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30 Aug 19. USMC performs load test of JLTV armoured vehicle aboard USS Kearsarge. The US Marine Corps (USMC) has conducted a load test of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).
The test involved three configurations of the JLTV, taking the vehicle closer to fleet implementation.
Set to replace the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (Humvee) operated by the USMC and the US Army, the JLTV comes in two mission categories.
One of them is the combat tactical vehicle (CTV), which can accommodate four passengers, and the other is the two-seat combat support vehicle (CSV).
With a payload capacity of 3,500lb, the CTV is available in three configurations, general-purpose, heavy gun carrier and close combat weapons carrier.
The CSV comes in a single variant, the Utility (UTL) Prime Mover, which is intended to support the shelter carrier mission.
The configurations that took part in the test included a heavy gun carrier CTV, close combat weapons carrier CTV and a utility/shelter carrier CSV.
USS Kearsarge combat cargo officer USMC chief warrant officer Jose Alvarez stated that the load test is designed to test the JLTV’s manoeuvrability within an LHD class ship.
3rd Battalion, 8th Marines gunnery sergeant Randy Ballarmstrong said: “We’ll be replacing Humvee’s one for one with JLTVs. The Humvee is almost 20 years old, and needs to be replaced.
“The JLTV has better capabilities, technologies and troubleshooting. It’s faster, bigger and can go through almost anything.”
Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity amphibious demonstrations test project officer Hal Roby noted that the JLTV provides better armour capabilities when compared to the Humvee.
Roby said: “The armour is built into the vehicle, unlike the Humvees where it’s added on. The under armour and the armour wrapped around the JLTV is much stronger and more capable to withstand IEDs and other attacks.”
The Marines conducted another load test aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24).
Earlier this month, the JLTV for the USMC achieved initial operational capability. The vehicle was declared fit to deploy and support missions of the naval expeditionary force-in-readiness. Oshkosh Defense is the major contractor for the JLTV programme.(Source: naval-technology.com)
28 Aug 19. DE&S looks to place new contract for Land Rover Wolf spares. The current contract held by TVS has expired and a competition for future support is due to begin imminently. TVS has held this contract supplying Babcock with Land Rover spares at a difficult time when JLR ceased production of the Defender and GKN ceased production of the Wolf chassis.
BATTLESPACE understands that Hobson Industries, the Louth, UK based Land Rover part specialist, is about to sign an interim contract to rationalise and improve over 800 line items in the Land Rover Wolf supply chain due to concerns over the quality of some current parts which are reported to have caused a large percentage of the fleet to be off the road, even with the report of a possible fatality. TVS is reported to have encountered a problem earlier this year in sourcing swivel housings from a new supplier which did not match the specification of its previous supplier.
Hobson Industries is a major supplier to TVS under the old contract and is likely to remain key to this contract in the next bidding process which is expected to include, Leidos, TVS, BAE Systems, Thales and KBR. On wider issues, the MoD us finding it harder to keep the fleet of over 6000 ageing Wolf vehicles on the road and is reported to be leasing Ford F350 vehicles and painting them green. The current fleet is slated to leave service in 2024 (some say 2030) at which time sourcing spares after the required Defender cancellation period of 10years in 2026. Will the MoD bite the bullet and scrap the existing fleet and buy or lease a new fleet from Mercedes, Ford or Toyota. The current usage of the Land Rover Wolfs for some roles, does not require a 4×4 vehicle, a standard pick up would suffice. There is little news on the Pinzgauer refurbishment which was slated to start some four years ago. Existing vehicles have already been cannibalised to keep the fleet on the road and again, the age of the vehicles and the fact that production has ceased and the complication of IP and ownership, again leaves DE&S with a headache to support these vehicles. DE&S is understood to be conducting a fleet review of all light and medium 4×4 vehicles and the decision may be made to scrap both Land Rover Wolf and Pinzgauers with JLTV and other vehicles replacing the fleet. As the Pinzgauer has a light role with the Paras, DE&S may well look at the winner of the US Infantry Squad Vehicle Program, currently being bid by Oshkosh/Flyer, General Motors and SAIC to replace these vehicles.
28 Aug 19. India’s HAL deepens private sector engagement through Make-II initiative. India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will make about 4,000 components used in military-aerospace production available for outsourcing to the country’s private sector during fiscal year (FY) 2019–20. The outsourcing initiative – framed through the Indian government’s ‘Make-II’ procurement category – features parts including fasteners and bearings, a wide range of “consumables” and line-replaceable units (LRUs), and items described as mechanical, rubber, electrical, and avionics. The components, recently detailed in a tweet by India’s defence secretary Ajay Kumar, number 3,750 through a series of new projects, with the total value of subcontracting opportunities cited at about INR101bn (USD1.4bn). The largest segments in terms of value comprise opportunities to produce mechanical items and LRUs, which are worth INR39.2bn and INR36.3bn respectively. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Aug 19. Saab receives Australian Army order for GBAD and C-RAM capabilities. Saab has confirmed that it has partnered with Defence to provide fully integrated maintenance support for the Australian Army’s Ground Based Air Defence and radar capability. The deal will ensure “the availability and effectiveness of these important capabilities, which are fielded by 16th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery. Under the $30m arrangement, Saab will provide support for the range of systems forming the GBAD and CRAM solutions, including the Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam (AMB) radars and RBS 70 very short-range air defence weapon system.
“Long-term, top-class support is key to our offer and we look forward to continuing to help strengthen Australia’s GBAD and C-RAM capability with our expertise in complex integrated systems,” said Anders Carp, head of Saab’s business area surveillance.
Brigadier Ed Smeaton, Director General Land Manoeuvre Systems, said that consolidating existing arrangements into one Australian-managed prime contract with Saab would streamline operational support and save money.
“It delivers a more responsive and cost-effective solution for the support of a number of different radars, training and weapon systems designed to protect Australian soldiers and their equipment,” BRIG Smeaton said.
Saab is working closely with a number of key Australian businesses as part of the contract, which Defence said is “another example of Defence and industry working together to provide innovative solutions in support of capability”.
Genpower Australia will provide support for mobile training facilities, and has over 30 years of experience in this field. Opentec Solutions, a company that has previously worked with Defence to assist in peacekeeping operations, will supply rugged portable electronic computing equipment. Finally, CD Power is a specialist in providing off-grid and mains-fail back-up power, allowing the Army’s radar system to operate under all conditions.
“Our operations in Australia are going from strength to strength. We’re committed to our relationship with the Australian Army and to contributing to keeping people and assets safe by supporting our nations’ ground based air defence capability,” said Andy Keough, managing director of Saab Australia. (Source: Defence Connect)
26 Aug 19. India cancels Jaguar upgrade over Honeywell’s $2.4bn price tag. The Indian Air Force has dropped its plan to upgrade 80 Jaguar ground-attack fighters with new engines over the cost provided by American firm Honeywell.
The service had planned to equip its Jaguar fighters with 280 new Honeywell-built F125IN turbofan engines, but the cost of some $2.4bn was too expensive, a senior Air Force official said. The new engines were to be integrated on 80 Jaguars by Indian state-owned company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which wanted $3.12m per installation, an equally expensive ask, he added.
The Air Force in 2016 selected the F125IN on a single-vendor basis, and there were discussions to procure 280 of the turbofans (including 40 spare engines). The service wants to replace the Adour engine, which currently powers the Jaguar aircraft, with a higher-thrust engine to improve mission performance, particularly in medium- and high-level sorties, according to another Air Force official.
To keeping the existing Jaguar fleet operational, the Air Force last year directed Hindustan Aeronautics to procure airframes and spares from used, overseas Jaguars.
A company executive confirmed that the firm began such a search, and procured airframes, engines and multiple types of frequently used spare parts from France; two airframes, eight engines and spare parts from Oman; and two twin-seater aircraft and spare parts from the United Kingdom. The Air Force lacks spare parts amid a stoppage in Jaguar production by Hindustan Aeronautics and the original equipment manufacturer BAE Systems, said an Indian Defence Ministry official. The service operates 116 Jaguar fighter jets, of which 40 were bought from BAE Systems and the remaining were produced under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics. The Jaguar fleet will start phasing out in 2023. (Source: Defense News)
22 Aug 19. US Lawmaker sounds alarm on supply chain risk. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) wants the U.S. government to take its supply chain security problems more seriously. On a conference call with reporters, Gallagher, a co-chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, cited a recent oversight report that showed that Defense Department personnel used government purchase cards to buy off-the-shelf technology with known vulnerabilities.
The congressman’s cybersecurity concerns are part of an increasingly fierce debate over the defense supply chain security in the past two years that has everyone from regulators to contractors yearning for clearer, stricter rules and bans of products and manufacturers.
Gallagher recently introduced a bill that would require congressional approval for Huawei to be removed from the tech blacklist. But for DOD to better secure its supply chain, a cultural schism between the Pentagon and the tech industry must be addressed.
“One of the most consistent things we’ve been discussing amongst the commissioners is finding a way to bridge the cultural divide between the private sector and the Pentagon,” Gallagher said, in reference to Google pulling out of DOD’s AI-powered Project Maven because of employee concerns, while continuing to do business in China.
“We need a more flexible model by which the private sector can work with the Pentagon. And if we remain culturally divided,” he said, “then we’re going to lose the competition with China.”
The Cyberspace Solarium Commission is a bipartisan effort for a governmentwide approach to cybersecurity and the protection of technologies that are key to U.S. national security and military preeminence. It focuses on offensive strategy, defensive deterrence and regulating threats through global norms.
DOD CIO Dana Deasy has been targeting improvement of the organization’s security posture. Deasy told Congress earlier this year the goal was to strengthen compliance and enforcement by shifting from a self-certification process to one where DOD’s undersecretary for defense acquisition and sustainment would evaluate and validate the self-assessments, then assign confidence scores.
But the key will be closing cybersecurity gaps before DOD is seriously compromised. Roslyn Layton, co-creator of ChinaTechThreat.com and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told reporters via teleconference the defense industrial base is the “path of least resistance” for hackers and supply chain vulnerabilities are reminiscent of the circumstances around the Office of Personnel Management hack in 2015.
“OPM ignored the recommendations that their IG had made for years, which included among other things, the need for an accurate centralized inventory of all servers, databases and network devices that reside on the network,” Layton said. (Source: Defense Systems)
26 Aug 19. DOD looks to expand drone industrial base amid supply chain concerns. The Department of Defense is looking to help establish a domestic manufacturing base for lightweight drones – a market dominated by Chinese firm DJI.
Ellen Lord, DOD’s undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, said at an Aug. 26 press briefing that the Pentagon can’t use DJI’s commercially available and popular drones because of security concerns. DOD is hoping a new program called Trusted Capital Marketplace would help broaden the pool of available drone manufacturers.
The Trusted Capital Marketplace was initially scoped out as a web-based platform to support connections between venture capital and emerging tech firms. But Lord said at the briefing that the “complicated expensive website” idea was discarded in favor of meetings on “very, very focused topics.”
In October, DOD will convene acquisition match-making meet up with an eye to diversifying the small drone industrial base. Lord said focusing on drones for the first marketplace meetup made sense because of the reliance on China-made tech.
These aren’t the large weaponized drones that deliver military strikes by remote control or conduct long-range surveillance and intelligence gathering, but more along the lines of drones used by hobbyists and are flown within sight of the operator.
“Essentially we don’t have very much of a small [unmanned aerial systems] industrial base because DJI dumped so many low-priced quadcopters on the market and we then became dependent on them both from the defense point of view and the commercial point of view,” Lord said during the briefing.
DJI has been criticized before for potential security risks due to concerns that China-made or linked products are dominating the drone supply chain.
At a June Senate hearing, Harry Wingo of National Defense University said DJI had a “near monopoly” on drone technology marketed in the U.S. and that its use of proprietary software networks make it difficult for DOD to ascertain whether the data is safe. Wingo also indicated that security concerns didn’t just lay in the drones’ components, but in data storage practices.
Lord echoed that testimony, saying “we know that a lot of the information is sent back to China from those; so this is not something that we can use.”
DJI spokesman Michael Oldenburg said the accusations are “false and misleading” in a statement to FCW.
“DJI drones do not automatically send data to the Chinese government or to any unauthorized party. An independent U.S. cybersecurity firm has debunked these claims and verified that DJI’s hardware and software systems give our customers full control over how their data is collected, stored, and transmitted,” Oldenburg said.
Oldenburg also disputed Lord’s assertion that DJI was dumping product to establish market dominance.
“DJI has earned its market-leading position in the drone industry because we have continued to research, develop and deliver the most capable products to the market,” he said.
Still, the Pentagon is hoping its “strong demand signal” will help boost domestic capaicty in small drones. Lord said.
“What we would like to have are U.S designers and manufacturers of small UAS. Because not only do we have a need for that in the Department of Defense — we know it’s a very, very large commercial industry — so we think that we can catalyze that activity and have a safe and secure supply,” Lord said. (Source: Defense Systems)
23 Aug 19. US Navy Takes First Big Step To Cloud, Pushing Logistics To Amazon’s Service. The Navy’s data is spread all over the place, but a $100m effort by the Navy aims to change all that within two years. The Navy has taken a big step toward pushing all of its data and analytics functions onto the cloud, setting the stage for the transition from disconnected and dispersed networks and databases into a single cloud-based system. The move of 72,000 users spread across six Navy commands to an Amazon Web Services cloud system this week is the first move in a three-year, $100m effort, Navy leaders announced today.
The milestone — which came 10 months ahead of schedule — will put the movement and documentation of some $70bn worth of parts and goods into one accessible space, where the information can be shared, analyzed and protected in a more uniform fashion.
“Part of this larger transformation is to make all the data available to everybody in as near real-time [as possible], with a lot of resilience and a lot of reliability,” Navy acquisition chief James Geurts told reporters in his office at the Pentagon today. “It gives us a lot more flexibility going forward, whether its with JEDI or another cloud-based system we decide to ride on.”
The rest of the Navy’s acquisition, logistics, and back office data will be moved to the cloud over the next two years.
One of the biggest benefits to the Navy, Geurts said, is that sailors and civilians on the pier or on the flight line will be able to reach into the cloud to keep an eye on parts bouncing through the pipeline, giving them a better idea of what is moving where within the service’s massive maintenance and acquisition system.
Simply put, “it will increase the visibility of the data,” Navy Comptroller Thomas Harker added. “Right now, in order to run audits the Navy has to pull data from nine different systems, not all of which are configured the same, and then slice it and dice it and put it all together.” Working that way is time consuming, and “creates challenges in financial reporting. It also creates challenges in doing advanced analytics around that data,” he added.
Getting a handle on this kind of information and doing it quickly, is critically important for the Navy as it struggles with deep-seated maintenance and repair backlogs that have kept ships pier-side months longer than was initially planned, as parts go missing or get jammed up inside the massive logistics enterprise.
The timeline of Leonardo DRS’s 50 years of innovation is peppered with notable technologies and capabilities that have given militaries around the world a warfighting edge. Here’s a look.
Recently, Navy undersecretary Thomas Modly admitted that the Navy has done a poor job in spending money to protect its networks. Part of the problem is that there has been no one person at a senior level responsible for making sure the multiple networks were secure. “It was very distributed, so we found we were investing in things without any level of coordination,” Modly said in announcing a new senior advisor the Navy Secretary to run the cyber security portfolio.
The Navy effort is part of a wider push at the Pentagon to get information away from multiple networks onto a single cloud-based system. The military absolutely needs to stand up the JEDI cloud computing program in order to stay abreast of China and Russia, the three-star chief of the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center said recently. If the Pentagon fails to build a common system to share data rapidly among units in different services and different globally-dispersed theaters, it’ll fail to implement the kinds of high-speed, AI-assisted Multi-Domain Operations that military leaders say are imperative in potential future conflicts against advanced adversaries. (Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)
26 Aug 19. MD Helicopters gets $50.4m logistics support contract for Afghan Air Force. MD Helicopters Inc. was awarded a $50.4m contract for logistics support of Afghanistan Air Force helicopters, the U.S. Defense Department announced. The contract is a modification of a prior agreement, and work will be done in Kabul and Mesa, with a completion date of May 2020. The nature of the logistics work was unspecified in Friday’s Defense Department announcement. The Afghanistan Air Force has 28 of the Mesa, Ariz., company’s MD-530F aircraft, with 154 more on order as the Afghan military transitions from Russian and former Soviet bloc-made aircraft. The Afghan Air Force currently has 100 helicopters from the Russian Mil Mi-17 and Mi-24 series, and 43 U.S.-made Bell, HAL and Sikorsky helicopters, in addition to the MD fleet. The Afghan Air Force consisted of 20 aircraft in 2007, but now also includes 29 fighter planes and 50 transport planes. The MD-530 series is regarded as a light-duty aircraft and is based on the Vietnam-era OH-6 Cayuse, a light observation helicopter. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/UPI)
24 Aug 19. Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded $2,426,326,544 for modification P00002 to previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract N00019-19-D-0015 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter initial spares for the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Spares to be procured include global spares packages, base spares packages, deployment spares packages, afloat spares packages and associated consumables. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (24.4%); El Segundo, California (9.1%); Owego, New York (8.6%); Samlesbury, United Kingdom (7.2%); Cheltenham, United Kingdom (6.2%); Nashua, New Hampshire (5.8%); Torrance, California (5.5%); Orlando, Florida (4.9%); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (3.7%); San Diego, California (3.6%); Phoenix, Arizona (3.1%); Melbourne, Florida (3.1%); Irvine, California (2.5%); North Amityville, New York (2.4%); Windsor Locks, Connecticut (2.2%); Baltimore, Maryland (2.2%); Papendrect, The Netherlands (1.9%); Rolling Meadows, Illinois (1.8%); and Alpharetta, Georgia (1.8%). All orders are expected to be placed no later than December 2020. No funds will be obligated at time of award, funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
(defense-aerospace.com EDITOR’S NOTE: Given that Lockheed Martin had delivered slightly more than 400 F-35s as of early August, this $2.4bn spare parts order will finance about $6 of spare parts for each aircraft — something that is unlikely to change the F-35’s dismal readiness rates, which GAO attributes to insufficient spare parts.) (Source: defense-aerospace.com)
23 Aug 19. US Army develops cold spray process to repair gun mounts on Bradley. The US Army has developed a cold spray process to repair turret gun mounts on the M2 Bradley fighting vehicle. The process was developed by a team of scientists and engineers from the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory and Ground Vehicle Systems Center. Other team members were from CCDC Armaments Center, Bradley Product Manager and Red River Army Depot (RRAD).
The project was funded by the US Army’s Manufacturing Technology Program.
CCDC ARL materials engineer Gehn Ferguson said: “This project demonstrated the ability to apply new manufacturing technologies to bring components back into service that would otherwise be scrapped during depot maintenance operations.”
RRAD inspects Bradley vehicle gun mounts for any excessive wear.
In 2017, CCDC ARL visited RRAD to assess the wear on the turret gun mounts. Following the visit, CCDC ARL worked on the development of a process to repair the Bradley gun mounts using cold spray.
Ferguson added: “Cold spray is an emerging technology that will enable the army to reclaim worn components that were previously replaced with new parts. This new technology reduces lifecycle cost and improves systems availability.”
The cold spray repair process will deliver significant cost savings. While a new 25mm gun mount costs more than $25,000, repairing the system using cold spray technology costs around $1,000.
In addition, the process will improve the readiness of the Bradley vehicle and reduce the need for stockpiling new gun mounts.
CCDC Armaments Center’s contribution to the project included designing and engineering the turret.
CCDC ARL developed and demonstrated the cold spray repair process for the gun mounts. The project team intends to use the process to repair four to five gun mounts in the next six-month period. The technology’s application could be expanded to include extending the life of new gun mounts. The team is also exploring the use of the process to repair corrosion on combat vehicle surfaces and to coat the interior of cannon barrels. (Source: army-technology.com)
26 Aug 19. Venezuela, Russia sign ports agreement. Warships from Russia and Venezuela can dock at one another’s national ports under an agreement signed earlier this month between Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino López and his Russian counterpart, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, in Moscow. The Venezuelan official was in Moscow for nearly a week in mid-August. In a video posted on 15 August on the Twitter account of the Venezuelan military’s press office, Padrino López said bilateral defence ties commenced in 2001 and the new ports agreement will “strengthen these relations.”
Padrino López also posted a photo on Twitter of himself with Shoigu that same day, tweeting “We have signed new cooperation agreements with the Russian Federation. This will mean additional exchanges on areas like [military] education, training and joint exercises on land, air and sea.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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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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