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08 Jan 20. USAF issues RFI for F-35A SiAW missile. The US Air Force (USAF) has issued a request for information (RFI) to develop the Stand In Attack Weapon (SiAW) to equip the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The sources sought solicitation issued on 8 January calls for potential vendors ahead of the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the SiAW that is geared at affording the USAF’s F-35As with an internally-carried anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capability.
“[The USAF] is seeking to integrate advanced technologies into SiAW. SiAW is an air force air-to-ground weapon designed to hold at risk surface elements of the A2/AD environment”, the RFI said.
As noted by the USAF, the SiAW will heavily leverage the US Navy’s Northrop Grumman AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) programme, currently in the early stages of development by PMA-242. The SiAW modifications will make the weapon relevant for fifth-generation aircraft, and include the development and integration of a warhead and fuze capable of prosecuting an expanded target set, an Active Radar Homing (ARH) guidance system, and a Universal Armament Interface (UAI) message set for the SiAW missile and F-35A aircraft. The SiAW will also seek development of future advanced capabilities to keep it relevant for evolving threats, the USAF noted. (Source: Jane’s)
08 Jan 20. Here are the network technologies the Army wants for 2023. The Army is outlining specific technology areas that it wants industry to explore for its tactical network capabilities.
The Army’s incremental “capability set” build seeks to add capabilities to the network every two years beginning in 2021. Technologies in this area should enhance network capacity, resiliency and convergence solutions that are available for demonstration and experimentation.
The Army issued a call for white papers to the C5 Consortium Jan. 6 for technology areas it wants to insert into the 2023 tactical network, according to an Army release. This follows a briefing to industry in Austin, Texas, in November when the Army provided what it thinks its vision is for capabilities in that build.
Specific technology areas outlined by the Army include:
- Managed multi-orbit (Low Earth Orbit/Medium Earth Orbit/Geostationary Equatorial Orbit) satellite Communications services for forces — the Army is interested in managed services to mitigate bandwidth challenges associated with increased terminals for communications services where existing services are lacking.
- C4ISR/electronic warfare modular open suite of standards (CMOSS) compliant satellite communications modem, next generation blue force tracking and radio waveforms — the Army wants open source standards to converge hardware on a common platform.
- Non-propriety open suite of consolidated tools for unified network operations — the Army is looking for a smaller suite of tools to assist in planning, installation, managing, fault detection, communication restoral, analysis, security and data collection of the network.
- Segregation of data by identity access and management enabling multi-level security with mission partners — the Army wants an unclassified software solution in the prototype phase that can be used in the Mission Partner Environment, a network used by the military and coalition partners, that will include a reliable, protected and configurable network.
- Hardened network transport and reduced electronic signature for command post and mounted formations — the Army is interested in mitigating vulnerabilities that impact command post survivability and network resiliency by developing countermeasures within the electromagnetic spectrum.
- Optimizing compute, storage and applications on a distributed computing architecture to automate data tagging, synchronization, containerize services and efficiency of compute resources — the Army is looking for a common data fabric to reduce stovepipes, enable automation and improve data context for decision-makers.
The Army will evaluated the technical solutions submitted and select contractors to participate in a no-cost technology demonstration, which could lead to a prototype supporting experimentation, the release said. (Source: Defense News)
07 Jan 20. US Special Operations Command wants to sniff out misinformation campaigns. U.S. Special Operations Command is seeking prototypes to detect misinformation campaigns in near- to real-time to directly support the command’s information operations, according to a Dec. 12 request for information.
The prototype software should analyze social media and web data, identify viral and trending content online for threat assessment, and highlight the likelihood of the information being fake.
The prototype is to use a combination of deep learning, natural-language processing and dynamic network analysis to examine the spread of disinformation across all platforms regardless of its form, according to the RFI.
In their response, vendors should address anomaly detection, deepfakes and foreign influence by using proven machine learning capabilities.
The Defense Department as of late has been responding to the proliferation of deepfakes, which are machine-manipulated media that depict events that never happened. In 2018, a blog post designed to look like a Lithuanian news outlet claimed that four U.S. Army combat vehicles had killed a local child in a collision during a training exercise in the Baltics. The post of the fabricated incident included a manipulated image showing indifferent soldiers near a child’s lifeless body and crushed bicycle.
Existing U.S. programs created to fight the spread of misinformation include the Semantics Forensics and Media Forensics programs, which, respectively, aim to develop technologies for analyzing media and provide detailed information about media manipulation. Responses to the USSOCOM posting must be submitted by Jan. 13. (Source: Defense News)
06 Jan 20. The Cost of Replacing Today’s Naval Aviation Fleet. CBO estimates that purchasing new aircraft to maintain the aviation fleet of the Navy and Marine Corps at its current size would cost about $380bn (in 2018 dollars) from 2020 to 2050. Annual costs would range from $7bn to $17bn.
The Department of the Navy’s current aviation fleet consists of about 4,000 aircraft. Approximately 1,400 are fixed-wing fighter/attack aircraft, another 1,350 are helicopters or tiltrotor aircraft, and 750 are training aircraft. The remainder are surveillance, communication, cargo, or utility aircraft. In this report, CBO projects the costs that the Department of the Navy—which comprises the Navy and the Marine Corps—would incur to maintain the size and composition of that force through 2050. The projections are based on the assumption that the department will implement its currently planned aircraft procurement programs and replace aircraft for which it has not yet specified plans at the end of their typical service life. The projections do not take into account the costs of development, operation and maintenance, modifications, or personnel associated with aircraft.
CBO projects that purchasing new aircraft to maintain the current size of the naval aviation fleet would cost the federal government about $380bn (in 2018 dollars) from 2020 to 2050. According to CBO’s findings:
- Annual costs for procuring new aircraft through 2030 would average about $11bn, an amount similar to the average since 2000. Costs would drop temporarily after 2030 as several large programs—the MV-22B tiltrotor, the CH-53K helicopter, and the F-35B/C fighters—began to wind down or ended. That would mark the completion of a nearly total replacement of the fleet over the past 30 years.
- Costs would rebound in the mid-2030s as the next cycle of replacement started, including initial purchases of aircraft to replace the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G fighters and early-production MV-22Bs. Costs would average about $14bn per year from 2034 through 2050.
- The replacement of fighter/attack aircraft would represent the largest fraction of overall costs from 2020 through 2050, totaling about $190bn, roughly half of the total for all aircraft. (Source: Congressional Budget Office)
REST OF THE WORLD
07 Jan 20. Indonesia invites initial proposals for new OPV class. Key Points:
- Indonesia has kicked-off the procurement process for a new class of offshore patrol vessels
- The vessels will fill the perceived operational gap between the Indonesian Navy’s patrol boats, and larger surface combatants
The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) is soliciting prequalification proposals from a select group of shipbuilders for a new offshore patrol vessel (OPV) acquisition programme. According to official documents that were provided to Jane’s by an industry source on 8 January, the programme will be worth some IDR1.09trn (USD79m), and funds for the acquisition will be drawn from Indonesia’s national budget allocation for defence in 2020-22. (Source: Jane’s)
07 Jan 20. Indian Army to sign MoU for elite AK-203 assault rifles. The Indian Army is reportedly planning to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to procure more than 750,000 elite AK-203 assault rifles. The Indo-Russian Rifles (IRRPL), an India-Russia joint venture (JV) at Korwa, will manufacture the assault rifles in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
Of the total order, 100,000 rifles will be manufactured in Russia. The JV based in Amethi will produce the remaining 650,000 units. The Hindu quoted a defence official as saying that the MoU should be signed in a month. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the rifle-manufacturing facility in Korwa. IRRPL is a JV between Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) on the Indian side, and Rosonboron Exports and Concern Kalashnikov on the Russian side. The Indian Army’s OFB owns a 50.5% stake in the JV and the remaining 49.5% is held by Russian partners. The JV was formed consequent to the inter-governmental agreement signed between the two countries in February last year. After that, it secured all requisite licences for production and export. Following the conclusion of the board meeting of the JV, an initial set of officers from the army and OFB joined in it to start its operations.
Later on, close coordination and regular interactions were held with Russian partners for smooth implementation of the project.
In July last year, the Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the operationalisation of the JV IRRPL to manufacture AK-203 assault rifles in UP. Last month, the Indian Army reportedly received the first lot of Sig Sauer assault rifles to boost its counter-terrorism operations. (Source: army-technology.com)
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.