2 novembre 2022 | International, C4ISR

Singapore unveils new cyber-focused military service

Singapore has officially inaugurated its fourth military branch as it seeks to combat modern threats in the digital domain.


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  • USAF Scoping Out Upgrades to Counter-UAS Weapons

    21 octobre 2020 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    USAF Scoping Out Upgrades to Counter-UAS Weapons

    Rachel S. Cohen The Air Force is in the market for upgrades to its counter-drone technologies, according to an Oct. 16 request for information posted on a federal contracting website. The service is in the early stages of deploying lasers, microwaves, and other weapons more advanced than a shotgun to deal with potentially threatening drones loitering around bases. In particular, the RFI is looking for ideas to fend off the smallest unmanned aerial systems like quadcopters. “These threats may have characteristics such as small size, low radar cross-sections, low infrared or radio frequency signatures (or no RF signatures), ability to hover, and low-altitude flight capability, which may render them difficult to detect and/or defeat,” the Air Force stated. “These UAS are typically either controlled remotely from a ground control station or capable of flying pre-planned routes.” Cheap aircraft can be turned into battlefield weapons when modified to drop hand grenades, and they can spy on military installations or heavily damage jets if sucked into an engine. American military officials have warned for years that small drones pose a pervasive threat to troops in the Middle East. Over the next year, the Air Force wants to pursue updates to counter-drone command-and-control, radar, and electronic warfare systems related to directed-energy weapons. It's soliciting concepts in 12 areas from lethality to crunching weather data. Responses are due Nov. 17. For instance, the service suggests automating the process of targeting, tracking, and shooting at an incoming drone instead of relying as heavily on a human operator. “At a minimum, the ideal configuration is for [a high-energy laser] system to have its beam director/optics automate all steps between acquisition, tracking, aimpoint selection, and only requires a human to interact with it through final approval to fire from operator/battle commander,” the RFI said. The service also considers being able to compile and send reports with the details of drone threats and conflicts to other units, which could give the military a better understanding of an enemy in a particular area. Pentagon researchers are looking into several different counter-UAS system designs spanning the weapons themselves to the subsystems that point and shoot them. The Air Force is currently testing high-powered lasers and microwaves overseas while it takes less-destructive approaches—like using gun-fired nets to trap quadcopters—in the continental U.S. https://www.airforcemag.com/usaf-scoping-out-upgrades-to-counter-uas-weapons/

  • Army preps for competition limited to Bell and Sikorsky for long-range assault helicopter

    11 décembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Terrestre

    Army preps for competition limited to Bell and Sikorsky for long-range assault helicopter

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — The Army is taking its final steps before starting a competition to acquire a Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, and has done so by issuing an intent to solicit bids using means “other than full and open competition,” according to a Dec. 9 post on on the government contracts website Beta.Sam.Gov. This step means that unless a surprise vendor can meet all of the Army's technical and production requirements for FLRAA in the next two weeks, the future aircraft will be supplied by either Bell or Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky. Bell and a Sikorsky-Boeing team have been pitted against one another for years to build and fly technology demonstrators to inform requirements ahead of the FLRAA competition and both are part of a competitive demonstration and risk reduction phase. Bell's V-280 Valor tiltrotor had it's first flight nearly three years ago and Sikorsky and Boeing's SB-1 Defiant coaxial helicopter flew for the first time in March 2019. The draft request for proposals is expected to be released by the end of the year with a final solicitations expected in fiscal 2021. Modernizing its vertical lift fleet is the Army's third highest priority behind Long-Range Precision Fires and Next-Generation Combat Vehicle development. The Army intends to field both a FLRAA and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft by roughly FY30. Bell and Lockheed Martin are also competing against each other in the FARA competition. Bell's offering is the 360 Invictus and Lockheed's entry is the Raider X. In the case of FLRAA, the winner must build eight production aircraft for the first unit equipped by FY30. The plan is to award a contract to a winner in FY22. The winner will proceed to deliver a preliminary design review roughly eight months following the award. According to the pre-solicitation, “the Army has determined through extensive market research, including a July 2020 sources sought, that only two sources exist in the market space that have the capability and capacity of developing, manufacturing, testing and delivering both prototype and initial production FLRAA in the time allocated to achieve the Army's goal of an FUE in FY 2030.” The Army stated that Bell and Sikorsky are those two sources, but notes that “any other responsible, qualified sources, ... that can develop and produce the FLRAA weapon system to achieve First Unit Equipped (FUE) no later than 2030 are encouraged to full identify their interest and capabilities in accordance with the requirements,” within 15 days after publication of the pre-solicitation. Such a vendor would need to deliver a preliminary design review in FY22, start building prototype aircraft in the third quarter of FY23 and eight production aircraft by 2030. Vendors must also prove they are able to build 24 aircraft per year at full-rate production. Those aircraft must be able to fly at 2,000 feet pressure altitude in 85 degree heat with a full payload that consists of 12 troops at 290 lbs each and four crew at 281 lbs each. When the draft RFP drops, it is likely to contain a schedule to deliver air vehicle prototypes and mission systems. The Army was debating between two schedule options to deliver prototypes by roughly mid-2026. The FLRAA program has strong support from Congress. This year's annual defense policy bill authorized $5 million in increased investment in FLRAA advanced component development and prototyping on top of the Army's nearly $648 million request. The FY21 spending bill has yet to go through conference committee, but both the House and Senate proposed additional funding for FLRAA. The House Appropriations Committee proposed a $20 million increase while the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee proposed a $79 million addition. Lawmakers added $76 million in funding to FLRAA's top line in FY20 to drive down technical risk and speed up delivery through the competitive demonstration and risk reduction effort. In FY20, Congress cut $34 million from the Army's other future vertical lift effort — the FARA program — which threatened the service's ability to provide some of its government-furnished equipment to competitors chosen to build and fly prototypes. The Army is supplying its new Improved Turbine Engine Program engine, a 20mm gun, an integrated munitions launcher and its modular open-systems architecture. The Army has since shored up that funding, according to service aviation leadership. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/12/10/army-preps-for-competition-limited-to-bell-and-sikorsky-for-long-range-assault-helicopter/

  • Q&A: Defense Business Board chair Deborah Lee James, on helping Pentagon see 'forest for the trees'

    20 octobre 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Q&A: Defense Business Board chair Deborah Lee James, on helping Pentagon see 'forest for the trees'

    '€œYou don't know what you don't know," James said. "So bringing in outside advisors can be a helpful new perspective.'€

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