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October 22, 2021 | International, Aerospace

BAE Tempest : la possible participation japonaise

Le Japon pourrait devenir partenaire au sein du team Tempest, lequel devrait voir une évolution sous forme de contrats avec les principaux partenaires à savoir la Suède et l'Italie d'ici la fin de cette année. BAE Systems avait déjà proposé ses compétences dans le cadre de l'étude du F-X japonais, le successeur du F-2.

On the same subject

  • US Navy awards Bell contract for AH-1Z helicopters

    January 24, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    US Navy awards Bell contract for AH-1Z helicopters

    Pat Host, Washington, DC - Jane's Defence Weekly The US Navy (USN) awarded Bell a USD440 million contract modification to produce and deliver 25 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters on 18 January, according to a Pentagon statement. The contract modification, known as Lot 16, is part of the US Marine Corps' (USMC's) programme to acquire 189 AH-1Zs. The contract also includes the purchase of 25 store control units, which, according to Bell spokesman Michael Reilly, is the interface between the pilot and the weapon system that is used to manage the employment of the weapons loaded on the aircraft. Work is expected to be complete by January 2022. Reilly said it takes roughly 30-31 months to manufacture an AH-1Z aircraft. USN spokesman Greg Kuntz said on 23 January that Lot 16 is the final lot buy of AH-1Z for the service. The marinised AH-1Z features virtually identical front and rear 'glass' cockpits, fully-integrated weapons, avionics, and communications system. It also features a fully-integrated air-to-air missile capability.

  • Army preps for competition limited to Bell and Sikorsky for long-range assault helicopter

    December 11, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Land

    Army preps for competition limited to Bell and Sikorsky for long-range assault helicopter

    By: Jen Judson  WASHINGTON — The Army is taking its final steps before starting a competition to acquire a Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, and has done so by issuing an intent to solicit bids using means “other than full and open competition,” according to a Dec. 9 post on on the government contracts website Beta.Sam.Gov. This step means that unless a surprise vendor can meet all of the Army’s technical and production requirements for FLRAA in the next two weeks, the future aircraft will be supplied by either Bell or Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky. Bell and a Sikorsky-Boeing team have been pitted against one another for years to build and fly technology demonstrators to inform requirements ahead of the FLRAA competition and both are part of a competitive demonstration and risk reduction phase. Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor had it’s first flight nearly three years ago and Sikorsky and Boeing’s SB-1 Defiant coaxial helicopter flew for the first time in March 2019. The draft request for proposals is expected to be released by the end of the year with a final solicitations expected in fiscal 2021. Modernizing its vertical lift fleet is the Army’s third highest priority behind Long-Range Precision Fires and Next-Generation Combat Vehicle development. The Army intends to field both a FLRAA and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft by roughly FY30. Bell and Lockheed Martin are also competing against each other in the FARA competition. Bell’s offering is the 360 Invictus and Lockheed’s entry is the Raider X. In the case of FLRAA, the winner must build eight production aircraft for the first unit equipped by FY30. The plan is to award a contract to a winner in FY22. The winner will proceed to deliver a preliminary design review roughly eight months following the award. According to the pre-solicitation, “the Army has determined through extensive market research, including a July 2020 sources sought, that only two sources exist in the market space that have the capability and capacity of developing, manufacturing, testing and delivering both prototype and initial production FLRAA in the time allocated to achieve the Army’s goal of an FUE in FY 2030.” The Army stated that Bell and Sikorsky are those two sources, but notes that “any other responsible, qualified sources, … that can develop and produce the FLRAA weapon system to achieve First Unit Equipped (FUE) no later than 2030 are encouraged to full identify their interest and capabilities in accordance with the requirements,” within 15 days after publication of the pre-solicitation. Such a vendor would need to deliver a preliminary design review in FY22, start building prototype aircraft in the third quarter of FY23 and eight production aircraft by 2030. Vendors must also prove they are able to build 24 aircraft per year at full-rate production. Those aircraft must be able to fly at 2,000 feet pressure altitude in 85 degree heat with a full payload that consists of 12 troops at 290 lbs each and four crew at 281 lbs each. When the draft RFP drops, it is likely to contain a schedule to deliver air vehicle prototypes and mission systems. The Army was debating between two schedule options to deliver prototypes by roughly mid-2026. The FLRAA program has strong support from Congress. This year’s annual defense policy bill authorized $5 million in increased investment in FLRAA advanced component development and prototyping on top of the Army’s nearly $648 million request. The FY21 spending bill has yet to go through conference committee, but both the House and Senate proposed additional funding for FLRAA. The House Appropriations Committee proposed a $20 million increase while the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee proposed a $79 million addition. Lawmakers added $76 million in funding to FLRAA’s top line in FY20 to drive down technical risk and speed up delivery through the competitive demonstration and risk reduction effort. In FY20, Congress cut $34 million from the Army’s other future vertical lift effort — the FARA program — which threatened the service’s ability to provide some of its government-furnished equipment to competitors chosen to build and fly prototypes. The Army is supplying its new Improved Turbine Engine Program engine, a 20mm gun, an integrated munitions launcher and its modular open-systems architecture. The Army has since shored up that funding, according to service aviation leadership.

  • European Union awards grant to forge unmanned ground vehicle standard

    December 18, 2020 | International, Land

    European Union awards grant to forge unmanned ground vehicle standard

    By: Sebastian Sprenger  COLOGNE, Germany — The European Commission has awarded Estonia and the country’s robotics company Milrem a grant to lead the way on a standard architecture for military unmanned ground vehicles, the company announced. The deal, worth close to $40 million and signed Dec. 11, formally kicks off a pan-European development for a new generation of battlefield ground robots. Named Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System, or iMUGS, the project uses Milrem’s THeMIS vehicle as a reference platform for creating a “standardized European-wide ecosystem for aerial and ground platforms,” according to the company. Also covered by the project is relevant technology in the fields of command and control, communications, sensors, payloads, and algorithms. The connection to the European Union’s coffers comes through the bloc’s European Defence Industrial Development Programme. Besides Estonia as the lead, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia and Spain also are part of the iMUGS group, adding a combined €2 million (U.S. $2.4 million) to the effort. The countries each bring their relevant national companies to the table, including Safran Electronics & Defense, Nexter Systems, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Diehl Defence, and Bittium Wireless. “Estonia has the honor and a great responsibility taking the lead in this project as nothing on a similar scale has been conducted before,” said Martin Jõesaar, chief of the project office in the Estonian Centre for Defence Investment. “Our goal is not only making iMUGS a one-time effort, but to build it into a base project for future developments. Our long-term goal is that each of the modular systems built will pave a way for further innovation in its field.” While the sums involved in iMUGS are relatively small in the world of defense programs, the effort has the potential to shape the European market for military robotic vehicles. The initiative is a prime example of defense companies like Milrem, some of them years ago, sensing a chance to position their own offerings firmly in the thicket of European defense priorities. But the THeMIS robot is not the only game in town. Rheinmetall is equally trying to position its unmanned portfolio in the European market, even without EU backing. In the case of its Mission Master vehicle, the intellectual property belongs to the company’s Canadian division, which makes support through EU channels tricky. Still, the vehicle is being tried by the land forces of several countries on the European continent. According to Milrem, European countries are expected to need thousands of ground robots during the next 10-15 years, creating a market valued in the billions of euros. “With seven participating nations and key industrial players, the unmanned ground system developed during iMUGS is expected to become the preferred European solution for integrating into armed units,” the company claims.

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