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November 17, 2022 | International, Aerospace

Boeing revamps defense unit after setbacks including Air Force One

The changes mark the first major moves to revamp Boeing Defense, Space and Security since Ted Colbert took over as its president and chief executive.

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  • Britain confirms new nuclear warhead project after US officials spill the beans

    February 26, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Britain confirms new nuclear warhead project after US officials spill the beans

    By: Andrew Chuter LONDON — The British government has confirmed it is developing a new nuclear warhead for its missile submarines, days after the U.S. revealed the program was going ahead before Parliament had been informed. In a written statement to Parliament, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed Feb. 25 that Britain is working on a new warhead to equip it's Trident missile-armed nuclear submarine fleet. “To ensure the Government maintains an effective deterrent throughout the commission of the Dreadnought Class ballistic missile submarine we are replacing our existing nuclear warhead to respond to future threats and the security environment,” Wallace said. The announcement was not expected to be made prior to publication of the defense, security and foreign policy review scheduled for late this year. But the Conservative government's hand was forced when U.S. officials revealed last week the program was up and running. That caused a stir in the U.K., as high-profile programs like the nuclear deterrent are usually announced in Parliament first. It's only a courtesy, but if Parliament is not informed first, ministers can be forced to attend the House of Commons to make a statement. “The decision is basically a forgone conclusion, but the announcement has come sooner than expected. We were looking at probably next year but certainly not before the defense and security review due for release towards the end of the year,” said David Cullen , the director at the U.K.-based Nuclear Information Service, an independent organization promoting awareness of nuclear weapons issues. Adm. Charles Richard, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, and Alan Shaffer, the Pentagon's deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, separately made statements that Britain is pursuing development of its own version of the W93 warhead, which is in the assessment phase for the U.S. military ahead of replacing U.S. Navy W76 warhead. “It's wonderful that the U.K. is working on a new warhead at the same time, and I think we will have discussions and be able to share technologies,” Shaffer told an audience at the Nuclear Deterrence Summit, hosted in Washington by ExchangeMonitor. Shaffer said the W93 and the British weapon “will be two independent development systems.” Richard, in testimony prepared for the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Feb. 20 that the W93 will “support a parallel replacement warhead program in the United Kingdom.” Wallace told Parliament that the Defence Ministry's “Defence Nuclear Organisation is working with the Atomic Weapons Establishment: to build the highly skilled teams and put in place the facilities and capabilities needed to deliver the replacement warhead; whilst also sustaining the current warhead until it is withdrawn from service. We will continue to work closely with the US to ensure our warhead remains compatible with the Trident.” The new British warhead will replace the existing weapon, known as the Trident Holbrook, which equips the four Vanguard-class submarines charged with providing Britain's nuclear deterrence capability. Cullen noted that the existing British weapon is unlikely to be very different from America's W76. “They are both fitted to the same Trident missile used by Britain and the U.S. Our assumption is the two warheads are very close, if not virtually identical," he said. The Atomic Weapons Establishment in the U.K. is undertaking a life-extension program on its stock of warheads, including replacing some electronics and systems to improve accuracy and provide performance benefits. The Trident Holbrook entered service along with the Vanguard-class submarines in the mid-1990s. Britain plans to replace the subs in the early 2030s with four new Dreadnought-class subs. Work on the £31 billion (U.S. $40 billion) boat program is already underway. Britain is also spending billions of pounds building infrastructure to support the Atomic Weapons Establishment's development, building and testing of a new warhead at sites in southern England and Valduc, France, where Britain is cooperating in hydrodynamic experiments with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission as part of a wider nuclear agreement. Cullen said there is little in the public domain on the delivery timetable for the current warhead updates. “They started delivery of the life-extended warheads around 2016/2017. The warheads will last up to another 30 years if you assume they are doing similar changes to updates being undertaken by the U.S.,” he said. “I expect Mk4A, [as the updated weapon is referred to], to come out of service in the mid-2040s with the replacement warhead being available from the late 2030s at the earliest.” Britain and the U.S. have cooperated on nuclear weapons development for decades. In 1958, they signed what is known as the Mutual Defence Agreement to formalize that arrangement. That pact remains in place and is renewed about every decade. It was last signed in 2014.

  • USAF Inches Closer To KC-46 Vision System Decision

    September 16, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    USAF Inches Closer To KC-46 Vision System Decision

    Lee Hudson The head of the U.S. Air Force's mobility fleet needs more data from Boeing on the KC-46 Remote Vision System (RVS) upgrade plan to determine if an interim fix is worth taking the maintenance downtime. Boeing is upgrading the RVS to version 1.5, which is now renamed the enhanced RVS that the company promises will deliver sharper imaging, Air Mobility Command chief Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost told reporters Sept. 14. “But the proof is in the pudding when it comes to whether or not it actually would provide additional operational capability or additional safety,” she said. Van Ovost and the head of the Pentagon's operational test and evaluation office met with Boeing on Sept. 4 for KC-46 briefings. Toward the end of September, Van Ovost expects a briefing on why the Pentagon should implement enhanced RVS at no cost to the Air Force. Air Force Research Laboratory personnel will participate in the discussion on whether the service should pursue enhanced RVS or wait until 2.0 comes online, she said. Boeing began flight testing the enhanced RVS in June, which includes numerous software changes and a few hardware updates. If the government opts not to deploy the upgrade, the fixes identified for RVS 1.5 will flow into the 2.0 version that is slated for fielding in the second half of 2023. “If the Air Force decides to deploy initial RVS enhancements we could provide aircraft with those during the second half of 2021 (calendar year),” Mike Hafer, KC-46 global sales and marketing at Boeing, said in a Sept. 15 statement. “The full suite of state-of-the-art enhancements, commonly known as RVS 2.0, should be installed in tankers we deliver starting in late 2023 or early in 2024.”

  • Le prix d'achat des prochains avions de combat destinés à l'Armée suisse devra être compensés à 100% par des participations industrielles de l'économie suisse

    October 9, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Le prix d'achat des prochains avions de combat destinés à l'Armée suisse devra être compensés à 100% par des participations industrielles de l'économie suisse

    OTS NEWS: Swissmem / Offsetbüro Bern / Swissmem / GRPM / Nouveaux ... Offsetbüro Bern / Swissmem / GRPM / Nouveaux avions de combat: coup d'envoi pour les participations industrielles suisses (DOCUMENT) Zürich (ots) - - Indication: Des informations complémentaires peuvent être téléchargées en format pdf sous: - Le prix d'achat des prochains avions de combat destinés à l'Armée suisse devra être compensés à 100% par des participations industrielles de l'économie suisse. Afin de permettre une bonne coopération entre les cinq consortiums d'avionneurs pressentis et l'industrie suisse, cinq journées de contacts seront organisées en octobre à Lausanne et à Berne par le Bureau des offsets de Berne, Swissmem / SWISS ASD (Aeronautics, Security and Defence) et le Groupe romand pour le matériel de défense et de sécurité (GRPM). Tant pour les avionneurs que pour l'industrie suisse, l'objectif des 100% de participations (ou offsets ou compensations) constitue une t'che exigeante et ambitieuse. Elle exige des contacts initiaux intenses ainsi que des échanges d'informations systématiques. D'une part les avionneurs doivent communiquer sur les opportunités de participations industrielles jusqu'au moins de janvier dans le cadre de leur réponse à l'appel d'offres et d'autre part les entreprises suisses doivent annoncer leurs compétences*. Les cinq avionneurs sont les suivants : Airbus (Eurofighter), Boeing (F/A-18 E Super Hornet), Dassault (Rafale), Lockheed Martin (F-35A) et Saab (Gripen E). Afin de lancer la coopération entre les avionneurs et l'industrie suisse, le Bureau des offsets de Berne associé à Swissmem / SWISS ASD et au GRPM organisent deux journées de contacts en octobre à Berne et Lausanne pour chaque avionneur. Chaque événement commence par une courte présentation du consortium de l'avionneur. La partie principale est constituée de meetings individuels (business-to-business) entre les entreprises suisses et les consortiums des avionneurs (avionneurs, fournisseurs, partenaires, etc). Plus de 80 entreprises suisses se sont annoncées pour chacune des manifestations à Berne et Lausanne. Les objectifs des participations industrielles suisses aux acquisitions de l'Armée suisse faites à l'étranger sont les suivants : - Maintien de capacités minimales et de savoir-faire technique dans des domaines relevant de la sécurité de la Suisse - Garantie de compétences-clés minimales pour l'entretien et le développement de matériels militaires et civils de l'Armée suisse - Participation à des programmes industriels internationaux, accès durable à de nouveaux marchés ainsi qu'aux chaînes d'approvisionnement d'entreprises internationales très compétitives - Transfert de savoir-faire étranger en Suisse - Conclusion de mandats supplémentaires, maintien et création d'emplois Les journées de contacts sont réservées aux entreprises inscrites. Pour de plus amples informations: * Domaines concernés : machines, métallurgie, électronique et électrotechnique, optique, horlogerie, construction de véhicules et wagons, produits en caoutchouc et matières synthétiques, secteur aéronautique et spatial, software-engineering, coopérations avec des hautes écoles et instituts de recherche Originaltext: Swissmem Dossier de presse digital: Dossier de presse par RSS: Contact: Swissmem Jonas Lang Pfingstweidstrasse 102 CH-8037 Zürich GRPM Philippe Zahno Rue de Voignous 9 CH-2008 Delémont

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