15 septembre 2021 | International, C4ISR

British military taking steps to make multidomain integration a reality

Although the concept of operations still needs to be fleshed out, the MoD has identified several capability themes to be developed '€œover this autumn period to Christmas,'€ to be culminated in a new management strategy and implementation plan.


Sur le même sujet

  • Vertical lift drones brigades are assessing fly quieter with more survivability, soldiers say

    5 juin 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Vertical lift drones brigades are assessing fly quieter with more survivability, soldiers say

    Kyle Rempfer Soldiers assessing aerial drones to help the Army replace its aging RQ-7 Shadow said the systems they've piloted can launch almost anywhere, offer a better chance of survival in combat against a peer adversary and have quieter motors that will prevent targets from detecting their presence. “There have been times where the Shadow is too loud to fly too close to an enemy, so we can't get many details on them,” said Pfc. Jacob Owens, a drone operator at the 1st Infantry Division who has been testing Arcturus UAV's JUMP 20 at Fort Riley. “Quieter can be a huge advantage to us because we can get closer to get details on the camera, like read a license plate on the back of a car.” Five brigades across the Army were selected to test unmanned aircraft systems and provide feedback to Army leadership looking to replace the RQ-7 Shadow, which was introduced in the mid-2000s. Owens and other soldiers spoke about the assessments they've participated in during a telephone call on Wednesday. Information gleaned from the assessments will inform the Army's future vertical lift cross-functional team as they develop specifications for a a future tactical unmanned aircraft system, which is supposed to sport advances in maneuverability, agility, lethality and reach, according to Army Futures Command. Futures Command began fielding the new drones to the five brigades across the force this spring, with 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, receiving Arcturus UAV's JUMP 20 in mid-March. JUMP 20 is the largest of the four drones being tested, weighing in at 210 pounds with an 18-foot wingspan, which is roughly similar to the Shadow. The 17-hour flight time, vertical takeoff ability and reduced noise while in-flight will be a game-changer, said Sgt. 1st Class David Rodriguez, a platoon sergeant and standardization operator. “Without the noise, it allows us to get closer to targets and identify them over longer periods without being identified by the sound of the motors as we fly overhead,” Rodriguez added. The Army is looking for a Shadow replacement with reduced noise signature to retain the element of surprise and prevent targets from scattering if they see or hear the drone, noted the 1st Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade commander Col. Bryan Chivers, citing his experience in Afghanistan. “You could have a Gray Eagle or Predator [drone] on station, observing a particular target, and when the Shadow would come on-station, you knew because somebody announced it and if you were privy to the operation, you could see them looking up to the sky and sometimes hearing this system,” Chivers said. Vertical take-off is another specification the Army is seeking. It will allow launch and recovery at more locations, including austere ones without runways, and it should reduce the amount of equipment needed by soldiers. Soldiers at the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, have been testing out Martin UAV's V-BAT. The V-BAT is unique in that it sits on its tail end during launches. It has a lot less equipment, soldiers said, but its flight time is roughly the same as the Shadow. “We can pretty much operate it anywhere; We don't need a runway,” said Spc. Alexander Albritton, a drone operator at Fort Campbell. A lot of the requirements the Army has put forth stemmed from an increasingly important operational need to be more “expeditious,” according to Maj. John Holcomb, the future tactical unmanned aircraft systems assistant product manager. “One requirement we looked at for all the systems is the entire system could be loaded up on two Air Force 463L pallets and fit inside of a CH-47 [helicopter],” Holcomb said. “A Shadow system takes C-130s to get into theater and move around all the equipment that's required.” These future drone systems will allow tactical commanders to not rely on airfields, noted Lt. Col. Brian Angell, a squadron commander at Fort Riley involved in the tests. That could be important in a future fight against peer competitors like China and Russia that are able to pound stationary airfields and hangers with long-range weapons. “It opens up options,” Angell said. “We'll be less predictable. We'll be able to maneuver this system on the battle space quicker, set it up, operate it and move it to another location faster. So that's a survivability standpoint, as well, that we'll gain with this system.” A brigade at the 2nd Infantry Division on Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, began their own assessment of a third drone, Textron Systems' Aerosonde HQ, this week, according to Army Futures Command. Later in the summer, the 1st Armored Division at Fort bliss, Texas, is scheduled to test L3 Harris' FVR-90 drone. Futures Command hopes to complete the fielding process with a brigade from the 82nd Airborne Division in September, when the paratroopers will test a second version of Arcturus UAV's JUMP 20 with different payloads. The assessments will culminate with brigade-level combat training center rotations at Fort Polk, Louisiana, or Fort Irwin, California. Army officials have tentatively stated previously that the plan is to have the first unit equipped with a Shadow replacement sometime in fiscal year 2024. https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/06/04/vertical-lift-drones-brigades-are-assessing-fly-quieter-with-more-survivability-soldiers-say/

  • Coast Guard Wants Better Internet on Its Ships, and More Recruits

    2 août 2022 | International, Naval, C4ISR

    Coast Guard Wants Better Internet on Its Ships, and More Recruits

    Commandant Fagan ties increased connectivity to operational needs and improving Coasties’ quality of life.

  • Lockheed slated to miss F-35 delivery target in 2020 as supply chain struggles to keep up

    20 mai 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Lockheed slated to miss F-35 delivery target in 2020 as supply chain struggles to keep up

    By: Valerie Insinna   20 hours ago WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin will throttle back the pace of F-35 production on May 23, leaving it anywhere from 18 to 24 jets short of the 141 scheduled for delivery this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for Lockheed's supply chain to make components on time, and as a result the company is moving to an adjusted work schedule where production will slow over the next three months, said Greg Ulmer, Lockheed's vice president for the F-35 program. Ultimately, Lockheed aims to accelerate production as soon as possible and hopes to decrease the number of aircraft that will delivered late. However, Ulmer said there are too many variables to say precisely how long buyers will be left waiting for their F-35s. “If I have the ability to speed up or recover sooner, then I will do so,” Ulmer said. “If there are other unknown COVID-19 impacts that I don't know about that come on the horizon — I don't know that either. ... As we go forward, probably late summer or early fall, we'll have a pretty good sense of where we're going to be.” Beginning on May 23, Lockheed will divide the approximately 2,500 employees who staff the F-35 production line in Fort Worth, Texas, into three groups, moving them to new schedule where each group works for two weeks and then has a week off. After one three-week rotation, the company will determine whether the system is successful and can either alter the schedule or continue until Sept. 4, it said in a statement. Rotating smaller groups of employees on the line allows Lockheed to move to a slower pace of operations while at the same time ensuring that workers retain their expertise and don't need to be retrained when the production rate returns to normal, Ulmer said. “It really maximizes our ability to recover production on the backside and retain our workforce with no loss of learning.” Lockheed Martin executives first disclosed that F-35 deliveries could be delayed during an April 21 earnings call with investors. “There are local distancing requirements that are being more stringently applied across the globe. There is workforce disruption,” Kenneth Possenriede, the company's chief financial officer, said at the time. “We've actually had some issues with shipping constraints.” Most of the supply chain pressure on the program stems from constraints on low-tier suppliers that produce components that feed into larger portions of the F-35. While the production line tries to do as much work on each section as possible, workers are having to slow down and wait for missing parts to arrive, Ulmer said. Lockheed has also had challenges getting connectors for the jet on time — another problem that makes it difficult for the company to merge F-35 sub-assemblies into a finished aircraft, Ulmer said. Once aircraft are completed and go through acceptance testing, the sequence of deliveries will remain the same, he said. The slowdown of the F-35's production rate comes days after President Donald Trump voiced support for moving more of the jet's production to the United States. Currently, international partners who helped fund development of the F-35 can compete for work on the jet, reducing the cost of the aircraft and giving foreign buyers an industrial incentive to support the program. “The problem is if we have a problem with a country, you can't make the jet. We get parts from all over the place. It's so crazy. We should make everything in the United States,” Trump said on Thursday. However, the industrial challenges currently faced by Lockheed do not appear to be caused by the international supply base. Ulmer said European suppliers, who were hardest hit before the United States, are now rebounding from the pandemic. “I really see Europe kind of [on the] leading edge of the recovery side of this,” he said. In particular, northern Italy struggled with high numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, leading Italian defense firm Leonardo, which runs an F-35 final assembly and check out plant in Cameri, to shut down operations over a two day period in March to clean the facility. With the number of new cases receding, Italy began reopening nonessential businesses this month. “Leonardo today is north of 90 percent manned, fully operating. They're pretty much back to normal operations,” Ulmer said. The ongoing expulsion of Turkish suppliers from the F-35 program is also unlikely to be affected by the production slowdown at Fort Worth, as Lockheed has already identified companies to take over that work, he said. “With the vast majority of those, that alternate sourcing has been accomplished. I really don't see this as an impact to that." Ramping production back up Unless COVID-19 cases spike in the coming months, Lockheed believes it will be able to return workers to a normal production schedule in the late summer or early fall. What will vary is timing for when suppliers can return to their usual production rates, and whether those suppliers have the capacity to expedite the manufacturing of key parts, Ulmer said. Once the supply chain has fully recovered, it will take the Fort Wort line two to three months to resume full rate production. “There are 1,900 suppliers across the program” in the United States, Ulmer said. “So we take all that information in, we determine what rate they can deliver to, we determine if they have any kind of constraints we can help them deal with, and then we have to balance that into the production system to dial in the production rate we can execute.” “I am optimistic that the majority of industry is on the backside. I'm reluctant to say that because there could be a rebound,” Ulmer said, “but we're at the very back end of the impact.” https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2020/05/19/lockheed-to-slow-f-35-production-as-supply-chain-struggles-to-keep-up

Toutes les nouvelles