UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
28 Apr 21. Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), is looking for innovations to permit the coexistence of future offshore windfarms alongside UK Air Defence surveillance systems.
The Windfarm Mitigations for UK Air Defence Phase 2 competition is interested in ideas such as alternative technologies that could:
- reduce radar clutter caused by offshore windfarms
- ensure intruder detection in the vicinity of offshore windfarms
- fill or remove gaps in radar coverage created by windfarms.
On behalf of the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Net Zero Innovation Portfolio; and in partnership with the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), a total of up to £3.6m is available, intended to fund a number of contracts of up to £600K each.
It is not compulsory to have been involved in Phase 1 of this competition to apply for Phase 2 however DASA encourage interested parties to be aware of the previous competition and the bids funded. It is anticipated that work for this phase will reach higher maturity than work funded in Phase 1.
For more information about this Phase, see the competition document.
For this phase, DASA are encouraging collaboration between suppliers. To support this there is a short survey to collect details of suppliers who wish to explore collaboration possibilities. This list will then be circulated to all those who have signed up on a weekly basis.
The competition will close at midday BST on 17 June 2021. (Source: Defence Online)
27 Apr 21. Babcock Team 31 has successfully completed its Whole Ship Critical Design Review (WSCDR) which is a key indicator of the compliance, maturity and engineering risk in proceeding into production as we mature the 3D CAD model. The WSCDR was held virtually over a period of ten days and comprised of a large number of specific reviews to assess the maturity of the individual systems and equipment for the Type 31 Frigate.
An independent board of twelve experts reviewed the design, interrogated the engineering team and provided valuable advice to Babcock (the Design Authority), with attendees and contributors from the UK Ministry of Defence. The board were pleased with the rate of progress made since the Preliminary Design Review in June 2020 and the level of technical maturity of the design, especially given the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19.
Completing the Whole Ship CDR provides Team 31 with the confidence to fully develop the 3D CAD model and move towards the generation of build drawings in readiness for first steel cut and ship assembly later this year. Production work at Rosyth has been underway since last year on construction of ship cradles, build stools and ground supports. These form part of the essential infrastructure required to enable construction, and are designed to support the vessels upright as they are being built.
The WSCDR is a significant milestone in the Type 31 programme and reflects the fantastic progress being made since contract award. The facilities and technology investment in Rosyth has got underway, with manufacturing bay refurbishments, the installation of state of the art advanced manufacturing equipment, and the New Assembly Hall will be completed towards the end of this summer before the start of ship assembly.
Babcock CEO David Lockwood said: “This is a real step change in capacity and capability at Rosyth which provides the UK with a world-class, future-ready, ship build facility. It’s an exciting time for UK industry with future opportunities emerging such as the recently announced Type 32 Frigate programme and international discussions increasing around the export of our proven and adaptable Arrowhead 140 design, with potential customers looking to the UK as the benchmark for their own programmes.”
Team 31 has placed a large number of Supply Chain contracts to date representing nearly 80% of the value. The remaining supply chain contracts will be placed in line with the procurement plan, with the first major equipment deliveries due later this year.
Team 31 is currently operating across the UK in Rosyth, Bristol, Devonport and Crawley, growing and mobilising in readiness for ship assembly starting later this year. At the peak, approximately 1250 people will work on the programme across the UK.
23 Apr 21. Airbus sees sustainment as key to UK NMH success. Airbus is to offer a solution for the New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement that provides long-term sustainment for the company, and for the United Kingdom’s rotorcraft industry. Speaking to Janes and other defence media at its Oxford Airport facility on 22 April, Airbus Helicopters UK said that the company’s bid to replace the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) fleet of Puma HC2s and three other helicopter types later in the decade will be driven by sustainability, as much as anything else.
“It is more about making sure that what we do is sustainable. Manufacturing would always be for more than the UK – if not, it is not sustainable and it just wouldn’t make any sense,” Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters UK, Colin James, said. “The New Medium Helicopter is an opportunity to do something for the UK helicopter industry, but also helicopters are important for the sustainability of Airbus, which has provided great success for the UK.”
James’ comments on sustainability reflect the UK Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS) document that was released earlier this year in tandem with the Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper. This document placed a greater emphasis on supporting UK industry at home and national prosperity through exports abroad, over the more traditional procurement priorities of cost and capability. (Source: Jane’s)
30 Apr 21. F-35 Best and Final Offer Submitted to Finnish Government. The 5th Generation F-35 provides unmatched capabilities, security of supply and industrial opportunities for Finland. The U.S. government and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) submitted an F-35 best and final offer (BAFO) on April 29, 2021, to the Finnish government in support of its competition to replace its current fighter fleet.
The F-35 offering is a total package that includes F-35A aircraft and a sustainment solution tailored to meet Finnish security of supply requirements to support all operational needs if in a closed border scenario. The BAFO also includes many first-of-a-kind opportunities for Finnish industry to work directly on F-35 production and sustainment.
“The F-35 will provide Finnish industries high technology job opportunities that no other competitor can offer,” said Bridget Lauderdale, F-35 Program vice president and general manager. “The production work will continue for more than 20 years, and the F-35 sustainment work will continue into the 2050s. Not only will Finland support its own F-35s, but it will directly support the global fleet of F-35s through the production of major components.”
Through indirect industrial participation projects outside of F-35 production, Lockheed Martin will also build partnerships with Finnish companies and academic institutions that offer opportunities focused on developing and advancing security collaborations.
With stealth technology, supersonic speed, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and increased range, the F-35 is the most advanced, survivable and connected aircraft in the world. It is also the most affordable solution for the Finnish Air Force’s future fighter fleet as the only 5th Generation fighter at the cost of 4th Generation aircraft.
To date, the F-35 has been selected by 13 nations and operates from 27 bases worldwide, with nine nations operating F-35s on their home soil. More than 630 F-35s are in service today, with more than 1,300 pilots and 10,380 maintainers trained on the aircraft.
29 Apr 21. On behalf of the Eurofighter consortium, the UK has outlined the best and final offer (BAFO) in its Typhoon proposal for Finland, which seeks to procure a new multi-role fighter to replace its ageing Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet fleet.
The BAFO for this UK-led proposal in Finland’s highly anticipated HX Fighter replacement programme was submitted on April 29. While led by the UK, the offer has also been endorsed by the governments, air forces and defence industries of Germany, Italy and Spain – which make up the core nations of the Eurofighter consortium.
Speaking to Key.Aero and other defence media outlets on April 29, the UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, and representatives from UK-based firms affiliated with the Eurofighter consortium, such as BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, detailed the final offer for the Finnish programme.
Quin said: “The Eurofighter partnership on offer represents the best all-round package for Finland. It is affordable within the Finnish budget; it provides security of supply through industrial participation that delivers high-tech jobs for the duration of the aircraft’s service life, and it delivers outstanding military capability, all underpinned by a government-to-government partnership.”
The total number of aircraft and procurement costs relating to the Eurofighter bid were not disclosed. However, it was confirmed that Finland would have a role in the future capability development of a new advanced radar for the Typhoon, if selected.
Notably, the bid outlines that more than 80 packages of in-country work for Finnish companies would be generated with the Typhoon’s selection, resulting in the creation of high-quality, long-term jobs in the nation’s domestic defence industry. The consortium noted that this work would equate to 20 million man hours over a 30-year period across the Finnish economy.
These work packages include the establishment of a final assembly line in Finland, as well as giving the nation an ability to produce the multi-role fighter’s EuroJet EJ200 low-bypass afterburning turbofan engines. The BAFO details that these work packages would also include technology transfers on mission data generation and electronic warfare, along with maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities.
Finland would retain full ownership of the aircraft too, allowing the country to upgrade and maintain the fleet as it wishes. The consortium added that Finland would have the “largest in-country support network” for the type of any operator, outside the four core nations.
Andrea Thompson, managing director of Europe & International at BAE Systems Air, boasts that the Eurofighter BAFO exceeds both the direct and indirect industrial participation targets set by Finland in the HX programme. “The jobs that we are offering are high-quality, long-term jobs equating to over 20 million man hours over 30 years, with the knock on benefit to the wider economy driving this figure even higher”, she said.
During the press event, it was confirmed that the Eurofighter Typhoon is being offered to Finland with an array of already integrated munitions – any of which are already employed by Typhoons operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF). This includes MBDA’s Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM); Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM); and Storm Shadow low-observable air-launched cruise missile.
at Range (SPEAR) family of air-to-ground/surface munitions are also featured in the selection. The Typhoon will be able to carry up to 12 SPEAR weapons when the munition is integrated onto RAF examples later this decade, which would be the same for Finland. Raytheon’s AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) and Paveway IV laser-guided bomb are also included in the offer.
In terms of training, the Chief of the Air Staff ACM Mike Wigston, confirmed that the RAF would train Finnish pilots to fly the Typhoon and would be responsible for the transfer of know-how to the Finnish Air Force. When asked if this would be a similar set-up to the UK-Qatari joint Typhoon training unit at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, Wigston noted that current plans would only see a squadron’s worth of Finnish pilots for training to instructor standard. However, he added that the RAF would be open to further partnerships with Finland in this area.
The HX Fighter programme was established by the Finnish Ministry of Defence to source a replacement for the air force’s fleet of F/A-18C/D Hornet multi-role fighters, which entered operational service in 1995. This matured fleet boasts a service life expectancy of 30 years, which it is approaching the end of. Due to this fact, the Finnish Air Force will have phased out its remaining Hornets by 2030.
In total, five bidders have thrown their hat into the ring to provide Finland with a successor to its venerable F/A-18C/D fleet. Aside from Eurofighter’s bid, the other contenders include Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft; Dassault’s Rafale; Lockheed Martin’s F-35A Lightning II multi-role stealth fighter; and Saab’s Gripen E/F. The Swedish firm has included the GlobalEye multi-domain airborne early warning and control alongside the Gripen E/F multi-role fighter as part of its offer.
The other contending firms are also due to reveal their BAFOs for the HX programme in the coming days, with Saab due to detail its final proposal tomorrow. Following this, all eyes will be on Finland as the nation is set to announce which of these multi-role fighters will succeed the F/A-18C/Ds in operational service by the end of this year. At present, it is anticipated that deliveries of the new fighter will begin in 2025. (Source: News Now/https://www.key.aero/article/u)
26 Apr 21. DOD Issues RPP Through the National Spectrum Consortium to Develop Near Real Time Spectrum Management Technologies to Support Operational Outcomes. The RPP, which is open to members of the National Spectrum Consortium (NSC), supports testing and training at ranges for aerial combat training to ensure that spectrum is available when and where it is needed.
The US Department of Defense (DOD) has issued a third Request for Prototype Proposal (RPPs) in support of electromagnetic spectrum research related to the capabilities of the 400+ members of the National Spectrum Consortium.
Issued under DOD’s Spectrum Access Research & Development (SAR&DP) Program, the RPP is part of a series of requirements to develop near real time spectrum management technologies that leverage machine learning/artificial intelligence to more efficiently and dynamically allocate spectrum assignments based on operational planning and intended operational outcomes.
Specifically, this RPP is centered on the Operational Spectrum Comprehension, Analytics, and Response (OSCAR) effort. This project will create a software application with unified graphical user interface, automated workflows, sensor network, and extensible framework needed at testing and training ranges for aerial combat training to ensure that spectrum is available when and where needed for AWS-3 impacted systems and incumbent systems.
The goal is to provide advanced spectrum management capabilities to the incumbent systems in the AWS-3 bands; however, this prototype will be applicable to all spectrum being managed on range so as to not fragment tool suites for Installation Managers. OSCAR will provide the spectrum management tools, workflows, and sensor network necessary to increase spectrum utilization and improve range spectrum management.
“NSC members look forward to collaborating with the government to develop tools that address the need for near-real time spectrum management for effective training and deliver cutting-edge spectrum maneuver capabilities to the operational force. OSCAR will enable military aircraft to continue to get the rigorous training they need, while also supporting expanded commercial activity. But the solutions that are developed won’t be limited to domestic use. They will also support operational capabilities called for in the Joint All-Domain Command and Control and Electromagnetic Superiority strategies,” said National Spectrum Consortium Executive Director Maren Leed. “I’m excited to see the innovations that our more than 400 members, with their unparalleled technical breadth and depth, will bring to this challenge. Leveraging their collective expertise, NSC members will make sure that aviators have access to the information they need at the moment it is needed, whether on the range or in the fight.”
“There is a growing appreciation for how critical it is that our warfighters have assured, near real time access to spectrum in order to meet of operational imperatives,” said National Spectrum Consortium Chief Strategy Officer, Vice Admiral Joseph Dyer, USN (ret). “We strongly encourage our members to collaborate and respond to this important RPP to make sure that our nation’s armed forces can remain agile and utilize spectrum in dynamic, near real time manner.”
Earlier this month, the DoD issued two additional RPPs related to near real time spectrum management – Risk Informed Spectrum Access (RISA) and Multiband Instrumented Control Channel Architecture (MICCA). An overview of the projects can be found at beta.sam.gov.
These RPPs are the first to be issued under the National Spectrum Consortium’s 5-year, $2.5bn ceiling Other Transaction Agreement, which was signed in December 2020. Additional RPPs are expected to be issued through the NSC in the coming days and weeks.
Request for Prototype Proposal
NSC-21-RPP-04 – Operational Spectrum Comprehension, Analytics, and Response (OSCAR)
This RPP is one of a number of projects in the Spectrum Access Research & Development Program (SAR&DP) portfolio being solicited in Tranche 2. This includes:
- Risk Informed Spectrum Access (RISA)
- Operational Spectrum Comprehension, Analytics, and Response (OSCAR)
- Multiband Instrumented Control Channel Architecture (MICCA)
- Cooperative Spectrum Access for Testing (CSAT)
Contractors on these projects are expected to work in a cooperative manner with other project teams within the SAR&DP Tranche 2 portfolio to align schedules and harmonize the development of interfaces and protocols with complimentary systems between projects. Members of the NSC in good standing can submit proposals in response to the RPPs. Proposals related to the OSCAR RPP are due June 01, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET.
Spectrum Forward OTA
Last December, the DOD awarded the Spectrum Forward Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) to the National Spectrum Consortium (NSC) to accelerate the development, adoption and deployment of next-generation technologies to provide our warfighters the decisive edge on the battlefield. The OTA has a term of five years and a ceiling value of $2.5bn. The goal of the Spectrum Forward OTA is to facilitate a partnership between the US technology and industrial base and the US Government to develop dual-use technologies across a range of advanced technologies that rely upon electromagnetic spectrum, from machine learning to autonomous navigation to next generation radio access networks.
Additionally, last year, DOD issued four 5G RPPs through the NSC. These focused on smart warehouses, Artificial Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) for training, and dynamic spectrum sharing. DOD announced in October that these projects had been awarded as part of $600m of 5G Tranche One funding.
The NSC membership possesses broad expertise in the following areas related to the electromagnetic spectrum: Ubiquitous Connectivity; Cognitive Spectrum Access & Sharing; Cybersecurity; Radio Frequency-Free Space Optics Cooperative Systems; Autonomous Systems (Ground/Air/Maritime); Internet of Things (Narrow Band/Critical/Massive); Electronic Warfare; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR); Software Defined Radios/Networking/Architectures; Radar Systems; Digital Signal Processing; Microelectronics; Software Reconfigurability; Nanotechnology; Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence; Autonomy/Robotics; Biotechnology; Big Data Analytics; Edge and Cloud Computing; Augmented/Virtual/Mixed Reality; Location Detection; 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing; and 5th generation (5G) information communications technologies, products, and services including the use of zero trust.
About the National Spectrum Consortium
The NSC is comprised of over 400 U.S. companies and academic institutions, and their technologists, engineers, scientists, manufacturers, and program managers work with their counterparts in government to solve the toughest problems facing the nation with regard to spectrum-related technologies, to include 5G and 5G-based technologies, providing the DoD and other customers with spectrum superiority. The NSC’s mission is to foster collaboration among Government, Industry and Academia to identify, develop and demonstrate the enabling technologies necessary to broaden the military and commercial access to and use of the electromagnetic spectrum for 5G and beyond. For more information, visit www.nationalspectrumconsortium.org(Source: PR Newswire)
21 Apr 21. USAF updates tender document for counter small UAS technology first issued in January. The US Air Force has updated its Request For Proposal (RFP) for counter small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-sUAS) now due submission by 14 May 2021. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Information Directorate, Rome NY (AFRL/RI) has a requirement to provide a focused yet flexible, rapid, agile contracting vehicle between Air Force Research Laboratory, its Products Centers, and the Operational Community to support rapid research, development, prototyping, demonstration, evaluation, and transition of Counter small Unmanned Aircraft System (C-sUAS) capabilities. These capabilities are to be used in combating Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)—and others leveraging COTS technology—presently being used by our adversaries in asymmetric warfare against U.S. military personnel and materiel. Emphasis will be placed on: a) development of technology capability solutions that address specific user requirements; b) delivery of prototype technologies for evaluation and feedback in the context of the user’s operational environment; and c) provision of a mechanism for user acquisition of limited product quantities required for operational introduction of technologies. Anticipated deliverables include software, hardware, technical documentation and technical reports.
For the aforementioned requirements, the Government anticipates a single award Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) research and development (R&D) contract with Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee Completion (CPFF/C) Task Orders, an ordering period of seventy-two (72) months, and a maximum ordering amount of approximately $490,400,000.
The North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) code for this effort is 541715 with a small business size standard of 1,500 employees based on the Aircraft, Aircraft Engine, and Engine Parts exception.
Department of Defense, Air Force Research laboratory FA8750 AFRL RIK
Notice ID: FA875021R1000
Original published date: 7 January 2021
Update published date: 14 April 2021
Updated offer date: 14 May 2021
NAICS Code: 541715
REST OF THE WORLD
28 Mar 21. Saudi Arabia looking for Q-53 counter-fire radars. Saudi Arabia has a requirement for export versions of the AN/TPQ-53 (Q-53) counter-fire target acquisition radar, according to a US Army announcement released via the US government’s System for Award Management website on 26 April.
The announcement was released to obtain information from companies about their ability to produce, test, deliver, field, and support 14 radars with the Saudi designation SAU/TPQ-53. It said this designation refers to a configuration that satisfies United States exportability and Saudi customer requirements, which were not released with the announcement.
The initial contract will last for 56 months, including 24 months of support for fielded systems, with options for further support contracts over the following three years.
The announcement noted that Lockheed Martin currently has the Q-53 in full-rate production for the US Army.
The system is a vehicle-mounted radar that automatically detects, classifies, and tracks mortar, artillery, and rocket projectiles to determine where they will land and locate their points of origin so they can be accurately counter-attacked.
The latest version uses gallium nitride technology that makes the radar more powerful and reliable. This additional power can be used to extend its range and detect unmanned aircraft while simultaneously performing its original counter-fire role, according to Lockheed Martin.
The US government approved the sale of 26 AN/TPQ-53(V) radars to Saudi Arabia at an estimated cost of USD662m in June 2017. (Source: Jane’s)
26 Apr 21. Embraer and Brazilian Air Force Sign MOU to Study UAS. Embraer and the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that establishes a cooperation for the study and evaluation of the necessary capabilities for the conceptual design and development of advanced unmanned aircraft system to meet FAB’s needs.
“This is a unique opportunity for the Brazilian Air Force to deepen its studies in disruptive technologies that may cause an imbalance in current and future scenarios,” stressed the Brazilian Air Force Commander, Lieutenant-Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior. “In modern war, it is essential to use unmanned aerial platforms, operating alone or in conjunction with conventional aircraft. Such technology makes it possible to reduce costs and risks, without losing effectiveness in fulfilling the missions assigned to the Brazilian Air Force.”
“This study is of fundamental importance for the maintenance and expansion of Embraer’s competencies in the development of aerial defense systems with high technological content and great integration complexity,” said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO, Embraer Defense & Security. “It is also an opportunity for the continuous development of new technologies and products for the FAB and the Ministry of Defense, aimed at expanding the operational capacity and guaranteeing national sovereignty. A major challenge for this aerial system will certainly be its integration and joint operation with other systems and aircraft, manned or unmanned.”
The cooperation within the scope of this MoU aims at the joint study of the needs of the FAB in the context of its missions, as well as the understanding and prioritization of operational and logistical elements related to the development of a superior class unmanned aircraft system of multiple capacities.
The development of an unmanned aerial aircraft system with Brazilian technology offers a relevant opportunity to the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) and its strategic companies, promoting its development and strengthening knowledge to meet the needs of the Brazilian State. (Source: UAS VISION)