21 Dec 20. Britain’s Capita nabs $1.3bn deal for Royal Navy personnel training. An industry consortium led by Capita is taking over Royal Navy personnel training in a deal awarded earlier this month by the Ministry of Defence. The British company announced via Linked-In that a consortium it is leading alongside Raytheon UK, Elbit Systems UK and Fujitsu has secured a wide-ranging navy training deal in a 12 year agreement worth up to £2bn, or $2.7bn.
Capita said its share of the deal would be worth in excess of £1bn (U.S. $1.3bn) over the course of the program, known as Project Selborne.
The announcement attracted some criticism as Capita has come under fire in recent years due to its poor performance running the British Army’s recruitment service.
Recruitment figures have significantly improved recently, though, and Capita recently announced it has been awarded a two-year contract extension with the MoD.
The Capita-led consortium, called Fisher Taining, was one of three contenders selected by the Ministry of Defence for the final stages of the Selborne competition.
Babcock, which already conducts some Royal Navy training, and Lockheed Martin UK were the rival bidders.
A Lockheed Martin UK spokesman said, though, that the company withdrew from the bidding in March citing “commercial parameters and the level of information available at the time,” as the reason for exiting the bidding.
The deal, which is expected to be signed in the next couple of weeks, is aimed at modernizing and rationalizing shore-based training currently conducted across 16 different sites in the UK.
The contract includes training Royal Marine personnel as well as the Royal Navy.
The new scheme will bring together contractor-provided legacy contracts and in-house service provision into a single arrangement delivering all levels of naval personnel training.
In a statement Capita said the modernization effort would be transformational, combining sophisticated technologies, processes and training management systems to fulfill the contract.
The company said its work would include a review and modernization of all training courses and the running of live, on-the-ground training and deployment of new methods, including digital learning and training simulation technology.
Project Selborne wasn’t the only UK training contract announced late last week.
Qinetiq also reported it had struck a deal with the U.S. Air Force in Europe to use MoD facilities the company manages for F-15E and F-35 training.
The five-year contract is worth up to $27m to the British company.
The contract will be utilized by the 48th Fighter Wing from RAF Lakenheath, 31st Fighter Wing from Aviano Air Base in Italy and the 52nd Fighter Wing from Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.
In a statement Qinetiq said the program will “open the door for new weapons to be released in the UK for the first time. It will include air-to-ground weapon launches and air–to-air engagements following various training doctrines against a variety of challenging and realistic surface and airborne targets.” (Source: Defense News)
18 Dec 20. Raytheon UK been selected to deliver on a large transformative training contract for the Royal Navy alongside Capita. As part of the winning team selected by the Ministry of Defence, Raytheon UK is now set to revolutionise the way training is delivered across the Royal Navy, playing a key role in Government efforts to modernise the UK’s armed forces. Following the announcement, Jeff Lewis, CEO and Managing Director of Raytheon UK said: “We are absolutely thrilled to hear we are part of the winning bid team, as a strategic partner that will deliver the Royal Navy’s training for the next 12 years. We are looking forward to working with the Royal Navy to transform their training and learning solutions. Our decades of experience in training and focus on technology-enabled transformation will place the team at the forefront of revolutionising the way training is delivered across the Armed Forces. We are committed to investing in the UK and helping to keep the country secure and our Armed Forces equipped with the best affordable sovereign solutions, creating highly skilled jobs at the heart of our work.”
16 Dec 20. Successful AttritableONE (Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie) Return to Flight Test Enables Formation Flight with F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning Fifth-Generation Fighters.
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider and industry-leading provider of high-performance, jet-powered unmanned aerial systems, announced today that the Kratos Valkyrie UAS AttritableONE flight test enabling the F-22 and F-35 5th generation fighters to fly in formation together was successfully completed last week at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The test was led by an integrated Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) acquisition team comprised of Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Life Cycle Management Center personnel working in conjunction with Eglin Air Force Base’s 46th Test Squadron.
During the test event, the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning fighters, formed up off the wings of the smaller Valkyrie as it continued to fly autonomously. This is a major milestone in the service’s efforts to provide low cost force multipliers in relevant operational environments.
“The experiments [last week] represent what can be accomplished with the collaboration of industry, the Test Center, the acquisition community and AFRL,” said Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, AFRL commander. “This was just a first step at demonstrating the potential of the force multiplier effects of attritable aircraft in a manned/unmanned environment.”
“As the ABMS AttritableONE Product Lead and XQ-58 Valkyrie AFRL Program Manager, I’m proud of the partnership with AFLCMC, the Air Force Test Center, and our Air Force Acquisition and industry partners and the team’s ability to go from concept to demonstration in six months,” said, AFRL XQ-58A Program Manager, Michael Wipperman. “This was the fifth successful launch and flight of the Valkyrie, but the first time the platform has flown in formation with an F-22 and F-35.”
Wipperman added, “The XQ-58A modularity and ability to carry robust payloads enabled the rapid capability integration into an attritable experimentation vehicle. We’re thrilled with the seamless integration and demonstration of this flight. We look forward to continued capability enhancement at future demonstrations.”
Developed by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions and AFRL as part of the latter’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology portfolio, the XQ-58A is designed to be a runway-independent, re-usable unmanned air vehicle capable of a broad range of operational missions. The XQ-58A was developed through low cost procurement and is designed to be significantly less expensive to operate than traditional piloted or unpiloted vehicles, while capable of achieving the same critical missions. Taking only two and a half years from contract award to first flight, it is the first example of a class of unmanned air vehicles developed through this time-saving process, which seeks to break the escalating cost trajectory of tactically relevant aircraft.
Steve Fendley, President of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said, “Kratos is extremely proud of the roles our XQ-58A Valkyrie and personnel are playing in enabling and demonstrating this key ABMS capability while aimed at maximizing the effectiveness of the exquisite 5th generation fighter systems. We are committed to development and realization of affordable defense technologies making today particularly exciting for us with this substantial achievement.” (Source: ASD Network)
17 Dec 20. SSL starts fitting outer skins to METS® for Royal Navy HUETS destined for RNAS YEOVILTON. Work is now well underway on the 2 HUETS (Helicopter Underwater Escape Training Simulators) ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence for the RNCMSUET (Royal Navy Centre of Maritime SERE and Underwater Escape Training) under a £1.5m contract placed with Survival Systems Limited (SSL) of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. The contract placed in June 2020 is scheduled for delivery in early 2021.
SSL will be providing 2 of their proprietary METS ® (Modular Egress Training Simulator) to satisfy the contract. A larger METS® Model 40 will be used to simulate MERLIN and similar sized aircraft and a METS® Model 5 will represent the smaller WILDCAT and similar aircraft. The modular METS® is constructed to a base design and additional replacement panels are provided to represent specific windows, doors, and hatches for specific aircraft configurations. A similar concept is applied to customise internal layouts for specific mission configurations.
Swapping between configurations only takes minutes enabling the highest tempo of training to be maintained amongst a training population involved in different missions and roles e.g. troop transport and anti-submarine roles. The internal configurations allow accurate representation of hazards and escape paths particular to the role.
Progress so far has included construction of the basic frame of the METS®, the rotating ring which allows the METS® to safely invert and be recovered, and other basic structural components. The METS® standard frame is then customised by fitting an outer skin and internal components to allow representation of the platform be it helicopter, small maritime craft, amphibious vehicle, or light aircraft. The size of the operational platform dictates the size of the basic frame constructed. SSL’s METS® starts to adopt the appearance of the operational platform when the outer skin is attached, which is the work now under way.
Commenting on progress so far Paul Douglas, President and Chief Executive Officer of SSL, commented “Work is progressing well on the build for this prestigious customer and joins that for other prestigious Commonwealth Naval customers currently in our production facility. Our relationship with the end customer and the Merlin Delivery Team who are handling the contract for MoD is good and together we are resolving a series of minor issues associated with the Covid-19 situation and service specific customisation. It reflects well on everyone in SSL, our supply network, MoD, and the Royal Navy involved in the project that the design and implementation has been accomplished so smoothly so far. In these very different times there will inevitably be issues that arise but they will be resolved between us by the open nature of the dialogue we all enjoy”.
16 Dec 20. Training, testing and evaluation for the UK: QinetiQ LTPA. QinetiQ is providing a suite of training, testing and evaluation services to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) across 16 UK sites under the 25-year Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA). QinetiQ LTPA director Cathy O’Carroll spoke to Army Technology about the importance of the programme.
Encompassing submarine escapes and Exercise Joint Warrior to testing handguns, the LTPA is a crucial part of the broader MOD test and evaluation (T&E) infrastructure across all domains of defence. Last year, QinetiQ signed a £1.3bn contract amendment with the MOD, under which a further £190m is being invested in modernising infrastructure across the 16 sites.
Discussing the importance of the test and evaluation offering, O’Carroll told Army Technology: “Test and evaluation is a critical enabler to being able to assess military capability. I think increasingly so as people want to understand what is the potential of new technologies and they [the Armed Forces] are very much able to experiment with technologies coming through now that are much more often in the commercial sector.”
“How do you assure that capability and commitment to service knowing that it’s going to perform as it should to do and it’s safe, and then also how do you turn that into the ability to be able to train with it.”
Investments funded under the amendment include noise and electromagnetic signature measurement capabilities to improve ships, submarines and aircrafts stealth potential, systems for the evaluation of electronic warfare and communications tools and a digital test backbone designed to streamline the assessment of data and allow simultaneous testing across multiple sites.
The sites managed under the LTPA include MOD Hebrides, Loch Fyne, BUTEC, Loch Goil, Rosneath, Barons Point, West Freugh, Eskmeals, Aberporth, Pendine, Shoeburyness, Boscombe Down, Pendine, Eastern Kings and Portland Bill.
Earlier this year, the QinetiQ LTPA team supported crew clearance trials of the British Army’s new AJAX vehicle at MOD Pendine, where British Army personnel operated the vehicles CT40mm cannon and 7.62mm chain gun aboard the armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) for the first time.
The QinetiQ team at Pendine provided targets, high-speed and standard video, a muzzle velocity radar and meteorological data to assess the firings for these trials.
Describing the scale of the LTPA offering, O’Caroll said: “We can test everything from subsystems right through to complex systems of systems. If you think about a piece of military equipment being developed, we can do everything in a missile system from the seeker to the warhead and the testing of those right through to the missile cell system itself, and then through to how that missile system integrates onto a platform whether that be a ship or an aircraft.”
O’Carroll added that in recent experience test and evaluation had skewed towards the top end of the capability, with more and more subsystem testing being delivered digitally at the modelling and simulation level. Overall, across the various sites, LTPA has a staff of over 1,000 experts in different fields offering the military over 170 test and evaluation capabilities.
Another critical delivery assisted by LTPA was 2019’s Exercise Formidable Shield, which saw eight NATO members come together at the MOD Hebrides Range which is operated by QinetiQ. Here the NATO members tested integrated air and missile defence capabilities through a series of live-fires and demonstrations.
O’Carroll explained that the ability to deliver test and evaluation not only for the UK but also for its NATO partners was another strength of the LTPA and one that increased its value. With allied militaries assuring their technology on British ranges, it adds another layer of cooperation between militaries but also helps the UK to understand what capabilities its partners can bring to bear.
O’Carroll highlighted how for the US Navy, the capabilities offered by LTPA’s testing and evaluation regime had become a good tool to assure its systems while en route to operations or as an add-on to exercise in and around UK waters.
For Formidable Shield, the LTPA team managed command and control, safety and logistics, acting as a central column to pull the exercise together. QinetiQ worked closely with the trans-Atlantic Air Traffic Control authorities to establish an air exclusion zone of over 1,000,000km2 around the event to enable the safe firing of missiles.
In other domains, QinetiQ’s LTPA team hosted a UK first mid-air satellite retrieval. This opportunity came about from an existing QinetiQ business relationship that turned into a demonstration viewed by Lockheed Martin, NASA and the European Space Agency at the MOD West Freugh Range. (Source: army-technology.com)
14 Dec 20. Boeing Awarded U.S. Navy Contract for New Zealand P-8 Training. Simulator and classroom training will prepare Royal New Zealand Air Force aircrew to safely and effectively operate and maintain P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
The U.S. Navy recently awarded Boeing [NYSA: BA] a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract, valued at $109m, to provide P-8A Poseidon training for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). A suite of training systems and courseware will prepare RNZAF aircrew and maintainers to safely and effectively operate and maintain the world’s premier maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft for decades to come.
Boeing’s holistic P-8 training system will enable the RNZAF to conduct up to 70 percent of all Poseidon-related training in a simulated environment. As part of the contract, Boeing will provide:
- Operational Flight Trainer (OFT) – Full-motion simulator incorporates all P-8 unique displays and switches.
- Weapons Tactics Trainer – Simulates mission systems and tactical operations, and when coupled with the OFT, forms a Weapons Systems Trainer that enables multi-crew, high-fidelity mission rehearsal training in the same simulated environment.
- Virtual Maintenance Trainer – Enables training of maintenance professionals to properly perform maintenance tasks and procedures on the P-8A aircraft.
- Scenario Generation Station – Creates custom scenarios for mission training.
- Brief/Debrief Station – Provides post-mission analysis and playback.
In addition, Boeing’s Electronic Classroom will give RNZAF instructors and students access to courseware and testing capabilities. Boeing also will provide initial Instructor Cadre Training to a group of RNZAF instructors, enabling them to continue training additional RNZAF P-8A instructors and aircrews following delivery of the training system in early 2024.
“This holistic training system will enable aircrew to safely train for all aspects of flying and maintaining the P-8A Poseidon,” said Tonya Noble, director of International Defense Training for Boeing. “We look forward to bringing these training capabilities in-country and working alongside the RNZAF to ensure readiness of aircrew and maintenance personnel.”
All training will be conducted in Ohakea, New Zealand. In March 2020, the RNZAF acquired four P-8A Poseidon aircraft through the U.S. Navy FMS process, with expected delivery beginning in 2023. New Zealand is one of seven nations operating the P-8.
14 Dec 20. KBR Wins Industry Innovation Award for UK Military Training Solution. A ground-breaking mixed reality training solution, developed by KBR in collaboration with Microsoft, has won a prestigious UK industry award for innovation.
For 12 months, KBR’s Government Solutions EMEA Advisory team has been working to create the world’s first mixed reality solution for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) medical training for the Defence Medical Services section of the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), with help from Microsoft.
The project won the ‘Visionary Award for Protecting Society and Saving Lives’ at the 16th Institute of Engineering and Technology Innovation Awards, which recognize the people, projects, and organizations transforming our world for the better through engineering and technology.
The project utilizes Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 device, the most advanced mixed reality wearable device on the market, to create an innovative and experiential learning experience, while improving the retention of knowledge and skills. The collaborative team created a unique instructor led solution that gives medical practitioners an immersive and highly realistic training scenario where they can accurately replicate the decontamination, diagnosis, triage and stabilization of a patient exposed to a chemical agent.
“This project epitomises KBR’s vision to design and deliver the future, enhancing our capability in the human performance and training transformation market,” said Andrew Barrie, President, Government Solutions – EMEA.
“We pride ourselves on our government and cross industry experience – with a commitment to developing innovative and sustainable solutions that adapt as our clients’ needs change.”
KBR was awarded the contract by the UK MOD to design and run a pilot in April 2019 to prove the technology. Following approval and funding in September 2019, full development of a complete augmented reality training simulation tool using agile software development was completed.
09 Dec 20. Simlat develops simulator for safety agencies to visualise and manage rogue drone incidents. Israel’s Simlat, a manufacturer of aviation simulators, has developed the Polaris specialist simulator to help drone operators and regulatory bodies simulate drone flights in congested areas and develop new safety and security procedures. Polaris simulates UAS traffic at scale, simulating the behavior of “rogue” or malfunctioning UAS and the clutter made by thousands of automated flights
The UAS flight simulation is based on the company’s Full Crew Stand Alone Training System (C-STAR), which helps build the skill sets required for modern UAS operations. According to the company, it supports basic to advanced training from routine operations – such as takeoff and landing – through to advanced piloting skills, like safe recovery following an emergency and mission-training for first responders, wind farm inspectors and more.
The company says that Polaris can be integrated into airspace management systems and can create critical situations – like a drone flying over a busy international airport. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
About InVeris Training Solutions
InVeris Training Solutions combines an agile approach with an unmatched expertise in training technology to design and deliver customized, cutting-edge, first-rate training solutions that keep military, law enforcement, private and commercial range clients safe, prepared and ready to serve – Because Seconds Matter™. With a portfolio of technology-enabled training solutions, and a team of more than 400 employees driven to innovate, InVeris Training Solutions is the global leader in integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training solutions. With its legacy companies, FATS® and Caswell, InVeris Training Solutions has fielded over 15,000 live-fire ranges and 5,100 virtual systems globally during its 90-year history. The Company is headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia and partners with clients in the US and around the world from facilities on five continents.