4 avril 2023 | International, Naval, C4ISR

Navy creating unmanned, AI operations hub within US Southern Command

The service said that, following the success of Task Force 59 in the Middle East, it would bring unmanned and AI operations to Central and South America.


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  • Marines ask for amphibious warship in unfunded priorities list

    21 mars 2023 | International, Naval

    Marines ask for amphibious warship in unfunded priorities list

    The Marines are taking their plea for more amphibious ships straight to Congress, asking to buy LPD-33 in the FY23 unfunded priorities list.

  • Fighter jet OEMs aim to keep pace with needed technology

    26 avril 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Fighter jet OEMs aim to keep pace with needed technology

    Chris Thatcher Fighter jet manufacturers are well aware that advances in technology can take years, if not decades, to introduce, creating a constant struggle to match the pace of technological change and the evolution of threats. In a panel discussion at the Aerospace Innovation Forum in Montreal last week, executives from Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation and Saab described how a change from closed “black boxes” to more open mission architecture is allowing faster and easier acceptance of technology from wider sources. Wolfgang Gammel, head of combat aircraft for Airbus Defence and Space, acknowledged the need to be much faster to market with new technology. He noted the shift in focus from “kinetic weapons” to “data fusion and the cyber piece” now driving new capabilities, but said the goal has been to “keep flexibility” in the Eurofighter Typhoon to allow customers “to adapt the aircraft as threats change.” He also noted the wealth of data becoming available on all advanced fighters, and the ability to predict maintenance requirements, better manage costs and improve availability, all of which should impact the overall life of the airframe. Pontus de Laval, chief technology officer for Saab, said the life management approach to the Gripen JAS 39 has been continuous change rather than one large midlife upgrade. The version currently operated by the Swedish Air Force is “actually edition 20.” For the Gripen NG now undergoing flight tests for the Brazilian Air Force, the aim has been to make “continuous evolvement of the platform much easier,” he said. That has been achieved in part by separating flight critical and mission critical systems, to allow Saab and the customer to introduce new sensors and other capabilities without significantly affecting “systems that keep the aircraft flying.” By using virtualization of avionics to introduce software and hardware changes, Saab has also been able to minimize the effect of one on the other as upgrades are made. “Software kills you in big programs if you are not careful,” de Laval observed. The company has also recognized the role artificial intelligence and machine learning could play, especially on the future computing capacity of a fighter, and is investing about US$400 million in research to understand to prepare and capitalize. Boeing has long bet on incremental technology upgrades for the Super Hornet, providing a “roadmap forward” for the platform. But the Block 3 will introduce the Distributed Targeting Processor-Networked (DTP-N), an open mission system “to enable these future technologies,” said Troy Rutherford, director of the company's HorizonX program. From autonomy to AI, the user experience in the cockpit will change dramatically. Boeing too has invested heavily, seeking small start-up companies to develop these capabilities. “What plays over the course of time is the ability to adapt to the threat,” he said. Any new technology must reach a certain level of maturity before it can be integrated into an advanced fighter. Bruno Stoufflet, chief technology officer for Dassault Aviation, said the company has leveraged its Falcon family of business jets “to embark some demonstrations” of new capabilities. “There is a strong commitment of the French weapon agency to have a family of demonstrations in the future based on [the] Rafale.” That has opened the door to more research with small- and medium-sized business. Previously, Dassault collaborated more with academic teams or larger players in the aerospace and defence industries. “It has changed completely. We were asked to integrate more SMEs into our research programs...so now we understand what they can bring in research and innovation projects,” said Stoufflet. https://www.skiesmag.com/news/fighter-jet-oems-aim-keep-pace-needed-technology/

  • Key debate on military protest response, budget priorities set to happen behind closed doors on Capitol Hill

    9 juin 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Key debate on military protest response, budget priorities set to happen behind closed doors on Capitol Hill

    Leo Shane III The biggest defense news on Capitol Hill this week will be taking place behind the scenes rather than in public view, as lawmakers grapple with the military's response to recent nationwide protests and their own plans for next year's Pentagon budget. On Monday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and District of Columbia National Guard Commander Maj. Gen. William Walker will brief members of the House Armed Services Committee in a non-public meeting. The session was originally scheduled for late last week, amid concerns that guardsmen may have overstepped their roles as security support for D.C. police responding to some of the massive racial equality demonstrations outside the White House in recent days. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man prosecutors say was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer. Since then, Pentagon officials appear to have tamped down President Donald Trump's suggestions that active-duty troops should be brought in to help handle the work, creating a massive show of force to “dominate” the streets of major cities across the country. But House Armed Services Committee members have said they still have lingering questions about how those discussions progressed, and whether guardsmen were put in an uncomfortable political role instead of their traditional support response. Democratic members are also sparring with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, after committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., vowed to bring the Pentagon leaders to Capitol Hill for a full public hearing on the issues this week. Esper and Milley have thus far refused, although Pentagon officials said they are negotiating scheduling issues for a possible future appearance. “The DoD legislative affairs team remains in discussion with the HASC on this request," Navy Cmdr. Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, said last week. "In the meantime, DoD has committed to provide Army Secretary McCarthy, Army Chief of Staff Gen. McConville, and D.C. National Guard Commanding General Maj. Gen. Walker to brief the committee next week on the presence of the National Guard in Washington, D.C., this past week.” Smith and 30 other Democratic committee members called Esper's refusal to appear this week “unacceptable.” Several members of the committee have vowed to include the issue in the annual defense authorization bill. Subcommittee mark-ups of the massive military budget policy measure are scheduled to begin on June 22. The Senate Armed Services Committee is beginning its mark-up of the authorization bill this week, with the first two subcommittee section votes scheduled for Monday afternoon. The full committee mark-up will take place starting on Wednesday. Unlike their House counterparts, however, nearly all of that work will be done behind closed doors. Senate committee officials have said in the past that they can more quickly and efficiently navigate the hundreds of legislative issues within the bill if they keep the work out of public view, to allow seamless transition between classified and non-classified topics. The only portion of the Senate authorization bill work to be made public will be the personnel subcommittee mark-up, set for Tuesday at 2 p.m. The hearing will be streamed through the committee's web site, as restrictions on public access to the Capitol complex remain in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. The House Armed Services Committee will have a public hearing on a separate topic later this week: Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, will testify on Wednesday about the impact of the ongoing pandemic on the defense industrial base. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2020/06/08/key-debate-on-military-protest-response-budget-priorities-set-to-happen-behind-closed-doors-on-capitol-hill/

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