24 novembre 2021 | International, Aérospatial

EU nations add air, space and drone tech to their defense cooperation roster

European Union defense ministers have approved new collaborative projects meant to boost the bloc’s military capabilities in air, space and drone operations.


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  • The F-35 jet might hit full-rate production more than a year late

    22 octobre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    The F-35 jet might hit full-rate production more than a year late

    By: Valerie Insinna  WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Department will not clear the F-35 fighter jet for full-rate production this year, and it may even have to push that milestone as far as January 2021, the Pentagon’s acquisition executive said Friday. The Pentagon had intended to make a full-rate production decision — also known as Milestone C — by the end of 2019. But because the Joint Simulation Environment continues to face delays in its own development, the Defense Department will have to defer that milestone by as many as 13 months, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord told reporters during a news conference. The Joint Simulation Environment, or JSE, is needed to conduct simulated evaluations of the F-35 in a range of high-threat scenarios. “We actually had signed out of the JPO [F-35 Joint Program Office] earlier this week a program deviation report that documented expected schedule threshold breach in the Milestone C full-rate production decision of up to 13 months,” Lord said. It is unclear whether the delay will cause an increase in program costs. Although the Defense Department already buys the F-35 in large numbers, the full-rate production decision is viewed as a major show of confidence in the program’s maturity. During this time, the yearly production rate is set to skyrocket from the 91 jets manufactured by Lockheed Martin in 2018 to upward of 160 by 2023. But before Lord signs off on the production decision, the F-35 must complete operational testing, the results of which will be validated by Robert Behler, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation. The F-35’s testing community intended to complete initial operational test and evaluation, or IOT&E, by this summer; however, the JSE is not yet complete. “We are not making as quick progress on the Joint Simulation Environment, integrating the F-35 into it. It is a critical portion of IOT&E. We work closely with Dr. Behler and DOT&E [[the office of the director of operational test and evaluation]. They are making excellent progress out on the range with the F-35, but we need to do the work in the Joint Simulation Environment,” Lord said. “We have collectively decided that we need the JSE [to be] absolutely correct before we proceed, so I will make some decisions about when that full-rate production decision will be made shortly," she added. Specifically, the Defense Department and F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin are lagging behind in integrating the "'F-35 In-A-Box” — the simulated model of the F-35 and its sensors and weapons — into the JSE, reported Military.com, which broke the news of the testing delay in September. Even before IO&TE formally started, the F-35 test community had noted the challenge of maintaining the planned schedule. The F-35 began operational tests in December 2018, three months after the originally scheduled start date in September. The program office maintained that its goal was to see the test phase finished by the summer of 2019. However, F-35 test director Air Force Col. Varun Puri documented concerns in a September 2018 presentation that the test phase could slip until September 2019, which could add budget pressure to the program. In a statement, Lockheed Martin expressed confidence in its ability to ramp up production over the next few years. “As Secretary Lord stated earlier today, the F-35 is performing exceptionally well for our customers and we continue to ramp up production, modernize the aircraft and improve sustainment performance,” the company said. “This year our goal is to deliver 131 aircraft and that is on track to grow to over 140 production aircraft deliveries next year. We are confident the full F-35 enterprise is prepared for full rate production and ready to meet growing customer demand.” https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/10/18/the-f-35-may-hit-full-rate-production-more-than-a-year-late/

  • Leonardo DRS joins UAE-based firm to support key projects of the country’s armed forces

    18 février 2019 | International, C4ISR

    Leonardo DRS joins UAE-based firm to support key projects of the country’s armed forces

    By: Chirine Mouchantaf BEIRUT — Leonardo DRS’ land electronics unit has signed an agreement with the International Golden Group based in the United Arab Emirates to support key projects for the country’s armed forces. As part of the settlement, U.S.-based Leonardo DRS will establish an innovative engineering and support facility in IGG’s industrial park in Abu Dhabi to support projects and assist in hiring and training locals to fill new high-tech manufacturing positions, the company said in a statement. “Leonardo has a long history in working to support the armed forces of the UAE, and this partnership within our subsidiary and IGG has us very excited," Lorenzo Mariani, Leonardo chief commercial officer, told Defense News The two parties are expected to collaborate on advanced communication systems integration in support of tactical C4I projects, as well as onboard vehicle power systems that provide combat vehicles with up to 120 kilowatts of mobile electrical power for complex C4ISR systems, mobile command posts, radars, weapon systems and other power-hungry expeditionary capabilities. “The high technology of Leonardo DRS and the capabilities of IGG will lead to next-level products for the country’s armed forces now and well into the future,” Mariani added. The agreement deepens an already strong relationship between Leonardo DRS and the government of the UAE. In 2017, Leonardo and IGG signed a strategic collaboration agreement to supply cybersecurity capabilities in the UAE, and to identify and implement advanced solutions including security operations centers. The agreement’s aim was to integrate the solutions and market knowledge offered by IGG with Leonardo’s state-of-the-art know-how in a long-term strategic and international partnership. Bill Guyan, vice president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS land electronics unit, considers the Emirati-American military relationship a robust one full of new growth potential over the next few years. “The recent growth of the Leonardo DRS land electronics business in the UAE has produced this natural next step. We are proud to lay down enduring roots and a strong business presence and remain committed to the success of our UAE customer and UAE Vision 2021,” he said, referring to the country’s effort to prioritize health care, economic competitiveness, sustainable infrastructure, education, a cohesive society and an improved judiciary. “We are eager to work with IGG to provide the guidance, technology and support required to increase interoperability between the U.S. and Emirati forces, allowing them to strategically operate more closely,” he added. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/idex/2019/02/15/leonardo-drs-joins-uae-based-firm-to-support-key-projects-of-the-countrys-armed-forces/

  • Army plans to stop building newest CH-47 variant in FY20, except for special ops

    15 mars 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Army plans to stop building newest CH-47 variant in FY20, except for special ops

    By: Jen Judson  UPDATE — This story was updated to reflect the number of EMD Block II Chinooks under contract with the U.S. Army WASHINGTON — The Army is planning to stop procuring the newest version of the CH-47 F-model Chinook for the conventional force after fiscal year 2020, closing out the program at the end of the engineering and manufacturing development phase. While details on the plan are not yet available (more budget materials are slated to post March 18), the Army Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters, in a March 14 interview at the Pentagon, that the service will finish buying EMD versions of the Block II Chinook in FY20 and will only buy G-model Chinooks for Army Special Operations beyond that. Boeing is currently under contract to build three Block II EMD Chinooks. The Army decided to cut its production of Chinook Block II aircraft as part of a larger effort to find funding to cover major modernization priorities in the near-term including plans to design and bring online two new, state-of-the-art helicopters — a Long-Range Assault and an Attack Reconnaissance aircraft. Full article: https://www.defensenews.com/smr/federal-budget/2019/03/14/army-plans-to-stop-building-newest-ch-47-variant-in-fy20-except-for-special-ops/

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