26 février 2021 | International, Aérospatial

‘Too early to say’ when B-52 engine contract will be awarded

Companies are still moving through the process of furnishing the government with additional information about their proposals.


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  • Rebuild US manufacturing in these four steps, says Reagan task force

    17 novembre 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Rebuild US manufacturing in these four steps, says Reagan task force

    A new report from a Ronald Reagan Institute task force aimed at revitalizing U.S. manufacturing to compete with China recommends reskilling workers using federal education grants, investing in sectors vital to national security and boosting tech development with allies.

  • COVID-19 Won’t Slow New Army Weapons: McCarthy, Murray, Jette

    24 avril 2020 | International, Terrestre

    COVID-19 Won’t Slow New Army Weapons: McCarthy, Murray, Jette

    While some prototype deliveries and field tests are being delayed, Army leaders said, there's enough slack in the schedule that combat units will still get the new tech on time. By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR.on April 23, 2020 at 2:40 PM WASHINGTON: The Army and its contractors are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic so well that the service expects no delay in the fielding of future weapons, the Army Secretary and his two top modernization officials told reporters today. The “rigorous” review of acquisition programs for the 2022 budget request is also still on schedule, Sec. Ryan McCarthy said. “It's just amazing how quickly they've adapted, kept their workforce engaged, and are protecting cost, schedule, and performance on these weapons systems,” said McCarthy, recently returned from a visit to BAE and General Dynamics facilities in Detroit. “Also I'm very proud of Dr. Jette's and Gen. Murray's performance during this crisis, working on things like progress payments for manufacturers, trying to help them get access to small business loans, the managing of second- and third-tier suppliers.” “Right now, all the companies that were closed for any period of time are reopened,” said Assistant Secretary Bruce Jette, the service's civilian acquisition chief. One BAE worker was infected, resulting in a week-long shutdown of a combat vehicle assembly line – you can't weld armor plate over your telephone, Jette noted – but the company has now restarted production with new precautions in place. The company and the union have agreed to give up their traditional week-long shutdown for summer vacation to catch up. The Boeing CH-47 helicopter plant in Philadelphia also shut down for 10 days, Jette reported, but they're back up and running as well. He's most worried about smaller subcontractors, where a single COVID-19 case can force the entire workforce to be quarantined for 14 days, so he's tracking that closely. “I keep track on a daily basis of 63 pages of supply chain [data],” Jette said. “Our industry partners have been really good about opening their books all the way down to their sub-suppliers and keeping us well-informed — they contractually don't have to do that but they have.” Some deliveries of prototypes have been delayed, said Gen. John “Mike” Murray, chief of Army Futures Command. But, so far, those delays are measured in weeks and there's sufficient slack in schedules to catch up later this year, he said, which means programs will proceed to production and fielding on time. What's particularly tricky for the Army is that, after decades of dumping “good ideas” on soldiers only to find they didn't actually work, it's now systematically letting soldiers try out prototypes hands-on. These soldier touchpoints require troops to work together in the field, often side-by-side with contractors who record their feedback and make some fixes on the spot. That's difficult given pandemic precautions – but not impossible. Other types of testing allow a little more social distance, and work from engineering design to budget reviews can take place entirely online. Gen. Murray gave a rundown of key programs: The next flight test of Lockheed Martin's Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) will take place as scheduled on April 30th, Gen. Murray said. “I'm very confident,” he declared, to the point he's already planned his flight to go observe. On the other hand, the third big soldier touchpoint test for the IVAS targeting goggles, scheduled for this summer, has been delayed to the fall. That's not just because of social distancing, Murray said, but also because a Microsoft subcontractor ran into COVID-19 problems (they'll be back in operation this week). Because this would have been the first test of a fully militarized and ruggedized “form factor” of IVAS, which began life as a modified Microsoft HoloLens, it's too important to cut corners, he said. The program will be able to make up the lost time and deliver the final production version to troops on schedule, he said. There's been a six week delay in delivery of the three competiting prototypes for Next Generation Squad Weapon, meant to replace the M249 SAW. Once the weapons arrive, however, the Army will now get them into soldiers' hands in just two weeks, a month faster than originally planned, making up for most of that lost time. Field-testing of one contender for the new FTUAS drone is already underway at Fort Riley, as we've previously reported. Testing of another drone design at Fort Campbell is “a little bit delayed,” Murray said, but should start by the end of the month. The Limited User Test of the IBCS missile defense network has been postponed (again, as we've reported). But the equipment remains in place at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Murray said, software updates continue, and the soldiers who spent months training to operate it will be back to do the test “this summer or early fall.” (The Army also previously announced it would postpone field tests of promising new Robotic Combat Vehicles). “In general,” Jette said, “we don't see any FUEs changing”: That's military jargon for “First Unit Equipped,” the crucial moment when enough of a weapon has been built to equip a significant combat unit. “We are tracking each program,” Jette said, not just the service's top priorities “but all of our over 600 programs, [and] none of them are at risk” of a delay so severe they can't recover. https://breakingdefense.com/2020/04/covid-19-wont-slow-new-army-weapons-mccarthy-murray-jette/

  • La DGA officialise la réussite des premiers essais en vol du viseur d’étoiles diurne Vision

    12 janvier 2021 | International, Aérospatial

    La DGA officialise la réussite des premiers essais en vol du viseur d’étoiles diurne Vision

    Safran Electronics & Defense et Sodern offrent à la France une technologie inédite, applicable à plusieurs domaines stratégiques. Un nouveau potentiel de croissance économique pour les industriels. Un projet innovant Nous avions présenté en juin 2020 le projet de système de navigation innovant qui vise les étoiles en plein jour, et est capable de fonctionner sur avion, malgré le Soleil et au travers de l'atmosphère. Le projet est développé depuis 2016 par Safran Electronics & Defense (responsable du projet et de la fonction navigation) et Sodern (responsable de la fonction de visée stellaire), à la demande de la Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) et de l'Agence de l'innovation de défense (AID). Désormais appelé Vision, le démonstrateur de visée stellaire diurne a été testé pour la première fois en novembre-décembre dernier à bord d'un banc d'essais volant. Embarquement sur banc d'essai volant Quatre vols d'essais (trois de jour et un de nuit) ont été réalisés par la DGA Maîtrise de l'information (DGA MI), l'expert technique du Ministère des Armées pour les systèmes d'information et de communication, la cybersécurité, la guerre électronique et les systèmes de missiles tactiques et stratégiques. Les vols ont duré une dizaine d'heures au total, à différentes altitudes. Tout au long des trajectoires de chaque vol, de nombreuses étoilées ont été accrochées et poursuivies de manière fine par le démonstrateur. Vers une production en série La France se retrouve ainsi pionnière sur cette technologie d'avant-garde, tandis que Sodern y voit un fort potentiel de croissance. Le concept désormais prouvé, l'industriel prévoit de développer un prototype raffiné cette année, puis préparer la production en série du produit d'ici 2025, d'abord pour les Armées, puis éventuellement pour le marché civil. C'est un grand nombre d'appareils qui pourrait bénéficier de ces nouveaux viseurs d'étoiles : aéronefs de transport et de ravitaillement, drones longue endurance, avions d'arme, navires, voire même, selon l'AID, des missiles à long terme. Sodern se réjouit que sa technologie puisse ainsi profiter à d'autres technologies et être essaimée dans d'autres secteurs. https://www.air-cosmos.com/article/la-dga-officialise-la-russite-des-premiers-essais-en-vol-du-viseur-dtoiles-diurne-vision-24060

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