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  • Coming in 2021: The B-21 Raider’s first flight?

    July 26, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Coming in 2021: The B-21 Raider’s first flight?

    WASHINGTON — The Air Force's No. 2 officer has a countdown on his iPhone for the first B-21 Raider flight, and it may happen sooner than you think: December 2021, to be exact. “Don't hold me to it, but it's something like 863 days to first flight,” said Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson, according to Air Force Magazine. Wilson, who spoke July 24 at an AFA Mitchell Institute event, said he had recently visited B-21 prime contractor Northrop Grumman's facilities in Melbourne, Fla., and that the company was “moving out on that pretty fast.” The 863-day countdown — if it is accurate — would peg the Raider's inaugural flight to Dec. 3, 2021. And while there's still ample time for design problems and budget setbacks to delay that schedule, analysts said the Air Force's disclosure of the first flight date means that the secretive bomber program is likely moving along smoothly. “A lot can happen in two years. But if they feel that confident about the schedule it's a good sign that things are on course,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group. The short timeline between the contract award to Northrop Grumman in 2015 — which withstood a Boeing-Lockheed protest in 2016 — and first flight in 2021 could be a sign the B-21's air vehicle design is a smaller version of the B-2 Spirit, he said. “Which, of course, would mean a lot less risk and reasonably fast schedule,” Aboulafia said. “There's not a reason for the airframe itself to have to change radically. It's everything else about it that needs to be modernized, and it seems they think they can make do with a smaller system with less range. If you accept that thinking as the likely reality, then that would make for less risk and a relatively short development schedule. That all makes sense.” However, it is possible that there have been major design changes, in which case it's likely that several sub-scale or even full-scale demonstrators will fly before 2021, he added. Roman Schweizer, an analyst of Cowen Washington Research Group, said a 2021 first flight is a “significant new data point” that meshes well with the company's projected schedule of the program. “We believe the next major milestone for the program will be a Production Readiness Review that will clear the way for manufacturing the first prototype aircraft. Based on the program's next R&D funding step-up, we expect this could happen sometime later this calendar year to allow manufacturing to begin in FY20,” he wrote in an email to investors on Wednesday. In March, Bloomberg reported that procurement spending for the B-21 program would start in FY22 with $202 million in funding, shooting up to $2.4 billion the following year and $3.3 billion in FY24. “That could mean Low-Rate Production in FY23,” Schweizer wrote. “That would also make sense after flight test evaluations of the prototype (and possibly several others).” The Air Force has kept tight hold on details related to the Raiders development, keeping much of its budget in the “black” or classified portion of the funding request. The last major B-21 related disclosure was the December 2018 announcement that the program had completed its critical design review. Wilson's statements follow Acting Secretary of the Air Force Matt Donovan's visit to Northrop's B-21 Design and Development Headquarters in Melbourne., on July 19. Donovan was accompanied by Randy Walden, director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, which is responsible for executing the program. “We look forward to receiving the B-21 on time and incorporating it into our future force,” Donovan said after the visit. “The B-21 will be a significant component of our Air Force as we continue to modernize to meet the National Defense Strategy and is a game-changing capability to win the high-end fight.” By Valerie Insinna https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/07/25/coming-in-2021-the-b-21-raiders-first-flight/

  • Budget deal advances despite GOP worries over costs, smaller boost for military

    July 26, 2019 | International, Other Defence

    Budget deal advances despite GOP worries over costs, smaller boost for military

    By: Leo Shane III and Joe Gould House lawmakers on Thursday advanced a two-year, $2.7 trillion budget plan with $738 billion in military funding in fiscal 2020 over the objections of conservative colleagues who objected to the increased federal spending levels. The measure — which passed 284-149 — has the support of President Donald Trump and leaders from both chambers, but drew the support of only 65 Republicans in the final vote. That's roughly one-third of the House GOP membership. Senate lawmakers are expected to take up the matter next week. The measure is designed to prevent a partial government shutdown this fall and stabilize appropriations plans for all aspects of federal agencies until after next year's presidential election. On the House floor Thursday, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., called the deal a critical step forward in restoring regular budget order and predictability not just for military programs, but for all of the government. “There is no secret we have big differences between the Democratically controlled House and White House and the Republican-controlled Senate,” he said. “Despite those differences, we have to function. We have to be able to fund the government and meet our responsibilities to the American people.” Ahead of the vote, Trump worked to bolster Republican support for the measure, which would increase Defense Department spending by more than 3 percent over fiscal 2019 levels. He tweeted that the new budget plan “greatly helps our Military and our Vets.” White House officials (and Republican congressional leaders) had pushed for even more in defense spending recent weeks, while congressional Democrats had insisted any military funding increase be offset with additional non-defense spending. In the end, the non-military money in the new budget deal will grow by about $10 billion more than defense spending over the next two years, and the military spending for fiscal 2020 will fall about $12 billion short of the White House's hopes. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., and chairman of the Republican Study Committee, in a statement called the compromise plan “a massive spending deal that will further in debt future generations and remove reasonable safeguards to prevent the growth of government and the misuse of taxpayer dollars.” Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and a House Armed Services Committee member, said he would only vote for the deal if it were paired with congressional action to look for paths toward debt reduction. “It you could create a commission that was empowered to bring its recommendations to the floor for an up or down vote, and had members who were younger, next-generation members, I think it could work,” Gallagher said in a video posted to Twitter. Two weeks ago, House Republicans voted against a $733 billion military spending topline as part of the annual defense policy bill, in large part citing insufficient funding totals for national security. House Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Mac. Thornberry, R-Texas, on Thursday voted for the slightly larger defense spending total, telling reporters the two-year deal would provide much-needed stability for the military. “Given the political turmoil that comes with an election year ... having a two-year budget deal that takes us to the end, hallelujah, of the Budget Control Act is more valuable than if you had held out for a few billion,” Thornberry said. Democrats had misgivings of their own, including the deal's lack of restrictions on Trump's ability to shift money within the budget toward a controversial border wall. The Pentagon was expected to shift a total of about $6.1 billion from its budget to help build a border wall, including about $3.6 billion from military construction projects. But in the end, all but 16 Democrats in the House backed the measure. House members began their extended summer break on Thursday night, leaving the details of separate appropriations bills reflecting the new budget deal to be sorted out in September. The Senate is scheduled to begin their break at the end of next week, after voting on the measure. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/07/25/budget-deal-advances-despite-gop-worries-over-costs-smaller-boost-for-military/

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - July 25, 2019

    July 26, 2019 | Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - July 25, 2019

    NAVY Siemens Government Technologies Inc., Arlington, Virginia, was awarded $828,828,020 for firm-fixed-price task order N3943019F9909 under a previously awarded multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, energy savings performance contract (DE-AM36-09G29041) at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay. The work to be performed provides for the construction, operations and maintenance of energy conservation measures to improve energy efficiency and reliability, which include heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades, lighting upgrades, commercial refrigeration upgrades, distributed generation, renewable energy photovoltaic for both the demand and supply sides, energy storage, power control, supervisory control and data acquisition, water retrofits and wastewater. Work will be performed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and is expected to be completed by April 2043. No funds will be obligated with this award, as private financing obtained by the contractor will be used for the 31-month construction (i.e. implementation) phase of the project. Eight proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, California, is the contracting activity for the task order. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Golden, Colorado, is the contracting activity for the basic contract. (Awarded July 24, 2019) Baldi Brothers Inc.,* Beaumont, California, is awarded a $30,108,978 firm-fixed-price contract which includes an option for airfield improvements at Naval Base Coronado. The work includes demolishing the existing aircraft parking apron and constructing a new aircraft parking apron, apron expansion, a wash rack, a taxiway and renovating the helipad. The parking apron, taxiway and helipad will include high heat signature paving to support aircrafts. The option provides a thicker apron pavement section including concrete, aggregate base and compacted subgrade. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed by August 2022. Fiscal 2019 military construction, (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $30,108,978 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with three proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N62473-19-C-1211). United Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut, is awarded a not-to-exceed $25,000,000 undefinitized firm-fixed-price modification (P00003) to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-19-C-0054). This modification procures milling machines, fixtures and tooling to increase production capacity for critical F135 components. Work will be performed in East Hartford, Connecticut, and is expected to be completed in February 2022. Fiscal 2019 defense production act purchases (Defense) funds in the amount of $12,500,000 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. Sygnos Inc.,* San Diego, California, is awarded a $20,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for water and sewer line construction alterations, renovations and repair projects at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Projects will be primarily design-bid-build (fully designed) task orders or task order with minimal design effort (e.g. shop drawings). Projects may include, but are not limited to, alterations, repairs and construction of water and sewer line installation projects. Work will be performed in Seal Beach, California (50 percent); and Oceanside, California (50 percent). The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months with an expected completion date of July 2024. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy) 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 operations and maintenance (Navy). This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with two proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N62473-19-D-2607). ARMY Textron, AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Maryland (W911QY-19-D-0033); Arcturus UAV,* Rohnert Park, California (W911QY-19-D-0050); Martin UAV,* Plano, Texas (W911QY-19-D-0032); and L3 Technologies, Ashburn, Virginia (W911QY19D0051), will compete for each order of the $99,500,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Future Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems. Bids were solicited via the internet with 11 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 24, 2022. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Solis Applied Science,* Falls Church, Virginia, was awarded a $77,383,996 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for National Ground Intelligence Center remote sensing and image science support services. Three bids were solicited with one bid received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 24, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W911W5-19-D-0001). HCS Group P.C.,* Montgomery, Alabama (W91278-19-D-0033); HDR Engineering Inc. of the Carolinas, Charlotte, North Carolina (W91278-19-D-0014); ILSI-Arcadis Small Business JV LLC,* New Orleans, Louisiana (W91278-19-D-0024); Baskerville & Donovan Inc., Mobile, Alabama (W91278-19-D-0013); and Thompson Engineering/Mott MacDonald JV, Mobile, Alabama (W91278-19-D-0015), will compete for each order of the $30,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architect engineer services to support planning, design and construction. Bids were solicited via the internet with 15 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 24, 2024. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity. Ati-Cti JV LLC,* Columbia, Maryland, was awarded a $9,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architect engineer environmental services. Bids were solicited via the internet with nine received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 25, 2024. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville, Kentucky, is the contracting activity (W912QR-19-D-0044). Messer Construction, Cincinnati, Ohio, was awarded a $7,375,000 firm-fixed-price contract for renovation of basement and addition to Building 45 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will be performed in Dayton, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of March 11, 2021. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $7,375,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville, Kentucky, is the contracting activity (W912QR-19-C-0024). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY City Public Services of San Antonio, doing business as CPS Energy, San Antonio, Texas, has been awarded a $39,858,681 modification (P00006) to a 50-year contract (SP0600-17-C-8324) with no option periods for additional utility services for the electric and natural gas distribution systems at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract. Location of performance is Texas, with a June 30, 2069, performance completion date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2069 Air Force operations and maintenance funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY Aerojet Rocketdyne, Huntsville, Alabama, is being awarded a competitive $18,984,061 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for axial upper stage (AUS) technology risk reduction. The contract award includes a base period in the amount of $11,987,247 and an option period in the amount of $6,996,814. Aerojet Rocketdyne will mature AUS component technologies and analytical tools to demonstrate component, material and architecture solutions to support future development efforts. The work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama. The period of performance for the base period is 24 months, from July 2019 through June 2021. The period of performance for the option period is 18 months, from July 2021 through January 2023. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website under the Missile Defense Agency's Special Topic Broad Agency Announcement for Hypersonic Defense Component Technology, HQ0147-18-S-0002. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $8,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The Missile Defense Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (HQ0147-19-C-6501). AIR FORCE Cummins Power Generation Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been awarded an $8,412,000 delivery order (FA8534-19-F-0062) against previously awarded contract FA8533-09-D-0004 for basic expeditionary airfield resources power units. This delivery order brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $263,906,007 from $255,494,007. Work will be performed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is expected to be completed by April 1, 2021. Fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $8,412,000 are being obligated at time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity. *Small Business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1917119/

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - July 24, 2019

    July 26, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - July 24, 2019

    DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY GSL Solutions Inc., Vancouver, Washington, has been awarded a maximum $450,000,000 firm‐fixed‐price, indefinite‐delivery/indefinite‐quantity contract for automated pharmaceutical equipment, accessories, maintenance and training under the Patient Monitoring and Capital Equipment Program. This is a five-year base contract with one five‐year option period. This was a competitive acquisition with 36 responses received. Location of performance is Washington, with a July 23, 2024 performance completion date. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE2D1‐19‐D‐0016). Crown Clothing Co., Vineland, New Jersey, has been awarded a maximum $12,386,162 modification (P00009) exercising the first one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-18-D-1079), with four one-year option periods for men's coats and replacement collars. This is a fixed-price contract. Location of performance is New Jersey, with an Aug. 8, 2020, performance completion date. Using military service is Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. FN America LLC, Columbia, South Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $10,589,029 firm-fixed-price contract for receiver cartridges. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is South Carolina, with a July 26, 2024, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Warren, Michigan (SPRDL1-19-D-0112). Communications & Power Industries, Palo Alto, California, has been awarded a maximum $7,050,384 firm-fixed-price contract for electron tubes. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a three-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is California, with a June 23, 2022 performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Columbus, Ohio (SPE7LX-19-D-0169). NAVY Data Link Solutions LLC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is awarded a maximum potential value $62,300,000 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract (N00039-15-D-0042) for the Block Upgrade II retrofit of Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) low volume terminals. The terminals provide secure, high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital data and voice communications capability for Navy, Air Force and Army platforms. Work will be performed in Wayne, New Jersey (50%); and Cedar Rapids, Iowa (50%). Work is expected to be completed by December 2026. No funding is being obligated on the contract at the time of award. Contract actions will be issued and funds obligated as individual delivery orders are issued. This contract modification was not competitively procured because it is a sole source acquisition pursuant to the authority of 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) - only one responsible source (Federal Acquisition Regulation, subpart 6.302-1). The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity and awarded the contract on behalf of the MIDS Program Office. Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Manassas, Virginia, is awarded a $27,425,442 for firm-fixed-price delivery order N00024-19-F-5632 under previously awarded contract N00024-15-D-5217 for 165 Technical Insertion Sixteen (TI-16) Common Display System (CDS) Variant A water-cooled production consoles. The CDS is a set of watch station consoles designed to support the implementation of Open Architecture in Navy combat systems. The TI 16 CDS is the next evolution in the CDS family and consists of a three-eyed horizontal display console. This delivery order combines purchases for the Navy (85%); and the government of Japan (15%) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Work will be performed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be complete by March 2020. Fiscal 2018 other procurement (Navy); fiscal 2014, 2016 and 2017 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); and FMS Japan funding in the amount of $26,935,062 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. ARMY Baysinger-Bric JV,* Marion, Illinois (W91248-19-D-0005); Johnson-McAdams Firm P.A.,* Greenwood, Mississippi (W91248-19-D-0004); and American Engineers Inc.,* Glasgow, Kentucky (W91248-19-D-0006), will compete for each order of the $15,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architect and engineering design services that include preparation of designs, plans, specifications and cost estimates for various projects at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2024. U.S. Army Mission Installation Contracting Command, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is the contracting activity. *Small Business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1915574/

  • Remplacement des CF-18 canadiens : le Canada pris entre les États-Unis et la Turquie

    July 25, 2019 | Aerospace

    Remplacement des CF-18 canadiens : le Canada pris entre les États-Unis et la Turquie

    Cette semaine, le Canada a annoncé l'ouverture du dépôt des propositions officielles pour remplacer sa flotte de CF-18. La semaine dernière, les États-Unis ont expulsé la Turquie du programme du F-35. Deux nouvelles en apparence distinctes, mais qui sont liées et qui vont très probablement voir le F-35 comme successeur au vénérable CF-18. Le F-35 dans la saga du remplacement des CF-18 canadiens Lors de l'élection fédérale de 2015, Justin Trudeau avait promis d'annuler le contrat d'achat des F-35 signé par le gouvernement Harper l'année précédente. Cette promesse peut maintenant être considérée comme partiellement tenue avec l'ouverture officielle cette semaine des appels d'offres pour le remplacement du CF-18. Si quatre fabricants sont toujours la course (Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Boeing et Saab), le F-35 de Lockheed Martin part avec une longueur d'avance qui va vraisemblablement lui assurer la victoire. D'un côté, Saab et Airbus partent avec plusieurs défauts, notamment le fait qu'ils ne sont pas intégrés à la filière industrielle militaire nord-américaine, en plus de présenter une interopérabilité moindre avec les Américains. C'est sans compter que lorsque Dassault a déclaré ne pas participer à l'appel d'offres, des spéculations autour de la participation d'Airbus se sont aussi faites entendre. Il ne resterait alors que Lockheed Martin et Boeing comme choix crédibles. Dans les faits, Boeing part avec deux prises contre lui, en raison de la saga du C Series de Bombardier. De plus, même si le Super Hornet de Boeing est un successeur naturel du CF-18, donc un appareil beaucoup plus facile à intégrer pour l'Aviation royale canadienne, l'establishment militaire canadien est déjà vendu au F-35 depuis longtemps, l'ayant recommandé chaudement au gouvernement Harper. D'ailleurs, lors du dernier spectacle aérien de Bagotville, le F-35 a été mis bien en évidence et sa présentation a été très clairement écrite par Lockheed Martin. L'impact de la Turquie Pour autant, Boeing avait encore une chance de se qualifier, le Super Hornet étant un appareil présentant plusieurs avantages pour le Canada. Mais c'était avant que la Turquie, malgré les pressions américaines, n'aille de l'avant avec l'achat de système antimissile russe. En réaction, les États-Unis ont expulsé la Turquie du programme du F-35, affirmant qu'un allié de l'OTAN ne pouvait pas se procurer de l'armement stratégique russe dans l'état actuel des relations actuelles entre l'Alliance atlantique et la Russie. Le problème avec cette riposte américaine est qu'elle va coûter au-delà de 500 millions $US à la défense américaine pour trouver et signer de nouveaux fournisseurs de pièces et composantes, puisque les fournisseurs turcs sont aussi expulsés du programme du F-35. Face à des coûts militaires imprévus importants à l'étranger, Washington a l'habitude de se tourner vers ses alliés pour l'aider à compenser. Sans que les alliés ne répondent toujours favorablement, ils finissent généralement par aider d'une façon où d'une autre les États-Unis. Le Canada comme sortie de secours pour les Américains et le F-35 On comprend alors mieux pourquoi le F-35 risque de s'imposer comme remplacement au CF-18. D'une part, le Canada est toujours membre du programme de développement du F-35, malgré l'annulation du contrat d'achat initial. Cela permettrait de rapidement trouver des fournisseurs de remplacement aux fournisseurs turcs, probablement à un meilleur coût. D'autre part, le lobbying de Lockheed Martin au Canada a toujours été très important et va certainement s'accentuer dans les mois à venir. C'est sans compter les pressions politiques en faveur du F-35 venant de la Maison blanche, peu importe la présidence, envers le Canada. Avec l'expulsion de la Turquie, il est évident que les États-Unis cherchent une porte de sortie pour continuer le programme du F-35 au meilleur coût possible. Leur regard est clairement tourné vers le Canada. Finalement, l'interopérabilité sera un argument de poids que tant les Américains que Lockheed Martin feront valoir en coulisses. En plus de celle avec les États-Unis, le Canada cherche aussi à maintenir une bonne interopérabilité avec quelques alliés-clé, autant au sein de l'OTAN qu'avec des membres du Commonwealth. À cet égard, les Pays-Bas, le Royaume-Uni et l'Australie possèdent tous des F-35. De plus, l'Australie pourrait être un excellent exemple pour le Canada, l'aviation australienne passant justement du F-18 au F-35. La sagesse populaire veut qu'on ne doit pas vendre la peau de l'ours avant de l'avoir tué. Dans le cas présent, même si l'ours est toujours en vie, il est clairement dans la mire du chasseur... http://www.45enord.ca/2019/07/remplacement-des-cf-18-canadiens-le-canada-pris-entre-les-etats-unis-et-la-turquie/

  • New Rule Allows Military Aircraft to Turn Off ADS-B Transmissions

    July 25, 2019 | Aerospace

    New Rule Allows Military Aircraft to Turn Off ADS-B Transmissions

    By Woodrow Bellamy III U.S. federal, state and local government aircraft performing sensitive operations are now permitted to fly with their installed automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) position reporting electronics turned off, according to a new rule published by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Thursday. Under the new rule, aircraft conducting operations related to homeland security, law enforcement, national defense and intelligence that could be compromised by transmitting real-time aircraft position information are permitted to disable ADS-B transmissions after obtaining proper authorization from the FAA. Changes to the FAA's ADS-B Out airspace requirement come following several years of interagency meetings held between the FAA, Defense Department (DOD), Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Leadership from those agencies expressed strong concerns about adversaries being able to easily gain public access to real time ADS-B flight identification and positional data. A provision in the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act also prevents the FAA from mandating ADS-B installations on certain DOD aircraft. Security concerns associated with ADS-B Out are not solely caused by the abilities of the ADS-B transponders, but instead by the proliferation and wide availability of new inexpensive ADS-B ground receivers and applications than can track ADS-B equipped flights for 100 to 300 miles. In comparison to older Mode S transponders, ADS-B provides more detailed information including aircraft registration number, longitude, latitude, dimensions and velocity. According to a description of the new policy, several alternatives to the new rule were considered that the FAA ultimately deemed too time consuming to meet the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B Out mandate, or required costly investments by DOD and other agencies. One alternative was to mask the identity of ADS-B Out equipped DOD aircraft, which defense officials determined still would not meet their needs because third parties would still be able to identify the aircraft location, velocity and altitude. Other alternatives included the use of encryption for sensitive aircraft or a new exemption process where agencies could petition the FAA for the authority to turn ADS-B Out transmissions off. However, since no encryption solution for ADS-B currently exists and an exemption process requires agencies to submit their requests at least 120 days in advance of the exemption need, these alternatives were also decided against. Through the rule change, the FAA has tasked its system operations security division with accepting requests from each individual agency requiring the authority to turn their ADS-B Out transmissions off. A major goal for the FAA is to avoid coordinating ADS-B Out transmission cancellations on a per-mission basis. Instead, the systems operations division will review requests submitted by the highest possibly agency organization level. “Once an agency has determined the broad mission sets that should be excepted from the transmitting requirement using its internal policies and assessment criteria, it must contact the FAA for authorization to conduct these broad mission sets without transmitting,” FAA officials wrote in the new policy statement. While the new rule is effective immediately, the FAA is allowing comments to be submitted about the rule change through September 16, 2019. https://www.aviationtoday.com/2019/07/23/new-rule-allows-military-aircraft-turn-ads-b-transmissions-off/

  • Navy Announces Commissioning Date for the Future USS Cincinnati

    July 25, 2019 | International, Naval

    Navy Announces Commissioning Date for the Future USS Cincinnati

    From Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs CINCINNATI, Ohio (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy has approved the commissioning date for the future littoral combat ship USS Cincinnati (LCS 20). The Navy will commission Cincinnati, Oct. 5, 2019 in Gulfport, Mississippi. The commissioning ceremony signifies the acceptance for service and the entrance of a ship into the active fleet of the U. S. Navy. Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker is the ship's sponsor. As the sponsor, Pritzker leads the time-honored Navy tradition of giving the order during the ceremony to “man our ship and bring her to life!” At that moment, the commissioning pennant is hoisted and Cincinnati becomes a proud ship of the fleet. Indianapolis, Indiana native Cmdr. Kurt Braeckel is the commanding officer of the littoral combat ship. Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced LCS 20 would be named for Cincinnati at the Cincinnati Reds baseball game, July 19, 2015. LCS 20 will be the fifth ship in naval history to be named Cincinnati. The first played an integral part in the Civil War; the second enforced neutrality laws during the Cuban Revolution and saw service during the Spanish-American War; the third acted as a patrol and flagship during World War II; and the fourth, a Los Angeles class submarine, was commissioned in 1978 and served during the Cold War. LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The LCS class consists of two variants: the Freedom variant and the Independence variant. Indianapolis is a Freedom variant. The future Cincinnati will be homeported in Naval Base San Diego upon her commissioning. A fast, agile surface combatant, the LCS provides the required war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute a variety of missions; areas such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=110349&utm_source=phplist3030&utm_medium=email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=Headlines

  • Lockheed Martin Fields Safety Upgrade For F-35A Fleet

    July 25, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Lockheed Martin Fields Safety Upgrade For F-35A Fleet

    By Steve Trimble A crash-preventing upgrade for the Lockheed Martin F-35A is now being fielded after a nine-month test phase, program officials announced on July 24. The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) is being integrated on the U.S. Air Force variant first, but will also spread to the Navy and Marine Corps variants. Auto-GCAS, which is already fielded on the F-16, prevents crashes caused when a pilot partially or fully loses consciousness during aggressive flight maneuvers. The system can detect an imminent collision, take control and steer the aircraft to a safe heading. The Air Force credits Auto-GCAS for preventing eight F-16 crashes since 2014. “Auto-GCAS is a proven system that is long overdue,” said Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, F-35 program executive officer. https://aviationweek.com/defense/lockheed-martin-fields-safety-upgrade-f-35a-fleet?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20190725_AW-05_516&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_2&utm_rid=CPEN1000015176279&utm_campaign=20501&utm_medium=email&elq2=71640d6c1c2a404d87e172f000eaa32d

  • David Norquist has one word for you: Analytics

    July 25, 2019 | International, Aerospace, C4ISR

    David Norquist has one word for you: Analytics

    By: Joe Gould WASHINGTON — The Trump administration's nominee for deputy defense secretary wants the Pentagon to apply data analytics and artificial intelligence to tackle jobs as diverse as technology development, the Pentagon audit and maintenance of the F-35 fighter jet. More broadly, David Norquist, the Pentagon comptroller who for most of this year has served as acting deputy defense secretary, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the U.S. needs to more heavily invest in developing technology to execute the 2018 National Defense Strategy. The strategy focuses on competition with Russia and China. The strategy will be “hampered without appropriate funding, development and timely fielding of emerging technologies, notably cyber, space, artificial intelligence, and missiles,” Norquist said in written responses to questions posed in advance by the committee. He called modernizing the military to compete, deter and, if needed, prevail in a high-end fight one of the job's most significant challenges. Per the 2017 defense policy law, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics was split between new undersecretaries of defense for research and engineering (R&E) and acquisition and sustainment (A&S). The R&E office was stood up specifically to push new technologies forward more quickly. Yet, the Pentagon “has made very little progress” to manifest those “key” changes, meant in part to help the Pentagon better harness advanced technologies, SASC ranking member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., cautioned Norquist. He obtained Norquist's commitment to ensure the department implements the law. SASC Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Reed cited the need to better manage the Pentagon's acquisitions bureaucracy, acknowledging that a pending bipartisan budget agreement has created new headroom and stability. “Today, we find ourselves in a new and different moment in American security,” Inhofe said. “The American people take our military superiority for granted. China and Russia have passed us in a lot of key areas that we have discussed.” “Our overmatch in areas a decade ago was very clear. That overmatch has diminished,” Reed said, adding that the Department of Defense must extend its tech development efforts into academia and the private sector. Norquist also touted the administration's request for a $32 billion increase in research and development, to include cyber, missile range, hypersonics and lasers — but he called out artificial intelligence as unique. “Artificial Intelligence is different because the potential benefits are less clear; you know what you're going to get with a hypersonic missile,” he said. “But artificial intelligence has the potential to change a lot about how we use [unmanned aerial vehicles] and other items. That puts an emphasis on analytical skills, researching and prototyping." In a related exchange, Norquist touted a DoD project to harness AI in disasters to find people in need of rescue through video analysis — and said he wants more work with the private sector on similar projects. Norquist's hearing comes on the heels of the Senate's overwhelming confirmation of Mark Esper, the former Army secretary, as the 27th secretary of defense. Confirmation for Norquist and Esper, who replaces Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, is expected to hasten an end to the vacancies in other top Pentagon jobs. The hearing lasted 100 minutes and went smoothly, with the tone set at the very start, when Inhofe said he would vote for him. Inhofe said he had recommended Norquist to the president as an ideal No. 2 for a Pentagon with more than a dozen open civilian positions at the top. “I remember telling the president it doesn't matter who's secretary of defense,” Inhofe said, “as long as you have Norquist.” https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2019/07/24/norquist-has-one-word-for-you-analytics/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EBB%2007.25.19&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief

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