1 avril 2024 | International, Aérospatial

National Guard wish list would restore fighters cut from FY25 budget

The Air Force cut its planned F-35 and F-15EX purchases in 2025 by six apiece due to budgetary constraints, as well as delays to F-35 upgrades.


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  • Boeing wins $265 million to build more special ops Chinook helos

    3 août 2020 | International, Terrestre

    Boeing wins $265 million to build more special ops Chinook helos

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — The Army has awarded Boeing a $265 million contract to build nine more MH-47G Block II Chinook helicopters for the service's Special Operations Aviation Command, according to a July 31 Defense Department contract announcement. The company is now under contract to build 24 of the G-model Chinooks. The service is expected to buy 69 special operations variants. The original plan was to procure 473 F-model Block II helicopters for the active force as well, but the Army decided in its fiscal 2020 budget request not to buy them for the conventional force and only field the latest variant to special operations, which was much in need of a replacement for the variant in its fleet. The service's decision to cut the aircraft from the active force was based on the need to free up future cash to cover the cost of an ambitious plan to buy two new future vertical lift aircraft for long-range assault and attack reconnaissance missions. Congress has since opposed the move, injecting $28 million in FY20 funding into the program to purchase long-lead items to manufacture F-model Block II Chinooks for the active Army. The Army's FY21 budget again provided no funding for the program. A similar plus-up in the congressional FY21 spending bill could continue to push the service back in the direction of buying more Block II variants. The contract award is the third in a series of awards to buy G-model Chinooks. Boeing received contracts in 2018 and 2019 as well. The Army approved the Block II effort to move into the engineering and manufacturing development phase in April 2017, and the program officially began in July 2017. The aircraft began flying in tests in mid-2019. The upgrades in the Block II version include newly designed rotorblades, major changes to the drive system and other improvements like non-segmented fuel cells. The aircraft is expected to buy back roughly 4,000 pounds of additional load capacity and adds range capability. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/07/31/boeing-wins-265-million-to-build-more-special-ops-chinook-helos

  • Navy Acquisition Boosts Ship Contract Awards Under COVID-19

    29 avril 2020 | International, Naval

    Navy Acquisition Boosts Ship Contract Awards Under COVID-19

    “I think there are ways we can come out of this much more resilient, but you know it's hard to change bureaucracy and institutional ways of doing business [to] make sure that this disruption doesn't go to waste,” says Navy acquisition chief James Geurts. By PAUL MCLEARY WASHINGTON: Navy leaders and defense industry execs are worried about the effect the COVID-19 pandemic is having on their supply chains, potentially interrupting critical repair and refit availabilities that could have knock-on effects on deployment schedules. The Navy's acquisition chief James Geurts told reporters recently that so far, industry is “holding pretty good on near-term milestones,” but he's worried about long-term effects on ship repair and the industry's ability to keep pace. However, the pandemic seems to be having some beneficial effects. “Part of my goal for our team is not to recover necessarily to where we were,” before COVID-19, but to change some fundamentals of how the Navy's business gets done, he said. With most of the Navy acquisition force teleworking, “we're basically 32 percent ahead on contract awards,” of where they planned to be at this point in the year. “And so, that means there are processes that are working much more efficiently now than they were before, so I want to capture those,” he said. The Navy and shipbuilders are trying to do the same thing in the shipyards where “maybe different techniques will allow us to gain some efficiency while also creating some resiliency,” that will help weather any future disruptions and setbacks. The big shipbuilders like Huntington Ingalls and Bath Iron Works are staggering shifts and allowing liberal leave and teleworking without suffering much disruption so far, company officials have said. Geurts said the lessons they're learning could lead to the conclusion that, “we cannot operate the way we used to operate, which had a lot of fragility and brittleness as we're seeing right now. It's got to drive to the way we need to operate in the future, which has to have resiliency for whatever disruption that might come up. That's what we're really trying to watch closely and think two or three phases ahead, and not just get caught up in managing today's crisis.” Even before COVID-19 tore through the global economy, the Navy was looking at ways to save money on repairing ships. Last month the service backtracked on plans for a classwide service-life extension project for its Arleigh Burke-class destroyers that would have added a decade to their 35-year service lives. Not keeping the Burkes longer, and saving on their life-extension upgrades, would free up money for the Navy to buy more unmanned systems and other smaller ships to fit into plans Defense Secretary Mark Esper is making with Navy leadership for a smaller, faster, more stealthy fleet. To that end, the service has been working on changing how it awards ship maintenance contracts, and is working to “bundle” multiple ship repair contracts together to give industry a more predictable work schedule, allowing them to plan long-term. “Ultimately, getting them bundles is the key to us being successful delivering these [ships] on time,” the commander of Naval Sea Systems Vice Adm. Thomas Moore said last month at the annual McAleese and Associates Defense Programs Conference. Awarding several ship contracts at once will allow the shipbuilder to stockpile parts and arrange work schedules in a more efficient and rational manner, as opposed to the one-off, last-minute contracts the Navy has traditionally awarded for ship repair. “Industry is rational. That's what I tell everybody — you may not like every decision they make, but the decisions most always are very, very rational,” Moore said. In the end, “we've got to manage our way through delay and disruption, but really focus on steepening the recovery and reinvention phase to get into the place we need to be,” Geurts said. “I think there are ways we can come out of this much more resilient, but you know it's hard to change bureaucracy and institutional ways of doing business [to] make sure that this disruption doesn't go to waste.” https://breakingdefense.com/2020/04/navy-acquisition-boosts-ship-contract-awards-under-covid-19

  • New Pentagon strategy to bring in small businesses coming soon

    7 mars 2022 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    New Pentagon strategy to bring in small businesses coming soon

    A new Pentagon strategy to maximize small business participation in defense contracting is in the works for this spring, or early summer, defense officials told Defense News.

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