29 avril 2021 | International, Aérospatial
By: Jen Judson
LONDON — A FLIR System that deploys tiny unmanned aerial vehicles from a ruggedized container affixed to the front of a vehicle is helping to shape how advanced teaming can be used on the tactical edge against near peer threats.
At DSEI — a major defense exposition in London — the system that deploys Black Hornet UAVs, which is the system chosen by the U.S. Army for the Soldier Borne Sensor program, made its appearance in several variations around the showroom floor.
Rheinmetall had it built onto the front of its Mission Master Unmanned Ground System representing a surveillance variant.
At Kongsberg, the system is integrated with a remote weapon station. The idea is that the package of tiny UAVs can be forward deployed from a combat vehicle while soldiers stay inside and maintain standoff from enemy forces. The UAVs can perform reconnaissance and possible targeting assistance so the vehicle knows where it can shoot.
The data from the UAVs tiny camera can feed right back into the vehicle's weapon station providing intel to the gunner, for instance.
The concept was first unveiled in a prototype at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference in Washington in 2018, but it is now a full-up system ready for the market, according to Ole Aguirre, FLIR senior director of UIS Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships in the company's unmanned systems and integrated solutions division.
The system accommodates four Black Hornets in four individual compartments, which close up to protect the little drones. Two UAVs can be deployed at once while the other two charge using power from the vehicle, Aguirre said.
The entire box that can be attached to the front of the vehicle is ruggedized to the level it can withstand the environment of a tank, he added.
The system can be controlled from inside the vehicle using the remote weapon station or a tablet or the traditional controls that go with the U.S. Army's Soldier Borne Sensor. It has been built using NATO standards so it can be integrated into command and control systems.
Placing the box of UAVs outside of the vehicle is important so that a soldier wouldn't have to open up the hatch on a vehicle to throw one out and space is highly limited inside most tanks and combat vehicles.
The Black Hornet's range is roughly a 2,000 meter radius, but FLIR is looking at how to extend the range of the UAV to meet a requirement defined by a pacing threat of 3,000 meters, Aguirre said.
Because the system is versatile, it can be used on small UGVs all the way up to tanks and so FLIR sees opportunity across the U.S. Army's many vehicle modernization programs and also with current systems.
The company is investing heavily in evaluating utility for the U.S. Army, Aguirre added, but there is also strong international interest in Europe and the Middle East particularly.
The system is a step forward in conceiving feasible integration concepts for advanced teaming between UAVs and manned and unmanned ground vehicles.
Two years ago at DSEI, there was a striking lack of integration of unmanned aircraft systems into vehicle concepts.
For example, Finnish defense company Patria was the only one to display a concept integrating a drone with a vehicle — mounting the hand-launched Black Hornet atop a little stick on the roof of the back end of its armored modular vehicle.
Eurosatory in 2018, held in Paris, showed a little more evolution in advanced teaming between aerial systems and vehicles.
The U.S. Army's plans to evaluate a wide variety of advanced teaming concepts as part of a major modernization effort through its brand new Army Futures Command could be driving much of the proliferation of ideas now popping up at defense trade shows.
29 avril 2021 | International, Aérospatial
25 juin 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité, Autre défense
ARMY TCOM L.P., Columbia, Maryland, was awarded a $978,946,631 hybrid (cost-no-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and firm-fixed-price) contract for the Persistent Surveillance Systems - Tethered engineering, logistics, operations and program management support. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 19, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W56KGY-19-D-0020). Lockheed Martin Corp., Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a $561,802,200 hybrid (cost-plus-fixed-fee and fixed-price-incentive) foreign military sales (Bahrain, Poland and Romania) contract for production of Army tactical missile guided missile and launching assembly service life extension program production 3. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas; Camden, Arizona; Boulder, Colorado; Clearwater, Florida; St. Louis, Missouri; Lufkin, Texas; Windsor Locks, Connecticut; and Williston, Vermont, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2022. Fiscal 2018 and 2019 missile procurement, Army and foreign military sales funds in the combined amount of $561,802,200 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-19-C-0092). Donjon Marine, Hillside, New Jersey, was awarded a $12,170,000 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance dredging of portions of the Newark Bay, New Jersey Federal Navigation Project. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Newark, New Jersey, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2019. Fiscal 2019 civil works funds in the amount of $12,170,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York, New York, is the contracting activity (W912DS-19-C-0013). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Texas Power & Associates,* Palm Harbor, Florida (SPE8EG-19-D-0117); Atlantic Diving Supply, doing business as ADS,* Virginia Beach, Virginia (SPE8EG-19-D-0112); Berger/Cummins, Washington, District of Columbia (SPE8EG-19-D-0113); Caterpillar Defense, Peoria, Illinois (SPE8EG-19-D-0114); Inglett & Stubbs International, Atlanta, Georgia (SPE8EG-19-D-0115); and QGSI-USA Emergency Power, Houston, Texas (SPE8EG-19-D-0116), are sharing a maximum $900,000,0000 fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract under solicitation SPE8EG-18-R-0007 for generators. This was a competitive acquisition with eight offers received. These are five-year contracts with no option periods. Locations of performance are Florida, Virginia, Washington, District of Columbia, Illinois, Georgia and Texas, with a June 19, 2024, performance completion date. Using customer is Federal Emergency Management Agency. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Welch Allyn Inc., Skaneateles Falls, New York, has been awarded a maximum $100,000,000 firm‐fixed‐price, indefinite‐delivery/indefinite‐quantity contract for patient monitoring systems, accessories and training. This is a five-year base contract with one five‐year option period. This was a competitive acquisition with 36 responses received. Location of performance is New York, with a June 24, 2024, performance completion date. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE2D1‐19‐D‐0019). Hamilton Sundstrand, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, is to be awarded a $16,532,250 firm-fixed price contract for helicopter flight control computers. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. Location of performance is Arizona. Using military service is the Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama (SPRPA1-13-G-001X/SPRRA1-19-F-0329). NAVY L3 Technologies Inc., Northampton, Massachusetts, is awarded a $73,743,347 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract containing cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-reimbursement and firm-fixed-price provisions. This contract provides for depot-level repair, upgrade and overhaul services for submarine photonics mast programs. Work will be performed in Northampton, Massachusetts (98%), and at various places in the U.S. below one percent (2%) and is expected to be completed by June 2025. Fiscal 2019 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $2,146,169 will be obligated on the first delivery order at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured, in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) - only one source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, is the contracting activity (N66604-19-D-G900). Katmai Integrated Solutions LLC,* Anchorage, Alaska, is awarded a contract ceiling $21,625,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a three year ordering period to provide subject matter support services for Immersive Training Range Support (ITRS) . Work will be performed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (40%), Camp Pendleton, California (40%), and Marine Corps Base, Hawaii (20%), and work is expected to be completed June 24, 2022. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $4,877,737 will be obligated on the first task order immediately following contract award and funds will expire the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The contract was prepared in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-5 and 15 U.S. Code 637. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contract activity (M67854-19-D-7835). Advanced Solutions Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, was awarded $16,863,635 for firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded task order N00039-18-F-0069 issued against Blanket Purchase Agreement N00104-08-A-ZF42 and the underlying a multiple award schedule in support of Navy Enterprise Resource Planning. This modification exercises an option for cloud and integration support services. Work will be performed in Loudon, Virginia (50%) and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (50%) and is expected to be completed in June 2020. Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $16,863,635 will be obligated at the time of the award, which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity. (Awarded June 20, 2019) AIR FORCE Concentric Security LLC, Sykesville, Maryland (FA8003-19-D-A001); Nasatka Barrier Inc., Clinton, Maryland, (FA8003-19-D-A002); Cherokee Nation Security & Defense LLC., Tulsa, Oklahoma, (FA8003-19-D-A003); and Perimeter Security Partners LLC., Nashville, Tennessee (FA8003-19-D-A004) have been awarded a $45,000,000 firm-fixed-price, multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for vehicle barriers maintenance and repair services. This contract provides for all personnel, labor, equipment, supplies, tools, materials, supervision, travel, periodic inspection, minor repair, and other items and services necessary to provide maintenance for Air Force vehicle barrier systems. Work will be performed at all Contiguous United States (CONUS) (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) active duty Air Force installations and is expected to be completed by June 23, 2024. These awards are the result of a competitive acquisition and four offers were received. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $4,000 ($1,000 per awardee) are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Installation Contracting Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity. Weldin Construction LLC, Palmer, Alaska, has been awarded a $35,000,000 ceiling increase modification (P00004) to previously awarded contract FA4861-17-D-A200 for simplified acquisition of base engineering requirements. This modification will increase the contract value from $35,000,000 to $70,000,000. Work will be performed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 2021. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. The 99th Contracting Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, was awarded a modification to exercise an option totaling $8,825,457 to previously awarded contract HR0011-18-C-0127 for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research project. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $13,204,195. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia; San Diego, California; and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, with an expected completion date of September 2020. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $4,600,000 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. *Small business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1885753/source/GovDelivery/
28 août 2019 | International, Aérospatial
By THERESA HITCHENS WASHINGTON: Japanese start-up Astroscale thinks its space junk technology can be used by the Pentagon for on-orbit satellite servicing, to build a foundation for its ultimate goal of building a space debris removal business, says Ron Lopez, president and managing director of the company's new US unit. “Debris removal is the immediate focus for the company, but there is a lot of [technology] applicability to adjacent areas of the market that end up leading to capabilities that the military needs,” Lopez explained in an interview. “DoD is a customer like any other, with a future need for servicing its own satellites to extend mission life.” For example, Astroscale's sensor and guidance technology that allows it to precisely rendezvous with a piece of debris could also be used by the Air Force to do the same with an active satellite, he said, to inspect it or to make repairs. Likewise, the firm's docking technology is applicable to many types of servicing missions, such as re-fueling, that are of interest to DoD. Astroscale US thus is seeking American partners to help it break into the military space marketplace — starting small with component and tech demos. “We are still in early stage of discussions, and trying to understand what the requirements are,” Lopez said. “We've been busy building partnerships with a lot of small- and mid-sized companies,” he added, to bring together “a very innovative set of technologies and capabilities” that can bring “value-added to the commercial marketplace and DoD as well.” Astroscale launched its US subsidiary in April, opening an office near Denver and is slowly building a staff (currently number four full time employees.) The US subsidiary expands the company from the Japanese headquarters, and branches in Singapore and the United Kingdom. It recently garnered another $30 million to its Series D funding that brings the total amount of capital raised in the round to $132 million, according to the corporate website. The company, founded by Japanese tycoon Nobu Okada in 2013, is fully aware that it is cannot make a business case for orbital debris removal today. There simply isn't a country or a customer ready to pay to fully develop the technology required at the moment; nor is it clear that even if the technology is there customers would be incentivized to pay someone to take out their trash if there is no legal requirement to do so. Indeed, there may even be legal obstacles since the 1967 Outer Space Treaty deems debris the property of the launching state, meaning that a garbage collector would need permission of the owner to do so. Therefore, on-orbiting servicing is a nearer-term mission that will allow the company to continue to thrive and grow. “On-orbit servicing can enable space debris removal,” Lopez summed up. “We are working with customers who have an interest in adjacent missions; those interests help us develop our core techology.” The Air Force actively has been exploring on-orbit servicing technologies through a series of small business and tech demo projects. For example, in July, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) updated its request for information (RFI) designed to help the service get a grip on the available industrial base for autonomous Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO) and “InspectorSat capabilities,” as well as the limits of current commercial technologies. Responses were due Aug. 9. Further, the space industry is lobbying hard for the Commerce Department to issue new US government rules to ease development of on-orbit servicing technologies and spur the market via more coherent licensing obligations. Licensing for satellites that can perform proximity operations — that is, can safely maneuver around another satellite or a piece of debris, dock with that object, and perform some function such as re-fueling — currently falls between agency cracks. Meanwhile, the CONFERS consortium, led by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is working to develop industry-created best practices for such tricky space operations. Despite the hurdles for a non-US company to get its subsidiary fully credentialed to compete for DoD contracts, Lopez says being a wholly-owned Japanese company is a help, not a hindrance, because of the high level placed on cooperation in space by Tokyo and Washington. While bilateral and multilateral collaboration is often equated with simply “trying to fulfill political objectives,” Lopez stressed that it also helps the countries involved to reduce schedule and cost risks. “When we have real and evolving threats, the need is urgent and we have an environment where our tax dollars are constrained,” he said, “what that translates into is that collaboration is a way to reduce risks.” https://breakingdefense.com/2019/08/astroscale-us-targets-dod-sat-servicing-market/