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13 Dec 18. Carrier USS John C Stennis establishes temporary Sri Lanka air logistics hub. The US Navy (USN) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis (CVN 74) has established a temporary air logistics hub in Sri Lanka to receive support, supplies, and services at sea. The hub includes an airstrip and storage facilities to provide logistics support to USN ships operating in the Indian Ocean. It also has the potential to provide expeditionary logistics support during humanitarian and disaster relief missions. Such logistical hubs are becoming increasingly necessary for USN operations in the Indo-Pacific regions as the service executes its plan to deploy more forces in the region, naval experts noted.
“We need to develop logistical nodes in and around the Pacific,” Jerry Hendrix, vice- president of Telemus Group, said on 11 December during a presentation on aircraft carrier operations at the Heritage Foundation. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Dec 18. New report shows challenges of modernizing DOD’s supply chain management. Like so many other aspects of government IT, the Defense Department finds itself in looking to both maintain the supply chain management systems it already has but also look to the future of more modern tools. A new report from big data and analytics firm Govinihelps illustrate that situation, where 73.1 of DOD’s supply chain technology obligations over the past four years were for sustainment and day-to-day operations. The remaining 26.9 percent of spending was for emerging technologies. Contract obligations for supply chain technology added up to $79.2bn over four years but sustainment costs represented $57.8bn of that. That certainly indicates how vast DOD’s inventory is and how the current IT networks in place are key to the military’s day-to-day operations. But it also shows how maintaining the status quo continues to dwarf new investments even as DOD is looking to ramp up modernization investments, said Tara Murphy Dougherty, president of Govini’s national security practice. That particularly comes as DOD thinks through how to “manage sustainment costs while we’re simultaneously realizing that the vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain are more significant than ever and the supply chain is more opaque than ever because of the global complexity of it,” Dougherty said.
The big issue then, she says, is how to “put a governor on sustainment costs so we don’t have to change our modernization priorities.”
Commercially-proven technologies could be an answer to keeping those operations-and-maintenance costs down, she said in going as far as to say the “commercial sector is wildly under-tapped by DOD.”
But the top five supply chain technology vendors Govini found are the players that be expected: Perspecta, Leidos, Northrop Grumman, the combined General Dynamics IT-CSRA and CACI International.
That eye toward what is down the road also includes what could be available outside the traditional defense supplier base but from the commercial world in areas like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of Things to link the digital and physical worlds.
But Govini notes that many of the same top vendors in IT sustainment for supply chain also lead in several emerging technology segments. For example, Leidos and Northrop are top five players in informatics, while Perspecta is a leader in cloud-enabled configurable systems as DOD seeks to embrace commercial cloud.
So how are those legacy players keeping their strong footholds in the defense supply chain technology arena?
Dougherty said she sees traditional systems integrators making more investments in the early development phases to build off longstanding knowledge of what their customers want.
That way, she said, they “compete on the basis of what is essentially COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf, where they would have previously gone GOTS (government-off-the-shelf).”
“The SIs already so embedded with the client can spend IRAD (independent research-and-development money (and) because they work so closely with whatever DOD component, they know what’s needed.” (Source: Defense Systems)
12 Dec 18. Pentagon seeks better insight into F-35 sub-tier suppliers. Key Points:
- The Pentagon is seeking better insight into F-35 sub-tier suppliers
- It is likely that the Pentagon is looking for vulnerability points or perhaps more accurate pricing
The Pentagon is seeking a better understanding of the risks presented by key components and organisations in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) sustainment supply chain that could have an impact on overall programme cost, schedule, and performance.
The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) relies heavily on Lockheed Martin and F135 engine developer Pratt & Whitney to provide insight into sustainment supply chain risks for the air system. The JPO has a good understanding of Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, and their major suppliers, but the Pentagon said there is often limited visibility into the sub-tier suppliers who provide critical components and personnel to support sustainment.
Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on 3 December posted a request for proposal (RFP) on Federal Business Opportunities for F-35 JPO Sustainment Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM). The contractor will need to produce and maintain an F-35 supply chain mapping and associated risk assessment.
The contractor will map the air system sustainment supply chain to at least the third tier, up to a total of 250 suppliers. The map will need to show how suppliers are mapped, both vertically and horizontally.
The contractor will provide a high-level risk analysis, comprising a minimum of the supplier ownership history and manufacturing locations within the last 10 years for all 250 suppliers mapped. The contractor will then provide a full risk analysis for 80 of the 250 suppliers identified, including, at a minimum: ownership history, financial information, partnerships, legal issues, and countries of origin and manufacturing locations. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/IHS Jane’s)
13 Dec 18. KONGSBERG and Patria will acquire AIM Norway and take over its maintenance, overhaul and upgrade of aircraft and helicopters for the Norwegian Air Force. Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA), a subsidiary of KONGSBERG, has entered into agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Defence for the purchase of Aerospace Industrial Maintenance Norway AS (AIM Norway), which is the Norwegian armed force’s business for maintenance, overhaul and upgrade of the Air Force’s aircraft and helicopters. In order to further strengthen AIM Norways’s deliveries, capability and competence, KDA and Patria have entered into agreement for a shared ownership where KDA’s ownership is 50.1% and Patria’s 49.9%.
Patria will contribute with important experience and competence within aerospace maintenance, and the two companies will jointly ensure a solid foundation for further development. The acquisition is a logical continuation of Patria’s work for the Norwegian defense forces in the helicopter area supporting their NH90 and Bell 412 fleets.
AIM Norway has played a major role in Norwegian aviation industry since 1916 and has 440 employees and revenues of 113 m euros (2017). The company has its main operating base at Kjeller and an operative unit at Rygge air station, and conducts advanced and heavy maintenance, overhaul and upgrade primarily within air military operations. Important priorities are engine maintenance for the new F-35 aircraft and for Norway’s new AW101 search and rescue helicopters. AIM Norway also owns Belgium Engine Center (BEC), with its main operating base in Herstal, outside of Liege in Belgium. BEC is a one-stop shop for engine maintenance, repair and overhaul services.
“The purchase of AIM Norway is an important milestone for KONGSBERG and an important step in the Group’s strategy of being a strategic partner for the Norwegian armed force’s operative requirements, both as a supplier of equipment and for maintenance. With this acquisition our ownership in the Nordic defence industry is further strengthened and we are taking new, important steps in the Nordic and international defence market”, says Geir Håøy, CEO of KONGSBERG.
“Patria has a long history and solid know-how in combat aircraft and helicopter maintenance, including their engines, both in Finland and other Nordic countries, and now this business will be brought to the next level. I am pleased that our competence is acknowledged internationally. Growth in international maintenance operations is at the core of our strategy. Patria has also established a new subsidiary, Patria ISP Oy, focusing on the international maintenance and lifecycle support business. This corporate structure enables the necessary firewalls between Patria’s international business and the strategic partnership with the Finnish Air Force”, states Olli Isotalo, President and CEO of Patria Group.
12 Dec 18. Airbus staff error led to fatal Mali copter crash – German official. The fatal crash of a German armed forces helicopter in Mali last year was caused by the failure of mechanics from manufacturer Airbus to correctly set the aircraft’s rotor controls after repairs, a defense official told Reuters on Wednesday.
An armed forces investigation of the crash, which killed both pilots aboard the helicopter, found that neither a technical defect nor material fatigue were to blame, according to the official who has seen the report and a second source briefed on the matter.
“It was a maintenance error on the part of Airbus. The pilots were not at fault,” said the second source.
Airbus said in a statement that a German military investigation had identified an improper setting of controls as “one of the factors in the chain of events” that led to the crash, and precautionary measures had been implemented to prevent any reoccurrence of the issue.
It said the investigation had ruled out any design issue with the Tiger helicopter. The company said it would refrain from further statements due to pending proceedings on the case.
“Airbus must take responsibility,” said Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, deputy head of the Free Democrats and defense spokesperson for her party. (Source: Reuters)
12 Dec 18. Thales and French defence ministry establish logistic support platform. A joint logistic support platform has been established in Nouâtre in central France for the French land forces equipment maintenance. Located at the 14th equipment support base (BSMAT), the new platform is part of the Maintenance en Condition Opérationnelle – Terre (MCO-Terre) 2025 land forces through-life support transformation plan.
The joint logistic support platform is set up by the land forces industrial maintenance service (SIMTER) and Thales. It aims to increase the French Armed Forces’ overall performance.
It is designed to improve workflows and management processes and strengthen equipment availability at optimum cost.
In June, a partnership alliance was entered by the French defence ministry’s integrated through-life support structure for land forces equipment and systems (SIMMT) and Thales.
The partnership between the parties includes Thales to provide technological, digital and organisational expertise to SIMMT.
Under the partnership, the company and other French industry partners will carry out at least 40% of all maintenance activities.
Thales secure communications and information systems customer support and services activities vice-president Florence Gourgeon said: “With the new organisation and secure access to innovative services, the armed forces are stepping up to the challenges of the digital transformation to offer a customised support solution for operational units.
“The joint support management platform ensures that high-value systems are available at the right time and in the right place so that the French Land Forces can conduct their decisive missions effectively and efficiently.”
The French defence ministry’s MCO-Terre 2025 aims to improve the availability of defence systems for the country’s armed forces in complex environments, especially through the development of new digital services. (Source: army-technology.com)
12 Dec 18. NHIndustries and NAHEMA agree through-life support for NH90 helo. NHIndustries and the NATO Helicopter Design and Development, Production and Logistics Management Agency (NAHEMA) have agreed a through-life support (TLS) contract for the NH90 helicopter that will run for at least five years. The manufacturer of the helicopter and the agency that manages the multinational programme have signed a TLS contract for NH90s in-service with Australia, Belgium, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, and New Zealand (it does not include Greece, Oman, Qatar, or Sweden). Announced by the helicopter manufacturer on 11 December, the TLS covers 12 different variants of the NH90 in service with the nine nations and includes the option of extending the five-year term by a further five years. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Dec 18. Maintenance center for Russian Helicopters opens in Peru. The maintenance and repair center for Russian-made helicopters Helicentro Peru has been launched in Lima at the facilities of the Peruvian Air Force Maintenance Service – SEMAN. Built in partnership with Russian Helicopters (part of Rostec State Corporation), the center will provide maintenance for Mi-type aircraft. The official opening ceremony was attended by CEO of Russian Helicopters Andrey Boginsky and Chief Commander of the Peruvian Air Force Rodolfo García Esquerre. The facility will be used by Helicentro Peru to repair Mi-17 civil helicopters operated in the region, and by Russian Helicopters to overhaul Mi-17 aircraft of the Peruvian Air Force.
“The establishment of the maintenance and repair center for Russian helicopters in Peru is of strategic importance – it will enable to provide the full range of work without taking out fuselages from the country. Although the center has just started its operation, it has already orders until 2023 – nearly 40 helicopters have been planned for repair during the next five years. In addition, the advantageous geographical location of Peru and the enterprise’s production capacity would enable to accept orders from other countries of the region,” noted Andrey Boginsky, CEO of Russian Helicopters.
“Peru is the major importer of Russian-made aircraft in Latin America. This country is currently operating over 100 Russian helicopters,” said Viktor Kladov, Rostec’s Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy. “We continue to create a unified system for managing the life cycle of our helicopters in Peru. The opening of the aircraft maintenance center is significantly enhancing our positions in Latin America that is a top-priority region for Rostec.”
10 Dec 18. GD Electric Boat to perform submarine maintenance for US Navy. General Dynamics (GD) Electric Boat has been awarded a contract to provide support services at the US Navy’s Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut. Valued at $46.2m, the contract will see the company deliver non-nuclear maintenance work for the submarines stationed at the naval base. This cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is a modification to a previously awarded contract. It has a total potential value of $239.9m over a five-year duration. Works will involve non-nuclear repair services required for submarine overhauls, maintenance, repair and modernisation upgrades and ship alterations. In addition, the services provided by the company will support temporary modifications and field changes, offer ancillary services, as well as corrective and preventative maintenance. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of GD. It will dedicate 265 employees in support of the work at the base. Contracted work is due to be completed by December next year. The Supervisor of Shipbuilding in Groton is serving as the contracting authority. Furthermore, the contract will allow the company to continue operating the New England Maintenance Manpower Initiative (NEMMI) at the submarine base. NEMMI was created in 1999 to transfer ‘non-submarine qualified military billets’ at the Naval Submarine Support Facility in New London to GD Electric Boat shipyard employees. The Naval Submarine Base New London is a key facility for the US Navy. It is home to 17 attack submarines, including Los Angeles-class and Virginia-class vessels. The base provides support facilities for the operational attack submarines of the US Navy, military organisations and tenant commands. (Source: naval-technology.com)
10 Dec 18. L3 MAS to provide in-service support for RCAF’s CC-150 Polaris fleet. L3 Military Aviation Services (MAS) has been awarded a contract to provide in-service support for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CC-150 Polaris aircraft fleet. Valued at up to C$230m ($172.53m), the contract is a renewal of the original in-service support contract that awarded to the company in August 2013. The original contract was valued at C$683m ($669m) and featured a five-year base performance period and two five-year option periods. Under the contract, L3 MAS will provide maintenance support to service, repair and overhaul the aircraft fleet and equipment, as well as engineering support and management of related contracts.
The contract renewal will support more than 100 jobs in the aerospace sector in Quebec and Ontario, as well as provide and sustain the equipment of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Canadian National Defence Minister Harjit S Sajjan said: “With this contract, we are ensuring that the women and men of 437 Squadron have the maintenance support required to provide the Royal Canadian Air Force with essential refuelling and transport capability. Investments like these will ensure that they can continue to build on the rich 75-year history of their predecessors through their dedication and excellence.”
A modification of the Airbus A310 civilian aircraft, the CC-150 Polaris is a multi-purpose, twin-engine, long-range jet aircraft used for strategic air-to-air refuelling and transport. Around five aircraft are currently operational with RCAF, with two having been configured for strategic air-to-air refuelling for Canada’s CF-18 Hornet fighter fleet. The remaining two are used for transport of passengers and/or cargo, and one for strategic Government of Canada transport.
Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to Infrastructure and Communities Minister Marco Mendicino said: “The Polaris aircraft fills a number of roles: transporting equipment, moving personnel, and offering strategic air-to-air refuelling. I am proud to be announcing this contract extension so that our Royal Canadian Air Force can continue doing the important work we ask of them.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
06 Dec 18. US Supply chain risk in the spotlight. The National Risk Management Center at the Department of Homeland Security is working to develop a list of national critical functions, functions so important that a disruption could cause a national or economic security crisis, by the end of the year. Bob Kolasky, the center’s director, said he’s been given marching orders to keep the list to a manageable size.
“I’ve been told I better not come up with a list of more than 100 national critical functions, that’s too many,” said Kolasky at a Dec. 6 event hosted by ICF. “But [even] 100 requires some prioritization.”
DHS hasn’t decided how public it will make that list. Kolasky said further discussion is needed among officials and industry stakeholders around risk mitigation, but the new center does plan on making aspects of the list and priorities public in some form.
In the meantime, DHS is already moving forward on initiatives in a number of sectors, such as election security, where stakeholders already have a sense of their own national critical functions. A tri-sector coordinating council composed of representatives from the electric, finance and communications sectors have already developed their own preliminary lists, including electricity generation and transmission, wireless communications, insurance and finance. Next week, DHS will host a non-public workshop with representatives from all 16 critical infrastructure sectors to complete the list.
One hope is that the list will end up fueling smarter intelligence collection by the U.S. government.
“The conversations we’ve had with the [intelligence community] is that this will help focus some of our intel collection in ways where industry will help us understand: what are the real critical things that they do,” said Kolasky. “What are the critical nodes … the things that allow those functions to produce and let’s make sure we’re thinking about any threats to that and treating those different from … the average cybersecurity threat.”
Another area ripe for immediate action is supply chain management. Kolasky will be taking over as co-chair for the newly created ICT supply chain task force. Kolasky downplayed the change in an interview with FCW, saying other DHS officials like Emile Monette and Mark Kneidinger will continue to be involved but that DHS felt the profile of the task force necessitated higher level ownership.
“This is a huge priority of CISA”, Kolasky said, in reference to the new Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency at DHS.
The executive committee met last month and reviewed a list of nine priorities and “good ideas out there” around supply chain management that were produced by previous government and industry research efforts, and the group is planning to announce a more robust list in January that will drive the creation of further working groups to drill down further. (Source: Defense Systems)
10 Dec 18. Lithuanian Air Force renews Dauphin HCare Infinite contract. Fleet of three AS365 N3+ has achieved 97% average availability over three years. The Lithuanian Air Force (LAF) has renewed its HCare Infinite material management contract for its fleet of three Dauphin AS365 N3+ search and rescue (SAR) helicopters following achievement of 97% average fleet availability over a three-year period. These helicopters entered service performing SAR missions in 2015 with a three-year full warranty and Airbus’ commitment to maintaining at least an 80% fleet availability rate.
“Airbus has far exceeded the availability rate agreed upon in the HCare Infinite support and service contract, achieving near-perfect 97% fleet availability,” said Lieutenant Colonel Antanas Matutis, Šiauliai Air Base Commander. “As a direct result, our team was able to ensure continuous around-the-clock service to those in need of rescue in Lithuania, which we hope to continue through this contract renewal.”
“Support plans like HCare Infinite with performance commitments taken by Airbus contribute towards our goal of building trusted, long-term partnerships with our customers,” said Matthieu Louvot, Executive Vice President of Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters. “In this case, Lithuania can focus its energy on effectively performing life-saving missions while Airbus takes care of all the rest.”
Lithuania was one of the first customers to choose HCare Infinite, Airbus’ most comprehensive level of HCare material management services. The terms require Airbus Helicopters to guarantee the operational availability of LAF’s Dauphin fleet, including technical support and supply of spare parts, tools and consumables.
Through the contract, LAF has direct access to Airbus Helicopters’ parts inventory in Šiauliai, Lithuania, as well as the Airbus parts-by-the-hour pool – a dedicated high-availability pool located in Les Florides, Marignane, France. In addition, a dedicated technical representative is embedded on LAF premises working closely with the Airbus Customer Support Manager in Marignane. Aircraft performance is measured on a daily basis.
Airbus Helicopters’ range of HCare material management services starts out with Easy (on-request catalogue services) and Smart (four by-the-hour options), and progressively builds up to Infinite (full availability commitments).
LAF’s renewed contract is for a second term of three years. Today, seven customers with an aggregated 100+ machines have opted for HCare Infinite. Their helicopters include H135s, H145s, Dauphins and Super Pumas, performing a wide variety of missions: SAR, law enforcement, training and military. They operate in the Middle East, Europe, South America, and Asia Pacific, including the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, which launched its agreement in 2016.
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