13 septembre 2023 | International, Sécurité

Top DND bureaucrat blames companies for failing to supply Ukraine munitions

Top DND bureaucrat blames companies for failing to supply munitions, but industry says government is at fault.


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  • Army Helo Market Pegged at $10 Billion

    30 juin 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Army Helo Market Pegged at $10 Billion

    By Jon Harper Market opportunities for the Army's helicopter fleet will average about $10 billion per year over the next decade as the service modernizes its rotary-wing assets, according to analysts. The current inventory includes UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters, AH-46 Apache attack helicopters, CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and UH-72 Lakota light utility helicopters. All but the Lakota are still in production today. Meanwhile, future vertical lift is one of the Army's top three modernization priorities, and it is pursuing two new aircraft: an armed scout platform known as the future attack reconnaissance aircraft, or FARA, and the future long-range assault aircraft, or FLRAA. “The Army's effort to develop and field the next generation of vertical lift aircraft ... will have significant implications for the industrial base,” defense analysts Andrew Hunter and Rhys McCormick wrote in a recent report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Projections show that although there will be a drop-off in the procurement of legacy aircraft in the mid-2020s as FARA and FLRAA full-rate production starts to ramp up, there is still a roughly $8 billion to $10 billion annual addressable Army vertical lift market over the next decade,” they said in the report titled, “Assessing the Industrial Base Implications of the Army's Future Vertical Lift Plans.” FLRAA has an estimated program value of $40 billion, while FARA could be worth about $20 billion. In March, the Army announced it had selected Bell and a Sikorsky-Boeing team for the FLRAA competitive demonstration and risk reduction effort. The winner of that phase is expected to be selected in fiscal year 2022. The service also picked Bell and Sikorsky to continue on in the competition for the future attack reconnaissance aircraft. A “flyoff” for the FARA competition is scheduled for fiscal year 2023, with a production decision expected in fiscal year 2024. Both the FARA and FLRAA platforms are slated to enter production later this decade. Meanwhile, operation and sustainment costs will remain the largest source of Army vertical lift spending over the next 10 years, according to the CSIS report. “There's going to be opportunity [for industry] in kind of the aftermarket side because even as you start to produce the new aircraft, there will still be the enduring platforms that are out” operating as next-generation helicopters come online, said Patrick Mason, head of Army program executive office aviation. “We will still need spares and certain things done within the aftermarket side as this transition would occur,” he added during a recent press briefing. “That drives so much of the supply chain.” Some observers have questioned whether the Army will have enough money to buy high-ticket FARA and FLRAA platforms at the same time given future budget projections. There is also the risk that the programs might go off the rails. “FVL isn't the only game in town, but it is by far the biggest,” Loren Thompson, a defense industry consultant and chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute think tank, wrote in a recent op-ed for Forbes. “If production of legacy rotorcraft ceases to make room for new ones and then FVL fails to deliver, industry might not have enough cash flow to sustain essential skills and suppliers.” Hunter said problems with the future vertical lift initiatives would upend the CSIS market projections. “If you were to take one of those programs out of the equation, that changes the addressable market in two significant ways,” he said. “One is, it shrinks it obviously by pulling out ... multiple billion dollars of investment throughout the 10-year window that we looked at. The other effect that it has is it reduces the competitive opportunity for industry. Right now, you know you've got multiple companies gunning for two aircraft. And even if you went down to one [program] and you were still competing, that's much less opportunity for industry to win in that scenario.” https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2020/6/29/army-helo-market-pegged-at-$10-billion

  • US Army picks winners to build light and medium robotic combat vehicles

    10 janvier 2020 | International, Terrestre

    US Army picks winners to build light and medium robotic combat vehicles

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has picked winners to build base platforms for its light- and medium-class robotic combat vehicles, according to a service statement released Jan. 9. The Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command and the service's Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team “intends” — pending successful negotiations — to award a contract to QinetiQ North America to build four RCV-light prototypes and another contract to Textron to build four RCV-medium prototypes, the release stated. Through a rapid contracting mechanism, the National Advanced Mobility Consortium is coordinating the Army's awards to industry, and the service expects to be officially under contract with both companies by mid-February, according to the statement. While it was anticipated the Army would award up to two contracts per category at the end of the second quarter this fiscal year, it appears the awards have come earlier and are both limited to one company. The prototypes, according to the statement, will be used to “determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations. The Light and Medium RCVs will be used to conduct a company-level experiment at the end of 2021." Results from that effort, as well as a platoon-level experiment in March 2020 and several virtual experiments, will help the Army decide in 2023 how it wants to proceed with robots on the battlefield. “Robots have the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct ground combat operations,” Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the NGCV CFT, said in the statement. “Whether that's giving increased fire power to a dismounted patrol, breaching an enemy fighting position, or providing [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive] reconnaissance, we envision these vehicles providing commanders more time and space for decisions and reducing risk to soldiers.” Out of a large pool of whitepaper submissions, a Textron and Howe & Howe team, a team of QinetiQ North America and Pratt & Miller, HDT Global, and Oshkosh were each issued a request for prototype proposals in the RCV-light competition in October 2019. Three teams were picked to move on in the RCV-medium competition in November 2019: General Dynamics Land Systems, QinetiQ North America, and the Textron and Howe & Howe team. It is noteworthy that the companies selected to build prototypes in each category are the only two companies to have offerings in both the light and medium competitions, demonstrating potentially that they are the only companies with the flexibility to build in both categories. At the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference in October, Textron and Howe & Howe dramatically unveiled their RCV Ripsaw M5, which is based on the latter's deep history of building unmanned ground vehicles, but adds technology like scalable armor and suspension as well as mobility options to cope with the challenges expected in the future fight. FLIR Systems is also part of the team, contributing its advanced sensors. “Bringing together Howe & Howe, Textron Systems and FLIR Systems really represents a dream team,” Textron CEO Lisa Atherton said in a statement released at the show. “We formed this team based on our shared focus to serve this customer with disruptive ideas and proven experience, and we are dedicated to meeting and exceeding their requirements through the RCV program.” The team told Defense News before the AUSA conference that it planned to submit a version of Ripsaw both for the light and medium variant of the Army's robotic combat vehicle. The Qinetiq and Pratt & Miller team submitted a variant of the Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle tailored toward the Army's RCV-light requirements. The offering combines Qinetiq's modular open-architecture control systems with Pratt & Miller's advanced mobility platform. The Army is also examining the utility of an RCV-heavy variant but is using robotic M113 armored personnel carriers as surrogate platforms for evaluations. That effort will focus on manned-unmanned teaming in a robotic wingman formation, with a manned Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle serving as the platform for the robot's operators. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/01/09/army-picks-winners-to-build-light-and-medium-robotic-combat-vehicles/

  • Happy new (fiscal) year! Feds want more electronic warfare and cybersecurity tools

    2 octobre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Happy new (fiscal) year! Feds want more electronic warfare and cybersecurity tools

    By: Justin Lynch As the new federal fiscal year begins, cybersecurity analysts and industry leaders predict that electronic warfare and managed services will top the U.S. government's priority list to improve cybersecurity during the next fiscal cycle. Lockheed Martin, one of the five major cybersecurity contractors for the federal government, told Fifth Domain that they are focusing on signals intelligence and electronic warfare in the new year, which began Oct. 1. Cybersecurity and electronic warfare “can disrupt, deny, degrade, deceive and destroy adversaries' electronic systems,” Deon Viergutz, vice president of Lockheed Martin's cyber division told Fifth Domain in an email. “The ability to dominate the electromagnetic spectrum allows militaries to not only establish control, but also keep soldiers out of harm's way by providing offensive and defensive techniques from remote locations.” Russia's use of electronic warfare during its 2015 invasion of Ukraine exposed how the Department of Defense needs to boost its own digital combat tools, Brad Curran, an analyst at Front & Sullivan previously told Fifth Domain. The White House's new cybersecurity strategy states that the federal government will boost efforts to lawfully gather evidence of criminal activity and disrupt criminal networks through new legislation. It could translate into a greater need for tools that can manage large amounts of data, such as artificial intelligence. But along with the expected increase in electronic warfare, analysts and firms are predicting a rise in managed and cloud based services. Raytheon, another of the five major cybersecurity U.S. government contractors, said they expected the federal government to need more managed security operations. “Concepts like security operations center-as-a-service, and others are gaining momentum due to the desire for scalability. Federal agencies will continue to look to contracted service providers for expertise and support,” John DeSimone, a vice president for cybersecurity and special missions at Raytheon told Fifth Domain in an email. Curran said he expects the federal government to save money by using more cloud-based services, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's Azure. The Trump administration has seen an increased in shared services, said Suzanne Spaulding, a former undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security who now works at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Which services they will ultimately centralize is hard to see,” Spaulding said. She added the decision-space is “is tricky because at the end of the day, cabinet secretaries also need to be accountable for their own cybersecurity.” Distributed cloud-based communications is a key priority of the Department of Homeland Security, according to the agency's 2017 industry guide. The department also said they were looking to invest in metrics for cybersecurity effectiveness and data capture of networked devices. https://www.fifthdomain.com/industry/2018/10/01/happy-new-fiscal-year-feds-want-more-electronic-warfare-and-cybersecurity-tools

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