Sponsored by Oshkosh
25 Nov 19. High-speed 3D printing technology to be trialled for RAN patrol boat maintenance. Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) is funding a two-year, AUD1.5m (USD1.02m) trial to assess the ability of a uniquely-fast 3D printer to improve the availability of parts for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) fleet of Armidale-class patrol boats. The LightSPEE3D printer, developed by Australian company SPEE3D and the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance of Darwin-based Charles Darwin University, is designed to produce parts up to 1,000 times faster than traditional metal 3D printing. Announcing the trial on 21 November, Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price described LightSPEE3D as “a prime example of Australian innovation at its best”, adding that the evaluation was expected to help the RAN streamline patrol vessel maintenance. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Nov 19. Airbus Helicopters boosting support for French Cougar and Caracal fleets. Airbus Helicopters and its partner Heli-Union have signed a global support contract for the Cougar and Caracal helicopters in service in the French Army and Air Force. This agreement signed with the DMAé, the defence agency in charge of improving the availability of military aircraft in France, is the first contract that Airbus Helicopters has signed as part of the new approach initiated by the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly.
This long-term contract aims at increasing the availability of the Caracal and Cougar fleets by making Airbus Helicopters responsible for the entire scope of the aircraft’s support. Airbus Helicopters has committed to limiting the number of aircraft in heavy maintenance by reducing the duration of the maintenance cycles for each helicopter type by up to 20%. Additionally, the commitments taken on logistics and technical assistance will reduce the downtime linked to these activities.
“Airbus Helicopters has committed to ambitious performance levels for the support of the Cougar and Caracal helicopters in service in the French Army and Air Force” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “This contract is the result of months of cooperation with the DMAé, and I am confident it will deliver the level of support that the French armed forces expect to perform their critical missions both nationally and in operational theatres abroad”.
Airbus Helicopters will also propose, in cooperation with its partner Heli Union, a maintenance centre close to one of its customer’s sites in Pau, and will also involve a significant number of French SMEs in the equipment repair activities.
The French armed forces operate 18 H225Ms, also known as Caracal in French service, missions, as well as 26 Cougars, some of which are currently performing troop transport, special forces and search and rescue missions in demanding theatres of operation worldwide.
25 Nov 19. India introduces ‘long-term order’ policy to boost import substitution. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has introduced a policy to support long-term orders of defence equipment from state-owned enterprises in order to stimulate industrial efficiencies and reduce reliance on imports.
The MoD said its new framework for placing long-term orders for the indigenisation by defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) and the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) supports purchase orders over a period of up to 10 years “to make it economically attractive for industry to invest in its development/indigenisation”.
The policy – overseen by the MoD’s Department of Defence Production (DDP) and effective from 15 November – is aimed at enabling local industry to replace imported components and spares. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Nov 19. USAF tests wing aerial refuelling pods of KC-46 Pegasus tanker. The US Air Force (USAF) has tested the KC-46 Pegasus aerial refuelling and transport aircraft’s wing aerial refuelling pods (WARPs) at Edwards Air Force Base in California, US. The WARP systems provide the KC-46 with the capability to refuel two military jets at the same time via drogue chutes. Testing was completed with F-18D, F-18G and AV-8B aircraft.
418th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) KC-46 experimental test pilot major Jacob Lambach said: “With WARPs, the KC-46 will be able to refuel two fighter aircraft at the same time; as opposed to a centreline drogue system, where only one aircraft can refuel at a time.
“Fighter pilots usually show up in pairs and each has to watch and wait while their wingman refuels. Fighters’ combat mission isn’t to sit behind the tanker; it’s to fight. If we can refuel them both at the same time, they each only spend half as much time ‘out of the fight’.”
Before fielding the WARPs capability, a team of engineers evaluated hose reel response, fuel system and free air stability, among others.
The aerial refuelling mission requires the receiving pilot to make sure the drogue basket is properly aligned to the receiver’s probe, Lambach said.
Explaining the challenges with mid-air refuelling exercise involving multiple aircraft, 418th FLTS aerial refuelling engineer Nathan Montoya said: “The biggest challenge when testing with dual WARPs is making sure there is always positive communications and situational awareness between the test assets at the same time.
“This is something that is rarely done in test, as boom and centreline drogue operations only refuel one receiver at a time.”
The USAF recently awarded a $2.6bn contract to Boeing for the lot five production of the KC-46A.
The service banned the use of the aircraft for cargo and personnel transport due to flaws identified in the cargo locks.
Boeing developed a fix for the locks and expects to install it on in-production aircraft. The company will also retrofit units already delivered to the USAF. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
25 Nov 19. On 5 November, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, the U.S. Department of Defense and OneLogistics have opened the Regional Warehouse for the F-35 in Europe, at the Logistical Center Woensdrecht. Greg Ulmer, Vice President of Lockheed Martin, Lieutenant-General Eric T. Fick of the U.S. Department of Defense, and Rene de Koning, CEO of OneLogistics attended the celebratory opening of this center which strengthens the strong economic footprint of the F-35 program in The Netherlands.
“Europe and the Netherlands play an important role in the production and sustaining of the F-35 around the world. 25% of the program is in hands of European companies and countries like the Netherlands which strengthen cooperation over the next thirty years” said Greg Ulmer. With the increased international deliveries of the aircraft, the regional warehouse rapidly gains more importance. That OneLogistics was chosen to manage the regional warehouse at Woensdrecht was due to a strong bid and close cooperation with the Netherlands Ministry of Defence from the start of the program. (Source: NIDV Newsletter)
25 Nov 19. Triumph Group begins EDECU deliveries under second US Army order. Triumph Group has started the delivery of additional enhanced digital electronic control units (EDECUs) for the US Army’s AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. The company is delivering the EDECUs as part of a second order received from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) in September under an existing five-year contract.
The DLA awarded the five-year contract worth more than $77m in January as part of an effort to modernise the digital electronic control units on the army’s highly utilised fleets.
Valued at $12.4m, the second order calls for delivery of additional T700 EDECUs. Triumph stated that more than 2,000 additional EDECUs are required for the upgrade of the Apache and Black Hawk fleet.
The company expects future delivery orders for these units to be awarded until 2022.
The US Army T700 EDECUs will be produced at Triumph’s Engine and Control business in West Hartford, Connecticut, US.
Triumph also manufactures and supplies electronic engine controls for other platforms, including the SH-60 Seahawk, HH-60 Pave Hawk, MH-60 Jayhawk and Chinook CH-47.
It has so far delivered more than 6,000 EDECUs for the platforms operated by the US Army, US Navy and US Coast Guard.
The company won a logistics contract in 2013 to replace the digital electronic control units after it developed an enhanced common controller technology under the Army’s Universal Control Technology Program. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
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.