Sponsored by American Panel Corporation
21 Mar 19. EDA launches ‘IdentiFunding’ online tool. EDA today launched ‘IdentiFunding’, an online tool which allows defence-interested stakeholders (industry – including SMEs, Ministries of Defence, research and technology entities, universities, etc.) to quickly and easily identify existing EU funding schemes available for defence-related projects. The new application, which is accessible via EDA’s European Funding Gateway for Defence and the SME corner, performs an instant scan of all existing defence-related EU funding opportunities based on a project’s topic, scope, objectives as well as the participants involved.
The application will thus considerably facilitate the task of defence-related project organisers wondering if their project qualifies for potential EU support.
The tool will be constantly updated to include also new funding opportunities arising under the EU’s upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, such as the European Defence Fund and the InvestEU Programme, which will bring together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments currently available to support investment in the EU. (Source: EDA)
15 Apr 19. AVX Aircraft and L3 Technologies Unveil Leap-Ahead Design for U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft-Competitive Prototype. The AVX Aircraft Company and L3 Technologies (NYSE:LLL) announced today their innovative compound coaxial helicopter (CCH) design, which is competing for Phase 1 of the U.S. Army Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA)-Competitive Prototype (CP) program competition.
The innovative design solution will exceed the reconnaissance and light-attack mission of FARA with a high-performing and survivable platform. AVX-L3 CCH will meet 100 percent of mandatory requirements and exceed 70 percent of them. The CCH design, combined with rigorous engineering and production processes and certifications, will deliver a safe, performance-driven, affordable aircraft capable of operating in highly contested airspace and degraded environments for extended periods.
“This FARA-CP solution provides L3 and AVX an opportunity to demonstrate the agility and innovation that sets our team apart in support of the U.S. Army’s modernization priorities,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of L3 Technologies. “We are collaborating to deliver a prototype that provides powerful leap-ahead capability for our warfighters at an affordable life-cycle cost.”
“We are extremely pleased to reveal the design for this very important U.S. Army program,” said Troy Gaffey, AVX CEO and Chief Engineer. “AVX and L3 provide unique engineering design skills and manufacturing expertise that will provide the Army with an advanced, lethal and affordable reconnaissance and light-attack platform.”
The companies’ next-generation single-engine design, paired with a wing for lift during high-speed forward flight, provides leap-ahead capabilities in a faster, lighter and more lethal aircraft that requires less maintenance through its life cycle, featuring:
- A fly-by-wire, side-by-side cockpit optimized for pilot efficiency
- Two ducted fans that provide forward and reverse thrust for both high-speed operation and agility
- State-of-the-art modern open systems architecture (MOSA)-based digital backbone and avionics systems
- A small form factor that meets C-17 loading and Navy DDG shipboard size limits through manually folding blades and wings
- Modularity that provides for component reuse and a high degree of systems commonality across all of the U.S. Army capability sets
See more about the solution at https://youtu.be/nVdXsVGCyBQ.
The two companies announced their proposal in December 2018.
With headquarters in New York City and approximately 31,000 employees worldwide, L3 develops advanced defense technologies and commercial solutions in pilot training, aviation security, night vision and EO/IR, weapons, maritime systems and space. The company reported 2018 sales of $10.2 billion. To learn more about L3, please visit the company’s website at www.L3T.com.
Founded in 2005, and headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, AVX Aircraft Company employs helicopter industry veterans and executives with a combined experience of over 400 years across a spectrum of skill sets. AVX has developed and has patented a unique compound helicopter configuration with coaxial rotors and dual ducted fans that combine proven technologies to achieve greater aerodynamic efficiency, speed, range, fuel efficiency, HOGE and utility than conventional helicopters. www.avxaircraft.com (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
15 Apr 19. Replacement effort for fixed-wing utility aircraft is put on ice again. The U.S. Army’s fixed-wing utility aircraft replacement program is again on ice, taking a backseat to the service’s major modernization priorities, according to the Army’s program executive officer for aviation.
A year ago, the Army took a second stab at buying a new fixed-wing utility plane and issued a request for project proposals after it decided not to choose an aircraft during a previous competition.
The service changed its tune after it underwent a series of deep dives into each and every one of its programs, taking money from efforts that did not line up with the service’s top six modernization priorities or contribute to a more lethal force.
Programs like the fixed-wing utility replacement have become the bill payer for major efforts, particularly two lines to procure a future long-range assault aircraft and a future attack reconnaissance aircraft.
“The [Army] secretary ultimately said, as he looked at … the modernization portfolio, was it the right thing to be doing at the right time,” Brig. Gen. Thomas Todd told Defense News in an April 10 interview ahead of the Army Aviation Association of America’s annual summit.
“What I would say is that it’s still under consideration,” Todd added, but “it is currently not moving forward.”
He noted that Army leadership is still listening to briefs on decisions that would inform the requirements community as to whether the effort is something the service wants to fund and resource, but “ultimately it’s put on hold so you won’t see any additional request for information or proposals on this until the Army makes a decision as to how it moves forward.”
The timeline for that decision is unclear. Any fleet that would replace the current aircraft needs to meet operational requirements and be cost effective, Todd noted.
But for now the service will continue to keep the current fleet flying and inform leadership on the impact of keeping that current fleet in the air.
The Army has been trying to replace its aging C-12 and C-26 fixed-wing utility aircraft fleet for years, but when it came time to choose an aircraft during a 2017 competition, the service opted to choose nothing and canceled its solicitation.
Part of the problem might have been that there was only one offering — a joint Sierra Nevada Corp.-Textron submission.
Sierra Nevada protested the Army’s decision, but the Government Accountability Office denied the protest in December 2017.
Roughly four years ago, about 77 percent of the fleet was considered beyond useful life, which would require either replacement or recapitalization through a service-life extension.
The basic requirement as of last year was to procure a nondevelopmental fixed-wing aircraft capable of performing operational-support airlift missions, moving personnel and equipment flexibly around the battlefield. The Army has been looking for improved passenger and payload capability along with greater refueling range.
The service first released a request for information in 2012 looking for potential commercial off-the-shelf replacements with the plan to procure and field the aircraft from fiscal 2014 and 2018. (Source: Defense News)
15 Apr 19. Modernization isn’t everything: US Army has alternative plans for certain aviation platforms. The U.S. Army’s aviation program office has decided not to modernize certain platforms, but rather divest or sustain them as part of an effort to realign resources toward the service’s vision for its future force, the Army’s program executive officer for aviation told Defense News in an interview ahead of the Army Aviation Association of America’s annual summit.
“We have been handed, in the way of a new mission really, which is the [Army] secretary and the chief have clearly said what their priorities are for 2028, and we are steered heavily in that way,” Brig. Gen. Thomas Todd said April 10. “Everything that we are doing is setting up the PEO to aggressively pursue and deliver the Army of 2028 as it related to the aviation portfolio.”
The Army “is actively undergoing an analysis of alternatives … of programs that need to strictly get out of the business of modernization and transition to sustainment or be divested,” he said.
The Army has taken major strides in refocusing on major modernization priorities over roughly the past year and a half, standing up a new four-star command — Army Futures Command — and conducting deep dives into current programs as well as science and technology development efforts to ensure everything aligns with its top priorities to end up with what the service considers a modernized force by 2028.
This means there’s a need for a lot of cash for those future programs, but the service is also working to strike a balance when it comes to its current fleet, which must continue to globally operate at a high level.
Striking a balance
After the service reviewed programs, the Army aviation portfolio now has seven that are being divested and four teed up for transition to sustainment, according to Todd. Among the programs in the current fleet that will no longer be modernized, but will move to sustainment status, are the Shadow unmanned aircraft system and the Black Hawk post production, Todd said.
The service will also sustain upgraded versions of its Gray Eagle UAS and Block I CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters, which are nearing the completion of production.
And the Army will place the T700 engine into a sustainment program as the new engine under the Improved Turbine Engine Program will replace those, Todd added.
The one-star noted that “there will be more to come” in terms of shifting capabilities toward a sustainment approach.
In terms of divestment activity, the program for the UH-60 Alpha-model Black Hawk utility helicopter is going through an exchange and sales process, Todd said. “We are roughly halfway through those 800 aircraft,” he added.
The Army is also continuing work on the demilitarization process of its retired OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed scout helicopters, and has sold 70 of the aircraft through foreign military sales.
The service is also harvesting usable components and demilitarizing CH-47 Delta-model aircraft to support the Block I F-model line. It is doing the same for the AH-64 Alpha-model Apache attack helicopter fleet.
“To really meet the demand signal and the priorities given to us by the Army, we still have to make sure that at all times any system, whether it’s in sustainment or not, is survivable and interoperable,” he said.
With that, Todd said, there’s still room to upgrade or modernize capabilities that are undergoing sustainment. For example, although modernization of the Shadow UAS will end, the Army could still decide to upgrade its engine if it meant ensuring survivability and relevance.
“We are still interested in the engine upgrade, but that won’t be in a traditional assent,” Todd said. “It will be as opportunities arise for us to do that,” whether it’s a new engine or an improved sensor package, he added.
The program office is also looking at how the current platforms will be mixed with future capabilities when the Army reaches 2028.
Todd said that a future attack reconnaissance aircraft, or FARA, will replace Apaches currently serving in reconnaissance squadrons. When the Army divested its Kiowas, it decided to use Apaches paired with Shadows to fill the armed scout gap. But Apaches in that role is not ideal and the service has continued to push to fill the gap with an appropriate aircraft.
The Army has to decide what the appropriate top line requirement for Apaches will be once FARA fills the armed scout gap. “We are going to retain a certain number of Apaches in the attack battalions in the Army in an enduring capacity,” Todd said.
So while the Apache’s production run is expected to come to an end sometime in the 2020s, the Army is fielding the sixth version of its Echo-model that includes improved radar capability. A follow-on test and evaluation is ongoing at Fort Hood, Texas, according to Todd.
The Army is also undergoing data analysis to determine the right number of Black Hawks for the future force. The service now has 2,135 of the aircraft and expects to bring a future long-range assault aircraft, or FLRAA, into the force around 2030.
“There is a lot of analysis that is going on as to whether or not that is the right number and whether or not we would replace them all even with the [FLRAA] program,” Todd said.
The Chinook will continue to be the enduring capability for heavy lift. Yet, the service made the decision not to field its Block II version of the aircraft to the conventional force, but only to the special operations force to free up some funding for the FLRAA program.
“We are moving out irrespective of whether or not [the Army] just wants to buy G-model [special operations Chinooks] or if the Army changes their mind and decides to buy F-model Block IIs down the road,” Todd said.
The service is still “successfully on track” with its engineering and manufacturing development effort for the Block II Chinook, according to Todd. “We got to first flight tests out in Mesa, Arizona, this summer.” (Source: Defense News)
REST OF THE WORLD
17 Apr 19. Next-gen tech fund seeks input to protect soldiers against CBRN. Defence Science and Technology and the Next Generation Technologies Fund have called for partners to support the development of CBRN medical countermeasures for Australian service personnel. Defence Science and Technology (DST), in partnership with the DMTC and the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF), are seeking proposals from industry and research partners to participate in the fourth round of the national Medical Countermeasures (MCM) program. The national MCM activity led by DMTC is focused on vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for the protection of military and civilian personnel against chemical biological and radiological (CBR) threats, emerging infectious diseases and pandemics.
This call for collaborative project proposals focuses on three priority themes:
- Point of care diagnostics;
- Antimicrobial resistance; and
- Security sensitive biological agents.
Additionally, proposals are welcomed for therapeutics against chemical threats, regional tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue; and alpha viruses.
The NGTF, managed by DST, is a government initiative introduced with the Defence Industry Policy Statement in 2016. Together with the Defence Innovation Hub and the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, these three form the integrated Defence innovation system.
With an investment of $730m over the decade to June 2026, the NGTF is a forward-looking program focusing on research and development in emerging and future technologies for the ‘future Defence Force after next’.
The NGTF is focused on the following nine priority areas as determined by the Defence White Paper 2016:
- Integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance;
- Space capabilities;
- Enhanced human performance;
- Medical countermeasure products;
- Multi-disciplinary material sciences;
- Quantum technologies;
- Trusted autonomous systems;
- Cyber; and
- Advanced sensors, hypersonics and directed energy capabilities.
Proposed projects are expected to have at least one industry partner and one research/academic partner. The DMTC MCM program is about translation of technology and therefore all proposed projects must be at or above the non-clinical/pre-clinical phase of development for vaccines and therapeutics; and prototype development for diagnostics.
Questions about this EOI process or requests for briefings should be directed to Dr Felicia Pradera at DMTC via . Responses to generic questions will be made available on the DMTC MCM website. Face-to-face briefings may also be arranged if there is sufficient interest.
QuadCharts are required to be submitted by email to by no later than 4pm AEST on 6 May 2019. Project proposals that are down-selected will proceed to a more detailed White Paper Proposal stage. Proposers will be notified by 20 May 2019. (Source: Defence Connect)
16 Apr 19. Opposition commits to supporting regional defence industry content. Shadow defence minister Richard Marles and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have announced a plan that would see regional Australian defence suppliers have greater access to business opportunities as the election race heats up. Defence is a major investor in regional Australia. In some regions it is the single largest investor in infrastructure. Local economic benefit is the social licence Defence needs to operate in local communities.
Labor’s Defence Regional Procurement Policy will ensure local economic outcomes are a key objective of Defence procurement.
This policy commitment will be broken down into three distinct levels, which will require:
- Any contractor tendering for more than $4m in work from Defence in regional areas to provide a Local Industry Capability Plan;
- Defence to produce a Regional Procurement Plan ahead of key decisions for regional procurements of more than $10m, including an analysis of local industry and workforce capability and capacity; and
- Regional procurements over $100m will be referred to the Minister for Defence to ensure local communities are getting a fair deal from these major projects.
Marles’ release said, “Labor will invest in local expertise by appointing Local Procurement Officers in key regions, beginning with Darwin and Townsville. Local Procurement Officers will map local industry capability, advise on appropriate scheduling of work, and be the contact point for local industry with Defence.”
This announcement builds on Labor’s commitment, made by Shorten during his budget in reply speech, where he committed Labor to maintaining Australia’s defence expenditure at 2 per cent of GDP, with a focus on maintaining Australia’s self reliance across capability and industry.
Labor’s national platform reinforced this, saying, “The foundation of Labor’s defence policy is the principle of Australian self-reliance. Australia’s armed forces need to be able to defend Australia against credible threats without relying on the combat forces or capabilities of other countries.
This commitment extends to the need for developing a self-sustaining Australian defence industry, with the Opposition outlining key objectives for the Australian defence industry, with a focus on:
- Provide the ADF with the world’s best capability in order to keep our sailors, soldiers and aviators safe and successful on behalf of our nation;
- Provide Australia with the sovereign capability to maintain and sustain the ADF and all of its equipment;
- Enable Australia to project its strategic weight through an exporting defence industry; and
- Build technological capability and workforce skills within Australia’s broader industrial base.
“Labor will ensure Australia has a defence industry which will always be able to provide our nation with this sovereign capability. We will require equipment to be manufactured in Australia to the greatest extent possible. Greater export opportunities will help to sustain Australian defence industry over the long-term
and improve our economic ability to invest in superior defence capability,” Labor’s national platform identified.
The shadow defence minister’s release also stated that Labor will “establish Local Advisory Groups comprising representatives of local industry and civic leadership to monitor the roll out of Defence investment in the regions”.(Source: Defence Connect)
16 Apr 19. BAE Systems doubles down on global supply chain access for Aussie suppliers. BAE Systems Australia is opening the doors to its global supply chain this week, inviting local businesses to pitch for work with the company. BAE Systems Australia is hosting a supplier summit in Adelaide where participants will be able to learn more about the opportunities available across the broader BAE Systems global defence and security programs across the air, land, sea and cyber domains.
BAE Systems Australia chief executive Gabby Costigan welcomed the announcement, saying, ” Opening the door to international opportunities supports the growth of local industry and helps to sustain Australia’s defence industry.
“Success for local industry in working on international programs will help promote innovation and improve our ability as a nation to compete globally, generate exports and jobs.”
Chief procurement officer at BAE Systems Paul Smith, who is attending the summit, said, “We aim to grow and diversify our supply chain to support both domestic Australian programs and export opportunities, in 2019 and beyond.”
BAE Systems Australia is one of the Australian Defence Force’s key suppliers, serving as the prime contractor for the Royal Australian Navy’s $35bn Hunter Class SEA 5000 program, which will deliver nine advanced, anti-submarine guided missile frigates to replace the Anzac Class frigates.
Australia’s selection of the Type 26-based Hunter Class opens avenues for Australian suppliers to participate in the global acquisition programs of the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy, both of which are acquiring the Type 26 Global Combat Ship as the backbone of their future surface fleets.
“This summit is central to achieving that goal and will help us identify and collaborate with a greater number of qualified and skilled Australian suppliers,” Smith added.
The company is also one of the key prime contractors tendering for the $10-15bn LAND 400 Phase 3 program to provide the Australian Army with an advanced tracked, armoured fighting vehicle to replace the ageing M113 armoured personnel carriers with an infantry fighting vehicle and armoured fighting vehicle.
Additionally, BAE Systems Australia serves as a major industrial partner supporting the long-term maintenance and sustainment of the Royal Australian Air Force’s f-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet from a regional maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO&U) facility at RAAF Base Williamtown.
BAE Systems spends almost $17bn each year with 21,000 external suppliers worldwide. (Source: Defence Connect)
16 Apr 19. Australian Defence seeks engineering support vehicles. The Australian Department of Defence has released a request for tender (RFT) for engineering support vehicles, including earth-moving and material handling equipment. Due to operational requirements, Defence has identified a need to replace a range of engineering platforms including bulldozers, concrete batching plant, cranes, excavators, front-end loaders, graders, rock crushers, rollers, skid-steer loaders and telescopic handlers. Defence will use the equipment in Australia and overseas for multiple engineering activities, including:
- Earthworks, route development and maintenance;
- Airfield construction and repair;
- Port operations, supply and distribution; and
- Amphibious/beach operations.
Under Project LAND 8120 Phase 1, Defence is seeking a company to deliver a suite of modified commercial-off-the-shelf solutions maximising Australian industry involvement.
Project LAND 8120 seeks to provide a replacement capability effect for the Australian Defence Force earth-moving and material handling equipment (MHE) engineer support platforms.
Platform tasks in Australia and on deployment include construction, demolition, development of protective earthworks, route development and maintenance, airfield and port construction and repair, port operations, supply and distribution, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and beach recovery.
Platforms include cranes, excavators, front-end loaders, tractors, bulldozers, rollers, graders, skid-steer loaders, tele-handlers, concrete production plants, rock crushers and beach recovery.
Currently, the Commonwealth is intending to release an open tender and has issued a notice on AusTender with information about the tender as a precursor to the tender release. An industry briefing is planned for 30 April 2019 in Melbourne and registration details will be provided via Austender. The RFT closes on 30 July 2019. (Source: Defence Connect)
15 Apr 19. Canada’s Fighter Jet Tender Competition (Finally) Takes Off Next Month. The politically charged competition to replace Canada’s aging fleet of fighter jets will rocket forward at the end of May as the federal government releases a long-anticipated, full-fledged tender call. There are four companies in the running: Saab of Sweden, Airbus Defence and Space out of Britain, and the American firms Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Once the request for proposals is released, the manufacturers will have until the end of the year to submit bids, defence and industry sources told CBC News. It was the former Conservative government that kicked off the effort to replace the three-decade-old CF-18s in 2010, an attempt that was shot down in a dispute over the way the F-35 fighter was selected. The program became mired in politics when the Liberals promised during the 2015 election campaign not to buy the stealth jet. A final decision will now have to wait until after this fall’s election. The competition comes at a time of renewed geopolitical rivalry between the West and Russia and China, and the chief of the Swedish Air Force says his fighters have been busier than ever.
Maj.-Gen. Mats Helgesson said Sweden, which has a long history of being a neutral and non-aligned country, has over the past few years found its airspace violated more frequently by both Russian and NATO warplanes.
That has required a stepped-up state of readiness for the country’s Gripen fighter jet squadrons.
“When we look around our borders, especially over the Baltic Sea, we can see increased activity, not only Russia but also NATO,” Helgesson told CBC News in an interview.
“We see exercises. We see daily training and we also see intelligence gathering in a way that we haven’t seen for many years.”
(Source: defense-aerospace.com/CBC News)
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.