27 avril 2021 | International, Aérospatial
The deal would allow Australia to buy up to 12 MQ-9B SkyGuardians.
WASHINGTON — The Army has signed a cooperative research and development deal with Estonia focused on cyber defense and other technologies.
The Sept. 14th agreement, signed by the Army Futures Command's Combat Capabilities Development Command's Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center and the ministry of defense, will establish a working group to identify new technologies mutually beneficial to each nation, mostly in the multidomain operations sphere.
“This is part of Army Futures Command's' mission: to discover and deliver technology. We're reaching out to pretty much any source that we can find something innovative, whether it's innovative thoughts and ways of doing business or if it's potentially altering a product or modifying it for use by government and by the military,” Brian Lyttle, division chief for cybersecurity at the C5ISR Center, told C4ISRNET in an interview.
Under the agreement, the two nations will identify technological areas of mutual interest and share researchers to develop them, Robert Kimball, senior research scientist for cybersecurity at the C5ISR Center, told C4ISRNET. He noted the agreement is in preliminary stages and researchers haven't identified specific projects yet.
Andri Rebane, director of the Cyber Defense Department at the Estonian Ministry of Defense, also told C4SIRNET in an emailed response that the joint working group will hold regular meetings to identify those technologies and explore experimentation on those they both agree to.
“The ambition is to develop long term research and development projects in cyber defense to encounter the threats from disruptive technologies,” he said.
Estonia is considered one of the most digitally connected nations in the world and has continued to up its game in the digital realm following a 2007 cyberattack, largely attributed to Russia.
The Army's research and development community wants to chase new technology that can better serve soldiers.
“Our mission in the R&D area is to identify those technologies that will benefit the Army as a whole. Our ability to identify those technologies extends far beyond what's available in our own government labs, in research institutions in the United States,” Kimball said. “We're interested in new cyber technologies from wherever they exist. The Estonians have deep capabilities because of their past that they've spent a lot of time working on.”
Rebane explained this agreement is part of a larger partnership between the two NATO nations.
“In a more practical view the two parties can leverage their vast experience to invest into new research and development to mitigate cyber threats across the spectrum of conflict. In the long term this agreement will benefit also our other allies countering the threats emerging from the shared cyberspace,” he said.
Lyttle noted that the Army – and Department of Defense – will never fight alone and thus agreements like this help to foster greater interoperability with coalition partners.
27 avril 2021 | International, Aérospatial
The deal would allow Australia to buy up to 12 MQ-9B SkyGuardians.
28 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial
By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — A Boeing-Saab partnership has won a $9.2 billion contract to produce the U.S. Air Force's next-generation training jet. Boeing's award for the T-X trainer program marks the third major victory by the company in about a month, following an $805 million contract to build the Navy's first four MQ-25 unmanned tankers, and a contract worth up to $2.38 billion to manufacture the Air Force's Huey replacement helicopter. The T-X downselect was first reported by Reuters. As the winners of the competition, Boeing and Swedish aerospace firm Saab are set to capture sales of at least 351 training jets to the U.S. Air Force, with possibly more in the international market. The program promises to keep Boeing's tactical aircraft business strong after the F-15 and F/A-18 Super Hornet lines disappear in the next decade. "Today's announcement is the culmination of years of unwavering focus by the Boeing and Saab team,” said Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing's defense business. “It is a direct result of our joint investment in developing a system centered on the unique requirements of the U.S. Air Force. We expect T-X to be a franchise program for much of this century.” The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract will allow the Air Force to buy up to 475 aircraft and 120 simulators, the Air Force said in a Sept. 27 statement, although the current plan is to buy 351 T-X aircraft, 46 simulators and associated ground equipment. The Air Force stated that the T-X program originally was to cost about $19.7 billion, and that Boeing's bid shaved $10 billion off that amount. “This new aircraft will provide the advanced training capabilities we need to increase the lethality and effectiveness of future Air Force pilots,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in the news release. “Through competition we will save at least $10 billion on the T-X program.” Although the contract could be worth up to $9.2 billion, that sum is by no means a sure thing for Boeing. During a briefing with reporters on Thursday afternoon, Will Roper, the service's acquisition executive, and Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, its top uniformed acquisition official, said the $9.2 billion amount would be obligated to Boeing if the service executes all of options that would allow it to buy more aircraft at a quicker pace, purchasing all 475 planes. Additionally, Boeing assumes the preponderance of the risk with the T-X program, which starts as a fixed-price incentive fee contract, but at the fifth lot will transition to a firm-fixed price structure, Roper and Bunch said. Boeing and Saab's clean-sheet trainer, designed specifically for the Air Force, beat out Leonardo DRS and a Lockheed Martin-Korea Aerospace Industries partnership. Throughout the competition, the Boeing-Saab jet was seen as the front-runner by analysts like Roman Schweizer of Cowen Washington Research Group, who pointed to Boeing's aggressive bidding strategy and ability to absorb financial losses on programs like the KC-46 tanker aircraft. The T-X program is the Air Force's last major aircraft procurement opportunity up for grabs for some time, as the service's contracts for its next-generation fighter, tanker and bomber have already been awarded, as have the last remaining new-start helicopter contracts. As such, the decision could potentially trigger a protest with the Government Accountability Office. But Roper and Bunch pointed to the repeated interaction with industry through the competition, which could shield it from a protest, and lessons learned from previous programs on how to structure a competition. Roper also defended the service's selection of Boeing's design, which was the only proposed aircraft that was not a modified version of an existing plane. “We have a very deliberate process to evaluate risk, cost, and technical factors in the program and so its rigorous because we do have to evaluate things that have variances in them. The team looked at that, rolled up cost benefit, technical factors sand risk, to give best value to the government and overall our assessment was Boeing had a proposal that was best value,” Roper said. Under the initial $813 million award, Boeing will be responsible for delivering five T-X aircraft and seven simulators, with the first simulators arriving at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, in 2023. According to the T-X request for proposals issued in December 2016, the Air Force will then execute contract options for two batches of low-rate production and eight rounds of full-rate production. The contract also includes ground training systems, mission planning and processing systems, support equipment, and spares. Initial operating capability is planned by the end of fiscal 2024 when the first squadron and its associated simulators are all available for training. Full operational capability is projected for 2034. Beyond the 351-aircraft program of record, analysts have speculated there could be significant international interest in T-X from countries that plan to fly the F-35 fighter jet or from the U.S. Air Force as it considers buying new aggressor aircraft for air-to-air combat training, making the opportunity potentially even more lucrative. Although each of the three competing teams offered very different trainers to the Air Force, they were united by their cooperation with international aircraft manufacturers. Boeing partnered with Saab, which is building the aircraft's aft fuselage and other systems. The team produced two single-engine, twin-tailed prototypes, which were unveiled at Boeing's St. Louis, Missouri, facility to much fanfare in 2016. Saab promised that, should the partnership emerge victorious, it would build a new plant in the United States for its T-X work, although a location has not been announced. Leonardo DRS and Lockheed Martin offered modified versions of existent designs, hoping that a mature aircraft would be more palatable as the U.S. Air Force continues to foresee budgetary challenges in its future. DRS' T-100 is based on the Leonardo M-346 trainer, which is being sold to two F-35 users — Italy and Israel — as well as Singapore. Leonardo initially looked to partner with a big-name U.S. defense prime, first joining with General Dynamics and then, when that teaming agreement fell apart, Raytheon. Ultimately, Leonardo and Raytheon couldn't agree on pricing for the T-100, leading that partnership to also break up in January 2017. After Leonardo DRS was tapped to prime the program, the company announced its intention to do structural subassembly, final assembly and check out of the aircraft stateside at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, where it would build a new $200 million facility. Lockheed Martin meanwhile joined with Korea Aerospace Industries — a longtime collaborator who manufactured South Korea's version of the F-16 — for a modified version of KAI's T-50. Lockheed said that its T-50A would be built in Greenville, South Carolina, where it also plans to fabricate the F-16 in the future. https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2018/09/27/reuters-air-force-awards-9b-contract-to-boeing-for-next-training-jet/
25 juillet 2018 | International, Aérospatial
By Karen DeYoung and Dan Lamothe Qatar will spend $1.8 billion upgrading the major air base used by the United States for its ongoing military and counterterrorism operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf kingdom said Monday. Expansion of the base, which houses about 10,000 U.S. military personnel, will include new family housing facilities for more than 200 officers and other infrastructure enlargements, along with “operational” improvements, Defense Minister Khaled Mohammed al-Attiyah said in an interview. The improvements, to be formally announced at a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, were previewed this year in meetings between Attiyah and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. They come as Qatar and its gulf rivals, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are in the midst of a deep regional dispute and competing for closer relations with the United States. Last summer, fresh from a triumphant visit to Saudi Arabia, President Trump sided with the Saudis and Emiratis when they broke relations with Qatar and accused it of ties to terrorism.By fall, however, Trump backed off after Mattis and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that it was unwise to take sides in what was a long-standing rivalry, and reminded him of U.S. military interests in Qatar. Since then, he has repeatedly called on them to mend their differences and offered to mediate. Last April, when Trump hosted a visit by Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar was described as a “valued partner and longtime friend” that provided “critical support” for operations against the Islamic State. Qatar is also viewed as a major donor to administration plans to provide development assistance to Gaza and the West Bank as part of a still-unrevealed U.S. plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Qatar is a major customer for the U.S. defense industry, including last year's purchase of $12 billion worth of F-15s. “We have bought a lot of military equipment from the U.S. so we can fly hand in hand with our partners,” Attiya said. He dismissed any notion of regional rivalry, saying that Qatar is “not very much interested in rivalry” but rather was interested in “the stability of the region.” According to a background statement from the Qatar government, the contract for 36 F-15 fighter jets “supports 50,000 total jobs and more than 550 suppliers in 42 states.” Other recent purchases include $20 million worth of Javelin guided missiles, $700 million in logistics support services and equipment, and an estimated $200 million in weapons systems “which support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.” But the centerpiece of U.S.-Qatar ties is Al Udeid Air Base, home to scores of aircraft, including fighters, bombers, tankers and reconnaissance planes. The base is key to U.S. military efforts in the Middle East and has played a central role in the Pentagon's air campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. In addition to the large U.S. troop presence, it is also the headquarters of Air Forces Central Command, headed by a three-star U.S. general, and a combined air operations center from which the Pentagon tracks the maneuvers of aircraft throughout the region. The U.S. military relationship with Qatar expanded rapidly in the 1990s and early part of the 21st century, as the Qataris built Al Udeid and encouraged the United States to use it. The Pentagon moved its air operations center there from Saudi Arabia in 2003, after Riyadh denied the United States permission to use its Prince Sultan Air Base to attack Iraq. Qatar's willingness to let the United States fly bombers from Al Udeid is seen as particularly significant. Other nations in the region do not allowed bombers, but the Pentagon has had a steady rotation of bomber squadrons through the base. A unit of B-1B bombers arrived this spring, replacing B-52s that carried out airstrikes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria over the previous two years. The U.S. military has spent about $450 million in construction at Al Udeid since 2003, expanding the facility from an expeditionary airfield in which many U.S. troops lived in tents to the more permanent structures there today. Qatar calculates it has spent $8 billion there to support U.S. operations. The U.S. presence at Tuesday's ceremony is expected to be relatively low-level, as defense officials try to distance themselves from the ongoing inter-gulf dispute. Attiya said that Qatar hoped eventually to see Al Udeid declared a permanent American facility. “Of course we would like to see our colleagues and allies permanently staying here with us,” Attiya said. But the main purpose of the expansion, he said, “is that we have men and women away from home and we are trying always to modify and expand, just to make their stay comfortable.” Over the next five years, Qatar is also building two major new “top-of-the-line” naval bases, Attiyah said, both of which would be “able to host our partner the United States if they feel that it is convenient to send their navy as well.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/qatar-to-upgrade-air-base-used-by-us-to-fight-terrorism/2018/07/23/19e04c84-8eb7-11e8-b769-e3fff17f0689_story.html?utm_term=.fbd30fa0a31d