2 mai 2022 | International, Aérospatial

Chinese drone giant DJI suspends business in Russia, Ukraine

Shenzhen-based firm says it is “reassessing compliance requirements” following controversy over role in Ukraine war.

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/4/27/chinese-drone-giant-dji-suspends-business-in-russia-ukraine

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  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - June 24, 2019

    25 juin 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité, Autre défense

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - June 24, 2019

    ARMY TCOM L.P., Columbia, Maryland, was awarded a $978,946,631 hybrid (cost-no-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and firm-fixed-price) contract for the Persistent Surveillance Systems - Tethered engineering, logistics, operations and program management support.  Bids were solicited via the internet with three received.  Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 19, 2024.  U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W56KGY-19-D-0020). Lockheed Martin Corp., Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a $561,802,200 hybrid (cost-plus-fixed-fee and fixed-price-incentive) foreign military sales (Bahrain, Poland and Romania) contract for production of Army tactical missile guided missile and launching assembly service life extension program production 3.  Bids were solicited via the internet with one received.  Work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas; Camden, Arizona; Boulder, Colorado; Clearwater, Florida; St. Louis, Missouri; Lufkin, Texas; Windsor Locks, Connecticut; and Williston, Vermont, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2022.  Fiscal 2018 and 2019 missile procurement, Army and foreign military sales funds in the combined amount of $561,802,200 were obligated at the time of the award.  U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-19-C-0092). Donjon Marine, Hillside, New Jersey, was awarded a $12,170,000 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance dredging of portions of the Newark Bay, New Jersey Federal Navigation Project.  Bids were solicited via the internet with three received.  Work will be performed in Newark, New Jersey, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2019.  Fiscal 2019 civil works funds in the amount of $12,170,000 were obligated at the time of the award.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York, New York, is the contracting activity (W912DS-19-C-0013). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Texas Power & Associates,* Palm Harbor, Florida (SPE8EG-19-D-0117); Atlantic Diving Supply, doing business as ADS,* Virginia Beach, Virginia (SPE8EG-19-D-0112); Berger/Cummins, Washington, District of Columbia (SPE8EG-19-D-0113); Caterpillar Defense, Peoria, Illinois (SPE8EG-19-D-0114); Inglett & Stubbs International, Atlanta, Georgia (SPE8EG-19-D-0115); and QGSI-USA Emergency Power, Houston, Texas (SPE8EG-19-D-0116), are sharing a maximum $900,000,0000 fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract under solicitation SPE8EG-18-R-0007 for generators.  This was a competitive acquisition with eight offers received.  These are five-year contracts with no option periods.  Locations of performance are Florida, Virginia, Washington, District of Columbia, Illinois, Georgia and Texas, with a June 19, 2024, performance completion date.  Using customer is Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Welch Allyn Inc., Skaneateles Falls, New York, has been awarded a maximum $100,000,000 firm‐fixed‐price, indefinite‐delivery/indefinite‐quantity contract for patient monitoring systems, accessories and training.  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 June 24, 2024, performance completion date.  Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps 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‐0019). Hamilton Sundstrand, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, is to be awarded a $16,532,250 firm-fixed price contract for helicopter flight control computers.  This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1.  Location of performance is Arizona.  Using military service is the Army.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 Army working capital funds.  The contracting activity is Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama (SPRPA1-13-G-001X/SPRRA1-19-F-0329). NAVY L3 Technologies Inc., Northampton, Massachusetts, is awarded a $73,743,347 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract containing cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-reimbursement and firm-fixed-price provisions.  This contract provides for depot-level repair, upgrade and overhaul services for submarine photonics mast programs.  Work will be performed in Northampton, Massachusetts (98%), and at various places in the U.S. below one percent (2%) and is expected to be completed by June 2025.  Fiscal 2019 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $2,146,169 will be obligated on the first delivery order at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured, in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) - only one source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.  The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, is the contracting activity (N66604-19-D-G900). Katmai Integrated Solutions LLC,* Anchorage, Alaska, is awarded a contract ceiling $21,625,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a three year ordering period to provide subject matter support services for Immersive Training Range Support (ITRS) . Work will be performed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (40%), Camp Pendleton, California (40%), and Marine Corps Base, Hawaii (20%), and work is expected to be completed June 24, 2022.  Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $4,877,737 will be obligated on the first task order immediately following contract award and funds will expire the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured.  The contract was prepared in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-5 and 15 U.S. Code 637.  The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contract activity (M67854-19-D-7835). Advanced Solutions Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, was awarded $16,863,635 for firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded task order N00039-18-F-0069 issued against Blanket Purchase Agreement N00104-08-A-ZF42 and the underlying a multiple award schedule in support of Navy Enterprise Resource Planning.  This modification exercises an option for cloud and integration support services.  Work will be performed in Loudon, Virginia (50%) and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (50%) and is expected to be completed in June 2020.  Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $16,863,635 will be obligated at the time of the award, which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity. (Awarded June 20, 2019) AIR FORCE Concentric Security LLC, Sykesville, Maryland (FA8003-19-D-A001); Nasatka Barrier Inc., Clinton, Maryland, (FA8003-19-D-A002); Cherokee Nation Security & Defense LLC., Tulsa, Oklahoma, (FA8003-19-D-A003); and Perimeter Security Partners LLC., Nashville, Tennessee (FA8003-19-D-A004) have been awarded a $45,000,000 firm-fixed-price, multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for vehicle barriers maintenance and repair services.  This contract provides for all personnel, labor, equipment, supplies, tools, materials, supervision, travel, periodic inspection, minor repair, and other items and services necessary to provide maintenance for Air Force vehicle barrier systems.  Work will be performed at all Contiguous United States (CONUS) (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) active duty Air Force installations and is expected to be completed by June 23, 2024.  These awards are the result of a competitive acquisition and four offers were received.  Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $4,000 ($1,000 per awardee) are being obligated at the time of award.  The Air Force Installation Contracting Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity. Weldin Construction LLC, Palmer, Alaska, has been awarded a $35,000,000 ceiling increase modification (P00004) to previously awarded contract FA4861-17-D-A200 for simplified acquisition of base engineering requirements.  This modification will increase the contract value from $35,000,000 to $70,000,000.  Work will be performed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 2021.  No funds are being obligated at the time of award.  The 99th Contracting Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, was awarded a modification to exercise an option totaling $8,825,457 to previously awarded contract HR0011-18-C-0127 for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research project.  The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $13,204,195.  Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia; San Diego, California; and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, with an expected completion date of September 2020.  Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $4,600,000 are being obligated at time of award.  The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. *Small business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1885753/source/GovDelivery/

  • Joint Artificial Intelligence Center Keeps Branching Out

    4 novembre 2020 | International, C4ISR

    Joint Artificial Intelligence Center Keeps Branching Out

    By Yasmin Tadjdeh When the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center was stood up in 2018, it was established to bring together the Defense Department’s various AI programs and projects. Two years later, JAIC is pivoting to new mission sets, expanding its portfolio and more closely working with industry. The organization is currently working on 30 different projects across six different areas including joint warfighting operations, warfighter health, business process transformation, threat reduction and protection, joint logistics and joint information warfare. The center is built “around getting a spark going or getting a prototype or making a market in some way, and then handing it off for transition and scaling right to a customer,” said Nand Mulchandani, JAIC chief technology officer. “We’re now starting to demonstrate great and exciting success across those products.” The joint warfighting mission initiative is the organization’s flagship product and is looking at means to transform the way the United States will go to war, Mulchandani said during an exclusive interview with National Defense on his first day back as chief technology officer after serving as the acting head of JAIC. In late September, Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Michael Groen was confirmed by the Senate to serve as its director. “Our early products … were really focused on kind of starter AI projects when it came to things like predictive maintenance and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” Mulchandani said. “The algorithms were not that hard. … [However,] joint warfighting is the hardest problem at the DoD for us to take on.” The center is starting with technology such as human-machine teaming and decision support, Mulchandani said. “There are different ways of displaying information, about communicating information, about absorbing information,” he said. “We’re spending time with our commanders, with training and education, etc., on how to absorb AI-enabled systems. And we want to do that in a very systematic, deliberate way where we start out with human-machine teaming, decision support, etc., and then work our way toward things like autonomy and others.” Joint warfighting will contribute to many Pentagon efforts such as joint all-domain command-and-control and the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System program, he said. In May, the center awarded the joint warfighting operations initiative’s prime contract to Booz Allen Hamilton. The contract has an $806 million ceiling. However, the center would likely not spend all of the funding because the entire budget of the JAIC over a couple of years is around $800 million, Mulchandani said during a recent briefing with reporters. Despite the center being gung-ho about the initiative, a continuing resolution for fiscal year 2021 — which began Oct. 1 — could have an outsized effect on joint warfighting programs, he noted. “What this really impacts … is new starts, our ability to start a bigger new project that we have been potentially forecasting for starting with new FY ‘21 money,” he said. That will require some programs to be delayed. However, JAIC “will be receiving some money as part of the CR that will allow us to kick-start some of these new projects and things along the way, and then scale them ... when we get out of the CR mode” after a full-year appropriations bill is passed by Congress, he added. JAIC had been planning for a continuing resolution for some time, Mulchandani noted. “Many of our projects and products … have actually been pre-funded through much of the money that we got in FY ‘20,” he said. “We have contracts and vendors and other things working months and months out into the new fiscal year. … We’re not in a crisis mode at all.” Meanwhile, JAIC’s relationship with industry has continued to improve over the past two years, Mulchandani said. When it was first stood up, much attention was put on what some perceived to be a reluctance from Silicon Valley to work with the Pentagon. “A lot of people ask us [about] the whole thing with Google and Project Maven and whether that’s still” a strained relationship, he said, referring to a 2018 incident where thousands of Google employees signed a letter objecting to the company’s work with the Defense Department’s Project Maven, a pathfinder AI effort to better analyze drone footage. Google subsequently backed out of the program. However, JAIC collaborates closely with the tech giant now, he said. “We’re working with Google on a number of projects directly ... whether it be health or other types … of products there,” he said. “We have contracts with Google that we’re working on, but all the other bigger vendors as well.” Mulchandani said JAIC is working with all of the largest technology companies in Silicon Valley. “Name an AI vendor and we either have work going on with them, or they’re involved in some way in some of the newer projects that we’re doing,” he said. As the organization continues to work with industry, it is setting up initiatives to better take advantage of rapid acquisition, Mulchandani said. It currently has partnerships with a number of contracting vehicle organizations such as the General Services Administration, the Defense Innovation Unit and the Defense Information Systems Agency. Additionally, legislation is currently in front of Congress that could grant JAIC direct acquisition authority. “We obviously are very excited about that, [but] it’s not done yet,” he said. “When the final vote happens and we do get it, we’ll be very pleased and happy, and if we don’t get it, well, we’ll still be obviously continuing business with the partners that we have.” The center is also working on an acquisition effort called Project Tradewind which is a way for JAIC and the Defense Department writ large to better reach out to small companies, he said. Contract vehicles will be created that any organization across the department will be able to use to gain access to “teensy weensy, little companies that normally would hate to work with — or wouldn’t know how to work with — the DoD,” Mulchandani said. “They can use Project Tradewind’s acquisition frameworks to be able to interact with us in a very low overhead way.” During remarks at the Defense Department’s Artificial Intelligence Symposium and Exposition, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper touted the work JAIC has done since its inception. “We have come a long way since establishing the JAIC two years ago,” he said. “Today, more than 200 talented civil service and military professionals work diligently to accelerate AI solutions and deliver these capabilities to the warfighter. From helping the Joint Force organize, fight and win at machine speed, to enhancing wildfire and flood responses through computer vision technology, the JAIC is utilizing every aspect of AI as a transformative instrument at home and abroad.” The center is lowering technical barriers to AI adoption by building a cloud-based platform to allow Defense Department components to test, validate and field capabilities with greater speed and at greater scale, he said. “The goal is to make AI tools and data accessible across the force, which will help synchronize projects and reduce redundancy, among many other benefits,” he said. JAIC is also working on ways to better train the Defense Department’s acquisition workforce to buy AI products, Esper noted. The organization, in partnership with the Defense Acquisition University and the Naval Postgraduate School, was slated to launch an intensive six-week pilot course in October to train over 80 defense acquisition professionals of all ranks and grades. The trainees will learn how to apply AI and data science skills to operations, Esper said. The Defense Department plans to request additional funding from Congress for the services to grow the effort over time, he said. Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer, noted JAIC’s journey is still evolving. Meanwhile, the military is “generating positive momentum from our early days as AI pioneers toward a mature organization of AI practitioners,” he said. The center is now starting to deliver real AI solutions to the warfighter while leading the Defense Department in AI ethics and governance, he noted. Its budget is also growing. It went from $89 million in fiscal year 2019 to $268 million in fiscal year 2020, and the Pentagon plans to spend more than $1.6 billion over the next few years thanks to strong bipartisan support from Congress and Defense Department leadership, Deasy said. The organization is already generating early returns on investment in its mission initiatives, from predictive maintenance to business process transformation, Deasy noted. The center recently delivered an innovative engine health model predictive maintenance capability that is being utilized by Black Hawk helicopter maintainers from the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment, he said. Additionally, JAIC — via its business process transformation initiative — is delivering language-processing AI applications to the Washington Headquarters Service and the Pentagon’s administrative and financial management teams, Deasy said. “These capabilities are automating the review of thousands of documents and memos for consistency, accuracy and compliance, thus increasing speed and efficiency while reducing manual, laborious processes,” he said. The center is also laying down the foundations for the Joint Common Foundation, an AI development environment that will broaden opportunities for developers across the Pentagon to build and deliver artificial intelligence capabilities in a secure DevSecOps infrastructure, he said. According to the General Services Administration, DevSecOps promotes a cohesive collaboration between development, security and operations teams as they work toward continuous integration and delivery of products. However, “while we develop and deliver these important near-term projects, we have to be ready for the contingencies of a changing and unpredictable operating environment,” Deasy said. “This is why I believe the true long-term success of the JAIC will depend on how the organization adapts and delivers real-world solutions when the strategic landscape and priorities change.” The organization is already proving it can adapt via its Project Salus effort — which is named after the Roman goddess of health and well-being — that has helped with the federal government’s COVID-19 response, he said. “Working alongside a team of private industry partners, the JAIC developed a predictive-logistics AI dashboard platform for the U.S. Northern Command that enabled National Guard teams to assist states and municipalities with mitigating panic buying and managing supply chains,” he said. “That project went from concept to code in a matter of weeks. More importantly, it demonstrated the JAIC’s ability to support the emergent needs of a combatant commander and deliver real AI solutions during a national emergency.” https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2020/11/3/joint-artificial-intelligence-center-keeps-branching-out

  • Airbus keen to play key role in ‘European answer’ to new NATO rotorcraft program

    24 novembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Airbus keen to play key role in ‘European answer’ to new NATO rotorcraft program

    BY OLIVER JOHNSON | NOVEMBER 23, 2020 Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even says the OEM “should play a key role” in a recently-announced program to develop Next-Generation Rotorcraft Capabilities signed by five NATO member countries. France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom announced the launch of the program on Nov. 19. One of NATO’s “high visibility projects,” it seeks to develop a replacement for medium multirole helicopters currently in operation that are expected to reach the end of their lifecycle around 2035 to 2040. “I’m convinced that there should be a European answer,” Even told journalists during a recent conference call. “I’m convinced that we have the competencies, the capability in Europe, to answer to the requirement and the need of our European customers.” The program echoes the origin of the NHIndustries NH90, which was developed collaboratively by Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo Helicopters, and Fokker Aerostructures in response to a NATO requirement for a medium multi-role helicopter. “We like to come at open level, which means that as we did with NH90, Airbus Helicopters should play a key role, but should also be ready to partner, and to cooperate for such a future European program,” said Even. “I think it’s fair to consider that there should be a European answer, not only because we have the competence and the capability . . . but it’s also a question of [the] strategic autonomy of Europe.” Over 420 NH90s have been delivered to 18 customers in 13 countries — including France, Germany, Greece and Italy. However, Even said he did not see the newly-announced program necessarily providing a replacement to the NH90 itself. “The need could be also to complement some of the [customer fleets’] existing capability — the NH90, Tiger and so on — which will continue to fly through 2040/2050,” he said. “The need could be to complement these platforms/programs with a new type of architecture in order to bring a new capability, either in terms of autonomy, connectivity, speed, [or] range.” Experts from the five participant nations are to meet to define a statements of requirements and a multi-phase cooperation plan, beginning a multi-year program of work. “I think it’s good to see that reflection not only for short- or medium-, but also for long-term requirements,” said Even. “As an industry, you need this long-term view on the evolution of the requirement in order to have time not only to mature technologies, but also to mature [the] architecture, and to be in position to launch the program when the need will be there.” https://verticalmag.com/news/airbus-keen-to-play-key-role-in-european-answer-to-new-nato-rotorcraft-program/

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