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17 Jan 19. The MOD has awarded a five-year, multi-million-pound deal to Leonardo Helicopters (UK) for the support of the existing fleet of 50 Apache attack helicopters. Defence Minister Stuart Andrew announced the £293m contract with Leonardo Helicopters during a visit to the company’s site in Yeovil where some of the vital work on the aircraft will take place. The Apache AH MK1 Integrated Operational Support (IOS) contract will maintain the fleet until it’s out of service date in March 2024. The Apache MK1 is being incrementally replaced by the latest Apache AH-64E aircraft that will begin entering service with the British Army in 2022. The new AH-64E model will have improved sensors and avionics as well as greater performance that will enable the Army to sustain its battle-winning capabilities in future operations.
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: The Apache has provided years of crucial battlefield support to UK and coalition troops in operations in Libya and Afghanistan. This multi-million-pound contract will ensure our Armed Forces continue to benefit from this vital capability as we integrate the latest Apache model into service in 2022.
The IOS contract secured by Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD’s procurement agency, includes deep maintenance, repair and overhaul of the MK1 aircraft as well as the provision of technical and spares support. The contract has been awarded in three tranches, to maintain value for money, with this latest investment covering the final five years of the fleet in service.
This contract reaffirms the MOD’s committed investment in Leonardo’s Yeovil site. Last May, the MOD announced the delivery of the first Commando Merlin Mk4 helicopters designed for Royal Marine aircraft carrier operations. This saw the fruition of a £388m contract supporting 175 skilled jobs in Yeovil and a further 500 across the UK supply chain. The MOD also provides Leonardo with the £271m Wildcat support and training contract securing 500 jobs in Yeovil.
The South West benefits from MOD expenditure of £920 per person each year and a huge investment in local industry and commerce of £5.1bn. Defence spending in the region supports one in every 60 jobs – the highest proportion of jobs supported by MOD expenditure in the UK, totalling 33,500 jobs.
Director Helicopters at Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD’s procurement agency, Graham Russell said:
This latest multi-million-pound investment in the existing Apache fleet not only demonstrates our positive collaboration with industry in achieving value for money, but also ensures that these battle-proven helicopters remain in-service and readily available for the British Army until their out of service date. (Source: News Now/U.K. MoD)
14 Jan 19. DARPA wants to secure the electronics supply chain. To better protect the global electronics and IT supply chain, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking at solutions that can track and authenticate computer hardware components as they are manufactured, shipped and assembled around the globe.
Resold and recycled components degrade the reliability and security of many systems used by the Defense Department. The Pentagon has known about the problem for decades and in 2012 issued comprehensive guidance to DOD program and procurement managers to crack down on the problem, with a particular emphasis on electronic parts and components.
However, the increasingly complex nature of the global supply chain means that even primary government contractors have difficulty keeping track of subcontractors they rely on for many products. No one knows just how many recycled or counterfeit parts the government uses.
Additionally, “it is really difficult to tell the difference between recycled parts and new parts,” said Serge Leef, program manager of DARPA’s Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense program. “They just end up back in our supply chain and get purchased without people really knowing.”
SHIELD is looking to a novel hardware solution to verify the integrity of integrated circuits and microchips that are used in virtually all electronic equipment. Prototypes of “dielets,” tiny chips no larger than 100 microns a side — approximately the diameter of a strand of human hair — can be placed inside electronic devices or attached to individual components.
DARPA spent three years researching and designing the underlying technologies for SHIELD, Leef said, and is now testing two prototype dielets. Parts and components are first “enrolled” in a database — the earlier in the production lifecycle the better — and given a unique ID number that can later be queried via a radio frequency wand.
The wand can also ping the dielets, which contain a number of passive sensors, for a range of information. When activated by radio frequency, dielets share data on temperature changes, light exposure and other signs that a device has been opened or had parts removed, whether through brute force or more delicate manipulation of circuit boards.
Leef said DARPA designed its dielets to address supply chain hardware compromises that stem from economic motivations as well as counterfeiting for intelligence gathering purposes. DARPA designs technology with DOD in mind, he said, but the project’s fruits could easily be applied to similar problems at civilian agencies and in the private sector.
To effectively serve as a practical solution for manufacturers, SHIELD must overcome a number of hurdles. Current technologies, like barcodes and RFID tags, are either ineffective or expensive to use at scale, meaning production costs for the dielets must be extremely low.
Leef said the project is targeting a price point of one cent per dielet.
“If you think about it, attaching this thing that costs one penny to an object whose provenance you want to track seems like an attractive value proposition,” he said.
A private-sector company is also working on similar technology, but with a twist. While SHIELD’s dielets are silicon-based, DUST Identity, a startup founded in 2018 by former MIT Media Lab researcher Ophir Gaathon, aims to accomplish the same kind of authentication for IT hardware using a different material: diamonds.
More specifically, the company is working on developing unclonable security tags composed of microscopic diamond dust that can be applied in a variety of ways (spray coating, dipping or even stickers) onto devices, parts and components that creates a “a very complex fingerprint” that can be used to catalogue and scan items for identity and provenance.
“You really want a material that lasts forever … where there’s no concern about degradation of the technology over time,” Gaathon said.
To be clear, Gaathon told FCW the company purchases bulk “waste” diamond dust from the abrasive industry — ones too small to be of value — that are later purified and nano-engineered to contain defects that can store unique identifying information. It’s the same principle underlying a 2017 study by MIT researchers that found diamond-defect optical circuits could store information to advance the development of quantum computing.
Gaathon said projects like SHIELD and solutions like his are coming to the forefront now for two interconnected reasons. First, policymakers have only recently begun to give supply chain security the level of attention it deserves. Second, the incorporation of electronic components into everything from industrial control systems to election equipment and other forms of critical infrastructure over the years has created an ever-increasing attack surface for hackers and nation-states to probe.
“People just realized that we don’t really know where things are coming from, and we don’t have good measures and good processes to secure the supply chain,” Gaathon said. (Source: Defense Systems)
15 Jan 19. To improve supply chain risks, agencies should double-down on visibility. Headlines about cybersecurity threats to the IT supply chain rekindles fears of the government being exposed to unacceptable risk through the very technologies U.S. federal agencies depend on. Given the sheer size of global supply chains, it is easy to focus on the “what-ifs.” In reality, commercial and government organizations alike have already been handling the fallout from well-documented, high-profile supply chain dangers, such as the “Meltdown” and “Spectre” chip vulnerabilities in 2018, and learning a great deal in the process.
Entering the new year, it is clear that government organizations cannot realistically cordon-off supply chain risk exposure with blacklists or procurement policies. Agencies must instead plan for the supply chains they have, not the supply chains they want. They must seek to limit the amount of compromised hardware and software incorporated into networks – while still planning for compromise. They must seek ways to operate without interruption or degradation in spite of attacks. Agencies can increase their resilience in the face of supply chain risk by implementing confidence building measures, including continuous and complete visibility of all devices as the foundational element.
Every jarring supply chain suspicion hits on concerns that infiltrating our technology can harm the missions of the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as law enforcement and safety agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Countless critical infrastructure operators across energy, transportation, finance and healthcare are also mindful of this threat.
We cannot undo the third-party supply of essential tech hardware. Our dependence on components from constantly shifting suppliers across the globe is not likely to decline. Nor is it feasible to disassemble or test every commercial device in search of “something” malicious; such an approach simply won’t scale. What will help is refocusing on complete, continuous visibility into every IP-addressable device that connects to a network. Without foundational visibility of what is on the network and the dynamic flow of “things” coming and going, network defenders have a hard time seeing anomalous device behavior.
Known vulnerabilities require proactive, continuous risk management, including identifying your most critical systems and devices, identifying threats to the supply chain, evaluating the likelihood of those threats being exploited, and assessing the potential impact to affected technology. Fixing those weak links requires knowing where the involved devices are located. This sounds straightforward, but has been very challenging for organizations to attain, in practice.
First, agencies continually purchase computing equipment, leaving them subject to potential vulnerabilities occurring (intentionally or unintentionally) at the manufacturing phase. As networks grow and change, it can be difficult to keep track of assets; particularly devices that are transient in nature (think handhelds, medical monitors). Assets that are not tracked cannot be defended.
Second, almost all agencies have mission partners, contractors and sub-contractors going in and out of the network, connecting additional devices used in the performance of services. This makes anything short of real-time visibility much less useful.
Consider, for example, smart dishwashers that are even in places like the Pentagon. Procured by knowledgeable acquisition teams, smart devices are sometimes the only commercial equipment available, or fulfill important government requirements for high uptime and lower maintenance costs. Yet, without visibility into what they do on the network, you cannot measure these benefits against security and ask key questions, such as: “What is the likelihood of attack? Is the device segmented from other higher value networked assets? If it’s compromised or exploited, what is the potential impact? Would you even know if an exploit occurred?”
Helpfully, a couple of keystone federal cybersecurity initiatives can help checkmate supply chain threats with visibility.
The DHS’ Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program for civilian agencies deploys sensors conducting ongoing, automated searches for flaws in all connected endpoint devices. These sensors are programmed to know the intended behavior of a device and immediately identify anything anomalous. Consider the example of a hospital infusion pump that exists solely to dispense medication and report vital signs, machine-to-machine, back to a dedicated server. If that pump starts looking at financial data accessible on the same network, sensors will identify the anomaly so immediate remedial action can be taken. CDM leverages that principle so that cybersecurity teams can monitor and prioritize real-time alerts, then immediately respond to the most urgent risks. As CDM matures, the ideal state is for remediation of found problems to be done automatically, without human intervention. Finding suspicious traffic or hardware behavior consistent with tampering or unpatched vulnerabilities in real time means defenders can more rapidly isolate, study and remediate devices – slashing adversaries’ dwell time or exposure windows.
The DoD’s “Comply-to-Connect” (C2C) implements continuous monitoring in a slightly different way, by designating “state of asset security compliance” as a requirement to be and stay connected to a network. An ideal C2C framework includes comprehensive visibility, discovery and classification of devices, combining network integration and analytical techniques as part of the oversight and assessment process.
In the CDM and C2C programs, government organizations gain the ability to detect and take remediating actions on compromised assets, including those that may be on a procurement blacklist but somehow made it onto the networks anyway. While both of these initiatives begin with fundamental visibility, they end with real-time remediation and real-time enforcement of department policies.
The principles of CDM and C2C offer hope for managing security across the growing web of complex, nested supply chains. The smart dishwasher’s manufacturer is likely not building the appliance’s Wi-Fi radio embedded within. Today we have suppliers to suppliers, compounding the breadth of components and sub-components that make up this new connected environment.
The scale and rapid shift of supply chain threats is alarming, but consistent with well-known cybersecurity truths: There is no perfect fix and technology is fluid. Instead of physical tear-downs or reflexively trying to shun products based on where their assembly lines are located at any given time, defenders’ best bet is to shine a light on all devices and their true behavior to dispel “what-if” uncertainty and gain data necessary for real-time risk-based decisions. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
15 Jan 19. BAE Systems to Enhance the Communications and Connectivity of U.S. and Joint Forces Across the Pacific. The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a five-year contract to maintain communication platforms that connect U.S. and Joint forces operating across the Pacific. BAE Systems will assist the U.S. Navy in maintaining and operating multiple electronic, communication, and computing platforms under a five-year, $79.8m contract. The program, which supports the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station, Pacific, will enable BAE Systems to continue providing 24/7 operations and maintenance support for afloat and ashore command, control, communications, computer, and intelligence systems.
“We are maintaining ship-to-shore, shore-to-aircraft, and shore-to-shore long-range communications systems,” said Mark Keeler, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems’ Integrated Defense Solutions business. “Our work is enabling naval, joint, agency, and coalition forces to effectively communicate and operate across the Pacific and Indian Oceans.”
Through this contract, BAE Systems engineers will also continue servicing the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System, a narrowband military communications satellite system that offers enhanced and secure communications, including voice, video, and data for all branches of the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. A majority of the contract work will take place in Oahu, Hawaii, with additional work performed in Geraldton, Australia. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
15 Jan 19. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) was awarded the following two contracts as announced by the Department of Defense on December 21, 2018. Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $9,573,118 firm-fixed-price modification (P00008) to contract FA8675-18-C-0003 for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile program. This modification provides for a life of type procurement of known obsolete components in support of production and sustainment through the program of record and procurement of three guidance section refill stations in support of sustainment efforts. Fiscal 2017 procurement funds in the amount of $6,367,933 and FMS funds in the amount of $3,205,185 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.
14 Jan 19. NATO secures additional SALIS surge capability with Antonov. Antonov Airlines is to provide NATO with additional out-sized heavy-lift airlifters should it be required during surge operations, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) told Jane’s on 14 January.
Speaking a week after the alliance and the Ukraine-based airline announced that they had agreed a three-year contract extension to continue to provide two An-124-100 aircraft in support of the Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programme through to 31 December 2021, an NSPA spokesperson said that a further three aircraft have been made available in case they are needed. News of the contract extension and the additional surge capability came about six months after the NSPA told Jane’s it was negotiating a contract with Antonov Airlines to provide additional outsized airlifters after Russian provider Volga-Dnepr said it would no longer support the alliance from the end of December 2018. Under the terms of the SALIS agreement in place at that time, both Antonov Airlines and Volga-Dnepr contributed a total of six An-124 aircraft for charter services to NATO and partner nations. With this latest SALIS contract now covering five Antonov aircraft, the shortfall has been largely made up. The loss of one An-124 will be made up over this timeframe by the additional Airbus Defence and Space A400M transport aircraft that are entering service across the NATO and European Union (EU) member nations. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
15 Jan 19. Raytheon signs mentoring agreement with Phoenix Products, Inc. Woman-owned firm will build Naval Strike Missile transport containers under a US Navy contract. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and Kentucky-based Phoenix Products, Inc. signed a U.S. Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé agreement to produce Naval Strike Missile, or NSM, transport containers under a $1.6m U.S. Navy contract. PPI is a woman-owned, small business that is in a Historically Underutilized Business Zone. Raytheon and Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, will train and support PPI in technical, quality and management processes. The mentor-protégé program provides large businesses with incentives to help smaller ones develop technical and operating capabilities to be more competitive with DoD programs. The three-year agreement with PPI marks progress in Raytheon’s domestic production of the missile designed by Norway’s defense leader Kongsberg.
“Raytheon is partnering with small and disadvantaged businesses to help them succeed and contribute to our industry,” said Kim Ernzen, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. “NSM production is bringing jobs and revenue to a growing network of U.S. suppliers, and it is all the more meaningful when the work makes a significant impact in a local community. It’s a win for everyone.”
PPI’s experience manufacturing similar containers makes it an ideal fit for Raytheon’s latest production needs.
“The program will enable PPI to take the next steps to be a fully capable aerospace container and ground support equipment manufacturer,” said Tom Wilson, PPI president. “It will help ensure we continue to employ highly capable people and train local residents with significant skill sets for now and in the future.”
Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers, a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, said the agreement is beneficial for everyone involved.
“This partnership demonstrates the continued commitment of the defense industry to reach out to new and innovative suppliers in Kentucky to meet its requirements,” Rogers said. “I advocated on behalf of the mentor-protégé agreement with the Navy and look forward to the 5th Congressional District being a long-term partner on this advanced cruise missile program.”
15 Jan 19. Vertex Aerospace to support USAF’s C-12 aircraft fleet. US-based firm Vertex Aerospace has been awarded a contract to support the US Air Force’s (USAF) C-12 Huron aircraft programme. The firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity modification to a previously awarded contract has an estimated value of $35m. The cumulative value of the option year award can run to up to $70m. Under the modification, the company will provide contractor logistics support services to the USAF C-12 fleet. Work under the contract will be carried out by the company in more than 20 locations throughout the US, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, and Honduras. The company is expected to complete work by the end of this year. Vertex contracts and global trade compliance vice-president Nydia Rosado said it is ‘proud to have been given the opportunity to continue its service to the USAF’.
Rosado added: “We are extremely pleased with the trust the United States Air Force has placed in Vertex by unilaterally extending our contract. We look forward to supporting the airforce’s very important mission for years to come.”
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center in Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, US, is serving as the contracting activity. Manufactured by Raytheon, the C-12 Huron is a military version of an executive passenger and transport aircraft powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42 turboprop engines. L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace is a provider of maintenance and logistical solutions for rotary and fixed wing aircraft for government and private sector customers. The global aerospace company has supported the USAF’s T-1A, T-38, T-6, and KC-10 programmes in the past. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
14 Jan 19. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) was awarded the following contract as announced by the Department of Defense on December 21, 2018. Raytheon Co., Tewksbury, Massachusetts, is being awarded a $72,117,547 modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-17-C-5145 to exercise options for DDG 1000 ship class integrated logistics support and engineering services. Fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy); and fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $81,555,802 will be obligated at time of award, and $8,816,581 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.
14 Jan 19. Indian Navy conducts trials of air droppable containers in Arabian Sea. The Indian Navy has conducted successful trials of the Sahayak Air droppable containers, developed by domestic research bodies, to boost its operational logistics capability. With a test payload of 50kg, the containers, which can be air dropped, are equipped to carry spare equipment for ships up to 2,000km away from the coast. This capability ensures that vessels need not return to coast for spares, thereby improving operational logistics and increasing the deployment duration of vessels. On 8 January, the containers were air-dropped from an IL-38 aircraft into the Arabian Sea with the help of a parachute.
Indian Navy Commander and Chief Public relations officer Mehul Karnik said: “Successful trials of Sahayak air droppable containers was undertaken from an IL-38 aircraft off the coast of Goa. This will reduce the requirement of ships to be close to the coast for collecting spares and stores, thereby increasing the duration of their deployment.”
Following the success of these trials, series production of Sahayak containers and parachutes will now be undertaken.
Successful trials of Sahayak air droppable containers was undertaken from an IL-38 aircraft off the coast of Goa.”
These cylindrical containers have been developed by domestic research bodies – the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) and the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
In December 2018, the Indian Navy inducted its first Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) in Mumbai, to be deployed off the west coast.
Another DSRV will be deployed on the east coast, in Visakhapatnam, to cut down the dependence on overseas navies for salvage and rescue operations.
With the deployment, the Indian Navy claims to join a league of few counties that have the capability to rescue their submarines.
Furthermore, the Indian Navy has been bolstering its logistics capabilities in the Indian Ocean through agreements with many friendly nations. Since 2016, India has signed logistics agreements with the US, Singapore, France and plans to sign similar agreements with Russia and Japan. (Source: naval-technology.com)
11 Jan 19. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Marietta, Georgia, has been awarded a $131,604,450 contract for C‐5 sustainment. This contract provides for sustaining engineering services. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas; Marietta, Georgia; and Palmdale, California, and is expected to be completed Jan. 25, 2019. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. A combination of fiscal 2019 transportation working capital funds; and operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $23,543,771 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity (FA8525‐19‐D‐0001).
11 Jan 19. USAF unveils BRICE mobile app to save time for aircraft maintainers. The US Air Force (USAF) has unveiled its Battle Record Information Core Environment (BRICE) mobile app, which is expected to save time and workload for aircraft maintainers. Following the completion of user acceptance testing at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, the Air Force Reserve went live with the app. The USAF expects to enrol around 100 users by next month.
Developed by the USAF in partnership with Monkton, Amazon and Verizon, the iOS mobile app enables maintainers to directly access the maintenance database from the flight line at the point of aircraft repair.
With the new app, aircraft maintainers would no longer have to secure their tools, nor document the maintenance actions performed into a network computer at the office.
The BRICE mobile app was designed with all the necessary security and authentication required to enable the maintainers to input, store and transmit data in real-time to the maintenance database using a handheld device.
Headquarters Air Force Reserve A6 logistics IT policy and strategy branch chief major Jonathan Jordan said: “Maintainers didn’t have a convenient way to input their maintenance actions into the system of record.
“They have to travel to a desktop computer, go through the sign-in procedure for both the computer and the maintenance data system, then they can enter the data for the maintenance performed on the flightline.”
Around 81% of the testers who participated in the user acceptance testing estimated the app saved an hour or more of time per day.
Headquarters Air Force project delivery manager Christopher Butigieg said: “Live data availability is paramount for field units to take swift maintenance actions and schedule work orders as changes are occurring across the flight line.
“Additionally, returning time back to maintainers is an added benefit as task documentation is completed throughout the day rather than at the end of shift.”
The development of BRICE will help overcome challenges, including security documentation requirements and connectivity issues on the flightline. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
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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].
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