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11 Aug 21. Northrop Grumman’s Open Architecture UH-60V Avionics Suite Enters Service. The UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter, enabled by the Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) integrated avionics suite, has entered service with the Pennsylvania National Guard’s unit at Fort Indiantown Gap. This First Unit Equipped milestone marks the entry into service of the Army’s first helicopter with a modular, open architecture systems design, Northrop Grumman’s OpenLift.
The UH-60V has achieved the First Unit Equipped milestone, entering service with the Pennsylvania National Guard. (U.S. Army photo)
“The UH-60V’s entry into service is a capstone achievement that speaks to the whole team’s dedication, commitment and longtime partnership with the Army and the National Guard. We’ve now brought a transformational aircraft to fruition,” said James Conroy, vice president, navigation, targeting & survivability, Northrop Grumman.
The UH-60V enhances aircrew situational understanding and mission safety while reducing pilot workload. The pilot-vehicle interface is nearly identical to that of the UH-60M, enabling common training and operational employment. The system has been certified by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation Missile Center for operation under Visual Flight Rules.
Northrop Grumman’s UH-60V integrated mission equipment package offers our OpenLift open architecture and a modernized glass cockpit. (Northrop Grumman photo)
“The OpenLift modular, open systems architecture gives the Army a highly survivable UH-60 that can be upgraded over time to meet changing mission requirements, and it bridges the enduring and Future Vertical Lift fleets,” said Conroy.
OpenLift, Northrop Grumman’s modular open systems architecture for the UH-60V, can be adapted to numerous aircraft and is approved for export.
09 Aug 21. US Army’s new network software paves way for manned, unmanned teaming. The US Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) is developing a new software application designed to help facilitate teaming unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) with advanced, manned combat platforms, such as the service’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV).
The Network Coverage Overlay (NCO) is a software application developed by army engineers at DEVCOM’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Reconnaissance, and Surveillance (C5ISR) Center.
Designed in conjunction with the US Futures Command’s Next-Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team (NGCV CFT), the service’s Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS), and the Ground Vehicle Systems Center, the NCO is intended to support integration of manned and unmanned teaming capability via robotic enablers in current and future army combat vehicles, according to C5ISR Future Radio Concepts Team Lead Archie Kujawski.
“What we are doing, under the work of our [NCO] architecture, is to support a remote link with the Robotic Combat Vehicle via radio frequency [RF] communications,” starting with the army’s OMFV, Kujawski said. NCO programme officials have begun to refine the critical RF-centric detection and networking technologies associated with NCO through solider engagements via operational experiments, he said.
That soldier feedback will be used to further NCO capability requirements, with the end goal of transitioning the research and development effort into a full-fledged programme of record, Kujawski added.
The work conducted during those operational experiments consisted mostly of modelling and simulation efforts, combined with end-user feedback, to evaluate the NCO’s performance in a combat environment, according to Kujawski. The goal, he added, “was to determine the requirements that are necessary to enable the concept of manned and unmanned teaming”, via the NCO technology. (Source: Jane’s)
10 Aug 21. Why Does Russia Want a Two-Seat Stealth Fighter ? Because it’s Drone Needs Help. It’s pretty obvious why the Russian air force is keen to develop a two-seat version of its single-seat Su-57 stealth fighter. The air force plans to pair the Su-57 with the S-70 Okhotnik drone. But the drone lacks autonomy. That means whoever is aboard the Su-57 might also have to steer the S-70, one input at a time.
If that’s the case, it’d be really helpful to have a second set of hands and eyes in the manned plane.
“The defense ministry and the Sukhoi Design Bureau have plans to develop a two-pilot aircraft,”
Yuri Borisov, Russia’s deputy prime minister, announced in June while discussing the Su-57. Borisov claimed, without explaining why, that a two-seat Su-57 would be attractive on the export market.
But the benefit to the Russian air force is clear. Around the same time as Borisov’s announcement, an industry source told state media the plan was for Russia’s Su-57s each to control between two and four S-70s.
The jet-propelled Okhotnik flew for the first time in August 2019. A subsonic flying-wing with some stealth qualities, the S-70 is in roughly the performance class as the Valkyrie wingman drone the U.S. Air Force is developing as part of its Skyborg initiative.
The idea is for self-guiding S-70s eventually to fly alongside manned Su-57 stealth fighters. But that demands sophisticated artificial intelligence. Where the U.S. Air Force as part of its Skyborg effort is focusing on developing the A.I., the Russians appear to be focusing on the airframe.
Several S-70s are under construction at the Novosibirsk Aviation Plant. Some time next year, they could join the single Okhotnik that’s already undergoing flight testing.
“We hope that by 2022 the work will be completed and we will be able to sign … a large, long-term contract,” Shoigu said.
The Americans meanwhile don’t have firm plans to transition Skyborg to a production program. The A.I. isn’t ready.
The Russians for their part don’t seem to mind pushing ahead without full autonomy. The Kremlin “claims that Okhotnik will have A.I., but offers little detail beyond such statements,” Bendett said.
“Presumably, the [defense ministry] is working on different types of algorithms that would allow S-70 to fly, navigate and possibly engage targets on its own after the human operator would approve flight patterns and target-selection and -recognition,” Bendett added.
But that’s all just conjecture. The American Skyborg already has begun rigorous autonomy trials. But the Russian wingman drone apparently still relies on a human operator who directly controls it.
Autonomy isn’t the S-70’s only problem. The drone with its 46-foot wingspan is a big UAV. And that translates into high cost that in turn limits how fast the Kremlin can acquire the type.
A single S-70 could cost up to $20m, according to Bendett. Compare that the American Valkyrie with its 22-foot wingspan: It costs just $2m. The U.S. Air Force all along has said that wingman drones should be “attritable” — that is, expendable in combat.
Okhotnik does not appear to be economically attritable.
“This is an expensive aircraft and it would take a while for the Russian MOD to scale up its production, and to get to the point where this drone can truly fly on its own in future combat,” Bendett said. (Source: UAS VISION/ Forbes)
10 Aug 21. Lockheed Martin Unveils Intelligent, Flexible Factory at the Skunk Works® in Palmdale, California. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has completed construction of an advanced manufacturing facility at its Palmdale, California, campus and headquarters to the Skunk Works®.
The 215,000 square foot intelligent, flexible factory has digital foundations to incorporate smart manufacturing components, embrace the Internet of Things and deliver cutting edge solutions rapidly and affordably to support the United States and its allies. This is one of four transformational manufacturing facilities Lockheed Martin is opening in the U.S. this year.
This new building incorporates all three of Lockheed Martin’s advanced production priorities: an intelligent factory framework; a technology enabled advanced manufacturing environment; and a flexible factory construct to support customer priorities with speed and agility while bolstering manufacturing capability in the United States.
“For more than 100 years, Lockheed Martin has been proud to call California home,” said Jeff Babione, vice president and general manager, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. “Our partnership with the state has helped us remain competitive and has positioned us for long-term growth. The technology in our new Palmdale facility lets us go beyond manufacturing optimization to the next digital revolution, driving innovation and preserving California’s leadership in the aerospace industry.”
Merging the power of human and machine, manufacturing artisans will work with digital tools to execute operations with maximum efficiency. The incorporation of robotics, artificial intelligence and augmented reality reduces the need for hard tooling, elevating the human experience to drive rapid innovation, a hallmark of the Skunk Works.
In addition to manufacturing, the facility includes office and break spaces to accommodate more than 450 employees. The company has created over 1,500 new jobs for California since 2018.
This project is the cornerstone of over $400m in capital investments being made across Lockheed Martin’s Palmdale campus to address growth in support of its customers’ missions.
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works is responsible for many aerospace firsts, including the United States’ first jet fighter (P-80), the world’s first stealth fighter (F-117) and the world’s first 5th generation fighter (F-22). With a proven way of working based on 14 simple rules, the Skunk Works is known for rapidly solving urgent national needs. With eight Collier trophies and a National Medal of Technology and Innovation awarded from the office of the President of the United States, the Skunk Works continues to define what is next in aerospace.
09 Aug 21. GDMS CSAR System Cleared for F-35 Aircraft Use. General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Quickdraw2 Handheld GPS Interrogator has completed electromagnetic compatibility testing and has been flight certified by the U.S. Navy for use aboard Navy-operated F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
The Quickdraw2 Handheld GPS Interrogator is part of the General Dynamics HOOK Combat Search and Rescue System and is designed to quickly locate and rescue downed pilots and isolated military personnel. The Quickdraw2 can be quickly attached via a single cable to the existing intercom system of the F-35 without modifying the aircraft’s electronics, transforming it instantly into a Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) aircraft. Used by 65 different types of fixed and rotary military aircraft including the A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18 Hornet, the QuickDraw2 transmits a message to the HOOK2 or HOOK3 Combat Survival Radio being used by the survivor on the ground, which then automatically responds with the radio’s GPS location. Once located and identified, the recovery portion of the rescue mission can be executed.
“Time is one of the most critical factors during a Combat Search and Rescue mission, and the Quickdraw2 provides the Navy with the flexibility to quickly turn any F-35 into a CSAR aircraft,” said Ryan Orth, Vice President of RF Systems at General Dynamics Mission Systems. “Unlike interrogators that are built into the aircraft, the Quickdraw2’s plug-and-play capability enables it to be easily moved from aircraft to aircraft as missions change, resulting in significant time and cost savings.”
The Quickdraw2 is the latest version of the QuickDraw family that has been in service for over 20 years. The Quickdraw2 is currently used by over 41 nations including all branches of the U.S. military, NATO and Coalition partners and eight APAC nations.
General Dynamics Mission Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), provides mission-critical solutions to defense, intelligence and cyber-security customers across all domains. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, General Dynamics Mission Systems employs more than 12,000 people worldwide. (Source: ASD Network)
09 Aug 21. BAE Systems showcases new large area display for Eurofighter. BAE Systems has showcased for the first time the new large area display (LAD) cockpit it has developed for the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft. Shown publicly in early August at the Kaivopuisto Airshow 2021, where the Eurofighter was being displayed as part of its HX bid to the Finnish Air Force, the LAD has been developed as part of the multinational consortium’s Long-Term Evolution (LTE) plan that is designed to place the aircraft at the forefront of military capabilities for decades to come. BAE Systems told Janes that it has invested in the LAD as the lead company in the Eurofighter consortium for cockpit and human machine interface (HMI) development activities, with the majority of the development work done at its Warton site in northern England. “However, like all of our work, it is co-ordinated closely with our partners Airbus and Leonardo to ensure that we leverage their development activities and deliver the best product to customer. User nation pilots are closely involved in all cockpit development activities to ensure that the latest operational requirements are fully addressed,” it said.
The LAD will replace the Typhoon’s current three-multifunction display (MFD) cockpit configuration with a single unit, which should massively aid with the sensor fusion required for the new datalinks, as well as for the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar being integrated onto the aircraft. (Source: Jane’s)
09 Aug 21. China, Russia look to deepen military-technical ties. China and Russia are preparing to participate in joint military exercises during 9–13 August, an event that aims to support military-technical co-operation between the two countries.
The ‘Sibu/Interaction 2021′ drills in Ningxia, north-central China – in which 13,000 troops and more than 400 military platforms from both sides will participate – are being held against a backdrop of expanding bilateral military collaboration.
In late July, China and Russia outlined a commitment to strengthen military-technology ties, with such efforts expected to be framed around a new military co-operation accord.
This anticipated agreement – reportedly under discussion – would replace a road map signed in 2017, but which expired in 2020, that was partly focused on supporting Russian exports and related technology collaboration. Contracts supported through this road map included Russian sales – signed in 2014 and 2015 – to deliver to China six batteries of the Almaz-Antei S-400 Triumph air defence system and 24 Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighter aircraft. In 2019 Russia also secured a deal to supply about 100 Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ transport helicopters to China. These three deals supported strong growth in Russian defence deliveries to China between 2015 and 2018. However, the volume of Russian sales to China is now on a downward slope, and without new orders, or new areas of collaboration, Moscow’s exports may decline rapidly over the coming few years. It is this decline that the anticipated military-technical accord will seek to address. (Source: Jane’s)
09 Aug 21. UK to adapt military to changing climate, but does it have the funds and backing of troops? The United Kingdom has legislated for the country to meet the target of the Paris Agreement on climate change, reducing national greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is personally committed to achieving this. The U.K. has an ambitious national plan to make the necessary transformations to energy usage across the private and public sectors. The Ministry of Defence is the largest-single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions within the U.K.’s central government, responsible for half of the total.
With the U.K. hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, in November 2021, the MoD has published its “Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach,” a blueprint for military adaptation to climate change. If there is a country with a more developed strategy to adapt its military to adapt to climate change, we are unaware of it here at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
The strategy recognizes that climate change — especially the increasing number of extreme weather events, rising sea levels and desertification — is already acting as a potential accelerator of insecurity and armed conflict, both within and between states in regions important to U.K. security. IISS is already seeing this in Somalia and the Sahel.
The MoD believes this will not only increase demands for international and domestic humanitarian assistance as well as disaster relief missions, but will also have negative effects on U.K. bases and deployed forces at home and abroad, such as troops, ships and aircraft deployed in the Gulf.
The strategy declares that U.K. forces must become far less dependent on fossil fuels. It outlines an incremental approach in attempting to address and manage the challenges faced. In the near term (the next five years), actions include cataloging emissions and identifying reduction targets, with the focus on the defense estate: barracks, docks, airfields and training areas. The British intend not to purchase carbon offsets for their forces, but to compensate from unavoidable emissions by capturing carbon for themselves.
The goal for 2026-2035 will be to “reduce emissions significantly” using existing and emerging technologies to cut carbon output. In the long term, from 2036-2050, the ministry will look to “novel technologies” to further reduce emissions. This recognizes that many current “green” technologies are not yet mature enough to apply in military equipment, such as fighter jets and heavy armored vehicles.
For example, the Boxer armored vehicle is entering service with a diesel engine and conventional transmission, so a significant reduction in emissions would not be cost-effective before the vehicle’s midlife upgrade. This argues for introducing new technologies as they mature and as existing equipment is upgraded. The MoD intends to adopt a “fast follower” approach, leveraging carbon-reduction technology under development by the civil sector, along with measures specific to the military. For example, the strategy assesses that across land, maritime and air domains, robotic and autonomous systems will, by virtue of having no crew aboard, have lower emissions than their inhabited equivalents.
Military aviation is responsible for about two-thirds of the MoD’s fuel consumption. British military aircraft have been authorized to use up to 50 percent sustainable fuel and are researching how to achieve 100 percent consumption of sustainable fuel. The Royal Air Force aims for its next basic training aircraft to be carbon neutral. The RAF also plans to make much greater use of synthetic environments to reduce training flights. This should reduce consumption of aviation fuel. The service has ambitious plans for medium- and long-term goals regarding carbon emissions, including aiming to have a carbon neutral estate by 2040.
The British Army is erecting solar panels on its bases, planting 2 m more trees on its estate and is experimenting with hybrid electric drives on Jackal wheeled scout vehicles. The Army chief, Gen. Mark Carleton Smith, has publicly stated that unless the Army’s values are seen to embrace climate security, it will have difficulty recruiting young British people, many of whom care greatly about the climate.
The Royal Navy shows similar enthusiasm and claims that its recently launched patrol boats are its most climate-efficient vessels in its fleet.
The British plan depends on funding decisions to be made over the next 15 years. While the recent increase in defense-related research and development funding will help, many of the financial decisions will have to made in the 2026-2035 period. Key factors influencing these decisions will be how the U.K. economy recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.K.’s wider national energy transformation.
There are risks that some military personnel may worry that measures to make equipment “green” could reduce performance, especially against adversaries that choose to retain older equipment. Changing attitudes and culture across the armed forces could be a considerable challenge. However, others argue that there is not necessarily a trade-off between environmental credentials and operational effectiveness, for example arguing that “green means lean” for military logistics.
These are challenges shared by many armed forces globally, especially those whose governments intend to achieve the net-zero emissions target by 2050. There is much that many defense ministries and armed forces could learn from the U.K.’s policy and plans for military climate adaptation. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
09 Aug 21. Fincantieri eyes biofuels to power future warships. Of all the alternative fuels touted as future solutions for cleaner warships, one of Europe’s shipyards is betting on cow manure.
“I see biofuels based on substances like agricultural biomass and food waste as the short-term alternative to fossil fuels for naval vessels,” said Massimo Debenedetti, vice president for research and innovation at Italian shipyard Fincantieri.
Debenedetti’s views are to be taken seriously since he oversees a series of studies that the company hopes will lead to greener naval vessels through cooperation with partner firms and its own experience with cruise ships. The company is also collaborating with the French government and industry, but above all the driving force comes from the Italian Navy — Fincantieri’s biggest military customer.
“The Italian Navy is very conscious of the need to reduce the use of fossil fuels, even if international regulations on cutting emissions only concern civil vessels,” Debenedetti said.
Biofuels are part of an ongoing study led by Fincantieri-owned propulsion firm Isotta Fraschini Motori, which aims to develop a marine engine that can use either traditional fuel, liquid natural gas, ammonia, hydrogen or biofuel.
“Apart from biomass and food waste, biofuels can derive from crops which are not fit for consumption,” Debenedetti said.
But ammonia — another possible alternative to fossil fuels — is the “toughest challenge,” he added. “When burned it produces energy, but storing it is hard and igniting it is hard.”
If biofuel has short-term potential, the longer-term challenge Fincantieri is working on is creating hydrogen-powered fuel cells for surface vessels that are similar to those used on submarines today.
“The technology is mature, but not ready for use on ships at the proper scale. Whereas you might need them to generate 100 kilowatts on a submarine, you will need tens of megawatts on a surface vessel,” Debenedetti said.
A three-year joint study launched last year by Fincantieri, France’s Naval Group and their joint venture Naviris, with funding from the French and Italian defense ministries, is exploring how fuel cells can be put onboard a warship.
“It comes down to making the system anti-shock and making it fit into limited space,” Debenedetti said. “Fuel cells take up more space than traditional propulsion, not least because of the hydrogen storage. And while on a passenger ship I might remove cabins to make room for it, I cannot on a naval vessel.”
Another study, this time with a eye on both the civilian maritime market and the defense sector, aims to progress Zeus, a program to build a 25-meter, 170-ton experimental ship to test fuel cell technology. Now under construction at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia yard near Naples, Zeus involves input from Isotta Fraschini Motori and is funded by Italy’s Economic Development Ministry.
Fincantieri believes its work on technologies for both the civil and military sector will give it an industrial advantage. “People working on both sides can swap information — the learning curve on the civil side benefits our defense work,” Debenedetti explained.
It is the same kind of synergy that saw Fincantieri use its work on passenger comfort onboard cruise ships to improve the lives of sailors on its FREMM warships — a factor that convinced the U.S. to buy the frigate.
Likewise, work to reduce noise and vibration on military vessels was used on cruise ships.
When it comes to lowering environmentally unfriendly emissions, the pressure is felt more in the civil sector, where the European Union is pushing member states to go green.
On July 26, Fincantieri, energy company Snam and cruise ship-operator MSC signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly build a zero-emission, hydrogen-powered cruise ship.
“It could be achievable by the start of the next decade, probably using fuel cells which are more efficient although more expensive and larger than a hydrogen internal combustion engine,” Debenedetti said.
Another alternative to fossil fuels, liquid natural gas is already a mature technology for cargo ships, he said, “but refueling is the issue: In the Mediterranean, the only port with LNG refueling is Barcelona.”
Even if military ships don’t face regulatory pressure to reduce fuel consumption, there is a real need to use power sparingly, as new radars and laser weapons suck up enormous amounts of energy onboard.
That has prompted another study, this time funded by the Italian Defence Ministry, to look into the use of direct current electricity onboard ships, as opposed to the more usual alternating current.
“DC allows you to manage high loads of electricity better over a short time,” Debenedetti said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
09 Aug 21. Japan and Singapore launch alternative energy initiatives. Some Asian countries’ militaries are gearing up for a new energy paradigm amid a perfect storm of security concerns, climate change and the emergence of renewable resource options that are driving operational changes.
The economic powerhouses of East Asia, such as Japan and South Korea, have for a long time understood the vulnerability of their energy supply, and how it is vital to their economies, which primarily consist of oil products sent by sea from the Middle East through a number of maritime chokepoints.
The need for energy security is more pressing for their militaries, given the complex national security tasks that include deterring Chinese aggression, preparing for the unpredictable nature of a nuclear-armed North Korea and overcoming humanitarian disasters. As alternative energy sources become increasingly viable, these countries and their militaries are renewing efforts to pivot to these.
Japan on July 13 released a defense whitepaper that, for the first time, mentioned climate change. The document noted that climate change will directly impact militaries around the world by increasing the demand to deploy forces for rescue operations, as well as threatening the safety of equipment and bases.
The whitepaper warned that shortages of water, food and land caused by the effects of climate change — melting sea ice, a rise in sea level, intense heat waves ― can trigger and escalate conflicts over resources. In addition, more frequent extreme weather events could cause large-scale disasters and a rise in the spread of infectious diseases, the government reported.
It recommended countries around the world brace for an increase in disaster relief and medical support missions, as well as humanitarian and reconstruction assistance activities.
But the Japan Self-Defense Forces are already increasing their use of renewable energy, with an ongoing drive to bolster the use of solar power at bases and facilities.
The government eventually wants the forces to be 100 percent powered by renewable energy at its domestic facilities. The aim comes amid a nationwide effort to increase the use of renewable energy among industry, with the goal for renewable energy to account for 22-24 percent of national energy consumption by 2030.
On the smaller Southeast Asian island of Singapore, the nation is turning its military into a more energy-efficient force. Strategically located at the southern end of the trait of Malacca, where a vital chokepoint meets the South China Sea, Singapore’s port is highly dependent on the maritime trade that passes through it.
On this highly urbanized island of less than 6 m inhabitants, the refining and exporting of petrochemicals is the leader of economic activity. And Singapore’s carbon footprint is big for its size: It’s estimated the country contributes 0.11 percent of global emissions, despite making up 0.0005 percent of the world’s land, according to a report from The Straits Times, citing testimony to Parliament. In actual terms, this translated to Singapore producing 52.5m tons of carbon emissions in 2017 alone, a senior minister told lawmakers.
The country is also dependent on fossil fuels to generate power, with 95 percent of its power needs met by natural gas. However, it is seeking to diversify its power sources for energy security by increasing the use of solar energy and other low-carbon sources. The government has also pledged to reduce its absolute carbon emission levels after 2030 and halve that by 2050.
The Singaporean military is part of this effort and has undertaken a number of measures to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and decrease carbon emissions. These range from gradually replacing the Defence Ministry’s 400 administrative vehicles with hybrid — and eventually electric — models.
For its part, the Republic of Singapore Air Force recently built a “net-positive energy” hangar at Changi East Air Base for its Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft, meaning the structure can generate more energy than it consumes.
The Defence Ministry said that solar panels on the roof of the hangar can generate up to 1.225 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, or 30 percent more electricity than it consumes. The additional energy generated will then be distributed to other buildings on the air base.
Other features of the hangar include the use of sustainable materials in its construction, a rainwater-harvesting system, the use of natural ventilation and energy-efficient LED lighting.
The new hangar improves on a similar hangar for the Air Force’s Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. Unveiled in 2017, the structure features the use of mirrors to direct sunlight into the hanger to maximize the use of natural light. It also uses steel louvers and wind-powered turbines to improve natural air circulation.
Singapore’s Army has also commissioned net-zero energy buildings at a number of its camps, and the service is installing solar panels at others. The Republic of Singapore Navy is also looking into the use of hybrid propulsion for future ships, which would see improved energy efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
06 Aug 21. BAE Unveils Innovative Virtual Testbed to Support Multi-domain Operations. BAE Systems’ open architecture testbed platform provides rapid and safe experimentation of breakthrough technologies needed for enhanced joint multi-domain operations.
BAE Systems, Inc. today unveiled its virtual System of Systems (SoS) Testbed, a platform that models, simulates, and evaluates both fielded and new technologies as well as advanced data management processes before they are deployed into multi-domain operational environments.
The testbed is an open architecture system integration and engineering tool that links formal architecture specifications, digital architecture modeling, high-fidelity modeling and simulation, and advanced command and control (C2) enabling technologies. This linkage identifies and recommends optimal solutions to decision makers based on cost, capabilities, and resources.
“We are proud to deliver this innovative systems integration capability to meet our customers’ multi-domain operational needs,” said Al Whitmore, president of BAE Systems Intelligence & Security. “Our systems engineering and modernization capabilities will accelerate the delivery of information and support national security missions.”
“As a large-scale systems integration company, BAE Systems offers capabilities that enable Joint Force decision makers to better understand where to deploy resources to ensure scalable, timely, and effective C2 against imminent threats,” said Ravi Ravichandran, BAE Systems Intelligence & Security vice president and chief technology officer. “Our SoS Testbed platform provides system engineering linkages that just don’t exist today. It quickly identifies critical value points within a customer’s architecture that could be improved with emerging capabilities.”
Through a comprehensive model-based systems engineering analysis of digital engineering artifacts, kill chain performance, and data management systems, BAE Systems’ testbed capabilities identify technical and system limitations. It recommends areas where emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, etc.) could enhance time-sensitive operational timelines and joint targeting missions. The testbed accomplishes this through extreme traceability, direct mapping, and virtual modeling.
For more than 30 years, BAE Systems has supported the U.S. government with enterprise IT, engineering, and system integration services, advancing technologies and keeping in step with its evolving mission requirements. Its systems engineering and modernization offerings include the introduction of next-generation commercial products and the implementation of automation, and Agile and DevSecOps solutions. (Source: ASD Network)
09 Aug 21. NASA unveils first glimpse of supersonic jet. The time-lapse video shows the X-59’s wing, tail and fuselage being merged together from March 2019 to June 2021, and was likely shot at Lockheed’s Skunk Works in California. NASA reiterated that its first flight is still planned for 2022. The aircraft is unique because it has no cockpit or front-facing window and differs from conventional planes due to its dart-like shape that stops the various shockwaves formed on the surface from joining together – thereby eliminating the sonic boom.
NASA awarded Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works in Palmdale a US$247.5m contract to design, build and fly a 30-metre demonstrator prototype – X-59 QueSST – and it’s hoped the larger aircraft will fly over several US cities in 2022 to validate the results.
In its last major update, NASA said the Mach 1.4 aircraft “made great strides” in 2020 and work progressed on the flight deck, hardware and wings, which completed this past November.
“The fact this is the first time we’ve reached a milestone like this … It reminds us the X-59 really is coming together,” said Steve Macpherson, who is leading the Lockheed Martin team building the X-59.
The news comes weeks after Boeing-backed start-up Aerion announced it was ceasing operations on its own supersonic jet.
The business’ AS2 business jet was vying to be the first supersonic aircraft to enter commercial service in 51 years, as well as the world’s first supersonic business aircraft, promising to cut travel times down by around 50 per cent.
The company previously announced that it would need to raise about US$4bn in order to get its AS2 jet to production, with a further US$1bn alone to be spent on engine development.
The company was gearing up to begin wide-scale production of its AS2 supersonic business jet in 2023, and had plans to construct a US$375m production factory in Melbourne, Florida, near Orlando Melbourne International Airport.
Founded by bnaire businessman Robert Bass in 2004, Aerion was able to attract big name investors and partners, including Lockheed Martin and, more recently, an undisclosed but “significant” investment from US planemaker Boeing.
Aerion also secured a contract with General Electric for the supply of the supersonic jet’s engine.
Further, Aerion racked up over $11bn in orders for its $120m AS2 supersonic business jet, including high-profile orders made by aircraft fractional ownership companies Flexjet and Netjets for 20 aircraft each.
And yet, the company has confirmed that it was unable to secure enough capital to bring the AS2 jet to life.
Despite its high-profile industry backers, Aerion was trailing behind the development of other key players in the race for the return of supersonic passenger flight.
Notably, Aerion rival Boom Supersonic, a Denver-based firm that has already produced and built its XB-1 – affectionately named the “baby boom” – which is a one-third scale demonstrator model of the company’s full-size supersonic airliner, Boom Overture.
XB-1 has a 26-metre-long fuselage, a carbon-composite airframe and three GE-designed J85-15 engines.
It also has a wingspan of 5.2 metres and an “ergonomically designed” cockpit that places the comfort of the pilots at the forefront.
While the XB-1 will only have a range of around 1,000 nautical miles, it is intended to only be used as a testbed for Boom’s supersonic technologies that will eventually be upscaled for use in the Overture.
Overture will eventually be able to fly between 65 and 88 passengers across the Atlantic in about three-and-a-half hours.
Boom has recently announced that XB-1 could take its first test flight as soon as the end of this year and is gearing up to launch its new jets within the next three years. (Source: Space Connect)
09 Aug 21. Quantum Innovation Hub to be Tech Central’s first collaboration space. The NSW Government has called for expressions of interest in becoming founding members of the new Quantum Terminal, Tech Central’s first collaboration space, which is taking shape within the historic walls of Central Station’s Sydney Terminal Building.
The NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said a residency in The Quantum Terminal was a chance for startups to be part of history and help grow the innovation ecosystem in Tech Central.
“This is an exciting component of our long-term goal for Tech Central, to create 25,000 innovation jobs and encourage 25,000 new students to focus on science, technology, engineering and maths and life sciences studies,” Mr Ayres said.
“The Quantum Terminal will be home to a community of researchers, educators, developers, programmers and engineers who will help lead the development and innovation of quantum excellence.”
Minister Ayres said as a whole Tech Central will in time provide 50,000 square metres of affordable space for start-up and scale-up businesses.
The Terminal has been designed to help future-focused startups scale their businesses and thrive, amongst a curated community of experts in their field and access to shared and private workspaces and large event spaces.
The Quantum Terminal is part of the 24 hectare renewal of Central Precinct, located in the northern end of Tech Central. Transport for NSW is leading plans to renew this iconic location.
“With its proximity to educational institutes as well as major hospitals, the Central Precinct will allow unmatched connectivity to leading businesses and research institutions, further driving the success of Tech Central,” says NSW Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance.
Expressions of interest for founding members of The Quantum Terminal will be open to organisations within The Quantum Technology, High Performance Computing, MedTech, Artificial Intelligence and adjacent technology verticals along with other key innovation enablers.
Quantum technologies promise huge transformation with potential to solve problems beyond the scope of conventional supercomputers. Sydney is already home to one of the largest concentrations of quantum experts in the world.
Peter Turner, CEO of Sydney Quantum Academy, a partnership of four of Sydney’s leading universities and the NSW Government, said the new space will enhance Sydney’s appeal as a place to develop cutting-edge quantum science and technology.
“The Sydney quantum community has a track record in delivering world-firsts. This initiative provides the space needed to nurture this culture of innovation. It will allow the Sydney Quantum Academy to bring the community of entrepreneurs, academics, businesses and students together to share ideas, seed growth and develop the talent required to meet industry’s rapidly expanding needs.”
For more information on the latest expressions of interest go to: The Quantum Terminal (jll.com.au) (Source: Rumour Control)
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.