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  • Barrett secures Canadian DND contract

    November 6, 2019 | Local, C4ISR

    Barrett secures Canadian DND contract

    Perth, Western Australia, November 6, 2019 – Barrett Communications have recently been awarded a multiyear contract to supply the Canadian National Defence Department (DND) with Very High Frequency (VHF) radio communications equipment. This new contract follows on from the earlier contract awarded to Barrett in 2016. The Barrett PRC-2080+ VHF radio systems are designed for multi-role military applications providing rugged reliable field proven communications. The PRC-2080+ system is offered in hand portable, manpack, vehicle, base and rebroadcast system configurations, giving flexibility for its deployment in the field. Andrew Burt, Barrett Communications CEO commented “We have many exciting developments and contracts coming from the America's right now. We are pleased to have secured this contract demonstrating the confidence the Canadian DND has in Barrett communications equipment.” View source version on Barrett Communications: https://www.barrettcommunications.com.au/news/barrett-secures-canadian-dnd-contract/

  • Unmanned aircraft could provide low-cost boost for Air Force’s future aircraft inventory, new study says

    November 6, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Unmanned aircraft could provide low-cost boost for Air Force’s future aircraft inventory, new study says

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Air Force looks to increase the size and capability of its aircraft inventory, the service should assess the possibility of using drones as a low-cost and highly available alternative to manned airplanes, posits a new study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The CSIS report, which was obtained by Defense News and other news outlets ahead of its Oct. 29 release, compares three recent congressionally mandated studies on the Air Force's future force structure by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments think tank, the federally funded research organization MITRE Corp. and the service itself. All three studies were broadly supportive of retaining existing unmanned aircraft, or as the Air Force terms them, Remotely Piloted Aircraft or RPAs. However, the CSIS report makes the case that the low cost and high mission capable rate of RPAs like the MQ-9 Reaper or RQ-4 Global Hawk merits more attention when making future force planning. “I think we need a roadmap for RPAs in terms of what are the new missions that we can begin to transition over to RPAs and some new operational concepts for how we use them,” CSIS senior analyst Todd Harrison told reporters at a Oct. 28 briefing. “I say this more from a cost perspective and a readiness perspective because our RPA fleet stands out from the rest of the Air Force in that it costs a lot less to operate [them] and we utilize them much more,” he said. “We need to leverage that. That's a strength that we need to double down on.” Harrison pointed to two data points supporting a wider use case for RPAs. Despite clocking in the highest number of flight hours per airframe, drones boast some of the highest mission capable rates in the Air Force's inventory, averaging near 90 percent for the MQ-9 and its predecessor, the MQ-1, and around 75 percent for the RQ-4 Global Hawk. Those aircraft are also cheap to operate, with some of the lowest costs per flying hour or total ownership costs in the inventory, Harrison said. The Air Force, MITRE and CSBA studies provide solid support for keeping the Air Force's current RPA force. The Air Force's study, which proposes a growth to 386 total operational squadrons, would add two squadrons of unmanned strike aircraft, although it does not say what kind of aircraft should be acquired. It also recommends an increase of 22 squadrons of aircraft devoted to command and control or the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission sets, but does not provide a breakdown of what specific capability gaps need to be addressed or whether they could be filled by unmanned aircraft. The MITRE and CSBA study, by contrast, advocate retaining the current inventory of MQ-9 Reapers and RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drones. CSBA also recommends the procurement of a new, stealthy MQ-X drone that could be used for strike, electronic attack and other missions in a contested environment. Despite the broad support, the three studies do not necessarily portend a wider acceptance or demand for unmanned aircraft in the next budget, Harrison said. “I wouldn't count on it happening that soon. I think this is a wider term change that's going to be needed. Part of it is a cultural change within the Air Force and part of it requires some real strategic thinking about what are the types of missions where unmanned is going to make sense and how do we best leverage those,” he said. “The RPAs that we have today, they didn't come about overnight. They evolved. A lot of the time they faced a lot of institutional resistance, but they proved themselves. They proved themselves valuable in the kind of fights that we've been in in the past 20 years.” One mission area that could be flown by unmanned aircraft in the future is aerial refueling, Harrison said. The Navy in 2018 awarded Boeing a contract to produce an unmanned carrier-based tanker drone known as the MQ-25. That aircraft, like all Navy planes, will use the simpler probe and drogue for refueling. Refueling via a rigid boom, as utilized by Air Force tankers, makes for a more challenging development, but the remote vision system on Boeing's KC-46 tanker — which allows the boom operator to steer the boom using a series of cameras as his or her only visual cue — is a step in the right direction, he said. Another potential area for expanded RPA use could be the development of low-cost drones that can be flown in swarms or as “loyal wingmen” to manned aircraft, the CSIS report stated. These “attritable” aircraft can be expended during a conflict without making an adverse impact on the mission or putting human pilots at risk. https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/10/29/unmanned-aircraft-could-provide-low-cost-boost-for-air-forces-future-aircraft-inventory-new-study-says/

  • Success for our training on the US market!

    November 5, 2019 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Success for our training on the US market!

    Fifteen people from ten companies participated in this training sessions by McCarter & English, LLP. Thanks to Daniel Kelly and Zlatko Hadzismajlovic for sharing their expertise on the basics of accessing the US market and doing business with the US government (regulation, exports, intellectual property, cybersecurity...). Thanks to Andrea Townrow, director of the Québec Trade Office in Philadelphia for joining us. https://lnkd.in/gJZjQeQ

  • U.S. Air Force Signs Predictive Maintenance Enterprise Agreement with U.K.-Based SDL

    November 5, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    U.S. Air Force Signs Predictive Maintenance Enterprise Agreement with U.K.-Based SDL

    The U.S. Air Force is to install sensors on the military service's fleet of aircraft to manage millions of pieces of information and streamline maintenance under a predictive maintenance enterprise agreement signed with the U.K.-based SDL this month. SDL said that the agreement will support maintenance and operations personnel with diagnostic checklists and repair procedures and that the predictive maintenance system will interact with other Air Force systems, such as health monitoring, materials management and maintenance management systems. Other high-profile clients using SDL in non-aviation applications include Amazon [AMZN], Nike [NKE], and Ikea. Under the enterprise agreement with the Air Force, SDL is to provide the SDLContenta Publishing Suite for Technical Order (TO) creation, management and delivery, which includes supporting the translation of technical information into predictive maintenance and analysis data across all Air Force assets. Thomas Labarthe, SDL's chief revenue officer, said that the Air Force “is a diligent organization, looking to streamline processes and gain maximum efficiencies across its global operations.” As the Air Force's enterprise technical data solution, SDL is to work closely with the Air Force “to deliver efficiencies across its operations,” Labarthe said. SDL said that the Air Force identified the SDL solution as “the only system” that could meet the service's enterprise requirements, as the Air Force's inventory of technical orders is produced from a variety of source formats, including FrameMaker, Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and S1000D. The Air Force Technical Order Authoring and Publishing (TOAP) system is to help manage technical maintenance content in support of all Air Force programs, including the new T-X trainer aircraft program, and various programs aligned under the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center. https://www.defensedaily.com/u-s-air-force-signs-predictive-maintenance-enterprise-agreement-u-k-based-sdl/air-force/

  • Troy Crosby named new Assistant Deputy Minister of Materiel at DND

    November 5, 2019 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Troy Crosby named new Assistant Deputy Minister of Materiel at DND

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Troy Crosby has been appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of Materiel at the Department of National Defence. His appointment is effective Nov. 11. The ADM Materiel position opened up in August when Pat Finn decided to retire. At that time, Crosby (pictured above) assumed the role of Acting ADM(Materiel). In addition, Rear Admiral Simon Page will retire from the Royal Canadian Navy and will be appointed Chief of Staff Materiel. Page will start in that position starting Dec. 16th. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/troy-crosby-named-new-assistant-deputy-minister-of-materiel-at-dnd

  • A new Defence Procurement Agency – Would it solve anything?

    November 5, 2019 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    A new Defence Procurement Agency – Would it solve anything?

    By Brian Mersereau Defence Watch Guest Writer During the recent federal election, the issue of considering a new Defence Procurement Agency or DPA surfaced again. The Liberals made such an organization part of their defence platform this time around as part of their plan to improve military procurement. While positive outcomes could result from a new organizational structure, simply installing one will not in and of itself create an efficient procurement model. It most certainly will not address in any substantive manner why taxpayers pay far too much to acquire the defence capabilities Canada needs to protect our sovereign interests in a world that has become increasingly unstable in recent years. It appears that, in many cases, Canada pays more per unit of capability to satisfy its defence needs than most of its allies. Unfortunately, though quite logically, this phenomenon has effectively shrunk the size of our armed forces as the number of platforms we can afford to acquire continues to dwindle due to high costs. While this approach can create short-term jobs, they are ultimately unsustainable since there is no international market for our higher-priced solutions. This is not the direction in which Canada should be headed. Before Canada decides to move ahead with a new procurement agency, it should assemble a “smart persons” panel or forum to thoroughly review the existing system and establish the mandate and objectives of whatever type of organization results from said review. Such a review group must be composed of people from the public and private sector with significant experience, not skewed with staff whose procurement experience primarily consists of exposure to the Canadian “way”. During this review, the panel must examine various issues which are currently perceived to be an impediment to the efficiency of Canada's procurement system. Based on my own years of experience on both the buy and sell sides of the procurement equation, the following areas merit some serious thought: Organizational Structure The fewer individuals, departments and oversight committees with their fingers in the “procurement pie”, the quicker and more coherently things will get done. Even at today's interest rates, time really is money for all involved in the process. Adding more time to a schedule for another management review quite often has a negative impact. While I understand governance and oversight committees have their place, their overinvolvement can produce negative outcomes if mandates are not absolutely clear and if individuals on these committees have limited experience with respect to the issue at hand. Risk Canada's ongoing method for defence procurement is that it will not assume any risk on their side of a contract. If Canada insists the private sector must accept all risk, the private sector will so oblige – but at a significant price and to the detriment of schedules and timelines. As contract prices necessarily increase, so do governments costs to manage the contract. In reality, the most efficient procurement solution for Canada would see some elements of risk managed by the buyer, rather than entirely borne by the seller. More consideration needs to go into balanced risk-sharing formulas. Process Canada has an extremely hands-on procurement process for major systems during the competitive phase, as well as during the implementation of the contract. Even in this digital age, Canada hamstrings its own progress with the sheer degree of detail and bureaucracy it requires; unbelievably, freight trucks are still required to deliver proposals. It seems as though, on occasion, the buyer thinks it knows more about designing and engineering the defence systems Canada needs than the actual designers and engineers for whom it is a primary occupation. Requirements of little or no consequence are painstakingly spelled out in the greatest of detail. Such an approach has a tremendous impact on the amount of time consumed by both the buyer and seller, again driving up costs and extending schedules. Less “hand holding” by the customer must be seriously considered. Sole Source In the procurement world, “sole source” is often viewed as a dirty phrase. Frequently, Canada attempts to run competitions in scenarios where the chances of achieving any meaningful savings or benefits related to competition are low at best. This takes years and drives costs higher at no measurable gain for the buyer. The parameters of when and under what circumstances Canada should move directly to a sole source should be thoroughly reviewed. Significant resources are being wasted managing nearly meaningless processes. Skills Canada's internal skill set for managing large, complex defence procurements does not appear to be adequate. As a result, it turns more and more often to the expertise of external third parties in order to keep up with large private sector firms at the negotiation table from a knowledge and experience standpoint. While there will always be a need for some third-party expertise, project managing many external suppliers in the negotiation phase – each of whom have their own agendas – only further complicates the already convoluted procurement process. Canada would be much better off with an enhanced internal core staff. If Canada takes the time to review the appropriateness of some form of DPA model, it must cast the net wider and review other critical aspects of the procurement process – or else any organizational changes will inevitably succumb to the systematic inertia of the overall process. A failure to do so means Canada will continue struggling mightily to stand-up the level of defence and security necessary to secure its citizens in an increasingly turbulent world. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/a-new-defence-procurement-agency-would-it-solve-anything

  • Finland issues revised request for tenders for HX programme

    November 5, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Finland issues revised request for tenders for HX programme

    The Finnish Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a revised call for tenders to five companies for the country's programme to replace its ageing fighter aircraft fleet. The MoD has issued a Revised Request for Quotation and the five companies have time to respond until 31 January 2020. The programme for the replacement of the Finnish Air Force's Boeing F-18 Hornet fighter jets is called HX. Contenders to replace the aircraft include Lockheed Martin F-35, Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale and Saab Gripen. The HX programme is crucial for Finland's defence capability as the current fighters will reach the end of their service life by 2030. The Finnish Government has capped the budget for the acquisition of the new aircraft at €10bn. In a statement, the MoD said: “Within the budget set for the project, the tenderers must prepare a performance package that meets the set requirements and includes not only the aircraft but also other technical systems, training systems, necessary maintenance equipment, test equipment and spare parts, along with weapons, sensors and other required type-specific support functions. “The package must also include the changes in management and information systems required for its integration into the defence system, as well as the construction of security-critical infrastructure.” Tendering phase for the HX programme started last year when the MoD issued an initial invitation to negotiate and a request for quotations. The government then started the first phase of the programme negotiations. The revised call for tenders provides contenders with an opportunity to gather the information and present a ‘clear, updated and improved package'. Following the second phase of negotiations, the MoD will release the request for the final offer next year. A final decision on the procurement of the replacement fighters is expected in 2021. https://www.airforce-technology.com/news/finland-revised-request-tenders-hx-fighter-programme/

  • Le Taxan de Secapem labélisé

    November 5, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Le Taxan de Secapem labélisé

    "Utilisé par les armées française" est un label récemment créé pour que les petites entreprises (de la micro entreprise à la PME) puissent valoriser leurs productions. Le sytème Taxan de Secapem vient d'être ainsi distingué. Produit depuis 1982, ce système est voué à l'entraînement du tir canon air-air et air-sol, et constitué d'une cible aérienne remorquée équipée pour restituer les résultats des tirs en temps réel. Le label, décerné officiellement par le ministère des armées française doit favoriser les exportations des ces produits. https://www.aerobuzz.fr/breves-defense/le-taxan-de-secapem-labelise/

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 04, 2019

    November 5, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 04, 2019

    DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Brothers Produce Inc.,* Friendswood, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $202,500,000 firm-fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for fresh fruits and vegetables. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. This is a 60-month contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Texas, with a Nov. 3, 2024, performance completion date. Using customers are Department of Agriculture schools. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE300-20-D-S736). Hesco Bastion Inc., North Charleston, South Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $24,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Expeditionary Barrier System. This is a 10-month, 300-day bridge contract. Locations of performance are South Carolina and the United Kingdom with a Sept. 1, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE8E6-20-D-0001). Frank Gargiulo & Son Inc.,* Hillside, New Jersey, has been awarded a maximum $16,483,500 firm-fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for fresh fruits and vegetables. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. This is a 54-month contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are New Jersey and New York, with a May 3, 2024, performance completion date. Using customers are Department of Agriculture schools. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE300-20-D-S737). NAVY Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is awarded a $146,039,547 modification (P00025) to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, fixed-price-incentive-firm-target and firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-17-C-0015). This modification exercises the option to upgrade nine MV-22 aircraft from the Block B to the Block C configuration, as well as planned maintenance intervals for eight MV-22 aircraft, in support of the Common Configuration-Readiness and Modernization (CC-RAM) program. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania (91%); and Fort Worth, Texas (9%), and is expected to be completed in March 2022. Fiscal 2018 and 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy - AP, N); and fiscal 2020 operation and maintenance (Navy – OM, N) funds in the amount of $146,039,547 will be obligated at time of award, $6,049,632 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year (Funding: fiscal 2018 AP, N $5,654,683; fiscal 2020 AP, N $139,989,915; and fiscal 2020 OM, N $394,949). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Lockheed Martin Space, Titusville, Florida, is awarded a $40,304,886 cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00002) to exercise options under a previously awarded contract (N00030-19-C-0100) for TRIDENT II (D5) missile production and deployed systems support. Work will be performed in Denver, Colorado (28%); Sunnyvale, California (25.2%); Biddeford, Maine (14.7%); Cape Canaveral, Florida (12.5%); Clearwater, Florida (9.8%); Oak Ridge, Tennessee (4.4%); Scottsdale, Arizona (2.2%); and other various locations (less than 1% each, 3.2% total). Work is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2024. Fiscal 2020 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $32,016,540; and fiscal 2020 other procurement (Navy) funds for $8,288,346 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was awarded to the contractor on a sole source basis under 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) and was previously synopsized on the Federal Business Opportunities website. Strategic Systems Programs, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded a $34,230,269 firm-fixed-price delivery order (N00019-20-F-0331) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-16-G-0001). This order provides for the non-recurring engineering, logistics product data, 28 Group A-1 retrofit kits, 28 Group A-2 retrofit kits, and 28 Group B retrofit kits for incorporation of the Distributed Targeting Processor-Network into the F/A-18 aircraft for the Navy and the Government of Australia. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri (99%); China Lake, California (0.5%); and Whidbey Island, Washington (0.5%), and is expected to be completed in June 2022. Fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $33,816,097; and Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $414,172 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Florida, is awarded a $20,700,000 firm-fixed price contract for the design, fabrication, procurement, delivery, installation, integration, configuration, technical documentation, test, modernization and concurrency of the Littoral Combat Ship Freedom Variant Integrated Tactical Trainer devices installed at Naval Station Mayport, Florida; and Naval Station San Diego, California. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida (51%); Moorestown, New Jersey (35%); Baltimore, Maryland (8%); Clearwater, Florida (3%); and Marion, Massachusetts (3%), and is expected to be completed in March 2022. Fiscal 2019 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $20,700,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to U.S. Code 2304(c)(1). The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity (N61340-20-C-0003). Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Connecticut, is awarded a $20,324,973 modification (P00272) to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-06-C-0081) to provide System Demonstration Test Article Aircraft (SDTA) to support various test requirements under the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program. The purpose of this contract modification is to definitize the costs associated with the instrumentation and transition of the aircraft between SDD and SDTA. Work will be performed in Stratford, Connecticut, and is expected to be completed in February 2021. No funding is included in this contract modification; this requirement will be incrementally funded. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. ARMY High Desert Support Services, Alexandria, Virginia, was awarded a $30,000,000 modification (P00019) to contract W9124B-18-C-0004 for installation support services. Work will be performed in Fort Irwin, California, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2020. Fiscal 2020 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $2,968,096 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Mission Installation Contracting Command, Fort Irwin, California, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Oct. 31, 2019) *Small Business https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2008047/source/GovDelivery/

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