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14 Apr 20. USAF to Launch Search for Flying Cars This Month. The Air Force will kick off its effort to encourage the development of flying cars with a virtual launch event featuring product presentations and government briefings from April 27 to May 1.
Known as “Agility Prime,” the initiative aims to support private companies that are pursuing the next great creation in air transportation. The Air Force is offering funds and testing resources to vendors with designs for “advanced air mobility vehicles” that can be used for missions from medical evacuation to installation security to disaster relief.
The service hopes to mature that market to the point that flying cars become cheap and accessible enough for the broader public, not just for military use. Its first solicitation calls for vehicles that can carry three to eight people at speeds faster than 100 mph, with a range of more than 100 miles and endurance of more than an hour. Those prototypes must make their first full-scale flight by Dec. 17 to prove they are on the path to certified airworthiness and move on in the program.
If successful, the service plans to buy a small number of usable flying cars—or “ORBs”—by 2023. ORB can stand for “organic resupply bus, for disaster relief teams, an operational readiness bus for improved aircraft availability, and an open requirements bus for a growing diversity of missions,” according to an Air Force solicitation document.
“Agility Prime also aims to bring together industry, investor, and government communities to establish safety and security standards while accelerating commercialization of this revolutionary technology,” the service said. “Over two hundred companies around the world are developing transformative vertical flight aircraft. … These aircraft may incorporate non-traditional electric or hybrid propulsion for manned or unmanned missions, with an onboard pilot, remote pilot, or autonomous control.”
Defense One previously reported the concept could eventually augment or replace the V-22 Osprey as a quiet, affordable, more flexible air vehicle that doesn’t need a runway.
To bring the idea to fruition, the Air Force Research Laboratory will work with the mobility program office and the Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability group on transitioning prototype technology to a real-world program for Airmen. AFVentures, a service-run group that works with venture capitalists and small businesses, will help bridge the gap between the Defense Department, funding sources, and industry as well.
“Now is the perfect time to make ‘Jetsons’ cars real,” Air Force acquisition boss Will Roper said in an April 13 release. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Airforce Magazine)
14 Apr 20. The Pentagon is looking for a quantum space sensor. A GPS receiver just isn’t going to cut it in deep space. While GPS has a host of applications on Earth — from enabling credit card transactions to weather forecasting — it is decidedly less useful off planet. After all, GPS was designed to enable navigation around the Earth, not in deep space. Space vehicles operating beyond the reaches of GPS have to rely on other methods for determining their position, navigation and timing, such as inertial measurements or even star tracking.
Those methods vary in reliability, so the Department of Defense is looking for a more accurate tool — namely, a quantum space sensor.
The Defense Innovation Unit — the organization within the DoD charged with leveraging commercial technologies for military use — is seeking a compact, high-performance sensor that can use quantum technology to provide precise inertial measurements in deep space. The quantum sensor could also be used in non-space environments where GPS signals are degraded and denied.
According to DIU Program Manager George Sondecker, quantum sensors are an emerging technology, and a “primary objective of this effort is to mature the technology readiness of commercial sensors for reliable operations.”
DIU is not developing the quantum sensor for any space vehicle in particular.
“No specific platform has been identified. The sensor is intended to be applicable across a broad range of platforms for operating in environments where GPS may be unavailable or for enhancing operations where GPS is available,” Sondecker wrote in an emailed statement. “DIU is partnered with a number of stakeholders across the DoD to develop the Quantum Space Sensor identified in this solicitation.”
Participants will need to deliver their flight-ready prototypes within 24 months. Specifically, DIU wants sensors with error rates better than 100 meters per hour in deep space or 30 meters per hour for terrestrial applications while being no bigger than 0.1 cubic meters.
DIU is accepting questions through April 16, and responses are due April 19. (Source: Defense News)
10 Apr 20. Covid-19: US Army extends up-gunned Stryker competition again. Vendors vying for the contract to up-gun the US Army Stryker fleet with a 30mm cannon now have an additional two months to submit their proposals, although the service said the decision should not delay plans to begin fielding the weapon to soldiers in 2022.
The army announced on 3 April that vendors competing for its Medium Caliber Weapons System (MCWS) programme now had until 10 August to submit their written proposals, bid samples, and armour coupons. The service told Jane’s that this decision was taken in order to maintain competition at a time when the nation is grappling with the effects of coronavirus.
“The extension is resultant of Covid-19-related closures at various vendor sites and travel restrictions that are impeding progress on proposals,” Ashley John, the director for public and congressional affairs for the Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems, wrote in 9 April email. “The extension protects the competitive approach to the effort.”
Initially, companies had until 8 June to deliver their MWCS bid samples, also dubbed “production-ready system samples”, armour coupons, and written proposals to the service. But in mid-March the programme manager opted to grant competitors an additional 30 days to deliver their bid samples and armour coupons.
After receiving additional information from the vendors, however, the army opted to further extend the delivery deadline for everything, including the written proposals, until 10 August.
“Responses to the query indicated an additional 30-day extension was warranted in order to provide maximum opportunity to all competitors for a successful proposal,” John said. “The programme manager will host individual pre-proposal conferences in late-April with each competitor to further assess Covid-19 impacts based on a developing understanding of the situation. (Source: Jane’s)
REST OF THE WORLD
16 Apr 20. Australian DoD RFI for military seaboat capability. Defence has issued a request for information (RFI) on AusTender to gain an appreciation of Australian industry capabilities to design, manufacture and sustain military sea boats.
Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group’s (CASG) First Assistant Secretary Ships, Sheryl Lutz, said the four-week RFI would help inform procurement options for Australian-manufactured sea boats.
“The RFI will help CASG determine a baseline level of Australian industry content to inform future sea boat procurements across the Royal Australian Navy,” Ms Lutz said.
“The military sea boat is launched and recovered from a warship or submarine for the purpose of conducting naval operations at sea and is considered an essential enabler of maritime capability.
“The objectives of the RFI include establishing what Australian industry capabilities currently exist, and could potentially be developed, to design, manufacture and support sea boats for the RAN.
“Normally Defence would host industry briefings around the country for such a significant RFI, however, given the current government guidelines around COVID-19 and mass gatherings we have pursued alternative information sharing options such as social media.”
The military seaboat is considered an essential enabler of maritime capability. This capability supports the rescue and recovery of personnel from the water, transfer of personnel and stores, and constabulary tasking and force protection.
The RAN is currently undertaking a Whole-of-Navy-Capability study covering the use of military seaboats. This study will review and update the RAN seaboat operating concepts and requirements set so that they reflect the RAN’s future needs, major ship acquisition and modernisation programs and a more complex maritime environment.
Part of this study requires an understanding of industry’s role as a fundamental input to capability and this RFI will be used by Defence to determine a baseline level of Australian industry capability for military seaboats and identify opportunities to increase Australian industry content across the various stages of the military seaboats capability life cycle stages, including:
(iii) Assembly; and
(iv) Sustainment (preventative and corrective maintenance, and supply of spares and consumables).
Defence also seeks to identify the technical readiness levels of Australian industry to meet its Seaboat availability requirements.
Vendors, both locally and internationally, will need to be registered on AusTender to access RFI details.
The RFI closes on 30 April 2020.
For more information visit: www.tenders.gov.au using ATM ID: SHIPS/RFI/13453/1. (Source: Defence Connect)
14 Apr 20. Covid-19 pandemic unlikely to delay Russian defence equipment deliveries to India, says official. The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic will not impact the timely delivery of assorted Russian military equipment recently ordered by India, including the handover of five Almaz-Antei S-400 Triumf self-propelled surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems to the Indian Air Force (IAF), a senior Indian government official has said.
“I don’t think there will be any impact [of the virus on Russia’s delivery schedules],” India’s ambassador to Russia, Bala Venkatesh Varma, told the TASS news agency in Moscow on 11 April.
Although there had been a “slight dislocation” of a couple of weeks due to the virus, all major contracts for India would be completed on schedule, said Varma, adding that the two countries do not anticipate any problems in that regard. (Source: Jane’s)
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.
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