24 avril 2022 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Britain’s military procurement agency gets new management

A former defense industry executive is taking over the British government’s multibillion-pound defense procurement effort.


Sur le même sujet

  • Army Picks 2 Firms to Build Light and Medium Robotic Combat Vehicles

    15 janvier 2020 | International, Terrestre

    Army Picks 2 Firms to Build Light and Medium Robotic Combat Vehicles

    By Matthew Cox The U.S. Army has announced that it plans to strike deals with QinetiQ North America and Textron Systems to build versions of the Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV). Army Combat Capability Development Command's Ground Vehicle Systems Center, along with the service's Next-Generation Combat Vehicles cross-functional team, intend to award Other Transaction Agreements (OTA) to QinetiQ North America to build four light versions of the RCV and to Textron to build four medium versions, according to a recent news release from the National Advanced Mobility Consortium. The Army often uses OTAs under its new acquisition reform strategy, so it can have prototypes built quickly for experimenting with new designs. If all goes well in upcoming negotiations, the service intends to award the final OTAs for both variants by mid-February, the release states. The prototype RCVs will be used as part of the Army's "Robotic Campaign of Learning" in an effort to "determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations," the release adds. The RCV effort is part of the Army's sweeping modernization effort, launched in 2017. The service wants to develop light, medium and heavy version of the RCV to give commanders the option of sending unmanned vehicles into combat against enemy forces. "Robots have the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct ground combat operations," Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle cross-functional team, said in the release. "Whether that's giving increased firepower to a dismounted patrol, breaching an enemy fighting position, or providing [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear] reconnaissance, we envision these vehicles providing commanders more time and space for decisions and reducing risk to soldiers." Following final OTA notices, QinetiQ North America and Textron's RCVs will be used in a platoon level experiment in March and a company-level experiment in late 2021, the release states. The results of the experiments, along with the findings from several virtual experiments, will "inform a decision by the Army on how to proceed" with robotic combat vehicles in 2023, according to the release. Textron, along with its subsidiaries Howe and Howe Technologies and FLiR Systems Inc., displayed the Ripsaw M5 unmanned tracked vehicle as its RCV in October at the Association of the United States Army's annual meeting. QinetiQ North America teamed up with Pratt and Miller Defense to enter its Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle (EMAV) at AUSA as well. Jeffrey Langhout, director of the Ground Vehicle Systems Center, applauded the selection of QinetiQ North America and Textron as a "testament to the dedication and passion of the Army to giving our soldiers the best capabilities possible." "This is a great day for our Army, as we make another important step in learning how we can employ robotic vehicles into our future formations," he said in the release. https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/01/14/army-picks-2-firms-build-light-and-medium-robotic-combat-vehicles.html

  • New Pentagon chief under scrutiny over perceived Boeing bias

    10 janvier 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    New Pentagon chief under scrutiny over perceived Boeing bias

    By ELIANA JOHNSON and DAVID BROWN Concerns about Patrick Shanahan’s Boeing ties have re-emerged since President Donald Trump said he may be running the Pentagon ‘for a long time.’ Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan’s private remarks during his 18 months at the Pentagon have spurred accusations that he is boosting his former employer Boeing, people who have witnessed the exchanges told POLITICO — fueling questions about whether he harbors an unfair bias against other big military contractors. Shanahan, who spent 31 years at Boeing before joining the Pentagon in mid-2017, has signed an ethics agreement recusing him from weighing in on matters involving the mammoth defense contractor. But that hasn’t stopped him from praising Boeing and trashing competitors such as Lockheed Martin during internal meetings, two former government officials who have heard him make the accusations told POLITICO. The remarks raise questions among ethics experts about whether Shanahan, intentionally or not, is putting his finger on the scale when it comes to Pentagon priorities. They also call new attention to a recent decision by the Pentagon to request new Boeing fighters that the Air Force has said it does not want — a request that Bloomberg has reported came after "prodding" from Shanahan. Concerns about Shanahan’s ties to his former employer first surfaced during his confirmation hearing to be deputy secretary, but they have re-emerged since President Donald Trump said last month he may be running the Pentagon “for a long time.” In high-level Pentagon meetings, Shanahan has heavily criticized Lockheed Martin’s handling of the production of the F-35 fighter jet, which is expected to cost more than $1 trillion over the life of the program, according to one of the two sources, a former senior Defense Department official who was present. Shanahan, this official said, called the plane “f---ed up” and argued that Lockheed — which edged out Boeing to win the competition to build the plane in October 2001 — “doesn’t know how to run a program.” “If it had gone to Boeing, it would be done much better,” Shanahan said, according to the former official. As the Pentagon's No. 2, Shanahan repeatedly "dumped" on the F-35 in meetings, calling the program "unsustainable," and slammed Lockheed Martin's CEO, Marillyn Hewson, according to the second source, a former Trump administration official. "'The cost, the out-years, it's just too expensive, we're not gonna be able to sustain it,'" this person said, quoting Shanahan. The former Trump official said Shanahan "kind of went off" about the F-35 at a retreat for Republican lawmakers last year at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. This angered several members of the delegation who had home-district interests in the F-35 program, the former official said. "He would complain about Lockheed's timing and their inability to deliver, and from a Boeing point of view, say things like, 'We would never do that,'" this former official said. Shanahan is the first Pentagon chief to come purely from the private sector since the 1950s and has virtually no government or policy experience. He became the acting Defense secretary Jan. 1, following former Secretary Jim Mattis’ resignation over Trump’s abrupt decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria and begin drawing down from Afghanistan. He has signed an ethics agreement barring him from weighing in on any matters involving his former employer, the Pentagon's fifth-largest contractor in 2017. Shanahan’s experience at Boeing is “his only reference point," the former Trump administration official said. "He doesn't have a lot of other experiences to draw on. He owns it in a powerful way because he doesn't have the military experience, he doesn't have the experience in government. So when he talks about those things, he's very forceful." His remarks about the F-35 stand in stark contrast to those of the president, who regularly praises the stealth fighter despite initially slamming its high costs. The F-35 program, while experiencing a number of setbacks, technical delays and groundings throughout the years, is generally considered to be on the mend. The Air Force and Marine Corps variants have been declared ready to deploy, and the Navy version is expected to reach that point as early as next month. And unit costs have come down for all three variants as the plane matures. Trump has praised Shanahan’s ability to cut costs, calling him a “great buyer.” He is now among the candidates the president is considering as a permanent replacement for Mattis. Asked for comment, Shanahan’s office released a statement saying he is committed to his agreement to stay out of matters involving Boeing. “Under his ethics agreement, Mr. Shanahan has recused himself for the duration of his service in the Department of Defense from participating personally and substantially in matters in which the Boeing Company is a party,” his office said. Full article: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/09/defense-patrick-shanahan-boeing-pentagon-1064203

  • U.S. Small Businesses May Get More COVID-19 Emergency Funding

    8 avril 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    U.S. Small Businesses May Get More COVID-19 Emergency Funding

    Sean Broderick WASHINGTON—The Trump Administration has asked Congress for an additional $250 billion in small-business payroll loan funding, providing more cash to the coronavirus pandemic emergency funding program that many small aerospace suppliers are expected to tap.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tweeted the news April 7, confirming that, “at the direction of President Trump,” he has asked Democrat and Republican leaders in both the House of Representatives and Senate for more Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding “to make sure small businesses get the money they need!”  The PPP, part of the March 27 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, was set up to quickly get funds to eligible businesses to cover eight weeks of payroll costs as well as most rent, utility and mortgage-interest expenses. Companies can apply for a one-time PPP loan of up to 2.5 times their average monthly 2019 payroll, up to a maximum $10 million. So long as 75% of the funds are used for payroll costs, the loans do not have to be repaid, making them de facto grants.  The CARES Act allocates $349 billion to the program, but early popularly suggests that more funding may be needed to meet demand. The Small Business Administration (SBA) processed more than $70 billion in loans in PPP’s first three days after the program opened April 3, though it did not say how much of that has been funded. Some 250,000 small businesses, out of an estimated 30 million, have applied for PPP funds. Mnuchin said he has spoken with Congressional leaders and is confident that he has bipartisan buy-in. “We look forward to the Senate passing that on [April 9], and the House passing that on [April 10]” Mnuchin told reporters during an April 7 media briefing. Additional funding could be approved quickly. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said in a statement that he would work with Mnuchin and fellow Senate leaders to approve further funding within days. House Democrats are already working on a larger bill, which leader Nancy Pelosi calls CARES 2, that includes more PPP funding. PPP loan applications, submitted through the SBA Small Business Administration (SBA) and funded by participating lenders, began rushing in as soon as the program opened April 3. SBA Mnuchin said April 7 that more than 3,000 lenders are onboard, with additional institutions expected to participate. The program experienced some early hiccups, due in part to its scale and how quickly it has come together. CARES became law on March 27, and interim rules on how PPP would work were issued late April 2, just hours before applications were set to start.  The PPP’s broad applicability, lack of requirements for guarantees or other collateral, and de facto grant properties—the loans become forgivable if guidance is followed—have made it a catch-all for many small businesses. The general SBA limit for a small business is 500 employees, but it is based on staff or revenue limits set in the North American Industry Classification System. Many aviation businesses, aircraft and engine parts makers and maintenance providers, have limits above 500 employees. The PPP’s potential reach and theoretically streamlined application and fulfillment times mean industry trade associations that represent smaller businesses are urging their members to examine PPP loans.  https://aviationweek.com/air-transport/aircraft-propulsion/us-small-businesses-may-get-more-covid-19-emergency-funding

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