5 mai 2020 | International, Naval

Fincantieri CEO on winning the US Navy’s frigate competition

By: Tom Kington

ROME — As CEO of Italy's state-controlled Fincantieri since 2002, Giuseppe Bono, has built cruise, merchant and naval vessels, including the FREMM frigate, for the Italian navy. Last week the type was picked by the U.S. sea service for its newest frigate, the FFG(X), in a deal worth $5.58 billion if options for nine vessels are exercised after the first ship. The FFG(X) will be produced at Wisconsin's Marinette Marine shipyard, which Fincantieri bought in 2008 and where it already builds Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships for the U.S. Navy and Saudi Arabia with Lockheed Martin.

In an interview with Defense News, Bono explained why FREMM beat off the competition, why shipyards should always be prime contractors, and why building cruise ships makes you punctual.

What are the reasons you won this competition?

In the U.S., more than elsewhere, the quality-price ratio was crucial. And our vessel fit the requirement. The U.S. wanted a ship with anti-submarine capability and this ship is unique in its class because it has that capability. The other competitors offered ships derived from other designs. The customer also wanted a ship which was already at sea. In a way we were lucky. On paper, the other offerings might have been great, but we are operational. Our proposal was also more complete because the design is extremely flexible thanks to the possibility of fitting different defense systems. We had also studied an AEGIS version of the FREMM with Lockheed Martin and knew it would not need large, structural work.

What was your reaction when you heard you had won?

My colleagues were more emotional about than me. I pursue objectives and strategy.

You teamed with Lockheed Martin on the LCS program but here you went alone.

We never considered a U.S. partner. This bid was different to the past, with a new approach. In this case the shipbuilders were candidates to be prime contractors. And with a track record with 16 LCS orders for the U.S. and four for Saudi Arabia we are an American shipyard, this time with an Italian design. We have worked very well with Lockheed Martin, but as prime contractor on the Littoral Combat Ship it was the point of contact with the customer, meaning the yard was a step back and that sometimes led to a short circuit. When the shipyard is speaking to the customer as prime, it facilitates the relationships and leads to a better product and lower prices because certain decisions can be made faster.

You will, however, work with U.S. firm Gibbs and Cox on the FFG(X).

Gibbs and Cox frequently works with the U.S. Navy and knows its needs perfectly. We have a long and positive experience working with them on the LCS and we teamed with them to adapt the FREMM for the U.S. Navy.

As work gets underway at Marinette will you need to hire new workers and make further infrastructure improvements?

A lot of the work we needed to do at Marinette has already been done. When we first took over, in a springtime, we were shocked to find that the forecourts were muddy due to snowmelt. Now we have paved them over and increased efficiencies in terms of the yard's layout. We will need to find extra space because the FFG(X) will overlap with LCS construction, but we have shown we can build two FFG(X) vessels simultaneously as well as LCS vessels at Marinette. That said, depending on future programs, if the opportunity arose to buy a new yard, we will consider it. We would not be against the possibility, but it is not an issue now.

There have been some legislative provisions requiring Buy American for certain FFG(X) components. How will this affect you going forward on this ship?

On the LCS there are a number of Italian components, albeit a very limited number. The vessel also has Rolls Royce gas turbines, not GE, showing that price and quality always win out. On the LCS, the four diesel sets for power generation were built by our subsidiary Isotta Fraschini Motori. They are also on the Italian FREMMS. Now we will see if they can be used on the U.S. vessels.

The Freedom LCS class experienced delays at the outset. How are you going to try and avoid that for FFG(X), understanding that there are always challenges with a first-of-class ship?

There is a difference between a ship and other platforms like an aircraft or an helicopter. A ship does not have a prototype, only the first in class. The prototype of a ship becomes operational. This means the first vessel needs more time than the successive ships. On the LCS program the construction time sped up and prices fell as it accelerated.

Is this the biggest ever win for an Italian firm in the U.S. defense market?

Yes, I think so. It the result of working well and showing you are serious, of delivering on time and on budget. All these aspects are strongly taken into account by the customer and they give you an advantage. This is fundamental and one of our characteristics, derived in part from our work on cruise ships, which are built on a turnkey basis. The discipline there is unique. You need to deliver on a specific day which is established years earlier, otherwise the penalties never stop. Being punctual is in our DNA. Add to that we are always prime contractor, and a cruise ship is no less complex than a naval ship. In the military sector, delivering on time happens rarely. There are many examples of delays in some countries which can be almost infinite.

Turning to Europe, there is ongoing consolidation in the German shipbuilding sector. How does that affect your plans to launch a type of European naval Airbus with French yard Naval Group?

With Germany we have a consolidated and long-standing partnership related to the submarine sector. Consolidation must happen in Europe if it wants to count for something in the world, for this reason our goal must be a common defence. There are four of five major yards in the U.S. We cannot think of having more than that in Europe. We must consolidate.

https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/05/04/interview-fincantieri-ceo-bono-on-winning-the-us-navys-frigate-competition/

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  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - December 3, 2018

    7 décembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - December 3, 2018

    NAVY The Navy is awarding 1,870 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple-award contracts (MACs) to businesses in multiple locations across 46 of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Guam for future competition of support service requirements to be solicited by Department of the Navy activities under the SeaPort Next Generation (SeaPort-NxG) multiple-award contract vehicle. All work under the contracts will fall under two categories (engineering support services and program management support services), which are further divided into 23 functional areas. The government estimates approximately $5,000,000,000 of services will be procured per year via orders issued under the SeaPort-NxG multiple award contracts. These awards contain provisions to set aside requirements for small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, 8(a) business development program participants, woman-owned small businesses and historically-underutilized business-zoned small businesses. Under these multiple-award contracts, each contractor will be provided a fair opportunity to nationally compete for individual task orders. The MACs have a five-year base period of performance with an additional five-year ordering period option. No contract funds will be obligated on the basic MAC awards. Contract funds will be obligated at time of task order award. Multiple funding types may be used. The funding for task orders to be issued under these contracts will come from a variety of sources and will be consistent with the purpose for which the funds were appropriated. These contracts were competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with 1,894 offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Virginia is the contracting activity (N00178-18-R-7000). NOTE: For a list of contractors receiving awards please visit: https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Portals/103/Documents/Small_Business_Forum/SeaPort%20NxG%20Awardees%20List.pdf?ver=2018-11-28-123322-177 Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama, is awarded a $40,369,095 cost-plus-fixed-fee undefinitized contract action for procurement of long lead time material and production engineering for the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) 14. The EPF class provides high speed, shallow draft transportation capability to support the intra-theater maneuver of personnel, supplies and equipment for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Army. Work will be performed in Novi, Michigan (39 percent); Houston, Texas (12 percent); Chesapeake, Virginia (10 percent); Mobile, Alabama (9 percent); Rhinelander, Wisconsin (7 percent); and Iron Mountain, Michigan (3 percent), with other efforts performed at various locations (each less than 1 percent) throughout the U.S. (4 percent); and various locations (each less than 1 percent) outside the U.S. (16 percent), and is expected to complete by July 2022. Fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $20,184,547 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively solicited via Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-19-C-2227). The Concourse Group, LLC,* Annapolis, Maryland, is awarded a maximum amount $29,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for professional services in support of the Department of Navy's (DoN) Public Private Venture (PPV) and Real Estate (RE) Programs. The work to be performed will require the contractor to bring professional knowledge, skills, and experience in residential and commercial real estate development and large scale real estate portfolio management to the DoN's PPV and RE programs. The contractor shall provide advice and assistance to the DoN and conduct the necessary research and analysis to present DoN decision-makers with accurate and relevant information. The contractor will bring best business practices from the private sector to assist the DoN with all aspects of the special venture acquisitions, including family and unaccompanied housing public private ventures, enhanced use leasing, and other public-private venture opportunities such as energy, utilities, and lodging, as well as real estate. The work includes technical advisory services to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Headquarters Special Venture Acquisition Office and the NAVFAC component commands for the purpose of providing professional services, project development, execution, portfolio management advice and support consistent with the privatization approach adopted by the DoN, as well as technical advisory services to the NAVFAC RE. Work will be performed in Annapolis, Maryland. The term of the contract is not to exceed 36 months, with an expected completion date of November 2021. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $10,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. No task orders are being issued at this time. Future task orders will be primarily funded by operations and maintenance (Navy); and family housing, (Navy), operations and maintenance. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with four proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N62470-19-D-8008). Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Military Aircraft Systems, Melbourne, Florida, is awarded $20,987,258 for firm-fixed-price modification P00002 to a previously issued order (N0001918F2334) placed against basic ordering agreement N00019-15-G-0026. This order provides for the installation of aerial refueling retrofit kits on four E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Work will be performed in St. Augustine, Florida, and is expected to be completed in June 2020. Fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $20,987,258 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded $10,526,671 for modification P00002 to delivery order N0001918F0520 previously placed against basic ordering agreement N00019-16-G-0001. This modification exercises an option to provide calendar year 2019 Harpoon/SLAM-ER integrated logistics and engineering support services for Navy and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Work will be performed in St. Charles, Missouri (91.84 percent); St. Louis, Missouri (5.47 percent); Yorktown, Virginia (2.64 percent); and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (0.05 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy); and FMS funds in the amount of $10,526,671 will be obligated at time of award, $2,530,961 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the Navy ($2,530,961; 24 percent); and FMS ($7,995,710; 76 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Nov. 29, 2018) The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded $10,526,671 for modification P00002 to delivery order N0001918F0520 previously placed against basic ordering agreement N00019-16-G-0001. This modification exercises an option to provide calendar year 2019 Harpoon/SLAM-ER integrated logistics and engineering support services for Navy and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Work will be performed in St. Charles, Missouri (91.84 percent); St. Louis, Missouri (5.47 percent); Yorktown, Virginia (2.64 percent); and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (0.05 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy); and FMS funds in the amount of $10,526,671 will be obligated at time of award, $2,530,961 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the Navy ($2,530,961; 24 percent); and FMS ($7,995,710; 76 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Nov. 29, 2018) MTU America Inc. (formerly known as Tognum America Inc.), Novi, Michigan, is awarded $7,946,893 for sole-source firm-fixed-price, delivery order N0002419FB028 under previously awarded basic purchase agreement N00024-14-A-4101 to provide the government of Israel with MTU engines and engine components to support the Israeli marine vessels under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case IS-P-GPB involving FMS to Israel. MTU engines and engine components will be applicable but not limited to the following MTU engine series: M90, M94, TB54, TB82, TB93, TB94, TE83, TE94, and SE84. Work will be performed in Brownstown Township, Michigan, and is expected to be completed by September 2019. Fiscal 2018 FMS funding in the amount of $7,946,893 will be obligated 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)(4) (international agreement). The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY Raytheon Co. Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a $51,895,419 cost-plus-fixed-fee completion contract for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research project. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona (78 percent); McKinney, Texas (12 percent); Tewksbury, Massachusetts (5 percent); Richardson, Texas (2 percent); Huntington Beach, California (1 percent); and Ontario, New York (2 percent), with an expected completion date of December 2021. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $3,242,000 are being obligated at time of award. This contract was a sole-source acquisition. DARPA, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HR0011-19-C-0008). U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND Farrell Lines Inc., Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a one-time only task order under indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract HTC711-15-D-R044 in the amount of $15,747,387. This task order provides cargo transportation services support to the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, U.S. Army. The task order is in support of an Army unit deployment from Fort Bliss, Texas, to multiple forward operating bases in Afghanistan. Work will be performed in the U.S. and Afghanistan. The period of performance is from Dec. 3, 2018, to Feb. 11, 2019. Fiscal 2019 Transportation Working Capital Funds were obligated at award. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $150,886,391 from $135,139,004. U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Centron Industries Inc.,* Gardena, California, has been awarded a maximum $13,908,602 firm-fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-quantity contract for cables and lighting products. This was a competitive acquisition and three offers were received. This is a three-year base contract, with one two-year option period. Location of performance is California, with a Nov. 25, 2021, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Richmond, Virginia (SPE4AX-19-D-0005). AIR FORCE Utah State University Research Foundation/Space Dynamic Laboratory, North Logan, Utah, has been awarded an $11,477,222 cost-plus-fixed-fee task order (FA9453-19-F-0013) to previously awarded contract FA9453-16-D-0004 for a small satellite utility demonstration. The contractor will provide necessary research and development to maintain essential engineering, research and development capability in the areas of sensor development, image processing and data analysis. Work will be performed at North Logan, Utah, and is expected to be completed by March 14, 2023. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $557,437 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Nov. 30, 2018) ARMY General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., Sterling Heights, Michigan, was awarded a $9,430,158 modification (P00007) to contract W56HZV-17-C-0108 to install sensors on doors, build wire harness assemblies, and package all components as part of the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System adapter kits, return sliding ramp assembly material for the vehicles and procure additional drop out factor material items on the Abrams SEPv3 45/60 vehicle production. Work will be performed in Lima, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 30, 2019. Fiscal 2018 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $9,430,158 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity. *Small business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1704107/source/GovDelivery/

  • New undersea drones are smaller, cheaper and can be refueled deep under water

    20 avril 2018 | International, Naval

    New undersea drones are smaller, cheaper and can be refueled deep under water

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