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04 Oct 18. Boeing, Embraer reportedly in talks to bring KC-390 production to US. Boeing and Brazilian aerospace company Embraer are reportedly discussing the prospect of building an assembly line for Embraer’s KC-390 cargo planes in the United States. According to Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico, which first reported the talks on Oct. 1, and a subsequent Reuters story, the two companies see a U.S. KC-390 plant as part of a larger defense-related joint venture. The discussions on KC-390 follow a July agreement that gave Boeing an 80 percent stake in Embraer’s commercial business, and it was widely speculated that a similar deal on the companies’ defense business hammered out in the coming months would involve greater cooperation with Boeing on KC-390.
Jackson Schneider, president and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security, told Defense News this July that more information about a Boeing-Embraer tie up on KC-390 could be revealed later this year.
Boeing and Embraer established agreements in 2012 and 2014 that allow the U.S. firm to have a hand in global marketing and logistics support of the KC-390, but a defense-related joint venture would allow for “much broader collaboration,” he said.
“Boeing has fantastic experience, [and] the KC-390 is a fantastic plane; it is a game-changer,” he said at Farnborough Airshow. “But I understand that we don’t have a substantial number of clients yet because we are in the certification phase. For sure I think that the Boeing presence in the market is very complementary of what we have. It will enlarge significantly our opportunities in terms of sales.”
The KC-390 is a multi-mission aircraft built to haul cargo, transport passengers, insert special operators and refuel other aircraft, among other uses. However, Embraer has struggled to draw serious interest from international buyers and Brazil currently remains its only customer — although the aircraft has prospects in Portugal and New Zealand and with a commercial aviation services company.
“A decision to build the aircraft in the U.S. would likely only be undertaken if Boeing/Embraer could sell KC-390 to the [U.S.] Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps,” wrote Byron Callan of Capital Alpha Partners in an email.
That could be a tall order, as the U.S. services historically have operated Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Hercules for the same purpose and are either in the process of replacing old variants with new ones, or lack the money to replace old C-130s and plan to recapitalize them instead.
The U.S. Air Force is upgrading active units’ older C-130 models to the newest C-130J Super Hercules, but the service does not have the funding to expand the current C-130J program of record and will have to upgrade some C-130H models, said Lt. Gen. Jerry Harris, the services deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, during a Sept. 28 hearing in front of a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. Meanwhile, the Navy plans to replace its C-130T fleet with 25 new KC-130Js in the early 2020s, Rear Adm. Scott Conn, the service’s director of air warfare, said in the hearing. (Source: Defense News)
04 Oct 18. Netherlands navy recognised as Remus service centre. Hydroid has recognised the Sensor and Weapon Systems Department of the Royal Netherlands Navy’s Directorate of Materiel Sustainment as an authorised Remus AUV service centre.
The Directorate of Materiel Sustainment has invested in facilities, security and diagnostic equipment, and training of technical staff at its service centre in Den Helder. This integrated capability enables the centre to carry out maintenance and repair of Hydroid Remus 100 vehicles and ancillary equipment, and increase operational availability for the Netherland’s navy.
Maureen Kelly, customer service manager at Hydroid, said: ‘Since the first delivery of a Remus system to the Netherlands in 2005, the Royal Netherlands Navy has worked with Hydroid Europe to set a goal of providing depot-level support.
‘Through their investment in their facilities and training courses, the Royal Netherlands Navy has accomplished that. Having reviewed their maintenance capabilities firsthand, I am confident the directorate shares Hydroid’s commitment to product excellence and operational availability of equipment.’ (Source: Shephard)
05 Oct 18. Boeing expands Chook support and maintenance. Australia is positioned to become an international centre of Boeing CH-47 Chinook expertise following a new partnership agreement between Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) and CASG. In line with the government’s Australian Industry Capability Program, Boeing will consolidate all existing support services for the Australian Army’s CH-47F Chinook fleet into a new through-life support contract to be conducted in-country.
Murray Brabrook, general manager of integrated services and support at Boeing Defence Australia, said, “This new partnership has been structured to maintain the Australian Army’s alignment with the global Chinook fleet while standing up in-country engineering and supply chain capabilities to complement the training and maintenance services we currently deliver in Australia.”
Boeing Defence Australia believes expertise developed under the Chinook support services contract could one day allow it to support other regional Chinook operators and future Australian Army helicopter fleets based on other platforms.
“The majority of work will be undertaken in Oakey and Townsville, building on our existing regional network of Australian rotary wing capability to deliver more cost-effective Chinook support while maximising Australian industry involvement and local agility to respond to Australia’s operational requirements,” Brabrook said.
Chinook helicopters were introduced in 1962 as the CH-47 Chinook, and models A, B and C were deployed in Vietnam. As the product of a modernisation program, which included refurbishing existing CH-47s, the first CH-47Ds were delivered in 1982 and were produced until 1994.
A central element in the Gulf War, they continue to be the standard for the US Army in the global campaign against terrorism. Since its introduction, 1,179 Chinooks have been built. Chinooks serve the armed forces of 19 countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US.
The CH-47 Chinook is a multi-mission, heavy-lift transport helicopter. Its primary mission is to move troops, artillery, ammunition, fuel, water, barrier materials, supplies and equipment on the battlefield. Its secondary missions include medical evacuation, disaster relief, search and rescue, aircraft recovery, fire fighting, parachute drops, heavy construction and civil development. (Source: Defence Connect)
04 Oct 18. White House warns of ‘domestic extinction’ of suppliers in industrial base report – and DoD is ready to help with cash. A combination of Chinese influence and budgetary uncertainty means America’s defense industrial base is decaying at the lower levels, with some vital suppliers facing “domestic extinction,” a new study from the Trump administration is warning — and direct investment from the administration appears to be the solution. The study, the result of an executive order issued by president Donald Trump last July, also warns that if the situation is not remedied, the Pentagon faces “limited capabilities, insecurity of supply, lack of R&D, program delays, and an inability to surge in times of crisis.”
The language seems dire, but much of the 140-page report appears to contain little new for those who have paid attention to defense industrial issues over the last several years. Many of the concerns outlined in the report echo that of a Defense Department internal study, released earlier this year, which warned long-term trends, including demographics and sole-source suppliers going out of business, were set to create major hurdles for the department.
The report has been long coming. Trump ordered its creation in July of 2017, with Peter Navarro, his trade czar and a well-known China hawk, as the coordinating point man. At the time, Navarro said the study was being driven by concerns that “we cannot retain a preeminent military without a healthy, growing economy and a resilient industrial base.”
By May 2018, the Pentagon had sent its conclusions into the White House for coordination which set industry expectations of a release shortly thereafter. However, the release dated continued to be pushed back, due largely to other news overtaking the White House.
Trump, along with Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan, is expected to appear at the White House Friday around 1:45 PM eastern time to sign several actions into law. The full report will be released shortly after.
The report identifies five macro issues facing the defense industrial base:
- Sequestration and uncertainty in U.S government spending, which create instability and drives small firms away from defense work
- A decline of U.S. manufacturing capability and capacity, leaving weaknesses throughout the supply chain
- Antiquated U.S. government business practices, which the report warns leads to contracting delays and discourages innovation
- Industrial policies of competitor nations, both due to “collateral damage of globalization” and specific targeting by great powers like China
- And diminished U.S. STEM and trade skills, which are creating gaps in the workforce.
The Departments of Defense, Energy, and Labor all submitted recommendations in the report, to deal with 300 individual weak points that are of concern.
Notably, DoD’s conclusion calls for the expansion of “direct investment in the lower tier of the industrial base,” through the department’s Defense Production Act Title III, Manufacturing Technology, and Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment programs. That would address “critical bottlenecks, support fragile suppliers, and mitigate single points-of-failure.”
Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters it would not be “prudent” at this point to put a total dollar figure on what investment might be coming, but a senior administration official, speaking on background ahead of the report release, identified several shops being given extra cash.
Those include $70m for a plant that produces gun components, in order to launch modernization and risk mitigation programs, as well as $1m for the facility that produces the Abrams tank to procure better tooling.
DoD’s conclusions also call for the creation of an industrial policy to “inform current and future acquisition practices;” to attempt to diversify away from complete dependency on sources of supply in politically unstable countries who may cut off U.S. access, including “reengineering, expanded use of the National Defense Stockpile program, or qualification of new suppliers,” to work with allies on joint industrial base challenges; and to “modernize” the organic industrial base to ensure readiness.
The Department of Energy, whose National Nuclear Security Agency handles the development of nuclear warheads, will propose establishing an “Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment program to address manufacturing and industrial base risk within the energy and nuclear sectors” as part of its FY2020 budget request.
And the Department of Labor will work to encourage STEM growth, as well as consider “potential incentives to recruit and retain workers to enter and/or stay in the industrial base, such as tuition reimbursement.”
All three departments must provide an update 180 days from the issuance of the report.
The Chinese Bogeyman
While the report casts itself as part of the broader return of great power competition, it is impossible to miss that the authors view China as the industrial bogeyman. The words “China,” “Chinese” or “Beijing” appear in the report 232 times; “Russia” appears only once, as part of a quote from another document — which also mentions China.
The report is being released the same day that Vice President Mike Pence gave a keynote speech in Washington decrying what he called Chinese attempts to influence the American public, and just hours after Bloomberg issues a bombshell report that a Chinese company had managed to insert tiny, microscopic chips into hardware used by both the DoD and American intelligence services.
“The Chinese Communist Party has also used an arsenal of policies inconsistent with free and fair trade, including tariffs, quotas, currency manipulation, forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and industrial subsidies doled out like candy, to name a few,” Pence said in his speech. “These policies have built Beijing’s manufacturing base, at the expense of its competitors — especially America.
That China is attempting to infiltrate the defense industrial base is no surprise to those who have been tracking DoD’s comments on the issue in the last several years, but the report sums it up thusly: “While multiple countries pursue policies to bolster their economies at the expense of America’s manufacturing sector, none has targeted our industrial base as successfully as China.”
“China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials and technologies deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security; a challenge shared by key allies such as Germany and Australia,” the report adds, singling out rare earth metals and critical energetic materials for munitions and missiles as areas of concern.
“China’s actions seriously threaten other capabilities, including machine tools; the production and processing of advanced materials like biomaterials, ceramics, and composites; and the production of printed circuit boards and semiconductors.”
China is four times as large as its next closest competitor when it comes to exporting to the U.S. rare earth materials, used in lasers, radar, sonar, night vision systems, missile guidance, and jet engines, making Beijing a significant supplier of these capabilities needed for America’s high-end defense capabilities.
Single sourced, and disappearing
While much of the specific weak points in the defense industrial base are not spelled out in the public-facing part of the report, the 140-page document does include a number of examples of weak spots in the defense industrial base, largely in the lower-tier suppliers who make pieces and parts that would ordinarily go unnoticed on a large military system.
A senior administration official, speaking ahead of the report’s release, cited ceramics, high performance aluminum and steel, titanium, tungsten and carbon fibers as some of the components the Pentagon is concerned about.
The report offers further examples. For instance, it says there are only four America suppliers with the capability to manufacture large, complex, single pour aluminum and magnesium sand castings, needed to help produce American airpower. Those suppliers “face perpetual financial risk and experience bankruptcy threats and mergers mirroring the cyclicality of DoD acquisition,” per the report.
Meanwhile, there is only one qualified source for the upper, intermediate, and sump housing for an unnamed heavy lift platform used by the Marines (potentially the CH-53 King Stallion) that recently went through bankruptcy proceedings. “Without a qualified source for these castings, the program will face delays, impeding the U.S. ability to field heavy lift support to Marine Corps expeditionary forces,” the report warns.
A material called ASZM-TEDA1 impregnated carbon is used in 72 chemical, biological and nuclear filtration systems owned by the DoD, and there is only a single qualified source, the report notes. “The current sourcing arrangements cannot keep pace with demand. DoD is using Defense Production Act Title III authorities to establish an additional source of this critical material,” the report says.
In yet another example, the study looked at the companies that make flare countermeasures for military aircraft. There are only two domestic suppliers for flares with “little incentive to invest in infrastructure,” and both suffered explosions at their production sites in recent years. “Both companies have experienced quality and delivery problems since the accidents. As program offices look to improve quality and cost, they are beginning to look offshore at more modern facilities, where there are fewer quality and safety concerns.”
Hawk Carlisle, a former Air Force officer who now leads the National Defense Industrial Association, called the reporter’s findings “sobering.”
“Recent efforts by Congress and the administration have been encouraging, but more must be done,” Carlisle said. “Streamlining the acquisition process, updating the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States guidelines, and reforming how we sell our systems to allies and partners have all been steps in the right direction.”
Added Eric Fanning of the Aerospace Industries Association, “Guaranteeing the health of the American manufacturing and defense industrial base is a critical national security and economic priority as the United States combats today’s threats and those we’ll face tomorrow. We applaud the Administration’s focus on these issues and look forward to working together to implement the assessment’s recommendations with the same spirit of industry-government cooperation and engagement that led to today’s report,”
Both groups were part of 15 conversations the working group had with industry during the production of the report.
04 Oct 18. Oshkosh Defense LLC, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was awarded a $16,038,473 modification (P00151) to contract W56HZV-15-C-0095 for spares acquisition integrated with production. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2018. Fiscal 2018 procurement Marine Corps; and other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $16,038,473 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity.
03 Oct 18. SAFRAN Landing Systems, Vellzyvillacoublay, France, has been awarded a $220,154,652 firm-fixed-price requirements contract for landing systems remanufacture and supply. This contract provides for a 10-year strategic remanufacture/supply for the KC-135 heat shields, main wheel, carbon brake, torque tube adjustor, assembly, and piston housing. Work will be performed in Vellzyvillacoublay, France, and is expected to be complete by September 2028. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Sustainment Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8203-19-D-0001).
02 Oct 18. Boeing wins $160m contract for US Army H-47 Chinook blade support. The US Army has awarded a new $160m contract to Boeing to continue offering H-47 Chinook rotor blade support. Under the deal, the company will be committed to providing support to the US Army fleet of 450 H-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters deployed across the globe.
Boeing Global Services US Army Services director Kathleen Jolivette said: “The Chinook has proved itself to be critical to the US Army’s wide range of missions, and supply availability is critical to the Chinook’s operational readiness.
“With our demonstrated performance and expertise, we look forward to partnering with our customers on reducing ownership costs and extending blade life for mission success.”
The new performance-based logistics agreement will continue for a period of five years and extend the work that originally started in 2012.
The scope of the project includes continued management of stock availability in addition to the upgrade and modification of all rotor blades for the US Army’s inventory of Chinook aircraft.
Through the contract, Boeing will be responsible for rotor blade maintenance repair and overhaul, in addition to the development of new and modern ways to save blades that would typically be removed from service. The H-47 Chinook is a multi-role, vertical-lift aircraft designed to carry out its primary missions of transporting troops, artillery, equipment and fuel, in addition to humanitarian disaster-relief operations in missions such as transportation of relief supplies and mass evacuation of refugees. (Source: army-technology.com)
04 Oct 18. Mifram Security Ltd. – a leader in the development and production of defensive solutions including anti-terror, threat protection and fortifications for military, law enforcement and civilian uses – expands its line of barriers for the prevention of vehicle-ramming attacks, launching the MVB-3X that stops heavy vehicles, at AUSA 2018. The new barrier is modular, portable, easy to install, instantly deployed – and can potentially save many lives in future vehicle-ramming attacks. The MVB-3X is part of the family of barriers developed by Mifram to stop heavy vehicles traveling at high speeds. It was designed to secure sensitive installations, security and civilian events, and military bases by preventing ramming-attacks by vehicles weighing up to 7.5 tons and traveling at speeds of up to 30 mph. The lightweight barrier can be carried by a single individual and easily assembled in a short time to create a hermetically protected area. Each unit weighs 53lbs, is 3.87ft in length, and 1.74ft in width. According to Mr. Amos Klein, the company’s CEO, “In response to the growing demand for barriers that can be quickly and easily set up without the need for special infrastructure – in order to protect military and civilian facilities and multi-participant events – we have developed the MVB-3X barrier. This barrier provides an answer to the escalating global threat of ramming attacks by terrorists, and the need to protect security forces and civilians in crowded areas. Mifram recently won a supply contract for the protection of a facility in the western United States.”
02 Oct 18. Meggitt sees spare parts contract for US defence logistics agency renewed. The contract covers the supply of depot-level spares. Meggitt will supply spare parts for the Falcon F-15 and other aircraft. High-flying aerospace and defence engineer Meggitt PLC (LON:MGGT) has bagged a US$323m contract with a US defence logistics agency. The company has been awarded a five-year indefinite demand/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to supply wheels, brakes and related spare parts for, among other things, F-16 Falcon, H-60 Blackhawk and CH-47 Chinook aircraft. The contract includes a further five-year option period and replaces a prior five-year IDIQ agreement that expired last month. (Source: proactiveinvestors.co.uk)
01 Oct 18. China building bridging systems for heavy vehicles. China’s NORINCO and its partners are producing and offering for export a range of bridging systems – including the new HZ21 – that must handle the newer, heavier armoured platforms replacing older Chinese systems. NORINCO markets a range of mobile bridging systems on tracked and wheeled platforms, but the prime contractor for some of these bridging systems is the China Harzone Industry Corporation (CHIC), which is a subsidiary of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC). CHIC confirmed that it has two major production facilities and one research and development facility, with sales of commercial and military bridging systems to more than 40 countries. The HZ21 military bridging system is deployed by China and referred to by CHIC as a ‘fast bridge’. It is transported and launched over the rear of a forward control 8×8 cross-country truck.
Prior to launching the two-part bridge, a stabiliser is lowered on either side at the rear of the platform. The lower part of the bridge is then extended over the gap, followed by the upper part – the complete bridge is then lowered into position. When fully extended, the 10.5-tonne (11.6 ton) two-part bridge is 21 m (69 ft) long and has a roadway width of 3.3m; it can bridge a wet or dry gap of up to 19m. According to CHIC, it can be deployed in fewer than 10 minutes and retracted in a similar time. The HZ21 can handle tracked vehicles with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of up to 60 tonnes, or wheeled platforms with a maximum axle load of up to 17 tonnes. In many respects, the HZ21 is similar in concept and operation to the General Dynamics European Land Systems – Germany (GDELS-G) Rapidly Emplaced Bridge System (REBS) deployed by the US Army, which is transported and launched from a Common Bridge Transporter (CBT). (Source: Defense News Early Bird/IHS Jane’s)
02 Oct 18. Joint venture secures SEA 1000 supply chain. A joint venture signed between Australia-based HI Fraser Group and Naval Group supplier Issartel will secure the domestic supply chain to support the $80bn SEA 1000 Future Submarine program. Managing director of HI Fraser Group Chris Williams was excited to announce the joint venture, officially signed at the recent Australia-France Defence Industry Symposium, saying, “This joint venture maximises Australian industry content (AIC), which is a key driving force behind the Naval Shipbuilding Plan. What we see is Issartel’s expertise and understanding of Naval Group’s exacting standards and HI Fraser’s ability to manufacture locally, securing and de-risking the local supply chain.”
HI Fraser and Issartel are leading the way for Australia-France defence industry collaboration with a view to supporting Australia’s Future Submarine Program. The joint venture supports future jobs and will grow the skills intellectual property transfer to supporting our national shipbuilding endeavour.
“Issartel are a trusted and existing supplier in the Naval Group chain. HI Fraser currently provides components for the Collins Class submarines, this means that together we will bring proven quality and capability at a low risk for Naval Group’s work on SEA 1000,” Williams said.
Based in Australia, HI Fraser was founded on a fundamental passion for fixing both complex and simple gas and liquid problems, and has operated for over 60 years, with the current ownership beginning in 1989.
Created in 1961, ISSARTEL industry is specialised in the management of mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic industrial business. (Source: Defence Connect)
01 Oct 18. Today, 3-D printing generates parts used in ships, planes, vehicles and spacecraft, but it also requires a lot of babysitting. High-value and intricate parts sometimes require constant monitoring by expert specialists to get them right. Furthermore, if any one section of a part is below par, it can render the whole part unusable. That’s why Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and the Office of Naval Research are exploring how to apply artificial intelligence to train robots to independently oversee—and optimize—3-D printing of complex parts.
The two-year, $5.8m contract specifically studies and will customize multi-axis robots that use laser beams to deposit material. The team will develop software models and sensor modifications for the robots to build better components.
“We will research ways machines can observe, learn and make decisions by themselves to make better parts that are more consistent, which is crucial as 3-D printed parts become more and more common,” said Brian Griffith, Lockheed Martin’s project manager. “Machines should monitor and make adjustments on their own during printing to ensure that they create the right material properties during production.”
Researchers will apply machine learning techniques to additive manufacturing so variables can be monitored and controlled by the robot during fabrication.
“When you can trust a robotic system to make a quality part, that opens the door to who can build usable parts and where you build them,” said Zach Loftus, Lockheed Martin Fellow for additive manufacturing. “Think about sustainment and how a maintainer can print a replacement part at sea, or a mechanic print a replacement part for a truck deep in the desert. This takes 3-D printing to the next, big step of deployment.”
Currently, technicians spend many hours per build testing quality after fabrication, but that’s not the only waste in developing a complex part. It’s common practice to build each part compensating for the weakest section for a part and allowing more margin and mass in the rest of the structure. Lockheed Martin’s research will help machines make decisions about how to optimize structures based on previously verified analysis.
That verified analysis and integration into a 3-D printing robotic system is core to this new contract. Lockheed Martin, along with its strong team, will vet common types of microstructures used in an additive build. Although invisible from the outside, a part could have slightly different microstructures on the inside. The team will measure the performance attributes of the machine parameters, these microstructures and align them to material properties before integrating this knowledge into a working system. With this complete set of information, machines will be able to make decisions about how to print a part that ensures good performance. The team is starting with the most common titanium alloy, Ti-6AI-4V, and integrating the related research with seven industry, national lab and university partners.
28 Sep 18. US Navy looks to blockchain to track aviation parts. Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, the Naval Air Systems Command’s Fleet Readiness Center Southwest Advance Technologies Team is working on a blockchain project to track aviation parts throughout their lifecycles. NAVAIR has partnered with Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO), the developers of SIMBA Chain.
SIMBA Chain is the result of an Army-led Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency initiative for tracking secure messages using blockchain. ITAMCO has also partnered with the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing, which brings protocols to the project that can quickly and securely recall large data sets. The goal of the project is to develop a conceptual architecture for what a connected and visible supply chain could look like using blockchain.
“The Navy is very excited to work with ITAMCO on this cutting-edge technology to improve visibility, anti-tampering, traceability and data transparency in the NAVAIR supply chain,” said George Blackwood, a NAVAIR logistics management specialist. The Navy project is working to develop a permissioned blockchain with a consensus mechanism to track the aviation parts. (Source: Defense Systems)
28 Sep 18. Airbus invests €60m in new military aircraft logistics centre.
- To be operational in 2020
- Industry-led centralized spare part management to increase fleet availability of German Air Force
- Capacities for future needs like German Tornado Replacement and new European Future Combat Air System (FCAS) considered
Airbus Defence and Space is investing around € 60m into a new logistics centre for spare parts of military aircraft (Military Air Spares Centre – MASC) at Manching to the north of Munich. In the presence of the authorities, an official groundbreaking ceremony has marked the start of construction works. The self-financed 26,300 m² building is due to be operational in early 2020. In the new logistics centre, which covers an area similar to four football fields, function rooms, shipping points as well as office and recreation rooms for staff will also be located.
By pooling all logistics in the new centre, the site will be restructured and processes will be designed to maximise efficiency. An improved availability of materiel will contribute to an increased fleet availability for the German Air Force.
This step could be realised as the spare parts management for the German Air Force will be consequently transferred to Airbus and steered out of the Manching site.
The logistics centre will accommodate all spare parts and operating supplies that are necessary for producing and maintaining military aircraft. In total, it will be possible to stockpile up to 100,000 different parts. The state-of the art storage techniques will be process-optimised to supply each aircraft programme more efficiently and robustly
By centralising the site’s complete warehousing, the Military Air Spares Centre will become the hub for the entire materiel management.
The centre’s capacity already takes into account possible future requirements like a German Tornado Replacement by additional Eurofighter aircraft and a new European Future Combat Air System (FCAS).
28 Sep 18. AM General wins contract for US Army’s HMMWV recapitalisation. The US Army has awarded a new contract to global vehicle solutions provider AM General for the recapitalisation of the service’s high-mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV). Through the $51.3m contract, AM General will work under its longstanding public private partnership (PPP) programme with the Red River Army Depot (RRAD) to supply mission-capable M1152 and M1165 HMMWV variants to the US Army.
AM General US Defense executive vice-president Chris Vanslager said: “We recognise the value of a modernised vehicle fleet for the US Army and this contract award is a testament to our commitment for continued innovation and vehicle system improvements to ensure mission readiness for our service men and women.
“The HMMWV platform is incredibly nimble and adaptable; over the life of the programme, it has received a multitude of improvements.”
Under the current programme, select vehicles from the existing US National Guard assets will be disassembled at RRAD, put through a rigorous initial inspection and will be upgraded in compliance with the recapitalisation requirements.
The recapitalised vehicle bodies will then be transported to the company’s Mishawaka manufacturing facility, where they will be connected to a new production rolling chassis.
The resulting product will be a modernised variant of HMMWV and will feature automotive improvements, including significant increase in overall vehicle reliability, enhanced steering geometry for manoeuvrability, and increased-capacity 4L85E transmission.
The upgraded vehicle will also feature an improved front-mounted heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, a new antilock braking system and electronic stability control, as well as an improved powertrain cooling system. In August last year, AM General secured a $2.2bn five-year, firm fixed price foreign military sale (FMS) requirements contract to produce and supply up to 11,560 new HMMWVs to the US Army Contracting Command. Also known as Humvee, HMMWV is a tactical vehicle designed and manufactured to replace the US Army’s current tactical vehicles in the 0.25t to 1.25t range. (Source: army-technology.com)
About Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense is a leading provider of tactical wheeled vehicles and life cycle sustainment services. For decades Oshkosh has been mobilizing military and security forces around the globe by offering a full portfolio of heavy, medium, light and highly protected military vehicles to support our customers’ missions. In addition, Oshkosh offers advanced technologies and vehicle components such as TAK-4® independent suspension systems, TerraMax™ unmanned ground vehicle solutions, Command Zone™ integrated control and diagnostics system, and ProPulse® diesel electric and on-board vehicle power solutions, to provide our customers with a technical edge as they fulfill their missions. Every Oshkosh vehicle is backed by a team of defense industry experts and complete range of sustainment and training services to optimize fleet readiness and performance. Oshkosh Defense, LLC is an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK].
To learn more about Oshkosh Defense, please visit us at www.oshkoshdefense.com.