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.


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  • To keep up with rivals, DoD nominee will weigh consolidation vs. innovation

    4 février 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    To keep up with rivals, DoD nominee will weigh consolidation vs. innovation

    By: Joe Gould  WASHINGTON ― President Joe Biden’s nominee for deputy defense secretary, Kathleen Hicks, said she is “concerned” about consolidation in the defense industrial base, and that competition is needed to maintain an edge over China and Russia. Hicks, whose office would review deals that involve national security issues if she is confirmed by the Senate, told lawmakers Tuesday that she would work with them to ensure a healthy defense industrial base. The comments came amid market expectations that defense deal-making could take off in 2021. “Extreme consolidation does create challenges for innovation,” Hicks told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We need to have a lot of different good ideas out there. That’s our competitive advantage over authoritarian states like China, and Russia. And so if we move all competition out, obviously, that’s a challenge for the taxpayer. But it’s also a challenge in terms of the innovation piece.” As the space sector and technological developments drive growth in the aerospace and defense sector and the pandemic weakens commercial aviation firms, companies are “likely to pursue opportunities for consolidation,” the consulting firm Deloitte said in a recent report. Firms could seek new merger and acquisition opportunities, the report said, to “capture more value, drive cost-competitiveness, or acquire targeted niche capabilities and emerging technologies” such as “advanced air mobility, hypersonics, electric propulsion, and hydrogen-powered aircraft.” Recent years have seen a number of major deals, including the combination of Harris and L3 Technologies, United Technologies Corp. and Raytheon; BAE Systems and Collins Aerospace, and General Dynamics and CSRA. Lockheed Martin’s $4.4 billion acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne, announced in December, has yet to clear regulators. The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department also review mergers and acquisition activity in the defense sector. At Tuesday’s hearing, Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, whose state hosts General Dynamics Electric Boat, told Hicks a drop in the number of submarine suppliers from 17,000 to 5,000 over recent decades suggested broader problems for the defense industrial base, problems that he said were, “extremely alarming to me.” Blumenthal indicated Hicks had committed prior to the hearing to aid small suppliers struggling with the pandemic’s economic fallout and to develop new small and medium suppliers. (This was one focus of DoD’s acquisition and sustainment office under the previous administration.) “I’m hoping you will focus on the supply chain that is vitally important to suppliers like Electric Boat or Raytheon or any of our major sources of supply,” said Blumenthal, who has served as the top Democrat on SASC’s Seapower Subcommittee. A broader theme for the hearing was how Hicks, whose job involves supervising the defense budget, would invest in forward-leaning technologies under a flat budget and divest from existing weapons platforms. Meanwhile, lawmakers grilled Hicks about whether she supported spending on nuclear modernization, shipbuilding and other programs with connections to lawmakers’ home states. Acknowledging the political and budget tensions, Hicks said she wants to link future budgetary decisions with concepts for operations, to buy “capabilities that actually line up to theories of victory for how we are trying to pace challenges from China and Russia.” Other lawmakers told Hicks they wanted an easier paths for smaller, cutting edge firms from outside the Beltway to do business with the Pentagon and for them to scale production of their products, beyond the experimentation phase. “We’ve had testimony before this committee that many smaller companies, particularly in Silicon Valley, and in the technology field generally have given up on the Pentagon, it’s too complicated is too lengthy is too expensive, even to fill out the forms,” said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine. For her part, Hicks said Tuesday she would “increase the speed and scale of innovation in our force,” and she would work to understand how alternative acquisitions methods are servings smaller non-traditional suppliers. She affirmed that those firms cannot survive on research and development funding alone. “I do think a sustain level of [research and development] investment is vital, but we actually have to field capabilities, and that’s a place where DoD has really struggled,” she said, adding that exercises and experiments help demonstrate the value of new technologies. “When we can demonstrate value, then we’re in a much better position to have a dialogue with Congress and with industry about where that where those capabilities can take us.” https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2021/02/02/to-keep-up-with-rivals-dod-nominee-will-weigh-consolidation-vs-innovation/

  • French Defence Staff chief: France is making moves to guarantee its survival in the face of existential threats

    11 janvier 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    French Defence Staff chief: France is making moves to guarantee its survival in the face of existential threats

    By: Jackson Schneider  While I’m writing this article, the world is facing the greatest global crisis of our generation. It is worth asking what a globalized world means after the COVID-19 pandemic, and mainly in the context of the defense industry. Will it feature, as it did until recently, dynamic international trade and financial flows, globally integrated production chains, and an unprecedented flow of people and goods? Or, as many have speculated, will we see more protectionism, with countries protecting their markets and jobs, being more self-absorbed and less integrated? And how will the effects of geopolitical trends, accelerated by the current crisis, unfold in the decision-making of the military segment in a review of strategic plans? Nonstate actors, unconventional wars, terrorism, nationalism, the connection of organized crime with paramilitary movements, radicalism and rogue states are some of the topics with which we are commonly presented. Entirely unpredictable in nature, these trends have the capacity to cause even more damage, marked by new space and cyber weapons. Perhaps we will move from open partnerships, shared defense solutions and industrial integration to a more suspicious environment, where countries will develop individual defense responses, only using partnerships that supplement their ability to succeed. New technologies, communications formats, relationships, economic flows, environmental concerns and geopolitical trends will have significant consequences in our lives. And the repercussions are uncertain. In this environment, the defense sector will face new threats, such as the even more intensive use of cyber and space technology, autonomous applications, and artificial intelligence to attack, threaten, influence, or defend countries, companies and citizens. The prospect of cyber conflicts is worrisome. Software overtakes hardware, and the product is an internet of solutions that we can’t truly understand. This is the new world that the defense industry must understand and ultimately act upon. Industry must seek solutions far beyond the conventional, sometimes even distant from our natural comfort zones, either by doctrine or generational conflict. This challenge also sparks opportunity, as it enables countries to form programs to protect their critical infrastructure and sensitive data by encouraging unique solutions, using complementary and controlled partnerships when necessary. This can foster the digital economy and technology of the future. To make it happen, however, a fundamental change to the definition of “defense” is necessary. If we consider the defense realm to be exclusive to the military, these advancements will be limited. The most obvious vector of the defense environment is certainly the military, but the requirements of the post-pandemic world are larger. The public and private sectors must be coordinated. The integrated efforts of various companies are necessary for supporting the implementation of a cyber protection program. Universities and research centers will also be necessary for fostering knowledge and developing critical thinking throughout countries. Nations usually define their defense investment priorities based on military policies and geopolitical strategies — considering eventual threats or interests. They should defend their convictions, territory and population. The defense industry must interact with the world in general, either regionally or globally. Even if we imagine a less globalized world following the pandemic, defense challenges are increasingly global. Outlining regional defense visions and coordinating scientific and technological efforts — involving public and private agents — around the same strategic purpose can ensure the sustainability of our defense industry. Jackson Schneider is the president and CEO of Embraer’s Defense and Security division. This essay was first published for Forte de Copacabana 2020. https://www.defensenews.com/outlook/2021/01/11/embraer-defense-executive-will-protectionism-define-the-post-pandemic-defense-industry

  • Eurofighter submits updated proposal to HX programme

    5 février 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Eurofighter submits updated proposal to HX programme

    January 31, 2020 - Eurofighter has offered Finland the chance to join Europe's largest combat aircraft programme in an updated proposal to the HX fighter acquisition programme. The proposal has been submitted by the UK Government with the support of the Governments of Germany, Italy and Spain, the nations which are represented in the Eurofighter industry consortium. It offers Finland sovereign control of its defence capability and security of supply as well as a combat proven, swing-role aircraft which will form the backbone of European defence for decades to come. The detailed proposal updates on the original offer made to the HX fighter acquisition programme to replace the Finnish Air Force's F-18 Hornet aircraft. John Rossall, Campaign Director at BAE Systems which is working alongside the UK Government on the offer to Finland, said: We are delighted to present our updated proposal to Finland on behalf of the Eurofighter consortium. Our proposal is an invitation to Finland to join leading nations in Europe with a shared defence objective. By choosing Eurofighter, the Finnish Air Force would not only be acquiring the most advanced, multi-role aircraft on the market, it would be choosing everything Finland needs to operate, maintain and control its own aircraft in peacetime and in times of crisis. In January, Eurofighter took part in the HX Challenge Flight Evaluation Trials, led by the Finnish Defence Forces in Tampere. The trials saw two Royal Air Force jets perform over a five-day period to demonstrate many of the capabilities which form the offering of the Eurofighter consortium, which teams BAE Systems alongside leading European defence contractors Airbus and Leonardo. Ahead of the trials, representatives of the Governments of the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain confirmed their commitment to a capability roadmap which will keep Eurofighter in the frontline of European defence for decades to come. View source version on Eurofighter: https://www.eurofighter.com/news-and-events/2020/01/eurofighter-submits-updated-proposal-to-hx-programme

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