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September 23, 2021 | International, Aerospace

F-35 weapon capability enhancements for the UK and Italy

This builds on the successful integration work that commenced in 2019 by BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and MBDA to upgrade the UK F-35 weapon systems.

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  • Britain moves to boost Ukraine’s naval chops

    August 20, 2020 | International, Naval

    Britain moves to boost Ukraine’s naval chops

    By: Andrew Chuter  LONDON — Britain is stepping up its military support in Ukraine with an announcement that the U.K. will lead a multinational maritime initiative to train the Ukrainian navy. During a visit to Ukraine on Aug. 17 British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed the Royal Navy is coordinating a training initiative which also involves Canada, Denmark and Sweden. The training initiative will be complemented by U.S. security assistance support, said the British Ministry of Defence in a statement. Other nations are expected to join the naval training effort, said the MoD. The British-led training will focus on areas such as navigation, operational planning, military diving, sea surveillance, firefighting and damage control. The Royal Navy also plans to deploy warships to the region later in the year, Wallace said. Last year the Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan visited Ukraine as part of the NATO’s Sea Breeze exercise. That followed a visit by the survey ship HMS Echo. The U.K. has been conducting maritime training with the Ukraine for a while. Last year the British announced they were enlarging the scope of a wider military training effort, known as Operation Orbital, by deploying training teams from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines to boost a Ukrainian Navy facing increasing threats from Russia in the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainians are trying to rebuild a maritime presence following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Ukraine lost most of its navy, including 75 percent of personnel, 70 percent of ships and key infrastructure. It faces a rising number of threats from the Russians in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, and its armed forces continue to counter Moscow-backed separatists in the Donbass region of the country. Last year the Ukrainian navy unveiled a 15-year, three-stage strategy to rebuild naval capabilities starting with the aim of developing capabilities to establish control over territorial waters and beyond by 2025. Britain announced late last year it was extending Operation Orbital by three years to March 2023, and despite a COVID-19 enforced suspension, now lifted, the U.K. armed forces have trained over 18,000 Ukrainian military personnel.

  • BAE Systems Secures $94M Contract to Deliver Advanced Tech to Navy

    November 12, 2020 | International, Naval

    BAE Systems Secures $94M Contract to Deliver Advanced Tech to Navy

    Posted on November 10, 2020 by Seapower Staff MCLEAN, Va. — BAE Systems has been awarded a five-year, $94 million single-award indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract to deliver advanced technology capability to the U.S. Navy.   Building on 40 years of support to the U.S. Navy, this award from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s (NAWCAD) Webster Outlying Field (WOLF) enables the company to provide engineering, test, and evaluation support for sensors as well as communication, control, and weapons systems for various manned and unmanned airborne platforms.   “We are bringing new advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and autonomy to the Airborne Systems Integration Division,” said Mark Keeler, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems’ Integrated Defense Solutions business. “Our state-of-the-art digital engineering capabilities, and extensive experience in integrating airborne systems are further strengthening the warfighter’s ability to meet mission requirements and ensuring combat readiness in the field.”   The award recognizes BAE Systems’ investments in the development of model-based systems engineering capabilities. The company’s ADAMS architecture provides a digital environment for systems engineering across multidisciplinary, multi-organization teams and stakeholders. On this contract, the company will use its innovative tools and methods such as digital engineering to create the digital thread that provides full design traceability to requirements, improved collaboration, and a digital repository for the Airborne Systems Integration Division.

  • After delay, US Army clears Joint Light Tactical Vehicle for full-rate production

    June 25, 2019 | International, Land

    After delay, US Army clears Joint Light Tactical Vehicle for full-rate production

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has approved the Oshkosh-built Joint Light Tactical Vehicle’s transition to full-rate production after a roughly six-month delay, according to a June 21 announcement. Full-rate production for the JLTV was pushed from an original schedule of December 2018 out to May this year due to a number of changes to the Humvee replacement. The Army decided to make a series of alterations as the result of soldier feedback, including a larger back window and the addition of a muffler. The approach was designed to minimize the cost and quantity of the vehicles that would need to be retrofitted, the vehicle’s program office told Defense News at the time. The decision to delay the full-rate production did not stop the service from beginning to field 300 of the new vehicles to the Army’s 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia, making it the first unit equipped with the vehicle in April 2019. “We are also grateful for soldier feedback on new features and enhancements,” Jeffrey White, the Army acquisition chief’s principal deputy said in the Army announcement. “The Soldiers of the 1st ABCT, 3rd Infantry Division provided valuable input on enhancements such as increased situational awareness, reduction of system noise, a troop seat kit, and a companion JLTV trailer. Their assessments helped bring us all to a successful Full-Rate Production decision.” Oshkosh beat out Humvee-maker AM General and Lockheed Martin in 2015 to build the replacement for the Humvee for both the Army and the Marine Corps. The low-rate initial production, or LRIP, contract was worth $6.7 billion, and the entire program is estimated to be worth $30 billion through 2024. “Important insights from manufacturing and rigorous developmental and operational test during LRIP contributed to shaping the vehicle’s current configuration,” George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense, said in a statement sent to Defense News. “The program remains on schedule and on budget, and ensures our troops have the protection, connection, and extreme off-road mobility they need today for current and future battlefields. The JLTV is the only light tactical vehicle being fielded today that can maneuver within combat formations,” he said. At the time of the LRIP award, a total of 49,100 JLTVs were planned for the Army, not including what the Marine Corps is planning to buy as well as a small number for the Air Force and Navy. The service cut its procurement of the JLTV in its fiscal 2020 budget request by 863 vehicles. The Army procured 3,393 vehicles in FY19 in LRIP but only plans to buy 2,530 vehicles in FY20. The Army originally planned in its FY19 request to buy 3,035 vehicles in FY20. It is unclear if more cuts will come for the JLTV. Army Secretary Mark Esper said at the time the FY20 budget rolled out that the vehicle was designed and procured in “the context of Afghanistan and Iraq,” and hence was just not as relevant anymore when applied to the fresh National Defense Strategy now guiding Army investment. “We are certainly cutting the total number” of JLTV procurement, Esper said. “I know that much. But whether it settles out, finals out right here, today, I can’t tell you. In five years, I could maybe have a different number for you.” While the JLTV was designed for the counterinsurgency fight — a light vehicle with the protection to endure the blast of an improvised explosive device much like mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles — Oshkosh has used the JLTV’s highly configurable design to increase firepower options on board a JLTV and to protect it from missile and rocket attacks. Over the past three years, it integrated remote weapon systems, a lightweight 30mm cannon paired with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, a Javelin integration kit, several .50-caliber machine guns, and a lightweight automatic chain gun, among other weapon systems. The IMI Iron Fist Active Protection System and Rafael’s Trophy Light APShave both been integrated onto JLTVs for evaluation. And the Boeing Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense launcher, which was not selected by the Army for its interim SHORAD solution, was also integrated onto the JLTV to include an M3P .50-caliber machine gun, M299 launcher with four Longbow Hellfire missiles, a sensor suite, and a communications suite with the Thales VRC-111. Now that the Army has approved full-rate production for the JLTV, it is anticipated Foreign Military Sales prospects could begin more rapid materialization. Slovenia has already placed an order for a small number of JLTVs, and it’s likely the United Kingdom as well as Lithuania will be future customers.

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