Sponsored by TEK Military Seating Limited
01 Feb 22. US Army preparing for AMPV operational testing, Pentagon details needed improvements. The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester has identified five “reoccurring” problems with the US Army’s new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) that need addressing during operational testing this year. In the “controlled unclassified information” edition of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) 2021 annual report, the office said the AMPV line’s rear ramp frequently malfunctions, “poor hatch and ramp seals” enable dust and water to enter the vehicle, and fixes are needed to make mortar ammunition more accessible. Additionally, computer display malfunctions cause the screens to blank out for the commander and driver, and “erroneous fault codes” cause the crew to doubt the portrayed failures. (Source: Janes)
03 Feb 22. Silent Arrow Autonomously Delivers 1,026 Pounds of Cargo in First Overseas Deployment. Silent Arrow has announced that the Air Force of a U.S. allied government in the Middle East has conducted the first overseas deployments of the Silent Arrow GD-2000 cargo delivery drone under a $1.5M operational evaluation contract.
In preparation for the flight operation, 1,026 lbs. (465 kg) of an undisclosed cargo load was secured inside the 26 cubic foot fuselage of two GD-2000s, bringing the gross vehicle weight of each aircraft to 1,520 lbs. (689 kg), below Silent Arrow’s certified max gross of 2,000 lbs. (907 kg).
Two C-130s were used in the operation, during which two GD-2000s were rigged in accordance with U.S. military standards for Container Delivery System (CDS) bundles. Deployment occurred over a desert environment where Silent Arrow demonstrated completely autonomous flight, autonomous waypoint selection and navigation, and during the auto landing sequence, Silent Arrow’s autonomous autopilot was able to command and achieve a zero-sink rate flare.
A series of 12 Block 1 GD-2000s are currently on station in the Middle East in support of the contract, with 15 Block 2 aircraft in production at Silent Arrow’s Irvine, California facility due to ship in the first half of 2022. To date, 45 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Silent Arrow GD-2000s have been built, with Full Rate Production (FRP) into the thousands of units expected to begin in 2023.
“As we prepare for mass production, it’s encouraging to see foreign allied governments as enthusiastic about the new capabilities Silent Arrow brings to the warfighter as the U.S. military has been,” said Chip Yates, Silent Arrow’s founder and CEO. “We have distribution agreements in place for 37 countries so far and are working hard to become the worldwide standard for airdrop logistics.”
Originally designed to replace GPS-steered parachutes (JPADS) under contract from the U.S. Marine Corps, the Silent Arrow line of autonomous cargo delivery aircraft has so far expanded to three platforms based on military tactical resupply requirements and has supplied or won contracts directly with all four U.S. military service branches for the following products:
- Silent Arrow GD-2000 (26 cubic feet for up to 1,500 pounds of payload)
- Silent Arrow Widebody (140 cubic feet for greater than 1,500 pounds of payload)
- Silent Arrow Precision Guided Bundle (7.6 cubic feet for 350 pounds of payload)
Silent Arrow’s tightly integrated packaging with its patented spring-deployed wing system, industry-leading payload capacity, 40+ mile standoff distance and low unit cost, has become a leading solution for non-parachute, heavy payload airdrop logistics around the world. (Source: UAS VISION)
03 Feb 22. Conventional Vehicle Systems (CVS) Post Design Services (PDS)
Ministry of Defence
Publication reference: 2022/S 000-002616
Publication date: 28 January 2022
F17: Contract notice for contracts in the field of defence and security
Section one: Contracting authority/entitySection I: Contracting authority/entity
one.1) Name, addresses and contact point(s)I.1) Name, addresses and contact point(s)
Ministry of Defence
Vehicle Support Team, Cedar 1a #3157, MOD Abbey Wood
For the attention of mcnaughton fiona
Country United Kingdom
Further information can be obtained from the above mentioned contact point(s)
Specifications and additional documents (including documents for competitive dialogue and a dynamic purchasing system) can be obtained from
The above-mentioned contact point(s)
Tenders or requests to participate must be sent to
The above-mentioned contact point(s)
one.2) Type of the contracting authorityI.2) Type of the contracting authority
Ministry or any other national or federal authority, including their regional or local subdivisions
one.3) Main activityI.3) Main activity
one.4) Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities/entitiesI.4) Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities/entities
The contracting authority is purchasing on behalf of other contracting authorities: No
Section two: Object of the contract
Section II: Object of the contract
two.1) DescriptionII.1) Description
two.1.1) Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authorityII.1.1) Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority
Conventional Vehicle Systems (CVS) Post Design Services (PDS)two.
Service category No 3: Defence services, military defence services and civil defence services
- UKK1 – Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area
two.1.5) Short description of the contract or purchase(s)II.1.5) Short description of the contract or purchase(s)
Conventional Vehicle Systems (CVS) Post Design Services (PDS)
two.1.6) Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)II.1.6) Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)
- 73423000 – Development of military vehicles
Additional CPV code(s)
- 35412400 – Reconnaissance and patrol vehicles
- 35412500 – Command and liaison vehicles
two.1.7) Information about subcontractingII.1.7) Information about subcontracting
The tenderer has to indicate in the tender any share of the contract it may intend to subcontract to third parties and any proposed subcontractor, as well as the subject-matter of the subcontracts for which they are proposed
The tenderer has to indicate any change occurring at the level of subcontractors during the execution of the contract
two.1.8) LotsII.1.8) Lots
This contract is divided into lots: No
two.2) Quantity or scope of the contractII.2) Quantity or scope of the contract
two.2.1) Total quantity or scopeII.2.1) Total quantity or scope
The Conventional Vehicle Systems (CVS) Post Design Services (PDS) Design Authority (DA) contract will commence 1st September 2022 and is to run for 3 years and 7 months with an additional 4 +1 option years to extend the period of the service.
This contract applies to all platforms listed below:
Platform: Land Rover Wolf
Fleet size: 6410
Fleet size: 873
Platform: Snatch 2b
Fleet size: 20
Fleet size: 187
Platform: Trailer Lightweight
Fleet size: 7837
The PDS contract covers Core Contract Support and Ad-Hoc Non-Core taskings.
The purpose of the Post Design Services contract is to enable work to be undertaken to ensure that modifications and minor design alterations are properly appraised and, where approved, implemented. The PDS process is involved with the redesign, redevelopment and engineering necessary for preserving an equipment’s capabilities at the performance levels formally approved by the equipment sponsor and incorporating enhancements approved by the Operations Manager (OM).
PDS includes the Design Authority (DA) work required to maintain the design, manufacturing data and configuration control, Safety and Obsolescence Management including where necessary reference equipment and addressing Urgent Capability Requirements (UCRs). PDS may also be used for minor enhancements such as meeting new safety legislation, enhancement to capability or performance or for reducing In-Service support costs.
Estimated value excluding VAT:
two.2.2) Information about optionsII.2.2) Information about options
Description of these options: The Authority will have the option to extend for a further 4 +1 year option periods.
two.3) Duration of the contract or time limit for completion
II.3) Duration of the contract or time limit for completion
Duration in months: 43 (from the award of the contract)
Body responsible for appeal procedures
Ministry of Defence
Vehicle Support Team, Cedar 1a #3157, MOD Abbey Wood
Country United Kingdom
six.4.1) Body responsible for mediation proceduresVI.4.1) Body responsible for mediation procedures
Ministry of Defence
Vehicle Support Team, Cedar 1a #3157, MOD Abbey Wood
Country United Kingdom
six.4.3) Service from which information about the lodging of appeals may be obtainedVI.4.3) Service from which information about the lodging of appeals may be obtained
Ministry of Defence
Vehicle Support Team, Cedar 1a #3157, MOD Abbey Wood
Country United Kingdom
BATTLESPACE Comment: The usual suspects are expected to bid including RBSL, Thales, Babcock, Hobsons, Martin Williams of Hull, Supacat, NP Aerospace, Jankel and GDUK.
02 Feb 22. Commaris Announces First Partnership with Commercial Drone Dealer. Commaris, a brand of Terrafugia, Inc. delivering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for commercial operations, has announced its first dealer partnership with American drone provider, Homeland Surveillance & Electronics, LLC (HSE-UAV).
This partnership allows HSE-UAV to sell Commaris’ flagship long-range drone, the SEEKER, for commercial use.
Established in 2009, HSE-UAV is a veteran owned, full-service UAV provider selling state-of-the-art drones to a variety of customers including the U.S. Air Force, USDA, NFL, DuPont and more. HSE-UAV provides complete unmanned solutions with experts in FAA processing, industry-leading Drone training, financing and even Drone Protection Plans. Plus, their Sales & Support teams are proudly 100% U.S. Based.
“HSE-UAV only sells products we believe in; products that are cutting-edge, wildly reliable and deliver breakthrough results in our customers’ productivity… we’re thrilled to work with Commaris and we love the SEEKER because it checks all of those boxes!” said Bryan Sanders, President of HSE-UAV. “With customers in the energy, mapping, agriculture, and security industries, we couldn’t have asked for a better product than the Seeker.”
The Seeker’s innovative, electric, fixed-wing/VTOL hybrid aircraft is designed to perform a wide variety of commercial inspection operations including security and surveillance, inspections, surveying and mapping, and more. It has a long-endurance capability, with up to three or more hours of flight time without a battery change, and it supports multiple payload configurations of up to 10 pounds at a top speed of over 60 mph.
“HSE-UAV is committed to offering products with a focus on safety, reliability and ease of use. The fact they want to offer the SEEKER to customers demonstrates the trust they have in our product being an innovative and effective UAV benefitting a wide range of industries,” said Kevin Colburn, President of Terrafugia and Commaris. “This is not only an excellent opportunity to expand the impact of the SEEKER, but it is also a big step forward for our brand. HSE-UAV’s resources and expertise go well beyond selling drones, and partnerships like these are a crucial component in propelling the UAV industry forward.”
(Source: UAS VISION)
02 Feb 22. Leopard 2A7 and K2 Black Panther compete to become Norway’s next MBT. The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) announced on its website on 28 January that winter trials for Norway’s next main battle tank (MBT) have begun at the Rena camp in Østerdalen. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) is offering the Leopard 2A7 as Norway’s next MBT, competing with Hyundai Rotem’s K2 Black Panther.
The two companies have sent two tanks each to Norway for the trials for a new tank for the Norwegian Army, with a contract to be signed by the end of the year and deliveries planned from 2025. The tanks will undergo extensive mobility and firing tests for evaluation, but the NDMA does not plan to select a winner yet after the winter trials. Norwegian Army chief Major-General Lars Lervik, who along with Defence Minister Odd Roger Enoksen inspected the tanks on 27 January, said Norway planned to replace its Leopard 2A4 with a digital tank, adding, “we will get the best possible tank at the best possible price”. (Source: Janes)
01 Feb 22. Sweden offers BAE Systems’ combat-proven CV90 to Slovakia. BAE Systems has confirmed its bid submission, together with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV), for the advanced, combat-proven CV90 in response to the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic’s acquisition of 152 new Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) in multiple variants. The offer will ensure the production and delivery of the CV90 in collaboration with local Slovak industry, on time and to budget.
The joint filing by FMV and BAE Systems confirms the Swedish states’ support for Slovakia, further strengthening governmental relations as the country looks to modernize its ground forces by 2030. The bid includes support with training, tactics, and future development and welcomes Slovakia as a member of the CV90 User Club.
BAE Systems Hägglunds, which manufactures the CV90 in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, has delivered multiple CV90 export programs to European customers. With a history of highly successful industrial cooperation that goes beyond the mechanical assembly of the vehicle, the team will work with several Slovak companies to deliver the CV90s to the Army.
“BAE Systems’ approach is built on strategic collaboration with local suppliers, enabling them to play a high-value role in the development, production, training, and support of the CV90 MkIV and all its variants,” said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, managing director of BAE Systems Hägglunds. “We are committed to exceeding the mandated 40 per cent requirement for direct content as we work closely with Slovak industry to deliver the most capable, combat-proven IFV on the market today.”
In June 2021, the CV90 participated in dynamic and static demonstrations to Slovak VIPs, including defense minister Jaroslav Naď, and representatives from the Army at the Military Technical and Testing Institute of Záhorie, Republic of Slovakia. Three variants of the CV90 family – the CV90 MkIV, an Armoured Personnel Carrier, and the Medium Tank CV90120 – showcased the diverse capabilities of the CV90 fleet. Available in 15 variants, the CV90 is designed to provide optimum mobility, with the highest level of protection in any terrain or tactical environment. The latest version, the CV90 MkIV, combines improved battlefield speeds and handling with an upgraded Electronic Architecture to support future growth capabilities as the complex battlefield evolves. The CV90 is in operation with Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. There are nearly 1,300 CV90s of numerous variants in service. The vehicle has an established track record and is designed to accommodate future growth to meet evolving missions. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
01 Feb 22. AT&T sees progress in Navy’s 5G smart warehouse experiment. AT&T claims initial success in setting up a 5G network experiment that could enable “smart warehouses” for the U.S. Navy, with its network demonstrating data throughput speeds greater than 4 gigabits per second.
The Department of Defense wants to establish a smart warehouse, where autonomous robots, cameras, augmented reality systems and other Internet of Things applications are connected over a 5G network to revolutionize warehouse operations. If successful, the Navy believes the smart warehouse concept could increase the efficiency and fidelity of its logistics operations, helping with a number of tasks such as “identification, recording, organization, storage, retrieval, and transportation of materiel and supplies.”
Demonstrating the 4 gigabits per second throughput with less than 10 milliseconds of latency is the first milestone of that effort, said AT&T in a statement. Now the company will move its equipment from the demonstration in Texas out to San Diego, where it will commence with delivering its 5G network across the 120,000 square foot Naval Base Coronado warehouse. Once that is completed, AT&T will begin integrating official Navy systems to enable the various smart warehouse capabilities.
In addition to AT&T’s work on the network, the Department of Defense issued contracts to GE Research, Vectrus Mission Solutions and Deloitte for work on applications.
The smart warehouse project is part of a $600m investment by the Pentagon in testing and experimenting with 5G networks at military installations. That first tranche of 5G investments includes a dynamic spectrum-sharing project at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, an augmented reality and virtual reality training project at Fort Hood in Texas, and a second smart warehouse project at Marine Corps Logistics Base in Georgia. A fifth base – Nellis Air Force Base – was selected for mobile testing, using relocatable cell towers that can be set up and taken down in less than an hour.
The 5G smart warehousing experiment at Marine Corps Logistics Base is specifically focused on vehicle storage and maintenance. The Department of Defense announced in June 2021 that it had successfully demonstrated its 5G network there, delivering high-speed downloads of 1.5 gigabits per second with less than 15 milliseconds of latency.
AT&T was also selected as the primary 5G networking services provider for the demonstration at Fort Hood that will be used for augmented reality and virtual reality training. Specifically, the network will be used for training on the Instrumentable Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (I-MILES) and the Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS).
The Pentagon followed up its initial 5G investment in 2021 with contracts for several more sites.
DoD’s acting principal director for 5G, Amanda Toman, noted in January that the Tranche 1 testbed and networks had been set up.
“I think over the next 12 months, we will have much more data out of Tranche 1,” Toman said. “And with Tranche 2, we’ll get to a point where we have testbeds stood up and [are] starting to work towards development of those applications.” (Source: Defense News)
01 Feb 22. Delta State gives Proforce armoured vehicles to the Nigerian Army, Police. Nigeria’s Delta State government has delivered five Proforce armoured vehicles to the Nigerian Army’s 63 Brigade and Delta State Police as part of efforts to shore up security in the region.
The vehicles were handed over on 19 January by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by the Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu. Proforce explained that the vehicles comprised two PF2 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), one Wizard II armoured vehicle, and two Viper APCs.
Three vehicles were given to the Nigerian Army and two to the Police. Okowa said the logistics needs of various other commands would be provided for over the course of the year.
He added that the Army has played a significant role in fighting to restore law and order in the country. Law enforcement efforts have seen a major drop in crime in Delta State over the last year.
Proforce’s PF2 is its flagship APC, which has been exported to Rwanda, the Central African Republic and South Sudan (it is used for United Nations peacekeeping missions in the CAR and South Sudan). At home, the Nigerian Police Force has acquired a number of PF2 APCs, and this includes by Rivers State, Osun State and Lagos State.
The PF2 features runflat tyres, B6 ballistic protection (up to 7.62×51 mm rounds) as well as blast protection against Land mines, hand grenades, IEDs, etc. (in excess of STANAG 4569 Level 1 to withstand L2A2 grenades).
The PF2 is powered by a 5.5 litre V8 engine developing 536 hp. It can accommodate eight to ten personnel and features eight gun ports.
The Wizard APC is built on a Toyota Land Cruiser chassis and has been supplied to the Nigerian Police and Central Bank of Nigeria. It is powered by a 4.5 litre V8 producing 202 hp and is armoured to B6+ level, with underbelly blast protection.
Proforce’s Viper is its latest APC and was launched in December last year. It is a lighter, faster and more manoeuvrable version of its Ara vehicle and has been designed for special forces use but can support a wide range of military, counter-terrorism, and police operations. Proforce literature states the vehicle offers excellent protection against both ballistic and blast threats, with the crew compartment protected to CEN Level B6 up to B7.
The vehicle has a 7 ton curb weight and payload of 1 500 kg. It can accept nine occupants, including a gunner. The Viper can be configured with a range of weapon platform options, including a manual or electric rotating turret. It is powered by a 6.7 litre V8 engine developing more than 300 hp and giving the 4×4 vehicle a top speed in excess of 110 km/h.
The Ara 2 has been exported to Chad, which acquired 20 vehicles after Denel failed to supply 40 Casspir vehicles under a 2017 contract. The Ara is also in service with Nigeria’s military.
In addition to its flagship Ara and PF2 vehicles, Proforce has a steadily growing product portfolio that encompasses land, air and sea. This includes armoured Toyota Hilux vehicles, Special Combat Vehicles (Hilux type vehicles with armour and weapons turrets), armoured patrol boats between 9.5 and 11 metres long, cash in transit vehicles (Toyota Hiace, Hilux, Isuzu etc.), armoured SUVs (e.g. Land Cruiser, Mercedes, Lexus LX570, Cadillac Escalade, Range Rover, FJ Cruiser), armoured passenger busses (Mercedes Viano, Toyota etc.) and armoured sedans. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
31 Jan 22. Hyundai Rotem completes production of latest batches of K1A2 and K2 MBTs. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced that local firm Hyundai Rotem has completed production of its latest batches of the K1A2 and K2 Black Panther main battle tanks (MBTs). According to DAPA, the third batch of the mass-produced K1A2s offers “improved performance” over the K1A1 MBT, enabling interlinked Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) operations with the K2 MBTs and K21 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs). Other enhancements include the integration of a digital battlefield management system, an identification system, and front and back cameras, among others. DAPA also said that a new digital system integrated onto the latest batch has replaced a previous analogue equipment. The third-batch K1A2s also feature GPS-based satellite navigation systems to enable real-time information sharing and accurate battlefield identification, said DAPA. It added that Hyundai Rotem’s production of the K1A2 is expected to end in 2023. The K1A2 is an upgraded variant of the K1A1 MBT. (Source: Janes)
31 Jan 22. Pentagon completes first phase in replacing troubled F-35 logistics system. The U.S. Defense Department has finished fielding the first batch of new logistics systems for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, replacing an older, flawed system that has caused program headaches for years.
In a release Monday, the F-35 Joint Program Office said the first 14 sets of the new Operational Data Integrated Network, or ODIN, logistics information system finished their rollout to F-35 squadrons in January.
This initial phase of the deployment of the ODIN computer hardware, known as the ODIN Base Kit, has now replaced all first-generation unclassified Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS, servers in the field, the JPO said. The ODIN Base Kit installation began in July 2021 and was carried out by personnel from the JPO, Lockheed Martin and local squadron crews.
ODIN Base Kits are now used by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as three allies who fly the F-35 — the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy — the JPO said.
Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, the F-35 program executive officer, called the ODIN rollout “a major milestone in modernizing the F-35 logistics information systems in support of global operations.”
“This was a team effort between the Department of Defense, defense industry, and our F-35 partners, and is a giant step forward in support of international logistics and operational management of the global and expanding F-35 fleet,” Fick said in the release.
The F-35′s ALIS system — which was meant to help the military order spare parts for the fighter, schedule and track maintenance, and keep an eye on which planes were ready to fly — was deeply troubled.
The Government Accountability Office in 2020 said crucial data meant to be automatically collected by ALIS was often inaccurate or misleading. Maintainers frequently had to manually keep tabs on that information themselves, sometimes in Excel spreadsheets. Not only would this eat up maintainers’ time, GAO said, but it was risky because sometimes critical safety data could be overlooked.
ALIS was also very user-unfriendly, GAO said, with a hard-to-navigate interface system. And its bulky server units weigh in at about 200 pounds each — the entire system neared 900 pounds — and need a whole room to operate, which GAO said made them hard to deploy and find a place to store them on a ship.
The JPO in 2020 announced that a new logistics system, designed by Lockheed Martin and dubbed ODIN, would replace ALIS.
The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester said in its most recent report released last week that each ODIN Base Kit’s total hardware weighs between 134 and 202 pounds — a 65-pound ODIN system itself, a 69-pound uninterruptible power supply and an optional battery expansion that weighs 68 pounds.
This is less than a quarter of the 891 pounds ALIS’s legacy hardware, the Standard Operating Unit-Unclassified weighed, as well as bringing a similar reduction in volume, according to the report by the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation office.
The JPO said the ODIN Base Kit’s improved computing cuts processing times by as much as 50% over ALIS. The systems also are more secure and easier to service and support, the release said. They can run ALIS’ software, as well as future ODIN applications.
More ODIN units will be delivered later this year and in 2023 as the legacy ALIS servers are phased out, but the timeline for doing so depends on how much funding is available and when operational squadrons can find time in their schedules.
The ODIN rollout has encountered budget constraints in the past. Last April, Fick told lawmakers that the JPO took a “strategic pause” on ODIN’s software development because of a 42% cut to the program’s development and testing funding that year.
Those problems could persist. The most recent DOT&E report warned that developmental and operational testing for ALIS and ODIN “continue to be under-resourced, increasing risk to fielding and support.”
The report also warned that ALIS’ cybersecurity vulnerabilities, which were found during that program’s testing, will need to be addressed as the system switches to ODIN.
The locations that received the initial ODIN hardware were Naval Air Station Lemoore, California; Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska; Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California; Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics factory in Fort Worth, Texas; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Luke Air Force Base, Arizona; Edwards Air Force Base, California; Amendola Air Base, Italy; and Portsmouth Naval Base, U.K. Edwards received three ODIN kits, two of which support testing for the U.K. and the Netherlands conducted in the United States. (Source: Defense News)
31 Jan 22. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) leaders announced today the LMXT strategic tanker aircraft will be manufactured in Mobile, Alabama, and Marietta, Georgia. Introduced in September 2021, the LMXT is Lockheed Martin’s offering for the U.S. Air Force’s KC-Y “Bridge Tanker” Program competition.
“Establishing this production work in Alabama and Georgia confirms Lockheed Martin’s commitment that the LMXT will be built in America, by Americans, for Americans,” said Lockheed Martin Chairman, President, and CEO James Taiclet. “The LMXT will strengthen global security by enabling our U.S. service members to carry out their most critical missions at extended ranges. At home, the LMXT will strengthen job growth and manufacturing by drawing on the experience and talents of a high-tech American workforce in two states that are proven leaders in aviation.”
The LMXT represents the newest chapter in Lockheed Martin’s 60-plus year history of producing and delivering tanker and large aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and multiple operators around the world. Built on the combat-proven design of the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), the LMXT leverages known performance and capability insights from the strategic tanker of choice used by 14 nations around the world to currently refuel fighter, transport and maritime patrol aircraft for the U.S. and allied partners.
“Over our 50-year history in the U.S., some of our proudest moments have come from supporting our American service members,” said C. Jeffrey Knittel, chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas. “Our U.S. workforce, which is more than 35% military veterans, is eager to see an Air Force tanker join the fleet of Airbus aircraft flying for the U.S. Army, National Guard, Navy and Coast Guard.”
With Lockheed Martin as the prime contractor, the LMXT will be built in two phases:
- Phase 1: The LMXT is first produced as an A330 airliner at Airbus’ Mobile, Alabama, facility, which is where Airbus A320 and A220 commercial airliners are built, beginning with the A320 in 2015.
- Phase 2: The second phase of the manufacturing process includes converting the commercial aircraft into the LMXT tanker at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ Marietta, Georgia, facility, which is currently home to the C-130J Super Hercules final production and F-35 Lightning II center wing assembly lines.
Lockheed Martin and Airbus entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in 2018 to explore aerial-refueling solutions to address any refueling capacity shortfalls for the U.S. Air Force, with the MRTT at the center of its discussions. The LMXT is a result of this MOA, offering a proven airframe with distinct U.S. Air Force-only capabilities built by a highly skilled American workforce in two states that lead the nation in aerospace manufacturing.
The expansion of work by both Lockheed Martin and Airbus in Alabama and Georgia is a natural progression for the companies, with each having deep roots in both states.
Lockheed Martin’s presence in northern Alabama spans more than five decades, with a concentration in the rotorcraft and hypersonics sectors. More than 2,600 Lockheed Martin employees live and work in Alabama. In October 2021, Lockheed Martin opened an advanced production facility in Courtland focused on hypersonic strike production.
More than 5,000 Lockheed Martin employees support work at its Aeronautics facility in Marietta as well as in other facilities in Macon and Kings Bay. A leader in Georgia’s aerospace industry, Lockheed Martin’s Marietta facility has produced some of the most well-known military aircraft since 1951 to include every production C-130 Hercules (2,600-plus), the C-5 Galaxy/Super Galaxy, the P-3 Orion, the F-22 Raptor and the C-141 Starlifter. More than 4,500 employees currently work at the site.
Lockheed Martin’s economic impact across Alabama and Georgia totals more than $8.3bn annually to include total sales, supplier dollars, employee payroll, taxes and charitable donations. More than 630 suppliers across both states support Lockheed Martin programs. In 2020, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics contributed more than $2.6m in both states supporting military, education and community-based organizations.
Airbus has been assembling commercial aircraft in Mobile since 2015, and in just the first five years of operation had a total economic impact in Alabama of $1.2bn and more than 15,000 jobs, through construction and payroll alone. Airbus is also engaged with more than 40 local charitable and civic organizations in the region, investing both time and money in the local community.
The LMXT offers a proven airframe with distinct U.S. Air Force-only capabilities designed to meet operator requirements, with advantages that include:
- Significantly improved range and fuel offload capacity over current tankers
- A proven fly-by-wire boom currently certified and used by allies to refuel U.S. Air Force receiver aircraft in operations around the world
- The world’s first fully automatic boom/air-to-air refueling (A3R) system
- Operational and combat proven advanced camera and rear vision system
- Open system architecture JADC2 systems
- Established allied interoperability and resilient global supply chain
- A multi-domain operations node that connects the LMXT to the larger battlespace, increasing onboard situational awareness to provide resilient communications and datalink for assets across the force
- A permanently installed aeromedevac suite enabling world-class medical care with intercontinental reach
- Forklift accessible cargo capacity for six military pallets with weights of up to 70 k/lbs. for austere base support
- Unrivaled persistence in the battlespace and operational performance enabling greater access to non-traditional bases
As the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin works directly to implement U.S. Air Force-specific requirements within the LMXT.
31 Jan 22. USAF’s 347th Rescue Group tests aerial drop of SXV.
The Side by Vehicle (SXV) can be used to move equipment, personnel or patients to different locations.
The US Air Force (USAF) 347th Rescue Group has conducted a test aerial drop of a Side by Vehicle (SXV) as part of its efforts to bolster its search and rescue capabilities.
The move marks the first time that 347 Rescue Group units 38th Rescue Squadron and 71st RQS collaborated for an aerial delivery of a SXV.
According to a USAF statement, the drop took nearly a year to execute as the use of the vehicle weighs 4,445lb without weapons, fuel and other equipment- necessitated additional preparatory works, and close to the parachute weight limit.
Such SXVs are intended to be dropped along with paratroopers and combat rescue officers to improve ground mobility during rescue, infiltration, and exfiltration missions.
The vehicle can be used to move equipment, personnel or patients to different locations. They can also operate as a moving communication centre.
38th RQS commander colonel Michael Vins said: “This is the first step in building greater ground mobility options for the 38th Rescue Squadron and Air Force Special Warfare.
“Wherever paratroopers and combat rescue officers can land, we can potentially drop a (lighter-weight tactical vehicle) or SXV to assist with ground mobility.
“For example, if an airfield is attacked and runway unusable, we could drop in a Guardian Angel team and pair of vehicles to consolidate survivors into a casualty collection point, treat life-threatening injuries, provide security and prepare for extraction.”
Vins added: “As we progress, we’ll integrate the drops into scenarios with derigging procedures, ground movements and recoveries.
“If successful and safe, we’ll be able to show a proof of concept to senior leaders of another infiltration method to bring isolated personnel home.”
Earlier this month, Geotab secured a sole-source contract to install its fleet management technology onto the USAF’s more than 21,000 general-purpose vehicles. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
31 Jan 22. Lockheed Martin Greenville facility completes first USAF F-16 sustainment. The first F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet was inducted for depot sustainment work in March 2021. Lockheed Martin has completed the depot sustainment work on the US Air Force’s (USAF) first F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet. The aircraft was successfully returned to the service from the company’s facility in Greenville, South Carolina, US. In December 2020, the company received the $900m F-16 Sustainment Depot programme contract from USAF’s F-16 System Program Office within the Fighters and Advanced Aircraft Directorate.
The first USAF F-16 aircraft from Edwards Air Force Base in California was inducted into the programme last year.
Lockheed Martin F-16 Program vice-president Danya Trent said: “This was the first fighter sustainment work awarded to the site, and with F-16 production also well underway in Greenville, the site is now the global home of the F-16.”
The company aims to recruit more than 300 people for new roles by the end of this year to support the sustainment work and manufacture of the aircraft.
In a statement, the company said: “These new roles represent Lockheed Martin’s long-standing commitment to meet our customers’ current and future needs, and to bring more jobs to the Greenville area.”
As part of its digital engineering efforts, the company makes use of advanced technologies and automation to achieve enhanced product quality while reducing costs and span time. The F-16s are used by customers in 25 countries, and more than 3,000 units are currently operational. The aircraft has so far logged in 19.5 million flight hours and flown 13 million sorties. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
27 Jan 22. The newest Linza sanitary armoured vehicles (armoured ambulances) arrived at the Russian Dushanbe and Bokhtar military base in Tajikistan. Three new sanitary armoured vehicles of the tactical link of the Linza family have been delivered to the units of the Russian military base in Tajikistan. The equipment delivered to the formation is intended for medical units stationed in the Dushanbe and Bokhtar military towns. The Linza armoured car is designed to search, collect and evacuate up to six wounded servicemen from the battlefield. The car was created on the basis of KamAZ Typhoon with a 4×4 wheel formula and is equipped with a modern engine that provides a car weighing about 16 tonnes with a speed of more than 100 kilometres per hour. The car protects against all types of small arms, withstands an explosion of up to eight kilogrammes in TNT equivalent under the wheel. The wheels are also armoured, a car with a damaged wheel can drive up to 50km more over rough terrain. The cars will be tested by Russian servicemen for their intended purpose during tactical and special exercises at the Lyaur and Sambuli ranges. For reference: The 201st military base in Tajikistan is Russia’s largest military facility outside of its borders. It is located in two cities — Dushanbe and Bokhtar. It consists of motorised rifle, tank, artillery, reconnaissance units, air defence units, signals, NBC protection. (Source: www.joint-forcescom)
28 Jan 22. France ramps up deliveries of SCORPION vehicles. France is ramping up deliveries of SCORPION armoured vehicles and Nexter is tripling its production capacity to keep up, Janes learnt at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2022 conference held in London from 24 to 27 January.
The first Griffon forward observer vehicle is to be delivered this year, followed by the Mortier Embarqué Pour l’Appui au Contact (MEPAC) 120 mm mortar carrier version of the 8×8 heavy armoured vehicle in 2023.
The Jaguar 6×6 armoured reconnaissance vehicle is being delivered at the rate of 20 a year starting in December 2021.
About 300 out of a total of 3,700 planned Serval 4×4 light multirole armoured vehicles have been delivered so far. Deliveries of the intelligence and reconnaissance versions are scheduled to begin in 2023.
To keep up with these delivery rates, Nexter is tripling its production capacity to 450 vehicles a year by 2025. The company expects to be supporting 5,000 SCORPION vehicles by 2030. (Source: Janes)
28 Jan 22. Croatia Armed Forces to acquire 89 Bradley fighting vehicles. The Croatian Government has decided to strengthen its armed forces’ capabilities with the acquisition of 89 Bradley fighting vehicles, from the US. The deal is valued at $196.4m, but Croatia will pay only $145.3m as the remaining $51.1m will be considered a donation by the US. Croatia has been negotiating the procurement of US Bradley M2A2 infantry fighting vehicles since 2017. As part of the development, the Croatian government has authorised Defence Minister Mario Banožić to implement activities in the procurement. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said: “Agreement has been reached with the US side regarding the army fighting vehicles that have been discussed over the past few years.”
As part of the deal, the country will receive 62 fully equipped fighting vehicles, five for training, and 22 for spare parts, taking the order to 89 vehicles, instead of the initially planned 84 units.
It also includes a 25mm automatic cannon, a 7.62mm machine gun, anti-tank missiles, and other related equipment.
With this acquisition, both nations will be able to strengthen their partnership and alliance.
In addition, the deal secures work for Croatian metal mechanical engineering firm Đuro Đaković.
The company will co-operate with the US-British BAE Systems company to repair and upgrade the vehicles in its factories in Slavonski Brod.
In addition to the $51.1m donation, the US will donate another $11m to upgrade the vehicles.
The US will start delivering the vehicles in 2023 and, by 2026, Croatia will establish a medium infantry brigade.
Last year, the US Army placed a new order with DiSTI for M2A3/M2A4 Bradley fighting vehicle (BFV) trainers. (Source: army-technology.com)
27 Jan 22. The US Army’s new infantry assault buggy is a useless garbage pile. This thing is absolute dog shit. The Army’s new lightweight infantry assault buggy is cramped as hell, too small to haul supplies, and “not operationally effective for employment in combat and [engagement, security cooperation and deterrence] missions against a near-peer threat,” according to a new assessment from the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester.
Designed to provide enhanced mobility to a nine-soldier light infantry squad and all their gear, the Army’s 5,000-pound Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) is intended to support a squad over 72-hour operations, and be employed by airborne and air assault Brigade Combat Teams to “provide rapid cross‑country mobility to conduct initial entry and offensive operations,” as the Pentagon describes it.
But according to a new analysis from the Pentagon’s Operational Testing and Evaluation (OT&E) arm published in January, the ISV is barely equipped to do any of that, offering an even more dismal view at the Army’s new assault buggy compared to even last year’s critical OT&E assessment.
During testing conducted at the Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in March 2021 and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in August 2021, the OT&E report concluded that the vehicle “lacks the capability to deliver effective fires, provide reliable communication, and force protection,” to an infantry squad.
“The rifle company equipped with the ISVs did not successfully avoid enemy detection, ambushes, and engagements during a majority of their missions,” according to the report. “In order to traverse cross country routes and wooded terrain, the unit was forced to reduce their speed, resulting in slowed movement, or maneuvered on improved routes, negating any element of surprise.”
“During missions, the unit experienced numerous casualties, delaying mission accomplishment and degrading its combat power for follow-on missions,” the report said.
The ISV proved so ineffective at providing rapid mobility capabilities to the squad during testing that the unit “concealed their ISVs and drivers close to the objective and dismounted eight soldiers per vehicle to accomplish missions before recovering their [vehicles],” basically ditching their rides in favor of a dismounted engagement.
“This action reduced their combat force, exposed the ISVs and drivers to opposing force attacks, and increased the risk of additional combat losses,” according to the report.
The OT&E report goes on to detail substantial deficiencies in the ISV during combat situations, from the vehicle’s relative lack of ballistic armor to the fact that, due to its design, “personal weapons were not easily accessible on the move, degrading the ability of the squad to quickly react to enemy actions and ambushes,” according to the OT&E report.
To make matters worse, the ISV is still deeply uncomfortable to ride in, making entering and exiting the vehicle rapidly in full combat gear a major challenge and further degrading the vehicle’s effectiveness in a combat situation. Add to it that service members’ inability to easily fire their weapons or dismount to engage targets made them sitting ducks during ambushes.
“The ability of the soldier to egress from [the] center and rear-seated positions in the ISV was hindered by the limited space and interference from stored mission equipment during missions,” the report says. “The seating positions for the soldiers are cramped and uncomfortable. During IOT&E, over 60 percent of the soldiers expressed dissatisfaction with the ISV ride comfort.”
This is the second devastatingly critical assessment of the ISV handed down by the Pentagon’s weapons tester in a row. The January 2020 OT&E report noted that, with a lack of an underbody and ballistic survivability requirement, the ISV “will be susceptible to enemy threats and actions” — and the soldiers inside will remain basically helpless to respond.
“Soldiers cannot reach, stow, and secure equipment as needed, degrading and slowing mission operations,” according to last year’s OT&E report, which noted during testing, soldiers on all ISVs “could not readily access items in their rucksacks without stopping the movement, dismounting, and removing their rucksacks from the vehicle.”
Despite these issues, the Army appears to be plowing ahead with its procurement and fielding of the ISV. The service awarded GM Defense a $214.3m contract in June 2020 to manufacture 649 ISVs for soldiers and, eventually, support the potential production of up to 2,065 vehicles over eight years with additional authorization.
“This vehicle is going to help Soldiers in the Infantry Brigade Combat Teams that currently walk everywhere,” Steve Herrick, product lead for Ground Mobility Vehicles with the Army, said in a release following testing at the Yuma Proving Ground. “It’s made to be ‘a better boot,’ a capability that allows you to effectively change how you operate.”
In November 2021, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks even shared a brief video clip of her driving the ISV on Twitter:
But the fact that the Pentagon’s weapons tester says that the ISV is not fit for combat against a “near-peer threat” — the DoD euphemism for Russia and China — should give officials pause before actually deploying the ISV in any sort of contested environment, say, ever. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/https://taskandpurpose.com/)
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