13 janvier 2023 | International, C4ISR

US Army rolls out Google collaboration suite to 180,000-plus personnel

Asked if there have been any major hiccups or technical glitches, Army Undersecretary Gabe Camarillo said: "None that I’ve been made aware of. At all."


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  • Italian row with France unsettles naval industry cooperation

    4 février 2019 | International, Naval

    Italian row with France unsettles naval industry cooperation

    By: Tom Kington ROME — A series of diplomatic rows between France and Italy, culminating in the exchange of insults between leaders, is casting doubt on naval industry cooperation between the countries. Moves by France's Naval Group and Italy's Fincantieri to integrate their shipyard work has coincided with a crescendo of acrimony between Rome and Paris following the election last year of Italy's first populist government. Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and French President Emmanuel Macron have battled over who should take responsibility for migrants that sail to Europe from Africa, with Salvini last month calling Macron a “terrible” president who deserved to be voted out of office. Italy's second deputy prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, who leads the anti-establishment Five Star party, has meanwhile openly backed the so-called Yellow Vest protesters who have rioted on the streets of France in protest at Macron's government and its policies. Asked about the verbal attacks from Rome on Jan. 27, Macron replied: “Italy is a great people; the Italian people are our friends and deserve leaders worthy of their history.” Underlying the row is the Italian government's new nationalism, which has put it at loggerheads with the European Union and Macron, who is seen by Rome as a pro-globalism politician. The spat is expected to increase as both Italy's ruling parties — Five Star and Salvini's League party — get on the campaign trail ahead of European parliamentary elections in May. Pierside troubles Analysts fear fallout for defense industry collaboration between the countries, which starts with the well-established satellite and space joint venture between Italy's Leonardo and France's Thales. But the main concern is the naval deal, which was signed last October, under which Fincantieri and Naval Group created a 50-50 joint venture to build and export naval vessels. Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono said he hopes the deal is the start of wider collaboration. Speaking at the launch of Italy's ninth FREMM frigate on Jan 26, Bono played down the frictions with France, telling reporters, “We are part of the same alliance, we have common history,” and adding that the diplomatic tensions “will not influence the work we are doing with Naval Group.” But one analyst was less sanguine. “It's a complicated deal, and as it gets more complicated, external events become more influential,” said Jean Pierre Darnis, scientific adviser at Rome's IAI think tank. “If ministers from the two countries don't meet, and we are waiting for [the] next bilateral [meeting], problems won't get resolved. Right now the Italian-French business community is very concerned,” he added. The naval deal was spurred by an earlier accord for Fincantieri to take control of French shipyard Chantiers de l'Atlantique. That deal, too, was up in the air when France and Germany referred the agreement to the European Commission for anti-trust scrutiny last month. “What has happened is extremely serious, France and Germany behaved wrongly. It throws into doubt all accords,” Italy's Salvini said. Bono said he was confident the EU would not oppose the deal, given it is “in the interests of Europe,” echoing claims that a consolidated European shipbuilding industry would enable competition since it could compete with large players outside Europe. But Europe's ability to consolidate industry was again thrown into doubt in January when Macron and German leader Angela Merkel agreed to forge closer ties between Germany and France to head off the political challenge in Europe from populist governments like Italy, Hungary and Poland. One consequence, warned Italian IAI analyst Michele Nones, was that closer Franco-German ties could squeeze Italy out of access to defense industry funding provided by the new European Defence Fund. https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/02/01/italian-row-with-france-unsettles-naval-industry-cooperation

  • Organizers Cancel Paris Air Show 2021 On COVID-19 Uncertainty

    7 décembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Organizers Cancel Paris Air Show 2021 On COVID-19 Uncertainty

    Helen Massy-Beresford December 07, 2020 PARIS—The organizers of the Paris Air Show, the world's largest, have canceled the 2021 edition because of continued uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The board of directors of the Paris Air Show and the board of directors of French aerospace industry association GIFAS made the decision unanimously, describing it as inevitable in a statement Dec. 7. “This reasonable decision was agreed upon unanimously by the Paris Air Show board members in the context of a crisis that has had an unprecedented impact on the aerospace industry,” they said in a joint statement. The coronavirus crisis has devasted demand for travel, with many airlines grounding the majority of their fleets and relying on government bailouts to survive. IATA does not expect traffic to return to 2019 levels before 2024. The Paris Air Show is usually held at Le Bourget Airport, just outside the French capital, and in 2019 attracted over 316,000 visitors, split between civil and defense industry professionals and the general public, making it the largest air show in the world. Orders worth $140 billion—across the civil and military sectors—were announced at the 2019 show. The first Paris Air Show was held in 1909 and the event has taken place every other year since—with interruptions for the two world wars. The 2021 edition was set to be the 54th. “We are obviously disappointed not to be able to hold the 2021 edition of the Paris Air Show. After many months of all trade show activities being suspended throughout the world, the entire international aerospace and defence community was very much looking forward to being able to meet,” the International Paris Air Show chairman and Daher Group chairman Patrick Daher said. “We have already started work to ensure that the 2023 edition celebrates the resurgence of the aerospace industry on an international scale,” he added. The event had been due to take place from June 21-27 next year and the organizers said they would shortly announce the exact dates of the next edition, which will be held in June 2023. https://aviationweek.com/air-transport/aircraft-propulsion/organizers-cancel-paris-air-show-2021-covid-19-uncertainty

  • Defense industry fighting DoD proposal to change performance payments

    25 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Defense industry fighting DoD proposal to change performance payments

    By: Joe Gould WASHINGTON — The Pentagon's proposed plan to lower the rate of progress and performance payments some companies receive on defense contracts is sending shockwaves through the industry and invited a backlash from three large trade associations. To incentivize defense firms to work more quickly and more efficiently for the taxpayer, Pentagon leaders want to create a tiered system that recognizes high performing companies with higher performance-based payments. Contractors, however, are balking at the Pentagon's efforts to make them more accountable. While obscure to the general public, the proposed rule changes have rattled government contractors, which argue they would choke off funding for innovation, shackle them with more bureaucracy, increase the cost of military equipment— and hurt profits. The baseline performance- and progress-based payment rate for larger companies would be reset from 80 percent to 50 percent, with incremental increases or decreases based on new criteria proposed by DoD. If a contractor, for instance, delivers end items on time, hits milestone schedules, or avoids serious corrective action requests, it would win 10 percent bumps for each. (Small businesses would have their own schedule of incentives.) The National Defense Industrial Association is calling on DoD to rescind the regulation and collaborate with industry to create a different rule. One objection it has is the proposed rule would determine payment rates based on companies' overall performance, as opposed to contract by contract. “The marching orders from Congress is we have to be faster, more innovative, to do better for the warfighter,” said NDIA Senior Vice President for Policy Wesley Hallman. But, under the proposed rule, a company that wants to take on a high-risk project that fails, “will later be judged on that thing the following December. They're incentivized to take a low-risk approach.” Though Section 831 of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act encourages DoD to use performance payments, NDIA argues the rule violate's the law's intent and that lessening companies' cash flow would slow payments to subcontractors and sap funding for independent research and development. “We're doing our best to let them know how this will hurt industry,” said NDIA Director of Regulatory Policy Corbin Evans. The trade group's comments were submitted at a public meeting Sept. 14 to consider changes the Pentagon proposed in August to federal acquisitions rules, the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement. The Defense Department is holding another public meeting, Oct. 10, before the public comment period ends on Oct. 23. Both the Professional Services Council and the Aerospace Industries Association, which more than 300 companies in the aerospace and defense industry, also offered presentations in opposition. The move toward better stewardship of taxpayer dollars comes amid record Pentagon budget growth and amid a reorganization of the Pentagon's acquisition, technology and logistics office, now due to finish in a few months. The move falls in line with Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord's efforts to halve the timeline of major defense acquisition programs, which are notoriously slow. “I believe the lifeblood of most industry is cash flow, so what we will do is regulate the percentage of payments or the amount of profit that can be achieved through what type of performance they demonstrate by the numbers,” Lord said in a Defense News interview last week. Hence, “we're going to begin to reward companies through profit or through progress or performance payments, as a function of how they manage all of that, as well as quality and delivery and a variety of other things,” Lord said. Though it's unclear whether DoD will formally move ahead with the rule by a Dec. 1 deadline, investors have already responded negatively to a reports on the changes, according to aerospace and defense sector analysts at Cowen and Company. “It will be a scramble for companies and DoD to compile the necessary data to evaluate the rate request. Under the current draft rule, DoD would need to evaluate the rate request in just one month for all its suppliers,” Roman Schweizer, of Cowen and Company, said in a note to investors Friday. “We suspect that will be very hard the first time and suggests this year may be too hard.” Still, Cowen analyst Cai von Rumohr downplayed the near-term effects, especially beyond the major primes. He speculated the proposed rule change will have negligible impact on contractor results in 2019 since it doesn't apply to any current contracts; it's very unlikely to go into effect before 2020, if ever; it will not apply to time and materials and fixed-price commercial terms contracts, and because it will only apply to some cost-plus contracts. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2018/09/24/defense-industry-fighting-dod-proposal-to-change-performance-payments

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