6 décembre 2021 | International, Aérospatial

Airbus looks to keep portfolio flying in Europe through 2060 '€” with wider ambitions abroad

Despite growing competition in its backyard, Airbus is laser-focused on keeping its military aircraft in Europe's skies '€” and hoping to soon make it across the Atlantic.


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  • ‘I’ll be their angel investor’: Air Force vice chief wants to crowdsource airmen’s ideas

    21 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    ‘I’ll be their angel investor’: Air Force vice chief wants to crowdsource airmen’s ideas

    By: Kyle Rempfer As the U.S. military turns its attention to the threats posed by near-peer adversaries, Air Force leadership is shifting its focus to great power approaches to combat, like multi-domain operations and expeditionary warfare. A culture of innovation among airmen will be pivotal in preparing for such a conflict, and the effort to foster that independence and creativity is already underway. In the coming weeks, the Air Force will be rolling out a new initiative to crowdsource solutions from airmen around the service. Across all specialty codes, the service is calling on airmen to design apps, develop algorithms and create new approaches to the problems that plague their career fields or help the Air Force carry out its missions. The program — dubbed the Vice Chief's Challenge — will be spearheaded by Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson. “We want to take the ideas our airmen have to see around corners, anticipate what's next and solve these really complex national security challenges,” Wilson told Air Force Times. Those challenges range from fusing open-source social media information into actionable intelligence with new software, to upgrading legacy aircraft with gadgets to help airmen stay in the fight longer. “Navigation apps like Waze change the way we travel across town by giving us an intuitive display that integrates traffic, hazards, and route recommendations in real time. Companies like Uber and Amazon have transformed our view of logistics," according to a copy of the Vice Chief's Challenge provided to Air Force Times. "They are not the only ones leaning forward. I am sure each of you have seen opportunities to enhance [multi-domain operations]. I want to hear your best ideas.” The initiative is designed to deliver capabilities to the Air Force in months, rather than the usual years, Wilson said. And it's going to become routine, always running against the backdrop of the service's other acquisition initiatives. “It's this cultural change and this shift that happens ... and today, I think it's clear in this great power competition, we need this urgently," Wilson said. “I need to remove barriers to innovation." The Vice Chief's Challenge will consist of three phases. First, ideas will be solicited from across the service in a broad announcement. Then, workshops will be set up in which subject matter experts help refine the most promising proposals and draft development plans for the budding ideas. The final phase will involve developing and demonstrating prototypes for the chosen concepts. “We'll start small by gathering ideas from individual airmen, rapidly evolve concepts with national thought leaders, and scale fast by working with industry to build and demonstrate prototypes in the next year,” Wilson said. Each phase will be led by a different organization, but the Air Force Research Lab and the Office of the Vice Chief of Staff will serve as executive agents to ensure smooth transition between phases. The initiative is similar to last year's first-ever Spark Tank innovation proposals. “Each of the [major commands] went out to their different wings and solicited ideas, picked their best ones and came to us," Wilson said. "There were a dozen ideas, of which we picked six of them and presented them at the [Warfighter's Edge] conference.” The idea chosen for development ended up being that of a boom operator on the KC-135 Stratotanker. He proposed a plan to re-engineer the boom operator platform instructor position for the entire KC-135 fleet at a projected cost of $1.5 million. The proposed innovation aims to both reduce back and neck injuries and save the Air Force $132 million each year in this critical aircrew specialty, according to Air Mobility Command. “It was across the fleet, easy to implement, and that's what we're using now,” Wilson said. Other innovative ideas that Wilson has already seen, and clearly wants more of, involve software development that connects sensors, platforms and nodes to share information across the force. “We had an airman and second lieutenant who briefed me on software development they had done that was unbelievable — the capability they were bringing me and the speed at which they were doing it,” Wilson said. The duo took SIPRNet information and found a way to fuse it together using complex computer coding for targeting purposes. The result was a tool dreamed up in-house that directly solved a pressing issue. Much of that is simply owed to the fact that those airmen knew what they needed to do, how to do it and already worked in a position to provide the service. “The CEO of Pivotal [Software Inc.] pulled me aside and said ‘I work with all the Fortune 500 companies across the world, and I would put these two people against any company, anywhere,'” Wilson said. That's the sort of innovation the Vice Chief's Challenge is looking to tap into. Wilson doesn't know yet how many ideas will be taken to completion, but by this time next year, he's hoping that the Vice Chief's Challenge will be handing out some awards. “I can't compensate them like industry can, but I can offer them purpose," he said. https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/09/20/ill-be-their-angel-investor-air-force-vice-chief-wants-to-crowdsource-airmens-ideas

  • New in 2024: Air Force plans autonomous flight tests for drone wingmen

    1 janvier 2024 | International, Aérospatial

    New in 2024: Air Force plans autonomous flight tests for drone wingmen

    The Air Force is laying the groundwork for a vast fleet of more than 1,000 autonomous drones that will fly alongside piloted fighters.

  • Cyberwarriors need a training platform, and fast

    11 juin 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Cyberwarriors need a training platform, and fast

    By: Mark Pomerleau U.S. Cyber Command's cyber teams are now built and transitioning to readiness, and now the force needs a dedicated platform to conduct training. Given the importance of properly preparing cyberwarriors, the Army (acting as Cyber Command's executive agent for all the service's cyber teams) has been using a rapid acquisition approach called other transaction authorities to field a training platform. The Persistent Cyber Training Environment, or PCTE, is not a single entity, but rather a complex system of systems that will require many moving parts for individual and collective training, as well as mission rehearsal. According to Jim Keffer, director of cyber at Lockheed Martin, it will be more than just a cyber range. It'll require event management; scheduling for training exercises; scenario design features; control of the exercises; assessments; red forces; library of capabilities that can be linked to designing adversary network mock-ups (which will require good intelligence); and classrooms to put all this together. The reason such a high-end training environment is being fast-tracked is because cyberwarriors don't currently have anything akin to what traditional war fighters use to prepare for combat. Capstone cyber exercises that only occur once or twice a year are not enough for the force, and in many cases the first-time cyberwarriors will engage with an adversary in the real world and not in simulations. “It's like a fighter pilot going up and the first time he's flown actual combat is against a real adversary,” Keffer told Fifth Domain. “That's not a good way to fight wars. That's not a good way to train your troops. That's not a good way to decrease the risk to your forces.” Incremental approach The overall PCTE is made up of a number of cyber investment challenges, or CICs, that the Army is releasing incrementally and will eventually string together. This will “bring together some of the best technology that's out there” to address immediate needs in various categories as the longer-term vision of what PCTE might look like coalesces, Deon Viergutz, vice president of Cyber Solutions at Lockheed Martin, told Fifth Domain in an interview. The Army will release five CIC's to get multiple industry approaches as it heads up the full PCTE indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, Viergutz said, adding, “I believe that is still under work, the long term for PCTE and the acquisition.” While CIC one has been awarded, CIC two should be awarded in the next few weeks. According to contracting documents, CIC two is focused on enabling user access to the PCTE and training aids through a portal. CIC three, which is forthcoming in mid- to late-June, is focused on red team planning, as well as master exercise control. CIC four, estimated for release in July, will focus on training assessment. There is no information released yet regarding CIC five. One important question remains unclear, however: In the end, who will be the integrator of systems — the government or a contractor? “The seams between all these capabilities tend to be the weak points. Having an integrator to kind of tie all that together — the ranges and all these different capabilities — would be important to make sure that the cyberwarriors get the best capability that they deserve ... as quickly as possible,” Keffer said. “If the government wants to be the integrator, we'll do all we can to help them out. If they want industry to be the integrator, industry has a lot of experience doing that, especially Lockheed Martin; we're big in the training business.” https://www.fifthdomain.com/dod/2018/06/04/cyberwarriors-need-a-training-platform-and-fast/

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