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31 Oct 19. Airbus partners with Amprius, leader in high energy density battery technology.
- Strategic investment by Airbus Defence and Space in Amprius, Inc.
- A new generation of Silicon Nanowire Anode-based Lithium Ion Batteries.
- Expanding production capability to match near term needs of the Zephyr program.
Airbus Defence and Space has partnered with U.S. based Amprius Inc’s current equity funding. This financing will further boost the development of new generation batteries based on Silicon Nanowire Anode technology.
Airbus Defence and Space’s investment will help drive the development of higher volume production capacity along with higher energy density cells for Airbus Defence and Space aerospace programmes, including the Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo Satellite and Urban Air Mobility innovation initiatives.
“This partnership re-inforces the link between two market leaders, the newest generation batteries of the market matched with the most advanced HAPS programme. Zephyr is currently the only one operating in the stratosphere at an average altitude of 70,000 and running exclusively on solar power, providing persistent local satellite-like services and supporting a wide range of applications and tasks.” said Jana Rosenmann, Head of Airbus Unmanned Aerial Systems.
The first to introduce 100% silicon anodes in lithium ion batteries to the market in 2013, Amprius manufactures the highest energy density commercial batteries in the industry. The company’s products and technology platforms include a 100% silicon nanowire anode, silicon-graphite composite anodes, lithium-rich cathodes, and high voltage electrolytes tailored for silicon.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with Airbus and supplying batteries for the Zephyr program,” said Jon Bornstein, COO of Amprius. “The incorporation of Amprius’ 100% silicon nanowire anode-based lithium ion batteries into the Zephyr platform represents an important validation of this technology. Likewise, our development of high energy power cells for Urban Air Mobility will enable exciting opportunities in new aviation markets.”
Amprius Inc.’s high energy density batteries are used for smartphones, wearables, drones, robotics, aerospace vehicles, electrical transportation, and military equipment.
Zephyr is the world’s leading, solar–electric, stratospheric Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). It will bring new see, sense and connect capabilities to both commercial and military customers. Zephyr will provide the potential to revolutionise disaster management, including monitoring the spread of wildfires or oil spills. It provides persistent surveillance, tracing the world’s changing environmental landscape and will be able to provide communications to the most unconnected parts of the world.
Zephyr is enabled by the latest in battery technology. Both the increase in production volumes of the new generation batteries and research for future development will be used to further the Zephyr programme and build on its market leading position.
31 Oct 19. Spear provides battery to Raytheon-delivered laser system to USAF. Spear Power Systems has provided an advanced lithium-ion battery system for a counter-unmanned aerial system (CUAS) delivered earlier this month by defence technology company Raytheon to the US Air Force.
The system is installed on a small all-terrain vehicle and will be deployed overseas as part of the airforce experiment that will last for a year.
Operators will be given training on the system, whose effectiveness will be tested in real-world conditions.
Spear Power said the highly compact battery delivers a great amount of power to the laser and the high power allows the system to neutralise the UAS in a matter of seconds.
Spear Power Systems president and CEO Jeff Kostos said: “Protecting the American warfighter and our allies from the threat posed by enemy drones is a top priority for the nation. We help enable Raytheon to make this solution highly mobile, by making the battery small and lightweight. The real key, though, was getting them a solution quickly.
“We delivered a highly customised solution in a matter of months to Raytheon, and that means protection will be in the field faster.”
The first directed energy weapon (DEW) battery, which was delivered by Spears directly to the US Air Force in 2013, allowed developing energy storage for high energy laser and high power microwave applications.
Raytheon’s high-energy laser weapon system uses an advanced variant of the company’s Multi-spectral Targeting System, an electro-optical / infrared sensor, to detect and track rogue drones.
Raytheon’s portfolio of sensors, command and control systems, and kinetic and non-kinetic effectors covers all aspects of the UAS threat. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
30 Oct 19. RAAF 5th-gen maintenance skills to keep F-35 air combat capability in the sky. With the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter expected to rewrite the way the Royal Australian Air Force conducts air combat operations, keeping the fifth-generation marvel combat effective is emerging as a major focus for the Air Force. As Air Force’s fleet of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft continues to grow, the quality and delivery of highly trained Air Force maintainers is exceeding expectations.
The Royal Australian Air Force’s fifth-generation capabilities need a fifth-generation workforce – a workforce that is capable of adapting to the technology-driven joint force of the future, one the F-35 is going to play an increasingly important role in.
The Air Combat Transition Office Workforce Planning Manager, Wing Commander September Clare, said the current data snapshot of the workforce was promising.
WGCDR Clare said, “As of mid-October 2019, the RAAF has 103 Australian-based trained maintainers working on our current six F-35s and stand ready to support the additional seven jets due to be delivered at the end of the year.
“I’m continually impressed by the innovative approaches the training staff at the integrated training centre have to training development, which has resulted in the accelerated delivery of maintenance training to support the F-35 capability,” WGCDR Clare said, adding that training a specialist workforce of maintainers required deep-dive analysis and significant planning by a dedicated team.
Recent data also confirmed the continued trend of high training output. Another 32 F-35A maintainers will be on course in October 2019 and, in comparison to the performance of the same period last year, maintenance training numbers throughout have quadrupled.
The Director Air Combat Transition Office, Group Captain John Haly, said an important training standard had been set.
“The skill of our people and the in-depth planning for our technical workforce have positioned us well to accept our new F-35A Lightning II aircraft from the production line. Fundamentally, the training data reflects our ability to be self-sufficient in Australia and demonstrates Air Force capacity to deliver effective specialist training on this exciting new capability,” GPCAPT Haly explained.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is billed as a catalyst for the fifth-generation revolution, changing the face and capability of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the wider Australian Defence Force (ADF).
“This is a significant achievement for the Australian F-35A Lightning II community,” GPCAPT Haly added.
Successful management and the timely delivery of a trained workforce extends to aircrew, which is also running ahead of schedule. Twenty-five pilots have been converted to the F-35A (14 of them still embedded in a United States Air Force squadron as instructors), an additional three are being trained in the US and two more in Australia.
For the RAAF, the F-35A’s combination of full-spectrum low-observable stealth coatings and materials, advanced radar-dispersing shaping, network-centric sensor and communications suites – combined with a lethal strike capability – means the aircraft will be the ultimate force multiplying, air-combat platform.
The F-35A – the variant chosen by the RAAF – will have with a projected life of 30 years in service. Ten nations are currently flying F-35s, including the US, UK, Italy, Norway, Israel and Japan. The first of Australia’s F-35A aircraft are now based on home soil after a period of training and development at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, USA, plus an epic Pacific Ocean crossing in December 2018.
More than 340 F-35s are operating today with partner nations, more than 700 pilots and 6,500 maintainers have been trained, and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 170,000 cumulative flight hours.
Over the coming years, Australia will purchase 72 of the advanced fifth-generation fighter aircraft as part of the $17bn AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B program, which is aimed at replacing the ageing F-18A/B Classic Hornets that have been in service with the RAAF since 1985. (Source: Defence Connect)
29 Oct 19. US Navy Audit Uncovered $126m in Aircraft Parts ‘We Didn’t Even Know Existed.’ Navy aircraft were sidelined as they awaited parts last year that the service actually had in a warehouse. The problem? They didn’t even know the warehouse was there.
“Not only did we not know that the parts existed, we didn’t even know the warehouse existed,” Thomas Modly, the Navy’s No. 2 civilian said at last week’s annual Military Reporters and Editors conference.
The issue was discovered in last year’s Navy- and Marine Corps-wide audit, which Modly said has helped the sea services correct some serious problems tracking inventory it owns.
The warehouse in Jacksonville, Florida, auditors found, had about $126m in aircraft parts for the F-14 Tomcat, P-8 Poseidon and P-3 Orion.
“When they brought those parts into the inventory system, within a couple of weeks there were like $20m in requisitions on those parts for aircraft that were down because we didn’t know we had the parts of the inventory,” Modly said.
Tracking inventory is one of the Navy Department’s biggest challenges, he added. The Navy and Marine Corps are undergoing efforts to develop a tracking system to “get better data around inventory,” he said.
“It’s billions of dollars and we don’t have good accountability on that,” Modly said. “We need to get much better.”
The services are also working with vendors that house spare parts for Navy and Marine Corps equipment, he said. The audit showed vendors working with the Navy and Marine Corps often “didn’t have visibility into where those things were either,” he said.
“They had them and they knew they had them, but there was no way to tie them into a system to be able to go audit [them],” he said. “We’ve gone back to them and imposed some standards on them this year so that this next year, when we go through this, we think we’ve got that solved.”
Had the Navy Department not done an audit, he said “we never would’ve known that problem.”
The Navy is preparing to release its next audit report in about two weeks. (Source: Military.com)
29 Oct 19. Beca wins Defence fuel governance and assurance contract. Beca has teamed up with JL2 Defence Services to win the Defence Fuels Transformation Program contract for the Defence Fuels Supply Chain (DFSC) Governance, Reporting and Assurance Framework. The team established a consolidated end-to-end governance, risk management and reporting framework for DFSC, which it said is a vital transformation initiative to manage, measure and control the health of the DFSC as part of the Joint Logistics Command and Joint Capabilities Group risk and performance reporting framework.
Gerry Christian, business development director – defence and advisory at Beca, said the win is testament to the high standard of capability Beca delivers to its clients.
“We are delighted to team with JL2 to deliver a governance framework to the Commander Joint Logistics and Fuel Services Branch and are happy to again be working with Defence, particularly given our excellent track record of success with previous contracts.”
The success of the project will enable the Commander Joint Logistics to achieve the primary objectives for the DFSC: specifically, delivering bulk fuels safely, in full and on time, in an efficient and sustainable manner to meet the Defence Capability Manager’s requirements.
JL2 Group is a wholly Australian owned professional services company operating in the ACT, Queensland and NSW, while Beca is one of the largest employee-owned professional services consultancies in the Asia-Pacific region, with nearly 3,300 employees in 20 offices around the world. (Source: Defence Connect)
29 Oct 19. Aussie SME selected to develop ADF bridging support technology. Melbourne-based Anywise has been selected to provide the Australian Defence Force with a next-generation bridging support technology capability and to deliver safety and maintenance monitoring systems for military bridges.
Military bridge users implicitly rely on the structural integrity, configuration and reliability of the bridge system. Over time, elements of these modular systems wear and age at varying rates. Ensuring the safety of users and closely managing the remaining usable life of a bridge system is a challenging proposition and is essential throughout the life of the capability.
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price made the announcement of Anywise’s selection, saying, “This technology would not only provide Defence with peace-of-mind in terms of the safety of personnel using these bridges, but it also holds significant export potential for the company.”
Anywise is developing a fleet agnostic HUMS that is modular, scalable and able to be used for all bridge types and configurations. This system will provide meaningful and reliable data on structural integrity, fleet availability, use and overall system health, as well as reducing life cycle costs.
Adam Evans, managing director of Anywise, welcomed the minister’s announcement, saying, “We are proud to be developing this technology for Defence. The Anywise team brings with it deep experience in Defence and industry and integrates technology, design and a highly collaborative process to solve our clients most challenging problems. We are very excited to continue to build on our close relationship with Defence to deliver this important capability.”
Anywise has commenced a detailed design phase of this project and said it welcomed the opportunity to work with other Australian companies that have technology available or emerging for this project.
Anywise consulting formed in 2014 to address a growing need in the market. Anywise integrates people, processes and tools, forms high performing teams and helps its clients deliver their most challenging projects. (Source: Defence Connect)
28 Oct 19. Czech Republic joins multinational European MRTT initiative. The MRTT fleet is expected to boost the air-to-air refuelling capabilities of European allies. The Czech Republic has signed an agreement to join the multinational multi-role tanker transport capability (MRTT-C) programme. The MRTT-C is a multinational initiative to acquire a multi-role tanker transport aircraft (MRTT) fleet to enable additional tanker and transport aircraft capability in Europe.
Initiated in July 2016 by the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the project includes several other countries such as Germany, Norway and Belgium.
Airbus is under contract to deliver eight Airbus A330 MRTT aircraft to strengthen mid-air refuelling capabilities of the European allies.
The aircraft in the MRTT fleet will be owned by Nato. The participating nations have the right to operate the aircraft in a pooling arrangement.
The contract has options for the acquisition of three additional aircraft. Deliveries will take place between 2020 and 2023.
Airbus is expected to deliver the first two MRTT aircraft in May and June next year respectively. OCCAR serves as the contract executing agent for the Nato Support & Procurement Agency (NSPA). The organisation is responsible for the management of the programme’s acquisition phase.
Earlier this year, NSPA and OCCAR signed a revised cooperation agreement for the programme.
In a media release, Nato said: “The multinational fleet arrangement is a concrete step towards reducing the overall European shortage in air-to-air refuelling and the over-reliance on US capabilities.”
In addition to air-to-air refuelling, the Airbus A330-200 will support operations such as medical evacuation, and transport of people and cargo.
Nato deputy secretary General Mircea Geoana said: “I am pleased to see our two organisations come together in this way and hope to see more initiatives like this one in the future.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
29 Oct 19. Patria to upgrade Pasi armoured personnel carriers. Defence, security and aviation lifecycle support services provider Patria has received an estimated €35m order to upgrade Pasi armoured personnel carriers for the Finnish Defence Forces. Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen has authorised the Defence Forces Logistics Command to procure supplementary lifecycle upgrades from Patria.
Under the order, Patria will carry out lifecycle upgrades for XA-180 armoured personnel carriers (Pasi) starting next year. The modernisation of 139 XA-180 armoured personnel carriers seeks to ensure that the capability, condition and technical lifecycle of the armoured personnel carriers will extend into the 2040s. Patria will upgrade the electric systems, strengthen power transmission components, and renew suspension and external coating.
Plans also include installation of seats with security belts in the vehicles.
The Finnish Ministry of Defence said the number of person-years is divided as Kanta-Häme region 50%, Pirkanmaa region 40%, and the rest of Finland 10%.
The procurement will continue the lifecycle upgrade that commenced in 2014. It is associated with the National Defence Development Programme that intends to develop the mobility of troops. Upgrades are planned to be carried out between 2020 and 2022.
Finland collaborates with Nato to enhance its defence capability, as well as the operational capabilities and interoperability of the Finnish Defence Forces.
The Finnish Ministry of Defence is in charge of national defence policy and security and international defence policy cooperation.
The ministry is also responsible for national military defence resources and the operating framework of the Defence Forces.
In June, Patria said that it is preparing to offer its solution for a remote-operated air traffic control system in Finland. (Source: army-technology.com)
28 Oct 19. British tanker RFA Tidesurge replenishes USS Donald Cook. The British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Tide-class tanker RFA Tidesurge has replenished the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Donald Cook. Tidesurge performed the operation in the mid-Atlantic where they met briefly after the completion of multinational Exercise Joint Warrior 19-2 off the coast of Scotland. Replenishment of the guided-missile destroyer is said to be a first for the class.
RFA Tidesurge operations officer First Officer Duncan MacColl said: “Over the past couple of months, RFA Tidesurge has consistently displayed the advanced capability and flexibility of the Tide Class in support of Flag Officer Sea Training on the south coast, before heading north as one of 14 ships participating in the multi-national Exercise Joint Warrior and Griffin Strike off the west coast of Scotland. “Tidesurge was required to deal with air, surface and sub-surface attacks during the exercise.”
The tanker is the third in the class of four ships that form the UK’s new tanker fleet. The 39,000t ships can provide fuel, food, fresh water, and other supplies at sea to British vessels.
Flight Commander lieutenant Tom Wallis said: “It is great to be able to show the flexibility of the Tide-class with an embarked Merlin Mk2, and the significant operational capability that this combination provides.
“Over the past three weeks, we have partaken in Exercise Joint Warrior 19-2, sharpening our warfighting teeth in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles, switching quickly to transfer personnel and then back into operational tasking to support USS Donald Cook.
“This is only possible through the dedication of the crew of RFA Tidesurge, 814 NAS, 1700 NAS and the Fleet Hydrographic and Meteorology Unit, and our ability to exercise and operate efficiently and at very high readiness.”
Tideforce, the fourth in the class, is currently deployed as part of the HMS Queen Elizabeth-led carrier strike group off the east coast of the US. (Source: naval-technology.com)
28 Oct 19. Marshall to use AT&T IoT Connectivity for Dutch container contract. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group has selected AT&T internet of things (IoT) Connectivity to deliver a connected container solution for the Dutch Army. The company will incorporate AT&T’s IoT capabilities into its overall connected container service model to deliver the global managed container service contract. In December last year, Marshall was awarded a contract to provide next-generation containers for the Dutch Armed Forces.
The contract was awarded as part of a programme to equip the armed forces with new vehicles, containers and support equipment.
The AT&T solution will provide Marshall with the capability to monitor the ‘location, condition and temperature of containers across a range of use cases’.
Marshall will use AT&T’s Global SIM and AT&T’s Control Centre platform for remote monitoring and management of the container systems.
The connectivity will provide commanders with key details such as the exact location of a container and its state of readiness for deployment.
The information will enable improved management of the containers and ensure they are at the right place at the right time.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group DVOW project director Steve Nokes said: “Being able to track and monitor the containers added another dimension to this important contract for the Dutch Army.
“We are delighted to be delivering these container systems as a result of a rapid development and manufacturing programme, and to offer this enhanced service to our customer thanks to the global solution delivered by the team at AT&T.”
Under the contract, valued at more than £100m, Marshall will provide over 1,400 connected container systems during the next five years.
The systems to be delivered include controlled atmosphere and basic stores units, command and control, medical container systems, and workshops. The contract also includes a 14-year full availability-based support package.
AT&T EMEA region president John Vladimir Slamecka said: “We are delivering the future to our customers by allowing them to connect in new ways. These are high-value assets, both in monetary terms and in operational terms, so it’s critical to know their location and condition.
“By utilising our global IoT solutions, which roam across over 500 mobile network carriers and 200+ countries and territories, we’re helping Marshall to gain a competitive advantage.” (Source: army-technology.com)
16 Oct 19. NIWC Atlantic Ingenuity, Teamwork Speed JLTV Delivery to Marine Units. Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic engineers helped achieve initial operational capability (IOC) nearly a year ahead of schedule for their integration work on the U.S. Marine Corps’ Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). The JLTV is a high-tech, next-generation light vehicle created to theoretically replace the U.S. military’s Humvee in a one-for-one swap.
Leading up to IOC, NIWC Atlantic engineering teams proved the JLTV’s readiness at Marine schoolhouses, training commands and a II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) infantry unit at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina—3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.
Now, with over 150 JLTVs operational at all three MEFs, the Fleet Marine Force has a truck capable of moving heaven and earth with seamless communications, reconnaissance, enemy-detection capabilities and multiple weapons system platforms — all with the grab, swipe or pinch of a commander’s fingers.
“It’s like going from a flip phone to a smartphone,” said Jay Moore, JLTV Total Package Fielding (TPF) project lead for the expeditionary warfare department at NIWC Atlantic.
Two major contributions helped reach the IOC milestone on Aug. 2: a mobile test bench developed at NIWC Atlantic’s Land Systems Integration (LSI) Facility and a flurry of engineering rigor at the command’s Digital Integration Facility (DIF).
The mobile kit, known as the “gold set,” is a master plan on wheels. It was designed so LSI technicians at fielding sites around the world could easily access command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) hardware and test equipment in one compact, centralized hub.
“It was a huge feat to get that made,” Moore said. “We had little to no time to come up with something, but we did whatever was needed to move us toward the finish line.”
Technicians using the gold set can perform critical testing functions for the JLTV and avoid the disarray of components in cardboard boxes sprawled out in the sand or mud.
Working in tandem, the DIF’s advanced engineering teams worked out C4ISR-related challenges by designing modifications and sending over prototypes to implement.
Chris Canning, a systems engineer at the DIF and JLTV technical lead at the facility, said his team provided the engineering precision behind much of those requests for C4ISR systems optimization.
“The TPF team has quality technicians really skilled at identifying areas to better fit Marine Corps requirements,” Canning said. “Then, we do the designing, many times from scratch. We make sure the drawings are all locked down, ensure the prototyping can begin.”
Following years of war in Iraq and especially Afghanistan, thousands of Humvees were up-armored to meet the demand for blast-proof vehicles. That led to the U.S. military’s quintessential all-terrain vehicle for over two decades losing payload and off-road agility. Similarly, the larger Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) newcomer was safer but limited in the cross-country domain.
When it was clear that something different was needed, Department of Defense leaders sought to procure a truck designed from the ground up with modern automotive ingenuity and the latest C4ISR infrastructure.
Fast forward to August 2018, and the Marine Corps requested support from NIWC Atlantic to perform the testing and integration of communications equipment on JLTVs that were shipping directly from the manufacturer to the field.
Everything from onboard smart-screen displays and power supplies to amplifiers and radio transmitters required testing — and sometimes replacing — in addition to hundreds of items listed on 60 pages of inspection sheets.
Because such complex integration work would be substantially more difficult in the field than on base, the TPF team was forced to design a mobile kit.
“With the gold set, we can basically shut the door, roll it up and ship it wherever we need to go,” Moore said.
The gold set’s mobility and user-friendliness are its greatest assets, making the kit a huge hit within the Marine Corps G6 community, noted Jennifer Anderson, JLTV TPF field lead at NIWC Atlantic’s expeditionary warfare department. Building on that success, the LSI team created modification drawings to help other organizations reproduce the gold set elsewhere.
Anderson underscored the value of taking proven capabilities on base, packing them up and conveying them to the field.
“You can see how Jay’s team was able to design something that took [the integration] of a whole building and put it into a box to emulate elsewhere,” she said. “And it was created from scratch.”
Looking back over the past year, Pete Ward, LSI division chief, attributed much of his organization’s successes to collaboration across multiple disciplines.
“Everyone worked together to pull this off — early and fast,” he said. “It wouldn’t have happened if teams hadn’t appreciated and leveraged each member’s unique capabilities.”
NIWC Atlantic leadership echoed Ward’s remarks, also appreciating the agility of the expeditionary warfare department workforce for its part in achieving IOC early.
“This was the ultimate team of teams project,” said Pete Reddy, NIWC Atlantic acting executive director. “It’s a perfect example of how working across diverse teams, divisions and competencies builds positive interactions that can more effectively support the warfighter.”
As a part of Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NIWC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, cyber and information technology capabilities. (Source: ASD Network)
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.