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13 May 20. Swiss delay fighter, GBAD responses from industry. Switzerland has delayed its timeline for receiving responses from industry for its Air2030 requirement to procure new combat aircraft and ground-based air defence (GBAD) systems, though the programme itself remains on track Switzerland is planning to replace its aging Hornet (pictured) and Tiger II fleets, as well as procure new long-range ground-based air defence systems, under its Air2030 requirement.
As noted by the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection, and Sport (VBS – DDPS) on 12 May, with all of the participating nations currently being affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the country has taken the decision to extend the deadline for responses from industry from August to November this year.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered measures worldwide, which also affect all candidates from the producing countries. Employees are absent or, due to the confidentiality of the dossiers in the home office, cannot work on the offers continuously as they do at the workplace. In addition, the travel restrictions make physical discussions between representatives of the candidates, Swiss industry and the [VBS-]DDPS more difficult. Discussions with Swiss industry representatives are necessary, in particular to promote the implementation of the requirements for compensation transactions and, due to the classification of the topics to be discussed, cannot always be replaced by telephone or video conferences. The [VBS-]DDPS has therefore decided to give manufacturers three months longer. The second offers must be submitted in November 2020. This gives the candidates the opportunity to submit the offers with the required quality,” the department said. (Source: Jane’s)
13 May 20. Bundeswehr issues revised RFP to TLVS JV. The German Ministry of Defence (Bundeswehr) has issued Lockheed Martin and MBDA with an updated request for proposals (RFP) for the Taktische Luftverteidigungssystem (TLVS) ground-based, air-defence programme. Speaking to Jane’s on 13 May, a Lockheed Martin programme official said that the issuing of the new RFP to the TLVS joint venture (JV) was an anticipated step in the German military’s effort to field the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), ahead of any contract award.
“The Bundeswehr has now confirmed that it has asked [the] TLVS JV for a revised offer by the summer. This offer will then be reviewed ahead of any contract being awarded,” Lockheed Martin’s communications manager for Germany, Julian Wörner, said.
Lockheed Martin had told Janes that it expected a contract to be awarded in the third quarter (Q3) of this year. Wörner declined to be drawn on what the latest timeline might be but a source with industrial knowledge of the programme who requested not to be identified noted that a contract is expected within the current government’s term, which runs through to September 2021. The source also noted that the current Covid-19 crisis may have delayed the issuing of the updated RFP but was not expected to have a long-term effect on the programme timeline.
Lockheed Martin and MBDA have been working on MEADS since the early 2000s. However, the programme itself is much older than that, dating back to the early 1990s as a means to replace the Lockheed Martin/Raytheon MIM-104 Patriot system in the US, the HAWK in Germany, and the NIKE in Italy. MEADS is designed to provide a 360° homeland and battlefield intercept capability against airborne threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and aircraft. (Source: Jane’s)
08 May 20. Negotiations resume on sale of surplus Israeli F16s to Croatia. Further efforts are underway to solve the problem that undermined a deal to sell used Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16s to Croatia last year after a very senior defence source said that talks about the frozen deal have been resumed on a low profile basis: “At this stage, middle men are talking with all the relevant parties to pave the way for a new round of negotiations” the source said.
Last year, Israel offered, and began negotiations with, Croatia, over a deal that included the sale of upgraded F-16Cs which were phased out of IAF service. However, in the very advanced stages of this negotiation, intended to replace the Croatian Air Force’s MIG 21s, Washington vetoed the deal claiming that it had not been notified about the details of the contract and demanded all Israeli systems installed in the aircraft be removed.
Israel has offered 12 F-16C (BARAK) aircraft in a deal estimated to be valued at US$500m, with the F-16 ACE upgrade being performed by Israel aerospace industries (IAI) in cooperation with other Israeli industries. The F-16 ACE version is equipped with the IAI/ELTA EL/M-2032 Fire Control Radar, an advanced model with Synthetic Aperture Radar modes offering air-to-air and air-to-ground performance. Targets and relevant data are displayed onto the F-16 ACE’s three 5″x7″ colour displays while the upgrade package also includes the ELBIT systems Helmet Mounted Display system and the aircraft can also be equipped with a variety of weapon systems and sensors. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
07 May 20. Perkoz Program Launched: Poland to Procure New Support Helicopters. The Armament Inspectorate of the Polish Ministry of Defence has just announced the launch of technical dialogue concerning the acquisition of 32 support helicopters, codename Perkoz. The aircraft are to be used for combat support, transport of troops and equipment, and in both ELINT and C2 roles. Tender submissions would be accepted by the end of May 2020.
According to the information released by the Armament Inspectorate, the Perkoz helicopters are to be procured in 3 variants:
— Combat support/advanced training variant;
— Command variant;
— Reconnaissance and EW variant.
The details would be provided to the entities that would be approved to participate in the dialogue, in the form of an RFI. The ability to transport five soldiers with a full kit or 1,000 kg of cargo is the sole requirement that has been made public to date. The training capability requirement would require suppliers to deliver aircraft with dual controls and two engines. The ability to carry out close support and recce missions means that the new helicopters should also be able to carry weapons, opto-electronic sensors and a targeting suite.
The dialogue that has been planned for July to December 2020 is to cover the following matters of key importance:
— Assessment whether the aircraft offered meet the preliminarily defined requirements;
— Estimates pertaining to the cost of procurement, operation, and withdrawal;
— Procurement timeline estimation;
— Determination of conditions pertaining to delivery, training, and logistics;
— Definition of handing-off and QA procedures pertaining to the military equipment in question;
— Option of maintaining or establishing maintenance and servicing and manufacturing potential, should the task fall within the Basic National Security Interest category.
According to the requirements outlined, the Perkoz program is aimed at replacing the Mi-2 helicopters stationed at the 41st Training Aviation Base. These rotary-wing assets are used to train helicopter pilots at the Air Force Academy in Dęblin. They are also used for advanced training and other missions at the operational units.
It is noteworthy that the Mi-2 helicopters celebrated their 50th service anniversary in 2017. The quantity of those aircraft is being constantly reduced, as they are reaching the end of their lifecycles. Notably, in the early days of 2019, the Polish Ministry of Defence said that due to the prioritized implementation of the Kruk attack helicopter program, the Perkoz program was not included in the 2017-2026 Technical Modernization Plan. This is also the probable reason why Poland did not follow up the technical dialogue with industry begun in September 2018 for the modernization of the W-3WA Sokół helicopters.
Opening talks on the procurement of 32 Perkoz helicopters may be a symptom of another change in the decision-making process at the MoD. The urgent requirement to procure the Mi-2 replacement, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, and the F-35 acquisition may all mean that the Sokół platform will not be upgraded, while the Kruk acquisition would be postponed. (Edited for clarity) (Source: defense-aerospace.com/ Defence24 Poland)
14 May 20. Government watchdog rejects Airbus protest over helicopter contract. Leonardo has restarted work on the U.S. Navy’s new training helicopter after its competitor’s protest of the contract was rejected by the Government Accountability Office. Airbus, which lost the competition in January, protested the award of the TH-73 that is slated to replace the Navy’s aged TH-57 Sea Ranger fleet.
“On Tuesday, the GAO denied the protest of the Navy’s contract award of the Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) program to Leonardo,” Leonardo said in a statement. “As a result, Leonardo has immediately resumed work on AHTS in Philadelphia, readying the next generation of U.S. Naval Aviators.”
The contract, which is going through Leonardo’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based AugustaWestland facility, is valued at about $648m.
The first part of the contract was for $176.5m and covered the first 32 helicopters. (Source: Defense News)
13 May 20. The Army network plan to ‘compete everything.’ The Army recently conducted a critical design review for technologies it plans to deploy for Capability Set ’21, one of the first pieces of its battlefield network modernization. In the review, the Army tested various elements of Cap Set ’21, such as tactical radios and satellite terminals. Now, the service is making a series of capability trade offs — assessing affordability, technical maturity and density across formation. For example, the Army is weighing trade-offs between how many of its two-channel Leader radios and more affordable single channel radios will ultimately end up in an infantry brigade.
Col. Garth Winterle, project manager for tactical radios at the Army’s Program Executive Officer for Command Control Communication – Tactical, and Lt. Col. Brandon Baer, program manager for helicopter and multi-mission radios (HAMMR), talked with C4ISRNET about the decisions made during the critical design review and what these choices mean for the next batch of equipment known as Capability Set ’23.
This transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity.
C4ISRNET: What decisions were made during the critical design review (CDR)?
COL. GARTH WINTERLE: We went from a 100 percent classified network, hard to get people security clearances, very expensive, NSA-certification required for everything as part of the network architecture, to 75 percent secure but [with an] unclassified architecture at battalion and below. That really adds a lot of flexibility — not only in the addition of affordable commercial technologies that really add capability rapidly because that shaves about 24 months off potential fielding timeline if you don’t have to go to NSA — but it keeps a very strong encryption using some of the same algorithms you use for NSA certified radios.
It’s secure. It’s not unsafe. While it’s unclassified, it’s still very well encrypted. It’s just a different way of doing business. So it really opens the door for a lot of different things. Plus, it really improves the ability to share data with coalition and multinational partners, who are also operating at that security level.
C4ISRNET: Can you explain the Terrestrial Transmission Line of Sight (TRILOS) radio and the capability trade off you made?
WINTERLE: The quantities were adjusted in order to afford more flexible, more expedient and pretty much more affordable options at the brigade level and below. There’s a system called TRILOS. Think of a big dish on a portable tower. If you can line it up with another big dish on a portable tower over pretty long distances, you can get very high data throughput very quickly … It’s purpose is to connect large command nodes together and enable them to share data much, much better. So one of the things we looked at as part of the CDR, and we experimented with, is a new smaller expeditionary version.
I talked about a giant dish on a portable tower. We went to the company we worked with called Silvus. They have a smaller, little four antenna radio, it’s about the size of your home WiFi router [and] does the same thing in slightly less bandwidth. It’s not as capable, but it performs that same function. And it’s much, much lighter, much easier to pack out and we’re actually putting those under quadcopters, like a drone, that are tethered [so] they operate off a line. So you can raise that up in the air and hold that radio up in the air and get really good range to connect two of those radios together to share data. By trading out one system of those large dishes on the tower, we’re able to buy a significant quantity of the smaller systems.
TRILOS, those dishes on towers, still remain in the architecture. But just by reducing the quantity marginally, we’re able to really add a much more expeditionary much, much lighter, easier to set up. And we can buy it in larger quantities to increase the quantity out in the architecture to increase that capability.
C4ISRNET: Can you describe how the Army intends to procure some of the Integrated Tactical Network components?
WINTERLE: The intent is to compete everything. Single channel radios are a prime example. We’re getting ready to invite vendors that have conforming radios to an industry day to basically have a radio run off. [We want them to] provide us enough radios so we can get them integrated and start assessing them against each other and against the current offering from the vendor that actually went through the experiment. It’s going to be a fully competitive action.
It is important to note though that I can’t just go out and buy a new radio and, boom, I can field it. There is an amount of time where we are going to have to procure a limited quantity of the systems that went through the experiment until I can get those other radios through enough lab-based experimentation and integration, so that I know they work on the network. So even though they might be very similar [to] what we experimented with, there will be a delay so I can actually start fielding those to operational units. But [our] intent is to start that as soon as possible as part of the procurement fielding next year — this competitive run off of single channel radios. Anywhere else where there was a stand-in capability where we know from market research that there’s other vendors, we’ll perform the same sort of competitive actions.
C4ISRNET: What are some of the lessons learned from Capability Set ’21 that can be applied to Capability Set ’23?
WINTERLE: We’re going to have a design review every year. The year prior to the preliminary design review, which is the year we’re in right now for Cap Set ’23, focuses on small-scale experimentation and a kind of assessment of ‘what are those technologies that going to compete to be added to the architecture as part of the preliminary design review’ in April of next year. So we picked April. We just did this CDR in April. So the preliminary design review for Cap Set ’23 is next April. We’ve partnered with the network cross functional team to help conduct research and development funded activities of certain key technology that they want to see added to the architecture in Cap Set ’23.
C4ISRNET: How has the Army’s capability set testing structure been suited for COVID-19?
- COL. BRANDON BAER: Traditionally, we do a large operational type test, where our approach has been lab-based testing, [cyber]-based testing, and then doing what we’re calling soldier touchpoints. They’re smaller experiments, but we’re doing more of them. It gives us an opportunity to capture data, soldier feedback at different points of time. We call it developmental operations or DevOps. We can go back and tweak the stuff, fix any problems, get it back out there and continue to collect feedback.
But I think it’s extremely important due to current conditions with COVID-19, and everything else. Because everything has kind of gone into a large pause. And if we would have had a large pause during operational tests, it could be six months or a year before we have another opportunity to do that, where when you’re doing multiple events … we’re capturing data at different times and different soldier feedback, you’re not reliant upon one event. As we move forward, I see continuous benefits through that. (Source: Defense News)
13 May 20. DoD asks Congress for Columbia submarine block buy. The Pentagon is asking Congress for authority to block-buy two of its new Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines, a potential mega-deal worth as much as $17.7bn with far-reaching implications for the ailing submarine industrial base.
If approved, the proposal would potentially lower the price by promising General Dynamics a steady stream of work at its shipyard as the Pentagon and its network of suppliers grapple with COVID-19’s economic shocks. General Dynamics and the Navy have been negotiating the terms of a two-ship purchase, but nothing can be finalized until Congress authorizes the block buy.
As the House and Senate Armed Services committees ready their drafts of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, it’s customary for the Defense Department to send legislative proposals for the annual policy bill. It was unclear how Congress will ultimately react to this one, but at least one key lawmaker would “seriously consider” the proposal.
Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee Chairman David Perdue, R-Ga., “certainly supports and has been working toward better business practices in the Department of Defense. He would seriously consider any proposal that achieves cost savings or increases efficiency,” said his spokesperson, Jenni Sweat.
The Columbia-class program is meant to design and build 12 new ballistic missile submarines to replace the Navy’s current force of 14 aging Ohio-class boats. The president’s budget estimated the cost of the lead Columbia-class sub at $14bn, the second at $9.3bn, and total procurement costs for all 12 at $110bn.
The Navy wants to procure the first Columbia-class boat in fiscal 2021, the second in fiscal 2024, and the remaining 10 at a rate of one per year from 2026 through 2035. The Navy has already spent about $6.2bn in advanced procurement for the Columbia, which leaves about $8.2bn remaining for the first boat.
A summary of its new legislative proposal, obtained by Defense News, said the move is intended to “permit the Navy to enter into one block buy contract for up to two Columbia-class submarines (SSBN 826 and SSBN 827), providing industrial base stability, production efficiencies, and cost savings when compared to an annual procurement with options cost estimate.”
Complicating matters is the potential for the coronavirus pandemic to create construction or funding issues that delay SSBN 826’s first scheduled patrol in 2031, according to a recent Congressional Research Service report. To boot, it was unclear whether the Navy had accurately projected costs or whether stable funding would be available across the Navy’s procurement portfolio.
One disadvantage of a block-buy strategy for the submarines and materials would be, the report said, “if lawmakers later decided not to build all the submarines, materials that were purchased for the unbuilt ships might go unused. A block-buy strategy might also leave the Congress with less flexibility to change procurement plans or to purchase fewer submarines if lawmakers did not approve of how the program was progressing.”
For its part, the Navy is confident the program is on track and negotiations are ongoing in line with what the Navy has previously disclosed, said Capt. Danny Hernandez, spokesman for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.
“The Columbia program is on track, it is our top acquisition priority,” Hernandez said in an email. “Per the Navy’s Budget Submission, the Navy plans to award a contract modification for construction of the first two Columbia-Class ships as a priced option in FY20.
“Formal option exercise and SSBN 826 construction start are planned for October 2020, following required Congressional authorizations and appropriation of funds.”
This week, the Navy and General Dynamics were still negotiating on the terms of the two-ship buy, but what the ultimate savings would be for a block purchase was not clear yet, according to a source familiar with the talks. No final deal can be negotiated until Congress has authorized the block buy.
Also unclear is how perturbations in the system from the COVID-19 outbreak might impact the supply and labor system, the source said.
Indeed, the potential impact of COVID-19 on an already stressed submarine industrial base is one reason the block buy strategy could be important, said Bryan Clark, a retired submarine officer a senior fellow at the Conservative Hudson Institute think tank.
“There has already been advanced procurement money provided by Congress that has been used to build missile tubes, nuclear reactors and propulsion plants,” Clark said. “But there is a bunch of other equipment on the ship that you would like to buy in quantities: Pumps, valves, fans, a lot of habitability systems.
“If you double the number of ships, you double the number that you buy and maybe you reduce your costs, but more importantly you support your industrial base.”
To date, disruptions to the submarine supplier base and the Electric Boat shipyard have been comparatively mild, two sources familiar with the situation said.
General Dynamics is interested in locking in a larger block buy for the remaining ten boats, and a source familiar with the company’s thinking said the precise savings would be clear once the company gets further along with construction of the first boat. The third ship will officially be procured in 2026, so it gives the parties time to understand the program better.
The Navy has been public about its desire to buy the first two submarines as a block but given that it’s a new start program, that seemed premature, said Project On Government Oversight military analyst Dan Grazier. He noted that a multi-year procurement, under the law, would require a stable design, while a block buy would not.
“The Navy claims the Columbia’s design is much further along in the process than the Ohio was at this point, but the Navy’s track record of designing and building ships recently is quite poor,” Grazier said.
“The Zumwalts, LCSs, and the Ford-class ships were designed using similar methods and the results have proven to be both costly and disappointing. It would be better to build the first boat and make sure the design actually works as intended because if it doesn’t, then the money we save now will actually cost us much more in the future.”
Clark, on the other hand, argued that while early block buys on new classes of ships are usually a bad idea, Columbia might be a special case where the risks associated with early block buys are sufficiently offset.
“You wouldn’t want to do a block buy if you thought the design was going to change significantly, as in you were going to buy one or two hulls and then revise it based on the results of testing or production issues,” Clark said. “On this one, more of the design is more complete so they are confident it is mature.
“And with the experience General Dynamics has with submarine construction, they are confident in their path to build it without significant design changes.”
The Navy is aiming to have more than 80 percent of the Columbia’s design complete prior to construction starting later this Fall, double where they were at the start of construction on the lead boat of the Virginia class.
The Columbia class is not the only big-ticket weapons program where the Pentagon is seeking latitude from Congress in pursuit of savings. For the Lockheed-made F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, DoD has separately proposed to use department funds to again bulk buy F-35 components ― “material and equipment” in “economic order quantities,” the proposal synopsis says ― for Lot 15 in fiscal 2021 through Lot 17 in 2023.
Lawmakers have historically been supportive of such moves, and Congress authorized the purchase of F-35 economic order quantity buys in the fiscal 2020 defense policy bill.
In October, the Defense Department and Lockheed finalized a deal for F-35 lots 12, 13 and 14, but the order is structured so that lot 13 and 14 fall under separate contract options, differentiating it from a block buy.
Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, who leads the F-35 program on behalf of the government, has said that arrangement would likely continue over the next several production lots.
“To date, we are pursuing a base-plus-options production contract vehicle for [lots] 15 to 17,” Fick said in March at the McAleese and Associates conference. “The business case that supports a three year multi year has not been there. We have not seen from Lockheed a business case that merits tying up three years of appropriated funds.” (Source: Defense News)
11 May 20. US Air Force solicits industry sources for new multispectral ISR pod. US Air Force officials are soliciting industry sources for the possible development of a Multi-Spectral Reconnaissance (RECCE) pod programme that could be marketed to international partner nation forces, a 4 May sources sought notice stated.
The intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors – foreign military sales division of the Air Force’s Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) is leading the effort “to explore a technically sound and economical non-developmental solution” to provide podded RECCE capability to US armed forces and their allies, according to the sources sought notice. While AFLCMC officials provided detailed system requirements for the new multispectral pod and set a 25 May deadline for all white paper submissions from industry, service leaders in charge of the effort made clear the sources sought notice was not an immediate precursor to an official programme of record. (Source: Jane’s)
11 May 20. US Army seeks industry/academic partner to help assess soldier and base protection technologies. The US Army’s ACC-APG, RTP Division, on behalf of the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Data and Analysis Center (DAC) “is exploring the possibility of entering into a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA)….with a Partnership Intermediary to provide services for CCDC DAC to increase the likelihood of success in the conduct of cooperative or joint activities of CCDC DAC with small business firms, institutions of higher education as defined in 20 USC 1141(a), or educational institutions as defined in 10 USC 2194.”
According to the request for information text posted on the US government beta.sam.gov website: “With a rapidly changing world comes an operating environment that is more contested, more lethal, and more complex. Peer adversaries are challenging the ability of the U.S. and our allies to deter aggressive actions. To address these challenges, the concept of multi domain battle is to drive change and design for the U.S. Army to effectively operate and succeed against peer adversaries to maintain U.S. interest, deter conflict, and when necessary prevail in war. The CCDC DAC is conducting applied research and analysis to meet challenges in the Maneuver Support and Protection functions necessary in Multi Domain Operations and seeks a Partnership Intermediary to identify and organize external partners from industry and academia that support and extend such research and analysis. CCDC DAC supports the Maneuver Support Center’s responsibility to develop new materiel requirements based on the needs of the Soldier and provide research and analysis solutions to defeat operational deficiencies.
“The Partnership Intermediary is expected to enhance partnering, between the CCDC DAC, academia, industry, other government agencies and entrepreneurs by identifying and facilitating the development of new applied R&D and analysis partnerships along with stimulating early-stage partnership. The Partnership Intermediary is expected to be well versed in Maneuver Support and Protection applied research and analysis objectives for Multi Domain Operations. Objectives would be consistent with desired capabilities as currently identified and overtime be updated by DAC and the Maneuver Support Center in the fields including:
- Protect Soldiers and facilities
- Investigate fundamentals of assured mobility at every echelon
- Provide an improved ability to enable freedom of action by Army forces
- Develop Force Protection
- Increase Security efficacy
- Devise Counter Observation
- Improve Survivability
- Conduct Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear Reconnaissance & Surveillance/Integrated Early Warning
- Conduct CBRN Contamination Mitigation
- Shape the battlefield, protect the force, and preserve combat power while maintaining secure environment to provide freedom of action
Reference code: W911NF20RFI0004
Deadline date: 22 May 2020
Responsible authority: Department of the Army, US Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG), Research Triangle Park (RTP) Division, Durham, NC
For more information
REST OF THE WORLD
12 May 20. DST launches SATCOM research collaboration. Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) has launched a collaborative research program with colleagues from industry and academia on a high-risk, high-payoff satellite communications (SATCOM) research venture that has the potential to significantly enhance military capability. Known as Project CHORUS, which stands for Compact Hybrid Optical-RF User Segment, this is Defence’s first collaborative project to be launched through the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). The project will see a cross-sector team exploring ways of integrating both laser-based optical and radio frequency (RF) communications technologies in a single SATCOM user terminal.
Professor Andy Koronios, chief executive and managing director of the SmartSat CRC, said, “The SmartSat CRC, in partnership with Defence, has established this project in order to develop world-leading Australian technologies that will improve the resilience of military satellite communications, and potentially provide leapfrog technology for commercial markets.”
During the first phase of the research, the team will assess the viability of different design options and create a virtual representation, or ‘digital twin’, of the CHORUS concept to support the development of a demonstration terminal later in the project.
Funding for Phase 1 represents an investment by the SmartSat CRC and project participants of about $1m over 12 months.
“By combining optical and RF communications, satellite operators will have more options to provide high-availability, high-capacity and high-resilience satellite communications services without requiring additional access to scarce and expensive radio spectrum,” Professor Koronios said.
With total funding worth $245m and involving more than 100 companies, start-ups and research organisations, the SmartSat CRC is the biggest space industry research and development collaboration in Australia’s history. The research consortium formally opened for business in February.
The research effort brings together experts from DST, industry partners EOS Space Systems and EM Solutions, Lyrebird Antenna Research and Shoal Group, and academic partners the Australian National University and the University of South Australia.
Dr Gerald Bolding, senior research scientist – protected satellite communications within DST’s Cyber and Electronic Warfare Division, added, “We are seeking to provide satellite operators with the best of both worlds, combining the high data transfer rates and enhanced security promised by optical communications with the reliability of traditional RF communications.
“The end result will be the development of innovative technology options for integrating hybrid optical-RF SATCOM terminals into military aircraft, land vehicles and ships.”
Defence will contribute $12m in funding to the SmartSat CRC over seven years. As a core participant in the consortium, DST will support research projects that address Australia’s need for sovereign space capabilities or explore disruptive approaches to delivering space-enabled services for the Australian Defence Force.
Andrew Seedhouse, chief of DST’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Space Division, added, “Defence is constantly looking for opportunities to collaborate with the brightest minds within Australian companies and universities to achieve even better capability outcomes for the nation, and our involvement in the SmartSat CRC is a great example of this approach.”
This national R&D endeavour is anticipated to drive the development of advanced technologies in the fields of communications and connectivity, intelligent space systems and Earth observation. (Source: Defence Connect)
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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.