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  • Lockheed Lowering F-35 Simulator Costs Through 3-D Printing

    December 7, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Lockheed Lowering F-35 Simulator Costs Through 3-D Printing

    Lockheed Martin [LMT] is using 3-D printing, or additive manufacturing, technology to lower the cost of manufacturing F-35 flight simulators by an estimated $11 million over the next five years.Using new 3-D printing machines, the number of parts and components...

  • The Air Force is reorganizing its primary IT shop

    December 7, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    The Air Force is reorganizing its primary IT shop

    By: Mark Pomerleau Air Force leaders are reorganizing the service's primary IT office. As part of the change, leaders are dividing job responsibilities from the chief information officer to a new combined intelligence/IT shop and a deputy CIO. In addition, the Air Force's top IT position — the chief information officer — will become an undersecretary for the service. It's not immediately clear why Air Force leaders want to make the changes, which will take place at the beginning of 2019. Bill Marion, the Air Force's deputy CIO, said during a Dec. 4 event hosted by AFCEA that the service will move the offensive, defensive and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance elements of the staff into a new office. “Think offense, defense and ISR, think 24th [Air Force], 25th [Air Force], think bringing those two communities together in a total full-spectrum [information operations]/[information warfare] fight,” Marion said. The other side of the reorganization will be a pure IT play. Marion, in his role as the deputy CIO, will focus on the IT and associated workforce development components for the Air Force. As part of the changes, Brig. Gen. Kevin Kennedy will serve in a dual-hatted role spanning both aspects of the reorganization, Marion said, serving as a bridge during the transition.


    December 7, 2018 | International, Aerospace


    (December 3, 2018) Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, announced the delivery of the first law enforcement-configuredBell 505 Jet Ranger X to the Sacramento Police Department. “The Bell 505 delivers best-in-class visibility, and the aircraft's advanced avionics and cost of operations make it the choice aircraft for law enforcement operations,” said jay ortiz, SENIOR vice president, the Americas. “bell is proud to support THE SACRAMENTO police department and provide reliable aircraft for the important mission of global law enforcement agencies.” Bell outfitted the Sacramento Police Department's Bell 505 with several law enforcement provisions, including high skid gear and forward/aft hard points for mounting equipment. The aircraft also features additional equipment including a 15” monitor with moving map system, loudhailer, MX-10 EO/IR Sensor and Trakka Beam Searchlight. “The Bell 505 will be invaluable in critical calls for service when minutes matter and will allow us to best protect the citizens of Sacramento,” said Sergeant Randy Van Dusen of the Sacramento Police Department's Air Operations Team. “The ergonomic seats allow the pilot and tactical flight officer to fly for hours comfortably, and the large windows allow for greater visibility that makes searching for suspects and missing persons easier.” With a speed of 125 knots (232 km/h) and useful load of 1,500 pounds (680 kg), the Bell 505 is designed to be safe and easy to fly while providing significant value to the operator. The customer-driven design of the aircraft places safety, performance and affordability at the forefront, blending proven systems with advanced technology and a sleek, modern design. Press Contact Blakeley Thress +1 817‐280‐2968

  • Rheinmetall to supply Germany’s Federal Police with protective vest inserts

    December 7, 2018 | International, Land

    Rheinmetall to supply Germany’s Federal Police with protective vest inserts

    Rheinmetall has won an order to supply the German Federal Police with ballistic inserts for protective vests. The framework agreement lasts 36 months and is worth a total of around €10 million. Representing roughly €1 million in sales, a first batch consisting of over 5,000 ballistic inserts will be shipped in spring 2019. The contract encompasses an option for the supply of an additional 36,000 inserts. Developed and produced by Rheinmetall Ballistic Protection in Krefeld, Germany, the inserts exploit the latest technology in order to achieve high protection at the lowest possible weight. Among the lightest of their kind, these inserts withstand shots fired from an AK-47 assault rifle. As a result, law enforcement officers who find themselves in complex, life-threatening situations are not only well protected, but able to manoeuvre easily as well. Rheinmetall – a powerful partner of the police and security services Headquartered in Düsseldorf, Rheinmetall AG is a publicly traded, globally operating technology group. It consists of two operational units: Rheinmetall Defence and Rheinmetall Automotive. In 2017 the Group's 23,000 employees generated sales of just under €6 billion. Rheinmetall feels a special obligation to make the best-possible equipment available to those whose task it is to protect our society. Its Public Security product portfolio – tailored to meet the needs of law enforcement agencies and security services – covers a wide array of capabilities, ranging from reconnaissance and surveillance to command and control, cyber operations, kinetics, force protection and tactical mobility.

  • Airbus pulls out of Polish helo tender due to offset requirements

    December 7, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Airbus pulls out of Polish helo tender due to offset requirements

    By: Jarosław Adamowski WARSAW, Poland — Airbus Helicopters has decided to pull out of the Polish Defence Ministry's tender to acquire new copters for the country's Navy. The "offset requirements defined by the Polish MoD made it impossible for Airbus Helicopters to submit a competitive offer," the company said in a statement sent to the state-owned news agency PAP. “Airbus Helicopters continues to be interested in supporting the process of the modernization of the Polish Armed Forces in the field of helicopter fleet replacement,” the vendor said with respect to Poland's other helo procurement plans. Earlier this year, Airbus Helicopters and Leonardo placed their offers in the ministry's tender to purchase four helicopters. Leonardo, which is now the only active participant of the tender, owns Polish aircraft plant PZL Swidnik which makes the AW101 copter, among others. The new helos, enabled with anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and search-and-rescue (SAR) capabilities, are designed to replace the Polish Navy's Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite copters, according to First Deputy Defence Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz. Local observers have also said the new helos could replace the Navy's Soviet-designed Mil Mi-14 copters.

  • Spanish vendors pitch new hypoxia-response training for military pilots

    December 7, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Spanish vendors pitch new hypoxia-response training for military pilots

    By: Christina Mackenzie PARIS – Spanish companies have unveiled a new system for simulating low-oxygen conditions that air force pilots may experience during flight. The technology, made by Indra, one of Spain's leading high-technology companies, and iAltitude, a Spanish company specializing in high-altitude sports training, is the latest proposal to cope with the symptoms of hypoxia, which can cause pilots to fall unconscious mid-flight. Air force pilots have a backup oxygen mask in case the oxygen levels drops too low but if the mask were to fail, pilots “must be able to identify the symptoms that precede hypoxia, a dangerous state that can cause loss of consciousness in a few seconds,” Indra said. The system, which the company claims is “the first of its kind in the world,” consists of normobaric hypoxia equipment made by iAltitude that Indra has integrated into the simulator for the C101 Spanish Air Force training jet at the Madrid-based CIMA (Aerospace Medicine Training Center). Whilst the pilots are training on the simulator, the system regulates the oxygen pilots get through their mask, reducing it progressively. Their responses are recorded and the data will be used by CIMA to design training programs tol alert pilots to pre-hypoxia symptoms. Until now, training in hypoxia was mainly performed in hypobaric and normobaric sealed chambers in which trainees could undertake exercises to help them detect loss of oxygen, but these could not be undertaken simultaneously with flight tasks. The new system means hypoxia tests are now integrated with flight training, as the capabilities of each pilot to complete flight procedures in low-oxygen conditions are being evaluated continuously.

  • Lockheed Martin And Airbus Sign Memorandum Of Agreement On Aerial Refueling

    December 7, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Lockheed Martin And Airbus Sign Memorandum Of Agreement On Aerial Refueling

    MADRID, Dec. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Airbus have signed an agreement to jointly explore opportunities to meet the growing demand for aerial refueling for U.S. defense customers. The companies will seek to provide aerial-refueling services to address any identified capacity shortfall and to meet requirements for the next generation of tankers capable of operating in the challenging environments of future battlespace. "Reliable and modernized aerial refueling is an essential capability for our customers to maintain their global reach and strategic advantage," said Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson. "By combining the innovation and expertise of Airbus and Lockheed Martin, we will be well-positioned to provide the United States Air Force with the advanced refueling solutions needed to meet 21st century security challenges." "The U.S. Air Force deserves the best aerial-refueling technology and performance available under the sun and this great industry team, Lockheed Martin and Airbus, will offer exactly that," said Tom Enders, Airbus CEO. The companies are taking a cooperative approach, with the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT) at its heart, to examine a broad spectrum of opportunities. These may range from ways to support critical near-term air-refueling needs, such as a fee-for-service structure to conceptualizing the tanker of the future. Airbus Defence and Space Head of Military Aircraft Fernando Alonso said, "The A330 MRTT has been selected by a dozen nations around the world. It is extensively proven in live operations and has been repeatedly praised by major air forces. We are convinced that the combination of Airbus' tanker expertise with Lockheed Martin's extensive U.S. presence, has the potential to provide highly effective solutions for current and future U.S. military aerial refueling requirements." Lockheed Martin has a long and successful history of systems integration, manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul operations with large airlift and tanker aircraft. When combined with Airbus expertise in this competitive space, the two companies will field a strong team to address future air refueling needs. "Airbus is an industry leader in the aerial refueling area, and Lockheed Martin is known for cutting-edge defensive technologies and capabilities," said Michele Evans, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "This is a great opportunity for our two companies to combine our expertise – cooperating to develop world-class solutions for critical needs around the world." About Lockheed Martin Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. This year the company received three Edison Awards for ground-breaking innovations in autonomy, satellite technology and directed energy. About Airbus Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 it generated reported revenues of € 67 billion – or € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 – and employed a workforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world's leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide. This news release contains statements that are not recitations of historical fact and which therefore constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially due to factors such as our ability to successfully jointly pursue opportunities and achieve the expected synergies and other benefits and the competitive environment for our products and services. For a discussion identifying additional important factors that could cause actual results to vary, see the Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) including "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Risk Factors" in the Corporation's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The Corporation's filings may be accessed through the Investor Relations page of its website,, or through the website maintained by the SEC at SOURCE Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

  • Sole-sourced contracts can be 'raw deal', top officials said in navy ship case

    December 7, 2018 | Local, Naval

    Sole-sourced contracts can be 'raw deal', top officials said in navy ship case

    Lee Berthiaume / The Canadian Press OTTAWA — New court documents show public servants discussing the risk to taxpayers as successive federal governments have turned to sole-source contracts to buy desperately needed equipment for the Canadian Forces and others. The documents were filed on behalf of suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who is charged with breach of trust in connection with one such contract. They land amid frustrations with Canada's military procurement system — including because of political mismanagement — that have led to the need for quick fixes. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has chosen to sign several sole-source contracts to bolster the coast guard's aging icebreaking fleet and the country's fighter-jet force, buying time to find permanent replacements. Sole-sourcing does make sense in many cases, said defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, particularly where there is an emergency or it's clear that only one company can meet the government's needs. "But if you're sole-sourcing to fill a capability gap, that's the result of mismanaging a procurement to the point where you are out of options and have no alternative," Perry said. "That's not really a good reason to be sole-sourcing." The Tories under Stephen Harper once intended to buy a fleet of F-35 fighter jets on an untendered contract, but aborted that plan in 2012 once the full price became known. Then the Trudeau government planned to spend about $6 billion on 18 sole-sourced "interim" Super Hornets from Boeing because it said Canada needed more fighter jets to support its aging CF-18s until replacements could be purchased through a competition. The Super Hornets deal eventually fell apart because of a trade dispute with Boeing. So the government is buying 25 second-hand Australian fighter jets, also without a competition. Canada isn't expected to get new fighter jets until at least 2025. The Liberals also recently bought three second-hand icebreakers from Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding for the coast guard, whose existing fleet is on average 35 years old — with no immediate plan to replace it on the horizon. Suspended as the military's second-in-command in January 2017, Norman was charged in March 2018 with one count of breach of trust for allegedly leaking cabinet secrets to Davie over a different contract. He has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the charge. The case against Norman centres on a sole-sourced deal negotiated between Davie and the previous Conservative government in 2015, in which the Quebec shipyard proposed converting a civilian cargo ship into a temporary support vessel for the navy. The $700-million contract with Davie was not finalized before that year's federal election. Although the newly elected Liberals at first wanted to delay it for a closer review, they signed off on the deal a short time later. Before Liberal ministers agreed to buy the converted ship, bureaucrats from the Privy Council Office, the government's top department, wrote a secret briefing note in November 2015 that discussed the problems with not holding a competition. "The risk inherent with a sole-source contract is that much of the leverage in the contract negotiation resides with the company," the bureaucrats wrote, even as they noted that the Conservatives had exempted the deal from the usual oversight for such projects. Despite these concerns, the officials recommended the government approve the deal. Partly because they had assessed that "risk mitigation measures" were in place, but mostly because the navy urgently needed a support ship for faraway operations. The court documents, none of which have been filed as exhibits or tested in court, include RCMP interviews with civil servants that suggest politicians' desire for votes in Quebec also played a role in the decisions about the ship. But the navy's need for the vessel was real. The navy at the time had just retired its 50-year-old support ships and while replacements are being built in Vancouver through the government's national shipbuilding plan, numerous delays and problems mean they won't be ready until the 2020s. The navy had originally expected to get new support ships in 2012. The briefing note said a competition could have been held to find another, perhaps cheaper, solution, but "a competitive process would take longer to deliver a solution — likely 10-14 months for a contract award, and then more time for the service to be ready." RCMP interviews with several senior civil servants raise similar concerns about awarding a contract to Davie without a competition while also alluding to the sense of urgency in getting new support ships. The Defence Department's head of procurement, Patrick Finn, told the Mounties that other companies were clamouring to compete to supply a temporary support ship in late 2014, and that "the information existed to say that this could be done competitively." But Finn noted that Davie had already found a ship that it could convert for the navy, which "at that point had no replenishment ships." Melissa Burke, an analyst with the Privy Council Office who attended various cabinet meetings about Davie's proposal in 2015, told the RCMP that federal procurement officials were unhappy because "they felt the taxpayers were getting a raw deal."

  • Canadian military to contract out some maintenance work on aging CF-18s to free up front line technicians

    December 7, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    Canadian military to contract out some maintenance work on aging CF-18s to free up front line technicians

    LEE BERTHIAUME OTTAWA THE CANADIAN PRESS PUBLISHED DECEMBER 3, 2018UPDATED DECEMBER 3, 2018 The Canadian military is looking to contract out some maintenance work on the country's aging CF-18 fighter jets as well as training to help address a shortage of experienced technicians. Defence officials revealed the plan during a Commons committee meeting on Monday, in which they also defended the time needed to pick a new jet for the air force and faced calls to reveal how much it will cost to upgrade the CF-18s' combat systems. The technician shortage was first revealed in an explosive auditor general's report last month in which the watchdog took aim at the Liberals' plan to buy second-hand Australian jets by warning the air force needed more technicians and pilots – not planes. A number of measures are being introduced to address both shortfalls, air force commander Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger told the committee, including the contracting out of more involved maintenance that usually takes place away from the front lines as well as some tech training. The initiatives will free up about 200 experienced aircraft technicians so they can work directly on planes in the field and keep them flying, Meinzinger said, adding in an interview after the meeting that the move would not affect combat readiness. Initiatives are also being introduced to better support military families, which Meinzinger identified as a key contributing factor in why many pilots and technicians are leaving, while the air force is looking at a new training model to produce more pilots. Even with these measures, Meinzinger said he expected it to take between five and seven years to have a full complement of pilots and technicians in time to start transitioning from the CF-18s to new state-of-the-art replacements. “We're putting our shoulder to the wheel,” Meinzinger told The Canadian Press. “This is a top priority. But it's going to take some time, obviously.” Defence officials faced pointed questions from members of Parliament on both sides of the table during Monday's committee meeting about the length of time it is expected to take for those new replacements to be selected and delivered. A request for proposals will be released in the spring, with bids due in early 2020. Another full year has been set aside to evaluate those bids and another for negotiations with the winner. Delivery of the first aircraft is expected in 2025 and the last in 2031. The Defence Department's head of procurement, Patrick Finn, underscored the complexity of the $19-billion project, which has been plagued by delays and political mismanagement for more than a decade as Canada has sought to choose a new fighter. Those complexities include the usual challenges evaluating and negotiating the capabilities of each of the four aircraft that are expected to compete, Finn said, as well as the industrial benefits to Canada and intellectual-property rights. At the same time, he added, the process for actually purchasing each of the planes is different given, for example, that Canada is a member of the F-35 stealth fighter project while the U.S. government would need to officially sign off on buying Super Hornets. In fact, Finn said the government has only limited flexibility in its schedule given that most manufacturers can only start delivering aircraft three years after an order is made – though he remained confident that the timeline would be met. The length of time was nonetheless a clear concern to some committee members. Officials were also grilled over the cost of upgrading the CF-18s' sensors, weapons and defensive measures after the auditor general found $3-billion in planned investments over the next decade was only to keep them flying and did not include their combat systems. The Defence Department's top bureaucrat, deputy minister Jody Thomas, told the committee that an analysis is underway, which includes consulting with the U.S. and other allies, and that a plan is expected in the spring. But opposition members challenged Thomas when she suggested that the department would not be able to provide cost estimates to the committee before being presented to the government, saying even if it is a matter of security, they are entitled to the information. “A unilateral declaration by a deputy or anybody that a parliamentary committee cannot have information is unacceptable,” NDP MP David Christopherson said. “There needs to be one more step to pursue that so that question, which is entirely legitimate in my opinion, can be answered in a way that respects the security and defence issues but also upholds the right of Parliament to demand any information they so choose.”

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