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13 Sep 19. Boeing signs MoU for USAF C-17 fleet sustainment. Boeing has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to continue the sustainment of the US Air Force’s (USAF) C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft fleet into the next decade. The MoU was signed with the C-17 System Program Office (SPO) at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, on 21 August. The US-based aerospace and defence company is the prime contractor for the Globemaster III Sustainment Program contract.
Under the contract, Boeing will provide programme management, technical data, field services, systems engineering, material and equipment management, maintenance and modifications, propulsion sustainment and other support services for the C-17 aircraft.
The contract also covers depot-level aircraft maintenance and round-the-clock base supply support for spares.
The current contract is due to expire in 2021. The MoU represents a commitment from Boeing and the C-17 SPO to work towards signing a follow-on contract for the fleet’s sustainment.
In a statement, the US Air Force said: “The event signified high-ranking leadership’s commitment toward streamlining acquisition processes and timelines with the aim of expeditiously awarding the follow-on contract, valued at $23.76bn, to maintain continuous sustainment coverage for the C-17 virtual fleet once the current contract expires, 1 October 2021.
“This groundbreaking event signifies the start of a new collaborative methodology between the US Government and the prime contractor.”
Boeing provides sustainment and maintenance to the worldwide C-17 fleet. In addition to the US, the aircraft is in service with the UK and other allied nations, including Australia, Canada, Kuwait, Qatar, India, and the UAE.
The Boeing-built long-haul aircraft can carry heavy payloads in challenging conditions. The company delivered the first production C-17 to the USAF in 1993. According to the firm’s website, the USAF has a total of 223 C-17s. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
12 Sep 19. SEAD indecision puts pressure on USAF F-16 fleet. The USAF is still unsure of which trade offs it will have to make as part of an overdue F-16 modernisation programme – the basis of which is underpinned by a need to strengthen Suppression of Enemy Air Defence [SEAD] mission capabilities. Despite $7bn of DoD expenditure spent on funding a number of currently running F-16 programmes, such as flight testing with the Northrop Grumman made APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, high-speed data network integration and the addition of high definition flight displays, a decision on whether to introduce a digital EW suite to future improvements is yet to be taken.
‘We’re not sure exactly which direction we’re going to go on that stuff’ Lt Col Matt Russell, chief of F-16 flight testing,’ USAF told Shephard, but did confirm that integration of the JASSAM ER Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range variant will be part of the modernisation plan.
In the time since a last modernisation effort was undertaken in 2005, a more complex picture of lethal air defence threats has emerged, including a need to counter increasingly long-range and high-altitude systems, passive detection, passive targeting and directed energy issues, he made clear.
‘All high value assets have to stay out further from the fight [because of more capable air defence threats] which becomes a problem when talking about battle management, communication nodes in the air have to be further out too,’ he said.
The need for greater F-16 capabilities to be finalised and continue with SEAD sorties is also pivotal because of the USAF F-35 fleet, ‘barely starting to deploy,’ Russell added.
‘If anything kicks off, we’re going to be limited,’ he warned.
The likelihood of enhancing the F-16 to a similar level of capability as the F-35 is all but insurmountable and impractical, with Russell making clear that a modernisation of that kind would be too difficult and too expense.
‘I don’t know how many antennas the F-35 has on it, just for radar warning, they are all over the airframe, to put that on the F-16 you’d have to pull skins, pull panels, and run wires throughout the whole body [of the jet],’ he explained.
‘We haven’t made a decision on how we are going to handle that problem but we have to make a decision at some point.’ (Source: Shephard)
12 Sep 19. ECLIPS Logistics wins Australian Army contract. A Canberra-based company will develop a smart digital solution for the Australian Army’s logistics management and control after a $3.3m funding boost from the federal government.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price made the announcement alongside ECLIPS Logistics at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) in London.
Minister Price said the company is seeking to develop technology to integrate Defence’s logistics information system with modular distribution and magnetic location tags and sensors.
“This $3.3m Defence Innovation Hub contract with Defence will allow ECLIPS to develop next-generation technology which could have a significant impact on Army’s capability,” Minister Price said.
“Empowering small businesses around Australia to be part of the record build-up of our defence industry means we can take advantage of their innovative and entrepreneurial nature.”
“That’s why we’re investing $640m in the Defence Innovation Hub and why we’ve seen 85 per cent of the contracts awarded so far go to small businesses just like ECLIPS.”
ECLIPS is one of 61 small businesses showing off their capabilities at the major DSEI tradeshow as part of Team Defence Australia.
Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja, said he was pleased to see a local company representing Australia’s defence industry in London and congratulated them on their latest success.
“Defence industry is a growing sector in the ACT, and it is fantastic to see Canberra businesses being recognised for their innovation on the world stage,” Senator Seselja said. (Source: Defence Connect)
11 Sep 19. US Navy’s PSNS & IMF undertake programme to improve efficiency. The US Navy’s Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) is undertaking a pilot programme to improve the efficiency of the shipyard and ensure on-time delivery.
The six-week programme at the ball valve work centre is known as the Naval Sustainment System – Shipyards (NSS-S). The initiative is part of the command’s efforts to streamline its processes and improve internal coordination. PSNS & IMF and Norfolk Naval Shipyard will work with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to incorporate practices aimed at improving the naval maintenance process. The initiative aims to deliver all the maintenance projects on-time or ahead of schedule.
Shipyard leaders and production workers are being assisted by BCG members in the command’s Inside Machine Shop.
The partnership with the consulting firm seeks to transform the shop floor to maximise the time mechanics can work using tools and materials.
The shipyard-BCG team is working on repairing ball valves for use in submarines.
Shipyard product lines director Elaine Priest said: “We chose this area for several reasons. Most important, though, is that the work (the ball valve work centre) does is vital to on-time completion of submarine availabilities.”
Under the NSS-S programme, the shipyard has already established a production control centre (PCC) near the ball valve work centre.
To ensure smooth workflow, the PCC is designed to provide visibility of support systems, such as materials, engineering, and transportation.
PSNS & IMF expects to set up PCCs in other shipyard locations once the pilot programme in the ball valve work centre is completed.
The team is also focusing on safety improvements, ergonomics and visual tools to improve timeliness. This will allow workers and leaders to better communicate the status of projects. The effort aims to deliver change in areas such as shipyard transformation, planning, engineering, material and technology. (Source: naval-technology.com)
09 Sep 19. Defence Primes and Ministry of Defence Join JOSCAR. The Ministry of Defence, Rolls-Royce Submarines, MBDA UK Limited and General Dynamics UK have joined JOSCAR (Joint Supply Chain Accreditation Register). JOSCAR was established in 2015, following an initiative led by ADS, to collect supplier compliance information across the defence, aerospace, security and space sectors.
JOSCAR provides a cross-sector collaborative solution which reduces the time, cost and duplication needed to provide compliance information to major defence industry prime contractors. JOSCAR is becoming the standard across the defence and aerospace industries for pre-qualification supplier compliance information.
Amanda Wood, Procurement Manager, BAE Systems said: “By reducing duplication and having one source of validated information available to all buyers, JOSCAR reduces the compliance workload for both suppliers and buyers.”
Frank Beagan, VP Procurement Capability, Leonardo MW said: “Leonardo have access to both the JOSCAR Governance Group and Technical Working Groups to shape the future direction of the JOSCAR programme.”
Hellios’ continuous validation process ensures all supplier information is accurate and up to date, collecting information on 19 areas of compliance including Modern Slavery, Information and Cyber Security, Fraud & Anti-Bribery, Fourth Parties and Brexit Preparations.
JOSCAR holds information on over 5150 suppliers across the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors.
Chaired by ADS, the current members of the JOSCAR buyer community are: the Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems, Babcock International, Rolls Royce Submarines, QinetiQ, Leonardo, MBDA, General Dynamics, NATS, and Meggitt.
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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