21 juillet 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Contracts for July 20, 2021

Sur le même sujet

  • Navy Exercises Options For Additional Future Frigate Design Work

    1 août 2018 | International, Naval

    Navy Exercises Options For Additional Future Frigate Design Work

    By: Ben Werner The Navy has exercised options adding several million dollars to the future guided-missile frigate (FFG(X)) conceptual design work being performed by five shipbuilders in contention for the final hull design.  The Navy expects bids from the following shipbuilders – Austal USA, Huntington Ingalls Industries, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine. A final request for proposal is expected in 2019, with the Navy planning to award a single source design and construction contract in 2020, according to the Navy. Ultimately, the Navy plans to build a fleet of 20 frigates Each company was awarded initial contracts of $15 million in February to start design work. The latest contract modification, announced Monday, sends between $6.4 million and $8 million in additional funding to each company to be used fleshing out their designs. “Each company is maturing their proposed ship design to meet the FFG(X) System Specification. The Conceptual Design effort will inform the final specifications that will be used for the Detail Design and Construction Request for Proposal that will deliver the required capability for FFG(X),” Alan Baribeau, a Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman, said in an email to USNI News. Each design for the future frigate competition is based on existing designs the shipbuilders are already producing. The Navy expects to spend between $800 million and $950 million on each hull, which will follow the Littoral Combat Ship. In terms of combat and communications systems, the Navy plans to use what is already deployed on LCS platforms. USNI News understands the new frigates will use the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, which uses software from the same common source library as the Aegis Combat System on large surface combatants. Missile systems for the frigate include the canister-launched over-the-horizon missile; the surface-to-surface Longbow Hellfire missile; the Mk53 Nulka decoy launching system and the Surface Electron Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 2 program with SLQ-32(V)6. The ships would also require an unspecified number of vertical launch cells. The frigate design also is expected to include the SeaRAM anti-ship missile defense system and several undersea warfare tools. The complete list of companies awarded contract options on their respective contracts include: Austal USA LLC (Austal), Mobile, Alabama – $6,399,053; initial contract award – $14,999,969 General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine – $7,950,000; initial contract award – $14,950,000 Huntington Ingalls Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi – $7,997,406; initial contract award – $14,999,924 Lockheed Martin Inc., Baltimore, Maryland – $6,972,741; initial contract award – $14,999,889 Marinette Marine Corp., doing business as Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Marinette, Wisconsin – $7,982,991 initial contract award – $14,994,626 https://news.usni.org/2018/07/31/35430

  • F-35 Propulsion Upgrade Moves Forward Despite Uncertainty

    28 juillet 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    F-35 Propulsion Upgrade Moves Forward Despite Uncertainty

    Steve Trimble Stabilizing the production system and securing a funded, long-term upgrade plan are now the main objectives for Pratt & Whitney’s F135 propulsion system for the Lockheed Martin F-35. Although first delivered for ground--testing 17 years ago, the F135 remains a lifeline in Pratt’s combat aircraft engines portfolio for new-development funding. The U.S. military engines market is entering an era of transition with great uncertainty for the timing of the next major combat aircraft program. Enhancement Package replaces “Growth Option” New F-35 propulsion road map due in six months The transition era begins with the likely pending delivery of Pratt’s most secretive development project. In 2016, the U.S. Air Force named Pratt as one of seven major suppliers for the Northrop Grumman B-21 bomber. The Air Force also has set the first flight of the B-21 for around December 2021. That timing means Pratt is likely to have delivered the first engine for ground-testing. At some point within the next year, Pratt should be planning to deliver the first flight-worthy engine to Northrop’s final assembly line in Palmdale, California, to support the Air Force’s first B-21 flight schedule. As the bomber engine development project winds down, the propulsion system for the next fighter aircraft continues to be developed, but without a clear schedule for transitioning to an operational system. The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP) is sponsoring a competition to develop an adaptive engine that can modulate the airflow into and around the core to improve fuel efficiency and increase range. The AETP competition is between Pratt’s XA101 and GE’s XA100 designs, with the first engines set to be delivered for ground-testing by the end of this year or early next year. As 45,000-lb.-thrust-class engines, the first AETP designs are optimized for repowering the single-engine F-35, but the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) has established no requirement to replace the F135 for at least another five years. A follow-on effort within the AETP is developing a similar engine for a next-generation fighter, but neither the Air Force nor the Navy have committed to a schedule for transitioning the technology into an aircraft-development program. That leaves Pratt’s F135 as the only feasible application for inserting new propulsion technology for a decade more. After spending the last decade focused on completing development of the F-35 and upgrading the software, electronics and mission systems, the JPO is developing a road map to improve the propulsion system through 2035. As the road map is being developed, program officials also are seeking to stabilize the engine production system. Pratt delivered about 600 F135s to Lockheed through the end of last year, including 150—or about 25%—in 2019 alone. The JPO signed a $7.3 billion contract with Pratt last year to deliver another 509 engines in 2020-22, or about 170 a year. Although Pratt exceeded the delivery goal in 2019 by three engines, each shipment came an average of 10-15 days behind the schedule in the contract. The fan, low-pressure turbine and nozzle hardware drove the delivery delays, according to the Defense Department’s latest annual Selected Acquisition Report on the F-35. Lockheed’s production schedule allows more than two weeks before the engine is needed for the final assembly line, so Pratt’s late deliveries did not hold up the overall F-35 schedule, says Matthew Bromberg, president of Pratt’s Military Engines business. F135 deliveries finally caught up to the contract delivery dates in the first quarter of this year, but the supply chain and productivity disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have set the program back. About five engines scheduled for delivery in the second quarter fell behind the contractual delivery date, Bromberg says. The pressure will grow as a loaded delivery schedule in the second half of the year adds pressure on deliveries, but Pratt’s supply chain managers expect to be back within the contract dates in the first quarter of next year, he says. The F-35 program’s political nature also has caused program disruptions. The Defense Department’s expulsion of Turkey from the F-35 program last year also banished the country’s supply chain, which contributed 188 parts to the F135. In particular, Alp Aviation produces the Stage 2, 3, 4 and 5 integrally bladed rotors (IBR) for the F135. As of early July, about 128 parts now made in Turkey are ready to transition to other suppliers, of which about 80% are based in the U.S., according to Bromberg. The new suppliers should be requalified to produce those parts in the first quarter of 2021 and ready to meet production rate targets for Lot 15 aircraft, which will begin deliveries in 2023. “The overriding objective was to move with speed and diligence along the transition plan and ensure we are ready to be fully out of Turkey by about Lot 15,” Bromberg explains.  “And we are on track for that.” As Pratt transfers suppliers, the company also has to manage the effect on potential upgrade options. Alp Aviation, for example, had announced a research and development program to convert the finished titanium IBRs to a more resilient nickel material. For several years, Pratt has sought to improve the performance of the F135 above the baseline level. In 2017, the company unveiled the Growth Option 1.0 upgrade, which is aimed at delivering modular improvements that would lead to a 5% or 6% fuel-burn improvement and a 6-10% increase in thrust across the flight envelope. The Marine Corps, in particular, was seeking additional thrust to increase payload mass for a vertical landing, but the proposed package did not go far enough to attract the JPO’s interest. “It missed the mark because we didn’t focus our technologies on power and thermal management,” Bromberg says. A year later, Pratt unveiled the Growth Option 2.0. In addition to providing more thrust at less fuel burn, the new package offered to generate more electrical power to support planned advances in the aircraft’s electronics and sensors, with the ability to manage the additional heat without compromising the F-35’s signature in the infrared spectrum.  Last fall, the JPO’s propulsion management office teamed up with the Advanced Design Group at Naval Air Systems Command to analyze how planned F-35 mission systems upgrades will increase the load on the engine’s thrust levels and power generation and thermal management capacity. In May, the JPO commissioned studies by Lockheed and Pratt to inform a 15-year technology-insertion road map for the propulsion system. The road map is due later this year or in early 2021, with the goal of informing the spending plan submitted with the Pentagon’s fiscal 2023 budget request. As the studies continue, a name change to Pratt’s upgrade proposals reveals a fundamental shift in philosophy. Pratt’s earlier “Growth Option” terminology is gone. The proposals are now called Engine Enhancement Packages (EEP). The goal of the rebranding is to show the upgrades no longer are optional for F-35 customers. “As the engine provider and the [sustainment] provider, I’m very interested in keeping everything common,” Bromberg says. “The idea behind the Engine Enhancement Packages is they will migrate into the engines or upgrade over time. We don’t have to do them all at once. The [digital engine controls] will understand which configuration. That allows us again to be seamless in production, where I would presumably cut over entirely, but also to upgrade fleets at regularly scheduled maintenance visits.” Pratt has divided the capabilities from Growth Options 1 and 2 into a series of EEPs, with new capabilities packaged in increments of two years from 2025 to 2029. “If you go all the way to the right, you get all the benefits of Growth Option 2, plus some that we’ve been able to create,” Bromberg says. “But if you need less than that and you’re shorter on time or money, then you can take a subset of it.” Meanwhile, the Air Force continues to fund AETP development as a potential F135 replacement. As the propulsion road map is finalized, the JPO will decide whether Pratt’s F135 upgrade proposals support the requirement or if a new engine core is needed to support the F-35’s thrust and power-generation needs over the long term. Previously, Bromberg questioned the business case for reengining the F-35 by pointing out that a split fleet of F135- and AETP-powered jets erodes commonality and increases sustainment costs. Bromberg also noted it is not clear the third-stream technology required for the AETP can be accommodated within the roughly 4-ft.-dia. engine bay of the F-35B. Now Bromberg says he is willing to support the JPO’s decision if the road map determines a reengining is necessary. “If the road map indicates that they need significantly more out of the engine than the Engine Enhancement Packages can provide, we would be the first to say an AETP motor would be required,” Bromberg says. “But we think a lot of the AETP technologies will make those Engines Enhancement Packages viable.” https://aviationweek.com/ad-week/f-35-propulsion-upgrade-moves-forward-despite-uncertainty

  • Cracks emerging in European defence as NATO faces ‘brain death’, Macron warns

    8 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Cracks emerging in European defence as NATO faces ‘brain death’, Macron warns

    MICHELLE ZILIO ADRIAN MORROWU.S. CORRESPONDENT   French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that NATO faces “brain death” because the United States can no longer be counted on to co-operate with the other members of the military and political alliance. In an interview published on Thursday, Mr. Macron said what “we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” citing concerns about the lack of co-ordinated strategic decision-making between the United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Speaking more generally about the future of Europe, Mr. Macron said the continent needs to “wake up” to the shift in U.S. foreign policy toward isolationism and the global balance of power, with the rise of China and re-emergence of authoritarian powers such as Russia and Turkey. Mr. Macron said Europe is at risk of disappearing geopolitically and losing “control of our destiny” if it fails to face this reality. U.S. President Donald Trump has condemned NATO as outdated, and complained publicly that the United States contributes the most to its defence operations, while other allies, including Canada, fail to boost their military spending. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was visiting Germany on Thursday for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, hailed NATO’s importance in uniting democratic countries to win the Cold War. But at a press conference with his German counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas, he repeated Mr. Trump’s demand that other members contribute more to the alliance. He said he was glad to see German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s commitment earlier in the day to bring German defence spending to 2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2031. “It is an absolute imperative that every country participate and join in and contribute appropriately to achieving that shared security mission,” Mr. Pompeo said. NATO is an alliance of 29 countries from Europe and North America for mutual defence, fighting terrorism and helping manage crises around the world. Its members contribute to its operations mainly by participating in its missions. Members pledged in 2014 to increase their military spending to 2 per cent of GDP by 2024. U.S. military spending was 3.2 per cent of GDP in 2018, according to the World Bank. Canada has no clear plan to reach 2 per cent in the next decade. In a statement, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s office said Canada’s total defence spending is expected to reach 1.48 per cent of GDP by 2024. However, spokesperson Todd Lane said the government plans to exceed another NATO target, 20 per cent of defence spending on major equipment. Mr. Maas, the German foreign affairs minister, dismissed Mr. Macron’s comments. “I do not believe NATO is brain-dead,” he said. “The challenges should not be downplayed in their importance, those that we are facing, but we have an interest in the unity of NATO and its ability to take action.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday in Berlin, also rejected Mr. Macron’s “drastic words.” “That is not my view of co-operation in NATO,” she said at a news conference. “I don’t think that such sweeping judgments are necessary, even if we have problems and need to pull together.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that NATO continues to play an important role on the world stage. He pointed to Canada’s leadership of the NATO training mission in Iraq and its involvement in a mission in Latvia as examples of where the alliance is still valuable. “I think NATO continues to hold an extremely important role, not just in the North Atlantic, but in the world as a group of countries that come together to share values, that share a commitment to shared security,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. Fen Hampson, an international affairs expert at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, said Mr. Macron made a fair point about NATO’s problems, but said use of the term “brain death" was a bit hyperbolic. “This [NATO] is a corpse that perhaps has a beating heart in terms of the intergovernmental machinery, but in terms of its political leadership and political commitment … I think he is on the mark there,” Prof. Hampson said. In the wide-ranging foreign policy interview with The Economist, Mr. Macron also questioned the effectiveness of NATO’s Article Five, which says that if one member is attacked, all others will come to its aid. The collective defence article is meant as a deterrent. Mr. Macron said NATO “only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such,” adding that there is reason to reassess the alliance in light of the U.S. actions. He pointed to the abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria last month, abandoning Kurdish allies. The move made way for Turkey to invade and attack the Kurds, whom Turkey has long seen as terrorists. Mr. Macron expressed concern about whether NATO would respect Article Five and back Turkey, a member, if Syria launched a retaliatory attack. “If the [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad regime decides to retaliate against Turkey, will we commit ourselves under it? It’s a crucial question,” Mr. Macron said. David Perry, vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said that while Mr. Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria sent a troubling signal to allies, it would be much more difficult for him to bypass the U.S. national security community, which widely supports NATO, to make drastic changes to his county’s involvement in the alliance. “NATO is different in the order of importance than the American relationship was with the Kurds. Because of that there’s enough of the national security establishment built in and around Trump that would safeguard the U.S. role in the alliance to prevent anything catastrophic from happening," Mr. Perry said. Roland Paris, a professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa and former foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trudeau, said Mr. Macron is right about the need for Europeans to work together more effectively, but said calling NATO’s Article Five into question is a “dangerous and irresponsible way to do so.” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-trudeau-says-nato-is-still-important-despite-macrons-warning-of/

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