25 mai 2021 | International, Aérospatial

Sikorsky’s new president readies for next-gen vertical lift competition

Sikorsky's new president talks current and future ambitions for the nearly 100-year-old helicopter company.


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  • Democrats face internal ‘fight’ on defense spending, says Smith

    8 octobre 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité, Autre défense

    Democrats face internal ‘fight’ on defense spending, says Smith

    Joe Gould WASHINGTON ― The Democratic split over the size of future defense budgets will come to a head in the new Congress, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., predicted Tuesday. The outcome of the long-simmering dispute would take on higher stakes if some pre-election polling becomes a reality and Democrats retake Congress and the White House. Though President Donald Trump and his supporters claim the Democratic Party has been hijacked by the far left, Smith's remarks suggest the party's future direction, at least on defense spending, is not yet settled. Instead of slashing next year's $740 billion defense budget, as some progressives want, Smith is pushing, “a rational Democratic, progressive national security strategy,” as he called it. That stance seems to align Smith with his party's pragmatic standard-bearer, Joe Biden, who's said he doesn't foresee major defense cuts, if elected. “I don't think that rational policy involves 20 percent defense cut, but that fight is going to be had,” Smith said at an event hosted by George Mason University. “There are extremists on the right and extremists on the left, and what I'm trying to do is say, ‘Let's go for pragmatic problem solving.' I don't see extremism solving problems.” If Democrats are swept into power Nov. 3, it will be by voters opposed to President Donald Trump from across the political spectrum, Smith said. To hold on that mandate, Democrats would need to govern with a broad coalition and not overreach from the left on issues like defense. “Okay, we can win an election because people are appalled by Donald Trump,” Smith said, “but that doesn't mean that they're endorsing us in any sort of huge, dramatic way.” After the House passed an early version of last year's defense policy bill without Republicans aboard, negotiations to reconcile it with theWhite House and GOP-held Senate dragged for months before a compromise bill passed Congress with progressive priorities stripped from it, leaving them dissatisfied. This year, many of the progressives' priorities were deflected from the House's version of the bill, and it passed the chamber with support from more than half of Republicans and more than two-thirds of Democrats. Military spending remains popular with most Republicans, and they largely opposed progressive amendments in the House and Senate this summer to slash the authorization bill by 10 percent. HASC member Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., called the House amendment, “a deeply irresponsible stunt.” Biden and congressional Democrats are already under pressure from progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who have been part of a campaign to direct spending away from the military in favor of healthcare, education and jobs. Massive spending on national security, they say, didn't protect the country from COVID-19. “You have a progressive movement in the party now that is really motivated and mobilized around foreign policy and national security issues, and that's not going away,” Matt Duss, a Sanders foreign policy aide, told Defense News last month. “That is something a President Biden will have to work with, and I think his team understands that.” As both Biden, Trump and lawmakers of both parties have called for the U.S. to extricate itself from the Mideast and end the “endless wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan, Smith said it's important to educate a war-weary American people about why it's unwise to retreat from the world stage ― marked by hotspots in Libya, Syria and West Africa. “We've got to make the case to them: ‘Here's why the defense budget is what it is, here's why we're trying to accomplish what we're trying to accomplish, and here's why it's in your best interest,'” Smith said. “And we're going to be very aggressive about having public hearings and public discussions to listen to people, to listen to those concerns and try to address them.” The Pentagon's five-year defense plan indicates it will request flat defense spending after 2021, and ― amid pandemic-related expenses and historic deficits ― the budget is widely expected to stay flat regardless of who is president. Smith pretty much echoed that view Tuesday. “I think the reasonable assumption is yeah, the defense budget is going to be flat for a while ― and there is no reason on Earth in my view that we cannot defend the United States of America for $700 to $740 billion,” Smith said. “So I think the better question, the question to focus on, is how do we get more out of it?” On that one, Smith echoed some ideas from his committee's bipartisan Future of Defense Task Force. Its report emphasized the need, in order to compete with a surging China, to divest from some legacy programs and heavily invest in artificial intelligence, among other potentially game-changing technologies. Citing a spate of acquisition failures, Smith said Washington has to work with its defense contractors “about how we spend our money and the results we get for that money.” He also acknowledged the need to protect key contractors stressed by the pandemic's economic impacts and strengthen the industrial base overall. Smith defended the Pentagon's allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars in pandemic relief funding for items like jet and submarine parts instead of increasing the country's supply of medical equipment. The remarks seemed to set him at odds with liberals like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., who have asked the Defense inspector general to look into the department's “reported misuse” of funds. The Democrat-led House Oversight and Reform Committee, Financial Services Committee, and select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis are conducting a joint investigation. “Three committees in Congress are now investigating this, and I'm not one of them because there's nothing to investigate here, in my view,” Smith said. “This was part of the CARES Act: We gave a billion dollars to DoD to deal with COVID-related expenses. Very specifically, it said one of the COVID related expenses you could deal with was the defense industrial base, which they did. And now we're chewing on them for doing that.” Smith said the Pentagon did “nothing illegal,” but he suggested it's reasonable to explore whether DoD balanced the money it received appropriately and whether its payments to large contractors are flowing to smaller, more vulnerable firms, as they should. “I think it is important to make sure we keep the industrial base going,” Smith said, “but there's going to be pressure on that [decision].” https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2020/10/07/democrats-face-internal-fight-on-defense-spending-says-smith/

  • L’Europe prête à dépenser davantage pour renforcer sa Défense et son industrie

    2 juin 2022 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    L’Europe prête à dépenser davantage pour renforcer sa Défense et son industrie

    Les 27 pays de l'Union européenne ont « acté le besoin de dépenser davantage et d'investir davantage » dans le domaine de la Défense, a annoncé le président français, Emmanuel Macron, à l'issue du Conseil européen qui s'est tenu les 30 et 31 mai. « Nous avons acté que notre Europe avait besoin, comme nous le faisons depuis cinq ans avec le Fonds européen de défense, de s'équiper davantage, d'acheter davantage et de construire une base industrielle plus forte. Cet argent que nous allons déployer doit s'accompagner d'une stratégie industrielle car il ne s'agit pas d'aller acheter des équipements qui sont faits ailleurs. Construire notre souveraineté, c'est aussi b'tir des équipements qui sont faits par les Européens pour les Européens », a déclaré le chef de l'Etat français. Le président du Conseil italien, Mario Draghi, a regretté que les Européens importent les deux tiers de leurs armes, insistant sur la nécessité d'une réciprocité dans les achats et appelant à « coordonner ce type d'importations d'une manière ou d'une autre ». Les dirigeants européens ont notamment validé un instrument de soutien doté de 500 M€ pour la période 2023 et 2024, qui sera créé d'ici à l'été pour des achats ciblés d'armements destinés à protéger l'UE. Le rôle de la Banque européenne d'investissement, notamment, doit aussi être renforcé à l'appui de la politique de sécurité et de Défense européenne. La Tribune et Le Figaro du 1er juin

  • 5 technology trends driving an intelligent military

    6 juillet 2018 | International, C4ISR

    5 technology trends driving an intelligent military

    By: Antti Kolehmainen The rise of non-traditional actors, cyberattacks and state-sponsored subversion is challenging democratic governance and creating an increasingly volatile operational and security environment for defense agencies. To address these threats, military organizations must be able to operate seamlessly and intelligently across a network of multinational partners. This year's Accenture Technology Vision identified five trends that are essential components of any intelligent defense organization: Citizen AI, extended reality, data veracity, frictionless business and Internet of Thinking. Private AI: training AI as an effective troop member Harnessing AI's potential is no longer just about training it to perform a specific task: AI will increasingly function alongside people as a full-fledged member of a team. In the high-stakes world of defense, it's especially important that AI systems act as trustworthy, responsible and efficient colleagues. AI could have a major impact for military organizations, including defense logistics and cybersecurity. An adversary equipped with advanced AI capabilities will not wait for its enemies to catch up technologically before launching an offensive. AI's ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data has significant implications across the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop. From augmenting our ability to detect new threats to analyzing countless variables, AI could transform surveillance and situational awareness. Extended Reality: The end of distance Extended reality (XR), which includes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), is the first technology to relocate people in both time and place—effectively eliminating distance. For the defense sector, the ability to simulate and share a common view of an operational theatre is immensely powerful. Recently, Accenture created a mixed reality proof of concept using Microsoft HoloLens and gaming engine Unity that provides military personnel with an interactive map showing real-time location and status data for troops and resources on the ground. With a simple command, a user can order reinforcements or supplies, or create and test different scenarios through a mixed reality interface. XR technology can also enhance operational command capabilities in the field. For example, AR goggles could provide dashboards and data visualizations where and when they are needed – such as at an operating base. XR also will have major implications for training, allowing soldiers and pilots to engage in highly realistic combat simulations. Data veracity: the importance of trust As defense organizations become increasingly data-driven, inaccurate and manipulated information is a persistent and serious threat. Agencies can address this vulnerability by building confidence in three key data-focused tenets: provenance, or verifying data from its origin throughout its life cycle; context, or considering the circumstances around its use; and integrity, or securing and maintaining data. The ability to trust and verify the data that flows between multinational partners is critically important. Organizations must be capable of delivering the right data to the right recipient, at the right time – which can only be accomplished by radically reorienting how data is shared across today's armed forces. Today's vertical approach involves passing information up and down the command stack of a nation's military. In contrast, multinational military operations demand that information is also shared horizontally across the forces of different nations and partners. This shift requires a profound change in technology, mindset and culture within agencies. Frictionless defense: built to partner at scale Our recent survey found that 36 percent of public service leaders report working with twice as many strategic partners than two years ago. And when partnerships between industry, academia and military organizations are horizontally integrated and technology-based, they can expand faster and further than ever before. But legacy systems weren't built to support this kind of expansion, and soon, outdated systems will be major hindrances to collaboration. With this in mind, defense organizations must develop new IT architectures to reduce complexity. Agile IT systems will allow innovation to flourish, unimpeded by internal politics and employee resistance. A modern IT architecture will push organizations to clearly define the services they offer and turn each service into a potential enabler of collaboration. The Internet of Thinking: intelligent distributed defense capabilities Today's technology infrastructures are designed around a few basic assumptions: enough bandwidth to support remote applications, an abundance of computing power in a remote cloud and nearly infinite storage. But the demand for immediate response times defies this approach. Recent projections suggest that by 2020, smart sensors and other Internet of Things devices will generate at least 507.5 zettabytes of data. Trying to manage the computational “heavy-lifting” offsite will become limiting. The need for real-time systems puts hardware back in focus: special-purpose and customizable hardware is making devices at the edge of networks more powerful and energy efficient than ever before. Public service organizations are taking note: our survey indicates 79 percent of leaders believe it will be very critical over the next two years to leverage custom hardware and accelerators to meet new computing demands. The next generation of military strategies ride on pushing intelligence into the physical world. Defense organizations have to embrace new operating models to enable high-speed data flows, harness the potential of distributed intelligence and successfully neutralize threats. The defense sector is challenged to respond to new types of threat, political volatility and even new combat arenas, and acquiring new technology capabilities is a strategic imperative. Delivering greater situational awareness and the ability to respond rapidly to unpredictable adversaries requires investments in AI, edge computing and other emerging technologies. Likewise, today's information architectures will need to be redesigned to collaborate quickly, effectively and securely. Antti Kolehmainen is managing director, defense business service global lead at Accenture. https://www.c4isrnet.com/opinion/2018/07/05/5-technology-trends-driving-an-intelligent-military

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