10 février 2024 | International, Terrestre

Canadian ‘Maple Hawk’ tour: Red Arrows to celebrate RCAF centennial - Skies Mag

Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows have scheduled performances at four Canadian air shows starting in August.


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  • Textron finalizes acquisition of robotics company

    11 janvier 2019 | International, Terrestre

    Textron finalizes acquisition of robotics company

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — Textron's acquisition of robotics firm Howe & Howe Technologies stemmed from a late night channel surfing session, where a fortuitous viewing of “Jay Leno's Garage” turned into a big business deal. As its CEO Lisa Atherton watched the show at home with her husband, Howe & Howe's light tank drone wheeled across the screen. Textron had recently identified a gap in unmanned land vehicles, and this seemed to fit exactly the niche that the company was looking to fill. “I saw this tracked vehicle kind of flying through the woods and up and over the berms, and so I went and did a little research," Atherton told reporters on Jan. 10. Textron declared in October that it intended to purchase the Waterboro, Maine-based company. On Dec. 17, the deal was finalized, the company announced Thursday morning. The businesses have not disclosed the price or terms of the sale. Textron executives believe Howe & Howe, which specializes in innovative robotic ground vehicles, is a natural fit for their company, which is known for building unmanned systems — predominantly drones like the RQ-9 Shadow and maritime assets like the common unmanned surface vehicle that can deploy from a littoral combat ship to find mines. Meanwhile, Textron brings with it the ability to manufacture unmanned systems en masse and to support them in the field. Howe & Howe's senior vice president, Michael Howe, said his company's inventiveness, coupled with Textron's experience selling unmanned systems to the government, “makes for an extremely formidable combination.” Atherton said she is looking forward to getting Howe & Howe the investment dollars necessary to start work on new products and make existing ones more robust. “Mike and Geoff [Howe, the company's other founder] both have a ton of great ideas," she said. "They have ideas that they've sketched out in their books forever that they just haven't had the opportunity to do the investment for.” Several of Howe & Howe's robotic land vehicles have been evaluated by the U.S. Army. Its Ripsaw vehicle — the small unmanned tank seen on “Jay Leno's Garage” — has undergone testing at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. But when sequestration slowed down funding of tests, the Howe brothers looked for other venues to promote it, landing the product a role in the 2015 classic “Mad Max: Fury Road.” “That speaks to their ingenuity, their ability to survive through sequestration as a small company,” Atherton said. Howe & Howe's RS2-H1 robot, invented to carry soldiers' gear, is competing against three other unmanned land vehicles for the Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport program contract. Two Army infantry brigade combat teams and an undisclosed Marine unit are currently assessing the four contenders ahead of a downselect, Army Times reported last year. Atherton named that opportunity as one of the four big programs she's hoping Textron can win in 2019. Updated on 1/10/19 at 1:10 p.m with quotes from Textron CEO Lisa Atherton. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2019/01/10/textron-finalizes-acquisition-of-robotics-company

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - July 23, 2019

    24 juillet 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité, Autre défense

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - July 23, 2019

    DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Innovation Associates Inc., Johnson City, New York, has been awarded a maximum $450,000,000 firm‐fixed‐price, indefinite‐delivery/indefinite‐quantity contract for automated pharmaceutical equipment, accessories, maintenance and training under the Patient Monitoring and Capital Equipment Program. This is a five-year base contract with one five‐year option period. This was a competitive acquisition with 36 responses received. Location of performance is New York, with a July 22, 2024, performance completion date. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE2D1‐19‐D‐0017). Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Connecticut, has been awarded a maximum $9,804,501 firm-fixed-price delivery order (SPRPA1-19-F-C15B) against basic ordering agreement SPRPA1-17-G-C101, for H-53 hydraulic fluid tanks. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a one-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Connecticut, with a Sept. 30, 2020, performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 Navy working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ARMY ASNA, Santa Ana, California (W911QY-19-D-0045); and Mills Manufacturing Corp.,* Ashville, North Carolina (W911QY-19-D-0046), will compete for each order of the $249,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the purchase T-11 Personnel Parachute System. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 22, 2019. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity. North Carolina Division of Services for the Blind, Raleigh, North Carolina, was awarded a $42,289,265 firm-fixed-price contract for full food services to be provided at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2024. U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9124J-19-D-0014). NAVY GCR-MDI LLC,* Pinehurst, North Carolina, is awarded an $8,014,356 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for base operations support services at Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, and outlying areas. The work to be performed provides for base operations support services to include custodial, pest control, integrated solid waste management, grounds maintenance and landscaping, pavement clearance, and other related services. The maximum dollar value including the base period and four option years is $40,320,917. Work will be performed in Kings Bay, Georgia (99%); and outlying areas (1%), and is expected to be completed by September 2020. If all options are exercised, work will continue through September 2024. No funds will be obligated at time of award. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Navy); fiscal 2020 Defense Health Program; and fiscal 2020 family housing operations and maintenance (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $7,527,488 for recurring work will be obligated on individual task orders issued during the base period. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with three proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Florida, is the contracting activity (N69450-19-D-1725). *Small Business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1914030//

  • U.S. Military Exploring eVTOL Solution to Resupplying Troops

    12 mars 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    U.S. Military Exploring eVTOL Solution to Resupplying Troops

    by Nick Zazulia The U.S. military is stepping up its efforts to enlist autonomous eVTOL aircraft for a variety of missions, especially those that would reduce risk to troops, such as moving cargo in combat zones. In early January, the U.S. Air Force issued a request for information to civil eVTOL developers in a bid to evaluate options for investing in the technology. For 2020 alone, the Pentagon has allocated almost $170 million to investigate options for what it calls unmanned logistic system-air (ULS-A) capability. In Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. forces have faced difficulty moving supplies, according to Carmine Borrelli, deputy head for logistics innovation with the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab. Valuable military aircraft often need to be kept in reserve for higher-priority missions, and even when they are used, high sustainment costs make resupply an inefficient use for them. “They [eVTOLs] have the potential to have a platform that could be cost-effective, that could go far distances and that could carry stuff, potentially, at a lesser cost than what we were doing,” said Borrelli in a press briefing hosted by the Vertical Flight Society on March 10. The Marines are partnering with both the Army and the Air Force on different projects to realize that goal through what it calls small, medium, and large unmanned logistics systems. The Office of the Secretary of Defense is allocating approximately $120 million to the efforts of the Naval Air Systems Command (Navair) with small and medium ULS-A vehicles covered by the program objective memorandum (POM-19). Another $30 million for medium-size ULS-A in combined stakeholder investment and funding from the Office of the Secretary of Defense is being put toward joint capabilities technical demonstrations that need to be completed before the POM funding can be put to use. And the fiscal year 2020 budget from Congress includes $18.5 million to advance autonomous technology, particularly in large aircraft. There is more funding for the smaller ULS vehicles, because the use case is more clearly defined, and the work is further along. Instead of usual rigid requirements, the Marine Corps is now deliberately thinking about possible use cases in terms of range. Borrelli that this approach allows more flexibility in finding the best way to use the burgeoning eVTOL technology. The Department of Defense (DoD) considers “small” ULS to be vehicles with a 60- to 150-pound payload, designed for trips within 10 or 15 miles and a daily throughput of about 1,000 pounds per aircraft. Borrelli said the Marines are finding that it's realistic for vehicles of that size to weigh as much as or less than the payload they're designed to carry. The goal is to use them for squad resupply, leveraging highly automated routines to complete simple operations without requiring much manpower. Early operational capability is scheduled for 2023 with full operational capability on the docket for 2026. A medium ULS carries 300- to 500 pounds anywhere from a 20 to 125-mile combat radius, allowing for carrying up to 5,000 pounds of cargo in a day. As with a small ULS, medium ULS can keep their weight efficient enough that payload about meets vehicle weight, though they will be used for more complicated missions, such as supplying platoons, operations between advanced bases, and more. “We're trying to anticipate the future; potentially that size range could also do casualty evacuation...if these things prove out and they are reliable enough,” Borrelli said. The Marine Corps is working with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory on medium ULS efforts. At the end of January, Navair hosted a tactical resupply unmanned aircraft systems fly-off competition in Yuma, Arizona, won by Survice Engineering's TRV-150 system, which is based on the Malloy Aeronautics tactical resupply vehicle drone platform. Other competitors included Bell, Autonodyne, AirBuoyant, Pacific Aerospace Consulting, and Chartis Federal. Borrelli said medium ULS are targeted to enter service during fiscal year 2024 or 2025, with full operational capability in 2030. The category just finished its first year of successful joint-capabilities technical demonstration flight tests as part of a three-year effort. The large ULS category is still a bit more abstract. Initially, DoD conceived of vehicles with a 2,000- to 6,000-lb payload, in some ways a replacement for Bell Boeing V-22 Ospreys or Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallions on shorter trips. However, as the consumer market has defined and taken shape, the military realized that scaling back to vehicles with 1,000- to 2,000-lb payloads will make more sense. “We want to seriously consider and match industry's approach,” Borrelli said. “If the market is moving toward the 1,000-pound platform—a "flying car"—and many [new eVTOL aircraft] are going to be out there, it would be in our best interest to figure out how best we can use that platform to do what we need to do. We look to ride the coattails of industry.” The military is still interested in larger vehicles that can move up to 6,000 lb, but it recognizes that isn't where the bulk of innovation is taking place right now. In the large ULS category, the Marine Corps is working with the Air Force, whose Agility Prime program was started last year to leverage the commercial VTOL industry to find more efficient ways to execute resupply missions than through its high-sustainment-cost aircraft. The military wants to use these larger ULS for company resupply in remote areas with austere landing zones and launched from a new class of small, minimally-manned ships, as well as potentially to transport troops. The vehicles would work in a radius of up to 350 miles, each handling throughputs ranging from 15,000 to 30,000 pounds per day. Early operational capability for large ULS is scheduled for 2023, with full operational capability in 2030. While the military has done less work on large ULS, it hopes to rely more on the investment of the commercial UAM industry. For large ULS, Borrelli said the same weight efficiency won't be possible, so it will take a heavier vehicle to lift 2,000 pounds. Both hybrid and fully-electric propulsion is on the table and, in either case, new propulsion technology brings infrastructure questions with it. “That's something that we have constantly in the back of our minds,” Borrelli said. “So, as we're moving to the rest of the ULS space, the ground and surface and sub-surface, we're considering where those charging stations could be or where a battery inventory would be. If we don't have a charging station, we have to have a battery inventory. It's not going to do us any good to have a considerable amount of inventory unless we can be able to charge efficiently.” https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2020-03-12/us-military-exploring-evtol-solution-resupplying-troops

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