20 avril 2021 | International, C4ISR, Sécurité

How will the DoD’s next multibillion-dollar IT contract fare after messy JEDI deal?

A badly needed war-fighting cloud capability ran into delays. The Pentagon's even more lucrative


Sur le même sujet

  • Counterdrone Tech Takes Center Stage In UK Government Strategy

    11 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Counterdrone Tech Takes Center Stage In UK Government Strategy

    By Tony Osborne Britain is taking initial steps to create a mobile national counterdrone capability to protect major events and key parts of the national infrastructure. Although aware of the potential benefits that small unmanned aircraft (UAS) systems can bring to the national economy, the country has also experienced the havoc they can wreak. Last December, sightings of small UAS around the perimeter of London’s Gatwick Airport resulted in the halting of flight operations, disrupting flights and the plans of thousands of travelers in the run-up to Christmas. Yet, despite more than 100 such sightings during the shutdown, police investigations have exhausted their lines of inquiry, no charges were ever brought and Sussex Police, leading the investigation, closed their probe at the end of September. Since then, environmental protesters Extinction Rebellion threatened to use UAS to shut down Heathrow Airport in a bid to disrupt operations, although activists were arrested before they got a chance to try. Drone use in the UK is growing rapidly. According to consultancy PwC, there could be as many as 76,000 commercial and government drones in use in the UK by 2030. In 2014, there were around 400 commercial drone operators in the UK approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority; there are now over 5,000. The events at Gatwick have acted as a catalyst, prompting the government to get ahead of the threat. In October, the British Home Office published its Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy to help civilian authorities tackle the issues surrounding drones. Along with developing a national counterdrone capability for the police, instead of relying on the military as they had to at Gatwick, the government is looking to update the threat picture of how UAS can be misused. They would then develop what officials call a “full-spectrum” approach in deterring, detecting and disrupting that misuse. Perhaps most crucially, the government will provide greater support to Britain’s fledgling but fast-growing counterdrone industry. As well as developing legislation and regulation for counterdrone technology, the strategy also mentions “incentivizing investments” for the most effective technologies. “Government needs to strike a balance,” says British security minister Brandon Lewis. “We need a security posture that keeps us safe, but it must also recognize the benefits of the legal uses of drones and allow us to reap the fullest rewards of incorporating drone technology into society,” But first, the British government will test and accredit anti-drone technologies to better understand their capabilities and develop a catalog of systems that can be purchased by police forces, security agencies and other government departments. Government officials and industry admit there is no “silver bullet” to protect against all types of UAS. “There is not one specific system or one capability that solves the problem,” said Tony Burnell, CEO of Metis Aerospace, a UK-based developer of drone detection equipment. Burnell made his comments while speaking to a British parliamentary committee about the domestic threat of drones in October. “It has to be a multilayered approach. . . . The counterdrone capabilities in the UK, made by industry, will tackle 99.5% of the drones that are out there,” he said. “There is still the 0.5% of drones that you do not know about and that you will [need to] be keeping up [with] to understand.” Costs of anti-drone equipment also remain prohibitively high. But while military-spec systems to protect an airport are priced at £2-3 million ($3-4 million), that could be overkill and far too expensive for a facility such as a prison. Yet prisons arguably need such equipment most urgently. Home Office figures say there were 284 drone incidents at British prisons in 2016, 319 in 2017 and 168 in 2018, with 165 drones recovered at prisons in 2016-17. The police are not the only ones taking an interest in drone technology. In September, the Royal Air Force (RAF) selected Leonardo to carry out a three-year-long study to inform a future RAF counterdrone capability. Leonardo’s Falcon Shield was one of the systems deployed by the RAF to Gatwick after a police request. The Gatwick incident has already prompted changes in British law. In March, laws stating that drones could not be flown within 1 km (0.6 mi.) of an airfield were replaced with new restrictions banning them from operating within an airfield’s existing aerodrome traffic zone—a radius of 2-2.5 nm around the airfield. It is also now against the law to operate them in 5 X 1-km zones stretching from the thresholds of an airfield/airport’s runway. The UK has introduced legislation that calls on drone operators with systems weighing between 250g-20 kg (0.6-44 lb.) to register them and for the pilots to take an online competency course. Registration, which began on Nov. 5, will become a legal requirement from Nov. 30, with operators receiving an operator registration number they must affix to their drone before it is flown. The strategy says the government is now developing concepts for the future implementation of an unmanned traffic management (UTM) system, but it notes that while UTM technology “will not be delivered in the lifetime of the strategy,” security concerns will be appropriately incorporated in early planning. https://aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/counterdrone-tech-takes-center-stage-uk-government-strategy

  • Why defense firms need to get systematic about M&A — big and small

    17 novembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Why defense firms need to get systematic about M&A — big and small

    By: Eric Chewning and Frank Coleman III  After years of growth, defense budgets will likely flatten (or decline). In such a financial environment, the U.S. Department of Defense will consider trade-offs between funding modernization, sustaining legacy equipment and preserving force structure. These hard choices will be informed by the DoD’s strategic acquisition priorities, which will likely continue to reflect the need for innovation around leading-edge capabilities in areas like space, C5ISR, long-range precision fires, unmanned vehicles and artificial intelligence. To support these evolving mission requirements, the defense industry will need to ensure the industrial base is able to deliver technological advantage. This requires attracting world-class talent as well as the necessary financial capital to operate global industrial enterprises. Attracting these resources requires continued value creation through growth and return on invested capital improvements. But in a down budget environment, where is this growth to come from? While many will think organic growth is the best value-creating option (and often is), the answer also lies in augmenting a classic portfolio strategy with a systematic approach to transactions. Mergers and acquisitions are a proven growth accelerant for defense companies, and have generated superior shareholder returns and greater resilience for companies that have pursued it systematically. At first glance, this may simply seem like an obvious description of recent history. The aerospace and defense sector, after all, has seen rapid consolidation in the last five years, with deals worth $358 billion struck between 2015 and 2019, three times the total between 2010 and 2014. The problem for defense companies looking for more of the same is that this wave of consolidation now appears to have run its course. The combined market value of the top five defense hardware players is now more than four times that of the next five; so even as further mega-deals are theoretically possible, they will be increasingly difficult to execute, underscoring the value of programmatic M&A. Distinct from selective or organic deal-making approaches, programmatic M&A involves a company conducting two or more small or midsized deals per year, with an aggregate value greater than 15 percent of its market capitalization over five years, that align with their overall corporate strategy (which is hopefully linked to the “fast streams” of growth in the budget (see exhibit below)). These deals get choreographed around a specific business case, such as scaling or integrating vital digital capabilities, and are rooted in a disciplined appraisal of transactions. In the defense industry, programmatic M&A should be deployed against a strategy supported by the customer’s need for innovation, lower costs and better mission outcomes for the war fighter. Our analysis shows that over the last decade, few defense companies took a programmatic approach to M&A. Those who did outperformed their peers in total shareholder returns by 10.4 percent. M&A was also an important key to resilience during the last defense spending downturn in 2007-2011: The top quintile of outperforming companies, as well as optimizing cash and flexing capex, used it as an opportunity to grow less cyclical parts of the business and build digital capabilities. Defense companies may be deterred by the current market environment, featuring stretched valuations, competition from institutional capital and a squeeze on mid-tier players. They may be cautious about the challenge of integrating smaller nondefense acquisitions into company processes and culture — a process that is easier to get wrong than right to be sure. The very complexity of these circumstances creates opportunities for bold players to differentiate themselves from their peers, align their strategies with national defense priorities and add significant value for shareholders. When done well, programmatic M&A can form a central pillar of their growth strategy. With a proactive approach to deal sourcing, holistic diligence, and in-house execution and integration expertise, companies can establish M&A as a critical capability and avoid the risks of reactive, one-off projects. In the challenging environment that confronts the defense industry today, those who act boldly will succeed in creating enduring businesses that can adapt to the evolving needs of the national defense. Eric Chewning and Frank Coleman III are partners at McKinsey and Company. Chewning previously served as chief of staff in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and before that as the Pentagon’s industrial chief. https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2020/11/16/why-defense-firms-need-to-get-systematic-about-ma-big-and-small/


    16 février 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, C4ISR


    OCEAN2020, a European Defence Fund initiative, will boost technological research in the  naval domain also by the integration of unmanned platforms in surveillance and interdiction missions Leonardo is a leader in systems integration and will lead a team of 42 partner companies including Saab, Safran, PGZ and MBDA, research bodies such as NATO CMRE and the defence ministries of five countries The first operational demonstration will take place in 2019 in the Mediterranean Sea. The demo will involve Leonardo’s ‘Hero’ and ‘Solo’ unmanned helicopters, naval vessels and systems from a number of partners, including Italian Navy’s vessels equipped with Leonardo’s systems Leonardo was awarded the most important project related to the first European Defence Found’s initiative, OCEAN2020, to boost Europe's defence capabilities, issued by the European Union under the ‘Preparatory Action on Defence Research’ programme. The competitive selection was conducted by the European Defence Agency and will be contracted in the coming weeks. The OCEAN2020 team, which will be led by Leonardo, comprises 42 partners from 15 European countries. These include the Ministries of Defence of Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Lithuania, with additional support from the Ministries of Defence of Sweden, France, the United Kingdom and Estonia and the Netherlands. European industrial partners include Indra, Safran, Saab, MBDA, PGZ/CTM, Hensoldt, Intracom-IDE, Fincantieri and QinetiQ. A number of research centres include Fraunhofer, TNO, CMRE (NATO) and IAI. “We are extremely pleased with this result, the OCEAN2020 initiative has a high level of strategic and technological-operational value” said Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo. “It is the leading technological research project dedicated to the very topical issue of maritime surveillance, which is of interest across Europe and to the Mediterranean region in particular. This success has been made possible thanks to the strong collaboration between all 42 team partners which we have the honour to lead.”  OCEAN2020 is the first example of a cross-European military research programme to-date. The Leonardo-led bid required a thorough analysis of operational requirements and a technologically-innovative yet operationally-realistic proposal. The research project also will see the integration of unmanned platforms in surveillance and interdiction missions. The success in winning the tender both highlights, and will enhance, Leonardo’s strength in naval products and integrated systems. The company’s expertise in the domain includes command and control systems, unmanned aircraft, sensors, helicopters for naval applications, communications and weapon systems, on the surface and underwater. OCEAN2020 will see unmanned platforms of different type (fixed wing, rotary wing, surface and underwater) integrated with naval units’ command and control centres, allowing for data exchange via satellite, with command and control centres on land. The joint and cooperative use of both manned and unmanned vehicles will also be demonstrated as part of the project. Leonardo would like to thank the Italian Navy which, as a key OCEAN2020 partner, has and will continue to make important contributions to the project. This includes the development of operational scenarios and making available naval assets and helicopters, which will take part in demonstrations. In addition to complex simulation work, OCEAN2020 project will involve two live demonstrations of maritime surveillance and interdiction operations, conducted by European fleets using unmanned aircraft, surface vessels and underwater systems. The first demo, scheduled to take place in the Mediterranean Sea in 2019, will be coordinated by the Italian Navy and will see Leonardo’s ‘Hero’ and ‘Solo’ unmanned helicopters operate from Italian naval units alongside other European partners. The second demonstration, which will take place in 2020 in the Baltic Sea, will be coordinated by the Swedish Navy. The data collected by various systems during these two demos will be processed and sent to a prototype European command and control centre in Brussels. http://www.leonardocompany.com/en/-/ocean-2020

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