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07 Aug 18. MTRI approves French facility as first MTR390-Enhanced MRO shop. MTU Turbomeca Rolls-Royce ITP (MTRI), along with its partners, has approved Atelier Industriel de L’Aéronautique de Bordeaux (AIA Bordeaux) in France as the first MTR390-Enhanced maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) shop. The facility will cater to the maintenance of all variants of the MTR390 family of engines, which power the Tiger combat helicopter, specifically the propulsion systems operated by the French Armed Forces. Additionally, the site will handle repair and overhaul of the first helicopters powered by MTR390-E engines. The MTR390 turboshaft engine, which features a free power turbine, is the exclusive propulsion system for Airbus’s Tiger helicopter. In January this year, AIA Bordeaux was certified as an approved shop for Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) on site for all participating nations. Approval of another MTR390 MRO shop, located in Albacete, Spain, is expected to be obtained in April next year. MTRI’s partners in the project include MTU Aero Engines, Safran Helicopter Engines, Rolls-Royce and ITP Aero.
MTRI managing director Werner Burger said: “Trust, proximity, reliability and expertise are the essential ingredients for a partnership with our customers in any military engine programme. With the opening of two MRO shops specialising in the repair of MTR390-E engines, we aim to drive the development of customised and flexible service concepts, which will be implemented in close consultation with the customers. Efficiency and operational readiness are the first priorities.”
The deliveries of the production engines of the 2C version were made from 2002 to mid-2010, including 242 engines for the German-French-Spanish Tiger programme and 52 for Australia’s ARH programme. Working in partnership with ITP Aero, MTRI completed the development of an enhanced engine version providing 14% more power in 2011. (Source: army-technology.com)
07 Aug 18. Blockchain transforming defence and aerospace Industries: Accenture. Approximately six in seven aerospace/defence companies (86 per cent) expect to integrate blockchain into their corporate systems within three years, according to a new research report from Accenture. Blockchain is one of the world’s newest and most promising technologies, a type of distributed ledger that maintains and records data in a way that allows multiple stakeholders to confidently and securely share access to the same information. According to the Accenture report, Launchpad to Relevance: Aerospace & Defense Technology Vision 2018, blockchain’s secure, immutable and decentralised features can help aerospace and defence companies reduce maintenance costs, increased aircraft and vessel availability and minimise errors in tracking parts. The report is derived from Accenture Technology Vision 2018, the company’s most-recent annual technology report that predicts key technology trends likely to disrupt business over the next three years, including artificial intelligence and virtual/augmented reality. Among key findings from the aerospace and defence executives surveyed about these technologies:
- Two-thirds (67 per cent) said their companies will invest in AI in the next year, with many focusing initially on production, security, research and development;
- Four in five (80 per cent) said they expect that every human in their workforce will be directly affected daily by an AI-based decision by 2021; and
- More than half (57 per cent) will invest in augmented reality and virtual reality in the next year, and nearly all (96 per cent) believe extended reality will help close the physical distance gap when engaging employees or customers.
The 86 per cent of respondents from aerospace and defence companies who said they plan to integrate blockchain in their corporate systems by 2021 was higher than the percentage for all but two of the 18 industries surveyed as part of Accenture’s broader Technology Vision research.
“Blockchain is well-suited to improve the performance of one of the world’s most complex, globally interconnected and security-dependent supply chains,” said Paul Mylon, aerospace and defence lead for Accenture Australia. The survey findings point to numerous data challenges that blockchain technology can help address. For instance, Accenture’s research found that more than two-thirds (70 per cent) of the aerospace and defence executives surveyed believe that companies will be grappling with growing waves of corrupted insights as more falsified data infiltrates their data-driven information systems.
In addition, nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of them believe that organisations are basing their most critical systems and strategies on data – yet many have not invested in the capabilities to verify the accuracy of that data. And the same number (73 per cent) also believe that automated systems create new risks, including fake data, data manipulation and inherent bias. Blockchain can help ferret out falsified data and verify its veracity because it provides a secure and unchangeable data chain. The technology can also help track and provide consistent aircraft configuration data throughout the supply chain, as aircraft manufacturers, maintenance providers and airlines currently keep track of configuration data in their own systems yet rarely if ever integrate that information with other companies’ data.
Mylon said, “Blockchain enables aerospace and defence companies to securely share, capture and authenticate data from a single source. This innovative and paradigm-shifting technology has the potential to deliver profound benefits for the hundreds of suppliers typically involved in complex manufacturing ecosystems.”
Accenture is a global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Accenture works across the entire value chain from aerospace and defence providers through to government clients, including the Department of Defence. Accenture has also released a complementary research product for government Defence organisations – Mobilising the Intelligent Military. (Source: Defence Connect)
06 Aug 18. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) delivered the 52nd C-5M Super Galaxy strategic transport modernized under the U.S. Air Force’s Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP) on Aug. 2 at the company’s Marietta, Georgia, facility. The delivery completes the RERP upgrade, which extends the service life of the C-5 fleet out until the 2040s.
“With the capability inherent in the C-5M, the Super Galaxy is more efficient and more reliable, and better able to do its job of truly global strategic airlift,” said Patricia Pagan, Lockheed Martin Air Mobility and Maritime Missions Strategic Airlift director, “I am very proud of the contractor-government team than carried out the C-5 fleet modernization effort. We’ve worked very hard to ensure the C-5Ms are the absolute best strategic airlifters possible for our armed forces.”
An Air Force Reserve Command aircrew from the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts, ferried the final C-5M to Stewart Air Force Base, New York, where the aircraft will undergo interior paint restoration. Once that work is complete, the aircraft will be flown to Westover where it will be the eighth C-5M assigned to the base. Lockheed Martin began RERP development work in 2001. RERP incorporates more than 70 improvements that improve reliability, efficiency, maintainability and availability. RERP included changes or modifications to the airframe structure; environmental and pneumatic systems; hydraulic systems, electrical system; fuel system; landing gear; and flight controls. The heart of the system is the GE F138 turbofan engine (known as a CF6-80C2L1F in the commercial world) de-rated to 50,000 pounds of thrust on the C-5M. This engine provides 22 percent more thrust than the out-of-production TF39 turbofans on the earlier C-5A/B/C aircraft. The engines also allow the C-5M to meet the FAA’s Stage 4 noise reduction requirements. These changes, taken together, result in a 22 percent increase in thrust, a shorter takeoff roll; a 58 percent improvement in climb rate; allows the C-5M to cruise—at maximum gross weight—in the Communication/Navigation/Surveillance / Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) flight environment; and greatly enhanced fuel efficiency and less tanker support demand. First flight of a modified aircraft to the C-5M standard came in Marietta, Georgia, on June 19, 2006. The first operational C-5M was delivered to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on February 9, 2009. A total of 49 C 5Bs, two C-5C aircraft, and one original C-5A was modified under RERP. The C-5M holds 89 FAI-certified world aviation records, the most by any aircraft type. These records include time-to-climb with payload, altitude with payload, and greatest payload carried. The C-5 Galaxy has been operated solely by the U.S. Air Force since 1970 and is the largest strategic airlifter in the U.S. Air Force’s fleet. The C-5 is capable of carrying two 78-ton M1A1 main battle tanks or helicopters and other large equipment intercontinental distances. Fully loaded, a C-5 has a gross weight of more than 800,000 pounds. All of the C-5s were built at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta site. In addition to Westover, C-5Ms are assigned to active duty and Air Force Reserve Command units at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware (436th and 512th Airlift Wings) and Travis Air Force Base, California (60th and 349th Air Mobility Wings). The C-5 aircrew training squadron is part of the 433rd Airlift Wing, the Reserve wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.
04 Aug 18. Breaking the Big E: Already more than $1bn in projected costs and snarled in red tape. Scrapping the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier could cost the Navy as much as $1.5bn and take more than a decade to complete, according to the Government Accountability Office. But the final price tag and the future timetable for dismantling the decommissioned Enterprise ultimately will depend on whether the Navy can contract with a private shipyard to finish the job or make its Puget Sound Naval Shipyard do the work. The private sector option would be cheaper and faster, but the project is tangled in bureaucratic red tape, the federal watchdog agency warned in a report released on Thursday. That’s mostly due to squabbling between the Navy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over which agency can legally oversee the dismantling project if it’s handed over to a commercial shipyard. By law, Naval Reactors is the Navy department handling all the service’s nuclear propulsion programs while the NRC oversees civilian nuclear reactors, materials and waste disposal. Navy officials began requesting bids from commercial contractors in 2016 but had to stop in early 2017 because of the ongoing dispute. In an effort to resolve the standoff, Congress ordered GAO to investigate and make recommendations. The Navy has never dismantled a nuclear vessel the size of the “Big E” and the disposal headaches aren’t going away with the carrier project. Nimitz-class flattops will begin to reach the end of their projected half-century service lives over the next seven years, too. Commissioned in 1961, the Enterprise was deactivated in 2012 after 51 years in the fleet but wasn’t officially decommissioned and stricken from the Navy’s rolls until early 2017. That’s because crews first had to remove the fuel from the Enterprise’s eight nuclear reactors, a process that took just over four years to complete. For the past 17 months the carrier has been tied up at Huntington Ingall’s Shipyard in Newport News, Virginia. GAO recommends that lawmakers make the Pentagon strike a deal with NRC on the dismantling problem, but military officials contend they’ve been trying to do that since 2016.
“Naval Reactors has been coordinating with the NRC on this matter for nearly two years,” wrote Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Kevin H. Fabey in the Pentagon’s endorsement of the report. “Since the concern expressed by the NRC is a lack of authority, and such a position severely impacts the Navy’s ability to pursue a commercial option, we are highlighting it in our response while continuing to work with NRC to resolve.”
Since 1990, the Navy’s Puget Sound facility has dismantled and disposed of more than 130 reactors while sending its non-nuclear vessels to industry to break apart and recycle, including ex-carriers like the Constellation and Ranger. Commercial companies have decommissioned 32 civilian nuclear reactor plants, work the Navy agrees is comparable to the process at Puget Sound. That’s where the Navy initially wanted to take the Enterprise’s 28,000-ton nuclear propulsion section. After workers there ripped apart the reactors, they would repackage the parts and ship them to the low-level radioactive disposal complex in Hanford, Washington. But a workload backlog at Puget Sound means the shipyard can’t get to the Big E until 2034 and it would take another decade and between $1bn and $1.5bn to complete the job. By forcing Puget Sound to tackle the Enterprise, the Pentagon also would exacerbate the problem of maintaining warships the Navy needs in the fleet, GAO concluded. GAO estimates that a commercial contractor could dismantle the Enterprise by 2029 at a cost of $750m to $1.4bn without harming fleet readiness. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Navy Times)
02 Aug 18. General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., Sterling Heights, Michigan, was awarded an $11,072,437 modification (000502) to contract W56HZV-16-D-0060 to provide parts supply support for the entire Stryker program. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2019. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity.
02 Aug 18. Is the best use of this hoverbike really logistics? Known by many contradictory names, like a mountable drone or a jet pack, the hoverbike is a creation of mid-20th century fiction, a fast flying transport for one or two people that combines the relatively low friction of flight with the nerve-wracking experience of riding a motorbike through dense forests. The military utility of a hoverbike, as a fast modern version of the flexible cavalry scouts of old, has driven research for decades, but only recently is technology in a place to actually fulfill those promises. Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s a flying motorcycle! The Jindouyun is an octocopter, built like many multi-rotor drones, with a seat in the middle and a place for the pilot to mount the controller. That the vehicle carries a human pilot makes it more of a fly-by-wire machine than a remote controlled, uncrewed craft, but all the technology that enables this machine is technology built for the modern drone age.
The Jindouyun itself is remarkable, no less for its reported speed of over 40mph and the over 1,500 tests that went into it. What should concern an interested observer of systems like this is that the parts needed to make such a flying machine are mass produced and available cheaply enough for an individual to assemble on their own. In fall 2017, the Army tested its own sort of hoverbike, a personal transportation device adapted into a logistics drone called the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle. Logistics is likely the easier application. The drone doesn’t need to worry about the safety of a human occupant, and packaged supplies are a more forgiving payload. Yet there is something in the potential of the single-person flying machine which exceeds narrow visions of battlefield logistics. Drones already challenge the notion that dominating the sky above 10,000 feet means dominating the sky, and anything that can both move low in the sky and yet transport people effortlessly over ground obstacles has some future applicability in war. Even if the relevant future is grim, dark, and will take a lot of iteration to see success, the low sky no longer decisively belongs to air forces. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/C4ISR & Networks)
01 Aug 18. Last AH-1W Super Cobra undergoes IMP. The Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) Site Camp Pendleton has put the last AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter for the Integrated Maintenance Program (IMP), the FRCSW announced on 26 July. The H-1W helicopter will be replaced by the new H-1Z Cobra. The Z variant of helicopter features better engines, more rigid and strong airframe and more advanced technology than the W variants. The W variant has is made primarily with sheet metal whereas the Z features more cast aluminum parts. The last AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter was inducted on 18 July from Marine Light Helicopter Attack Squadron 775 and is scheduled to complete the IMP by the end of September 2018 and return to the squadron. Manufactured by Bell Helicopter, the H-1W Cobra is a twin-engine attack helicopter and has primarily been used in ground support missions and special operations. The IMP was developed to keep the aircraft mission-ready by targeting the integrity of the airframe through two assessment events: Planned Maintenance Interval-one (PMI-1) and PMI-2. The H-1W PMI-1 occurs every 50 days at which time the aircraft are disassembled and evaluated. Prior to PMI-1, the squadron removes the aircraft’s blades, and the site’s artisans remove the intermediate and tail gear boxes, panels, engines and the transmission and inspect those areas. The fuel cells and crew seats are removed and all of the oil, fuel and hydraulic systems hoses are also changed during PMI-1. The H-1W PMI-2 cycle is held every 78 days with inspections similar to those of the PMI-1, except the aircraft are also stripped using a particle media blast and painted. Damages outside of the IMP scope are reported to the squadron and are ordinarily repaired as in-service repairs (ISR). The H-1W ISRs are averaged at about 140 per year. (Source: Shephard)
02 Aug 18. NSPA delivers refurbished Mi-17 helicopters to Afghan Air Force. The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has delivered three fully refurbished Mi-17 military helicopters to the Afghan Air Force at Kabul Airport. Originally declared as ‘unfit for service and heavily damaged’, the Mi-17 fleet underwent a complete redevelopment and upgrade to extend the service life of the aircraft. The return of the upgraded helicopters to the airforce inventory will ensure a significant improvement in the operational airlift capability, as well as the effectiveness and sustainability of the service. The NSPA committed to carrying out repair and overhaul services on the aircraft at the request of the US Department of Defense and ensured the aircraft would be returned to service with the Afghan Air Force as quickly as possible. As part of the overhaul, maintenance and repair activities on the helicopters were managed by NSPA through a number of contracts with various repair and overhaul sources. On 28 July, the Antonov An-124 Ruslan strategic airlift jet aircraft, chartered by NSPA, picked up the refurbished Mi-17 helicopters at different locations across Europe in order to complete their delivery to Afghanistan. The Mi-17 medium, twin-turbine transport helicopter is the main rotary wing platform operated by the Afghan Air Force. The helicopters are used to conduct missions such as providing remote outposts, in critical areas, with supplies and ensuring safe movement of troops and police. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
01 Aug 18. SPAWAR inks lucrative contract. The US Navy has pulled the trigger on the lucrative engineering services contract for afloat and ashore operations worldwide. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific awarded Science Applications International Corp. a $116m prime contract to continue providing a wide range of management and technical support to the Navy’s Tactical Networks In-Service Engineering Activity — what sailors call “TACNET ISEA” for short. The bulk of the work is expected to be performed in San Diego and Norfolk, with some additional help on Navy vessels and shore sites around the globe. The contract calls for a three-year base period of performance but includes a two-year option that, if exercised, will hike the value of the deal to about $196m. In 2015, SAIC landed a similar three-year $80m deal with SPAWAR.
“We are proud to continue our support to SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific TACNET and are dedicated to ensuring the highest degree of fleet readiness. For more than 20 years, we have assisted the Navy with sustainment services for critical TACNET systems that serve as the backbone of U.S. naval vessels,” said Jim Scanlon, SAIC senior vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems Customer Group, in a press release.
With more than $4.5bn in annual revenues, Virginia-based SAIC is a global technical and engineering titan. Headquartered in San Diego, SPAWAR Pacific spearheads the Navy’s research and development into C4ISR — command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts, plus the newest cyber and space systems. SAIC began working on the TACNET program on March 25, 1996, according to a written statement emailed to Navy Times by Lauren A. Presti. The new contract includes extensive work on the Navy’s Consolidated Afloat Network and Enterprise Service — CANES, the service’s next generation tactical network. The Pentagon hopes to have it installed in 190 ships, submarines and Maritime Operations Centers by 2020. It also involves maintaining essential networks, such as the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. AEGIS depends on CANES communicating with the Navy ‘s Automated Digital Network System and sharing information with other commands at sea and ashore. Deckplates get email messages and can browse the internet at sea because SAIC keeps CANES, ADNS and other systems working. In the fiscal year that ended last September, SAIC handled 756 CASREPs — Navy casualty reports that are filed when a system needs repaired — and finished 164 network upgrades in San Diego, Virginia, Italy, Bahrain and Japan. Another 130 upgrades are planned for 2019 and beyond, Presti said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Navy Times)
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].
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