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December 19, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

UK: Modernising Defence Programme public consultation

Detail of outcome

The Defence Secretary launched the Modernising Defence Programme in January 2018 with the aim of further strengthening and modernising defence in response to a more complex and challenging international security situation. This report ‘Mobilising, modernising and transforming defence' describes a set of policy approaches and capability investments that will help to keep us on track to deliver the right UK defence for the coming decade.

Supported by the additional £1.8 billion funding announced in the Autumn Budget, defence will:

  • mobilise, making more of what we already have to ensure our armed forces are best placed to protect our security
  • modernise, embracing new technologies and assuring our competitive edge over our adversaries
  • transform, radically changing the way we do business and staying ahead of emerging threats

As we move towards the 2019 Spending Review, we must sustain this momentum. The Defence Secretary will continue to work with the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the National Security Council to explore how these aims should be fulfilled alongside our other national security priorities.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/modernising-defence-programme-public-consultation

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  • Israël commande des munitions rôdeuses FireFly

    May 19, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Israël commande des munitions rôdeuses FireFly

    BOQUET Justine Le ministère de la défense israélien a passé commande auprès de Rafaël pour des munitions rôdeuses FireFly. Contrat. Le 4 mai, Rafaël a annoncé avoir enregistré une nouvelle commande de la part du ministère de la défense israélien. Ce dernier a décidé d'équiper ses forces terrestres de munitions rôdeuses, Spike Firefly. Le nombre d'unités commandées, la date de livraison et le montant du contrat n'ont pas été dévoilés. Observer et frapper. L'acquisition de ces FireFly, combinant les avantages d'un drone à ceux d'une munition, permettra d'équiper les soldats déportés et de les appuyer dans la conduite de leur mission. Les FireFly auront ainsi un double intérêt, servant d'une part d'appui pour les troupes au sol et d'autre part de munitions afin de neutraliser des objectifs définis. « FireFly a été conçu pour un emploi en environnement urbain, où la connaissance situationnelle s'avère limitée, l'ennemi se trouvant à couvert, et où la précision est un élément critique », détaille Rafael. Mode de fonctionnement. Déployable en quelques secondes, le système FireFLy se contrôle à partir d'un écran semblable aux stations sol des drones. La caméra embarquée permet d'observer l'environnement et de détecter la présence d'objectifs tout en les localisant avec précision. Il est ainsi possible de suivre leur évolution et leur mouvement. Une fois la cible repérée, il est possible d'engager la munition afin de procéder à la neutralisation de l'objectif, qu'il soit dans ou à l'extérieur du champ de vision de l'opérateur. https://air-cosmos.com/article/isral-commande-des-munitions-rdeuses-firefly-23100

  • US Army awards air-launched effects contracts for future helicopters

    August 25, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    US Army awards air-launched effects contracts for future helicopters

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has awarded 10 contracts worth a total of $29.75 million to companies to provide mature technologies in the realm of air-launched effects, or ALE, for future vertical lift aircraft that are expected to come online around 2030, service aviation officials have told Defense News. Raytheon, Alliant Techsystems Operations of Northridge, California, and Area-I of Marietta, Georgia, were awarded contracts to develop air vehicles. L3 Technologies, Rockwell Collins and Aurora Flight Services Corporation were awarded contracts to provide mission systems. And Raytheon, Leonardo Electronics US Inc., Technology Service Corporation of Huntsville, Alabama, and Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC of Northridge, California, received contracts to provide ALE payloads. Through ALE, the Army hopes to provide current and future vertical lift fleets with “the eyes and ears” to penetrate enemy territory while manned aircraft are able to maintain standoff out of range of enemy attack, Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen, who is in charge of the Army's FVL modernization efforts, said in an exclusive interview with Defense News. “To do that, that has a whole host of capabilities embedded in it, and I would say it's not just the eyes and ears, but it's also, what we are finding, is the mouth, so our ability to communicate by bringing mesh network capabilities, by bringing an ability to hear in the electronic spectrum, and, again, the ability to collect in that spectrum so we can find, fix and finish on pacing threats,” he added. The Army plans to take these already technically mature capabilities through additional technology maturation, Col. Scott Anderson, the unmanned aircraft systems project manager for the Army's Program Executive Office for Aviation, said in the same interview. “We're looking for high technology readiness levels, so best of breed,” he said, “that we can buy and then we don't have to develop, spend a lot of developmental dollars getting ready to get out the door in a prototype.” The air vehicle, payloads and missions systems will all fit into a government-owned architecture by fiscal 2024. The service will first look at each major component of ALE individually, rather than as a whole system, to assess readiness, Anderson said. That will run through most of 2021. Then in 2022, the Army will take those capabilities and bring them together into a full system prototype working with Georgia Tech, which is helping the service write the underpinnings of the reference architecture, he added. In the final phase, the Army will integrate the system onto a platform, first targeting the Gray Eagle and AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. Ultimately the ALE capabilities to come out of the effort will be targeted for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) ecosystem, Anderson said. The Army is planning to field both FARA and a Future Long-Range Attack Aircraft (FLRAA) in the early 2030s. “We want to mature the [ALE] ecosystem and then have it ready to hand off to FARA in full bloom,” Rugen added. The Army has been looking at ALE since roughly late 2017, Rugen said, and has been working to refine the associated capabilities development documents for several years. Army Futures Command Commander Gen. Mike Murray signed an abbreviated capabilities development document in May. The service has been pleased with what it has seen so far in live prototype experimentation and physics-based modeling within the science and technology community and is prepared to move quickly on the effort, Rugen said. The Army selected Area-I's ALTIUS, the Air-Launched, Tube-Integrated Unmanned System, to launch from a rotary-wing test aircraft — a UH-60 Black Hawk — and was able to demonstrate the concept from a high altitude in August 2018. Then the service demonstrated the concept again during a ground robotic breach exercise at Yakima Air Base in Washington state in 2019 as well as a launch from a Black Hawk flying at a lower altitude — roughly 100 feet or less. In March, at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, the Army demonstrated multiple ALEs launched from a Black Hawk at very low altitudes to “maintain masking,” Rugen said. “We got our mesh network extended out to about 60 kilometers, so we were pretty happy with, again, the requirements pace and the experimentation pace with that.” The program will evolve beyond 2024 as the capability will align more closely with fitting into future formations. The Army could award future contracts to integrate the capability or could establish follow-on Other Transaction Authority contracts — which is the type of contract mechanism used for the 10 awardees that allows the Army to move faster to rapidly prototype. “We have the contractual mechanisms” to be “flexible and responsive,” which is key in a program like ALE, Joe Giunta, executive director of Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, said. Instead of looking for a vendor that could deliver every aspect of a system, “we can harvest from across multiple different vendors, who bring, if you will, the best characteristics,” Patrick Mason, the deputy PEO for Army Aviation, added. “Then as they merge into our government reference architecture and our open system approach, we are then able to bring those together to create a much more capable product,” he said, that “fits into the longer term on how we can modify that as technology comes along and we can ramp on increases in technologies as we get out into the '23, '24 time frame and then further into the future as we look out to FY30 and the fielding of FARA, FLRAA and the full establishment of the FVL ecosystem.” The Army released a notice to industry Aug. 12 looking for input on technology that could further advance the capability of ALE against sophisticated adversaries with plans to host an industry day in September. While the service will prototype mature technologies in the near term, Mason said, “when you look at the '25 and '26 time frame, there will be better technologies that are developed around the payload side of the house, advancements in air vehicles or advancements in the missions systems.” The RFI is “looking at the next increment that is out there as we move from now in 2020 to what we would have as a residual capability in '24 to what we could move to in 2030,” Mason said. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/08/24/army-awards-air-launched-effects-contracts-for-future-helicopters/

  • The Netherlands to buy nine more F-35s for $1.1 billion

    October 9, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    The Netherlands to buy nine more F-35s for $1.1 billion

    By: Sebastian Sprenger COLOGNE, Germany – The Dutch government on Tuesday announced plans to purchase nine more of Lockheed Martin's F-35 jets, a move that would bring the country's inventory to 46. The envisioned €1 billion acquisition will “lay the foundation” for a third F-35 squadron in the Dutch air force, a plan that government officials first floated in late 2018, according to a statement posted on the defense ministry website. The additional aircraft are expected contribute to the air force's objective of having four jets available for NATO missions while also performing homeland defense operations and accounting for training requirements and maintenance downtime. Fully rounding out a third squadron would require 15 extra planes, however, alliance officials have previously told the Dutch, prompting talk in the Netherlands last year of a potentially higher number eventually. The Dutch want the F-35 to replace their legacy fleet of F-16s. Neighbor Belgium selected the fifth-generation aircraft in the fall of 2018, announcing a planned buy of 34 copies. Dick Zandee, a defense analyst at the Clingendael think tank in The Hague, told Defense News the announced acquisition of nine more F-35s enjoys “broad support” in the Dutch parliament. He said government leaders had already included the new aircraft spending in their annual report to NATO to show momentum in the country's move toward spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on the military. Government officials have told parliament that they want to give the American program office a formal notice to buy the additional jets before the end of the year, Zandee said. The Dutch want F-35s of the newest configuration, he added, which means any changes in the international delivery schedule caused by the recent Turkish expulsion from the F-35 program likely would play no role. The Trump administration has kicked Turkey out of the program over the country's purchase of the Russian S-400 air-defense system. American officials fear that co-locating the two systems could enable Russia to glean valuable intelligence about the planes simply by subjecting them to the S-400′s sensors. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/10/08/the-netherlands-to-buy-nine-more-f-35s-for-11-billion

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