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July 22, 2019 | Information, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence

Capturing the value of Industry 4.0 technologies

With some aerospace and defense organizations lagging in the adoption of Industry 4.0, what can A&D companies do better to achieve digital transformation?

INDUSTRY 4.0 technologies could be the key to unlocking future competitiveness. There is a clear and compelling case for aerospace and defense (A&D) companies to leverage these technologies and incorporate digital transformation throughout their organizations. In a global survey conducted by Deloitte to assess the current state of Industry 4.0 adoption across manufacturing industries, 84 percent of A&D executives said they consider leveraging new digital technologies as key to market differentiation—yet only a quarter of the A&D companies are currently using these technologies and tools to access, manage, analyze, and leverage data from their digital assets to inform decision-making in real time.1

Industry 4.0-driven technologies can impact every company that operates within the A&D industry, from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to small suppliers. However, not all companies seem to be taking advantage of these technologies, whether for growing revenues or improving profitability. Designing new products and business models remains a significant challenge for most A&D companies, with 40 percent of the surveyed A&D executives identifying the establishment of new business or delivery models as the top challenge their organization faces as they pursue digital transformation initiatives.2

Furthermore, despite implementing Industry 4.0 technologies in areas such as factory manufacturing and supply chain, many A&D companies have been slow in adopting broader digital transformation initiatives that span the entire enterprise.3 This is because many surveyed companies in the industry note that they have not made Industry 4.0 a priority across the enterprise; rather, they have primarily invested in specific, focused technology implementations. Limiting the digital strategy to a few business functions may increase the risk of A&D companies being left behind in today's digital era. It is important, therefore, that companies across the industry understand and harness the power of new technologies to benefit from the opportunities of Industry 4.0 transformation. A&D companies, especially mid- and small-sized, could start small but scale enterprisewide to maximize the benefits of these technologies. Instead of viewing new technologies as an add-on to existing processes and practices, A&D executives should rethink how they do business leveraging those technologies. This report explores the lessons A&D companies appear to have learned in their journey in becoming digitally transformed enterprises and recommends how they could thrive in this age of Industry 4.0.

For the full text of this article :

https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/industry-4-0/aerospace-defense-companies-digital-transformation.html

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  • Defence Investment Plan 2018

    June 11, 2018 | Information, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Defence Investment Plan 2018

    The Defence Capabilities Blueprint (DCB), accessible through a new online tool, is now available, and offers access to information related to defence investment opportunities. Like the previous Defence Acquisition Guide, the DCB provides industry access to planning information such as funding ranges and project timelines. Information on approximately 250 projects funded under Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE) including infrastructure projects, as well as significant in-service support contracts is available for industry to plan for and compete in defence procurement opportunities. With this information, industry will be able to make informed research and development (R&D) and strategic partnering decisions based on projected needs of the Canadian Armed Forces. Within the DCB the following are found: Projects: Capital equipment or infrastructure projects with a value of over $5 million that are planned and funded under SSE Support Contracts: In-service support contracts and professional services contracts with an expected value of greater than $20 million that will be awarded in the coming years to support the capabilities being delivered under SSE SSE projects which are noted and identified The DCB includes a key word search function and segments investment opportunities into searchable components by: Defence Capability Areas (DCAs) Defence Capability Investment Areas (DCIAs) Project sponsors Key Industrial Capabilities (KICs) Defence Capability Areas (DCAs) are 13 broad component categories, such as Land, Sea, Air, Space and Cyber. These categories are further comprised of smaller constituent components of more than 150 Defence Capability Investment Areas (DCIAs). Examples of DCIAs are Commercial Pattern Vehicles, Ship Parts and Components, or Avionics. Projects may include more than one DCA and several DCIAs. Project Sponsors are the service command level or civilian equivalent organizations within Department of National Defence (DND). Projects and investment opportunities are also searchable under Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's Key Industrial Capabilities (KICs). These capability areas inform industry about which key business activities are government priorities in defence procurement. Finally there is an Advanced Search capability that allows the user to filter their searches into specific parameters. http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/defence-capabilities-blueprint/index.asp https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/corporate/reports-publications/defence-investment-plan-2018.html

  • Raytheon Technologies Corporation: UTC, Raytheon make marriage official

    June 10, 2019 | Information, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence

    Raytheon Technologies Corporation: UTC, Raytheon make marriage official

    Updated with comments from officials on June 10, 2019, at 9:21 a.m. ET. WASHINGTON — Raytheon and United Technologies Corporation will officially merge into a new entity called Raytheon Technologies Corporation, with the deal taking place in first half of 2020. Following Saturday reports that a merger was imminent, the two firms made the news official Sunday, launching a website about the planned all-stock deal. On Monday, Raytheon CEO Thomas Kennedy and UTC CEO Greg Hayes held a conference call, where the two revealed that discussions about a potential merger started in summer 2018, before taking off in earnest this January. “It's like a mirror,” Kennedy said of UTC, noting both companies invest heavily in new technologies while remaining “platform agnostic.” Hayes added that there is roughly a one percent overlap between the two firms portfolios. The new company will be roughly 50-50 defense and commercial, with plans to spend $8 billion on R&D after combining. Much of that funding will go towards high-end defense programs, including, per a news release, “hypersonics and future missile systems; directed energy weapons; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) in contested environments; cyber protection for connected aircraft; next generation connected airspace; and advanced analytics and artificial intelligence for commercial aviation.” The new firm has a “tremendous opportunity to invest” in the future, Hayes said. “The resources of the combined company will allow us to do things on a stand alone basis that would have been very difficult” individually. Hayes also expressed his belief the Pentagon would not see major issues, given the limited overlap. However, other trouble may be brewing; during a Monday interview with CNBC, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed concern about the agreement. While being billed as a “merger of equals,” UTC shareowners will own approximately 57 percent and Raytheon shareowners will own approximately 43 percent of the combined company. A spokesperson for Raytheon confirmed to Defense News Sunday that the combined company will be based in the greater Boston area. Raytheon is based in the Boston suburb of Waltham, while UTC is based in Farmington, Conn. Per a news release, the new company will have approximately $74 billion in pro forma 2019 sales. The release also highlights that the merged company will be a major player in both the defense and commercial aerospace markets, giving greater market resiliency. Byron Callan, a defense analyst with Capital Alpha Partners, wrote Sunday in a note to investors that the merger may be a sign of market trends to come. “An RTN-UTX deal may be a signal (a siren?) that 1) this U.S. defense cycle is peaking, and firms need to start repositioning for growth in 2021 and beyond; 2) Maybe the commercial aerospace outlook is looking wobbly too and Western firms need to hedge against fallout from a U.S.-China trade split. A U.S. recession is overdue; 3) Defense firms will need to fund more of their own R&D in the future so joining a larger firm will limit margin pressure which could be evidenced in the 2020s,” Callan wrote. Callan also sees “some overlap in the defense portfolios” for the two companies, primarily through the Mission Systems segment of Collins Aerospace. That could require some small divestitures down the road as the deal is finalized, but there do not appear to be any major issues that would lead to objections from the Pentagon. “Both are active in defense communications, though Collins has a larger share. Both have imaging/IR products, though Raytheon has a larger product offering,” he wrote. “Collins provides large space imaging mirrors used in surveillance satellites but it's not clear to us if there is an overlap with Raytheon's classified space payload work.” The deal should create a mammoth defense contractor second only to Lockheed Martin. Raytheon already ranked number two on the most recent Defense News Top 100 list, with $23.5 billion in defense revenues, 93 percent of its overall revenue total; UTC has $7.83 billion in defense revenues, a mere 13 percent of its overall figures. However, that UTC number came before its acquisition of Rockwell Collins and its $2.28 billion in defense revenues, which will naturally increase United's overall number. The move comes after 18 months of major defense consolidation. In addition to UTC's move on Rockwell, there was the General Dynamics acquisition of CSRA, Northrop Grumman's acquisition of Orbital ATK, and L3 and Harris announcing in Oct. 2018 that they would combine to form what at the time appeared to be the seventh largest global defense firm. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2019/06/09/raytheon-technologies-corporation-utc-raytheon-make-marriage-official/

  • Defense Innovation Board Adopts AI Testing, Digital Workforce Recruitment Resolutions

    September 17, 2020 | Information, Other Defence

    Defense Innovation Board Adopts AI Testing, Digital Workforce Recruitment Resolutions

    Mila Jasper The Defense Innovation Board convened for its fall public meeting Tuesday and approved resolutions for two key federal technology issues in addition to broadening its work on space. The board, which is comprised of national security technology innovators, formed a new space subcommittee to support the Space Force and heard from Michael Kratsios, acting undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, and U.S. chief technology officer. But the need for better testing protocols for artificial intelligence systems and strategies the Defense Department could adopt in order to attract digital talent took center stage at the meeting. The board adopted resolutions after robust discussions for both issues. Challenges in AI Testing No proven methods for testing and evaluating nondeterministic AI systems—meaning less predictable, more adaptable AI systems—exist. Daniela Rus, a roboticist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said it is critical to have strong procedures for testing, evaluation, verification, and validation, or TEV/V, of artificial intelligence in order to create enough confidence in the technology to deploy it. “The department has been articulating the importance of accelerating the deployment of these systems,” Rus said, citing DOD's adoption of the board's AI ethics principles. “We have seen a lot of efforts in developing AI accelerator programs that will take the latest and greatest advancements in AI from research organizations and map them into processes and procedures for the department. We hope to have these in place, but in order to get there we need to have rigorous, robust procedures for testing.” The main reason testing for these types of autonomous systems is so challenging is uncertainty. Board member Danny Hillis, a pioneer in parallel computing, said uncertainty comes in three directions: from the function, the inputs and the outputs. Hillis suggested the board should use these three areas of uncertainty to guide its thinking when it comes to providing recommendations for TEV/V. The resolution adopted by the board argues DOD must develop its own TEV/V solutions as soon as possible, rather than wait for external solutions, in order to be ready to deploy AI systems in the short term. The board's science and technology subcommittee hopes to have two reports—one for a backgrounder and another for recommendations—on TEV/V for AI by December of this year. “Without a strong push for education and training on this topic and a diverse range of testing programs at the developmental and operational levels, DoD will have difficulty assessing its current TEV/V processes and determining next steps to improve its AI TEV/V capability,” the resolution reads. Competing for Digital Talent Later in the meeting, the DIB turned its attention to workforce issues. Jennifer Pahlka, a founder of the U.S. Digital Service and Code For America, led the group's discussion on competing for digital talent. Pahlka said the coronavirus pandemic and remote work trends could help the department attract talent if it develops new strategies to help it compete with the private sector. “As private sector remote work trends are changing how employers compete for digital talent, DOD has the opportunity to take advantage of these trends and be more competitive for civilian talent in this new environment,” Pahlka said. DOD and the federal government in general struggles to fill talent gaps for several reasons, including long hiring timelines. A recent report by the Partnership for Public Service found the average hiring timeline for the federal workforce is 98 days, or more than twice the private sector average. The paper DIB released to accompany the discussion detailed five recommendations for what to do to attract digital talent. Overall, DOD should develop strategies to maintain a remote and distributed workforce even beyond the pandemic. Pahlka added that though the recommendations focus on attracting digital talent, she hopes the same principles outlined can be expanded across the workforce. In the past, common wisdom said the Pentagon couldn't do mass telework. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, DOD had to adapt, and fast. Lisa Hershman, the chief management officer for the Defense Department, said in July the pandemic “shattered the myth” DOD couldn't support remote work. According to the DIB's report, DOD should now focus on expanding its IT infrastructure and make sure it has the tools it needs to maintain remote work as well as expand the agency's capabilities to do classified work remotely. The report also recommends DOD work on improvements to the remote hiring process, prioritize changing the agency's culture around remote work and “consider dedicated remote work pilot programs to recruit and fill critical civilian technical talent gaps at priority organizations.” “The subcommittee believes the DOD is really at an inflection point for talent management,” Pahlka said. Pahlka and three other members of the DIB including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt ended their terms on the board. Member terms last four years. https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2020/09/defense-innovation-board-adopts-ai-testing-digital-workforce-recruitment-resolutions

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