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June 14, 2021 | International, Naval

South Korean shipbuilders unveil competing carrier designs

The South Korean companies unveiled their offerings at the four-day International Maritime Defense Industry Exhibition, a biennial naval defense show, which began June 9 in the southern port city of Busan.

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  • Lockheed looks to sell additional F-16s to customers in Africa, Asia and South America

    April 23, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Lockheed looks to sell additional F-16s to customers in Africa, Asia and South America

    By: Valerie Insinna  WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin anticipates another wave of international F-16 sales, with countries from Africa, South America and Southeast Asia among those interested in purchasing the jet, the company’s chief financial officer said Tuesday. “I think this is a good fourth-generation aircraft for those customers that can’t afford the F-35 or, frankly, can’t at this time buy the F-35,” Lockheed CFO Kenneth Possenriede told investors during an April 21 earnings call. “It might be a good intermediary step for customers to go from the F-16 to F-35. So we see it frankly as complementary and not competing against themselves.” Unlike the F-35 program, which is seeing disruption within its supply chain that could delay future deliveries, the F-16 production line has experienced little impact as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Possenriede said. The company moved production of the F-16 production line from Fort Worth, Texas, to Greenville, South Carolina, in 2019 to accommodate production of 16 Block 70 aircraft for Bahrain. Since Bahrain’s order in 2018, Lockheed has garnered contracts for eight F-16s for Bulgaria, 14 aircraft for Slovakia, and is working with the U.S. government on a sale of 66 jets for Taiwan. “We also have a couple of orders for F-16 that we're working to try to shape,” Possenriede said. “There is an African country that is interested in F-16, so we're hopeful that will happen. [There is also a] South American country, and then there are some Southeast Asian countries that are interested in F-16 as well.” Possenriede didn’t detail which nations were considering purchases of the F-16, as defense companies typically wait until international militaries publicly declare their interest in a sale before talking about specific customers. Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group, said there’s a “pretty good chance” that some of those orders materialize. “Lockheed was doing a disservice by forgetting the F-16 program for so many years. They had this idea that the future was F-35 and nothing but F-35, ignoring the part of the market that is not prepared to buy the F-35 price tag,” he said. “It’s actually a really good franchise with a really solid core market. It seems ill-advised to neglect it.” If a new customer in Africa is looking to buy F-16s, it could be Botswana, which has indicated an interest in buying fighter jets, Aboulafia said. Lockheed has already sold F-16s to Morocco and Egypt, and the U.S. State Department in 2019 cleared Morocco for new F-16s and upgrades. In South America, Lockheed has been trying to sell F-16s to Argentina for years, but Aboulafia believes a second order for Chile is a more likely prospect. In Southeast Asia, a sale to Indonesia “would seem to be one of the most likely possibilities,” he added.

  • Defense Digital Service, Army Cyber Command expand partnership with workspace ‘Tatooine’

    October 26, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Defense Digital Service, Army Cyber Command expand partnership with workspace ‘Tatooine’

    by Samantha Ehlinger The Defense Digital Service and Army Cyber Command’s growing partnership is getting its own workspace in downtown Augusta, Georgia, DDS announced Thursday. Dubbed Tatooine, the new workspace located at the state-owned Georgia Cyber Center is the expansion of the Jyn Erso pilot project launched last year to join DDS staff and Cyber Command soldiers to solve hard problems. The new space officially opened Thursday with a day-long hackathon “for cyber soldiers and the local tech community,” according to a press release. “Tatooine will be a beacon for technical talent across the military — a place to write code and solve problems of impact,” DDS Director Chris Lynch said in an announcement. “Through this partnership, we are setting our best technical warfighters against our toughest problems with support and training from our DDS software engineers and experts. Together, men and women in uniform and tech nerds are finding new ways to rapidly solve high-impact challenges.” The Army is gradually relocating its Cyber Command headquarters to nearby Fort Gordon. The state’s CIO Calvin Rhodes said this week that the center will play host to the unclassified training sessions for personnel who are waiting for their security clearances to be completed, a process that can often take at least six months, sister publication StateScoop reported. The National Security Agency, which has an outpost at Fort Gordon, will also have a presence at the Georgia Cyber Center. Officials said the $100 million development is the single-largest investment by a state in a cybersecurity facility. Tatooine will join Army officers and soldiers with DDS technologists to tackle hard problems in unclassified “startup-like spaces” using private sector tools and methodologies, according to the Pentagon. “For instance, project teams are using concepts of continuous software iteration and user-centered design, which are common in the tech sector, but not in the military,” the department said. Tatooine is a way for DDS and Army Cyber Command to create more pilot teams without having to relocate Cyber Command personnel to Washington D.C. Other planned uses for Tatooine include supporting initiatives like the Hack the Army bug bounty program. Army’s Cyber Command and Cyber Center of Excellence are providing the technical soldiers to staff teams and Professional Military Education credit for time spent in the program, according to the announcement. Senior Army officers from the center and the Army Cyber Institute will oversee day-to-day operations in the workspace and report to DDS. “To help the Army resolve its toughest talent management and technical challenges, DDS and U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) have partnered to bring technically-gifted soldiers together with private sector civilian talent to rapidly develop immediate-need cyber capabilities,” Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, head of the command, said in a statement. “This innovative partnership will solve tough problems and serve as a powerful retention and recruitment tool.” Through the Jyn Erso program, project teams have already tackled a few projects, such as a program to develop, produce and deploy a capability to combat commercial drones. “The team developed a low-cost software system that is flexible enough to adapt to newly identified targets and easy for operators to use and transport in austere conditions,” the announcement said. DDS and the Cyber Center of Excellence also launched a training pilot earlier this year as part of Jyn Erso to streamline cyber training courses. In its first iteration, DDS cut down the training time for a subset of Army soldiers from six months to just 12 weeks. We know what you’re wondering, and yes, the names of the workspace and the pilot are Star Wars references. DDS, since its inception, has referred to itself as the Rebel Alliance ( a shoutout to the good guys in Star Wars), even naming the Pentagon’s landmark $10 billion commercial cloud contract the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI.

  • F-35 simulators can now team up with other fighter sims for virtual combat

    July 9, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    F-35 simulators can now team up with other fighter sims for virtual combat

    By: Valerie Insinna  WASHINGTON — U.S. Air Force F-35 pilots at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, will now be able to step into a simulator and train alongside virtual F-16s, F-15s and other aircraft, a Lockheed Martin executive said Wednesday. Air Combat Command formally accepted Lockheed’s Distributed Mission Training system on June 22 after a final test on June 18. During that test, four F-35 simulators at Nellis carried out a virtual mission with pilots in F-22, F-16 and E-3 AWACs simulators at other bases, said Chauncey McIntosh, Lockheed’s vice president for F-35 training and logistics. “We did originally intend to deliver this in the April time frame, but Nellis Air Force Base did shut down some operations due to the COVID crisis,” he told reporters in a July 1 briefing. “We worked very hard with both the [F-35 Joint Program Office] and the United States Air Force to ensure as soon as the facilities were re-stood up and open, that we were there to deliver this capability.” Although F-35 pilots in a simulator could previously train with up to three other F-35 sims at the same site, the DTS system allows for those pilots to fly digitally with a large number of varying types of aircraft, as long as the simulators can operate on the same network. Lockheed previously connected F-35 simulators to other aircraft sims in its test lab, but the June 18 test was the first time F-35 simulators linked to a mass of other simulators for a virtual mission in a highly contested environment, Lockheed said in a news release. F-15s will also be able to connect into the DMT system. The next step, McIntosh said, will be installing the DMT capability at Naval Air Station Lemoore this fall and to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in spring 2021. Both bases are in California. However, some limitations will still exist, even as new DMT locations are spun up. The capability is “very scalable to other platforms,” McIntosh said, but currently only F-35, F-22, F-16, F-15 and E-3 simulators are supported by DMT. McIntosh also previously told Defense News that the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps as well as the United Kingdom, which also plans to acquire the DMT system, won’t be able to train together because they use different networks.

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