6 avril 2021 | International, Aérospatial

Citadel Defense Secures New $5M Counter Drone Contract from U.S. Department of Defense

March 30, 2021 - Citadel Defense has received a follow-on urgent contract award from the U.S. Department of Defense to protect servicemen and servicewomen from small drone threats. This press release...


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  • Advanced Air and Missile Defense, in the Hands of Soldiers

    29 mai 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Terrestre

    Advanced Air and Missile Defense, in the Hands of Soldiers

    May 27, 2020 - It’s a cold December morning at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, and two surrogate cruise missile targets have just been launched, one after the other. They are flying separate courses among the jagged San Andres and Sacramento mountains toward soldiers in a U.S. Army Air and Missile Defense unit at a test site called TAC-2 – Tactical Command Post 2. These sophisticated targets precisely mimic real cruise missile threats and can take advantage of this terrain to hide from the radars and sensors commanders have positioned in the area. This can create gaps in tracking that make the job of interceptor missiles or other defensive weapons more difficult – you can’t hit what you can’t see. Today, though, their maneuvers won’t enable them to evade detection. This is Flight Test 5 (FT-5), the most sophisticated and difficult development test yet for the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS), developed by Northrop Grumman. High above the range, sensors aboard U.S. Air Force F-35 fighter aircraft see and acquire the two surrogate missiles. IBCS integrates the aircraft sensor data with that of available ground sensors, including Sentinel, Patriot weapon system and U.S. Marine Corps TPS-59 radars. All share information via the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN). As one sensor loses sight of the threats – and each will at some point – the targets are acquired by other sensors on the IFCN, enabling IBCS to create a precise, uninterrupted composite track of each missile’s movements. With data from every sensor, IBCS produces a single integrated air picture on the screens of the air defense soldiers at TAC-2. They see every change in altitude and direction as the two surrogate missiles paint tracks across their screens. Because IBCS enables joint weapons as well as joint sensors, the defenders at the controls can select the best effector to use against these targets. Today, the soldiers are about to launch two Patriot Advanced Capability 2 (PAC-2) interceptor missiles. “Without IBCS, all those different sensors operate independently, creating opportunities for threats to avoid detection as they fly to a target,” explained Northrop Grumman IBCS Program Director Mark Rist. “Without being integrated onto a network, these sensors produce a more ambiguous, less-clear air picture, making engagements of threat systems more challenging.” He is monitoring FT-5 from miles away, in the test’s mission control room. The soldiers at TAC-2 can be heard on the radio, calm but urgent voices reporting “target acquired” by airborne sensor, and talking of the “IP” or intercept point, and “kill box.” It’s only been moments since the threats were launched, but now comes “Free to engage … Missile away … Missile away …” One, then another PAC-2 interceptor missile is launched by the soldiers. IBCS is not only able to launch the missiles, but also plays a critical role in the engagement by actively closing the fire control loop and providing in-flight updates as the PAC-2s converge on their targets. The surrogate cruise missile targets are closing in and can now be seen on video in the control room – and then suddenly they can’t: One, then the other disappears in a ball of fire as the PAC-2s destroy them. Cheers erupted in the control room, and those of Rist and his team may have been loudest among the many generals, colonels and visiting officials that day at White Sands. After years of effort, working closely and constantly with soldiers, FT-5 fully demonstrated IBCS’s unprecedented capability to integrate sensors and effectors to detect, track and simultaneously engage multiple targets in flight. “Information is ammunition, and IBCS is providing soldiers with more,” Rist said. “We brought a lot of things together in this development test. It was the first including joint operations with the Air Force F-35 and Marine Corps radar systems, the first with Air Defense Artillery soldiers at the controls, and the first involving software developed using our Agile methodology.” FT-5 was the latest in a series of test successes, and further evidence of the program’s maturity as soldiers train on IBCS equipment in preparation for an important Limited User Test (LUT) this spring. “I’m very proud of these soldiers and of the system’s performance,” said Colonel Phil Rottenborn, Army IAMD project manager. “This was the first time soldiers conducted a live engagement using IBCS in a developmental test, and they showed we are ready to go into the operational test phase.” “Success!” said Col. Tony Behrens, Army Capability Manager for the Air and Missile Defense (AMD) Command, and a nearly 26-year career Air Defense Artillery (ADA) officer. “It showed me that an Army operator – not an engineer or software developer – can sit at that console and do his or her job. I am very comfortable and confident about the path we’re on.” IBCS enables soldiers to be even more effective by integrating all the systems’ data and providing a common command-and-control (C2). Soldiers will only need to learn to use the IBCS C2, instead of spending time becoming specialists on only one or two of a dozen different sensor and weapon systems. That enhances IBCS’s already impressive battlefield survivability, because soldiers will be capable of using any of the available sensors with any available weapon systems at any command post connected to the self-connecting, self-healing IFCN. Also, less time will be spent in recurrent training, making more time available for teaching operators defense strategy and how to fight. The IBCS “every sensor; best effector” concept gives commanders greater flexibility in defense design, allowing them to position resources for greatest coverage in far less time essentially helping to change the way soldiers see and fight air battle. Northrop Grumman’s open-architecture system-of-systems approach to IBCS eases the integration of any new or legacy sensor and effector systems, which is important for U.S. joint operations and to foreign governments. Poland has an agreement with the U.S. Army to purchase IBCS for modernization of the nation’s WISLA medium-range air defense system, and other countries have expressed interest as well. With the success of FT-5, Northrop Grumman will now focus on the Army’s Limited User Test planned for later this year, followed by the low-rate initial production and full-rate production phases of the system, to field IBCS to Army air defenders in fiscal year 2021. Behrens said the Army must have the IBCS capabilities to be effective and successful in future combat operations. “To me, it’s beyond critical,” he said. “We’re not just giving soldiers a new piece of equipment, a new piece of gear. We’re going to give them an entirely new way of operating on the battlefield that is so much more efficient. But it has to start with the system that enables you to do that.” IBCS may also be the Army’s first big step toward multi-domain convergence – the next level above integration. “Enabling multi-domain – or more accurately, all-domain – operations is vital to ensuring battlefield advantage and superiority,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Gibson, director of the Army’s AMD Cross-Functional Team, at an Association of the U.S. Army event in early March. “When successfully fielded, IBCS will be one of the Army’s pathfinder capabilities into what is becoming a top priority for our military leaders: joint, all-domain command and control.” Media Contact Kenneth Kesner 256-327-6889 Kenneth.Kesner@ngc.com  View source version on Northrop Grumman: https://news.northropgrumman.com/news/features/advanced-air-and-missile-defense-in-the-hands-of-soldiers

  • NATO customer awards Rheinmetall multimillion-euro contract for artillery ammunition and propelling charges

    27 janvier 2021 | International, Terrestre

    NATO customer awards Rheinmetall multimillion-euro contract for artillery ammunition and propelling charges

    January 25, 2021 - A NATO customer has awarded Rheinmetall an order for modern artillery ammunition. The Group’s South African subsidiary, Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd., will supply several thousand conventional and extended-range artillery shells of the Assegai family (Base Bleed and V-LAP) as well as M92 Assegai tactical modular charges. Delivery commenced in December 2020 and is to be complete by May 2021. The order is worth around €25 million. Manufactured by Rheinmetall Denel Munition, the tactical modular charges of the Assegai Series are intended to propel artillery shells from 155mm gun systems. The charge system is fine-tuned to the customer’s specific weapon systems and artillery shells for maximum effectiveness. Their modular design simplifies logistics and makes handling in self-propelled artillery systems easier. They also offer other advantages: Assegai charges reduce barrel wear (RDM’s Barrel Wear Reducer/BWR) and produce lower muzzle flash (RDM’s Muzzle Flash Reducer/MFR); the former results in longer barrel life, the latter makes the artillery system harder for the enemy to detect. “Thanks to our current product portfolio and new products in the development pipeline, we want to offer customers the full range of possibilities for indirect fire support and maintain our lead in artillery ammunition technology. This applies especially to our new developments in artillery projectiles, which we aim to meet our goal of attaining ranges of over 155 kilometres with. In addition, Rheinmetall Denel Munition is eager to support the troops with our new uni-modular charges, which achieve better performance and simplify the logistics, especially in gun systems with automatic loading,” says Jan-Patrick Helmsen, Rheinmetall Denel Munition’s CEO. Rheinmetall and its South African unit Rheinmetall Denel Munition possess proven expertise in advanced indirect fire systems. At a test fire event held at the Alkantpan test range in South Africa in 2019, Rheinmetall and Rheinmetall Denel Munition achieved several new range records for indirect artillery fire with various guns, attaining maximum ranges of up to 76 kilometres. This display of technological achievement and capability sparked the interest of artillery users across the globe. Rheinmetall Denel Munition has embarked on a phased development approach, including the continuous improvement in range capability of artillery ammunition. The range demonstration showed the potential of the first phase and reinforces Rheinmetall Denel Munition’s goal of meeting a user-specified range requirement of more than 155 km. About Rheinmetall Denel Munition The South African company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd is a cutting-edge maker of ammunition and explosive products, supplying military and civil users in numerous countries around the globe. Rheinmetall Denel Munition is a joint venture co-owned by Rheinmetall (51%) and Denel SOC Ltd of South Africa (49%). RHEINMETALL AG Corporate Sector Defence Press and Information Oliver Hoffmann Rheinmetall Platz 1 40476 Düsseldorf Germany Phone: +49 211 473-4748 Fax: +49 211 473-4157 View source version on Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd: https://www.rheinmetall.com/en/rheinmetall_ag/press/news/latest_news/index_22656.php

  • NDIA’s Wesley Hallman on a liability shield and other defense priorities for the next stimulus

    4 mai 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    NDIA’s Wesley Hallman on a liability shield and other defense priorities for the next stimulus

    By: Joe Gould  WASHINGTON―As the Pentagon works to defray the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on its network of suppliers, it’s worked hand-in-glove with defense and aerospace trade associations to find and address problems in the supply chain. The National Defense Industrial Association, whose members stretch into the lower tiers of the defense industrial base, surveyed more than 700 small businesses to find that cash-flow disruptions remained a problem as the Pentagon and major defense firms increase payments to suppliers. Retired Air Force Col. Wesley Hallman is NDIA’s senior vice president of policy, charged with monitoring Capitol Hill on matters of concern to defense, including annual budgets, acquisition and procurement reform. This week, he spoke with Defense News about NDIA’s priorities as Congress mulls how to follow its third coronavirus response bill, worth $2.2 trillion and intended to speed relief across the American economy. With NDIA’s finger on the pulse of the supply chain and recent survey, how do you interpret the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord’s numbers, demonstrating more defense firms that have closed now reopening? What are you seeing among your members? As you know, A&S has been holding a call on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and we’ve been participating in all of those. The Defense Contract Management Agency has really been the clearinghouse for all these companies’ challenges, and in fact we’ve been pushing our member companies that are seeing challenges to go to the website and fill in information about what their challenges are what they’re seeing. And DoD has been responsive when something has closed down for whatever reason. Undersecretary Lord herself has picked up the phone to make calls to state governors to explain that we work very hard to ensure that the defense industrial base is considered essential. That was a question when people were starting to call for shelters in place. The very issues these companies have been seeing are things you’re expecting: the result of closures, and sometimes those closures aren’t state and local but on installations. Many contractors have to go to work on installations, and installation commanders are the mayors of their bases; they’re tasked with the safety and security of their installations, and sometimes they’ve made the call to close facilities that have an effect on those performing contracts. There’s also a growing concern on liability. There’s uncertainty surrounding contractors’ liability during the crisis for heeding calls to keep everything turned on. They also have to make sure that they’re keeping their workforce safe and secure, and sometimes that’s an issue as you look at reopening everything. Our last NDIA survey was really about what kind of things do you need to reopen to get to a new normal, where we’re producing on contracts. Access to personal protective equipment is a concern, safety is a concern and more. DCMA has been following up with those companies to see what those issues are and what would allow them to reopen. We all know the supply chain ― and I’m sure you remember our report on the health of the defense industrial base at the beginning of the year ― but one of the things we highlighted is we have a relatively fragile supply chain already. This is a concern of the associations, the Pentagon and particular House Armed Services Committee members. Cash flow was also identified as an issue in NDIA’s survey, and it’s been a feature of DoD’s press conferences. Ellen Lord said she was relying on the trade associations to help DoD understand how its accelerated progress payments are trickling down the supply chain to smaller firms, from the primes. How detailed is the information the associations are providing, and are the primes doing what’s expected of them?   What I have is anecdotal. It’s proprietary data, and our members don’t necessarily share that with us. I did get calls from all of the majors asking about accelerating payments through the supply chain, and one company was very explicit that “we have access to capital to get through this, but our supply chain doesn’t.” Lockheed Martin has been very public with their commitment, and I know they’re worried, and they’re incentivized to keep their supply chain healthy because they’ve got to produce. The companies know their supply chains better than anyone else, so they’re incentivized to push those dollars. It’s not the amount of money but the velocity, and they understand that. This is me talking, but what the Pentagon wants to show ― and you’ve seen multiple groups saying, “not a dime for defense” ― is that the money that’s being accelerated to these companies is not going to line anybody’s pocket. This is to allow folks to survive. And beyond the national security aspect of this, which we could talk about forever, these are real companies with real people, doing real jobs that are key to our economy. They’re as valid as any of the other small businesses that apply for the Paycheck Protection Program. So, ‘not a dime for defense’ is I think a very shortsighted bumper sticker, because these are real people developing real capabilities for the defense of our nation. There have been some progressive lawmakers, as well as the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee who have already pushed back on the Pentagon’s upcoming request for funding. But more broadly, what would NDIA like to see legislatively in the next stimulus package, including policy―or are your priorities being addressed directly through the Pentagon?   So there’s only so much the Pentagon can do without appropriations. What we’re looking at ― and we are a 501(c)3, non-lobbying organization, though we engage when asked what we think ― is we think, first off, there needs to be a plus-up in appropriations for FY20. We all know that there’s a lot of challenges to performing on contracts right now that are going to extend the length of those contracts. There’s been a slowdown in the ability to perform on contracts because of this, and in some cases it has made made delivery on contracts more expensive. We believe that should be reflected in appropriations, and that shouldn’t steal from the future. You know, we have a National Defense Strategy, we have a future-years defense program, there's already president's budget in. We don't think that the FY21 should be paying the increased cost for FY20. So it would be a defense supplemental to cover the extra expense to produce on contract because of COVID-19. That's first and foremost. The other thing is ― and you may know the Defense Logistics Agency and others, they pay out of a working capital fund. Back in November, DLA stopped following the accelerated payment policy passed by Congress because their working capital fund didn’t have the liquidity to make that happen. They backed off to a 30-day instead of a 15-day payout. Well, that was hard enough in November, December, January, February. But you start getting to March with COVID-19, and these folks that have already performed on contract and are waiting to get their money are waiting an extra 15 days because of the lack of liquidity in the working capital funds. That’s not acceptable. So another thing we’d like to see is a bump up in the working capital fund so those accelerated payments can start happening the way that Congress intended. You referenced liability issues. There’s been a movement afoot to shield companies from lawsuits as they seek to reopen that’s been met with partisan pushback. Are liability protections something NDIA favors?   You have to be very careful because you don’t want companies to do something that is not smart or not safe, but you do have to look at it because there’s a potential that this is a ripe avenue for liability suits. We would rather see that stemmed up front so we can focus on producing for the war fighter. On a positive note, are you seeing companies employing any novel solutions to problems stemming from the pandemic? The Defense Department has a Joint Acquisition Task Force where companies can go and say what they can produce. We have worked with a lot of companies who can do harnesses for parachutes or where they can shift production to make you masks or other PPE. So it’s been kind of heartening to see. A lot of small businesses are saying, ‘Hey, we can do this.’ And we direct them over to the Joint Acquisition Task Force, which can look at their capabilities and explore those. https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2020/05/02/interview-ndias-wesley-hallman-on-a-liability-shield-and-other-defense-priorities-for-the-next-stimulus

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