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  • DSEI: UK’s Warrior fleet upgrade about 18 months away from kickoff

    September 12, 2019 | International, Land

    DSEI: UK’s Warrior fleet upgrade about 18 months away from kickoff

    By: Andrew Chuter LONDON — Negotiations are underway on a production contract to update the British Army's fleet of Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, according to the Ministry of Defence official running the program. “We are now talking about how we go forward on production,” Marcus Bruton, the MoD's Warrior upgrade director said during an interview at the DSEI show Sept. 10. Bruton said the two sides were probably 18 months away from a contract allowing Lockheed Martin and its supply chain to start upgrading the Warrior. The effort to progress the long running Warrior capability sustainment development program into the manufacturing phase has come on the back of Lockheed Martin successfully achieving 20 battlefield mission assessments – a key milestone in the reliability growth test program now underway. The MoD said in March it would open manufacturing contract negotiations once it was satisfied with progress on reliability trials. In late August Lockheed Martin achieved that milestone. The company said that in cooperation with the British Army Armoured Trials and Development Unit, it had fired thousands of rounds from the new CTAI developed 40 mm cannon, driven more than 5,000 kms, and achieved the battlefield mission assessments with flying colors. Lockheed Martin Warrior program Director Lee Fellows said he is expecting a deal towards the back end of next year. The company is keen to get the production contract signed and sealed but “we need to get it right, so it will take as long as it needs to," he added. "Getting it done at pace and quality aequally important.” Quantities, the mix of variants and affordability are among the items due to be discussed. Discussions on how to overcome issues of design authority ownership is also part of the build up to a production contract, said the officials. BAE holds the design authority on the existing legacy Warrior, but Lockheed Martin holds the approval for the extensive upgrade — particularly the new turret. “The expectation is there will be a collaboration with BAE. We are talking with them already, that's part of the negotiations,” said Fellows. Neither executive will comment on what sort of upgrade numbers the British Army is looking at. Roughly 740 vehicles were delivered to the British Army starting 1988 but a number were lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. A number of vehicles have been earmarked for battlefield support duties that don't require a new turret. At one time the number of hulls to be updated was in the region of 380, but suppliers at a company briefing in March said that as the British Army downsized and budgets became more challenging the figure slipped to around 265 or lower. The Lockheed Martin executive said that the next 18 months or so will bring further reliability growth trials, but that the major risks have been removed and testing had not unearthed any significant problems. The update is considered one of the Army's top priorities alongside other vehicle programs, including the Challenger 2 tank upgrade and procurement of the Boxer mechanized infantry vehicle from German company Artec. Lockheed Martin was awarded a development deal to upgrade Warrior vehicles back in 2011, but the program has been dogged with problems slowing down progress towards a production deal by several years. The update program includes a new turret fitted with the CTAI cannon, electronic architecture, a modular protection systems and other enhancements. It's a much needed update. The current vehicle's inability to fire on the move is just one of a number of shortcomings deemed to make the Warrior obsolete by current battlefield standards. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/dsei/2019/09/11/uks-warrior-fleet-upgrade-about-18-months-away-from-kickoff

  • DSEI: British, Italian defense companies jump on Tempest

    September 12, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    DSEI: British, Italian defense companies jump on Tempest

    By: Sebastian Sprenger and Andrew Chuter LONDON – BAE Systems and Leonardo on Wednesday formalized a partnership agreement to cooperate on the Tempest next-generation combat aircraft, following a pact signed between the U.K. and Italian governments late Tuesday afternoon. The inclusion of Italy in the ambitious project marks the third partner nation, following Sweden, that the British were able to sign. And BAE officials on hand here at the DSEI defense trade show hinted that more could follow soon. Leonardo brings with it a smattering of Italian companies, including Avio Aero and Elettronica, adding to the team of MBDA and Rolls Royce already onboard. BAE Systems chief Charles Woodburn said both nations and their respective industries are “committed” to seeing Tempest through. The program is envisioned to be a sixth-generation, aerial combat system featuring manned planes, drones, sensors and weapons working in unprecedented collaboration. The two countries already work together on the American-led F-35 as well as the Eurofighter Typhoon. Advancing those programs is also an explicit objective in the new partnership between London and Rome. A statement released by the UK Ministry of Defence Wednesday morning framed the government agreement – signed by Simon Bollom, the head of Defence Equipment and Support, and Lt. Gen. Nicolò Falsaperna, Italian Secretary General of Defence – as a broad pledge to cooperate on matters of “combat air capability.” The idea is to “deepen discussions on Tempest military requirements,” come up with a “road map” for feeding advanced Eurofighter capabilities into the future program, and facilitate an industry ecosystem to make it all happen, according to the statement. “The U.K. and Italy have a proven 50-year track record of working closely together on Combat Aircraft development and support through the Panavia Tornado and Eurofighter Typhoon programs,” reads the defense ministry statement. “Both governments confirmed a common desire for a strong industrial base to develop key capabilities and boost prosperity in both nations. The agreement also paves the way for closer industrial collaboration, including through shared industrial entities such as Leonardo and MBDA.” Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo lauded the joint Tempest effort as an “ambitious and strategically important” program. Joining it this early in the process, he said, would allow his company greater say in future decisions. The U.K.-Italy venture comes as France, Germany and Spain are working on their own version of Europe's next-generation weapon, the Future Combat Air System. With much pomp and circumstance accorded here to the Tempest effort, including promotion under the banner of the Royal Air Force and a full-scale mockup sitting prominently in the exhibit hall, the continental counterpart appeared more of a distant theory in comparison. The FCAS program, led on the industry side by Airbus and Dassault, has been dogged by a fundamental disagreement between German and France about the exportability of its envisioned components. Berlin taking a more restrictive stance than Paris when it comes to potential buyers in the Middle East. Following Spain's recent inclusion in the program, the Madrid government has designated electronics specialist Indra as the national industry lead, a move that left the Spanish Airbus division feeling burned, according to sources. Trade show attendees here associated with the FCAS program brushed aside the notion of Tempest as the more concrete proposal, noting how Brexit would cast a shadow of uncertainty on the UK's budget, not to speak of Italy's ongoing financial troubles. At the same time, the U.K.-Italian-Swedish and the Franco-German-Spanish efforts make for formidable competition in a continent where military budgets are limited. Asked by a reporter how he sees the two programs play out over the next ten years, Profumo only stated the obvious: “Two programs are more expensive than one.” So where might the British turn next in their quest for international partners? Woodburn, the head of BAE, told Defense News that talks with other possible partners are ongoing. "We are in discussions with other nations, but what it shows is there are plenty of people who want to join the team although they may be different types of partners to the ones we have right now," he said. Leonardo U.K. boss Norman Bone said Team Tempest hadn't stopped talking to core companies but were also looking at partners who bring other benefits. “We haven't drawn the line on industrial capability but maybe there are partners who bring money and markets in exchange for technology transfer,” said Bone. Enzo Benigni, the CEO of Elettronica, said his company's participation in Tempest is a crucial milestone for the company. “It's a partnership that will last 40 or 50 years,” he told reporters. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/dsei/2019/09/11/british-italian-defense-companies-jump-on-tempest

  • DSEI :Raytheon anticipates international boom in counterdrone sales

    September 12, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    DSEI :Raytheon anticipates international boom in counterdrone sales

    By: Jen Judson LONDON — Raytheon is expecting a boom in international sales of its counter-UAS system already battle-tested with the U.S. Army. The Howler system — which includes a Ku-band Radio Frequency Sensor, a command-and-control system, and a Coyote unmanned aircraft system designed to take out enemy drones — could soon see an abundance of buyers. The system could also include a high-energy laser defeat solution and a high-powered microwave capability to provide a non-kinetic approach to knocking drone threats out of commission, according to company officials. “We have experienced quite a bit of interest from our international friends, partners and allies,” James McGovern, Raytheon vice president of mission systems and sensors in its Integrated Defense Systems business, told Defense News during an interview at DSEI, a defense exposition in London. “It's exploded: Counter-unmanned aircraft systems is the in-vogue discussion on weapon space and solution set at every trade show we've been to. It's a nonstop revolving door of interested customers in our solutions,” he added. Over the past five years, drone threats — cheap, commercial off-the-shelf ones — have proliferated in use, posing a threat on the battlefield as well as to airports, sports stadiums, government buildings and urban areas. Raytheon is preparing to reach initial operational capability with the U.S. Army of its Block II version of the Coyote, which is a variant that makes the Block more missile-like in appearance. The IOC goal is for the first quarter of 2020, according to Pete Mangelsdorf, director of the Coyote and rapid development programs within the land warfare systems portfolio at Raytheon. In the meantime, the company is soon expecting congressional notification for a sale to its first foreign country, Mangelsdorf said. Raytheon expects to see roughly 15 more countries issue letters of request for the Howler system to include Block II Coyote rapidly following the first congressional notification, he added. The company has license to separately sell sensors abroad, but generally customers are not just interested in what the sense-and-detect capability sensors would bring but rather want full-up systems that include all of Howler's elements. Raytheon's Howler system is flexible and can integrate into other systems and platforms, according to McGovern. Currently, Howler is used on a U.S. Army truck, but it could be integrated onto a pallet at a fixed site or mounted on a different truck depending on customer needs, McGovern said. The U.S. Army system was developed in response to a joint urgent operational need statement to find something that could counter drones as well as rockets, artillery and mortars, according to Mangelsdorf. The Block I version of the Coyote, which looks more like a plane or loitering munition than a missile, was the interim capability in response to the joint urgent operational need statement. The system is scalable in size. McGovern said Raytheon has used its gallium nitride technology to scale down the radar array while maintaining range and detection sensitivity, and while fitting it onto a smaller vehicle in the event a customer has a need for increased mobility, like in the case of special operations forces. The radar has the ability to see singular drones and identify drone swarms with high fidelity. Other radars might just pick up a drone swarm as one big blob, McGovern noted. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/dsei/2019/09/11/raytheon-anticipates-international-boom-in-counter-drone-sales

  • US Air Force restricts KC-46 from carrying cargo and passengers

    September 12, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    US Air Force restricts KC-46 from carrying cargo and passengers

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — In a move that could have major impacts on the already-delayed tanker program, the U.S. Air Force has indefinitely barred the KC-46 from carrying cargo and passengers, Defense News has learned. The decision was made after an incident occurred where the cargo locks on the bottom of the floor of the aircraft became unlocked during a recent flight, creating concerns that airmen could potentially be hurt or even killed by heavy equipment that suddenly bursts free during a flight. “As a result of this discovery, the Air Force has submitted a Category 1 deficiency report and is working with Boeing to identify a solution,” Air Force Mobility Command spokesman Col. Damien Pickart said in a statement. The service uses the term Category 1 to describe serious technical issues that could endanger the aircrew and aircraft or have other major effects. “Until we find a viable solution with Boeing to remedy this problem, we can't jeopardize the safety of our aircrew and this aircraft,” he said. The problem was discovered during a recent overseas operational test and evaluation flight, when KC-46 aircrew noticed that numerous cargo restraint devices had come unlocked over the course of the multiple legs of the trip. “Prior to departing for each of these missions, aircrew fully installed, locked and thoroughly inspected each restraint, and performed routine inspections of the restraints in flight,” Pickart said. “Despite these safety measures, the unlocking of cargo floor restraints occurred during flight, although no cargo or equipment moved and there was no specific risk to the aircraft or crew.” A source with knowledge of the issue told Defense News that if all restraints on a particular pallet had become unlocked, it would be able to roll freely throughout the cabin. If all cargo became unlatched, it could pose a safety risk to aircrew or even unbalance the aircraft — making the plane “difficult, if not impossible” to control. While this problem has only been observed on one KC-46, the Air Force does not have enough information to rule out other aircraft having a similar defect. The problem also poses a danger to the tanker's operational test schedule, Pickart said. The program was set to start initial operational test and evaluation this fall, with pre-IOT&E activities already initiated. “This is a multi-mission aircraft, it's for carrying cargo and passengers, it's for refueling and also the aeromedical evacuation mission,” he said. “If you can't carry cargo pallets and patient litters, a significant amount of your core missions cannot be properly tested.” In a statement, KC-46 manufacturer Boeing acknowledged that it had been notified of the new issue. “The company and the Air Force are cooperatively analyzing the locks to determine a root cause,” Boeing stated. “The safety of KC-46 aircraft and crew is our top priority. Once a cause has been identified, the tanker team will implement any required actions as quickly as possible.” But the problem could be bad news for Boeing's bottom line. The company is locked into a fixed-price contract for where it is responsible for paying for any expenses beyond the initial $4.9 billion award for development of the aircraft. So far, the company has paid more than $3.5 billion of its own money to fund corrections to ongoing technical issues. The latest Cat-1 deficiency brings the total up to four: The tanker's remote vision system or RVS — the camera system that allows KC-46 boom operators to steer the boom into a receiver aircraft without having to look out a window and use visual cues — provides imagery in certain lighting conditions that appears warped or misleading. Boeing has agreed to pay for potentially extensive hardware and software fixes, but the Air Force believes it will be three or four years until the system is fully functional. The Air Force has recorded instances of the boom scraping against the airframe of receiver aircraft. Boeing and the Air Force believe this problem is a symptom of the RVS's acuity problems and will be eliminated once the camera system is fixed. Boeing must redesign the boom to accommodate the A-10, which currently does not generate the thrust necessary to push into the boom for refueling. This problem is a requirements change by the Air Force, which approved Boeing's design in 2016. Last month, Boeing received a $55.5 million contract to begin work on the new boom actuator. While the KC-46 program has clocked several key milestones this year, it has also hit some publicly embarrassing stumbles. After several years of delays, the Air Force finally signed off on the acceptance of the first tanker. However, due to the list of technical problems, Boeing was forced to accept an agreement where the service could withhold up to $28 million per aircraft upon delivery. About $360 million has been withheld so far, Defense One reported in July. The Air Force plans to buy 179 KC-46s over the life of the program, and 52 are currently on contract. So far, Boeing has delivered 18 tankers to McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.; Altus Air Force Base, Okla; and Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H. But deliveries were interrupted earlier this year by the discovery of foreign object debris in multiple planes. The Air Force suspended KC-46 flights at Boeing's production line in Everett, Wash., this February after finding debris. Then it paused all tanker deliveries in March as the service investigated the extent of the problem. The service began accepting tankers again later that month, only for deliveries to stop — and restart — in April due to similar problems. Will Roper, the service's acquisition executive, told reporters at the Paris Air Show this July that the service expects to find foreign object debris in KC-46s moving through the line, and it may be months before planes are reliably clean. “As those airplanes flow forward down the line, we think it's going to take some time for the new quality assurance inspection processes to start early enough so that airplanes will flow that are FOD-free,” he said, according to Defense One. “It's not the way we want to get airplanes into the Air Force, but it's what we're going to have to do in the meantime.” https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2019/09/11/air-force-restricts-kc-46-from-carrying-cargo-and-personnel

  • Airbus : une étude pour les satellites de défense britannique

    September 12, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Airbus : une étude pour les satellites de défense britannique

    Airbus va développer une technologie ultra haute résolution pour les satellites du ministère de la Défense britannique. Airbus va réaliser une étude portant sur la conception de technologies destinées à un essaim de satellites radar à synthèse d'ouverture (SAR) ultra haute résolution. Les satellites seront également capables de recueillir des signaux radiofréquence (RF). ' Les innovations techniques et technologies ainsi obtenues permettront de voir le sol avec une précision exceptionnelle, y compris dans l'obscurité ou sous une couverture nuageuse ' indique le groupe. Colin Paynter, Managing Director d'Airbus Defence and Space UK, a déclaré : ' Le projet Oberon bénéficie de l'expérience en technologie des radars spatiaux acquise par Airbus depuis plus de 40 ans. J'ai h'te de voir cette étude mener à la création, pour le ministère de la Défense britannique, d'une nouvelle capacité de surveillance de premier ordre qui aidera à protéger nos forces armées à travers le monde. ' https://www.zonebourse.com/AIRBUS-SE-4637/actualite/Airbus-une-etude-pour-les-satellites-de-defense-britannique-29191225/

  • L'Italie embarque à bord du Tempest

    September 12, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    L'Italie embarque à bord du Tempest

    Helen Chachaty A trois, on y va. L'Italie a officiellement rejoint le programme d'aviation de combat du futur, mené par le Royaume-Uni. Un secret de polichinelle qui a pris la forme de la signature de deux accords distincts, le premier impliquant les autorités politiques, le second établissant les bases pour la coopération industrielle à venir entre les deux pays. Les documents ratifiés cette semaine prévoient aussi bien un partenariat renforcé sur les plateformes actuelles, Eurofighter et F-35, qu'un développement conjoint du prochain aéronef de combat, au sein du programme Tempest. La déclaration d'intention signée entre le chef du Defence Equipment & Support (l'équivalent britannique de la DGA), Sir Simon Bollom, et le Lieutenant général Nicolò Falsaperna, vice-secrétaire général à la Défense italien, couvre cinq aspects de coopération : un rapprochement des deux gouvernements sur les capacités futures de l'Eurofighter ; la définition conjointe des besoins militaires concernant le Tempest, le développement d'une feuille de route pour l'aviation de combat, avec le transfert de technologies de l'Eurofighter au Tempest ; la mise en place d'un cadre de coopération industrielle ; le lancement d'études pour de nouvelles voies de « travail collaboratif ». Cette annonce politique a été suivie le lendemain par la signature d'un accord de coopération entre les principaux industriels britanniques et italiens, à l'occasion du salon DSEI, qui se tient jusqu'au 13 septembre à Londres. Il s'agira de « travailler ensemble pour définir un concept innovant et un modèle de partenariat qui inclura le partage de connaissances, la conception et le développement de technologies en vue d'un développement conjoint des systèmes de combat aérien futurs », selon le communiqué officiel. Côté britannique, on retrouve BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, Rolls Royce et MBDA UK, tandis que la partie italienne va impliquer Leonardo - évidemment - Elettronica, Avio Aero et la MBDA Italy. L'Italie devient ainsi le troisième acteur impliqué dans le programme de développement du système de combat aérien du futur lancé et dirigé par le Royaume-Uni, le deuxième au sein du programme Tempest. La Suède s'est pour sa part contentée de signer un accord de coopération pour l'aviation de combat de nouvelle génération lors du salon aéronautique de Farnborough, sans toutefois rejoindre le programme Tempest en lui-même. Selon Jane's, la décision formelle est attendue pour la fin de l'année 2020. Le paysage européen de l'aviation de combat du futur se répartit à présent comme suit : France, Allemagne et Espagne coopèrent sur le SCAF, tandis que le Royaume-Uni, l'Italie - et peut-être la Suède - s'engagent sur le Tempest, chacun avec ses industriels dédiés. Certains, tels que MBDA ou encore Safran (qui figurent tous deux dans la liste « team Tempest »), tirent cependant leur épingle du jeu, en étant impliqués dans les deux programmes. https://www.journal-aviation.com/actualites/43040-l-italie-embarque-a-bord-du-tempest

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - September 11, 2019

    September 12, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - September 11, 2019

    NAVY The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded a $45,803,988 firm-fixed-price delivery order (N61340-19-F-0135) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-19-G-0002) to procure P-8A aircrew training system production concurrency upgrades for the Navy and the government of Australia. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri (45%); Jacksonville, Florida (40%); Adelaide, Australia (12%); Whidbey Island, Washington (2%); and Orlando, Florida (1%), and is expected to be completed in December 2022. Fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $37,000,969; and cooperative engagement agreement funds in the amount of $8,803,019 are being obligated on this award, $37,000,969 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity. CM Construction Services Inc.,* Visalia, California, is awarded a $20,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for other specialty trade contractors construction alterations, renovations and repair projects at Naval Support Activity Monterey. Projects will be primarily design-bid-build (fully designed) task orders or task orders with minimal design effort (e.g. shop drawings). Projects may include, but are not limited to, alterations, repairs, and construction of electrical; mechanical; painting; engineering/design; paving (asphaltic and concrete); flooring (tile work/carpeting); roofing; structural repair; fencing; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and fire suppression/protection system installation projects. Work will be performed in Monterey, California. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, and is expected to be completed September 2024. Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance, (Navy) (O&M, N) contract funds in the amount of $5,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Future task orders will be primarily funded by O&M, N. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with 18 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N62473-19-D-2608). Veterans Northwest Construction LLC,* Seattle, Washington, is awarded a $12,277,000 firm-fixed-price task order N44255-19-F-4417 under a multiple award construction contract (N44255-17-D-4015) for a special project (repair railroad tracks), Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton, Washington. The work to be performed includes repair to three railroad bridges and track modifications. Work will be performed in Shelton and Bremerton, Washington, and is expected to be completed by June 2021. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance, (Navy) contract funds for $12,277,000 are obligated on this award and expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Two proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Silverdale, Washington, is the contracting activity (N44255-17-D-4015). ARMY Eastman Aggregate Enterprises LLC,* Lake Worth, Florida, was awarded a $15,949,855 firm-fixed-price contract for nourish critically eroded shoreline along Miami-Dade Beach. Bids were solicited via the internet with seven received. Work will be performed in Miami, Florida, with an estimated completion date of July 17, 2020. Fiscal 2019 civil construction funds in the amount of $15,949,855 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville, Florida, is the contracting activity (W912EP-19-C-0025). Golden Wolf Ewing Cole JV, Huntington, Maryland (W912DY-19-D-0020); HKS WSP JV, Dallas, Texas (W912DY-19-D-0021); and Rogers, Lovelock & Fritz Inc., Orlando, Florida (W912DY-19-D-0022), will compete for each order of the $9,900,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of specialized medical facilities architect-engineering services. Bids were solicited via the internet with 17 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 10, 2021. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity. *Small Business https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/1957779/source/GovDelivery/

  • DSEI: Unleash the hornets: Combat vehicles and robots get new kit to increase standoff

    September 11, 2019 | International, Land

    DSEI: Unleash the hornets: Combat vehicles and robots get new kit to increase standoff

    By: Jen Judson LONDON — A FLIR System that deploys tiny unmanned aerial vehicles from a ruggedized container affixed to the front of a vehicle is helping to shape how advanced teaming can be used on the tactical edge against near peer threats. At DSEI — a major defense exposition in London — the system that deploys Black Hornet UAVs, which is the system chosen by the U.S. Army for the Soldier Borne Sensor program, made its appearance in several variations around the showroom floor. Rheinmetall had it built onto the front of its Mission Master Unmanned Ground System representing a surveillance variant. At Kongsberg, the system is integrated with a remote weapon station. The idea is that the package of tiny UAVs can be forward deployed from a combat vehicle while soldiers stay inside and maintain standoff from enemy forces. The UAVs can perform reconnaissance and possible targeting assistance so the vehicle knows where it can shoot. The data from the UAVs tiny camera can feed right back into the vehicle's weapon station providing intel to the gunner, for instance. The concept was first unveiled in a prototype at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference in Washington in 2018, but it is now a full-up system ready for the market, according to Ole Aguirre, FLIR senior director of UIS Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships in the company's unmanned systems and integrated solutions division. The system accommodates four Black Hornets in four individual compartments, which close up to protect the little drones. Two UAVs can be deployed at once while the other two charge using power from the vehicle, Aguirre said. The entire box that can be attached to the front of the vehicle is ruggedized to the level it can withstand the environment of a tank, he added. The system can be controlled from inside the vehicle using the remote weapon station or a tablet or the traditional controls that go with the U.S. Army's Soldier Borne Sensor. It has been built using NATO standards so it can be integrated into command and control systems. Placing the box of UAVs outside of the vehicle is important so that a soldier wouldn't have to open up the hatch on a vehicle to throw one out and space is highly limited inside most tanks and combat vehicles. The Black Hornet's range is roughly a 2,000 meter radius, but FLIR is looking at how to extend the range of the UAV to meet a requirement defined by a pacing threat of 3,000 meters, Aguirre said. Because the system is versatile, it can be used on small UGVs all the way up to tanks and so FLIR sees opportunity across the U.S. Army's many vehicle modernization programs and also with current systems. The company is investing heavily in evaluating utility for the U.S. Army, Aguirre added, but there is also strong international interest in Europe and the Middle East particularly. The system is a step forward in conceiving feasible integration concepts for advanced teaming between UAVs and manned and unmanned ground vehicles. Two years ago at DSEI, there was a striking lack of integration of unmanned aircraft systems into vehicle concepts. For example, Finnish defense company Patria was the only one to display a concept integrating a drone with a vehicle — mounting the hand-launched Black Hornet atop a little stick on the roof of the back end of its armored modular vehicle. Eurosatory in 2018, held in Paris, showed a little more evolution in advanced teaming between aerial systems and vehicles. The U.S. Army's plans to evaluate a wide variety of advanced teaming concepts as part of a major modernization effort through its brand new Army Futures Command could be driving much of the proliferation of ideas now popping up at defense trade shows. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/dsei/2019/09/11/unleash-the-hornets-combat-vehicles-and-robots-get-new-kit-to-increase-standoff

  • Ottawa firm to support Royal Canadian Navy, local robotics company joins Rheinmetall

    September 11, 2019 | Local, Naval

    Ottawa firm to support Royal Canadian Navy, local robotics company joins Rheinmetall

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN BMT Canada Ltd. was recently awarded a $77.8 million contract to provide engineering, logistics, management, and support services to the Royal Canadian Navy's fleet. The contract initially runs for five years but there are options to extend that, according to the latest industry roundup in this month's Esprit de Corps defence magazine. The Ottawa-based company will provide a wide variety of work such as standards development and logistics services for equipment sustainment, according to the Department of National Defence. This contract will support the RCN's current and future fleet in instances where DND does not have the capacity to perform all of this work in-house, the department noted. The contract is known as Engineering, Logistics, and Management Support 2 (ELMS2) and the company's services will directly support the Director General Maritime Equipment Program Management (DGMEPM) and the Director General Major Project Delivery (DGMPD) (Sea) at the DND. Darcy Byrtus, President of BMT Canada, noted that the firm has been handling the ELMS contract since 2009. “Our experience in supporting complex programs positions us uniquely to assist Canada and the Royal Canadian Navy in successful delivery of its acquisition and support mandates,” he added in a news release. Under ELMS, BMT and their Tier 1 subcontractor Fleetway Inc., will provide a highly diverse range of services including the review of deliverables DND receives from capital acquisition projects, such as the Canadian Surface Combatant. The work also entails engineering expertise, technical investigations and program support. Rheinmetall Canada has taken over Provectus, an Ottawa-based firm specializing in the development of advanced robotics systems and software. Though now owned by Rheinmetall Canada, Provectus will continue to operate under its previous managing director, Paul Rocco. In recent product presentations, Rheinmetall has generated great interest with its Mission Master unmanned multi-mission vehicle, which is based on Provectus technology, modified for military use by Rheinmetall Canada. The firm sees unmanned ground vehicles playing an increasingly important role in future military operations on land, much like unmanned air vehicles do in an aviation context. Some will serve in an unarmed logistic or reconnaissance role; others will function as mobile weapon platforms. “We have already been working closely with Provectus in our unmanned ground vehicle project,” Stéphane Oehrli, president and CEO of Rheinmetall Canada, noted in a statement. “This vertical integration gives us a decisive advantage in the field of autonomous mobility technology.” Rheinmetall says it wants to apply expertise from Provectus Robotics Solutions in implementing the Canadian military's ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) project. Maerospace Corporation has signed of a global license agreement with Raytheon Canada Limited to support the Defence Research and Development Canada by assuming responsibility for the maintenance, design, engineering, manufacturing and international promotion, sales and deployment of the third generation High Frequency Surface Wave Radar (HFSWR) systems. This Canadian system is one of the few operationally deployed HFSWR land-based radars capable of 200-mile, persistent coverage of a country's Exclusive Economic Zone. HFSWR systems have been successfully deployed in Asia and Europe with the most advanced, 3rd Generation system installed in Canada. Maerospace plans to extend the HFSWR system's functionality by integrating its TimeCaster proprietary technology that would add target identification, anomaly detection, and other capabilities, allowing coast guards, navies and maritime authorities to improve their ability to interdict vessels and plan traffic throughout their EEZ. The Canadian government will launch a new satellite in 2022 to demonstrate the use of quantum technology for protecting commercial and national communication networks. Honeywell has received a $30 million contract from the Canadian Space Agency for the design and implementation phases of agency's Quantum EncrYption and Science Satellite or QEYSSat. Under the contract, Honeywell will build, test, deliver, provide training for and commission the QEYSSat satellite, which will create a link between ground and space to transmit encryption keys. The microsatellite is expected to be completed in early 2022. QEYSSat's mission is to test quantum technology with an aim to develop a system to protect both commercial and national communications infrastructure. Longview Aviation Capital and its subsidiary Viking Air Limited announced a seven aircraft sales contract for six new-production CL-515 aircraft and one CL-415EAF. The CL-515 is a newly developed, technically advanced multi-mission aerial firefighting aircraft – the next generation of the CANADAIR CL-415, an amphibious aircraft and used extensively around the world in firefighting missions. The Republic of Indonesia's Ministry of Defense has agreed to purchase six all-new CL-515 aircraft, four of which will be delivered in “First Responder” multi-mission configuration, and two delivered in optimized aerial firefighter configuration, according to Viking. The purchase agreement also includes one CANADAIR CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” aircraft. The CL-515 is capable of up to 15 per cent better aerial firefighting productivity, including increased tank capacity and ability to refill in 14 seconds. It has a state-of-the-art Collins Pro Line Fusion digital avionics suite for advanced situational awareness. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/ottawa-firm-to-support-royal-canadian-navy-local-robotics-company-joins-rheinmetall

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