24 novembre 2021 | International, C4ISR

New report sees near-term strength in space industrial base, but calls for government guidance

The authors want the White House to craft a North Star vision to coordinate civil, commercial and national security space efforts.


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  • UK takes steps forward in major land system competitions, but budget uncertainty looms

    24 septembre 2018 | International, Terrestre

    UK takes steps forward in major land system competitions, but budget uncertainty looms

    By: Andrew Chuter MILLBROOK, England — Major procurement programs were top of the mind at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics show, with the UK Ministry of Defence and industry pointing to notable progress for two of the largest system buys on the horizon. And yet, budget uncertainty looms, leaving market executives to question how the British military will fund programs long term. Boxer buy Recently appointed Defence Procurement Minister Stuart Andrew announced that the Ministry of Defence last week issued a request for quotations with the intention of purchasing an initial batch of 500 Boxer mechanized infantry vehicles for the British Army. The Artec’s Boxer was nominated in March as the preferred choice for the requirement after the MoD controversially opted to select the vehicle without a competition. The MoD previously said it would purchase 500 vehicles over a five-year period, with the first Boxers delivered in 2023. Cost is put at £4.4 billion (U.S. $5.8 billion), although that includes the first 10 years of support. The British intend to use the Boxers alongside General Dynamics' new Ajax family of tracked vehicles and other platforms, meant for two strike brigades currently being created by the British Army. Boxer is a German-Dutch program managed through OCCAR. The move announced by Andrew gives the green light for Artec — a joint venture between Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann — to begin signing up British supply chain companies ahead of a final go-ahead decision by the MoD in late 2019. Artec has signed a memorandum of understanding with a number of companies in the U.K., including Pearson Engineering, Thales and Raytheon as it tries to meet its commitment to perform 60 percent of the manufacturing in the U.K. Challenger 2 update Rheinmetall’s program targets in the U.K. are not limited to Boxer. The company is embroiled in a second possible land procurement effort in the U.K. — the update of the British Army’s Challenger 2 main battle tank in a life-extension program. Rheinmetall and BAE Systems, which built the Challenger 2, have conducted competitive assessment phase contracts for the MoD ahead of selection of a winning contractor, who would lead the program starting sometime next year. The assessment phase officially concludes at the end of this year, but both sides have delivered their proposals to the MoD ahead of the Army' preliminary design review next month. The life-extension program began as a means of combating the obsolescence of several Challenger systems rather than a capability upgrade. But the emergence of the new Russian T-14 tank and the perceived threat by Moscow and other potentially hostile states has driven a more ambitious approach to improve Britain’s tank capability. And industry has responded with options to boost the platform’s capability. Rheinmetall has offered to swap the Challenger’s 120mm rifled gun for a smoothbore weapon, while the BAE-led partnership Team Challenger 2 offered to fit an active protection system. The Army would probably like both, but given the dire state of the defense budget, affording even one of those options is problematic. “At the moment, the assessment phase excludes the gun and an active protection system. However, Team Challenger 2 [members] have planned in an APS from the start, and it is designed for, but not necessarily with, a system,” said Simon Jackson, the head of land vehicle upgrades at BAE. The Team Challenger 2 partnership also includes General Dynamics, Leonardo, Qinetiq, Safran and Moog. “The gun is outside the requirement, but if MoD decide they want a smoothbore, we have already done the work fitting a new gun to Challenger 2 in 2006. It’s not difficult. You need to change turret stowage for the new ammunition and make fire control modifications. It’s not difficult, but it takes time,” Jackson added. “Today, the rifled gun with the Charm 3 ammunition meets the need, but it depends to an extent on how long the Army want to keep Challenger 2 in service as to whether they want a smoothbore or not. It’s also got to be an affordability question. “It’s not a disadvantage for us; we have fitted a smoothbore on Challenger before. We clearly know all about the interfaces with the turret, which our rivals do not." However, Rheinmetall is among the world leaders in 120mm smoothbore weapons. Peter Hardisty, the managing director at Rheinmetall Defence UK, said despite “some challenges, they are completely manageable.” “We have informed the MoD we have a cutting-edge smoothbore weapon available on the Leopard 2 tank if required,” Hardisty said at the DVD event. Some analysts wonder if the expected release of an invitation to tender for the program could be delayed so the Army can consider its options for a gun and active protection system. Some executives Defense News spoke to said they expected the invitation imminently, but Hardisty said he doesn’t expect the invitation to tender until "the first or second quarter of next year.” Team Challenger 2 made a surprise announcement ahead of the show that it was bringing to DVD a demonstrator vehicle known as Black Night, equipped with a suite of new sighting systems, fire control systems, a laser warning capability and other upgrades meant to keep the aging tank viable through to its current 2035 out-of-service date. The main item of interest on Black Night was the provision of an Iron Fist active protection system supplied by Israel’s IMI Systems. BAE and General Dynamics each have experience installing the Iron Fist, but Jackson said any active protection system could be fitted. The MoD is sticking to its request for a makeover for 227 Challengers 2 tanks for now ; but like most other defense equipment programs, it’s hostage to possible change caused by budget shortfalls. The MoD’s defense modernization program review may have to balance a significant mismatch between available funds and commitments. Hardisty believes the Challenger 2 update isn’t especially vulnerable to the review, but added that the review will likely impact a host of vehicle programs required by the Army. “There is always uncertainty, it’s the nature of the sector. We feel comfortable about Boxer and the mechanized vehicle requirement, and reasonably comfortable about Challenger 2,” he said. Budget uncertainty However, many executives here acknowledge that Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has probably lost his fight for a substantial spending boost. And as Britain’s impending departure from the European Union could damage the economy, the British defense sector is bracing for even tougher times ahead. An MoD spokesman at the DVD event said the ministry intends to publish the outcome of the defense modernization program review by late autumn. Some industry executives, however, think it’s more likely the review will be released piecemeal over time to reduce the impact of program and capability cuts. Britain has been in an almost perpetual defense review for the last four years. U.K. defense commentator Howard Wheeldon offered the view last week that a further defense review delaying spending decision is possible next year — a sentiment shared by a number of senior executives at DVD. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2018/09/21/uk-takes-steps-forward-in-major-land-system-competitions-but-budget-uncertainly-looms

  • Rafaut acquiert Secapem

    13 janvier 2021 | International, C4ISR

    Rafaut acquiert Secapem

    DEFENSE  Rafaut acquiert Secapem  Rafaut vient d’acquérir Secapem, une PME innovante spécialisée dans les systèmes d’entraînement des forces armées. « Avec cette opération, le chiffre d’affaires de Rafaut, un peu au-dessus de 90 millions d’euros, va s’approcher des 100 millions d’euros », précise Nicolas Orance, directeur général du groupe, qui souligne que Rafaut entre, avec cette opération, dans « une phase plus active d’acquisitions, pour répondre aux enjeux de taille critique, en ayant toujours à l’esprit de maintenir la complémentarité entre le civil et la défense ». Le modèle dual du groupe, civil et militaire, est en effet gage de résilience. Le rachat de Secapem permet à Rafaut d’acquérir des activités liées aux systèmes d’entraînement au tir réel et des solutions de scoring hautes technologies pour les forces armées, précise L’Usine Nouvelle. L’opération concerne aussi Lun’tech, filiale de Secapem depuis 2013, qui propose des solutions complémentaires pour l’entraînement aux tirs guidés par radar.  L’Usine Nouvelle du 13 janvier   

  • As European defense evolves, here’s how industry is responding

    13 juin 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    As European defense evolves, here’s how industry is responding

    WASHINGTON — As priorities in Europe evolve, particularly with the threat of Russia growing more profound, industry partners are left to adapt. Defense News spoke to Kim Ernzen, vice president of land warfare systems in Raytheon Missile Systems, to find out the company’s approach to meeting customer expectations. EU and NATO cooperation on defense is evolving. As they work out roles, is it challenging for industry? From an international or global footprint, we are looking to continue to expand in international marketspaces. As we look particularly to EU and NATO starting to cooperate more, the EU brings some capabilities to the table. Obviously NATO is typically backed more from the U.S. [But] it’s how we merge the capabilities together so the fighting forces have what they need when they go into harm’s way. From a U.S. defense industry perspective, we like to make sure we protect the latest and greatest. When we look to international, we work through the normal releasability channels to make sure we can release our products. I think there is going to be increased opportunity, because the threats are continuing to evolve. From a pure RMS perspective, we’re well positioned to support [combatting] those threats. We continue to work closely not only with the U.S.-based customer, but through them, the international partners to look at the capabilities they may need. Missile defense remains a huge priority in Europe, but how have hybrid warfare tactics, particularly from Russia, influences defense strategies and as a result the investments? As we as a nation look at how to pivot from urban warfare of the last two decades to what many would consider more traditional warfare, but with added complexities of things like cyberattacks, EW. So now you go into overmatch capability, a long-range standoff capability. Army is focused on how to get long-range precision fires that supports the [combatant commands] in the international footprints, being able to protect the European front against advancing Russia threats. And it’s got to have that standup capability, they also have to be able to see further. From a company perspective, we’re involved in the PRSM [program] — the new Long Range Precision Fire competition between us and Lockheed Martin. And we’re also working to enhance the sighting capability on the vehicle, so they can see farther and identity threats sooner. We see a lot of exercises in Europe. Does industry have enough of a seat at the table? We don’t necessarily engage one-on-one with the exercising activities that go on; we’ll get feedback through customer communities. This is something we talk with our customers about continually: the more we can be engaged, the more we can bring to bear, whether company investments, a spin on the product; the more we can partner with the customer community, sooner, the better it is for them and us as well. We just haven’t necessarily always done that. We’ve seen a great deal of emphasis on increased defense spending of our European allies. Have you seen a bump up? Or if not, where do you see them focusing in on in terms of spending? We have seen a modest increase, particularly across the munitions fronts. Everyone [is looking] in the cupboard drawer, wanting to make sure they have the right stockpiles should they need to go into any engagement with the enemy. We’re also continuing to see internationally more system integrated solutions. Not just coming forward with a product, but how a system would work and operate so they can be more nimble in the battlefield. That’s a transition we’re seeing. The FMS system can be painful to work through. Have their been improvements? We need to look at [whether we] can start converting more programs to direct commercial sales, depending on where we’re at in a lifecycle of a product, and what it is we’re trying to protect or throttle. FMS is a slow an laborious process. It hinders industry from capitalizing on market opportunities. The more we can change the paradigm and partner with the government side to do more [direct sales], the more they will benefit long term because they get the volume to drive down prices, and allow us to recoup funds to invests in future technology. But there are challenges, because each branches has organizations that support foreign military sales. There’s a balance. As more and more countries seek indigenous capacities as well as a return on defense investments domestically, has the nature of partnership changed? Part of partnering with some of these countries involves offset requirements. Often as we start to partner with indigenous capable industries, it used to be ok to [offer up] basic machining. But there is more pull for being able to put high levels of noble work into these countries. Some are more advanced in capabilities, and as we look to partner, how to do we strike that balance, leveraging some technology they may bring to bear, with what we’re trying to keep domestically and protected? It’s an interesting paradigm. And a tipping point with how U.S. industry deals with going international. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/eurosatory/2018/06/12/as-european-defense-evolves-heres-how-industry-is-responding/

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