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22 Jan 20. Congress should fund new, not used sealift vessels, say former Maritime Administration officials. Five former Maritime Administration officials have called on Congress to fund the construction of new sealift vessels instead of pushing the plan to buy and convert used ships on the open market. In a letter to the chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations committees, officials from both Republican and Democrat administrations said replacing the nation’s organic surge sealift fleet, which has an average hull life of 44 years, is essential to maintaining the ability to send troops and materiel overseas on short notice.
The letter, signed by former MARAD Administrator Clyde Hart, as well as four other former MARAD attorneys and policy chiefs, called for Congress to build new ships to spur shipbuilding in the United States and to cut down on maintenance hassles that could spell delays in a crisis.
“First, the new ships would be immediately operational,” the letter said, “and the Maritime Administration won’t have to spend precious time finding long-obsolete parts, therein delay surge capacity. Second, building ships in the United States creates jobs, spurs spending and strengthens the U.S. shipbuilding industry.”
The letter comes in the wake of findings from last year’s turbo activation that only about 40 percent of the sealift fleet would be ready to surge in a crisis, and that the force would be “challenged to be immediately ready for a large-scale inter-theater force deployment,” which is its entire raison d’etre.
The sealift fleet is composed of 26 Military Sealift Command pre-positioning ships, 46 ships in the Ready Reserve Force and 15 command-owned roll-on/roll-off surge force ships. Many of the roll-on/roll-off ships are steam-operated, and the obsolete equipment is causing significant personnel issues in the pool of qualified civilian mariners needed to operate them.
The White House’s Office of Management and Budget favors a “buy used” policy for the sealift fleet, which is rapidly aging out.
The Army in 2018 sent a warning to the House Armed Services Committee in an information paper regarding the nation’s surge sealift capacity — which would be responsible for transporting up to 90 percent of Army and Marine Corps equipment in the event of a major war. The Army said the capacity would fall below its requirement by 2024.
“Without proactive recapitalization of the Organic Surge Sealift Fleet, the Army will face unacceptable risk in force projection capability beginning in 2024,” the document said, adding that the advanced age of the current fleet adds further risk to the equation.
“By 2034, 70% of the organic fleet will be over 60 years old — well past its economic useful life; further degrading the Army’s ability to deploy forces,” the document read. (Source: Defense News)
21 Jan 20. Saft has recently launched a new product in the Xcelion® line, the Xcelion 56V-LEV battery, designed as a more economical option for low-current, 48V continuous cycling applications, particularly in the defense industry. This development represents the growth of the Xcelion product line, aimed at offering lower weight, longer life, and greater overall capability and intelligence compared to traditional battery technologies. The Xcelion 56V-LEV battery builds upon the existing and proven technology behind the original Xcelion 6T launched in 2015.
The newer product, the sixth in the Xcelion line, offers a more streamlined design for applications that require continuous cycling and don’t need the cranking power required of vehicle applications addressed by the Xcelion 6T. The product has potential for use in uninterruptible power supply (UPS) applications for military, defense ground stations, electric mobility and back-up power storage.
“Our customers requested this more streamlined, affordable option in our Xcelion line, and we are proud to deliver this excellent product in response,” said Annie Sennet, President and CEO of Saft America and Executive Vice President of Saft’s Space and Defense division. “The Xcelion 56V-LEV battery retains Saft’s usual high quality and high safety standards, which are critical for use in the defense industry—the safety of soldiers is paramount.”
Saft has also launched the Xcelion 6T-E for applications requiring longer run-times (ex. Silent watch missions on military vehicles), the Xcelion 56V for higher voltage applications (which is available in both power and energy versions), and the Xcelion 6T Type 1-A that is designed to meet MIL-PRF-32565 Rev B and provides unsurpassed cold cranking performance and safety. The 41 Ah Li-ion battery is an off-the-shelf solution with a nominal voltage of 26.4 volts and is the only Li-ion battery that meets cold temperature performance requirements (1,100 amps at -18 C° for 30 seconds with no pre-heating and 400 amps at -40 C° for 30 seconds with no pre-heating).
The Xcelion 56V-LEV also includes the same standard safety features that the product line is known for, such as using abuse-tolerant Super-Phosphate® Li-ion technology and a battery management system (BMS). Unlike lead-acid batteries, smart battery features enable communication with the end user which provides information about the battery state of health, state of charge, and other functions.
Saft is exhibiting the Xcelion 56V-LEV battery and the rest of the product line at the International Armoured Vehicles 2020 conference in London Jan. 20 – 23 at booth #B3.
21 Jan 20. Lockheed Martin to migrate F-35 logistics system to cloud by 2022 end. Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) said on Tuesday that a cloud-based network will replace the computer-based logistics system in all its F-35 fighter jets by 2022 end. The weapons maker said the Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN) will reduce administrator workload on the jet and is designed to deliver data in near real time on aircraft.
The ODIN will replace the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), which was blamed for delaying aircraft maintenance, one of the very things it was meant to facilitate.
The system was made to underpin the F-35 fleet’s daily operations, ranging from mission planning and flight scheduling to repairs and scheduled maintenance.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) had estimated that ALIS would have cost more than $16.7bn over its multi-decade life cycle.
The F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office will design the ODIN, which will be delivered to the fleet later this year, Lockheed said.
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.