BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.20 ISSUE 28
09 July 2018
NEWS IN BRIEF – EUROPE
Part for UK In Future 5th Gen Jet?
UK excludes EU from defence contracts?
Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER
Nerve Agent: Amesbury Incident
Galileo: Cost of Alternative System
AWACS Aircraft: Replacement Plans
HMS DUNCAN: NATO Flagship Handover
- Sudan: Medical Personnel Deploy
Jordan: Equipment Donated
UK Overseas Territories: Hurricane Season
St Helena Airport: Business Rescue
Europe sustains several 5th Gen fighters?
French procurement office transforms
Leonardo warns of hard Brexit
France to launch missile upgrade
Patriot caught in Swedish politics
Sky’s the limit for FAC
Italy says won’t buy more F-35s
State of UK aviation programmes
MEPs approve €500m funding
Brexit – UK government has no clue
Farnborough Airshow 2018 preview.
Trump’s NATO summit focus
Why French arms exports dropped
UK procurement programmes risk
New UK Combat Air Strategy
UAV crashed into French Nuclear Facility
Spain offered status on European jet
German boost in military spending
UK talks with Sweden over fighter
Turkey’s defence exports rise
EU Development of Equipment
NATO Allies Push Back After Trump
CVW-1 flight tests with French
Netherlands, US sign agreement
U.S. letters demand spending
French arms exports halved
JEF comprehensive MoU signed
Trump team to Farnborough Airshow
NEWS IN BRIEF – USA
USAF pushing JSTARS recap
UAVs in US 2019 Defense Budget
US weapon sales changes
National Defense Strategy
NEWS IN BRIEF – REST OF THE WORLD
Ties uncovered to North Korea and Iran?
Northrop role in Japanese fighter?
Ukraine, Turkey to Create An-188
China working on new carrier Jet
New New Zealand defence policy
Enhancing Security in Afghanistan
China engagement in Africa
New Indian Start-Ups Rules
Iran Still Seeking WMD
North Korea expands missile-making
Order levels soften for Cohort
Inmarsat suitor EchoStar walks away
Possible offer for Inmarsat
Rolls-Royce sells marine business
Embraer shares fall on Boeing deal
Consort acquisition of Carclo
Vanilla Aircraft Now Vanilla Unmanned
Boeing and Embraer partnership
L3 Completes Sale of Vertex
Cohort revenue dips
BAE Systems Contracts Update
Héroux-Devtek Acquisition of Beaver
Communications & Systèmes Update
Meggitt sees stronger growth
L3 Buys Applied Defense Solutions
Scisys on high of 184p
Kromek audited results
RUAG to separate business
MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS
Arquus reveals latest VAB Mk 3
IBD unveils SMART PROTech
FFG PMMC G5 ACSV for Norway
AM General HMMWV variant
LOGISTICS AND THROUGH LIFE UPDATE
US Navy, Moback collaborate
KC-46 Maintenance Training Summit
Machine learning predicts failure
AFLCMC tests new medical systems
Rolls-Royce AE 3007H contract
Oshkosh Autonomous Tech contract
F-35 struggling over spare parts
Lockheed ALIS 3.0 software contract
Laser metal technology for parts
Oxley place on Sharing in Growth
Elbit Offers COTS Solutions
DoD Digital Engineering Strategy
TAI Chooses Dassault Systèmes
LM engages with Taiwan on titanium
ASTARS III flying classroom delivered
DARPA LiquidPiston Phase 2 contract
Charles River Develops Swarm System
Indian spending powers for R&D
Particles detect radioactive material
Soft robots flop onto the battlefields
Saab Australia on Australia’s frigate
TMD offers new PTCM Series TWT
Extra $400m on US microelectronics
Singapore, UK MOU on research
HMS Defender has Type 45 CMS software
SATELLITE SYSTEMS, SATCOM AND SPACE SYSTEMS UPDATE
Star Navigation Announces STAR-LSAMM
Next Four Galileo Satellites Fuelled
Goonhilly Earth Station underway
Japan develops space technologies
MBS and Kymeta agreement
Teledyne Begins Space-Based Imaging
Northrop CAPS program update
Russia’s ASAT takes aim at LEO
Speedcast and Kymeta Partner
C-Band Reallocation Proposal
Iridium Cements CertusSM Companies
ST Engineering Electronics in Deep
Satellite imagery not satellites?
European Aviation Network completed
RADAR, EO/IR, NIGHT VISION AND SURVEILLANCE UPDATE
Russian C-UAV Guns Tested in Syria
Gaps in US Army’s small unit C-UAV
Airbus and Saab for Wedgetail in UK
Thales’ bid for SEA 1000 sensors
Bradley Fighter pilot-like helmet
New 18.1 MP uEye LE camera
IMSAR’s NSP-5 ER Radar First Delivery
Fokker 50 MPAs for the Peruvian Navy
1L122E-series air-defence radars
UK surveillance aircraft procurement
Lockheed beat Raytheon for Japan radar
RADA MHR for IM-SHORAD capability
US spy planes are breaking down
SR Radar Sensor from OmniPreSense
Qorvo offers new compact FEMs
Quads for Squads cleared for flight
New Russian Counter-UAV Unit
MISSILE, BALLISTICS AND SOLDIER SYSTEMS UPDATE
Indian MoD baffle firing ranges
China’s prototype laser rifle
FN deFNder® with ANTARES
Russia reactivates heavy artillery
Czech MoD seeks SHORAD SAM system
New Spike NLOS Modular Launcher
JSM missiles for F-35A integration
DALO contracts Systematic
Japanese self-propelled howitzer
Raytheon 100 kW class laser
IAI unveils Barak MX AD solution
US Army countermine efforts
Azerbaijan SOM cruise missile
UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
USV Platform For Harsh Sea
GA-ASI fuel tank for MQ-25
AeroVironment’s Mars Helicopter
C2, TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, AI, CYBER, EW, CLOUD COMPUTING AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE
DOD CIO to oversee JEDI effort
5 approaches to improving AI
Boeing delivers Currawong comms
New Observatory on cyber security
Supplying intel for cyber ops?
US Army EW prototypes come home
DoD stands up AI hub
Netherlands FOXTROT update
ESM system on Indian Kamov Ka-31
NATO’s new cyber strategy survive
US Army electronic attack in Europe
US Army is working on connectivity
Newly updated V-22 Osprey network
New US Cyber Command weapon
Five Directions cyber contract
Australia bill for counter-terror
Broken US cyber strategy?
Cloud Constellation/ARABSAT Partner
Cost ceiling for cyber emergencies
How vendors can help DOD expand AI
INTERNATIONAL PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Czech MoD seeks SHORAD SAM system
Elbit upgrade programs
Don’t Sell F-35s To Turkey
USAF cancels light-attack flights
US Navy Buys First V-22 CODs
Congress Divided over Army Scout
US Army tactical cloud industry day
REST OF THE WORLD
Turkish Corvettes for Pakistan
Singapore to replace corvettes
First A400M Export Sale This Year
Kenya Orders Three C-27J
Singapore replaces Endurance class
Singapore’s F-16 replacement
SEA 5000 combat system purchase
Frigate great for Australia
Australia’s $26bn frigate contract
Singapore F-16 replacement plans
Future of Australia’s shipbuilding
BAE welcomes $35bn SEA 5000 program
CONTRACT NEWS IN BRIEF
Terrier System spares
Lincad contract with Leidos
Leonardo simulation contract
KMW Finnish contract
Rheinmetall German contract
DALO contracts Systematic
Thales Finnish contract
Airbus Czech C-295 contract
Poland Missile contract
Kongsberg Norway contract
GD AGMV contract
RADA MHR contract
Northrop CREW contract
Oshkosh JLTV contract
BAE Systems Mk 38 contract
Northrop AN/AQS-24C contract
AeroVironment Switchblade contract
Bell Boeing JPO V-22 contract
Raytheon SM-3 DDL contract
Raytheon Decoy Jammer contract
Raytheon Griffin contract
Northrop EW contract
REST OF THE WORLD
CONTROP EO/IR contract
Orbital Sciences SSST contract
Diehl Thailand contract
Insitu ScanEagle contract
Kilgore Flares contract
Lockheed Martin TADS contract
Sukhoi Russian Su-57 contract
MANAGEMENT ON THE MOVE
New Inzpire Training Academy
Future Submarine base location
New U.S. Forces Korea HQ
New Larrakeyah Defence Precinct
MBDA’s facility in Bolton opened
Fincantieri launches LSS Vulcano
Kenyan patrol ship returns
China launches two Type 055s
RN commissions new survey craft
Argentina without any SSKs
RN commissions HMS Magpie
STM bids for Brazilian project
Brazil commissions PHM Atlantico
Patria Agusta Bell 412EP changes
Indonesia withdraws BO-105 from UN
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
RAF lost C-130J in Iraq
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
Chilean military shortages
JEF full operational capability
Gary Wang retired after 35 years
ACM Sir Stuart Peach appointed
AVM R J Knighton appointed
Gen. A. Scott Miller appointed
Gen. C. Brown Jr. appointed
Harry Harris appointed
Rr. Ad. W. Wheeler III selected
Capt. M.A. Brookes selected
Capt. W.P. Pennington selected
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
General Rick Burr appointed
Cobham Agreement with 3SDL
Dora Gauer joined Naval Group
Douglas Caster appointed at Morgan
H.R. McMaster joins Freeman Spogli
GMU hires Jerry McGinn
Keith Johnson joins SSPI
EXHIBITIONS AND CONFERENCES
Saudi Airshow in March 2019
Future Anti-Ship Missile Systems
Tender for surveillance aircraft
House of Commons and House of Lords Hansard Written Answers
Tornado Aircraft: Safety Measures
Diego Garcia: USA
NATO Maritime Patrol Aircraft
Aircraft Carriers: Repairs
Armed Conflict: Casualties
UK leaving the EU
Meggitt – Building For Future Growth
By Howard Wheeldon, FRAeS, Wheeldon Strategic Advisory Ltd.
Air League – Raising Tempo In Future Aviation and Aerospace Debate
By Howard Wheeldon, FRAeS, Wheeldon Strategic Advisory Ltd.
Vision, Leadership and Common Sense Over Politics Please – 1SL Speech Made TO IISS Conference
By Howard Wheeldon, FRAeS, Wheeldon Strategic Advisory Ltd.
RAF 100 Reaches Half Way Stage With More Major Events Next Week
By Howard Wheeldon, FRAeS, Wheeldon Strategic Advisory Ltd.
When the Defence Secretary was interrupted in the House of Commons by his iPhone Siri virtual assistant, he commented: “It is rare that one is heckled by one’s own mobile phone…”. (Hansard 3 Jul 18.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/25, 09 Jul 18)
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NEWS IN BRIEF – EUROPE
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09 Jul 18. Airbus chief seeks key role for UK in fighter jet programme. Enders keen for Britain to be included in Franco-German plans. Britain should play a leading role in Franco-German plans to develop a next generation fighter jet, according to one of the project’s leading industrial partners. Tom Enders, chief executive of Airbus, said the UK should have a key position in a future European fighter jet programme even after it quits the EU next year, rather than launch its own combat air project with other partners. “I would like to see Britain being a part of that . . . a leading part,” he said. “Britain and France are the leading forces [in Europe] when it comes to military aircraft, and Britain and France have particular expertise here. As an industrial leader, I would very much appreciate it if Britain becomes part of that effort.” Mr Enders’ comments come after the Financial Times revealed last week the UK has held talks with Sweden about collaborating on a future fighter programme. The talks were prompted by the announcement last summer that France and Germany proposed to work on a next generation combat jet without the UK, initially at least. The French and German governments have said that other partners could join, but at a later stage. Airbus and Dassault Aviation, which both have their headquarters in France, were in April named the lead industrial partners on the project, which aims to begin an initial study phase by the end of the year. This has raised concerns that Britain could be left out of the crucial planning and design phase, which dictates who will have a claim over intellectual property vital to exports. A future fighter jet programme is also crucial to retaining aerospace expertise in the UK once production of the Typhoon combat aircraft comes to an end in the mid-2020s. Recommended UK business & economy Airbus Brexit warning alarms long supply chain The UK government is planning to unveil a combat air strategy on July 16, the first day of the Farnborough air show, which will signal to potential international partners its commitment to a next generation fighter jet programme. It will also indicate that the UK wants a leading role in any collaboration. UK defence company BAE Systems will at Farnborough set out the equipment and technologies that it has been working on and believes could be part of a future combat air system. These will include the new Striker II fighter helmet, which has enhanced digital capability and high-definition colour displays, virtual cockpits, and advanced technologies for interoperability of platforms, such as aircraft, drones and ground equipment. While the UK government will indicate that it is prepared to work with partners outside the EU on a next-generation fighter programme, it is clear BAE’s first choice is to be part of the Franco-German project. “We have a history of being able to work with key companies in Europe,” said Chris Boardman, head of BAE’s air division. “The industrial consortia behind those are fundamentally sound. It easier from an industrial point of view.” However, Mr Enders suggested that discussions on Britain’s participation in the Franco-German project were being hampered by tensions surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU. “It has become political but hopefully, assuming we have a . . . not-so-hard landing emotions will calm down a bit,” he said. “It would make a lot of sense to come to a consolidated solution and not have again two or three different solutions in Europe.”
09 Jul 18. UK should be free to exclude EU from defence contracts, says MoD Report. The UK should be free to exclude EU companies from major defence contracts after Brexit to ensure maximum benefit to the British economy, according to a report commissioned by the Ministry of Defence. Under EU competition law, Britain is required to invite European companies to bid for defence contracts unless the MoD can show they are essential to national security interests. But the report by the Conservative MP and former defence minister Philip Dunne calls on the MoD “to take early action to safeguard its freedom of manoeuvre in procurement post Brexit”. Mr Dunne said that while he was not arguing for the MoD to only “buy British”, the move was one of a number of steps it could take to enhance economic prosperity from the UK defence sector. “Part of the rationale is that we have the largest defence footprint in Europe— we need to sustain that,” he added. Mr Dunne’s report forms part of efforts by defence secretary Gavin Williamson to persuade the chancellor Philip Hammond to increase military spending as the MoD faces a £20bn funding shortfall over the next decade. The initial findings from a long running review of UK defence capability, the defence modernisation programme, were due to be announced by Mr Williamson before a Nato summit this week, but have so far been blocked by Mr Hammond and the prime minister Theresa May. Following Mrs May’s pledge last month to increase spending on the National Health Service by £20bn in real terms by 2023-24, military officials fear the public finances will be too squeezed to boost the defence budget. Mr Dunne’s report found that while the MoD was starting to give greater attention to the wider benefit to the UK economy when awarding multi billion pound defence contracts, more needed to be done. Recommended Lawrence Freedman Britain faces serious questions on its defence capability The input from defence, said Mr Dunne, was “considerable and has significant potential to grow the UK’s prosperity further still. But it is generally unrecognised or taken for granted”. Although the Treasury and Office for National Statistics do not measure the economic benefit from defence, Mr Dunne’s report said the sector’s direct contribution to gross domestic product was £43bn in terms of annual spending and exports. Any move to guarantee more contracts for UK defence companies will be welcomed by trade unions which have called for the government to do more to protect jobs in the aerospace and shipbuilding industries. This year the MoD faced criticism after it announced a contract to build three support ships for Britain’s new £6bn aircraft carriers would be opened up to international competition. The decision followed the publication of a national shipbuilding strategy in 2017 which stated only warships would be UK-only contests. Ian Waddell, general secretary of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions, said: “It’s vital that shipbuilding strategy and broader defence industrial strategy underpins the ability of the UK workforce to design, build and maintain naval vessels.”
BATTLESPACE Comment: The UK has pandered for too long bowing to EU competition rules in defence which had decimated key areas of expertise such as armoured vehicles and ships. The French, in particular, have never abided by EU Competition rules and this has enabled them to build up key sectors which them compete on the international market. This move is late for some sectors but beneficial overall.
03 Jul 18. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. The Defence Secretary updated the House of Commons (3 Jul 18) on Counter-Daesh operations in Iraq and
Syria stating that Daesh “is now confined to small pockets on the Iraq-Syria border, where it faces daily attacks from coalition forces on the ground and in the air, including from our own Royal Air Force”.
Comment: The above update on Counter-Daesh operations can be found in Hansard of the day, starting in column 192 and closing in column 194.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/25, 09 Jul 18)
04 Jul 18. Nerve Agent: Amesbury Incident. The Metropolitan Police reported (4 Jul 18) that two British citizens, taken ill at a residential address in Amesbury on 30 Jun 18, had been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok. The nerve agent was verified by the Porton Down laboratory as the same substance which was used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on 4 Mar 18. However, the Counter Terrorism Policing Network was “not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to”.
The Home Secretary confirmed (5 Jul 18) that the two British citizens remained “in a critical condition” in hospital but that there was “no significant risk to the wider public”.
Comment: The poisoning of the Skripals with Novichok in March 2018 was attributed to Russia and the Home Secretary has called on the Russian state to explain “what has gone on”. The Home Secretary also stated that the UK would be consulting international partners and allies “following
these latest developments”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/25, 09 Jul 18)
26 Jun 18. Galileo: Cost of Alternative System. Giving evidence to the Science and Technology Committee, the Defence Procurement Minister said (26 Jun 18) that the cost of a UK alternative to the EU’s Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) would be between £3,000m and £5,000m. Given the wider benefits of a GNSS for UK industry and for the national
infrastructure, the Minister said that funding would have to come from central Government. A national GNSS could be deployed by the mid-2020s.
Comment: The UK has been effectively frozen out of the next phase of Galileo procurement, following failure to agree the terms of continued UK involvement in the GNSS programme. A transcript of the above evidence session can be accessed via the Parliament website (www.parliament.uk).
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/25, 09 Jul 18)
06 Jul 18. E-3D Sentry AWACS Aircraft: Replacement Plans. The Chairman of the Defence Committee wrote to the Defence Procurement Minister to request that any requirement for replacing the UK’s airborne warning and control system (AWACS) should be put out to a competitive tender, rather than bought ‘off the shelf’ without competition. The RAF has six Boeing E-3D Sentry AWACS aircraft; currently due to remain in service until 2035 subject to a capability sustainment programme.
Comment: The MoD is believed to be considering cancelling the sustainment programme in favour of replacing the E-3D Sentry fleet with new aircraft. There has been some anecdotal evidence that only one of the six E-3D
aircraft is available for service at any one time. The Chairman of the Defence Committee wrote to the Defence Procurement Minister about AWACS on 26 Jun 18 and his letter was published on 3 Jul 18. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/25, 09 Jul 18)
30 Jun 18. HMS DUNCAN: NATO Flagship Handover. During a ceremony in the port of Lisbon (30 Jun 18) the Type 45 destroyer HMS DUNCAN handed-over
the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) flagship role to the Dutch frigate HNLMS DE RUYTER. HMS DUNCAN, which has twice undertaken the role of SNMG2 flagship during the past year, is set to return to
her home port of Portsmouth on 13 Jul 18.
Comment: The ceremony in Lisbon marked the formal command handover of SNMG2 by the Royal Navy to the Royal Netherlands Navy. In addition to HMS DUNCAN, sister-ship HMS DIAMOND and the former helicopter carrier HMS OCEAN have undertaken the role of flagship for SNMG2 in the past 12-month period. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/25, 09 Jul 18)
21 Jun 18. South Sudan: Medical Personnel Deploy. The RAF advised (21 Jun 18) that medical personnel have been training at the Army Medical Service Training Centre near York, prior to their deployment as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. Once in Africa, the 29-strong team of clinicians and nurses will run a military hospital providing healthcare for international troops protecting victims of the Sudanese civil war.
Comment: With some 320 troops deployed, the UK’s contribution to the mission in South Sudan is the Country’s largest UN peacekeeping operation. Royal Engineers are building a permanent medical centre in
Bentiu Camp, next to the current tented field hospital, to care for some 1,800 UN personnel. Norway, the UK and the US issued a Troika statement on the South Sudan peace process following the Khartoum Declaration of Agreement on 27 Jun 18. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/25, 09 Jul 18)
06 Jul 18. Jordan: Equipment Donated. The Defence Secretary informed the House of Commons in a Written Statement about “a package of equipment and infrastructure that the UK intends to provide to the Jordanian Armed Forces”. The value of the package is estimated at a little over £5m, to be treated as ‘a grant in kind’.
Comment: The ‘grant in kind’ in this case comprises working and accommodation buildings, furniture and physical training equipment. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/25, 09 Jul 18)
04 Jul 18. British Overseas Territories: Hurricane Season Planning. The Government announced (4 Jul 18) new measures to ensure that British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean have the necessary support should there be a repeat of the devastating hurricanes which hit the
region in 2017. Measures being put in place include:
- RFA Mounts Bay, deployed to the region in 2017, to remain during 2018 and 2019 with pre-loaded
emergency supplies which include hygiene kits and shelters.
- Agreement with commercial contractors to deliver essential recovery needs.
- UK military to build links with local and regional disaster management personnel.
- Plans for a multi-national logistical co-ordination cell in the Caribbean to include Canada, France, the
Netherlands, the UK and the US working alongside the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
- A preparedness mission, fielded by the Department for International Development (5 to 17 Jun 18).
Comment: The UK continues to support reconstruction efforts on the islands of Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda which were severely damaged by hurricanes in 2017. More islands in the Caribbean are also being encouraged to insure with the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Fund. The hurricane season runs from June to November, with the period of highest risk from August to October. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/25, 09 Jul 18)
27 Jun 18. St Helena Airport: Business Rescue. The Government confirmed in the House of Lords (27 Jun 18) that Basil Read Ltd, the operators of St Helena Airport, have voluntarily entered a business rescue process. Although the Government is confident that services to the Island will not be affected in the short-term, it will work with the St Helena Government to “ensure alternative plans are available to continue airport operations in the event that they become necessary”.
Comment: Some £240m had been spent on the airport when it was brought into operation in April 2016. Services then had to be suspended due to wind shear problems and regular flights were eventually established
in October 2017. In the meantime operation of the Royal Mail Ship St Helena, the Island’s only transport link, had to be extended. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/25, 09 Jul 18)
07 Jul 18. Can Europe sustain more than one next-gen fighter? The head of Airbus’s defense operation has urged European combat air companies to unite behind a single program — or face the prospect of the region falling into the second division of world fighter producers.
“I strongly believe it has to be a full European solution [for a new combat air program]. Two or more different solutions is not sustainable, it will bring Europe into the second league,” Dirk Hoke, the CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, told reporters at a pre-Farnborough air show briefing in London July 6.
Hoke said Europe capabilities wouldn’t survive a global competition if the market was further fragmented – a stark warning at time both the UK and a Franco-German project appear set to pursue dueling designs.
Europe currently has three 4th generation fighter programs that continue to sell well in international markets; Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, Eurofighter’s Typhoon and the Saab Gripen.
The French and Germans would like to eventually see that number whittled down to one 6th generation project, with them in the lead. Berlin and Paris have taken the first steps towards fielding a sixth generation fighter by around 2040. The two have made it clear that other nations can join up, but only a later date.
One executive, who asked not to be named, said that the early work split on that program has Dassault as lead on the platform, and Airbus the integrator.
Efforts to create a Franco/German fighter program follow moves to strengthen defense co-operation between the two nations driven by French president Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Hoke said the cooperation agreement provides “a window of opportunity not seen before to strengthen Euro cooperation and especially using the Franco/German axis.”
Hoke said that cooperation discussions with the British, and in particular BAE Systems, could get underway once the terms for Britain’s exit from the European Union had been agreed. But he emphasized that the British could only join at a later stage.
Airbus CEO Tom Enders struck a similar note at the briefing regarding a possible position for the British on the future combat air program saying “the door is still open.”
The BAE View
The challenge for countries outside the initial French/German team up is figuring out exactly when and how other leading regional air combat systems suppliers, such as Sweden’s Saab, Italy’s Leonardo or the UK’s BAE and Rolls-Royce, might be allowed to get onboard.
And Chris Boardman, the group managing director BAE Systems Air, acknowledged that who works with who in any future fighter program is a political decision, not an industrial one.
“We know everybody [industrially] and can measure them, and they can measure us. It really is [down to] where the nations wish to collaborate,” he said during a briefing with reporters at BAE’s Walton fighter facility, where the company was showcasing its combat air and systems of systems capabilities ahead of Farnborough.
Boardman also reckons NATO should be the glue that binds the program together, not the European Union
“My personnel view is not to put NATO to one side. What’s the binding element in this, the European Union or NATO? It’s a fundamental issue about NATO, therefore NATO members are most likely to move out first in terms of deciding what they want,” he said.
“It doesn’t preclude others, and importantly many other nations around the world have said they are going to have a new program. We don’t ignore that otherwise, we would not be working in Turkey today,” Boardman added.
The BAE air operations boss though said experience suggested there might be a few twists and turns on the collaboration front before a program in Europe got nailed down.
“I’m less bothered about specific initiatives today. We have been through these environments before where everybody makes claims, commitments to work together, and then moves apart and some then come together for a future program.
“What’s important to me is we get clarity on a British combat air strategy that gives us a platform to work from, “Boardman told reporters during a briefing on the company’s fighter programs and systems of systems work at its Warton facility in north west England.
The British Government is set to announce a combat air strategy mid-July, which could be the starting point for a British-led program — or least set out a development road map that helps ensure industry here gets a seat at the top table, if it comes to apportioning roles in a future European or international fighter.
Dave Armstrong, BAE Air’s director for Europe and International, said that “we have our own intentions of where we want to go. We will have to navigate Brexit, we will have to navigate through what the French and Germans are doing, but we have a clear vision of where we want to be.
“We want to be at the center of a future combat air systems, we want to be part of a future fighter and want to provide sovereign capabilities for air forces.”
The BAE executives said that the companies input into the Typhoon and fifth generation F-35 programs industrially, and in operational support such as mission planning expertise, gave them know how unrivalled anywhere else in Europe.
The Financial Times reported earlier this week that BAE and Saab had already had exploratory discussions about possible co-operation.
BAE is also already working with Turkey providing expertise on a new generation jet air superiority fighter known as the TF-X. Britain also has an agreement with Japan to take a look at a possible tie-up. (Source: Defense News)
07 Jul 18. French procurement office to undergo transformation. France seeks to shake up, speed up and closely audit its arms acquisition with a “transformation” of its procurement office, the Direction Générale de l’Armement.
In a July 5 speech, Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly pointed to the need for a deep restructuring of the DGA in response to changing threats, international relations, technology and innovation. AS part of that process, the DGA will spin up an innovation office for key programs, with a budget of €1bn (US $1.2bn).
Closer ties with industry will be part of the new approach, with prime contractors sitting down with the DGA and chiefs of staff to draw up a requirement – but industry must also assume responsibility and better share risk, Parly said.
“Transformation of the DGA” was the mission assigned to its director, Joël Barre, when he took up the post, Parly told the audience gathered at the defense ministry. Efficiency and responsiveness were key goals, requiring greater dialog between the DGA and the military services, rather than working in silos, she said.
There are now three phases in arms programs, half the previous number, she said. Those key stages are preparation, production and use of the equipment. The ministry seeks to simplify procedure, increase flexibility and acquire innovation, while pursuing new legal structures and financing.
While greater conversations with industry will be vital going forward, Parly pointed up that there would “balance” in the government’s relations with industry. France was ready to talk to industry but the government was not ready to pay any price. There will detailed audits to ensure a right price was agreed to, Parly warned.
“The DGA is not a quartermaster’s store, nor little old grandma with an open check book,” she said.
One of the major reforms for industry will be to pressure prime contractors deliver on time, with the government seeking to move to an approach used in civil aviation, where most of the payment is made on delivery. That encourages a delivery on time, rather than the present phased payment, where defense contractors have no incentive to speed up the work.
The DGA will send teams to inspect the contractors to ensure the right price was paid.
Additionally, Parly said there will be greater sharing and use of engineering information between the DGA and industry, with increased use of artificial intelligence and large databases.
To help drive the new culture, DGA will set up an innovation agency, intended to be the one number to call for inquiries on innovation, and ready to take risk and speed up official backing. There is a search on for director of the agency, which will merge various existing offices including Astrid, Def’invest and Rapid. The agency will have a budget of €1bn (US $1.2bn) for investment.
There will be a greater cooperation between the DGA, Joint chief of staff and Chief of staff of each of the services, with teams working together in the same office area from this autumn. There are two pilot projects being considered: the Future Combat Air Systems, which will also consider the potential for cooperation with Germany and other European countries, and a maritime surveillance system.
There is a search for greater speed by merging the operational requirements set by the services with the technical needs drafted by the DGA. The forces and DGA will, with a prime contractor, draw up a single document setting out requirement. This combined approach will be tested on a new internal communications system for the ministry.
The DGA will seek greater flexibility in its staff management as the office relies on technical staff, which are in strong demand in the job market. That includes sending its employees to work temporarily in companies to learn best practice and boost cooperation between the ministry and industry.
The DGA manages an average annual budget of €11bn for some 100 arms programs, employs 9,600 staff, of which 56 percent are engineers and executives. The office has a major role in managing export deals.
Parly, in her opening remarks, quoted former U.S. President John F. Kennedy in his 1960 acceptance speech of the Democrats’ nomination for the presidential campaign: “We stand today on the edge of a New Frontier–the frontier of the 1960′s–a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils– a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats.”
The DGA was formed just a few months before the presidential candidate delivered his speech at the Democratic National Convention at the Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles. (Source: Defense News)
06 Jul 18. Leonardo warns UK, EU of pitfalls of a ‘hard’ Brexit. The head of Italian defense giant Leonardo has urged the U.K. and the European Union to stick together on defense projects after Britain leaves the EU. Otherwise, the company warned, Italy risks being sidelined in a Europe dominated by France and Germany.
Alessandro Profumo said he was “extremely worried” that a so-called hard Brexit might see the U.K. leave the EU with no trade deal in place, but said securing continued cooperation on the Galileo satellite program between Britain and the bloc might be the “catalyst” for getting a deal.
“Everything needs to be done so that the U.K. remains a partner in European defense,” he said.
The Leonardo CEO made his comments this week at a presentation at the company’s Rome headquarters. The event unveiled a research paper by Rome think tank IAI on what Brexit means for joint defense programs in Europe.
The paper outlines three scenarios for the break, starting with a deal allowing the U.K. to remain in a customs union with the EU, or forging an agreement granting similar ties, in which case European defense programs would not suffer.
A second option would see the U.K. leaving the customs union and signing a lower-profile trade deal relying on existing arrangements such as the World Trade Organization. Defense deals will be possible, “but the partnership will be more tailored and complicated,” the paper stated.
The third, no-deal scenario involves the U.K. breaking from the EU, probably acrimoniously after talks breaks down for a post-Brexit settlement, leading to tariffs on trade, restrictions on technology transfer, higher costs and longer times for doing business.
“This is about defense economics, not politics. If you break the customs union you have a direct, negative impact on industrial cooperation and joint procurement,” Alessandro Marrone, one of the authors of the paper, said at the presentation.
The paper stated that a “major impact will be felt by European companies with a large footprint in the U.K.,” meaning Airbus, Thales and Leonardo, which has key electronics facilities in the U.K. and divides its helicopter operation between the U.K. and Italy.
At the presentation, Profumo said: “We have developed numerous programs with the U.K. like the Eurofighter, and we have 7,000 staff in the U.K. It’s an extremely complex organization, with, for example, helicopter parts going back and forth.”
One Leonardo official warned that while aircraft in the U.K. and Italy were now certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency, after Brexit the involvement of the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority would complicate matters.
Profumo said he was concerned that if the U.K. left the negotiating table at which future defense industry cooperation in Europe was negotiated, Italy would find itself on the sidelines of an ever-stronger collaboration between France and Germany.
“If the British disappear, we risk finishing underwater,” he said, adding Italy faced the possibility of picking up work on European programs only via offset packages, rather than being a top-level partner.
Added Marrone: “Until now there was choice of cooperating with France and Germany or the U.K. If there is no longer that choice, you lack leverage if you are the Netherlands, Spain or Italy.”
Profumo singled out the Galileo satellite program, which will give the EU an alternative to GPS, as a “catalyst” to keeping U.K.-EU cooperation on track. Britain has demanded to stay on board the EU program after Brexit, and Profumo backed the idea.
“We must decide how to give the U.K. a special status on the program and not treat it like a third party,” he said. “We need to work really hard on this.” (Source: Defense News)
07 Jul 18. France to launch missile upgrade, pegging funding to export outlook. France will launch this month a program for a new-generation Mica air-to-air missile, with pricing based on the weapon’s export prospects, Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said.
“We will launch this new approach with the launch of the Mica NG program at the end of July,” she said Thursday.
Parly was referring to the government factoring in the prospective foreign sale of arms when drawing up its national equipment budget. MBDA builds the Mica, which arms the Dassault Aviation Rafale fighter jet.
“Our country will not pay by itself the weapon systems which will help others,” she said in a speech on a transformation of the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office.
“Arms exports are the business model for our sovereignty,” she said, recalling her remarks made the day before to the defense committee of the lower house National Assembly. Exports were “vital” for industry to retain a broad spread of arms technology, needed to support the military services’ full range of operations.
“That is why I wish to see our national programs take more into account right from the start the export prospects,” she said. “It is not normal that the state fails to benefit from more advantageous pricing when the export prospects become a reality.”
It will be on that new business approach that the new version of the Mica missile will launch, she said.
The Mica NG will arm the planned upgrade of the Rafale fighter, with Dassault expected to sign a modernization contract of the fighter jet to the F4 standard later this year. The government has previously ordered preliminary studies for the Rafale F4.
Any missile upgrades will involve internal modifications, keeping the exterior unchanged, an industry source said. That is intended to ease the missile’s integration on the Rafale and avoid a costly change of the fighter’s aerodynamics. A Rafale can carry up to six Mica missiles.
A Rafale pilot can release the Mica when intercepting an aircraft beyond visual range and can also fire the weapon from its rails when locked in a dogfight. The Rafale will also carry the Meteor missile to hit aircraft beyond visual range.
An upgraded Rafale F3-R is due to be delivered this year, integrating the Meteor and Thales Talios laser designation pod.
MBDA declined to comment.
The previous multiyear military budget law was drawn up on the assumption France would sell the Rafale in foreign markets. If Egypt, Qatar and India had not bought the fighter, the government would have had to cut spending on other arms programs to keep the Dassault production line open. (Source: Defense News)
07 Jul 18. Patriot system gets caught up in Swedish politics. Tight budget constraints for defense have resulted in Swedish opposition leaders questioning the government’s capacity, or willingness, to release sufficient funding to the military to cover the procurement of an American-made Patriot missile system.
Sweden has already received clearance from the United States in February 2018 to proceed with a $1bn deal to acquire a complete Patriot air defense system from Raytheon.
Latest organizational strength assessments, produced by the Swedish Armed Forces for the Ministry of Defence, suggest the military will lack adequate funding in 2019-2020 to cover its day-to-day operational needs or to proceed with key procurement programs, including the purchase of Patriot missiles.
Opposition leaders have proposed an alternative solution that would see the Patriot missile program funded through a special allocation separate from the main defense budget.
The Christian Democrats party has threatened to block the deal from proceeding unless the government agrees to create a separate funding vehicle for the Patriot missile program. The party, like the opposition Liberals party, who are generally supportive of the purchase, fear that the military’s operations would be seriously impaired if burdened with such a high-spend acquisition.
“It would be good to have a political decision. We realize that there are different views between the parties. We stand by our assessment that we and the Defense Materials Organization has made that this is the right way to go. The Patriot missile system is important for the overall defense of Sweden’s air defense,” said Gen. Mikael Bydén, chief of Sweden’s armed forces.
However, a Patriot missile deal has its critics. Carl Bildt, a former conservative prime minister of Sweden, believes the government has delayed too long in its decision-making process around the procurement.
“It would seem that for the government, the procurement of a complete missile system is now about convenience rather than functionality or suitability for the military and Sweden’s air defense. The Patriot missile system that Sweden initially started negotiations on is at this stage outdated and not fit for our needs. The project should be reviewed in this light,” Bildt said. (Source: Defense News)
06 Jul 18. Sky’s the limit for FAC at Farnborough International Air Show.
Aerospace’s longest established trade association is making its strongest showing so far at the Farnborough International Air Show.
The Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC) will be hosting its highest number of members on its largest stand yet at the internationally famous event.
Some 27 businesses will have dedicated display space on the FAC’s 190 sqm stand while others amongst its 200-strong membership will be able to use it as a base for networking and meetings.
The FAC – the ‘local trade association for Farnborough International Air Show – will also launch a new website, unveil an innovative business development initiative and welcome VIPSs during the show on July 16 to 19.
Operations manager Kim Yeomans said: “There was record demand for space on our stand with most places filled some months ago.
“With our largest stand so far and highest number of members attending in more than 20 years, we’re anticipating another very successful event following on from the 2016 show.
“As one of the longest established trade association in aerospace and defence, we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors from the UK, Europe and the World but also to making some exciting announcements of our own.”
Chief executive David Barnes added: “It is more important than ever that the FAC leads the way as the ‘local” trade association for Farnborough to ensure the region maintains its prime position and continues to grow on a global scale.”
The FAC will be part of the UK Pavilion in a prime location in Hall One, which is a purpose-built exhibition centre on the show site.
The biennial Farnborough International Air Show – dubbed ‘the home of UK Aviation’ – will welcome 73,000 visitors in 2018 when there will be more than 1,500 stands in six halls as well as regular air displays.
The trade show is from Monday July 16 to Friday July 20 before the gates are opened to the public for the weekend.
The FAC has national and international members providing support to its members in the South and South East of England, which is the heart of the UK aerospace industry.
It acts as a link between large global prime contractors, Government and academia with SMEs in the supply chain, and as enabler of business support to its members and partners.
A not-for-profit organisation incorporated in 1997, the FAC helps members become more competitive and increase market share through trade, technology transfer and development, sharing of best practice, training and lobbying.
06 Jul 18. Italy says won’t buy more F-35 fighter jets, may cut existing order. Italy will not buy more Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and is considering whether to stick to the order to which it is already committed, Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta said on Friday.
FILE PHOTO: Italian Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta arrives at a NATO meeting in Brussels, Belgium, June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
Trenta comes from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement which has always been critical of NATO member Italy’s order for 90 of the planes, saying the money could be better spent to boost welfare and help the sluggish economy.
“We won’t buy any more F-35s,” Trenta said in a television interview with private broadcaster La 7. “We are assessing what to do regarding the contracts already in place.”
She spelled out several reasons to be cautious, saying that “strong financial penalties” could mean that “scrapping the order could cost us more than maintaining it.”
She also cited benefits in terms of technology and research in Italy linked to the planes, as well as jobs that would be lost.
The F-35 is made by Lockheed Martin Corp, with companies including Northrop Grumman Corp, United Technologies Corp’s Pratt & Whitney and BAE Systems Plc also involved.
However, Trenta said she saw merit in stretching out the purchases in order to free up resources for investments in European defence projects.
Some 5-Star officials said last year that Italy should cancel the order for the fighters altogether, but Trenta made clear she had reservations about this.
“No one is hiding the fact we have always been critical … In view of the existing contracts signed by the previous government, we are carrying out a careful assessment that exclusively considers the national interest,” she said.
The 5-Star Movement formed a populist coalition government last month with the far right League party. (Source: Reuters)
06 Jul 18. Government highlights perilous state of UK defence aviation programmes. The UK government has declared that nearly every major defence aviation procurement programme currently ongoing is either in danger of not being successfully delivered, or can only be delivered once significant issues have been overcome.
In its Annual Report on Major Projects 2017-18, the government’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) found that all of the seven programmes reviewed required varying levels of management attention if they were to be successfully delivered, while the successful delivery of one project was said to be “unachievable”.
Published on 4 July, the report noted that the AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat battlefield and maritime helicopter was rated Amber/Green (successful delivery appears probable; however, constant attention will be needed to ensure risks do not materialise into major issues threatening delivery).
The Airbus A400M Atlas transport aircraft, CROWSNEST carrier airborne early warning helicopters and Thales Watchkeeper unmanned aircraft system (UAS) were rated Amber (successful delivery appears feasible but significant issues already exist, requiring management attention. These appear resolvable at this stage and, if addressed promptly, should not present a cost/schedule overrun).
The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) were rated Amber/Red (successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas. Urgent action is needed to address these problems and/or assess whether resolution is feasible).
However, while these six projects could still be delivered with enhanced oversight and management, the IPA determined that the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) Protector UAS cannot be delivered on schedule or on budget, rating it as Red (successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable. There are major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
06 Jul 18. MEPs approve €500m funding to develop military systems. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have for the first time approved a proposal to establish the new European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) to fund the joint development of military systems.
Under the EDIDP, a €500m fund is expected to be allocated from the European Union (EU) budget for 2019-20 to help co-finance the joint development of new and upgraded products and technologies.
This will help make the EU more independent, make budget spending more efficient and support the development of new defence technologies. European People’s Party France Les Républicains vice-chair and rapporteur Françoise Grossetête said: “This programme is an historic step forward for European defence industrial projects and responds to three challenges: budgetary efficiency, competitiveness, and strategic autonomy.
“We have achieved in one year of negotiations a promising regulation to improve the innovation capacity of the EU.”
The current EDIDP can serve as the pilot of the next European Defence Fund in the EU’s 2021-27 budget.
With a proposed budget of €13bn, the fund would be used to make the EU more independent in the area of defence through cooperation, while supporting the more efficient use of taxpayer money.
The EU will co-fund projects that will be carried out by a consortium of at least three companies established in at least three different EU member states.
The programme will fund the development phase of both new and upgraded military systems products, in addition to the different phases of technology development in the EU such as studies, design, testing, certification, and build.
Development in a wide range of areas will be supported, including remotely piloted systems, satellite communications, cyber and maritime security, high-end military air, land and sea capabilities, as well as joint domain systems.
06 Jul 18. Airbus CEO says UK government has ‘no clue’ how to handle Brexit. Tom Enders said leaving the EU will cause harm, whatever form it takes. Tom Enders, chief executive of Airbus, has hit out at the UK government for its divisions over Brexit and said that Britain’s decision to quit the EU will harm the country, whatever form its departure takes. “Soft or hard . . . light or clean, [it] will be damaging for industry, for our industry and damaging for the UK,” he said. The Airbus chief said the UK government had “no clue, no consensus on how to execute Brexit without severe harm,” in a briefing in London on the European aircraft maker’s operations. He said Brexit was distracting politicians — both in the UK and Europe — from important issues that would determine the future of the UK and Europe. “This Brexit discussion is consuming so much bandwidth of our political elites — over here and in Europe — that it seems the governments have very little time to focus on those questions that really count for the future and competitiveness . . . proper educational infrastructure . . . proper infrastructure. These are the things that will decide our competitiveness in Europe in future.” Mr Enders has been one of the most outspoken critics of Brexit. Last month Airbus caused a political storm when it warned that the UK’s departure from the EU could have “ severe negative consequences” that could force the company to leave Britain. Mr Enders said on Friday that a hard Brexit could force a “standstill in production” if there were problems certifying components or there was friction at the border. Guillaume Faury, head of the commercial aircraft division, said that the group would need roughly three months’ stock to avoid a break down in its supply chain. However, suppliers were already working at full capacity to meet the demand of record order books, he said. (Source: FT.com)
06 Jul 18. Future Focus: Farnborough Airshow 2018 preview. FINN Editor-in-chief Alan Peaford looks at why Farnborough is shaking off history with its next-generation show. The quintessential English summer hasn’t changed much since the end of the second World War. There are overpriced strawberries and cream at Wimbledon, hats and horses at Royal Ascot and, every two years, the aerospace industry showcase at Farnborough International Airshow.
In 1948, when the former Society of British Aircraft Companies moved its event from RAF Hendon to the current site in Hampshire, 40 kilometres south west of the capital, the show became a gathering place for thousands of moustachioed men in tweed jackets to reminisce about their times with Herbert Austin and Frederick Handley Page, and admire the latest of British inventions. As time wore on, they also began grumbling about the demise of the UK’s aviation manufacturing business.
However, while Ascot and Wimbledon remain much the same as ever, Farnborough has thrown away the tea-and -Tweed Britishness and instead has shaken up a cosmopolitan cocktail of an event that is as different to its past as 3D printing is to riveting.
Barely a decade ago, Farnborough Airshow’s very future was in doubt. There was no certainty of tenure at the airport for the show – and, to be honest, not much to shout about for the UK manufacturing industry either.
That has changed, though. As the UK’s aerospace industry has embraced change and technology, and has very firmly established itself as the second-largest aerospace manufacturing nation in the world and a vital link in the global supply chain, so the show organiser, Farnborough International, has adapted to the new world and has made the show even more relevant to the global industry.
I need to declare an interest here – Farnborough International is the owner of FINN, but even that investment into a digital media business is an indication of an organisation thinking outside the box about ways to engage and keep its community informed beyond the biennial cycle of shows.
Having been attending the show for the best part of 30 years, I know how much has changed recently. The security of the venue for years to come has meant the opportunity to invest in the infrastructure. At the same time, the show’s focus has changed toward the ‘international’ element of its name.
It has also embraced the latest industrial revolution – Aerospace 4.0 – and is applying digitalisation and the best of technology and innovation even to its own processes.
A new app, a new permanent exhibition hall, and product demonstrations “with a difference” are just some of the additions to the 2018 edition of the show, which opens on Monday July 16.
The show’s new app should improve the visitor and exhibitor experience. Amanda Stainer, the show’s commercial director, told the media recently that its geolocation capability, which is being tested at this year’s show, could make all the difference.
“We’ve partnered with a company called Crowd Connected to experiment with targeted location-based messages that we hope will enhance the air show experience,” she said.
“We’re going to encourage everybody to link up on the app,” she added, and it can be downloaded free of charge.
Join the debate
The show site now has a new permanent exhibition and conference facility – Hall 1. With 20,000sqm of flexible space, there is 12,500sqm of exhibition hall and 10 sound-proofed conference and event spaces, allowing meetings and other events to go on even during the Typhoon’s performance outside.
As well as plenty of national pavilions, there are areas for space and, topically, an area dedicated to promoting and explaining Aerospace 4.0.
IN Hall 3 look out for a ‘live product demo area’ where military delegations will merge with actors on a set that will look like an air force command centre and will have clients’ products on display.
There is an Innovation Zone occupied by 17 universities, bringing the latest products created at each facility, which have either been commissioned by industry or which they are looking to sell to industry.
Nearby will be the two theatres under the FINN banner, the Insight Theatre and Innovation Theatre. They will host live, free FINN Sessions conference presentations on key subjects such as Aerospace 4.0, big data, supersonic air transport, Brexit and new technologies. With CEOs, government ministers and industry analysts leading the debate, these sessions will add value for delegates.
There will be a raft of new products being unveiled and plenty to see on the static park, where I expect the battle for the regional markets will be dominating headlines. A growing cargo presence (and a separate conference) reflects the importance of this sector. Defence issues will come to the fore with the UK’s plans for a future combat aircraft strategy likely to be of interest, particularly as Brexit looms.
The strong relationship with European defence companies and the UK manufacturers will be celebrated and, of course, we expect a fair few airline orders too – a higher number of airline CEOs than usual are believed to have signed up this year, and we will be quizzing 10 of them at a roundtable about disruptive influences post-2020.
Farnborough really has moved with the times and the business-to-business activities, coupled with inspiring the next generation at Friday’s Future’s Day, reinforce the show’s relevance. With its digital support and new programmes, it is, more than ever, an event for the whole of the global aerospace community, by the global community.
05 Jul 18. Trump’s NATO summit focus won’t include withdrawing troops from Europe. Senior administration officials said discussions of withdrawing U.S. troops from Germany will not be included in next week’s NATO summit, despite reports that President Donald Trump has considered the move.
White House officials have pushed back against those reports for the past week, since a Washington Post piece noted that the Pentagon, at Trump’s request, is analyzing the national security impact and cost savings of a large-scale withdrawal of U.S. forces from Europe.
About 35,000 American troops are currently stationed in Germany, a significant hub for U.S. military operations worldwide. Trump in the past has repeatedly complained about NATO allies not shouldering enough responsibility — financially and personnel-wise — for the alliance’s security operations.
In a press call with reporters on Thursday, U.S. Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said that those broader cost concerns would be a key point of the upcoming NATO summit, set to start July 11.
“Every one of our allies are already increasing defense spending,” she said. “That is something we will talk about as an achievement, but also recognize we need to do more.”
Other topics for the summit include the ongoing NATO mission in Afghanistan, extending alliance membership to Georgia and Ukraine, and emerging threats to member countries.
But a senior administration official said the issue of U.S. troops in Germany is not on the agenda, and there are no plans for Trump to threaten removing American forces from the country if NATO allies do not continue to step up their own military investments.
The official went even further, calling the current U.S. force strength there a key strategic point of American military strategy and national security, and said plans in coming months call for closer relationships among U.S. and Germany military forces, not fewer.
Hutchison characterized the tone of the upcoming summit in Brussels as positive — “everyone has the same goal, and that is a strong deterrent and an alliance that is unified” — despite Trump’s past criticisms of NATO.
At a South Carolina rally last month, the president said that America is “the piggy bank that (NATO) likes to take from” and promised changes in the relationship in the near future.
“We like to help out, but it helps them, they’re in Europe,” he said. “It helps them a lot more than it helps us, we’re very far away.”
Hutchison also said that NATO representatives at next week’s summit will discuss Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and other “malign activities” by the country.
Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the days following the summit. Lawmakers have expressed concern that Trump has not taken an aggressive enough stance with Russia on a host of national security issues. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
05 Jul 18. Why have French arms exports dropped 50 percent from 2016 to 2017? Electoral uncertainty and hard times for oil producers led to a halving of French arms exports last year, the annual government report to parliament showed July 4. France won in 2017 orders for arms exports worth €6.9bn (U.S. $8bn), half the €14bn booked in the previous year, the report on foreign weapon sales said. That sharp drop in foreign weapon sales reflected “greater constraints” in 2017, notably nations waiting to see the outcome of the French elections and an economic slowdown among most oil producers, the report said. The latter led many hydrocarbon-rich countries to postpone some arms deals.
The big drop in 2017 followed two buoyant years due to export contracts for the Dassault Rafale fighter jet, with 2015 hitting a record high of €16.9bn. France sold some major arms packages last year, but those contracts will not go into effect until 2018, including Qatar exercising an option for a further 12 Rafale fighters, the report said.
Qatar previously took some eight months to raise a commercial bank loan to pay a 15 percent down payment for its 2015 order for 24 Rafale fighters and missiles worth €6.3bn.
The total of last year’s deals match the average value booked in previous years before the spike in 2015 and 2016, the report said.
Sales in the Middle East accounted for just over 60 percent of the total value last year, reflecting close French ties to the region and “the struggle of several nations against terrorism,” the report said.
The Asia-Pacific region accounted for some 17 percent of sales, followed by Europe and “the American continent.”
“This export strategy, in close ties with foreign policy, defense and security of France, is conducted with the strict respect of French commitment to international agreements, and governed by a very strict control of exports,” the report said.
Helicopters and missiles, with a strong naval focus for the latter, accounted for more than half the amount recorded last year.
Most of the contracts were worth less than €200m, a market segment which is fairly stable despite stiff competition, particularly from emerging export nations offering “low-cost” deals, the report said. Sales in that segment accounted for €4.1bn of the total annual amount.
Besides access to Western technology, “a French solution presents a real autonomy in use,” the report said.
Key elements in winning contracts are the transfer of technology and offset deals with local industrial partners, the report said. The sale of submarines to Australia and Rafale to India are major examples.
A sustained export drive has led to an “internationalization,” with French companies setting up subsidiaries and seeking local partners abroad, not just a simple sales drive, said Hélène Masson, senior research fellow at the think tank Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique.
“The French defense technological and industrial base seeks exports to compensate for a drop in French and European orders, accelerating after 2010,” she said.
That has led to a structural shift in companies’ internal organization, international presence and product portfolio. Companies’ relations with suppliers and industrial partnerships have also changed.
Client nations calling for local investment through direct offset deals is the key factor, speeding the transformation, she said. French intermediate, medium and small enterprises must deal with complex financial, legal and commercial issues. France went to the polls last year to elect a new president, Emmanuel Macron, and a new lower house National Assembly. (Source: Defense News)
05 Jul 18. Risks rise in UK defence procurement programmes. Key Points:
- The UK’s project management watchdog has ‘red-flagged’ five defence procurement projects
- The number of projects with successful delivery ‘in doubt’ has risen from seven to 13 since 2017
Five major UK defence procurement projects are now considered “unachievable” and their viability needs to be reassessed, according to the 2018 report of the UK’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority.
This represents a five-fold increase since last year’s report, which gave only one project – to build nuclear-powered submarine reactor cores – a “red flag”. The GBP1.5bn (USD2 bn) reactor core has been joined by the GBP9.9bn Astute class nuclear submarine, GBP1.8bn Marshall military air traffic control system, GBP90m Protector unmanned aerial vehicle, and the GBP1.6bn Armoured Infantry 2025 project to upgrade Warrior vehicles. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
05 Jul 18. The UK Government’s new Combat Air Strategy must set out a roadmap to enable UK industry to provide the Royal Air Force and international partners with the next generation of military air capability. ADS today sets out its recommendations for a Combat Air Strategy stressing the importance of sustaining high value aerospace design skills, timely decision making and an attractive proposition for potential partners and export customers.
ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt said: “UK industry welcomes Government’s commitment to a future combat air strategy. Our world-class military aircraft have helped protect the nation throughout the past 100 years and preparing for future threats now will ensure national security and contribute to our country’s prosperity. A successful strategy needs to include a long-term commitment, a clear timetable for decisions and the resources to sustain essential industrial capability. An ambitious combat air strategy will encourage greater public and private sector investment in technology, innovation and high value design skills in UK. Industry and Government working in partnership will demonstrate serious intent and encourage engagement with international partners looking to address their own security requirements and build important defence and industrial relationships.”
Industry priorities for the new combat air strategy include:
1) Providing the investment needed to maintain the UK defence industry’s leading international position in combat air capability.
2) Supporting the development of innovative intellectual property in the UK by driving forward a vision for UK research and development, and high value design.
3) Creating an internationally competitive offer for UK export markets to secure the customers needed to support a successful and sustainable programme.
4) Delivering a long-term outlook that enables the decision-making needed to achieve a seamless transition from current combat aircraft to future generations, protecting our national security.
The current generation of combat aircraft will start to go out of service in 2040. The long-term nature of a new programme to develop the next generation of combat air capability requires early commitment and a clear timetable for future decisions.
Practical steps towards a successful combat air strategy should include establishing a high value design centre – with benefits beyond the defence sector – to cut the costs and timescales associated with designing, developing new certifying new aircraft and air systems.
05 Jul 18. Greenpeace Crashes Drone into French Nuclear Facility to Show Security Flaws. Greenpeace activists say they have crashed a drone into a French nuclear site, posting footage of the flight on the groups Facebook page. The group said the stunt was to highlight the lack of security around the facility, adding that “at no time was the drone intercepted or even worried about”.
The drone, which was decked out to resemble a tiny Superman, slammed into the tower in Bugey, about 30 kilometres from Lyon, according to the video released Tuesday.
The environmental activist group says the drone was harmless but showed the lack of security in nuclear installations in France, which is heavily dependent on atomic power.
“This action has once again demonstrated the extreme vulnerability of French nuclear installations, designed for the most part in the 1970s and unprepared for external attacks,” the post read.
France generates 75 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power in 19 nuclear plants operated by state-controlled EDF. EDF said that two drones had flown over the Bugey site, of which one had been intercepted by French police.
“The presence of these drones had no impact on the security of the installations,” EDF said, adding that it will file a police complaint.
The drone stunt follows a series of staged break-ins by Greenpeace activists into French nuclear plants, which Greenpeace says are vulnerable to outside attack, especially the spent-fuel pools.
These pools can hold the equivalent of several reactor cores, stored in concrete pools outside the highly reinforced reactor building.
Greenpeace said the spent-fuel buildings were not designed to withstand outside attacks and were the most vulnerable part of French nuclear plants.
“Spent-fuel pools must be turned into bunkers in order to make nuclear plants safer,” Greenpeace France’s chief nuclear campaigner Yannick Rousselet said.
EDF said the spent-fuel pool buildings were robust and designed to withstand natural disasters and accidents.
Greenpeace’s security breaches have sparked a parliamentary investigation into nuclear security, which is due to present its report on Thursday.
In October, Greenpeace activists broke through two security barriers and launched fireworks over EDF’s Cattenom nuclear plant.
In February, a French court gave several Greenpeace activists suspended jail sentences while ordering the group to pay a fine and $78,900 in damages to EDF.
Greenpeace is notorious for attention-grabbing stunts, which have included climbing the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and scaling Big Ben. (Source: UAS VISION/YouTube; ABC)
04 Jul 18. Spain offered ‘observer status’ on new European fighter jet. Germany and France have offered Spain “observer status” on a programme to develop a new European fighter jet, but want to keep the project as a binational endeavour for now to ensure it moves ahead quickly, according to a German government source.
The new programme, first announced by the French and German governments a year ago, has begun to take shape in recent months, with France set to take the lead on the development of the next-generation combat jet.
Spain had sent a letter to its NATO allies asking to participate in the critical industrial undertaking in December, according to the government source and several industry sources.
The German and French defence ministries then responded in April, offering Madrid the opportunity to observe the fledgling programme as it took shape, but without the ability to shape its initial parameters. No reply had yet been received from Spain, the government source said.
“The reason is not to exclude anyone but to ensure accelerated work on the programme,” said the source, who was not authorised to speak publicly.
Spain and other countries would likely be able to participate in later stages of the programme, the source said, a view embraced by the companies involved.
The Spanish Defence Ministry confirmed it received the letter and said it was currently assessing the offer. Spain holds a 4 percent stake in European planemaker Airbus, while France and Germany each hold a stake of 11 percent.
The new warplane is intended to replace from 2040 the Rafale fighter built by France’s Dassault Aviation and the Eurofighter Typhoon, built by a European consortium comprised of Airbus, Britain’s BAE Systems and Italy’s Leonardo.
It is expected to be at the centre of a broader weapons system, capable of commanding a squadron of drones.
Dassault and Airbus signed an agreement in April to work together on the new project, but avoided saying which of the two groups would be in charge. The fact that France is now in the driving seat of the project favours Dassault to take charge since most of Airbus’ defence activities are in Germany.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to jointly develop the new aircraft shortly after his election in May 2017, burying past rivalries in favour of tighter defence cooperation. (Source: Reuters)
04 Jul 18. German leader, defence chief vow boost in military spending. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her defence minister on Wednesday vowed to continue boosting German military spending after years of cutbacks that have reduced military readiness and drawn the ire of some NATO partners, including the United States. Merkel told lawmakers she welcomed increases already planned in military spending, but said it was “certainly not sufficient” when compared to the percentage of gross domestic product other countries spent on their defences.
To catch up, Merkel and Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen have pledged to boost German military spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2024. Both said they remained committed to achieving the NATO target of spending 2 percent at a later date.
“It would be reckless not to prepare for alliance defence,” Merkel told lawmakers.
Germany will boost military spending in 2019 by 4bn euros to 42.9bn euros, its fourth successive year increase, von der Leyen told lawmakers. She said the increase would amount to a 30 percent increase from 2014 to 2019.
By 2024, German military spending would have increased 80 percent, von der Leyen said.
The 2019 increase brings German military spending to 1.31 percent of economic output up from 1.24 percent, although the longer-range plan calls for the percentage to drop back to around 1.23 percent by 2022.
Von der Leyen said Germany could be proud of its contributions to the NATO alliance despite recent “tweets and letters” – a reference to recent missives from U.S. President Donald Trump rebuking key allies for spending too little on their militaries.
Trump will tell fellow NATO countries at next week’s summit that the United States cannot be “the world’s piggy bank,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Tuesday aboard the presidential aircraft Air Force One.
“That’s gotta stop,” Gidley told reporters as Trump flew to West Virginia.
Von der Leyen noted that Germany is the second largest net contributor for NATO command structures, and said it was the only country from continental Europe to lead a battalion in eastern Europe as part of a NATO programme initiated after Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
Von der Leyen also rejected media reports suggesting that the United States was planning to pull troops out of Germany, adding, “There is no evidence whatsoever that there are plans to withdraw troops.” (Source: Reuters)
05 Jul 18. UK in talks with Sweden over next-generation fighter. MoD looks to new aerospace partners after being left out of Franco-German programme. The UK has held initial discussions with Sweden about collaborating on a future fighter jet, as it prepares to reveal a long-awaited combat air strategy at the Farnborough air show later this month. As part of the strategy, the government is expected to commit to launching a next-generation fighter programme by 2020 in a sign of its post-Brexit ambitions to retain cutting-edge combat air expertise. The strategy, which is expected to set out a timeline for awarding a firm manufacturing contract by 2020, has yet to be given final cabinet approval. But it aims to deliver a strong signal to potential international partners that the UK is determined to press ahead with such a programme, despite being left out of a Franco-German future fighter project last year. The statement is expected to set out the criteria for international collaboration, stressing that the UK intends to play a leading design role in any partnership to develop a fighter to replace the Typhoon jet from 2040. Sweden — whose defence flagship, Saab, makes the Gripen combat aircraft — has indicated its potential interest and would be a natural partner, according to several sources. A ministry of defence spokesperson said: “The combat air strategy will be launched to ensure Britain maintains a world-leading combat air capability.” The accord struck last summer between Paris and Berlin to work on a roadmap for a future fighter programme took the UK government by surprise and stunned executives at BAE Systems, repository of Britain’s combat air expertise. BAE has for several years been working with France’s Dassault Aviation on a future unmanned fighter. It is also a prime partner in the Eurofighter consortium with Franco-German Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo. The unmanned project, combining capabilities on Britain’s Taranis demonstrator and France’s Neuron, has been seen by many in the defence sector as critical to sustaining the UK’s competence in high-end aerospace skills and technology once Typhoon production ends around 2024. However several sources said that collaboration appeared to be stalling in the wake of the Franco-German accord. A person close to BAE said it continued to progress but admitted that the technology involved in the partnership was being reviewed as the focus turned to a future fighter. France and Germany last month signalled that initial plans for collaboration on a so-called sixth-generation fighter had expanded to include its role in a wider combat system. Dassault and Airbus have been named the prime industrial partners on the Franco-German project, while France will lead the programme. The two countries have said they would be open to working with other partners, but at a later stage. This has raised concerns that if Britain were to join the project it could be forced to take a secondary role and be locked out of the crucial planning and design phase of any future fighter. Industrial sources said Brexit tensions had clouded the issue. Questions over the UK’s willingness to make a firm commitment to funding a programme have also frustrated European partners, one industry executive said. “To break into the Franco-German relationship, we have got to put something on the table that makes it worthwhile for them to take it seriously,” he said. Recommended Analysis UK defence spending RAF prepares to unleash new stealth fighter The strategy will aim to do just that and will be a “strong statement of national interest”, according to one person close to the subject. However it will not mention the Franco-German accord and will deliberately leave the door open to other partners. As well as Sweden, Japan and South Korea could be potential partners, industry sources said. BAE said: “We welcome debate about the need for next-generation combat air systems across many nations. We have a strong history of collaboration with other nations and continue to invest in new and emerging technologies so we can develop future aircraft.” Although the strategy is not expected to define whether the next-generation jet will be manned or unmanned, it will set out policy goals, future requirements and timelines for certain milestones on a future fighter programme. It is not yet clear if there will be any funding announced at the air show. However BAE Systems is expected to unveil a concept aircraft at Farnborough to showcase potential technologies for a sixth-generation fighter. (Source: FT.com)
04 Jul 18. Turkey’s defence exports rise in first half of 2018. Turkish state news service Anadolu Agency revealed details of the country’s defence and aerospace sector’s export performance on 2 July, with figures for the first six months of 2018 showing a year-on-year increase in foreign sales of almost 14%.
In total Turkey exported USD906.4m in military and aerospace products in the first half of the year, compared with USD795.7m during the same period in 2017. The statistics, based on data compiled by the professional organisation Turkish Exporters Assembly, show that the sector was responsible for 1.1% of Turkey’s total exports in 2018. The largest single contributor to the country’s goods transfers was its automotive industry, at USD16.4bn, or more than 20% of the total in the first half of the year. (Source: Google/IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. Defence: EU to Support Development of Military Equipment. The EU will be able to spend money on defence for the first time ever. MEPs approved plans to support the joint development of military equipment and technologies. Deeper defence integration is not a new idea. The European Defence Community was one of the first and most ambitious attempts to create a joint European army in the early 1950s, but its failure cooled ambitions for Europe’s common defence for nearly half a century. Over the last two decades, the move toward cooperation has intensified and Pesco is the latest initiative to jointly develop European military capabilities. Also, for the first time, collaborative projects in defence technology, such as the development of marine surveillance drones, might be co-financed directly by the EU. On 3 July, MEPs approved a proposal to establish a European defence industrial development programme, under which €500m would be allocated from the EU budget for 2019-2020 to co-finance the joint development of new defence technologies and equipment. For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, a European Defence Fund of €13bn has been proposed to fund military development and research activities, while a €90m research test programme for 2017-2019 has already been started. The development of defence products will need to be carried out by a consortium of at least three companies established in at least three EU countries in order to be eligible for funding by the programme, while products prohibited by international law are excluded from funding.
In a December 2017 resolution on a common security and defence policy, MEPs welcomed these efforts to better coordinate defence spending and reduce duplication and waste, recalling that, “compared to the US the EU-28 spend 40% on defence but only manage to generate 15% of the capabilities that the US gets out of the process, which points to a very serious efficiency problem”. Check our infographic to find out more about the benefits of closer defence cooperation at EU level.
“This first European programme specifically dedicated to defence industrial projects will increase cooperation and strengthen the competitiveness of the EU defence industry,” said French EPP member Françoise Grossetête, the MEP in charge of steering the proposals through Parliament, following a deal with the Council on 22 May. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/European Parliament)
03 Jul 18. NATO Allies Push Back After Trump Scolds Them on Defense Budgets. European nations and Canada pushed back against accusations they don’t spend enough on defense after receiving a scolding from U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump, who travels to Brussels next week to attend a potentially testy North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit, sent letters to several allied nations calling on them to increase their military budgets.
“It will become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries continue to fail to meet our shared collective security commitments,” Trump said in a letter addressed to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg seen by Bloomberg News. Norway, he wrote, “remains the only NATO ally sharing a border with Russia that lacks a credible plan to spend 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense.”
Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and Spain also confirmed receiving a version of the letter. The New York Times, in a report Tuesday, said it was sent to Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal too. One NATO country government official, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the July 11-12 summit, said they understood that all members of the bloc received a letter. At a NATO leaders’ meeting in May 2017, Trump refused to offer an explicit endorsement of the alliance’s collective-defense clause and instead hectored fellow leaders to meet the 2 percent target. Concern is running high in many European capitals over the outcome of this year’s summit after Trump last month revoked his endorsement of a Group of Seven communique praising free trade, insulted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then scheduled a July 16 meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Bloomberg News)
04 Jul 18. US Navy’s CVW-1 conducts flight tests with French Naval Aviation. Aircraft from the US Navy’s Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) have begun carrying out integrated flight operations with French Naval Aviation aircraft. The exercise is being conducted to improve the navies’ readiness and demonstrate their ability to operate collaboratively by practising air warfare and strike techniques, including air combat training activities.
CVW-1 assets involved in the exercise include the F/A-18 Hornet multirole combat jets and E-2D Hawkeye carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning aircraft.
The participating aircraft have embarked on-board the US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75).
The US jets are slated to work together with France’s Dassault Rafale M fighter aircraft during the flight operations.
Carrier Strike Group 8 commander rear admiral Gene Black said: “France is our oldest Ally and a vital partner in ensuring security and stability in the region, and across the globe.
“The opportunity to integrate with French Naval Aviation helps us enhance our interoperability as we work to achieve common objectives.”
The integrated flight operations are slated to be carried out over France, as well as French territorial and international waters in the Bay of Biscay.
Black added: “When we operate together we’re stronger than just the sum of our parts, and this training continues our investment in that cooperation.”
USS Harry S Truman offers a wide range of flexible mission capabilities, including maritime security, expeditionary power projection, forward naval presence, crisis response, sea control, deterrence and counter-terrorism.
It is also able to provide assistance during information operations and security cooperation activities.
The aircraft carrier is currently deployed in the US 6th Fleet area of operations, where it is supporting maritime security operations to promote the US’s national security interests. (Source: naval-technology.com)
03 Jul 18. Netherlands, US sign defence agreement. The US ambassador to the Netherlands has signed a defence agreement with his Dutch counterpart in Washington, DC, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in The Hague has announced. The ministry reported on 2 July that US Ambassador Pete Hoekstra and Dutch Ambassador Henne Schuwer signed an agreement to reinforce their countries’ partnership regarding military materiel and operations.
The agreement covers the exchange of personnel such as pilots, liaison officers, and technicians and sharing information on new systems. The Dutch MoD said this was important for the Dutch upgrade of its Chinook and Apache helicopters, acquisition of Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, replacing its submarines and frigates, and for co-operation on missile defence. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. U.S. includes main ally Britain in letters demanding higher defence spending. The Trump administration has included Britain, Washington’s most loyal battlefield ally in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among countries being sent letters rebuking them for spending too little on their militaries. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis threatened to replace Britain with France as its main military ally unless London ramps up its defence spending, in a letter sent on June 12 and reviewed by Reuters on Tuesday. The strongly-worded letter from Mattis to Britain’s Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson noted that Britain was one of the few NATO allies that already meets the alliance’s target of spending 2 percent of economic output on the military.
But it said that was not good enough. Britain’s global role “will require a level of defence spending beyond what we would expect from allies with only regional interests,” Mattis wrote.
“I am concerned that your ability to continue to provide this critical military foundation … is at risk of erosion,” he wrote. He asked for a “clear and fully funded, forward defence blueprint” from Britain, and said he hoped for an update at a NATO summit next week.
The letter shows U.S. President Donald Trump’s determination to pressure NATO allies to significantly increase military expenditure, ahead of the summit in Brussels.
Since Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Britain served as the main U.S. ally in both Iraq and Afghanistan, losing more than 600 service members killed. The Afghanistan war was commanded by a British general during one of its most violent phases while U.S. forces were tied up in Iraq.
“It is in the best interest of both our nations for the UK to remain the U.S. partner of choice,” Mattis wrote, noting that France was increasing its spending. “As global actors, France and the U.S. have concluded that now is the time to significantly increase our investment in defence.”
Reuters has seen letters from the Trump administration to Belgium and Norway, written ahead of next week’s NATO summit, demanding those countries increase defence spending in line with the Western alliance’s 2 percent target. The New York Times has reported that Trump also wrote such letters to Germany and Canada.
Britain has cut defence spending over the past decade in line with an austerity programme that has also seen cuts to domestic spending. London and Paris still field far and away the most powerful militaries in Europe.
Some British lawmakers have called for spending to increase to 2.5 or 3 percent of national output from 2 percent. However, the British government is also under pressure to find more money for health, education and the police, at a time when plans to withdraw from the European Union have slowed growth. (Source: Reuters)
02 Jul 18. French arms exports halved in 2017. French defence exports fell sharply last year in the absence of major deals to sell new Rafale fighter jets, with Middle Eastern clients again making up the bulk of the orders, the defence ministry said on 2 July. In its annual report to parliament, the ministry said the value of exports dropped to €6.9bn ($8bn) from €14bn the previous year and the record €17bn booked in 2015.
Those two years saw the first big export orders for Rafale jets made by Dassault Aviation – to Egypt, Qatar and India – following a string of failed efforts to sell the planes outside France. But France, the world’s third-biggest arms exporter after the US and Russia, will book an additional 12 Rafale sales to Qatar this year.
‘The results from 2017, with €6.9bn, is in line with the average from years before the Rafale contracts,’ the ministry said.
It added that helicopters and missiles made up nearly half of last year’s foreign orders.
Orders from Middle East clients rose to €3.9bn from €1.9bn in 2016, despite an economic slowdown stemming from lower oil prices ‘which delayed some acquisition projects,’ the ministry said.
NGOs and other critics have assailed France for supplying weapons to Middle East governments, in particular Saudi Arabia and the UAE over their support for pro-government forces in Yemen fighting Houthi rebels.
Around 10,000 Yemeni citizens have died in the fighting.
A March poll found 74% of French people against selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and 71% were against supplying to the UAE.
Humanitarian groups say Paris is violating the Arms Trade Treaty it ratified in 2014, which requires exporters to ensure their weapons will not be used for human rights abuses.
A group of four NGOs also denounced the surge in French arms exports to Egypt, including surveillance equipment it says President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government is using to ‘eradicate all forms of dissent and citizen action’.
Their statement came as Egypt’s defence minister Mohamed Zaki made an official visit to France, just a week after French foreign minister Jean-Yves le Drian met Sisi in Cairo last week.
But the defence ministry rejected such claims in its annual report.
‘These exports are carried out within a strict legal framework. They scrupulously respect to the letter the treaties and international commitments’ signed by France, it said.
The ministry also rejected 50 export contracts, mainly to governments in Central and Southern Asia. Defence chief Florence Parly will present the report during an audition on 4 July with lawmakers, some of whom are pushing for more parliamentary control on arms sales. (Source: Shephard)
02 Jul 18. A400M: The €20bn military aircraft that has bedevilled Airbus. The giant propeller system on the wing of the A400M is known as El Toro to the Airbus workers who assemble the military transport aircraft outside Seville. At 683kg, not only does the propeller weigh roughly the same as a young prize bull, but up close its 5.3m span conveys the same impression of enormous power. And like a bull, the A400M programme has been an unpredictable beast. The challenges of developing a multi-role heavy lift aircraft using new engine and composite technologies have torn up the planning of the seven nations who backed its development and the finances of the company that took on the contract. Since its launch in 2003, it is estimated that Airbus has recorded provisions of some €8bn ($9.3bn) — the latest of €1.3bn in February — on a programme originally expected to cost €20bn. The first aircraft was delivered four years late — to France, which has since been forced to buy alternative lifters to cover the gap caused by delays. Since that first delivery, the programme has been plagued by persistent capability shortfalls, new delays and technological problems, the gravest of which led to the deaths of four crew after an aircraft crashed in 2015. Now Fernando Alonso, Airbus’s head of military aircraft, wants to reassure existing and potential customers that the programme’s troubled history is nearing its end. The industrial problems that hampered the programme and led to management changes in 2015 have been resolved, he says. This year aircraft are being delivered “on the date that was planned, sometimes a little earlier”. Some customers agree that the worst industrial problems have been dealt with — even if the company is not able to deliver the aircraft originally envisaged for several years. The difficulties in terms of production and delivery have now largely been overcome German defence ministry Germany has been one of the most vocal critics of Airbus and its handling of the programme. But a spokesman for the German defence ministry told the Financial Times that, despite dissatisfaction over the lack of certain capability, “the difficulties in terms of production and delivery have now largely been overcome”. A Turkish official said that among the issues that remain to be resolved, there was “nothing that is a showstopper. We are happy with the aircraft and the programme”. But Airbus is still paying heavy penalties — estimated by one analyst at as much as €1m per aircraft a month — for both the capability shortfalls and the delays to resolving them. One of the problems has been that customers demanded very different specifications, pushing up the complexity and cost. Last year the company embarked on negotiations that will, for the second time in less than a decade, reset the terms of the original fixed price contract. Widely seen as the programme’s original sin, the contract assumed — wrongly — that commercial terms could be applied to a complex multi-nation defence procurement. The renegotiation, expected to conclude this year, will see a reduction in the penalties for delivery delays, but Airbus will still be liable for the lack of capability, according to Mr Alonso. No more renegotiations — not during my lifetime Fernando Alonso, Airbus’s head of military aircraft But he insists that this is the last revision to terms. “No more renegotiations,” he says from his office adjacent to the A400M final assembly line, before adding a caveat: “Not during my lifetime.” Agreement has, he says, already been reached on three new road maps for the programme. The first one sets a slower pace of production and deliveries, which gives Airbus extra time to develop the fixes for outstanding issues on the engine and on the aircraft’s capabilities. But cutting the rate of production from 15 this year to eight by 2020 could also push up costs. This may be why Mr Alonso says exports are “priority number one . . . We need to export. Unless we secure export sales within the next four or five years, we will need to take other action.” Mr Alonso says that “hundreds” of exports are needed and the US — home to the workhorses of military transport the C130J and C17 — is a prime target customer. “I think this plane will sell itself once people start getting confidence . . . but we need to do the first one.” He remains confident that a new order is imminent. Speculation focused on Indonesia, which has said it needs about two aircraft. The second road map sets out how Airbus intends to resolve the capability gap. The A400M has still not delivered four of the original capabilities required by customers: the ability to drop 58 paratroopers from each door simultaneously; aerial delivery of multiple types of cargo; a fully-capable self-defence system; and helicopter refuelling. But from 2021, every aircraft coming off the production line will meet revised specifications, Mr Alonso says. One customer confirmed that compromises had been reached on some original requirements. The third and final agreement maps out how Airbus intends to upgrade aircraft to meet original specifications. It is clear that with current retrofits taking between four and eight months and a further, less complex phase to upgrade to full specification from 2021, the aircraft will not be delivering everything originally promised for several years. One UK official said the Royal Air Force fleet would not be fully capable until the mid-2020s. The German government estimates that its fleet will be 139 months late by the time all requirements are met. Airbus said it did not recognise the figure. The good news is that with the new schedules agreed, “the nations now have a clear plan of when each of the aeroplanes is going to be available to them in the final configuration”, says Mr Alonso. The bad news is that the retrofits will continue to affect availability of the aircraft. The French Cour des Comptes noted recently that France’s availability rate was just 20 per cent. Mr Alonso insists that this is not the norm, with some air forces recording rates of 80 per cent or more. But he admits that the complexity of the retrofits means the upgrades will continue to have an impact. We [Airbus] underestimated the complexity, the total complexity of the A400M Fernando Alonso The final phase of discussions is now focused on addressing the remaining issues with the engine, the largest turboprop to be developed and used operationally in the west. Problems with the propeller gearbox that emerged in 2016 and which severely limited the aircraft’s operation have been resolved with a temporary fix and a permanent solution will be introduced at the end of this year. What remains are “irritants”, said Christophe Bruneau, president of the A400M engine consortium, Europrop International. These include replacing the combustion chamber — a complex task that requires taking the engine off wing — and issues with sensors. Roughly 105 engines will have to be retrofitted. Mr Alonso said that Airbus in the coming weeks and months would deliver to the launch customers a “plan to identify the root causes of all those issues that remain on the engines and how we are going to fix them”. Looking forward, the A400M will be a success, he insisted. Even with the gaps, the aircraft is able to do more than rivals. It will bridge the strategic capability of the larger C17 Globemaster and the tactical abilities of the smaller C130, is able to fly at Mach 0.72 and to take off and land on prepared and rough terrain. “With 11,000-horsepower engines, you have nothing comparable,” he said. Looking back, the lessons learnt in the delivery of Europe’s newest military aircraft programme should not be forgotten. “We [Airbus] underestimated the complexity, the total complexity of the A400M,” he admitted. The customers too had lacked the necessary discipline to align their needs and rein in their conflicting desires. But for now “we are progressing”, he says. “We are solving the subjects one after another. We are determined to make this aircraft a success.” (Source: FT.com)
02 Jul 18. UK partners with eight other nations to sign JEF comprehensive MoU. UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has signed the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) comprehensive memorandum of understanding (MoU) together with counterparts from eight partner nations.
The MoU marks the end of the establishment of the JEF, thereby preparing the force for action, with the UK leading the project as the framework nation. Comprising nine northern European allies, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, the JEF can currently deploy more than 10,000 personnel from across the partner nations.
Williamson said: “Our commitment today sends a clear message to our allies and adversaries alike, our nations will stand together to meet new and conventional challenges and keep our countries and our citizens safe and secure in an uncertain world.
“We are judged by the company we keep, and while the Kremlin seeks to drive a wedge between allies old and new alike, we stand with the international community united in support of international rules.”
The joint force is developed from the shared operational experiences of the allied partners, and their understanding of the current threats and challenges. Launched in 2015, the JEF has continued to develop by improving its ability to respond rapidly to meet a wide range of global challenges and threats, varying from humanitarian assistance to carrying out high-intensity combat operations. (Source: army-technology.com)
01 Jul 18. Trump sends high-level team to push exports at Farnborough Airshow – sources. The White House is sending a high-level delegation to this month’s Farnborough Airshow to push the Trump administration’s “Buy American” drive aimed at boosting exports of weapons and aircraft, industry sources familiar with the matter said.
The official U.S. delegation will be the highest ranking to attend the air show near London in recent memory and will be led by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, one of the main architects of the new arms export policy.
The White House’s “Buy American” initiative, first reported by Reuters in April, aims to speed up arms deal approvals and increase the advocacy role of senior U.S. officials, including President Donald Trump, in closing foreign sales, while giving greater weight to business interests in sales decisions that have long prioritised human rights.
The policy, officially named the Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, also loosens U.S. export rules on equipment ranging from fighter jets and drones to warships and artillery.
The “whole of government” approach, from Trump and his cabinet down to military attaches and diplomats, is meant to help drum up bns of dollars more in arms business. Trump himself has pushed weapons sales with foreign heads of state.
While Trump will be in Britain the weekend before the July 16 to July 22 Farnborough show – the largest commercial and military aerospace trade fair of the year – his current schedule does not show him attending.
The State Department’s Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson will attend, a U.S. Department of State official said.
In fiscal year 2017 the department authorized, licensed and provided oversight for $42bn (31.80 bn pounds) in government-to-government sales and $112bn in direct commercial sales, the official said. There were more than $43.4bn in sales to other governments in the first seven months of 2018, the official said.
The rest of the U.S. delegation will include officials from the Commerce Department, the Air Force and the Pentagon’s weapons export administration, industry executives said.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the delegation. It will not be the first time that the Trump administration has stepped up its profile at an air show. In February, the United States sent its diplomat responsible for foreign military sales to the Singapore Airshow to promote U.S.-made weapons.
Companies that stand to benefit most from the new policy include Boeing Co (BA.N) and the other top U.S. defence contractors, Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), Raytheon Co (RTN.N), General Dynamics Corp (GD.N) and Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N).
Among the most important contracts up for grabs in the coming years are European nations seeking a new generation of fighter jet. Belgium has already been pre-approved by the U.S. government to buy 34 F-35s made by Lockheed in a sale worth more than $6 bn, but has yet to decide. (Source: Reuters)
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07 Jul 18. USAF quietly, and reluctantly, pushing JSTARS recap source selection ahead. Congress is waging a public battle on the fate of the JSTARS recap program, but behind the scenes, the Air Force is quietly taking steps that will allow them to award a contract for a program that leaders say they don’t need.
The service received final proposal revisions for the JSTARS recap program on June 22, confirmed Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Emily Grabowski in a statement to Defense News.
“The Air Force wants to be postured to move forward with JSTARS recap, if required. Therefore, we are continuing source selection while we continue to work with Congress on the way forward,” Grabowski said in a statement.
Usually, the government solicits final proposals and pricing information from competitors just weeks before making a final downselect. Thus, if Congress decides to force the Air Force to continue on with the program, it’s likely the service will be able to award a contract in very short order.
The Air Force began the JSTARS recap program as an effort to replace its aging E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System ground surveillance planes with new aircraft and a more capable radar. The initial plan was to buy 17 new JSTARS recap jets from either Boeing, Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grumman.
However, the service announced during February’s fiscal year 2019 budget rollout that it preferred to cancel the JSTARS recap program and fund an “Advanced Battle Management System” that would upgrade and link together existing aircraft and drones, allowing them to do the JSTARS mission.
The Air Force’s continued source selection efforts are necessary due to Congress, which is split on the issue of whether to continue to the program.
Both Senate defense committees have sided with the Air Force, and would allow it to kill JSTARS recap as long as it continues to fund the current JSTARS fleet. The Senate version of the defense spending bill also includes an additional $375mi to accelerate the ABMS concept with additional MQ-9 Reapers and other technologies.
Meanwhile, the House version of the bill would force the Air Force to award an engineering and manufacturing development contract for JSTARS recap to one of the three competitors, which had been valued at $6.9bn. However, some lawmakers have said they might be willing to accept a truncated recap program to bridge the way until ABMS is fielded.
“All of the committees understand the need for moving to the advanced battle management system,” Gen. Mike Holmes, head of Air Combat Command, told reporters in June. “If there are disagreements between the committees, it’s about whether we can move straight to that and hold onto our legacy JSTARS as a way to bridge until we do that, or do we need to do one more recap of that system”
The timing of final proposal revisions actually puts source selection for JSTARS recap ahead of that of the still ongoing T-X trainer jet program, which as of late June had not reached that stage.
However, Congress will likely need time to resolve the JSTARS recap issue — meaning a contract decision is far from imminent. The House and Senate armed services committees began the conference process in June, which could allow them to reconcile differences in the defense policy bill as early as this summer.
However, only appropriations bills can be used to fund government programs like JSTARS recap, and spending legislation could be stuck in limbo for months past that.
If deliberations stretch out, “the Air Force will continue to assess contract award timelines and approvals. If necessary, the Air Force will request an extension of proposal validity or updated pricing as appropriate,” Grabowski said.
Meanwhile, lawmakers continue to debate the case in the public eye.
In a July 3 editorial for The Telegraph, Republican Rep. Austin Scott, one of the biggest proponents of the recap program, argued that it would be more economical to proceed with JSTARS recap than to continue to do extensive depot maintenance on the legacy aircraft.
“After 10 years of work, the Air Force is considering canceling the JSTARS recap program,” wrote Scott, whose district in Georgia is home to Robins Air Force base, where the JSTARS aircraft reside. “Their arguments do not take into account the significantly improved capabilities and increased capacity that the new aircraft will provide. The Air Force has ignored its own assessments in their recommendation for cancellation.”
(Source: Defense News)
06 Jul 18. Unmanned Systems in US Fiscal 2019 Defense Budget. For Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019), President Donald J. Trump has requested $686bn to fund the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). This is an increase of approximately $74bn from FY2018 and will support the current national security and defense strategies. Unmanned systems and robotics are key technology areas that enable the United States to counter the range of evolving threats posed on the modern battlefield. A comprehensive review of the budget documents for each service/department/agency in the DoD has been completed to identify all programs that support operations of unmanned systems. Through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress reviews the President’s Budget and makes changes relative to the initial funding requests. This research will provide insight into the requested funding for both procurement and research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) of unmanned systems and robotics.
It is estimated that the requested funding for unmanned systems and associated technologies in FY2019 increased 28 percent from FY2018 to $9.6bn across all agencies in the DoD (approximately 1.4% of the total DoD budget). This increase of over $2.1bn represents all unclassified programs, including overseas contingency operations (OCO). Separating the totals by funding type shows an almost even distribution, with $4.9bn supporting RDT&E and $4.7bn for procurement. Two figures have been provided below that separate the budget for unmanned systems by domain and by service (the “Other” category in service represents DARPA, OSD, SOCOM, etc.). Each service shows growth from FY2018 to FY2019, with the Navy experiencing the largest increase at over $1bn. Relative to domain of operation, air is receiving the largest funding support with the budget for unmanned aircraft reaching almost $7bn in FY2019, followed by $1.5bn for counter-unmanned systems (C-UxS), $1.3bn for unmanned maritime vehicles and $0.7bn for ground robotics (these domain totals are slightly higher than actual values as they include programs that fund multiple domains). From FY2018 to FY2019, the expected budget for C-UxS technologies almost doubles.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is passed each year to specify the funding provided to the DoD. This legislation uses the President’s Budget request as a baseline and then recommends funding changes as the congressional committees see fit. A total of seven programs related to unmanned systems were increased and 13 programs were decreased in the FY2019 House NDAA. The programs with the largest recommended increases are the RQ-4 Mods program, which seeks a $105m increase to procure an additional EQ-4 Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) aircraft that provides communications relays for the U.S. Air Force; the Army MQ-1 UAV program, with a recommended increase of $60 m to support the MQ-1C Gray Eagle Service Life Extension Program; and the Navy Undersea Warfare Applied Research program, with an increase of $20m to foster academic partnerships.
The programs seeing the largest decrease in funding are the Air Force MQ-9, which has a recommended cut of $149.9m due to excess attrition aircraft removed from OCO funding, and the Navy Unmanned Carrier Aviation (UCA), which is decreased by $116.9m due to insufficient air vehicle budget. Other topics addressed in the base bill language of the House NDAA include recommendations to allow the Army National Guard access to unmanned aircraft for military support to civilian authorities, as well as some briefing requests for more information on counter UAS technologies.
The Senate passed its version of the NDAA in June. It includes further recommended funding changes and directives. Significant increases were seen with the procurement of six additional MQ-9 UAS at $120m to accelerate the Advanced Battle Management System and $100 m to fund the procurement of a fleet of Group 5 UAS for the Marine Corps. Suggested decreases to two programs related to unmanned systems were included as well – both were maritime vehicles. The committee recommends a delay of funding for the Barracuda Engineering Development Models (EDMs) (intended for use by the Navy for mine neutralization) until a Critical Design Review (CDR) drawing has been approved and there was accordingly a decrease of $26m to this program. The committee also recognizes that $21.1m of the $92.6m to fund the Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle is “early-to-need” and therefore recommends decreasing that program’s funding to a total of $71.4m in FY2019. Other directives of note from the Senate NDAA bill involve the Gremlins Air-Recoverable UAS, acoustic threat detection to counter UAS, LED development for aviation applications, and manned-unmanned teaming of the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV). (Source: UAS VISION/AUVSI)
02 Jul 18. To rein in rebates for US weapon sales, lawmakers offer changes. The Pentagon’s arms-selling agency would have to clamp down on discounts for arms sales to certain countries under legislation proposed by a liberal California Democrat and the conservative head of the House Freedom Caucus. The Arms Export Control Act requires the Pentagon to recoup one-time production, research and development costs for major equipment sold under the Foreign Military Sales process. But the Department of Defense can grant waivers for those fees when not doing so would endanger a sale, among other reasons.
Since 2012, the Pentagon has granted such waivers 99 percent of the time, giving up $16bn from 2012 to 2017, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
“Wealthy nations” Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait were granted $8.5bn in waivers, according to co-sponsors House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and House Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.
“Our defense relationships with these countries are important, but these nations have the interest and ability to pay these small added costs. At the very least, our negotiators shouldn’t be giving away billions of dollars without asking hard questions,” Speier said in a statement Monday.
Saudi Arabia was granted a $3.5bn waiver last year as part of a $15bn sale for Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system, Bloomberg News reported in March. Saudi Arabia reportedly won waivers totaling $4.82bn, including the THAAD sale, while other waivers included $2.6bn to Qatar.
Meadows, a fiscal conservative, said the bill would ensure the FMS process ”operates as responsibly as possible and with the greatest respect for taxpayer funds.” The bill, he said, does not jeopardize military ties.
“Instead, it ensures that allies ― particularly allies who are among the richest in the world ― undergo a thorough analysis of their ability to reimburse the taxpayer for defense development costs before receiving any waiver of their responsibility to pay,” he said.
Among other measures, the proposed legislation would institute “speeding fines,” limiting countries’ eligibility for “loss-of-sale” waivers when those countries demonstrate consistent or high-value purchasing patterns.
Among other stiffened reporting requirements, Congress would have to be notified of the size and justification of any loss-of-sale waiver as part of any major defense equipment sale. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency would also have to improve foreign arms sale performance measures and tracking. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
02 Jul 18. Global Integration Seeks to Buy Leaders Decision Time, Increase ‘Speed of Relevance.’ The new National Defense Strategy has paved the way for the most extensive revision of the joint force since the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a recent interview.
The changes will ensure that planning, force management and decision-making are made “at the speed of relevance,” Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford said.
The chairman is a key part of these revisions, being named by Defense Secretary James N. Mattis as the global integrator for the joint force. The secretary’s memorandum detailing the chairman to the job calls on him to be “responsible for assisting in strategic planning and direction of the armed forces to ensure the effective conduct of operations.”
Dunford — and his successors — must work to speed senior leaders’ decision-making, integrate operations worldwide and deliver forces capable of competing and winning against any possible adversary.
That the speed of war has accelerated is a given. Actions in one part of the world are felt almost instantaneously around the globe. The cyber world is now a realm of combat and permeates all other realms. A video of a riot in Peshawar, Pakistan, may spark a response anywhere from Nigeria or the Philippines to Moscow or Beijing.
Changing Nature, Character of War
The inclusion of space and cyber realms as domains of warfare means the battlefield has expanded from orbit to the digital world, and has changed the character of war. As reflected in the recently signed Joint Concept for Integrated Campaigning, the old paradigm of “at war” or “at peace” has shifted, defense officials have said. Russian and Chinese military thinkers have “gone to school” on the United States and devised strategies to achieve their objectives short of open conflict, officials said.
The Russians and Chinese are playing a long game to threaten the international, rules-based order that has been so successful at maintaining peace since World War II, defense officials said. And they are doing this with actions below the threshold of armed conflict. They use information operations, troop movements, proxy fighters, propaganda, diplomacy, economic pressures and threats to coerce countries.
The speed of war has accelerated, and the U.S. military is changing to get ahead of this development. Time is a precious commodity to defense and national leaders. They need the best intelligence and information and they need it quickly.
When Dunford first took office he spoke about buying more time for leaders to study options and make decisions.
He believes he has found the way to buy this time and global integration is key.
“When I think global integration, I think about it in terms of integrated plans — global plans instead of regional plans,” Dunford said. “I think in terms of decision-making by the secretary of defense — decisions about prioritization, allocation of resources primarily in a conflict.”
Joint Force Integration
Given the realities of conflict today, Dunford is committed to improving integration of the joint force ensuring senior leaders are able to make decisions at, what he calls, “the speed of relevance.”
To ensure the U.S. military’s competitive advantage, Dunford has laid out four pillars of global integration: planning, decision-making, force management and force design. The effects of the changes across these four pillars will be felt throughout the joint force.
“Those are the four main areas that, at the end of the day, I thought our integration needed to be improved [to compete in today’s strategic environment],” the chairman said.
The department has always done global integration, but the changes to the speed of war and the changed character of war means that integration “needs to be done in a much more aggressive way,” Dunford said.
All this builds from the National Defense Strategy, which identifies great power competition with Russia and China as the main threats, with Iran, North Korea and violent extremism viewed as other threats to America, its allies and partner nations.
Military officials took those priorities and changed the force allocation process. “In the past, when you had conflict and you assumed it was going to be isolated to a given theater, combatant commanders from the bottom up identified all capabilities and capacities that they would need and then we would sort of cross-level across the combatant commands,” Dunford said.
Accelerated Decision-Making, Flexibility
The new defense strategy emphasizes accelerated decision-making and flexibility to reflect today’s changed security environment, the chairman said.
“We feed that decision-making from the top down, then get bottom-up refinement from the combatant commanders and deploy the force,” Dunford said. “But we deploy the force in a way that is consistent with what I refer to as the “boxer’s stance” — meaning you get the best posture for what you believe is the most likely problem set, while preserving your ability to respond to the unexpected.
“Again, it’s speeding up decisions,” he continued. “It’s speeding up response by making sure that your global posture is aligned against your strategic priorities.”
And it is not just for today’s battles. An important part of integration is about the future. As the global integrator looks at the global posture, he is looking at the plans for today, but he also must assess what will be needed tomorrow, Dunford said.
When the chairman talks about shaping the force of the future, he talks about integrating strategy, concepts and assessments to develop a force that can fight and win against any adversary.
The process begins by examining the capabilities available today and the kinds of investments the services make in the joint force. “We then have to compare our trajectory against our adversaries and provide a rigorous assessment that looks across the joint force to determine the capabilities and capacities that each service will need 5, 10, 20 years down the road,” he said.
This is a departure from past practices. When the United States had overwhelming military advantage and a much larger force size, it was reasonable to allow the services to develop capabilities and then figure how to integrate them later.
“With peer competitors in an era of great power competition, you’ve got to be much more deliberate in capability development and specifically benchmark that against the best intelligence you have about the path of capability development of your adversary, informed by what you want to do in the strategic environment you expect to do it in, against the adversary you expect to see,” Dunford said.
Any conflict risks becoming trans-regional and all domain — land, sea, air, space and cyber — a departure from the past when potential conflicts could be considered limited to only a regional problem.
Regional conflicts may still be possible, but in all likelihood any conflict would quickly expand. The expansion of cyber capabilities and the dangers of missile proliferation change the calculus. Add to that nations working on nuclear technologies and the threat morphs quickly from a regional problem to a global threat — any conflict has the potential of being trans-regional, immediately.
As global integrator, the chairman will have to interact not only with the U.S. commander for a regional area, such as the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, but also the U.S. combatant commander. He further will have to interact with U.S. Northern Command for missile defense of the United States, U.S. Cyber Command to counter any cyberattack and U.S. Strategic Command for deterrence against nuclear threats.
This means the department must speed up the decision cycle. “Part of it is identifying those decisions that have to be made by the secretary and properly frame those,” Dunford said. “Left of conflict, you have to have a common understanding with your combatant commanders. You have to develop the ability to implicitly communicate. You do that in exercises, particularly in exercises where the secretary participates. And you rehearse similar scenarios.”
Joint Staff, Combatant Command Process Changes
This means significant process changes in the Joint Staff and the combatant commands, the chairman said.
There are still regional plans, he said, but they are built and informed by global campaign plans, which provide a framework for planning an all-domain, trans-regional approach to the challenges outlined in the National Defense Strategy.
Korea is just one example, Dunford said. “If we have a plan for Korea, we also have a supporting plan for all the other combatant commanders,” the chairman said, noting that these plans will outline the specific tasks commanders must accomplish, and the resources they would have.
This will enable the military to “quickly transition from where we are today to actually making Korea the main effort, and we can quickly transition the rest of the globe because there is going to be an immediate reprioritization and reallocation of resources to support the fight,” he said.
Global Exercises Remain Important
Transregional exercises involving multiple combatant commands are important for this process. Combined, joint exercises provide opportunities for senior leaders to train at the strategic level in the same way units train at the tactical level — providing the “reps and sets” required to improve competencies, develop implicit communication and identify risk, the chairman said.
“You can’t anticipate what is going to happen in a war, but you can try as best you can to replicate what you believe will happen in war and basically identify how you will frame those decisions,” Dunford said.
“So to make decisions faster, what is required?” he asked. “One is intelligence and information, and the other is a process that frames the elements of key decisions and quickly gives those to the secretary so he can see all the decisions he has to make in context.”
Military leaders must have a shared vision of the battlefield, the threats and the capabilities available. This type of integration among military commands will allow the secretary to make decisions at the speed of relevance, the chairman said.
The joint force began using exercises specifically to test the principles of global integration more than a year ago, officials said. Planners tailored scenarios to be intentionally transregional and all-domain, with the principals — the secretary, the chairman and the combatant commanders — all participating. “By going through these reps we are seeing the kinds of decisions the secretary would have to make in war,” Dunford said. “By developing global plans, we’re framing the problem globally that is unlikely to be isolated to a given region.”
Lessons from these exercises are driving changes throughout planning, decision-making and force management processes, the chairman said. One key lesson is that in today’s environment, where demand outpaces supply, decisions at the global level rely on leaders having absolute fidelity on resources and capabilities including levels of personnel and equipment readiness. Yet, until recently, the joint force still relied on largely analog — and slow — processes to identify trade-offs and opportunity costs. Innovation was required to provide senior leaders with the fidelity necessary to employ the force at the speed required of today’s fight.
“That’s why we’ve started working with Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental,” the chairman said. The public-private partnership to accelerate commercial innovation for national defense has allowed the Joint Staff to leverage artificial intelligence and advanced analytics.
“We now have the ability to track the major force elements that are distributed around the world to identify where they are, what they are capable of, what their level of readiness is,” he said. While the military has always done this type of analysis, the difference is that in the past this process would have taken weeks — today it takes seconds.
On the Joint Staff, the continental staff structure — the J-1, J-2, J-3 etc. — will remain in place. Below those there are now cross-functional teams set up last year where the integration of staff functions takes place. “It depends of the problem set who is on the cross-functional teams,” Dunford said. “We figure out who all the stakeholders are and they get representation on the team.”
The appointment as global integrator doesn’t change any authorities for the Joint Staff, but it does change responsibilities, officials said. For the chairman it really comes down to acting on the secretary’s strategy.
“We say to [the secretary], ‘Here is our understanding of your strategy. Here’s the capabilities and capacities we have in the inventory. Here’s our recommendations for posturing those forces against your priorities, and here is our appreciation of risk associated with the posture we have just developed,’” Dunford said.
All this builds on the lessons learned since the 1980s and the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act, he said.
Senior leaders have to be engaged on the front end of a problem and throughout the process, the chairman said. “We can’t have processes that are absent senior leader direction and engagement, and then expect it to meet strategic requirements and priorities on the backside,” he said. “The secretary’s engagement early on and making sure we are benchmarking what we are doing and the processes against his strategy is really critical.” (Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
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07 Jul 18. Danske Bank investigation could uncover ties to North Korea and Iran. Danske Bank, Denmark’s leading financial services group, is under investigation by Danish authorities for multiple cases of money laundering through its Talinn-based branch, Danske Bank Estonia (DBE), between 2007 to 2015.
More significantly, the investigation being headed by Denmark’s Financial Supervistory Authority (FSA) will examine reports that money laundered through DBE was used to finance weapons deals between North Korea and Iran in 2009.
Initial investigations by regulatory authorities in Denmark and in Estonia suggest that upwards of $7bn, much of it originating from Russia and Moldova, may have been laundered through DBE over a 10-year period.
“There can be no doubt that what is being investigated in Estonia falls under the management responsibility of Danske Bank,” said Lars Rohde, the Governor of Nationalbank, Denmark’s central bank.
For more on European national security issues, click here.
According to Rohde, U.S. authorities may become involved in the investigation if it is revealed that money laundered through DBE were used for arms deals and by criminal organizations to finance terrorism in Europe, North America or the Middle East.
“In the worst-case scenario, Danske Bank could be facing financial penalties imposed by the United States,” said Rohde.
Danske Bank’s CEO, Thomas Borgen, is coming under increasing pressure to explain how DBE could have been used as a money laundering “station,” either as suspected by investigators to move Russian state funding abroad, or by Russian criminal organizations to finance arms deals.
Borgen was head of Danske Bank’s international operations in 2009-2012. This role had full oversight on the bank’s Baltic banking activities, including Estonia.
Danish investigators are examining end-uses for money laundered through DBE. One such inquiry includes the shipment by aircraft of 35 tons of missiles, grenades and other military materials between North Korea and Iran in December 2009.
Danish investigators suspect the deal was funded from cash laundered through DBE by Russian state officials, working with organized crime groups.
The Danish FSA are being helped in their investigation by American businessman William Browder, a founding director in Hermitage Capital Management. The investment fund and asset management company that specialized in Russian markets since the 1990s.
Browder, the man behind the passage of a series of sanctions known as the “Magnitsky Act” in the U.S., plans to file a criminal complaint against Danske Bank.
“There needs to be a thorough investigation as to where the monies that left Russia came from, how they were laundered in Estonia, and what the money was used for after this point,” said Browder.
Browder intends to lodge his criminal complaint against Danske Bank with the Danish Public Prosecutor for Special Economic and International Crime (PPS-EIE).
The Danish government, conscious that the moneylaundering scandal around Danske Bank could hurt the country’s international image, says it supports a full and transparent investigation.
“We are fully aware that money laundering by a financial company, such as a bank, can have very significant adverse effects on Danish society. We are monitoring the ongoing investigations, and specific case around Danske Bank, very closely. We are in contact with authorities and international organizations in several countries,” said Morten Niels Jakobsen, the PPS-EIE’s chief prosecutor.
(Source: Defense News)
06 Jul 18. Northrop Grumman angles for role in Japanese stealth fighter programme: sources. Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) is eyeing a Japanese jet fighter project that could pit it against Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), three sources said, almost three decades after it lost a similar competition to build an advanced stealth jet for the U.S. Air Force.
“Northrop is interested,” said one of the sources, who has direct knowledge of the plans. Northrop has already responded to Japanese requests for information (RFI) and has held preliminary talks with Japanese defence industry officials, he said.
Northrop Grumman has provided Japan with a menu of technologies it could contribute to the next-generation F-3 fighter project, but not yet made any specific proposals to Japan, the sources said.
The sources declined to be identified because they are not authorised to speak to the media.
The company’s bid would compete with Lockheed Martin proposals that include a hybrid stealth design based on its F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor. The F-22 beat Northrop’s YF-23 Black Widow demonstrator to win the lucrative U.S. Advanced Tactical Fighter contract in 1991.
The F-22 is banned for export and is only used by the U.S. Air Force. But Japan has ordered 42 F-35s to upgrade ageing fighters whose designs date back to the 1970s. It plans to increase that order, including purchases of the vertical take off and landing (VTOL) versions suitable for aircraft carrier operations.
Northrop Grumman was unable to immediately comment.
Both it and Lockheed Martin would need U.S. government approval to offer sensitive aircraft technology to Japan.
Tokyo has also sought offers from Boeing Co (BA.N), which makes the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and has sounded out European defence companies about possible cooperation, including BAE Systems PLC (BAES.L), which is a leading member of the consortium that built Europe’s Typhoon high-altitude interceptor.
The British company has also provided Japan’s Ministry of Defence with a list of technology it could contribute, a fourth defence industry source said.
Bringing in foreign partners would allow Japan to spread development costs, estimated to be around $40bn (30.23bn pounds), and give it access to technology it would otherwise have to develop from scratch.
Tokyo, however, wants to ensure Japanese companies provide the F-3’s avionics and flight hardware, which include communication and navigation systems, radar, and engines that are being developed by IHI Corp (7013.T).
The Japanese government has so far issued three RFIs for the F-3 and sent letters to the British and United States governments outlining its requirements in more detail, sources have told Reuters.
Any foreign company picked for the F-3 project will work with Japanese defence contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (7011.T).
The maker of the A6M Zero, which battled Grumman Hellcats and Wildcats over the Pacific in World War Two, last developed a jet fighter two decades ago. That plane, the F-2, was a joint effort with Lockheed Martin.
Mitsubishi Heavy also assembles Japan’s F-35s, a programme to which Northrop Grumman contributes components such as wing skins. The U.S. company’s other military aircraft include the E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft and the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), both of which Japan has purchased.
Northrop Grumman built the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and is developing the new B-21 stealth bomber for the U.S. Air Force. Its last fighter aircraft was the F-14 Tomcat, retired in 2006 from the U.S. Navy but still in service with the Iranian air force.
For now, it is unclear when Japan will begin F-3 development, as Japanese officials juggle spending priorities and military planners mull designs. Defence officials would like to introduce the aircraft in the mid-2030s to deter Chinese and Russian airspace intrusions.
With many of the engineers who designed the F-2 reaching retirement age, Japan, according to a fifth source familiar with Japanese defence industry capabilities, will need to get the project under way within the next two years to ensure it still has the skills to build a fleet of advanced stealth jets. (Source: Reuters)
05 Jul 18. Ukraine, Turkey to Jointly Create An-188 Military Transport Aircraft. Ukraine and Turkey will implement a joint project to create an An-188 military transport aircraft, according to the Facebook page of the Ukrainian government portal.
“Ukraine and Turkey are moving to practical implementation of a joint project to create an An-188 military transport aircraft. The military transport aircraft project involves the full westernization of all components, the introduction of modern and reliable technical solutions, as well as full compliance with NATO standards, both in terms of equipment and in terms of the tactics of the use of the aircraft,” reads the report.
The aircraft will be able to carry military hardware of all types, military and construction equipment, helicopters, up to 300 soldiers, as well as humanitarian cargoes, pallets and containers. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on his Facebook page that it was a “promising military transport turbojet aircraft that fully complies with NATO standards.” (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Ukrinform; posted July 5, 2018)
05 Jul 18. China Is Working on A New Fighter Jet for Aircraft Carriers to Replace Its J-15s. China is developing a new fighter jet for aircraft carriers to replace its J-15s after a series of mechanical failures and crashes, as it tries to build up a blue-water navy that can operate globally, military experts and sources said. The J-15 was based on a prototype of the fourth-generation Russian Sukhoi Su-33 twin-engined air superiority fighter, a design that is more than 30 years old. It was developed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, a unit of state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China. With a maximum take-off weight of 33 tonnes, the aircraft is the heaviest active carrier-based fighter jet in the world, used on China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. China needs to develop the new fighter jet as it plans to create at least four aircraft carrier groups to fulfil its global navy ambitions and defend its growing overseas interests, Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said.
“In order to improve the combat effectiveness of the Chinese aircraft carrier strike groups, it is necessary to develop a new carrier-based fighter,” Li said, adding that the FC-31 stealth fighter could be used as a model to replace the J-15. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/South China Morning Post)
07 Jul 18. New Zealand’s new strategic defense policy statement calls out China, Russia. New Zealand’s defense minister, Ron Mark, has released the country’s Strategic Defence Policy Statement, at Victoria University, Wellington, on July 6.
The report says that “‘complex transnational threats will disrupt New Zealand’s neighbourhood in ways not previously seen,“ and highlights disruptive behaviors by China and Russia.
While acknowledging that China is “deeply integrated into the rules-based order,“ the statement notes that Beijing “has at times raised tensions with neighbouring states and with the United States.“
In seeking to restore claimed historical levels of influence, China has “challenged“ the existing order, expanded its military and Coast Guard presence in disputed areas of maritime Asia, and “has determined not to engage with an international tribunal ruling on the status of sovereignty claims.“
Mark said he had had “a very frank” discussion with his Chinese counterpart at the recent Shangri-la talks in Singapore: “That’s what friends do. It’s important to keep doors open, keep dialogue open.”
Moscow is also included in the report. “Russia has attempted to discredit Western democracy by challenging its internal coherence, leveraging information operations, and exploiting existing fissures within Western societies,” the report reads.
“In its bid for greater influence … Russia has challenged international laws and norms through a range of actions, including cyber-enabled information operations … and use of military force.”
Russian “active measures“ in the 2016 United States presidential election brought to light “cyber-enabled information warfare“ as a disrupting force in liberal democracies with potential long-term consequences, beyond single election results.
At the same time that rules and norms have been challenged in pursuit of spheres of influence, there have been attempts to disrupt and influence Western nations’ political systems from the inside, says the report, noting that this is a risk for open societies, “including New Zealand.“
The report considers Washington, too: “Uncertainty about the future international role of the United States has disruptive implications in itself.”
A more competitive environment will test Washington’s “ability to remain a peerless global military power.“ the report says. (Source: Defense News)
03 Jul 18. DoD Releases Report on Enhancing Security, Stability in Afghanistan. The Defense Department today provided to the Congress its semiannual report titled “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan.”
Covering events from Dec. 1 to May 31, the report was submitted in accordance with requirements in Section 1225 of the Fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act as amended by Sections 1231 and 1531 of the fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2017 NDAAs.
“Our purpose in Afghanistan remains to prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a safe-haven from which terrorist groups can plan and execute attacks on the United States, or our allies and citizens abroad,” officials said in a statement announcing the report’s submission. “To accomplish this, we continue to support Afghanistan and train, advise and assist its military and police forces.”
This reporting period marks the first campaign season to begin under the conditions-based South Asia Strategy announced by President Donald J. Trump in August. In February, U.S. Central Command designated Afghanistan as its main-effort mission and allocated additional combat enablers such as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets; attack aviation; fire support; and medical evacuation assets to support Afghan national defense and security forces and coalition forces, officials said.
Optimism for Political Settlement
“The assets and authorities to implement the South Asia Strategy in Afghanistan are now in place and continue to generate optimism within the Afghan government and [the Afghan defense and security forces] that a political settlement with the Taliban is possible,” the Pentagon statement said. “The key to success remains sustained military pressure against the Taliban in order to eliminate the idea that they can achieve their objectives through violent conflict. The targeted investment of U.S. assets and personnel have increased the lethality of the [Afghan forces] this fighting season.
At the second Kabul Peace Conference in February, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered peace negotiations without preconditions to the Taliban, an unprecedented initiative that opened the door for meaningful negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
During this reporting period, Afghan forces remained in control of all provincial capitals and quickly defeated the Taliban’s attempt to take control of the provincial capital of Farah in May, the Pentagon statement said. The mild winter allowed for sustained military pressure against insurgent and terrorist forces and built positive momentum heading into the 2018 fighting season.
Combined Afghan Special Security Force and conventional force operations demonstrate increasing Afghan tactical and operational ability on the battlefield, officials said. (Source: US DoD)
03 Jul 18. China deepens defence engagement in Africa. Key Points:
- Chinese defence industry agency says it has engagement with 45 African states
- Defence exports on the rise but related industrial collaboration remains limited
China has outlined the expansive scope of its defence trade and technical ties with countries in Africa and stated a commitment to deepen this engagement over the coming decade and beyond.
China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) – the country’s lead defence industrial agency – said on 29 June that China has established “defence industry, science, and technology” ties with 45 African nations.
SASTIND added that it wanted to expand this collaboration further over the coming few years in order to support the military development of African states and build strategic ties between China and regional countries. According to the United Nations, there are 54 African countries.
“China–Africa co-operation is increasingly close, the scope of co-operation is expanding, and the level of co-operation continues to improve,” said Zhang Kejian, the deputy director of SASTIND at the first China–Africa Defense, Security Forum in Beijing in late June. “China is willing to continue to support African countries in strengthening national defence forces.”
In comments published by SASTIND, Zhang added that going forward China will look to expand opportunities for collaboration with African countries across military and dual-application technologies and capabilities.
“We will deepen co-operation between China and Africa in the field of military–civilian integration,” he said in reference to China’s long-standing policy to leverage dual-use technologies. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. Indian Defence Ministry Issues New Rules For Start-Ups. But it’s not smooth sailing yet. Last week, the defence ministry has specified new rules for home-grown start-ups to take part in military projects in an attempt to focus their attention on a higher level of research and development. The new rules seek to encourage new companies, including start-ups to undertake research projects to develop or upgrade weapon systems and work on ways to reduce imports.
Under the new rules, start-ups recognised by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) under certain categories will automatically qualify to take part in specified defence projects. These categories range from aeronautics, nanotechnology and virtual reality (VR) to renewable technology, robotics, green technology and Internet of Things (IoT).
For relatively smaller R&D projects, the government has simplified rules by removing several regulations required for participation.
For projects with estimated cost of prototype development phase not exceeding $0.44m (Rs 3 crore), no separate technical or financial criteria (will) be defined for both start-ups and other businesses to encourage their participation.
These new rules apply to the ‘Make II’ category of defence procurement where the private industry funds the research for the product on its own and develops a prototype that is offered to the concerned service for evaluation. There will be no government funding for developing the prototype but there is an assurance of orders on successful development and trials of the prototype.
With India procuring 70% of its defence equipment from abroad, the government, under the Defence Production Policy, aims to encourage local manufacturing of military aircraft, warships, ammunition and armoured vehicles.
Start-ups still mired in problems
Private sector firms in India have less than 5% share (about $750m) annually – of direct orders from the defence ministry for manufacturing.
Currently, it is the government-owned organisations such as Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) amongst others which are the majority stakeholders in technology development and implementation in the Indian defence sector.
No doubt there has been a spate of announcements this year from the government regarding incentives to start-ups. But it has not propelled start-ups into ecstasy – they are more realistic and understand the ground reality only too well.
In March the Draft Production Policy announcement stated that the Indian government would set up a $ 150m (Rs 1000 crore) fund for start-ups selected through hackathons. Later in May, there was another announcement saying that the Draft Offsets Policy would set up a Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) – regulated fund that would promote start-ups and will permit foreign manufacturers to meet obligations that run in billions of dollars.
“Now, in June comes this new set of rules for home-grown start-ups to encourage them to focus on cutting edge RD. But if there is no initial funding coming through, it makes it very difficult for cash-strapped start-ups to even come out with a viable prototype and get it tested,” pointed out a CEO of an Artificial Intelligence start-up based in Bengaluru.
The private sector has been always received a step-motherly treatment from the defence sector.
“It’s very difficult for a start- up to get the chance for the demo in the defence sector. We have to work out ways to network with defence personnel and we get access only to retired officers who have set up consultancy firms. Only through them can we make any inroads into defence contracts,” said a founder of a start-up in aerospace.
Apart from these drawbacks, India too lacks the infrastructure for conducting a higher level of advanced research. This is a major drawback because the defence sector has to implement a zero tolerance rule since it is constantly dealing with life-and-threat situations, says Ramesh Radhakrishnan, Partner, Artiman Ventures, “There are a handful of institutions which do work on material sciences but that is not enough. We do not have any institutions working on hard-core fundamental research on materials, chemistry, physics and math which is vital for any higher level of R&D especially in defence electronics.” (Source: https://www.eetindia.co.in)
03 Jul 18. Intelligence Agency of German State of Bavaria Concludes that Iran Still Seeking WMD. In a newly released report, the German intelligence agency in the state of Bavaria concluded that the Islamic Republic of Iran is seeking to transform conventional military weapons into a system for weapons of mass destruction, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post Monday.
“Iran, North Korea, Syria and Pakistan are making efforts to expand their conventional weapons arsenal through the production of weapons of mass destruction,” according to an assessment from the Munich-based intelligence agency. The 312-page long report defined proliferation and weapons of mass destruction activities “as the illegal propagation of atomic, biological and chemical weapons and the production of their applicable products.”
Weinthal previously reported for the Post in June that the German intelligence community believes that Iran has continued to pursue weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. The BfV, Germany’s federal intelligence agency, warned in 2015 that Iran was still trying to procure illicit technology for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, despite then-ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers. German intelligence also reported that Iran sought to procure nuclear-related materials in at least half of Germany’s state. Last year, German intelligence reported that Iran made at least 32 attempts to acquire proliferation-related technologies. The pattern emerging from four years of German intelligence reports reaffirms concerns of critics of the JCPOA, the nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers in 2015, who claim that the deal failed to curb Tehran’s efforts to build a nuclear weapons program. (Source: theisraelproject.org)
02 Jul 18. North Korea expands missile-making facility, researchers say. Doubts raised over Pyongyang’s commitment to abandon its weapons programmes. North Korea’s critics say the country was never serious about rapprochement. North Korea has expanded a key missile manufacturing facility, according to researchers, raising doubts about Pyongyang’s commitment to abandon its advanced weapons programmes just weeks after a historic summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. Satellite images analysed by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies show rapid construction at the plant near Hamhung city in recent months — a period during which Pyongyang had engaged Washington and Seoul in deepening diplomatic exchanges. The development lends weight to North Korea’s critics who say the country was never serious about rapprochement and used the diplomatic manoeuvres as a cover for completing its arsenal of missiles capable of hitting the continental US or US army bases in South Korea and Japan. The findings by the Middlebury Institute come as a number of reports have raised questions about Pyongyang’s intentions ever since Mr Kim pledged “denuclearisation” during his meeting with Mr Trump. Last week, 38 North — an organisation that also uses satellite imagery to track developments inside the reclusive country — said the regime was upgrading its Yongbyon nuclear site “at a rapid pace”. Satellite images appear to show expansion of North Korean missile manufacturing facility near Hamhung © Planet Labs US intelligence officials told broadcaster NBC that North Korea had in recent months increased production of nuclear weapons fuel at numerous sites across the country. Mr Trump lavished praise on Mr Kim at their meeting in Singapore, saying the North Korean leader appeared sincere in his willingness to abandon weapons that threaten the US. A day after the summit, the president said: “There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.” Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, is due to visit Pyongyang, possibly as soon as this week, with a view to determining a timetable for the regime to denuclearise. John Bolton, Mr Trump’s national security adviser, on Sunday said Mr Pompeo would be discussing how to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic weapons “in a year”. But the expansion of the Hamhung site, which produces solid fuel ballistic missiles as well as re-entry vehicles, would suggest the regime has not fundamentally changed its trajectory. Dave Schmerler, a researcher at the Middlebury Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said much of the construction had occurred in the past three months. Satellite imagery suggested other nearby facilities were also being developed, he added. Unlike liquid fuel missiles that require hours of preparation before launch, solid fuel rockets can be fired with little notice, making them less susceptible to pre-emptive strikes by adversaries. North Korea’s arsenal of solid fuel missiles have a limited range of 1,500km, although analysts believe Pyongyang wants to boost its capabilities. Recommended FT View Trump-Kim summit must pave the way to real progress North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are theoretically capable of hitting the US, use liquid fuel. The region had appeared close to conflict over the past year, amid soaring tensions between the US and North Korea over Pyongyang’s testing of short, medium and long-range ballistic missiles. In a bid to demonstrate its sincerity, the regime in May demolished the entrance tunnels to its Punggye-ri nuclear test site. Mr Trump has also said Pyongyang has vowed to dismantle a “major missile-engine testing site”, although it is unclear which site he was referring to and when this might occur. (Source: FT.com)
About Harris Corporation
Harris Corporation is a leading technology innovator, solving customers’ toughest mission-critical challenges by providing solutions that connect, inform and protect. Harris supports government and commercial customers in more than 100 countries and has approximately $6 billion in annual revenue. The company is organized into three business segments: Communication Systems, Space and Intelligence Systems and Electronic Systems. Learn more at harris.com.
Sponsored by Odyssey Corporate Finance
Contact: Tom McCarthy, Director, Odyssey Corporate Finance
M: 07867 459 600
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06 Jul 18. Order levels soften for Cohort. Despite flat revenues, Cohort (CHRT) reported a marked increase in full-year earnings thanks to lower amortisation charges and a favourable comparison with FY2017, when £2.57m of costs linked to the former SCS division were booked. Strip out the amortisation of intangible assets, along with one-off items and currency translations, and adjusted operating profit was up 8 per cent at £15.6m.
Military budgets remain under pressure, particularly in the defence contractor’s domestic market, where a “continuing hiatus in research expenditure and re-scheduling of expenditure on the UK submarine programme” undermined the performance of SEA, a systems engineering and software business, which experienced a 15 per cent fall in sales to £37.8m and a proportional decline in profitability. With no recovery in sight for the UK market, management is restructuring SEA in order to “align its cost base with its expected revenue stream”.
By contrast, MASS Consultants, an electronic warfare and cyber-security specialist, recorded a 20 per cent rise in adjusted operating profit on a 15 per cent uplift in revenue. The latter rise is noteworthy given that MASS has absorbed the joint warfare unit of the SCS division, although a more favourable margin mix and a step-up in cyber activity supported profitability.
Margins were constricted at Marlborough Communications (MCL) due to an increased proportion of ‘bought-in’ product compared with support work. Year-on-year comparisons were always likely to pale due to high order levels for Hearing Protection Systems by the MoD in 2016-17, which underlines MCL’s long-standing commercial relationship with the UK’s ISTAR programmes (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target, Acquisition & Reconnaissance). The order intake of £12.1m was appreciably down on the £23.3m booked through FY2017.
Management rightly points out that the Government’s Strategic Defence Review published in 2015 prioritised spending in areas where the group’s capabilities are strong, but order intake fell to £76.6m from £108.6m in the previous period. Cohort said this was primarily the result of delays rather than mothballing or cancellations, but MoD budgets remain under the cosh, regardless of the recent intervention by US defence secretary Jim Mattis for the UK to up the ante.
Investec gives adjusted pre-tax profit of £16.4m for the April 2019 year-end, leading to EPS of 31.4p, against £15.5m and 29.7p in FY2018.
At eight times forecast cash profits, the group’s enterprise value isn’t prohibitively expensive. But it’s difficult to see any near-term price catalysts, so with the shares trading in line with their 300-day moving average, we exit our long-standing buy call (239p, 13 Nov 2014). Hold.
Last IC View: Buy, 318p, 15 Dec 2017. (Source: Investors Chronicle)
06 Jul 18. Inmarsat suitor EchoStar walks away. Satellite company Inmarsat earlier this week rejected a 532p-per share takeover offer from US rival EchoStar Corporation, which said late on Friday that it had no intention to make an offer. EchoStar, which last month took a 3% stake in Inmarsat and a 10.4% position in its convertible bonds, announced just after the market closed in London that it “does not intend to make an offer” for Inmarsat.
Under UK takeover rules, this means EchoStar cannot make another bid for six months, apart from under special circumstances.
Earlier on Friday, the US group said it had made a proposal of 265p in cash and 0.0777 new EchoStar shares per Inmarsat share on Tuesday, 3 July, which was then rejected by Inmarsat on Wednesday.
EchoStar said it continues to “seek engagement with the board of Inmarsat on a constructive basis, with a view to agreeing the terms of a recommended transaction” before the Takeover Panel’s 1700 BST deadline.
In its own announcement on Friday morning, Inmarsat said its board had rejected the £2.45bn approach on 4 July on the basis that it “very significantly undervalued Inmarsat and its standalone prospects” and reiterated its great confidence in its current strategy and prospects as an independent business.
But EchoStar said that holders of Inmarsat’s 3.875% convertible bonds would also each be entitled to receive a value equivalent to just over $296,000 in a combination of cash and/or shares, which it said would represent a total value for Inmarsat of roughly £3.2bn, combining the issued and to-be-issued share capital of Inmarsat and the convertible bonds.
The Nasdaq-listed company said it believes a combination with Inmarsat is “strategically compelling” with a portfolio of complementary assets and service offerings: “EchoStar believes that the improved proposal presents a compelling opportunity for Inmarsat’s shareholders to realize certain value from their investment in Inmarsat while also participating meaningfully in the upside potential of the combined company.”
Analysts at RBC Capital Markets said this week that Echostar could take its initial offer to around 650p a share, arguing the US company could gain $3.7bn of potential synergies from a deal and would be unlikely to benefit from delaying the process, risking either a white knight or another bidder.
“Failure to make a formal bid would result in a six month delay. While the share price would be very likely to fall immediately, it may well recover substantially in the following six months especially if Inmarsat can pull off the Chinese deal, or Ligado were to gain approval,” RBC said.
On Friday, RBC analyst Wilton Fry said he thought the offer was a ‘low ball’ one, especially given the potential £10 per share of spectrum value that he believes Echostar could derive from owning Inmarsat. If EchoStar lets the deadline lapse, he said it could still enter a private conversation with Inmarsat with aim of a reaching an agreed recommendation.
Analysts at Jefferies was not surprised the offer of 532p was rejected by Inmarsat due to the massive FCF per share accretion and the offer “well below intrinsic value”.
Given the evident spread between EchoStar and Inmarsat’s valuation ideals, and the evident unwillingness to bid-up in uncontested M&A, “we could see EchoStar turn hostile in time”, Jefferies said. (Source: ShareCast)
06 Jul 18. Possible offer for Inmarsat plc. Further to the announcement by Inmarsat plc (“Inmarsat”) on 8 June 2018, EchoStar Corporation (“EchoStar”) confirms that it made a proposal to acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Inmarsat (the “Proposal”). The board of Inmarsat rejected the Proposal and subsequently, on 3 July 2018, EchoStar presented a new and improved proposal (the “Improved Proposal”) which was rejected by Inmarsat on 4 July 2018. EchoStar continues, however, to seek engagement with the board of Inmarsat on a constructive basis, with a view to agreeing the terms of a recommended transaction.
Under the terms of the Improved Proposal, Inmarsat shareholders would be entitled to receive 265 pence in cash and 0.0777 new shares of EchoStar class A common stock (to be listed on NASDAQ) for each Inmarsat share, (subject to the reservations referred to below). Based on the closing price per share of EchoStar class A common stock on 5 July 2018 of US$45.45 and an exchange rate of £:US$ of 1:1.3244 on 5 July 2018, the Improved Proposal implies an equivalent value of 532 pence per Inmarsat share, valuing Inmarsat’s existing issued share capital at approximately £2.45bn.
As a result of the Improved Proposal, holders of the Inmarsat 3.875% convertible bonds due 2023 (the “Convertible Bonds”) would be entitled to receive, in respect of each Convertible Bond, a value equivalent to approximately $296,225 (in a combination of cash and / or shares) on the basis of the exchange rate and closing share price assumptions set out above.
Accordingly, the Improved Proposal would represent in aggregate, a value of approximately £3.2bn for the issued and to be issued share capital of Inmarsat and the Convertible Bonds.
The Improved Proposal represents:
(i)a premium of 46% to the closing price of 363 pence per Inmarsat share, and a premium of 42% to the closing price of $209,300 per Convertible Bond, in each case on 30 May 2018 (being the last day prior to the date of EchoStar’s initial approach);
(ii) a premium of 40% to the volume weighted average closing price of 380 pence per Inmarsat share for the 3 months ended 7 June 2018 (being the last day prior to the announcement by Inmarsat that it had received a proposal from EchoStar); and
(iii) a premium of 27% to the closing price of 418 pence per Inmarsat share, and a premium of 39% to the closing price of $212,500 per Convertible Bond, in each case on 7 June 2018 (being the last day prior to the announcement by Inmarsat that it had received a proposal from EchoStar).
EchoStar believes a combination of EchoStar and Inmarsat is strategically compelling. The combined group would be one of the world’s leading satellite providers and be well supported by a global portfolio of complementary assets and service offerings. EchoStar believes that the Improved Proposal presents a compelling opportunity for Inmarsat’s shareholders to realize certain value from their investment in Inmarsat while also participating meaningfully in the upside potential of the combined company.
The Improved Proposal would also extend to any Inmarsat shares unconditionally allotted on conversion of the Convertible Bonds before the date on which any EchoStar offer for Inmarsat shares closes. To the extent that Convertible Bonds are not so converted, if EchoStar proceeds with the Improved Proposal, it will make appropriate proposals, in due course to the holders of Convertible Bonds in accordance with the Code. In aggregate, such an offer for Convertible Bonds would result in a maximum equivalent value of $962.7 million being payable to holders (assuming up to 44.4 million new Inmarsat shares would be issuable on full conversion of the bonds, subject to the same exchange rate and closing price assumptions referred to above).
It is EchoStar’s current preference to implement the transaction by way of a scheme of arrangement.
EchoStar would be prepared to proceed to implement the Improved Proposal subject to obtaining a satisfactory extension to the “put up or shut up” deadline of 5pm (UK time) on 6 July 2018, and the following matters:
(i) Completing to its satisfaction a customary due diligence investigation;
(ii) The finalization of mutually acceptable definitive documentation customary for a transaction of this type, including the terms and conditions typical for a recommended UK public offer and final board approvals; and
(iii) The recommendation of the Inmarsat board.
EchoStar reserves the right to waive any or all of the matters referred to in paragraphs (i)-(iii) above.
EchoStar reserves the right to vary the form and/or mix of the consideration described in this Improved Proposal and to make an offer on less favorable terms:
(i) with the recommendation of the board of Inmarsat;
(ii)if Inmarsat announces, declares or pays any dividend or any other distribution to shareholders, in which case EchoStar will have the right to make an equivalent reduction to the proposed price;
(iii) if further shares in Inmarsat (or rights to subscribe for such shares) are issued from the date of this Improved Proposal (except for shares to be issued upon any conversion of Convertible Bonds and currently outstanding in-the-money share options);
(iv) if a third party announces a firm intention to make an offer for Inmarsat on less favorable terms than the possible offer; and/or
(v) following the announcement by Inmarsat of a whitewash transaction pursuant to the Code or a reverse takeover (as defined in the Code).
This announcement does not constitute an announcement of a firm intention to make an offer under Rule 2.7 of the Code and, accordingly, shareholders are advised that there can be no certainty that any offer to acquire Inmarsat shares will be made. Further announcements will be made as and when appropriate.
06 Jul 18. Rolls-Royce has agreed to sell its lossmaking commercial marine business to Norwegian defence contractor Kongsberg Gruppen for £500m as the 111-year-old company ramps up its consolidation efforts. Kongsberg said in a statement released on Friday morning that it would acquire the marine products, systems and aftermarket services businesses carried out by subsidiaries of Rolls-Royce but that the transaction did not include Bergen Engines or Rolls-Royce’s naval business. The Norwegian company said both parties had agreed on a value of £500m with final purchasing price to be determined based on the marine unit’s cash, debt and working capital at the time of the transaction’s completion. Rolls-Royce said there would be net proceeds of around £350m to £400m. (Source: FT.com)
05 Jul 18. Embraer shares fall on Boeing deal. Shares of Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, fell sharply after the company announced an agreement that would hand 80 per cent of its commercial jet operation to Boeing of the US. Embraer’s stock was down 13.84 per cent at R$23.22 per share in afternoon trade. The world’s largest maker of regional jet aircraft touted the deal as an opportunity to maintain its competitiveness in an increasingly crowded market, with Airbus tying up with Embraer’s arch-rival Bombardier of Canada and Russian, Chinese and Japanese companies entering the sector. But investors sold the stock on concern that the deal’s valuation, with Boeing’s 80 per cent stake valued at $3.8bn, was below expectations. There were also concerns that the Brazilian government had not yet officially approved the tie-up. The deal is not expected to be concluded until the end of next year. With elections due in October, the business-friendly government of President Michel Temer will leave office by the end of 2018. Competing in the elections are populists from the left or right who may not have the will or the political ability to approve the sale of a company seen as a national champion in a country keen to build an edge in high-technology manufacturing. Robert Stallard of Vertical Research Partners said Boeing was paying an estimated 8.5 times earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation for the stake. “This is significantly lower than earlier press reports have suggested, and of course excludes cost synergies that Boeing should be able to achieve down the line,” he wrote in a note. (Source: FT.com)
05 Jul 18. Consort Medical’s (CSRT) proposed acquisition of Carclo (CAR) is unusual for two reasons. Firstly, the target only generates 61 per cent of its revenues from medical devices – it’s other two divisions have nothing in common with Consort’s businesses. Secondly, the highly cash-generative group is offering shares in exchange for Carclo – historically it has raised cash from equity or debt to fund acquisitions.
But we can also see why the deal makes sense. Carclo’s Technical Plastics division would slot nicely into Consort’s medical devices business to help broaden its product suite and geographical reach. The group has previously said it may need to make acquisitions to compete with its larger peers in the highly fragmented medical devices market. As for Carclo’s other two divisions (LED and Aerospace), Consort’s management would consider selling them off to help repay some of its debt.
The timing of the bid also seems sensible following Carclo’s major profit warning and share price collapse earlier in the year. But that may be why management at the target have been hesitant to engage with Consort – at 116p, Consort’s current offer is below Carclo’s pre-profit warning share price in early January.
IC View: This deal is still only in the early stages of development and still has many creases to iron out. But Consort’s strategy to expand its expertise via acquisition sounds sensible, although current shareholders may be diluted if the all-paper deal does go through. Still at 1,174p, we think this a buying opportunity. Last IC View: Buy, 1,184p, 14 Jun 2018. (Source: Investors Chronicle)
05 Jul 18. Vanilla Aircraft Becomes Vanilla Unmanned – New Owners. Platform Aerospace, which provides rapid aircraft and drone prototyping, modification, and systems integration, has established a joint venture with an unnamed partner to acquire substantially all the assets of Vanilla Aircraft, which designed and built the VA001 ultra-endurance UAS. The joint venture, named Vanilla Unmanned, will leverage Platform Aerospace’s prototyping and integration experience and the partner’s experience with aerospace and defense electronics to further develop the record-setting VA001, “creating a disruptive persistent aerial solution for both military and commercial applications,” the new company says.
The VA001 is a Group 3 UAS intended to be payload and mission agnostic, or “vanilla.” It’s capable for flying continuously for up to 10 days, providing persistent surveillance and reconnaissance. It was also the first winner of the AUVSI “Startup Showdown” in New Orleans in 2016, beating out 14 other competitors to take the top prize.
“Vanilla Unmanned is excited to continue innovating our UAS to support current and emerging operational requirements. The combined capabilities of Platform and partner will accelerate integration of best-in-class sensors and payloads and significantly reduce the cost and risk of transition to full-rate production,” says Rear Adm. Timothy Heely (USN-ret), president of Vanilla Unmanned and former AUVSI board member.
Davd Miller, vice president of the new Vanilla Unmanned, says, “We understand the disruptive potential of this UAS. With land-based and offshore marine traffic growing and manned assets being tasked at ever increasing levels, Vanilla Unmanned will bring a cost effective, persistent capability to our nation’s defense at exactly the right time.”
(Source: UAS VISION)
05 Jul 18. Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Embraer (B3: EMBR3, NYSE: ERJ) announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a strategic partnership that positions both companies to accelerate growth in global aerospace markets. The non-binding agreement proposes the formation of a joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services business of Embraer that would strategically align with Boeing’s commercial development, production, marketing and lifecycle services operations. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture and Embraer will own the remaining 20 percent stake.
“By forging this strategic partnership, we will be ideally positioned to generate significant value for both companies’ customers, employees and shareholders – and for Brazil and the United States,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This important partnership clearly aligns with Boeing’s long-term strategy of investing in organic growth and returning value to shareholders, complemented by strategic arrangements that enhance and accelerate our growth plans,” Muilenburg said.
“The agreement with Boeing will create the most important strategic partnership in the aerospace industry, strengthening both companies’ leadership in the global market,” said Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, Embraer Chief Executive Officer and President. “The business combination with Boeing is expected to create a virtuous cycle for the Brazilian aerospace industry, increasing its sales potential, production, creating jobs and income, investments and exports, and in doing so, adding more value to customers, shareholders and employees.”
The transaction values 100 percent of Embraer’s commercial aircraft operations at $4.75bn, and contemplates a value of $3.8bn for Boeing’s 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture. The proposed partnership is expected to be accretive to Boeing’s earnings per share beginning in 2020 and to generate estimated annual pre-tax cost synergies of approximately $150 million by year three.
The strategic partnership will bring together more than 150 years of combined leadership in aerospace and leverage the two companies’ highly complementary commercial product lines. The partnership is a natural evolution of a long-standing history of collaboration between Boeing and Embraer over more than 20 years.
On finalization, the commercial aviation joint venture will be led by Brazil-based management, including a President and Chief Executive Officer. Boeing will have operational and management control of the new company, which will report directly to Muilenburg.
The joint venture will become one of Boeing’s centers of excellence for end-to-end design, manufacturing, and support of commercial passenger aircraft, and will be fully integrated into Boeing’s broader production and supply chain.
Boeing and the joint venture would be positioned to offer a comprehensive, highly complementary commercial airplane portfolio that ranges from 70 seats to more than 450 seats and freighters, offering best-in-class products and services to better serve the global customer base.
In addition, both companies will create another joint venture to promote and develop new markets and applications for defense products and services, especially the KC-390 multi-mission aircraft, based on jointly-identified opportunities.
“Joint investments in the global marketing of the KC-390, as well as a series of specific agreements in the fields of engineering, research and development and the supply chain, will enhance mutual benefits and further enhance the competitiveness of Boeing and Embraer,” said Nelson Salgado, Embraer’s Executive Vice President, Financial and Investor Relations.
Finalization of the financial and operational details of the strategic partnership and negotiation of definitive transaction agreements are expected to continue in the coming months. Upon execution of these agreements, the transaction would then be subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, including approval from the Government of Brazil, as well as other customary closing conditions. Assuming the approvals are received in a timely manner, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019, 12-18 months after execution of the definitive agreements.
“This strategic partnership is a natural evolution of the long-standing history of collaboration between Boeing and Embraer on a range of aerospace initiatives over almost three decades,” said Greg Smith, Boeing Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Enterprise Strategy & Performance. “It is aligned with Boeing’s enterprise strategy of pursuing strategic investment opportunities where they demonstrate real value and accelerate our organic growth plans. This partnership will strengthen the vertical capabilities of Boeing and enhance value for our customers through the full lifecycle of industry-leading products and services.”
Boeing and Embraer will benefit from a broader scale, resources and footprint, including global supply chain, sales and marketing, and services network, which will enable them to capture benefits from best-in-class efficiencies across the organizations. Additionally, the strategic partnership will provide opportunities to share best practices in manufacturing and across development programs.
The transaction will have no impact on Boeing and Embraer financial guidance for 2018 or Boeing’s cash deployment strategy and commitment to returning approximately 100 percent of free cash flow to shareholders.
03 Jul 18. L3 Completes Sale of Vertex Aerospace Businesses. L3 Technologies (NYSE:LLL) announced today that on June 29, 2018 it completed the previously announced sale of its Vertex Aerospace businesses to American Industrial Partners for $540m in cash, subject to customary adjustments. The sale included the Crestview Aerospace and TCS business units, which were part of L3’s Aerospace Systems business segment. Vertex Aerospace provides aviation logistics services, supply chain management, and maintenance, repair and overhaul services. Crestview Aerospace provides select rotary aircraft component fabrication and assembly, and TCS provides select engineering services and logistics support.
“The sale of Vertex is another positive step that will enable us to reshape and align our portfolio with customers’ priorities,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, L3’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “We will use the proceeds from the sale to continue our strategy of investing in businesses that position our company for growth.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
03 Jul 18. Cohort profits edges up but revenue dips. Defence contractor Cohort reported a rise in full-year adjusted pre-tax profit on Tuesday even as revenue dipped as it said its overall results were in line with expectations. In the year to 30 April, adjusted pre-tax profit increased 7% to £15.5m, but revenue edged down 1% to £111.8m. Adjusted operating profit came in at a record £15.6m compared to £14.5m the year before, driven by a strong performance from the Portugal-based EID business, a return to growth at MASS and the elimination of SCS’s losses. These all helped to offset a decline in both revenue and profit at SEA. The order intake declined to £76.6m in the year from £108.6m in 2017, a drop the company attributed to delays rather than losses or lack of opportunities. Cohort said the Portuguese market has shown signs of returning to growth and is supported by a planned budget increase in the coming year of 9% in defence equipment spend. The group’s main domestic market, however, in the UK, remains tight, with spending on things such as support, research and development, and the commencement of new projects being constrained by the scale of commitments to existing projects.
Chairman Nick Prest said: “Cohort again improved its performance in the year, achieving record adjusted operating profit. A strong contribution from EID and a return to growth at MASS, with MCL steady, offset a weaker performance at SEA. Some restructuring at SEA in 2018/19 will improve its performance. The closing order book of £102.5m, together with recent contract wins, provides a reasonable underpinning for the current year. MASS, EID and MCL are all in discussions with customers about large orders, and a reasonable measure of success in relation to these prospects is important for our future performance.” (Source: Sharecast)
BATTLESPACE Comment: The EID acquisition has given Cohort the spread it needs away from the declining UK MoD market where SEA is clearly suffering following the loss of a key infantry systems R&D contract last year. Many observers have been suggesting a corporate makeover for Cohort bringing all businesses under the Cohort name not the disparate entities as it is structured now which causes confusion when reporting. For some reason Cohort’s Board seems reluctant to take this plunge.
29 Jun 18. BAE Systems – Contracts Update. BAE Systems today issues this statement to provide an update on a number of contracts it has been pursuing in the first half of the year.
The Australian Commonwealth Government has selected BAE Systems as the preferred tenderer to deliver its nine ship Future Frigate programme for the Royal Australian Navy. The overall announced programme is expected to be in the region of AUD $35bn for the design, build and support of the ships. The Company will soon commence negotiations with Australia’s Department of Defence on the initial design part of the contract, which is expected to be in place by the year end. Production of the first ship is expected to start in early 2020s in South Australia.
Qatar Typhoon and Hawk
BAE Systems and the Government of the State of Qatar signed a contract in December 2017 for the supply of 24 Typhoon aircraft to the Qatar Emiri Air Force along with a bespoke support and training package. This was subject to financing conditions and receipt by the Company of first payment. Discussions have progressed and a number of milestones achieved, including the issuing of a Royal Decree relating to Qatar’s financing of the contract. Financing discussions are in progress and, when successfully concluded, it is anticipated first payment would be received in the third quarter of 2018.
BAE Systems is also pleased to announce that an amendment has been made to the contract to include the supply of nine Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft to the Qatar Emiri Air Force, along with an initial support package. Delivery of the first Hawk aircraft is expected in 2021.
Amphibious Combat Vehicle
On 19 June BAE Systems and industry teammate Iveco Defence Vehicles were announced as having won the US Marine Corps’ competition for the Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1 programme. With the announcement, the U.S Marine Corps has awarded BAE Systems a US$198m contract for low rate production of 30 Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV), with initial options for a total of 204 vehicles which if exercised could take the contract value up to US$1.2bn.
Half year results
BAE Systems will announce its half year financial results for 6 months to the 30 June 2018 on 1 August 2018. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/BAE Systems)
03 Jul 18. Héroux-Devtek Completes Acquisition of Beaver Aerospace & Defense Inc. Héroux-Devtek Inc. (TSX:HRX) (“Héroux-Devtek” or the “Corporation”), a leading international manufacturer of aerospace products, is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed the acquisition of all the shares of Beaver Aerospace & Defense Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary PowerTHRU Inc. (“Beaver”), from Phillips Service Industries Inc. for a purchase price of US$23.5m including a US$3.5m balance of sale payable over the next two years and, subject to final working capital adjustments. The transaction was funded through the Corporation’s available cash on hand.
“We are very pleased to have completed this acquisition which will allow us to broaden our existing aerospace and product offering into ball screws and actuation systems and will expand our footprint in North America,” said Héroux-Devtek President & CEO, Gilles Labbé. “More specifically, we expect to leverage Beaver’s relationships with industry-leading OEMs and benefit from cross-selling and operating efficiencies. We are proud to welcome the Beaver team to the Héroux-Devtek family and expect to successfully continue to grow the business together.”
Founded in 1952, Beaver is a vertically integrated manufacturer with a growing portfolio of company-designed products. It designs and manufactures custom ball screws from a variety of materials based on customer and application requirements as well as designs, manufactures, assembles and tests electromechanical actuators. Beaver operates three facilities totalling 82,200 square feet in Livonia, Michigan and employs approximately 100 people. It generates annual revenues of approximately US$30m, of which about two thirds are derived from the defence sector. (Source: Google/globenewswire.com)
02 Jul 18. Kromek update. Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive of Sedgefield-based Kromek (KMK:24.25p), a radiation detection technology company focused on the medical, security and nuclear markets, was in bullish mood during our results call. He had reason to be as his company has just hit a major inflexion point, having posted cash profits of almost £500,000 on revenues up a third to £11.9m in the 12 months to end April 2018.
Moreover, finance director Derek Bumper points out that he expects the business to be cash flow neutral in the current financial year and the build in receivables ahead of a recent move to a new production facility to reverse. He also says that two thirds of analysts’ revenue estimates of £15m is already covered by firm orders. Following a 19 per cent post-results upgrade, analysts Paul Hill and Andy Edmond at Equity Development expect Kromek’s cash profits to more than treble to £1.66m this year, highlighting the strong operational gearing whereby with the benefit of a relatively fixed cost base an increasing amount of gross profit drops straight down to the bottom line as sales rise.
The order pipeline has been growing at quite a pace too. When I first advised buying the shares at 25p (‘Follow the smart money’, 27 Feb 2017), after which the price hit 37p before profit taking took hold, Kromek had taken in firm orders worth $38.6m (£29.5m) since the summer of 2015. I can reveal that Kromek has now signed $75m worth of orders in the past three years or so and a number of potential clients “have been carrying out due diligence as part of the potential order placement”, so expect further news from its medical imaging and nuclear businesses which between them account for 90 per cent of revenues.
In nuclear, Kromek has developed a ‘dirty bomb’ detector that is 10 times faster at detecting gamma and neutron radiation, and at a tenth of the cost of conventional detectors. The US government is a big customer, having taken 10,000 units to date, but the big hope is that Kromek will land a slice of a $8.2bn contract that could see its ‘dirty bomb’ detectors rolled out across 20 plus cities across the US. Each contract could be worth $10m, offering massive profit upside if secured.
The company’s patented core cadmium zinc telluride (CZT)-based radiation detection technologies has been proving popular with Kromek’s 11 OEM customers in medical imaging across SPECT, bone mineral densitometry (to treat osteoporosis), and gamma probes (used for radio-guided surgery). The innovative detectors are capable of diagnosing and monitoring conditions like Parkinson’s disease and making early diagnosis of cancer too.
Interestingly, market leader GE Healthcare has been investing tens of millions of dollars in its own CZT-SPECT cameras, steeling a march on major OEM rivals like Siemens, Philips and Toshiba. This has prompted analysts at Equity Development to speculate that GE’s competitors may “look to backwards integrate in order to lock-in a guaranteed supply source”. Interestingly, they note that “Kromek is the only independent, end-to-end CZT manufacturer with the required design, engineering and technological skills to produce sufficient commercial quantities of the material in the desired timeframes and at the targeted price levels”. It’s no coincidence that Kromek moved into a new facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania which has the requisite capacity to scale up production of CZT-SPECT camera production.
The bottom line is that with cash profits set to treble and Kromek highly operationally geared too, then any new large orders for its dirty bomb detectors or in medical imaging are likely to be well received. So, having last advised buying at 24.3p (‘Strategic acquisitions’, 9 May 2018), I maintain my 34p target price. Buy. (Source: Investors Chronicle)
02 Jul 18. French firm makes moves to fund cybersecurity expansion. Communications & Systèmes, a specialist in mission critical systems, launched July 2 a capital increase to raise €10.2m (U.S. $11.9m) and finance an announced expansion in European defense and security.
The rights issue is intended to raise finance for a mergers and acquisition plan, dubbed Plan Ambition 2021, and follows the approval June 26 by a CS shareholders meeting for the acquisition of Novidy’s, a cybersecurity company.
“I am rather delighted. This is a step forward,” CS CEO Eric Blanc-Garin told Fifth Domain July 2. “The capital increase will enlarge the shareholder base, bring in more institutional investors and improve the stock liquidity.”
The main aim is to fund the company’s expansion by mergers and acquisition.
“We have targets; we are in active discussion,” he said, when asked if CS has a list of companies in its M&A plan.
An issue of new stock is intended to raise €10.2m, which could rise to €11.5m if the offer meets demand from the stock market. The new stock will be priced at €5.90 per share, a 22.2 percent discount on the closing price June 28. Current shareholders are offered two new shares for every 25 shares held.
A core shareholder, Sopra Steria Group, has committed to subscribe to the stock issue. Sopra Steria holds 10.36 percent of CS and has pledged to inject €1.1m into the company by exercising its preferential rights.
“This capital increase will allow CS to have the means necessary to realize other operations of external growth with priority in Europe in the growth sectors of defense and civil security, space and cybersecurity,” the company said in a statement. Current shareholders will have a preferential right for subscribing to the stock issue.
The shareholders meeting approved the capital increase, which had been announced as a second step in the Plan Ambition 2010 and follows the agreed offer for Novidy’s.
The acquisition of Novidy’s boosts CS’s annual sales in cybersecurity to €40m, with the sector accounting for 20 percent of the company’s total revenue, the company said in a June 26 statement.
“We are delighted that our shareholders have unanimously approved this acquisition, which allows CS to mark a new stage in its development,” Blanc-Garin said in the statement. “This is the first significant step in our strategic plan, Ambition 2021.” (Source: Fifth Domain)
02 Jul 18. Meggitt sees stronger growth but warns on margins. Meggitt (MGGT.L) expects revenues to increase more than previously forecast in 2018 after higher U.S. defence spending helped the British engineering firm post a stronger-than-anticipated second quarter.
Defence contractors have been looking to benefit from higher spending by the United States under President Donald Trump, who has called for a bigger and stronger military.
The improved guidance echoes recent comments from other defence operators like Chemring Group Plc (CHG.L) and Ultra Electronics (ULE.L).
Chemring said last month it was targeting contracts worth around $2bn (1.52bn pounds) in the United States after nearly five years of relatively low demand, while Ultra said most of its operations had better-than-expected orders in the first half.
Meggitt, which makes components for vehicles, aircraft and the energy industry and provides valves and monitoring equipment for power generators, said it now expects revenue to rise 4-6 percent from its prior forecast of 2-4 percent.
The company’s shares were up 4 percent in morning trading.
It did, however, forecast operating margins at the lower end of its 17.7 to 18 percent guidance range on slower-than-anticipated recovery at its polymers and composites division in the first half.
Meggitt said it would look to boost profits by reorganising into four divisions with the airframe systems business now serving commercial, business and military aircraft manufacturers.
Other divisions would focus on serving aero-engine manufacturers, energy and equipment and support services.
The company, which will post half year results on August 7, said it now expects 2018 organic revenue at its military business to grow 6-8 percent, buoyed by higher demand for its training equipment and fuel tanks, compared to a previous forecast of 3-5 percent. (Source: Reuters)
02 Jul 18. L3 Strengthens Space Mission Capabilities With Acquisition of Applied Defense Solutions. L3 Technologies (NYSE:LLL) announced today that it has acquired Applied Defense Solutions (ADS), a leading aerospace engineering, software development and space situational awareness company. The purchase price was approximately $50m, subject to customary working capital adjustments. ADS is expected to generate approximately $15m in sales for the remainder of calendar year 2018 and approximately $50m for calendar year 2019. The transaction is expected to be EPS neutral for 2018 and accretive in 2019. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with offices in Herndon, Virginia, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, the business will be renamed L3 ADS and provides the intelligence community, DoD, NASA and other customers with space systems mission planning, space exploration and satellite operations, protection and resiliency.
“L3 ADS strengthens our business in the mission-critical aspects of space situational awareness, particularly in the area of multi-domain command and control, which is a key element of our country’s national security strategy objectives,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, L3’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “This acquisition, along with our internal research and development investments, demonstrates our growth strategy of investing in capabilities, accelerating innovation and delivering integrated solutions for our customers.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
02 Jul 18. Aim-traded shares in Scisys (SSY:155p), a supplier of bespoke software systems to the media, broadcast, space, defence and commercial sectors, smashed through my 170p target price to hit a 12-year high of 184p at the end of May before profit-taking took hold.
I now feel that a return to the May highs, and beyond, is a real possibility given that the board has just issued a bullish trading update that led analysts to tweak their 2018 pre-tax profits and EPS estimates up to £4.5m and 12p, respectively, based on annual revenues of £53m. The earnings forecasts imply mid-teens year-on-year growth, and are underpinned by a record order book that has surged by 10 per cent to more than £100m since the start of the year. Recent orders include a €3.9m (£3.4m) award from Airbus for work on EGNOS, Europe’s regional satellite-based augmentation system that improves the performance of global navigation satellite systems, such as GPS and Galileo. Scisys’s space division in Germany will supply command and control technology, as well as maintenance and support facilities.
Reassuringly, the company has not experienced resistance from awarding authorities on EU space programmes where it has been bidding, and is not directly engaged in security-sensitive Public Regulatory Service activities on the Galileo programme where future involvement of UK companies has been threatened. Space is not the only division doing well as Scisys’s media broadcast business has secured an enhanced service contract for the BBC until at least 2025 and has added six new German broadcasters to its customer base.
Finances are improving, too, with net borrowings cut to only £1.9m at the end of May, a £4m improvement since the start of the year. As I pointed out in my initiation note last October, as borrowings are paid down more of the ownership of the company shifts from debt holders to equity shareholders, one reason why I highlighted Scisys as one of 26 case studies in my new book, Successful Stock Picking Strategies. Debt reduction also underpins the progressive dividend policy as more cash flow can be recycled back to shareholders rather than funding interest and capital payments. The board certainly has form, having raised the payout by at least 10 per cent a year since 2013. Expect the same again this year to boost the payout per share to 2.4p. The raft of contract wins and the falling interest bill also add weight to expectations that Scisys can lift EPS to 14p in 2019.
True, the shares have done well since I initiated coverage at 102p (‘Tune into a media play’, 11 Oct 2017), having maintained my positive stance at 132p when I covered the full-year results (‘On a profitable earnings beat’, 3 Apr 2018), and latterly at 155p (‘From yachts to clean energy’, 23 Apr 2018). But there is still value on offer as the forward PE ratio of 13 drops to only 11 in 2019, less than half the rating of much larger specialist IT software companies. That deep discount is unwarranted and is likely to narrow if Scisys continues to deliver operationally, as seems highly likely. In the circumstances, I am raising my target price to 200p and rate the shares a buy. (Source: Investors Chronicle/Simon Thompson)
02 Jul 18. Kromek (AIM: KMK), a radiation detection technology company focusing on the medical, security screening and nuclear markets, announces its final audited results for the year ended 30 April 2018 – reporting a milestone year with the achievement of EBITDA breakeven from the revenue ramp up in commercial activities.
- Revenue increased 32% to £11.8m (2016/17: £9.0m)
- Product sales accounted for 81% of total revenues (2016/17: 74%), a growth year-on-year of 44%
- Gross margin was 56.4% (2016/17: 57.1%)
- EBITDA* was £0.5m profit (2016/17: £1.5m loss)
- Loss before tax for the year was £2.5m (2016/17: £3.8m loss)
- Cash and cash equivalents at 30 April 2018 were £9.5m (31 October 2017: £15m)
*EBITDA defined as earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, amortisation, other income and share-based payments. For a reconciliation, see the Financial Review below.
- Milestone year as revenue growth from ramp-up in commercial activities enabled Kromek to achieve EBITDA positive for the first time
- Growth due to continued delivery on previously-signed agreements as well as commencing delivery on new high-value contracts won during the year
- Secured new purpose-built premises for Kromek’s US operations in Pittsburgh, which will enable the facility to become a world-leading manufacturer of SPECT cameras
The Group’s CZT-based SPECT cameras and BMD detectors produce superior quality and higher resolution digital images that significantly advance the early identification of disease, such as cancer, dementia and osteoporosis.
- Secured a five-year contract, worth a minimum of $5.38m, to incorporate Kromek’s CZT-based detector modules in a new osteoporosis product offering for an existing BMD customer
- Awarded a three-year £1.4m programme by Innovate UK to deliver a Low Dose Molecular Breast Imaging Device based upon the Group’s CZT-based SPECT detectors
- Won a five-year repeat order, post-period end, worth $1.2m, from an existing medical customer for the supply of gamma detector modules for incorporation in the customer’s products
- Advanced towards achieving first clinical validation of Kromek’s CZT-based SPECT detector system
The D3S is the world’s most advanced, portable, nuclear radiation detection device used by counter-terrorist agencies to protect civilians and key infrastructure in cities, including ports, borders and transport hubs. Kromek’s portfolio also includes a range of high resolution detectors and measurement systems for the civil nuclear markets used in nuclear power plants, research and for other applications.
- Awarded a $1.6m extension to its DARPA contract to add further technical innovation capability to the Kromek D3S family of equipment
- D3S continued to be deployed and field-tested in major areas in the US by DARPA, and by other public administrations across the globe, including by European authorities during the visit of the President of the United States to Brussels in May 2017
- Named as a qualified contractor under the $8.2bn U.S. Department of Defense IDIQ for the Joint Enterprise – Research, Development, Acquisition, and Production/Procurement contract award vehicle following extensive due diligence
- Strengthening and expansion of distribution channels in the civil nuclear markets, and completion of deployment of Quant for GR1 product in all UK EDF nuclear power plants
The Group’s security screening solutions are being incorporated into the next generation liquid and luggage scanners. These upgraded machines are replacing legacy machines and are enhancing the safety of passengers while minimising the inconvenience of the security process at airports.
- Commenced work on the Group’s first long-term security screening contract: a five-year, $3.1m agreement with an existing US-based customer to provide OEM components for baggage screening products used in aviation security
- Won a five-year, $2.0m contract, from a new OEM customer, which has commenced incorporating Kromek’s technology into its baggage security screening systems to enhance detection of an extensive range of threat materials
Seven new patents were filed and 29 granted during the period.
29 Jun 18. RUAG to separate Swiss-focused business. The Swiss Federal Council approved a measure on 27 June that will see domestic defence supplier RUAG split into two separate entities.
The company, which is owned by the Swiss state, is to be divided according to its customer focus, with the portion that provides the Swiss armed forces with maintenance, repair and overhaul services operating under a new organisation named MRO Switzerland. Meanwhile, RUAG’s external activities will be transferred to RUAG International, which will also take ownership of all of the company’s non-defence offerings. The stated intention of the separation of RUAG’s domestic and global businesses is to ensure the transparency and security of the company’s interactions with the Swiss military, as well as to encourage a stronger role for the country’s Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport in RUAG’s management. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
Odyssey is an independent corporate finance firm which advises on acquisitions, business sales, management buy-outs and raising finance, typically in the £5m to £100m range. We have extensive experience in the niche manufacturing sector with our most recent completed deal being the sale of MacNeillie to Babcock Plc. Details can be seen at: http://www.odysseycf.com/case-study-macneillie/
As a result of this and related projects we have developed relationships with buyers and funders looking to acquire or invest in the sector. We would be happy to share further insights into the sector and to carry out reviews of businesses whose shareholders are considering an exit, acquisition or fundraise.
The review will include:
* Market review
* Comparative deals and structures
* Initial thoughts on buyers/ investors/ targets
* MBO viability
* Feasibility review and identification of any issues to be addressed pre-deal
There is no charge for this review.
If this is of interest we would be happy to meet at your convenience.
MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS
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Tel: +44 (0) 1525 408408
06 Jul 18. Arquus reveals more roles for its latest VAB Mk 3. Production of the Arquus (previously Renault Truck Defense) Vehicule de l’Avant Blinde (VAB) Mk 3 6×6 is now underway, and additional variants have been developed to meet potential export customers’ requirements.
The latest VAB Mk 3 6×6 model is being described as a reconnaissance and combat vehicle and is fitted with a retractable mast-mounted sensor pod that includes day/thermal cameras and a laser rangefinder. Mounted at the front right is the Arquus Lite remote weapon station (RWS) armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun (MG) that the company developed for some versions of the French Army’s Griffon armoured personnel carrier (APC) now entering production. This VAB Mk 3 model is not amphibious and can be supplied with twin doors or a power-operated ramp at the rear, and has a crew of five including the commander and driver. It is currently being marketed with a 340 hp or 370 hp diesel engine coupled to an automatic transmission and with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 20 tonnes, although the weight can fluctuate depending on the weapon fit and armour package. Standard equipment includes a central tyre inflation system (CTIS), run-flat tyres, climate control, 300 Amp alternator, and Battlenet Select. The VAB Mk 3 6×6 was originally developed as a private venture and a follow-on to the original VAB, which was developed for the French Army. The French received almost 4,000 4×4 versions, and additional vehicles were built for export in 6×6 and 4×4 configurations. The United States’ Mack Defense (part of the Volvo Group that also owns Renault Trucks) won the first export contract for the VAB Mk 3 6×6, which they call the Lakota, and this has US sub-systems including a Caterpillar diesel engine and Allison automatic transmission. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
06 Jul 18. IBD unveils SMART PROTech active armour solution. IBD Deisenroth Engineering (IBD) has disclosed development of a new active armour solution designed to protect main battle tanks and medium to heavy armoured fighting platforms against tandem warhead threats.
Modern anti-tank weapons – anti-tank rockets (ATRs) and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) – show penetration capabilities in the range of about 300 mm to 1400 mm rolled homogeneous armour (RHA). These high levels make it impossible to protect passive armour-equipped medium fighting platforms against these threat types. Even main battle tanks (MBTs) are difficult to protect in the upper range.
In addition, since MBTs must also be protected against large calibre kinetic energy (KE) rounds (120 mm/125 mm ammunition), the design of a polyvalent technology integrating efficient protection against both threat types, at an acceptable weight, has reached its limit, Michael Rust, Head of Marketing & Sales at IBD explained.
At present, two technologies have been designed to counter shaped-charge threats: Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA), an increasingly acceptable solution applied to medium and heavy combat platforms where the impact of a threat on an ERA module triggers an explosive charge expelling steel plates to defeat the shaped charge jet; and Active Protection Systems (APS), which are designed in various configurations to defeat the threat before it hits the vehicle. Early warning sensors are distributed around the platform to detect and track an incoming threat, and a countermeasure is subsequently launched from a launcher or directly from the hull to destroy the warhead.
Both of the technologies have their disadvantages, said Rust. “Tandem Shaped Charges have been specifically developed to defeat ERA protection. A pre-charge triggers the ERA module, the following main charge hits an empty area and can easily penetrate the hull. ERA also has a high areal density. APS are more complex; all components – sensors, controllers, software, launchers, countermeasures (CMs), and power supply – require thorough integration with the platform, and harmonisation with the passive protection system,” he added.
(Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. FFG readies PMMC G5 ACSV prototype for Norway. Germany’s Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) has been awarded its first contract for a version of its Protected Mission Module Carrier G5 (PMMC G5) by the Norwegian Defense Material Agency (NDMA).
The March 2018 contract award covers the supply of a prototype configured as an Armoured Combat Support Vehicle (ACSV). This is expected to be delivered to the NDMA in 2020 for user trials and could be followed by a production contract for up to 160 units.
The first example of the ACSV will have a hull of all welded aluminium armour with an optional applique passive armour package.
A customer-specified weapon remote weapon station (RWS) can be mounted on the roof. Norway will equip the prototype with the Kongsberg Protector armed with a stabilised 12.7 mm M2HB machine gun (MG), which is already installed on many Norwegian armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) and support vehicles.
The PMMC G5 features a rear flatbed on which containers or pallets can be rapidly loaded using an onboard crane.
This version will also be used as a platform for containerised mission kits such as electronic warfare, air defence systems, and artillery locating radars.
The suspension is of the torsion bar type, which is complemented by Soucy International composite rubber tracks (CRT) that are lighter, quieter, and offer less vibration and rolling resistance compared with conventional steel tracks.
The CRT is already standard equipment on Norwegian Army BAE Systems CV9030 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) as well as its M113 armoured personnel carrier (APC) fleet.
The ACSV will be powered by an MTU 199 TE 21 V6 diesel developing 625hp coupled to a ZF LSG 1000 HD automatic transmission, which will provide a maximum road speed of up to 74km/h and a range of over 600km. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. AM General showcases latest HMMWV variant. AM General has unveiled the latest evolution of its High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), the NXT 360, which is available as a new build or a refurbishment/upgrade package for existing M1100 series users.
The NXT 360 is based on an M1151 armament carrier platform, developed to address evolving customer requirements for protected light vehicles. Key areas of improvement are centred around ballistic and blast protection, automotive performance, and mobility.
Design revisions seen on the displayed example at Eurosatory 2018 include a raised radiator shroud and wheel and tyre choice, in addition to role-specific equipment such as the front bullbar.
Motive power is provided by AM General’s P400 6.5-litre V8 engine, which is the latest development of an engine that began life as a 6.2-litre unit and that has powered more than 280,000 HMMWVs since production commenced in 1983. The P400 is the first electronically-controlled incarnation of the engine, developing 250hp (186 kW) and 624 Nm torque – an increase of 60hp and 109 Nm torque over the mechanically-controlled versions fitted to current M1100 series production.
An emissions-compliant version of the P400 – which retains the multifuel capability of the standard engine – is available.
The NXT 360 is fitted with the 6L85e automatic transmission, which shares the same casing and some common parts with the four-speed 4L80e that is fitted to current HMMWV production vehicles.
The P400/6L85e combination, combined with the larger 335/65 R 22.5 Goodyear G275 MSA tyres, which replace the standard 37×12.5 16.5 R Goodyear Wrangler MTs, offers improved fuel economy and acceleration. Testing is ongoing but initial results show 15% and 20% increases respectively. The vehicle’s maximum speed has also increased by 40 km/h to about 160km/h. (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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04 Jul 18. US Navy, Moback collaborate on AR/VR capabilities. The US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD), is collaborating with Moback to research and investigate specialised augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) capabilities to enhance US Navy fleet readiness, NAVSEA announced on 29 June.
To work on this project, NSWC PHD and Moback – developer of cloud-based AR computing and experience platforms – have signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA). The CRADA is part of an on-going Naval Innovative Science and Engineering 219 augmented reality technology research project.
The AR/VR technology will support naval training, maintenance, lifecycle engineering and product support. Its application will target long-distance support of shipboard technology and combat weapons systems as well as improved training efforts for the fleet. (Source: Shephard)
04 Jul 18. USAF’s McConnell AFB hosts fifth KC-46 Maintenance Training Summit. The US Air Force’s (USAF) McConnell Air Force Base (AFB) has hosted its fifth KC-46 Pegasus Maintenance Training Summit to define training timelines and expected progression on aircraft delivery.
The new Pegasus military aerial refuelling and strategic transport aircraft is expected to be delivered to the force in October.
During the summit, the airforce discussed training for maintenance staff, crews and the entire KC-46 aircraft community, in addition to addressing the ways the service will cross-train current KC-135 Stratotanker maintainers to the KC-46 tanker model. 22nd Maintenance Group (MXG) KC-46 transition team superintendent master sergeant Ian Evans said: “The 22nd MXG created a KC-46 training timeline that was used as a baseline for the KC-46 enterprise. This timeline will be adopted by Air Mobility Command (AMC) as the way forward.”
The fifth KC-46 Pegasus Maintenance Training Summit included airmen from the USAF’s Pease AFB, Tinker AFB and Altus AFB, in addition to members from the AMC, the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and the Air National Guard.
22nd MXG KC-46 transition office flight chief master sergeant Edward Musterer said: “The first main operating base and AETC have worked together to standardise the training approach across the board and ensure all training requirements were met.
“This is another step closer in increasing our readiness in preparation to accept the aircraft.”
In November 2016, the McConnell AFB hosted the first training summit to present the plan to approach the KC-46 as an enterprise team.
Designed by Boeing to carry passengers, cargo and patients, the KC-46 Pegasus is a multirole tanker that can refuel all US, allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refuelling procedures.
The military jet can detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection, which allow the aircraft to operate safely in medium-threat environments. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
02 Jul 18. US Army leverages machine learning to predict component failure. The Army will be using machine learning software to predict when components on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle need maintenance.
Through an award facilitated by Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, the Army will be working with Uptake, a company that provides artificial intelligence solutions for industrial sector clients, to predict component failures, decrease the frequency of unscheduled maintenance and improve the productivity of repair operations.
“The Bradley already has sensors throughout it on major components of systems, so what we’ll be doing is capturing that data that is generated all throughout the Bradley and then combining it with our software to provide insights on potential failures before they happen,” said Matthew Lehner, a spokesperson for Uptake.
None of the company’s software is uploaded to the military vehicle. The data from the sensors is transmitted to the cloud, where Uptake’s software analyzes normal operational patterns and learns to predict failures.
The company will also leverage the billions of hours of operating data it has collected from the other industries it serves, Lehner said. “We have 230 million hours of data on diesel combustion engines, which is something the Bradley also has,” he said.
The Uptake interface provides insight on individual vehicles. If a fault is found, then it is listed along with a fault code, a description, the severity (low, medium, critical), and the first and last occurrence of that particular fault.
The interface largely stays the same from industry to industry, but the machine learning models have to be changed and require a verification period before full deployment, Lehner said.
In 2016, the Army Materiel Command’s Logistics Support Activity worked on a similar project with IBM that used the company’s Watson artificial intelligence platform to help predict maintenance problems in Stryker combat vehicles. (Source: Defense Systems)
05 Jul 18. US AFLCMC tests new expeditionary medical systems equipment. The US Air Force (USAF) Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) and the Air Combat Command Surgeon General Office have carried out tests on new collective protection tent and joint expeditionary medical systems.
During the event, US airmen compared existing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRNE) defence capabilities equipment to new expeditionary medical systems (EMEDS) equipment. Tests were conducted at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, US.
The exercise has been primarily designed to focus on employing a new EMEDS tent liner that incorporates an airlock system, creating an over-pressurised environment that is protected from CBRNE agents
USAF Life Cycle Management Center CBRNE Protective Systems programme manager major Ben Schumacher said: “Anyone who has been out there doing an exercise on a hot day in the summer, or even a cold day in the winter, knows how terrible it can be after wearing chemical protective equipment for even a short period of time.
“There is also an increased risk of exposing or contaminating others, including patients, due to fatigue or stress of trying to operate while wearing chemical protective equipment.”
The toxic-free environment will allow medical personnel to treat patients comfortably and efficiently in a clean environment without the need to wear full mission-oriented protective suits.
Tent liners will also allow medical personnel to work for extended periods of time without the need to swap their chemically protective attire.
Schumacher added: “With the training and equipment exhibited during this exercise, we can be ready to protect the medical mission during an attack, and this can directly result in saving lives.”
A group of airmen from the USAF’s 633rd Medical Support Squadron has already undergone training to learn about the new components and understand the parts that can be used interchangeably with the Tent Kit 2 units and the Stand Alone Large units. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
03 Jul 18. Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, has been awarded a $420,000,000 firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, for AE 3007H (F137) engine-sustainment services. This contract provides for maintenance, repair and overhaul of the engine, as well as program management and sustaining engineering services. Work will be performed in Montreal, Canada; and Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, and is expected to be completed June 30, 2024. This award is the result of sole-source acquisition and only one offer was received. Air Force fiscal year 2018 operations and maintenance funds; and Navy fiscal year 2018 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $8,234,270 are being obligated at the time of award against an undefinitized contract order (FA8124-18-F-0043) with a not-to-exceed price of $10,979,027. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity (FA8124-18-D-0004). (Awarded June 29, 2018)
03 Jul 18. Lockheed Martin Gyrocam Systems LLC, Orlando, Florida, has been awarded a maximum $80,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production and delivery of spare parts for the AN/VSQ-6B Vehicle Optics Sensor system. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Florida, with a July 3, 2023, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2018 through 2023 Army working capital funds; and fiscal 2018 through 2023 other procurement (Army) funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland (SPRBL1-18-D-0024).
29 Jun 18. US Army Awards Oshkosh $49m to Bring Autonomous Technology to the Battlefield. Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, announced today that the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) awarded Oshkosh a $49m contract to integrate existing Palletized Load System (PLS) vehicles with scalable autonomous technology as part of the U.S. Army’s Expedient Leader Follower (ExLF) program.
The ExLF program addresses the needs of the Leader Follower Directed Requirement and Program of Record by removing soldiers from the vehicle while operating in highly-contested areas. Oshkosh autonomous technology was designed with the flexibility to be operated in a variety of modes, including leader-follower, fully autonomous, and teleoperation, to support manned or unmanned operations.
“The PLS has been an integral part of the U.S. Army’s resupply and distribution fleet for over 25 years,” said Pat Williams, Vice President and General Manager of Army and Marine Corps programs for Oshkosh Defense. “By equipping these vehicles with autonomous capabilities, we can significantly reduce our soldiers’ exposure to enemy threats by taking them out of the vehicle altogether.”
Under the contract, Oshkosh will integrate an initial 70 autonomy kits for Program Development and Operational Technical Demonstrations (OTD). The contract holds an option to procure up to 150 autonomy kits.
“We are committed to bringing this life-saving technology to the battlefield,” Williams continued. “Through nearly 15 years of Oshkosh research and development, including independent and government testing, we are very proud to see this technology reach the U.S. Army fleets.”
(Source: ASD Network)
02 Jul 18. F-35 programme still struggling with acquiring spare parts. Key Points:
- The F-35 programme continues to struggle with acquiring a proper amount of spare parts
- This limits the number of aircraft available to fly
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme continues to struggle to acquire the proper amount of spare parts, six months after the Pentagon’s weapon tester announced it was a problem.
Air Combat Command (ACC) chief General James Holmes said on 28 June that while it is not unusual for a new airplane to have a spare parts problem, supply remains an issue. The Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) said in his January report for fiscal year 2017 (FY 2017) that the percentage of the entire F-35 fleet that cannot fly while awaiting replacement parts is increasing owing to inadequate supply support. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 Jun 18. Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded $19,886,882 for modification P00038 to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00019-16-C-0004) for the low rate initial production Lot 10 Non-Annualized Sustainment Contract Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) 3.0 rollout. This modification provides for the ALIS 3.0 software fleet release and installation into operational and production ALIS assets as well as required training to U.S. Government and international partner personnel in support of the F-35 aircraft. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida (98 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2018. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps); non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participant and foreign military sales (FMS) funds in the amount of $19,886,882 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the Air Force ($6,181,442; 31 percent); Navy ($2,581,008; 13 percent); Marine Corps ($2,501,953; 12.6 percent); non-U.S. DoD participants ($6,959,754; 35 percent); and FMS ($1,662,725; 8.4 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
29 Jun 18. RMIT studies laser metal technology for defence aircraft parts. A team of researchers from Australia’s RMIT University is using laser metal technology to develop parts for defence aircraft under a two-year project. Led by professor Milan Brandt, the RMIT team is working in collaboration with RUAG Australia and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC). The technology can be used to build and repair steel and titanium parts for both existing aircraft and the newest F-35 Lightning II fleet.
Brandt said: “It’s basically a very high-tech welding process where we make or rebuild metal parts layer by layer.”
The laser metal technology works by feeding metal powder into a laser beam, which is scanned across a surface to add new material in a precise, web-like formation.
It can be used to 3D print new parts or to repair and modify existing parts with a bond that is as strong as, or in some cases stronger, than the original parts.
The technology will help transform the supply of defence replacement parts by allowing parts to be easily built or repaired on-site instead of being stored and transported.
RUAG Australia Research and Technology head Neil Matthews said: “Instead of waiting for spare parts to arrive from a warehouse, an effective solution will now be on-site.
“For defence forces, this means less downtime for repairs and a dramatic increase in the availability and readiness of aircraft.”
According to RMIT, locally printed components would possibly save money on maintenance and spare part procurement, scrap metal management, warehousing and shipping costs. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
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].
To learn more about Oshkosh Defense, please visit us at www.oshkoshdefense.com.
Sponsored By Oxley Developments
03 Jul 18. Oxley Secures a Place on the Prestigious Sharing in Growth Programme. Oxley Developments has secured a place on Sharing in Growth (SiG), the government-backed aerospace productivity and competitiveness programme. Oxley aims to double turnover after five years and treble turnover after ten years of working with Sharing in Growth’s business transformation experts. This growth will also see the creation of a number of new jobs based at the Priory Park site in Cumbria.
Oxley is a leading designer and manufacturer of LED lighting, night vision products and electronic components for the aerospace and defence sector. The company was founded in 1942 and has a 160 strong team at its base in Cumbria, offering a full end to end design and manufacturing service. Oxley works with major aerospace companies across the globe including Boeing, Saab, Gulfstream, Lockheed Martin, and Airbus. Recent key projects include full LED external lighting suites for the Gulfstream G500 and G600, a full range of external lighting for the Saab Gripen, the development of a full suite of external lights for KF-X in South Korea and specialist lighting for the KC-46 tanker program for Boeing.
Oxley applied to join SiG to improve efficiency and transform processes, culture and skills throughout the business enabling them to achieve ambitious growth and export targets. SiG, which this year won the national Semta Skills Innovation Award, individually tailors and delivers an intense and integrated programme of training, coaching and mentoring for ambitious companies in the aerospace supply chain. The programme focuses on leadership, culture and operational capability, delivered by SiG’s own 120 strong team of business coaches as well as a bank of world-leading experts including The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, Deloitte, Industry Forum and the National Physical Laboratory.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “On my recent visit to Oxley, I saw the drive, determination and forward-thinking needed for any company to become a part of the Sharing in Growth programme. It was clear the staff and leadership team at Oxley have what it takes to make a success of the scheme and continue to deliver on targets for growth and exports.”
Oxley CEO, Martin Blakstad commented, ‘We’re delighted to have been accepted on to the world-class SiG programme. The structure will allow us to improve processes, gain efficiency and empower our people to deliver ambitious growth and set us on our way to greater success. We look forward to building on the strong relationship we have developed with the Sharing in Growth team and working closely with them moving forward.’
SiG CEO Andy Page added; “Sharing in Growth is delighted to support Oxley’s plans to double and then treble their turnover in the next ten years. Working with 60 aerospace companies, we aim to secure 50,000 man-years of work for the UK by driving improvements in operational competitiveness, leadership capability and business strategy. Already we are achieving a 60:1 return on public investment.”
04 Jul 18. Elbit Offers COTS Solutions Optimal for Upgrading Military Platforms. Leveraging its strong position in the aircraft upgrade market and the recent acquisition of Universal Avionics (“UA”), Elbit Systems is to showcase at the upcoming exhibition in Farnborough a unique offering of commercial systems for military upgrade programs. Defense budgets constraints and a widening requirement to comply with civilian airspace regulations drive a growing demand for commercial cockpit solutions for military platform upgrades. Cost efficiencies, shorter time to market and full compliance with Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) regulations make Commercial of the Shelf (COTS) avionics optimal for upgrading military platforms. Addressing these growing needs Elbit Systems, together with its wholly owned subsidiary Universal Avionics, presents a unique portfolio of COTS CNS/ATM compliant solutions for upgrading Para-military and military aircraft including helicopters, transporters and special mission aircraft. The offering to be showcased in the Company booth #1354 (Hall 1) at Farnborough includes Universal Avionics’ Flight Management Systems (FMS), Primary Flight Display system and communication systems alongside Elbit Systems’ Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS), Head-Up Display (HUD) and wearable HUD product line.
Yoram Shmuely, EVP and General Manager of Elbit Systems’ Aerospace Division commented:” Our leadership in the field of upgrading military platforms our technological edge in the commercial aviation area together with UA’s portfolio, enable us to promote this unique offering that is optimally suited to address the evolving market trends”.
(Source: ASD Network)
06 Jul 18. The Department of Defense Announces its Digital Engineering Strategy. Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin released the Department of Defense Digital Engineering Strategy today.
The strategy promotes the use of digital representations of systems and components and the use of digital artifacts to design and sustain national defense systems. The department’s five strategic goals for digital engineering are:
- Formalize the development, integration, and use of models to inform enterprise and program decision making
- Provide an enduring, authoritative source of truth
- Incorporate technological innovation to improve the engineering practice
- Establish a supporting infrastructure and environment to perform activities, collaborate and communicate across stakeholders
- Transform the culture and workforce to adopt and support digital engineering across the lifecycle
(Source: US DoD)
05 Jul 18. Turkish Aerospace Industries Chooses Dassault Systèmes for Turkey’s Largest Aviation Project.
- Turkish Aerospace will use the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for end to end development of next generation, multirole aircraft
- More than 2,000 stakeholders will digitally collaborate across functions and organizations
- Dassault Systèmes selected after comprehensive evaluation of market solutions
Dassault Systèmes (Paris:DSY) (Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) announced that Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. chose the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to accelerate the development of the TF-X aircraft, the newest and largest aviation development project in Turkey.
The decision follows Turkish Aerospace’s comprehensive evaluation of solutions available on the market and the successful completion of a proof of concept. It also reflects Dassault Systèmes’ 30-year legacy that continues to shape the aerospace and defense industry.
Turkish Aerospace will use the Winning Program, Co-Design to Target, Test to Perform, Ready for Rate and Build to Operate industry solution experiences based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to develop its next generation, multirole aircraft from design through production. More than 2,000 project participants at Turkish Aerospace, its partners and suppliers will collaborate by relying on a single source of data across all digital design, engineering, simulation, manufacturing, business analytics and governance applications.
“The size of the TF-X Program presented us with an opportunity. We wanted to select a software solution suitable for this project that also allows us to streamline our business process with Aerospace best practices,” said Temel Kotil, President/CEO, Turkish Aerospace. “Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform and its integrated applications convinced us of the need for taking a next step. Our company will gain extensive capabilities for aviation design, development and production, and be able to demonstrate its determination to accomplish large projects.”
“Aircraft development, considered one of the most technologically advanced projects in any industry, is growing more complex. As companies integrate sophisticated systems and technologies, they seek new ways to conceptualize, design, manufacture, test, certify and sustain products while collaborating across functions and geographies,” said David Ziegler, Vice President, Aerospace & Defense Industry, Dassault Systèmes. “The 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides them with the digital capabilities to accelerate such programs by up to 50 percent. Turkish Aerospace can therefore improve decision-making, reduce risks, and transform its end-to-end development.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
04 Jul 18. Lockheed Martin engages with Taiwan on titanium technologies. Lockheed Martin is supporting the advancement of Taiwan’s aerospace and defence (A&D) industry through a programme to support the indigenous development and production of titanium, the US corporation has confirmed to Jane’s. The ‘titanium investment casting’ project is being carried out under an industrial co-operation programme (ICP) linked to Taiwan’s procurement of Lockheed Martin Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air missiles. A spokesperson from Lockheed Martin said on 3 July, “Lockheed Martin has a long history of support and co-operation for industrialisation efforts in Taiwan. The titanium investment casting project is another example of our successful partnership.”
Jane’s understands that the project consists of Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) business division transferring technologies and know-how to industry in Taiwan to build understanding and capability in the investment casting process for titanium. The project has reportedly recently been approved for implementation.
According to documents published by Taiwan ICP Office (ICPO) – an agency under the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Industrial Development Bureau – the project is intended to enhance the proficiency in Taiwan in titanium investment casting process technology in the areas of radiographic and penetrate inspection, hot isostatic pressure processing, pyrometry control, weld inspection methods, and certification to aerospace standards.
The ICPO added, “As a result of receiving this technology transfer assistance offered by MFC, [Taiwanese industry] will have the capabilities and ability to produce aerospace- and defence-grade titanium casting per military requirements.”
Lockheed Martin’s potential industrial partners on the titanium project have not been revealed but companies in Taiwan that have related capability include Cheng Huan Industry, CB-Ceratizit, Alformer Industrial, Alljack Technologies, Fong Jaw Aerospace, Yomura Technologies, and Chengfeng Machinery.
Lockheed Martin’s most recent PAC-3 requirement in the country was framed by a programme announced by the US government in 2010. This called for the delivery of 114 PAC-3 missiles and associated equipment and, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, had an estimated value of USD2.81bn. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. ASTARS III flying classroom delivered to US Naval Test Pilot School. The US Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) has taken delivery of a customised Fairchild Swearingen C-26A Metroliner modified to serve as a next generation of flying classroom for students. Known as the Airborne Systems Training and Research Support (ASTARS) III, the aircraft was handed over to the USNTPS on 29 June at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River following modification by M7 Aerospace, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems of America. The C-26A became available to the USNTPS in late 2015 after being retired from conducting counter-narcotics missions along the Mexican border. According to the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), the aircraft “arrived with minimal documentation and maintenance records requiring extensive work in order to meet Federal Aviation Administration standards”. In addition, the C-26A “required unique modifications to meet the school’s flying classroom requirements for future curriculum”.
In May 2016 M7 Aerospace was awarded a USD7.5m firm fixed-price contract by the US Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) Tactical Airlift, Adversary and Support Aircraft programme office (PMA-207) to convert the C-26A aircraft to ASTARS III standard. As well as installing an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance payload upgrade, M7 also integrated a Leonardo Vixen 500E active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar in place of the legacy weather radar. Aircraft modification work was undertaken at M7 Aerospace’s facility in San Antonio, Texas. Representatives from USNTPS, PMA-207 and NAWCAD’s own AIRWorks rapid prototyping and production team worked alongside M7 Aerospace to deliver the modification programme, so reducing the programme timescale while maintaining the aircraft’s configuration control. ASTARS III is the third generation of flying classroom for the USNTPS curriculum. It will replace ASTARS II – a leased modified Saab 340 – which comes off contract later in 2018. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. DARPA awards LiquidPiston Phase 2 contract for prototype engine. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded LiquidPiston a Phase 2 contract for development of an advanced lightweight rotary diesel engine prototype. The Phase 2 effort will focus on demonstrating 30kW of power from LiquidPiston’s .75 L X4 prototype.
The rotary diesel/JP-8 X4 engine offers a disruptive power solution for direct as well as hybrid electric propulsion and power generation, the company said in a statement. The ‘X’ engine is like an ‘inside-out’ Wankel, Alexander Shkolnik, chief executive officer and founder of LiquidPiston, told Jane’s.
“Instead of a triangular rotor within an epitrochoidal [peanut] shaped housing, we have an epitrochoidal rotor within a 3-lobed housing. This changes everything: instead of a long skinny moving combustion chamber, we have a small [round] chamber with low surface-to-volume, and this combustion chamber is stationary, making it suitable for direct injection, and can be made small which increases the compression ratio,” he said.
The X engine is therefore uniquely suitable for diesel compression ignition, Shkolnik added.
“We have run our X4 engine at up to 26:1 compression ratio, with 150 bar [greater than 2000 PSI – pound per square inch] of firing chamber pressure, naturally aspirated. The engine can be boosted with a supercharger as well, but it is not required for this effort,” he said.
Shkolnik believes military forces’ autonomous air, sea, and ground vehicles would benefit from a new power platform that is compact, lightweight, and burns heavy fuels efficiently. And LiquidPiston’s technology could improve mission endurance and payload, or increase the mobility of higher power electric generators.
“On the unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV] side, our targets with DARPA are very aggressive. The engine should weigh 30 to 40 pounds [13 to 40 kg] and double the efficiency compared to other engines, for example the army’s Shadow UAV,” Shkolnik said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. Charles River Analytics Selected by DARPA to Develop Swarm System for Warfighters Engaged in Urban Operations.
Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, has been selected by DARPA to design, develop, and evaluate swarm tactics, primitives, and algorithms that support warfighters in urban operations. As part of DARPA’s Offensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program, Charles River is one of the sprinter teams chosen to develop tactics for successful swarm deployment.
Under its Swarm Algorithms and Tactics for Urban Reconnaissance and Isolation (SATURN) effort, Charles River Analytics is developing capabilities to provide heterogeneous swarms of unlimited size with resilient swarm behavior while achieving mission objectives.
Conducted in a series of sprints, the goal of the OFFSET program is to develop and demonstrate 100+ operationally relevant swarm tactics that could be used by groups of unmanned air and/or ground systems, eventually numbering more than 250 unmanned systems. Charles River is one of five sprinter teams that are developing and testing swarm tactics within the simulation environments created by the two integrator teams, Raytheon BBN and Northrop Grumman Mission Systems.
“Using autonomous swarm systems in urban operations could offer U.S. forces and their allies a significant advantage,” said Dr. Spencer Lynn, Senior Scientist at Charles River Analytics. “We are thrilled that we were selected by DARPA to advance swarm tactics by applying principals derived from biological swarms. Our tactics are being designed to make swarms more effective in urban operations, ultimately keeping our warfighters out of harm’s way.”
Under SATURN, Charles River is designing swarm tactics, primitives, and algorithms with:
- Bio-inspired approaches to address scalable communication between swarm vehicles, decentralized task allocation, and resilience in austere conditions
- A behavior execution engine using the Hap agent framework
- Real-time object detection and tracking software to facilitate line-of-sight communication for drones in communication-denied environments
- Integration of the Unity3D game engine to support demonstrations of our swarm working in realistic scenarios(Source: ASD Network)
02 Jul 18. India devolves spending powers for defence R&D. India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has given its Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) greater financial powers to sanction projects internally in a bid to accelerate related science and technology programmes.
The MoD said on 27 June that the directive, which lowers the approval threshold for a range of DRDO officials, is intended to “neutralise the ill-effects of over-centralisation and facilitate quicker decision making”.
The decision affects DRDO procurement activities and research and development (R&D) projects, as well as programmes that the organisation undertakes in collaboration with domestic defence companies and academia. In addition, the directive devolves approval powers for specific projects from the MoD to the DRDO itself. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. Scientists harness space particles to detect radioactive material. Scientists have successfully developed a technology that can harness muons – essentially heavy electrons derived from space particles – to detect and safely manage radioactive waste.
The £7m project, led by scientists from National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), the University of Glasgow and spin-off company Lynkeos Technology Ltd., could have major implications for nuclear decommissioning, the storing of historic waste and the testing of new waste management techniques.
The technology has created a method for detecting when muons – particles produced when cosmic rays collide with the earth’s atmosphere – pass through uranium.
Dr Craig Shearer, project leader at NNL, said: “About 10,000 muons are hitting every square metre of the earth’s surface every minute. Dozens hit you every second and when they do, they pass straight through you – with almost no distinguishable deviation. This is not true when they hit uranium however. Instead, they scatter.
“When we first looked at this in 2009, we thought we had a 50/50 chance of turning this idea into a product that could be commercialised for the nuclear industry. But the results surpassed expectations at every stage.”
NNL are currently deploying the technology at Sellafield and the detector has now been commercialised by Lynkeos Technology, ready to be sold on the global market.
Prof. Ralf Kaiser, CEO of Lynkeos, said: “The Muon Imaging System (MIS) can be used for a variety of purposes, whether that’s inspecting old/spent material used in nuclear production to see if it’s safe to store, for imaging the products of thermal treatment processes or inspecting historic waste without needing to chip away its concrete encasing”.
“This form of detection is providing the nuclear industry with an inexpensive method for testing waste materials, to which there is currently no other technological option. This should help to significantly lower costs within the nuclear industry.”
The project, which received initial seed funding from NNL, has also been supported with a £1.6m research contract from Innovate UK, £4.8m funding from Sellafield Ltd and further grants and fellowships from EPSRC, STFC and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
30 Jun 18. New soft robots could flop their way onto the battlefields of the future. The future of robots is wetter than expected. In a new demonstration released by engineers at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, a 3-D printed soft robot flopped about deliberately underwater, grabbed and pulled objects, and even walked. The range of applications for robots like this span every field from artificial organs to underwater inspections.
Operating underwater, soft robots built on this research could collect evidence from lost vehicles, sift through contraband tossed overboard, and maybe at a larger scale even be used in demining operations.
Or consider, instead, the ability to pull an object inward, and imagine that capability inside the maw of a robotic fish. Discreet intelligence collection, hidden inside the mock bodies of artificial animals, could collect trash from the shores of artificial islands or follow in the wakes of coastal patrols. For a Navy looking at new ways to survey the sea, robots that can mimic animals offer a kind of stealth.
And then there is the walker. Look at this thing! Cartoonish, alien, and just an inch tall.
Walking is maybe not the most efficient way to move underwater but the form works, and if the body could carry a sensor, it’s not harm to imagine a larger version of the machine flopping onto shores after a release deep underwater, moist bodies flailing into position to provide some passive surveillance hours or even days before humans get there.
None of this is necessarily a direction the technology wants to go, but the potential is there, and as navies around the world look for new ways to perform their responsibilities, soft robots might join the growing legions of unmanned underwater machines. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
02 Jul 18. Saab Australia welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement that BAE Systems Australia will design and build Australia’s future frigate. These new ships will provide the Royal Australian Navy with its most advanced anti-submarine warfare capability yet with the Saab Australia tactical interface at its heart. To support Australia’s leading combat system engineering team, we’ve recruited an additional 70 qualified engineers and expanded our development facilities within our Australian headquarters. We are now looking forward to strengthening our partnership with BAE Systems Australia, to collaboratively design and develop the combat capability for these powerful new ships. Our 9LV combat management system will provide the backbone and tactical interface for the new frigates and Air Warfare Destroyers. It’s the combat system of choice for the Royal Australian Navy fleet, and will be for decades beyond. This is testament to the close collaboration we’ve had with Navy over the past thirty years as we’ve developed and delivered, what has become Australia’s own, sovereign combat system capability.
30 Jun 18. TMD Technologies Limited (TMD), world class, West London based manufacturer of professional microwave and RF products, can now offer an ultra high power dual combined version of its new PTCM Series intelligent modular TWT (Travelling Wave Tube) instrumentation amplifiers.
Imad Gharib, TMD’s Sales Manager for Instrumentation Amplifiers said: “We have years of experience in power combining techniques used in our previous classic designs, to achieve the higher powers required for the more challenging EMC HIRF (High Intensity RF) testing applications. This has now enabled us to offer power combined amplifiers in our newest PTCM range – with all the built-in user benefits, including rugged modular design, advanced self-diagnosis, graphical user interface, and remote management. Our project teams are on schedule”, continued Imad Gharib, “and development of the PTCM high power dual version is now advanced enough for us to take orders.”
High power – and intelligent. Typically, the new dual PTCM units deliver more than 10 kW pulsed and greater than 4 kW CW, mainly covering the range 2-18 GHz. The exceptional performance is achieved by combining two TWTs and high voltage power supplies within one rack mountable amplifier – thus maintaining a single input and output.
The inherent high level of amplifier intelligence is provided by a state of the art system – controlling and synchronising all power conversion circuitry in real time, and all the monitoring, control, data logging and user interface functionality.
The high reliability PTCM amplifier is built to demanding military standards, with excellent thermal management to provide outstanding MTBF. Also featured is VSWR (Voltage Standing Wave Ratio) reflected power protection. In addition to the HIRF EMC/EMI application, the PTCM dual can be used in the scientific, medical and other fields.
28 Jun 18. A Senate panel wants to spend an extra $400m on microelectronics. When the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on defense released a summary of their spending priorities June 26, the bill included a significant increase for one emerging technology.
The panel recommended setting aside an additional $447m for microelectronics. Specifically, the committee wanted to ensure the Department of Defense has access to trusted microelectronics and can develop manufacturing processes for next-generation microprocessor chips. To do so, the bill raised the fiscal year 2019 research, development, testing and evaluation budget for microelectronic technology from $169m in the president’s fiscal year 2019 budget request to $616m.
Already, concern about the domestic production of microelectronics is expected to be part of a large defense industrial base review now underway.
But what exactly are microelectronics, and why is their development worth so much to DoD?
Microelectronic chips are essentially integrated electric circuits that regulate energy consumption, and perform complex computations that enable capabilities like global positioning systems, radar and command and control. Imagine all of the components that go into your computer ― memory, graphics processors, wifi modules, etc ― all on a single silicon chip, called a wafer.
Leading-edge wafers typically are 300 mm in diameter and loaded with transistors, resistors, insulators and conductors that control the flow of electrons (read electrical energy) across the chip. The smaller and smaller these components are, specifically transistors, the more can be fit on a chip, enabling faster and more efficient processing.
Transistors themselves are measured in nanometers (nm), and are unfathomably small to most non-scientists and engineers. One nanometer equates to a billionth of meter! To put that into perspective, the average diameter of a human hair is 75,000 nm.
The most cutting-edge transistors used in microelectronics measure between 10 and 7nm, and are expected to get smaller in coming years.
Smaller and smaller transistors will contribute to breakthroughs in “machine learning, data sorting for recognition of events, and countering electromagnetic threats,” according to a Defense Advance Research Project Agency backgrounder.
Because Pentagon leaders believe this technology is vital for current and future capabilities, technology officials say it is important DoD can trust microelectronics are reliable and secure from adversary attacks and sabotage.
For this reason, DARPA launched the five-year, up to $200m Electronics Resurgence Initiative in September 2017 “to nurture research in advanced new materials, circuit design tools, and system architectures.” A key thrust of this initiative is partnership with top universities through the Joint University Microelectronics Program, or JUMP. The program enlists top researchers to work on proejcts like cognitive computing, secure cellular infrastructure to support autonomous vehicles and intelligent highways and other technologies enabled by microelectronics.
Under the Senate defense subcommittee’s markup, ERI received an additional $30m to help “reestablish U.S. primacy in assured microelectronics technology.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
29 Jun 18. Singapore, UK renew MOU on co-operative defence research. Singapore and the United Kingdom have renewed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on co-operative defence research (CDR) that will last for the next 10 years, according to a 28 June statement by Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).
Under the renewed MOU – which was signed the previous day by Singapore’s Chief Defence Scientist, Quek Gim Pew, and the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte – Singapore will “continue to collaborate with the UK MoD in joint research and technology development, and testing of defence-related technologies”.
Both sides will also look at closer collaboration in the areas of logistics management, maritime autonomy, and counterterrorism, according to the statement. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 Jun 18. HMS Defender receives new Type 45 CMS software in upkeep work. Key Points:
- A CMS software upgrade is among several new fits for the UK Type 45 destroyers, with HMS Defender first to receive these modifications
- Defender is also the first Type 45 to go through the latest full upkeep maintenance and modification process
The UK Royal Navy (RN) Type 45 air-defence destroyer HMS Defender has received a datalink software upgrade for its CMS-1 combat management system (CMS). The upgrade, introduced as part of a recent full upkeep period, is one of several modifications embodied in a Type 45 for the first time.
The new CMS-1 software (version 220.127.116.11) brings an improved version of the Cayman software application that interfaces with Defender’s Link 11 and Link 16 tactical data exchange networks and the ship’s satellite tactical data link (STDL) system. Cayman correlates information, including contacts, from these various systems. The new software provides a patch that improves Cayman functionality. Alongside the software update, new processing hardware – next-generation ‘Tech 15’ hardware, which brings a processing power upgrade – has also been installed.
The new CMS software was trialled at sea on another Type 45 before Defender received the first fit of the proven version. During Defender’s own post-upkeep work-up at sea, the software underwent a combat system demonstration trial (a combined testing of weapons, sensors, software, and processes/procedures) during a Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) air-defence exercise. With aircraft and surface vessels gathered at FOST, Defender was able to use “real-world objects to test the command system, to make sure it functions correctly”, Lieutenant Commander Ben Shirley, Defender’s weapon engineer officer (WEO), told Jane’s.
The ship’s communications bandwidth capacity was also increased, with the installation of the latest SCOT5 Full Maritime Terminal (FMT) to support the ship’s satellite communications (satcom) capability. Lt Cdr Shirley said the bandwidth uplift was “an obsolescence management upgrade”.
(Source: IHS Jane’s)
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
Sponsored By Viasat
04 Jul 18. Star Navigation Announces STAR-LSAMM Land Ambulance System. Star Navigation Systems Group Ltd. (CSE:SNA) (CSE:SNA.CN) (OTCQB:SNAVF) (“Star” or the “Company”) recently announced that its R&D Department had completed development of its new In-Flight System Aided Medical Monitoring system (“STAR-ISAMM™”) for helicopter MEDEVAC applications (See June 4th News Release). Star is again pleased to announce that its R&D Department has now completed development of its Land System Aided Medical Monitoring system (“STAR-LSAMM™”) for ground ambulance applications. Utilizing Star’s patented STAR-A.D.S. ® technology, (on-board, real-time flight data monitoring and tracking system), STAR-LSAMM™ directly addresses the need to improve the transmission of the medical data of a patient to a hospital, while still in transit. The ground STAR-LSAMM™ unit is smaller, lighter, and perfectly adapted to a ground transportation environment, while the STAR-ISAMM™ is for airborne applications.
The STAR-LSAMM™ system interfaces with existing bio-medical equipment aboard the Emergency Service Ground Vehicle. It securely transmits the patients’ vital signs and other critical information directly to receiving hospital physicians through SATCOM or GSM, as well as providing tracking and location of the vehicle. This allows the early assessment and initiation of the best possible care plan, well before the patient arrives.
Star is in discussions with several individuals in the Emergency Medical Service industry. These recent breakthroughs in Star’s technology have garnered the interest of some large companies operating in that field.
The STAR-LSAMM™ prototype has been successfully demonstrated and Star expects that this will significantly enhance:
Interfacing with EMS, on the ground, improving on scene care and care in transit.
Providing better patient care with a seamless hospital virtual environment. The patient will be already ‘admitted’ to the hospital care service while being transported.
Star intends to start fielding the STAR-LSAMM™ system upon receipt of regulatory approvals.
Star’s R&D department will continue to rapidly develop the system, with the addition of new features through technological evolution.
(Source: ASD Network)
04 Jul 18. Next Four Galileo Satellites Fuelled for Launch. Europe’s next four Galileo satellites have been fuelled at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, in preparation for their launch on 25 July. The four satellites were placed into their protective containers to be transported from the S1A processing building to the S3B payload preparation building, where they were filled with the hydrazine fuel that will keep the satellites manoeuverable during their 12-year working lives. The next step is to fit the quartet onto the dispenser that holds them in place securely during launch and then releases them into space once the upper stage of the Ariane 5 rocket reaches its 22 922 km-altitude target orbit.
After that, the satellites plus dispenser will be fitted onto the upper stage then enclosed by the two sides of the protective launch fairing – one of which has had the mission logo added to it.
Meanwhile the Ariane 5 for this launch – known as Flight VA244 – has undergone assembly inside the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building.
The Galileo System began Initial Services on 15 December 2016, and more than 100 million devices are using Galileo today.
Galileo is Europe’s own global satellite navigation system, consisting of both the satellites in space and their associated ground infrastructure.
The definition, development and in-orbit validation phases were carried out by ESA, and co-funded by ESA and the European Commission. This phase created a mini-constellation of four satellites and a reduced ground segment to validate the overall concept, ahead of further deployment.
Success led to the current Full Operational Capability phase, fully funded by the EU and managed by the European Commission. The European Commission and ESA have a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as system design authority and procurement agent on behalf of the European Commission. (Source: ASD Network)
04 Jul 18. Goonhilly Earth Station has been the jewel in the crown of the UK space industry for decades. But it took a plucky group of entrepreneurial engineers to save Goonhilly from the BT wrecking ball in 2014. This team of visionaries saw the business opportunity in a $400bn global space industry that depends on reliable communications between spacecraft and the ground. The next chapter in Goonhilly’s growth is now underway following a £24m cash injection in May 2018 from the latest billionaire to join the 21st century space race, Peter Hargreaves.
- Partnering with ESA to create the world’s first commercial deep space communications station capable of tracking missions to the moon and Mars
- A green-energy data centre with terrestrial, sub-sea and space connectivity
- A world-class R&D and manufacturing facility linked to UK universities
A place so iconic that it features in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Goonhilly supported the moon landings, the first transatlantic TV broadcasts, and the birth of the Internet as it connected US and Europe. Now Goonhilly is galvanising its position as a gateway to space, making it one of the most exciting businesses in the UK today. Led by CEO Ian Jones, the latest incarnation of Goonhilly is already profitable and has secured contracts with nearly all of the world’s largest spacecraft operators across commercial satellites, deep space communications and earth observation.
04 Jul 18. Japan looks to develop space technologies for defence. The Japanese government wants to encourage its national space organisation, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), to play a greater role in developing defence technologies and capabilities, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has announced. He indicated that space-based technologies could be highlighted as priority capabilities in Japan’s new National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) and Medium Term Defense Program (MTDP), which are both scheduled to be introduced before the end of 2018 and will outline Japan Self-Defence Forces (JSDF) requirements during 2019-2023. In comments published by the MoD on 2 July, Onodera said, “We hope to strengthen the co-operative relationship between the Ministry of Defense and JAXA and provide opportunities to deepen space development for future defence and security purposes.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. Industry-leading teleport operator and solution provider, Media Broadcast Satellite (MBS), and Kymeta – the leader in flat-panel satellite antennas enabling always-on mobile broadband – announced the signature of a master agreement during Eurosatory 2018. The agreement allows MBS to provide Kymeta products and services to government and defence customers outside the U.S. The KyWay™ terminals will form an integral part of MBS’ tailored Satcom-on-the-Move (SOTM) and Satcom-on-the-Pause (SOTP) applications and services for non-US government customers on a global scale. Agile communications that can reach even the most remote areas are of paramount importance to government, defence, and intelligence customers today. On land, at sea, and in the air, connectivity is mission-critical and creates situational awareness for all involved. Operations are often carried out in the most remote areas and under harsh conditions. Satellite connectivity overcomes these barriers. Traditional parabolic satellite antennas, although widely used, can fail due to the moving parts and may limit the weapon station as they are not low profile enough to allow full coverage around the vehicles or vessels. Kymeta flat-panel satellite antenna technology is lightweight and slim, consumes very little power, is efficient and very reliable, with no mechanical components. Its easy commissioning and provisioning ensure rapid set-up and installation. The antenna may be used on vehicles and vessels to provide the high throughput connectivity that enables the complex government and defence applications of today. “We are delighted to announce that MBS has become an official partner and distributor of highly innovative flat-panel antenna technology from Kymeta,” says Sven Sünberg, Managing Director of MBS. “It is this kind of cutting-edge technology that MBS is dedicated to bringing to our customers, further enhancing our exceptional security, reliability, and agility in this constantly evolving market.” “Since Kymeta became the first commercially-available, flat-panel, electronically-steered satellite antenna provider, we have seen extensive interest from government, military, and public safety organizations around the world,” said David Harrower, SVP Global Sales, Kymeta. “Our customers in the government and defence markets have already found that Kymeta satellite antennas deliver fast tracking, even in some of the most unforgiving environments, making it perfect for the unique requirements of these markets. Adding MBS to our global distribution partner community will further support our efforts to bring broadband global, mobile connectivity where it has never been before,” continued Harrower. Media Broadcast Satellite GmbH mb-satellite.com Page 2 of 2 PRESS RELEASE 20.06.2018 MBS is already in discussions with several EU defence and public security organisations about the provision of services featuring the Kymeta antenna. MBS provides global Ku-band coverage across various platforms such as Newtec Dialog, ND SatCom 5G, and iDirect, and offers applications such as connectivity for theatres of operation; interconnection and interoperability of institutional or defence sites/network entities; command and control (C2); Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR); border control and special operations (SOF). For special missions, MBS will offer the Kymeta antenna as a camouflaged installation. “We acknowledge the unique challenges our government and defence customers face and we look forward to providing them with an antenna and service that can meet these demands,” continues Sünberg. “Kymeta offers a highly reliable solution that will transform mobile connectivity as we know it and will provide our customers with the mission assurance they are looking for,” he concludes. About Media Broadcast Satellite As the operator of one of the world’s largest teleports, Media Broadcast Satellite has been implementing and operating successful communication solutions for globally active customers since the 1970’s. Through its own teleport in Usingen near Frankfurt, Media Broadcast Satellite offers tailor-made solutions for the areas of broadcast, data, teleport and data.
02 Jul 18. Teledyne Soon to Begin Space-Based Imaging. Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:TDY) announced today the successful launch of the DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS) to the International Space Station (ISS) on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Over the next three months, the DESIS instrument, designed and built by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), will be installed and tested on Teledyne Brown Engineering’s Multi-User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES) aboard ISS.
DESIS is a hyperspectral sensor system with the capability of recording image data using 235 closely arranged wavelength channels across the visible to near-infrared spectra. With continuous coverage at an altitude approximately 250 miles above the Earth, the DESIS instrument will broaden our knowledge about agriculture, biodiversity, geology, water ecosystems and detect natural or man-made changes to the Earth’s surface.
Teledyne’s MUSES platform was developed as part of a cooperative agreement with NASA to create opportunities for both Government and Commercial applications such as imaging, technology demonstration, and space qualification payloads supporting research, scientific studies and humanitarian efforts. MUSES provides a precision-pointing environment on the ISS for earth-viewing instruments and it can accommodate up to four payloads simultaneously. It also offers the ability to robotically retrieve, upgrade, and service those instruments as well as return them to earth.
“Our partnerships with NASA and DLR expand the commercial use of the ISS and will provide our Governments with unique imaging data,” said Robert Mehrabian, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Teledyne. “Leveraging the infrastructure of the International Space Station and the remaining available payloads on MUSES, we hope for additional opportunities to support cost effective development and installation of other instruments designed for low earth orbit observation missions.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
02 Jul 18. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) reached a significant milestone in the Enhanced Polar System (EPS) Control and Planning Segment (CAPS) program last fall when the U.S. Air Force signed the DD-250, representing formal acceptance of EPS CAPS by the customer.
This milestone marks the completion of a five-year effort to design, develop, test and deliver the EPS CAPS for the Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate (MILSATCOM) and the beginning of a new effort, valued at $23m, to extend the company’s support role through December 2018.
“Our commitment to quality and performance underpinned our ability to deliver on a ground system of this complexity and strategic importance,” said Kenny Robinson, vice president, strategic force programs, Northrop Grumman. “We worked closely with our customer to meet all acceptance criteria, leading to a high quality product that meets, and in many cases, exceeds functional, performance and security requirements. We are proud to serve as a mission partner on EPS CAPS and committed to supporting the Air Force as we prepare for initial operating capacity.”
The U.S. Air Force’s EPS provides secure, jam-resistant satellite communications coverage to forces in the North Polar Region (above 65 degrees north latitude) in support of national objectives. CAPS is a next-generation ground system that receives telemetry and supplies configuration commands, mission planning and cryptographic planning for the two EPS polar-orbiting payloads.
Completion of the DD-250 milestone required meeting a set of rigorous acceptance criteria. This included complying with the Security Technical Implementation Guide, which is published by the Defense Information Systems Agency to help government and commercial computer networks achieve maximum security.
“Typically, ground systems take between 8-10 years to complete. However, in just under five years, the EPS CAPS team completed a full life-cycle of requirements, design, development, testing and acceptance to complete this effort,” added Robinson.
The follow-on support contract started September 2017 and will span 15 months to include operations and maintenance of EPS CAPS during testing of the overall system.
Northrop Grumman was awarded the original contract in November 2012 to develop, build and deliver EPS CAPS. The MILSATCOM directorate at the Air Force’s Space and Missile System Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is acquiring EPS and EPS CAPS.
Primary design, development and testing was performed in Redondo Beach, California, with additional CAPS work performed in Orlando, Florida, and Needham and Marlborough, Massachusetts.
02 Jul 18. Russia’s ASAT development takes aim at LEO assets. Key Points:
- Russia is developing anti-satellite (ASAT) systems that are designed to interfere with, or destroy, satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
- This could reduce an adversary’s ability to collect sensitive intelligence, possibly forcing a reliance on far less survivable collection systems such as airborne assets.
- Ground- and air-launched direct-ascent ASAT systems under development increase the risk of space debris and catastrophic consequences for all users within those orbital bands.
On 6 March 2018, Russia conducted a test of its direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) system, its experimental design programme (known in Russian as Opitno-Konstruktorskaya Rabota: OKR), codename Nudol, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
28 Jun 18. Speedcast and Kymeta Partner Up for Flat Panel Antenna Integration. Speedcast International Limited (ASX: SDA) has partnered with Kymeta Corporation to develop and roll out product offerings featuring the Kymeta KyWay Terminal, which integrates ground-breaking mTenna™ flat-panel antenna technology.
Under the partnership agreement, Speedcast will integrate the Kymeta terminal into the company’s industry-leading Speedcast Atlas™ managed service to deliver the latest cutting-edge technology to its customers.
The Kymeta KyWay terminal features an innovative electronically-steered, flat-panel Ku-band antenna. The slim and lightweight profile makes it easy to install in a variety of mobility settings, such as on the top of a yacht or the side of a command vehicle. The KyWay terminal has no moving parts, simplifying maintenance, and eliminates much of the cost and infrastructure required by traditional VSAT antennas, making it an ideal solution for mobility markets.
Tim Bailey, EVP, Products, Marketing, & Business Development, Speedcast, said that a key area of focus for Speedcast is to constantly innovate to provide business value for customers. The Kymeta KyWay Terminal will bring game-changing technology to many of the market segments that Speedcast serves.
David Harrower, SVP, Global Sales, Kymeta, added that for nearly 20 years, Speedcast has been delivering remote communications solutions to their customers. The company looks forward to working with Speedcast to enable end-to-end broadband communications to provide a seamless, always-connected solution. (Source: Satnews)
27 Jun 18. C-Band Reallocation Proposal Put Forward by FCC.
In early February of this year, Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I) and SES S.A. composed a proposal to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which sought to protect the wide array of established satellite services in the 3700 to 4200 MHz C-band downlink spectrum, while opening a specified portion of that spectrum for terrestrial mobile use.
The FCC, in a draft proposal issued on June 21, could bring C-band spectrum to the wireless industry via a four step plan that will allow a portion of this RF spectrum to be used by 5G wireless nets. The proposal seems to follow the majority of an Intelsat and SES proposal developed earlier this year that recommended the establishment of a commercial and technical framework that would permit wireless operators to quickly access approximately 100 MHz of nationwide C-band downlink spectrum in the United States, which would enable the seeding of 5G services.
The stated purpose of the Intelsat and SES proposal was to protect the quality and reliability of the extensive services offered by satellite operators in C-band to U.S. broadcasters, media and data companies, and to make certain the seamless distribution of video and audio programming would continue to 100+ million U.S. households. Additionally, the provisioning of critical data connectivity in rural areas and for emergency situations as well as U.S. Government connectivity would also be “protected”.
The proposal called for the institution of a Transition Facilitator consortium to be formed by industry members to enter into negotiations with mobile operators for approval of spectrum transference. Consortium membership would be open to all satellite operators that are delivering C-band downlink frequencies to any portion of the lower 48 United States and would oversee the governance of the initiative as well as define and implement spectrum clearance methodology.
In statements last February concerning what-was-then the FCC’s tentative plan:
- Karim Michel Sabbagh, President and CEO of SES, said that the C-band is and remains a critical component of the U.S. network architecture. Space and ground segment operators have invested billions of dollars in U.S. C-band networks and connectivity and generate important value out of it. It is therefore our duty and mission to protect the C-band in the U.S. from any form of disruption and preserve its use. The C-band satellite consortium is to be set up to ensure that the expansion of the C-band ecosystem in the U.S. will protect the interests of hundreds of established services and millions of American end-users, while at the same time paving the way for the creation of next-generation 5G terrestrial services.
- Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler said that the company’s priority continues to be creating a framework that provides certainty and protects the quality and reliability of the services the company provides to their media, network services and government customers. This proposed market-based solution provides a speedy resolution to the U.S. objective of accelerating deployment of 5G services. With Intelsat and SES now in agreement on major tenets of the framework, and with the support of Intel, the companies are confident in the ability to implement this proposal quickly and efficiently, ultimately to the benefit of American consumers and the U.S. economy.
There are four steps outlined in the just-released FCC draft proposal for C-band reallocation. The first step is the aforementioned Transition Facilitator and whether or not to implement this endeavor — this possibility is now open to industry and interest group discussions. The second step would be to handle the companies who wish to gain C-band spectrum in a negotiation process with the Transition Facilitator (should such an entity be approved by the FCC). The third step, following an approved transition plan, would be to start the process of accepting C-band terrestrial license applications. The fourth step would be the actual granting of licenses.
The FCC vote will occur on July 12 and the agency will decide at that time whether or not to open comment on the use of 500 MHz of the C-band. The federal agency is also requiring fixed-satellite service (FSS) Earth stations and space stations to “provide a clearer understanding of their operations.” The FCC will also ask for comment regarding potential aspects of C-band use, from a mobile allocation to “flexible use in the band, including whether to transition all or part of the band through a market-based mechanism, auction mechanisms, or alternative mechanisms” and “potentially allowing point-to-multipoint use on a shared basis.”
Claude Aiken, President of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), stated that unlocking this spectrum for fixed wireless use would expand broadband access and competition for millions of rural Americans who lack choices today. If this action is correctly completed, there could be more gigabit fixed wireless in rural America — sharing with satellite receivers and others is possible through frequency coordination and WISPA looks forward to supplementing the record.
Intelsat and SES commented positively on the June 25 FCC draft plan, with the former stating this was “…the most expedient solution,” and the latter with “we are pleased with the positioning of our proposal…”
25 Jun 18. Iridium Cements CertusSM Companies Into Place as Service Providers. Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) has revealed that COMSAT Inc., Gilat Telecom, Globecomm, MetOcean Telematics, NSSLGlobal, Trace Systems and Wireless Innovation, have all officially been added as Iridium CertusSM service providers for land-mobile applications. Ideal for organizations in need of “on-the-move” connectivity solutions, Iridium Certus will bring a full suite of services enabling the first truly globally connected vehicles when used with the Thales MissionLINK™ terminal. Each of these new Iridium Certus service providers will play a crucial role in distributing the next-generation service to their unique customer networks. The addition of these seven companies brings the total number of service providers for land-mobile applications to 20. The Iridium Certus service includes features like high-quality voice calling and low latency IP data with speeds debuting at 352 Kbps, and upgradable to 704 Kbps download speeds with a future firmware release. This will provide the fastest reliable L-band satellite broadband connectivity on the market. Land-mobile users will gain access to a truly connected environment whether at a remote work site or on-the-move with connected vehicles.
Due to the architecture of the Iridium satellite constellation, with 66 crosslinked, low-earth-orbit satellites, users will experience consistent data speeds everywhere on the planet, unlike geostationary networks that experience degraded performance at higher latitudes or may be blocked entirely by mountains or other obstructions. This consistency can give end-users the peace-of-mind that key features of the Iridium Certus service, like dynamic service access, will remain accessible. Dynamic service access will allow multiple users to place phone calls via smartphone or wired line while simultaneously using the satellite data connection to send and receive email messages and access online information. In addition, the solution will enable creation of a ‘radio gateway’, providing connectivity through the Thales MissionLINK terminal that will allow Land Mobile Radio (LMR) users to integrate SATCOM with their dispatch centers, or link field LMR teams together allowing them to communicate over the Iridium satellite network. This can expand the reach of LMR systems beyond line of site and enable SATCOM to LMR communication, globally.
Enabled by Iridium NEXT, the company’s next-generation, $3bn satellite constellation, Iridium Certus will provide higher quality voice capabilities, alongside enterprise-grade broadband functionality, for the entire planet, whether on land, in the air or at sea. To date, there have been six successful Iridium NEXT launches, deploying 55 new satellites. Two additional launches are planned for 2018 to complete the constellation of 75 new satellites, of which 66 will be in the active constellation, with nine on-orbit spares. The seventh launch is currently targeted by SpaceX for July 20, 2018 out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Josh Miner, VP land-mobile business, Iridium, said that each service provider is invaluable to the success of Iridium Certus. Having an expansive distribution network is at the core of the company’s business strategy and helps the firm to directly address the need for reliable connectivity anywhere on the planet. With Iridium Certus, there will be greater speed capability with the same resilience and dependability the Iridium network is known for. The service work across the globe and the hardware is small and able to withstand harsh conditions, making it a very competitive option for today’s ever-expanding market.” (Source: Satnews)
25 Jun 18. ST Engineering Electronics Goes in Deep. Smart Satellite Connectivity in Maritime Markets and More.
Two companies are teaming up to offer their customers in the maritime communications markets high performance, cost-effective satellite connectivity. ST Engineering Electronics’ partnership with global communications partner Orbit Communications Systems (Orbit) was announced in the lead-up to ConnecTech Asia 2018 taking place on June 26-28.
ST Engineering Electronics has been selected by Orbit, a provider of precision tracking-based communications solutions and airborne communications management systems, to supply its Agilis® Multi-Band Block Up Converters (BUCs) to strengthen Orbit’s maritime Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) system.
The compact Agilis® BUCs enable higher efficiencies with their improved radio frequency (RF) performance that accommodates higher uplink data transmission rates. Supporting band-switching flexibility, the BUCs allow seamless transfer between new space and legacy satellites, preventing connection loss and delivering superior connectivity under severe sea conditions.
Goh Wai Pheng, General Manager, Satcom & Sensors Systems, ST Engineering Electronics said they are proud of the support and confidence their customers have in their ability to meet their stringent requirements. Their in-depth understanding of their customers’ satellite business needs, coupled with their highly engineered portfolio of satellite communications solutions, has enabled them to implement new and improved connectivity to meet unprecedented data demands from businesses and applications worldwide.
As ST Engineering’s Smart City growth plan is steadily gaining traction, ST Engineering Electronics will be showcasing its cutting-edge satellite communications capabilities that enable seamless connectivity at ConnecTech Asia, Level 1.
Key exhibit highlights include:
- The Agilis Triband Solid State Power Amplifier, delivering premium performance and reliable microwave power amplification for satellite hub and remote terminals;
- The 1M Triband Manpack Satellite Terminal, a custom-built terminal that enables different frequency band use with a simple change of the feed system;
- Agilis 0.35M Communications-on-the-move (COTM) Terminal that provides immediate, effective and efficient satellite communications capability on the move
Agilis Tri-band Solid State Power Amplifier (SSPA)
The Agilis Tri-band Solid State Power Amplifier (SSPA) is an innovative concept in SSPAs. It allows the use of a single amplifer for multiband applications, delivering a 50 percent terminal cost reduction to customers through a single antenna instead of multiple band application.
Supported by state-of-the-art technology, the Agilis SSPA provides high radio frequency power, and gains stability for uplink applications. It is also highly linear with guaranteed output power suitable for multi-carriers operation.
Communications-On-The-Move Terminals (COTM)
The 0.35M Communications-on-the-move terminal (COTM) is compact and low profile, suitable for integration on land vehicles and platforms with space and/or system height constraints. It offers full automated tracking capability, enabling Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS), seamless and real-time broadband communications via GEO-Stationary Satellites while on-the-move in high mobility vehicles and platforms. The terminal provides robust satellite communications in moving vehicles, and unequalled mobile access to a broad spectrum of information services including video, data and imagery.
Parabolic 1M Triband Manpack Satellite Terminal
The 1M Triband Manpack Satellite Terminal is a custom-built terminal that provides high reliability, superior innovation and choice for users. Designed to provide voice, video and data via satellite link, the terminal supports both commercial and defence operations in harsh and challenging environmental conditions.
The deployment of the manpack satellite terminal is easy with minimal assembly of separate parts, and the antenna alignment is also readily accomplished with the integration of the modem in the terminal. With its Tri-band capability, users can use the manpack satellite terminal in different frequency bands by simply changing the feed system.
The 1M Triband Manpack satellite terminal is suited for use in places with no fixed communications infrastructure and limited access to vehicles. The system is man-portable and can be deployed quickly. The equipment includes BUC, LNB, Modem, Power Supply, M&C, GPS and battery. Given its innovative design, 1M Triband Manpack satellite terminal is considered to be one of the smallest and lightweight in the industry without reducing any of its functionality. (Source: Satnews)
28 Jun 18. Want satellite imagery but not satellites? This company can help. An Argentine satellite company has launched a subscription-based service that will allow customers, including government agencies or non-governmental organizations, to purchase satellite images over a specified area of interest.
Satellogic satellites collect both high-resolution images, with 1-meter resolution, and hyperspectral images, which can show more detailed information about objects, such as their chemical composition. The company’s new venture, known as the Dedicated Earth Observation Satellite Program, offers access to customized images and data.
Whether monitoring at the cars-on-roads level or tracking the environmental effects of a forest fire, among other activities, subscribers will be able to determine what photos should be taken. Each entity subscribing to a Satellogic constellation would have access to 10 satellites over a designated area at a cost of about $2m dollars per satellite per year, or $20m in total per year, according to Kurt Billick, vice president of strategy and business development at Satellogic.
Potential customers might include corporations, NGOs and national or regional governments that do not have the capability to launch their own satellites, said the company’s founder, Emiliano Kargieman.
The company will enter an increasingly crowded satellite imagery space which is anchored by Digital Globe and Planet.
Satellogic will cover the launch and construction costs. Each constellation of 10 satellites would be able to remap 1 million square kilometers of land every six weeks, the company said.
Customers would also have access to the larger network of Satellogic satellites, if they need it. The satellites launched by Satellogic will last between three and five years, Kargieman said.
In addition to the subscription service, all images from Satellogic will be commercially available in accordance with international regulation.
“If you’re Germany, we will only sell you pictures over Germany,” Billick said.
At a roundtable in April at the GEOINT symposium in Tampa, Florida, NGA Director Robert Cardillo said that he did not believe the government, although a customer of commercial satellite imagery companies, should drive the market.
“We have no better mission partner than the National Reconnaissance Office,” Cardillo said, referring to the intelligence agency that focuses on space.
In addition to selling images over specific areas of interest, Satellogic will include training on how to use the images and data collected.
The artificial intelligence technology that Satellogic uses identifies objects in images, but also uses the images collected over time to track changes. When images are taken at different times of day, for example, shadows may appear in some images but not in others. One challenge AI technology faces is identifying which changes between images are relevant. Satellogic plans on launching 60 satellites next year with an additional 300 launched by 2022. The satellites are usually launched from China and Russia. Market research company P&S Market Research predicted that the commercial satellite imaging market would reach a value of over $5bn. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
05 Feb 18. Inmarsat, Deutsche Telekom complete European Aviation Network. British satellite operator Inmarsat and mobile network operator Deutsche Telekom have finished building the ground infrastructure for the hybrid satellite and cellular European Aviation Network (EAN).
The companies announced Feb. 5 that the network’s 300 LTE towers are set up across the 28 European Union member states, along with Switzerland and Norway, forming the air-to-ground half of the pan-European inflight entertainment and connectivity network. That ground network pairs with an S-band satellite called Inmarsat S EAN, which launched in June on an Ariane 5 rocket.
Built by Thales Alenia Space, Inmarsat S EAN is a “condosat,” sharing a spacecraft bus with Greek operator Hellas Sat’s Ku- and Ka-band Hellas Sat-3 payload. The satellite has been operational since September.
Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom said EAN service is scheduled to start during the first half of this year, a delay from previous schedules that anticipated a service start during the second half of last year. Inmarsat attributed the later-than-expected service start on having to switch launch vehicles for the condosat from SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to Arianespace’s Ariane 5 after Falcon Heavy fell behind schedule.
Inmarsat had also encountered legal opposition from competitors Eutelsat of France and ViaSat of California, both of which object to Inmarsat’s use of an S-band spectrum license from the European Commission for the EAN service. Inmarsat has sought to downplay ViaSat and Eutelsat’s opposition as an eleventh-hour publicity stunt.
EAN can provide internet connections to aircraft with data rates above 75 Mbps, and latency below 100 milliseconds.
London-based International Airlines Group, owner of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is EAN’s first customer, and is currently installing antennas for the service on aircraft. EAN’s builders say installations can generally be performed during overnight breaks, enabling fleet-wide deployments within months.
“With the completion of the first ever integrated pan-European LTE ground network component we are now able to fully support EAN’s satellite connectivity and maximize the performance of the EAN system,” said Rolf Nafziger, Deutsche Telekom’s senior vice president of international wholesale business. “The network is specifically designed to meet future capacity demands for connectivity in the European airspace, with passenger volumes expected to double in the next 15 years.”
Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom say the network can be scaled up to meet future connectivity demand as needed. (Source: spacenews.com)
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03 Jul 18. Russian Anti-Drone Guns Tested in Syria Protect 2018 World Cup. The Russian Ministry of Interior uses anti-drone guns to protect from UAVs during the FIFA 2018 World Cup. Moscow police received two such guns from LokMas. The anti-drone guns Stupor are currently undergoing tests in different Russian security agencies, including the Syrian campaign.
According to the weapon’s designers, no special training is needed for the Stupor operator, only aiming at an aerial vehicle and pressing the button to activate the suppression system is required.
The maximum operation range is about 2km. The gun successfully suppresses a copter’s navigation system at the distance of 1.8-2.2km. Command links are suppressed at the range of 400-600 meters.
A drone like a quadcopter normally moves upon a program using navigation system. If an anti-drone operates, the copter may switch either to the return-to-base mode (if the navigation still works) or to the landing mode. The simplest devices may just fall down as a result of suppression of both systems, navigation and control ones.
Anyway, the important facilities of the world championship are protected by several ‘defense lines’, there is both detection and electronic suppression of potential violator drones. Moreover, the anti-drone gun operates in the line-of-sight conditions, so it can handle approaching drones in case of the systems failure.
The Mil.Press Today’s reporter asked whether the anti-drone gun could provide protection from the drones dropping different items (for instance, explosives). The designers explained that normally such items were dropped at the preset point, and using of their gun would prevent the copter from reaching such point.
The LokMas anti-drone guns will cope with the most of the typical drones used by the extreme filming fans or lone terrorists. However, suppression of more sophisticated drones is harder, said Alexander Zhilyakov, heading the counter-drones department at the New Communication Technologies (NCT). The company is specialized in protection of the air space from unmanned vehicles.
As for him, experts of NCT classify potential threats related to drones into four basic categories. He added that at the first level, all features of popular drones available on sale were already known. Average time for suppression of such drones varies from 20 to 40 seconds.
“We can suppress either command link or navigation system, or even both of them”, Zhilyakov said. “If we suppress only command link, the drone still has navigation, and using GPS it may return to base via the same track. If the navigation system is suppressed, the drone will try to land or simply fall down”.
The expert added that at the second and third threat levels, the drones are more automated, and at the fourth one, they are completely autonomous devices that use technologies not available for commercial sector.
The Stupor anti-drone gun designed by LokMas is a man-portable system intended for electromagnetic and optoelectronic suppression of unmanned aerial vehicles. It neutralizes drones by cutting control, data exchange and navigation links using electromagnetic waves and laser emission. A drone getting under gunpoint is disoriented and runs emergency safe landing. The target locking time until full suppression is 4 – 30 seconds, depending on the drone type. The gun does not hurt hardware of a drone, so it can be restarted after suppression.
The Stupor gun weights 5.5kg and is 1.16 meters long. Operation range is up to 2km. The system equipment is protected under the IP 66 standard (from rain and snow). Manufacturer’s trials were held at temperatures varying from -23°C to +30°C. The gun is powered by a battery and operates up to 4 hours, full charge time is 2 hours. In the spring 2017, the device passed tests, the Russian defense ministry was interested in these weapons, so the designers adapted them for military purposes.
LokMas designs systems protecting facilities and events from undesirable intrusions of drones, including the anti-UAV automated detection and drone countering systems. (Source: UAS VISION/Mil.today)
05 Jul 18. Study finds these gaps in Army’s small unit counter-drone capabilities. Army units at and below the battalion level are unprepared to defeat aerial drones and current plans can’t keep up with rapidly evolving technology, according to a recent study.
Back in 2016, the Army Research Office asked an outside organization, The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, to evaluate their counter drone capabilities for battalion and below operations.
The report they published earlier this year notes some significant gaps and threats to soldiers with this technology.
“Contrary to the past, when U.S. warfighters may have found (improvised explosive devices), now the IEDs will find our warfighters,” according to the report.
While the Army and Marine Corps, which also included representatives in the study, are throwing resources at the small drone problem, they are not keeping pace with the threat.
“Army time frames are significantly out of sync with the rapidly advancing performance capabilities of individual (small Unmanned Aerial Systems) and teams of sUASs,” according to the report.
The report noted that most of the service’s counter drone asset work was focused on heavy vehicle platforms or on fixed sites, which leaves smaller units most likely to first encounter the threat more exposed.
“Significant quantities of man-portable” counter-drone systems have been fielded, Army spokesman Maj. Chris Ophardt told Army Times in an email. The Army will continue to pursue those capabilities based on emerging threats.
Based on his response, which did not include details of capabilities, the Army is pursuing other ways to defeat drones. A large portion of the study was classified, due to operational security concerns.
“Future Army C-UAS systems will encompass a variety of potential platforms to include fixed, mobile, and Soldier-portable capabilities,” Ophardt wrote.
But beyond the types of systems employed, what they’re targeting or attacking also came under fire in the report.
The Army and other branches have invested significantly in counter-drone technology, “often focusing on detecting radio frequency transmissions and GPS signals of individual sUASs. However, today’s consumer and customized sUASs can increasingly operate without radio frequency (command and control) links.”
Drones now available can use automated target recognition, tracking, obstacle avoidance and other software-enabled activities instead of traditional RF and GPS.
Ophardt did not divulge specifics of how the Army is addressing this, but responded that the service’s counter drone capabilities, “include multiple methods in order to detect, identify and defeat enemy UAS.”
A new school began last month at Fort Benning, Georgia to give basic trainees familiarity with small drones. The drone school gives infantry and scouts the ability to fill out a seven-line report when they encounter a drone then relay that info to their headquarters.
The students use both fixed-wing and helicopter small drones. They also learn defensive tactics such as how to use dispersal and hiding tactics to minimize casualties from drone-coordinated fires, according to an Army release.
Those introductory tactics can help even brand-new soldiers start thinking about how to deal with drone threats.
But, at the same time, the low-level tactics currently used for counter drone work have tried to use “kinetic effects,” basically shooting down the drone by interfering with its signals or overheating its circuits.
The report noted that method isn’t practical on a wide scale for large numbers of troops, especially dismounted units.
That path only adds more gear from the equipment to the batteries, to an already overloaded soldier, not to mention the “cognitive load” of training and using another piece of equipment, according to the report.
Ophardt responded that the Army’s counter-drone strategy included “multiple methods” to detect, identify and defeat” enemy drones.
The major provided a similar response when asked about Army efforts at counter-drone tactics, capabilities against swarming drones and collaboratively acting drone groups, which the report remarks will be more prevalent and sophisticated as soon as 2025.
Report authors urge Army leaders to adjust their timelines for matching tech development, which are woefully inadequate for the exponential changes in software, hardware and drone capabilities.
Current Army time frames consider near-term planning to run from now until 2025; mid-term planning in the 2026 to 2035 window and far-term at the 2036 to 2050.
Those efforts mirror vehicle acquisition strategy timelines, not the drone arena.
The report pushes for a near-term planning of one to two years, mid-term at the three- to five-year level and far term in drone tech at the six- to eight-year range.
The advances are happening so quickly, authors point out, that it is “impossible to predict performance capabilities beyond eight years.”
(Source: Defense News)
05 Jul 18. Airbus and Saab consider challenge to Boeing Wedgetail for UK. Two of Europe’s top aerospace defense companies are discussing combining their airborne early warning capabilities in an attempt to head off a possible sole-source British purchase of the Boeing Wedgetail.
The talks are centered on a potential collaboration bringing together an Airbus-built platform with a version of Saab’s Erieye radar, said two sources familiar with the discussions.
But a third source though sought to dampen expectations of a deal saying the talks were not exclusive and both companies were also talking to various other potential partners.
The British are considering replacing their venerable, and increasingly unreliable, Boeing Sentry E-3D fleet with a new airborne early warning aircraft for the Royal Air Force.
The Sentry’s are currently due to stay in service with the RAF until 2035, subject to a capability sustainment program to extend their service life.
News that the two companies are discussing a potential tie-up comes just three days after UK Parliamentary defence committee chairman Julian Lewis wrote an open letter to British defense procurement minister Guto Bebb urging the MoD to ensure that any tender for a new surveillance aircraft must be open to fair competition, and not awarded sole-source to the Wedgetail.
The letter said that it would be “particularly inappropriate for a competition to be foregone in favour of Boeing following their involvement in the imposition of punitive tariffs against Bombardier last year [over regional jet subsidies].”
The fight with Boeing threatened Bombardier manufacturing facilities in Northern Ireland with substantial job losses.
Airbus didn’t confirm that talks were taking place with Saab. But in a statement, it unsurprisingly supported the calls for an open competition — and gave a clue as to what it sees as potential platforms for a possible British requirement.
“As the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the Royal Air Force, Airbus would welcome a competition to present a market leading and cost-effective solution for the RAF’s future AWACS requirements,” said an Airbus spokesman.
“Building on our successful experience in converting commercial aircraft into the world’s market-leading tanker, Airbus is working on further opportunities to use the A330 and A320 as the basis for new mission aircraft,” said the spokesman.
To the same effect, Saab also welcomed an open competition from the government to replace the Sentry fleet, although it did not go into specifics regarding the exact offering it would expect to pitch should a competition be held.
“Saab, as the one of the world’s leading suppliers of airborne surveillance and air battle management systems, would enthusiastically pursue an open competition to replace the UK’s aging E-3D fleet, should the UK MoD choose to issue a requirement,” a company spokesman said.
Late last month, The Times newspaper reported the MoD was heading for a possible sole source buy of between four and six Wedgetail aircraft at a cost of up to £3bn to replace the Sentry fleet.
The NATO summit in Brussels, the Royal International Air Tattoo, or the Farnborough air show later this month, have been touted as possible venues for an announcement.
The MoD declined to comment on whether a Wedgetail deal was likely or imminent.
‘Any decision on the way forward for the Sentry capability will be taken in the best interests of national security in the face of intensifying threats, and only after full consideration. We tender contracts competitively wherever appropriate. It is too early to comment further at this time,’ said an MoD spokesman.
An Australian air force Wedgetail is scheduled to appear at the RIAT show starting July 13 at Fairford, southern England. The 737-based jet has also been sold to Turkey and South Korea.
The letter raised the committee’s concerns over the state of the RAF’s Sentry fleet, saying it was in a poor state of maintenance and often only a single aircraft in the six strong fleet was available at any one time.
A statement accompanying the letter said reports have emerged that as part of the Modernising Defence Programme review being conducted by the MoD it is considering cancelling the sustainment program and replacing the Sentry fleet with a new aircraft.
The letter from the lawmakers reflects increasing concern on the committee about the award of non-competitive contracts with overseas companies for major defense equipment requirements.
The most recent of those was the MoD decision to buy Artec-built Boxer mechanized infantry vehicles from Germany without a competition, but the U.S. industry has also benefited from several sole-source deals in recent times.
Boeing has particularly rankled competitors after winning two major UK contracts in 2016 without a competition: the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and the AH-64E Apache attack rotorcraft, the selection of which were announced at that year’s Farnborough air show.
Lewis said in the letter that the committee had “in the light of convincing evidence of at least one credible alternative to Wedgetail,” it can see “absolutely no reason why, yet again, to dispense with open competition.”
It’s not known exactly who the committee is referring to, but an Airbus/Saab combination would appear to qualify as being highly credible.
Saab’s well regarded Erieye radar has sold widely around the world on turboprop and regional jet platforms with countries like Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Sweden operating the capability.
Most recently it secured a deal with the United Arab Emirates for the delivery of five of the new GlobalEye early warning and control aircraft which uses the Bombardier 6000 business jet as a platform and boasts a new extended range version of Erieye.
Saab executives at the roll-out of the GlobalEye in February said they had briefed the British on the aircraft’s capabilities, but their view was the RAF still wanted a larger cabin than a business jet could provide.
One option to meet that requirement is the possible use of almost new A330 tanker aircraft available under the AirTanker private finance initiative arrangement to provide inflight refuelling capacity to the RAF.
Fourteen A330s were built for AirTanker, in which Airbus is a shareholder, with nine aircraft being available constantly for the RAF and the remainder of the airframes leased out to other users, but available for immediate return to air refueling duties in a crisis.
The wings of Airbus’ commercial airliners are manufactured in the UK, and uncertainty surrounding the terms of the nation’s impending exit from the European Union has caused the company to issue a strong warning to the government that it may move the work elsewhere if Brexit does not favor movement of parts, or the certification of the wings in line with European standards.
CEO Tom Enders has been vocal on his views regarding the situation, but opening up other areas of work in which companies like Airbus may participate – such as an open competition for the AWACS replacement – could help companies like Airbus who feel the government has overlooked their interests in the UK.
Other executive though wonder whether Brexit supporting Government ministers in Britain are in any mood to do Airbus any favors in sectors like defense procurement. (Source: Google/Defense News)
06 Jul 18. ‘Eyes and ears’: Thales’ bid for SEA 1000 sensors. Adam Waldie, capture leader at Thales Australia, details the company’s bid to provide sensor support for Australia’s future submarines.
It is clear from the onset that Thales views the $80bn SEA 1000 Future Submarine program as a long-burn, multi-generational project and will leverage their current involvement in modernising and sustaining the nation’s Collins Class submarines as the basis for their bid to provide our new submarines with the eyes and ears needed to stay ahead of potential adversaries.
“The real areas that we specialise in [at] Thales, in submarines, is in providing sensors. So the sensors are what actually allows the combat system to process the environment, maintain situational awareness,” said Waldie, himself a former submariner, intimately acquainted with the life and death nature of submarines’ dependence on sensor technology.
Thales’ bid builds on it’s long experience with complex optronics and sonar integration for the complex, strategic deterrents that are modern submarine forces. Waldie’s first-hand experience as a submariner affords Thales with a unique understanding of the operating parameters and requirements placed on submarines, particularly the importance of ensuring that it’s ‘eyes and ears’, as it were, can properly integrate with the combat system to maximise the lethality of the submarine while minimising it’s vulnerability.
Waldie said, “When you break that down, the big one on a submarine is the sonar system. So once you’re below periscope depth, that is the only sensor the submarine has, so that’s a huge part of the submarine, a big part of the actual space and weight that goes into the design as well.
“So, the other key sensor on our submarines, because we do spend so much time at periscope depth, is what used to be called the periscope system now called optronics, which is the nature of where their systems are going. Instead of the conventional penetrating periscopes that we sort of all grew up [with] in WWII movies, the future is digitising that.”
Waldie’s lived experience provides for a seamless translation of operational requirements to Thales’ engineering team, which will provide the ‘nuts and bolts’ response from Thales as it’s pursues the SEA 1000 contract. Building on this, Thales’ long standing participation in Australia’s submarine programs, dating back 30 years to the sonar and periscope contract for Collins places provides them with an outstanding pedigree to meet the needs of Australia’s future submarines.
“We spend, I spend, my team spends a lot of time at sea, so whenever we do something new with the navy, whether it be a new product or a new algorithm or something, we’ll go to sea with the team on that. And in many ways, part of what’s led to the delivery and development of it has been very much an IP, an integrated project team approach to presenting it,” he said.
“So, typically the way it works is due to some new scenario, the navy will say, ‘Well, we now need to do x, y and z, and we need a new way to do that.’ So we’ll work with them quite closely to understand exactly what those needs are, deliver it, prototype it, and then ideally once it’s at sea doing what they want it to do, it will be part of the baseline.”
“I guess the real benefit we have got is someone was standing in my position 30 years ago with Thales when they then won what was the sonar and periscope contract for the Collins Class,” said Waldie.
However, where SEA 1000 and the Collins projects differ is in both industry and government’s treatment of the program.
“We talk about Collins and SEA 1000, but the way certainly the Navy and indeed Thales views the submarine program is more about sovereign capability now, it’s all a continuum,” Waldie said.
This integration with the government’s sovereign shipbuilding plan, combined with Thales’ experience as a long-term supplier of sensor solutions for submarines, provides an opportunity for Australia to learn from all industry partners and indeed the providers of legacy systems such as Britain with the Orion Class boats, which preceded Collins; Sweden, which provided the original Collins design; and now France with the Shortfin Barracuda.
“I guess the capability products we’ve got, like a lot of our heritage in our submarine solutions, comes from the United Kingdom or France. Both first tier submarine nations with very extensive programs, that’s the benefit to Australia, where they can really, through [Thales], tap into that; those products,” said Waldie.
This global presence has also seen a transformation of Thales’ domestic capacity with increased supply chain integration helping to develop local industries to be capable of supporting Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding capability. However, while Thales recognises the limitations of Australia’s domestic capabilities, it is committed to providing the nation with a sovereign, wholly owned capability.
“Australia wants, as they have in the Collins Class, that ability to actually own that product in country, and evolve that as we wish to sort out unique requirements. So there’s a balance that you need to match there. For example, there’s some things that it just may not be viable to produce in Australia if that makes sense,” Waldie said.
With over 30 years of submarine experience in Australia, Thales is seeking to leverage it’s experience, continuous presence and engagement with Australia’s submarines to help it stand out from the pack in providing not only a sovereign, innovative component to a broader national submarine building capability, but also ensuring the future submarines are equipped with a lethal combination of next generation sonar and optronics equipment to ensure that the nation has world-beating capability throughout the operational life of the submarines.
SEA 1000 will see 12 conventional submarines built in Adelaide for the Royal Australian Navy, with the first submarine expected to be operational from 2031. Naval Group won a multinational competition with it’s Shortfin Barracuda design, derived from it’s larger Barracuda Class nuclear attack submarine currently being built for the French Navy.
(Source: Defence Connect)
04 Jul 18. This prototype helmet and sensors could help Bradley drivers solve a decades-old problem. Fighter pilot-like helmet technology being tested by Army researchers could solve a problem Bradley Fighting Vehicle drivers have faced forever — effectively seeing the terrain around them with the hatch closed. Currently, the Bradley can only be driven closed-hatch with the driver looking through mirrored sights and a limited field of view. So drivers are practically blind, compared with their pilot counterparts. But a 360-degree suite of situational awareness sensors and a prototype helmet developed for the Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency can pull in views from around the vehicle. That sensor suite linked with the Mission Enabling Technologies-Demonstrator, or MET-D, allows the driver a fuller view of the battlefield, according to an Army release.
The system uses an “array of forward facing stereo camera pairs” that collect images, which are then projected into the left and right eye of the user with holographic optical elements.
Those elements and setup allow the driver to see depth, which eliminates nausea or eye strain present in systems that don’t use that method.
The system also uses depth sensors and a combination of standard and fish-eye lens cameras to give the driver a view of the vehicle’s perimeter and mid-range detection.
“The system allows us to compare 3-dimensional imagery controlled by advanced head tracker movements against multiple, conventional 2-dimensional vehicle mounted displays,” said Troy Tava, MET-D project manager for the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.
The headset helps the driver interpret distances of objects it passes and is technology expected to be used in the development of the Next Generation Combat Vehicle, which is the scheduled Bradley replacement.
While still under testing and an admittedly “incremental” step in building better vision for Bradley drivers, Tava said the development could be the ‘x-factor’ for fully operational closed hatch driving. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Army Times)
05 Jul 18. New 18.1 MP uEye LE camera is now almost twice as fast. Starting in June our low-cost uEye LE industrial cameras with the 18.1 MP rolling shutter CMOS colour sensor from ON Semiconductor will be available in a second revision as USB 3.1 Gen 1 variants. The cameras not only have a twist-proof USB Type-C connector, but are also almost twice as fast. The sensor uses BSI pixel technology (“Back Side Illuminated”) and is therefore very light-sensitive. By combining binning, subsampling and scaling, it enables image formats from VGA up to 4K cinema resolution. Currently, the USB 3.0 uEye LE cameras with AR1820HS sensor deliver a frame rate of 12 fps. With this new revision, up to 20 fps are possible. The high-resolution industrial camera will be available with housing and CS/C-mount, as a board level version with S-mount, CS/C-mount or as board level camera. They are perfectly suited for precise visualization tasks such as are required in microscopy, barcode reading or for medical applications such as ophthalmology. (Source: The Engineer Online)
04 Jul 18. IMSAR’s NSP-5 ER Radar First Delivery. IMSAR LLC of Springville, Utah delivered its first NSP-5 ER Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to a Beechcraft King Air 200 customer in May. First introduced in September 2017, the NSP-5 ER enhances the innovative functionality of IMSAR’s NSP-5 product line into an extended range, high-resolution imager for higher and faster aircraft. The NSP-5 ER’s first flight in December 2017 proved successful, prompting IMSAR to proceed with integration of the NSP-5 ER onto the Beechcraft King Air 200.
Ivan Ashcraft, IMSAR’s lead engineer for the NSP-5 ER, said, “Integration on the King Air 200 went very well and we are pleased see our most capable radar flying on this legendary aircraft.”
Previously reserved for Group 2 and Group 3 UAVs, IMSAR increased the operating range of their low Size, Weight, Power, and Cost (SWaP-C) multi-mode NSP-5 radar. The NSP-5 ER is designed for higher-altitude operation on larger, faster manned or unmanned aircraft such as the King Air, PC-12, Caravan, and Gray Eagle. The NSP-5 ER provides these platforms with the same capabilities and low SWaP-C currently reserved for smaller UAVs at lower speeds and altitudes.
The NSP-5 ER weighs 24 pounds (10.9kg), is 58 inches (147 cm) long and consumes less than 275 watts of aircraft power. The radar has Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Coherent Change Detection (CCD), Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) and Maritime Moving Target Indicator (MMTI) modes.
Integration with the Beechcraft King Air 200 was performed by Integrated Surveillance and Defense, Inc. ISD is a US-based, Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) that specializes in airborne and ground systems engineering, logistics, and management services to both government and commercial industries.(Source: ASD Network)
04 Jul 18. FAdeA to modify two Fokker 50 MPAs for the Peruvian Navy. The Argentine aircraft factory Fábrica Argentina de Aviones SA (FAdeA) is to upgrade two Fokker 50 maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) of the Peruvian Navy, a company representative told Jane’s on 3 July.
The aircraft are to receive structural modifications to enable them to be used as signal intelligence (SIGINT) platforms, engineer Eduardo Ruiz said. The SIGINT equipment itself will be provided by Israel’s Elta.
Work on the aircraft (serialled AE-567 and AE-568) should begin in August, and is being conducted as part of Peru’s Programa de Equipamiento para la creación del Servicio de Vigilancia y Electrónica en el Distrito de Capitanía 3 del Dominio Marítimo Nacional (Equipment Programme for the creation of the Vigilance and Electronics Service in the Capitancy District 3 of the National Maritime Domain). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. Russia reveals two new 1L122E-series air-defence radars. Russia’s NNIIRT facility, part of the Almaz-Antey group, has detailed its latest 1L122E-series air-defence radar systems that it is now offering on the export market.
The systems include the 1L122-1E tripod-mounted radar and the larger 1L122-2E that is typically mounted on the roof of a tracked MT-LBus Armoured Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle (ACRV).
Both of these air-defence radars are claimed to be able to detect a variety of targets including aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The radars are fitted with an identification, friend or foe (IFF) capability and are claimed to be highly automated to reduce operator fatigue.
The tripod-mounted 1L122-1E can be disassembled into individual parts weighing no less than 30 kg, and rapidly reassembled when it is in position. The tripod’s three legs are all adjustable to suit the terrain.
The larger 1L122-2E is mounted on a scissors type arm on the roof of the ACRV, and, in the stationary configuration, the arm can be rapidly raised to provide increased radar coverage. According to NNIIRT, the radar can also be operated with the scissors lowered into the horizontal position when in the travelling position.
The standard ACRV is fully amphibious, but it is understood that the radar vehicle is not amphibious. Mounted at the hull’s rear is an auxiliary power unit allowing the radar and other subsystems to be operated when the main engine is off.
Moreover, the Russian KBM Joint Stock Company (JSC) is marketing two versions of the Tigr 4×4 light armoured vehicle (LAV) for use with its fire-and-forget missiles. These are the 9A332 Combat Vehicle for a MANPADS squad, and the 9S937 Reconnaissance and Control Vehicle for the MANPADS platoon commander. The latter is fitted with a roof-mounted 1L122-1E radar that is retracted into the horizontal position for travelling, and can typically control up to six MANPAD squads. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. UK must compete future surveillance aircraft procurement, parliament states. The United Kingdom must hold a fair and open competition before selecting any new surveillance aircraft to replace its current Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS), the country’s parliament has said.
The intervention by the Defence Committee followed earlier media reports that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had already decided to procure the Boeing E-737 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft to replace the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) increasingly unserviceable and expensive E-3Ds.
“The chairman of the Defence Committee has written to the Minister of Defence Procurement to request that any requirement for replacing the UK’s AWACS aircraft be put out to a competitive tender, rather than bought ‘off-the-shelf’ with no competition taking place,” the committee declared on 3 July, adding: “On the possibility of Sentry being replaced with a new system, the [committee] notes the advantages of a competitive tender in terms of maximising value for money and allowing proper consideration of a range of alternatives. The committee also considers that a competition is particularly appropriate in this case, as there are viable alternatives available, which deserve to be given fair consideration.”
The RAF currently has six E-3Ds in its operational fleet, with the type having entered service in 1991. While other operators of the type have benefited from regular upgrades, the RAF’s fleet has fallen behind in terms of capabilities due to a lack of investment. In January 2017, the fleet was temporarily grounded due to an electrical fault, and despite an announcement in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) of 2015 that the fleet would be upgraded and extended from 2025 to 2035, the legacy Boeing 707 host airframe is becoming too expensive to sustain and an alternative is understood to be being sought. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. Lockheed to reportedly beat out Raytheon for Japan missile defense radar. Japan will select Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Discrimination Radar for its two planned Aegis Ashore installations, according to a Reuters report. The decision was made ahead of a planned August budget request, Reuters reported, citing a Defense Ministry official directly familiar with the decision. Raytheon’s SPY-6 radar was the other competitor, Reuters said. Japan has been seeking to bolster its missile defense as North Korea barges ahead with its missile development program, despite a recent easing in tension in the run-up to, and aftermath of, a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump. Notwithstanding the meeting with Trump, North Korea has forged ahead with expanding a facility dedicated to producing solid-fuel rockets, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
The U.S. Navy’s top officer has been pushing for more widespread use of Aegis Ashore facilities to free up surface combatants now dedicated to at least six standing ballistic missile defense patrols.
“It’s time to build something on land to defend the land,” Adm. John Richardson said in June. “Whether that’s Aegis Ashore or whatever, I want to get out of the long-term missile defense business and move to dynamic missile defense.” (Source: Defense News)
03 Jul 18. RADA Electronic Industries Ltd. A leader in the development, production and sale of tactical land radar for force and border protection – announced that its Multi-mission Hemispheric Radar (MHR) has been down-selected as part of the Leonardo DRS mission equipment package (MEP) solution for the US Army’s Initial Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) capability. DRS is in negotiations with the US Army for this prototype contract which should be awarded in August 2018.
The MHR radar, when integrated on the Stryker A1 platform, meets the Army’s on-board sensor requirements and provides 360 degree aerial surveillance to detect and track UAS, rotary wing and fixed wing threats at desired ranges. Each IM-SHORAD MEP includes four MHR radars to provide persistent surveillance, execute at the short-halt and operate on-the-move. This accelerated IM-SHORAD prototype effort requires systems be delivered in early 2019. Nine prototype systems will inform a future production decision for more than 140 systems beginning in 2020.
Dov Sella, RADA’s CEO, commented, “We are proud to be selected for this important US Army program. This selection demonstrates the extensibility and adaptability of RADA’s highly advanced AESA, software-defined radars into multi-purpose, mission critical applications. Further the recent establishment of our US joint venture, RADA Technologies LLC, will allow us to provide optimal program performance to this customer. The MHR selection substantiates our strategic investments in continuous product development and efforts to transition and manufacture products in the US.
02 Jul 18. US spy planes are breaking down ― and lawmakers want answers. America’s aging C-135 reconnaissance planes keep breaking down, and alarmed lawmakers want the U.S. Air Force to tell them why.
Based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, the 55th Wing’s Boeing-made reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering aircraft, all more than 50 years old, are meant to carry out critical missions from operating bases in England, Greece, Japan and Qatar. But an Omaha World-Herald investigative series has found that mechanical problems plague the jets, cutting short 500 of their flights since 2016 and one of every 12 missions since 2015. That’s prompted Nebraska lawmakers to write to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, urging her to probe and report on the health of the 55th Wing’s worn-out fleet. Meanwhile, the Nebraska delegation is trying to fend off an effort within Congress to strip funding to recapitalize the OC-135, which conducts overflights of Russia under the 34-nation Open Skies Treaty. Some lawmakers and Pentagon officials have grown skeptical of the treaty, which allows reciprocal surveillance flights, amid alleged Russian violations, but the administration has requested funds for two new airliners to take over the mission.
“It has one of the worst maintenance rates in the United States Air Force,” Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said of the OC-135 on the House floor last week. “It frequently breaks down in Russia, putting us in very hostile, awkward situations with Russians at their bases.”
The chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Deb Fischer, led the letter with Sen. Ben Sasse, a SASC member; Bacon (a retired brigadier general and former 55th Wing commander who sits on the House Armed Services Committee), as well as Reps. Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith.
The letter asked Wilson to report on the 55th Wing’s safety, security and continued mission effectiveness as well as the Air Force’s long-term plans to sustain and recapitalize the wing’s capabilities.
It referenced the RC-135V/W Rivet Joint, RC-135S Cobra Ball, RC-135U Combat Sent, WC-135 Constant Phoenix, TC-135 Rivet Joint Trainer and the OC-135 Open Skies aircraft.
In the current budget season, House and Senate lawmakers have taken divergent approaches to the Trump administration’s $222m request for the two new aircraft.
House appropriators and authorizers stripped the funding from their 2019 bills. The authorization bill withholds the funding until Russia adheres to the treaty and agrees to extradite Russians indicted for meddling in U.S. elections in 2016.
Fischer helped ensure the Senate-passed 2019 authorization bill did include funding for OC-135 recapitalization, and the bill will have to be reconciled with its House counterpart.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis directed the Air Force to recapitalize the aircraft. He wrote to Fischer in May to acknowledge that unplanned maintenance issues meant the U.S. completed only 64 percent of its scheduled overflights in 2017, while Russia typically completes all of its scheduled overflights.
The White House Office of Management and Budget has also issued letters objecting to the absence of OC-135 recapitalization funding in the House bills. (Source: Defense News)
02 Jul 18. New Short Range Radar Sensor from OmniPreSense. OmniPreSense Corporation, a supplier of Short-Range Radar (SRR) sensors, has announced its newest radar sensor with a smaller form factor and FCC modular approval. The OPS242 is 30% smaller than the previous OPS241 radar sensor, supporting space constrained applications. The OPS242 also provides FCC modular approval to simplify customer development and speed release to production. With a detection range of 10m for people and up to 25m for cars, the OPS242 is an ideal solution for traffic monitoring systems. The OPS242 short-range radar detects motion, reporting speed and direction of objects in its field of view. With a top detection speed greater than 140mph, the OPS242 can handle the fastest of car traffic. A simple application programming interface (API) provides direct control of the OPS242, allowing changes to reported units (m/s, mph, etc.), transmitted power, and other useful settings. New for the API is the reporting of multiple objects in the sensors field of view. As many as 9 different reports for speed and magnitude are available. Magnitude information consists of size, reflectivity, and distance information for the objects detected. This is most beneficial for traffic monitoring solutions. Multi-object detect is yet another feature that competitive solutions such a passive infrared (PIR) or ultrasonic sensors cannot provide. Potential traffic monitoring applications for the sensor include radar speed signs, road traffic monitoring, sidewalk foot traffic counting, and in-room presence detection. “There’s an increasing trend to build Smart Cities and Smart Homes which the OPS242 supports,” stated Rob Frizzell, CEO and co-founder of OmniPreSense. “We’re pleased to provide such a simple, small form factor, and low-cost solution to making our cities smarter and safer.” (Source: UAS VISION)
30 Jun 18. ‘Quads for Squads’ has been cleared for flight. The Department of Defense has approved a waiver allowing the Corps to continue flying and operating the commercial drones it has dished out to Marine infantry units following a temporary grounding over cybersecurity concerns, according to Corps officials.
In May, DoD released a policy memo signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan that banned the purchase or use of commercial off-the-shelf drones because of cyber worries.
The memo impacted nearly 600 Instant Eye tactical drones issued to Marine infantry squads as part of a program dubbed “Quads for Squads” and pushed by Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller.
“The DoD Inspector General found that the DoD has not implemented an adequate process to assess cybersecurity risks associated with using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Unmanned Aerial Systems,” the memo reads.
The memo authorized the services to submit a waiver seeking exemption. Approval authority for the waivers rested with Shanahan on a case by case basis. With the waiver recently approved, those drones are now cleared for flight within the U.S. and for forward-deployed Marines, Marine officials said.
The Corps has rapidly distributed the small drones to infantry Marines and another 200 are pending shipment, according to Capt. Joshua Pena, a Marine spokesman. The small drones are vital to the Marines’ new plans to change the structure of the Marine rifle squad. In May, Neller slashed a Marine from the 13-man squad model and added a new drone operator billet to aid Marines in battlefield situational awareness. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
02 Jul 18. Russia Creates New Counter-UAV Unit. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced the creation of a new unit designed to counter unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), said unit will be established in the motorized rifle complex of the Central Military District, stationed in the Kemerovo region. The new anti-UAV unit is formed within the 74th Motorized Fusiliers Brigade of the Kemerovo Oblast Guard. The new unit, made up of 50 military personnel specialized in air defense and electronics systems, will use Borisoglebsk 2 as a base system, which is a multi-functional electronic warfare (EW) system mounted on a MT-LB armoured vehicle, developed by Sozvezdie during a period of six years, as of February 2015 has been manufactured and delivered by UIMC to the Russian armed forces. It is designed to interrupt communications and GPS systems by controlling four types of single-point interference units. The main task of the anti-drone unit is the identification and neutralization of UAVs of various types. For its destruction, it will send the obtained information to the air defense units that will use portable anti-aircraft missile systems. This unit was created taking into account the combat experience obtained during anti-terrorist operations in the Syrian Arab Republic by the Russian army, it is expected that during the remainder of this year it will start its field tests reaching operational status in 2019. (Source: UAS VISION/Defence Blog)
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.
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05 Jul 18. Indian MoD approves construction of 17 baffle firing ranges. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has granted approval for the construction of 17 new baffle firing ranges for approximately Rs2.38bn ($34.64m). Baffle ranges will be developed in Indian Army military stations, cantonments and training establishments. There will be seven ranges added to Indian Army’s Southern Command, three to the Eastern Command, two to the Northern Command, and one each to the South Western and Central Commands. Central Command’s baffle firing range is proposed to be developed for the Officers Training Academy in Gaya, Bihar. Capable of facilitating fire from 300m to 500m, the facilities will add to the 60 existing baffle shooting ranges across the country. Baffle firing ranges offer covered shooting practice areas, which help prevent possible accidents due to stray bullet injuries. The growth of the civilian population around the army cantonments has increased the risk of firing accidents. The Indian MoD has sanctioned the construction of additional baffle firing ranges to prevent civilian incidents without compromising on the training requirements of the armed forces. Requiring only 15 acres to 20 acres of land, a baffle range uses an upgraded concept with ground barriers, side walls, baffle walls and stop butt to block misdirected bullets. A baffle firing range has the capacity to accommodate six soldiers in lying, kneeling and standing-in-trench positions. It is safe against a 14º error from the intended line of fire in the horizontal plane and 12º in the vertical plane. (Source: army-technology.com)
03 Jul 18. China’s prototype laser rifle is a dangerous gimmick at best. In the fictional grim darkness of the 41st century, lasers guns are the standard infantry firearms. Lasers resonate in science fiction, whether that fiction is set in the future or long ago and far away, but infantry portable directed energy weapons remain solely the realm of fiction, even as nations move closer to deployable laser weapons on vehicles and ships. So what are we, the discerning public raised on a diet of rayguns, to make of the “ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle,” a prototype of which was recently field tested at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shaanxi?
“Well, let’s start with this: it is possible to pay me enough to hold it, but I’d probably invalidate my life insurance policy by doing so,” says Phil Broughton, certified laser safety officer.
As reported in the South China Morning Post, the ZKZM-500 is a 15mm caliber weapon that weighs 6.6 pounds, has a range of half a mile, is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, and built to “fire more than 1,000 “shots,” each lasting no more than two seconds,” all for the intended production price of just $15,000 a rifle.
This is a marked contrast from existing directed-energy weapons and prototypes, which require far larger power supplies, are typically mounted on ships or large ground vehicles and, most important, achieve their desired kinetic effect by holding a stead laser beam against a target (like a drone, or a rocket) until the laser has burnt through whatever it is designed to destroy. Firing bursts of lasers like bullets looks good in the movies, but simply doesn’t match present capabilities.
“To make this work, you need a serious battery pack, some even more serious capacitors, optics that can take all this without turning back into sand at these energy densities, and rugged enough that you can treat this like military hardware,” says Broughton. “This is a ‘best case scenario operation only’ weapon if there ever was one.”
Laser weapons designed for use against humans are prohibited by international law, though the laws as written are less firm on incidental use in combat of lasers designed for other purposes. There’s a long history of China and other nations specifically designing lasers on the edge of these rules. The ZKZM-500 is officially classified as a being “non-lethal,” though that designation doesn’t take into account what would happen if a person actually tried firing on and it didn’t work.
“If the battery pack, caps, or the optical train catastrophically fails during a shot,” says Broughton, “you have a gravely injured soldier who is holding a small wrecked Tesla.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
03 Jul 18. FN Herstal Enhances deFNder® with ANTARES Situational Awareness System. The ANTARES, designed and developed by Thales, is an innovative, multifunction optronic system composed of a single, suprahemispheric, high-resolution sensor and a calculator. It provides 360-degree local situational awareness as well as mobile targets and laser warning detection capabilities.
The deFNder® Medium equipped with ANTARES is now available with additional, significant benefits, including real-time perimeter surveillance all the more important given its location on a platform high point and its minimal parallax in rotation. Additionally, the deFNder® Medium features a new rally-to-threat mode on threats detected by ANTARES. Lastly, this is a fully autonomous solution, simplifying the integration for OEMs.
The deFNder® Medium on display at the FN Herstal booth at EUROSATORY featured both the .50 cal FN® M3R machine gun, capable of firing 1,100 RPM, and smoke grenade launchers, therefore demonstrating combined offensive and defensive capabilities. The RWS will be integrated onto the THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) from Milrem Robotics.
In addition to its RWS range of products, FN Herstal will have its full range of solutions on display, including small caliber firearms and ammunition, less lethal systems, FN® e-novation solutions and further integrated weapon systems for airborne, land and sea applications. (Source: Armada)
02 Jul 18. Russia reactivates heavy artillery. The Russian armed forces are reinforcing their artillery, reactivating 2S7M 203mm Malka self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) and 2S4 Tyulpan 240mm self-propelled mortars, military and industrial sources have told Jane’s.
“In late June, a Central Military District [CMD] artillery unit based in the Kemerovo region received 12 refurbished 2S7M SPHs,” a military source said, adding that the Eastern and Southern Military Districts also use the Malka.
“These SPHs are now being completely overhauled, with the inner surface of the gun barrels being restored. The upgraded 2S7M SPH is linked to the 1V12M modernised 1V12M command vehicle, which uses a GLONASS navigation unit,” an industrial source told Jane’s, adding that the SPHs are being overhauled by the Volgograd-based Titan-Barrikady enterprise. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. Qorvo offers new compact FEMs for future radars. Qorvo has introduced ultra-compact, gallium nitride (GaN) X-Band front end modules (FEMs) for next-generation radar applications.
The export-compliant FEMs are designed for use in active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar systems and enable Qorvo to provide four functions – low noise amplifiers, power amplifiers, radio frequency (RF) switches, and limiters – in a single compact package.
Combining these functions into a single package on a single substrate such as silicon carbide (SiC), makes it possible for Qorvo to offer an extremely small package with high radio frequency (RF) power density, Dean White market strategy director for defense and aerospace at Qorvo, told Jane’s. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
04 Jul 18. Czech MoD seeks SHORAD SAM system. The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced in late June that it is resuming the search for a replacement for obsolete Russian-designed 2K12 Kub mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems in service with the Strakonice-based 25th Air Defence Missile (ADM) Regiment of the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR).
The MoD is seeking a short-range air-defence (SHORAD) solution as a replacement for the 2K12 Kub, which according to Jaromir Alan, head of the MoD capabilities planning section, reached the end of its operational service life several years ago. According to Alan, the MoD has allocated CZK10bn (USD450m) for procuring a new SHORAD SAM system with a range of 14,000m and would like to equip the 25th ADM Regiment with four batteries, each equipped with up to eight ready-to-fire missiles. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. Rafael unveils Spike NLOS Modular Launcher development. Rafael Advanced Defence Systems has finalised development of a new lightweight, vehicle-integrated evolution of its SPARC trailer-mounted and remote-controlled launch system for the Spike non-line-of-sight (NLOS) multipurpose tactical missile.
Spike NLOS is a multipurpose precision-guided missile system equipped with a dual-mode electro-optical (EO)/infrared (IR) seeker and a real-time encrypted radio frequency (RF) two-way datalink. With a stated maximum range of 30 km, the missile can be equipped with three warhead options: tandem high explosive anti-tank (HEAT), penetrating blast fragmentation (PBF), and fragmentation.
Developed in response to requests from undisclosed special forces customers, the new Spike NLOS Modular Launcher is an adaptable, palletised, stand-off launch system specifically configured for light rapid response/all-terrain-type vehicles – typically deployed as an air portable capability – by reconnaissance units and special forces.
The Lightweight Modular Spike NLOS Launcher concept was first shown at Eurosatory 2016 in Paris on a down-scaled Polaris MRZR 4-style 4×4 all-terrain vehicle with an integrated Spike NLOS missile magazine that included two Spike NLOS ready-to launch-rounds, and a clip-on magazine of two additional rounds.
Rafael has since refined the concept – shown on a TomCar 4×4 platform, but compatible with most lightweight all-terrain vehicles – as a modular system, with a baseline configuration that features a missile launch pod (MLP) of four ready-to-launch Spike NLOS missiles, an MLP of four reserve missiles, and a communications pod for the RF datalink. The MLP is mounted on a pallet – securely mounted on the host platform with just seven screws – enabling rapid and easy integration onto light vehicles.
“We have reduced the weight of the entire system from its original ‘few tons’ to just 1,350 kg – which includes eight Spike NLOS rounds,” Gal Papier, head of marketing and business development, Precision Tactical Weapons Systems at Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, told Jane’s.
(Source: IHS Jane’s)
04 Jul 18. Kongsberg to deliver JSM test missiles for F-35A integration phase. The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency has awarded a new contract to Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace for Joint Strike Missile (JSM) test missiles. The Nkr700m ($85.56m) contract will see the delivery of the JSM test missiles for the integration phase on the F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter. Capable of being employed against both sea and land-based targets, the JSM is Norway’s advanced anti-surface warfare missile developed to be carried by the F-35A aircraft. Norway serves as a partner nation for the development of the fifth-generation joint strike fighter jet. Following a successful flight test in March and finalisation of the development phase in June, the JSM project is entering an F-35 Lightning II integration phase that will continue until 2023. The missile was tested at the US Air Force’s Edwards Air Force Base on F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 416th Flight Test Squadron.
Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace president Eirik Lie said: “The JSM project continues on schedule and is the only fifth-generation missile available on F-35 representing a significant market potential.”
The integration phase includes the delivery of a wide range of JSM test missiles, and captive-carriage, safe separation, and live-firing tests.
Employing a highly accurate navigation system and low-altitude flight profile, the JSM features an automatic target recognition capability with an advanced imaging infrared seeker. The missiles facilitate launch platform survivability and flexible mission routing to help enhance survivability and mission success. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
03 Jul 18. DALO contracts Systematic to enhance artillery system combat effectiveness. Systematic has been contracted by the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) to deliver a new fire support capability for the Danish Army’s latest artillery systems.
The new function builds on the Fire Support Module developed for Systematic’s SitaWare Headquarters solution and will significantly shorten the sensor-to-shooter engagement cycle, among other benefits.
“The threat posed by counter-battery fire on the modern battlefield necessitates the ability for artillery systems to ‘shoot-and-scoot’ while maintaining accurate targeting,” explained Hans Jørgen Bohlbro, Systematic’s Vice President, Defence Product Management, “One of the benefits of the new function is the ability for artillery systems to quickly conduct fire missions and redeploy before they can be engaged by enemy fires”.
The new capability enables fire mission data – first generated by a forward observer and passed to the gun crew via a joint fires cell or similar element – to be digitally transferred into an artillery fire-control system (FCS), where the ballistic calculations are made.
Although the process will do away with a man-in-the-loop for entering the fire support data into the FCS, there will always be operator verification before the mission is carried out.
The Danish Army is rolling out the SitaWare suite of software across all levels of the battlefield, in the artillery fire support scenario the forward observer and gun crews will be equipped with SitaWare Frontline, while the fires coordination component utilises SitaWare Headquarters.
Under the contract, Systematic is scheduled to deliver a fieldable solution in the 2020 timeframe, with integration and firing trials taking place in 2019. Ultimately, the new capability will be deployed on the Danish Army’s new Caesar self-propelled howitzers and Cardom 10 mortars, which will be integrated on Piranha V armoured vehicles.
03 Jul 18. Japan develops new self-propelled howitzer. Japan is progressing its programme to develop a 155 mm/52-calibre wheeled self-propelled howitzer (SPH) to replace Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force’s (JGSDF’s) ageing FH-70 towed artillery system, the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has announced. In a statement in late June, the MoD’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) said that it has recently taken delivery of five prototypes of the wheeled SPH system, which was developed by domestic land systems company, Japan Steel Works. ATLA gave no designation for the new system. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. X-ray bombs: When conventional explosives just won’t do. We’ve all been there … well, some, at least: You have a pile of chemical or biological weapons you want to destroy, but you don’t want to risk spreading the toxic mess over a wide area.
What do you do?
You could be extremely careful, making sure no stray missiles hit something other than their target. Or you could use X-rays.
The U.S. Defense Department is researching how to use an X-ray bomb to neutralize chemical and biological weapons without damaging the structures that hold the weapons, New Scientist reports.
Although the technology behind such a bomb isn’t publicly available, the article notes that researchers have looked at using conventional explosives to compress aluminum or helium to the point that the compressed material emits bursts of X-rays.
However, to be effective in destroying either chemical or biological materials, an X-ray bomb would have to produce radiation tens of thousands of times stronger than the typical chest X-ray. This would not just destroy the weapons, but would also kill anyone unlucky enough to be standing near the X-ray burst. (Source: Defense News)
02 Jul 18. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) is developing a 100 kW class laser weapon system preliminary design for integration onboard the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles. This is a $10m U.S. Army’s High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstration program contract. HEL TVD, a U.S. Army science and technology demonstration program, is part of the Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 initiative.
“The beauty of this system is that it’s self-contained,” said Roy Azevedo, vice president of Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems at Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business unit. “Multi-spectral targeting sensors, fiber-combined lasers, power and thermal sub-systems are incorporated in a single package. This system is being designed to knock out rockets, artillery or mortar fire, or small drones.”
Upon HEL TVD Program Option Two completion, the one supplier will be awarded a system development and demonstration contract by the Army to build and integrate a weapon system on the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles. A System, Development and Demonstration contract decision, valued at nearly $130m, is expected early in 2019.
02 Jul 18. BAE Systems pursues extended range 155mm ammunition. BAE Systems Land UK is developing a new 155 mm extended range (ER) high-explosive (HE) projectile to meet potential home and export market requirements. The 155mm ER HE projectile features a screw on base bleed (BB) unit that leverages from the company’s development and production of the 4.5 inch HE projectile for the Royal Navy, and could enter production in 30 months. According to the company, the initial 155mm ER HE projectile will have a range of more than 40 km when fired from a 155mm/52 calibre ordnance or over 30 km when fired from a 155 mm/39 calibre ordnance as currently fitted to the BAE Systems Land UK AS90 self-propelled (SP) artillery system and 155mm M777 lightweight towed howitzer. The new 155mm ER HE projectile is compatible with the BAE Systems Rokar Silver Bullet precision guidance kit (PGK) and fuze, which has already undergone extensive tests and demonstrated a circular error probable (CEP) under 20m. The PGK features hardened electronics and GPS guidance and features two pairs of canards that are used to stabilise and steer the 155mm ER HE projectile in flight. Guidance commands are enabled via a radio frequency link. Prior to firing, the user can select the multifunction fuze (MMF), which can be set for height of burst (HOB), delay, time, or impact. The projectile will have an RTA (RDX TNT Type A) or Insensitive Munition IMX-104 HE payload, which weighs approximately 10kg. It is expected that first firings of the baseline projectile will take place at the Eskmeals range in Cumbria within 2018, using an AS90 system with a 155mm/39 calibre barrel. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. IAI unveils Barak MX modular air defence solution. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has unveiled a new adaptive naval- and land-based air and missile defence solution centred on its family of Barak high-speed interceptors. Barak-MX is a modular and scalable networked air/missile defence system that links various sensors, launchers and Barak effectors in a single architecture that can be scoped and optimised to meet specific customer mission requirements. IAI says that while it can provide all the required components for the system, Barak-MX can also integrate existing sensor and effector types that may already be within a user’s inventory.
“The heart of the Barak-MX system is the C2,” Boaz Levy, General Manager and Executive VP of IAI Systems, Missiles & Space Group told Jane’s. “One central battle management system that integrates sensors and effectors to match the shooter to the threat. It also allocates which specific system addresses a specific threat; ie, what interceptor type from what launcher: we call it Shoot What Is Needed (SWIN).
“Further, there is no need to operate the radar sensors for the Barak MX system to be operational; the air picture can be acquired from other sensors, and so the radars do not have to transmit: this offers improved survivability,” he added.
“Barak MX is essentially a building block solution. You retain the central C2 capability, but can add longer-range air defence sensors and Barak effectors to scale up the system.
“This enables the customer to build up their air defence network in blocks, which can be expanded to meet an evolving threat or mission requirement, and as budgets allow. So with Barak MX there is a growth path capability for all air defence requirements,” Levy said.
“We are also able to integrate any lower cost interceptor with the Barak-MX system if required, and we can allocate other effector types, eg, C-UAS [Counter-Unmanned Air Systems] effectors.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 Jun 18. How landmines of the past can help prevent future fatalities. The US Army is going out to the cutting edge in the push to uncover buried bombs. It’s leveraging artificial intelligence and augmented reality in its latest countermine efforts.
“We want to reduce the training burden, to improve the soldier-machine interface, to use machine learning to improve performance,” said Michael Grove, principal deputy to the director of the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate at CERDEC, the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center.
To that end, the Army is presently in testing and development of a new technology suite known as real-time spatial location tracking.
Present sensor systems for dismounted soldiers are effective but have some serious operational constraints. They can be complicated to use and have a tendency toward false positives.
“With sensor technology you are limited by signal-to-noise or signal-to-clutter: things that aren’t the target but can look like a target. That can be rocks or roots or fragments of metal. Those things make it very difficult to pull out that signal,” Grove said.
At the same time, Army is feeling a high sense of urgency around the need to detect mines in a way that is consistent, accurate and easy to use.
“Many of our adversaries still maintain large stockpiles of landmines. There are large minefields currently in potential conflict zones including Korea and the Ukraine,” Grove said. “We also can’t forget about IEDs [improvised explosive devices], which caused over 36,000 casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The emerging solution would allow soldiers to sweep a sensor over the ground and get a quick, reliable visual readout on anything that may be lurking below the surface. It will rely on machine learning and AI to differentiate harmless matter from potentially deadly devices.
Real-time spatial location uses stereoscopic sensors to create a visual map of objects under the ground, at the same time converting that visual read into digital data that can be interpreted by machine leading systems. AI applies pattern recognition capabilities to determine the exact nature of the suspect material.
“That allows us to do automated target recognition,” Grove said, “Instead of just saying, ‘I have heard something like this before,’ you now get an actual display mapping out the dimensions of the device. You can then invoke the AI as a highly efficient way to say ‘Yes, that is a mine of this type.’ And because the data is digitized you can send it off and use it to train other algorithms to improve their performance.”
The stereoscopic sensors are important because they allow the soldier to get a more precise read on the location of the potential mine.
“You want a good correlation between the image and the actual location on the ground. You want to make sure you know exactly where your target is, and not six inches off or 12 inches off,” Grove said. “The stereoscopic image gives you a way to achieve that level of location and navigation.”
The system employs augmented reality in the sense that digital representations are layered over a real-world view. A soldier still sees the ground, but it’s lit up in color, with orange representing a potential mine or other metallic object.
The system can likewise layer historical data on top of the real-world visuals. “Was there an explosive hazard detected in this area in the last five days? If you can give an individual a heads-up that a device was found here or that there was enemy activity in this area, that can enhance the performance of the detection system,” Grove said.
The push for high-tech countermine solutions is part of a larger effort to leverage advanced technologies to deal with buried explosives. In mid-2017, for instance, Army introduced the Standoff Robotic Explosive Hazard Detection System (SREHD), which uses robotic support to mark out potential hazards on the ground.
“In the future, we need to embrace and leverage robotics and understand it can be used to help us,” said Maj. Lendrick James, assistant product manager, in an Army news release.
Grove’s team has been collaborating with the SREHD developers with an eye toward eventually combining the AI advances and the robotics approach. “We share lessons learned back and forth. Some of the testing done under SREHD clearly will feed future developments on the handheld side,” he said.
The exact soldier interface of the real-time spatial location system is still under development by the CERDEC team in collaboration with the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. They’re considering three possible formats: a wand-mounted display that connects back to the Nett Warrior suite; a see-through heads-up display; or possibly a monocle. The final form will likely be determined by mission requirements. “It will depend on what the soldiers like,” Grove said. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
28 Jun 18. Azerbaijan parades SOM cruise missile. The Azerbaijani military displayed a Roketsan SOM cruise missile for the first time during its annual parade in Baku on 26 June. This is the first known export of the SOM, which Roketsan says has a range of more than 250 km with a high explosive/blast fragmentation warhead weighing approximately 226kg. The baseline SOM-A uses a combination of inertial navigation system and global navigation satellite system guidance, while the B1 and B2 versions also use terrain referenced navigation and an imaging infrared (IIR) seeker for terminal guidance.
The one displayed in Baku had an aperture on its nose, indicating it has the IIR seeker. The B1 and B2 have different payloads, the latter being a two-stage penetrator warhead.
The SOM is designed to be difficult to detect by radar and has been integrated with F-4 and F-16 aircraft, both of which are flown by the Turkish Air Force, but not its Azerbaijani counterpart. The most likely launch platforms for Azerbaijan’s SOMs are its MiG-29 multirole fighters, although the Su-24 strike aircraft may also be an option. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
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05 Jul 18. Stable USV Platform For Harsh Sea Conditions. Al Seer Marine (UAE) has announced the signature of a cooperation agreement with Iceland-based company Rafnar in order to convert Rafnar’s Embla Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) into a manned and unmanned surface vessel (USV). The companies aim to create a very stable USV platform, since Embla already earned its reputation when it crossed the North Atlantic from Iceland to Gothenburg unsupported, tackling up to 6-metre waves over a 1,357 nautical mile distance.
Rafnar and Al Seer Marine have both developed their individual proprietary technologies and seen multiple opportunities in working together, both companies stated at the ceremony. Al Seer Marine are seeking to further strengthen its product portfolio through the application of Rafnar’s other RIB, the ÖK Hull.
“We are excited to be able to unman Rafnar’s Embla, a great starting point. Adding the ÖK Hull to our portfolio of vessels en-sures we deliver the most stable seakeeping platforms for the most extreme marine environments,” said Lee Drinkwater, Head of Business Development & Strategy at Al Seer Marine. Björn Jónsson, Managing Director, Rafnar, added: “I believe that this cooperation is an excellent example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.” (Source: ESD)
05 Jul 18. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is using an integrated fuel tank structure to maximize fuel offload for the proposed MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling aircraft for the U.S. Navy. GA-ASI applied its knowledge of advanced composite aircraft structures to develop integrated fuel tanks in a large-scale wing box test article and a full-scale wing skin pre-production validation article. The wing box tested to failure via wing bending at GA-ASI’s Adelanto, Calif. structural test facility in November 2017. In April, the company verified the production readiness of the co-cured wing and tail components using both non-destructive and destructive inspections.
“The integral fuel tank wing box test article will reduce technical and schedule risk for the program,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “Specifically, through extensive validation of fuel containment sealing methods, advanced non-linear buckling finite element analysis models and thick composite laminate construction, we have accelerated engineering design consideration prior to the detail design phase and production.”
A full-scale inner-wing skin demonstration article built in March at GA-ASI’s Spanish Fork, Utah facility verified the MQ-25 tooling concepts, lamination approach, and processes. The team validated the outer mold line tooling approach for the build process which enables accelerated engineering and tooling fabrication for the MQ-25 program.
03 Jul 18. Schiebel effectively demonstrated the exceptional search and rescue as well as maritime surveillance capabilities of the CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) from 21 June to 1 July 2018 to the Belgian Navy. Schiebel’s trials for the Belgian Navy aimed at building an enhanced knowledge base and developing a successful concept of operations for the use of UAS in support of search and rescue (SAR) as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. For the demonstration flights, designed to show the suitability of the CAMCOPTER® S-100 for these capabilities, the helicopter was equipped with two payloads, the L3 Wescam MX-10 and the Overwatch Imaging PT-8 Oceanwatch, as well as an automatic identification system (AIS) receiver and a rescue drop box. The flight trials included various search and rescue scenarios in a land-based setting in Lombardsijde and in a maritime environment in the naval port of Zeebrugge.
“The trials with the S-100 have been very successful and have taught us a lot about the possibilities of such systems and sensors, the ability to operate in Belgian’s confined airspace, opportunities for the domain of coastal security and prospects for further developments,” said Lt. Commander D. Biermans, who is in charge of the Belgian Navy’s Maritime Tactical UAS (MTUAS) Project Team. “Given the complexity of introducing a MTUAS within the Navy and its impact on the concepts of operation and tactics, this was a first informative step and will be part of a series of tests and experiments with a variety of vehicles and sensors.”
The flights were the first S-100 customer demonstration with the recently integrated PT-8 Oceanwatch payload. This revolutionary wide-area maritime search capability offers a powerful naval patrol capacity and thus solves the challenge of searching for small objects over vast areas. The employed combination of two payloads proved to be an ideal solution for the tested scenarios.
“With its small footprint, exceptional capability and state-of-the-art payloads, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 is the perfect platform for maritime and land-based SAR missions,” said Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group. “Our tried and tested helicopter continuously proves to be the most capable and successful vertical takeoff and landing UAS.”
03 Jul 18. What does a company do when its trailblazing and diverse innovations for nearly half a century have redefined how the world drives and flies? When its many technological “firsts” include the first practical electric car, flying the Nano Hummingbird drone, record-setting, solar-powered aircraft flights in near space, and reshaping the battlefield with portable, hand-held, tactical drones and loitering munitions?
It takes on another world.
At a briefing held Wednesday at New York City’s NASDAQ Marketsite, AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV) revealed its critical role in collaborating with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA/JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. to build the drone helicopter recently selected by NASA/JPL’s Mars Exploration Program, and displayed a model of the Mars Helicopter, which is planned to fly on Mars in less than three years.
“AeroVironment’s deep, rich and diverse history of innovation combined with our experience with near-space aircraft like Pathfinder and Helios make us uniquely suited to collaborate with NASA and JPL on this historic, interplanetary venture,” said AeroVironment President and Chief Executive Officer Wahid Nawabi.
Flying at nearly 100,000 feet on Earth is much like flying on the surface of Mars – same air density – so AeroVironment used airfoil design principles and simulation tools the technology company learned from record high-altitude flights and incorporated them into the Mars helicopter design.
“The Mars Helicopter effort also benefits from the ultra-lightweight and ultra-high-precision methods integral to our nano projects that have been developed in our MacCready Works laboratory, where we’ve assembled a dedicated team of the industry’s brightest and most experienced thinkers to solve some of today’s greatest technological challenges,” Nawabi said.
AeroVironment first developed subscale Mars helicopter prototypes to test and demonstrate the feasibility of lift in the thin Martian atmosphere. Then in May 2016, AeroVironment delivered to NASA/JPL a Mars Helicopter rotor and landing gear prototype that was integrated with a JPL-developed controller and demonstrated free flight in a simulated Mars atmosphere, proving that it is possible to fly on the Red Planet. Next, AeroVironment delivered major helicopter subsystems in the fall of 2017 for integration into Mars-representative engineering development models. JPL built two Engineering Development Model Mars Helicopters, integrating the AeroVironment rotor, landing gear, fuselage shell and solar panel substrate together with JPL-developed fuselage composed of flight avionics, onboard power, telecom, flight control and sensors into two models.
One of the development models was used for flight demonstration in JPL’s large 25-foot space simulator, and the other for environmental testing, including thermal tests to ensure the vehicle can endure the frigid Mars nights, and vibration tests to make sure it is rugged enough to survive launch. Both vehicles passed the rigorous tests, paving the way for the development and fabrication of the final, Mars-bound version.
AeroVironment is currently building the flight versions of their subsystems which will be integrated with other subsystems into the vehicle that JPL is building. The plan is for JPL to then install the finished Mars Helicopter into the Mars 2020 rover for its ride to a Martian landing site, still to be determined.
The Mars Helicopter project is led by NASA JPL with team members across JPL, AeroVironment, NASA Ames and NASA Langley. The AeroVironment team has worked closely with NASA rotorcraft experts at the NASA Ames and Langley research centers and with JPL electrical, mechanical, materials, vehicle flight controls, and systems engineers. AeroVironment’s contributions to the first Mars drone include design and development of the helicopter’s airframe and major subsystems, including its rotor, rotor blades, hub and control mechanism hardware. The company also developed and built high-efficiency, lightweight propulsion motors, power electronics, landing gear, load-bearing structures, and the thermal enclosure for NASA/JPL’s avionics, sensors, and software systems
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C2, TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, AI, CYBER, EW, CLOUD COMPUTING AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE
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03 Jul 18. DOD CIO to oversee JEDI effort. The Defense Department has confirmed that new CIO Dana Deasy has taken control of the department’s cloud initiatives, including the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud program.
A June 22 memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced that Deasy would lead “several efforts” that are “a crucial part of overall digital modernization.”
Shanahan also directed the DOD chief management officer, along with the CIO and general counsel, “prepare a prompt and orderly transition of authority, direction, and control of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud Initiative to the CIO, including transitioning the cloud computing program office to the Office of the CIO.”
The cloud executive steering group leading the JEDI procurement was most recently managed by Chris Lynch, director of the Defense Digital Service. The steering group relied on the CIO as an adviser, but the Pentagon’s top tech official was not a full voting member of the group. That changed in January, and opposition to the DOD’s single-award strategy hardened in some quarters of the federal contracting community as the year wore on.
The release of the memo follows a public DOD statement issued in late June announcing that Deasy, who took office in May, would lead all the department’s cloud initiatives. Shanahan also directed all DOD components “afford Mr. Deasy every opportunity to advise on cloud computing issues,” according to the memo.
“The best practice from industry is to manage these efforts at the enterprise level, rather than the current ad hoc process, in order to enable economies of scale, improve security practices and maintain the ability to make smarter decisions about applications and data,” Shanahan wrote. But even with the new details, DOD doesn’t have a timeline for the release of the JEDI request for proposal, which was initially expected in May. As of now, DOD is still reviewing the JEDI final RFP with no specific timeline on when it would be released, DOD spokesperson Heather Babb told FCW via email. (Source: Defense Systems)
04 Jul 18. 5 new approaches to improving AI research. As artificial intelligence advances there has been an increased push to incorporate it into defense technology. Recently, the Department of Defense ordered the creation of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, which will be a hub for AI research. The JAIC is not the first attempt to incorporate AI into the DoD, however. Project Maven, which was established by the DoD to integrate machine learning and big data, will continue as part of JAIC after Google announced it will end its participation in the program.
Timothy Persons, chief scientist of applied research and methods for the Government Accountability Office, testified June 26 before the House of Representatives Subcommittees on Research and Technology and Energy about AI’s implications for policy and research.
In his testimony, Persons highlighted some suggestions for government policy and research on AI that came from a March 2018 GAO report:
Improve data collection and incentivize data sharing
Data is essential to teaching and improving AI. In his testimony Persons emphasized the importance of collecting and labeling high-quality data that can improve machine learning.
It is also important that data can be shared safely without compromising sensitive information such as intellectual property or brand information. Persons pointed to an instance when MITRE, a nonprofit that handles federally funded research, credited data-sharing in the aviation industry with lowering the number of accidents.
Data-sharing, which could include establishing training environments that protect sensitive data, could include nationwide data standardization projects by agencies such as the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Address cybersecurity threats
AI systems are both vulnerable to and can be used for cybersecurity attacks. The costs of cyberattacks on networks and information are high and unevenly distributed between manufacturers and users, Persons said. He suggested policy changes that share the costs of cyberattacks and protecting against them more evenly.
Update the approach to regulations
While AI technology is still developing at a rapid pace, Persons encouraged policymakers to avoid prematurely establishing regulations and instead update the regulatory structure. He pointed to the potential use of AI by law enforcement and the evolving technology in automated vehicles as two potential areas in need of regulation.
Another way to update how AI is regulated could be through establishing regulatory sandboxes, which allow regulators to experiment on a small scale.
Better understand AI’s impact on employment
AI will certainly impact employment across industries. However, right now it is hard to determine which industries will see job loss and which will see job growth in the future. Changes across the workforce caused by AI will require reevaluation of training and education, Persons said.
Explore computational ethics and explainable AI
In the future, AI systems will have to be designed that can operate in environments where not all potential events can be anticipated. Persons emphasized the importance of developing ethical processes for AI and big data research. One of the main concerns, Persons said, is that the ethical standards of those developing AI may not be compatible with the rest of society or those who use the technology. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
05 Jul 18. Boeing delivers Aussie designed and made Currawong Battlespace comms capability. Aerospace giant Boeing has delivered initial operating capability (IOC) for its Currawong Battlespace Communications System just four months after its initial material release.
The declaration of IOC means that the Australian Defence Force now has the world’s most advanced battlespace communication system to transfer secure data, voice and video communications between Australian headquarters and deployed forces globally.
Boeing Defence Australia vice president and managing director Darren Edwards said, “The system improves the set-up time, capacity, flexibility and responsiveness of the Australian Defence Force information exchange while reducing equipment size, weight and power during operations.
“The rapid implementation of the Australian-designed and manufactured communications network is testament to the high customer engagement during the product development and the expertise of Boeing’s Australian team in delivering complex development systems.”
More than 700 communications specialists have now been trained to use the system, with ongoing support provided by Boeing field service representatives as part of the ongoing support contract. Multiple defence units are currently using the Currawong I-BTN during Army’s largest annual exercise, Exercise Hamel 2018, in Shoalwater Bay.
Boeing delivered the new network under LAND 2072 Phase 2B, which included the core communication network software and hardware, along with 39 deployable communication nodes to date.
Commanding Officer 7th Combat Signal Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Les Juckel said IOC of Currawong was achieved during the recent Exercise Carbon Diamond, with overwhelming success.
“The Integrated – Battlefield Telecommunications Network (I-BTN) was unquestionably superior to previous Defence networks in terms of ease of configuration, situational awareness for the operators, and network performance. Overall, the operation of the network was beyond the expectations of the operators and left them awaiting future material and software releases for further capabilities.” (Source: Defence Connect)
04 Jul 18. ISPI and Leonardo present a new Observatory on cyber security. A new Observatory on cyber security has been created by ISPI, the Italian study centre specialised in global geopolitical and political-economical analysis and Leonardo, a global player in Aerospace, Defence and Security and Italy’s main industrial company. The new project is aimed at analysing the dynamics taking place in the cybernetic space through debates and publications, with a focus on foreign and security policies and the role of national stakeholders, including those in the private sector.
The first conference, “Living with cyber risk”, will take place on Friday 29th June at ISPI’s Milan office. Giampiero Massolo, ISPI Chairman, Giorgio Mosca, Director of Competitive Analysis, Strategy and Technologies, Security and Information systems division, at Leonardo, Merle Maigre, Director of NATO Center of Excellence on Cooperative Cyber Defence, John Allen, Chairman of Brookings In-stitution, Marina Kaljurand, Chairman of the Global Commission on Cyberspace Stability will take part in the event.
The analysis will start from the observation that modern companies rely more and more on a secure, resilient and – at least in the Western side of the World – free internet. At the same time, the cybernetic space is not completely governed, it does not have clear lines of authority, criminals often use it, and it is a place where the strongest often win. The introduction of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, lethal autonomous weapons and robotics will lead to further transformation in this direction. It is therefore necessary to reflect on whether and how to accept a permanent state of conflict within the networks, coexisting with these existential threats to our security.
Leonardo has already worked together with ISPI on a study regarding “Armed conflicts in the cyber age”. The next dossier the two organisations will produce together, which will cover cyber-crime and national security, will be published soon. (Source: ASD Network)
02 Jul 18. Does DoD know how to supply intel for cyber ops? Cyber has been an official domain of warfare for nearly a decade, yet the Department of Defense is still learning how to integrate it with operations. And some members of Congress are concerned the traditional military intelligence organs to this day don’t understand intel support to cyber ops. The House Armed Services Committee is directing that a briefing on the subject must take place by December 1, 2018. The briefing — delivered by the under secretary of defense for intelligence, in coordination with the Defense Intelligence Agency and the military services — is expected, according to a provision in the committee’s annual defense policy bill, to address multiple issues, including:
- Efforts to standardize a common military doctrine for intelligence preparation of the battlefield for cyber operations;
- Efforts to develop all-source intelligence analysts with the capability to support cyber operations; and
- Efforts to resource intelligence analysis support elements at U.S. Cyber Command and the service cyber components.
“The committee is concerned about the Defense Intelligence Enterprise’s ability to provide the cyber community with all-source intelligence support, consistent with the support provided to operations in other domains,” the provision, called an “item of special interest,” says.
In some cases, other intelligence disciplines, such as human intelligence or signals intelligence, might be needed to help enable a cyber operation. A committee aide noted that the goal is to get DoD to think about cyber operations just as operations in any domain and build the infrastructure to support that.
According to Gus Hunt, Accenture Federal Services cyber strategy lead, cyber as a domain is really no different than the others from an intelligence support perspective.
The objective of intelligence, he told Fifth Domain in a recent interview, is to ensure it provides timely information about the adversary, who they are, the status of their capabilities and any information about the threats that are there.
“I think what you’re seeing … is that people are asking the question are we appropriately structured or resourced and focused to be as effective as we possibly can in this new realm of cyber and cyber operations,” Hunt, who previously served as the chief technology officer at the CIA, said.
“Because they’re asking the question, I think the obvious answer is … we’re not structured as effectively as we possibly can be … [but] it’s really good that people are sitting there asking.”
The Army is experiencing similar problems, especially when it comes to experimenting with force structure changes and bringing cyber effects to the tactical edge, which currently don’t exist.
“We’re not seeing a corresponding growth in the intel organizational structure with the cyber and” electronic warfare, Lt. Col. Chris Walls, deputy division chief for strategy and policy in the cyber directorate of the Department of the Army G-3/5/7, said at the C4ISRNET conference in May.
“The existing intel force structure is really going to be stressed when we put this EW and cyber capability into the field unless they have a corresponding growth and capability as well,” Walls said of tactical cyber effects and teams. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Fimain)
02 Jul 18. The US Army is bringing new electronic warfare prototypes home
A suite of electronic warfare capabilities developed to specifically counter Russian advancement in Europe will now be fielded to an Army unit within the United States.
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division is the first stateside unit to receive EW prototypes as a means of creating soldier familiarity with the systems prior to deployment overseas, as well as creating a greater EW knowledge base within the community.
The capabilities, according to an Army release, include mounted, dismounted and command-and-control systems for electronic sensing and jamming.
These capabilities, delivered in large part by the service’s Rapid Capabilities Office, have been with units in Europe for some time, having been developed under operational needs statements in response to capability caps against Russian systems.
Designed to close gaps in the short term, they include the VROD, which surveys the field from an electromagnetic perspective; VMAX, which provides a limited electronic attack capability; and an additional capability to the electromagnetic spectrum command-and-control tool called EW Planning and Management Tool. The EWPMT add-on, called Raven Claw, enables planning and management on the move and without network connection.
Officials have explained how these interim prototyped capabilities will inform requirements and perform risk reduction for larger, more permanent solutions. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
02 Jul 18. DoD stands up its artificial intelligence hub. The Defense Department has formally ordered the creation of a new hub for artificial intelligence research with Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s new chief information officer, taking the lead.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan ordered the move in a June 27 memo. The Pentagon’s goal is to launch a series of AI projects known as National Mission Initiatives within 90 days – as well as taking over the controversial Project Maven.
The office will be known as the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), with the goal of enabling “teams across DoD to swiftly deliver new AI-enabled capabilities and effectively experiment with new operating concepts in support of DoD’s military missions and business functions,” according to DoD spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza.
Put another way, the group will have the “overarching goal of accelerating the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities, scaling the Department-wide impact of AI, and synchronizing DoD AI activities to expand Joint Force advantages,” according to a copy of the memo posted by Breaking Defense.
“This effort is a Department priority. Speed and security are of the essence,” Shanahan wrote. “I expect all offices and personnel to provide all reasonable support necessary to make rapid enterprise-wide AI adoption a reality.”
Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan directed the DoD Chief Information Officer to standup the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) in order to enable teams across DoD to swiftly deliver new AI-enabled capabilities and effectively experiment with new operating concepts in support of DoD’s military missions and business functions.
The JAIC marks the second major initiative Pentagon leaders handed over to Deasy, a former CIO with JPMorgan Chase who has only been at the Pentagon for a few weeks. Deasy also is in charge of managing the department’s JEDI cloud computing contract.
The idea of standing up an AI center was first confirmed by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on April 12, but it has been championed by the Defense Innovation Board, a group of outside experts ho advice the secretary on potential updates to how the Pentagon handles evolving technologies.
According to Michael Griffin, the head of Pentagon research and engineering, the department counts 592 projects as having some form of AI in them. However, Griffin said in April 18 testimony that he did not believe every one of those projects makes sense to roll into some sort of AI hub.
That concern appears to be reflected in Shanahan’s memo, which orders that any AI project with a budget of $15m or more should be coordinated with the services in order to ensure “DoD is creating Department-wide advantages.”
In terms of budget, Shanahan ordered the Pentagon’s comptroller to find options for funding during the current fiscal year, but the major focus is on driving resources for fiscal year 2019 and beyond. Given the support for artificial intelligence research on the Hill, it is likely the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY19 will include some funding for the new office.
The movement of Project Maven to the JAIC is notable. A DoD initiative to accelerate the integration of big data and machine learning, largely drawing on video feeds from unmanned systems, Maven in the last month has become a poster child for the clash of cultures between the defense department and Silicon Valley. Google was working hand-in-hand with the Pentagon on the project, until a backlash from the company’s employees, who argued in an open letter signed by more than 3,000 workers that it did not want to “build warfare technology.” Moving the program to the JAIC may be an attempt to keep the project underway without Google’s participation. (Source: Defense News)
02 Jul 18. Netherlands details FOXTROT tactical communications update. The Netherlands Armed Forces has revealed details of its next-generation ‘FOXTROT’ tactical communications programme. The programme aims to meet the needs of an “agile land force in terms of mobility, interoperability and security through the design of high quality and robust IT”, officials said.
According to programme manager Colonel Robert Miedema, the Netherlands is expected to spend approximately EUR1.5bn (USD1.75bn) from 2020 to 2030 in efforts to synchronise continuity measures, experiments, and renewal projects. These are aimed at addressing capability gaps in mobile communications that have been identified between the VOSS future soldier programme and the GRIT deployed networks programme. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. Indian Navy to trial new ESM system on Kamov Ka-31 helicopters. The Indian Navy will trial a newly developed airborne electronic warfare (EW) system aboard its Kamov Ka-31 airborne early warning helicopter.
A June 2018 tender document for the programme disclosed that the country’s Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL) is seeking a vendor to perform “platform modification and installation” of the Sarang electronic support measures (ESM) system for the aircraft type. The vendor should execute the contract within 18 weeks from order placement.
The Sarang ESM system comprises several antennae types, including cavity-backed spiral antennae for the high-accuracy baseline interferometer (BLI) direction finding system that are mounted at various locations on the airframe to obtain all around coverage, associated line replaceable units, and a ruggedised laptop display inside the cockpit. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 Jun 18. Can NATO’s new cyber strategy survive risky summits? Amid a resurgent campaign of Russian cyber aggression and a high-stakes summit that is just days away, NATO has bolstered its digital protocols, a move that experts say will reshape how the organization defends itself.
The new joint air power strategy unveiled June 26 envisions a NATO that has its 29 states synchronized in cyberspace, adding to its existing land, air and sea activity. The plan means that NATO members are formally able to add cyberwarfare to their joint operations toolkit.
The plan appears to improve collective cybersecurity through greater training and coordination among NATO members, but its real impact will only be known in the face of conflict. Be it online or offline, the question remains unanswered whether political leaders will respond in cyberspace through the transatlantic alliance, according to experts.
“For almost 70 years, NATO has been the bedrock of transatlantic security. Whether on land, at sea, or in the air. The same is now true in cyberspace,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a speech May 15. He urged the organization to agree that a cyberattack can trigger an agreement of collective defense among NATO states.
NATO was first stood-up to combat the rise of communism after WWII, but has been transformed into a club of North American and European countries that embrace collective security. And although the new NATO document does not mention Russia by name, it comes as experts have warned that Moscow’s cyber-activity has entered a dangerous era.
“For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the Alliance has to be able to conduct operations” against any country, the document reads.
But the intricate web of NATO alliances may be untangling amid shifting transatlantic relations. NATO leaders are set to meet in Brussels July 11 and 12, and a tête-à-tête with President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin looms. Trump sent letters to NATO allies warning them the meeting will center on who does and doesn’t spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense, according to sister site Defense News.
“The risk is that during his meeting with President Putin, Trump may do something similar to what he did after the summit with Kim of North Korea, where he calls for physical exercises not to happen on the border of Russia, and this may include cyber-exercises,” said Klara Jordan, director of the cyber statecraft initiative at the Atlantic Council.
But Jordan told Fifth Domain that the new air power strategy and its cyber provisions will not be high on the list of Putin’s complaints, likely allowing it to continue unscathed. “This document can serve as an additional tool to raise the bar for NATO states to invest in cyber-capabilities and think about a NATO that can coordinate across the alliance in a more modern way,” said Jordan.
A top Russian lawmaker, Aleksey Kondratyev, said that the new NATO strategy poses a threat to Russia, according to state-owned Sputnik News.
Bolstered Russian hacking
The NATO document comes as Russia has grown more aggressive in cyberspace through crippling hacks and a swarm of disinformation.
Russian hackers are attacking Ukrainian companies with malicious code, Ukraine’s cyber police chief told Reuters June 26. The police chief predicted the code would be unleashed “for a specific day.”
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, although the organization provides funding for its cyber defense. Putin has argued that Ukraine is in Russia’s sphere of influence.
Starting in 2015, Russia changed its rules of cyber engagement, according to Kevin Mandia, the head of security firm FireEye, saying the country has ramped up their digital prowess. Speaking at George Washington University June 28, he said that Russian activity is mostly directed to Estonia and Ukraine.
A 2018 Estonian intelligence report 2018 predicts that Putin will continue his campaign of aggression in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, predicting he will fight in cyberspace.
“The Russian armed forces are conducting information warfare in other countries similar to the one waged against Ukraine for several years already,” the report said. The Estonian intelligence agency predicted that one specific target is “NATO and its member states.” (Source: Fifth Domain)
30 Jun 18. US Army executes active electronic attack in Europe for first time since Cold War. The U.S. Army’s new electronic warfare capability, developed by the service’s Rapid Capabilities Office, was challenged in a recent Eastern European exercise.
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment conducted an active electronic attack — or jamming — within a European country for the first time since the Cold War this month during Saber Strike in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. The event shows the Army is making headway on refining a rapid electronic warfare capability it put into the field in Europe just one year ago.
The Army’s RCO — which was officially created in August 2016 — is designed to hone in on the service’s largest requirements with the intent to deliver capabilities within a one- to five-year horizon.
At its launch, the RCO prioritized electronic warfare; position, navigation and timing; and cyber that were neglected in the counterinsurgency operations of the past 15 years. Now that the Army anticipates battling more near-peer adversaries in contested environments, it is refocusing on ensuring its capability overmatch against those possible enemies.
The RCO developed an electronic warfare prototype and sent it to Europe to help soldiers view the EW picture in the spring of 2017, which was then tested out in the Army’s major exercise Saber Guardian in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary in July. Subsequent versions were sent over in in the summer and fall of last year.
The EW system was also extensively tested at Fort Bliss, Texas, last summer.
Fast forward, and the Army has fielded a refined electronic warfare capability with a platoon in the 2CR and one in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, both of which are permanently stationed in Europe.
There is another platoon with the 1st Infantry Division.
While EW prototypes were tested during Saber Guardian, it was mostly to check the interoperability of the EW systems, which come in the form of dismounted, vehicular and command-post capabilities.
The systems were evaluated during the first Joint Warfighting Assessment in Europe in May ahead of the Saber Strike exercise where Master Sgt. Kevin Howell, a Training and Doctrine Command capabilities manager for EW within the Cyber Center of Excellence, told Defense News at the JWA that the Army is working to develop how various units might employ the systems and refine tactics, techniques and procedures.
“The electromagnetic spectrum is different wherever you go,” he said, so units can conduct a survey to determine what that spectrum looks like, make a determination on how to employ the system, locate the enemy and hide in the spectrum.
“That is the great thing about it, [which] is there hasn’t been much evolution of the equipment, per say, but it’s the education. Soldiers are getting the experience that they are getting. We are getting smarter, we are getting better,” Howell said.
“There is no how-to manual,” he added. “That is what we are developing. It’s really up to the individual units.”
At Saber Strike, the Army’s EW systems were put to the test against one of the most challenging enemies, played by the Lithuanian army.
For Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Flory, an EW technician with 2CR at Saber Strike, being able to pass information from the electromagnetic spectrum to an operations center was valuable for a commander to turn around and target the enemy.
And finally being able to conduct electronic jamming against a difficult adversary was “definitely value added” as well as being able to conduct some calls for fires based off the locations identified using the systems, according to Col. Sean Lynch, an electronic warfare officer tasked to evaluate prototypes in Europe at various exercises. He also evaluated the prototypes a year ago at Saber Guardian.
But the most valuable aspect of testing the systems during Saber Strike was the ability to “fully stress the systems to their utmost,” he said.
The systems’ limitations so far in exercises were forecast due to the strength and current limitations of the system, but the prototypes are proving that the Army is moving in the right direction, Lynch and Flory told Defense News in a recent interview.
While much has been discovered and refined from the technical, networking and training standpoints, there’s still work to do, they indicated.
This time the EW systems were employed very much on the move, incorporating the systems onto dismounted soldiers and vehicles. The prototypes were tasked to support a variety of maneuver-force operations from a contested wet-gap crossing, an airfield seizure, and the defense of an airfield, among other operational scenarios, Lynch said.
Operators were given a lot of freedom and were able to use a variety of techniques and methods to employ the systems.
“It was really interesting to see how the guys on the ground decided to employ these systems in kind of less-than-specified situations, how they improvised to make them effective and support the maneuver commander,” Flory said.
The Lithuanians’ ability to jam the U.S. systems had an effect on the regiment’s operations, Flory said, and the commanders were able to feel real impact to being up against an adversary with such capabilities.
“It was sort of a different side of EW, how to protect ourselves, and it’s certainly something we are going to address more in training and nonmateriel solutions and things like that going forward,” he said.
Using the EW capability in the exercise, most importantly, according to Lynch, showed off how broadly the Army needs to approach the challenge of fighting in an electromagnetic spectrum.
“It’s not just a technical solution thing we have to address, it’s the training piece. It’s the organizational piece, it’s the networking, and getting all of those to work in a harmonious manner. That is where we need to go with this,” Lynch said.
30 Jun 18. The US Army is working on better tactical connectivity. The Army is looking to create better mission command, data transport and communications ability for smaller, more tactical echelons.
In an approach the service is calling the integrated tactical network (though officials stressed the ITN is not a new network), the Army seeks to focus on a simplified, independent, mobile network solution at the battalion level providing network availability down to the small unit dismounted leader, an Army document states.
Officials described a suite of capabilities to provide better mission command, situational awareness and air-to-ground integration that can close capability gaps at the company level and be tailored based on the environment troops are operating in or the commander’s objective.
The combination of capabilities that make up the ITN include Program Executive Office Soldier’s Nett Warrior future initiative 2-channel leader radios, small satellites, networking waveforms and radio gateways to provide flexible, resilient capabilities with joint and coalition mission partners. The goal is to bring higher bandwidth, more robust, agile and reliable networks to the tactical edge.
According to Army documents, the ITN’s key attributes include a network architecture to allow individuals and units to be disconnected from the network while still being mission capable and able to reconnect and resynchronize.
Army officials explained the core for the ITN and, in fact, its origins, lie in what the Army calls a secure-but-unclassified capability.
Given that war is conducted at the secret classification level, security measures to protect data and data transport at the tactical company level didn’t provide a lot of operational flexibility.
In working with partners across the U.S. government, the National Security Agency helped the Army understand the information that was trying to be protected at the tactical edge was perishable and could be protected in a different manner, Col. Ed Barker, program manager for Soldier Warrior at PEO Soldier, said during a June 21 event host by AFCEA’s Northern Virginia chapter.
This now meant the Army could use different forms of encryption and operate in a secure-but-unclassified manner, allowing data to be protected without the excess burden.
This new secure-but-unclassified approach also opened a number of other doors to the Army in terms of capability opportunities, Barker said, to include Wi-Fi, LTE and 4G.
This network already existed in some fashion in the Special Operations Command world, Barker added, so they began to partner closely with SOCOM and adapt their architecture and technologies.
Moreover, since the capability is secure-but-unclassified , it enables greater information sharing with partner nations, long a concern as the secret classification of battlefield data has hindered coalition operations.
“We have been for a generation restricting what maneuver commanders could do based on releasability caveats of our network,” CW5 Brian Wimmer, senior technical advisor to the Army’s Network Cross Functional Team, said at the AFCEA event. “U.S. secret is a releasability caveat; it’s not a technical description of anything.”
Barker explained that the secure-but-unclassified capability is just a subset of the overall ITN because, while this is very important, there is the broader need to operate in different security domains starting at the battalion level. Wimmer added everything about the ITN is commander-centric, noting its tailorability.
If units have to operate in a mega city, jungle or subterranean environment, they’ll need the capabilities that make up an integrated tactical network to support the commander’s decision-making.
“As new threats emerge, as new conditions emerge that commanders will have to operate in, the network is going to have to adapt to those things and it won’t be a snap-to-chalk line network where we’re going to field you all this kit and everyone’s going to have the same radio,” Wimmer said of the ITN’s tailorability. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
30 Jun 18. This new system helps US Marines follow the fight while en route to battle. From the moment Marines board a MV-22 Osprey to when they hit the landing zone for their mission, hours can pass. Without uninterrupted communications, the situation on the ground can change drastically. A newly updated network system fielded this month with Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit improves that network connection. The second increment of the Networking On The Move, or NOTM II, was tested last year and then installed on the Osprey for the 22nd MEU in June.
“It can take hours to fly to a location to complete a mission, and during that time, the situation on the ground can change significantly,” said Chris Wagner, NOTM lead engineer in Marine Corps Systems Command Command Element Systems.
With the NOTM system, Marines can collaborate on mission planning while on the move, he said.
“If the situation on the ground changes, we can get updates to the Common Operating Picture, from reconnaissance assets to the commander enabling mission changes while en route,” said Lt. Col. Devin Licklider, program manager of Command and Control Systems.
The system links up to the network about 10 minutes after powering up, officials said.
Currently it is cabled into the aircraft but there are plans to create an on-board Wi-Fi capability, which will be a first for that type of aircraft, Wagner said.
Mission ready, the system can provide communications access for up to five users, including networks, voice, email, video and text, according to officials.
The Osprey component helps those airborne, but the systems command also recently announced a new development to help Marines on the ground connect to the network ― Mobile User Objective System, or MUOS.
The narrowband satellite system gives Marines smartphone-like capabilities to increase voice or data communications access.
“The most obvious [advantage] to operating forces will be the increased accessibility,” said Capt. Shawn Avery, MUOS project office in Command Element Systems at Marine Corps System Command. “This will allow us to explore new operating concepts by pushing on-the-move voice and data connectivity to the squad level.”
Like a smartphone, the MUOS can roam, seeking out signals as it moves from one location to the next, such as communicating in the continental United States and then immediately deploying to another area. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
30 Jun 18. US Cyber Command moves closer to a major new weapon. The Air Force issued a formal proposal earlier this month for the Department of Defense’s long-awaited cyber weapon system, known as the Unified Platform, sources tell Fifth Domain.
DoD officials have said the Unified Platform is one of U.S. Cyber Command’s largest and most critical acquisition programs to date. Industry officials have said it is necessary to conduct cyber operations and is critical to national security.
Just as sailors rely on an aircraft carrier, pilots need airplanes or soldiers need tanks, cyber warriors require a system to which they launch their attacks. Pentagon leaders have said the Unified Platform will house offensive and defensive tools, allow for command and control, situational awareness and planning.
But details on what the Air Force, which issued the request on behalf of Cyber Command, wants in a Unified Platform are scarce.
Sources told Fifth Domain a formal request for proposal was released through the General Services Administration’s premier enterprise Alliant Governmentwide Acquisition Contract vehicle, which “provides flexible access to customized IT solutions from a large, diverse pool of industry partners … [and] allows for long-term planning of large-scale program requirements.”
Under this model, GSA completes much of the initial contracting legwork and, in this case, allows the Air Force to focus on the specific technical requirements, sources said. Companies compete to be eligible for task orders under the Alliant contract and then GSA selects contractors who compete against each other for individual task orders on the final program. This means, only vetted companies would work on the program.
Alliant is also designed to streamline contracts for IT projects only, eschewing some of the documentation and financials in typical contracts enabling faster awards.
The Unified Platform proposal was only released to companies on the contract about two weeks ago, sources said, and is due in mid-July.
Today, each of the individual services use their own disparate systems, many of which are not linked together. The spokesman added that efforts are underway to review and consolidate existing service and Cyber Command’s platforms.
Unified Platform seeks to take the best of breed of these and provide all cyber warriors a consolidated system.
“In concert with US Cyber Command and all Services, the Air Force as Executive Agent is directing development and deployment to ensure timely and relevant full-spectrum capabilities for our cyber warriors,” an Air Force spokeswoman said.
An Air Force spokeswoman said that the Air Force’s Life Cycle Management Center will serve as the system integrator and will lead a multi-contractor, agile development/operations effort to launch and expand the Unified Platform.
Currently, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Booz Allen Hamilton are known to be competing for the contract. Sources said other companies may also be considering a bid.
The Air Force, in its research and development budget for fiscal 2019, asked for $29.8m for the Unified Platform program this year. It requested $10m for fiscal year 2020 and $6m in fiscal 2021. The total cost of the program is not immediately clear.
Other companies are also working on Unified Platform prototypes in the interim.
Enlighten IT Consulting, a Maryland based company, was awarded earlier this year a sole source contract to provide a Unified Platform prototype, Duane Shugars, Enlighten’s vice president of operations, told Fifth Domain.
Enlighten is providing a capability Cyber Command’s cyber mission force is using in real world missions today in which they collect data, push it into their analytics to run and share it for intelligence fusion.
As the command continues to grow and mature leaders have said it will need its own infrastructure to conduct operations. As recently as 2015, top Pentagon officials acknowledged Cyber Command did not possess a robust joint computer network infrastructure capability, a robust command and control platform and systems to plan and execute fast-moving, large-scale cyber operations.
During his confirmation process to lead Cyber Command, Gen. Paul Nakasone said the organization needs its own infrastructure separate from the National Security Agency, which is currently co-located with Cyber Command and has traditionally shared personnel and infrastructure.
“Operating under the constraint of the intelligence authorities that govern NSA infrastructure and tools would severely limit USCYBERCOM’s ability to effectively support wartime cyber operations,” he said. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
29 Jun 18. Five Directions Inc., Columbia, Maryland, is awarded a $7,432,710 firm-fixed-priced contract for research and development of data-driven cyber hunting tools for real-time cyber threat detection, characterization, and protection with enterprise-scale networks. This four-year contract includes optional taskings valued at $2,362,857. Work will be performed at the contractor’s facility in Columbia, Maryland, and work is expected to be competed June 28, 2022. The optional taskings will not extend the period of performance. Research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $571,873 will be obligated at the time of award. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website, 45 offers received and 11 selected for award. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-18-C-4034).
29 Jun 18. Australia introduces defence call-out bill for counter-terrorism. Australia’s Government has introduced a defence call-out bill to enable states and territories to easily get support from the ADF for counter-terrorism and handing other violent incidents.
Dubbed ‘Call Out of the Australian Defence Force’, the Defence Amendment Bill 2018 was created in close consultation with state and territory governments in order to strengthen the country’s ability to combat terrorism.
As an amendment to the Part IIIAAA of the Defence Act 1903, the new bill will make it easier for states and territories to request ADF support wherever necessary.
It will allow the ADF to be pre-authorised to respond to threats on land, at sea and in the air. The bill will also expand and simplify the force’s powers to search, seize and control movement at the event of a terrorist attack, in addition to enhancing ADF’s ability to respond to incidents occurring in more than one jurisdiction. Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said that the amendments are part of a range of measures being taken by the country to improve and increase the defence department’s support to national counter-terrorism arrangements.
Payne said: “Defence has already strengthened the practical support it provides to state and territory police since the outcomes of the review were announced in July last year.
“This includes the establishment of an enhanced ADF counter-terrorism liaison network with state and territory police, a broadened programme of specialist training and streamlined police access to defence facilities, such as rifle ranges.”
In addition, the Australian defence department has expanded the capacity and capability of supporting the ADF teams on call to assist police to respond to domestic security incidents and threats when requested by the states and territories. (Source: army-technology.com)
28 Jun 18. US Army to hold tactical cloud industry day. The US Army has formally announced details for an upcoming industry day focused on tactical cloud computing.
The event, which will be co-hosted by Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications – Tactical and the Army’s network cross functional team, will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina Aug. 1 and 2. Army leaders have they expect the event will be similar to an industry day held in February.
According to a post on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the Army wants to leverage cloud capabilities within the tactical ecosystem and constrained into several categories:
- Data Logistics
- Enterprise Service Architecture
- Mission Partner Environment
These areas are affected by the current operational environment to include contested and congested environments, low bandwidth and spectrum denied, among others.
“Non-defense IT companies are highly encouraged to participate in this two-day forum,” Paul Mehney, director of public communications for PEO C3T, said in a notice. “These companies may already be providing innovative solutions to non-defense clients that the Army could integrate into a military environment. We also welcome their ideas as we formulate our approach on how to employ Cloud services in austere operational environments.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
28 Jun 18. Can Congress salvage a broken cyber strategy? A cyberspace ambassador. An exchange program between government and private security experts. A cyber blue-ribbon commission based on nuclear age strategy.
These are among the scattershot of proposals that Congress has considered this week as lawmakers attempt to articulate a national cybersecurity strategy in the face of continued digital hostility from Russia and China. Amid a barrage of recent criticism leveled at both the Trump and Obama administrations for a cybersecurity policy that is either entirely absent or timid, the proposed legislation is sending a message: America needs a plan. Yet in comparison to the crisp Chinese five-year plans and Russian digital assaults, the cyber plan forged by Congress appears increasingly scattershot to analysts.
“States like China and Israel have comprehensive national strategies for the cyber domain that integrate national security and economic concerns,” said Bobby Chesney, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
“The United States has not been nearly so strategic under either Obama or Trump, and now many Senators are doing what they can to try to force smarter strategic thinking.”
In recent negotiations with China, experts say that Trump has been willing to trade away the cybersecurity of American citizens for a friendlier business climate. And in May, the White House eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator. Only 13 percent of security experts believe that Congress and the White House understand the cyberthreat, according to a recent survey by the firm Black Hat.
Chesney said several provisions aim to force the administration to take a tough line in response to malicious Russian cyber activity, but he added it is hard to force action. On the other hand, Chesney supported the proposed bipartisan “Cyber Solarium Commission,” which would examine the nation’s cyber strategy.
The commission hopes to strengthen America’s cybersecurity through sociology techniques that were used during the Eisenhower administration.
Congressional staff are working this week to reconcile the defense spending bill that contains the tough language and the commission, but it is just one out of several proposals that is creating a blurred digital road-map.
A new plan for how the U.S. government should respond to state-sponsored cyberattacks was also approved in the House Foreign Affairs Committee June 28. It came one week after former President Obama’s top cyber official confirmed a report that he was ordered to “stand down” in the face of Russian digital aggression. The proposal from Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., now faces a full House and Senate vote.
And amid a hollowed out State Department, a Senate committee approved the creation of a new chief cybersecurity diplomat June 26. It is a direct rebuttal of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who scrapped a previous office that coordinated digital issues.
Speaking at George Washington University June 28, the president of FireEye, Kevin Mandia, laid out the challenges for protecting America’s digital infrastructure. Most of the U.S. critical infrastructure is in the private sector, according to Mandia, as opposed to other countries who have nationalized the systems that underlie their society.
“We are in a $10m glass house and North Korea is in a mud hut with seven IP addresses,” said Mandia (Source: Fifth Domain)
26 Jun 18. Cloud Constellation and ARABSAT Shake Hands in the Sky and Partner for Space-Based Cloud Service. Ensuring that a huge base of enterprise and government customers in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Central Asia have their data safely secured is no small task. Despite the challenges these countries are now safer thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Cloud Constellation Corporation and Arab Satellite Communications Organization (ARABSAT). SpaceBelt services represent a major change in data security that greatly mitigates the risk of a data breach by providing global isolation of a customer’s data from inherently vulnerable global terrestrial networks.
Cloud Constellation Corporation and Arab Satellite Communications Organization (ARABSAT) announced they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a go-to-market strategy for enterprise and government customers in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Central Asia.
Cloud Constellation’s SpaceBelt™ Data Security as a Service (DSaaS) is a patented, scalable, space-based cloud service for securing high-value and highly sensitive data assets by providing data storage in space and global, secure managed network services and …
- A constellation of 12 satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is networked with a redundant, self-healing optical ring for high availability.
- The SpaceBelt network communicates with secure access points located at enterprise, government and military facilities via connectivity with geosynchronous satellites (GEO).
- Individual cloud storage satellites and constellations can be offered to address an organization’s storage and/or sovereignty requirements.
ARABSAT is the only satellite operator in the MENA region offering the full spectrum of broadcast, telecommunications and broadband services. Cloud Constellation will leverage ARABSAT’s market position and expertise in delivering SpaceBelt DSaaS to a broad range of customers throughout the gulf region.
Wael Al-Buti, chief commercial officer of ARABSAT said that their collaboration with Cloud Constellation Corporation is coming from a profound belief in the importance of data security. They are very proud to be working with Cloud Constellation’s innovative solution to deliver best-of-class data security services.
Dennis R. Gatens, vice president of channel management and marketing, Cloud Constellation Corporation, said they are pleased to be partnering with such a highly recognized and respected brand as ARABSAT. ARABSAT’s customers represent such a geographically diverse profile that they are confident their joint go-to-market effort will result in a great appreciation for their combined capabilities and a strong demand for SpaceBelt services. (Source: Satnews)
28 Jun 18. DOD, GSA, NASA move to raise purchasing ceiling for cyber emergencies. The federal government is moving to expand emergency procurement authority for purchases used to respond to or recover from a cyberattack, according to a new proposed rule in the Federal Register.
The change places cyberattacks against the United States in the same category as nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attacks. It would allow federal procurement officials to spend up to $20,000 for domestic purchases and $30,000 for international purchases under micropurchasing rules, as well as $750,000 and $1.5m for simplified acquisition purchases, provided the work has “a clear and direct relationship to the support of a contingency operation.”
The notice — put out by the Department of Defense, General Services Administration and NASA — implements several provisions from the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that increase the dollar threshold for agency purchases that are in support of federal efforts to respond to an emergency or a disaster. The 2017 NDAA added cyberattacks to the list of circumstances that warrant invoking the authority. Military and civilian federal acquisition councils declined to provide a definition for cyberattack, citing a lack of a clear statutory definition and a desire to provide policymakers with maximum flexibility. The government expects that the change in rules will affect less than 100 smaller federal contractors and save them a combined $1.3m per year in reduced compliance costs. The new rule must still be finalized before going into effect. Comments on the proposal are due by Aug. 27, 2018. (Source: Defense Systems)
29 Jun 18. How vendors can help DOD expand its AI initiatives. As the Department of Defense starts looking at ways that artificial intelligence can modernize operations and move to a more proactive defense posture, technology vendors will play a key role in its success. That means all contractors will need to track how DOD’s strategy develops in the next few years, as resources shift from prototyping to production.
With the technology’s inclusion in the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the DOD has made it clear that they need to emphasize AI capabilities. Senior leadership seems concerned that without an AI strategy the US will fall behind its adversaries in warfighting technology. To that end, the DOD is planning to stand up a center to deliver AI solutions across the department, and has proposed an AI and machine learning council as part of the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
AI and machine learning spending in the DOD is expected to increase modestly over the next two years, mainly as part of the research and development budget. More increases are expected in out-year budgets as the AI roadmap matures. DOD customers will be looking to AI technology for many of the same use cases for big data and analytics—everything from tactical, warfighting decision-making down to business and operations and backend office functions.
WHERE TO START
Technology companies interested in AI and machine learning opportunities will want to become involved with DOD innovation hubs—places like DIUX (Defense Innovation Unit Experimental) or other OTA (Other Transactional Authority) consortiums, which is where much of the prototyping and contracting activity for more cutting-edge technologies will take place. DOD leaders are keenly aware that adversaries do not face the same acquisition holdups, and want to ensure rapid technology adoption to keep pace. Vendors will also want to be aware of the challenges that DOD customers face as they begin to implement AI and machine learning into their day-to-day operations. Customers with business, enterprise or cyber requirements may be easier ways to get a foot in the door, since they overlap with existing commercial solutions. DOD wants to use both commercial and off-the-shelf capabilities wherever possible, such as the Defense Information Systems Agency Acropolis and Big Data Platform, where they’re already using machine learning to combat cyber threats and attacks.
Other organizations in the DOD that are working warfighting problems may require more customization. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, for example, solves tactical problems that would not be found in the private sector. One of their current AI projects, Urban Reconnaissance through Supervised Autonomy (URSA), looks at how to automate the process of identifying friend or foe in an urban, tactical environment. Most of URSA’s capabilities will need to come internally from the DOD or be custom developed by the defense industry.
Beyond understanding how a customer will incorporate machine learning into its portfolio, there are concerns over giving a machine too much power in the decision-making loop. For that reason, many leaders will refer to AI for now as “human and machine teaming.” In these early stages of implementation, AI use cases for the DOD will not extend to lethality; rather, the focus is to save money, manpower and level of effort.
WHERE THE OPPORTUNITIES ARE NOW
As the demand for AI capability grows (and given the limited capabilities within the DOD), there will be new opportunities for contractor and outside data science services and product support. What’s more, there will be a growing need to implement cloud, infrastructure, cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
AI also puts a tremendous amount of pressure on a customer’s data. Clean, authoritative and trustworthy data is the foundation of all analytics, and AI is no exception. This means increased demand not only for data integration tools but also data quality and preparation tools. The emphasis on data itself will also extend to cybersecurity—if data is vulnerable to a cyber attack, the AI mission is at risk as well.
AI and machine learning is a topic that touches all technology categories. To move forward with AI solutions, vendors will need to team up to better understand how to configure their architecture, data collection and analysis and security. There will be no shortage of potential use cases within the DOD—customers will look at everything from IT and cyber operations and network defense, to intelligence and surveillance support, to logistics and maintenance.
Bottom line, AI can help the DOD modernize its tactical and enterprise operations and move from reactive to proactive defense posture. Technology vendors will be a key component to successful AI implementation – as long as they start working now to get a handle on how to map their companies’ capabilities to the DOD’s evolving needs. (Source: Defense Systems)
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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
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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
04 Jul 18. Czech MoD seeks SHORAD SAM system. The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced in late June that it is resuming the search for a replacement for obsolete Russian-designed 2K12 Kub mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems in service with the Strakonice-based 25th Air Defence Missile (ADM) Regiment of the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR). The MoD is seeking a short-range air-defence (SHORAD) solution as a replacement for the 2K12 Kub, which according to Jaromir Alan, head of the MoD capabilities planning section, reached the end of its operational service life several years ago. According to Alan, the MoD has allocated CZK10bn (USD450m) for procuring a new SHORAD SAM system with a range of 14,000m and would like to equip the 25th ADM Regiment with four batteries, each equipped with up to eight ready-to-fire missiles. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. Leveraging its strong position in the aircraft upgrade market and the recent acquisition of Universal Avionics (“UA”), Elbit Systems is to showcase at the upcoming exhibition in Farnborough a unique offering of commercial systems for military upgrade programs. Defense budgets constraints and a widening requirement to comply with civilian airspace regulations drive a growing demand for commercial cockpit solutions for military platform upgrades. Cost efficiencies, shorter time to market and full compliance with Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) regulations make Commercial of the Shelf (COTS) avionics optimal for upgrading military platforms. Addressing these growing needs Elbit Systems, together with its wholly owned subsidiary Universal Avionics, presents a unique portfolio of COTS CNS/ATM compliant solutions for upgrading Para-military and military aircraft including helicopters, transporters and special mission aircraft. The offering to be showcased in the Company booth #1354 (Hall 1) at Farnborough includes Universal Avionics’ Flight Management Systems (FMS), Primary Flight Display system and communication systems alongside Elbit Systems’ Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS), Head-Up Display (HUD) and wearable HUD product line.
Yoram Shmuely, EVP and General Manager of Elbit Systems’ Aerospace Division commented:” Our leadership in the field of upgrading military platforms our technological edge in the commercial aviation area together with UA’s portfolio, enable us to promote this unique offering that is optimally suited to address the evolving market trends”.
29 Jun 18. Israel To US: Don’t Sell F-35s To Turkey. Until the roll-out ceremony of the first Turkish F-35 last week, many in the Israeli defense establishment were sure that Washington would stop the sale. Now that it’s unclear if the US will act, official Israeli sources are speaking out: “Turkey is a member of NATO on paper only, and now cooperates with countries that are against the U.S., not only in words. This delivery is something that Israel cannot understand.” Until the roll-out ceremony of the first Turkish F-35 last week, many in the Israeli defense establishment were sure that Washington would stop the sale.
Now that it’s unclear if the US will act, official Israeli sources are speaking out. They insisted on anonymity, but one of them put it in a way that sums up what all the others said: “Turkey is a member of NATO on paper only, and now cooperates with countries that are against the U.S., not only in words. This delivery is something that Israel cannot understand.”
In December 2017, Ankara officially announced that it would acquire two Russian-made S-400 surface-to-sir missile systems, making it the first NATO member state to operate such systems. To be sure, Turkey is also discussing with Eurosam, a European consortium, the development and co-production of a similar system for its future air defense architecture. But that hardly gives any relief to western capitals where policymakers are now wondering, among other concerns, how a NATO ally will simultaneously operate a Russian-made air defense system and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
Turkey, a program partner, has ordered 116 of the stealthy aircraft. Israel just received three more F-35s, giving them a dozen. Israel recently became the first country to use the F-35 in combat.
The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv (BESA) has been following the strange relations between NATO, the U.S and Turkey. One BESA paper, authored by Burak Bekdil an Ankara-based columnist, charts all the reasons why Turkey should not be considered a NATO member.
According to Bekdil’s study, Turkey and Syria held a joint military exercise in April 2009 – the first of its kind between a NATO member and a Russian-armed and trained client state. In September 2010, Turkish and Chinese aircraft conducted joint exercises in Turkish airspace. This, too, was a first for a NATO member. In 2011, before finally providing NATO forces with logistical support for their anti-Qaddafi campaign, then-Prime Minister Erdogan angrily asked, “What business can NATO have in Libya?”
The study points to the fact that in the beginning in 2015, Turkey came under international suspicion for systematically and clandestinely abetting various jihadist groups in Syria, including ISIS. The Turks were believed to have included logistics and arms. While the West’s primary goal was to fight ISIS, Erdogan has sought to topple Syria’s Alawite President Bashar Assad and install a Sunni, pro-Turkey, Islamist regime in his place.
In January 2018, the annual Freedom in the World report, produced by the US NGO Freedom House, classified Turkey as “not free” for the first time since the report series began in 1999. The country lost its status as “partly free” due to a slide in political and civil rights, Freedom House noted.
Also in January, the World Justice Report, an independent organization seeking to advance the rule of law around the world, said Turkey fell to the 101st position out of 113 countries in its Rule of Law Index.
For their part, Israeli intelligence have warned again and again that Turkey is becoming a “major anti-Western” power which is building a mighty war machine. Only recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu held a summit with the heads of Greece and Cyprus, two countries that are long-time enemies of Turkey.
The Israeli Air Force has conducted joint drills with the Greek air force and there are other ‘cooperation channels” between the to countries.
A few weeks ago Turkish fighter aircraft penetrated Greek airspace as tensions rose between the two neighbors following the release from pre-trial detention of eight Turkish army officers described as traitors by Ankara. Turkey has criticized the Greek prime minster for failing to hand the soldiers over to Turkey after they flew into Greece.
In the US, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill for U.S. foreign operations on June 21 after adding an amendment blocking delivery of the F-35s unless Turkey drops its plans to buy the S-400s.
Washington and its NATO allies have expressed concerns for months over Turkey’s 2016 agreement to buy the S-400, warning that the Russian system is not interoperable with NATO and U.S. military equipment.
Experts fear that if Turkey uses the highly advanced U.S. jets alongside the S-400 systems, Russia may gain access to sensitive technologies used in the aircraft.
Bur in spite all the opposition, the roll-out ceremony for the first Turkish jet was held last week at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth plant where most F-35s are built.
Turkey is not expected to receive the stealth fighter into its own airspace until 2020, though the country’s pilots will begin training on the new aircraft at Luke AFB at the end of the month. Turkish aircraft maintainers have already begun their training at Eglin AFB. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
03 Jul 18. US Air Force cancels remaining light-attack experiment flights, but effort will continue. The U.S. Air Force will not conclude the flying portion of its light-attack experiment after a June 22 aircraft crash resulted in the death of a pilot, a senior official announced Tuesday. However, Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the Air Force’s top uniformed acquisition official, stressed that the experiment is not over and that — should service leaders decide to move forward with a program of record — its acquisition wing will be ready to initiate a competition for a new plane by the end of this year. The Air Force is “working multiple fronts so that we can put an RFP [request for proposals] out” by December, Bunch said. “So right now, we’re still progressing down that path. I’ve not pulled back on the throttle on any way, shape or form in that area right now.”
Last month’s mishap involved the A-29 Super Tucano, made by Embraer and Sierrra Nevada Corp., that was being flown in a training mission over the Red Rio Bombing Range, which is part of the White Sands Missile Range north of Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
Lt. Christopher Carey Short, a naval aviator, died in the accident while a second pilot was airlifted to the hospital with minor injuries.
“Anytime you lose an airman, you have to pause, and you have to pause and think a little bit,” Bunch told reporters.
“So the loss of Lt. Short is a critical setback for America, writ large. That is a big hit to all of us. Having said that, we were trying a different approach, we believe we’ve collected the data using the approach and I would see us using approaches similar to this in the future.”
In the wake of the crash, Air Force officials have stressed that the incident would not unduly impact the service’s deliberations about whether to procure a light-attack aircraft, which proponents argue would be able to conduct the counterterrorism mission in the Middle East at lower costs.
The cause of the A-29 mishap is under investigation by an safety investigation board, which will likely conclude its analysis within 30 days of the incident. However, the Air Force likely will not publicize the root cause of the crash until months later, when an accident investigation board report is released.
As the light-aircraft experiment continues, the service will take a “multi-pronged approach” that explores everything from the manpower and logistics tail needed to support a new light-attack plane, to possible basing options, Bunch said, and it will move forward with those efforts until directed otherwise.
It already gathered the flight test data it needs from the A-29 and its competitor, Textron’s AT-6 Wolverine, over the past month and through the first part of the experiment, held last summer, Bunch said. However, he could not immediately confirm what percentage of planned flights had been carried out.
To complete the experiment, the Air Force will gather further logistics and sustainment information from the contractors. It also plans to test a new exportable, commercial off-the-shelf network onboard surrogate aircraft to further prove out that capability.
“We got quite a bit of experimentation done in that area, we demonstrated that we could utilize it on those platforms,” he said. “Now what we’ll do is we’ll transition that onto some surrogate aircraft. We believe that is easily doable where we can collect the data off those and it will be applicable for what we’re trying to do with the light attack and coming up with an exportable network.”
The service will reschedule an event slated for July that would bring military officials from partner nations to Holloman AFB to observe the experiment. More than 50 nations have been invited to that event, and Bunch expects that when it is rescheduled the U.S. Air Force will be able to share information about the results.
“Right now what we’re trying to pick is the right time and the right location,” he said. (Source: Defense News)
02 Jul 18. US Navy Buys First V-22 CODs as Part of $4.2B Award to Bell-Boeing. The U.S. Navy bought its first CMV-22 Ospreys for use as carrier onboard delivery aircraft as part of a $4.2bn contract modification announced by the Pentagon last week.
Under the terms of the modification, Bell-Boeing will build and deliver the first 39 CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft for the Navy; 34 MV-22B aircraft for the Marine Corps; one CV-22B for the Air Force; and 4 MV-22B aircraft for the government of Japan, according to the announcement.
For the Navy, these are the first Osprey’s purchased specifically to replace its fleet of 27C-2A Greyhound turbo-prop aircraft. Since the 1960s, the C-2s have served as the Navy’s COD vehicle. The Navy first announced plans to consider the Osprey as a Greyhound replacement in 2015.
The current modification follows a 2016 $151m contract awarded to Bell-Boeing to complete the engineering work needed to adapt the V-22 to operate as the COD. Those modifications included an extended-range fuel tank and a high-frequency beyond-line-of-sight radio.
The Navy anticipates the Osprey COD program achieving initial operating capability in 2021, and fielding them to the fleet by the mid-2020s. In less than a decade, supplies, mail, aircraft engines and visitors will no longer experience the explosive sensation of being on a roller coaster in reverse as the Greyhound’s tailhook catches an arresting wire. Instead, the relatively delicate landing of an Osprey tiltrotor aircraft touching down on a pitching flight deck will become the norm. Introduction of the Osprey will also change how the carrier strike group uses the COD.
“With the incorporation of the V-22, I think the fleet will also see additional capabilities from the entire group at-large, because we now have the option of taking cargo and personnel to some of the smaller decks without first having to come to the aircraft carrier,” Marine Corps Lt. Col. Brett Hart, then-Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 1 executive officer, said in 2016 Navy. “With that considered, the carrier can expect to have potentially more flight deck and airspace freed up, allowing it to launch more sorties in support of combat operations.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/USNI)
02 Jul 18. Congress Divided On $75m For Army Scout Aircraft: Fly The Deadly Skies. Senate appropriators want to give the Army $75.4m to kick-start its new scout aircraft, but key authorizers told us they are skeptical. (House appropriators are so far silent). The crucial questions: Can a manned, low-altitude, lightweight aircraft survive against the Russian threat? And can the Army afford the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) along with its other Big Six priorities?
An industry day held Thursday provided details that reassured our industry sources. “The Army, I’ve got to give them credit,” said retired Maj. Gen. Rudy Ostovich, a former Army aviator who’d been uneasy about the early, vague reports. “I didn’t know all of the details. They kept it very close to their chest, (but having seen them,) if I were writing these requirements, I would do the same thing.”
Requirements are a hard part of any program, but they’ve been particularly all over the place in the Army’s repeated attempts to replace its aging OH-58 Kiowa scout helicopter, now retired from service. The cancelled RAH-66 Comanche was a high-tech, radar-evading stealth chopper, but it’s the sound of rotor blades that normally give a helicopter away, not radar, which they can often fly under. The cancelled ARH-70 Arapaho was much less ambitious, a militarized Bell 407. The stillborn Armed Aerial Scout never saw a prototype. In the meantime, the Army turned to a combination of AH-64 Apache gunships — a much heavier helicopter — and drones to do reconnaissance, with unsatisfactory results.
Now, for FARA, the Army wants a new kind of scout that has to be three things at once:
- a fast aircraft that can fly at 180-205 knots, far faster than a conventional helicopter, which drives the service towards the compound helicopters and tiltrotors prototyped for the Future Vertical Lift competition;
- a small scout that can hide more easily than the Apache or even fly down city streets, which favors Sikorsky’s relatively compact S-97 Raider over Bell’s much broader tiltrotor designs;
- a highly automated aircraft that can fly with two human pilots aboard, one, or none, depending on the mission (aka optionally manned) and that operates in concert with a robotic wolfpack of up to half a dozen drones, both including mini-drones launched by the aircraft itself like missiles.
Working closely with drones, ground troops, and precision artillery to pull apart Russian-style air defenses, the Future Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft is meant to scout deep into hostile territory, finding targets for US strikes and hitting targets of opportunity itself.
Ostovich is confident Army pilots will be up to the challenge, if their new fast, agile aircraft get both a full suite of countermeasures against anti-aircraft missiles and proper support from other Army units and the Air Force. “Operations forward of the FLOT (Forward Line of Own Troops, i.e. the front line on the ground) will be highly coordinated joint operations just like what we did in 1990-91 in Desert Storm,” he told me. “Dick Cody’s Apache battalion that blew a hole in the Iraqi integrated air defense system at the beginning of the kinetic phase of that operation didn’t do it by themselves. They were part of a much larger joint force. Beyond that, our Army combat aircraft are equipped with a full suite of ASE (Aircraft Survivability Equipment) and our crews are well trained in their use.”
Hill sources are less certain. True, Army helicopters ranged far and wide with relative impunity in Afghanistan and Iraq, where anti-aircraft missiles were rare and small arms were the main threat. But in the 2003 invasion, an Apache battalion that attempted a deep raid over Karbala without artillery support got badly shot up by lightly armed Iraqis.
Against a high-tech adversary like Russia, scout aircraft might not be able to advance at all without US tanks, missiles and infantry close at hand to help destroy enemy radars and anti-aircraft batteries. That would force fliers to stick close to friendly ground troops, making long range and high speed largely irrelevant.
In this highly lethal vision of the future battlefield, only expendable unmanned aircraft would try penetrating dense air defenses. Human pilots would not be obsolete, but investing heavily in manned, high-performance aircraft would probably give place to higher priorities.
Too Many Priorities?
The Army has a lot of priorities to fund. Driven by Russian and Chinese threats, its Big Six plan calls for long-range precision-guided artillery, new armored ground vehicles, new aircraft, a hacking- and jamming-resistant network, new air and missile defenses, and new soldier equipment — in that order. Even within the No. 3 priority, known as Future Vertical Lift, the Army wants not only a new armed scout to replace Kiowas but also a new assault/transport aircraft, called FVL Capability Set 3, to replace its thousands of UH-60 Black Hawks, a much bigger expense.
Just to confuse matters more, Future Vertical Lift is both the name of the Army’s No. 3 priority and the name of the Joint project to build a family of advanced aircraft to replace all four services’ current helicopters. Bell and Sikorsky (partnered with Boeing) have invested hundreds of millions of their own money into Joint Multi-Role (JMR) demonstration aircraft geared at the midsize FVL Capability Set 3.
Now the Army is focusing on the lighter scout aircraft, which corresponds mostly but not entirely with what the joint FVL effort defines as Capability Set 1. FVL CS1 envisions a hybrid scout/utility aircraft capable of carrying up to six passengers, like the Sikorsky S-97, but the Army prefers a smaller, purebred scout with only two crew seats.
The joint version of Future Vertical Lift is also moving at a slower pace than the Army wants. Joint FVL is moving to a full-scale formal program of record that will start fielding the midsize Capability Set 3 in the 2030s. That’s fine for the Marines, who in recent years replaced or rebuilt their vertical-lift fleet with V-22s, AH-1Zs, and UH-1Ys, but less fine for the Army, which still has lots of older CH-47s and UH-60s.
So the Army was already interested in getting Capability Set 3 earlier, and now, our sources tell us, the service wants to get the armed scout even faster than that. The Army probably can’t afford to buy both light and midsized aircraft at once, the logic goes, but it could slip in a relatively small number of relatively small scouts before the larger program for larger aircraft ramps up to its full, expensive height. It’s still not clear whether this accelerated effort would be a pure Army program or at least partly under the joint umbrella of FVL.
Can industry deliver on time? Sikorsky (now part of Lockheed) seems most confident, since their S-97 Raider is in the light scout class and already flying, although the test program was on hiatus for 10 months after an accident. Even if the Army really doesn’t want the S-97’s six crew seats, it shouldn’t be too hard build a slimmed-down model.
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By contrast, Bell is heavily invested in tiltrotors, which are larger. The V-280 is smaller than the V-22 and the company is developing the even smaller V-247 drone. However, the fact that tiltrotors always have two large, widely separated propeller/rotors means they take up more space than helicopters with comparable payload, either conventional helicopters or compound helicopters like the S-97 Raider. That said, Bell has extensive experience and could come up with something; it would be playing catch-up but is definitely in the game.
Other competitors include two European firms already flying prototypes — Airbus’s X3 compound helicopter and Leonardo’s AW609 tiltrotor — and two American firms, Karem and AVX, that have done relevant design work. The Army has said it may award up to six design contracts, enough for all the firms listed in this article, but only two will get contracts to build prototypes by 2023. The safe bets are those two prototypes will come from Sikorsky and Bell, but then again, Army’s increasingly ambitious modernization program keeps on surprising us. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
28 Jun 18. US Army to hold tactical cloud industry day. The US Army has formally announced details for an upcoming industry day focused on tactical cloud computing.
The event, which will be co-hosted by Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications – Tactical and the Army’s network cross functional team, will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina Aug. 1 and 2. Army leaders have they expect the event will be similar to an industry day held in February.
According to a post on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the Army wants to leverage cloud capabilities within the tactical ecosystem and constrained into several categories:
- Data Logistics
- Enterprise Service Architecture
- Mission Partner Environment
These areas are affected by the current operational environment to include contested and congested environments, low bandwidth and spectrum denied, among others.
“Non-defense IT companies are highly encouraged to participate in this two-day forum,” Paul Mehney, director of public communications for PEO C3T, said in a notice. “These companies may already be providing innovative solutions to non-defense clients that the Army could integrate into a military environment. We also welcome their ideas as we formulate our approach on how to employ Cloud services in austere operational environments.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
REST OF THE WORLD
05 Jul 18. Turkey Wins Tender for Procurement of 4 Corvettes to Pakistan Navy, Defense Minister Says. Turkey has won the tender for the procurement of four corvettes to the Pakistani Navy, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said Thursday, saying that it was the highest export for Turkish defense industry in history. Canikli’s statement came in a press conference in Montenegro, where he is paying a visit to carry out meetings. Shortly after, Turkish and Pakistani authorities have signed the deal for the tender in a ceremony in Rawalpindi attended by Deputy National Defense Minister and Military Factory and Shipyard Management Corporation (ASFAT) Board Chairman Şuay Alpay, Deputy Undersecretary of Ministry of National Defense and ASFAT Deputy Board Chairman Yunus Emre Karaosmanoğlu, Deputy Undersecretary of Ministry of National Defense and ASFAT Board Member Ambassador Basat Öztürk, Istanbul Shipyard Commander Rear Admiral Erdinç Yetkin and Islamabad Ambassador Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul. A presentation before the signing ceremony gave details about the four corvettes and sale process. Accordingly, negotiations began in 2015 and first purchase demand was made in 2017, whereas the final sale negotiations last for 12 days.
“It is multi-billion-dollar project and as Turkey, we undertake for a sophisticated project in the international field for the first time. Negotiations had been ongoing for over six months and they have been completed after a really difficult and exhaustive period, and it was signed today,” Canikli said.
The tender’s result is important to show the point that the Turkish defense industry has reached, Canikli said, noting that Turkey has beaten a number of powerful countries through a very good bid both in terms of quality and price. In May 2017, Turkey and Pakistani defense companies had signed a goodwill agreement for the construction of four Turkish Ada class MİLGEM (National Ship) corvettes in the Karachi Shipyard. According to the final agreement, two ships will be built in Istanbul and two others in Karachi. Two corvettes will join to the inventory of Pakistan Naval Forces in 2023 and the remaining two in 2024. Currently, four Ada-class ships serve in the Turkish Navy. The first ship will be constructed in 54 months and the remaining ships will be built in 60, 66 and 72 months, respectively. The corvettes, which will be able to cruise uninterruptedly for 15 days, will be 99.56 meters long and 14.42 meters wide with a maximum speed of 26 knots. The deal also includes sharing engineering information and training engineers. The deal was signed by Karaosmanoğlu on behalf of Turkey and Pakistani National Defense Ministry Ammunition Production General Manager Major Gen. Arshad Mahmoud and Karachi Shipyard Commander Rear Admiral Ather Selim. The two countries enjoy brotherly relations and have deep cooperation in the defense field, including the training of military personnel. Previously in June 2016, Turkish defense firm Defense Technologies and Engineering (STM) won the tender to modernize Pakistan’s submarines against its French competitor DCNS, which is the designer and manufacturer of these submarines. STM had also designed the 158-meter Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker (PNFT) built by the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works, and commissioned in 2018. Recently in May, Ankara and Islamabad signed a deal for the sale of 30 Turkish attack helicopters. The T129 ATAK helicopter was developed by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Italy-based AgustaWestland, rebranded as Leonardo Helicopters in 2016. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Daily Sabah)
03 Jul 18. Singapore to replace Victory-class missile corvettes with Multi-Role Combat Vessels. Key Points:
- Singapore has laid out plans to replace its Victory-class corvettes with a new type of multi-mission ship known as the Multi-Role Combat Vessel
- New ship type will further enhance the country’s ability to secure its sea lines of communication
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) will retire its class of six Victory-class corvettes, and replace these with a new type of platform known as the Multi-Role Combat Vessel (MRCV).
The matter was disclosed by Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen at a media conference held in conjunction with the country’s Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) day, which falls on 1 July. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. Airbus Expects to Close First A400M Export Sale This Year. The president of Airbus Spain, Fernando Alonso, said today that six firm offers have been submitted to relaunch the sales of the A400M military transport aircraft, of which two are being negotiated and one may be concluded this year with an export contract.
Alonso, during a breakfast of Executive Forum, said that despite the problems that have arisen with this plane, mainly due to persistent difficulties which have led to a slowing down of deliveries and, therefore, lower production rates, is an “excellent aircraft “that” will have great commercial success.”
He added that the problem of the A400M is that it was born “with unsustainable specifications,” as the sum of the needs of different European armies made these specifications “incoherent.” To date, Airbus has not yet sold any A400Ms for export, beyond the 174 aircraft ordered by the partner countries.
Alonso pointed out that it has been necessary to “unravel” this mess, and blamed the problem not only on the countries, but on the industry that was not able to be sufficiently critical of these mounting issues.
“We have managed to stabilize it from the industrial point of view,” said the head of Airbus in Spain, who said that although there are “three or four things to finish,” on the plane “almost everything works.”
In the last two years, Airbus delivered 18 and 19 A400Ms, but this year the number of these aircraft of this model assembled in Seville will fall to 15 as previously planned, according to Alonso. He considered that the program has now stabilized and that customers are happier, so “it is time to sell” to new customers. Six firm offers have been submitted to foreign countries, two of which are being negotiated and one of which could well be concluded this year. (Source: defense-aerospace.com)
03 Jul 18. Kenya Orders Three C-27J Transports and AW139 Helicopters from Leonardo. Italy’s Leonardo has signed contracts to deliver three Alenia C-27J Spartan and un undisclosed number of Agusta Westland AW139 helicopters to Kenya, according to Italian and Kenyan press reports. Kenyan Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich told the Kenyan Parliament’s Public Accounts committee on June 26 that the government had taken two loans to pay for the new aircraft: one for KSh20bn (worth approx. $198,5m) to pay for the C-27Js, and a second one further KSh6bn (approx. €51.8m) to pay for the helicopters. This will translate into gross revenues of about €222m for Leonardo, which will be particularly welcome in this dry stretch that company has experienced in recent months. Both loans were extended by UniCredit Spa bank of Milan, Italy, and were signed on December 11, 2017. They will be repaid starting on June 11, 2019 and will mature a decade later, on June 11, 2029.
A Leonardo spokesman on Tuesday declined to confirm the deal, simply saying that the company had good prospects for C-27J sales.
Other sources however confirmed the deal, one adding that Kenya’s C-27Js will be the first to be equipped with winglets as well as a new avionics suite. Kenya’s Spartans will be delivered beginning in 2019. The new C-27J baseline configuration will have the new avionics system, allowing full compliance with new civil aviation regulations (ATC) and military requirements (IFF), as well as other modifications intended to make the aircraft more efficient and less costly to operate.
The new configuration will be tested and qualified in 2018, and will be available in 2019 without a significant change in price. The aircraft has been ordered by the Air Forces of Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Morocco, the U.S. Coast Guard, Mexico, Australia, Chad, Peru, Slovakia and now Kenya, for a total of 83 aircraft on order.
Leonardo officials believe the C-27J has the potential to achieve more orders in the short-to-medium term, both for the baseline C-27J and for the armed multi-mission MC-27J in Turkey, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and New Zealand, as well as in several African countries, all of whom require good “hot-and-high” performance.
Another source confirmed that the undisclosed customer which ordered two C-27Js is Zambia.
We have not been able to determine the number of AW139 helicopters covered by this order, but a previous order which was delivered in June — for the Kenyan Police — comprised four helicopters, and this could well be the case this time, as the price is coherent for such a number.
Sources also note that Pakistan also recently announced it would order additional AW139, which would further improve the company’s order book.
Meanwhile, Italian analysts believe Leonardo’s revenues could grow by 5% this year, or €386 m, thanks to higher deliveries than in 2017, and in particular to the delivery, by the end of the year, of some significant export contracts. Milan-based investment bank Mediobanca expects revenues of €11.913bn euros for 2018, compared to €11.527bn in 2017, and a net profit of €392m euros (up from €272m in 2017). (Source: defense-aerospace.com)
02 Jul 18. Singapore to replace Endurance class with Joint Multi Mission Ship after 2020. Key Points:
- Singapore will retire its Endurance-class landing platform dock-like ships after 2020
- Vessels will make way for the Joint Multi Mission Ship vessel type, which features greater military lift, and humanitarian assistance capabilities
In a bid to enhance the service’s international humanitarian assistance capabilities, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) will retire its Endurance-class landing platform dock (LPD)-like ships after 2020, and replace these with the Joint Multi Mission Ship (JMMS) platform.
The plan was revealed by Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen at a media conference held in conjunction with the country’s Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) day, which falls on 1 July.
The RSN operates a class of four 141 m Endurance-class LPDs, which it calls landing ship tanks (LSTs), with the service’s 191 Squadron. The vessels were commissioned between March 1998 and February 2000, and have been dispatched regularly in support for the RSN’s midshipman sea training deployment (MSTD) programme.
The vessel type has also represented the SAF at several international humanitarian assistance operations including the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, and the search for downed AirAsia flight QZ 8501 in December 2014.
The Endurance class has a maximum speed of 15 kt, and a standard range of 10,400 n miles at 12 kt. It can accommodate two Super Puma helicopters on its flight deck. Each vessel is armed with one Otobreda 76 mm/62 Super Rapid naval gun in the primary position, and two 25 mm Bushmaster cannon turrets, one each on the port and starboard sides near the bridge wings.
Meanwhile, plans for its replacement platform, the JMMS, was first revealed by Ng in March 2014 during a parliamentary session. The new ship type would enhance Singapore’s ability to co-ordinate regional relief operations, and work with international partners in times of humanitarian crises. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. Will the F-35 beat out ‘the usual suspects’ in Singapore’s search for F-16 replacement? Singapore will decide in the next few months on a new fighter to replace its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 multirole fighters, with the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter from the same manufacturer seen as the prime candidate.
In an interview with media ahead of the southeast Asian island nation’s Armed Forces Day, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that despite ongoing upgrades, the F-16s face obsolescence beyond 2030. He added the country will make a definitive decision on its replacement in the next few months based on interoperability with Singapore’s current systems and platforms as well as the price.
Ng refused to be drawn into further details as to which fighter platforms Singapore is looking at, only saying that the BAE Systems Typhoon, the F-35, Russia’s Sukhois, and Chinese-made stealth fighters are “the usual suspects that you have to look at” when air forces are choosing a new combat platform.
However, Singapore has been evaluating the F-35 since 2013 and Ng had previously suggested that the type was suited to be the replacement for Singapore’s F-16s. Earlier reports suggested Singapore is keen on acquiring the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant, with the B-model’s STOVL capability seen as useful for Singapore, whose main island has an area of a mere 277 square miles and whose air bases are seen as vulnerable to a first strike.
Nevertheless, former head of the F-35 program Christopher Bogdan, said Singapore requested information on all three variants of the F-35, and the possibility of Singapore opting for the conventional takeoff and landing F-35A variant cannot be ruled out.
Singapore is a security cooperative participant of the F-35 program and is believed to have an eventual requirement of between 40 and 60 new fighters to replace its F-16s.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force, or RSAF, currently operates a fleet of 60 F-16C/D Block 52 and Advanced Block 52 aircraft delivered between 1998 and 2005. Twelve aircraft are currently assigned to a joint continuation training unit between the U.S. and Singapore air forces at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, while the remaining are split between three Singapore-based squadrons.
Singapore’s F-16s are currently being upgraded by Lockheed Martin with the upgrade program, which started in 2016 and is expected to be completed in 2022, including the addition of Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array radar, an improved identification, friend or foe system, as well as Link 16 data links.
During the interview, Ng also outlined some of the other upcoming procurement programs Singapore is looking at. These include new multirole combat vessels to replace six corvettes and new joint multimission ships to replace four amphibious ships in Singapore’s Navy, while the Army will replace its towed 155mm howitzers with a new self-propelled high-mobility artillery system in the 2020s. (Source: Defense News)
02 Jul 18. SEA 5000 combat system purchase cleared by US State Department. Australia has been successfully cleared to purchase $185m worth of long-lead equipment for the Future Frigate program.
The purchase cleared by the US Department of State will see a transfer of long-lead equipment for integrating the Australian developed CEAFAR 2 phased array radar system with the Aegis combat system which will form the backbone of the Future Frigate’s combat capabilities.
As part of the ongoing Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, the potential $185m sale still has to be approved by the United States Congress.
SEA 5000 will see nine Aegis capable Future Frigates added to the Royal Australian Navy over the next 20 years and will replace the ageing Anzac Class frigates and supplement the three existing Hobart Class destroyers which currently operate the Aegis combat system.
“This sale enhances Australia’s self-defence capability, while significantly improving interoperability with US Navy Aegis combatants in the region,” said the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) release.
Included in the package is a variety of Aegis-related equipment, including:
- Command Display System (CDS) Consoles (including 2 consoles in Gun Weapon System configuration);
- Multi-Mission Display (MMD) systems, including projectors, sensors and cameras;
- Tactical Equivalent Core Computing System (CCS) Cabinets;
- Tactical Equivalent Aegis LAN Interconnect System (ALIS) Cabinets;
- Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) sites systems;
- Defence Visual INformation Distribution Service (DIVDS) cabinet;
- AN/SQQ-89 Sonobouy Processing Core Computing System racks; and
- Aegis Training System.
DSCA said “by deploying a surface combatant fleet that will incorporate Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), Australia will significantly improve the network-centric warfare capability for US forces operating in the region.” (Source: Defence Connect)
03 Jul 18. Frigate announcement great for Australian defence industry: Defence Teaming Centre. The nationally focused Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) has commended BAE Systems’ successful tender for the $35bn SEA 5000 Future Frigate program.
“This has been a hotly contested competition and I congratulate BAE Systems on its win,” Margot Forster, CEO Defence Teaming Centre said.
DTC supported the government’s decision to make Adelaide-based ASC Shipbuilding responsible for building the new Hunter Class anti-submarine frigates in collaboration with BAE Systems through a subsidiary arrangement, which will see the government-owned asset transformed over the course of the construction phase of SEA 5000 commencing in 2020.
This subsidiary status will ensure that BAE Systems is fully responsible and accountable for the timely delivery of the frigates and guarantees the work will be carried out by Australian workers and create Australian jobs. The Commonwealth government will retain a sovereign share in ASC Shipbuilding while BAE manages the program, the Prime Minister said.
At the end of the program the Commonwealth will resume complete ownership of ASC Shipbuilding, thereby ensuring the retention in Australia of intellectual property, a highly skilled workforce and the associated equipment.
According to the Prime Minister, this will ensure that, by the conclusion of the frigate build, ASC Shipbuilding will be a strategic national asset capable of independently designing, developing and leading the construction of large, complex naval warships.
As a member-driven organisation, Ms Forster said the Future Frigates program is also, of course, an enormous opportunity for Australian businesses to become involved in the defence industry and we anticipate a number of opportunities for members.
Ms Forster said “this will guarantee the skilling of the Australian shipbuilding workforce and is an important step towards building truly sovereign shipbuilding industry capability in this country.”
“While these vessels will be built in Adelaide, the government’s naval shipbuilding plan is truly a national endeavour and we must all work together to deliver these critical projects for the Navy as well as develop the capability in Australia to support these ships well in to the future,” says Ms Forster. (Source: Defence Connect)
30 Jun 18. Australia officially announces $26bn frigate contract. Here are the build details. Australia will acquire nine high-end anti-submarine warfare frigates from the end of the next decade under a deal with BAE Systems worth AU$35bn (US$26bn). The announcement was formally made Friday at the ASC shipyard in Osborne, South Australia, by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne. A version of BAE Systems’ City-class Type 26 ASW frigate, now under construction for the British Royal Navy, will be acquired under Australia’s SEA 5000 Phase 1 project, also known as the Future Frigate Project. Referred to as the Global Combat Ship―Australia, or GCS-A, during the competition, the design will be known as the Hunter-class in Royal Australian Navy service and will replace the Navy’s existing Anzac-class frigates.
There has been speculation in the media that the decision to go with BAE may be driven, in part, by Australia’s desire to secure strong terms with the U.K. as it negotiates a series of new trade agreements after Britain leaves the European Union.
Payne noted Friday that the GCS-A design was selected because it was the most capable ASW platform.
“This is a decision entirely based on capability, the best capability to equip the Navy in anti-submarine warfare,” she said.
Regardless, news of BAE’s win was welcomed in the United Kingdom, with Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson referring to it as the “biggest maritime defence deal of the decade.”
“This £20bn ‘deal of the decade’ demonstrates how British defence plays a huge role in creating jobs and prosperity and is ‘Global Britain’ in action,” he commented on social media. “Great to see our military and industrial links strengthen with Australia.”
The ships will be built by ASC Shipbuilding in South Australia, using local workers and Australian steel, under the Turnbull government’s continuous naval shipbuilding program.
“What we are doing here is announcing our commitment to build the nine Future Frigates,” Prime Minister Turnbull said. “The Hunter-class frigates will be the most advanced anti-submarine warships in the world.”
The Hunter-class frigates will be equipped with CEA Technologies-built CEAFAR phased array radar currently fitted to the Navy’s post-anti-ship missile defense Anzac frigates, together with Lockheed Martin’s Aegis combat system and an interface provided by Saab Australia.
The Aegis combat system was mandated for all of Australia’s major surface combatants by the Turnbull government in October 2017.
The GCS-A design was selected in preference to Fincantieri’s Australian FREMM, dubbed FREMM-A, a variant of the ASW-optimized FREMM frigate now in service with the Italian Navy; and the F-5000 from Navantia, based on an evolution of the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart-class air warfare destroyer, which in turn is a derivative of the Spanish Navy’s F-100 Álvaro de Bazán class.
An ASW capability was the highest priority for the Royal Australian Navy, according to Chief of Navy Vice Adm. Tim Barrett.
“I spoke as recently as last night to the First Sea Lord, my equivalent in the [British] Royal Navy, and I am assured by his comments on just how successful this platform will be as the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigate,” he said Friday.
The first steel is due to be cut on prototyping activities for the build at Osborne in late 2020, with full production following in 2022. The first ship of the class will be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy in the late 2020s.
Under the deal, the government-owned shipbuilder ASC will become a subsidiary of BAE Systems during the build, with the government retaining a sovereign share in the entity. The shipyard will revert to government ownership at the end of the project.
Turnbull said the arrangement ensures BAE Systems is fully responsible and accountable for the delivery of the frigates, noting that Australia retains the intellectual property and a highly skilled workforce at the end of the program.
“My expectation is that the next generation of frigates that comes after the ones we’re about to start building at ASC will be designed and built in Australia,” he said.
BAE System’s global maritime systems business development director, Nigel Stewart, told Defense News that he welcomes the build strategy.
“We were really pleased with that as an outcome because ASC has great capability. We always wanted to use the workforce, but this allows us to join ASC and BAE together much earlier, and we think that will be really positive,” he said.
Stewart said the plan was for the Hunter-class build to follow the Type 26 activity in the U.K. by around five years, which will serve to de-risk the Australian program. BAE is due to deliver the first ship, HMS Glasgow, to the British Royal Navy in 2025, with entry into service in the 2027 time frame.
“We cut steel for the first Type 26 in the U.K. in June 2017, and we’ll cut steel for full production of the Hunter class in South Australia in 2022,” he said. “We’ll run at an 18-month drumbeat in the U.K., and somewhere between 18 months and two years in Australia. That will keep a five-year gap, which is almost perfect. You are de-risking the Australian program in the U.K. and you don’t get the obsolescence issues you would if there was a longer gap, so it’s a really good program overlap.”
In other news Friday, the Turnbull government announced it will set up a AU$670m training and capability center for the Hunter-class frigates in Western Australia.
Known as Ship Zero, the initiative will be established at HMAS Stirling, the Navy’s Fleet Base West, at the shipbuilding facility in Henderson. Much of the training traditionally performed at sea will be transferred into the land-based facility.
The capital works project will be considered by the Australian Parliament early next year, and construction is expected to commence in 2019.
(Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
30 Jun 18. Singapore to announce F-16 fighter jet replacement plans in few months. Singapore will announce in the next few months plans to replace its ageing F-16 fighter jets, its defence minister said, listing a number of manufacturers that could be in the running for a deal potentially worth billions of dollars.
Singapore’s fleet of around 60 F-16 jets are at the tail end of their service and Ng Eng Hen told reporters it needs to make a decision to replace them soon because training pilots and building facilities for new models can take up to 10 years.
With Southeast Asia’s largest defence budget, the wealthy city-state is a key prize for global arms companies as it looks to invest in new technology and upgrade its equipment.
“Whether it’s Typhoons, whether it’s F-35s, whether it’s Sukhois, even now Chinese-made stealth fighters. I mean these are the usual suspects that you have to look at,” Ng said.
He was referring to the Eurofighter Typhoon that is built by Britain’s BAE systems and F-35s from U.S.-based Lockheed Martin. Sukhoi is a Russian manufacturer.
A modern fighter jet costs roughly about $20-$100m depending on the manufacturer.
Singapore should make a decision in the next few months “to make sure that we can replace our F-16s in time,” Ng added.
Singapore’s F-16s first entered service in 1998. The country has typically used U.S.-made aircraft in the past, making the F35s – a variant of which appeared at the city-state’s airshow back in February – a likely successor.
The head of Lockheed’s international business said in February that Singapore was “seriously evaluating” a future purchase of F-35 jets – one of the world’s most advanced fighters which start at around $80m (60.56m pounds) each.
He said initial talks with Singapore were centred on the F-35B short take-off and landing variant, which he described as “a nice fit for a smaller land-constrained environment”.
Media reports show that Singapore had intended to buy four F-35s by around 2022, with the option to purchase another eight, but held off taking a decision on this in 2016.
Other F-35 customers in Asia include Australia, Japan and South Korea.
Britain’s BAE has offered Singapore’s neighbour Malaysia a UK government-backed financing deal to replace the country’s combat jets with their Eurofighter Typhoon. (Source: Reuters)
02 Jul 18. Future of Australia’s naval shipbuilding final report tabled.
With the SEA 5000 winner announced, focus will now shift to ensuring the development of Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding capability. Supporting this strategic government objective is the final report to the Senate economics references committee into the future of Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry. As the final report of three previously tabled, this report builds on the earlier findings and recommendations of the Senate economics references committee (the committee) into the future of Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry regarding to the Navy’s new supply ship program and the future submarine program respectively.
However, despite recent procurement and policy announcements made by government, most notably the successful bid by BAE Systems with their Type 26 Global Combat Ship, to be known locally as the Hunter class, in its final report, the committee highlights a number of major concerns, including:
- Government’s management of naval shipbuilding programs, particularly following the findings of the auditor general in Audit Report No.39 Naval Construction Programs – Mobilisation particularly as it relates to the Future Submarine Program.
- Concerns about extending Australian industrial involvement in the SEA 5000 procurement project – particularly as a result of the government’s tender request fails to mandate the foreign designers subcontract Australian businesses as part of their proposals.
- Concerns regarding the Offshore Patrol Vessel Program (OPV) procurement process – particularly where government directly inserted Australian shipbuilder Austal into Lurssen’s commercial negotiations after the announcement that Lurssen was the preferred tenderer.
- Delays and cost increases relating to the establishment of the Naval Shipbuilding College – the cost of the college has increased from $25m to $62m, even before the operating costs were factored in.
- The government’s lack of planning and failure to communicate regarding the future role of the ASC and its staff, as the ASC staff numbers continue to fall.
The auditor general’s report concluded that in order for Australia’s high-profile $80bn Future Submarine program to be successful, implementation of the existing and planned naval shipbuilding programs as part of the government’s $89 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan programs must be seamless in order to minimise the risk of cost overruns and delayed delivery of key defence assets.
A key part of this, is further highlighted with the committee’s disappointment at the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between the Commonwealth and Naval Group Australia which is still under negotiation, which raises important serious questions around project cost and delivery for key work programs reliant on a completed SPA. In particular, the delay in the transfer of background intellectual property and information between the parties will dramatically impact the overall cost and scheduling of Australia’s premier sovereign shipbuilding program: SEA 1000.
Where the committee highlights specific concerns and contradictions between publicly discussed and advertised government policy, is the aforementioned lack of mandatory Australian industry subcontracting as part of the SEA 5000 bids. In particular, this appears to disrupt the Sovereign Shipbuilding Capability and the government’s public insistence in supporting the development of a sustainable and competitive local shipbuilding industry.
However, government’s announcement of the SEA 5000 winner, BAE and the conditions around which it will be investing in and developing Australia’s domestic, sovereign naval shipbuilding capacity contradicts these concerns:
“The program provides a unique opportunity to not just strengthen but guarantee Australia’s naval shipbuilding sovereignty. BAE System’s Hunter Class of frigates will be built by ASC Shipbuilding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. ASC Shipbuilding, currently wholly owned by the Commonwealth, will become a subsidiary of BAE Systems. This subsidiary status will ensure that BAE Systems is fully responsible and accountable for the timely delivery of the frigates and guarantees the work will be carried out by Australian workers and create Australian jobs,” said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Additionally, as part of this commitment to Australian naval shipbuilding, BAE in conjunction with the government have ensured that Australian Industry Content (AIC) for the Hunter class of Future Frigates will be 65-70 per cent, which will directly create 4,000 jobs around Australia once construction of the first ship begins in 2020.
Finally, the Prime Minister, in his announcement of the successful bidder and the subsidiary terms around which ASC and BAE Systems will collaborate throughout the construction phase, highlighted the long-term benefits to Australia’s naval shipbuilding capacity: “At the end of the program the Commonwealth will resume complete ownership of ASC Shipbuilding, thereby ensuring the retention in Australia of intellectual property, a highly skilled workforce and the associated equipment.”
Additionally, the Committee’s report raises concerns around the OPV procurement and government’s willingness to intervene in commercial negotiations, placing Australian shipbuilder Austal in a precarious negotiating position with primary contractor for the OPV program: Lurssen. This extraordinary government intervention, it is believed showed a lack of good faith from the government and provided no incentive for Lurssen and Austal to reach a mutually beneficial settlement.
In response, the committee made a number of recommendations, including:
- Recommendation 1: The committee recommends that the Commonwealth and state/territory governments work together to develop a national shipbuilding plan, incorporating the existing naval shipbuilding plan, with any national shipbuilding plan including the following:
o Agreed procurement principles focused on support for a continuous build of vessels in Australia utilising Australian industry and Australian shipyards;
o At a minimum, all vessels procured by the Commonwealth be subject to the same level of scrutiny as naval procurement projects have been and be planned according to the national interest;
o Identify how remaining shipyards not identified in the naval shipbuilding plan will contribute to the continuous national shipbuilding build program;
o How Australia’s commercial and exports industry can be supported and planned for.
- Recommendation 2: The committee recommends that in the absence of a national shipbuilding plan in the short-term, reporting against the government’s current naval shipbuilding plan and its four key enablers and three major continuous build programs be provided to Parliament every six months.
- Recommendation 3: The committee recommends that the government prioritise finalising the future location of Collins Class sustainment activities and confirm plans for the future of the ASC and its employees.
- Recommendation 4: The committee recommends that the funding announced in MYEFO expenditure of $29.4m over three years from 2017-18 for ASC job retention scholarships be immediately released to the ASC to prevent further job losses from the strategically vital naval shipbuilding industry.
- Recommendation 5: The committee recommends that the Naval Shipbuilding College establish structured consultations mechanisms with Industry Reference Committees associated with Naval Shipbuilding Occupations.
- Recommendation 6: The committee recommends that the Australian Industry Skills Committee task the existing Industry Reference Committees, responsible for the development of training products associated with naval shipbuilding occupations, with establishing Technical Advisory Groups to ensure that skills gaps identified through their own industry consultations or by Naval Shipbuilding Colleges are integrated into existing training package development and maintenance work.
- Recommendation 7: The committee recommends that the government provide clear definitions about what constitutes Australian involvement, content, and participation, and how this will be achieved in each project outlined in the government’s naval shipbuilding plan. These definitions and requirements for Australian industry involvement are to be stipulated in each contract.
- Recommendation 8: The committee recommends that Australian Industry Capability plans for new Defence naval projects are subject to examination by the Senate – conducted in a manner similar to international treaties. The committee further recommends that finalised Australian Industry Capability plans are subject to six-monthly reviews against progress by the Senate. (Source: Defence Connect)
29 Jun 18. BAE welcomes $35bn SEA 5000 program win. BAE Systems has welcomed the Australian government’s announcement of its selection as the preferred tenderer for the SEA 5000 program to deliver nine Future Frigates for the Royal Australian Navy. The Global Combat Ship – Australia is based on BAE Systems’ Type 26 frigate, one of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warships, which the company is currently constructing in Glasgow. Once contracted, the new ships, to be called the Hunter Class, will be built in South Australia by an Australian workforce, using Australian suppliers from every state and territory. The overall announced program is expected to be in the region of $35bn for the design, build and support of the ships.
Gabby Costigan, Chief Executive, BAE Systems Australia, said: “Construction of the Global Combat Ship – Australia is expected to make a significant contribution to the nation’s economy, creating thousands of jobs, supporting new industries and boosting the national supply chain for decades to come. We are committed to creating a strong, sustainable and innovative naval shipbuilding industry that will see highly skilled Australians building and sustaining warships for the Royal Australian Navy.”
BAE Systems welcomed the Commonwealth government’s announcement that ASC Shipbuilding will become a subsidiary of BAE Systems, subject to contract negotiations. Through BAE Systems, ASC Shipbuilding will be responsible for the delivery of the Global Combat Ship – Australia.
The project is expected to create and sustain at least 5,000 highly skilled jobs, providing a significant contribution to the development of Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding capability and a boost to the nation’s manufacturing industry.
“BAE Systems’ selection as preferred tenderer for SEA 5000 reinforces our position as a leading designer and builder of complex maritime platforms. I am proud that our world class anti-submarine warfare design and our approach to transferring technology and skills to the nations in which we work is expected to contribute to the development of an enduring world-class naval shipbuilding industry in Australia,” said BAE Systems Chief Executive, Charles Woodburn.
“We are proud to have been selected as preferred tenderer to provide the Royal Australian Navy with a world-class ship, equipped with the latest technologies and designed specifically to meet its needs. The Global Combat Ship – Australia will help protect our shipping lanes and regional trade routes, serve humanitarian missions and provide the nation with a formidable naval capability,” he added.
BAE will soon commence negotiations with Australia’s Department of Defence on the initial design part of the contract, which is expected to be in place by the year end, with production expected to commence in 2020. (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
29 Jun 18. United Kingdom-Bristol: Repair and maintenance services of military vehicles, 2018/S 125-286868
Section I: Contracting authority/entity
I.1)Name and addresses
Ministry of Defence, Land Equipment, Other
Spruce 0a, no 1122, MOD Abbey Wood
Contact person: Mark Winby
NUTS code: UKG21
Spares Procurement and Repair Management for the Terrier System
Reference number: AVPISP/00155
II.1.2)Main CPV code
II.1.3)Type of contract
II.2.4)Description of the procurement:
Spares Procurement and Repair Management for the Terrier System. The Vehicle Support Team – Armoured Tracks Portfolio (“VST-ATP”), part of the UK Ministry of Defence (“MOD”), intends to let a new contract with BAE Global Combat Systems Limited (“BAES GCS”) for a Spares Procurement and one-year Repair Management for the Terrier System, with Ancillaries including the Route Marking System (“RMS”), and Route Clearing System (“RCS”).
Contract No: AVPISP/00155
Spares Procurement and Repair Management for the Terrier System
V.2)Award of contract/concession
V.2.1)Date of contract award decision:
V.2.2)Information about tenders
The contract has been awarded to a group of economic operators: no
V.2.3)Name and address of the contractor/concessionaire
BAE Systems Land UK Global Combat Systems
Hadley Castle Works
NUTS code: UKG21
The contractor/concessionaire will be an SME: no
V.2.4)Information on value of the contract/lot/concession (excluding VAT)
Initial estimated total value of the contract/lot/concession: 4 200 000.00 GBP
Total value of the contract/lot/concession: 4 200 000.00 GBP
Ministry of Defence, Land Equipment, Other
Spruce 0a, no 1122, MOD Abbey Wood
VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice:
(Source: Europa TED)
03 Jul 18. Lincad, UK supplier of batteries, chargers and power management systems for military applications, has won a multi-million pound contract with Team Leidos to supply a wide range of primary cells and batteries for the UK Ministry of Defence. Consisting of mainly lithium as well as some other cell chemistries, most of these products must be suitable for mission-critical environments and therefore have to be approved to UK Defence Standards. Lincad uses its extensive in-house testing facilities to approve product and to demonstrate continued product performance over time. In addition, Lincad will be employing its capacity to package and label supplied product for all modes of transport, including full adherence with the stringent IATA regulations. The company’s own Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser (DGSA) supports all aspects of product supply. Lincad has been supplying a range of primary cells and batteries to the MOD since 2010 and this present contract is set to run for three years with the possible option of a one-year extension.
05 Jul 18. Leonardo signs five-year support contract with UK MoD for pre-flight threat simulation equipment for multiple UK air platforms. Leonardo has been awarded a post-design support contract by the UK Ministry of Defence which will see the Company provide in-service support for its pre-flight threat simulation equipment, currently being used on the Typhoon, Tornado, Merlin, Wildcat, Chinook and C130J platforms. The contract builds upon the previous 10 years of support delivered by Leonardo and will run over a five year period from 2018 until 2022. Leonardo’s threat simulation equipment has been designed and developed in the UK in partnership with the MOD, using state-of-the-art Radio-Frequency (RF) technology to provide a wide range of stimulation and test capabilities. The equipment uses special RF-emitting ‘hoods’ and handheld devices to target the particular platform’s sensors and simulates threats using real radar energy whilst the aircraft is still grounded. By performing this preliminary check, the user gains increased confidence that the platform’s RF defensive systems are operationally effective before embarking on a mission. The majority of Defensive Aids Suites (DAS) on air platforms come with ready installed ‘built-in-test-equipment’ (BITE), which signals to the pilot that the equipment is working as designed. However, throughout the life of an aircraft, and with each mission it executes, undetected problems can emerge as the aircraft receives ongoing maintenance. For instance, in some cases the RF antenna degrades. These issues may not be identified by the BITE, meaning the installation is not operationally effective. As a result of this, limited or incorrect information could be provided to the pilot by the system, endangering the crew. Leonardo’s equipment closes this gap, providing improved ‘capability assurance’ throughout a platform’s operational life. (Source: ASD Network)
04 Jul 18. The procurement authority of the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) is modernising and expanding the Leguan bridge layer fleet. To this end, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) has signed a contract with the national general contractor for the project, Patria Land Systems Oy. This project makes Finland the sixth user to introduce the ability to lay short Leguan bridges, modernising all systems with respect to performance and future viability. Moreover, equipment package deliveries and supports services in the construction of four more new Leguan systems with Leopard 2 chassis have been ordered. The contract will be carried out in 2019 and 2020. The Leguan bridge layer system is used by 17 countries, not only giving it unique interoperability, but also creating ideal framework conditions for cooperation for receiving and refining the system.
04 Jul 18. Rheinmetall to supply Laser Light Package for the new Bundeswehr’s Special Forces Assault Rifle. Germany’s procurement authority, the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support, has awarded Rheinmetall a contract to supply it with a lightweight, assault rifle-mounted laser light package specially designed to meet the needs of German Army special operators. Worth around €5m, the order encompasses the manufacture and delivery of 1,745 laser light package sets for the Bundeswehr’s Special Forces Assault Rifle (“Sturmgewehr Spezialkräfte Bundeswehr, leicht”). Delivery will commence in the first quarter of 2019. In extremely short order, Rheinmetall has thus succeeded in winning a prestigious customer for its newly developed “Variable Tactical Aiming Laser” (VTAL) module.
The VTAL is the core component of the new laser light package. Extremely robust and compact, the system is specially designed for today’s shorter assault rifles. In addition, each set includes two “Lumenator” weapon lights – a standard version with a dual LED head and a special version for hostage rescue operations. It also comes with various accessories such as a cable and tactical switch. Typically, the VTAL and both weapon lights are mounted on the weapon. All the devices are made by Rheinmetall Soldier Electronics (RSE) in Stockach, Germany. Watertight, light and stable, the metal housing has a built-in MIL-STD 1913/STANAG 4694-interface. Because the VTAL protrudes only about 25 mm above the mounting rail, it does not interfere with the line of sight during conventional optical aiming. The VTAL features an extremely strong visible red dot laser, a near-infrared dot laser, and a near-infrared illuminator. The superior quality of the light rays and their consistency of form enhances the user’s situational awareness in all operating environments. Importantly, the VTAL is compatible with all standard image intensifier devices. The fully integrated laser block is aligned at the factory, making adjustment on the weapon simple. Owing to the device’s modern design, the operator can adjust the intensity of both dot lasers with the aid of a colour-coded cable switch. The illuminator can be focused using a separate control knob. Furthermore, the VTAL can be coupled with other tactical weapon lights such as Rheinmetall’s modular Lumenator weapon light mentioned above and can be operated using a combined two-button cable switch. The robust design assures stability and dependability. The system can withstand the worst battlefield conditions and is waterproof to a depth of 30 metres. This way, operators know they can rely on the device at all times.
03 Jul 18. DALO contracts Systematic to enhance artillery system combat effectiveness. Systematic has been contracted by the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) to deliver a new fire support capability for the Danish Army’s latest artillery systems.
The new function builds on the Fire Support Module developed for Systematic’s SitaWare Headquarters solution and will significantly shorten the sensor-to-shooter engagement cycle, among other benefits. The new capability enables fire mission data – first generated by a forward observer and passed to the gun crew via a joint fires cell or similar element – to be digitally transferred into an artillery fire-control system (FCS), where the ballistic calculations are made. Although the process will do away with a man-in-the-loop for entering the fire support data into the FCS, there will always be operator verification before the mission is carried out. The Danish Army is rolling out the SitaWare suite of software across all levels of the battlefield, in the artillery fire support scenario the forward observer and gun crews will be equipped with SitaWare Frontline, while the fires coordination component utilises SitaWare Headquarters. Under the contract, Systematic is scheduled to deliver a fieldable solution in the 2020 timeframe, with integration and firing trials taking place in 2019. Ultimately, the new capability will be deployed on the Danish Army’s new Caesar self-propelled howitzers and Cardom 10 mortars, which will be integrated on Piranha V armoured vehicles.
05 Jul 18. Thales to continue Finland radar support. The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command has extended its radar support agreement with Thales for 2018-2023, the Finnish Ministry of Defence announced on 2 July.
Under the agreement, Thales will continue to provide maintenance for Finnish long-range surveillance radar and medium-range surveillance radar systems.
The overall value of the framework agreement is up to $23.2 million.
Originally purchased in 1988, the long-range surveillance radar is a ground-based air surveillance radar system capable of detecting objects in distant and high altitudes. Purchased from Thales in 2009, the medium-range surveillance radar forms the core of the air force’s transportable air surveillance radar system.
03 Jul 18. The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced it intends to move forward with the procurement of an additional two C-295 tactical transport aircraft to bolster its existing fleet of four aircraft currently in service with the air forces of the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) since 2010. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. Poland-Warsaw: Missiles. 2018/S 125-286790. Contract award notice for contracts in the field of defence and security.
Section I: Contracting authority/entity
I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)
Skarb Państwa – Inspektorat Uzbrojenia
- Królewska 1/7
00-909 (00-065 dla przesyłek kurierskich) Warszawa
Fax: +48 261873444
General address of the contracting authority: http://www.iu.wp.mil.pl
Section II: Object of the contract
II.1.5)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)
II.2)Total final value of contract(s)
II.2.1)Total final value of contract(s)
Value: 11 886 568,45 PLN
Including VAT. VAT rate (%) 23,00
Section V: Award of contract
Contract No: IU/58/VI-145/ZO/WROiB/DOS/ZSS/2018-2020/349
V.3)Name and address of economic operator in favour of whom the contract award decision has been taken
Instytut Techniczny Wojsk Lotniczych
- Księcia Bolesława 6
V.4)Information on value of contract
Initial estimated total value of the contract:
Value: 9 805 891,48 PLN
Total final value of the contract:
Value: 11 886 568,45 PLN
Including VAT. VAT rate (%) 23,00
(Source: Europa TED)
29 Jun 18. Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS (KONGSBERG) has signed a contract worth 700M NOK with the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency for JSM test missiles for the integration phase on the F-35. As a result of the successful flight test in March and finalization of the development phase in June, the project enters into an F-35 integration phase up to 2023. This phase includes delivery of a number of test missiles, captive-carriage-, safe separation- and live firing tests. (Source: ASD Network)
28 Jun 18. GD Ordnance and Tactical Systems Awarded Contract for US Army’s Ground Mobility Vehicle Program. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems was awarded a $33.8m contract on May 22, 2018, by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Mich., for the production of Army Ground Mobility Vehicles (AGMV) and associated kits. Based on the GMV1.1 vehicle the company is currently delivering to the U.S. Department of Defense, the AGMV configuration carries an airborne infantry squad with a payload capability of over 5,000 pounds. It shares approximately 90 percent parts commonality with the GMV1.1 and meets the same strategic lift requirements. The AGMV’s open design provides the ability to readily modify the vehicle to accept already developed kit configurations such as remote and manned turrets, armor and arctic kits. (Source: ASD Network)
03 Jul 18. RADA Electronic Industries Ltd. A leader in the development, production and sale of tactical land radar for force and border protection – announced that its Multi-mission Hemispheric Radar (MHR) has been down-selected as part of the Leonardo DRS mission equipment package (MEP) solution for the US Army’s Initial Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) capability. DRS is in negotiations with the US Army for this prototype contract which should be awarded in August 2018. The MHR radar, when integrated on the Stryker A1 platform, meets the Army’s on-board sensor requirements and provides 360 degree aerial surveillance to detect and track UAS, rotary wing and fixed wing threats at desired ranges. Each IM-SHORAD MEP includes four MHR radars to provide persistent surveillance, execute at the short-halt and operate on-the-move. This accelerated IM-SHORAD prototype effort requires systems be delivered in early 2019. Nine prototype systems will inform a future production decision for more than 140 systems beginning in 2020.
29 Jun 18. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Herndon, Virginia, is awarded a $96,531,053 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-17-C-6327) to exercise options for the Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare Increment One Block One systems full-rate production in support of the Expeditionary Warfare Program Office (PMS 408). This option exercise is for Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (CREW) systems that provide combat troops protection against radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIEDs). CREW systems are designed to provide protection for foot soldiers, vehicles and permanent structures. The Joint CREW Increment One Block One system is the first generation system that develops a common open architecture across all three capabilities and provides protection for worldwide military operations. This integrated design maximizes commonality across all capabilities, reduces life cycle costs and provides increased protection against worldwide threats. Work will be performed in San Diego, California (97 percent); and Sierra Vista, Arizona (3 percent), and is expected to be completed by April 2020. Fiscal 2016 and 2017 other procurement (Air Force); fiscal 2017 and 2018 other procurement (Navy); fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation; and fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $96,531,053 will be obligated at time of award and $1,196,285 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.
29 Jun 18. Oshkosh Defense LLC, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was awarded a $484,268,130 modification (P00119) to contract W56HZV-15-C-0095 for 1,574 vehicles and 7,538 kits (includes installed and packaged kits). Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2019. Fiscal 2016 and other procurement (Army); and research, development, test and evaluation funds in the combined amount of $484,268,130 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity.
29 Jun 18. BAE Systems Land & Armaments L.P., Minneapolis, Minnesota, is awarded a $33,266,732 modification under a previously awarded contract (N00174-17-C-0022) to exercise option year one for fiscal 2017 through2020 production of the Mk 38 mod 3 machine gun system (MGS) and associated spares. This contract is to fulfill specified requirements and technical performance requirements for the Mk38 mod 3 25mm MGS ordnance alteration and to provide additional spare parts. The MGS produced is derived from application of an ordnance alteration to the Mk 38 mod 1 25mm MGS. Once installed, the upgraded version incorporates two-axis stabilization, an improved electro-optical sight system, improved multi-function display, modified main control panel, a new main computing unit, a 7.62mm machine gun and remote control operation. Work will be performed in Hafia, Israel (67 percent); and Louisville, Kentucky (33 percent), and is expected to be completed by June 2020. Fiscal 2018 weapons procurement (Navy); and fiscal 2018 weapons procurement (Coast Guard) funding in the amount of $33,266,732 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured, in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1(a)(2) – only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, Indian Head, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
29 Jun 18. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Annapolis, Maryland, is awarded a $14,304,010 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-15-C-6320) to exercise options for the fabrication, testing, production and delivery of AN/AQS-24C mine hunting sonar systems. The AN/AQS-24C system provides high-speed capability to detect and classify volume (moored) mines while simultaneously hunting bottom mines. The 24C system modification integrates ahead-looking topographic large area survey (ATLAS) volume search sonar capability and associated minehunting software into the AN/AQS-24B configuration. The system is deployed from the MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter. Work will be performed in Annapolis, Maryland (83 percent); and Panama City, Florida (17 percent), and is expected to be completed by June 2021. Fiscal 2017 and 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $14,304,010 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.
29 Jun 18. AeroVironment Inc.,* Simi Valle, California, was awarded an $11,511,473 modification (P00006) to contract W31P4Q-17-C-0193 for hardware in support of switchblade production. Work will be performed in Simi Valley, California, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2020. Fiscal 2017 and 2018 other procurement (Army) funds in the amount of $11,511,473 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
29 Jun 18. Bell Boeing JPO, Amarillo, Texas, is awarded $4,191,533,822 for modification P00008 to convert the previously awarded V-22 tiltrotor aircraft advance acquisition contract (N00019-17-C-0015) to a fixed-price-incentive-fee multiyear contract. This contract provides for the manufacture and delivery of 39 CMV-22B aircraft for the Navy; 34 MV-22B aircraft for the Marine Corps; 1 CV-22B for the Air Force; and 4 MV-22B aircraft for the government of Japan. Work will be performed in: Fort Worth, Texas (30.08 percent); Ridley Park, Pennsylvania (15.22 percent); Amarillo, Texas (12.73 percent); Red Oak, Texas (3.33 percent); East Aurora, New York (2.55 percent); Park City, Utah (2.20 percent); McKinney, Texas (1.33 percent); Endicott, New York (1.15 percent); Denton, Texas (0.91 percent); Rockmart, Georgia (0.80 percent); Irvine, California (0.78 percent); Rome, New York (0.76 percent); Crestview, Florida (0.72 percent); Erie, Pennsylvania (0.66 percent); Dublin, California (0.62 percent); Rockford, Illinois (0.62 percent); Tempe, Arizona (0.57 percent); Los Angeles, California (0.57 percent); East Hartford, Connecticut (0.55 percent); Minden, Nebraska (0.50 percent); Hazelwood, Missouri (0.50 percent); and various other locations within the continental U.S. (18.93 percent); and outside the continental U.S. (3.92 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2024. Fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement (Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps); and fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $1,113,956,972 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the Navy ($2,847,293,666; 67.9 percent); Marine Corps ($1,038,248,567; 24.8 percent); Air Force ($75,705,989; 1.8 percent); and the government of Japan ($230,285,600; 5.5 percent), under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
03 Jul 18. Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS), is being awarded a sole-source, cost reimbursement modification in the amount of $7,499,171 to previously awarded contract HQ0276-15-C-0005 to allow RMS to develop, build, test, qualify and integrate a digital data link (DDL) solution to resolve existing Plate 3A transceiver obsolescence for the SM-3 IB missile. The DDL shall meet all applicable round level and subcomponent level (Guidance Section, etc.) requirements as flowed down to the existing Plate 3A for the SM-3 Block IB missile. The DDL shall successfully replace the existing Plate 3A and meet all related integration and qualification requirements as flowed down from the guidance section, the SM-3 IB all-up-round (AUR), and all related interface control documents. This modification increases the total cumulative face value of the contract by $7,499,171 (from $1,728,699,872 to $1,736,199,043). The work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, with an expected completion date of December 2019. Fiscal 2017 procurement (defense wide) funds for obsolescence in the amount of $7,499,171 will be obligated at the time of award, in accordance with the signed Acquisition Decision Memorandum. The Missile Defense Agency, Dahlgren, Virginia, is the contracting activity.
29 Jun 18. Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $96,125,000 firm-fixed-price contract modification (P00008) to contract FA8682-16-C-0004, for Lot 11 Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer vehicles and support equipment. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2020. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2016 procurement funds in the amount of $96,125,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $290,996,754. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.
29 Jun 18. Raytheon Company Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a $315,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production of the Griffin missile as well as related support for product improvements and operations and sustainment. Work will be performed at contractor facilities in Tucson. Fiscal 2018 research, development, testing, and evaluation funds will be obligated to satisfy the contract minimum amount. Additional funding will be obligated on a delivery/task order basis. This contract was a sole-source acquisition made in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1), only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. A request for information (RFI) was posted to the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website from Feb. 26, 2018, to March 8, 2018, with only Raytheon Company Missile Systems providing a response. Based on the single response to the RFI, a pre-solicitation notice/intent to sole-source was posted to FBO from March 9, 2018, to 19, 2018, with no responses. U.S. Special Operations Command contracting office, Tampa, Florida, is the contracting activity (H92403-18-D-0004).
02 Jul 18. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., McLean, Virginia, been awarded a $23,608,513 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development of the precise reference sensing for collaborative electronic warfare program. The purpose of the will be to perform on-site positioning, navigation and timing technology development; prototyping; integration; and modeling, simulation, wargaming and analysis. Work will be performed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by June 29, 2023. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition. Fiscal 2017 research and development funds in the amount of $777,628, and fiscal 2018 research and development funds in the amount of $100,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-18-C-1020).
REST OF THE WORLD
03 Jul 18. CONTROP Precision Technologies Ltd. – a company specializing in the field of Electro-optics (EO) and InfraRed (IR) defense and homeland security solutions – today announced that it has won a $31m contract to supply EO/IR systems and services for an Asian defense customer. Under the contract, Controp will supply the systems and services over a 20-month period.
06 Jul 18. Rheinmetall awarded €20m contract for Fieldguard systems.The Düsseldorf-based high-tech group Rheinmetall with its Swiss subsidiary Rheinmetall Air Defence have booked an order to supply Fieldguard 3 measurement systems to two international customers. Fieldguard is an active fire control system which measures the flightpath of projectiles in order to assure maximum precision during target engagement. One customer country is expanding its existing capacity by three systems, while another nation – a first-time customer – is initially ordering a single system. In this constellation Rheinmetall is acting as subcontractor to Avibras of Brazil, the prime contractor. Encompassing a total of four systems, the contract is worth a total of €20m. Delivery will be complete by the end of 2019. The programme Rheinmetall is supporting here is the ASTROS 2020 multiple rocket launcher, made by its Brazilian partner Avibras. The Fieldguard 3 measurement system can cover distances of up to 100 kilometres. Rheinmetall’s open and professional working relationship with Avibras offers an excellent example of international cooperation in the defence technology realm. The two organizations see additional growth potential in various customer countries, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. The contract underscores once again Rheinmetall’s outstanding expertise in the field of air defence and related sensor technology.
02 Jul 18. Orbital Sciences Corp. Chandler, Arizona, is awarded $52,880,606 for modification P-00001 to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost contract (N00019-18-C-1047) to exercise an option for the procurement of 18 Lot 12 full rate production GQM-163A Coyote Supersonic Sea Skimming Target (SSST) base vehicles and D6AC long lead steel in support of the GQM-163A SSST for the Navy; and the governments of Japan and Israel. Work will be performed in Chandler, Arizona (50 percent); Camden, Arkansas (37 percent); Vergennes, Vermont (6 percent); Lancaster, Pennsylvania (5 percent) and Hollister, California (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2022. Fiscal 2018 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $49,961,065; and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $2,919,541 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
05 Jul 18. Thailand Procures IRIS-T Missiles. Diehl Defence signed a contract for the supply of short range IRIS-T air-to-air missiles (InfraRed Imaging System − Tail/Thrust Vector Controlled) to Thailand. As early as 2011, the Royal Thai Airforce opted for the European short-range missile to arm their GRIPEN and later also their F-16 fighter aircraft. In addition, the integration of the missile into the F-5 fleet is planned as part of the new procurement, so that IRIS-T will now also become the standard weaponry in the Thai Air Force. (Source: ESD)
29 Jun 18. Insitu Inc., Bingen, Washington, is awarded $8,215,759 for firm-fixed-price order N0001918F0487 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-17-G-0001) for the procurement of six ScanEagle unmanned aircraft systems, related support equipment, training, site activation, technical services, and data for the government of Lebanon. Work will be performed in Bingen, Washington (70 percent); and White Salmon, Washington (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2020. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $8,215,759 are being obligated at the time of the award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
29 Jun 18. Kilgore Flares Co., Toone, Tennessee, was awarded a $31,738,980 modification (P00020) to foreign military sales (Kuwait, Romania and Pakistan) contract W52P1J-15-C-0004 for infrared countermeasures flares. Work will be performed in Toone, Tennessee, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2020. Fiscal 2016, 2017 and 2018 other procurement (Army) funds in the amount of $31,738,980 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity.
29 Jun 18. Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $288,347,355 modification (0006) to domestic and foreign military sales (United Arab Emirates) contract W52P1J-17-D-0043 for Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor Systems, subcomponent production, and technical services for the Apache attack helicopter. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2021. Fiscal 2018 foreign military sales; and aircraft procurement (Army) funds in the combined amount of $288,347,355 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity.
02 Jul 18. The Russian military approved the first state procurement contract for a dozen fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft, said Deputy Defense Minister of Russia Alexei Krivoruchko on Saturday. Krivoruchko told reporters that a batch of the Sukhoi Su-57, a stealth, single-seat, twin-engine multirole fifth-generation stealth fighter will be delivered to the Russian military in the near term. Speaking highly of the work by the Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer on the production of the fifth-generation fighter jet, Krivoruchko added that engineers are concluding the last round of tests on the aircraft’s second-stage engines.The aircraft will be manufactured at Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant, based in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Russian Far East, which is the largest aircraft-manufacturing company in the country. (Source: News Now/www.zerohedge.com)
MANAGEMENT ON THE MOVE
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04 Jul 18. Lincoln-based Inzpire Limited has formally launched its new Training Academy ahead of the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow. Inzpire’s Training Academy has been established to provide training solutions for both military and civilian customers, and will fulfil training requirements that have been identified through carefully targeted training needs analysis. Inzpire is already embedded within frontline military training in the UK, and has been delivering training to personnel from all three services for the last decade. Inzpire’s experts provide training needs analysis to the Joint Intelligence Training Group at Joint Force Command Chicksands, whilst the company’s human factors and safety experts work in close partnership with the RAF Human Factors Centre to design, develop and deliver interactive training that focuses on increasing performance not only for aircrew but maintenance personnel and support services. With training experts embedded within a number of Royal Air Force Squadrons, Inzpire’s experience is current and fulfils today’s military operational requirements. The company has a cohort of aviation and air warfare experts at the cutting-edge of training delivery at the Royal Air Force’s Air Battlespace Training Centre and Air Warfare Centre, as well as at RAF Coningsby where their personnel support the Qualified Weapons Instructor Team on 29 (R) Squadron. Inzpire has used its extensive experience to create a suite of ‘off the shelf’ training courses that can be attended by both military and civilian students worldwide. With a unique focus on flexibility, the Training Academy concept uses all of the company’s up-to-date experience to focus on putting customers’ needs at the heart of training provision. Inzpire’s instructors will deliver training at any UK or international location to suit the requirements of those studying. Almost all of the courses offer adaptable modules, which can be designed by Inzpire’s expert instructors based on the desired outcomes of those studying. Some of the courses, including the Airmanship and Human Factors for Frontline Military Aircrew course, will be entirely bespoke to the customer, and will be built by Inzpire’s subject matter experts in accordance with students’ training needs.
Al Whittle, Inzpire Chief Operating Officer, said: “Collectively, Inzpire’s instructors have thousands of years training experience to fall back on. This experience has taught us that the very best learning happens when the instructor flexibly brings a syllabus to life in a location of the customer’s choosing. That is exactly what Inzpire’s Training Academy will deliver; adaptable learning, in a flexible location”.
04 Jul 18. FOI reveals east coast location for Future Submarine base. Defence Connect can reveal that Sydney is the front runner for Future Submarine basing as part of the ‘Two Oceans’ policy.
The move to locate a sizeable portion of Australia’s SEA 1000 Future Submarine fleet has been outlined in Freedom of Information (FOI) documents provided to Defence Connect by South Australia senator Rex Patrick, himself a former submariner. Relocating major fleet units to the east coast and particularly Sydney would require major redevelopments to the existing naval infrastructure of the city and would place the country’s largest city at the epicentre of the ADF’s ability to project force into the Pacific area of operations. There are three preferred major locations identified within Sydney Harbour, which Defence Connect can reveal, are:
- HMAS Kuttabul (Fleet Base East), the existing naval facility at Woolloomooloo
- HMAS Waterhen at Balls Head Bay, which is currently home to Australia’s Huon Class minehunter fleet
- Cockatoo Island, the formal naval shipyard at the confluence of Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour
The proposed relocation is in-line with the ‘Two Oceans’ policy, which identifies the need to split the Navy’s major resources between east and west coast operating bases to ensure that Navy and broader ADF operations can be conducted in an efficient and effective manner, while also ensuring that any possible contingency in either area of operation can be responded to with speed.
“It makes perfect strategic sense for Australia to have a two ocean submarine force posture. There are good reasons for Australia to have submarines based on the east coast. In 2014, coinciding with the G20 meeting in Brisbane, a Russian Navy task group deployed to the Coral Sea,” Senator Patrick told Defence Connect.
“China is expanding its naval capability and is utilising soft power in both Timor-Leste and Vanuatu. We can expect more foreign naval activity in the eastern Indonesian archipelago, the Coral Sea and south Pacific in the future.”
Beyond the broader strategic and operational rationale for submarines with immediate access to both the Indian and Pacific oceans, growing shortages in the nation’s submariners has been another focal point for relocating a portion of the nation’s future submarine fleet.
The shift is expected to improve crew retention and operational tempo rates.
Additionally, the ‘Two Oceans’ policy supports increased industry involvement on both coastlines as industry and highly-specialised facilities will need to be developed in order to support the increased fleet presence.
The SEA 1000 Future Submarine Program will be the largest Defence acquisition project in Australia’s history, with a projected cost of $89 billion, which will provide Australia with 12 locally-built next-generation submarines, designed by French warship and submarine builder Naval Group. (Source: Defence Connect)
03 Jul 18. U.S. Forces Korea and United Nations Command opened a new headquarters building here June 29.
Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of USFK and United Nations Command, hosted the opening ceremony and dedicated the headquarters building to Army Gen. John William Vessey Jr., the first commander of Combined Forces Command. Vessey’s son, David, was in attendance, and thanked the command for the honor bestowed on his father. June 29 would have been Vessey’s 95th birthday.
The move from Seoul to Camp Humphreys signifies a transition for the two commands, which have been based at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan since the end of hostilities in the Korean War. It is a major milestone in the $10.7bn transformation and relocation effort of the command, officials said, as it means the majority of USFK troops have moved out of Seoul.
In attendance were dignitaries from the 17 sending states to the United Nations Command and South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo.
Following the ceremony, the command dedicated an auditorium to the first four-star general in the South Korean military, Gen. Paik Sun-yup. Paik successfully executed Operation Rat Killer in March 1952, a task to eliminate opposing forces in the southern mountain region of Jirisan, South Korea. (Source: US DoD)
03 Jul 18. $495m Larrakeyah Defence Precinct gets parliamentary approval. Defence Minister Marise Payne has announced the approval of a $495m investment in new Northern Territory defence facilities as part of support for major Australian and allied operations in the region.
The $495m project will be split into a number of phases, with phase one including the $223m base redevelopment which will include an upgrade of critical in-ground infrastructure, support on-base growth over the next 25 years and will improve the working environment for defence personnel. “The project will enhance the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) capacity to conduct operations and exercises in the north of Australia, while providing fuel storage and refuelling capabilities to meet current and projected demands,” Minister Payne said.
Phase two, will see $272m for facilities to support naval operations in the north project and will deliver a new outer wharf to support the Royal Australian Navy’s major surface combatant ships and submarines at HMAS Coonawarra.
“This investment in defence facilities will enhance support to ADF operations and maximise opportunities for local industry,” Minister Payne said.
Both Larrakeyah Defence Precinct projects will be delivered by Laing O’Rourke as managing contractor, with construction works scheduled to commence in late 2018 and due for completion by mid-2023.
A Local Industry Capability Plan aims to maximise opportunities for small to medium local businesses in the Northern Territory to compete for and win sub-contract work on these projects. (Source: Defence Connect)
02 Jul 18. MBDA’s new high-tech manufacturing facility in Bolton has today been officially opened by the Rt. Hon. Gavin Williamson MP, UK Secretary of State for Defence. The cutting-edge facility houses some 670 highly-skilled design, engineering and manufacturing employees and is being used for the production of inert missile equipment and systems. An opening ceremony conducted by the Secretary of State marked the completion of five years of development and £50m of investment by MBDA.
The new site will significantly improve MBDA’s design, test and production capabilities – securing the UK’s and the company’s world-leading status in complex weapons technologies, as well as leading manufacturing capabilities in the North West for the next 25 years and beyond. Mr Williamson toured the production floor at Bolton and visited some of MBDA’s innovative and industry-leading centres of excellence. The new Bolton site is where a number of key missiles are being produced for the UK Armed Forces, delivering operational sovereignty and freedom of action to the UK. These systems include Brimstone, ASRAAM, CAMM (Sea Ceptor and Land Ceptor), SPEAR, and Meteor which has its final assembly for all six European partner nations carried out at MBDA Bolton. The site will also play a key role in exports, underpinning the UK Government’s Prosperity Agenda.
During his visit, the Defence Secretary participated in the re-signing of the Armed Forces Covenant by MBDA, an important commitment by the company in support of what our Armed Forces do for the country. The visit concluded with the Secretary of State for Defence meeting employees who spoke about the wide range of activities undertaken at the site and how proud they are to play a strategically important role in UK Defence.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This £50m factory supports 700 jobs in Bolton, showing how central strong British defence industry is to our national prosperity. MBDA’s investment has created more than 100 new jobs, and this has been supported by a £400m contract from the Government helping to create a further 100 roles within the company. You can’t have prosperity without security. MBDA in Bolton is keeping Britain safe while creating highly-skilled jobs and opportunities, demonstrating our commitment to the people of Bolton and the North West.”
Chris Allam, Managing Director of MBDA UK, said “I am delighted that the Secretary of State for Defence has today opened our brand new facility in Bolton. This new site builds on 80 years of illustrious company history down the road at Lostock and prepares us for the challenges of the future. The significant investment placed by MBDA into Bolton is testament to our commitment to our people, to the area, and to delivering on our order book for our customers.”
04 Jul 18. Fincantieri launches logistic support ship. Fincantieri shipbuilding group launched the Italian Navy’s new logistic support ship (LSS), Vulcano (A 5335), at its Muggiano shipyard near La Spezia on 22 June. Fincantieri has built the LSS under a contract awarded by European defence procurement organisation OCCAR in May 2015 on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Defence. The ship was built in three main hull and superstructure sections at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia (bow section) and Riva Trigoso (central and stern sections) shipyards. These were then consolidated at Muggiano shipyard’s floating dock. Outfitting will continue until December this year, when the ship will begin platform and combat system acceptance trials ahead of a planned delivery in September 2019. Displacing 27,200 tonnes at full load, Vulcano has an overall length of 192.2m and a beam of 24m beam. The ship’s centre hull section has been lengthened by 11.2m to increase space for embarked personnel supporting expeditionary missions; this reflects recent operational experience. Classed to RINA standards, the double-hulled ship has been designed to support both abeam replenishment at sea (RAS) while underway, and vertical replenishment using up to two embarked EH101 helicopters. The ship can accommodate 235 personnel and is equipped with an enhanced NATO Role 2 medical facility. In the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) role, it will be able to provide fresh water and electric power to people ashore. The LSS is equipped with four refuelling stations (two each side) for liquids, two stations (one per side) for heavy load transfer, two stations (one on each side) for light material and one aft refuelling station (for fuel only). Canada’s Hepburn Engineering will provide the RAS package. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. Kenyan patrol ship returns after refit. The Kenyan patrol ship KNS Shujaa has returned from a 21-month midlife refit and training voyage, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) announced on 3 July. The refit was carried out in the Netherlands by Damen Shipyards, the KDF said. It released a photograph showing the ship’s 76mm main gun had been removed. Maritime data show Shujaa left Damen’s Royal Schelde yard on 21 May and made port calls in Portugal, Malta, and Djibouti during its return voyage. Shujaa is one of two vessels that were built by the Astilleros Gordan yard in Spain and delivered to Kenya in 1997. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. China launches two Type 055 destroyers simultaneously in Dalian. Two 10,000-tonne Type 055 destroyers were launched simultaneously by the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC) on 3 July in a move that reflects the rapid pace at which China is building this new class of warship. The latest ships are the third and fourth to be launched, with all four entering the water in a little over a year. The first Type 055 was launched at the Jiangnan Changxingdao shipyard near Shanghai in June 2017 and the second one in April 2018. The Type 055 destroyers are the largest surface combatants built for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and are an upscaled development of the Type 052D (Luyang III)-class destroyers. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. Royal Navy commissions new survey craft. The UK Royal Navy (RN) has commissioned the 18 m inshore survey vessel HMS Magpie, marking the introduction to service of the first of up to 38 new workboats ordered by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2017 from Atlas Elektronik UK (AEUK). Built under subcontract by Safehaven Marine in County Cork, Republic of Ireland, Magpie is based on Safehaven’s Wildcat 60 windfarm support/crew transfer catamaran design. Formally commissioned on 28 June at Devonport Naval Base, Magpie has joined the RN’s Hydrographic Squadron as a replacement for the survey launch HMS Gleaner, which retired earlier in 2018 after 35 years’ service. The new craft will be primarily tasked with gathering hydrographic data, surveying seabed areas in UK port approaches, and updating charts. AEUK was awarded a GBP48m (USD63m) contract in February 2017 for the supply of 33 replacement workboats under Project Vahana; contract options provide for the supply of up to five additional craft. The boats section within the Defence Equipment and Support organisation’s Commercially Supported Shipping team is responsible for managing the Vahana acquisition. Magpie was launched by Safehaven in March 2018 and subsequently completed sea trials to demonstrate performance in line with RN requirements (20 kt in Sea State 4). Following ship acceptance in Ireland, Magpie transited to Portland in southern England where AEUK fitted the ship’s hydrographic equipment, performed trials, and completed handover to the customer during May. According to the RN, Magpie has been fitted with a high-resolution, shallow-water multibeam echo sounder and side-scan sonar. The craft is also able to launch and recover autonomous underwater vehicles.
(Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. Argentina without any operational SSKs, minister admits. The Argentine Navy’s submarine force is without any fully operational boats for the first time since its creation 85 years ago, with one of its two main diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) lost late in 2017 and its sister ship undergoing an extended refit.
Addressing questions posed by the country’s Senate in late June, Argentina’s chief of the Cabinet of Ministers, Marcos Peña, admitted that the submarine force is “without operational capacity”.
The situation is mainly the result of the loss of ARA San Juan , one of the two German-built Type TR 1700 boats delivered in the 1980s that were the core of the Argentine submarine force, which disappeared with its crew of 44 officers and ratings in the South Atlantic last November.
(Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 18. Royal Navy commissions newest survey ship HMS Magpie. The Royal Navy’s newest survey ship, the HMS Magpie, has been commissioned into service at its home port in Devon, England.
HMS Magpie has been added to the Royal Navy’s Hydrographic squadron and is intended to replace its traditional survey ship HMS Gleaner, which previously served the naval unit for 35 years.
HMS Gleaner last commanding officer and HMS Magpie first commanding officer lieutenant commander William Alexander said: “It was a great feeling when we brought HMS Magpie into her base port for the first time last week and we are very much looking forward to joining the fleet.
“The ship’s primary role will be in maintaining the integrity of coastal waters, ensuring safety of navigation and the resilience of key national infrastructure in UK ports.
“With an enduring presence around the UK, she will also contribute to national security at sea.”
HMS Magpie has been named after the Duke of Edinburgh’s only command.
The vessel is an 18m-long catamaran and is set to be used to ensure the navy is provided with an essential survey and underwater survey capability. It has been equipped with the latest high-resolution, shallow-water multi-beam echo sounder and side-scan sonar.
The new survey ship is also able to launch remote-controlled underwater devices in order to search wide areas of the sea bed for obstructions and mines. Furthermore, HMS Magpie is anticipated to carry out other operations such as scanning the seabed and updating charts.
The Royal Navy expects the ship to be able to maintain a speed of 20k in sea state four conditions with waves up to 2.5m high. HMS Magpie previously underwent rough weather sea trials in the Irish Sea in April, less than a month after being launched with the navy. (Source: naval-technology.com)
29 Jun 18. Turkey’s STM bids for Brazilian Navy’s corvette project. Turkey’s Defence Technologies Engineering and Trade Co (Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret (STM)) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Brazil’s BrasFELS shipyard to bid on the Brazilian Navy’s Tamandaré-class corvette (CCT) programme, STM tweeted on 15 June. The project involves the construction of four corvettes in Brazil, with all vessels being built at the BrasFELS shipyard.
The STM/BrasFELS shipyard partnership is one of nine contenders to submit proposals for the estimated USD1.6bn CCT programme, the Brazilian Navy has said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
28 Jun 18. Brazil commissions helicopter carrier. The Brazilian Navy commissioned the multi-purpose helicopter carrier PHM Atlantico(A140) on 29 June in the United Kingdom. The ship, formerly the UK Royal Navy’s HMS Ocean (L12), was purchased by the Brazilian Navy through a BRL381.081m (USD98.76m) deal on 19 February. HMS Ocean was commissioned in September 1998 and decommissioned on 27 March at HM Naval Base Devonport in Plymouth. In the Royal Navy the ship will be replaced by the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales (R 09). The helicopter carrier package for Brazil includes an Artisan 3D search radar, KH1007 surface surveillance radar system, four 30 mm DS30M Mk 2 remote weapon systems and four Mk 5B landing craft. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
05 Jul 18. Patria developed major changes to Agusta Bell 412EP certified by EASA. Patria’s Aviation Business Unit has been granted two Supplementary Type Certificates (STC’s) by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). These major changes are developed and certified to the Finnish Border Guard helicopter Agusta Bell 412EP to provide up to date communication and navigation functions in order to fulfil the latest European Airspace requirements. Further, these certified changes offer significant improvements to the search and rescue capabilities; one of the core functions of the Finnish Border Guard operated helicopters. The new STC’s Patria has developed, built and installed, will guarantee that Finnish Border Guard has the operational capabilities needed in the northern Finland.
“These STC’s are a natural sequel to the multiple of modifications Patria has performed in the past to military platforms, but first ones to have been certified according to the EASA civil regulations in many years by a Finnish organisation”, says Tuomo Jokisalo from Patria.
04 Jul 18. Indonesia withdraws BO-105 helos from UN task force after concerns raised over capabilities. Key Points:
- Indonesia will no longer deploy the BO-105 helicopter for subsequent UNIFIL duties in Lebanon
- Country will dispatch aircraft from its search-and-rescue agency as an interim measure for next deployment
The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) will cease subsequent deployments of its BO-105 utility helicopters in the Middle East after concerns were raised over the aircraft’s ability to undertake further United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) operations. The matter has been confirmed by various sources within the TNI-AL, each of whom have cited various technical issues with regards to the BO-105’s capabilities. These include the aircraft’s general inability to produce a “recognised maritime picture” (RMP) that can be shared with other participating assets in the UNIFIL patrols, and issues attaining endurance, and load parameters required for the multinational patrols. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
28 Jun 18. RAF lost C-130J in Iraq. A UK Royal Air Force (RAF) C-130J-30 has been written off in Iraq after being seriously damaged in a heavy landing during an apparent special forces mission.
The previously undisclosed incident took place last August during the height of coalition operations against the so-called Islamic State (IS) in northern Syria around Raqqa. This is the first UK air loss during Operation ‘Shader’, the codename for its participation in the war against the IS. A UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman declined to comment to Jane’s about any aspect of the crash of the Hercules C4 (C-130J-30), serial number ZH873, citing the need to “safeguard national security or release information that was likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness, or security of the UK armed forces”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
05 Jul 18. Chilean military troubled by personnel shortages. The Chilean armed forces are suffering from a growing shortage of personnel due to low retention levels, with the army currently facing a gap of 8,000 people while the navy and air force have smaller but no less complicating deficits in their ranks, a senior military source in Santiago has told Jane’s. As a result of the situation the Chilean Air Force currently has enough pilots to fully operate only 26 of its fleet of 44 F-16 fighters, while a lack of personnel also limits the manning and support of other types of military equipment. Chile spends more on training per service member than any other Latin American country and the quality of its officers and regular personnel, extensively trained in the services’ academies, and schools, is admired in the region. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 18. Joint Expeditionary Force reaches full operational capability. The UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) has reached full operational capability with the signature of a comprehensive memorandum of understanding (CMOU) by the defence ministers of the nine nations that make troops available to it. Signed on 28 July, the memorandum lays out decision-making procedures and the functioning of the Standing Joint Force Headquarters (SJFHQ). The Swedish Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported that the nine defence ministers discussed the future vision of the JEF, agreeing that it was an important step for security policy co-operation in northern Europe. Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld said, “The signing shows that the countries from a region where Russia is very active are joining forces. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
28 Jun 18. Deputy for Army information and networks retires. Gary Wang, the deputy chief information officer/G6 for the Army, retired May 31 after 35 years of government service. Wang was named deputy CIO, the highest civilian IT position in the Army, in 2014.
The CIO/G6 focuses on Army network modernization and resourcing. As deputy, Wang oversaw modernization projects such as the transition to the Joint Regional Security Stacks, which is a network security platform, and managed a $10bn investment portfolio. Shortly before his retirement, Wang spoke at a Washington-area AFCEA event about the future of converging Army IT and networks.
“We have functional parts of the Army that continue to build their own separate networks,” Wang said. “Three years ago we started talking about convergence and getting all the operational networks behind the JRSS. We are starting to do that now.”
Prior to serving as deputy CIO, Wang worked for the Navy as part of its intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and information operations program, and as director of corporate operations at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.
Maj. Gen Garrett Yee has been named acting deputy CIO, said Jess Smith, Army CIO/G6 spokeswoman. In the past Yee has worked on both Army network modernization and cybersecurity. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
In May, Yee spoke at the Cyber Threat Intelligence Forum about Army network strategies for the future, which prioritize readiness, modernization and protection from potential cyber threats.
“To put things in perspective, the last time we took on an effort of this magnitude the internet was just beginning to take shape, social media was just a dream, and there was no such thing as software-defined capability,” Yee said. A permanent replacement has not yet been named. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
29 Jun 18. The NATO alliance has a new top military adviser, with the exit of Czech Gen. Petr Pavel as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.
Pavel, who has held the spot for the last three years, formally stepped away from the role on Friday, handing over control to Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the former chief of defence staff of the British Armed Forces. The chairman of the Military Committee is NATO’s senior military officer, although the top uniformed spot in the alliance is the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, held by the top American general in Europe. However, the chairman plays an important role as the military adviser to the secretary general and works to build consensus from the 29 chiefs of defense. (Source: Defense News)
05 Jul 18. Air Vice-Marshal R J Knighton CB to be promoted Air Marshal and to be Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Capability) in January 2019 in succession to Lieutenant General M W Poffley CB OBE.
28 Jun 18. Senate confirms new military commander in Afghanistan, South Korean ambassador. Senators approved a lengthy slate of nominations in the waning hours of work before their Fourth of July break, including a new commander for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, a new head of Pacific Air Forces and a new ambassador for South Korea. The moves came via voice vote without unanimous support. All of the nominees had received positive reviews from chamber officials in recent weeks. Army Gen. Austin Scott Miller, the 17th commander to oversee the American and NATO mission in Afghanistan, will succeed Army Gen. John Nicholson in that role and received his fourth star as part of the confirmation process.
Miller was previous the head of Joint Special Operations Command and served as the commander of the special operations in Afghanistan in from June 2013 to June 2014. His combat experience also includes missions in Somalia, Bosnia and Iraq. Earlier this month, Miller told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that he sees progress in the ongoing fight in Afghanistan, but acknowledged that “I can’t guarantee you a timeline or an end date” to U.S. military efforts there.
Gen. Charles Brown Jr., who led the air war against the Islamic State before becoming the deputy commander for U.S. Central Command, will serve as the next commander of Pacific Air Forces and received his fourth star with the promotion. Brown has been deputy commander of U.S. Central Command for the past two years and previously served as the head of Air Forces Central Command. He will succeed Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, who took over U.S. Northern Command earlier this year.
Harry Harris, former Navy admiral and commander of U.S. Pacific forces, was named the new South Korean ambassador as part of a block of five diplomatic appointments.
Harris had been President Donald Trump’s pick to take over the ambassador role in Australia, but saw his assignment shifted this spring amid a growing strategic focus on the Korean Peninsula.
The Senate is scheduled to return from their mid-summer break on July 9. Approving the nominations Thursday allows those appointees to take their office sometime in the next week, instead of waiting until mid-July or possibly later for congressional action. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Military Times)
29 Jun 18. Rear Adm. (lower half) William W. Wheeler III, selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as director, plans and policy, J5, U.S. Cyber Command, Fort Meade, Maryland. Wheeler is currently serving as commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, Norfolk, Virginia.
29 Jun 18. Capt. Michael A. Brookes, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as deputy commander, U.S. Tenth Fleet, Fort Meade, Maryland. Brookes is currently serving as information warfare commander, Carrier Strike Group One, San Diego, California.
29 Jun 18. Capt. William P. Pennington, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as director, strategy and policy division, N51, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia. Pennington most recently served as chief of staff, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia.
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
03 Jul 18. The Australian Army has welcomed its new Chief, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, AO, DSC, MVO during a ceremonial parade in Canberra.
LTGEN Burr assumed the role of Chief of Army from the outgoing Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, AO, DSC. LTGEN Burr said he was deeply honoured to assume leadership of the Australian Army. LTGEN Burr served as the Deputy Chief of Army, and prior to that as Deputy Commanding General US Army-Pacific – the first foreign officer to hold such a position. In 2011-12 he was commander of the 1st Division and the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters. His operational commands included the theatre-level multinational command of all Special Forces assigned to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2008, and command of the Australian Special Forces Task Group in Afghanistan 2002 and Iraq 2003. (Source: Defence Connect)
05 Jul 18. Cobham Special Mission today announces a Teaming Agreement with 3SDL. This complements the Teaming Agreement already signed with Draken International to jointly develop solutions for the delivery of operational readiness training under the UK MoD’s Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) programme.
The Teaming Agreement with 3SDL enables the Cobham team to comprehensively address the MoD’s requirement to prepare and assure UK Defence to successfully operate in the future contested, degraded and operationally limited air, maritime and land environments against evolving adversaries. Cobham’s technical excellence in advanced electronic warfare effects and training, across both the live and synthetic environments, and Draken’s world renowned reputation for delivering agile fighter adversary air services, is now complemented by 3SDL’s capability and experience in Close Air Support (CAS) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) experimentation and emulation for Collective Training. This combination of capabilities will assure the ASDOT programme of the most threat-relevant, innovative and advanced operational readiness training solution.
Paul Armstrong, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cobham Aviation Services UK, said: “Cobham and Draken’s formidable capability portfolio in operational readiness training in the live and synthetic environment has been significantly bolstered by our Teaming Agreement with 3SDL. This team is ready to deliver the most advanced electronic warfare techniques to all three services to counter future adversary threats to ensure UK Armed Forces are operationally assured to carry out their requirements. 3SDL will contribute strongly to growing our capability and providing greater technological advancement over the next 15 years.”
Dibble Clark, Chairman of 3SDL, said: “We are thrilled to join the Cobham and Draken team. Bringing our proven ISR and CAS emulation capability into the mix will provide an amazing high-quality and realistic training solution. Together, I know that the team will provide the UK Armed Forces with the skills and confidence in employing Air Power that they will need for any future operational demand.”
05 Jul 18. Dora Gauer joined Naval Group a few weeks ago as our new press officer. Educated in leading European universities, Sciences Po and the University of St. Gallen, Dora possesses a deep knowledge of the defence sector. She has exercised various responsibilities in Defense Conseil International (DCI) Marketing Department and in the CEO’s staff. Additionally, Dora had previous experience in Thales’ press office.
02 Jul 18. The board of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc notes the announcement today by Morgan Advanced Materials plc of the appointment of Douglas Caster, Chairman of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc, as Chairman of Morgan Advanced Materials plc with effect from 1 January
03 Jul 18. H.R. McMaster, former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, will be a visiting fellow for the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University starting this fall.
McMaster will serve in multiple roles, lecturing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in management and the Hoover Institution at Stanford, according to a press release from the university. Few would doubt his credentials to teach. In addition to a 34 year career of military service, McMaster earned his PhD in American history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996. The former soldier held multiple senior leadership positions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
McMaster retired from the Army in June as a three-star general, the last year of which was spent as national security advisor with the Trump Administration, McMaster was a strong voice in warnings on North Korea and assessments of Russian cyber espionage threats. (Source: Defense News)
28 Jun 18. GMU contracting center hires DOD vet Jerry McGinn. Longtime defense sector veteran and former top Pentagon official Jerry McGinn has joined George Mason University as executive director of the school’s government contracting initiative. The move officially took effect on June 11 and McGinn will help spearhead efforts by GMU’s school of business to develop its academic competency in the GovCon arena. His responsibilities will include fundraising for research scholarships, operations and outreach; as well as work with faculty across the university to develop contracting-specific offerings for undergraduate and graduate programs, certificate programs and executive development.
(Source: Defense Systems)
26 Jun 18. Keith Johnson of Speedcast Named to SSPI’s Board of Directors.
Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) has appointed Keith Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of Speedcast, to the organization’s Board of Directors, effective July 1 — this is Mr. Johnson’s first term serving on the Board. Mr. Johnson brings with him more than 30 years of leadership experience in the space and satellite in the industry. He has worked with Speedcast since 2014, prior to which he spent more than 25 years at CapRock and, following its acquisition by Harris, Harris CapRock Communications. Mr. Johnson is a global leader with strengths in strategy, business development, sales and marketing management, operational excellence, change management, and culture transformation. (Source: Satnews)
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EXHIBITIONS AND CONFERENCES
02 Jul 18. Saudi Airshow, a brand-new aerospace & aviation exhibition, will be hosted by Saudi Aviation Club in March 2019 in Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The show was officially launched in Riyadh on 1 July when Didier Mary, Managing Director of Adone Events, signed a protocol agreement to organize the show. Under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, and Founder and Chairman of the Saudi Aviation Club, Adone Events will coordinate the exhibition to be held at Tumamah Airport in Riyadh on the 12th, 13th and 14th of March 2019. The event will be the first aviation & aerospace exhibition of its kind in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and will welcome exhibitors and delegates from across the world to Tumamah Airport which will be dedicated solely to the exhibition. Saudi Airshow will host a mix of business, general, commercial aviation and aerospace exhibitors on a 100,000 sqm static area which will accommodate more than 100 aircraft ranging in size from single-engine and executive jets to commercial wide-body aircraft. The show will offer chalets located next to the runway to enable manufacturers to present their entire range of aircraft and to facilitate demonstration flights. In addition, three exhibition halls will host more than 700 booths and international pavilions where exhibitors will showcase a full range of aviation and aerospace services and products. The format reflects the approach taken at Abu Dhabi Air Expo, African Airshow and France Air Expo, also organized by Adone Events.
“I am honored that the Saudi Aviation Club has shown its confidence in Adone Events by agreeing to collaborate with us on this exciting new venture. Our experience, knowledge and network of aviation contacts is such that we can already confirm that more than 200 aviation companies have expressed strong interest in participating. The growth of aviation in Saudi Arabia reflects the need for this type of international exhibition and we are delighted to be involved,” said Didier Mary, General Manager of Adone Events.
06 Jul 18. Defence Committee. Oral Evidence Session.
Future Anti-Ship Missile Systems.
Wednesday 11 July 2018 The Wilson Room, Portcullis House.
- Guto Bebb MP, Minister for Defence Procurement;
- Lt General Sir Mark Poffley. Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Military Capability);
- Sir Simon Bollom, Chief Executive Officer for Defence Equipment and Support, MoD
This is the first joint, informal, evidence session with the Assemblée nationale Standing Committee on National Defence and the Armed Forces. The session will ask the MoD about the defence collaboration between the UK and French Governments, including an assessment of the joint work undertaken by the two Governments on the future cruise/anti-ship weapon (FC/ASW) programme so far and will seek a progress report on the three-year concept phase agreement signed with MBDA last March.
The session will be conducted bilingually with simultaneous translation provided throughout.
03 Jul 18. Tender for new surveillance aircraft must be open to fair competition says Defence Committee. The Chairman of the Defence Committee has written to the Minister of Defence Procurement to request that any requirement for replacing the UK’s airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft be put out to a competitive tender, rather than bought ‘off the shelf’ with no competition taking place. AWACS aircraft perform an important function on operations, providing long-range early warning and surveillance capability alongside airborne battle management and communications relay functions. The Royal Air Force possesses six Boeing E-3D Sentry AWACS aircraft. They are currently due to stay in service until 2035, subject to a capability sustainment programme to extend their service life. Reports have emerged however that as part of the Modernising Defence Programme, the Ministry of Defence is considering cancelling the sustainment programme and replacing the Sentry fleet with a new aircraft. In its letter the Committee criticises the Sentry fleet’s poor state of maintenance. The readiness and number of flying hours completed by aircraft have been reducing, and the Committee has heard anecdotal evidence that only one of the six E-3D aircraft is available for service at any one time. On the possibility of Sentry being replaced with a new system, the letter notes the advantages of a competitive tender in terms of maximising value for money and allowing proper consideration of a range of alternatives. The Committee also considers that a competition is particularly appropriate in this case, as there are viable alternatives available which deserve to be given fair consideration.
Defence Committee Chairman Dr Julian Lewis MP said, “AWACS is an important capability for the UK to maintain, particularly given the possibility of future conflict taking place in a heavily contested airspace against peer adversaries. The fact that the capacity of the RAF’s current AWACS fleet has been run down to such a low level is greatly to be regretted. The Ministry of Defence, if it seeks to replace Sentry with an entirely new system, has the opportunity to regenerate this capability and to give proper consideration to the range of available alternatives through a competitive tender. The benefits of doing so are clear, and this is exactly the kind of engagement that the Department should be seeking with industry in its drive to modernise Defence.”
House of Commons and House of Lords Hansard Written Answers
Asked by Martin Docherty-Hughes
Asked on: 29 June 2018
Ministry of Defence
Tornado Aircraft: Safety Measures
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 10 March 2016 to Question 30091, whether the Traffic Collision Avoidance System fitted to Tornado GR 4 aircraft is the Honeywell TCAS II system and not TCAS I as indicated in a number of AIRPROX (Near miss) reports.
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 05 July 2018
The Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) fitted to Tornado GR4 aircraft is the Honeywell TCAS II system and not TCAS I, as incorrectly indicated in a small number of Airprox reports.
Asked by Patrick Grady
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Ministry of Defence
Diego Garcia: USA
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2018 to Question 154747, and with reference to the article in the New Internationalist of 11 June 2018 entitled Catastrophic explosion risk on Diego Garcia, what assessment he has made of the US Navy’s contention that the limited space in the lagoon could lead to an explosion with catastrophic impact on personnel, ships, and shore facilities; and if he will make a statement.
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 05 July 2018
The US Navy exercises considerable caution when considering explosive arcs for any of its ships. The anchorages in the lagoon are positioned such that their explosive arcs do not affect permanently inhabited areas of the island.
Asked by Martin Docherty-Hughes
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Ministry of Defence
NATO Countries: Maritime Patrol Aircraft
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which NATO countries provided Maritime Patrol Aircraft for use in UK airspace between 25 June and 2 July 2018.
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 05 July 2018
Maritime Patrol Aircraft from the United States and Canada were temporarily deployed to RAF Lossiemouth during the period in question.
Asked by Ian Murray
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Ministry of Defence
Aircraft Carriers: Repairs and Maintenance
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his Answer of 27 June 2018 to Question 158218 on Aircraft Carriers: Repairs and Maintenance, when he is planning for a contract to be awarded.
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 05 July 2018
We plan to award the contract for the first dry docking of HMS Queen Elizabeth in the final quarter of 2018.
Asked by Dr Julian Lewis
(New Forest East)
Asked on: 27 June 2018
Ministry of Defence
Armed Conflict: Casualties
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department has taken to implement the recommendations of Sir John Chilcot’s Report of the Iraq Inquiry, published on 6 July 2016, on future (a) recording and (b) reporting of civilian casualties caused by UK military action; and if he will make a statement.
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 04 July 2018
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes very seriously the conclusions set out at paragraphs 277 (“The Inquiry considers that a Government has a responsibility to make every reasonable effort to identify and understand the likely and actual effects of its military actions on civilians”) and 280 (“The Government should be ready to work with others, in particular Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and academic institutions, to develop such assessments and estimates over time”) of Section 17 of the Iraq Inquiry (Chilcot) Report. Since the publication of the Report, officials have been in discussion with several NGOs concerning these conclusions. In response to this dialogue, the Department now releases statistics relating to the number of civilians admitted to UK military field hospitals. In addition, the MOD publication ‘The Good Operation’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-good-operation), a handbook for those involved in operational policy and its implementation published in January 2018, highlights paragraph 277 of Section 17 (on page 8); invites policy-makers to assess the likely impact of an operation on the populace, including factors such as protection of non-combatants (page 23); and draws attention to the legal dimension of operational planning, including targeting and rules of engagement, on pages 33-35. These considerations are a central part of our planning and campaign assessment processes. We are keen to continue the dialogue with NGOs over the coming period to ensure that, as far as practicably possible, we continue to address the conclusions set out in paragraphs 277 and 280 of Section 17.
The current official statistics on operational casualties are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-armed-forces-and-uk-civilian-operational-casualty-and-fatality-statistics
The operations on which we are currently reporting (KIPION, SHADER and TORAL) do not incorporate a deployed field hospital, hence no civilian casualty data are currently being reported regarding admissions to deployed UK military medical facilities. We intend to start reporting on numbers of casualties for Op TRENTON (South Sudan) as a UK field hospital is deployed, subject to further work on data compliance issues.
We have previously published civilian numbers being treated in a UK field hospital as part of reporting for Op GRITROCK in Sierra Leone, at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-armed-forces-and-uk-civilian-operational-casualty-and-fatality-statistics-financial-year-20142015
It is also important to stress that we do everything we can to minimise the risk to civilians from UK military action, not least through the professionalism of our personnel. Reports of civilian casualties are taken very seriously and will continue to be. We already have in place a process by which we identify any evidence that a civilian casualty may inadvertently have occurred. Any such evidence is assessed and if it is credible, it is passed to the relevant authorities for investigation. The results are published where any investigation shows that the UK has been responsible.
Grouped Questions: 158139 | 158140
Asked by Hugh Gaffney
(Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill)
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Ministry of Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on the UK defence and military aerospace industry of the UK leaving the EU.
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 04 July 2018
The Ministry of Defence is working closely with defence industry and other Government Departments to understand the implications and opportunities presented by the UK’s departure from the European Union.
The European defence sector is already closely integrated; leading companies have a presence right across Europe, and across the UK. It is worth noting that current major European collaborative capability projects, such as the Typhoon programme, are managed bilaterally or with groups of partners, rather than through the EU.