawson.
SSAFA Race Day
On Wednesday 21 November Chepstow Racecourse is hosting the SSAFA Raceday, supported by Battlespace C4ISTAR Technologies and SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. This charitable event provides further opportunities for sponsorship and hospitality and all Owning The Night (OTN) exhibitors are cordially invited to make use of the Raceday to take a table should they wish. Further, all OTN delegates are entitled to apply for discounted tickets through Chepstow Racecourse.
Battlespace will make their Annual Businessman of the Year award during the event, which will be presented by Simon Davies, CEO of Spectra Group Plc. There will also be an auction and raffle to accompany the event, with all proceeds going to SSAFA.
31 May 18. Eurosatory, the international leading exhibition of land and airland Defence and Security, will be held from 11 to 15 June 2018 in Paris. This year it will host more than 1,750 exhibitors from 63 countries and more than 57,000 professional visitors are expected. Relying on the presence of thousands of Defence and Security experts (operational, industrial, state officials, politics, Medias) coming from the whole world, Eurosatory organises series of conferences and workshops. International and rather short (less than two hours), they attract a high-level panel of speakers including operational staff, manufacturers, media, experts, think tanks and high officials. About 70 conferences are organised.
2018’s Conferences Programme includes following sessions*:
- Offset Symposium ECCO #15
- Symposium related to Overall Operations Fuel Support
- Conferences by Think Tanks
- Airland Convergence
- European Defence Affairs
- Security Forum
- Artificial Intelligence
- Homeland Security
- Start-up Innovation
- Ecosystem Defence
- Video Protection AN2V
- IHS Jane’s Morning Briefings
- The Security-Development Continuum and the Resilience
- Maintenance in Operational Condition
- Forum des Opérations Terrestres et Aéroterrestres
- Chief of Staff of the French Army (CEMAT)
- French Federation for Fire Professions
- French Procurement Agency (DGA)
- Joint Helicopter Group
*Discover the full Conferences Programme. Also available on Eurosatory 2018 mobile application.
**Check Eurosatory 2018 CBRNe Events.
The 2018 edition will increase again exhibition’s success and will confirm Eurosatory as the major exhibition for the players of airland and land Defence & Security domain. Find more information on www.eurosatory.com.
31 May 18. Military vehicle systems – develop your skills
Cranfield Defence and Security has an international reputation for its work in the fundamental areas of weapons and vehicle design.
Our experts can help develop your knowledge of military vehicle systems. Our upcoming short courses include:
- Fundamentals of Ballistics: 1 – 5 Oct 2018
- Military Vehicle Dynamics: 22 Oct – 2 Nov 2018
- Military Vehicle Propulsion: 12 – 23 Nov 2018
- Survivability: 26 – 30 Nov 2018
To find out more about our range of short courses, and any prerequisites, please click the links above; alternatively, make an enquiry below.
T: +44 (0)1793 785810
We look forward to welcoming you to Cranfield Defence and Security.
With kind regards,
Head of Marketing and Operations
Professional and Technical Development Programmes
31 May 18. Preparing for the future: Naval Group presents its latest innovations at the Naval Innovation Days on the Toulon Naval Base. On 30 and 31 May 2018, Naval Group will bring together, for the third consecutive year, its governmental, industrial and academic partners. Over the course of these two days, Naval Group will present its innovations at the service of naval-force combat superiority. The exchanges will address the projects that need to be accelerated to allow Naval Group’s client navies, the first of which being the French Navy, to fulfil their current and future missions.
“The last few years have seen a rapid ramping up on the international stage of the competencies of not only the armed forces, but also industry, from emerging economies. If we want to ensure that the French Navy maintains its technological combat superiority and maintain our attractiveness for the export market, we must place innovation at the heart of our strategy and accelerate our initiatives”, explains Eric Papin, Director of Innovation and Technological Expertise.
A live demonstration will in particular show a maintenance operation on a vessel at sea performed collaboratively, thanks to virtual reality and augmented reality, between the crew and a Naval Group technician located in the Operational Digitally Integrated Support Center at the Toulon Naval Base.
Roundtable discussions, bringing together Naval Group, the French Joint Chiefs of Staff, the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA – Direction générale de l’armement) and major industrial partners, will allow the challenges and keys to success for continuous innovation at the service of naval programs to be shared.
Workshops and demonstrations will then allow them to discuss the current innovation projects, express the future needs and build common roadmaps.
Naval Group is a prime contractor for the French naval defense industry and capitalizes daily on an innovation ecosystem, which it wished to associate with the Naval Innovation Days. These industrial (Dassault Systèmes, Cobham) and academic (ENSTA Paris Tech, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Université d’Aix-Marseille) partners or innovative start-up SMEs (ALSEAMAR, SNIPS, Studio NYX, EGERIE) will thus be present for a wide variety of subjects such as artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing or cyberdefence. The ceremony for the La Pérouse Prize, awarded by the Naval Group Scientific Council, will take place on 31 May.
House of Commons and House of Lords Hansard Written Answers
Asked by Liz McInnes
(Heywood and Middleton)
Asked on: 21 May 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sudan: Peace Negotiations
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had on reports of an attack by the Rapid Support Forces on areas controlled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North at the UK-Sudan Strategic Dialogue in Khartoum; and what assessment he has made of the potential implications of that attack for the declaration of unilateral ceasefire by the Government of Sudan.
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 30 May 2018
Reports of fighting between the Government of Sudan and forces belonging to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (Malik Agar faction) emerged after the UK-Sudan Strategic Dialogue on 24 April. We have discussed the reported clashes with the Sudanese authorities on a number of occasions.
We raised our concerns with the Government of Sudan on 9 May. We reiterated the UK’s and the international community’s expectation that unilateral cessations of hostilities must be observed by both sides. While presenting his credentials to the President of Sudan on 14 May, our Ambassador addressed the issue of conflict and repeated the importance of observing the unilateral ceasefires, so that negotiations may resume in an environment that is conducive to peace. The UK Defence Attaché raised the issue with the Sudanese Armed Forces on the same date.
We will continue to monitor developments closely and raise our concerns about the violence and its impact with the Sudanese authorities.
Asked by Ruth Smeeth
Asked on: 22 May 2018
Ministry of Defence
Defence Fire and Rescue Service
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans have been made under the Defence Fire and Rescue Project to ensure the Defence Fire and Rescue Service has the ability to deploy internationally.
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 30 May 2018
No decision has been reached on the Defence Fire and Rescue Project but the ability to provide internationally deployable fire and rescue services will be part of any outcome from the project.
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 22 May 2018
Ministry of Defence
Nuclear Weapons: Decommissioning
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how his Department disposes of material from decommissioned nuclear warheads.
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 30 May 2018
The Atomic Weapons Establishment stores and re-uses fissile material removed from dismantled nuclear warheads which have been withdrawn from operational service as part of routine stockpile management. Fissile material waste which is generated from this process is safely and securely stored in preparation for future long-term storage and disposal.
Asked by Douglas Ross
Asked on: 21 May 2018
Ministry of Defence
European Fighter Aircraft: Safety Measures
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how Enhance Collision Avoidance System fitted in Typhoon aircraft interacts with Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System II equipped in civil aircraft in a potential collision environment.
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 29 May 2018
Existing transponders fitted to Typhoon aircraft already have the capability to generate a traffic alert in any Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS)-equipped civil or military aircraft.
It will reduce the risk of mid-air collision and enhance the situational awareness of Typhoon aircrew when in congested airspace, providing additional protection for our RAF Typhoon pilots.
Stage one of the Typhoon Enhanced Collision Awareness System will not interact with the civil TCAS.
Asked by Douglas Ross
Asked on: 22 May 2018
Ministry of Defence
European Fighter Aircraft
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the costs associated with installation of the Enhanced Collision Avoidance System in Typhoon aircraft.
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 29 May 2018
Introducing stage one of the Enhanced Collision Awareness System (ECAS) on to Typhoon is just one of a series of capability enhancements, with a current overall contract value of £45 million.
Asked by Ruth Smeeth
Asked on: 22 May 2018
Defence Fire and Rescue Service
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the Treasury Approval note relating to the DefenceFire and Rescue project.
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 25 May 2018
The Defence Fire and Rescue Project aims to identify whether an industry service provider will provide increased value for money in the delivery of a worldwide Defence Fire and Rescue Service. A decision on the outcome of this project will be announced in due course.