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April 6, 2021 | International, Land

Army inks $49.9M deal to buy 2,800 MK22 MRAD rifles from Barrett Firearms

The Army announced this week that it has awarded a $49.9 million, five-year contract to Barrett Firearms to acquire about 2,800 MK22 Multi-role Adaptive Design (MRAD) rifles.

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  • Defense industry shutdowns trend upward, but Lord is monitoring cash flow

    May 1, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Defense industry shutdowns trend upward, but Lord is monitoring cash flow

    By: Aaron Mehta  WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s top acquisition official sees positive signs for the defense-industrial base, but remains concerned that enough cash may not be flowing to the smallest, most vulnerable companies in order to keep them open in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Out of 10,509 defense-related companies tracked by the Defense Contract Management Agency, 93 are currently closed — a number that has improved by 13 since April 20, according to Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. Notably, the number of companies that have closed and reopened jumped by 73 since April 20 — “the first time we have seen reopening numbers larger than the number of closures” since the crisis began, Lord told reporters Thursday. Of the 11,413 companies tracked by the Defense Logistics Agency, 437 are closed, with 237 having closed and reopened. That’s an improvement of almost 100 companies from the April 20 numbers. Lord credited a mix of factors for the improved numbers, including some states appearing to have reached their estimated peak in coronavirus cases and thus opening themselves up again; “really good proactive actions” by companies to create a hygienic space for work; and shared experiences from other companies who have found ways to keep working despite the pandemic However, Lord still expects the pandemic to impact major defense programs. On April 20, she warned that top programs could face an approximate three-month impact. She reiterated that timetable Thursday but stressed she is largely looking at a “slowdown” rather than a “delay” in major programs. “What we are seeing as a result of illness or inability to travel: We see efficiency issues. So we are not physically able to get contractors sometimes overseas to conduct inspections,” Lord explained. “So we have somewhat of a slowdown in our ability to accomplish tasks. We are finding workarounds for that, versus just saying we’re delaying doing something. We do not look at delaying things; we are looking at working through the issues, which sometimes cannot be executed with the same efficiency we previously had.” “We think we’re learning how to work in this new environment and get back up to rate, if you will, in areas where we didn’t, but right now that is our best estimate and we are working, obviously, to minimize impacts,” she added. The Pentagon has pushed out $3 billion in increased cash flow under its coronavirus-related progress payment plan, which increased upfront payment to contractors from 80 percent of cost to 90 percent for large businesses, and from 90 percent to 95 percent for small businesses. The goal for department officials: getting cash into the hands of prime contractors, who can then quickly provide funds to their subcontractors and other small businesses, who Lord has consistently identified as the most vulnerable parts of the defense-industrial base. In both her April 20 press appearance and Thursday’s event, Lord praised Lockheed Martin for publicly committing to give early payments to subcontractors in order to keep them open. On March 27, the company announced it would push $50 million down toward small companies most at risk; that has since increased to $450 million. But, Lord acknowledged, other companies have not been as open with where those Pentagon relief funds are going. That’s something she’d like to see change. “I believe that the major primes are flowing down, they’ve committed. But I always like to trust, yet verify,” Lord said. “So I encourage all of those companies to be as transparent and forthcoming as they can be because we have a responsibility to the taxpayer, as well as the mid-tiers and the small companies, to make sure actions we take at the prime level do go down all the way through the chain.” When asked if she believes the primes are being transparent with her office about where their cash is going, Lord said, “I believe they are,” but added: “I need to rely on CEOs of major primes to come forth with that data.”

  • Florence Parly lance le programme du futur porte-avions français, successeur du Charles-de-Gaulle

    October 25, 2018 | International, Naval

    Florence Parly lance le programme du futur porte-avions français, successeur du Charles-de-Gaulle

    "Je suis fière de lancer officiellement le programme de renouvellement de notre porte-avions", a déclaré mardi Florence Parly au Bourget, lors du salon Euronaval. La ministre des Armées Florence Parly a annoncé mardi le lancement du programme du futur porte-avions de la France, qui succédera au Charles-de-Gaulle, avec une phase d'études de 18 mois, lors du salon du secteur naval de défense Euronaval. Première étape : la phase d'étude. "Le Charles de Gaulle aura besoin d'un successeur (...) C'est pourquoi je suis fière, aujourd'hui, ici, au Bourget, lors de ce salon Euronaval, de lancer officiellement le programme de renouvellement de notre porte-avions", a déclaré Florence Parly. Le montant du projet sera de 40 millions d'euros, a précisé une source gouvernementale. "Cette étape numéro un, qui se lance aujourd'hui, c'est la phase d'étude", a-t-elle précisé. Il s'agit de déterminer "ce que nous voulons et comment nous le voulons pour notre futur porte-avions". La fin du Charles-de-Gaulle prévue autour de 2040. La France dispose d'un unique porte-avions, le Charles-de-Gaulle, qui a vocation à terminer sa vie active autour de 2040. Il subit depuis début 2017 à Toulon une vaste rénovation longue de 18 mois, qui doit lui donner une seconde vie pour les 20 prochaines années. Le Charles-de-Gaulle reprendra ensuite la mer et doit se rendre dans l'océan Indien en 2019. Établir l'architecture du futur porte-avions. La phase d'étude, qui s'achèvera en 2020, doit permettre ensuite d'établir l'architecture du futur porte-avions et de poser les bases de l'organisation industrielle nécessaire pour le bâtir dans les délais et les coûts, a souligné Florence Parly. Cette phase servira à examiner les menaces que le futur porte-avion devra affronter et les missions qu'il devra accomplir, mais aussi son dimensionnement et notamment sa capacité d'accueillir l'avion de combat du futur, le Scaf, lancé en coopération avec l'Allemagne en 2017.  La période d'étude permettra aussi d'étudier le mode de propulsion, nucléaire ou classique, de ce porte-avion de nouvelle génération, et les nouvelles technologies qu'il sera capable d'accueillir, notamment les catapultes électromagnétiques, déjà utilisés par la marine américaine.

  • More Missile Defense Ships, New Ground Deployments

    January 30, 2019 | International, Naval

    More Missile Defense Ships, New Ground Deployments

    By PAUL MCLEARY WASHINGTON: A top Pentagon official on Tuesday said major upgrades being made to dozens of Navy destroyers to give them new missile defense capabilities will continue, even as Navy leadership bristles at having so many ships tied up hunting for missile launches. The comments by James Anderson, assistant Defense secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities, came on the same day that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified before Congress that US intelligence agencies assess North Korea is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in any potential deal with Washington. “The Navy does have this mission of ballistic missile defense,” Anderson said during a talk at the Brookings Institution. “It is one of their core missions and it will remain so.” The Navy currently has 38 Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers in the fleet with missile defense capabilities, he noted, and has plans to convert “all Aegis destroyers to fully missile defense capable” status, meaning 60 ships will be able to perform the missile defense mission by 2023. Just the day before Anderson’s remarks, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson complained again that he has ships sailing in “small boxes” protecting assets on land, when they should be out performing other missions. “We’ve got exquisite capability, but we’ve had ships protecting some pretty static assets on land for a decade,” Richardson said. “If that [stationary] asset is going to be a long-term protected asset, then let’s build something on land and protect that and liberate these ships from this mission.” Full article:

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