Sponsored by Oshkosh
12 Dec 19. Czechs overhauling two Burkinabe Mi-17s. LOM Praha is currently overhauling two Burkina Faso Air Force (FABF) Mi-17 helicopters, Jane’s was told during a visit to the Czech company’s facility at Kbely Air Field on the outskirts of Prague. Having spent several years in storage, the two helicopters were airfreighted by an Il-76 from Base Aérienne 511 at Ouagadougou’s international airport to Pardubice Airport on 15 March and then transported by road to Kbely.
“The helicopters have been stripped of all their aggregates and are being overhauled here, while all the dynamic parts, including the TV3-117MT engines and the gearboxes, are being worked on at our Malešice facility in Prague,” LOM Praha project manager Alexandr Demin said. (Source: Jane’s)
10 Dec 19. More equipment, spare parts needed for all Army brigades to hit highest readiness levels. Little things, like spare parts, fuel systems and trailers, can stymie the Army’s primary close combat force, a recent report found. An audit of the Army’s Brigade Combat Team Readiness by the Department of Defense Inspector General, released in November, shows how shortages in mobile gun systems, mounted telescopes, low-bed semitrailers and modular fuel systems were keeping BCTs from the fight.
Since the audit began in February 2018, the Army has prioritized equipment to deploying teams, ramped up production cycles and tackled backlogs of parts orders to meet and maintain two-thirds or more of its 31 active BCTs at a high level of readiness, some at their highest levels in 20 years.
Despite those successes, six more programs to address shortfalls continue, and, according to the report, BCT readiness, “will not be fully addressed for four years or more.”
The report focuses mainly on the 31 active BCTs. The Army has three types of BCTs – infantry, Stryker and armor. It maintains 27 BCTs in the Army National Guard, according to the report.
The backlog of spare parts and equipment shortages were due to a combination of factors, some of those due to production cycles and new contracts as the Army evaluated the readiness levels of the BCTs.
A six-year plan was developed to procure additional semitrailers. That was expected to run from 2018 to 2023. Another six-year plan was put in place for the same period to obtain enough mounted telescopes for lightweight towed howitzers.
As of July, there as a back order of 45 mounted telescopes still needed. The report noted that the Army expects the additional scopes to be delivered by 2021.
The trailers haul loads as heavy as 250 tons. Without sufficient trailers the Stryker BCTs and others can’t bring in necessary bulldozers and other heavy equipment needed to fortify areas for operations.
In 2018 the active BCTs were authorized 317 but had only 224 on hand, resulting in a shortage of 93.
In 2019 those same teams had an authorized 311 trailers but only had 216 on hand, raising the shortage to 96.
The Army expects to add 560 semitrailers between 2020 and 2023. Across the army, units had only 54 percent of the required trailers for operating strength.
“Until the Army has procured sufficient low bed semitrailers the army is redistributing low bed semitrailers to higher priority deploying units when possible,” according to the report.
Four of 10 Armored BCTs were short modular fuel systems. Two of seven SBCTs had the same problem. The fuel system is both a fuel storage and distribution center. The shortage, “prevented the unit from conducting the full range of refueling operations,” one BCT commander told auditors.
In 2018 the teams had 1,016 authorized systems but only 354 on hand, resulting in a shortage of 662. A year later their authorized number was 998, with 535 on hand and a shortage of 463.
Across the Army, units had only 40 percent of the fuel systems needed, a seven-year contract awarded this year would fill that gap by 2022, according to the report.
Three of seven SBCT commanders reported shortages of mobile gun systems.
That problem’s been solved. Units were authorized 84 systems in 2018 but short 19 and by 2019 the additional systems had been added.
Overall spare parts problems put two of 14 Infantry BCTs’ medium weight howitzers as not mission capable and one IBCT’s light howitzers not “mission capable.”
One of the SBCTs had the same medium howitzer problem. And a single IBCT had no operational light howitzers.
Four of 10 ABCTs reported Abrams tanks not mission cable. Two of seven SBCTs reported Strykers not mission capable.
Fire control switches for Abrams tanks were down to 56 on back order. Those are expected to be completed by 2022.
In 2018, fire extinguishers for Strykers were at a 221 item back order. All of those were filled this year. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Army Times)
10 Dec 19. Damen building landing ship for Nigerian Navy. The Nigerian Navy has ordered a landing ship from Damen, it was confirmed on 9 December, when a ceremony was held at the Albwardy Damen Shipyard in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to mark the start of construction. The Nigerian Navy released photographs of its commander, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, attending the keel-laying ceremony for an LST 100 and said the ship is expected to be completed in May 2020. The LST 100 is the 100m-long version of a new range of landing ships offered by Damen, which says the model has a deadweight displacement of 1,000-1,300 tonnes, a range of 4,000n miles, and an endurance of 15 days.
It has both stern and bow ramps, as well as a flight deck for a medium helicopter. There is 540 m² of space on the roll-on/roll-off deck and another 420m² on the cargo deck. It can carry 235 troops as well as the 18 crew. Two davits for launching and recovering landing craft and a 25 tonne cargo crane are options.
Captain Suleman Dahun, the spokesman for the Nigerian Navy, told Jane’s that the ship will restore the service’s sealift capability by replacing the decommissioned German-built Type 502 landing ships NNS Ambe and NNS Ofiom that were acquired in the late 1970s. Cpt Dahun added that the new ship would be used to project Nigeria’s naval power and deliver humanitarian assistance in support of the country’s foreign policy.
“The bid for this project was highly competitive as several other shipbuilding companies tendered for her construction,” Vice Adm Ibas was quoted as saying during the ceremony. “The selection of Damen Shipyards to execute the project was based on its track record of high-quality shipbuilding capacity [and] engineering, as well as a belief in the company’s ability to adhere to the timeline for delivery of the ship.” (Source: Jane’s)
10 Dec 19. RUAG completes MRO work on Bangladesh Navy’s Dornier 228 aircraft. The Dornier 228-212 special mission aircraft has been delivered in October and has resumed operations with the navy. Credit: © RUAG Group. RUAG MRO International has completed maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work on the Dornier 228-212 special mission aircraft operated by the Bangladesh Navy. The company performed the 72-month inspection at its aircraft production facilities in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Following the MRO work, the aircraft was delivered to the Bangladesh Navy in October.
Bangladesh Navy Purchase director commodore Zahir said: “We are pleased to welcome back our Dornier 228 after this successful heavy inspection and have already deployed it to continue our mission of surveillance and patrol flights in the protection of our sovereign waters.
“We are also proud to welcome back our Oversee Team from their opportunity on the ground at RUAG’s production centre.”
RUAG MRO provided training to maintenance technicians from the Bangladesh Navy. The firm is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the Dornier 228 utility aircraft.
The company also provides customer support services to enable the availability of the aircraft.
RUAG MRO International Dornier 228 Customer Support director Michael Franz said: “As the Dornier 228 OEM, our expertise includes supporting our customers in every way possible, like this 72-month inspection for Bangladesh Navy.
“We offer these MRO services with this unique OEM advantage. As we continue to fulfil heavy maintenance assignments to full customer satisfaction, we also provide key support that enables our customers to maintain active operations, like Bangladesh Navy’s for safeguarding their nation’s key resources.”
In addition to special missions, the Dornier aircraft is used for passenger and cargo operations.
The navy deploys the Dornier 228 for surveillance and patrol flights in support of maritime security and search-and-rescue (SAR) operations.
The aircraft is powered by the Honeywell TPE-331-10 single-shaft engine. (Source: naval-technology.com)
09 Dec 19. Heavy equipment out, unmanned logistics in for the US Marine commandant’s wish list. Since taking over as commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, Gen. David Berger hasn’t been shy about saying the service must update its inventory and adapt its force structure to fight future conflicts.
But at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Dec. 7, Berger laid out his most detailed comments yet on what equipment he sees as winners and losers going forward, while promising that the Corps’ 2022 budget will look different from its 2020 request.
“We have to get rid of legacy things in the Marine Corps. We’ve got to go on a diet” he told reporters during the event, noting that a large-scale review of the service will be rolled out in roughly 60 days. “We’ve got to become expeditionary again, which we know how to do.”
Asked to highlight the type of equipment he thinks the Corps must dump, Berger called out “big, heavy things” such as manned counter-armor assets.
“Big, expensive things that we can’t either afford to buy or afford to maintain over the life of it. Things that don’t fit aboard ship, things that can’t fire hyper-velocity projectiles, things that can’t have, don’t have the range that we’re going to need, the precision, but are also mobile, expeditionary enough [that] we can operate from ship or ashore and move back and forth freely. Manned things, manned logistics vehicles, manned logistics aircraft — all those things we’re going to trim down.”
In an op-ed published Dec. 12, Berger outlined 11 areas where Marine Corps investments must improve, largely through high-end technologies that better match up with China. Those include lethal unmanned aerial, ground and amphibious vehicles, large undersea vessels, and loitering munitions.
Berger underlined that op-ed in his comments, once highlighting unmanned transports and unmanned logistics systems on the ground and in the air. Several times during his comments, the commandant stressed the need to focus on logistics enablers, at one point calling logistics “the area we’re farthest behind.”
“It’s not fun to talk about, but if you’re going to operate in this contested area, you’d better be able to sustain that force,” he said. “Think unmanned, think expeditionary, think very light. Think things that we can sustain forward without a huge logistical train.”
The commandant also described how unmanned investments could benefit Marines going forward: “Picture in your mind some kind of vehicle, unmanned, perhaps autonomous, but let’s just talk unmanned — moves from this point to that point, whatever, on its own. Inside it, it’s got more unmanned systems, ground or air. It’s launching and recovering them, bringing them back as a mothership, coming back, and you have these all over the place.”
“This is your Marine Corps. We are that forward force. We got to paint the picture. We are the Marines all over the place,” he explained. “In the area we got to operate in, the human beings will absolutely be there. I just don’t need them driving a truck delivering chow. If we can replace that with an unmanned [platform], why would we not do that?”
Beyond equipment, Berger promised that his larger review of the Marine Corps includes going after basic assumptions such as: “What does the squadron look like? What does a battalion look like? Every part of our air, ground team. That’s what will be finished and of course associated with that, the equipment, from individual equipment to crew-served to F-35s, and everything in between. Define the force and how it needs to fight as a naval force — that directly ties to all of our programs.” (Source: Defense News)
09 Dec 19. US Army to launch Contract Writing System pilot. The US Army is set to test the new Army Contract Writing System (ACWS) as part of its efforts to streamline the procurement process. The Army Corps of Engineers will launch a pilot test in February 2020, becoming the first organisation to do so, according to US Army deputy assistant secretary for procurement Stuart Hazlett. The ACWS solution is designed to enable the US Army to shift to a single enterprise writing and management system. It will replace the Standard Procurement System (SPS) / Procurement Desktop-Defense and Procurement Automated Data and Document System (PADDS).
The 23-year-old SPS is used to manage billions in goods and services, said Hazlett.
PADDS has been in service for more than 40 years and is used to procure weapon systems and spares.
Hazlett said: “The contracting enterprise is looking forward to the full implementation of the Army Contract Writing System. I cannot emphasise the importance of having this system deployed.”
The US Army is working with the navy to deploy the solution in order to create a standardised acquisition process.
The enterprise-wide contract writing system will also reduce the number of interfaces and redundancies.
ACWS can operate in low bandwidth and disconnected status for expeditionary forces. The system will support both classified and unclassified networks.
Hazlett added: “This system would not only expedite the acquisition and contracting process, but it has the ability to award and sustain those major weapons systems. The fragility of PADDS will be gone. The panic at the end of a fiscal year, wondering if the system is down, will be in the past.”
The army plans to have the ACWS solution fielded to Mission and Installation Contracting Command in June next year.
The system will use Cloud technologies to support managing and sharing huge volumes of data across the network.
He further stated: “We will be able to track all of our acquisitions from a complete requirements package to award to contract closeout. It will be interoperable with our finance systems, invoicing, and payments will speed up.”
The US Army awarded a ten-year contract to CGI for the development of an enterprise-wide contract writing and management system. (Source: army-technology.com)
06 Dec 19. Saab delivers DAM to Hungary. Saab announced on 6 December that it has delivered its Deployable Maintenance Facility (DAM) to the Hungarian Air Force. The DAM is a mobile solution that enables enhanced maintenance capacity for aircraft and other vehicles combined with enhanced protection.
The delivery stems from a contract signed between Saab and the Hungarian Ministry of Defence in December 2018. The DAM provides capability equivalent to stationary maintenance infrastructure. The official handover took place at a delivery ceremony at Pápa on 5 December.
‘This is an important milestone for Saab as it marks the first order of a complete DAM solution. It is a proof of our continued capability to deliver support solutions allowing air forces to combine operational availability with cost efficiency,’ said Ellen Molin, senior vice president and head of Saab’s business area Support and Services.
The Hungarian Air Force is currently operating 14 JAS 39C/D Gripen fighter aircraft on a lease-purchase agreement with the Swedish government. The DAM will provide an increased level of flexibility and reduce their dependency on stationary infrastructure for maintenance and protection of their Gripen fleet.
A DAM solution can be rapidly deployed to enable sustainment of self-sufficient operations for extended periods of time, in any location, regardless of domestic or overseas. (Source: Shephard)
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.