4 avril 2023 | International, Autre défense

Macron sends $438 billion military budget plan to French parliament

Gradual increases would see the 2030 annual defense budget top €60 billion, almost double from 2017.


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  • DOD budget pushing house cleaning pivot to leading-edge technologies: out with the old and in with the new

    21 février 2020 | International, C4ISR, Sécurité

    DOD budget pushing house cleaning pivot to leading-edge technologies: out with the old and in with the new

    Budget has $9.8 billion for cyber security and cyber warfare; $3.2 billion for hypersonics; and $800 million for artificial intelligence (AI) research. THE MIL & AERO COMMENTARY – The 2021 U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) budget proposal is out, and it looks like several years of consistent growth driven by the Trump Administration may be leveling off. A closer look, however, may indicate a pivot to new leading-edge technologies and away from legacy systems. DOD leaders in their fiscal 2021 budget request to Congress, which was released last month, are asking for $705.4 billion, which is down about 1 percent from this year's level of $712.6 billion. Before you conclude that the Pentagon budget has turned flat, however, take a look at where the money's going. First, the bad news: procurement. This is where big-ticket items like aircraft, combat vehicles, and ships get funding. The DOD's procurement budget request for 2021 is $136.9 billion, down nearly 7 percent from this year's level of $147.1 billion. Contained in the DOD budget for procurement, moreover, are aggressive cuts to legacy weapons systems. The U.S. Air Force, for example, will retire 24 RQ-4 Block 20 and Block 30 Global Hawk Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and Block 30 multi-intelligence aircraft UAVs next year. Related: Army researchers eye fuel cells to provide power for infantry wearable electronics on the leading edge The U.S. Navy, meanwhile, will retire four Ticonderoga-class missile cruisers. The U.S. Army plans to eliminate 13 programs involving munitions, fires, protection, sustainment, mobility, mission command, and cyber programs that no longer are priorities. Additional cuts are expected. Next year the Navy plans no additional purchases of P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft; the MQ-4 Triton long-range maritime patrol UAV; or the MQ-25 Stingray UAV. The counterweight to these procurement cuts, however, is in the DOD's budget for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E). As procurement spending is going down, the research budget is headed in the other direction. The Pentagon is asking for $106.6 billion, which is up about 1 percent from this year's research budget of $106.6 billion. Revealing is money is going. The DOD next year plans to spend $9.8 billion for cyber security and cyber warfare -- up 81 percent from $5.4 billion this year; $3.2 billion for hypersonics; $1.5 billion for military microelectronics and 5G networking; and $800 million for artificial intelligence (AI) research. Related: The new era of high-power electromagnetic weapons The Pentagon hypersonics budget will pay for research and development initiatives to develop the Army Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon; Navy Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS); and Air Force Advanced Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW). Research money also would include $1.1 billion for the Navy's next-generation frigate; $4.4 billion for the future Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine; and $464 million for two Large Unmanned Surface Vessels. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is asking for $3.6 billion in 2021, a 3 percent increase from the $3.5 billion the agency received this year. DARPA has asked for $322.7 million for electronics research in 2021 -- a 1.7 increase from the 317.2 million the agency received this year. For sensors research, DARPA is asking for $200.2 million in 2021 -- a 26 percent increase over the $158.9 million the agency received this year. Related: Military researchers host industry day briefings for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning So, in short, it sounds like out with the old, and in with the new at the Pentagon. Four Navy cruisers that are at least 30 years ago are heading for retirement. Large, slow, and vulnerable Global Hawk UAVs are to be taken out of service, and Army programs no longer relevant amid today's global threats will be taken off the board. At the same time, enabling technologies considered crucial for today's military needs are on the upswing: hypersonic munitions and aircraft, cyber security and cyber warfare, 5G networking, and artificial intelligence. Perhaps the DOD has been due for a house cleaning like this for a while. Getting rid of obsolescent weapons systems makes sense because they're past the point of diminishing returns. Pumping more money into technologies for tomorrow's battlefield makes sense, too. These kinds of realignments are painful, yet essential. https://www.militaryaerospace.com/defense-executive/article/14168362/dod-budget-leadingedge-technologies-research

  • Major players pitch solutions for Navy’s next training helicopter

    20 avril 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval

    Major players pitch solutions for Navy’s next training helicopter

    By: Jen Judson NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Several major players in the helicopter industry pitched possible solutions at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space conference for the Navy's next initial-entry, rotary-wing training helicopter as the service signals stronger intentions to replace its aging TH-57 Sea Ranger fleet. The Navy has announced during recent congressional hearings that it plans to buy a new training helicopter in fiscal 2020. For years, the service has put out requests for information asking industry for training helicopter options with the latest coming out in October 2017. That RFI left some requirements open-ended such as whether the aircraft should have one or two engines, but has asked for the helicopter to be Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) certified, an obvious requirement when flying over sea or in reduced visibility environments. It's also assumed the Navy wants a commercial off-the-shelf aircraft. The TH-57 is more than reaching the end of its life, having first been fielded to the Navy's training fleet in the 1970s. So three companies — Airbus, Bell and Leonardo — all brought examples of possible training helicopters to the Navy's biggest trade show. Airbus H135 Airbus is keeping all of its options on the table for a Navy trainer because the service has yet to define all of its requirements, according to John Roth, senior director of business development for Airbus Helicopters Inc. “We have a broad product range that goes from light, single-engine into light, twin-engine to medium and heavy twin-engine platforms,” Roth told Defense News at Sea-Air-Space. “Our approach is we will evaluate those requirements and offer based on those requirements. However, given the nature of training and how the complexity of training has evolved over time, we do have recommendations for the Navy as it relates to having the best possible solution to accomplish all of their missions.” And one recommendation is the H135 light, twin-engine helicopter Airbus had on display at the show. “We believe this is certainly a very capable potential solution that meets all the Navy requirements as a commercial off-the-shelf product,” Roth said. The H135 is similar to the EC-145 helicopter that the Army now uses for its trainer, replacing its TH-67 Creek helicopters with LUH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters already in the service's inventory beginning in 2014. The Army's decision to retire the TH-67s and replace them with Lakotas was met with much debate as to whether it made sense to teach helicopter pilots basic skills in a more complex digital glass cockpit helicopter with twin engines. And the decision was even met with a lawsuit. Leonardo — then known as AgustaWestland — sued the Army over its decision not to compete for a new trainer but to instead sole-source a helicopter already fielded by the service. Leonardo initially won the lawsuit but the decision was overturned in the appellate court. The Army is still filling out its Lakota training fleet, but, Roth said, “from a qualitative perspective, we've got some very positive feedback that talks to capability of the aviators when they complete the training and having them more prepared for the advanced aircraft once they arrive at their advanced training stations.” The fact that both the Lakota and the H135 have advanced digital glass cockpits, four-axis autopilot and twin-engine capability with Full Authority Digital Engine (FADEC) controls “all prepared them for the type of vehicle that they are going to get in when they get into their advanced training,” Roth said. The Army has taken tasks normally taught in the more expensive advanced aircraft and brought those down to basic training, he added. “There has been a lot of advantages realized from that decision that we think the Navy will be able to take advantage of as well,” Roth said. The H135s, if purchased by the Navy, would be built at its Columbus, Mississippi, production line where commercial EC135s and Lakotas are built. The helicopter pitched to the Navy is also used by approximately a dozen countries with nearly 130 aircraft serving as a primary trainer worldwide, Roth said. Bell 407 GXi Bell would be the incumbent in a competition for a new Navy trainer, being the current manufacturer of the TH-57. The company plans to offer up its 407 GXi, according to Steve Mathias, Bell's vice president for Global Military Business Development. Bell has already built and sold 1,500 407s worldwide which have flown over 4.75 million hours, he said, so the helicopter is “very reliable, sustainable, maintainable glass cockpit, just a great overall aircraft,” Mathias said. And from a programmatic perspective, he said, choosing Bell's trainer offers “a lot less risk because it's very similar to the TH-57 that the Navy currently has, so a transition from a Bell product to a Bell product would be a lower risk, I would think, to the customer.” Bell also provides many of the helicopters the Navy and Marine Corps fly today such as the UH-1Y Venom, the AH-1Z Viper and the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor and therefore has a high level of experience working with the services on a day-to-day basis “so we very closely understand what the Navy requirements are,” Mathias argued. The company is hoping the Navy chooses to go with a single-engine aircraft because it would “be less costly to operate” and less complex to train, according to Mathias. He added that he believes the choice would offer the best value to the service. Leonardo TH-119 Italian company Leonardo is making a play for the trainer with plans to submit its TH-119, which puts them, like Bell, into the single-engine camp, according to Andrew Gappy, who is in charge of the company's government sales and programs. The helicopter is a variant of the AW119Kx, a single-engine, full-spectrum training aircraft and can be used for training from the basics like learning how to hover above the ground all the way to advanced tactics. And while Leonardo is a foreign company, all of the 119s worldwide are manufactured in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 119 is also IFR certified to meet that Navy requirement. The helicopter is known for its significant power, which means the aircraft's training mission sets can grow and change over time without affecting its performance, Gappy said. It's important for the Navy to buy a new trainer now because, Gappy said, he trained on the TH-57 “a long time ago.” The aircraft averages roughly 70,000 flight hours a year and will become more and more costly to operate as it continues to age. “When I went through, the TH-57 had a lot in common with combat aircraft, how the aircraft flew and instrumentation training was really relevant,” he said. “It's so disparate now with glass cockpits and all of them are multi-bladed rotor systems that fly differently than the twin rotor system, so it's really resetting the baseline,” which allows the service to incorporate more advanced training into the basic courses that has migrated away from that training due to the loss in power margin, Gappy said. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/navy-league/2018/04/11/major-players-pitch-solutions-for-navys-next-training-helicopter/

  • Saab receives order from NATO for RBS 70 Bolide missiles

    27 décembre 2023 | International, Terrestre

    Saab receives order from NATO for RBS 70 Bolide missiles

    The order value amounts to SEK 350 million and deliveries will take place during 2027.

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