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10 Feb 23. Ghana commissions nearly 200 military vehicles. Ghana’s military has commissioned into service 175 military vehicles, for internal security as well as peacekeeping use.
Ghana’s president and commander-in-chief Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo presented the vehicles to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in the capital Accra on 1 February.
The vehicles include 70 Kamaz trucks, 20 BTR-70 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), 20 Navistar Defence Husky tactical support vehicles (TSVs), and 65 Toyota utility vehicles. In May 2022 it was reported that the United Kingdom would send 70 Husky vehicles to Ghana.
Akufo-Addo recalled that he attended similar handovers in December 2019 and March 2021, and promised that more vehicles were coming for the Ghana Armed Forces. He said the new equipment will help the country contain security threats, including terrorism, along Ghana’s northern borders, ensure internal security (including against illegal gold miners), and support Ghana’s external peacekeeping operations.
Indeed, many of the vehicles handed over on 1 February were pained in United Nations colours and officials said some of these would be used by UN forces in Sudan with the UNISFA mission. Ghanaian men and women have served as United Nations peacekeepers since the early 1970s, participating in operations that stretched from the Sinai to the African continent. The West African Nations is now among the top 10 contributors to UN peacekeeping, with 2 800 personnel serving on more than half a dozen missions.
“As President of the Republic, I am fully aware that our economic development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace and security,” Akufo-Addo said. He added that in light of the deteriorating security situation to the north, 15 forward operating bases have been built or upgraded and units created or expanded, such as 10 & 11 Mechanized Battalions, 154, 155 Armoured Regiments and supporting logistics units.
Chief of the Defence Staff Vice Admiral Seth Amoama said some of the vehicles would be deployed to ensure security along Ghana’s northern border, and for Operation Gongong in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
In addition to the vehicles, communications equipment was also handed over and this will be used on border security taskings as well as United Nations peacekeeping operations. These included numerous Barrett radios.
The Ghana Peace Journal reported that OMNI Bank and CAL Bank assisted with financing for the vehicles. UK-based Excel Design and Integration company will supply logistics support.
The previous vehicle handovers to the Ghana Armed Forces included 40 Otokar Cobra II APCs in March 2021, and in December 2019, 33 Otokar Cobra I and IIs, 41 Toyotas, and various utility vehicles. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Ghana received a first batch of 30 Cobra I and II vehicles in 2018-2019. In 2021 11 Guarani APCs were supplied via an Israeli company, according to SIPRI data.
The new deliveries join Ghana’s dozens of Ratel 20/90, Piranha, WZ-525/Type-05P, Typhoon, Maverick and Tactica armoured personnel carriers.
10 Feb 23. AM General Wins Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Family of Vehicles Recompete. The U.S. Army Contracting Command Detroit Arsenal today awarded leading global military mobility solutions provider, AM General, a 5-year (plus 5-year option) contract to manufacture an estimated 20,000 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) along with approximately 10,000 trailers and includes implementation of technology enhancements for delivery to the US Armed Forces.
“We are humbled and honored to receive this contract and continue our strong partnership with the US Armed Forces. The effort that we put into our winning proposal is testament to our commitment to serve those who serve to protect us,” said Jim Cannon, AM General President and CEO. “It was with the Warfighters in mind that we set out to not only demonstrate our world-class manufacturing capabilities, but also to integrate innovative solutions into the JLTV so they receive the best product for their mission.”
AM General is well positioned to evolve next generation JLTVs to meet mission demands across the full range of military operations. The company’s core capability of Light Tactical Vehicle (LTV) development and production, coupled with their R.I.D.E (Responsive, Integrity, Dynamic, Excellence) values and culture, ensure that the end user is well equipped and supported on the battlefield. Further, AM General combines unmatched LTV program experience with proven transformative commercial manufacturing initiatives, like their Smart Factory, Automated Guided Vehicle System (AGV), Radio Frequency Identification/Global Positioning System (RFID/GPS) traceability, and rigorous International Automotive Task Force (IATF) 16949 certified Quality Management System (QMS) standards to produce and deliver JLTVs equipped with technical enhancements that surpass requirements. Some of the JLTV technology enhancements include enhanced corrosion protection and improved fuel efficiency in addition to continuous developments for an updated Next Generation Vehicle Architecture.
The JLTV will be produced in a dedicated military production facility at their 96-acre Mishawaka Manufacturing Campus (MMC) in Indiana. MMC features an onsite test track where JLTVs will undergo testing in a dynamic operating environment. These dedicated facilities underpin the company’s readiness to execute a smooth transition for JLTV production, quality testing, and delivery. Deliveries are expected to begin 17 months after contract award.
BATTLESPACE Comment: This is a huge win for Jim Cannon and his team at AM General against strong competition from Oshkosh and GM Defense. AM General now has the light and medium markets wrapped up with their HUMMVEE variants and now JLTV. However, it does not take Oshkosh out of the light to medium armoured vehicle market. They will continue to build and sell JLTV to the US and world market. Post the contract passing to AM General they will offer their L-ATV to the world market. We should expect a protest from Oshkosh on this award.
10 Feb 23. AM General wins Army’s JLTV recompete, deal valued up to $8.6bn. A recent Congressional Research Service report told lawmakers they need to scrutinize the contract’s details to determine if the Army will save money with the new deal.
In an upset to incumbent Oshkosh Defense, the Army has selected AM General to produce its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and ended a years-long attempt to replace the service’s Humvee at a reduced price point.
In the immediate aftermath of the decision, revealed Thursday evening in a contract announcement, a variety of unanswered questions remain about acquisition plans and the per-unit price tag. Under the new deal, AM General has received a $230.8m contract. However, that deal could be worth up to $8.66bn over the next decade for up to 20,682 JLTVs and 9,883 trailers, according to new Army numbers. The dollar figure is an increase over the $7.3bn the government previously circulated.
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“This competitive follow-on production contract has been part of the JLTV acquisition strategy from the beginning and focused on a best value determination that includes retaining the capability of the JLTV today, while ensuring that it can be upgraded in the future with the latest technologies,” the Program Executive Office Combat Support & Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS) wrote in the announcement tonight.
In a brief statement, AM General President and CEO Jim Cannon said the company is “humbled and honored” to receive the contract and noted that the vehicles will be built at the company’s Mishawaka Manufacturing Campus (MMC) in Indiana.
The Army could, of course, decide to recompete later contracts in the program.
In 2015, the Army tapped Oshkosh Defense to begin manufacturing its JLTV line and awarded the company with a $6.7 billion low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract for the initial 16,901 vehicles before approving full-rate production in 2019. However, the government owns the JLTV technical data package, and Army acquisition officials decided to recompete the production contract to determine if Oshkosh Defense, or another team, could build the line of vehicles at a reduced cost.
“One of the key strategies of the JLTV program from its earliest days was to leverage competition to control cost and maximize buying power for the government,” said Brig. Gen. Samuel Peterson, the program executive officer for the PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support office.
“These government-held data rights permitted the program to compete this follow-on production contract with much better control of the production configuration and cost,” he later added.
In the lead up to today’s announcement, the Army has continued placing JLTV orders with Oshkosh. Earlier this month, for example, the service announced it had placed another order with the company valued at $85 m. (Those funds would largely come from fiscal 2022-23 Air Force coffers, as those vehicles are going to the Air Force by September 2024; while other services use JLTV, the Army serves as the lead procurement authority.) Oshkosh subsequently noted that the contract modification was the third such one in two months and the trio of orders totals $730 m for more than 2,000 JLTVs for nine different customers.
Many Questions Remain
For the first time today, the Army said in its announcement that two companies bid on the contract, and Oshkosh Defense had previously said it had bid on the program. However, it isn’t clear which team GM Defense joined. It had previously discussed plans to compete but subsequently decided it was a better business decision to join an unnamed “competitive team” and “insert technical enhancements” for possible future variants and requirements, a spokeswoman told Breaking Defense on Monday.
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Also, not clear is whether the Army succeeded in reducing the price point for each new JLTV and its companion trailer, in part because the service’s FY23 budget request said the per unit cost could actually increase in 2023 “due to higher estimated unit costs for the competitive follow-on contract.” FY23 budget request documents said the Army expects to spend $413,000 for each JLTV this year.
“If a new manufacturer other than Oshkosh is chosen in 2023, the new manufacturer could face higher costs than Oshkosh during the first year of its contract, as it would not have Oshkosh’s experience building the JLTV,” the Congressional Research Service (CRS) wrote in a report released last month. “In such a case, it is anticipated costs would decrease significantly after the first year of the contract.”
Sticking with Oshkosh could have also raised costs too, CRS warned, because JLTV cost elements could fluctuate in later years due to “unpredictable prices and strong commodity-related inflation.”
Another question mark revolves around acquisition numbers. Last year, the Army said its own procurement objective was for 49,099 JLTV trucks and 18,224 trailers. However, CRS noted that Army’s force structure changes could alter this number, while the Marine Corps’ Force Design initiative could also reduce the number of vehicles it needs too, a move that could increase the per-unit cost.
“Despite the Army’s intent to lower costs by competing a follow-on contract with another vendor, slowing production rates and extended procurement timelines could act to increase costs if current JLTV requirements are no longer valid,” CRS wrote. “In addition, different versions of the JLTV produced by another vendor could result in additional operations and maintenance costs that can result from a mixed fleet of vehicles.”
Accordingly, the Congressional watchdog suggested that lawmakers review JLTV costs after the Army awards the follow-on contract. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
10 Feb 23. AM General unseats Oshkosh to build Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. AM General has upset Joint Light Tactical Vehicle-maker Oshkosh Defense in the U.S. Army’s new competition to build more of the vehicles, winning a contract valued at $8.66bn.
The Army awarded AM General — which lost to Oshkosh in the original 2015 competition to build JLTV — a requirements contract with five base years plus five one-year optional ordering periods to provide 20,682 JLTVs and 9,8333 trailers for the joint force as well as foreign customers.
“This competitive follow-on production contract has been part of the JLTV acquisition strategy from the beginning and focused on a best value determination that includes retaining the capability of the JLTV today, while ensuring that it can be upgraded in the future with the latest technologies,” the Army said in a Feb. 9 statement.
“From the start of production, the government procured the data rights to the JLTV Technical Data Package from the original equipment manufacturer, which the program leverages to conduct future production competitions and control the platform’s configuration and vehicle price well into the future,” Brig. Gen. Luke Peterson, the Army’s program executive officer for combat support & combat service support, said.
“These government-held data rights permitted the program to compete this follow-on production contract with much better control of the production configuration and cost,” he continued.
In a statement, Jim Cannon, AM General’s chief executive, said the company is “humbled and honored” to receive the latest deal.
JLTV will be built in a military production facility at AM General’s 96-acre Mishawaka Manufacturing Campus in Indiana. Deliveries are expected to begin 17 months after contract award, according to the company.
In a statement, Oshkosh said it was “disappointed to learn the government’s decision.”
“As the incumbent manufacturer, only Oshkosh’s JLTV proposal leveraged substantial JLTV experience and established infrastructure, while providing best-in-class upgrades to the JLTV platform,” the company added, noting it is pursuing a debriefing from the government.
GM Defense was initially expected to bid as a prime contractor, but opted to become a subcontractor to one of the bidders. The company did not identify that partner.
Navistar told Defense News earlier this month that after reviewing the solicitation, the company “decided to focus its efforts and resources on other DoD tactical wheeled vehicle opportunities” instead.
Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense won the JLTV contract in 2015 to replace some of the aging Humvee fleet, beating out both Humvee-maker AM General and competitor Lockheed Martin.
Oshkosh has built nearly 19,000 JLTVs to date, supplying them to the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy as well as armies in Montenegro, Brazil, Slovenia and Lithuania. The company is under contract to build more than 22,679 vehicles and expect additional orders through November, according to a company spokesperson.
Belgium, North Macedonia and Romania already have plans to buy the vehicles; the U.K., Portugal and Greece have shown interest in buying the system.
The Army’s planned procurement objective is 49,099 trucks total.
The service kicked off its latest JLTV competition in early 2022 and the Army received multiple bids, Peterson told Defense News last fall.
To take advantage of technology advancements since the JLTV was first designed, the Army added several new capabilities, such as corrosion protection, improved fuel efficiency and anti-idle technology, as part of the new competition. The Army also said it planned to include lithium-ion batteries in the base capability of the new JLTV.
“The JLTV A2 design is the first tactical wheeled vehicle with baseline architecture utilizing lithium-ion batteries, which is a key enabler for anti-idle capability,” the Army’s statement said.
While the Army never set a requirement for a hybrid JLTV as part of the new competition, Oshkosh unveiled a version in January 2021.
The Army plans to migrate tactical wheeled vehicles to hybrid and all-electric versions over the next several decades. (Source: Defense News)
08 Feb 23. UK Ministry of Defence Award Maritime Spares Procurement Contract to TVS Supply Chain Solutions. The Maritime Spares team within the UK MOD’s Logistics Services Operating Centre have awarded one of three places on their 4 year + 1 option year FGS contract to TVS SCS, to procure a wide range of Royal Navy Fleet General Stores items.
The requirement covers the provision of spares, repairs, and associated services for a wide range of equipment. This equipment includes domestic appliances, test equipment, laboratory equipment, ropes, catering equipment, and mechanical items such as seals and gaskets.
Underpinning the procurement activity and to enable continued availability of contracted items is the supply of Technical Services covering Obsolescence management, Integrated Logistics Support and assistance with Safety Assessments.
TVS SCS are a global supply chain organisation who manage circa 3 m items per day for customers in the automotive, beverage, defence, healthcare, rail, and utilities sector. These clients rely on TVS’s ability to create and manage a resilient supply chain that actively mitigates the risk of supply from global disruptions.
The MOD’s decision to place this contract with a professional supply chain organisation aligns with their recently released Defence Supply Chain Strategy. This strategy advocates an ambition to build supply chains that are ‘resilient by design’ and able to handle the ‘new normal’ of constant disruption through a proactive, integrated, and collaborative approach.
Rebecca Ryan, TVS SCS Procurement Director commented “We are delighted to have been selected by UK MOD to support their requirements for general store items. This plays to our core strength in supply chain management, specifically procurement. We are also very much aligned to the UK MOD’s ambition to create a circular supply chain where we invest in the repair and refurbishment of items rather than simply dispose. This is a fundamental part of our own environmental, sustainability and governance strategy.”
08 Feb 23. After SAAF firefighting deliveries, Marce continues apace with sales. Firefighting and emergency response vehicle manufacturer Marce has delivered dozens of its Rhino firefighting vehicles to the South African Air Force (SAAF) and continues to sell the series to other customers.
Several years ago, Marce concluded the delivery of 27 Rhino vehicles to the SAAF, at the rate of two per month. The SAAF, under Project Bandsman, received the 6×6 version (it is also available in 4×4 and 8×8) with a locally built cab and water tank as well as custom driveline with a 680 hp Deutz engine.
The Rhino chassis is fully assembled at the Marce workshop in Centurion. It features a two-door cab for a driver and crew of four. Standard fit is a Mamba 6 roof-mounted suppression system with a capacity of up to 6 000 litres per minute. Water capacity is 12 000 litres plus 1 500 litres of foam. The Rhino can be fitted with an infrared camera on the roof for a better view of a fire.
Rhino vehicles are now in service with five countries, including Namibia, Lesotho, and India.
In recent years, Marce also delivered six hazmat vehicles to the SAAF, which are based on Mercedes Benz Atego 1428 trucks with 280 hp engines. They have a double cab with seating for six and carry hazardous materials equipment.
Armscor also placed a contract with Marce for the delivery of eight firefighting vehicles for use at the South African National Defence Force’s bombing ranges.
Marce has also developed a 6×6 vehicle based on a Land Cruiser chassis. This can be used as a troop carrier, firefighter or patrol vehicle. It can carry 3.5 tons of payload and could be fitted with a weapon on the back if required. The heavily customised vehicle costs R2.5m.
Recent deliveries include six 4×4 custom pumper firefighting vehicles (4 000 litres/minute pumping capacity) for Cape Town, and a new vehicle has been tested at the Gerotek vehicle testing facility West of Pretoria – Transnet is getting 18 of these vehicles. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
06 Feb 23. ‘Everything and the kitchen sink:’ USAF plots new refueling tanker. The U.S. Air Force wants its next-generation aerial refueling tanker, dubbed KC-Z, to be flying and reach initial operational capability by 2040. According to a request for information the Air Force posted online Jan. 31, the service plans to start conducting an analysis of alternatives for the next-generation air refueling system, or NGAS, in October, and wants to hear what the defense industry might have in mind for it. Industry has until March 2 to submit its responses.
The KC-Z would be the third and final stage of the Air Force’s decades-long tanker recapitalization effort.
The Air Force is now bringing on its fleet of KC-46 Pegasus tankers, which marked the first phase of the modernization, and the service is trying to figure out the right path forward for its next stage, dubbed KC-Y.
Among the options are holding a competition for KC-Y or forgoing a competition and buying more modified KC-46s. The Air Force is expected to shed more light on what it has planned as part of the 2024 budget cycle.
In addition to anticipating the KC-Z would reach IOC by 2040, the Air Force said in the RFI the tanker would need to be able to operate in contested combat scenarios.
Describing how these tankers would operate in combat, the Air Force also told industry to spell out how their aircraft would handle threats — including cyber threats — that might come in that decade, and reduce risk both for itself and the aircraft it would refuel in combat.
The Air Force wants to hear what industry has in mind for refueling unmanned aerial systems with this tanker, and how it might integrate with a joint air battle management network.
And the service also asked industry for ideas on how their tankers could take off from or land at regional or improvised airfields. In recent years, the Air Force has increasingly focused on ensuring its aircraft can operate in non-traditional airfields as it prepares for a potential conflict with China, in which access to its usual bases might be cut off.
The Air Force told industry to detail how their ideas would change the way aerial refueling would be conducted, and what kind of changes to operations or support would be vital to make aerial refueling more capable in a future conflict.
The concepts industry suggests could include high-risk ideas, as long as the technology would be ready by 2032. And the Air Force is interested in hearing how these ideas would use modular open systems architecture, digital engineering, and model-based systems engineering.
The Air Force wants to hear how companies’ tanker ideas would address the military’s desire for fuel and energy efficiency.
The Air Force has repeatedly said it is considering a blended wing design for this tanker, which the service said would increase fuel efficiency and dramatically cut energy consumption. This RFI does not mandate a blended wing design, though the service is looking for innovative ideas for all sizes and classes of aircraft that could get the job done.
The Air Force’s Climate Action Plan, which it released in October 2022, included a photograph of an experimental blended wing prototype aircraft, the X-48B, which Boeing’s Phantom Works, NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory developed in the late 2000s as an example of the kind of model a future tanker or mobility aircraft could draw inspiration from.
In a Jan. 11 discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said a blended wing design is still one of the “very prominent candidates” for a next-generation tanker or transport aircraft, but that it’s too early to say what the Air Force will end up with.
Such a design doesn’t exist in the commercial world today, Kendall said. But the Air Force is doing early design work of its own on a blended wing, he said, and could move towards building a prototype, but it is still a “work in progress.”
In the future, Kendall added, the Air Force is going to need to consider survivability as it ponders its next-generation mobility aircraft.
“Mobility is driven by the threat changes,” Kendall said. “It’s driven by what the threat is doing, to reach out to increasingly long ranges to engage our aircraft.”
“Traditionally, we could take a commercial-derivative aircraft, turn it into a tanker or a transport … but they essentially look like a commercial aircraft,” he continued. “They’re not designed with a high set of requirements for survivability, for resilience. The threat’s taking that freedom away from us.”
John Venable, a senior defense fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said the Air Force’s RFI shows “they want everything and the kitchen sink” to be considered for the next-generation tanker.
“The Air Force is asking for the moon for the next tanker, and they would settle for something that would allow them to get a little bit closer to the threat, with a much more fuel-efficient wing body,” Venable said. “And so this blended wing concept would be a very good thought process.”
But as the Air Force moves to modernize its tanker fleet in years to come, he said, its budget remains to be seen. Even with growing concerns about the possibility of a war with China, Venable said budgetary issues could prevent the KC-Z tanker from achieving IOC earlier than 2040.
“When I think about the timelines that are associated with this KC-Z, I think it’s budget based more than it is strategy based,” he said.
(Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
06 Feb 23. Czech Army eyes new Leopard 2A7+ tanks after testing older variant. While numerous allies are working on delivering their Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the Czech Republic is advancing plans to acquire new Leopard 2A7+ tanks. The country’s land forces are testing the first of the 14 used 2A4s the nation is to obtain from Germany.
Last year, the Czech Republic donated its Soviet-designed T-72 tanks to Ukraine to support the nation’s combat against the ongoing Russian invasion. Under its so-called “Ringtausch” program, Berlin has decided to supply a batch of Leopard 2A4s to Prague to enable the Czech Army to preserve its combat capacities and replace outdated Soviet weapons with Western gear.
The Czech Armed Forces say the Leopard 2A4 swap will make Prague ready for the acquisition of new Leopards, as suggested by Czech Defence Minister Jana Černochová. Last May, the politician said the nation could buy up to 50 tanks in the 2A7+ version from Germany.
“The 2A4 Leopards will prepare us for the most modern Leopard in the 2A7 version,” the Czech Armed Forces said in a tweet.
Under the plan, the remaining 13 Leopard 2A4s are to be delivered to the Czech military base in Přáslavice, in the country’s eastern part, until the end of this year. They will be operated by the 7th Mechanized Brigade, according to data from the Czech ministry.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 5, Canada’s National Defence Minister Anita Anand tweeted the “first Canadian Leopard 2 main battle tank that we’ve donated to Ukraine has now arrived in Poland. Alongside our allies, we’ll soon be training the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the use of this equipment.”
In addition to Canada and Germany, other countries who have declared their willingness to supply their used Leopard tanks to Ukraine include Denmark, Finland, Poland, Portugal and Spain. (Source: Defense News)
03 Feb 23. MightyFly’s eVTOL Cargo Drone Carries 100 lb for 600 miles.
Just 21 months after receiving $5.1m seed funding and with only 9 months from concept to first flight, MightyFly is ready to unveil the next generation of its aircraft, the MightyFly Cento.
Aircraft Specs & Cargo Logistics Platform Capabilities
The Cento, previously referred to as the MF-100, is a hybrid, electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft with a cargo capacity of 100 lbs (45 kg), a range of 600 miles (965 km) and a max speed of 150 mph (240 km/hr).
With eight electric vertical lift fans, one forward propulsion propeller, and a high wing carbon fiber airframe, the fully loaded Cento weighs just 355 pounds (161 kg).
It measures 13.1 ft by 16.7 ft (4 m by 5 m) taking up a total area that is less than two compact cars – meaning the ground transfer stations required onsite can simply be two car spots in an existing parking lot.
Cento is equipped with a 6 ft by 1 ft by 1 ft (1.8 m by 0.30 m by 0.30 m) internal cargo bay able to carry 96 small USPS packages. Cargo is loaded and unloaded by a conveyor belt that operates autonomously, so no human handling other than dropoff and pickup is required at the ground stations.
The aircraft are operated and maintained by MightyFly, which will manage the end-to-end process of its express shipping services making the customer experience convenient and seamless. Because Cento is equipped with a hybrid powertrain, it does not require recharging between flights. An internal combustion engine recharges the aircraft’s battery while in the air, enabling it to perform multiple consecutive deliveries, with up to 600 miles range.
“The traditional hub-and-spoke distribution model can still serve businesses that have centralized warehousing and shipping systems in place and that have experienced few logistics issues,” said Manal Habib, MightyFly CEO and co-founder. “But if there is one lesson we’ve learned from supply chain bottlenecks and logistics over the past few years, it’s that we need flexibility – to be able to adapt to various cargo volumes and expedited timing or urgencies. Medical companies, just-in-time manufacturing, and the 51% of all retailers that now provide same-day delivery need a faster and more affordable way to get their goods and perishables to the final destination.”
FAA Grants Special Airworthiness and Certificate of Authorization for Long Range Flight
After undergoing an extensive study of all safety standards and testing results of MightyFly’s end-to-end system, inclusive of aircraft hardware, software and its ground infrastructure, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted the MightyFly Cento a Special Airworthiness Certificate and a Certificate of Authorization (COA) for long-range flights.
This means that MightyFly can start demonstrating the long-range flight capabilities of Cento. Demonstrating autonomous eVTOL flights up to 600 miles of range with 100 pounds of cargo is unprecedented in the industry.
With this COA in place, the company will be able to accelerate development of its autonomous aircraft, with a larger airspace (230 sq miles) in which to test the transition from hover to forward flight at medium and high altitudes (up to 5000 feet).
Awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant
MightyFly’s integrated, high-throughput aerial logistics system is ideally suited for retail, medical, automotive and manufacturing businesses, but it has also attracted government-level interest, specifically in defense, from the United States Air Force.
The SBIR award is given to small businesses working on innovative technology with the potential to benefit the Department of Defense (DoD), such as delivery of medical supplies to a team in the field or other missions like communication relays where long-range capacity is critical. The US Air Force has recognized the agility of MightyFly’s platform (e.g., no required ground charging infrastructure and long-range capability, both afforded by its hybrid propulsion) and is supporting further development of its technology.
MightyFly began autonomous flight testing of the Cento in December 2022. Meanwhile, it is planning to develop a larger vehicle that can carry 500 pounds of cargo. (Source: UAS VISION)
03 Feb 23. Turkey picks South Korean transmission for Altay tank. A South Korean manufacturer, SNT Dynamics, said this week it will supply transmissions for the engines that will power the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous tank.
The subsidiary of SNT Holding announced it has signed a deal with BMC, a Turkish-Qatari partnership that builds the Altay, to supply the EST15K, a 1,500-horsepower automatic transmission. The South Korean company said the export deal includes $74.9m of supply until 2027 and has an option for further sourcing priced at $141m between 2028 and 2030.
SNT said the deal was signed after field tests and assessment, including an endurance driving test last year.
“It is a valuable achievement through a harsh test evaluation, such as completing a night-based driving of about 200 kilometers (124.27 miles) a day even in the local rough terrain and environment,” the company said.
The first phase of Altay tanks will be equipped with a Korean power group consisting of a Hyundai Doosan production DV27K diesel engine and SNT Dynamics production EST15K gearbox.
BMC expects to deliver the first two tanks to the Turkish government in May 2023. Field tests are expected to continue until 2025, both by the Turkish Armed Forces and by contractors.
Mehmet Karaaslan, general manager of the company, said BMC is slated to turn over eight units a month for an initial batch of 100 units.
BMC won the multibillion-dollar Altay contract in 2018. That contract provides for a first lot of 250 tanks, life-cycle logistical support and the establishment and operation by the contractor of a tank systems technology center.
The Altay program is broken into two phases: T1 and T2. T1 covers the first 250 units, and T2 involves the advanced version of the tank. The second phase of Altay production will be powered by BMC’s indigenous power group, known as Batu.
Turkey plans to eventually produce 1,000 Altays, to be followed by an unmanned version. (Source: Defense News)
TEK Military Seating Limited
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From its inception ProTEK seats have been designed around a family of innovative seat frames onto which tested and certified modules can be fitted to create a bespoke solution for the user. These include Blast protection to Stanag 4569 standards, vibration reduction, head and body protection, seat risers and turntables, fore & aft adjustment, and seat back rake along with viable seat dimensions without the need for additional tooling costs.
Contact: David Parkman