13 octobre 2021 | International, Terrestre

A high-demand, deployable training software is the Army’s goal

From home station to CTCs and in theater, trainng tools will be part of the fight.


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  • NATO general: Europe not moving fast enough on military mobility

    2 novembre 2018 | International, Terrestre

    NATO general: Europe not moving fast enough on military mobility

    By: Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — European nations are not moving as fast as needed to resolve long-standing logistical issues that could tie up efforts to meet invading Russian forces, according to a top NATO general. “From a military perspective, of course I would say it is not moving fast enough,” Lt. Gen. Jan Broeks, director general of the alliance’s International Military Staff, said Wednesday. “It is not moving fast enough. Of course, there is always an element of how fast you can get financing, building the brigades, building the roads,” Broeks added. “It’s a lot of work. but we need to be ambitious and we need to be very clear, in a military context.” Since Russia seized Ukrainian territory in 2014, NATO nations have woken up to the challenges involved in moving military forces from one side of the continent to a potential eastern front, an issue that broadly falls under the “military mobility” heading. Officials have been upfront that the situation needs a lot of work and investment, but Broeks’ comments underline how much more work there is to do. Those challenges largely fall into two sets. The first is logistical — finding which roads can support the weight of military equipment, increasing capacity at key ports or repairing aged rail tracks. The second is legal — making sure nations have preapproved forces from other nations to enter their airspace and cross their borders. Broeks, who is from the Netherlands, traveled to Washington this week accompanied by Lt. Gen. Esa Pulkkinen, the Finnish officer who serves as director general of the European Union’s military staff. The two were hosted by the Center for a New American Security think tank. Pulkkinen said the legal set of challenges is the one that can be most easily tackled. “These are the areas where you can proceed more [quickly]. Some of the issues are in the hands of the EU, some in the hands of the member states,” he said. And Broeks indicated there may be developments in the area of authorities coming “weeks and months” ahead of the alliances 2019 political guidance document. “When I think about rapid air mobility, it’s a very critical element,” he explained. “At the moment, it is a procedural element. If we were deploying forces either through airlifts or through support through airlift, or elements of this [such as] rotary-wing and fixed-wing supporting missions, if they would not have to go through procedures for clearance, then we’re there in rapid air mobility. “We in Europe control this,” he added. “We need to go with nations because nations own the airspace.” Since taking over their respective jobs, the two men have made it a point to regularly attend dinners to foster closer ties between military planning for NATO and the EU; the visit to Washington represents the first time two officers in those jobs have traveled together to America, and the trip is part of an effort to assuage concerns within the U.S. government that NATO and the EU are not coordinating defense priorities. Much of that concern stems from the EU’s announcement in late 2017 of the Permanent Structured Cooperation on security and defense, or PESCO, a fund for EU defense projects. American officials quickly sounded the alarm that PESCO could take funds away from NATO priorities. Both Broeks and Pulkkinen have downplayed those concerns, with the two pointing to military mobility as one example where PESCO can help support NATO nations with extra funding while providing benefits for non-NATO nations. But Pulkkinen also emphasized that while PESCO is funding some initiatives on the mobility front, it should be treated as extra help, not the central solution. Another area of joint collaboration for military mobility has come from NATO’s Trident Juncture exercise, now underway. Both men said the exercise includes a focus on moving units through various airspaces and over borders. “We get lessons learned out of this because the U.K. has forces [moving] through the Netherlands, through Denmark, through Norway. The Germans move forces north. So we get a lot of this, both from interoperability and military mobility,” Broeks said. “We don’t have any EU exercises at all, [so] any chance to improve the interoperability of the forces, including the EU members' state forces, is good for us,” Pulkkinen added. “We are very grateful on the EU side that some non-NATO EU allies are [involved].” https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/11/01/nato-general-europe-not-moving-fast-enough-on-military-mobility

  • It will be at least a decade before Canada sees any of its new frigates

    15 février 2021 | International, Naval

    It will be at least a decade before Canada sees any of its new frigates

    New frigates are being packed with more combat capability than comparable ships of allies Murray Brewster It will be 2031, at the earliest, before the navy sees the first of its new frigates; a setback brought about partly by the fact Canada, Britain and Australia are still feeling their way around how to build the ultra-modern warship. The outgoing president of Irving Shipbuilding Inc., which is in charge of constructing combat ships for the federal government, said he anticipates steel will be cut on the first of the new generation high-end warships by mid-2024. "We have been trying to take an honest look at where we are and what it will take to build the ship," said Kevin McCoy who recently announced his retirement from the East Coast shipbuilder. The current estimate is that it will take up to seven-and-a-half years to build the surface combatant, a timeline being used by Britain's BAE Systems Inc., which is constructing the first of what's known as the Type 26 design. Both Canada and Australia are building their own variants. "Early on [in the shipbuilding process] estimates are not very good," said McCoy. "Early estimates are not very good for price; they're not very good for size; they're not not very good for duration," McCoy said. "The British ship has a seven-and-a-half year build cycle. So, we're locked in. We said our build cycle will be seven-and-a-half years as well." If they can find ways to speed up the process, they will, he said. ANALYSIS Battle of the budget: DND gears up to defend cost of new warships in the new year Serving military member sues DND over mould exposure on warship Ottawa awards $2.4B contract to finish building navy's supply ships If that timeline holds, it means the federal government's marquee shipbuilding strategy will be two decades old by the time it produces the warship it was principally set up to create. While Irving has been pumping out smaller, less complicated arctic patrol ships and Seaspan, in Vancouver, is building coast guard and science vessels, the strategy conceived by the former Conservative government was driven by the necessity of replacing the navy's current fleet of Halifax-class frigates. Originally, when the shipbuilding strategy was unveiled, it envisioned Canada receiving the first new frigate in 2017. A lot of water, wishful thinking and even money has gone under the bridge since then. Building off existing design The current Liberal government, since taking over in 2015 and embracing the strategy, has been opaque in its public estimates of the build time; suggesting, in some documents, a delivery time in mid-2020s while other more internal records have pegged the first new frigate in the 2027 timeframe. The Department of National Defence, in a statement, acknowledged some of the design and build intricacies are now better understood, and because of that; the first warship will be "approximately 2-3 years later than the previous estimate." A spokeswoman echoed McCoy's remarks about finding ways to move construction along. "We continue to look for efficiencies and are actively working with industry to accelerate the project in order to deliver this important platform to the RCN as soon as possible," said National Defence spokesperson Jessica Lamirande. One of the ways they could do that, she said, would be to construct some, less complex modules of the warship early, the way it has been in the navy's Joint Support Ship project at Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyard. $1 billion and counting: Inside Canada's troubled efforts to build new warships Industry briefing questions Ottawa's choice of guns, defence systems for new frigates McCoy, a blunt-talking former U.S. Navy admiral, suggested the expectations going to the surface combatant program were ultimately unworkable because the federal government came in expecting to do a so-called "clean sheet" design; meaning a warship built completely from scratch. It was the shipyard, he said, which ultimately inched the federal government toward building off an existing design because of the enormous risk and expense of purpose-built ships, a position the Liberals adopted in the spring of 2016. The selection of the British Type 26 design by the Liberal government has spawned criticism, a court challenge and will figure prominently in upcoming reports by the auditor general and the Parliamentary Budget Officer.   Combat capability packed into ship The nub of the complaints have been that the frigate is not yet in the water and is still under construction in the United Kingdom. The defence department acknowledged that adapting the British design to Canadian expectations and desires will take a year longer than originally anticipated and is now not scheduled to be completed until late 2023, early 2024. Canada, McCoy said, can expect to pay no more $2.5 billion to $3 billion, per ship as they are produced, which is, he claimed, about what other nations would pay for a warship of similar capability. "This is a big ship, lots of capability" he said, indicating that full displacement for the new frigate will likely be about 9,400 tonnes; almost double the 4,700 tonnes of the current Halifax-class. How much will Canada's new frigates really cost? The navy is about to find out PBO pushes up cost estimate for Canada's frigate build by $8 billion McCoy said what is not generally understood amid the public concern over scheduling and cost is the fact that the Canadian version of the Type 26 will be expected to do more than its British and Australian cousins. Where those navies have different warships, performing different functions, such as air defence or anti-submarine warfare, Canada's one class of frigates will be expected to perform both because that is what the government has called for in its requirements. Dave Perry, a defence analyst and vice president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, has studied the program and said he was surprised at the amount of combat capability that was being packed into the new warship. "On the one hand, Canada's one [class] of ship will have more combat capability than many of the other classes of ship that our friends and allies sail with, but it also adds an additional level of complexity and challenge getting all of that gear, all of that firepower into one single floating hull and platform," he said. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-shipbuilding-decade-frigates-1.5912961

  • Army Looks to Nature to Improve Body Armor

    2 octobre 2018 | International, Terrestre

    Army Looks to Nature to Improve Body Armor

    By ARL Public Affairs Future soldiers will be better protected in combat by stronger and lighter body armor thanks to innovative work at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Materials science engineers are using nature as the inspiration for breakthroughs in additive manufacturing. “My project is to design a system that can 3-D print armor ceramics that will allow production of parts with graded structures similar to an abalone structure in nature that will improve the ceramic armor’s toughness and survivability with lower weight,” said Joshua Pelz, a materials science and engineering doctoral candidate at the University of California San Diego. He spent this summer working with Army scientists at ARL’s Rodman Materials Science Laboratory at APG to design and build a unique 3-D printer. Two syringes containing distinct, viscous ceramic slurries are connected to a custom-made auger and print head. Pelz took advantage of his computer programming skills to hack into the 3-D printer, tricking it into using its own fan controls to manipulate the ratio of materials being printed. He designed a custom auger and print head and even used the same 3-D printer to create those parts. “Josh found a way to implement our ideas into that machine, take apart machine, take out the polymer FDM heads that are built into it, start to look at how to design the machine to incorporate our ceramic slurries and print those slurries into the head but then he had to do a lot of really basic work looking at how to actually hack the machine,” said Dr. Lionel Vargas-Gonzalez, Ceramics Synthesis and Processing team lead at the laboratory. “We’ve got people like Josh who were very gifted and talented and can bring all that kind of capability and use a lot to our advantage it’s a huge benefit for us.” Current processing techniques used to create ceramic armor are limited by how engineers can combine materials into a stronger composite material. “For ceramics, that’s a bit of a challenge because with you can’t really do what a one-step additive manufacturing process like you could if a metal or a polymer,” Vargas-Gonzalez said. “We see this as a next avenue for armor because we’re going to be able to, in theory, design armor in a way that we can attach multiple materials together into a single armor plate, and be able to provide ways for the armor to perform better than it can be just based on one material alone.” Full article: http://science.dodlive.mil/2018/10/01/army-looks-to-nature-to-improve-body-armor/

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