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  • Boeing receives $400M contract to keep B-1, B-52 bombers flying

    January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Boeing receives $400M contract to keep B-1, B-52 bombers flying

    By Ed Adamczyk Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Boeing was awarded a $400 million contract by the Defense Department for engineering services on B-1 and B-52 strategic bombers. The contract, announced on Friday, covers recurring and non-recurring services. The B-1 has been in service since 1986, while the B-52, nicknamed the Stratofortress, was first introduced in 1955. Specific work, covered by a $35 million award as part of the contract and to be finished by Dec. 31, 2019, will be done at Tinker AFB, Okla.; Edwards AFB, Calif.; Barksdale AFB, La., and at Boeing's Oklahoma City, Okla., facility. The Air Force Life Cycle Management office at Tinker AFB is the contracting agency.

  • Four big questions for cybersecurity in 2019

    January 2, 2019 | International, C4ISR

    Four big questions for cybersecurity in 2019

    By: Justin Lynch How will cybersecurity experts remember 2018? In the past year, the Trump administration announced it would take more offensive hacking operations against foreign countries, the Department of Justice announcedsweeping indictments against Chinese hackers and the U.S. intelligence community reported that foreign countries continued to interfere in American elections. So what comes next? Here are four overarching questions for the cybersecurity community in 2019: What will the new Pentagon chief do with expanded cyber powers? In August, the president gave the secretary of Defense the ability to conduct cyberattacks against foreign countries so long as they do not interfere with the national interest of the United States, according to four current and former White House and intelligence officials. But the resignation of Jim Mattis, the Defense secretary, means the next Pentagon chief will have a broad arsenal of cyber authorities. For the cyber community, Patrick Shanahan, the current acting secretary, is a relative unknown. He has not given significant insight into how he views the role of offensive cyberattacks for the Pentagon, and his scheduled Jan. 1 elevation comes as some in the Trump administration and U.S. Cyber Command have pushed for even more authorities. However, he has spoken at length about the need for the defense industry to bolster its own cyber practices. Although the appointment of Shanahan as acting Pentagon chief is temporary, he is on the short list of officials who may take on the job full time. The new Pentagon chief may also have to decide when the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command should split. Both bodies are led by Gen. Paul Nakasone, but that may change. Cyber Command is in the process of gaining its own infrastructure to conduct offensive cyberattacks, and a Pentagon official told Fifth Domain in November that it appeared the split was all but certain to happen in the coming years, although no formal decision as been made. What comes next in the U.S.-China cyber relationship? The Department of Justice released a flurry of indictments against Chinese hackers in 2018, accusing Beijing's cyber sleuths of infiltrating American government agencies and defense contractors. The most recent round of allegations came Dec. 18, and the legal action could continue in 2019. While announcing the most recent indictments, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein accused China of breaking an agreement not to use hacked materials for commercial use, although he did not offer evidence. The hacking allegations come amid a broader trade war between the United States and China. Experts have told Fifth Domain a trade war could increase digital tension between the two nations. If the trade war continues, experts say they see little incentive for China to limit its cyberattacks. Will America suffer blowback for more offensive cyber operations? When the Trump administration announced the United States would take more offensive actions in cyberspace, some in the federal cybersecurity community criticized the plan as faulty. “The side effects of the strategy of ‘persistent engagement' and ‘defend forward' are still ill-understood,” Max Smeets and Herb Lin, experts at Stanford University wrote for Lawfare. “A United States that is more powerful in cyberspace does not necessarily mean one that is more stable or secure.” Experts also warn of making any rush judgments about the effectiveness of these offensive cyberattacks. Current and former intelligence officials worry that uncovering and attributing a hack can take more than a year, and, even then, that process is not perfect. One former official pointed to the leaked documents about Russian targeting of American election infrastructure in 2016 that was sent to the news organization the Intercept. It took months for the intelligence community to understand the full extent of the hack, the official said, an example of how long it takes to detect a cyberattack. However, all of that means it is reasonable to expect that the merits of the new offensive cyber operations may not be known publicly for years. Will Congress take action to streamline cybersecurity contracting and research? Yes, changing the way government does business is ambitious. But experts argue that if the United States wants to keep up with digital innovations from China and other countries it is necessary to change the American government's relationship with the private sector and academia. The effort to streamline cybersecurity funding and research will fall to the new Congress, in which Democrats will take over the House of Representatives. But when it comes to the U.S. government's relationship with the cyber industry, structural barriers to innovation remain. On average, it takes roughly seven years for an idea to get a contract inside the U.S. government. In that length of time, a product is already two generations old. Former Pentagon officials have used the digital fight against the Islamic State as an example of how long the process takes. It took roughly two years for Cyber Command to receive the proper equipment and training after the order to digitally defeat the Islamic State, officials told Fifth Domain. In addition, the cybersecurity industry is watching a series of bills in Congress. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has pushed for a streamlined security clearance process, and industry officials told Fifth Domain they expect him to continue the effort in the new year. The bill could make it easier and cheaper to get a security clearance. And many in the federal cybersecurity community have called for a change in academia's relationship with cybersecurity. The universities and research institutions in the United States focusing on quantum computing are “subpar,” George Barnes, deputy director at the NSA said in June. Experts say that quantum computers will make traditional cybersecurity methods obsolete because of the expansive computing power. However, new investments in artificial intelligence and a new Solarium Commission, which was created to help contextualize cyber in the broader national and economic security discussion, may provide solutions to these problems.

  • Air Force turns to nontraditional contracting for space technology projects

    January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Air Force turns to nontraditional contracting for space technology projects

    by Sandra Erwin Capt. Benjamin Leaf, program manager of the Space Enterprise Consortium: “We are changing space acquisitions in multiple ways." WASHINGTON — The Air Force just over a year ago formed a Space Enterprise Consortium to expedite the development and prototyping of satellites, ground systems, space sensors and other technologies that U.S. adversaries are advancing at a rapid pace. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson hailed the SpPEC as a successful business model that cuts red tape considerably compared to traditional defense contracting. The consortium so far has started 34 projects worth about $110 million and has been authorized to fund nearly $400 million in additional projects over the next four years. “The initial ceiling for SpEC was $100 million but was increased to $500 million in order to address the emphasis and demand for other transactions agreements to support prototyping efforts,” Air Force Capt. Benjamin Leaf, the SpEC program manager, told SpaceNews in a recent interview. “We are changing space acquisitions in multiple ways,” Leaf said. The consortium does not follow the arcane defense acquisition regulations and issues solicitations in a simpler format. SpEC requires traditional defense contractors to work with nontraditional vendors, he said. “This allows for teaming and understanding innovative capabilities.” Of the 218 companies that have joined the consortium to date, about 25 percent are established Pentagon contractors and and 75 percent are commercial space vendors and startups that rarely have worked with the government. Large defense contractors are expected to either fund one-third of the cost of a project, or otherwise ensure there is “significant participation from a nontraditional entity,” Leaf said. “Almost all our awards have nontraditional participation” either as prime or subcontractors. “The government is trying to become less prescriptive of engineering needs and focusing more on solving the operational problem within a cost and schedule constraint,” Leaf said. The average timeline from solicitation to award has been roughly 90 to 110 days. To compete for contracts, bidders have to pay a membership fee to join the consortium — organized as a nonprofit venture managed by a private contractor ATI. As the consortium manager, ATI is responsible for registering companies. It puts on webinars and conferences for member companies and government officials to share information. ATI also manages contracts on behalf of the government, and charges a percentage of the cost to cover expenses, but is not allowed to make a profit. Leaf said projects planned for fiscal year 2019 include space situational awareness, navigational user equipment, space weather sensors, software processing and a potential requirement from the U.S. Army. Air Force seeks new pool of vendors The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, which oversees the consortium, wants to increase the use of commercial space technology in military projects, Leaf said. “The gap between the traditional defense vendor pool and the innovative technologies offered by nontraditional vendors is steadily shrinking, with SpEC being a strong avenue in that progress.” When the Pentagon decided that space should be treated as a domain of war, it became apparent that the traditional procurement methods would not fit the bill for many of the military's emerging needs, Leaf said. “It starts with the acquisition process,” he said. “The current process has been slow not only in the contractual manner in which projects are awarded but also in execution, with long time frames to deliver capabilities.” To attract commercial vendors that typically would not seek government work, the SpEC uses cost-sharing agreements known as Other Transactions Authority (OTA) that have for years been common practice at NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Pentagon in April approved the $500 million spending ceiling for SpEC. That money is not like regular DoD funding, Leaf explained. The $500 million is the “total prototype throughput of the agreement” over five years. “We have four years remaining before we have to re-compete the consortium manager contract.” Each prototype project is counted as a “contract modification” in the agreement with ATI. Decisions on what projects to take on are driven by requests from DoD and Air Force leaders. “I have my ear to the ground as far as requirements or mission areas that need specific prototyping efforts,” said Leaf. “Sometimes folks come to me. It's a two-way conversation.” A group of military officials and ATI contractors review the requests. “We study what these programs are trying to do and what we can legally do under SpEC as a prototyping effort,” he explained. “Then we generate a solicitation.” The first round is a request for white papers from interested bidders. Next are more detailed proposals with cost information. Over the past year, the SpEC has awarded prototyping contracts for micro-satellites, missile tracking sensors, hosted payload interface units, ground-control and data processing software for the Space Based Infrared missile warning system, protected tactical satellite communications and cyber secure software. Leaf said upcoming competitions will focus on many of these same areas. New projects will address space situational awareness and a ground component for a low-Earth orbit constellation that DARPA is developing for future military use. Startups pursuing government work In response to government interest in space startups and in using nontraditional contracting, the consulting firm Deloitte recently sponsored a mentoring program known as Space 2.0 Accelerator. Six companies that collectively have received more than $60 million in private capital were selected for a seven-week program that wrapped up in December, run by the tech incubator Dcode. The idea was to teach companies about contracting methods like OTA, and to give government agencies a taste of what's available in the private sector. “We've seen private investment in space technology skyrocket in recent years,” said Meagan Metzger, CEO of Dcode. The six space ventures selected were Infinite Composites Technologies, Kepler Communications, Metamaterial Technologies Inc., RBC Signals, Slingshot Aerospace and The companies met with representatives from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Nate Ashton, director of Dcode accelerator programs, said many startups struggle to break into the government market. “Space is where cyber was 20 years ago in terms of government awareness of the state of technology,” Ashton said. A lot of companies stay away from defense contracts but eventually realize they need the work. “Government at the end of the day spends more than anyone else on the space business.”

  • Kratos Receives $65 Million in Recent Space and Satellite Communications Contract Awards

    January 2, 2019 | International, C4ISR

    Kratos Receives $65 Million in Recent Space and Satellite Communications Contract Awards

    SAN DIEGO, Dec. 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that it has received recent space and satellite communications contract awards and options on existing contracts totaling approximately $65 million. Work performed under these contract awards will be performed at secure Kratos manufacturing facilities and customer locations and is expected to be substantially completed over the next 12 months. The awards include Kratos' products and services across technology application domains that are critical to defending space operations and assuring global satellite communication for the United States and its allies, as well as certain other operations that are essential to national security. Under the contract awards, Kratos will provide solutions for satellite command & control, signal monitoring, end-to-end service assurance, cloud-enabled architectures and other applications. Kratos products support more than 85 percent of United States space missions, and are used by more than 75 percent of global satellite operators. Kratos owns and operates the largest global, commercial network of space-focused Radio Frequency (RF) sensors employed to help customers identify, locate and mitigate interference challenges. The company recently announced it has begun leveraging this network to offer new Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services to bring additional clarity and insight to operations in the space environment for its customers. Due to customer related, competitive and other considerations, no additional information will be provided related to these contract awards. Phil Carrai, President of Kratos' Space, Cybersecurity and Training business, said, “The Space sector is experiencing a technology renaissance, and much of that advancement is occurring in the ground segment solutions that Kratos specializes in: those which assure the availability, reliability, security and operational goals of these missions. The range of space missions enabled by these awards and renewals is extremely broad, and Kratos is one of the only companies that can support that breadth with industry-leading COTS products, as well as cloud operations enablement, mission-specific applications and tailored waveforms.” About Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTOS) develops and fields transformative, affordable technology, platforms and systems for United States National Security related customers, allies and commercial enterprises. Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technology for these industries are rapidly brought to market through proven commercial and venture capital backed approaches, including proactive research and a streamlined development process. Kratos specializes in unmanned systems, satellite communications, cyber security/warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense, hypersonic systems, training and combat systems. For more information go to Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Kratos and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Kratos undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Although Kratos believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve many risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from what may be expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. For a further discussion of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Kratos in general, see the risk disclosures in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Kratos for the year ended December 31, 2017, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Kratos. Press Contact: Yolanda White 858-812-7302 Direct Investor Information: 877-934-4687

  • Airbus, Leonardo : l'Espagne s'offre 23 NH90 supplémentaires

    January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Airbus, Leonardo : l'Espagne s'offre 23 NH90 supplémentaires

    Par Michel Cabirol L'Espagne a signé un contrat avec le consortium NHIndustries, composé d'Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo et le néerlandais Fokker portant sur l'acquisition de 23 NH90, dont sept dans une version navale tactique. Airbus Helicopters et Leonardo ont terminé l'année sur une très belle commande. Selon nos informations, l'Espagne a signé un contrat avec le consortium NHIndustries (NHI), composé d'Airbus Helicopters (62,5%), Leonardo (32%) et le néerlandais Fokker (5,5%) portant sur l'acquisition de 23 NH90, dont sept dans une version navale tactique. Le gouvernement espagnol avait décidé en septembre, lors d'un conseil des ministres, de consacrer une enveloppe budgétaire de 1,5 milliard d'euros à l'achat de 23 nouveaux NH90 (dix pour l'armée de Terre, six pour l'armée de l'Air et sept pour la Marine). Le montant du contrat s'élève à 1,38 milliard d'euros (hors TVA). 2018 a vraiment marqué le retour du NH90 sur le plan commercial avec deux belles commandes : Qatar (28 NH90) et Espagne. Il y avait des années que le NH90 n'avait pas été exporté. La Nouvelle-Zélande en 2007 et la Belgique en 2008 avaient été les derniers pays à s'offrir des appareils de ce type. Fin 2015, le ministère de la Défense français avait commandé six hélicoptères NH90 dans sa version de transport tactique (TTH) destinés à l'aviation légère de l'armée de terre. Au total, 543 NH90 ont été commandés par les clients dans le monde entier. Une flotte renouvelée à partir de 2006 Le programme de renouvellement de la flotte d'hélicoptères a débuté en 2006 avec l'intention d'acquérir 45 hélicoptères NH90. Toutefois, en raison de restrictions budgétaires de l'époque, l'Espagne n'avait acheté que 22 appareils dans la version terrestre (TTH). Les nouveaux appareils de l'armée de Terre et de l'Air vont remplacer des Super Puma (AS332) tandis que ceux de la marine vont succéder aux très vieux Sikorsky S-60 pour des missions de transport tactique. En septembre, l'Espagne avait également décidé de moderniser ses hélicoptères lourds américains CH-47D Chinook pour un montant de 819 millions d'euros (livraison entre 2021 et 2025).

  • Defense Spending In The Middle East Continues Strong Growth

    January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Defense Spending In The Middle East Continues Strong Growth

    In 2018, major fault lines developed in the relations between the Middle East's largest power, Saudi Arabia, and its Western allies. For decades, Riyadh has been one of the major buyers of European and U.S. defense equipment, but there is growing uneasiness about how Saudi Arabia has been using it. International pressure increases on Saudi-led conflict in Yemen Middle Eastern nations grow combat mass and capability Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen was already controversial, but ...

  • Statement From Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan

    January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Statement From Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan

    Under the direction of President Trump, the Department of Defense remains focused on safeguarding our nation. We have deep respect for Secretary Mattis' lifetime of service, and it has been a privilege to serve as his deputy secretary. As acting secretary of defense, I now look forward to working with President Trump to carry out his vision alongside strong leaders including the service secretaries, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the combatant commanders, and senior personnel in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Department of Defense continues to be one of our nation's bedrock institutions. Our foundational strength lies in the remarkable men and women who volunteer to serve our country and protect our freedoms, while making immense personal sacrifice. It is an honor to work with such a dedicated team committed to the greatness of our nation.

  • UK: Magazine of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S): desider: issue 126, January 2019

    January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    UK: Magazine of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S): desider: issue 126, January 2019

    desider is the monthly corporate magazine for Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). It is aimed at readers across the wider MOD, armed forces and industry, and covers stories and features about support to operations, equipment acquisition and support. It also covers the work of people in DE&S and its partners in industry, and other corporate news and information. Published 1 January 2019

  • Les 4 projets militaires et spatiaux de Boeing à suivre en 2019

    January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Les 4 projets militaires et spatiaux de Boeing à suivre en 2019

    RÉMI AMALVY Drone MQ-25, Boeing MH-139 ou T-X, programme Starliner... Boeing dresse le bilan de son actualité militaire et spatiale de 2018 par le biais de deux courtes vidéos. L'occasion pour l'Usine Nouvelle de revenir plus en détails sur les principaux projets du géant aéronautique américain. 1 - Boeing MH-139 : A destination de l'US Air Force, les Boeing MH-139 permettront à l'armée américaine de remplacer ses célèbres UH-1N "Huey", en service depuis plus de 40 ans. Les petits nouveaux serviront pour la protection des bases hébergeant des missiles balistiques intercontinentaux ainsi que pour le transports des militaires et des membres du gouvernement américain. Les premières livraisons sont prévues pour 2021. 2 - Boeing MQ-25 : En début d'année, Boeing a présenté un prototype de son nouveau drone, le MQ-25. Cet appareil sans pilote aura pour mission de ravitailler en carburant et en plein vol les différents engins Boeing de l'armée américaine, comme les F/A-18 Super Hornet, les EA-18G Growler et les Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters. Le drone est désormais prêt, et devrait être mis en service pour l'US Navy "dès que possible". 3 - Boeing T-X : Boeing fournit également à l'armée américaine son nouveau système de formation pour pilotes. Constitué d'un modèle spécial d'avion, d'une base au sol et de divers supports, il devrait permettre à l'US Air Force d'entraîner au mieux ses équipes. Un vol test avait déjà eu lieu en mai dernier. Autre source de fierté outre-Atlantique, 90% de l'appareil T-X est conçu aux États-Unis, et le programme devrait fournir plus de 17 000 emplois dans 34 Etats. 4 - Boeing Starliner : 2018 aura été une année bien remplie pour les équipes du programme spatial de Boeing. Elles développent leur nouveau véhicule spatial CST-100 Starliner en collaboration avec la NASA, pour le transports des équipages vers la station spatiale internationale. Le Starliner a été conçu pour accueillir jusqu'à sept passagers pour des missions en orbite basse. Dans le cadre des prochains voyages jusqu'à l'ISS, quatre membres de l'agence américaine accompagnés de matériels et de données scientifiques feront le trajet. Chaque Starliner est utilisable jusqu'à dix fois, avec une période de six mois entre chaque voyage. Il est également équipé du wi-fi et d'une interface tactile. Pas moins de 3 Starliners sont développés actuellement au sein du célèbre Kennedy Space Center de la NASA, en Floride. En avril dernier, Boeing a publié sur Youtube la vidéo à 360° ci-dessous. Elle permet de voir un court instant ce qu'il se passe entre les murs de l'usine, pour la conception de l'une des navettes. Enfin, pour les plus passionnés, Boeing propose une interview (en anglais) de Chris Ferguson. Ancien capitaine de la Navy, il est surtout connu pour avoir été pilote et commandant de 3 missions spatiales de la NASA, STS-115 en 2006, STS-126 en 2008 et STS-135 en 2011. Il travaille depuis avec Boeing dans le cadre du programme Starliner, et devrait être le premier astronaute que la société enverra dans l'espace.

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