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  • Un nouveau commandant pour le Commandement des opérations interarmées du Canada

    June 15, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    Un nouveau commandant pour le Commandement des opérations interarmées du Canada

    Le Commandement des opérations interarmées du Canada (COIC) a officiellement changé de mains au cours d’une cérémonie tenue aujourd’hui à Ottawa. Le lieutenant-général Michael Rouleau a pris le commandement du lieutenant-général Stephen Bowes au Manège militaire de la place Cartier, en présence des membres des Forces armées canadiennes de l’organisation et d’invités d’honneur. Présidée par le général Jonathan Vance, chef d’état-major de la défense, la cérémonie d’aujourd’hui marquait la fin du mandat de trois ans du lieutenant-général Bowes à titre de commandant de l’organisation des opérations interarmées du Canada. Plus tôt aujourd’hui, une cérémonie de passation des fonctions a eu lieu, au cours de laquelle le COIC a salué le départ de l’adjudant-chef du Commandement Denis Gaudreault et accueilli le premier maître de 1re classe Gilles Grégoire. Citations « Une cérémonie de passation de commandement est plus qu’un simple changement de leadership. C’est une déclaration publique par laquelle je confie la tâche et la responsabilité d’un haut commandement à certains officiers généraux. En choisissant et en promouvant le Lgén Rouleau au commandement du COIC, j’affirme à la population canadienne qu’un officier général hautement compétent est à la tête des opérations des FAC. Il remplace un leader tout aussi accompli, le Lgén Bowes, dont la nouvelle mission sera de venir en aide à nos anciens combattants. Aux lieutenants généraux Rouleau et Bowes, je vous souhaite la meilleure des chances dans toutes vos entreprises futures. » Général Jonathan Vance, chef d’état-major de la défense « Je suis reconnaissant de la confiance que le général Vance me porte, et d’avoir le privilège de commander et de diriger les prochaines opérations interarmées du Canada. Je remercie le général Bowes de son travail acharné et je compte bien faire tout mon possible, avec l’aide de mon partenaire le premier maître de 1re classe Gilles Grégoire, pour m’assurer que les hommes et femmes des FAC continuent de fournir un rendement exceptionnel au nom des Canadiens dans le cadre des opérations au pays et à l’étranger. » Lieutenant-général Michael Rouleau, commandant, Commandement des opérations interarmées du Canada « Commander les membres des Forces armées canadiennes dans le cadre d’opérations partout dans le monde a été extrêmement valorisant. Surtout, le professionnalisme et le dévouement dont font preuve tous les jours nos militaires, hommes et femmes, ne cessent de m’étonner et de me rendre fier. Ils sont la raison pour laquelle les Forces armées canadiennes sont très respectées par nos alliés. Je suis impatient de commencer mon prochain travail, qui consistera à mieux servir nos vétérans. » Lieutenant-général Stephen Bowes Faits en bref · Le lieutenant-général Rouleau commence sa carrière militaire en 1985 à titre d’officier d’artillerie. Son parcours est divisé à peu près également entre l’Armée canadienne, les Forces spéciales et le Quartier général de la Défense, où il gère les portfolios de l’État‑major stratégique. Son service au sein des Forces d’opérations spéciales commence en 1994, au sein de la Force opérationnelle interarmées 2. En 1999, il prend sa retraite des Forces armées canadiennes pour faire partie du Service de police régional d’Ottawa‑Carleton, comme agent d’intervention d’urgence. À la suite des évènements du 11 Septembre, il s’enrôle à nouveau en 2002. Depuis, il met continuellement à profit ses diverses compétences et expériences, en commandant des troupes à différents niveaux au Canada et à l’étranger. Il a dirigé le Commandement des Forces d’opérations spéciales du Canada depuis 2014. · Le lieutenant-général Bowes se prépare à être détaché auprès d’Anciens combattants Canada à Charlottetown, à compter de juillet 2018. Durant son mandat au COIC, il commande des forces déployées au pays et ailleurs dans le monde. Voici quelques exemples des opérations auxquelles l’organisation participe : recherche et sauvetage, et soutien en cas de catastrophe naturelle dans l’ensemble du Canada; lutte contre le commerce illicite dans les Caraïbes; programmes de renforcement des capacités dans différentes parties du monde; soutien des mesures de dissuasion et d’assurance de l’OTAN en Europe; et lutte contre Daech au Moyen‑Orient. · Le commandant du COIC dirige la plupart des opérations des Forces armées canadiennes (FAC) au Canada, en Amérique du Nord et ailleurs dans le monde. Il dirige également les missions des FAC, de leur planification à leur clôture, afin d’atteindre les objectifs stratégiques nationaux et internationaux. · Le COIC, dont le quartier général se trouve à Ottawa, comprend des forces opérationnelles et des éléments employés dans le cadre d’opérations; les quartiers généraux des forces opérationnelles interarmées régionales permanentes à Yellowknife, Victoria, Edmonton, Toronto, Montréal et Halifax; le Groupe de soutien opérationnel interarmées, qui dispose d’un quartier général à Kingston et d’unités dispersées dans l’ensemble du Canada; et un réseau mondial d’officiers de liaison et de points de commandement et contrôle. Le COIC exerce le contrôle opérationnel sur le commandement de composante aérienne ou maritime de forces interarmées, le Quartier général de la 1re Division du Canada et l’Élément de coordination des opérations spéciales. http://www.45enord.ca/2018/06/un-nouveau-commandant-pour-le-commandement-des-operations-interarmees-du-canada/

  • La Belgique a survolé l'offre de Dassault pour le remplacement des F-16

    June 14, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    La Belgique a survolé l'offre de Dassault pour le remplacement des F-16

    Olivier Gosset L'offre française de partenariat stratégique n’a jamais été étudiée dans le détail. La version complète n’a d’ailleurs pas été déposée auprès des autorités du pays. La proposition de partenariat stratégique mise sur la table par Paris pour le remplacement des F-16 n’a jusqu’ici pas été examinée en détail par la Belgique, dont les autorités ne sont même pas en possession de l’offre complète, a-t-on appris d’une source proche du dossier. La France a décidé de ne pas participer à l’appel d’offres (Request for Government Proposal ou RfGP) lancé en mars 2017 par la Belgique pour l’achat de 34 chasseurs-bombardiers de nouvelle génération. S’engageant dans une autre voie, Paris a fait parvenir le 6 septembre 2017 au cabinet du ministre belge de la Défense, Steven Vandeput, une lettre proposant un "partenariat approfondi et structurant" fondé sur l’avion de combat Rafale. Une coopération allant bien au-delà de la seule fourniture d’avions de combat, selon les responsables français. La proposition française est restée cantonnée au niveau du cabinet de la Défense. Quelques éléments de cette offre ont filtré, principalement en ce qui concerne les retombées industrielles potentielles si la Belgique achète le Rafale. Des retours économiques que la France chiffre à 20 milliards d’euros sur 20 ans. Ensuite, plus rien! Du moins jusqu’au 15 mai dernier, lorsqu’une délégation de membres du cabinet de la ministre française des Armées, Florence Parly, s’est rendue à Bruxelles – pour la première fois en huit mois – dans le but d’expliciter auprès de leurs homologues belges l’offre française. Mais la proposition n’a pas été réellement scrutée à la loupe ni examinée sous tous les angles, puisque le document complet, qui fait plus de 3.000 pages, n’a jamais été formellement déposé en Belgique. À l’exception de la Défense, aucun cabinet belge n’a été autorisé à recevoir des représentants de l’Hexagone, et encore moins à réceptionner le volumineux dossier. Que ce soit au niveau du Premier ministre ou des Affaires étrangères. Aucun contact, même informel, ne semble avoir eu lieu non plus avec le SPF Économie ou le cabinet qui le chapeaute. Bref, la proposition française – ou du moins son résumé – est restée cantonnée au niveau du cabinet de la Défense qui, de son côté il est vrai, était tenu de travailler dans le seul cadre de l’appel d’offres en l’absence de décision politique du gouvernement remettant cette procédure en cause. Rien de nouveau? Dans ces conditions, il n’est pas étonnant que ce même cabinet ait toujours jugé non pertinente l’offre française. Ou qu’il ait indiqué n’avoir "rien entendu de nouveau" lors de la visite des émissaires français il y a quelques semaines. Que les experts militaires de l’équipe Accap, chargée d’évaluer les deux offres finales considérées comme juridiquement valables, n’aient pas pris en compte la proposition française, rien de plus normal. Pour rappel, les deux candidats qui ont remis des offres en bonne et due forme sont les Etats-Unis avec le F-35 Lightning II de Lockheed Martin et l’Eurofighter Typhoon du consortium européen éponyme. Le rapport de ces experts se trouve désormais sur le bureau de leur ministre, qui doit le transmettre au kern. Par contre, que le contenu du partenariat français n’ait jamais été examiné de près à un autre niveau en l’absence de tout engagement, voilà qui a de quoi surprendre. D’abord parce qu’il contient visiblement des éléments intéressants, comme une éventuelle participation au programme de Système de combat aérien du futur (Scaf) franco-allemand, ou encore, selon nos informations, une période très courte (sur moins de trois ans) pour la livraison des 34 appareils, quel que soit le moment où le contrat serait signé. Par ailleurs, le gouvernement belge serait bien avisé de garder plusieurs fers au feu. Parce que le résultat de l’appel d’offres risque de se heurter à des obstacles géopolitiques imprévus. Il ne va pas être très aisé en effet de justifier l’éventuelle acquisition d’appareils américains alors que l’administration Trump a déclaré une guerre commerciale au Vieux continent et que Paris et Berlin tentent de relancer l’Europe de la défense. https://www.lecho.be/entreprises/defense-aeronautique/la-belgique-a-survole-l-offre-de-dassault-pour-le-remplacement-des-f-16/10021780.html

  • Trade dispute could leave U.S. firms out of the running to sell military equipment to Canada

    June 14, 2018 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land

    Trade dispute could leave U.S. firms out of the running to sell military equipment to Canada

    U.S. President Donald Trump’s tirade against Canada and threats to punish the country could undermine efforts by American firms trying to sell fighter jets and other military equipment to the Canadian Forces, warn defence and industry analysts. One European firm, Airbus, has already been talking with Canadian officials to pitch its plan to build fighter jets in Quebec as it positions itself to win the $16-billion deal to replace CF-18 aircraft. An Italian aerospace firm, Leonardo, is looking at building helicopters in Nova Scotia as it moves towards negotiations for a search-and-rescue aircraft modernization project the Department of National Defence says will be worth between $1 billion and $5 billion. Trump has hit Canadian aluminum and steel with tariffs, claiming their import is a threat to national security. After the weekend G7 meeting and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reaffirming that Canada would reciprocate with tariffs on specific U.S. products, Trump vowed more economic grief that will “cost a lot of money for the people of Canada.” Trump’s move comes at a time when European firms are courting the Canadian government, particularly on big-ticket defence items such as aircraft and warships. Billions of dollars in new purchases are potentially at stake and European firms had a strong presence at the recent CANSEC military equipment trade show in Ottawa. “Trump certainly isn’t helping U.S. defence companies who want to sell to Canada,” said Martin Shadwick, a defence analyst in Toronto. “It would be very difficult at this point from a political optics point of view for the government to announce awarding contracts to any American firm.” Shadwick said whether that situation will continue for the next several years, when for instance the decision on new fighter jets is supposed to be made, would depend on any further actions by the president. Two U.S. aircraft, the Boeing Super Hornet and the Lockheed Martin F-35, are among the top contenders in that jet competition. The other three aircraft are from European companies. An earlier trade dispute with Canada has already backfired on Boeing and the Trump administration, costing the U.S. billions in fighter jet sales. Last year Boeing complained to the U.S. Commerce Department that Canadian subsidies for Quebec-based Bombardier allowed it to sell its civilian passenger aircraft in the U.S. at cut-rate prices. As a result, the Trump administration brought in a tariff of almost 300 per cent against Bombardier aircraft sold in the U.S. In retaliation, Canada decided against buying 18 new Super Hornet fighter jets from Boeing. That deal would have been worth more than US$5 billion. Christyn Cianfarani, president of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, said it is too early to determine the impact of the U.S. tariffs on the domestic defence industry. “Tariffs are never good for trade or business,” she added. “CADSI is monitoring the issue and consulting our members to better understand the potential impact to Canadian firms, both in terms of the direct impact of any tariffs and the more indirect, long term impact on supply chains and market access,” she said. There is growing concern that Canadian aviation firms could be hurt by Trump’s aluminum tariffs. The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada did not respond to a request for comment. But its counterpart in the U.S. has voiced concern that American aerospace companies could feel pain. In March, the U.S. Aerospace Industries Association noted it was deeply concerned about Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum as it “will raise costs and disrupt the supply chain, putting U.S. global competitiveness at risk.” “There is also a significant threat for retaliation from other countries towards American ­made products,” the association noted in a statement. Canada is the largest exporter of aluminum and steel to the U.S. http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/trade-dispute-could-leave-u-s-firms-out-of-the-running-to-sell-military-equipment-to-canada

  • The French Army could have its first unmanned vehicle by 2025

    June 14, 2018 | International, Land

    The French Army could have its first unmanned vehicle by 2025

    PARIS ― The French Army and government procurement office will begin talks this summer for the acquisition of a new light armored vehicle, dubbed VBAE, with a view to equipping the service by 2025, according to a program director at the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office. Among the capabilities to be considered are an unmanned, remote controlled VBAE, Erwan told journalists June 12 at the the indoor stand of the Armed Forces Ministry at the Eurosatory trade show for land weapons. Erwan is the first name of the program director, whose last name has been withheld for security reasons. If the VBAE is made to be controlled remotely, it would be the first unmanned vehicle for the French Army. That vehicle will replace the VBL light vehicle. Illustrating future operations, the ministry’s stand displayed a brief video of a virtual combat simulation in 2035. The screening took place between prototypes of the Griffon troop carrier and Jaguar reconnaissance and combat vehicle. The entire display was meant to emphasize the importance of an integrated network and firepower. The DGA and the Army will spend a year in discussions, leading to a draft that will define the project. They will then consult industry for their responses to the requirement, he said. The companies that show interest will be invited to “show what they can do” by demonstrating their capabilities from 2020-2021. That work will be undertaken under a new “innovation partnership” between industry and the government. A selection of industrial partners is expected to produce a technology demonstrator by the end of 2022. If the ministerial investment committee approves this, contracts will then be awarded and a program launched. The aim is for delivery of the vehicle by 2025. The DGA and the Army are also discussing the requirement for a military engineering vehicle, dubbed MAC. This vehicle would be used to open up terrain, clear improvised explosive devices and mines, and allow troops to advance. Those talks are part of an attempt by the DGA to speed up arms programs and deliver kit much faster ― tasks set by Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly. The acquisition of VBAE and MAC are part of the Army Scorpion modernization program. Army Gen. Charles Beaudouin told the Defence Committee of the lower-house National Assembly on May 16 that he was looking for an “innovative approach” in the acquisition of VBAE. “Instead of defining a requirement, thinking about the specifications and then calling on industry, we want to speak immediately with DGA and industry,” he said. “We have high hopes of launching this program during the multiyear military budget law, and then perhaps — call me crazy — see the first delivery before the end of the law.” The National Assembly and Senate have approved the 2019-2025 military budget law, which pledges a total €295 billion (U.S. $348 billion) for support of the military services. That DGA briefing was part of a Thales presentation of its role in the Scorpion program, in which the company supplies extensive onboard vehicle electronics, software-defined radios and sensors. The aim is to install algorithms and artificial intelligence in the vehicle, aiming to deliver a “digital transformation” intended to reduce stress on the crew, a Thales executive said. The intention is to make the systems easy to use. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/eurosatory/2018/06/12/the-french-army-could-have-its-first-unmanned-vehicle-by-2025/

  • Gen. Milley is right: The US Army is on the mend

    June 14, 2018 | International, Land

    Gen. Milley is right: The US Army is on the mend

    Last month, in an appearance before the Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley provided a notably upbeat assessment of the state of his service. “The Army is on the mend. I can report out to you today, after two and a half years as the chief of staff of the Army, we are in significantly better shape than we were just a short time ago. And that is through the generosity of this Congress and the American people,” he said. Clearly, some of the credit for the Army’s improved state of affairs is a result of the recently passed two-year budget, which provided a much-needed increase in resources. The Army has been able to grow its end strength, purchase needed munitions and spare parts, increase training activities, and recapitalize older and damaged equipment. More resources have also enabled the Army force to expand its presence in Europe, increase, albeit modestly, procurement of upgraded Abrams tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Strykers, and acquire the new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle. But much of the credit goes to the Army chief of staff himself. About a year and a half ago, I wrote a blog for the National Interest titled “Perhaps the Most Remarkable CSA in More than Half a Century.” It was Gen. Milley who made modernization the measure of success for his tenure as the Army chief of staff. This change in strategic direction came just in time, ahead of the reappearance of great power competition as the greatest threat to this nation’s security. Gen. Milley is not alone in his quest. In fact, it is a troika consisting of Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarty and the chief that is fashioning a new Army in record time and doing so while simultaneously transforming the Army’s acquisition system. This is the proverbial case of changing the car’s tires while speeding down the road. The early signs are that the Army modernization is on the mend and the acquisition system is being changed. An important example of these improvements is the Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office. Established by the secretary and the chief in August 2016, the RCO is tasked to expedite critical capabilities to the field to meet combatant commanders’ needs using alternative contracting mechanisms to deliver technologies in real time to the war fighter. One of the RCO’s initial projects was to bring the Army back into the game with respect to electronic warfare. In 12 months, the RCO developed an initial integrated mounted and dismounted EW sensor capability that has been deployed with U.S. forces in Europe. A second phase of the project is underway that will add aerial sensors, additional ground-unit sets and improve functionality. Another program that is proceeding rapidly is a vehicle-mounted, jam-resistant positioning, navigation and timing capability for GPS-challenged environments. Prospective solutions are currently undergoing testing. The chief has directed the RCO to address several new areas. The RCO is working on a long-range cannon concept that may be able to double the range of 155mm howitzers, as well as optical augmentation technology to detect an adversary’s anti-tank guided missile day/night sights and loitering munitions that can strike air-defense and artillery emplacements. The Army has been moving rapidly to address many of its critical capability gaps. To meet the challenge posed by hostile aircraft and drones, the Army intends to deploy the first battery of the Maneuver Short Range Air Defense launcher on a Stryker armored vehicle by 2020, five years ahead of schedule. Additional sensors and weapons, including a tactical laser, could be integrated into the new turret by the early 2020s. Tank-automotive and Armaments Command did a rapid assessment of active protection systems. The current plan is to equip at least four brigades of Abrams tanks with the Israeli Trophy system while testing continues on a number of solutions for other armored fighting vehicles. The Army also has used other rapid procurement organizations within the Pentagon. One of these is the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, created in 2016 to push rapid innovation based on leveraging commercial companies. Recently, DIUx led a prototype contract involving upgrades for Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The first production items from it will soon be delivered to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. There are other examples of advances in cyberwarfare, soldier systems, networking and long-range precision fires. The central point is that Gen. Milley’s vision of the Army’s future is turning out to be right. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2018/06/13/gen-milley-is-right-the-us-army-is-on-the-mend/

  • Pratt & Whitney is pitching a new version of the F-35 engine

    June 14, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Pratt & Whitney is pitching a new version of the F-35 engine

    WASHINGTON — Pratt & Whitney is developing upgrades to the F-35’s engine that will give it the power and cooling necessary to make the U.S. Defense Department’s most sensor-heavy fighter jet even more of a powerhouse. The new Growth Option 2.0 upgrade for the F135 engine, launched on Tuesday, adds a more advanced power and thermal management system that could be used to help the F-35 incorporate new weapons and sensors, the company said. It also integrates a new compressor and turbine technologies that yield greater thrust and fuel savings, which were part of the Growth Option 1.0 concept unveiled in 2017. In a June 12 interview with Defense News, Matthew Bromberg, president of Pratt & Whitney’s military engines unit, said the company decided to work on improvements to the F135’s power and thermal management system, or PTMS, based on feedback from the F-35 Joint Program Office. Pratt in 2017 tested an early version of the Growth Option 1.0 motor called the fuel burn reduction demonstrator engine, which demonstrated that the upgrade could improve thrust by up to 10 percent and reduce fuel consumption by up to 6 percent. But while the community that flies the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant was gung-ho on the thrust improvements, the JPO said that better power and cooling was what was really needed — especially as the program transitions from the development phase to modernization, also known as Block 4 or Continuous Capability Development and Delivery, Bromberg said. Pratt has already begun testing some technologies from the Growth Option 2.0 suite in various rigs and demonstrators. Bromberg called the upgrades “relatively low risk” and said it could probably be proven out in a four-year technology demonstration program. But he declined to talk about completed testing or to quantify the new power and cooling improvements, saying only that they were “significant.” Although the Defense Department hasn’t signed onto an upgraded F135 engine as part of the Continuous Capability Development and Delivery effort, Pratt executives have been hopeful that it will do so as it finalizes that strategy. “As the F-35 program moves forward with the Continuous Capability Development and Delivery strategy, we strive to stay in front of propulsion advances needed to enable F-35 modernization,” Bromberg said in a statement. “We’re continuously assessing customer needs and responding with technology options to keep them ahead of evolving threats.” https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2018/06/13/pratt-whitney-is-pitching-a-new-version-of-the-f-35-engine/

  • Make room NATO ― the EU is planting its flag in cyber

    June 14, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Make room NATO ― the EU is planting its flag in cyber

    WASHINGTON — European military and staff planners from Belgium to Bulgaria gathered this week in Austria to take part in Cyber Phalanx 2018. The exercise, which involved 27 nations, aimed to strengthen European readiness against cyberattacks, with a special focus on “cyber defense decision-making and planning processes,” according to the European Defense Agency announcement. The heads of Britain and Germany’s domestic intelligence agencies joined European Union officials to warn of an expanded use of cyber to undermine democratic processes by Russia. Countries like Finland have identified cyber espionage as a top threat to the survival of national technology companies. While the EU has organized little in the way of cyber exercises, the Cyber Phalanx exercise won’t be the first among European allies to focus on cyber readiness and training. NATO has taken the lead in preparing member nations for cyber threats, organizing exercises like Crossed Swords for members to gain experience with cyber-kinetic operations involving drones and 5G networks. The alliance also recently declared success at its Locked Shields exercise after NATO cyber specialists defended a theoretical country’s electric power grid, communication networks and other critical infrastructure from thousands of cyberattacks. NATO has also led the EU in discussions of a response to a cyberattack, even raising the possibility of treating a digital transgression as an act of war. Now, the issue may be warranting more attention from European organizations. Hosted by the EDA and the Multinational Capability Development Campaign (MCDC), Cyber Phalanx seeks to help the participants from various nations familiarize themselves with existing European online structures and their respective roles as cyber stakeholders. As governments around the world contemplate how to recognize the next threat to their networks, the exercises in Austria also will hopefully “increase interoperability” among experts and governments in Europe. Planners will also be prepared to address previously overlooked aspects of cyberwarfare, such as fake news or social media that might be used to compromise planning or execution. As the pilot Cyber Phalanx, the exercises will draw on the feedback received from participants, trainers and organizers to adapt the course and improve the concept for future iterations. The exercises concluded June 8, with lessons learned incorporated into the training curriculum for future European cyber experts. https://www.fifthdomain.com/international/2018/06/08/make-room-nato-eu-is-planting-its-flag-in-cyber/

  • House wants better tech at the Air Force’s space ops center

    June 14, 2018 | International, Aerospace, C4ISR

    House wants better tech at the Air Force’s space ops center

    The U.S. House of Representatives issued a rebuke to the Air Force’s long-awaited space object tracking system in the annual defense authorization bill, which passed May 24. An amendment to the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act restricted all funding to theAir Force’s Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) Mission System (JMS) until the Pentagon can show Congress that the program’s contract embraces “best-in-breed” technology to fill gaps in current space situational capabilities. The White House objected to the decision from Congress, arguing that excessive oversight will impose a burden on the Air Force, further delaying the already time strained program. “This provision will add additional cost and schedule to [JMS] and delay delivery of a critical space situational awareness capability to the warfighter,” administration officials said in a statement. A final version of the bill must pass both chambers of Congress. The Government Accountability Office released a report May 24 detailing the continued setbacks of the second increment of JSpOC JMS. The report says the program has been delayed by two years and 11 months and attributed the slip to the $18.9 million in funding reductions through fiscal years 2013 and 2014. The GAO has said the total cost of the second increment of the program is about $320 million. The JMS will replace the Air Force’s Space Defense Operations Center (SPADOC), a system long begrudged by officials as dilapidated and difficult to maintain. Gen. John Hyten, the former head of Air Force Space Command, once described the legacy system as “that ancient engine that can’t take data from anywhere unless it’s one of ours.” Despite continued calls for system upgrades, the new system is currently scheduled to be launched in June 2019, almost three years later than its original schedule date of July 2016. In the GAO’s analysis of the program, the congressional watchdog was unable to obtain performance data from JMS because the program is still in an “early development” phase. In September 2016, after missing a key deadline, the Air Force issued to Congress a critical change report regarding the JMS, formally eliminating several of the program’s capability goals and delaying its estimated delivery date from July 2016 to May 2019. The JMS is part of a larger effort from the Air Force to modernize the Joint Space Operations Center, the processing center of U.S. military space operations. The program aims to replace or upgrade the hardware and software currently used for space surveillance, collision avoidance, launch support, and providing more precise and timely orbital information from data gathered the service’s object tracking system, known as Space Fence. https://www.c4isrnet.com/it-networks/2018/05/31/house-wants-better-tech-at-the-air-forces-space-ops-center/

  • Despite some opposition, US on course to deliver F-35s to Turkey on June 21

    June 14, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Despite some opposition, US on course to deliver F-35s to Turkey on June 21

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is proceeding with plans to deliver the first F-35 to Turkey, with the country set to accept its first jet on June 21 despite opposition from some in Congress. A Lockheed Martin spokesman confirmed to Defense News that it’s still gearing up for a rollout ceremony at its production facilities in Fort Worth next week. “The F-35 program traditionally hosts a ceremony to recognize every U.S. and international customer’s first aircraft. The rollout ceremony for Turkey’s first F-35 aircraft is scheduled for June 21,” the spokesman said in a written statement to Defense News. “The aircraft will then ferry to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where Turkish pilots will join the F-35A training pool.” The Senate is set to vote this week on the annual defense policy bill, which includes language that would prohibit the U.S. government from “transfer of title” to Turkey until the time that the Defense Department submits a report to Congress on removal of Turkey from the F-35 program. But even if that language succeeds in the Senate, the defense policy bill will proceed to conference, where a group of armed services committee members will hammer out differences between the House and Senate versions to emerge with a single, final piece of legislation. That process could take months. Congress’s opposition to allowing Turkey to purchase the F-35 hovers around two points: the country’s detainment of American pastor Andrew Brunson and a deal to purchase the Russian S-400 air defense system. But for now, it appears that the Defense Department has no plans to keep Turkey from getting its first F-35 or to put restrictions on its use at Luke AFB. Thomas Goffus, the Defense Department’s deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO, acknowledged during an Atlantic Council event Wednesday that Turkey’s acquistion of the S-400 could present the U.S. military and NATO alliance with added technical risks. But he would not go as far to spell out what actions the Defense Department is considering or could consider later down the road — perhaps a sign that the Pentagon is waiting to see how this legislation shakes out. “We have a process to evaluate the risks to Western technology that that [procurement] would present. Our preference is that they do not acquire the S-400,” Goffus said. “Given that, they are a sovereign nation, and they are trying to take care of their defense needs,” he added. “What restrictions are placed on them and what Congress will eventually pass, I can’t even speculate on it on this point.” By the time Congress passes legislation that could curb Anakara’s F-35 ownership, the country will likely have already started building up its first squadron at Luke AFB. There, Turkish pilots and maintainers will train alongside U.S. ones, moving from academic courseware to live flights. NATO and U.S. Defense Department officials have warned Turkey that if it continues down the path of purchasing the S-400, it will not be able to plug it in with NATO technologies like the F-35. SASC, in its policy bill, echoed those concerns, saying that Turkey’s purchase of Russian hardware would “degrade the general security of the NATO alliance […] and degrade interoperability of the alliance.” After a meeting in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu expressed confidence that the United States would not only deliver the first F-35 to Turkey as planned, but that it would ultimately decide to continue F-35 sales to Turkey. “Turkey rejects threatening language from the U.S. on the issue, it is not constructive,” Çavuşoğlu said on June 4, according to a report from the Turkish newsgroup Anadolu Agency. Turkey plans to buy 100 F-35As. As a partner of the program, its domestic defense industry helps build the Joint Strike Fighter. Most notably, Turkish Aerospace Industries’ serves as a manufacturer of the aircraft’s center fuselage. It has also been chosen as a sustainment hub for the international F-35 community. https://www.defensenews.com/smr/nato-priorities/2018/06/13/despite-some-opposition-us-on-course-to-deliver-f-35s-to-turkey-on-june-21/

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