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25 Nov 20. German parliament approves funding for new frigate helicopter, tank ammunition, upgraded torpedoes and IT. The budget committee of the Bundestag, the German parliament, has approved funding for the German Navy’s new NH90 Sea Tiger frigate helicopter and tank ammunition, as well as for the upgrade of DM2A4 torpedoes and the Bundeswehr’s IT wide area network (WAN).
The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 20 November that it had approved EUR2.7bn (USD3.2bn) in funding for 31 Sea Tigers, accessories, spare parts, and training. Starting in 2025, the helicopters will replace the German Navy’s Sea Lynx Mk88A frigate helicopters dating from the 1980s.
The German MoD said the Sea Tiger would be the Bundeswehr’s only multirole helicopter, providing close protection for frigates, armed with torpedoes and missiles for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare and conducting transport and search and rescue (SAR) missions.
Like the German Navy’s Sea Lion helicopter, the Sea Tiger will be based on the NH90 Naval Frigate Helicopter (NFH), from which the German MoD expects synergies in training, maintenance, and the supply of fuel and spare parts. The Sea Lion is designed mainly for SAR and transport missions, according to the ministry.
Also on 20 November, the German MoD announced that the Bundestag’s budget committee had approved EUR175m in funding the day before for an improved and safer WAN for the Bundeswehr, ammunition for the Leopard 2 main battle tank, and to upgrade DM2A4 heavy torpedoes for U212A submarines. EUR31m was approved to procure 69 kits for the torpedo upgrade and for the accompanying training. (Source: Jane’s)
25 Nov 20. US Army unveils Capability Set 23 main focus efforts. US Army officials have homed in on three major areas of focus to drive its development efforts for the newest tranche of the service’s Integrated Tactical Network (ITN) initiative and is seeking industry input to flesh out those anticipated capabilities. Officials from the service’s Program Executive Office Command Control Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), in conjunction with Army Futures Command’s Network Cross-Functional Team (N-CFT), issued a call for White Papers on 16 November, outlining “technologies that may be ready for experimental consideration” in those three major focus areas for the ITN iteration dubbed Capability Set 23. The input derived from the White Paper submissions will help ITN programme officials “increase capacity, resiliency, and convergence of the network” in Capability Set 23 and future variants to come, according to a service statement. Overall, the networked technologies being considered for development under Capability Set 23 focus on Stryker-based mounted operations, leveraging cellular 4G and other communication networks, coupled with legacy systems upgrades operating on a secure but unclassified architecture. That work is designed to build on the research, development, and prototype work from the previous Capability Set 21, which also explored much of the same networked requirements, but was tailored to facilitate dismounted combat manoeuvres. (Updates are delivered every two years, which is why there is not a Capability Set 22.) Army officials are finalising industry agreements for development of Capability Set 23 after securing critical design review (CDR) approval for technologies under development for Capability Set 21 in May. (Source: Jane’s)
25 Nov 20. US Army solicits bids for new cryptographic technologies. The US Army is soliciting industry proposals to develop new cryptographic technologies, designed to ensure secure and compartmentalised communication capabilities in the wake of rapidly advancing cyber warfare and electronic warfare threats to those operations.
The proposals being sought by the service’s Program Manager Tactical Radios (PM TR), under Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communicate – Tactical (PEO C3T), will assist in the development of the advanced variant of the Next Generation Load Device-Medium (NGLD-M). Army officials anticipate developing and fielding a maximum of 265,000 NGLD-M units, at an estimated cost of USD850m, according to the service’s 18 November request for proposals (RFP).
The new NGLD-M systems will replace the army’s more than decade-old fleet of Simple Key Loaders (SKLs), which are designed to transfer, issue, fill, and manage electronic cryptographic keys to highly sensitive End-Cryptographic Units (ECUs), used by combat units to transmit and receive secure communications transmissions.
Designed to meet the Type 1 cryptologic standards for secured data transmissions established by the National Security Agency (NSA), the NGLD-M will provide “the functionality of legacy fill devices while providing network connectivity to support Over the Network Key (OTNK) distribution”, the RFP stated. The new NGLD-M will also provide end users with a “reprogrammable crypto subcomponent to meet future modernisation requirements”, it added.
“The NGLD-M will enable delivery of the strongest NSA-generated cryptographic keys to tactical, strategic, and enterprise network systems operating from secret to the highest levels of security classification,” according to a PEO C3T statement, issued shortly after the RFP’s release. (Source: Jane’s)
26 Nov 20. Australian NGTF calls for submissions to support innovation in space capability. Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF) is seeking submissions to develop an innovative ‘space qualified’ radio frequency (RF) sensor payload as part of the space capabilities priority area.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the NGTF Space Capabilities priority area is designed to develop and demonstrate high risk, high payoff space technology for Defence. The Next Generation Technologies Fund supports research in emerging and future technologies, including technologies that may deliver on a time horizon greater than 10 years.
Partnering options under the NGTF allow for choice and flexibility in scale and time to delivery – from ambitious ‘Grand Challenges’ to lean and focused technology acceleration. This allows Defence to engage a range of research partners, individually or in teams, from start-ups to primes and national research organisations.
Minister Price said, “The NGTF will contribute up to $6.6m in funding and support for ideas and proposals from industry and academia to identify and pursue research, design and testing aspects of any sensor payload. Each proposal will be evaluated and assessed to determine the most appropriate funding mechanism and amounts that best facilitates working together on the resulting research activity.”
The NGTF, managed by DST, is a new government initiative introduced with the Defence Industry Policy Statement in 2016. Together with the Defence Innovation Hub and the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, these three form the integrated Defence innovation system.
NGTF will make further investments worth approximately $1.2bn over the next decade on a forward-looking program focusing on research and development in emerging and future technologies for the “future Defence force after next”.
NGTF is focused on the following nine priority areas:
* Integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance;
* Space capabilities;
* Enhanced human performance;
* Medical countermeasure products;
* Multi-disciplinary material sciences;
* Quantum technologies;
* Trusted autonomous systems;
* Cyber; and
* Advanced sensors, hypersonics and directed energy capabilities.
“This initiative is central to Defence’s Resilient Multi-mission Space Science, Technology and Research (STaR) Shot program, and the broader Defence Science and Technology strategy,” Minister Price added.
Proposals are expected to span over a multi-year time frame, with progress assessed on an annual basis. The call for submissions will be released on AusTender in the first quarter of 2021. (Source: Defence Connect)
25 Nov 20. Lockheed Martin Australia partners with Aussie industry to build AIR 6500 sovereign capability. Lockheed Martin Australia has confirmed contracts with five Australian small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) as part of the company’s commitment to building long-term sovereign capability in support of the Australian Defence Force’s AIR 6500 program. As part of this, Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA), in partnership with innovative Australian SMEs that include Consilium Technology, Consunet, Shoal, Silentium Defence and Ultra, will investigate and develop capabilities that can be integrated into an open architecture framework to support fifth-generation concepts and application development.
A key focus of the SMEs will be to explore technologies ranging from electronic warfare battle management, contested communications, cyber protection, advanced systems engineering and passive sensing.
Steve Froelich, Lockheed Martin Australia AIR 6500 program executive, said, “Over the past four years, the LMA AIR 6500 team has been steadily adding to our sovereign presence and expanding our Australian team. Critical to that effort has been our focus on proactively engaging and establishing partnerships with Australian industry to identify and invest in ‘best of breed’ local capabilities to deliver a truly sovereign capability solution for Australia.”
In order to achieve this, LMA has conducted roadshows in every capital city and across large regional centres in Australia, and due to COVID-19 restrictions, most recently held a virtual industry session with New Zealand’s defence industry to investigate partnerships for AIR 6500.
Froelich added, “Today’s announcement demonstrates our steadfast commitment to work with industry, academia and government to create opportunities for technology transfer, grow the top-level skills base and capabilities to add additional high-tech jobs that help build a stronger, more secure Australia.”
From these engagements LMA has identified and validated more than 130 Australian SMEs as potential industry partners with technologies that could be incorporated into the AIR 6500 program solution.
Joe North, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand, said that there is a vitality and capacity within Australian industry to deliver world-class defence capabilities.
“We are committed to working with like-minded Australian industry partners to elevate the technology base in Australia and to help advance the innovative Australian high technology businesses so they can actively contribute to a major defence program and shape Australia’s future defence capabilities,” North said.
Expanding on this, he said, “We have a proven track record of partnering closely with Australian industry as stewards, to develop, integrate, build, supply and maintain future technologies and capabilities within Australia and New Zealand.”
LMA actively supports an Australian sovereign defence capability, which sees a highly skilled workforce of over 1,100 across Australia who partner with defence and industry to deliver, integrate and sustain advanced technology solutions. In turn, our programs and projects directly support a further 5,000 Australian jobs in the advanced manufacturing and high technology defence industry sector.
Nick Cooper, chief information officer of Consilium Technology, said the company is delighted to be a partner to LMA to develop an advanced open architecture technology to deliver a world-class solution for Australia’s future joint all domain capability.
“Consilium Technology is excited by this terrific opportunity to contribute to this major defence program that will strengthen Australia’s national security. We are pleased to be collaborating with Lockheed Martin Australia to explore and create advanced technologies that will support our nation’s ability to protect against future threats,” Cooper said.
AIR 6500 is a joint ‘system-of-systems’ that will completely revolutionise the way the ADF operates. Connecting disparate ADF systems and platforms across all domains into a cohesive 21st century operational environment. AIR 6500 synchronises air and missile defence operations, improves situational awareness and enhances the speed of decision making.
Lockheed Martin Australia is committed to partnering with industry on AIR 6500. For more details, contact LMA via or register interest by visiting the AIR 6500 Joint Battle Management and Integrated Air and Missile Defence System ICN Gateway.
Headquartered in Canberra, Lockheed Martin Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. The company employs more than 1,000 people in Australia working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors. (Source: Defence Connect)
24 Nov 20. Australia confirms $10m investment in Defence AI. Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has announced a $10m investment in artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to give Australia an edge across all of Defence’s domains as part of the Defence Innovation 2020 conference.
The Defence Innovation Hub, in collaboration with the Defence Artificial Intelligence Centre (DAIC) within Joint Capabilities Group, is now seeking innovation proposals from industry for a new Special Notice for Artificial Intelligence Applications in Defence.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price announced the new initiative on Tuesday, which will support Australian industry to develop new AI applications across Defence’s Information and Cyber, Maritime, Air, Space, and Land domains.
Minister Price said the initiative was part of a $32m boost to Australian industry over the next two years through the Defence Innovation Hub, as part of the government’s Defence COVID-19 economic recovery package.
“AI is a critical enabling technology which can deliver a decisive Defence advantage. This initiative provides new opportunities for Australia’s AI sector to partner with Defence,” Minister Price explained.
The Defence Innovation Hub will partner with the Defence AI Centre to set two challenges to industry:
* Using intelligence mission data to improve situational awareness in the battlefield; and
* Using intelligent virtual reality to enhance simulation, modelling and training.
Minister Price added, “Genuine partnerships between Defence and Australian industry allows us to develop globally competitive AI capabilities and builds a national defence industry base. Through this initiative, we are building a strong Australian defence industry with an ability to design and integrate AI technology into Defence’s force structure.”
The Defence Innovation 2020 conference provides Australia’s defence industry and innovation sector with the opportunity to learn how they can leverage Defence’s innovation programs, as well as explore emerging technology trends and opportunities within Defence’s new capability domains.
Defence Innovation 2020 will comprise six 90-minute webinars over five days, with Minister Price providing the opening address on 23 November. Feature presenters include senior Defence and military representatives from each of the operational domains: Maritime, Land, Air, Information and Cyber, and Space, as well as from Defence Science and Technology Group, and state and territory industry advocates.
Each webinar will conclude with a Q&A session where participants can engage with Defence experts to ask questions and explore how industry can support Defence to deliver innovative solutions that provides Defence with cutting-edge capabilities.
Proposals to these challenges can be submitted until 11 February 2021. For more information, please visit: www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au. (Source: Defence Connect)
American Panel Corporation (APC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercury Systems, Mission Division, Mission Displays is a custom display manufacturer, providing purpose-built optical display components installed in military defense avionics and vetronics systems and commercial aerospace platforms. Our customers include: Astronautics, Collins Aerospace, Elbit Systems, Korry Electronics, CMC Electronics, Scioteq, General Dynamics Land Systems, Honeywell, Industrial Electrical Engineering (IEE), Intellisense, Kent Modular Electronics (KME), SAAB, TECNOBIT, and others. We supply optical display components for the following platforms: M1A2 and M1A2 SEPV3/4 Abrams, M2 / M3 Bradley, and M1128 Stryker vehicles, Spanish Dragon 8×8 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC); Military and commercial aircrew worldwide use APC displays, including F-35, F-22, F-18, F-16, F-15, EF-1000 Typhoon, Mirage 2000, C-130, C-17, P-3, S-3, U-2, AH-64 Apache, V-22, as well as numerous other military and commercial aviation aircraft including all Boeing 717 through 787 aircraft and several Airbus aircraft. Mercury Systems, Mission Displays offers a wide range of panel size and configuration offerings, applying both legacy and developing new technologies to meet customer requirements.