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September 14, 2022 | International, C4ISR

L3Harris, Raytheon win phase 2 contracts for next-gen ISR aerial sensors

The sensors under development will integrate onto the Army's well-known HADES aerial ISR program, designed to conduct "deep" intelligence gathering and target tracking.

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/09/l3harris-raytheon-win-phase-2-contracts-for-next-gen-isr-aerial-sensors/

On the same subject

  • DARPA: Training AI to Win a Dogfight

    May 9, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Other Defence

    DARPA: Training AI to Win a Dogfight

    Artificial intelligence has defeated chess grandmasters, Go champions, professional poker players, and, now, world-class human experts in the online strategy games Dota 2 and StarCraft II. No AI currently exists, however, that can outduel a human strapped into a fighter jet in a high-speed, high-G dogfight. As modern warfare evolves to incorporate more human-machine teaming, DARPA seeks to automate air-to-air combat, enabling reaction times at machine speeds and freeing pilots to concentrate on the larger air battle. Turning aerial dogfighting over to AI is less about dogfighting, which should be rare in the future, and more about giving pilots the confidence that AI and automation can handle a high-end fight. As soon as new human fighter pilots learn to take-off, navigate, and land, they are taught aerial combat maneuvers. Contrary to popular belief, new fighter pilots learn to dogfight because it represents a crucible where pilot performance and trust can be refined. To accelerate the transformation of pilots from aircraft operators to mission battle commanders — who can entrust dynamic air combat tasks to unmanned, semi-autonomous airborne assets from the cockpit — the AI must first prove it can handle the basics. To pursue this vision, DARPA created the Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program. ACE aims to increase warfighter trust in autonomous combat technology by using human-machine collaborative dogfighting as its initial challenge scenario. DARPA will hold a Proposers Day for interested researchers on May 17, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia. “Being able to trust autonomy is critical as we move toward a future of warfare involving manned platforms fighting alongside unmanned systems,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Javorsek (Ph.D.), ACE program manager in DARPA's Strategic Technology Office (STO). “We envision a future in which AI handles the split-second maneuvering during within-visual-range dogfights, keeping pilots safer and more effective as they orchestrate large numbers of unmanned systems into a web of overwhelming combat effects.” ACE is one of several STO programs designed to enable DARPA's “mosaic warfare” vision. Mosaic warfare shifts warfighting concepts away from a primary emphasis on highly capable manned systems — with their high costs and lengthy development timelines — to a mix of manned and less-expensive unmanned systems that can be rapidly developed, fielded, and upgraded with the latest technology to address changing threats. Linking together manned aircraft with significantly cheaper unmanned systems creates a “mosaic” where the individual “pieces” can easily be recomposed to create different effects or quickly replaced if destroyed, resulting in a more resilient warfighting capability. The ACE program will train AI in the rules of aerial dogfighting similar to how new fighter pilots are taught, starting with basic fighter maneuvers in simple, one-on-one scenarios. While highly nonlinear in behavior, dogfights have a clearly defined objective, measureable outcome, and the inherent physical limitations of aircraft dynamics, making them a good test case for advanced tactical automation. Like human pilot combat training, the AI performance expansion will be closely monitored by fighter instructor pilots in the autonomous aircraft, which will help co-evolve tactics with the technology. These subject matter experts will play a key role throughout the program. “Only after human pilots are confident that the AI algorithms are trustworthy in handling bounded, transparent and predictable behaviors will the aerial engagement scenarios increase in difficulty and realism,” Javorsek said. “Following virtual testing, we plan to demonstrate the dogfighting algorithms on sub-scale aircraft leading ultimately to live, full-scale manned-unmanned team dogfighting with operationally representative aircraft.” DARPA seeks a broad spectrum of potential proposers for each area of study, including small companies and academics with little previous experience with the Defense Department. To that end, before Phase 1 of the program begins, DARPA will sponsor a stand-alone, limited-scope effort focused on the first technical area: automating individual tactical behavior for one-on-one dogfights. Called the “AlphaDogfight Trials,” this initial solicitation will be issued by AFWERX, an Air Force innovation catalyst with the mission of finding novel solutions to Air Force challenges at startup speed. The AFWERX trials will pit AI dogfighting algorithms against each other in a tournament-style competition. “Through the AFWERX trials, we intend to tap the top algorithm developers in the air combat simulation and gaming communities,” Javorsek said. “We want them to help lay the foundational AI elements for dogfights, on which we can build as the program progresses.” AFWERX will announce the trials in the near future on its website: https://www.afwerx.af.mil/. For ACE Proposers Day registration details, please visit: https://go.usa.gov/xmnMn https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2019-05-08

  • Les premiers accords sur le char de combat du futur ont été signés par la France et l’Allemagne

    April 29, 2020 | International, Land

    Les premiers accords sur le char de combat du futur ont été signés par la France et l’Allemagne

    PAR LAURENT LAGNEAU Comme ils le firent quelques semaines plus tôt pour le Système de combat aérien du futur [SCAF], les députés de la commission du budget de la Chambre basse du Parlement allemand [Bundestag], débloquèrent l'enveloppe nécessaire au financement de l'étude de définition de l'architecture du Main Ground Combat System [MGCS], c'est à dire le futur char de combat franco-allemand. Il ne restait plus qu'à attendre la signature des accords permettant d'aller de l'avant dans cette affaire, sachant que la pandémie de Covid-19 n'allait pas faciliter les choses. Finalement, ce 28 avril, si elle n'ont pu se réunir physiquement, la ministre des Armées, Florence Parly, et son homologue allemande, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, ont signé l'accord-cadre définissant l'organisation du projet ainsi que les structures chargées de le gérer. En outre, un autre accord de mise en œuvre [Implementing Arrangement 1], qui constitue la base de la commande d'une étude de définition de l'architecture du MGCS d'une durée de deux ans, a également été signé par les deux ministres. Cette annonce en a été faite par le ministère allemand de la Défense, celui des Armées, en France, ne s'étant pas encore exprimé. Pour rappel, la maîtrise d'ouvrage du MGCS doit revenir à l'Office fédéral des équipements, des technologies de l'information et du soutien en service de la Bundeswehr [BAAINBw] tandis que celle du SCAF a été confiée à la Direction générale de l'armement [DGA]. « L'architecture du système est une condition préalable au développement d'un démonstrateur technologique avec lequel les exigences allemandes et françaises pour MGCS pourront être vérifiées », rappelle le ministère allemand de la Défense, pour qui « l'Allemagne et la France envoient un signal important pour la coopération européenne en matière de défense » avec ce projet. v http://www.opex360.com/2020/04/28/les-premiers-accords-sur-le-char-de-combat-du-futur-ont-ete-signes-par-la-france-et-lallemagne/

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - March 25, 2019

    March 26, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - March 25, 2019

    NAVY Gartner Inc., Stamford, Connecticut (N66001-19-A-0049); Forrester Research Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts (N66001-19-A-0050); and FEDmine LLC, Rockville, Maryland (N66001-19-A-0013), are awarded a multiple-award, firm-fixed-price Department of Defense (DoD) Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) blanket purchase agreement (BPA) in accordance with the firms' General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Supply Schedule contracts. The overall estimated value of this BPA is $446,000,000. The three individual agreements are awarded in the DoD ESI category of Information Technology (IT) Research and Informative Services. The BPAs will provide commercially available technology in this category for the DoD, U.S. intelligence community, and Coast Guard activities worldwide. The ordering period will be for a maximum of 10 years, and the expected date of completion is March 24, 2029. This BPA is issued under DoD ESI in accordance with the policy and guidelines in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, Section 208.74. This BPA will not obligate funds at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders using operations and maintenance (DoD) funds. Requirements will be competed among the awardees in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 8.403-3(c)(2), and the successful contractor will receive firm-fixed-price orders. This BPA was competitively procured via the GSA E-Buy website among 679 vendors. Three offers were received and three were selected for award. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity. Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama, is being awarded a $261,776,539 fixed-price-incentive (firm target) modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-19-C-2227 for the detail design and construction (DD&C) of the 13th and 14th Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ships, and to definitize the long-lead-time material undefinitized contract actions for EPFs 13 and 14. This modification will award the DD&C effort for EPF 13 and EPF 14 and definitize and subsume the long-lead-time material undefinitized contract actions for EPFs 13 and 14. Note: the funding obligated covers the DD&C award and also definitizes the UCAs -- which results in a total greater than the face value of the award. The EPF class provides high-speed, shallow-draft transportation capability to support the intra-theater maneuver of personnel, supplies and equipment for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Army. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $370,733,399. Work will be performed in Mobile, Alabama (54 percent); Novi, Michigan (13 percent); Fairfax, Virginia (7 percent); Houston, Texas (4 percent); Franklin, Massachusetts (3 percent); New Iberia, Louisiana (3 percent); Kingsford, Michigan (2 percent); Chesapeake, Virginia (2 percent); and Theodore, Alabama (1 percent), with other efforts performed at various locations throughout the United States below one percent (7 percent) and at various locations outside the U.S. below one percent (4 percent). Work is expected to completed by July 2022. Fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $134,609,225; and fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $161,815,453 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. Professional Contract Services Inc., Austin, Texas, is being awarded a $26,684,510 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract modification for the exercise of Option Number Four for base operations support services at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, and its outlying support sites all located in Virginia. The work to be performed provides for all labor, supervision, management, tools, materials, equipment, facilities, transportation, incidental engineering, and other items necessary to provide facilities maintenance and equipment repair services in support of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and its outlying support sites. After award of this option, the total cumulative contract value will be $120,671,131. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Virginia. This option period is from April 2019 to March 2020. No funds will be obligated at time of award. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance, (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $24,334,266 for recurring work will be obligated on individual task orders issued during the option period. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N62470-15-D-4009). Insitu Inc., Bingen, Washington, is being awarded a $17,452,196 firm-fixed-price delivery order (N6833519F0434) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N68335-16-G-0046). This order provides for technical services, training, site survey and activation teams, and program management to sustain and support ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle sites in Afghanistan. Work will be performed in Afghanistan (95 percent); and Bingen, Washington (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2020. Fiscal 2019 Afghan Security Forces funds in the amount of $17,452,196 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Annapolis, Maryland, is being awarded a $10,242,891 firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a previously awarded contract (N61331-15-D-0011) to exercise options for the accomplishment of depot level repair, maintenance, and modifications of the AN/AQS-24 Mine Detecting System to support the Navy for the currently deployed airborne mine countermeasures legacy systems. Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems will provide depot repairs and incorporation of engineering change proposals, including the updates of all integrated logistics support documentation to support the conversions and sustainment. Work will be performed in Annapolis, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by April 2020. No funding will be obligated at time of award. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, Panama City, Florida is the contracting activity. ARMY Acrow Corp. of America,* Parsippany, New Jersey (W56HZV-19-D-0061); and Mabey Bridge Ltd., Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (W56HZV-19-D-0062), will compete for each order of the $250,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for wet and dry gap line of communication bridges. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 25, 2022. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity. Avon Protection Systems Inc., Cadillac, Michigan, was awarded a $245,961,250 firm-fixed-price contract for production of M53A1 Chemical Biological Protective Mask systems. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 24, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911SR-19-D-0005). South Carolina Commission for the Blind, Columbia, South Carolina, was awarded an $186,580,917 firm-fixed-price contract for full food services at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Bids were solicited via the internet with seven received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 21, 2024. U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9124J-19-D-0008). American Ordnance LLC, Middletown, Iowa, was awarded an $89,418,245 modification (P00022) to contract W15QKN-15-C-0044 for the acquisition of M918E1 40mm High Velocity Target Practice – Day/Night/Thermal (HV TP-DNT) – cartridge. Work will be performed in Middletown, Iowa; Coachella, California; Radford, Virginia; Santa Margarita, California; O'Fallon, Missouri; Lynchburg, Virginia; Mountainside, New Jersey; and St. Bonaparte, Iowa, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2021. Fiscal 2017, 2018 and 2019 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $89,418,245 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, is the contracting activity. Alta Via Consulting LLC,* Loudon, Tennessee, was awarded a $22,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for cost management services. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 28, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W91CRB-19-D-0018). Advance Technology Solutions,* Augusta, Georgia, was awarded a $14,530,927 firm-fixed-price contract for services in the areas of military personnel actions, records processing and management, personnel manning, casualty management, transition and separations processing, personnel information systems management, and administrative processing of soldiers. Bids were solicited via the internet with 12 received. Work will be performed in Fort Gordon, Georgia, with an estimated completion date of May 1, 2025. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $1,355,849 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Gordon, Georgia, is the contracting activity (W91249-18-C-0005). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY General Dynamics Mission Systems Inc., Taunton, Massachusetts, has been awarded a maximum $92,900,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment 1 system. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Massachusetts, with a March 24, 2024, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland (SPRBL1-19-D-0027). SZY Holdings, doing business as EverReady First Aid, Brooklyn, New York, has been awarded a maximum $25,000,000 firm-fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for respirators, mask face pieces and cartridges replacement parts. This was a competitive acquisition with six responses received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is New York, with a March 25, 2020, performance completion date. Using customer is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE8EG-19-D0104). Parker Hannifin Corp., Irvine, California, has been awarded a $7,979,568 modification (P00185) to a five-year contract (SPE4AX-14-D-9413) with one five-year option period adding national stock numbers supporting multiple aircrafts. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a firm-fixed-price contract. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $441,414,547 from $433,434,979. Locations of performance are California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Ohio, with a June 30, 2024, performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Richmond, Virginia. AIR FORCE National Aerospace Solutions LLC, Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee, has been awarded a $72,894,364 modification (P00071) to previously awarded contract FA9101-15-C-0500 for test operations and sustainment. This modification provides for test operations, technology development, equipment and facility sustainment, capital improvements and some support services for Arnold Engineering Development Complex. Work will be performed at Arnold AFB, Tennessee, and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2019. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $722,733,576. Air Force Test Center, Arnold AFB, Tennessee, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE HEALTH AGENCY General Dynamics Information Technology Inc., Fairfax, Virginia (HT0014-19-C-0004), has been awarded a $44,165,348 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide support to the Defense Health Agency's Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). The work includes support promoting access to state-of-the-science care for service members, veterans, and their families to prevent and mitigate the consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI). DVBIC supports a network of 21 sites operating out of 16 military treatment facilities (MTFs) and five Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). Specific activities vary at each site and can include conducting clinical research and conducting education and outreach activities and assessing TBI injury data, while command and control exist within the DVBIC Headquarters for continuity of services. The contract will be performed at DVBIC HQ, Silver Spring, Maryland; MTFs at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Hood, Texas; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Camp Pendleton, California; Naval Medical Center San Diego, California; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Maryland; San Antonio Military Medical Center, Texas; U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; Landstuhl (Germany); Joint Bases Lewis-McChord, Washington, and Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; and VAMCs in Palo Alto, California; Tampa, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; San Antonio, Texas; and Richmond, Virginia. The contract end date is Sept. 25, 2020. This contract includes a six-month base period with four three-month option periods. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $14,336,163 are obligated on this award. This was a sole-source acquisition. The Defense Health Agency, Falls Church, Virginia, is the contracting activity. *Small business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1794949/

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