Sponsored By Oxley Developments
15 Jul 21. Mercury launches aircraft-ready OpenVPX modules. Mercury Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mrcy.com), a leader in trusted, secure mission-critical technologies for aerospace and defense, today announced its new line of safety-certifiable 3U OpenVPX™ SOSA-aligned avionics modules designed to accelerate critical avionics applications and streamline subsystem development and platform safety certification.
“Designing, building, testing and certifying flight-ready mission computers is a costly and time-consuming endeavor,” said Jay Abendroth, vice president, Mercury Mission. “System architects require open standard, safety-certifiable rugged boards to accelerate subsystem development, lower risk and support advanced mission workloads like artificial intelligence, augmented reality and converged applications. Using Mercury’s purpose-built, proven DAL-certifiable SOSA-aligned 3U OpenVPX modules, designers can expedite the certification process while saving time and money.”
The rugged processing, video, storage and power modules feature BuiltSAFE™ proven, modular, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) elements complete with hardware and software artifacts to deliver smooth performance and simplify integration. DO-178-certifiable developmental board support packages (BSPs) support Green Hills Software, Lynx Software Technologies, WindRiver and other real-time operating system (RTOS) software to streamline integration and the certification process.
“Aerospace and defense customers are looking to quickly deploy and certify subsystems with safety-critical and platform technologies,” said Pavan Singh, vice president of product management for Lynx Software Technologies. “Our decade-long partnership with Mercury enables us to dramatically accelerate time to deployment, reduce development cost, and maximize interoperability for mission-critical avionics applications.”
The SBC3515-S module included in the new product lineup is the first certifiable Intel® Core™ i7 single board computer with the latest generation processor on the market, delivering up to 40x better performance than traditional safety-certifiable processing boards.
“Mercury has been an Intel partner for many years, providing ruggedized systems based on Intel semiconductor products to the aerospace and defense markets,” said Tony Franklin, general manager, Intel Federal and Aerospace Group. “We are excited to grow our partnership to include use of Intel’s high-performance multicore processors to accelerate critical avionics applications. Systems developed by Mercury with Intel hardware and the Intel Airworthiness Evidence Package can reduce development time for avionic subsystems, while lowering risks and costs.”
“As the only real-time operating system to be part of a successful multicore certification to DO-178C and CAST-32A, the INTEGRITY-178® tuMP™ RTOS enables maximum utilization of the high-performance Intel cores even in mixed-criticality systems, up to and including DAL A,” said Richard Jaenicke, director of marketing for safety and security-critical products at Green Hills Software. “Our collaboration with Mercury Systems enables system integrators to develop, certify, and deploy multicore avionics systems with the lowest risk, lowest overall cost, and fastest time to deployment.”
14 Jul 21. USAF tests embedding software coders with industry. In the high-intensity world of cyberspace, rapid and secure software development is crucial to stay ahead of quickly evolving threats.
The U.S. government and military traditionally relied on industry for much of the software development, but in recent years, the armed services have trained software developers to build tools for operators.
Now, an Air Force cyberspace wing is testing a hybrid approach by embedding developers at commercial production spaces — an idea the wing calls software factory as a service.
Col. Jeffrey Phillips, commander of the 67th Cyberspace Wing, discussed the effort with C4ISRNET, along with how his wing is trying to better compete in the information environment. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
You work with some airmen to leverage the resources and spaces of the software factories that are local to the wing, and some services have started to create software development billets for personnel that work alongside operators to quickly turn on capabilities. How do you see this capability advancing for the Air Force?
We have the 90th Cyber Operations Squadron, which is aligned under the 318th Cyberspace Operations Group.
It’s the squadron that’s solely focused on capability development, and what I’ve learned as I’ve been in this job is that the key to effective and efficient capability development is to have a reliable DevSecOps platform to develop on.
That’s the development, security and operations platform. It automates the integration of security at every phase of software development life cycle from initial design though integration, testing, deployment and then software delivery.
For years, the wing has internally resourced and managed our own DevSecOps platform. It’s not the most efficient way of professionalizing capability development at all.
We know the partnerships with industry and academia bring up a whole realm of possibility and creativity. So collaboration and outreach efforts have leveraged insights with regard to talent and innovation.
We’ve recently established a relationship with Platform One and LevelUp — Air Force and industry organizations dedicated to software development. They have very mature and reliable DevSecOps platforms.
We started it as a proof of concept; we co-located 30 of our developers with the software factory in an initiative that we’re calling software factory as a service. Basically, we’re paying these companies to leverage their DevSecOps platform for our airmen to be able to develop on this very professional infrastructure that already exists.
This alleviates our developers from the burden of having to manage a capability development infrastructure, then I think we’ll evaluate periodically to determine if this initiative is bearing the fruit we anticipate it will.
I can see a future where all of our capability development airmen are co-located with software factories that already exist and we buy that as a service versus trying to develop that DevSecOps platform ourselves because we’re not funded for it, we’re not professionals at maintaining that infrastructure. We just have really, really smart airmen figuring out how to get it done. I think we buy a lot if we can leverage industry and academic partners that already do this for a living.
Is it a little too early to say how well this effort is performing?
Yes, I really have a lot of faith that it will go well. Literally we’ve started it in the last month.
We’re working through some negotiations right now to see if we can move a broader portion of our airmen into these software factories because we have a lot of faith that it’s going to be the right way to do capability development in the future.
Working with industry partners, you probably will do the unclassified software development on their DevSecOps platform.
There might be some classified aspect to develop that has to be added onto a capability that we’ll bring back into the SCIF [sensitive compartmented information facility] to top it off. I think overall, we can do the majority of our software development in the software factories.
What tools are they developing, and what teams are the tools for?
Our developers work very closely with the CPTs [cyber protection teams] and the CMTs [combat mission teams] to determine what capabilities they need.
We’ve really gotten away from the waterfall software development, and we have that integrated DevSecOps approach that’s a more agile approach to developing software, and we’ve found that it’s generating capabilities a lot faster.
Actually, we stood up what we called the cyber shoot house where we have capability developers, airmen from cyber protection teams, airmen from the combat mission teams, airmen from our range squadron, airmen from our test squadron all sitting together doing this DevSecOps capability tool development.
Cyberspace is considered a subset of the larger information environment. How are you looking at marrying cyber and information operations personnel to achieve outcomes for various combatant commanders or U.S. Cyber Command?
I think the alignment of all the information warfare disciplines under 16th Air Force has driven a very disciplined approach to convergence among the organizations that are responsible for executing each of those missions in each of the disciplines.
Now, we’re all in the same 16th Air Force and Joint Force Headquarters Air Force battle rhythm meetings. We’re participating in the same operational planning teams, and we’re focused on integration through all phases of the joint planning process.
As you know, information operations personnel are a high-demand, low-density commodity. We have a lot of them currently employed in our operational support squadron. We have several of them deployed in the 16th Air Force JFHQ Air Force J-39 as well as man in air operations centers across the different Air Force major commands.
They’re truly experts at planning to dominate the information environment, and I think the way we’ve married them up with our cyber operators, the information operations personnel tend to build the message that we want to proliferate, and our cyber operators figure out a way to deliver that message.
You can almost look at it as building the bomb and then putting the bomb on the plane to be delivered.
The recent stand up of the 14F initial skill training course at the 39th Information Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field in Florida has allowed us to formalize, professionalize the training that we give to those information operations airmen.
We’re seeing they’re in high demand. We can’t produce them fast enough.
Every AOC [air operations center] wants one. Several wing commanders, flying wing commanders will talk to me about integrating those IO personnel into their OSS’s [operation support squadrons] as well.
I think they’ll be in demand in the Air Force for a long time to come.
(Source: Defense News)
14 Jul 21. Leonardo DRS Receives $105m Award to Provide Next-Generation Mission Command Mounted Computing Systems. Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded its third production delivery order contract for the next-generation of U.S. Army mission command computing systems, called the Mounted Family of Computer Systems (MFoCS) II. This modular, scalable system supports the Army’s current modernization strategy for ground combat vehicles, combat service support vehicles and command posts. The contract value is worth more than $105m.
The delivery order was awarded to the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics business, by the Defense Information Technology Contracting Office of the Defense Information Systems Agency on behalf of U.S. Army Program Manager, Mission Command, and U.S. Army Program Executive Office – Command, Control and Communications – Tactical. Leonardo DRS is in the third year of an up to ten-year contract supporting requirements for U.S. Army Mounted Mission Command and Mounted Computing Operating Environment (MCOE).
The MFoCS II system is a family of common computing and display systems that consolidates a range of programs and military computing users. The system supports the continued fielding and upgrades of the Army’s Joint Battle Command – Platform and features critical system capability upgrades, cybersecurity improvements and multi-touch displays. This mission-critical tactical server provides a fully integrated hardware, software, and network system supporting Blue Force Tracking on Army and U.S. Marine Corps vehicle platforms. MFoCS II systems also host an industry leading embedded cyber security architecture.
“We are proud that MFOCS continues to play an important role in the Army’s Network Modernization efforts to bring users the latest in situational awareness on the battlefield,” said Bill Guyan, senior vice president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics business. “MFOCS is a vital component of the Mission Command suite of integrated capabilities used across the U.S. Army and Marine Corps ground fleets, and our team members have designed and manufactured a powerful, reliable and affordable edge capability that soldiers have come to rely upon.”
The MFOCS system is just one of many critical advanced technologies provided to the U.S. military by Leonardo DRS, that converge modern capabilities today, while supporting the evolution to objective modernization requirements for the future.
Work on this contract will be performed in the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics facility in Melbourne, Florida. For more information about the Leonardo DRS Mounted Family of Computer Systems, visit www.LeonardoDRS.com/MFoCS
14 Jul 21. Systel showcases AiTR AI capabilities with rugged computing solutions. The capabilities were demonstrated to the US Army during Project Convergence 21 event.
Rugged computer hardware solutions provider Systel has showcased Aided Target Recognition (AiTR) artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to the US Army.
A Systel-led industry team of experts participated in the Project Convergence 21 (PC21) event to demonstrate the capabilities with several rugged embedded computer solutions such as Raven-Strike and Kite-Strike.
During the demonstration, the Systel team was able to recognise and spot targets, as well as gather data for two days under numerous circumstances.
The multiple day and night operational scenarios included different ranges, sensor angles and motion, target motion and types, as well as sensor fields of view.
Systel Army systems programme manager Jay Williamson said: “We are honoured to participate in Project Convergence and are proud of the entire team’s efforts and performance during the event.
“Systel’s rugged AI embedded edge products are designed and manufactured to meet the exacting requirements, including MOSA and SWaP-C, that AFC demands, and we look forward to continuing our support of the army’s modernisation priorities and enduring platforms.”
According to the US Army Futures Command (AFC), PC21 is a ‘campaign of learning to aggressively pursue an artificial intelligence and machine learning-enabled battlefield management system’.
The event includes demonstrations and experiments during the year and will conclude with a series of exercises held for one month later this year. The efforts will contribute to the goal of achieving Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2). (Source: army-technology.com)
US DARPA selects research teams for Invisible Headlights programme.
Invisible Headlights programme seeks to determine if autonomous vehicles can navigate in dark using passive sensors. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the US has selected four industry and university research teams to advance with the Invisible Headlights programme. The selected teams will work with DARPA in the project that seeks to determine if autonomous vehicles can navigate in absence of light using passive sensors.
Current systems require active illumination to traverse at night, which increases the risk of detection by adversaries. The Invisible Headlights programme was conceived to address this vulnerability.
The programme aims to transform the ambient thermal light present in all environments into a totally passive 3D sensor to support autonomous navigation.
Under the programme, Areté Associates will conduct virtual analyses to assess the ambient spectral and polarimetric infrared environment and develop low-contrast-capable 3D vision algorithms.
Kitware is tasked to estimate local 3D scene structure and semantics for navigation, while Purdue University will be developing new ultrafast, spin-based sensors and 3D vision approaches using ambient thermal environment properties.
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) team is engaged to scale superconducting nanowire single-photon detector (SNSPD) technology into a very low noise infrared sensing array.
DARPA Defense Sciences Office Invisible Headlights programme manager Joe Altepeter said: “These teams are pursuing innovative approaches to exploit the infrared spectrum.
“They are exploring ways to capture more scene information using new devices, improved algorithms, and increased measurement diversity.”
A government team led by the army C5ISR Center’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) is also associated with the project.
During Phase I, the research teams will assess the feasibility of using information from thermal emissions to enable autonomous driving in very dark conditions.
In the subsequent phase, the teams will develop and test sensors and algorithms to demonstrate that real systems can measure enough information for 3D vision. The final stage will involve building and trialling passive demonstration systems for field tests. (Source: army-technology.com)
13 Jul 21. Global leaders seek new technology partnerships to counter threat posed by China. Top U.S. and international security officials called Tuesday for new partnerships to oppose China’s burgeoning influence over emerging technologies and standards for their use.
At an event hosted by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, senior leaders spanning from NATO to the Pentagon to the Indo-Pacific warned of the threat posed to human rights and security by China’s technological rise and ambition to become the world’s leader in artificial intelligence and shape the way emerging technologies are used by influencing global standards-setting bodies.
“For the first time in many, many, many, many decades, we cannot take our technological edge for granted so we need to move fast and even faster,” said Mircea Geoana, deputy secretary general of NATO. “We need to move together and work together without duplication and without unnecessary competition with like-minded partners who share our values. Because it’s obvious that no industry, no country or organization alone can cope with the risks and challenges that we are facing.”
Geoana’s comments reflected a consensus among leaders at the summit that the U.S. and other democracies across the globe must work together to invest in and shape standards for technologies including artificial intelligence and 5G. Building international technology alliances was a key recommendation of the NSCAI, a congressionally mandated commission that argued that the United States needed to be “AI ready” by 2025 in order to win the ongoing tech race with China.
Allowing China to shape global standard setting threatens human rights, the leaders said, pointing to the Chinese government’s use of facial recognition to target the Uyghur minority group inside the country. Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, painted a bleak picture of global surveillance networks, insecure supply chains and access to sensitive data if authoritarian nations can set standards and shape the norms of AI use.
In his prepared remarks, Sullivan said the first wave of the digital revolution emphasized democracy and human rights but gave way to a second wave that allows authoritarian governments to infringe on those rights. In the third wave, Sullivan said, democratic nations must shape the way technologies like artificial intelligence are used.
“The question before us is whether we have the will and determination to usher in a third wave of this digital revolution. Whether we can reboot and ensure that critical and emerging technologies work for, not against, our democracies and our security,” he said.
He added, “If there’s anything that the first two waves of the digital revolution have taught us, it’s that long-term U.S. leadership in technology is not assured. Large-scale efforts that harness the public, private, and academic sectors can measurably secure that leadership.”
Sullivan highlighted several new technology partnerships the United States has across the globe. In Europe, the Biden administration launched the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council and is working with the United Kingdom in a new partnership in science and technology. With South Korea and Japan, the U.S. is collaborating on critical and emerging technologies, ranging from quantum science to semiconductors. Sullivan added that the White House is working with G7 countries on digital tools and plans to expand that work in the European Union.
The U.S. and the “Quad” countries — made up of India, Japan and Australia — also kicked off a working group on securing supply chains, technology standards and looking ahead for other emerging capabilities.
“It is critical to understand how to incorporate democratic order and values into our system while respecting privacy, civil liberties and rights in the future use of AI by the government,” said Shinji Inoue, Japanese minister of state for science and technology policy.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said that the U.S. and its allies needed to establish a multilateral technology alliance and prioritize standards setting to make sure that the world’s democracies stay ahead, adding that “embedded in technology standards often come a country or society’s values.”
Stavros Lambrinidis, the European Union’s ambassador to the United States, echoed the comments. “The first thing that we have to do together is set the standards for these new technologies. They are being set as we speak. … [We need to] set those standards, or someone is going to set them if we don’t.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said at the event that investment in emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence, is foundational to the Pentagon’s joint war-fighting concept, which includes AI to analyze data on the battlefield and aid commanders’ decision-making. Austin noted the Pentagon has 600 AI efforts underway across the department and mentioned the newly launched Artificial Intelligence and Data Acceleration initiative that will help combatant commands prepare their networks for operational AI.
Austin previewed a detail on the department’s effort to ramp up AI spending, noting it wants to invest $1.5bn over the next five years in the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, an office tasked with accelerating AI adoption across the DoD. In its fiscal 2022 budget request, the department asked for $874m for AI.
“Tech advances like AI are changing the face and the pace of warfare. But we believe that we can responsibly use AI as a force multiplier. One that helps us to make decisions faster and more rigorously, to integrate across all domains, and to replace old ways of doing business,” Austin said in his prepared remarks. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
13 Jul 21. GA-EMS Continues On-Time Delivery of EMALS/AAG On-Time Delivery for CVN 79, CVN 80. General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it continues on-time delivery of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) for installation on the future Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers USS John F Kennedy (CVN 79) and USS Enterprise (CVN 80). GA-EMS’ EMALS and AAG installed aboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) recently completed successful at-sea operational testing during an 18-month Post Delivery Trial and Test (PDT&T) period.
“The effects of the pandemic during the past year have presented everyone with some incredible challenges, and we are proud of our team’s dedication and focus on delivering EMALS and AAG equipment for Ford-class carriers even under the most difficult of circumstances,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “Under multiple contracts with the Navy, we continue to support CVN 78 sustainment requirements, and deliver EMALS and AAG for the next two Ford-class carriers now under construction, CVN 79 and CVN 80.”
“Multiple contract awards help us efficiently maximize manufacturing plans to ensure there are no gaps in production and we are able to maintain a stable supply chain and workforce to meet the deliverables schedule,” continued Forney. “We’ve delivered 97% of EMALS and AAG equipment for CVN 79, meeting the installation schedule. We also remain on track to support the CVN 80 construction schedule, having built, tested and delivered more than 25% of EMALS and AAG CVN 80 equipment to date. With that said, we remain poised to provide these same critical technologies as the Navy determines the EMALS and AAG contract and schedule requirements for the fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS Doris Miller (CVN 81).”
GA-EMS recently announced that EMALS and AAG aboard CVN 78 achieved 8,157 successful aircraft launches and recoveries during the ship’s Independent Steaming Events. Over 400 pilots, including new student aviators, achieved their initial carrier qualifications or recertified their proficiency using EMALS and AAG. Both systems successfully completed Aircraft Compatibility Testing, which confirms the ability to launch and recover aircraft in the current naval air wing. The systems also provide greater flexibility over legacy systems to accommodate the future air wing, including both manned and unmanned aircraft. (Source: ASD Network/General Atomics)
13 Jul 21. USMC 3D printing faces a ‘data problem.’ 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is gaining popularity with the military because it allows service members to quickly build spare parts for aging equipment in the field.
The Marine Corps keeps the 3D printing designs and technical data for more than 400 parts in a digital repository, but it wants to reorganize that information into a data vault that makes it easier for the 300+ users across the Corps to find the designs they need, according to a report in USNI News.
“What we have is a data problem,” said Kristin Holzworth, chief scientist at the Systems Command’s (SYSCOM) Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell. Speaking at a WEST 2021 conference virtual session, she said that while there is plenty of data available for 3D printing, “it’s all disaggregated, and it’s unclear what we have, what we don’t have.” Plus, she said, “getting fleet access to what we do have can be quite difficult.”
The Digital Manufacturing Data Vault would be an enterprisewide advanced manufacturing repository, integrating additive manufacturing data from all the military services and the Defense Logistics Agency with program-managed technical data.
“It will enable fleet-wide accessibility and provide access to the entire Marine Corps enterprise and also for operations in multiple environments, including base, station, depot and expeditionary,” Holzworth said.
This year, Marine Corps units will have access to the X-Fab mobile facility — a self-contained, 20×20-foot transportable shelter containing five 3D printers, a laser scanner and cutter and computer-aided design software system. Starting in fiscal 2022, each battalion will get a portable 3D printing kit, said Joshua Whitehead, maintenance officer at SYSCOM’s Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch. (Source: Defense Systems)
13 Jul 21. K-TIG to expand global footprint. The ASX-listed welding technology developer, which recently partnered with Hanwha Defense Australia, is set to introduce its offering to the European marketplace.
K-TIG has appointed corporate strategist Benjamin Hall to lead its expansion into the UK and Europe, following the successful rollout of its revised distribution model in the US over the past nine months.
Hall will be charged with helping the firm’s UK subsidiary, Keyhole TIG (UK), employ a direct sales force and establish a technology demonstration centre.
Keyhole TIG is also expected to enter into integrator partnerships and establish the logistics for inventory warehousing in Europe.
Drawing on the firm’s experiences in the US, K-TIG managing director Adrian Smith noted the importance of establishing a local in-country network to enhance service availability.
“The time has come to expand this model into our second most important market,” Smith said.
“As the UK comes out of COVID hibernation we are seeing a resumption of activity in the fabrication of nuclear waste containment vessels.”
Smith also welcomed Hall to the management team, describing his appointment as a “real game changer”.
“An accomplished senior executive with multinational business experience, Ben has a deep understanding of the importance of UK and European government policies on industry transformation,” he added.
Hall joins K-TIG from the London office of KPMG’s Global Strategy Group where he served as engagement manager, responsible for the development of industrial strategy for the UK government and providing public policy compliance advice to stakeholders.
Hall has also served as a political adviser and an Australian Army officer.
“I’m excited to be taking on a role with such an innovative business which will change the global landscape of industry fabrication,” Hall said.
“K-TIG’s cutting-edge technology is ready to meet the emerging demand in the UK and EU markets.”
Hall’s first task will be to establish a formal agreement in the nuclear waste storage market.
“We will then look to expand our collaboration efforts in hydrogen storage and transport, as well as continuing our R&D to stay one step ahead of industry needs to provide industry leading solutions,” he added.
K-TIG has also sought to expand its presence in the local market, signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hanwha Defense Australia, which aims to explore whether K-TIG’s welding processes can be applied to the construction of armoured vehicles in Australia and potentially overseas.
K-TIG’s welding process is designed to support at least seven millimetres of welding in a single run, reducing passes and preparation time by leveraging a high-energy density arc, which results in modest heat transfer into the metal plates being joined.
This is expected to result in fewer distortions of the steel plates, while also reducing the chance of affecting the hardness of the armour.
(Source: Defence Connect)
13 Jul 21. Russia to unveil new fighter jet at upcoming MAKS 2021 airshow. The United Aircraft Corporation, part of the Russian state corporation Rostec, teased the reveal of a new fighter jet on July 20, 2021, on the first day of the MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky.
A countdown to the reveal as well as a trailer was launched on the project’s website, called “Checkmate.”
“Russia is one of the few countries in the world with full-cycle capacities for producing advanced aircraft systems, as well as a recognized trendsetter in the creation of combat aircraft,” a Rostec spokesman commented. “The new product developed by UAC specialists should arouse genuine interest not only in our country but also in other regions of the world, including our competitors abroad.”
The upcoming aircraft could be a light fighter jet “with a supersonic speed capability and low radar signature,” an industry source told the Russian news agency TASS. According to the trailer, this aircraft could be mainly oriented towards export.
The 2021 edition of the MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon is to take place at Zhukovsky airport near Moscow from July 20 to 25, 2021. (Source: News Now/https://www.aerotime.aero/)
13 Jul 21. Japan, UK discuss partnership on fighter jet engines. The governments of Japan and the United Kingdom are discussing a potential joint programme to develop aero-engine technologies that will power Japan’s next-generation F-X fighter aircraft, officials have confirmed to Janes. The programme – should it go ahead – will be led by the two countries’ air propulsion specialists, Japan’s IHI Corporation and the UK’s Rolls-Royce. A spokesperson from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Janes that the proposed project with Japan is linked to the UK government’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS), of which the Tempest future fighter is the crucial component. In late 2020 the UK agreed to progress FCAS through a trilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Italy and Sweden.
“Working with international allies is central to our strategy for a Future Combat Air System, which will keep us safe from intensifying threats for the rest of the century,” said the MoD spokesperson. “As well as our partnership with Sweden and Italy, we are exploring opportunities on the development of subsystems with Japan.”
Rolls-Royce told Janes that its potential collaboration with IHI Corporation would be founded on the UK firm’s strong industrial ties in the Asian country.
Rolls-Royce says on its website that nearly 20% of the components and modules in its Trent family of commercial aerospace engines are built in Japan. Rolls-Royce engines power aircraft across all branches of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), according to the website.
“Working with Japan to develop the technologies and capabilities needed for a next-generation fighter to replace the F-2 offers an exciting opportunity to bring together some of the best combat air capabilities in the world,” said a Rolls-Royce spokesperson. (Source: Jane’s)
12 Jul 21. EVisionaries Bring Digital Engineering Revolution. MSBAI, an Air Force Techstars 2020 company, has been selected for an AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 2 contract in the 20.3 cycle, in which they will adapt their GURU cognitive AI assistant to support the Air Force’s digital transformation. Late last year the Air Force announced a goal to reduce time to design new aerial platforms from a decade+ down to a single year, by scaling up the utilization of simulation in design and testing to an unprecedented level. They coined the phrase ‘ECreate Before You Aviate’ to describe the opportunity to design, build, and test countless designs before building the physical system. Rather than “fly before you buy,” digital engineering and management allows the AF to reduce the real-world learning curve, the need for physical prototyping, and modifications between production blocks.
Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said “Digital engineering isn’t an option … it’s essential. It’s faster, it’s cheaper, it’s better.” The problem is that numerous simulation packages used for aerodynamics, structures, combustion, and more — and the High Performance Computing (HPC) systems that run them — are each considered PhD-level specialties.
Last year, Air Force Acquisition Chief, Dr. Will Roper said “Every new program will begin as an Esystem… wars will be won and lost based on how well we digitally design.”
But there aren’t enough experts with this kind of training! Enter MSBAI, and their autonomous system for engineering simulation. MSBAI have demonstrated GURU setting up simulations in minutes that used to take humans hours. The Air Force selected their winning proposal to AF Digital Engineering Pitch Day, entitled GURU Owns the Modeling and Simulation Tech Stack, and the excitement doesn’t stop there! It’s not just the Air Force in need of a transformation in digital engineering. The White House’s May 2021 American Jobs Plan proclaimed:
“Despite pioneering the technology, the United States is behind in the race to manufacture electric vehicles…it is time for …the U.S. to lead in EV manufacturing, infrastructure, deployment, and innovation.”MSBAI’s CEO, Allan Grosvenor, responded to the call, saying “Simulation is regularly used by only about 1% of engineers, and the Air Force chose us to make it 100%. We think we can do the same for the EV race!” The electric vehicle market is projected to reach $5trn in the next decade.
AFWERX is expanding technology, talent, and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability. afwerx.com
MSBAI is a privately held small business located in Los Angeles, CA, developing the cognitive AI assistant for engineering: GURU. (Source: PR Newswire)
12 Jul 21. Liberty Defense Announces Contract Signing for BIRD HLS and DHS Funded Program. Liberty Defense Holdings Ltd. (“Liberty” or the “Company”) (TSXV: SCAN) (OTCQB: LDDFF) (FRANKFURT: LD2), a leading concealed weapons and threat detection solutions company, is pleased to announce that it has signed the Cooperation and Project Funding Agreement with The Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, BIRD HLS Program, for $1M USD. The BIRD HLS program is sponsored jointly by the DHS and the Israel Ministry of Public Security (MOPS).
The BIRD Foundation is an organization that provides capital for joint industrial research and development between American and Israeli companies. BIRD was established in 1977 by the governments of the United States and Israel.
“Since the notification of award by BIRD in April, we have been finalizing the terms and conditions of the agreement as well as defining the scope of the project,” said Bill Frain, CEO of Liberty Defense. “We formally kicked off the project on July 1st and are excited to be partnering with Levitection in Israel on this innovative screening approach for homeland security.”
The integration and fusion of Liberty’s HEXWAVE™ and Levitection’s Q™ technologies, to be named HQ, will offer even further performance advantages through a layered, multi-sensor, contactless, public safety security solution to identify covert threats. Levitection’s Q technology will be used as an early-warning platform that will be integrated with Liberty’s HEXWAVE people screening threat detection system that will offer a best-in-class solution for the market.
“Over the past several months, Liberty has announced continued progress on the development of our flagship HEXWAVE walk through portal and the acquisition of aviation specific threat detection technology for passenger screening. The development of HQ with Levitection will add to our portfolio to thwart the potential for terrorist acts in high traffic areas,” added Frain. “This includes taking a layered approach to security which HQ will provide.”
BIRD HLS awarded funding earlier this year to two homeland security project collaborations between U.S. and Israeli companies, selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), the Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) of the State of Israel and approved by the BIRD Foundation’s Board of Governors, to advance technologies for homeland security.
The press release by the Department of Homeland Security can be found here News Release: U.S. and Israeli Partners Announce Awards for Homeland Security Technologies | Homeland Security (dhs.gov) and The BIRD Foundation release is here https://www.birdf.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/BIRD-HLS-PR-Jan-2021.pdf.
Liberty is also pleased to announce that it has engaged Emerging Markets Consulting, LLC of Florida, to perform strategic digital media services, marketing and data analytics services including, but not limited to, content development, video production and editing, website development, media buying and distribution, and campaign reporting and optimization. This campaign is set to begin in July 2021 and will continue until USD$100,000 of services are rendered.
On Behalf of Liberty Defense
CEO & Director
About Liberty Defense
Liberty Defense (TSXV: SCAN, OTCQB: LDDFF, FRANKFURT: LD2) provides multi-technology security solutions for concealed weapons detection in high volume foot traffic areas and locations requiring enhanced security such as airports, stadiums, schools, and more. Liberty’s HEXWAVE product, for which the company has secured an exclusive license from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as a technology transfer agreement for patents related to active 3D radar imaging technology, provides discrete, modular, and scalable protection to provide layered, stand-off detection capability of metallic and non-metallic weapons. Liberty has also recently licensed the millimeter wave-based, High Definition Advanced Imaging Technology (HD-AIT) body scanner and shoe scanner technologies as part of its technology portfolio. Liberty is committed to protecting communities and preserving peace of mind through superior security detection solutions. Learn more: LibertyDefense.com
Levitection is a scientific research and development company operating in the field of advanced electromagnetic imaging, specifically focused on the development of revolutionary Near Field Threat Detection (NFTD) systems for concealed weapon detection in public safety applications.
(Source: PR Newswire)
13 Jul 21. DST Group, CMP partner to launch D.Start Catalyst. DST Group has partnered with Australian non-profit Common Mission Project Limited (CMP Ltd) to support the establishment of the D.Start Catalyst program across several Australian universities.
Students participating in D.Start Catalyst will use modern innovation tools and techniques to solve defence and national security problems. CMP Limited is headed by former DST manager Jamie Morse who is joined by Dr David Burt, Director of Entrepreneurship at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).
D.Start Catalyst builds on the success of established United States and United Kingdom programs – Hacking for Defense (H4D) and Hacking for MoD – as well as a pilot program using the same methodology, known in Australia as Hacking for National Security (H4NS), at the University of New South Wales in early 2021.
D.Start Catalyst is a key element of the Next Generation Technologies Fund’s Defence Research Accelerator program that helps to create an understanding of the Defence problem space within the Australian educational and entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is also part of Defence’s effort to reach the STEM community and to attract the best and brightest into Defence and defence industry careers.
Student-entrepreneurs are empowered through the D.Start Catalyst program to solve real-world defence and national security challenges. Small teams of students enrolled in Master’s degree programs in a variety of fields will apply lean start-up methods to problems posed by Defence.
The new partnership with CMP Ltd enables Defence to draw on expertise from the US and UK programs, deliver training for Defence problem sponsors and Australian university staff, and coordinate the delivery of D.Start Catalyst courses at Australian universities.
In 2016 Stanford University initiated the H4D program in its Department of Engineering. That success led to the formation of a US non-profit organisation called Common Mission Project (CMP) in partnership with the US Department of Defense. Since then, CMP has delivered H4D courses at more than forty US universities.
In 2019, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and a UK-based branch of Common Mission Project launched Hacking for MoD . In 2020, the program expanded to seven top universities in the UK.
CMP’s programs are geared toward building and connecting an international network of entrepreneurs and university students with like-minded problem-solvers in government and academia to solve the challenges of our time. This is achieved by (1) leading mission-driven entrepreneurship academic programs, (2) training and supporting educators and student teams, and (3) convening the mission-driven entrepreneurship community (Source: Rumour Control)
06 Jul 21. Bell Announces FVL Systems Integration Lab Facility in Partnership with City of Arlington, TX. Bell’s investment in advanced capabilities at the new center focus on integration, verification and validation testing on Bell’s solutions to support the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programs
Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today plans for a Systems Integration Lab (SIL) facility at the Bell Flight Research Center (FRC) in Arlington, TX. This state-of-the-art facility will support testing and verification for both the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) programs, each with their own dedicated footprint. Bell anticipates starting construction in the coming weeks.
This new facility is being built to perform risk reduction, integration, verification and validation testing on air vehicle and mission systems and the software needed to meet requirements for Future Vertical Lift (FVL) complete weapon system development programs. This SIL enhances Bell’s proven ability to deliver revolutionary improvements in aviation programs by supporting safe, rapid and efficient flight test programs.
“Along with state and local community leaders, Bell is proud to continue to invest in capabilities and our workforce that will deliver verifiably high-performance, reliable and affordable weapon systems to the U.S. Army,” said Keith Flail, executive vice president, Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell. “Our team has proven we are able to deliver leap-ahead, flight-proven performance and successfully complete rapid design, build and rigorous flight test programs. This SIL is the next step in bringing both FLRAA and FARA solutions to fruition for the U.S. Army.”
The SILs are designed to quickly integrate and test mission and air vehicle system capabilities while also demonstrating sustainment capabilities to meet program requirements, enabling open and direct collaboration between government and industry partners. The facility leverages Bell’s expertise from the recently completed Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) program, which enabled rapid technology maturation and flight testing for the Bell V-280 Valor.
“When you think of the word ‘innovation,’ Bell is one of the first companies that comes to mind. For nearly 70 years, Bell has maintained a standard of excellence that’s second to none,” said Arlington Mayor Jim Ross. “The City of Arlington has been home to Bell Flight Research since 1967 and is incredibly proud of our continued partnership, the opening of this new facility and the company’s newest technology and innovations elevating North Texas and beyond.”
“The City of Arlington and its leaders have been instrumental in laying the groundwork for this next-generation flight-testing center,” said Robert Hastings, Bell’s executive vice president of Communications and Government Affairs. “We appreciate the support from former Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, Mayor Ross and the Arlington City Council as we create innovative centers conducive for flight technology advancement to serve our customers and warfighters.” (Source: ASD Network/Textron)
08 Jul 21. Rolls-Royce and Cavendish Nuclear sign delivery and manufacturing partnership agreement for SMR programme. Rolls-Royce and Cavendish Nuclear have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore opportunities to deepen the relationship between the parties through cooperation on the Rolls-Royce SMR programme.
Under this agreement Rolls-Royce and Cavendish Nuclear commit to working together to develop the roles that Cavendish Nuclear can perform in the design, licensing, manufacturing and delivery aspects of the Rolls-Royce factory-fabricated small modular nuclear power plant.
Among the opportunities to explore will be Cavendish Nuclear’s capabilities in engineering design; validation and verification; and the provision of manufacturing facilities and capability for aspects of the SMR plant manufacture. This will involve exercising the broad set of technical and manufacturing capabilities and facilities that UK-owned Cavendish Nuclear has within its portfolio.
The agreement has been signed by Rolls-Royce in its role as consortium leader on the program that has been working on the design of the power station for the last two years with support from the UK Government through UK Research and Innovation. The consortium already includes many well-established UK nuclear industry brands including Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Rolls-Royce, Jacobs, The Welding Institute (TWI) and Nuclear AMRC.
The MoU with Cavendish Nuclear brings additional capabilities to the UK SMR program and adds world class manufacturing and design capabilities to strengthen and complement those already within the current supply chain partners.
The Rolls-Royce SMR, a single unit of which can power one million* homes, is a radically different approach to delivering new nuclear power and takes advantage of factory built modularisation techniques to drastically reduce the amount of on-site construction and can deliver a low cost nuclear solution that is competitive with renewable alternatives.
The Rolls-Royce SMR will provide long term, guaranteed, low carbon power to support both on-grid electricity as well as a range of off-grid clean energy solutions to support the decarbonisation of industry and the production of clean fuels to support the energy transition in the wider heat and transportation sectors.
Tom Samson, CEO of the Rolls-Royce SMR Consortium, said: “Our SMR program has been designed to deliver clean affordable energy for all and does so with a revolutionary new approach aimed at commoditising the delivery of nuclear power through a factory build modularisation program.
“Cavendish Nuclear, and its parent Babcock International Group, have unique capabilities within the UK industry with their world class manufacturing and modularisation capabilities at their facilities at Rosyth as well as their wider nuclear skill set delivering engineering and manufacturing solutions across the new build and decommissioning landscape.
“We are excited at the prospect of bringing those skills and capabilities into our SMR program and in doing so making a meaningful contribution to the UK’s levelling up agenda and our Global Britain ambitions with the export potential of our SMR offering.”
Dominic Kieran, Managing Director of Cavendish Nuclear said, “We believe new nuclear build has a critical role to play in achieving the energy system decarbonisation required to address the challenge of climate change.
“We see the Rolls-Royce SMR programme as a really exciting opportunity for UK technology and the UK supply chain to make a major contribution to achieving net zero both in the UK and internationally.
“We believe our capabilities in nuclear project development and delivery, and our manufacturing and modularisation facilities, are an excellent potential fit for the Rolls-Royce SMR, and we are looking forward to working with Rolls-Royce to develop how we can help take the project forward.”
Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Rolls-Royce and Cavendish Nuclear Two Rolls-Royce SMR power stations deployed on one site
09 Jul 21. BigBear.ai secures AFRL NOI for Composable Collaborative Planning prototype. Work on the prototype effort will begin in late September this year.
The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to award a two-year contract to BigBear.ai company ProModel Government Solutions.
The contract is for a Composable Collaborative Planning prototype.
BigBear.ai is a provider of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Cloud-based big data analytics, and other cyber engineering solutions.
Known as ‘Project AURORA’, the effort will allow the AFRL to use BigBear.ai’s three AI-powered platforms, ‘Observe’, ‘Orient’, and ‘Dominate’.
The project is aimed at stepping up the Joint Planning decision cycle and expand the utility of automated technology platforms.
In addition, it will allow AFRL to form a shared data ecosystem that will provide support to service and joint planners and action officers.
Furthermore, the advanced work related to the Composable Collaborative Planning prototype will create a foundation to incorporate advanced computing capabilities.
These capabilities include ML, robotic process automation, and natural language processing.
BigBear.ai CEO Reggie Brothers said: “We are excited to collaborate with the Air Force Research Laboratory on this important project and are confident that this prototype effort will demonstrate how our platforms intelligently leverage data to achieve decision dominance, which we believe will be a game-changer for the Joint Planning community.”
The company noted that work on the effort is planned to start this September.
BigBear.ai has collaborated with industry partners QLIK, Appian, KNIME and Neo4j for the project. The AFRL selected BigBear.ai team based on their joint success with similar efforts. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.