24 mars 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Inside The UK’s Integrated Defense Review | Aviation Week Network

The UK military is aligning its focus to platforms that will serve it well in the Pacific, and this is a quick look at how the nation’s plans for aerospace programs are changing.


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  • Norway increasing ammunition production with $190m investment - Army Technology

    22 janvier 2024 | International, Aérospatial

    Norway increasing ammunition production with $190m investment - Army Technology

    Ammunition production from Norway will receive a $190m boost intended to ramp up supply of the critical military stock.

  • An entrepreneurial space race could benefit Space Command

    18 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    An entrepreneurial space race could benefit Space Command

    By: Nathan Strout Officials at the newly re-established U.S. Space Command are structuring the organization to take better advantage of commercial space innovations, said Maj. Gen. Stephen Whiting, one of the command's leaders. The Combined Force Space Component Command, which plans space operations, has been working on creating so called “combat development divisions” to seek out and integrate new commercial technologies. Two weeks ago, U.S. Space Command dedicated a full-time position at its Combined Space Operations Center to foster greater cooperation between the military and commercial businesses on space operations. The move is necessary because the reality facing the Department of Defense is that funding for space ventures is increasingly taking place in the private sector, Whiting said. In response to this shift, military space leaders have been tasked with increasing information sharing and collaboration with commercial space operators. That effort started with the establishment of a commercial integration cell, a special group within the Combined Space Operations Center focused on maintaining strong interaction with commercial satellite owner/operators who provide services to the military. Inspired by the success of the cell, U.S. Space Command established a full-time position that will work with companies to make follow-on agreements, codify procedures and explore creating additional CIC-like groups to encompass other areas of space operations such as space situational awareness. Whiting serves as the head of the Combined Force Space Component Command and as the deputy commander of Air Force Space Command and spoke at the Mitchell Space Breakfast Series Nov. 15. U.S. Space Command has also had to adapt to new acquisition models designed to harness commercial innovation, Whiting said. The command is working to form small teams focused on scouting for new technologies, based on the Combat Development Divisions pioneered by Special Operations Command. Brig. Gen. Wolf Davidson, who is Whiting's No. 2 and the head of 14th Air Force, is leading the effort to adapt those models to space operations. These efforts are already bearing fruit. The Combat Development Divisions have helped stand up the DoD's first development platform for building and hosting cloud-native military software applications. The Combat Development Divisions have also been working with the Space and Missile Systems Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory to conduct the Air Force Space Pitch Days, an attempt to bring venture capital-style funding to space acquisitions. “I believe they will not only improve CFSCC's ability to innovate, they will also help our enterprise navigate through the uncertainty and technology disruption of the entrepreneurial space race, bringing down costs, schedule and performance risk to our enterprise along the way,” Whiting said. “We consider this to be a critical task and priority for U.S. Space Command and I think it will continue to be a strategic imperative for our future." These changes are fueled by a shift in space innovation from the government sector to the private sector, explained Whiting. “Since the launch of Sputnik up until the beginning of the last decade, research and development for space technology was almost exclusively funded by nation-states,” said Whiting. "This pattern was not only true for the United States, but for foreign nations as well. But in the past 10 years alone, the number of space companies receiving private, non-government funding has grown from 24 to more than 375.” That's an increase of 1,500 percent in privately funded space organizations, and Whiting said that trend would continue. That means that unlike in the past, innovation for space technologies will happen more in the commercial sector than within the government. “This explosion of innovation also means the calm, predictable environment we enjoyed after the Cold War is decisively over. We have entered a new space race ― an entrepreneurial space race ― and it will pull our enterprise out of its predictable and comfortable state into one that's ambiguous, complex and highly unpredictable," Whiting said. In order to harness that innovation, the military needs to be more open, responsive and collaborative with commercial companies. “It's not going to be enough for countries to outpace each other with exclusively state-sponsored campaigns anymore. Instead, nations will gain the upper hand by harvesting the emergent capabilities of their commercial industry, by unlocking the asymmetric advantage of commercial space operations seamlessly integrated with military space operations. Nations that do not do this run the risk of being left behind, of not being able to capitalize on their indigenous talent," said Whiting. https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/space/2019/11/15/an-entrepreneurial-space-race-could-benefit-space-command/

  • The Air Force tested its Advanced Battle Management System. Here’s what worked, and what didn’t.

    23 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    The Air Force tested its Advanced Battle Management System. Here’s what worked, and what didn’t.

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — The first field test of the U.S. Air Force's experimental Advanced Battle Management System in December was a success, with about 26 out of 28 capabilities showing some semblance of functionality during a recent exercise, the service's acquisition chief said Tuesday. But the service will seek to be more ambitious during a second demonstration in April, which will focus on space and bring in elements from U.S. Space Command and U.S. Strategic Command, said Will Roper, the Air Force's assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics. "I am thrilled to say that 26 out of 28 things work. That is too high of a success rate at this point in time, but I'll take it. We should be taking more risk than that,” he told reporters during a roundtable. The three-day test took place at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and involved a potential cruise missile attack on the United States simulated by QF-16 drones. Through the exercise, Air Force F-22 jets, Air Force and Navy F-35 fighters, the Navy destroyer Thomas Hudner, an Army unit equipped with the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, as well as special operators shared data in real time in ways the services cannot currently do in an operational environment. What will ABMS eventually look like? That's still a mystery, even to the Air Force, which wants to test different solutions for connecting platforms, crunching data and sending it to other assets with the goal of eventually fielding what works and abandoning what doesn't. “We gave the team the goals of: Pull what you can together in three and a half months to see how far we can stretch, how quickly we could achieve something,” said Air Force chief architect Preston Dunlap, who manages the ABMS effort. “We were quite happy actually, even with 10 percent solutions.” Here's a rundown of some notable successes so far, as well as major failures: The F-35 and F-22 were able to stealthily exchange data. Despite the two jets having advanced “sensor fusion” capabilities, the Air Force's two most advanced fighters can't really talk to each other. The F-35 uses the Multifunction Advanced Data Link, or MADL, to securely share sensitive information with other F-35s, while the F-22 has its own data link, the Intra-Flight Data Link, or IFDL. Even using a non-stealthy connection to share information has its limitations: While the F-35 can both transmit and receive data via the Link 16, which meets NATO standards, the F-22 currently can only receive data. However, the first ABMS test showed hopeful signs for fifth-generation fighter communication. The demonstration involved radio systems — built by F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin as well as Northrop Grumman, which manufactures key structures and mission systems for the aircraft, including MADL, Dunlap said. The demo also included Honeywell-made antennas built to speak across both MADL and IFDL, he added. Those systems were integrated onto a ground based rig that “look[ed] like a big piece of hardware with radios on it,” according to Roper. Then, the F-35 and F-22 flew over the system, exchanging data by bouncing it back-and-forth from the ground-based radios, Dunlap said. He noted that the test verified that existing technology can be used to overcome three obstacles: translating the F-35's MADL to the F-22's IFDL; moving data across the different frequencies; and securing the communication. "It was really herculean,” Dunlap said. "[The contractors] were excited by the speed of the acquisition team to get the ball going." During the next ABMS demo in April, the Air Force plans to stretch the capability by putting the translation system inside the unmanned Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie for flight-based testing. “I also challenged the team to expand the amount of information translated between the different platforms so they can take advantage of new information on the displays,” Dunlap said. An AC-130 gunship connected with SpaceX's Starlink constellation. Although Dunlap did not provide much detail on this element of the exercise, he confirmed that the AC-130 was able to pass data through the constellation of small, high-bandwidth commercial internet satellites. The Air Force has shown interest in connecting its platforms to commercial broadband satellites through its Global Lightning experiment. A demonstration with Starlink and the KC-135 tanker aircraft is in the works, and the service also plans to evaluate equipment from Iridium, OneWeb and L3Harris. The Air Force created a cloud-based application for command and control. Typically, the service performs command and control from air operations centers — physical buildings where analysts sit in front of computers with specialized software that provides data from multiple assets, Dunlap said. Changes to software don't necessarily happen automatically, and they may require assistance from information technology experts. In the ABMS exercise, the Air Force demonstrated a cloud-based battle management and situational awareness application for the first time. It used a “CloudOne” system to host data up to the secret level, which will be a formative system underlying ABMS, Dunlap said. Both Amazon and Microsoft are involved in standing up the CloudOne technology, but Roper said the Air Force could use the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract vehicle for CloudOne if JEDI winner Microsoft provides better rates. The robot dogs were a swing and a miss. U.S. Special Operations Command brought the robots that are capable of augmenting surveillance operations to the ABMS field test, but operators couldn't figure out how to connect them with the other platforms involved in the exercise. “We had some robot dogs — apparently those exist — that can go and do patrol. We were never able to patch their feeds in,” Roper said. There's hope for cybernetic canines becoming part of ABMS in the future though. Roper added that the ABMS team would be welcome to try to integrate the robots in future exercises. https://www.c4isrnet.com/air/2020/01/22/the-us-air-force-tested-its-advanced-battle-management-system-heres-what-worked-and-what-didnt/

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