26 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

Competition Heats Up For New Class Of Small, Disposable Jet Engines

bY Steve Trimble

Two U.S. engine companies of vastly different sizes have revealed plans to compete against each other to offer small, low-cost jet engines for a new class of expendable unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and future cruise missiles. Kratos Turbine Technologies, a newly acquired and rebranded division of the California-based aerial-targets manufacturer, has launched development of small turbofan and even smaller turbojet engine families in West Palm Beach, Florida.


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  • New COVID bill dampens hopes for defense industry aid

    30 septembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité, Autre défense

    New COVID bill dampens hopes for defense industry aid

    Joe Gould WASHINGTON ― Democrats unveiled a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package Monday night without defense industry stimulus funding, hinting that the billions of dollars defense firms sought to diffuse the economic impact of the pandemic are not coming. Defense officials warned they will have to tap modernization and readiness funds if Congress does not appropriate about $10 billion for defense contractors' coronavirus-related expenses, as authorized by Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. However, neither the new Democratic measure nor the last draft from Senate Republicans contained any such aid. Smaller than the $3.4 trillion bill that passed the House in May in order to come closer to a compromise with Republicans, the new bill comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are attempting to revive long-stalled aid negotiations. The House bill could be a final attempt to pass coronavirus aid legislation before the Nov. 3 presidential and congressional elections. The House bill does propose nearly $2.5 billion for defense: $320 million in emergency operations and maintenance funding for the services to buy personal protective equipment; $1.4 billion to pay salaries and other needs of military base facilities like child care centers and post exchanges that are usually paid by revenue-generating accounts; and $705 million for the Defense Health Program to cover COVID-19 prophylactics, therapeutics and personal protective equipment. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., proposed his own $300 billion bill, but that legislation failed in the Senate earlier this month. That bill left out the $29 billion for defense ― which included $11 billion in Section 3610 reimbursements ― that Republicans proposed in their $1 trillion stimulus in July. The Senate is set to vote on a House-passed continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown. It would extend the window for Section 3610 reimbursements through Dec. 11, a step sought by trade groups. But there has been no matching appropriation. Defense industry sources say lobbying for aid hasn't gained traction beyond a handful of hawkish Republicans, despite a public push from Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord. The Pentagon's senior-most officials have not been as vocal as Lord, and lawmakers from both parties have been wary of new spending that favors industry after the Pentagon won a timely budget at record levels. “There's never been an appetite for defense stimulus from the parties that matter,” an industry source told Defense News. “I would be shocked if defense, being in neither of the two chambers' bills, ended up in the final bill.” Undercutting the argument that defense industry relief would immediately stimulate the economy, Lord said earlier last week that it will likely take five to six months before industry receives any reimbursements under the CARES Act. Lord also said that only 30 of the hundreds of defense subcontractors shuttered by the pandemic remained closed. Days ago, Lockheed Martin reportedly signed off on a 8.3 percent quarterly dividend increase to pay $2.60 per share and announced plans for an additional $1.3 billion share buyback. Lockheed is one of the main recipients of the Pentagon's accelerated payments to contractors, meant to boost cash flow to large and small defense companies during the coronavirus crisis. In May, Democratic lawmakers questioned Pentagon leaders about why they had spent just 23 percent of the $10.5 billion the department received under the CARES Act. The Pentagon responded with with its spending plan for the aid, which allocated $688 million to aid suppliers of aircraft engine parts, shipbuilding, electronics and space launch. Last week, key progressives, Reps. Marc Pocan and Barbara Lee, demanded an investigation and public hearings into that use of economic stimulus funding for defense contractors, calling it a “Pentagon misuse of COVID funds.” The Pentagon has refuted that characterization. https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2020/09/29/new-covid-bill-dampens-hopes-for-defense-industry-aid/

  • Greece and Israel deal spotlight leasing model for military UAVs

    11 mai 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Greece and Israel deal spotlight leasing model for military UAVs

    By: Seth J. Frantzman JERUSALEM — Greece's Hellenic Ministry of National Defense will lease unmanned aerial vehicles from Israel, in a deal that offers up an alternative to pricey acquisitions amid budgetary constraints. The Heron long endurance drones, manufactured by IAI, will be used for border defense under a leasing model that IAI said may grow more appealing with the new pandemic dynamics that countries face. Executive vice president and general manager of AIA's Military Aircraft Group, Moshe Levy, praised the new deal with Greece as "yet another example of the successful leasing model promoted by IAI in many parts of the world.” Greece will have an option to purchase the Herons after the lease term ends in three years. The Heron is one of the most popular of IAI UAVs, which have collectively seen 1.8 million operation flight hours with over fifty partners worldwide, the company says. IAI could not comment on the overall value of the lease agreement. The twin-boom Heron comes in several models, including the smaller tactical Heron unveiled in 2019, and the longer endurance Heron MK II unveiled this year. With development roots in the early 1990s, the larger Heron UAVs have been active with the Israeli Air Force since the early 2000s and been used by countries such as Turkey, India, Australia, Singapore, Azerbaijan and Germany. Greece and Israel have become closer partners in defense and maritime relations over the last decade. The Heron lease for Greece will include a unique maritime configuration with sensors and communications designed to monitor the extensive water borders of Greece. Levy says that Israel sees this maritime security model as an important market. The coronavirus pandemic has made countries increasingly aware of the need to control borders, Levy said, creating newfound demand for large surveillance UAVs like Heron. The flexibility of lease agreements with operations outsourced allows customers to get the data they need to secure borders, but without the overhead of ownership or the large logistical footprint. Levy points to previous lease agreements, such as a $600 deal in 2018 with Airbus and Germany to lease Heron TPs. Those leased Herons saw more than 30,000 hours of flight time in Afghanistan. “We supply the birds [UAVs] and the maintenance and another company takes the bird and puts it in the air," Levy said. “The customer just does the mission and get the data.” Lease agreements were signed with Australia and Canada over the last decade as well. “We assume after coronavirus, budgets will shrink and people will look for different solutions and things that are simpler, and less costly, so the lease option can meet the needs,” Levy said, particularly for states that want only a few large UAVs, without the overhead of operations and training. Israel was the world's largest exporter of drones through 2013, bringing in more than $4.6 billion in sales between 2006 and 2012 and selling UAVs to more than two dozen countries. However, China has rapidly increased its military drone sales to become one of the largest exporters last year. At the same time, UAV sales are increasingly a smaller percent of Israel's overall defense exports, illustrating a changing market. “We have to adapt and manage our portfolio. We are offering a wide variety of platforms,” says Levy. The new Heron MK II, with a wingspan of 16 meters, weighs 1,300 kg and can reach an altitude of 35,000 feet for up to 45 hours. It has a new more powerful Rotax 915 iS engine, says Levy, who pointed to increased demnd for versatile vertical-takeoff and landing (VTOL) options or UAVs that require only a short runway. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/05/08/greece-and-israel-deal-spotlight-leasing-model-for-military-uavs/

  • Lockheed Martin Awarded $219M To Produce Additional PrSM Units For US Army

    10 mars 2024 | International, Terrestre

    Lockheed Martin Awarded $219M To Produce Additional PrSM Units For US Army

    Initial deliveries achieved a major modernization milestone for the U.S. Army, securing needed long-range precision fires capability.

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