25 mai 2020 | International, Aérospatial

Space Force lays out acquisitions reforms in new report

In a new proposal, the U.S. Space Force is asking Congress to overhaul the tools it uses to acquire new space systems, allowing the new service to move with more agility and keep pace with near-peer adversaries.

“Our nation requires a bold Alternative Space Acquisition System that not only matches the pace of change but also manages unpredictability and regularly disrupts our adversaries' threat cadence," the Department of the U.S. Air Force report concludes. “The features outlined in this report will create a new space acquisition approach for the USSF that is the envy of all other services and ultimately enables the USSF to rapidly leverage industry innovation to outpace space threats.”

When Congress passed legislation establishing the Space Force as the nation's sixth branch of the armed services in December, it included a provision requiring the Secretary of the Air Force to provide a report by the end of March on whether the military should adopt an alternative space acquisition system. While the Pentagon did deliver a report to Congress in March, it largely kicked the can down the road on any specific acquisitions reforms. Space Force leadership have touted this more detailed acquisitions report as “groundbreaking” in recent appearances.

The new report, which was first reported by Bloomberg Government, includes nine specific proposals to improve Space Force contracting, although it doesn't make any suggestions towards unifying the various organizations involved in purchasing space platforms and systems, such as the Space Development Agency, the Space Rapid Capabilities Office, the Space and Missile Systems Center, or the National Reconnaissance Office, which purchases satellites for the intelligence community.

Instead, the report's recommendations include changes to the contracting tools and reporting requirements the Space Force will use to acquire new systems, with a focus on increasing flexibility and delegating authority. Three of the suggestions require legislative action, while the remaining proposals will simply require internal Department of Defense adjustments.

Perhaps the most important recommendation in the report, according to the Air Force, is the consolidation of budget line items along mission portfolios, such as missile warning or communications, instead of by platform. While this has been done on a limited basis in the past for the Space Rapid Capabilities Office and some classified efforts, it marks a change from standard DoD budgeting practices.

Theoretically, this would allow the Space Force to move funding between missile warning systems without having to submit reprogramming requests to Congress, something it did several times last year in order to move up the delivery date for the first Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared satellite. The Air Force's repeated reprogramming requests rankled some members of Congress, leading to a fight between lawmakers and the White House over the program's funding for fiscal 2020.

The Air Force claims this fix is needed to give program managers the flexibility to adapt to growing threats. According to the report, transparency at the program level would be preserved in future budget documents. This change would not require legislation.

Beyond that, the Air Force is asking Congress for permission to push milestone decision authority down the chain of command, similar to what's been demonstrated by the Missile Defense Agency and National Reconnaissance Office. This change would speed up decision making for space programs.

The third major change the Air Force is pursuing is authority for the Space Force to use incremental funding for space systems and programs. This “Efficient Space Procurement” coding was used to acquire the fifth and sixth satellites in the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites at the same time as well as the fifth and sixth Space-Based Infrared System satellites, resulting in significant savings. The department claims full funding each space vehicle has lead to affordability issues in the past, and can “lead to production breaks, obsolescence, and industrial base impacts.” Instead, the department wants to spread out funding for satellites over multiple years to help keep costs in check and avoid funding spikes.

Other changes include streamlining requirements validation and reporting requirements.

“Under these reforms, our Nation's newest military service will have unprecedented agility to build resilient, defendable, and affordable space capabilities through streamlined processes and closer partnerships with one of America's decisive advantages—its innovative and rapidly changing commercial space industry,” Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett wrote in the introduction to the report.


Sur le même sujet

  • US warns EU against defense market protectionism

    13 février 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    US warns EU against defense market protectionism

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The United States is warning the European Union not to use its deepened military cooperation as an excuse to protect Europe's defense industry, saying such practices could undermine NATO. The U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, said Tuesday that "we do not want this (cooperation) to be a protectionist vehicle for EU." She said Washington is "going to watch carefully because if that becomes the case then it could splinter the strong security alliance that we have." EU leaders — 22 of whose nations are also members of the U.S.-led NATO alliance — agreed last year to jointly develop or purchase military equipment like drones. Washington is concerned the bidding process might exclude U.S. firms. http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-us-warns-eu-against-defense-market-protectionism-2018-2

  • Les employés du DDPS sommés de refuser les invitations

    29 mars 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Les employés du DDPS sommés de refuser les invitations

    Les employés du DDPS ne peuvent plus accepter d'invitations d'entreprises actives dans le domaine de la défense, a décrété la conseillère fédérale Viola Amherd. Cette mesure vise à contrer des accusations de conflits d'intérêts dans le cadre du projet Air2030. Le projet Air2030 comprend l'acquisition de nouveaux avions de combat et d'un nouveau système de défense sol-air. En décembre, les médias avaient parlé d'officiers suisses participant à un buffet suédois dans un hôtel à Berne. Concrètement, la directive de la ministre de la défense Viola Amherd stipule que les employés de son département ne doivent pas participer à des manifestations organisées ou sponsorisées par des entreprises impliquées dans le projet Air2030, a déclaré jeudi le porte-parole du DDPS, Lorenz Frischknecht, confirmant une information des journaux CH-Media. Les contrevenants pourront être sanctionnés. Cela est également valable pour les invitations d'Etats impliqués dans l'acquisition d'avions de chasse, a dit M. Frischknecht. Il s'agit notamment de l'Allemagne, de la France, de la Suède, d'Israël et des Etats-Unis. Il peut s'agir de réceptions à l'occasion de fêtes nationales ou d'autres événements, tels que des conférences ou des expositions. Cinq avionneurs présentent leurs appareils dans le cadre du projet Air2030. L'Eurofighter (Airbus, Allemagne), le F/A-18 Super Hornet (Boeing, Etats-Unis), le Rafale (Dassault, France), le F-35A (Lockheed-Martin, Etats-Unis) et le Gripen E (Saab, Suède) seront testés au sol et dans les airs en Suisse de mi-avril à fin juin. https://www.rfj.ch/rfj/Actualite/Suisse/Les-employes-du-DDPS-sommes-de-refuser-les-invitations.html

  • Army's Decision On Huge Helicopter Engine Program Will Impact GE, Honeywell, United Technologies

    3 janvier 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Army's Decision On Huge Helicopter Engine Program Will Impact GE, Honeywell, United Technologies

    Loren Thompson Sometime in the very near future, probably this month, the U.S. Army will announce the winner of a competition to develop a new engine for most of the service's helicopters. Called the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), it is a multibillion-dollar effort that has often been described as the Army's top aviation modernization priority. It isn't hard to see why. The weight of Army light and medium helicopters has been growing by 70-100 pounds per year since they debuted in the last century as new equipment, munitions and armor were added. As a result, both the Black Hawk utility helicopter and the Apache attack helicopter are under-powered when operating in “high-hot” conditions, meaning above 6,000 feet in temperatures of 95 degrees or greater. Such conditions are common in places like the Persian Gulf, and pose a challenge to conducting missions successfully. In 2006, the Army launched an effort to develop an engine that could provide 50% more power than the existing General Electric T700 engine (3,000 versus 2,000 shaft horsepower), while reducing fuel consumption by 25% and extending the life of the engine 20%. That in itself was a tall order, but the new engine also had to fit into thousands of fielded helicopters with minimal modifications, and it couldn't weigh more than 500 pounds (the current engine weighs 456 pounds). The Army also wanted each engine to cost much less than the T700–not just in the cost of manufacturing the new engines, but in the cost of maintaining them across a multi-decade service life. Given these very demanding requirements, and a dearth of money for modernization during the Obama years, it isn't surprising that a dozen years passed before the Army felt it was in a position to pick a design that met all the service's needs. But now it is. The choice is between a successor to the T700 built by General Electric Aviation, and a competing design offered by a joint venture of Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney (a unit of United Technologies, and contributor to my think tank). The decision has probably already been made, and simply awaits formal announcement later this month. Full article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2019/01/02/armys-decision-on-huge-helicopter-engine-program-will-impact-ge-honeywell-united-technologies

Toutes les nouvelles