Sponsored by Hobson Industries
16 Apr 20. Ukraine restores eight 4×4 BRDM-2L1s. Ukraine-based Nikolaev Armoured Plant (MBTZ, a subsidiary of Ukroboronprom) confirmed on 16 April that it has restored eight 4×4 BRDM-2L1 armoured reconnaissance patrol cars. The new upgrades include the latest navigation and communications software as well as thermal imaging night control systems. The interior of the vehicle has also been improved for crew comfort and it has been fitted with reinforced side hatches.
Yuriy Kravchenko, Director of the MBTZ, said: ‘Even in quarantine and emergency situations in the country, we did not stop production… As soon as a new agreement with the MoD of Ukraine was signed, we almost immediately shipped [the vehicles] to our military with improved performance.’
The BRDM-2L1 can transport troops whilst also transporting some specialised weaponry. (Source: Shephard)
15 Apr 20. Near Earth’s Autonomous Resupply for US Military. The Pittsburgh-based company, Near Earth Autonomy (Near Earth) has developed unmanned aerial contingency management systems as part of a Joint Capabilities Technology (JCTD) Unmanned Logistics Systems Aerial (ULS-A) Demonstration. Near Earth’s technology offers obstacle avoidance for safe flight and landing enabling reliable cargo delivery in dynamic environments.
Autonomous resupply for US military is flying into realityIn collaboration with the Army and Marines, from September 11-27, 2019 16 active-duty Army soldiers and Marines used Near Earth’s technology to safely execute 64 resupply missions in an operational demonstration at Fort AP Hill, Virginia. The demonstration ended year 1 of the 3-year JCTD program.
Joe Fagan, ULS-A Operational Manager’s describes the significance of the achievement,
“This was the first opportunity for the military users to interact with the ULS-A capability. Whether they were uploading autonomy packages, downloading data, or operating as safety pilots, I was continually impressed with the breadth and depth of the Near Earth Autonomy Team.”
Robert McKinney, Technical Manager for the Unmanned Logistics Systems Air (ULS-A) JCTD, Marine Corp Warfighter Lab said,
“From a logistics standpoint, the Marines are looking to deliver small to medium weight supplies like water, beans, and ammunition to forward operating bases. We’re looking at fully autonomous rather than just manually operated vehicles. Without a man in the loop, losses are minimal and there are no humans at risk.”
In time, autonomous resupply will support ground convoys and manned aircraft that today are at risk of attack when bringing warfighters the supplies they need to conduct their missions. Master Gunnery Sergeant Ulrich said,
“We can apply this capability and really help out the warfighter. I see a lot of applications in delivering in austere environments. In this way we’ll keep trucks off the road, we’ll keep Marines off the road and use technology to our advantage so that our troops can get what they need when they need it.” The technology being used by warfighters marks a historic milestone in bringing autonomous mobility into reality for the US military. American defense leadership is actively exploring innovative new technologies that will give them a significant advantage over less advanced adversaries. Master Gunnery Sergeant Ulrich continued, “I think the Marines are adapting to the platforms because it is generationally relevant. The Marines of today look at it as something that enables them to do their job in a streamlined way. The training is minimal enough to allow them to adapt quickly. It’s able to help them stay out of the firefight themselves and they’ve responded by executing almost flawlessly.
I see the future of ULS-A eventually evolving into a medium-size platform that’s able to provide a diverse distribution portfolio. Within the JCTD year two and three, we’ll be looking at bigger, faster, stronger, platforms, meaning more battery life, more distribution capability, and overall increasing the ability to keep the warfighter in the fight.”
The military plans to continue collaborating with Near Earth Autonomy to expand their autonomous resupply capabilities. (Source: UAS VISION)
16 Apr 20. New Zealand’s oiler conducts replenishment trials with Philippine frigate. Key Points:
- A tanker on order for the New Zealand Navy has completed a series of replenishment trials with a frigate on order for the Philippine Navy
- The trials have validated these vessels’ ability to undertake replenishment-at-sea operations, ahead of deliveries to the respective operators
A new naval tanker ship that will soon be in service with the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) as HMNZS Aotearoa (A 11) has conducted replenishment-at-sea (RAS) station keeping trials with a new frigate destined for the Philippine Navy, the future BRP José Rizal (150).
The trials were conducted off the coast of South Korea, and these were done to assess the ability for a ship to approach and remain alongside Aotearoa. (Source: Jane’s)
15 Apr 20. China’s global logistics chain makes strides, but projecting military power still a struggle. China’s armed forces will continue their efforts to project military power outside the country’s region through 2030, according to a new analysis of its logistics capabilities.
China has made huge investments toward imposing “unacceptable costs” on potential adversaries inside the first and second island chain in the South and East China seas, concluded the analysis from Jane’s, done under the auspices of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The country has also stepped up efforts to support disaster relief and participate in global commons operations such as counter-piracy work in the Middle East, the analysis added.
But when it comes to supporting large-scale expeditionary operations in far-flung regions, China is still a way off, Jane’s reported.
The study found that China is using new investments such as its base in Djibouti to monitor and potentially disrupt U.S. operations in the Middle East and Africa, but opined that it’s unlikely China will continue expanding its international footprint in this decade.
“However, after 2030, the [People’s Liberation Army] will likely pursue more dedicated military bases beyond its existing Djibouti Logistics Support Base,” the study found. “The PLAN [Navy] and PLAAF [Air Force]’s capabilities in 2035 would theoretically allow the PLA to perform higher-level overseas combat operations, but operations in contested environments will almost assuredly require overseas military facilities or, at the least, preferred access to both ports and airfields in friendly countries.”
The Chinese will also remain hampered in its ability to project air power globally unless it can expand its aircraft carrier capabilities, the study said, adding that economic headwinds might prevent such an investment.
“The PLA will still likely have limited capability to conduct operations in hostile countries with integrated air defense systems without support from future PLAN aircraft carriers,” the report read. “This may be difficult for the PLA given slowing economic growth and defense budgets.”
The report recommends that the United States needs to monitor Chinese investments in platforms and capabilities that can support expeditionary operations, such as forward-deploying ordnance stocks in places like Djibouti or deepening investments in replenishment ships and helicopters that can perform anti-submarine warfare.
Congress should also find ways to invest in countries where China is investing money as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.
“The U.S. should recognize that China may pursue overseas logistics nodes in countries that experience a vacuum of U.S. engagement,” the report read. “Particularly after 2030, China will likely pursue additional dedicated military bases overseas.
“U.S. economic and diplomatic engagement with these countries — both bilateral and through multilateral international organizations — will be critical to managing Chinese military ambitions.” (Source: Defense News)
15 Apr 20. CH-53K Successful in Air Refueling tests. The CH-53K King Stallion aced an air-to-air refueling test, successfully demonstrating long-range logistics support capabilities for the U.S. Marine Corps. The 4.5 hour test was accomplished over the Chesapeake Bay with a KC-130J aerial refueling (AR) tanker.
“The aircraft went to the tanker this week and it was very successful, proving it is a long-range vertical logistic workhorse,” said Col. Jack Perrin, H-53 heavy lift helicopters (PMA-261) program manager.
According to the CH-53K test team, the wake survey test assessed the performance of the aircraft when flying behind the tanker in strong, turbulent air. The aircraft’s crew successfully plugged the drogue, a funnel shaped basket towed behind the KC-130J. These tests were performed at increasing closure rates to ensure the CH-53K can handle the forces on the refueling probe when contacting the drogue during aerial refueling.
“The aircraft was able to meet the desired performance for all engagements,” said Perrin. “The ‘K’ is the long-range enabler that we need now and into the future.”
The CH-53K King Stallion continues to execute within the reprogrammed CH-53K timeline, moving toward completion of developmental test, leading to initial operational test and evaluation in 2021 and first fleet deployment in 2023-2024. (Source: ASD Network)
15 Apr 20. Analysis: LNA constructing forward airbase south of Tripoli. Maxar Technologies imagery showing an auxiliary airfield constructed using an existing roadway south of Tarhunah in Libya. The destroyed aircraft was allegedly struck by a Turkish UAV after landing on 5 April. (Satellite image © 2020 Maxar Technologies / © 2020 Jane’s Group UK Limited)
The Libyan National Army (LNA) has converted a road south of Tripoli into a runway that can be used to bring in supplies and personnel much closer to the frontlines around the capital. Satellite imagery also indicates that the LNA intends to operate strike aircraft from the new base.
The existence of a new runway in the Tarhunah area emerged on 5 April when the Government of National Accord (GNA) announced that it had carried out an airstrike that destroyed an aircraft that was carrying ammunition to the LNA soon after it landed in the vicinity of the town, which is about 65 km southeast of Tripoli, far closer to the capital than any other known LNA-controlled airfield. (Source: Jane’s)
15 Apr 20. Indonesian shipbuilder discloses details of navy’s new landing craft. Key Points:
- The Indonesian Navy has received a 33 m landing craft from a local shipbuilder
- The vessel will soon be in service as an amphibious connector to complement the service’s landing platform dock (LPD) ships
Indonesian shipbuilder PT Tesco Indomaritim has disclosed the specifications of a new type of landing craft utility (LCU) that will soon be operated by the Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL).
In response to questions from Jane’s, a representative from the shipbuilder confirmed that the LCU was recently handed over to the TNI-AL, and will soon be in service to transport troops, stores and vehicles to shore. (Source: Jane’s)
14 Apr 20. CACI to provide engineering support to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. CACI International has secured a single-award task order from the US Navy to provide engineering, technical and planning support to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine.
The task order, which includes one base year and four option years, carries a ceiling value of more than $83m. The scope of work includes assisting the Ships Availability Planning and Engineering Center (SHAPEC) and Deep Submergence Systems Program (DSSP) and sharing necessary expertise for the maintenance and repair of submarines. The step is expected to expedite the return of the submarines to the operating fleet.
CACI president and CEO John Mengucci said: “CACI engineers and technicians help Navy shipyards overcome hurdles in their maintenance and repair efforts with expertise earned through long-standing support of the mission. CACI stands ready to support the navy shipyards in any way they may need, including by providing acquisition and engineering support.”
The company has already delivered a software tool called Shipyard Planning Engineering Automated Reports (SPEAR), which SHAPEC uses to streamline planning.
CACI executive chairman and board chairman Dr JP (Jack) London said: “CACI is proud to play a critical role in helping the navy maintain its submarine fleet and continue to project power around the world.”
This is CACI’s first task order under the US Navy’s SeaPort-NxG contract vehicle.
With more than 23,000 employees globally, CACI International provides technical and professional support services. Last year, the company won a place on the US Navy’s Cyber Mission Engineering indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract. (Source: naval-technology.com)
13 Apr 20. VSE Corporation Announces Approximately $90m in Contract Awards. VSE Corporation (NASDAQ: VSEC), a leading provider of aftermarket distribution and repair services for land, sea and air transportation assets in the public and private sectors, today announced approximately $90m in contract and delivery order awards with the United States Department of Defense (“DOD”).
These awards include the following:
- A five- and one-half-year contract, commencing in the 2nd Quarter of 2020, to provide procurement and technical support services for the Marine Corps Advanced Amphibious Assault (AAA) family of vehicles. This award represents an increase in contract value, scope and capabilities for work currently performed by VSE.
- Delivery orders to provide services under VSE’s Foreign Military Sales contract with the Naval Sea Systems Command (“NAVSEA”) International Fleet Support Program Office. Under these delivery orders, VSE will provide maritime program support including logistics, planning, repair and maintenance, training and engineering support to allied countries of the United States.
“Our Federal Services Group recently launched a multi-year business development initiative that seeks to grow bookings and funded backlog through increased penetration of both new and existing markets,” stated John Cuomo, VSE President and CEO. “While this initiative remains in its early stages, these new contract awards reflect progress under our recently appointed Federal Services Group president, Robert Moore.”
“VSE has decades of field-tested expertise in maintaining mission-critical vehicles, ships and aircraft that help to ensure optimal performance throughout their service life,” continued Cuomo. “We are proud to partner with both the Marine Corps and NAVSEA in support of their continued operational readiness.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
15 Apr 20. NSM inks long-term contract to support Navy LHDs. Naval Ship Management (NSM) has confirmed a partnership with L3Harris Technologies to provide engineering, maintenance and supply chain solutions to support the Royal Australian Navy’s Canberra Class amphibious assault ships, and their associated assets.
Under the four-and-a-half-year subcontractor agreement, L3Harris will be responsible for the integrated communication systems (ICS) maintenance and support, as well as the through life support facility (TLSF), ensuring the LHD and its capabilities are seaworthy, reliable and mission ready.
This contract announcement continues to build on NSM’s well established role as the LHD asset class prime contractor, which officially got underway on 1 July 2019, following a successful six-month phase-in period.
NSM’s general manger, Joe Smith, said the contract is a good example of NSM’s inclusive approach to naval sustainment.
Smith said, “L3Harris has always been recognised as a key component of our LHD ACPC team and is already a signatory to the LHD Enterprise Charter, formalised on 1 July 2019, which sets out the vision, mission, values and behaviours within the LHD Enterprise.
“This strategic relationship with L3Harris will allow us both to provide more efficient and effective sustainment support to the LHD Enterprise. As the LHD asset class prime contractor, we have enjoyed taking the lead with L3Harris on defining NSM’s first enterprise agreement, and are actively engaged with other strategic partners to develop similar agreements that will further benefit the LHD Enterprise.”
From its origins in 2012, NSM recognised there was no need to replicate capabilities that exist within Australian industry and have developed the Inclusive Prime model.
Fundamental to the philosophy behind NSM’s inclusive prime model is its approach to partnerships. NSM strategically aligns with key partners to deliver effective, efficient naval solutions.
These strategic partners are integrated into NSM’s services and provide access to important technical data, knowledge and capabilities.
Alan Titheridge, managing director, L3Harris Technologies Australia Group, added, “This contract represents L3Harris’ ongoing commitment to supporting the Royal Australian Navy.
“We’re pleased to be working with NSM and investing in additional capability to provide world-class engineering, procurement, maintenance and project management services for Australia’s largest and most complex surface vessel, enabling the RAN to effectively communicate at sea.”
NSM is a leading provider of complete maritime sustainment solutions. Our team of sustainment experts, strategically located across Australia, work with our broad international supply chain to provide cost-effective and responsive solutions that optimise the availability, capability and seaworthiness of critical maritime assets.
Established in 2012, as a joint venture between Babcock and UGL, we now support assets across the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet – most notably the Anzac Class frigates as a member of the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) and the Canberra Class landing helicopter docks (LHD), LHD landing craft (LLC) and associated assets.
Headquartered in Henderson, Western Australia, NSM’s national footprint and highly responsive supply chain is ideally placed to support our customers’ critical assets wherever and whenever the need may arise.
L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defence technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs.
The company provides advanced defence and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately US$18bn in annual revenue and 50,000 employees, with customers in 130 countries. In Australia and New Zealand, L3Harris has provided advanced technology solutions to government and commercial customers for more than 25 years. The company has facilities in major cities including Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide – and employs approximately 550 professionals who understand the unique needs and challenges of customers in the region. (Source: Defence Connect)
About Hobson Industries
Hobson Industries is a private company established in 1987 by Peter Hobson, after serving as a Charge Chief Weapons Engineering Artificer in the Royal Navy. Hobson Industries is an innovative and highly technical engineering business operating to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System which is complimented with our ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System.
Across the markets we serve in, the UK and globally, we establish close relationships with the people that trust and depend on us. We specialise in the through life support management and development of Land Rover heritage military and civilian platforms – in effect, the Land Rover need never die!
Hobson Industries offer four core services that we specialise in:
We offer Land Rover vehicle builds to original specification or complete with modifications and upgrades at the customers request. All work is done in house using our bountiful facilities. In addition to vehicle refurbishment, reconditioning and homologation across all Land Rover models.
Powertrain and Transmission Units:
We offer new and reconditioned units, perfect for your Land Rover. All built using Land Rover tolerances and specifications. All for sale on our website. Additionally, we offer reconditioning services to your own units.
With over 16,000 part lines in stock, and the Asset Management programme pioneered by the company, we are able to provide a cost effective range of parts which may no longer be available. Additionally, we are offering Hobson Original branded parts to drawings for obsolete parts to help provide Land Rover owners the parts to keep them on the road. Our parts strategy ensures that all re-cycled, asset managed and reconditioned parts and units meet original equipment standards and specifications to ensure your safety while driving on or off road.
Amour – Design and Fabrication and Blast Protection
We offer armouring in steel, composite and ceramic of new and refurbished vehicles and fleets.