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18 Jul 19. Singapore wants to dump its four old Boeing tankers. Singapore is looking at ways dispose of its fleet of Boeing KC-135R tanker aircraft as deliveries of its new Airbus tankers continue.
In response to queries from Defense News about what the nation was going to do with the four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) KC-135R planes, the defense ministry said that “the disposal plans are being worked out and relevant approvals will be sought as required.”
Defense News understands from various sources at least one potential operator has expressed an interest in the Singaporean aircraft with an eye on potentially buying them. As the KC-135s were built in the United States, any disposal method will need the approval of the U.S. government before proceeding.
The ministry added that “the KC-135R will be progressively drawn down as the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport is operationalized,” though multiple sources have told Defense News that the fleet has stopped flying since late June with a retirement ceremony for the type having been held in early July.
Singapore acquired four former U.S. Air Force KC-135As stored at the aircraft boneyard in Arizona in the mid-1990s, bringing them up to KC-135R standard with more powerful engines along with a new avionics suite and glass cockpit. The four aircraft, which were originally built between 1959 and 1963, entered service with the Singaporean military in 1999.
These developments comes as four of the six Airbus A330 multi role tanker transports Singapore ordered in 2014 to replace the KC-135Rs have arrived home after having been handed over to the RSAF from the manufacturer. In addition to Singapore, the KC-135 is still being operated by the U.S. Air Force, France, Turkey and Chile. (Source: Defense News)
18 Jul 19. Canada awards maintenance contracts for Halifax-class frigates. Canada has awarded a series of contracts to Chantier Davie and Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards for the maintenance of Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigates. Under the initial five-year contracts, Chantier Davie and Victoria Shipyards will perform maintenance work on the first group of Halifax-class frigates. Both contracts are each valued at C$500m ($382.88m).
Each shipyard will carry out the work on a minimum of three frigates. Work under the contracts is expected to start in the early 2020s. These contracts are expected to rise in value as additional work packages are added.
Public Services and Procurement Canada added that the value of these contracts could increase when additional work packages are awarded to the shipyards.
Works will support up to 400 jobs at each shipyard, the government added. These contracts are part of the government’s wider investment of more than C$7.5bn ($5.74bn) for the ongoing maintenance of 12 Halifax-class frigates.
The upkeep programme will continue until the vessels retire in the early 2040s. It is likely to include a range of engineering changes, equipment installations, docking work, and corrective maintenance activities.
Canada National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said: “This announcement is essential for supporting the modernisation of the Royal Canadian Navy. With our government’s continued investment, our navy will continue to contribute to maritime security and stability around the world.”
The navy’s Halifax-class frigates and retired Iroquois-class destroyers will be replaced by a new fleet of surface combatants that will be based on the BAE Systems Global Combat Ship design.
The country will procure 15 ships under the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) programme.
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards vice-president and general manager Joe O’Rourke said: “Victoria Shipyards executed the first docking packages on the Halifax-class as they were built and stationed in Victoria, and we are proud and humbled to be awarded a contract that will allow us the opportunity to work these vessels to their end of life.”
Canada is currently finalising a similar contract with Irving Shipbuilding. (Source: naval-technology.com)
16 Jul 19. App moves aircraft maintenance log to the flight line. A mobile app that lets staff who maintain of Air Force combat aircraft perform and log maintenance directly on the flight line could save the service $153m and about 2,700 full-time equivalent hours a year. The Battle Record Information Core Environment app is the first mobile app in the Air Force that let maintainers do their job directly on the flight line. Historically, personnel have had to stop at various intervals to walk to a networked computer to log their progress — a process that could take up to two hours, said Chris Gorman, chief operating officer and cofounder of Monkton, the software company that built the BRICE app.
“Maintainers didn’t have a convenient way to input their maintenance actions into the system of record.” Maj. Jonathan Jordan, Headquarters Air Force Reserve A6 logistics IT policy and strategy branch chief, said in a statement. “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 flight line.”
During user acceptance testing at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., 81% of testers estimated the app saved them at least an hour per day. Additionally, because data entry happens in real time — as opposed to maintainers writing notes on paper and transcribing them into the database after their shifts — accuracy will likely improve.
BRICE is built with Monkton’s Rebar product, which has built-in compliance with the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP), a program managed by the National Security Agency that is responsible for implementation of the Common Criteria standards for computer security. Therefore, the app meets Defense Department security and authentication requirements to allow maintainers to input, store and send data in real time to the maintenance database.
Monkton worked with the service to integrate the app with its existing technology. Because maintainers were already using about 17,000 Apple iPads in a disconnected state because of security requirements, the company started by working to see if an iPad app could be built to connect securely with the Air Force’s system of record – a legacy COBOL-based mainframe at a Defense Information Systems Agency data center.
Monkton built a gateway to the Air Force’s Cloud Computing Environment, which uses Amazon Web Services’ GovCloud, that let data go from the cloud to a DISA interface exchange called a cloud access point and then to the mainframe, giving the maintainers full connectivity in the field. BRICE uses Verizon LTE to connect to AWS GovCloud and then transverse that last mile.
“The end user doesn’t need to know that they’re hitting that old COBOL,” Gorman said. “What they see is this brand-new iOS interface in a way that a 19-year-old maintainer would expect to use Uber Eats or anything else.…. Now they’re performing their mission work in that same manner and interacting with the data there on the flight line, rather than having to make those multiple walks back to the toolshed to the networked PC.”
It took three months to go from kickoff to user acceptance testing. Based on the experience, Monkton has initiated Mission Mobility, a factory approach to quickly building and delivering mission-related mobile apps. Companies commit to building products that comply with Federal Information Processing Standards, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program and NIAP, and government agencies can select them knowing that they’re in compliance. Almost 15 companies, including Amazon, Apple and Samsung, are now onboard.
“Monkton already met DOD requirements before the first line of code was written,” Gorman said. “If we are all, from an industry standpoint, supporting the right policies, then we are protecting either the private sector or the public sector.”
App developers use the software development kit (SDK) that Monkton provides through Rebar, which lets them call the NIAP-compliant library.
“Essentially, what we provide is all the data at rest, all the data in transit and then the authentication and authorization,” Gorman said.
“You could really take the same Candy Crush development team, have them work with their normal development processes, but instead of calling the traditional security library that they would using with Swift or [Apple] XCode, they would use the Rebar SDK,” he said. “When they went to compile that final build of the app, you would have an app that you could push through for classified daily use at a secret or top-secret level that would be independently evaluated.”
At the Air Force, the need for change became apparent after the Government Accountability Office found in 2018 that the Air Force was short the number of maintainers it needed to meet former DOD Secretary Jim Mattis’ call for all fighter jets’ readiness to be at 80%. “As of August 2018, the Air Force had requested an increased end strength of 8,000 personnel to fill critical personnel needs in maintenance and pilots,” GAO’s report stated.
“When you don’t have enough people and then you’re burning hours, which you already don’t have, that led to some of the backlog,” Gorman said.
The Air Force has deployed the app to about 200 users so far. The original rollout was specific to the A-10 Warthog plane, but the company has modified the app to support the rest of the combat Air Force. (Source: Defense Systems)
16 Jul 19. Prescriptive analytics planned for US Navy Data Platform. The US Navy Data Platform has been live for barely two weeks, but additional functionality is already on the way.
Cmdr. Robert Winters, executive officer for the Naval Supply Systems Command Business Systems Center, said the platform, which launched July 1 and offers self-service analytics to support data-driven decision-making by those who manage the Navy’s vast supply chain, is essential to managing risk. “Data-centricity is key,” Winters said at FCW’s July 16 briefing on supply chain security, and the new platform is already delivering both traditional business intelligence and predictive analytics to a broad range of users.
The next step, he said, is to bring prescriptive analytics into the mix — an addition “that will get to some of those rare [but] high-impact failures that we’d like to predict in the supply chain so that we can mitigate risk.”
The Naval Supply Systems Command is “currently in the downselect for the technology stack that will get us into the prescriptive analytics realm,” Winters said. He declined to predict a specific timeframe for that decision but noted that “the fact I’m allowed to talk publicly about this” was a sign of the project’s momentum.(Source: Defense Systems)
16 Jul 19. Florida’s Top Government Officials Join Meggitt for Global Aftermarket Center of Excellence Grand Opening. The latest indication of Florida’s status of being an international aviation hub comes from aerospace giant Meggitt PLC with their Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) center of excellence by celebrating its grand opening with their new facility expansion in Miami-Dade County. Meggitt has invested close to $8m in expanding an existing facility and adding a new purpose-built workshop to serve its growing customer base. The Miami hub was specifically located to make it easy to serve global airlines, engine manufacturers and defense customers in North and South America and could generate a significant number of new jobs over the next decade. The company has further plans to invest in the facility as it continues to grow its MRO capabilities at the site.
Senator Rick Scott said, “I’m proud to celebrate the grand opening of Meggitt’s new facility expansion today. Meggitt is a global leader in aerospace innovation, and their continued growth in Florida is great news for the local community and the state. Over the past two years, Meggitt has doubled the size of its facility, creating more jobs and opportunities in our state. I look forward to their continued success.”
“When we were looking at location options for our new aftermarket US headquarters, one of the first places we thought of was Miami,” said Tony Wood, Meggitt’s CEO. “It is an established aviation hub, centrally located with a growing economy and a ready-skilled workforce. We know the required aviation talent pool is there if we need to expand in the future. The aviation industry continues to thrive with an average annual growth rate in passenger travel of 5.5%. This guarantees the long-term success of support services like our new regional MRO center of excellence in Miami.”
“This is a significant win for our community,” said Miami-Dade Beacon Council President & CEO, Michael A. Finney. “Aviation is one of seven key target industries for Miami-Dade County, representing almost 500 aviation firms, 26,217 aviation jobs and 19% job growth in the last five years. The investments Meggitt plans to make here, coupled with the creation of new highly paid jobs, serve as strong advantages for Miami.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
16 Jul 19. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced that the company has received a $274m indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) award for NASA’s Environmental Test and Integration Services III contract. The contract will support the NASA Goddard Engineering and Technology Directorate, which is responsible for providing multidiscipline engineering expertise to all projects within NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and managing the environmental test and integration facilities.
“As an established partner of NASA and the Goddard Space Flight Center, Northrop Grumman is proud to support the critical functions covered under this contract,” said John Pullen, vice president, technical services, Northrop Grumman. “Our team has provided support for NASA’s environmental test and integration services at NASA GSFC since 2014. We are very proud that our team’s experience will help NASA continue its exploration of the universe.”
Under this contract, Northrop Grumman will provide environmental test and integration related services for the development and operation of spaceflight and ground system hardware and software. The work will be performed at GSFC in Greenbelt, Maryland.
In addition to this contract, the company’s Technical Services business unit also supports NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in a number of other areas and is currently the prime contractor for NASA’s Sounding Rocket Operations Contract and NASA’s Balloon Operations Contract.
15 Jul 19. Damen wins maintenance and upgrade contract with Dutch Navy. Damen Shipyards Den Helder has received a contract to perform maintenance and modernisation of the Royal Netherlands Navy vessels. The contract with the Netherlands Ministry of Defence covers midlife upkeep (MLU) for support ship HNLMS Pelikaan, and hydrographic survey vessels HNLMS Snellius and HNLMS Luymes. The proposed maintenance and upgrade will include equipping vessels with new hull plating, renewal of radars and communications equipment and maintenance of the ship’s systems.
In addition, the company will deliver regular maintenance.
Damen Shipyards Den Helder managing director Jelle Loosman said: “We are very proud to accept this new contract together with our subcontractors, and are confident that the ships will be delivered in time, within budget and with the high-quality that is known worldwide as the Damen trademark.”
The company will receive support from 30 Dutch suppliers and sub-contractors during the project delivery. Work on the project is set to start later this year, with completion expected in 2021.
Damen will perform work at Den Helder and Shiprepair Harlingen.
HNLMS Snellius and HNLMS Luymes are used to chart the seabed. Information is then processed by the hydrographic service to produce nautical charts and other navigational publications.
As part of the contract work, Damen will replace all the underwater sensors on these vessels. The Royal Netherlands Navy’s HNLMS Pelikaan provides logistic support services in the Caribbean. The ship was commissioned in 2006, provides transportation and emergency assistance. In March this year, Damen Den Helder won a contract to build a prototype Expeditionary Survey Boat(ESB) for the Royal Netherlands Navy. The ESB will be used to conduct rapid environmental assessments and hydrographic surveys. (Source: naval-technology.com)
15 Jul 19. US Army contracts 3D Systems to develop next-gen metal printing tech. The US Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has awarded a contract to 3D Systems to develop a 3D printer to add significant capabilities to the supply chain.
3D Systems will work with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) to create ‘the world’s largest, fastest, most precise metal 3D printer’. The proposed printer will bring new additive manufacturing to transform supply chains associated with long-range munitions, next-generation combat vehicles, helicopters, and air and missile defence capabilities. Under the $15m contract, 3D Systems and NCMS will work in partnership with ARL and the Advanced Manufacturing, Materials, and Processes (AMMP) Program. The project is in line with the US Army’s Additive Manufacturing Implementation Plan that involves the use of AM to refurbish worn parts and create custom tools. The service intends to install the proposed 3D printer in its depots and labs. Thereafter, the AM technology will be made available to aerospace and defence suppliers to support the development of futuristic army platforms. According to 3D Systems, the printer will have the ability to enable more efficient design and production of long-term durable parts. Additionally, the technology will reduce material usage and improve time to market for parts going into the field. Pursuant to the requirements of ARL, the planned printer will have a built envelope of 1,000mm × 1,000mm × 600mm.
ARL Science of Additive Manufacturing for Next Generation Munitions programme manager Dr Joseph South said: “The army is increasing readiness by strengthening its relationships and interoperability with business partners, like 3D Systems, who advance warfighter requirements at the best value to the taxpayer.
“Up until now, powder bed laser 3D printers have been too small, too slow, and too imprecise to produce major ground combat subsystems at scale.
“Our goal is to tackle this issue head-on with the support of allies and partners who aid the army in executing security cooperation activities in support of common national interests, and who help enable new capabilities for critical national security supply chains.”
The contract will also allow 3D Systems to look at the possibility of integrating the new technologies and processes into its existing portfolio of 3D printer technologies.
3D Systems co-founder and chief technology officer Chuck Hull said: “Through this project, we’re looking forward to delivering a working manufacturing system like no other.
“ARL has already realised the power of AM to transform its operations. We look forward to collaborating with them to scale and expand these capabilities by delivering first-to-market processes, materials, and technologies.” (Source: army-technology.com)
13 Jul 19. DE&S has awarded a contract worth more than £60m to maintain the British Army’s cutting-edge fleet of armoured vehicles. These vehicles offer soldiers, medics and other Army personnel protection from mine and ballistic threats as they navigate rough terrains on the battlefield. This contract will ensure vehicles are repaired, upgraded and returned to the frontline as quickly as possible. As an example, under this contract, a request could be made by Army personnel in Afghanistan to fit a new loudspeaker to a Foxhound patrol vehicle. NP Aerospace would rapidly design, procure and fit the equipment, as well as providing technical advice throughout the contract period. The DE&S Vehicle Support Team secured the £63m contract with NP Aerospace in Coventry for the upkeep, update and upgrade of more than 2,200 protected mobility vehicles based in the UK and on operations. The contract will support approximately 100 jobs in Coventry and 250 jobs across the UK supply chain until 2024. A further 50 jobs will be created at NP Aerospace’s Headquarters in Foleshill.
Brigadier Anna-Lee Reilly, Vehicle Support Team Leader, said: “A lot of time and effort has been spent working with NP Aerospace to get this contract right and we are delighted with the outcome. The Front Line Commands will see a clear benefit and the hard work of the team has paid off.” The contract was announced by Defence Minister Stuart Andrew during a visit to Tidworth Barracks in Wiltshire. He said: “This vital contract demonstrates how the MOD benefits every region of the UK by providing hundreds of skilled jobs and multi-million-pound investment to the West Midlands.” Other protected mobility vehicles to benefit from the contract include Mastiff, Wolfhound, Ridgeback, RODET, Jackal, Coyote and Husky vehicles, all of which are currently being used by the British Army for either training or operations in the UK and overseas. Director Land Equipment for DE&S, Major General Colin McClean, added: “The Protected A lot of time and effort has been spent working with NP Aerospace to get this contract right and we are delighted with the outcome. The Front Line Commands will see a clear benefit and the hard work of the team has paid off Brigadier Anna-Lee Reilly, Vehicle Support Team Leader Mobility fleet has been hugely important for defence over the last 15 years, saving numerous lives on operations. It is vital that we continue to invest in our battlewinning capabilities, ensuring that they are always ready for training or operational purposes. “Given its significant role now and in the future, I am pleased we are partnering with NP Aerospace to deliver this contract”. The MOD invested £622m with industry in the West Midlands in 2017/18, sustaining 4900 jobs across the region. (Source: U.K. MoD desider)
13 Jul 19. During a visit to Derco, a Lockheed Martin company (NYSE: LMT), President Donald J. Trump announced more work is coming to Milwaukee. Derco will provide parts warehousing and distribution sustainment for the F-35 Lightning II, supporting the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and allies around the world.
“From here in Milwaukee, you are supporting magnificent aircraft, and soon you’ll support the unstoppable, stealth F-35 Lightning II,” said President Trump. “I am thrilled to be back in the great state of Wisconsin with the extraordinary men and women of Derco. We are here today to celebrate the triumphant return of American manufacturing, and everything we are doing to keep the assembly lines rolling.”
Derco is growing its workforce by 15 percent by the end of the year. Because of its culture and skilled workforce, Derco has been named one of the Top Workplaces in Milwaukee for the past four years. Approximately 20 percent of Derco employees are veterans.
Derco initially will support the management and delivery of 1,500 different F-35 parts to locations around the globe. This increased work will create more skilled jobs for repair technicians, operations personnel and supply chain management experts.
The F-35 is the most advanced, survivable and connected fighter jet. The United States’ program of record is for 2,456 aircraft, and Lockheed Martin is set to deliver 1,000 more to allied nations.
To support the growing business, Derco is investing in its facility and is breaking ground to expand the campus. Derco is also looking to add to its 1,200 suppliers to develop repair capabilities for the F-35 in Milwaukee. Currently, the F-35 provides $1.2m in economic impact across the supply chain in Wisconsin.
12 Jul 19. Intelligent Self-Diagnosis in Ship Systems: Charles River Analytics Develops Advanced, Probabilistic Reasoning for System Components Onboard US Naval Vessels. Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, has received additional funding from the US Navy to build a System for Naval Data Aggregation and Planning with Probabilistic Reasoning (SNAPPR). SNAPPR creates probabilistic models of Naval system components, the environment in which they operate, and the missions that they serve, to help operators understand the Operational Availability (Ao) of hardware components onboard a Naval vessel. We have partnered with Raytheon IDS for the three-year SNAPPR follow-on contract, which is valued at nearly $1.5m.
“AO is crucial to a mission’s success,” said Kenny Lu, Scientist at Charles River Analytics and Technical Lead on our SNAPPR effort. “Current Ao hardware protocols can result in unnecessary maintenance, causing crippling delays in mission-critical functions. SNAPPR’s probabilistic model produces real-time reasoning, estimates, and predictions of Ao to generate an optimized preventative maintenance schedule.”
SNAPPR furthers our growing portfolio of efforts in predictive health maintenance. Under the EMC2 and POWERED efforts, we used probabilistic programming to help predict resource gaps and faults in military operations systems. These efforts are powered by Figaro™, our open-source, probabilistic programming language for probabilistic modeling. (Source: ASD Network)
11 Jul 19. Chilean Navy grows ambitions for upgraded Dauphin helos. Chile is planning to increase the capabilities of four surplus Aerospatiale AS 365FI Dauphin II helicopters it has received from the Irish Air Corps, Jane’s has learned. While plans to upgrade the helicopters are currently on hold but not cancelled, the Chilean Navy plans for the aircraft have grown to add an over the horizon targeting (OTH) capability, military sources in Santiago told Jane’s in early July. The originally planned engine and cockpit upgrade for the shipborne utility AS 365FIs is now postponed, while the navy waits on the procurement of new utility helicopters to take over the liaison and rescue roles. A tender for these aircraft is now under way. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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.