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  • U.S. Navy Opens Innovation Hub At Pax River

    August 16, 2018 | International, Naval

    U.S. Navy Opens Innovation Hub At Pax River

    Lee Hudson In keeping with the Pentagon’s focus on rapid prototyping, the U.S. Navy opened an Innovation Hub (iHUB) this month at the Naval Air Warfare Command Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) in Patuxent River, ... http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/us-navy-opens-innovation-hub-pax-river

  • The Liberals want to 'refresh' the shipbuilding strategy. What does that mean?

    August 15, 2018 | Local, Naval

    The Liberals want to 'refresh' the shipbuilding strategy. What does that mean?

    Murray Brewster Recent comments by a parliamentary secretary had Irving asking for a public commitment to the strategy The federal government has been quietly debating a "refresh" of its marquee — but troubled — national shipbuilding strategy, federal documents reveal. A memorandum to the deputy minister of Finance, obtained by CBC News under access to information legislation, notes there was "tangible progress" in ship construction last year, but also references impending production gaps at the two designated shipyards: Irving-owned Halifax Shipyard and Seaspan in Vancouver. The size and scope of the "policy refresh" was not made clear in the heavily redacted memo, dated Jan. 23, 2018. Officials at Public Services and Procurement Canada were asked to explain, but did not produce a response by Tuesday evening. As recently as last week, government officials were insisting they were still committed to the strategy. Still 'broken'? During the last election campaign, the Liberals pledged to fix the "broken" procurement system and invest heavily in the navy. Conceived under the Conservatives but embraced by the Liberals, the national shipbuilding strategy has been plagued by delays and ballooning cost estimates in the building of both warships and civilian vessels. Critics have long complained it would be cheaper and faster for Canada to buy offshore from foreign competitors. It also remains unclear whether the build-in-Canada provision that is at the heart of the strategy is up for consideration in the reset. Much of the icebreaking fleet belonging to the coast guard is in need of replacement — a critical gap that led the government recently to set aside $610 million for the refurbishment of three commercial ships. Similarly, the navy has been forced to lease a replenishment ship because of delays associated with the Joint Support Ship program. Confidential sources in the defence community said the review is being driven partly by a yet-to-be completed assessment of the coast guard, which has — according to a 2015 statutory assessment — among the oldest coast guard fleets in the world. The retooled policy is expected to be ready this fall, the sources said, and will also encompass updated budget estimates and timelines for delivery. Last spring, CBC News reported the federal government had received a revised delivery schedule for vessels being constructed at Seaspan. But it refused to release it. The new timetable, which apparently forecasts delays outside of the company's control, is politically sensitive. It speaks to issues at the heart of the breach-of-trust case against Vice Admiral Mark Norman, the military's second-highest commander — in particular, the program's inability to deliver ships in a timely manner. Full Article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberals-shipbuilding-navy-refresh-1.4785465

  • Irving misreads the National Shipbuilding Strategy: analysis

    August 15, 2018 | Local, Naval

    Irving misreads the National Shipbuilding Strategy: analysis

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Irving seems to be upset about Davie’s ongoing efforts to win work under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. In a new deal with the federal government, Davie will refit existing icebreakers that are to be owned by the federal government. This is part of federal efforts to shore up Canada’s icebreaking capability. At an event last week to announce the contract, Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Service and Procurement Canada and Member of Parliament (Gatineau, Quebec) also stated that Davie Shipyard in Levis, Quebec will have opportunities to bid and win work under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. That has sparked concern from Irving which issued on Monday a statement that it is worried MacKinnon’s remarks “signal the possible redirection of shipbuilding work out of Atlantic Canada.” During the new conference MacKinnon said Davie could be in line for work under the shipbuilding strategy. “Davie had, has had, and will continue to have opportunities under the national shipbuilding strategy to bid, to win work, and the quality of the work that’s done in this shipyard speaks for itself,” he said. Full Article: https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/irving-misreads-the-national-shipbuilding-strategy-analysis

  • Tinker cracks down on tool checkouts after ‘lapses’ lead to impounded aircraft

    August 15, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Tinker cracks down on tool checkouts after ‘lapses’ lead to impounded aircraft

    By: Stephen Losey  The 552nd Maintenance Group at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma has issued strict new rules on who can check out tools after several recent “minor lapses” in keeping track of them. In an emailed statement Monday, 552nd Air Control Wing spokesman Ron Mullan said the lapses in tool accountability did not cause any mishaps. However, the lost tool incidents led the 552nd to impound two aircraft to make sure they were safe before returning them to full flying status. “The 552nd Air Control Wing employs a multitude of standard procedures regarding activities in and around aircraft to ensure safety," Mullan said. ”Occasionally, despite sound procedures, we identify emerging trends which cause us to review and adjust these procedures as needed to maintain the highest standards of safety." The 552nd Maintenance Group supports the wing’s 28 E-3 Sentry, or AWACS, aircraft. The wing’s official website said those planes are worth a total of $8.4 billion. “Ensuring the safety, health and welfare of the men and women of the 552nd Air Control Wing is always a top priority and essential to mission effectiveness,” wing commander Col. Geoffrey Weiss said in a Thursday email. “Therefore, I have asked our maintenance group commander and his team to review tool checkout and accountability procedures and make necessary changes to ensure our ground and flight operations remain fully safe and effective across the full range of our mission responsibilities.” Full Article: https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/08/14/tinker-cracks-down-on-tool-checkouts-after-lapses-lead-to-impounded-aircraft/

  • Need for New Tech Grows as Air Force's Bird Strike Mission Expands

    August 15, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Need for New Tech Grows as Air Force's Bird Strike Mission Expands

    By Oriana Pawlyk If Dan Sullivan could use small drones to keep an eye in the sky over U.S. air bases, he would. But that may be a future strategy to survey wildlife lurking near military airfields, posing a risk to aircraft. Drones would negate the need for airmen to suit up and wade through swampy areas around bases to look for animals. And "if your drone is equipped with a forward-looking infrared, at night it could pick up deer, hogs, coyotes … and having that drone pick up heat flying around, that would be a great asset for a BASH program," Sullivan, the Air Force's wildlife biologist and the Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard chief, said in a recent interview with Military.com. While drone use remains debatable in terms of safety and vulnerabilities, Sullivan said there is a growing need for them and other technologies as wildlife finds refuge near installations that house major aviation operations. But for now, he said, he'll settle for having more airmen trained in spotting bothersome wildlife and how to safely confront it. "I'm looking to institute a more in-depth training [program] here at the [Air Force Safety Center], more for folks that are boots on the ground." 'A Little War' Sullivan, who oversees the BASH program, which is headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, said he sees the "threat" of wildlife increasing because the U.S. has some of the best wildlife conservation programs in the world. Full Article: https://www.military.com/defensetech/2018/08/14/need-new-tech-grows-air-forces-bird-strike-mission-expands.html

  • Athletic trainers and greener kitchens on the way as Corps caters to ‘combat athletes’

    August 15, 2018 | International, Land

    Athletic trainers and greener kitchens on the way as Corps caters to ‘combat athletes’

    By: Shawn Snow  The Corps plans to hire a slew of athletic trainers, and come October Marines will likely notice a new healthier food menu and layout at their respective chow halls. It’s all part of an effort by the Corps to reduce injuries across the force and cater to combat athletes in similar fashion to division one collegiate players. The new chow facilities or “athletic kitchens” will boast healthier options with fresh fruit and vegetables up front. There will be a cold bar option with yogurt, granola and fresh fruit in the morning and a salad bar for lunch and dinner. “As you go through the line it’s going to be the green stuff,” Col. Stephen Armes, the director of the Force Fitness Division told Marine Corps Times in an interview. “All the healthy stuff is going to be up front.” The new chow halls are going to resemble college athletic dining facilities with fresh greens and an assortment of healthy proteins, according to Armes. But unhealthy food is not disappearing, the Corps just plans to make it harder for you to choose that option. “Sometimes you just need a cheeseburger, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Armes said. But, a Marine is “going to have to fight to get down to that cheeseburger.” The Corps is also on the verge of hiring new athletic trainers separate from the nearly 600 Force Fitness Instructors already fielded across the Marines. Full Article: https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/your-marine-corps/2018/08/14/athletic-trainers-and-greener-kitchens-on-the-way-as-corps-caters-to-combat-athletes/

  • Lockheed nabs another big hypersonic weapons contract

    August 15, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Lockheed nabs another big hypersonic weapons contract

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin will design a second hypersonic weapon prototype for the U.S. Air Force, the service announced Monday. Although final terms have not been established, the contract could be worth up to $480 million for the critical design review, testing and production readiness support of the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW. Lockheed is already working on a separate hypersonic weapon for the Air Force under the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon program, or HCSW, and this newest award sets it up to become a hypersonics-manufacturing powerhouse at a time when the Defense Department is deeply interested in the technology — and is investing funds to match that interest. “We are going to go fast and leverage the best technology available to get hypersonic capability to the warfighter as soon as possible,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in a statement announcing the contract. The Air Force wants to move both ARRW and the HCSW to a flying prototype as soon as possible, with 2021 cited as the goal date. By signing off on an undefinitized contract action, Lockheed and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center will be able to begin working on the program as the parties settle the final terms and price of the contract. Full Article: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/08/14/lockheed-nabs-another-big-hypersonic-weapons-contract/

  • Cost Isn’t Everything. Pentagon Should Judge Contractors on Cybersecurity, Report Says

    August 15, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Cost Isn’t Everything. Pentagon Should Judge Contractors on Cybersecurity, Report Says

    Security would be ‘fourth pillar’ in weapons purchase decisions The Pentagon should take into account the cybersecurity capabilities of defense contractors in addition to cost and performance measures when awarding contracts, a U.S. government-funded think tank recommended in a report published Monday. Through its buying process, the Pentagon “can influence and shape the conduct of its suppliers,” the Mitre Corp. said in a report titled “Deliver Uncompromised: A Strategy for Supply Chain Security and Resilience in Response to the Changing Character of War.” The Defense Department “can define requirements to incorporate new security measures, reward superior security measures in the source selection process, include contract terms that impose security obligations, and use contractual oversight to monitor contractor accomplishments,” the report said. The Pentagon must consider new measures because the very nature of war is changing, the Mitre report said. Adversaries no longer have to engage the United States in direct conflict using weapons but can respond to American military strikes “through blended operations that take place through supply chain, cyber domain, and human elements,” the report noted. The report recommends that security be made a “primary metric” in Pentagon weapons purchase and sustainment decisions and that the Defense Department increase awareness of risks associated with its supply chains. It also calls for a National Supply Chain Intelligence Center that would include officials from the FBI, Homeland Security, the Pentagon and intelligence agencies to track risks and advise agencies. When choosing current or new contractors, in addition to considering cost, performance and schedule, the Pentagon must also make security a so-called “fourth pillar,” the report said. Contractors should be continuously monitored and assessed for the degree of risk they pose, the report said. In addition to measuring a contractor’s ongoing performance on a contract, an independent, federally-funded research agency could develop a risk rating similar to credit ratings done by agencies like Moody’s, the report said. Mitre is a federally-funded research and development center. The Pentagon did not respond to an email seeking comment on the report. The report and its recommendations come as U.S. intelligence officials have become increasingly alarmed at potential cybersecurity risks that may be embedded in vast computer networks and systems that power government agencies as well as weapon systems. Last year the Trump administration banned federal agencies from using a popular anti-virus software made by Kaspersky Labs, which was alleged to have close ties with Russian intelligence services. Full Article: https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/pentagon-judge-contractors-cybersecurity

  • Experts predict countries will use smart devices to launch cyberattacks

    August 15, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Experts predict countries will use smart devices to launch cyberattacks

    By: Justin Lynch  A vast majority of security professionals and experts who attended the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas predict that nation-states will target smart devices in the next year, according to a survey. Ninety-three percent of respondents told Armis, a security platform, that they expected governments to exploit connected devices during a hack or cyberattack. Twenty-three percent of respondents said that the energy and utility sector were most at risk of being attacked through smart devices, the survey found. Hackers are using connected devices as intermediaries to attack computer networks, the FBI warned Aug. 2. Examples of previous hacks using smart devices include an attack on a Las Vegas casino through the thermometer of an aquarium. Full Article: https://www.fifthdomain.com/critical-infrastructure/2018/08/14/experts-predict-countries-will-use-smart-devices-to-launch-cyberattacks/

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