UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
16 Aug 21. Helping the military shrink its cyber attack surface. The defence sector is full of legacy systems vulnerable to cyber attack. Do you have the technology to reduce defence exposure to cyber effects?
The defence sector is diverse and continually growing, with a large integrated network of legacy cyber technologies. This presents a substantial and diverse surface area for cyber enabled attack to disrupt military operations.
Being able to accelerate next generation hardware and software technologies to phase out the cyber vulnerabilities within current computer networks is vital in order to reduce defence exposure to cyber attack.
So, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is pleased to launch a new Innovation Focus Area (IFA) called Reducing the Cyber Attack Surface, which aims to develop technologies that reduce the opportunity for cyber attacks on Ministry of Defence (MOD) systems and platforms.
This IFA is being run on behalf of Defence Science and Technology laboratory (DSTL) and Defence Science and Technology (DST) and seeks proposals that enable greater confidence and a level of assurance in military systems against cyber-enabled attack.
Can you help? Read the competition document now and submit your idea.
How much funding is available?
DASA expects to fund proposals within Technical Readiness Level 4 – 7 (TRLs) up to £300K for a 9 month contract. Proposed technologies should demonstrate by providing a roadmap describing how they would achieve a technical demonstrator by end of Financial Year 2023 if further funding was made available.
Cycle 1 of the Reducing the Cyber Attack Surface IFA is open now, and it will close on 20 October 2021 at midday BST. Cycle 2 will run from 20 October 2021 to 05 January 2022.
A new generation of cyber resistant hardware and software
The MOD is interested in identifying and accelerating next generation hardware and software technologies to reduce the vulnerabilities within current and future computer networks and systems, focusing particularly on operational technologies.
We are looking for technologies that:
- intelligently apply technologies that significantly reduce the opportunity for cyber attack
- effectively raise the barrier to entry for adversaries and providing greater confidence and a level of assurance against cyber-enabled attack
- are novel and applicable across a whole “class” of attack surface rather than solutions tailored to a specific threat
Read the full competition document for more on what technologies we are looking for
DASA is seeking proposals that are applicable across a whole “class” of attack.
We are not seeking solutions that:
- offer demonstrations of off-the-shelf products requiring no experimental development (unless applied in a novel way to the challenge)
- offer no real prospect of integration into defence and security capabilities
- offer no real prospect of out-competing existing technological solutions
Submit a proposal!
The closing date for proposals of this IFA is 20 October 2021 at midday BST. A second cycle will run from 20 October 2021 to 05 January 2022. Click here for the full scope in the competition document and submit a proposal.
See DASA’s other cyber security IFA
You might also be interested in another cyber security IFA we are running called Autonomous Cyber Defence for Military Systems. This IFA seeks proposals that will develop autonomous cyber defence agents to protect military networks and systems. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
18 Aug 21. ONR re-issues solicitation for ‘Screaming Arrow’ development. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Department for Aviation, Force Projection and Integrated Defense on 7 August re-issued a Special Notice (N0014-21-S-SNI4) soliciting proposals for the development and testing of a carrier-borne F/A-18E/F Super Hornet-compatible air-launched hypersonic, air-breathing controlled test vehicle (CTV), designated ‘Screaming Arrow’.
Referencing a technology area entitled ‘Hypersonic Aerothermodynamics, High-Speed Propulsion and Materials’, the re-issued solicitation comes around five months after the navy published the initial Special Notice (N0014-21-S-SN06) on 2 March, and subsequently cancelled it, without explanation, three days later.
According to the ONR, the Screaming Arrow weapon system is intended to fulfil a naval role and, accordingly, in conjunction with its hypersonic, air-breathing characteristics, it must also be both aircraft carrier (CVN)-compliant and compatible with the US Navy (USN)/US Marine Corps F/A-18E/F Super Hornet multirole combat aircraft.
The solicitation sets the prospective Screaming Arrow development firmly within the orbit of the USN’s ambitions for a near-term air-launched hypersonic or near-hypersonic anti-surface warfare capability. Although omitted from the latest Special Notice, the original solicitation references the baseline target set for the weapon system: “The specific use case of Screaming Arrow is Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW). The threshold target set includes, but is not limited to, surface combatants and capital ships.” However, both releases note: “The need for Screaming Arrow technologies arises from a capability gap in propulsion solutions for servicing adversary targets at range within a compressed time of flight, which is not achievable with today’s sub-hypersonic weapon approaches.” (Source: Jane’s)
16 Aug 21. US Army endorses tactical drone contest to replace Shadow. The U.S. Army has given the green light to proceed into a competition to replace its aging, runway-dependent Shadow unmanned aircraft system with a new tactical drone. The Army Requirements Oversight Council approved requirements for the service’s Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, or FTUAS, in the form of an Abbreviated Capabilities Development Document, which will allow the program to move forward into a competitive prototyping phase.
The service has spent over a year assessing a variety of new and improved capabilities to replace the Textron-manufactured Shadow, culminating in a week-long rodeo earlier this year at Fort Benning, Georgia.
To help it evaluate requirements, the Army selected four UAS in 2019 and handed them over to soldiers to use and provide feedback on each system. The feedback helped shape how the service would choose requirements and how it would shape tactics, techniques and procedures for a future system.
Martin UAV and a Northrop Grumman team provided the V-Bat UAS, Textron brought its Aerosonde HQ, Arcturus-UAV offered up the Jump 20 system and L3Harris supplied the FVR-90 for the soldier evaluations.
training, field training exercises, and Combat Training Center rotations across five Brigade Combat Teams. The effort included the training of 61 operators and 56 maintainers and resulted in over 1,500 flight hours across more than 500 separate flights, according to fiscal 2022 budget justification documents.
After seeing the four UAS perform, Maj. Gen. Wally Rugen, who is in charge of the Army’s vertical lift modernization efforts, said that he was hopeful the Army would get a revolutionary, not evolutionary, new tactical UAS capability that isn’t tied to a runway, that has a lower acoustic signature and that has far lower equipment requirements to transport the system organically within the unit.
Operators at the rodeo told reporters that compared to Shadow, all of the systems offered drastically improved capability within BCTs, including the ability to set up and fly in one-third the time it would take to set up Shadow. The systems also demonstrated autonomous take-off and landing, and the ability to fly in bad weather.
A couple of requirements for a FTUAS capability were still being debated shortly after the rodeo. The Army had yet to decide whether it would stick to the draft requirement to transport FTUAS in a Chinook or if it could be more flexible.
“We’ll see if the bar gets raised, but to me, I think it’s fine where it’s at right now,” Rugen said as the rodeo wrapped up.
Another requirement could be that the system has to be able to run on JP-8 fuel. Not all systems brought to the table use that fuel type while some already do or are on the path to getting there. In the draft requirements documents, the ability to use the fuel was listed as objective.
A service spokesperson told Defense News, in a recent statement, that because of the successful FTUAS demonstrations, “the Army is considering options for acceleration in addition to the base program.”
The Army, according to FY22 budget justification documents, plans to spend $36.4m to support component development and $12m to initiate a competitive prototyping and integration effort.
The Senate Armed Services Committee, in its markup of the FY22 defense policy bill, would increase funding for FTUAS, according to its executive summary. It has not yet been revealed how big of a boost the program would see if the increase makes it into the final legislation.
The service will move into a competitive prototyping phase in the fourth quarter of FY22 and will make a rapid fielding decision in the second quarter of FY25 followed by a full-rate production decision in the fourth quarter of FY25. (Source: Defense News)
REST OF THE WORLD
18 Aug 21. Hindustan Aeronautics chooses GE engine for India’s Tejas fighter. India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on Tuesday signed a $716m contract with GE Aviation for F404-GE-IN20 engines for the homemade LCA Mk1A Tejas light combat aircraft.
HAL ordered 99 of the engines as well as support services from GE Aviation, the Indian firm said in a statement.
“This is the largest-ever deal and purchase order placed by HAL for LCA,” said HAL Chairman and Managing Director Ramakrishnan Madhavan.
A senior executive at HAL, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said the contract does not include technology transfer of the engines and that deliveries will start after two years.
“GE Aviation is proud of the 16-year-long partnership with HAL and we have committed to deliver all 99 engines and support services by 2029,” said Chris Cyr, GE Aviation’s vice president for business development and sales.
In February this year, HAL secured a $6.5bn order from the Indian Air Force for the supply of 83 Tejas fighters. The first two aircraft will be delivered in 2024; eight in 2025; and the remaining in batches (16 to 18 aircraft each year) by 2029, the HAL executive said. The basic version of 40 LCA fighters are also powered by the F404-GE-IN20 engine. HAL had acquired about 45 of the engines.
Madhavan said HAL is working closely with GE Aviation to boost the export potential of Tejas and to supply spares to the global supply chain of F404 engines. A HAL news release said GE-made F414 engines will be manufactured in India for the upcoming LCA Mk2 program. (Source: Defense News)
18 Aug 21. Here are Morocco’s top priorities for modernizing its Air Force. If you’re in the business of selling drones, precision weapons or stealth technology, Morocco’s Air Force could be your next customer.
The African nation is bolstering military-to-military relations and connecting with defense companies to modernize its air power capabilities. Moroccan officials have singled out the use of drones in combat as “a key dimension of its military modernization efforts,” according to Samuel Ramani, a defense expert at the University of Oxford.
“Morocco used a UAV for the first time during its April 2021 airstrike in the Polisario Front-controlled desert area of the Western Sahara,” Ramani told Defense News. The armed political organization wants to end Moroccan control of the desert region.
“The U.S. has been most effective in boosting Morocco’s access to stealth weaponry, specifically U.S. drones [and] precision-guided munitions as well as laser-guided munitions,” he added.
Reuters reported in December Morocco was close to signing a deal with the Trump administration for the acquisition of four MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones. That deal was to be followed by the purchase of 12 Bayraktar TB2 medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs from Turkish company Baykar under a $70 m agreement.
“The U.S. and Turkey are working together on bolstering Morocco’s stealth capabilities, as 12 Bayraktar TB2 drones will soon arrive in Morocco,” Ramani said.
As for Morocco’s stealth capabilities, Ramani said recently improved relations between Israel and Morocco have helped in that area. Morocco signed a normalization agreement with Israel, brokered with U.S. assistance, in December — a move defense experts expect will help Rabat in its pursuit to boost unmanned capabilities.
The Moroccan military already operates three Heron UAVs, which were received from France and produced by Airbus Defence and Space in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries.
A strong Moroccan military is in the interest of the United States, which aims to more effectively face regional terror threats with the country.
“Selling weapons packages helps build up the security of [Morocco] and U.S. interests in the region in this strategic corner of Africa,” said Theodore Karasik, a senior adviser at the U.S.-based geopolitical consultancy Gulf State Analytics. “The current U.S. administration has [a] different foreign policy: It relies heavily on soft power and rarely on kinetics, hence there is a shift or rescoping of [counterterror] missions as terrorism continues to dominate key locations of North Africa and the Sahel.”
In March 2019, the U.S. State Department cleared Morocco to buy 25 new F-16 fighter jets and receive upgrades to 23 of its older models. Then in June 2020, Morocco signed a contract with American company Boeing for 24 AH-64 Apache helicopters.
“The F-16 transfers to Morocco are another key dimension of the U.S. military modernization efforts,” Ramani said. “These F-16s are being used for counterterrorism purposes, unlike the UAVs, which appear to be aimed at mitigating the Western Sahara threat.”
He added that the Apaches will help combat immediate security threats and serve as a prototype for indigenous weapons development. The expected delivery date for the Apache helicopters is 2024.
More recently, Morocco and the U.S. signed a 10-year defense cooperation road map in October, which aims to guide cooperation for the former’s military modernization efforts. The agreement is also meant to improve interoperability.
Aram Nerguizian, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, told Defense News U.S. foreign military sales provide an open-source, preliminary assessment of the trajectory of Moroccan efforts to both modernize its forces and increase interoperability with the U.S., NATO and regional militaries that operate American-made systems.
“Moroccan arms purchases in 2020 complement other efforts to bolster modernization and interoperability. Most notably, in 2019, Morocco moved forward with the acquisition of 36 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters (24 new, 12 optional), more than 2,400 BGM-71-4B-RF TOW 2A [missiles] to augment Morocco’s integrated defense capabilities, 25 F-16C/D Block 72 fighter aircraft with additional air-to-ground munitions, in addition to sustainment support to enhance systems integration and life cycle maintenance of the fighters,” Nerguizian said.
“Not unlike other regional militaries, there has been a logical focus on enhancing air-to-ground attack and jointness with ground forces,” he added. “Augmenting and sustaining credible air-to-air mission sets will remain a key challenge.”
Morocco is also looking eastward to diversify its sources for arms. The country has signed several deals with Russia and China for military equipment, including short- and medium-range missiles.
“Moroccan military strategy is based on diversifying the sources of weapons from abroad,” noted Mohammad Shkeir, a Moroccan expert in military and security affairs. “Although the United States is the main supplier of armaments to Morocco, this did not prevent Morocco from acquiring the weapons it needs from European countries: the acquisition of the Mohammed VI intelligence satellite from France; and the purchase of frigates from Belgium and Italy; also the ongoing negotiations to acquire naval frigates from Italy.”
Karasik added that countries are competing for a foothold in the Moroccan market. “The U.S. has competition there, from European sellers to Israel to Gulf countries like [the United Arab Emirates] and [the kingdom of Saudi Arabia].”
Ramani noted Morocco has expressed interest in Turkey’s T129 Atak helicopters and has considered buying the Russian S-400 air defense system as well as Chinese tanks and rocket launchers.
However, he added, Morocco remains heavily reliant on U.S. military technology, with American weapons making up about 62 percent of its inventory, “so we should be wary of any eastward pivot.”
Each year, Morocco conducts several military drills, including African Lion, which took place earlier this year to improve interoperability with U.S. forces and to increase operational readiness.
The multinational drills also involved Tunisia and Senegal, and were linked to U.S. European Command’s Defender exercise, meant to counter malign activity in northern Africa and southern Europe as well as increase interoperability with international partners.
Karasik said the latest edition of African Lion was significant in scope, scale and geography, with the U.S. in particular “pushing for capacity building of the Moroccan Army.”
Part of that involves training Moroccan pilots on the latest combat aircraft in the U.S., said Shkeir. “In addition, military experts visit Morocco to train the Moroccan armed forces on American weapons,” the expert added.
But not everyone in the region is on board with Morocco’s modernization efforts.
“For the most part, I don’t see Morocco’s Air Force modernization to be about immediate threats (beyond the generic threat of terrorism and Polisario Front),” Ramani said. “Instead, it’s about preserving a regional military balance. Spain and Algeria are looking at Morocco’s military modernization with trepidation for this reason.” (Source: Defense News)
16 Aug 21. Australia encourages defence industry partners to apply for base contracts. The current contracts will provide services to more than 70 major bases and over 300 properties. The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) is encouraging industry suppliers to apply for the fourth generation of contracts to deliver services to defence bases.
Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said that the federal government hoped that the long-term contracts to service defence bases would add around $882m (A$1.2bn) per annum into the Australian economy.
Price said: “Defence wants to hear from suppliers that can contribute to the delivery of base services with investments that will provide a massive shot in the arm to our economic recovery from Covid-19.
“Importantly, these will include opportunities for small to medium businesses, in both local and regional areas, to participate in the supply chain for the delivery of these services.”
According to Price, base services play a key role in providing on the ground estate maintenance, sustainment as well as other services.
These services support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) workforce and strengthen the country’s defence capabilities.
The current contracts will provide services to more than 70 major bases, 300 properties and 25,000 buildings.
These contracts created 3.3 m work orders a year. They also generated over 6,700 local and regional industry jobs.
Price added: “This is an opportunity for prospective industry suppliers to inform defence of current insights into industry trends, capacity and preferred enabling conditions to deliver service excellence.
“Service delivery will be modernised, incorporating new technologies and user experience preferences such as apps to receive updates on base services requests.”
According to the DoD, the existing base services contracts are due to expire in 2024.
Last month, the Government of Australia awarded ten contracts for the defence industry to support the development of new capabilities for the armed forces. (Source: army-technology.com)
10 Aug 21. DEADLINE ALERT: DMTC issues RFI on Human Integrated Sensor Systems. Melbourne based DMTC Limited, in partnership with Defence’s DST Group, has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to companies and researchers who can share knowledge, experience and ideas at an upcoming Human Integrated Sensor System (HISS) workshop. Closing date for the RFI is Wednesday 25 August.
Operating in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Environments (OCE) is arguably one of the hardest assignments Australian warfighters face. Not only do they have to perform strenuous tasks such as fighting an adversary or supporting civilians in the aftermath of a disaster, they have to do these tasks in the presence of extremely dangerous and most-often invisible threats that can spread rapidly and widely if uncontained.
How is it possible to leverage subtle signals from the human body to rapidly detect and react to infection (or chemical exposure)?
This is the type of challenge that this HISS initiative seeks to tackle, both in the context of defence and national security and also with a view to extend to civilian application (e.g. in Public Health and National Security).
In partnership with DSTG, DMTC is looking for developers and providers of sensing systems, advanced biotechnology and data analytics, to respond to the RFI and participate at the upcoming HISS collaborative workshop.
This workshop will be run as part of Defence’s Operating in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Environments (OCE) STaR Shot. It is one of the core future focused problems Defence and DSTG are prioritising as part of the More, Together Defence Science and Technology strategy – the sort of problem that can’t be solved alone or without significant advances in science, technology and research.
DMTC and DSTG want to collaborate with industry and academia to solve this challenge.
The HISS initiative aims to bring together leading edge and commercially available wearable sensors and pair them with advanced data analytics approaches to assimilate subtle cues of exposure/infection and give warning before obvious symptoms manifest. This will allow countermeasures to be enacted with greatest effect. Systems are likely to involve heterogeneous networks of sensors and may involve on-skin and/or sub-cutaneous/bio fluid measurement.
Closing date for the RFI is Wednesday 25 August. For more information and RFI response documentation: https://dmtc.com.au/our-activities/human-integrated-sensor-systems/ (Source: Rumour Control)
16 Aug 21. Elbit workshops Human Machine Teaming with universities for L125 Ph.4. The Centre of Excellence, which ELSA launched in February this year in partnership with the Victorian Government, will kick off its educational collaboration series on Monday August 16.
ELSA Managing Director, Major General (ret’d) Paul McLachlan AO, CSC, said while it was the first workshop for the new Centre of Excellence in Melbourne, global parent company Elbit Systems placed great emphasis on working with universities to ensure its technology remained world leading.
“I am extremely proud that we now have the ability to partner with them right here in Australia using our sovereign research and development (R&D) centre that will grow both Victoria’s and the nation’s technology footprint,” Mr McLachlan said.
Mr McLachlan said that technology included command and control solutions based on the company’s E-CIX modular framework. This is an open architecture design providing a development environment that can accommodate third-party applications.
“The E-CIX framework also enables integration of multiple sensors, AI and data fusion capabilities that augments the user’s situational awareness and ability to respond quickly and effectively. These are characteristics that are really important to emergency services, homeland security and defence agencies,” Mr McLachlan said.
“Our collaboration and pursuit of excellence does not stop with the Victorian Government and Australian universities however, as we want to support and champion the development of a Human Machine Teaming ecosystem within Victoria by engaging with multiple SMEs and research institutions to enable the growth of Human Machine Teaming technologies and Australian jobs.”
ELSA’s Centre of Excellence Program Manager R&D Damian Fratric said the aim of collaborations was to enable universities to present research projects and technologies.
“The aim of the workshop series is to discuss emerging technologies and the possibility of developing research projects that could be utilised to improve decision making and situational awareness for Human Machine Teaming applications for emergency services, homeland security and defence,” Mr Fratric said.
“We look forward to working with the educational and research institutions and SMEs that have reached out since the opening of our new sovereign R&D hub.”
Much of this research is focussed on Defence’s project LAND 125 Ph.4, for which ELSA has been shortlisted.
This project aims to modernise the ADF’s Soldier Combat System (SCS). The Commonwealth is seeking an industry partner for the supply and support of an ISS capability that would enable continuous growth of the current and future SCS.
The shortlisting demonstrates ELSA’s commitment to continue working with defence on the provision of capability that would increase the effectiveness of Australian soldiers, according to Mr McLachlan said.
ELSA has the ability to deliver the project using an agile design and development approach aimed at supporting incremental evolution of the Soldier Combat System for the duration of the tranche, which would include in-house research and development, Mr McLachlan said.
Research on collaboration between people and autonomous systems conducted by ELSA under this project will produce applications that can not only be used across defence, but could also benefit homeland security and emergency services, he added.
“ELSA has a 250-strong workforce across three locations in Australia that includes more than 100 software and systems engineers.”
Australian industry is invited to contact Elbit Australia to explore collaboration opportunities via the dedicated Elbit ICN page or at: (Source: Rumour Control)
16 Aug 21. Babcock Australasia and UniSA sign MoU for LAND 125 Ph.4. Babcock Australasia has been down selected for the Australian Army’s Integrated Soldier System (ISS) project, LAND 125 Ph.4, and has signed an MoU with the University of South Australia (UniSA) to develop ‘best of breed’ technology for the project.
The MoU will open up avenues for Babcock and UniSA to collaborate on technology development, post graduate research, and graduate pipelines.
Babcock Australasia’s Head of Business Development, Mick Burgess, said the MoU is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to delivering Australian Industry Capability (AIC).
“Babcock’s partnership with UniSA strengthens our commitment to research and development being conducted in Australia in areas that will generate the best outcome for Defence,” he said.
“As a result of the MoU, Babcock will able to leverage key research being undertaken by UniSA for LAND125 Phase 4 in the areas of human factors, cognitive and systems neuroscience, interactive and virtual environments, and advances in wearable computing and displays.
“These and other research areas will contribute strongly to the spiral development of technologies and their use by the future Australian soldier.”
Headquartered in Adelaide, Babcock has a longstanding commitment to maximising local industry participation, supporting local research and development (R&D), and contributing to South Australian innovation across its Defence, Aviation and Critical Services operations.
UniSA Director of Defence and Space, Matt Opie, said the University’s number one ranking in Australia for industry engagement reflects its end-user focused approach to its research.
“In this case, the research we are undertaking in neuroscience, wearable computers, virtual and interactive technology, and the human factors involved in Defence, will all help develop the ideal systems for Australian soldiers,” Mr Opie said.
LAND125 Phase 4 will provide Australian soldiers with the best products, systems and emerging technology so they can defend the nation armed with the latest, disruptive advances in modern warfare.
The project will deliver an ISS integrating all elements and subsystems that are used, worn or carried by soldiers in any operational context or environment for up to 72hrs without resupply.
“Innovation and sovereign capability are at the forefront of Babcock’s bid to equip Australian soldiers with next generation technology as part of LAND125 Phase 4,” Mr Burgess said. “The result is a robust model that delivers sovereign capability through local facilities, as well as domestic supply chains that are integrated, resilient, reliable, and secure.” (Source: Rumour Control)
16 Aug 21. Rheinmetall shortlisted for LAND 125 Phase 4, calls for local suppliers. Rheinmetall has developed Pamnzergrenadier soldier combat systems for the German Army. Photo: Rheinmetall
Rheinmetall Defence Australia has been shortlisted for project LAND 125 Phase 4, which will see the development of an Australian-made Integrated Soldier System.
The company is now seeking Australian partners to register their interest in supporting the development of an Australian-made Integrated Solider System. Rheinmetall says the project will provide a significant boost for local suppliers and further the establishment of a sovereign base for defence manufacturing.
Rheinmetall will work with local partners to build an Integrated Soldier System that gives the Australian Army a sovereign, next-generation capability with next level communication and collaboration between networks of machines, sensors and people.
Accordingly, Rheinmetall is looking to partner with Australian companies in the following areas:
- Soldier Platform Capabilities – protective systems, load carriage systems, power and data management, signature management, translation system
- Robotics and Autonomous Platform Capabilities – Load carriage, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, force protection
- Enhancement Capabilities – innovative and disruptive technologies, improvements and enhancements, health and performance monitoring, immersive simulation
Rheinmetall Managing Director Gary Stewart said that ongoing engagement with local industry and innovation will be critical to the success of the Integrated Solider System.
“I am impressed by the high degree of innovative technologies being developed by Australian SMEs,” he said. “It is important for Rheinmetall to facilitate these companies playing their part in delivering what will be the Australian Army’s best possible future soldier system.
“Rheinmetall understands that it is critical to provide a system architecture that is fully interoperable and that can integrate third party equipment. Utilising our world class capabilities at the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Redbank, QLD, Rheinmetall and our industry partners will be able to develop, integrate and sustain the Australian Army’s best possible future soldier system that helps it fight, survive and win on the modern, complex battlefields of today and tomorrow.”
Local companies interested in partnering with Rheinmetall can register as a supplier to Rheinmetall and register an Expression of Interest for the LAND 125-4 Program in the RDA Supplier Portal. (Source: Rumour Control)
16 Aug 21. $800m on offer for major Australian job creating manufacturing projects. Australian manufacturers can now apply for a share of $800m in funding for major job creating projects under the Collaboration Stream of the Australian Government’s $1.3bn Modern Manufacturing Initiative.
Funding of between $20m and $200m is available, covering up to 33 per cent of eligible project expenditure.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said the Government will strategically invest in projects that will help manufacturers to scale up and create jobs, with investments targeted at projects within the six National Manufacturing Priority areas.
“As a Government we plan to harness Australia’s manufacturing capability to drive job creation and spur private investment, especially as we chart our economic recovery from COVID-19 and build our future resilience,” Minister Porter said.
“Through the Collaboration Stream, we are determined to co-invest in industry-led proposals that will transform our National Manufacturing Priority areas, by encouraging manufacturers to move up the value chain to higher value, higher margin activities, including drawing on our world class research.
“This is at the heart of our $1.5bn Modern Manufacturing Strategy which is all designed to support Australian manufacturers to scale-up, build resilience, become more competitive and create the jobs we need not only now but for generations to come.”
The six National Manufacturing Priority areas are: medical products; clean energy and recycling; food and beverage; defence; space and resource technology and critical minerals processing.
Applications are open until 9 September. More details and the guidelines are available at www.business.gov.au/mmic (Source: Rumour Control)
16 Aug 21. Australia issues RFP for Personal ECM. The Australian Army and the Defence Innovation Hub have issued a request for Proposals (RFP) that will help Defence explore next-generation Personal Electronic Countermeasures (Personal ECM) systems. In the current rapidly evolving threat environment, improving size, weight and power (SWAP) factors have brought Personal ECM to the edge of technical feasibility. Therefore, Defence is seeking innovative solutions for a next-generation Personal ECM system to provide protection to individual ADF personnel.
The objective of this RFP is to down-select a number of Respondents who can deliver a prototype system for the Australian Army within 18 months after contract commencement. Respondents may need to satisfy security requirements to review and hold information classified up to SECRET. This material has limited release to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
This challenge will leverage innovative technology to provide a Personal ECM system able to protect individual ADF personnel against an evolving Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIED) threat. The future Personal ECM system must be able to inhibit multiple RCIED triggers, be modular and sufficiently agile to meet changes in those triggers, and be configurable to reliably operate in various environments.
Next Generation Personal ECM systems must also be able to counter emerging and future vulnerabilities and threats, whilst minimising impact on an individual’s mobility. They must also be interoperable with other radio frequency (RF) and electrical systems, and able to log operational data to support exploitation.
Respondents are encouraged to collaborate with subject matter experts in ECM.
Defence has listed a number of key design goals:
- ADF individuals need minimal impact to their tactical mobility. This means that a total weight of 1-2kg is considered ideal
- RCIED threats are constantly evolving. Solutions need to consider how the system will undergo software and hardware upgrades over its life of type.
- ADF individuals will perform a variety of tasks whilst under the protection of Personal ECM. The solutions offered need to consider the ease of use of the system by an operator, including the ability to quickly identify that the system is operational and the ability to rapidly load different RCIED defeat protocols/waveforms.
Defence would prefer proposals based on products that are reasonably technologically mature, i.e. at TRL 4 (component and/or breadboard laboratory validated) to TRL 6 (system adequacy validated in a simulated environment). Proposals at lower levels of technological maturity are unlikely to be able to be demonstrated within the preferred 18-month timeframe.
Respondents must have a valid ABN or NZBN; to submit a response to this RFP use the ‘Special Notice Proposal Submission Form’ available at https://www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au/call-for-submissions/ by 12:00 noon (local time in the Australian Capital Territory) on Thursday 14 October 2021.
For further information on user needs and specifications go to the Special Notice at https://www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au/call-for-submissions/ (Source: Rumour Control)