13 mai 2022 | International, Naval
The rifle will replace both the Mk13 Mod 7 and the M40A6 sniper rifles.
PARIS ― The U.S. Army's test-firing of a 30mm gun turret from CMI Defence is seen by the Belgian firm as putting it in a privileged position for an upcoming tender for greater firepower for the Stryker combat vehicle, a company spokesman said.
“We're in pole position, “ Xavier Rigo, communications manager of CMI Defence, told Defense News on June 18. “That does not mean we will win the race, but it puts us in a very good position. We are very proud to have been selected for tests, a real recognition for our team and our equipment.”
That test-firing stems from a cooperative research and development agreement CMI signed in 2015 with the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, which is seeking a lethality upgrade for the Stryker.
CMI adapted the turret to fit the U.S. requirement for linkless ammunition, he said. ATK supplies the 30mm gun, which CMI fitted to its turret.
The Belgian company also supplies a 105mm gun turret for a bid led by SAIC in the U.S. tender for the Mobile Protected Firepower program. CMI has fielded its Cockerill 3105 turret, which uses its turret and 105mm cannon, with the latter built in a factory in northern France.
A Cockerill 3105 turret was among the products on display at the CMI stand at the Eurosatory trade show, which ran June 11-15. The stand at the show two years ago used the Cockerill brand name.
BAE Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems and SAIC are the competitors in that Mobile Protected Firepower competition, Rigo said. The next step is a down-select to two bidders, which will be asked to build and supply 12 prototype vehicles for tests.
In Europe, CMI is ”in discussion with the Belgian government“ in its search for a role in Belgium's planned €1 billion (U.S. $1.2 billion) acquisition of the Griffon and Jaguar armored vehicles from the French Army Scorpion program.
Those talks are exploring the possibility for CMI to participate in local production and maintenance of the Scorpion vehicles, he said. The Belgian project, dubbed Capacité Mobilisé, or CAMO, sparked debate, as the planned acquisition boosted French contractors Arquus, Nexter and Thales, but left CMI turrets by the wayside.
CMI has delivered 130 gun turrets and is building some 20 turrets per month to supply GDLS, which has a contract with a Middle Eastern country, he said, declining to identify the client nation.
Those turrets are based on four modules, armed with 30mm, 90 mm, 105 mm, and both 105mm and 30mm guns. There are both manned and unmanned versions of the turret.
Canadian broadcaster CBC reported March 19 that GLDS Canada has sold to Saudi Arabia combat vehicles armed with 105mm and 30mm guns for ”heavy assault,” anti-tank and direct-fire support.
CMI conducted a firing demonstration of its six Cockerill gun turrets June 15 at the French Army Suippes firing range, eastern France. Some 60 representatives of foreign army delegations attended, the company said in a statement.
The Belgian company had been one of the bidders for Arquus, the then-Governmental Sales unit of Volvo Group, until the Swedish truck maker canceled the sale. Nexter had been the other bidder.
13 mai 2022 | International, Naval
The rifle will replace both the Mk13 Mod 7 and the M40A6 sniper rifles.
20 décembre 2017 | International, Aérospatial
WASHINGTON — The United States is actively pursuing a change to a major arms control treaty that would open the door for wider exports of military drones. The proposed change to the Missile Technology Control Regime would make it easier for nations to sell the systems, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, that fly under 650 km per hour, according to multiple sources who are aware of the efforts. The MTCR is an agreement among 35 nations that governs the export of missiles and UAVs. Under the terms of the MTCR, any “category-1” system capable of carrying 500-kilogram payloads for more than 300 kilometers is subject to a “strong presumption of denial.” Proponents of UAV exports argue that language, while appropriate for curtailing the sale of cruise missiles, should not group together expandable weapons and unmanned systems. Instead, they argue, UAVs should be looked at the same way fighter jets or other high-tech military vehicles are. As part of an effort to find a compromise, American officials floated a white paper during the latest plenary session on the MTCR in October, proposing new language to the treaty: that any air vehicle that flies under 650 kilometers per hour would drop to “category-2” and thus be subject to approval on a case-by-case basis. A State Department official confirmed to Defense News that the U.S. presented the white paper, and that American negotiators have zeroed in on the speed of the vehicles as a potential change to the treaty. However, the official declined to comment on the exact speed under consideration. “I can't confirm any specific numbers because it's treated — inside the MTCR — as proprietary ... particularly because there's a deliberative process,” the official said. “But I can tell you that speed is the thing that we, based on industry input and all, have looked at. And that's what we have discussed with partners. And I know other governments are also looking at speed as well, so we're all sort of coming to a similar conclusion.” Under the MTCR, a “presumption of denial” about exports for category-1 systems exists. In essence, that means countries tied into the MTCR need to have a very compelling case to sell them. However, the speed change, if adopted, would result in most drones used by the U.S. military dropping down from category-1 to category-2, allowing the U.S. to sell them through the traditional foreign military sale or direct commercial sale methods. “Treating drones as missiles is fundamentally incoherent. It reflects a 1980s view of the technology,” said Michael Horowitz, a former Pentagon official now with the University of Pennsylvania who has studied drone issues. “To the extent creating a speed delineation helps you get around that problem, it's a good practical solution.” The impact of speed Most medium-altitude, long-endurance systems like General Atomics' MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper fly at slow speeds, with the Reaper clocking in with a cruise speed of 230 mph or 370 kph, according to an Air Force facts sheet. Northrop Grumman's RQ-4 Global Hawk, a high-altitude ISR drone, flies only at a cruise speed of about 357 mph or 575 kph. The 650 kph ceiling would also keep the door open for companies developing cutting-edge rotorcraft that could be modified in the future to be unmanned — a key request made by the companies involved in the Future Vertical Lift consortium, said one industry source. Those companies include Bell Helicopter and a Sikorsky-Boeing team, both of which are developing high-speed rotorcraft that can fly at excess of 463 kph, or 250 knots, for the Army's Joint Multi Role technology demonstrator program. However, the limitation would ensure that some of the United States' most technologically advanced UAVs stay out of the grasp of other nations. For example, it would prevent the proliferation of jet-powered, fast moving flying wing drones like Boeing's Phantom Ray and Northrop Grumman's X-47B demonstrators, both of which can cruise at near-supersonic speeds. While the UAV industry wants the U.S. government to pick up the pace on drone export reform, the State Department and other agencies argue that a prudent approach is needed. For example, any change to the MTCR that loosens restrictions on low-speed drones also needs to be closely examined to ensure that missile technology is still strictly controlled. “We don't want any unintended consequences, so it has to be crafted carefully. We don't want to inadvertently drop something else out like a cruise missile,” the State Department official said. The focus on speed is particularly smart at a time when countries are focused on increasing the speed of their munitions, Horowitz said. He pointed to growing investments in hypersonic weapons as an example where creating a speed delineation in the MTCR would allow the U.S. to push for greater UAV exports while “holding the line on exports of next-generation missiles.” Industry desires Industry has long argued that the United States has taken an overly proscriptive route, hamstringing potential drone sales to allies and pushing them into the arms of more nefarious actors such as China, the other major UAV producer on the worldwide market. Modifying the MTCR is just one facet of the Trump administration's review of drone export policy, which also includes taking a second look at domestic regulations that can be amended by the president at will. Because changes to the MTCR require consensus among the regime's 35 member countries, industry sees it as a direly-needed, but long-term solution. “Now we have lighter-than-air vehicles; we have intelligence, surveillance reconnaissance [UAVs]. We still have cruise missiles, we have aircraft that could autonomous for cargo and other purposes. But [the MTCR] doesn't distinguish between any of that, so a revisit of those MTCR rules is in order for things that fly and can fly autonomously,” said Aerospace Industries Association President David Melcher during a December 14 roundtable with reporters. American firms are particularly concerned about losing out on sales in the Middle East. China has already exported its Wing Loong — a medium altitude, long endurance UAV that resembles General Atomics' MQ-1 Predator — to multiple countries worldwide, including some close U.S. partners such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, sales of U.S.-made drones have been rarer, with many Middle Eastern countries such as the UAE only able to buy unarmed versions of American UAVs, even though those nations regularly purchase more technologically advanced weaponry like fighter jets from the United States. The State official noted that any change in the MTCR would not need to wait until the next plenary session, but could be introduced in some form as early as an April technical meeting. And at least one industry source was optimistic about the administration's MTCR reform plan. “They're taking a pretty smart process in not trying to tackle everything at once, but trying to get some of the language corrected in small bites,” the source said. “I don't see this as being an overnight process. I don't think we're going to end up in the next six months with a brand new MTCR policy.” However, Horowitz warned that the nature of the MTCR, where any single country could veto such a change, means getting any changes will not be easy. Russia, for example, could block the move not on technical reasons but geopolitical ones, given relations between Moscow and Washington. If that happens, Horowitz noted, the U.S. could potentially look to apply the 650 kph speed definition on its own, something possible because of the voluntary nature of the MTCR. https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/12/19/heres-how-the-trump-administration-could-make-it-easier-to-sell-military-drones/
18 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial
By: Nathan Strout Officials at the newly re-established U.S. Space Command are structuring the organization to take better advantage of commercial space innovations, said Maj. Gen. Stephen Whiting, one of the command's leaders. The Combined Force Space Component Command, which plans space operations, has been working on creating so called “combat development divisions” to seek out and integrate new commercial technologies. Two weeks ago, U.S. Space Command dedicated a full-time position at its Combined Space Operations Center to foster greater cooperation between the military and commercial businesses on space operations. The move is necessary because the reality facing the Department of Defense is that funding for space ventures is increasingly taking place in the private sector, Whiting said. In response to this shift, military space leaders have been tasked with increasing information sharing and collaboration with commercial space operators. That effort started with the establishment of a commercial integration cell, a special group within the Combined Space Operations Center focused on maintaining strong interaction with commercial satellite owner/operators who provide services to the military. Inspired by the success of the cell, U.S. Space Command established a full-time position that will work with companies to make follow-on agreements, codify procedures and explore creating additional CIC-like groups to encompass other areas of space operations such as space situational awareness. Whiting serves as the head of the Combined Force Space Component Command and as the deputy commander of Air Force Space Command and spoke at the Mitchell Space Breakfast Series Nov. 15. U.S. Space Command has also had to adapt to new acquisition models designed to harness commercial innovation, Whiting said. The command is working to form small teams focused on scouting for new technologies, based on the Combat Development Divisions pioneered by Special Operations Command. Brig. Gen. Wolf Davidson, who is Whiting's No. 2 and the head of 14th Air Force, is leading the effort to adapt those models to space operations. These efforts are already bearing fruit. The Combat Development Divisions have helped stand up the DoD's first development platform for building and hosting cloud-native military software applications. The Combat Development Divisions have also been working with the Space and Missile Systems Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory to conduct the Air Force Space Pitch Days, an attempt to bring venture capital-style funding to space acquisitions. “I believe they will not only improve CFSCC's ability to innovate, they will also help our enterprise navigate through the uncertainty and technology disruption of the entrepreneurial space race, bringing down costs, schedule and performance risk to our enterprise along the way,” Whiting said. “We consider this to be a critical task and priority for U.S. Space Command and I think it will continue to be a strategic imperative for our future." These changes are fueled by a shift in space innovation from the government sector to the private sector, explained Whiting. “Since the launch of Sputnik up until the beginning of the last decade, research and development for space technology was almost exclusively funded by nation-states,” said Whiting. "This pattern was not only true for the United States, but for foreign nations as well. But in the past 10 years alone, the number of space companies receiving private, non-government funding has grown from 24 to more than 375.” That's an increase of 1,500 percent in privately funded space organizations, and Whiting said that trend would continue. That means that unlike in the past, innovation for space technologies will happen more in the commercial sector than within the government. “This explosion of innovation also means the calm, predictable environment we enjoyed after the Cold War is decisively over. We have entered a new space race ― an entrepreneurial space race ― and it will pull our enterprise out of its predictable and comfortable state into one that's ambiguous, complex and highly unpredictable," Whiting said. In order to harness that innovation, the military needs to be more open, responsive and collaborative with commercial companies. “It's not going to be enough for countries to outpace each other with exclusively state-sponsored campaigns anymore. Instead, nations will gain the upper hand by harvesting the emergent capabilities of their commercial industry, by unlocking the asymmetric advantage of commercial space operations seamlessly integrated with military space operations. Nations that do not do this run the risk of being left behind, of not being able to capitalize on their indigenous talent," said Whiting. https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/space/2019/11/15/an-entrepreneurial-space-race-could-benefit-space-command/