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  • The Pentagon wants help for its satellites to talk to each other

    16 janvier 2020 | International, C4ISR

    The Pentagon wants help for its satellites to talk to each other

    By: Nathan Strout The Space Development Agency wants its satellites to be able to easily talk to each other and is considering using optical intersatellite links for communications within its future low earth orbit space architecture. Now, the organization is looking for industry's help on what standards should be used for those links. On Jan. 15, the agency issued a request for information to industry to inform its attempt to establish an Optical Intersatellite Link Open Standard. Most satellites don't speak with each other directly. Instead, they utilize radio-frequency communications with a ground station to relay communications between satellites. Some satellites, however, are able to use optical links to provide direct communications between satellites without a ground station acting as an intermediary. The SDA wants to use this technology for what it calls its “transport layer,” the backbone of its plans for a new space architecture in low earth orbit. The SDA was established in March 2019 to design the Department of Defense's future threat-driven space architecture, a setup it has since defined as a multi-layered constellation of hundreds of small satellites providing several capabilities from LEO. The SDA will not be directly responsible for every layer or constellation within the architecture — most notably, the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor is being developed primarily by the Missile Defense Agency — however, the SDA will be the agency in charge of integrating those various efforts into a single architecture. Key to the entire enterprise is the Tracking Layer, a family of satellites in low earth orbit that will facilitate the flow of data between satellites in orbit and between satellites and the ground. The Transport Layer will be essential in connecting the various sensors and capabilities on orbit with weapons systems on the ground or in the air. In order to build that capability, the SDA plans to use Optical Intersatellite Links. The optical links will also need to provide range estimates of the distance between satellites in orbit and between satellites and the ground to within a meter in order to provide highly precise timing and positional data for the constellation. The SDA also envisions each satellite utilizing a chip-scale atomic clock as well as GPS signals. The problem is that there are currently no industry standards for those links. To ensure the interoperability of various vendor technologies used for those links, the SDA wants to establish that standard, and it's asking industry for help. Responses are due by Feb. 5. More specifics about what the SDA is considering for its standards is available on beta.sam.gov. According to the request, the SDA plans to issue a solicitation for Tranche 0 of the Transportation Layer in Spring 2020, with additional solicitations for the other capability layers to follow in the summer. That first tranche, known as the war fighter immersion tranche, will consist “of tens of satellites providing periodic, regional sensing and data transport capabilities, including the capability to detect hypersonic glide vehicles and to disseminate time sensitive targeting solutions over tactical data links.” According to the agency, that initial tranche could be delivered as early as fiscal year 2022 https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/c2-comms/2020/01/16/the-pentagon-wants-help-for-its-satellites-to-talk-to-each-other/

  • US Army cancels current effort to replace Bradley vehicle

    16 janvier 2020 | International, Terrestre

    US Army cancels current effort to replace Bradley vehicle

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army is taking a step back on its effort to replace its Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle after receiving only one bid in its competitive prototyping program, but this does not mean the end of the road for the future optionally manned fighting vehicle, service leaders told reporters Jan. 16 at the Pentagon. Until now, the Army has been tight-lipped ever since it appeared the competitive effort was no longer competitive, as the service had received only one prototype submission. “Today the U.S. Army will cancel the current solicitation for the Section 804 Middle Tier acquisition rapid prototyping phase of the [optionally manned fighting vehicle]. Based on feedback and proposals received from industry, we have determined it is necessary to revisit the requirements, acquisition strategy and schedule moving forward,” said Bruce Jette, the Army's acquisition chief. “Since its inception, the OMFV program has represented an innovative approach to Army acquisition by focusing on delivering an essentially new capability to armored brigade combat teams under a significantly reduced timeline compared to traditional acquisition efforts. The Army asked for a great deal of capability on a very aggressive schedule and, despite an unprecedented number of industry days and engagements to include a draft request for proposals over a course of nearly two years, all of which allowed industry to help shape the competition, it is clear a combination of requirements and schedule overwhelmed industry's ability to respond within the Army's timeline,” Jette said. “The need remains clear. OMFV is a critical capability for the Army, and we will be pressing forward after revision." In October, the Army ended up with only one bidder in the OMFV competition — General Dynamics Land Systems. The service had planned to hold a prototyping competition, selecting two winning teams to build prototypes with a downselect to one at the end of an evaluation period. Defense News broke the news that another expected competitor — a Raytheon and Rheinmetall team — had been disqualified from the competition because it had failed to deliver a bid sample to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, by the deadline. A bellwether for what was to come in the prototyping competition happened earlier in the year when BAE Systems, which manufactures the Bradley, decided not compete, Defense News first reported. And, according to several sources, Hanwha also considered competing but decided against the opportunity. The CEO of BAE Systems' U.S.-based business, Jerry DeMuro, told Defense News in a recent interview that the company didn't regret its decision not to pursue OMFV as the requirements and schedule were previously laid out, but said it continues to talk to the Army about future opportunities. “It was a very challenging program,” DeMuro said. “It always comes down to three things: requirements, schedule and funding. The schedule was very, very aggressive, especially early on, and at the same time trying to get leap-ahead technologies. There's a little bit of dichotomy there. “The requirements that were being asked for was going to require, in our estimation, significantly more development that could not be done in that time frame and significantly more capital than the Army was willing to apply.” Jette said the Army had a large number of vendors interested in the effort, hosted 11 industry days and had a number of draft requests for proposals on the street, but, he said, “it's always a challenge for industry. I was on the outside two years ago, and you get an RFP in after the discussions — it still cannot align with what you thought, and that is what you have to respond to is the RFP.” The acquisition chief believes what happened in this case is there was “a large number interested, they started paring down, which started causing us some uncertainty about the competition, but we still had viable vendors in. And when you get out to actually delivering on those requirements, we had one vendor who had challenges meeting compliance issues with delivery, and the second vendor had difficulty meeting responsive issues, critical issues within the requirement — not knowing how to fulfill that.” When pressed as to whether GDLS met the requirements with its bid sample, the Army's program executive officer for ground combat systems, Brig. Gen. Brian Cummings, who was present at the media roundtable along with the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team leader Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, said the Army could not discuss results and findings regarding the company's submission. Several sources confirmed a letter was circulating around Capitol Hill from GDLS to the Army secretary that strongly urged the service to continue with the program without delay. So now it's back to the drawing board to ensure the Army gets the prototyping program right. Jette took pains to stress that the OMFV effort is not a failed program with the likes of Comanche, Future Combat Systems, Crusader or the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter. “This is a continuing program. This is an initial effort at trying to get to a programmatic solution yielded, input that we needed to evaluate, which said we needed to revise our approach, not abandon the program or that it was a failure.” Some major failed programs in the past, Jette noted, were canceled after spending large amounts of money and still moving along even though problems were identified as the service proceeded. Crusader cost about $2 billion, Comanche about $6.9 billion and Future Combat Systems about $19 billion, Jette said. “We've spent a very small amount of money in trying to get to where we are, and in fact a good bit of the technology development that was part of the assessment phase is still totally recoverable," he added. Army Futures Command chief Gen. Mike Murray told the same group of reporters he is hesitant to call OMFV a program because it's a prototyping program, not a program of record. “We are still committed to this. This is like a tactical pause,” he said. The effort so far “gave us a great deal of clarity in understanding what is truly doable,” Jette noted. Army leaders said they would be unable to estimate how long its renewed analysis on the program might take before proceeding with a new solicitation to industry, or what that would mean for the program's schedule in its entirety. The original plan was to field OMFV in 2026. Last month, Congress hacked funding for the OMFV prototyping program, providing $205.6 million in fiscal 2020, a reduction of $172.8 million, which would have made it impossible to conduct a competitive prototyping effort. What happens to that funding or congressional support for the overall program is unclear. While sources confirmed to Defense News in early October that the failure with the OMFV prototyping effort revealed rifts between the acquisition community and the Army's new modernization command, Army Futures Command, Jette said while there is a bit of “scuffing here and there" the two organizations are working together “much better.” Murray added it is his view that the acquisition community and Army Futures Command is moving forward as “one team” with “one goal in mind.” https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/01/16/army-takes-step-back-on-bradley-replacement-prototyping-effort/

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - January 15, 2020

    16 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - January 15, 2020

    AIR FORCE F.K. Horn GmbH & Co., Kaiserslautern, Germany (FA5613-20-D-0001); SKE Support Services GmbH, Goldbach, Germany (FA561320D0002); Mickan GmbH & Co., Amberg, Germany (FA5613-20-D-0003); BB Government Services GmbH, Kaiserslautern, Germany (FA5613-20-D-0004); J&J Worldwide Services, Austin, Texas (FA5613-20-D-0005); and Wolff & Müller Government Services GmbH & Co., Stuttgart, Germany (FA5613-20-D-0006), have been awarded an estimated $425,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the multiple award construction contract. This contract provides for a broad range of design-build, sustainment, maintenance, repair, alteration, renovation and minor construction projects to include residential and commercial work for the Kaiserslautern Military Community, Spangdahlem Air Base, as well as supporting installations throughout Germany. Work will be performed primarily at Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Europe (USAFE); Ramstein Air Base; Spangdahlem Air Base; and USAFE geographically separated units in Germany. The contract will expire on Jan. 14, 2025. This contract is the result of a competitive acquisition and seven offers were received. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of 1,000 Euros are being obligated for each awardee at the time of the award. The 700th Contracting Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is the contracting activity. L3Harris Technologies Inc., Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been awarded a $12,929,064 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification (P01033) to a previously-awarded contract F19628-02-C-0010 for the National Space Defense Center (NSDC) sustainment effort. This modification provides sustainment support for the NSDC at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, which is housed within the Distributed Space Command and Control – Dahlgren program of record. Work will be performed at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2020. The total cumulative face value is $12,929,064. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $12,929,064 are being obligated at time of award. The Space and Missile Systems Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, is the contracting activity. ARMY F3EA Inc.,* Savannah, Georgia, was awarded a $245,000,000 hybrid (cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-sharing, and firm-fixed-price) contract for special operations forces requirements analysis, prototyping, training, operations and rehearsal IV. Bids were solicited via the internet with 10 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 14, 2027. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity (W900KK-20-D-0005). Rogers, Lovelock & Fritz, Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $100,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architecture and engineering design services. Bids were solicited via the internet with 13 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 14, 2030. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City, Missouri, is the contracting activity (W912DQ-20-D-4000). Bechtel National Inc., Reston, Virginia, was awarded a $35,709,723 modification (P00184) to contract W52P1J-09-C-0012 for the increased permitting requirements request for equitable adjustment at Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant as a result of additional work in the sample management office, waste plan analysis and odor monitoring. Work will be performed in Pueblo, Colorado, with an estimated completion date of July 12, 2020. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation, Army funds in the amount of $35,709,723 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. LLC, Oak Brook, Illinois, was awarded a $10,723,250 firm-fixed-price contract for coastal storm risk management work. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Southampton, New York, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2020. Fiscal 2018 flood control and coastal emergencies, civil works funds in the amount of $10,723,250 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York, New York, is the contracting activity (W912DS-20-C-0006). NAVY Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Syracuse, New York, is awarded a $19,330,296 firm-fixed-price modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-19-C-6269 to exercise options for the procurement of eight multi-function modular masts for new-construction Virginia-class submarine Block V hulls. Work will be performed in Nashua, New Hampshire (70%); and Syracuse, New York (30%), and is expected to be completed by September 2023. Fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $19,330,296 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded a $9,075,931 firm-fixed-price delivery order (N00019-20-F-0499) against a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-15-D-0034). This delivery order provides for repair and sustainment services for 155 high-speed anti-radiation missiles in support of the Air Force, the government of Morocco and the government of Turkey. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed in December 2020. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Air Force) funds in the amount of $8,824,266; and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) funds in the amount of $251,665 will be obligated at time of award, $8,824,266 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This order combines purchases for the Air Force ($8,824,266; 97.2%); and FMS customers ($251,665; 2.8%). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. *Small Business https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2058353/source/GovDelivery/

  • L3Harris to deliver Iver4 underwater drone to Navy

    16 janvier 2020 | International, Naval

    L3Harris to deliver Iver4 underwater drone to Navy

    By: Chiara Vercellone WASHINGTON — The Pentagon's Defense Innovation Unit has selected L3Harris Technologies to provide the Navy with an underwater drone for use in expeditionary undersea missions, according to a Jan. 14 news release from the company. As part of the contract, L3Harris will deliver for testing an Iver4-900 PW unmanned undersea vehicle, as well as two field swappable modular payload sections, which, along with additional sensors, will allow the vehicle to detect, classify, localize and identify targets on the ocean floor, the release said. An earlier version of the drone was already sent to the Navy, but under this contract, the company will deliver a version modified to fit the Navy's requirements, a company spokeswoman told Defense News. She would not share the value of the contract. “The Iver4 is leading the next generation of small class UUVs,” said Daryl Slocum, vice president of unmanned maritime systems at L3Harris Technologies. “This platform has been custom-built to address the needs of the Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures and Explosive Ordnance Disposal communities.” The contract award comes as the Navy seeks to bolster its unmanned inventory. Congress recently approved the purchase of two large unmanned surface vessels for the service. In 2019, L3Harris received a contract from the University of Southern Mississippi for an older version of the underwater drone to be used by the university's school of ocean science and engineering. https://www.c4isrnet.com/unmanned/2020/01/15/l3harris-to-deliver-iver4-underwater-drone-to-us-navy

  • Raytheon awarded $9M to maintain HARM weapons for Morocco, Turkey, U.S.

    16 janvier 2020 | International, Terrestre

    Raytheon awarded $9M to maintain HARM weapons for Morocco, Turkey, U.S.

    ByChristen McCurdy Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Raytheon inked a $9 million deal to maintain high-speed anti-radiation missiles, known as HARM, for the Air Force, the government of Morocco and the government of Turkey, according to the Pentagon. The agreement funds repair and sustainment services for 155 missiles owned by Turkey, Morocco and the United States. The AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missile is a joint U.S. Navy and Air Force program developed by the Navy and Raytheon.. The 800-pound missile can operate in preemptive, missile-as-sensor and self-protect modes and was developed to suppress or destroy surface-to-air missile radar and radar-directed air defense systems In July Raytheon received $17.8 million to develop computers to launch HARM weapons, and in 2017 in the contractor was awarded $17 million to deliver a targeting system for the program. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $251,665, and Air Force funds in the amount of $8.24 million are obligated at the time of the award. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed in December 2020. https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2020/01/15/Raytheon-awarded-9M-to-maintain-HARM-weapons-for-Morocco-Turkey-US/5811579137062/

  • Does the Pentagon need a chief management officer?

    16 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Does the Pentagon need a chief management officer?

    By: Jerry McGinn Ms. Lisa Hershman, an accomplished former CEO who has been serving in the Department of Defense for over two years, received Senate confirmation by unanimous consent to become the DoD chief management officer shortly before Christmas. At the same time, however, the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act required two studies from the DoD that openly posit eliminating the CMO function altogether. What gives? The mixed signals coming out of these discordant events underscore the fact that the theory behind the current CMO function (and similar efforts over the past two decades) does not match the reality of the business structure of the DoD. The solution that will ultimately work best for the DoD is one that truly takes a business-based approach to DoD business operations. The CMO function is the latest in a long-running series of efforts since the early 2000s to reform the business of defense. The essential idea has been to bring the best commercial business practices into DoD business operations through organizational and legislative changes. While the rationale for these respective initiatives is unassailable, they have struggled in execution. The CMO and its predecessor organizations, for example, have focused on the acquisition or certification of DoD business systems. These efforts, however, have largely devolved into bureaucratic battles over resources and authorities, pitting the business-focused organization against the formidable military departments and the “fourth estate.” Whatever the outcome, the business-focused organization ends up being seen as weak and ineffective. Why is that? Having worked for years in and around these respective efforts in both government and industry roles, I have come to the conclusion that these well-meaning initiatives are just the wrong type of solution. This is largely because their respective organizations, often despite strong leadership and empowered by various degrees of legislative authority, have not had the bureaucratic throw-weight to succeed in Pentagon battles with the services and the fourth estate. The solution to this challenge, however, is not to further tinker with the CMO's authority or to create a larger or different CMO organization. Part of the solution is to recognize that while the DoD is not a business, it is in many ways a businesslike organization. There are no profit and loss, or P&L, centers in the DoD, but the military departments frankly function in much the same way as a P&L line of business. The services are directly responsible for training and equipping their soldiers, sailors and airmen just as P&L leaders are responsible for delivering products and solutions on time and profitably. Likewise, fourth estate entities such as the defense agencies and the Office of the Secretary of Defense have direct responsibility over their respective functions. Harnessing the power and authority of these organizations through the training and enabling of good business practices is a much more natural fit for the DoD. Devolving responsibility in and of itself is not the answer, however. The other part of the solution is accountability. Commercial businesses do not have a CMO function. Instead, well-run businesses are led by strong executives who are responsible and accountable for delivering results to their employees and shareholders. Those that succeed are rewarded, while those that fail are replaced. The same goes for the DoD. DoD leadership should focus on establishing business-reform objectives for each major DoD organization, and then holding leaders of these respective organizations accountable to the achievement of measurable business goals. This should be driven by the secretary and the deputy, and enabled by a much smaller CMO function. Secretary Mark Esper appears to be headed in that direction in his recent memo on 2020 DoD reform efforts, which focuses the CMO's efforts on the fourth estate and makes the services directly responsible “to establish and execute aggressive reform plans.” That is the right approach. In short, the DoD does not need a management organization to oversee the business of defense; it needs to enable its leaders to utilize business best practices, and then hold these leaders accountable for results. Jerry McGinn is the executive director of the Center for Government Contracting at George Mason University. He previously served as the senior career official in the Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy at the U.S. Defense Department. https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2020/01/15/does-the-pentagon-need-a-chief-management-officer

  • Sig Sauer nabs $10M Army contract for sniper rifle ammo

    16 janvier 2020 | International, Terrestre

    Sig Sauer nabs $10M Army contract for sniper rifle ammo

    Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has awarded Sig Sauer a $10 million contract to manufacture ammunition for use in the branch's bolt-action sniper rifle. "This award by the U.S. Army is validation of our state-of-the-art manufacturing that has resulted in the highest quality, and most precise, ammunition delivering on-target accuracy for snipers in the field," said Ron Cohen, Sig Sauer president and CEO. The contractor will manufacture MOD 0 .300 Win Mag ammunition at its facility in Jacksonville, Ark. The contract also funds production of MK 248 MOD 1 ammunition for the military. In 2011, the Army transitioned from the 7.62mm to the .300 Win Mag round, providing the new round to sniper teams in Afghanistan. The new round allows snipers to engage targets from 1,200 meters as opposed to the 800-meter range of the older M24 sniper system. https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2020/01/15/Sig-Sauer-nabs-10M-Army-contract-for-sniper-rifle-ammo/7371579124524/

  • JUST IN: Defense Department to Stand Up New Counter-Drone Office

    16 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    JUST IN: Defense Department to Stand Up New Counter-Drone Office

    By Yasmin Tadjdeh The Pentagon will soon stand up a counter-unmanned aerial system office that will be headed by the Army, said the Defense Department's top weapons buyer Jan. 14. Following the Dubai Air Show in November, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord visited numerous locations across the Middle East including U.S. military installations in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The thing that was really top of everybody's mind were counter-UAS,” she said during a meeting with reporters hosted by George Washington University's Project for Media and National Security in Washington, D.C. “We see that small UAS are becoming a more popular weapon of choice ... [and] we need to be agile and pivot to that challenge.” Pentagon leaders recently decided to designate the Army as the executive agent for counter-drone technologies, Lord said. The new office will be stood up in Arlington, Virginia, in the Crystal City neighborhood. It will be staffed by around 60 people. “We are just finishing off on the policy that directs the activities,” she said. The office will examine the many counter-UAS efforts across the Defense Department and come up with three to five systems that are best for the military writ large and make sure they are effectively leveraged, Lord said. The Defense Department is bringing together a number of organizations, including the office of the director of operational test and evaluation and Defense Digital Service, to work on the effort. Robert Behler, the head of DOT&E, has a group conducting independent tests and evaluation of currently fielded systems, Lord noted. “Come April we will have that evaluation completed and written up. And that coincides [with] when we want to make some decisions about downselecting ... to the three to five systems that would be utilized,” she said. The department is examining a variety of sensor modalities and defeat mechanisms. “One size does not fit all,” Lord said. “You need a system with multiple sensors ... or defeat systems. And the key is really the command-and-control and then the communication across theater.” The office aims to thwart both small and large adversary UAS, she added. Countering rogue and enemy drones has long been an objective for the Defense Department, but recent high-profile events have thrown the technology into the spotlight. That includes an alleged Iranian attack on Saudi Aramaco facilities in September using unmanned aircraft. “One of the challenges is that we know that the adversary is very agile and updates their [tactics, techniques and procedures] ... very quickly,” Lord said. “We are looking at a very nimble system where we can push patches in the same day, if you will, so that we again can stay ahead of" the threat. The Pentagon is gung-go about tackling the issue, and senior leadership involvement and funding are increasing, she noted. In terms of the industrial base, counter-UAS is one of the acquisition and sustainment office's four key focus areas, Lord said. Others include microelectronics, 5G networks and hypersonics. The department plans to establish a hypersonics "war room." “We just decided last week that we would stand up a hypersonics war room to begin to look at the defense industrial base and begin to have different companies [come] in,” Lord said. The technology is the Pentagon's top research-and-development priority and it plans to buy large numbers of systems when they are mature enough to be fielded. Last week, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said missile manufacturers and other suppliers need to do more to boost their hypersonics manufacturing capability. “What we need to see is industry step up,” he said Jan. 10 during remarks at the Brookings Institution. “They've got to come forward and ... first and foremost, invest the time to work with our national lab network to understand how we've come forward with these technologies. But they're going to have to make investments to be able to produce these at scale.” https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2020/1/14/just-in-defense-department-to-stand-up-counter-drone-office

  • Rolls-Royce develops world-first electrical technology for next-generation Tempest programme

    16 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Rolls-Royce develops world-first electrical technology for next-generation Tempest programme

    Over the last five years Rolls-Royce has been pioneering world-first technology that will contribute to the UK's next-generation Tempest programme. In an aim to be more electric, more intelligent and to harness more power, Rolls-Royce recognised that any future fighter aircraft will have unprecedented levels of electrical power demand and thermal load; all needing to be managed within the context of a stealthy aircraft. Before the launch of the Tempest programme, Rolls-Royce had already started to address the demands of the future. Back in 2014, the company took on the challenge of designing an electrical starter generator that was fully embedded in the core of a gas turbine engine, now known as the Embedded Electrical Starter Generator or E2SG demonstrator programme. Conrad Banks, Chief Engineer for Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce said: "The electrical embedded starter-generator will save space and provide the large amount of electrical power required by future fighters. Existing aircraft engines generate power through a gearbox underneath the engine, which drives a generator. In addition to adding moving parts and complexity, the space required outside the engine for the gearbox and generator makes the airframe larger, which is undesirable in a stealthy platform." Phase two of this programme has now been adopted as part of Rolls-Royce's contribution to the Tempest programme. As part of this journey, the company has been continuously developing its capabilities in the aerospace market, from gas turbine technologies through to integrated power and propulsion systems. The goal being to provide not only the thrust that propels an aircraft through the sky, but also the electrical power required for all the systems on board as well as managing all the resulting thermal loads. Rolls-Royce is adapting to the reality that all future vehicles, whether on land, in the air or at sea will have significantly increased levels of electrification to power sensors, communications systems weapons, actuation systems and accessories, as well as the usual array of avionics. The launch of phase one of the E2SG programme saw significant investment in the development of an integrated electrical facility – a unique test house where gas turbine engines can be physically connected to a DC electrical network. The launch of the second phase of the project in 2017 saw the inclusion of a second electrical generator connected to the other spool of the engine. It also included an energy storage system in the electrical network and the ability to intelligently manage the supply of power between all these systems. The two-spool mounted electrical machines allows, by combination of operation as either a motor or a generator, the production of a series of functional effects on the engine, including the transfer of power electrically between the two spools. As part of the E2SG programme, Rolls-Royce is investigating the feasibility of using dual spool generation to influence the operability, responsiveness and efficiency of the engine. Another key technology under development is the Power Manager intelligent control system, which uses algorithms to make real time intelligent decisions about how to supply the current aircraft electrical demand while optimising other factors including engine efficiency to reduce fuel burn or engine temperature to extend component life. Throughout the Tempest programme, Rolls-Royce will be continuing to mature the electrical technologies demonstrated by the E2SG programme, with a third phase of testing likely to include a novel thermal management system being integrated with the overall system, as well as more electric engine accessories. The company also intends to showcase a full-scale demonstrator of an advanced power and propulsion system. There will be new technologies in all parts of the gas turbine, including twin spool embedded generation to higher power levels, an advanced thermal management system, an energy storage system tailored to the expected duty cycle of the future fighter and an intelligent power management system which will be able to optimise the performance of both the gas turbine and the power and thermal management system. Press release issued by Rolls-Royce plc Defence Aerospace on January 9, 2020 http://www.airframer.com/news_story.html?release=73226

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