18 septembre 2023 | International, Terrestre

US Army’s Dark Eagle hypersonic weapon fielding delayed to year’s end

“We’re finding problems,” Assistant Secretary of the Army Doug Bush said. “It’s actually good we’re finding these.”


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  • £30-million injection for UK’s first uncrewed fighter aircraft

    26 janvier 2021 | International, Aérospatial

    £30-million injection for UK’s first uncrewed fighter aircraft

    The UK's first fleet of uncrewed fighter aircraft is one step closer to reality following a £30-million contract to design and manufacture a prototype in a three-year deal supporting more than 100 jobs in Belfast. Published 25 January 2021 From: Ministry of Defence, Northern Ireland Office, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, and Jeremy Quin MP The uncrewed combat aircraft will be designed to fly at high-speed alongside fighter jets, armed with missiles, surveillance and electronic warfare technology to provide a battle-winning advantage over hostile forces. Known as a ‘loyal wingman', these aircraft will be the UK's first uncrewed platforms able to target and shoot down enemy aircraft and survive against surface to air missiles. In a boost for Northern Ireland's defence industry, Spirit AeroSystems, Belfast, have been selected to lead Team MOSQUITO in the next phase of the Project. Utilising ground-breaking engineering techniques, the team will further develop the RAF's Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA) concept, with a full-scale vehicle flight-test programme expected by the end of 2023. Northern Ireland Secretary, Brandon Lewis said: This is fantastic news and underlines the distinct strengths in Northern Ireland's economy, through its advanced engineering and manufacturing capabilities. This ground-breaking project will involve significant investment which will not only support local employment, but also reinforce Northern Ireland's contribution to the security of our nation. Team MOSQUITO, which also includes Northrop Grumman UK, will mature the designs and manufacture a technology demonstrator to generate evidence for a follow-on LANCA programme. If successful, Project Mosquito's findings could lead to this revolutionary capability being deployed alongside the Typhoon and F-35 Lightning jets by the end of the decade. Defence Minister, Jeremy Quin said: This is a great win for the Northern Ireland defence industry and will showcase some of the most pioneering engineering work currently being undertaken in the UK. The £30 million project will accelerate the development of the UK's future air power by delivering cutting-edge uncrewed aircraft, maintaining our position as a world leader in emerging technologies. Working with innovative partners from across the UK, Project Mosquito is transforming traditional approaches to combat air to enable the rapid development of technology. By utilising the latest software development techniques and civilian aerospace engineering and manufacturing expertise, the project will deliver dramatic reductions in costs and development timelines, so their innovations can reach the front-line quicker than ever before. This game changing research and development project will ensure the final aircraft design will be capable of being easily and affordably updated with the latest technology so we remain one step ahead of our adversaries. The aircraft's flexibility will provide the optimum protection, survivability and information as it flies alongside Typhoon, F-35 Lightning, and later, Tempest as part of our future combat air system. Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff said: We're taking a revolutionary approach, looking at a game-changing mix of swarming drones and uncrewed fighter aircraft like Mosquito, alongside piloted fighters like Tempest, that will transform the combat battlespace in a way not seen since the advent of the jet age. Director Future Combat Air, Richard Berthon said: Project Mosquito is a vital element of our approach to Future Combat Air, rapidly bringing to life design, build and test skills for next generation combat air capabilities. Autonomous ‘loyal wingman' aircraft create the opportunity to expand, diversify and rapidly upgrade Combat Air Forces in a cost-effective way, now and in the future. As announced by the Prime Minister in November 2020, the UK's Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme is set to benefit from a portion of the extra £1.5 billion investment into military research and development, which will help ensure our Armed Forces are prepared to meet the threats of tomorrow. LANCA originated in 2015 in Dstl to understand innovative Combat Air technologies and concepts that offer radical reductions in cost and development time and is a RAF Rapid Capabilities Office led project under the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI). The UK MOD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) provides the project management and is the MOD's technical authority for LANCA and Project Mosquito on behalf of the RCO. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/30m-injection-for-uks-first-uncrewed-fighter-aircraft

  • Pentagon Approves Two-Carrier Buy As Fixes Continue to Navy’s Most Expensive Ship

    7 janvier 2019 | International, Naval

    Pentagon Approves Two-Carrier Buy As Fixes Continue to Navy’s Most Expensive Ship

    By PAUL MCLEARY Congress is evaluating the proposal to issue a $24 billion contract for the Navy's next two carriers, as the service looks at months of work to fix ongoing problems with the Ford-class's first ship. WASHINGTON: The Navy's coming request for the 2020 fiscal year is still under wraps, but one important piece of the Navy's future plans appears increasingly certain: the service will commit billions to buy two new Ford-class aircraft carriers under the same contract. While most of that money won't be spent in '20, it's still a tremendous long-term commitment that, advocates say, should save 5 to 10 percentover buying each carrier separately. The Navy says that the long-troubled Ford program has turned a corner, and it is pushing ahead with remaining fixes while planning to save up to $4 billion by buying the next two flattops on a single massive contract. That mega-deal would remove uncertainty for the builder, HII's Newport News Shipbuilding, and help keep production lines humming with no expensive stop-and-start in construction or ramping up and down of supply chains, which spreads across dozens of states. Congress first has to review the plan over the next 30 days before Navy can award the contract. News of the potential buy — which was expected by the end of the year — camefrom Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who put out a statement on New Year's Eve saying he was “thrilled the Navy has decided to pursue a block buy for aircraft carriers, something I've been advocating to save billions in taxpayer dollars and offer more certainty to the Hampton Roads defense community.” Kaine, a longtime proponent of the block buy, also represents the state where the work will be done. “This smart move will save taxpayer dollars and help ensure the shipyards can maintain a skilled workforce to get the job done,” he said. Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman, outgoing chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, said he's “thrilled” about the notification which will allow the Navy “to build to a fleet of 12 aircraft carriers and 355 ships.” Wittman attached an amendment to the FY 2019 DoD appropriations bill calling for the dual buy, which he says “will not only save the taxpayers $4 billion, it provides important certainty to our defense industrial base that build and maintain these ships.” Wittman was the author of the “Securing the Homeland by Increasing our Power on the Seas Act,” which transformed the Navy's goal of 355 ships into official government policy. President Trump signed the bill into law in 2017. Both senators said the contract will keep the ships at or under the construction cap set by Congress of $12.9 billion each. Last May, however, the first ship of the class, USS Gerald R. Ford, blew past that cap by $120 million thanks to a litany of fixes identified by shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries., including replacing propulsion components damaged in a previous failure, extending the repair schedule to 12 months from the original eight, and correcting problems with the ship's eleven Advanced Weapons Elevators. The elevators, used to bring munitions from below deck up top for installation on aircraft, are powered by magnets as opposed to cables, and were supposed to be installed by the ship's delivery date in May 2017, but issues have delayed their completion. Navy spokesman Capt. Danny Hernandez told me that the eleven elevators remain “in varying levels of construction, testing and operations,” and the first one was turned over to the crew in December. The plan is to complete installation and testing of the elevators before the ship's scheduled “sail away date” in July. Hernandez added that “there will be some remaining certification documentation that will be performed for 5 of the 11 elevators after” July, and “a dedicated team is engaged on these efforts and will accelerate this certification work and schedule where feasible.” James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, promised a Congressional panel in November that the Ford would leave HII's Newport News shipyard with all systems in working order. “I would say of all of the technologies on the CVN 78, of which there were many we proved out on this lead ship, the weapons elevator is the last one that we need to get tied up and work our way through,” Geurts said. “We are making progress,” he said. The second ship of the class, CVN 79, USS John F. Kennedy, is currently under construction. Huntington spokesperson Beci Brenton said in a statement the company is “pleased to have come to an agreement with the Navy regarding a two-ship acquisition approach for CVN 80 and 81, a significant step toward building these ships more affordably. Although there is more work to be done it is important to note that the multi-ship purchase of aircraft carriers helps stabilize the Newport News Shipbuilding workforce, enables the purchase of material in quantity, and permits a fragile supplier base of more than 2,000 in 46 states to phase work more efficiently.” After decades of dominance however, the Ford-class carriers might be the last of the line for US nuclear-powered supercarriers, given the increasing threat being presented by land-based “ship-killer” standoff weapons being fielded by China and Russia. Speaking at a Heritage Foundation event last month, Bryan Clark, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said that optimistically, a carrier strike group could likely knock down 450 incoming missiles, but “that is not enough. You are looking at a threat that is at least 600, and maybe more weapons” that the Chinese can launch from their coast on short notice. Jerry Hendrix, vice president of the Telemus Group, added that the threat could be somewhat mitigated by keeping ships father from shore and putting more drones in the air both as scouts and attack aircraft. The “carrier air wing must increase its range by investing in an unmanned, air combat strike platform,” Hendrix said. Any moves to increase range must first fight for primacy with the navy's other massive investment in hulls, from new aircraft carriers to Columbia-class submarinesto a new frigate. When the 2020 budget comes out next month, we'll likely have a better idea of what the Navy is planning. https://breakingdefense.com/2019/01/navy-going-for-two-carrier-buy-as-value-of-flattops-debated

  • Turkey is building a new attack helo. Here are the weapons that will arm it

    12 mars 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Turkey is building a new attack helo. Here are the weapons that will arm it

    By: Burak Ege Bekdil ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's procurement authorities have officially launched the country's first indigenous program to build a heavy helicopter gunship in the 8- to 10-ton category. A contract was signed between the procurement authority, Presidency of Defence Industries, and the country's top aerospace company, the government-controlled Turkish Aerospace Industries, or TAI. Officials from both entities said they expect the new chopper will take its maiden flight within five years. They officials also said the new attack platform will feature an advanced target-tracking system, imagery technology, electronic warfare suites, a cruise system, and communications and weapons systems. Other features include a high-caliber gun system, new-generation 2.75-inch rockets with different guidance systems, long-range anti-tank missiles and air-to-air rockets. The attack helicopter is expected to perform all-weather missions at high altitude and have twin turboshaft engines as well as a 1,200-kilogram payload. TAI already makes the T129, a 5-ton attack helicopter based on its predecessor, the A129 Mangusta. The T129 is a twin-engine multirole attack helicopter produced under license from the Italian-British AgustaWestland. The T129 is powered by two LHTEC T800-4A turboshaft engines. Each engine can produce 1,014 kilowatts of output power. The T800-4A is an export version of the CTS800 engine. LHTEC, the maker of the engine, is a joint venture between the American firm Honeywell and the British company Rolls-Royce. In 2018, TAI signed a $1.5 billion to sell a batch of 30 T129 helicopter gunships to Pakistan. TAI officials say they also want to export the heavy attack platform, specifically to the Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern markets. However, as is the case with the T129, TAI will have to win U.S. export licenses for any export deal with a third country. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/techwatch/2019/03/07/turkey-is-building-a-new-attack-helo-here-are-the-weapons-that-will-arm-it

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