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07 Dec 16. US Army hopes to accelerate vertical lift engine development. The US Army is trying to advance new vertical lift engine technology as it seeks to field a new fleet of Future Vertical Lift (FVL) platforms and keep legacy helicopters viable for years to come.
The service is leading the Pentagon’s FVL effort, but it’s nearer-term priority is the Improved Turbine Engine Program, meant to keep Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters relevant for decades more by updating legacy General Electric (GE) T700-series engines with ones that are 50% more powerful and 25% more fuel efficient. The Pentagon awarded a combined USD256m to Advanced Turbine Engine Company (ATEC) – a joint venture between Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney – and GE to move ITEP through a preliminary design review phase. Officials have sought to accelerate this effort but moving “at the speed of industry” has been difficult due to “artificial constraints” imposed by inconsistent funding, Richard Kretzschmar, the army’s project manager for ITEP/FVL, said during a 6 December event held by DefenseOne and the Association of the United States Army. Indeed, in fiscal year 2017 (FY 2017) the Pentagon is likely to be funded with a stop-gap measure at last year’s levels until March or April 2017. Kretzschmar said there is enough money to keep contracts moving because ITEP is an existing programme, but the army will have to carefully pace the project so that stop-gap funding does not run out. ITEP’s solutions are expected to play significantly into the FVL programme, but the smaller ITEP engine is to be for Apaches and Black Hawks, which are slated to be replaced later under FVL’s capability sets I and II (FVL Light), out of a total of five planned sets. Capability set III (FVL Medium), which is the nearer-term and larger FVL platform, is expected to need a bigger horsepower engine more similar to the emerging Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) project. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
08 Dec 16. Australia opens new Defence Innovation Hub to support technology development. Australian Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has announced the launch of a new Defence Innovation Hub in Adelaide. The move is in line with the government’s commitment to invest $1.6bn in innovative defence technologies. The hub will invest close to $640m in technology development, ranging from initial research to engineering stages. The Australian Department of Defence has called on the industry to submit proposals to the hub through its innovation portal.
Pyne said: “The hub is all about an agile and transparent approach to innovation investment with the introduction of new business practises, including refreshed contracting frameworks and innovative intellectual property policies. “The innovation portal provides transparent and timely information, such as Defence’s priority innovation needs.” The submitted proposals will be assessed for ongoing management by the hub. Businesses and prime defence contractors will be able to submit ideas, make connections and collaborate in the development of innovative technology, according to the minister. The launch coincides with the opening of Australia’s Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC), which will advise small-to-medium enterprises about proposals they wish to submit to the Defence Innovation Hub. The CDIC will provide expert advice in business improvement, skills development, export and supply chains, supplier continuous improvement, and defence market preparedness. (Source: army-technology.com)
07 Dec 16. Trackwise Improved Harness Technology™ achieves major milestone. Trackwise, a UK-based specialist manufacturer of products using printed circuit technology, is pleased to announce the successful completion of a major milestone in the development of Improved Harnes