26 avril 2019 | International, Aérospatial

Troubled Lockheed Helicopter Needs New Review, Inhofe Tells Pentagon


The Pentagon needs to undertake another review of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s $31 billion CH-53K heavy lift helicopter program amid continuing technical problems and delays, according to the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Republican Senator James Inhofe said the importance of the CH-53K King Stallion to the Marine Corps means that a “comprehensive, independent update” on the long-delayed program is overdue. Inhofe's role leading the committee that authorizes defense spending means his request will almost certainly be heeded.

“We need to get it right, and this report should give us a current assessment and reestablish a baseline for the program to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely,” Inhofe said in a statement to Bloomberg News. The senator cited concern that the chopper “is more than a year behind schedule and has over 100 outstanding deficiencies that still require resolution.”

Full story: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-25/troubled-lockheed-copter-needs-new-review-inhofe-tells-pentagon

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  • US lawmaker in Kyiv: Momentum shifting toward ATACMS, F-16s for Ukraine

    21 février 2023 | International, Aérospatial

    US lawmaker in Kyiv: Momentum shifting toward ATACMS, F-16s for Ukraine

    A senior U.S. lawmaker said during a visit to the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday that momentum in Washington was shifting toward sending the long-range missiles and fighter jets coveted by Kyiv as it battles Russia's invasion.

  • U.S. Air Force 'Arsenal Plane' Revival Sparks Intense Debate

    5 juin 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    U.S. Air Force 'Arsenal Plane' Revival Sparks Intense Debate

    Steve Trimble June 02, 2020 An "Arsenal Plane" has rapidly emerged as a short-term priority for the U.S. Air Force, but an internal debate continues over the type of aircraft to use, potentially affecting the service's existing command structure and the Northrop Grumman B-21 program. A proposal to modify Lockheed C-130s and Boeing C-17s to air-drop existing and new long-range munitions is now favored as a short-term solution by the Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability (AFWIC) office, which is charged with developing new operational concepts by the Air Staff. Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC), which has responsibility for the bomber fleet and inventory of intercontinental ballistic missiles, prefers developing a new aircraft optimized for the mission, rather than seeking to borrow strike capacity from an already overburdened air mobility fleet. Neither proposal is endorsed by the Mitchell Institute, the think tank arm of the Air Force Association (AFA). In a prepublication report obtained by Aviation Week, Col. (ret.) Mark Gunzinger, the institute's director of Future Aerospace Concepts and Capability Assessments, argues that the most cost-effective solution is to buy more B-21 bombers rather than invest in more long-range munitions to support the Arsenal Plane concept. All the parties involved agree that the airborne component of the Air Force's long-range strike capability is inadequate, even after Northrop Grumman delivers at least 100 B-21s, which are expected to replace a fleet of 20 Northrop B-2s and 62 Rockwell B-1Bs and operate alongside about 75 Boeing B-52s. “What we see is that no matter how big our bomber force is, the capacity that the Joint Force needs is always more and more,” says Maj. Gen. Clinton Hinote, deputy director of the AFWIC, which develops new operational concepts on the Air Staff. The Air Force's latest estimate of the requirement calls for a fleet of at least 220 bombers, Gen. Timothy Ray, the head of AFGSC, told reporters in early April. According to a fleet forecast in the Mitchell Institute report, the Air Force inventory could decline to about 120 bombers by 2032 as the B-2 and B-1B fleets are retired. Gunzinger, a former bomber pilot, forecasts the Air Force will order about 120 B-21s by 2040. Combined with 75 B-52s, however, the fleet would still be about 30 aircraft short of the minimum deemed required by the Air Force today. Closing that gap—either by loading long-range munitions on existing airlifters, developing a new aircraft for that purpose or buying more B-21s—is driving the internal debate. At its core, the debate is over cost-effectiveness and capacity. A stealthy bomber, such as the B-21A, is more expensive than an Arsenal Plane but needs less expensive, unpowered munitions because they can be released closer to the target. On the other hand, the B-21A remains early in the development phase, so Northrop may need more than a decade to deliver a significant number of aircraft. Various forms of the Arsenal Plane concept have been discussed since the 1970s. As former President Jimmy Carter's administration considered options to the Rockwell B-1A, the Defense Department briefly proposed the Cruise Missile Carrier Aircraft—a Boeing 747 modified to launch cruise missiles. The idea reemerged nearly 30 years later as the program that led to the B-21A began taking shape. In 2006, the Congressional Budget Office considered an Arsenal Aircraft based on a Boeing C-17 loaded with a supersonic cruise missile and concluded that it would be less effective than a penetrating bomber and require an extra $3.5 billion to order more C-17s. As the Pentagon locked in requirements for the B-21A program four years later, an Air Force-funded study by Rand compared the costs of a penetrating bomber versus an Arsenal Plane concept. If the U.S. military engages in at least 20 days of airstrikes over a 30-year period, the 2010 study concluded a penetrating bomber would be more affordable than the required investment in the Arsenal Plane. Even though the Air Force awarded Northrop a contract to develop the B-21A in October 2015, however, the debate has continued. Will Roper, then director of the Strategic Capabilities Office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, unveiled an Arsenal Plane concept in February 2016, showing a Lockheed C-130-like aircraft dispensing palletized munitions. A year later, Roper became assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, and the Arsenal Plane moved to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). In January, the AFRL completed the first test of a new palletized munition dropped by an MC-130J. A picture of the new weapon—the Cargo Launch Expendable Air Vehicles with Extended Range (Cleaver)—showed six munitions on each pallet. A follow-up test involving an airdrop from C-17s was scheduled in April. The Cleaver testing satisfied AFRL that C-130s and C-17s could adapt one of the core capabilities for both aircraft: airdrop. The C-17 also has demonstrated the capability of releasing air-launched rockets from the cargo bay. In 2006, a C-17 was used to air-drop a launcher for a hypersonic boost-glide missile. The aircraft also is used by the Missile Defense Agency to test interceptors by dropping surrogates of medium-range ballistic missiles. The AFRL completed the tests weeks before the Defense Department completed plans for the fiscal 2022 budget proposal. “We are in discussions right now about how we proceed to prototyping and fielding,” Hinote says. For AFWIC, arming C-130s and C-17s with long-range weapons is attractive because it can increase munition capacity significantly in the near term. “It's all about capacity and that you've got to create enough capacity so that long-range punch is really a punch,” Hinote says. “This is why we think that there's a real possibility here for using cargo platforms to be able to increase the capacity of fires.” Not everyone agrees with that approach. As the commander of the Air Force's bomber fleet, Ray told reporters in early April that he does not want a commander to have to choose between using a C-17 for either weapons or airlift capacity. “When you think about using a cargo plane, you're in competition for other airlift requirements,” Ray said. “I think the Arsenal Plane concept is probably better defined as more of a clean-sheet approach to a platform that can affordably and rapidly fill the gap.” While Hinote and Ray debate whether an existing or clean-sheet design is better for an Arsenal Plane, some airpower experts still reject the idea that anything less than a stealthy bomber is adequate. Instead of lobbing long-range missiles, the B-21 is designed to get close enough to a target to use short-range, direct-attack weapons. Such munitions do not need to carry fuel and propulsion systems and so they can be smaller in proportion to the size of their warhead. “Size matters, since the number of weapons that can be delivered per aircraft sortie decreases as weapon size increases,” Gunzinger wrItes in the Mitchell Institute report. In addition to capacity, Gunzinger also questions the cost of an Arsenal Plane's required inventory of long-range munitions versus a bomber's more affordable, precision-guided bombs. A conflict with China or Russia could generate a massive list of targets. “Using tens of thousands of very long-range standoff weapons that cost a million dollars or more each is simply not affordable,” Gunzinger writes. https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/aircraft-propulsion/us-air-force-arsenal-plane-revival-sparks-intense-debate

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 7, 2018

    8 novembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 7, 2018

    ARMY Aegis Defense Services LLC, McLean, Virginia (W52P1J-19-D-0001); Janus Global Operations LLC, Lenoir City, Tennessee (W52P1J-19-D-0002); Reed International Inc., Leesburg, Virginia (W52P1J-19-D-0003); Sallyport Global Services, Reston, Virginia (W52P1J-19-D-0004); and Triple Canopy Inc., Reston, Virginia (W52P1J-19-D-0005), will compete for each order of the $4,000,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for security support services. Bids were solicited via the internet with seven received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 1, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity. DRS Network & Imaging Systems LLC, Huntsville, Alabama, was awarded a $129,209,418 cost-plus-fixed-fee Foreign Military Sales (Australia, Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq Morocco and Saudi Arabia) contract for system technical support services, system sustainment technical support services, and post production software support services for the Direct Support Electrical System Test Set, embedded diagnostics, software loader/verifier, combined application platform and power and diagnostics services. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 6, 2023. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-19-D-0009). DMCA Inc.,* Arlington, Virginia (W91278-19-D-0001); Doyon Project Services LLC,* Federal Way, Washington (W91278-19-D-0002); Facility Services Management Inc.,* Clarksville, Tennessee (W91278-19-D-0003); Herman Construction Group Inc.,* Escondido, California (W91278-19-D-0004); LEGO Construction Co.,* Miami, Florida (W91278-19-D-0005); Royce Construction Services LLC,* Reston, Virginia (W91278-19-D-0006); and T&C Services LLC,* Anchorage, Alaska (W91278-19-D-0007), will compete for each order of the $49,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for medical facility repair and minor construction. Bids were solicited via the internet with eight received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2023. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity. Oshkosh Defense LLC, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was awarded an $11,981,727 modification (P00137) to contract W56HZV-15-C-0095 for Revision One to Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Retrofit Work Directive. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 13, 2019. Fiscal 2018 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $11,981,727 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity. Kipper Tool Co., Gainesville, Georgia, was awarded a $10,419,853 firm-fixed-price contract for hydraulic, electric, pneumatic operated equipment. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work will be performed in Gainesville, Georgia, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 27, 2019. Fiscal 2017 National Guard and Reserve Equipment Appropriation funds in the amount of $10,419,853 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-19-F-0051). AIR FORCE The Boeing Co., Heath, Ohio, has been awarded an $18,491,168, requirements task order for guidance and navigation system repairs for multiple aircraft platforms. Work will be performed in Heath, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 29, 2019. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2019 working capital funds in the amount of $18,491,168, are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Sustainment Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity (FA8117-15-F-0030). Materials Engineering and Technical Support Services, Westerville, Ohio, has been awarded a $9,750,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for research, development, test and evaluation of methods and technologies to mitigate chemical and biological threat hazards. This contract provides for literature, policy, and technology reviews; laboratory and field studies; and modeling and simulation activities to further expand the understanding of the impact of chemical and biological threat agents. Work will be performed in Westerville, Ohio; and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and expected to be completed by Nov. 7, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and one offer was received. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Fiscal 2018, research, development, test and evaluation funds will be obligated on the initial task order. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-19-D-6993). L-3 Communications, Greenville, Texas, has been awarded a $7,298,360 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to contract FA8620-11-G-4026 for advanced engineering services. The contract modification is for additional engineering efforts. Work will be performed in Greenville, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2019. This contract involves 100 percent foreign military sales (FMS). This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. FMS funds in the amount of $7,298,360 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $59,019,376. The 645th Aeronautical Systems Group, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. NAVY Canadian Commercial Corp., Ontario, Canada, is awarded a $9,999,999 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the refurbishment and manufacturing of the TR-343 transducer tube assemblies in support of the repair of TR-343 sonar transducers. The transducer tube assemblies are a critical component of the TR-343 transducer used in the AN/SQS-53C hull-mounted sonar array subsystem for the AN/SQQ-89(V) acoustic sonar weapons system. Work will be performed in Toronto, Canada, and is expected to be completed by November 2023. Fiscal 2016 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); and fiscal 2019 working capital fund funding in the amount of $1,127,528 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured through the Federal Business Opportunities website, with two offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Indiana, is the contracting activity (N0016419DGP35). *Small Business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1685262/source/GovDelivery/

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