14 mai 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Contracts for May 13, 2021

Sur le même sujet

  • US Minuteman III missile replacement breaks $96 billion budget, triggers Pentagon review
  • After COVID delay, high-stakes test of Army’s critical battle command system underway

    3 août 2020 | International, Terrestre

    After COVID delay, high-stakes test of Army’s critical battle command system underway

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — A high-stakes test of the U.S. Army's battle command system expected to control air and missile defense shooters and sensors is underway following a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kenn Todorov, Northrop Grumman's vice president for missile defense solutions, told Defense News in a recent interview. Northrop Grumman is the developer of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, or IBCS. The system's development and its fielding is the Army's top air and missile defense modernization priority. IBCS has had a long and marred history due to struggles in previous tests as well as increasing requirements causing a plethora of challenging software changes. But recent successful tests over the past several years have resulted in a deeper confidence of the system, and the Army has been racing to move through a limited-user test, or LUT, at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, to reach a production decision. The test will decide the fate of the program. The program was supposed to reach initial operational capability last year, but those plans slipped in 2017 by four years following software problems in the system's first LUT in 2016. IBCS was originally meant to serve as the command-and-control system for the Army's future Integrated Air and Missile Defense system against regional ballistic missile threats, but now the service sees a much more expansive future for the technology, with plans to tie it to sensors and shooters capable of defeating complex threats like unmanned aircraft. According to Todorov, the Army and Northrop had to take a “COVID pause” to ensure the safety of all of the participants of the LUT before proceeding. Originally, the IBCS test was scheduled for earlier in the spring as COVID-19 was spreading quickly across the United States. Precautions are taken to ensure participants stay healthy, Todorov said, but he doesn't believe those measures will sacrifice any of the rigor within the test. The LUT will have a broader range of threats to counter than the original, from ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and air-breathing threats, and this test will include the integration of some joint air assets, Brig. Gen. Brian Gibson, the head of the Army's missile defense modernization effort, told Defense News last year. Northrop took the extra time from the pause caused by the pandemic to improve the system's readiness and develop policies and procedures to ensure employees take precautions to avoid the spread of the virus during the LUT. The test is expected to go through the month of August and include endurance runs as well as two major flight tests. In Northrop's second-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings call on July 30, CEO Kathy Warden said that “successful completion of this [engineering and manufacturing development] milestone will support IBCS production, deployment and fielding to execute the Army's [IAMD] modernization strategy,” adding that the program is on track to reach a production decision later this year. Warden also noted that success with the IBCS program and the Air Force's Advanced Battle Management System puts the company on a path to contribute heavily to an anticipated “next-generation” program called Joint All-Domain Command and Control. JADC2 is expected to provide an information architecture across all service and domains of warfare. Northrop's IBCS development efforts are seen as a springboard into work it could do to develop JADC2, Todorov said. He added that the IBCS system in particular has gone through “tremendous advances,” as it has adapted to maturing and changing threats. One of the reasons the system has been able to quickly evolve is due to its designation by Congress — among just a few Defense Department programs — to adopt an agile software-development process that allows the system to be frequently updated with software upgrades or patches, as opposed to big software drops that potentially happen only once a year. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/07/31/after-covid-delay-high-stakes-test-of-armys-critical-battle-command-system-underway/

  • Boeing lands the first order of the F-15EX

    14 juillet 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Boeing lands the first order of the F-15EX

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — The Air Force has officially placed an order for its first batch of F-15EXs, awarding Boeing a contract on Monday that puts a ceiling value for the entire program close to $23 billion. The first delivery order, which has a not-to-exceed value of about $1.2 billion, covers the first lot of eight F-15EX fighter jets, as well as support and one-time, upfront engineering costs. The contract award is a massive win for Boeing and gives a second life for the F-15 production line in St. Louis, Mo. After years of urging the Air Force to consider an advanced version of the F-15 as a complementary capability to Lockheed Martin's F-35, Boeing found an ally in the Defense Department's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, which in 2019 forced the service to purchase F-15EX planes in order to build capacity. Although Air Force leaders at the time said that the service would have preferred funds to buy additional fifth generation planes like the F-35, officials now say that buying new F-15s is the quickest path for replacing aging Air National Guard F-15C/Ds that are reaching the end of their service lives. “The F-15EX is the most affordable and immediate way to refresh the capacity and update the capabilities provided by our aging F-15C/D fleets,” Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command commander, said in a statement. “The F-15EX is ready to fight as soon as it comes off the line.” The first two F-15EX aircraft are already being manufactured and will roll off the production line early next year, the company said in a news release. They will initially be based at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., for testing, with the remaining six aircraft set to be delivered to the base in fiscal year 2023, the Air Force said. Along with the first eight F-15EXs, which were approved in the fiscal year 2020 budget, the Air Force has requested 12 F-15EXs in FY21 and plans to ask for 64 jets from FY22 to FY25. The service could buy as many as 144 aircraft, according to Boeing. The Air Force has not decided which bases will be the first to receive F-15EX jets, with the service adding in its news release that “the Strategic Basing Process is in work to determine the fielding locations for subsequent aircraft lots.” The F-15EX will be a two-seat jet with fly-by-wire controls, the new Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System electronic warfare system, an advanced cockpit, and new mission systems. But according to the Air Force, the most significant upgrade comes in the form of an open mission systems architecture that will allow the service to more rapidly update the F-15′s software. Another major advantage of purchasing additional F-15s is the aircraft's payload capacity, which will allow it to carry and launch hypersonic missiles at standoff distances. “The F-15EX is the most advanced version of the F-15 ever built, due in large part to its digital backbone,” said Lori Schneider, Boeing F-15EX program manager. “Its unmatched range, price and best-in-class payload capacity make the F-15EX an attractive choice for the U.S. Air Force.” Monday's announcement follows a firm, fixed-price contract worth up to $101 million that was awarded to General Electric in late June for the first lot of F-15EX engines. Under the contract, GE will provide “F110-GE-129 engines, including installs and spares, and modernized engine monitoring system computers,” the department stated. https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/07/13/heres-how-much-money-boeing-is-getting-to-build-the-new-f-15ex/

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