Sponsored by American Panel Corporation
01 Jun 20. New Military Jets and Maintenance Cost 18bn Swiss Francs. The new combat aircraft would cost a total of 18bn francs, according to an estimate by the DDPS. In addition to the acquisition costs of 6bn, nearly 12bn are added for the maintenance of the jets during the entire duration of their use. These figures published by the SonntagsZeitung have been confirmed by the Federal Office for Armaments (Armasuisse). To articulate them, Berne relied on 20 years of operation of the fleet of F / A-18 fighter aircraft currently in service.
“In general, the operating costs calculated over 30 years should be around twice as high as the purchase cost,” said the spokesman for Armasuisse. As neither the type of aircraft nor their number has yet been determined, more precise calculations are not yet possible. The Federal Council should make its choice in early 2021.
Opponents of the purchase of new fighter jets have sometimes estimated spending around 24 bn francs. They relied in part on calculations made by the German and Canadian authorities.
Vote at the end of September
The Federal Council and the Parliament plan to buy new fighter jets for 6 bn francs from 2025. This is to replace the current fleet of F / A-18 and Tiger planes. The Swiss will vote on September 27 after the Group for a Switzerland without an army, the PS and the Greens launched a referendum.
The Helvetians will not decide on the type of aircraft, nor on the number of jets, between 36 and 40, which will be purchased. Currently, a second series of offers is underway. Last spring, four manufacturers flew their machines over the Swiss sky during a demonstration.
Four jets remain in the race: the French Rafale (Dassault), the German Eurofighter (Airbus), and on the American side, the successor to the F / A-18, the Boeing Super Hornet, and the Lockheed-Martin F-35A. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/SwissInfo)
02 Jun 20. USAF to assess electronic vulnerability of aircraft. The Air Force is asking for proposals to conduct electronic evaluations of one of its key assets, the C-130 weapon system family.
In a notice posted June 2, the service stated it is conducting a market survey to see which companies might be able to study, analyze, develop or test advanced technology, including microelectronics, software and algorithm solutions to resolve obsolescence issues. It addition, the service would want to add capabilities and improve performance, reliability, maintainability and availability of EC-130J Commando Solos, EC-130J Super Js and AC-130Js.
Moreover, the post notes that this requirement’s main purpose is to perform analysis and investigate the vulnerability of these platforms.
The Commando Solo is broadly an information operations platform conducting military information support operations — formerly known as psychological operations — and civil affairs broadcasts. The AC-130J conducts close-air support and armed reconnaissance.
Documents associated with the post state this effort is a follow-on of the current effort performed by Raytheon. This effort has existed in one instantiation or another since 2016, and used two contract vehicles as well as two different contractors.
The project will take a minimum of two years. The tasks contractors must conduct include tabletop and red team assessments on the highest impact items identified on the EC-130J; an analysis report with mitigation strategies and analysis; and investigations on modifications concerning electronic vulnerabilities on the Commando Solo and Super J. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
05 Jun 20. Air Force to dole out nearly $1bn for ABMS development. The Air Force will dole out up to $950m over the next five years to develop and enable its Joint All Domain Command and Control concept, according to a May 29 contract announcement.
JADC2 is a new data architecture being pushed primarily by the Air Force for multidomain operations across the service branches. Under JADC2, the Department of Defense wants to connect any sensor to any shooters, regardless of domain. For instance, one aspect of JADC2 is ensuring that data collected by space-based sensors can be processed, transferred to a command-and-control node where it can be fused with other sensor data, and distributed to the appropriate shooter in near-real time.
The Air Force has pursued this JADC2 vision by investing in the Advanced Battle Management System family of systems. ABMS seeks to bring the internet of things to the battlefield with an open architecture. The Air Force began testing ABMS last year and is set to conduct its next test in August or September.
The Air Force contracts, with a ceiling of $950m total, will provide maturation, demonstration and proliferation of JADC2-related capabilities across platforms and domains. Contractors will be expected to leverage open-system designs, modern software and algorithm developments to enable the JADC2 vision.
Twenty-eight companies will compete for task orders under the new indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts. Several of the vendors selected are not traditional DoD contractors, highlighting the Air Force’s desire to include novel commercial approaches to ABMS.
“We want a wide variety of companies, and we definitely want fresh blood in the ABMS competition, so there is a lot that can be contributed from companies that are commercially focused, that know a lot about data, that know a lot about machine learning and [artificial intelligence] and know a lot about analytics. Those are going to be the most important parts of the Advanced Battle Management System,” Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Will Roper told reporters May 14.
While the announcement didn’t delineate what each of the vendors would bring to the table, multiple vendors on the contract have provided technologies that fit into the JADC2 concept as well. For example, Persistent Systems supports the Wave Relay Tactical Assault Kit program, which provides multidomain communications and situational awareness to Air Force convoys.
In a news release, Silvus Technologies announced it would supply its StreamCaster Mobile Ad hoc Networking radio systems for ABMS under the contract. Silvus says its technology can provide a high-bandwidth, tactical-edge network that connects assets across domains. That technology fits into meshONE, a part of ABMS focused on battlefield networks. MeshONE was used in the December 2019 ABMS test, and the new contract will provide more equipment for future tests.
No funds were issued at the time of the award. Work is expected to be completed May 26, 2025. (Source: Defense News)
REST OF THE WORLD
02 Jun 20. South Korea KDDX programme kicks off. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has commenced bidding processes for the basic design a new guided missile destroyer for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) under the government’s Korea Destroyer Next Generation (KDDX) programme, the agency announced on 29 May.
Bidding KDDX programme
DAPA has stipulated that bids be submitted by 20 July with the selected company required to complete design work by the end of 2023. Detailed design and construction will then proceed from 2024.
On 27 April, the country’s Defense Project Promotion Committee approved a related effort to develop and build an indigenous combat system for the KDDX programme. DAPA noted on the same day that around $545m has been set aside for combat system research and development which is expected to be completed by 2030.
KDDX ships are planned to be equipped with the most advanced platform and weapons systems available from South Korean defence companies and will include high levels of automation and advanced full-electric propulsion systems.
Several companies are already positioning themselves for anticipated KDDX work, with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) announcing on 11 May that it had completed preliminary research on the development of an electric propulsion system under a partnership with the Korean Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI), Korean Register of Shipping and Seoul National University.
DSME faces off Hanwha Aerospace, which announced in late February that it is teaming with General Electric’s (GE’s) Power Conversion business to supply electric propulsion systems for the KDDX destroyers.
Meanwhile, LIG Nex1 and Hanwha Systems also announced that they will vie for opportunities to develop and manufacture the KDDX’s combat system, integrated mast, and multifunction radar.
The first vessel
Although DAPA provided no further details about the vessels, local reports indicate that the RoKN plans to deploy around six of these destroyers by the late-2030s. The first vessel is expected to be built by the late 2020s at a cost of around $1.57bn. (Source: AMR)
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.