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14 Oct 20. Boeing wins DLA PBL contract to support multiple weapons systems. The US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has awarded a Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contract to Boeing to support several weapons systems platforms. The US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has awarded a Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contract to Boeing to support several weapons systems platforms. The contract is worth $477m and will be carried out under a fixed-price, master services agreement. It covers the provision of supplies, complete supply chain management and logistics services.

This is expected to guarantee the various weapon systems continue to receive affordable sustainment over the long-term.

As per operational performance needs, Boeing will offer support to specific contracts.

Under the first phase, valued at $39m, the company be responsible for the delivery and supply chain management of Honeywell parts that are licensed to Boeing.

Boeing Global Integrated Services Support director John Guasto said: “Boeing’s supply chain management and distribution capabilities will help ensure parts are accessible whenever and wherever they are needed based on their use, while reducing inventory and logistics lifecycle costs.”

The company will also ensure that the ‘individually priced consumables’ are available at troop locations to meet their day-to-day requirements.

Work is expected to be completed over a period of five years with another five-year option.

The contract follows a three-year, $149.5m delivery order placed by DLA to supply consumable parts for the US Air Force’s KC-46 Pegasus tanker aircraft.

In July, Boeing signed direct commercial sale (DCS) agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for the upgrade of Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) ageing fleet of Mitsubishi F-15J. Under the DCS, up to 98 aircraft will receive the latest electronic warfare and weapons. Work under the programme is scheduled to commence in 2022. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

12 Oct 20. UK MoD Awards New Military Bridging Contract to WFEL. WFEL, world leading supplier of rapidly deployable military bridges, has received a new contract from the UK’s Ministry of Defence for the supply of 17 Sets of its MGB Medium Girder Bridges.  This follows a review of the MoD’s modular gap crossing capabilities, which aimed to draw together existing in-service capabilities into a single coherent capability.

These 17 new MGB bridging sets can be configured in several different ways to provide flexibility to the Commander on the ground.  Configurations include concurrent deployment of both a 31-metre Double-Storey and a 5-bay Single-Storey version.  The bridging systems will be deployed by the Royal Engineers and are available for use in both Military Operations and Emergency Disaster Relief scenarios.

The contract, worth more than £46m, will not only provide continuing employment for 50 direct WFEL production-related personnel but is likely to create an additional 15 to 20 skilled and production support jobs.

It’s also estimated that it will secure a further 100 jobs in the supply chain in the North of England and Scotland.

With over 500 systems already supplied to militaries around the world, the MGB is a modular military bridging system, providing interoperability with any other MGB of any age and is already adopted by many NATO members.  MGBs were deployed jointly by U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy Seabees in Norway during Exercise Trident Juncture 2018, in one of the largest NATO exercises of recent times.

UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP, said: “This £46m contract of new military bridges not only secures jobs within Stockport, but also supports a significant number of jobs in the wider UK supply chain. These bridges provide our Armed Forces with vital capabilities in both Military and Disaster Relief operations.”

Maj Tom Exelby, of the Royal Engineers, said, “The MGB will provide light-weight medium gap capability to Very High Readiness forces and will form a significant element of the STRIKE Brigade’s manoeuvre support capability.  MGB was chosen for its versatility and deployability to meet the challenges of the future integrated operating concept.”

The MGB contract will be fulfilled by Dec 2025, with the first two bridging sets delivered to the UK MoD by Dec 2021.

In 2018, the Australian Defence Force also took delivery of several new MGBs, under its Land 155 programme, replacing those previously in service for over 30 years.  The ADF chose double-storey, link-reinforced Medium Girder Bridge variants, spanning up to 49 meters, supplemented by additional portable Pier and Span equipment, allowing bridges of up to 76 meters to be constructed.  MGB Walkways were also supplied, ensuring the bridges could be used in any civil emergency or disaster relief situation.

Land 155 also saw delivery to the ADF of WFEL’s 46-metre 120 MLC DSB Dry Support Bridges, which can be launched by just 8 personnel within 90 minutes.  The DSB allows a level of inter-operability with an ever-growing user base, proven in the field as temporary infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan.

08 Oct 20. New Pentagon Strategy To Share Data Like Ammunition. The new Department of Defense Data Strategy is designed to flatten the obstacles — technical and cultural — that prevent easy data sharing across the military services to enable the Pentagon’s push towards Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2). Getting the right data, into the right hands, in a timely and useful manner, without any questions about the data’s integrity, is essential.

“The responsibility of all DoD leaders is to treat data as a weapon system and manage, secure, and use data for operational effect,” writes Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist in the strategy’s foreword.

The military, with its enormous intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance apparatus, is already adept at accumulating information, and so the strategy focuses instead on how to convert that already-acquired information into shareable and useful facts.

It means, in particular, giving units access to data without the person holding the data checking first to see if the recipient is entitled to use it.

“I think some of the JADC2 demos have shown us very tangible results here,” said a defense official, noting the March 2020 event at Andrews Air Force Base, “where we saw an Army howitzer, through an Air Force Data Fabric, knock down a cruise missile that was templated to be flying into North America.”

Moving data across different service networks, and pairing Air Force sensor information with Army artillery targeting, is all supported by the strategies call for a “cultural shift from the need to know (i.e., information withholding) to the responsibility to provide (i.e., information sharing).”

To make this meaningful and timely, the process of data sharing, as well as validation, has to be automated, and it is easiest to build that kind of cross-force interoperability into sensors, networks, and data architecture from the start.

“There’s a JADC2 data pipeline,” said a senior defense official. “And it’s our responsibility to collectively ensure that the JADC2 pipelines, discovery, ingestion, preparation, storage and processing, exposing and disseminating are capable of machine to machine interfacing with an automated orchestration capability. That really only only happens if we use an open data standards architecture.”

The strategy offer goalposts to ensure the data is interoperable, not just within the Pentagon but among coalition partners, too. Another objective is to allow public, unclassified, data to be ingested by computers without human intervention. Another is making data interoperable won’t cause a loss of fidelity. For example, a video recorded by a drone can transfer that data to an operator on the ground with the same clarity and accuracy.

In developing the strategy, the office of the Chief Data Officer reached out to industry to align goals, while emphasizing the need for much greater precision because the stakes are literally life and death.

“The level of scrutiny and performance of data analytics, or predictive analytics, or autonomy needs to be much more precise,” than that required of commercial businesses, said the defense official. “We can’t accept a threshold of ‘deploy and learn’ where the bottom line will be we won’t make as much revenue. Ours is necessarily a requirement to be the most precise.”

To get the strategy started, the Chief Data Officer Council will use create a common vocabulary and common metrics for performance. The strategy will also guide requirements and standard-setting going forward. Because adapting legacy systems would be too expensive, the strategy expects most legacy systems to be left out of the new efforts.

If data is to be, as DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy said “the ammunition in the Digital Modernization Strategy,” it needs to be in the hands of the people who can use it, and it needs to work with the machines they already have. The new Data Strategy is an attempt to make data shareable across the force, with greater ease and standardization than already exists for bullets. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)

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