20 septembre 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, C4ISR

Air Force and Navy ink new supercomputing deal - FedScoop

The high performance computers will be able to run 17.6 quadrillion operations per second, according to the Penguin Computing.

https://www.fedscoop.com/air-force-and-navy-ink-new-supercomputing-deal

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  • Secretive, never profitable Palantir makes its market debut

    1 octobre 2020 | International, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Secretive, never profitable Palantir makes its market debut

    Frank Bajak, The Associated Press  BOSTON — Seventeen years after it was born with the help of CIA seed money, the data-mining outfit Palantir Technologies is finally going public in the biggest Wall Street tech offering since last year’s debut of Slack and Uber. Never profitable and dogged by ethical objections for assisting in the Trump administration’s deportation crackdown, Palantir has forged ahead with a direct listing of its stock, which is set to begin trading Wednesday. In its stock offering, the company isn’t selling newly minted shares to raise money; it’s simply listing existing shares for public trading. The low-key strategy may not generate the enthusiasm many technology offerings do. But it’s in character for a secretive company long reliant on spies, cops and the military as customers — and whose founders are holding onto voting control of the company. The big question for both investors and company management: Can Palantir successfully transition from a business built on the costly handholding of government customers to serving corporate customers at scale? The company is a hybrid provider of software and consulting services that often embeds its own engineers with clients. Analysts say its future depends on selling multinationals on its tools for gathering disparate data from an ever-expanding data universe and using artificial-intelligence technology to find previously undetectable patterns. Those can theoretically guide strategic decisions and identify new markets much as they have aided in tracking terrorists and sorting military intelligence. The company sets itself apart from most U.S. technology providers, and just moved its headquarters to Denver from Silicon Valley. Palantir colors itself patriotic and belittles other tech firms that won’t unquestionably support U.S. dominance in war fighting and intelligence. “Our software is used to target terrorists and to keep soldiers safe,” CEO Alex Karp wrote in a letter accompanying Palantir’s offering prospectus. While Karp acknowledged the ethical challenge of building software that “enables more effective surveillance by the state,” Palantir’s prospectus touts its work helping U.S. soldiers counter roadside bombings and fight the Islamic State group. The iconoclastic entrepreneur and PayPal co-founder endorsed President Donald Trump in 2016, worked on his transition team and holds the largest chunk of Palantir stock. Thiel already exerts tremendous power from the board of Facebook, which dominates global media and seeks to create a digital currency. In its IPO prospectus, Palantir paints a dark picture of faltering government agencies and institutions in danger of collapse and ripe for rescue by a “central operating system” forged under Thiel’s auspices. As the offering is structured, Thiel will be the dominant voice among the Palantir co-founders who will retain voting control. “Is that someone who you want deciding how a component of the (national) security apparatus is designed?” asked New York University business professor Scott Galloway. “If you believe that power corrupts and checks and balances are a good idea, this is just from the get-go a really bad idea.” Earlier in September, BuzzFeed reported that Thiel hosted a known white nationalist, Kevin DeAnna, at a 2016 dinner party, citing emails it obtained and published whose authors refused to talk to the online news outlet. Thiel declined through a spokesman to discuss the report with The Associated Press. Critics say he shares the blame for Facebook’s incomplete removal of toxic disinformation disseminated by the pro-Trump far-right fringe. Then there are Palantir’s fundamentals, which Galloway considers lousy. The company has just 125 customers in 150 countries, including Airbus, Merck, Credit Suisse and the Danish National Police. Slightly less than half its 2019 revenues were from government agencies, and three clients — which Palantir did not name — accounted for almost a third of revenues. “They’re massively unprofitable and they’ve never been able to figure it out,” Galloway said, noting that it took Google three years to earn a profit, and Amazon seven. Over a much longer span, Palantir has accumulated $3.8 billion in losses, raised about $3 billion and listed $200 million in outstanding debt as of July 31. Palantir, named for the mystical all-seeing stones from Tolkien’s “Lord of The Rings,” has recently been deepening its relationship with Uncle Sam, including winning a modest contract early in the COVID-19 pandemic for helping the White House gather data on the virus' impact. Senior emerging technology analyst Brendan Burke of Pitchbook says he isn’t worried that Thiel’s association with Trump will hurt the company if Trump loses the election. “The political connections don’t appear to be the main driver of their recent substantial contract wins,” he said, although he noted that government contracts can be more volatile than corporate ones, where Palantir’s foothold is less firm. Palantir offers two software platforms. Foundry is designed to link disparate and largely incompatible data sources into a central operating system. It’s the company’s primary hope for broadening its business. An earlier product, Gotham, has been used by defense and intelligence analysts and police departments to identify patterns deep within datasets. But the value of “predictive policing” tools developed with the platform have been questioned for their potential to unfairly target people of color. The New Orleans and New York City police departments, once customers, have used it. A 2017 research paper by University of Texas sociologist Sarah Brayne, who studied the Los Angeles Police Department’s use of Gotham, found the software could lead to a proliferation of unregulated personal data collected by police from commercial and law enforcement databases. On Monday, Amnesty International issued a briefing that says Palantir is failing to conduct human rights due diligence around its contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, calling it “deeply ironic” that the company crows about its determination not to work with regimes like China that abuse human rights. Palantir’s ICE contracts involve the maintenance and improvement of two products used in deportation raids. One of them, its web-based Falcon tool, has enhanced data accessible to investigators “involving the illegal movement of people into, within, and out of the United States,” according to documents obtained by The Associated Press, including court records, and by the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center in a freedom-of-information request. Palantir has acknowledged in its SEC filing that “unfavorable coverage in the media” and from social activists could hurt its business. It also says its contractual obligations might prevent it from being able to defend its actions publicly, although it recently named a former Wall Street Journal reporter to its board. Negative publicity over ICE contracts may also have hurt company recruitment on college campuses. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2020/09/30/secretive-never-profitable-palantir-makes-its-market-debut/

  • Work on Dutch F-35s kicks off in Italy

    18 juin 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Work on Dutch F-35s kicks off in Italy

    Tom Kington  ROME — Assembly is underway in Italy on a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter destined for the Netherlands Air Force, Dutch and Italian officials have said. The Netherlands is planning to assemble most of its F-35s at the line at Cameri in northern Italy, where Italian Air Force and Navy F-35s are already being assembled. Dutch secretary of state for defense, Barbara Visser, attended a ceremony at Cameri on Thursday to mark the start of the work on Dutch aircraft. “She was there as the aircraft, ‘AN9,’ went to the mating station as assembly got under way,” said Dutch Air Force spokesman, Sidney Plankman. The aircraft is the ninth of the Netherlands’ order of 37 F-35As. The first eight are being assembled at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth facility in the U.S. The first Dutch F-35 assembled in the U.S. will roll off the Fort Worth line in January 2019 and will head to Luke Air Base for pilot training, said Plankman. “Six or seven of those assembled in the U.S. will go to Luke,” he added. Under a deal struck with the Italian government, the remaining 29 Dutch aircraft will all be assembled at Cameri, which is owned by the Italian government and operated by Italian state-controled defense firm Leonardo in partnership with Lockheed Martin. AN9 will be completed in February 2019 before undertaking test flights in Italy and heading to the Netherlands around October 2019. “It will be the first F-35 to arrive in the Netherlands,” said Plankman. Cameri has already delivered F-35As to the Italian Air Force, which are flying from Italy’s Amendola Air Base. In January, the first F-35B to be assembled outside the U.S., which is destined to fly with the Italian Navy, was handed over to Italy at Cameri. Italy is currently due to purchase 60 F-35 As and 30 F-35Bs. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/06/15/work-on-dutch-f-35s-kicks-off-in-italy/

  • General Atomics Starts SeaGuardian RPAS Validation Flights In Japan

    21 octobre 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, C4ISR

    General Atomics Starts SeaGuardian RPAS Validation Flights In Japan

    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a global leader in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), kicked off a series of validation flights on Oct. 15 for Japan Coast Guard (JCG) in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. GA-ASI is working with Asia Air Survey (AAS) in Japan to conduct the flights. Naval News Staff  GA-ASI press release “We appreciate Asia Air Survey’s support in demonstrating how the MQ-9B SeaGuardian RPAS can provide affordable, long-endurance airborne surveillance of Japan’s maritime domain,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “The system’s ability to correlate multiple sensor feeds and identify vessel anomalies provides effective, persistent maritime situational awareness.” The SeaGuardian flights will validate the wide-area maritime surveillance capabilities of RPAS for carrying out JCG’s missions, from search and rescue to maritime law enforcement. These flights follow successful “legacy” MQ-9 maritime patrol demonstrations in the Korea Strait in 2018 and the Aegean Sea in 2019. The Hachinohe operation features the MQ-9B configuration, capable of all-weather operations in civil national and international airspace. The SeaGuardian RPAS features a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imaging mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, a High-Definition – Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras. This sensor suite, augmented by automatic track correlation and anomaly-detection algorithms, enables real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles. GA-ASI’s MQ-9B is revolutionizing the long-endurance RPAS market by providing all-weather capability and compliance with STANAG-4671 (NATO airworthiness standard for UAVs). These features, along with an operationally proven collision-avoidance radar, enables flexible operations in civil airspace. https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/10/general-atomics-starts-seaguardian-rpas-validation-flights-in-japan/

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