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July 5, 2021 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

Kubasik starts new role as chief executive at L3Harris

Chris Kubasik replaces Bill Brown and becomes the second CEO in the history of the U.S. company, which formed in mid-2019 when Harris Corporation and L3 Technologies merged into a single business.

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  • Lockheed, Boeing enter Germany’s heavy transport helicopter race

    January 15, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Lockheed, Boeing enter Germany’s heavy transport helicopter race

    By: Sebastian Sprenger COLOGNE, Germany — Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky and Boeing have submitted their proposals for the German military's envisioned heavy transport helicopter program, the companies announced. Sikorsky is offering a version of the CH-53K designed for the U.S. Marine Corps, while Boeing is pitching the H-47 Chinook. The offers, due on Jan. 13, come in response to a request for proposals published by the Bundeswehr last summer. Government officials will spend the greater part of 2020 analyzing the submissions, with a second and final request for offers pegged for the end the year. The multibillion-dollar STH program, short for Schwerer Transporthubschrauber, is meant to replace the German fleet of decades-old CH-53G copters. Deliveries from the winning bidder are slated to begin in 2024 and last through the early 2030s — that is if the program receives budgetary support from the government and lawmakers when the time comes for a contract next year. Both companies have assembled a group of German suppliers that would oversee areas such as maintenance, simulators and documentation in an effort to maximize domestic industry participation. The Bundeswehr initially wanted a no-frills, off-the-shelf cargo helicopter that would be easy on the defense budget. Notably, the Germans also want to use the STH choppers for combat search-and-rescue operations, with plans to raise that mission profile throughout the Air Force's ranks. But last year's solicitation came with an unexpected level of complexity, Frank Crisafulli, Sikorsky's director of international business development for heavy helicopters, told reporters during a company presentation in Bonn, Germany, on Monday. “Folks were caught by surprise,” he said. The added complications are due, for example, to the Bundeswehr's goal of having the helicopters certified in accordance with European civilian aviation regulations. In addition, German officials want a weather radar better than the one offered in the Marine Corps version of the CH-53K, plus a multilayered radio communications setup," Crisafulli said. As envisioned, the STH program would plunge the German military into a model of contractor-driven support popularized by the U.S. Defense Department under the moniker of performance-based logistics, or PBL. The idea is that the government can save money by dictating to contractors what level of readiness it wants for its hardware, and then letting vendors figure out how to meet those objectives within a given budget. Pentagon auditors previously affirmed the basic premise of performance-based logistics, with one key caveat: The government must have enough insight and clout in the programs to be able to set sensible performance benchmarks at rates favorable to taxpayers. According to Mike Schmidt, CEO of Rheinmetall Aviation Services, one of Sikorsky's key local partners, the concept is relatively new for Germany. At an STH industry day in 2018, “nobody knew what PBL was,” he said. At stake for the contractors is a 40-year relationship with Germany over the life cycle of the program. Boeing has portrayed its Chinook offering as a low-risk and low-cost option because more than 950 of the aircraft are already used by 20 countries. Sikorsky has played up the aerial-refueling capabilities of the CH-53K, especially in conjunction with the Lockheed Martin-made KC-130J tanker, to increase range.

  • EU unveils new cooperation projects in training, cyber operations, naval warfare

    November 13, 2019 | International, Naval, C4ISR, Security

    EU unveils new cooperation projects in training, cyber operations, naval warfare

    By: Martin Banks BRUSSELS — The European Union has unveiled the latest batch of projects under its flagship defense-cooperation scheme, boosting the areas of training, cyber operations and naval warfare. The decision, announced on Tuesday, brings to 47 the number of projects that are currently in place under the Permanent Structured Cooperation, or PESCO, initiative. The first two batches were adopted in the spring and fall of 2018. Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, whose country is the current holder of the EU's rotating presidency, welcomed the bloc's progress in security and defense cooperation, saying the PESCO schemes are “steps in the right direction.” “We should now concentrate on implementation and reaching results,” he said. The eventual aim of PESCO is to develop and deploy forces together, backed by a multibillion-euro fund for defense research and development Two of the 13 new projects relate to efforts to counter cyber threats. An envisioned EU Cyber Academia and Innovation Hub (EU CAIH), for example, could enhance the creation of an innovative web of knowledge for cyber defense and cybersecurity education and training. The aim of another scheme, the Cyber and Information Domain Coordination Center (CIDCC), is to create a “standing multinational military element” where the participating member states “continuously contribute with national staff but decide sovereignly on case-by-case basis,” reads an EU announcement. The Integrated European Joint Training and simulation Centre (EUROSIM) will integrate tactical training and simulation sites in Europe into a “real-time, networked, connected system.” Another of the new PESCO projects, the European Union Network of Diving Centres (EUNDC), will coordinate and enhance the operation of EU diving centres in order to better support defense missions, while the European Patrol Corvette (EPC) will design and develop a prototype for a new class of military ship. The Maritime Unmanned Anti-Submarine System (MUSAS), meanwhile, aims to develop and deliver an advanced command, control and communications service architecture for anti-submarine warfare. Elsewhere, the Special Operations Forces Medical Training Centre (SMTC) will focus on medical support for special operations and expand the Polish Military Medical Training Centre in Łódź. One other new scheme is the CBRN Defence Training Range (CBRNDTR), which intends to accommodate what the EU calls a “full spectrum of practical training, including live chemical agents training.” The Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA), also included in the latest batch, will allow European and NATO air forces to safely operate within EU territories while the Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance (TWISTER) scheme seeks to strengthen the ability of Europeans to better detect, track and counter air threats. A scheme called “Materials and Components for Technological EU Competitiveness” (MAC-EU) will develop the European defense technology and industrial base while the EU Collaborative Warfare Capabilities (ECoWAR) initiative hopes to increase the ability of the EU armed forces to face “collectively and efficiently the upcoming threats that are more and more diffuse, rapid, and hard to detect and to neutralize.” Jamie Shea, former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO, said the new projects “are good news for the EU at a time when President Macron is calling for the EU to step up its defense efforts and stand on its own feet. They show that PESCO is gaining traction in EU capitals and nations are buying in to the long overdue need to pool and share capability programs.”

  • « Le Tigre Mark 3 n'aura pas d'équivalent au niveau mondial » : entretien avec Bruno Even, CEO d’Airbus Helicopters

    March 8, 2022 | International, Aerospace

    « Le Tigre Mark 3 n'aura pas d'équivalent au niveau mondial » : entretien avec Bruno Even, CEO d’Airbus Helicopters

    Dans une interview accordée à La Tribune, le CEO d'Airbus Helicopters, Bruno Even, revient sur les enjeux du contrat du Tigre Mark 3, récemment notifié à Airbus Helicopters et ses partenaires. « C'est une très bonne nouvelle au niveau politique, industriel et opérationnel. Le lancement de ce programme est important pour l'Europe de la défense, notamment sous son angle politique. On voit bien l'importance du Tigre, qui a été et est l'un des programmes emblématiques de la coopération européenne, pour une Europe de la défense forte et pour son industrie. Ce programme appuie par ailleurs l'évolution actuelle importante, qui est le renforcement de la souveraineté de l'Europe et de ses pays membres ». Il rappelle que « Airbus Helicopters a près de deux tiers de la charge de travail sur le développement de cette nouvelle version du Tigre. Au niveau de notre supply chain, Thales (avionique), Safran (viseurs et chaîne optronique) et MBDA (armements) seront nos principaux fournisseurs sur le Tigre Mark 3 ». Au niveau opérationnel, le Tigre Mark 3 « n'aura pas d'équivalent au niveau européen », se félicite-t-il. « Au niveau mondial, il y a encore l'Apache mais le Tigre Mark 3, avec ses futures capacités, sera un hélicoptère d'attaque, qui dans la haute intensité n'aura pas d'équivalent au niveau mondial que ce soit en termes de connectivité (Man Machine Teaming) mais aussi en termes de connectivité tactique et d'échanges de données sur le champ de bataille et, enfin, en termes de capacités de feu et d'armement. Nous développons avec Thales une nouvelle avionique, qui va alléger la charge de travail du pilote pour lui permettre de se concentrer sur ses missions, et avec Safran des nouveaux systèmes de mission et de détection (optronique). C'est pour cela que sur le plan opérationnel et dans un monde incertain, ce nouvel hélicoptère continuera d'être sur le champ de bataille l'ange gardien de nos soldats ». La Tribune du 8 mars

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