Sponsored by American Panel Corporation
30 Jan 20. UK releases Mobile Fires Platform key user requirements.
- The current 155mm ammunition suite for the UK’s artillery may lack the lethality for state-on-state warfare
- Rate of fire appears to be a major focus for MFP
The UK’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) equipment procurement agency issued a new document on 27 January refining key user requirements for the country’s Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) programme, following an initial request for information (RFI) from the defence industry.
The revised document, which was published on the MFP Early Engagement Portal that is run by DE&S, has a deadline for responses of 17 February. The document is to lead to a Command Acquisition Support Plan (CASP) between DE&S and the customer, which are to formally agree the outputs that DE&S will deliver. (Source: Jane’s)
29 Jan 20. Turkey reveals more details for Barbaros frigate MLU. The Turkish Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) has published further details of the mid-life upgrade (MLU) being undertaken for the country’s MEKO 200 (Track IIA/IIB) Barbaros-class frigates. The four frigates have already completed an initial round of modernisation, under which the Thales Smart-S Mk 2 air/surface surveillance radar has replaced the BAE Systems AWS-9 radar in all four ships, and the MK 29 Sea Sparrow launchers have been replaced with Mk 41 vertical launch systems (VLSs) in the two Track IIA frigates.
The second phase of the MLU is more extensive, however. Under contracts awarded to Havelsan and Aselsan in 2018, all existing radar (with the exception of the Smart-S), the electronic warfare and sonar suites, and self-defence systems will be replaced.
According to a graphic depiction of a Barbaros-class frigate following the completion of its MLU, published by the SSB in January, the most obvious change to the topside layout is the new masts. A closed solid mast similar to the main mast on the Turkish Navy’s Ada-class corvettes will replace the old lattice mast and be fitted with the SMART-S Mk 2 radar (relocated from its current position on the second mast), with the antennas of the ARES-2NC electronic support measures system just below. The receiving and transmitting antennas of the AREAS-2NC electronic countermeasure and electronic attack system are located on both sides of the mast.
The MAR-D solid-state active electronically scanned array air search radar developed by Aselsan will be located at the top of a new second mast. The MAR-D has a reported range of 100 km.
Under the MLU the Turkish Navy is planning to remove the Oerlikon-Contravers Sea Zenith gun mounts and Contraves Sea Guard fire control radar. (Source: Jane’s)
29 Jan 20. DARPA seeks military programme applications for new, high-speed computing system. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting industry input for an effort to significantly increase the computing power within US armed forces’ weapons programmes and subsystems, enabling those platforms to operate faster in an increasingly networked combat environment.
Agency researchers are seeking “potential user cases” from industry for integrating 3D monolithic system-on-a-chip (3DSoC) technologies into Department of Defense programmes and platforms, a 22 January request for information (RFI) stated.
“The goal of this RFI is to establish possible applications and performance [and] capability limits of a 3DSoC” for current and future Pentagon and service-level platforms, with proposals due by 4 February, the RFI said. (Source: Jane’s)
28 Jan 20. Air Force Moves Forward with F-15EX Fighter Jet Buy. The U.S. Air Force is moving forward with plans to purchase a new F-15 Eagle fighter jet, initiating its first fourth-generation fighter program in more than 20 years. In a presolicitation notice recently posted on the government’s acquisition and awards website, beta.sam.gov, the service announced it will sole-source two contracts, one for the F-15EX and the other for its F110 engines.
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center “intends to award a sole source indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract to The Boeing Company for a refresh to the F-15C/D fleet and augment the F-15E fleet,” one solicitation reads. The Defense Department expects a response from Boeing by Feb. 7.
The center also intends to award another ID/IQ contract to General Electric Aviation “to provide F110 propulsion systems to meet the F-15EX weapons system requirement,” according to the second notice, which has the same response due date.
The Air Force wants at least eight new F-15 “fourth-plus” variants in its inventory. Boeing has said the fighter will be equipped with better avionics and radars and could carry more than two dozen air-to-air missiles.
In December, Congress signed off on the plan, but with a caveat: The Air Force requested $1.05bn for eight aircraft, but lawmakers are limiting the buy to just two at first, according to the fiscal 2020 defense appropriations bill.
“Of the funds provided in Aircraft Procurement/Air Force for the remaining six F-15EX aircraft, no more than $64,800,000 for long-lead materials may be obligated until the Secretary of the Air Force submits a report” regarding the program’s strategy and future schedule, the bill stated.
The Air Force expects to keep a well-rounded mix of fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft through the 2030s, including the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-15 Eagle/Strike Eagle, officials have said.
Then-Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters at the annual Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium last year that the service needed to boost its fighter inventory to stop the average age its aircraft inventory from increasing.
The service has estimated it needs to buy 72 new aircraft per year to replace those old planes; officials just didn’t expect to do so with the F-15EX.
“Our budget proposal that we initially submitted did not include additional fourth-generation aircraft,” Wilson said Feb. 28, 2019, adding that supplemental decisions must support the “overall presidential budget.”
The Air Force has been on a quest to replace its aging F-15C models. Officials in 2017 voiced concerns about the aircraft’s longevity.
“We are already having serious problems with that airframe, with metal fatigue within the longerons on the side of the aircraft,” Wilson said during a forum last May.
Senior defense officials with the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office told reporters that they arrived at the Boeing-made F-15EX decision because the aircraft would help keep a “robust industrial base” and provide “a higher-capacity” combination alongside Lockheed Martin’s F-35.
“One of the considerations was the diversity of the industrial base,” a senior defense official said at the Pentagon on March 22, 2019.
“Maintaining a diverse industrial base is in the best interest of the Department of Defense. The more diversity, the more competition … and the better prices we have,” the official said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Military.com)
28 Jan 20. MacDill contracting awards $325,000 in contracts to small businesses. The US Air Force’s (USAF) 6th Contracting Squadron (CONS) at MacDill Air Force Base (AFB) has awarded $325,000 worth of contracts to small businesses. The contracts are the result of MacDill AFB’s second pitch-day event, which was conducted to obtain innovative solutions or potential new capabilities by partnering with the industry.
During the event, selected companies were invited to pitch their solutions to MacDill AFB leadership.
Proposals were presented to help accomplish requirements, supply potential technology advancements and close capacity gaps at the 6th Air Refueling Wing.
The 6th CONS flight chief Jace Anders said: “We set up the pitch-day events to expedite the process of securing solutions to some of the difficulties we face at MacDill (AFB).
“We cut down on the time of the acquisition significantly because payments are made to small-business owners immediately, and in turn, we are able to obtain goods and services much faster.”
The companies whose solutions were selected signed contracts and received 50% of the initial payments at the event. The remaining balance will be paid upon completion.
Among the companies that were awarded contracts, Rini Technologies secured a deal for a personal cooling system.
Rini Technologies president Dan Rini said: “It’s always exciting to get a contract award, but what’s most exciting about this process was the speed. Usually, these deals can take a year, but today, the deal was completed in under an hour.”
The CONS continues to prioritise USAF initiatives and provides a fair chance to small businesses to impact the national defence.
Anders added: “It is really important for the government to interact with small businesses. We want to make sure that small-business owners get a fair opportunity to get on board with government acquisitions.”
The first pitch day was held in August last year and saw three contracts awarded to small businesses for a combined $100,000. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
23 Jan 20. US Navy explores new Advanced Electronic Warfare suite options. The US Navy (USN) has begun to explore options for a next-generation Advanced Electronic Warfare (ADVEW) suite to equip in-service F/A-18E/F Super Hornet carrier-borne strikefighters and a follow-on naval tactical aircraft. In a request for information (RFI) released on 15 January, US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) said it was seeking industry input as part of a market survey supporting the ADVEW acquisition strategy and materiel solution analyses. According to NAVAIR, the ADVEW suite is intended to serve as a replacement for the AN/ALQ-214A(V) radio frequency (RF) countermeasures and AN/ALR-67(V) radar warning receiver (RWR) systems to be deployed on board the F/A-18E/F Service Life Modification Block II, the F/A-18E/F Block III, and a next generation of naval aviation platforms. RFI responses are intended to provide information on notional concepts, development/delivery schedules, subsystem technology maturity, and forecast cost/schedule/performance to inform NAVAIR’s initial planning and cost estimation. (Source: Jane’s)
28 Jan 20. USAF seeks new collection technologies for cyber, SIGINT. The US Air Force (USAF) wants industry input for a new generation of intelligence collection and processing technologies, specifically for operations in the realm of cyber and signals intelligence (SIGINT), according to a recent solicitation issued by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
“This work is in support of the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission to protect ‘blue’ coalition forces with command, control, computer, and intelligence applications, and to support technologies that will enable SIGINT systems and/or platforms with an improved ability to automatically detect, identify, sort, track, prioritize and reliably classify and more importantly geolocate signals of interest,” AFRL officials wrote in a revised broad agency announcement (BAA) issued 8 January. (Source: Jane’s)
29 Jan 20. USAF issues sole source notices for F-15EX aircraft, engines. Key Points:
- The US Air Force announced its intent to formally procure the F-15EX aircraft, engine, and future modernisation work
- These are likely the first contracts awarded for the F-15EX effort since the spending bill was signed into law in December
The US Air Force (USAF) on 23 January issued sole source notices for the Boeing F-15EX Advanced Eagle fighter aircraft, the General Electric F110 propulsion system, and future modernisation and sustainment efforts. The service plans to acquire as many as 480 F110 engines, engine monitoring system computers, integrated logistics support, support equipment, and tooling, according to an announcement posted on the US federal contracting website beta.sam.gov. The F110 is found in new model F-15s including the F-15SA procured by Saudi Arabia. The contract award and orders are expected to begin in May. The USAF said that the F-15EX requires a propulsion system to support its Rapid Fielding Program, which is intended to refresh and replace ageing F-15C/D aircraft. The F-15EX, the announcement said, requires delivery of a propulsion system certified for installation in the platform, including integration with the fly-by-wire flight control system. A source familiar with the sale told Jane’s on 28 January that this is why the USAF did not consider engine competitor Pratt & Whitney for the F-15EX, even though the USAF’s F-15C/D aircraft are powered by the company’s F100-PW-220 engines. The source said that selecting a Pratt & Whitney engine would require the USAF to go back into a test programme and, thus, delay the F-15EX’s procurement as the GE F110 has been in a test programme at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California, to match the propulsion system with the aircraft’s fly-by-wire flight controls. Jane’s previously reported in September 2019 that the F110-GE-129 was the variant qualified for the F-15EX. (Source: Jane’s)
REST OF THE WORLD
31 Jan 20. NSW Defence Innovation Network calls for quantum research proposals. A partnership between the NSW Defence Innovation Network and DST has issued a challenge, seeking multidisciplinary proposals in the field of quantum science and technologies. The NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN), in partnership with the NSW government and the Defence Science and Technology Group, is calling for multidisciplinary proposals in the field of quantum science and technologies. $1.5m will be invested to build two game-changing prototypes with encapsulated quantum devices to strengthen Australia’s leadership in quantum research.
NSW has distinct international leadership in the field of quantum science and technologies. The objective with the NSW Defence Industry Quantum Research Consortium is to harness and deepen the leadership position in NSW through targeted investment in areas of overlap between NSW capabilities and defence interests.
The purpose of the NSW Defence Industry Quantum Research Consortium is to enable multidisciplinary teams to produce two demonstrator units with encapsulated quantum devices within a 12-24 month time frame, to create lasting links to defence industry in the area of quantum technologies, and to catalyse additional investment in R&D in NSW.
Project proposals should be scoped only within the following themes:
- Bright source single photon emitters with applications in distributed quantum keys for secure communications; and
- Nitrogen vacancy diamonds for magnetometry with specific applications in navigation or detection of small aberrations in magnetic fields, potentially for maritime deployment (e.g. persistent static sensors).
- Vision, ambition and innovation: the proposal must articulate how the project will address the significant step change in translating quantum science and technology, and should be ambitious and transformative.
- Leadership and team quality: the proposal must bring together the best team available. It should present a strong, multidisciplinary partnership of researchers (and industry partners as relevant) with the necessary skills and established track record of relevant technology research.
- National importance: the project must demonstrate how the research will contribute to addressing key challenges and needs of Defence.
- Impact: The proposal must demonstrate who will benefit from the research and how they will benefit. Plans should be described to disseminate results (subject to any security or IP restrictions), exchange knowledge, attract further investment and build collaborations.
- Commitment of collaborators: the proposal must demonstrate strong commitment from involved parties.
In order to be eligible, project proposals must demonstrate multidisciplinary and multi-institutional collaboration with a DIN member university as the lead organisation. Proposals must include substantive inputs from at least four DIN member universities.
Teams may include industry and academics from other states or other research organisations.
All project participants are restricted to citizens of the Five Eyes Alliance (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States) and NATO member countries.
NSW DIN is a university-led initiative of the NSW government and the Defence Science and Technology Group to enhance NSW defence industry capability through collaboration with government and academic research institutions.
Established in October 2017, and supported by seven leading universities, NSW DIN focuses on bringing world-class research capabilities and innovation to the defence sector.
Citizens of possibly allied countries not covered by the named treaties are subject to approval by the Defence Innovation Network. The application form is available on request at email@example.com.
Researchers and defence industry interested to participate in the call should contact DIN and register their interest to make a submission. DIN will be able to connect interested parties with other potential team members on request.
Completed proposals must be submitted electronically by 5pm, 11 March 2020 to firstname.lastname@example.org (Source: Defence Connect)
28 Jan 20. Indian Army seeks tank APUs from local producers. The Indian Army (IA) is seeking expression of interest (EOI) responses from indigenous vendors by 4 March to its plan to locally design and manufacture 3,257 auxiliary power units (APUs) for its fleet of T-72M1 and T-90S main battle tanks (MBTs). The value of the work has been put at INR13.25bn (USD195.9m). In an EOI request issued on 27 January the IA’s Directorate General of Mechanised Forces (DGMF) enumerated its requirement as being for 1,657 APUs for the army’s T-90Ss and 1,600 for its T-72M1s, with each unit priced at INR3m. The IA’s T-90S and T-72M1 MBTs currently operate without APUs. (Source: Jane’s)
27 Jan 20. Japan, US look to ‘streamline’ defence trade. The United States and Japan have agreed to co-operate on “streamlining” Japanese procurements of US military equipment through the US government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) mechanism, the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has said. In a statement, the MoD’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) said the agreement was reached during recent talks between ATLA and the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DCSA). It added that the two sides agreed “various measures” to improve FMS processes in relation to Japanese purchases. ATLA said the measures include “initiatives” to improve US reimbursement to Japan and to address the non-delivery of FMS procured goods and services. (Source: Jane’s)
26 Jan 20. Bangladesh’s CCDL invites EoIs for joint production of six OPVs. The Bangladesh Navy (BN)-owned Chittagong Dry Dock Limited (CCDL) has invited expressions of interest (EoIs) by 29 February from foreign shipbuilders for the joint production of six offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the BN. In a statement issued on 16 January by CCDL pointed out that each of the OPVs must be at least 85 m long, have an overall beam of about 14m, a hull draught of no more than 4 m, and a full-load displacement of about 2,000 tonnes. Each of the vessels will be required to feature a landing deck to embark a helicopter weighing up to 11 tonnes and of carrying two “mission-oriented containers”. (Source: Jane’s)
American Panel Corporation
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