06 May 21. Publications of Interest – Project Theseus – The MOD is inviting tenders for Project Theseus which is a commercial Framework Agreement for experimentation tasking(s) in the field of Autonomous Logistics. Framework tasking can range in scope and scale from small-scale procurement or funded demonstrations, to financial contributions towards development of a complete technological solution to Project Theseus. The tender value is £12.5m (ex VAT) and responses are to be submitted before 19 May 2021. Further information is available here or by contacting Bradley Hayward. (Source: Team Defence)
06 May 21. Iraqi Su-25s, UAVs grounded because of lack of spares. Iraq’s Russian-made Su-25 ground-attack aircraft and Chinese-made CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are currently grounded owing to a lack of spare parts, according to a report released by the US Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) on 4 May.
The report, which reviewed the progress of Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’ (OIR) in Iraq and Syria from 1 January to 31 March, cited the US-led coalition as saying the Su-25s “did not fly during the quarter due to a lack of available parts and funds” and that the CH-4s were last flown in September 2019 because they are awaiting parts from China.
The CH-4s were revealed as Iraqi Army Aviation Command (IAAC) assets when they were first displayed in 2015. The report said Iraq originally acquired 20, eight of which have since crashed.
While some of the Iraqi Air Force’s L-159 advanced trainers/light combat aircraft have been returned to service, they are not currently operational as weapon requalification training needs to be carried out, the report said.
The IAAC’s US-made ScanEagle UAVs only flew twice in the quarter, with no flights taking place since 9 January. While their operators blame electro-magnetic interference and have requested counter-jamming equipment, the coalition told the OIG that the problem is caused by the software version used on the aircraft and an analogue ground control station. Although the coalition said new contracts were required to re-initiate ScanEagle operations, it noted that the Iraqis hope to mitigate the interference by using line-of-sight signals. (Source: Jane’s)
03 May 21. MADG integrates new Dutch Scania trucks with first container system. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (MADG) has integrated the Dutch Armed Forces’ new Scania ‘Gryphus’ vehicles with the first B1-W1-X1 Workshop container system. MADG noted that it is supplying over 1,600 deployable container systems for the DVOW programme. Credit: Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (MADG) has integrated the Dutch Armed Forces’ new Scania ‘Gryphus’ vehicles with the first B1-W1-X1 Workshop container system.
The new Scania ‘Gryphus’ vehicles are replacing the DAF trucks under the Dutch Defensiebrede Vervanging Operationele Wielvoertuigen (DVOW) programme.
The programme aims to modernise the Netherlands Army with new vehicles, containers as well as support equipment.
The DVOW contract was awarded to MADG by the Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) in late 2018.
The delivery programme will replace over 2,800 vehicle and container systems in the Dutch military inventory.
MADG will produce and deliver more than 1,600 deployable container systems for the DVOW programme.
The first containers were delivered in July 2019.
The container systems are permanently mounted on the new vehicles. They are equipped with a platform system ‘fitted at the rear to support ingress/egress’.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group programme director Steve Nokes said: “It’s vital for us to ensure our customers receive the quality equipment they need to fulfil their commitments and we’re tremendously proud of how our teams have risen to the challenge.
“With two sub-variant types of the B1 workshops now delivered we’re right on track to deliver the 500th DVOW unit in May this year.”
The Dutch Armed Forces will receive Scania trucks in various configurations and in an ‘8×8 wheeled format’ mounted with the new container system.
Most of these new trucks are 8×8 wheeled configuration, while the remaining are a combination of 6×6 and 4×4 wheeled versions for basic cargo carriage requirements.
In October 2019, MADG selected AT&T internet of things (IoT) connectivity to deliver a connected container solution for the Dutch Army. (Source: Google/army-technology.com)
30 Apr 21. An Essential Technology Upgrade for DoD Fleets. Shift5, Inc., an operational technology data and cyber security company, has released an innovative solution for real-time predictive maintenance technology for Department of Defense weapon systems. By integrating a combined hardware and software product, platform owners and operators will gain visibility into their fleet health status to decrease maintenance costs and increase operational readiness.
Department of Defense weapon systems have many costs contributing to their sustainment, with maintenance comprising a major portion of total ownership cost. On one side, maintenance leads to inflated costs and removes vehicles from operations unnecessarily; while on the other side of the spectrum, scaling down maintenance activities to reduce costs could lead to unexpected equipment failure, followed by lengthy triage and repair time. In some cases, these unexpected repairs occur in less than ideal environments with very limited access to platform experts and other maintenance resources.
The DoD’s maintenance system operates primarily on time-based or reactive maintenance and is struggling to implement preventive and predictive maintenance technologies. Ultimately, there is a fine balance to achieve when efficiently maintaining fleet operations without increasing costs and down-time for critical missions. System operators and commanders have a need for a comprehensive analysis of their fleets’ data in real-time to better predict maintenance requirements. By leveraging high-visibility dashboards and intelligent alerting, users are empowered to perform effective predictive maintenance functions and lower the total ownership cost of their DoD weapon systems.
Unlocking Fleet Data with Shift5
Shift5 provides the Department of Defense and other platform owners the ability to unlock previously unrealized platform data to drive increased readiness and decrease programmatic costs. There is a tremendous amount of weapon system data being generated but there is a lack of solutions on the market to collect and translate this complex data. By utilizing Shift5’s solution, commanders and operators remotely gain access to significantly more mechanical data than what is produced today by existing products, with much greater detail and higher usability.
“Existing fleet assets have outdated digital components that limit the ways DoD customers can interact with their fleet data. This results in operators having to perform menial, error-prone tasks to collect information about their fleets. With real-time, full-take data collection, Shift5 improves their predictive maintenance programs to accelerate diagnosis and reduce maintenance resource requirements.”
– Josh Lospinoso, CEO of Shift5
The Shift5 product components – Shift5 Intake, Shift5 Engine, and Shift5 Gauge Cluster – can be enhanced and customized to provide data-driven maintenance insights to extend lifetime and operational availability of systems, as well as reduce reliance on manual, in-person, or routine maintenance checks. Shift5 Intake enables full packet data capture from a wide range of standard serial data bus protocols on both legacy systems and new builds, while Shift5 Engine uses standards-based rules and advanced models to detect and alert on anomalies or upcoming maintenance needs. Shift5 Gauge Cluster is the off-platform dashboarding, search, and analytics platform and serves as the user’s touchpoint into their data.
We apply our software in a single hardware system to collect data across all onboard systems and report it in real time, with flexible dashboards, intelligent alerting, and tailorable features.
Delivering Cyber Resilience for Operational Technology Systems
Operational Technology (OT) systems that leverage Serial Data Buses (SDB), including major DoD weapon systems, require a holistic cyber security solution. Shift5’s single security appliance protects SDB-dependent systems against cyberattacks and enables operators, commanders, maintainers, and incident responders. The Shift5 technology leverages a layered approach, applying deterministic rules and advanced models for continuous monitoring for unauthorized software and firmware configurations, while detecting anomalies and identifying system vulnerabilities. The same continuous monitoring and customizable alerts used for cyber resiliency can be extended to predictive maintenance functions on SDB-dependent critical weapons platforms.
Shift5’s cyber security technology:
- Allows commanders to gain insights into fleet mechanical and cyber health status to provide a common operating picture and enhance situational awareness.
- Allows system operators to efficiently conduct mechanical and cyber inspection of systems at scale.
- Identifies and reports mechanical and cyber anomalies quickly, decreasing downtime of critical assets and enabling the detection of enemy non-kinetic operational preparation of the environment.
Our team has over six decades of combined active-duty military and intelligence community experience assessing the cybersecurity of, and conducting maintenance on, weapon systems, operational technology, and information systems. Shift5 also brings robust defense experience in OT data collection, edge processing, data analysis, weapon system vulnerability analysis, cyber-physical penetration testing, and quick-reaction software and hardware product development. (Source: PR Newswire)