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  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - March 02, 2020

    3 mars 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - March 02, 2020

    DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Applied Research Associates, Albuquerque, New Mexico (HHM402-20-D-0007); Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia (HHM402-20-D-0008); CACI NSS Inc., Reston, Virginia (HHM402-20-D-0009); Centauri LLC, Chantilly, Virginia (HHM402-20-D-0010); General Dynamics Information Technology Inc., Herndon, Virginia (HHM402-20-D-0011); Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Cincinnati, Ohio (HHM402-20-D-0012); and Radiant Geospatial Solutions, Gaithersburg, Maryland (HHM402-20-D-0013), were awarded a five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ), multiple-award contract called DORE2 with a combined ceiling value of $990,000,000. Through this award, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) will procure Data Science, Operations, Requirements, Exploitation and Engineering (DORE2) services to support DIA Directorate for Science and Technology missions. Work will be performed at contractor facilities and at government facilities in the National Capital Region with an estimated completion date of March 1, 2025. The contract was awarded through a full and open solicitation and eight offers were received. Each company will receive a $10,000 minimum guarantee. Task Orders (TO) will be issued competitively under this IDIQ which will allow for the following TO contract types: firm-fixed-price; fixed price, level of effort term; fixed-price incentive (FPI includes firm and successive targets; fixed-price-award-fee; cost-plus incentive-fee; cost-plus-award-fee; cost-plus-fixed-fee term and completion; and time-and-material or labor hour). The Virginia Contracting Activity, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. NAVY Andromeda Systems Inc.,* Virginia Beach, Virginia, is awarded an $89,104,038 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides reliability-centered maintenance for service aircraft, engines, systems (weapons, aircrew escape, avionics and electrical systems), support equipment (avionics support equipment, non-avionics support equipment and aircraft launch/recovery equipment), and a Fleet Readiness Center/depot plant equipment to include modifications during all life cycle phases and levels of maintenance. Work will be performed in various locations within the continental U.S. and is expected to be completed by March 2025. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was a small-business set-aside and competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities; one offer was received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00421-20-D-0028). Architecture, Engineering, Consulting, Operations, and Maintenance (AECOM) Technical Services Inc., Los Angeles, California, is being awarded a $75,000,000 maximum amount, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, architect-engineering contract for preparation of Navy and Marine Corps facilities' planning and environmental documentation in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Europe, Africa, Central (EURAFCENT) area of operations (AO). Work will be performed at various locations within the NAVFAC/EURAFCENT/AO to include but not limited to: Naples, Italy; Sigonella, Italy; Souda Bay, Greece; Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain; Djibouti, Africa; Rota, Spain; and Vicenza, Italy. The work to be performed provides for design projects including, but not limited to: administration buildings, religious facilities, community buildings, dining facilities, recreational facilities, security buildings, child development centers, bachelor quarters, Navy lodges, airfield facilities, waterfront facilities, operational facilities, base housing, water treatment facilities and associated work, central plant utility system upgrades and other infrastructure. No task orders are being issued at this time. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months with an expected completion date of February 2024. Contract funds are fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance, Navy (O&M, N). Future task orders will be primarily funded by O&M, N. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with five proposals received. NAVFAC EURAFCENT, Naples, Italy, is the contracting activity (N33191-20-D-0605). Vernadero Group Inc.,* Phoenix, Arizona (N62473-20-D-0021); Gulf South Research Corp.,* Baton Rouge, Louisiana (N62473-20-D-0022); BioResource Consultants Inc.,* Ojai, California (N62473-20-D-0023); and Hercules JV,* Yuma, Arizona (N62473-20-D-0024), are awarded a combined $30,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award contract for natural resources-related services at various locations within Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest's area of operations (AO), including but not limited to: California (94%); Arizona (1%); Colorado (1%); Nevada (1%); New Mexico (1%); Oregon (1%); and Washington (1%). The work to be performed provides natural resources-related services for botanical, ornithological, mammal, amphibian, reptile and invertebrate surveys, wetlands delineations, biological monitoring, soil sampling and analysis, natural resources and fire management plans, native plant community planning and restoration, wildland erosion control plans, research and analysis of the effects of military training or similar extensive land uses (e.g. off-road vehicle use) for natural resources on the species, community and landscape scale. Use of this information will predict ecological trends, natural resource and model development for land use (including both conceptual and mathematical modeling through aerial photo interpretation), use of natural resources in non-urban areas, geographic information systems and for the preparation of interpretive materials (e.g. informational pamphlets and signage). The maximum dollar value, including the one two-year base period and one three-year option period for all four contracts combined is not to exceed $30,000,000. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months and is expected to be complete by February 2025. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $20,000 are being obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. No task orders are being issued at this time. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website and six proposals were received. The four contractors may compete for the task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. NAVFAC Southwest, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity. Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc., Monroeville, Pennsylvania, is awarded an $18,350,860 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-19-C-2112 for naval nuclear propulsion components. Work will be performed in Monroeville, Pennsylvania (93%); and Schenectady, New York (7%). Fiscal 2020 other procurement for shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $18,350,860 will be obligated at time of award and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations 6.302-1 with only one responsible source. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. Textron Aviation Inc., Wichita, Kansas, is awarded a $14,291,437 modification (P00005) to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-17-C-0004) and provides modification for the production and delivery of one King Air 350C Cargo Slick aircraft modified to a UC-12W. Work will be performed in Wichita, Kansas, and is expected to be completed in March 2021. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $14,291,437 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $9,627,065 cost-plus-fixed-fee order (N00019-20-F-0532) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-19-G-0008). This order procures program management support to execute the planning, procurement and delivery of initial aircraft spares in support of the F-35 Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, non-Department of Defense (DoD) participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers operational aircraft. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be complete in December 2020. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $3,833,787; fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,374,818; non-DoD participant funds in the amount of $2,225,726; and FMS funds in the amount of $1,192,734 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Bell Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is awarded a $7,272,135 modification (P00007) to a previously awarded, cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order (N00019-18-F-0016) against basic ordering agreement (N00019-17-G-0002). Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (84%); Ridley Park, Pennsylvania (5%); Patuxent River, Maryland (4%); Fort Walton Beach, Florida (4%); and Amarillo, Texas (3%), and is expected to be completed in May 2021. This modification provides additional funding to support non-recurring engineering and the associated efforts required to incorporate optimized wiring and structural improvements on the nacelle into the V-22 aircraft production line and retrofit of fleet aircraft during depot level maintenance and supports Navy, Marines Corps, Air Force and the government of Japan. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $4,312,376; fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $1,133,645; fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,088,396; and Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $737,718 will be obligated at time of award, $1,088,396 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Redondo Beach, California, is being awarded a $20,808,229 modification (P00374) to a previously awarded F04701-02-C-0009 contract to exercise an option period. The value of this contract is increased from $1,921,265,055 to $1,942,073,285. Under this modification, the contractor will provide on-orbit operations and sustainment for the Space Tracking and Surveillance System. The work will be performed at the Missile Defense Space Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado; and at Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Redondo Beach, California. The performance period is from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Fiscal 2019 and 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $13,811,905 is certified available for modification award. The Missile Defense Agency, Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the contracting activity. U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND Three companies were awarded Option Year One modifications under the following master lease contract, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, fixed price contracts: SeaCube Leasing International Inc., Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey (HTC711-19-D-R008); Textainer Equipment Management, San Francisco California (HTC711-19-D-R009); and Triton Container International Limited, Hamilton HM 12, Bermuda (HTC711-19-D-R-010). The companies are eligible to compete at the task order level for an option year estimated amount of $17,253,689. This modification provides for intermodal equipment leasing and transportation services, and related container support functions, to include interfacing with government systems to meet the government missions and exercises. Work will be performed on a global basis. Option Year One period of performance is March 1, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021. This modification brings the total cumulative estimated face value of the contract to $33,480,935 from $16,227,246. U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Feb. 28, 2020) ARMY Dawson Technical Inc.,* San Antonio, Texas, was awarded a $14,719,129 firm-fixed-price contract to provide total facilities operation and maintenance for the Army Chemical Defense Training Facility, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work will be performed in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2025. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $14,719,129 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Field Directorate Office, Fort Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity (W911S7-20-C-0003). EMC Inc.,* Grenada, Mississippi (W912HY-20-D-0013); and Florabama Geospatial Solutions LLC,* Defuniak Springs, Florida (W912HY-20-D-0014), will compete for each order of the $10,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architect and engineering services for professional surveying and mapping 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 March 1, 2025. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston, Texas, is the contracting activity. AIR FORCE General Electric Co.-GE Research, Niskayuna, New York, has been awarded a $10,431,151 cost-type contract for Rapid Assurance Curation Kit (RACK) software. This contract provides for the research, development and demonstration of the RACK software to enable certifiers to rapidly determine system risk acceptability. This effort will provide a common evidence representation and efficient ingestion Application Programming Interface, automatic feedback to evidence providers, automatic decomposition of evidence, a polystore that organizes diverse evidence items, the ability to accept and store provenance metadata and an efficient query interface. The location of performance is Niskayuna, New York, and work is expected to be complete by March 2, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and 34 offers were received. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $470,444 are being obligated at time of award; this is not a multi-year contract. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, New York, is the contracting activity (FA8750-20-C-0203). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Meggitt Polymers and Composites, Rockmart, Georgia, has been awarded a maximum $10,073,708 firm-fixed-price delivery order (SPRPA1-20-F-LW09) against a five-year basic ordering agreement (SPRPA1-15-G-003X) for fuel tanks for the F/A-18 aircraft. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. This is a three-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Georgia, with a Nov. 30, 2023, performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2023 Navy working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. CORRECTION: The contract announced on Feb. 28, 2020, for Rosenbauer America LLC, Lyons, South Dakota (SPE8EC-20-D-0055) was announced with an incorrect award date. The correct award date is March 2, 2020. *Small business

  • Saab Announces ‘Gripen for Canada Team’

    2 mars 2020 | Local, Aérospatial

    Saab Announces ‘Gripen for Canada Team’

    Saab is bidding for Canada's Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) and today announced that leading Canadian aerospace companies IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, Peraton Canada and GE Aviation are the ‘Gripen for Canada Team'. Saab is offering Gripen E, with the support of the Swedish government, for Canada's future fighter requirement of 88 new aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force's existing CF-18 Hornet fighter fleet. The Canadian Request for Proposal requires companies to deliver high-quality industrial and technological benefits, such as Saab has demonstrated with Gripen for Brazil and is offering for Finland and India's fighter requirements. Saab's bid to the Government of Canada will include a comprehensive proposal to deliver those benefits, with high quality jobs and technology, adding greater economic value and knowledge across Canadian industry coast to coast. Today's announcement is the first step toward achieving this offer with IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, Peraton Canada and GE Aviation as the ‘Gripen for Canada Team'. “Over the past two years, Saab and the Swedish Government have been encouraged by Canada's open and transparent competition to replace its fighter fleet. Today, we are delighted to announce the ‘Gripen for Canada Team'. We have assembled a dynamic roster of innovative leaders within Canada's aerospace industry, across multiple regions to offer the best solution for Canada's future fighter,” said Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Business Area Aeronautics. He further stated that, “Saab is committed to securing long-term relationships in Canada that will create a significant number of highly-skilled, sustainable jobs for Canadians within domestic and international supply chains.” IMP Aerospace & Defence will contribute with in-country production and in-service support for the life of the Canadian Gripen fleet. CAE will provide training and mission systems solutions, while Peraton Canada will provide avionic and test equipment component maintenance, repair and overhaul, and material management. GE Aviation will provide and sustain the fighter's engines in Canada. The ‘Gripen for Canada Team' presents a genuine ‘Made in Canada' solution and looks forward to demonstrating how Gripen is the best value for Canada's aerospace industry and taxpayers in terms of life-cycle costs and sustainment throughout the FFCP competition. Saab's Gripen fighter meets all of Canada's specific defence requirements, offering exceptional performance, advanced technical capabilities, future-proof upgradeability and NATO interoperability. For further information, please contact: Saab Press Centre, +46 (0)734 180 018 Follow us on twitter: @saab Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers' changing needs.

  • French defense firms fête formidable profits in 2019

    2 mars 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    French defense firms fête formidable profits in 2019

    By: Christina Mackenzie PARIS – France's major defense companies are looking back at a strong 2019, thanks to a combination of exceptional contracts and the country's overall healthy economy, executives said this week. In the naval sector, Naval Group's orders shot up 44 percent to €5.3 billion ($5.8 billion) in 2019, taking the company's order book to a total of €15.1 billion ($16.6 billion). Of this, 38 percent is for the export market and 62 percent is for France. Roughly three quarters of the business were in the shipbuilding sector, with almost one quarter in services. These figures do not include the whole of the contract to build 12 submarines for Australia, “as this income will be shown as it is paid, tranche by tranche,” explained outgoing CEO Hervé Guillou. In addition, the group saw a 6 percent rise in EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) to €282 million ($310 million) and a 3 percent rise in revenues to €3.7 billion ($4 billion). Guillou, who will be replaced as CEO in March by Pierre-Eric Pommellet, said his successor had four main challenges for the future: delivering the Suffren submarine; accelerating production in the face of Chinese competition; consolidating the group's international presence; and developing the workforce. In the land sector, revenues for Arquus, the French company which is the defense arm of Sweden's Volvo Group, rocketed 72.5 percent between 2017 and 2019. CEO Emmanuel Levacher said he was not allowed to give revenue and sales figures for Arquus, whose revenues are included in the Volvo “Group functions and other” column. However, those data show net sales for 2019 were SEK8.8 billion ($911.4 million), which means they are likely around the $660 million mark. Levacher was all smiles announcing “a very great year” that was “exceptionally rich,” remarking that “this is remarkable growth for an industrial company.” He said he expected the company to grow a further 10 percent in 2020. Exports accounted for 42 percent of the revenue. Levacher was able to put a figure on contracts signed in 2019: €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) “mostly in Africa,” but also a tranche of €214 million ($235 million) in the framework of the CaMo contract with Belgium for 382 Griffon multirole armored vehicles and 60 Jaguar armored reconnaissance and combat vehicles to be delivered between 2025 and 2030. Levacher said contracts were also signed for “a few dozen” Sherpa and Dagger vehicles for the Middle East. He was optimistic for the future, remarking that “all of the French army's military trucks, whether they be 4×4s, 6×6s, 8×8s all need to be changed in the next five years.” He said the company had developed a specific truck to meet these needs as the call for tender will be published before the end of this year. In the defense-electronics sector, Thales's CEO Patrice Cain also described 2019 as “a good year in which we progressed.” Its EBIT rose 19 percent to slightly over €2 billion ($2.2 billion), “the first time we've gone over the symbolic bar of €2 billion,” he said. Defense accounts for 40 percent of the group's revenues. Order intakes in the defense and security sector rose a record 17 percent to €9.9 billion ($11 billion) while sales rose 6.4 percent, “a little higher than anticipated,” according to CFO Pascal Bouchiat, to €8.3 billion ($9 billion). These include Thales and Babcock winning the bid for the T31 frigate in the UK against BAE Systems. Bouchiat noted that “several multi-year contracts” had been signed “underpinning long-term growth” for the group. Finally, in the military-aircraft sector, Dassault Aviation recorded an order intake of €3.3 billion (against €2.7 billion in 2018), the bulk of which (€2.6 billion) was for France and includes the integrated support contract for the French Rafale over the next 10 years and an additional order for supplemental development and integration work concerning communications for the F4 standard of the aircraft. Net sales shot up 44 percent to €7.3 billion due to the record number of 26 Rafales delivered in 2019. CEO Eric Trappier said that in 2020 Dassault expected to deliver 13 Rafales and he saw a tendency of governmental authorities to buying the company's Falcon business jet for surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Trappier said that in 2020 the company would continue to try and export the Rafale and was notably working on the Finnish and Swiss fighter competitions. Both countries are expected to make their decisions in 2021.

  • The US Navy’s FFG(X) could be awarded sooner than expected

    2 mars 2020 | International, Naval

    The US Navy’s FFG(X) could be awarded sooner than expected

    By: David B. Larter WASHINGTON – The U..S Navy's next-generation frigate could be awarded within the next few months, earlier than expected, the service's top civilian said Friday. Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly told conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt that he had tasked Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts to look at accelerating the award of the first ship, which was slated for this fall. “The plan was to try and do it in the latter part of this year,” Modly told Hewitt. “I've asked [Geurts] to try and accelerate that earlier, and he's looking into the possibilities for doing that. “But obviously, you know, we have acquisition rules, and we want to make sure that we do this in the proper way.” The competition has narrowed to bids from Huntington Ingalls Industries; a team of Navantia and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works; Fincantieri; and Austal USA. Navantia is offering a version of its F-100 design, which is in use by the Spanish Navy; Austal is submitting a version of its trimaran littoral combat ship; Fincantieri is offering its FREMM design; and Huntington Ingalls is believed to be offering an up-gunned version of its national security cutter. Lockheed Martin's version of the FFG(X), an up-gunned, twin-screw variant of its Freedom-class LCS, was pulled from the competition in May. The FFG(X) is supposed to be a small, multimission ship with a modified version of Raytheon's SPY-6 radar destined for the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, Lockheed Martin's Aegis Combat System, as well as some point defense systems and 32 vertical launch cells for about half the cost of a destroyer. The first ship ordered in 2020 is expected to cost $1.28 billion, according to budget documents, with the next ship in 2021 dropping to $1.05 billion. The Navy expects it to take six years to complete design and construction of the first ship, which should be finished in 2026. Once construction begins, planners anticipate it will take 48 months to build. The second frigate is expected to be ordered in April 2021, and from there it should be delivered about five and a half years after the award date. That means that the first ship should be delivered to the fleet in July of 2026, and the second about three months later.

  • Holmes Lays Out ‘Fighter-Like’ Roadmap

    2 mars 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Holmes Lays Out ‘Fighter-Like’ Roadmap

    By John A. Tirpak ORLANDO, Fla.—Air Combat Command is shifting from a “fighter roadmap” to a “capabilities” roadmap that will capture many of the things fighters do today, but likely with new types of unmanned systems and “attritable” aircraft, Air Combat Command boss Gen. Mike Holmes said Feb. 27. Speaking with reporters at an AFA Air Warfare Symposium press conference, Holmes said ACC is grappling with “what is a fighter?” in the future. The fighter mission will give way to “attritable” aircraft and “loyal wingmen” unmanned aircraft, in addition to fighters, and possibly different kinds of manned aircraft. The roadmap will be very much dependent on the theaters in which the assets will be used. “What I would rather build is a capabilities roadmap that shows how we're going to accomplish the missions for the Air Force that we traditionally have done with fighters,” Holmes said. “And the subtlety there is, I would hope, 30 years from now, I'm not still trying to maintain 55 fighter squadrons. I think we will have advanced and there will be some other things that we'll be cutting-in.” The roadmap is in roughly five-year stages, which parallel “natural decision points” affecting chunks of the fleet, Holmes explained. The first stage seeks a replacement for the F-15C fleet, which is now aging out of the inventory. Those aircraft will be replaced by F-35s and the new F-15EXs, Holmes reported. The EXs are needed to reduce the overall age of the fighter fleet “so we can afford to sustain it,” he said, noting the EX is “what's available to us now.” The next stage “will be what we call the pre-block F-16s—the Block 25 and 30 Fighting Falcons—that we're still flying.” Within the next eight years, “depending on budgets and capabilities, we'll have to decide what we'll do about those airplanes,” Holmes said. There is an “opportunity” to cut-in “something new: low cost, attritable [aircraft], loyal wingmen, various things we're ... experimenting with.” After that, ACC will confront “the post-Block F-16s—the Block 40s and 50s—that can fly for quite a bit longer, but there is a modernization bill that would have to be spent to keep them useful,” Holmes said, suggesting further service life extension for the F-16 may be coming. Gen. Arnold Bunch, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, said the F-16 post-block fleet could be extended for as much as another 10 years of service life, starting in the mid-20s. A SLEP would have to focus first on making them safe to fly, he said, and they would need technology insertions to make them relevant, “depending on what you use them for.” The aircraft will already have Active Electronically Scanned Array radars and digital backbones, he noted. Finally, ACC is trying to decide what the Next-Generation Air Dominance system should be. “The equation and the math we use for ‘what is a fighter' still works pretty well for the European environment—the range, payload, and distance problem,” Holmes noted. But “it's not as effective a solution in the Pacific because of the distances,” and for that theater, he said, “I wouldn't expect [NGAD] to produce things that necessarily look like a traditional fighter, or in that traditional swap between range and payload that we've done.” Pacific Air Forces boss Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. said in the future a family of systems approach will be more useful given the size of the area of operations and the differences in the adversary. “The family of systems provides us some level of advantage. If you're looking for a single point solution that has to be a fighter. It's the fighter, but not the information that comes off the fighter, the information the fighter gets from other platforms ... ,” Brown said. “How all that comes together will be important to support the fighter of the future, or whatever capability we have.” Holmes said Will Roper, the Air Force acquisition chief, is thinking about more low-cost “attritable” options for the Pacific, “thinking about that long-range problem, what might we come up with.” He has previously allowed that something akin to a large missileer, potentially a variant on the B-21, could be part of the mix, and ACC is also thinking about an “arsenal plane” concept. “Those discussions are going on, and they should be,” Holmes added. But “it is still ... our responsibility to the rest of the force to control the air and space on their behalf.” Roper's team is working with industry to pursue a new “digital” prototyping approach that Holmes said he's pleased with. He noted that Boeing was able to win the T-7 competition by showing it can “design and build airplanes in a different way and at a cost point nobody expected,” and “we think we have the opportunity to spread that across the other things we're doing.” He also says there is support from Capitol Hill with the approach at this stage, and ACC is working hard to share information on the future of ACC combat capabilities at “the right level” of classification.

  • Government checks another box on the long, long road to building a Polar icebreaker

    2 mars 2020 | Local, Naval

    Government checks another box on the long, long road to building a Polar icebreaker

    David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen The federal government is requesting information from industry on which shipyard has the capability to build the Canadian Coast Guard's new Polar Class icebreaker. It's a strange request in some respects. Last year the Liberal government took away the Polar Class icebreaker project from Seaspan shipyards on the west coast and instead provided that company with a deal that will see it build 16 new Multi-Purpose Vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard. Irving on the east coast is running at full speed handling the combat ship portions of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. It has already fallen behind on the delivery of the first of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and it still has much work to do on the Canadian Surface Combatant program. It was expected that Davie, the largest shipyard in Canada, would receive the contract to build the Polar Class icebreaker. Yet the news release issued Friday from Public Services and Procurement Canada noted that, “the Government of Canada issued a Request for Information (RFI), open to all Canadian shipyards, seeking information on domestic shipyard capability and capacity to construct and deliver a Polar-class icebreaker. This follows standard procurement practices, and the information gathered will help the government determine how best to proceed so that the polar icebreaker is delivered in the most timely and efficient manner.” Companies, however, only have two weeks to respond to the request for information. The whole exercise has the feel of a government checking the boxes off before awarding the contract to Davie. Or it could be a measure to head off any legal challenge from other shipyards who would complain that a “fair, open and transparent” competition was not run. Cecely Roy, press secretary to Procurement Minister Anita Anand, said in an email to this newspaper that as “a significant amount of time has passed since the last commissioned studies on the capacity of domestic shipyards, this RFI was initiated to provide updated information to inform the government's decisions on the procurement process moving forward.” The polar icebreaker, the future Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) John G. Diefenbaker, will replace Canada's current largest icebreaker, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent. The current fleet of heavy icebreakers, including the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, remain in good condition and will be in operation until the polar icebreaker is delivered, according to the federal government. The Polar Class project was announced by the Conservative government in 2008 and has faced delays ever since. The ship had been expected to be in service in 2017. That date changed to 2021. Now there is no known date for the vessel to be operating. “The delivery date for the polar icebreaker will be identified as the project gets underway,” the federal government added in its news release. “At this stage, we are exploring options to ensure the Polar Icebreaker is built in the most efficient manner to meet the needs of the Coast Guard, but a decision was not been made on the contract award, nor will this RFI result in that decision,” Roy said in an email to this newspaper.

  • Défense spatiale : la France a rejoint le Combined Space Operations Initiative (CSpO)

    2 mars 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Défense spatiale : la France a rejoint le Combined Space Operations Initiative (CSpO)

    Christelle Perret C'est officiel, depuis le 11 février 2020, la France a rejoint l'initiative Combined Space Operations (ou CSpO) en qualité de membre aux côtés de six autres nations : l'Australie, le Canada, la Nouvelle-Zélande, le Royaume-Uni, les États-Unis et l'Allemagne. C'est lors de la réunion annuelle des états membres, qui s'est tenue les 11 et 12 février 2020 à Ottawa, au Canada, que la France a signé la lettre d'adhésion au CSpO. L'objectif de cette initiative est le développement d'une collaboration spatiale et l'élargissement de partenariats clés entre les pays signataires. L'initiative Combined Space Operations Le CSpO est une initiative assez récente. Actée initialement en 2014, elle rassemblait à ses débuts les États-Unis, l'Australie, le Canada et le Royaume-Uni. La Nouvelle-Zélande a adhéré au projet en 2015. En 2016, ce sont la France et l'Allemagne qui le rejoignaient, en qualité d'observateurs d'abord, avant de devenir membres associés en 2017. En décembre 2019, l'Allemagne devient finalement membre officiel, suivie de près par la France, ce 11 février 2020, lors de la réunion annuelle des nations membres, à Ottawa. L'objectif de l'initiative est toujours le même qu'exprimé en 2014 : développer la collaboration spatiale et les partenariats clés entre les nations membres. C'est Michel Friedling, Général de division aérienne à la tête du commandement de l'espace, qui a fait le déplacement pour signer la lettre d'adhésion à l'initiative CSpO, au nom de Florence Parly, ministre des Armées. Le CSpO pour coordonner la défense spatiale Lors des échanges des 11 et 12 février derniers, les nations membres ont évoqué les enjeux spatiaux actuels et futurs, abordant également la question de la coordination des politiques, des opérations et des capacités mondiales. Il a également été question des défis et des opportunités de 2019, pour aboutir à un bilan de l'année écoulée. La France partage donc désormais les intérêts de l'initiative CSpO,soit la participation à des efforts coordonnés dans le domaine de la défense spatiale. L'existence d'une telle initiative doit permettre d'améliorer les capacités spatiales des nations membres et de faciliter les actions conjointes entre les participants. Le Général John Raymond, commandant de la force spatiale américaine, a déclaré être ravi de l'entrée de la France et de l'Allemagne au CSpO, qui correspond au « renforcement de notre conscience collective du domaine spatial », précisant que « nos alliés nous aident à conserver notre supériorité spatiale et à renforcer les bases de notre efficacité au combat ».

  • Pushing fighter jet deadline raises questions on which jets can do the work: experts

    2 mars 2020 | Local, Aérospatial

    Pushing fighter jet deadline raises questions on which jets can do the work: experts

    Amanda Connolly WATCH: Canadian fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers travelling near the North American coastline. While they were in international airspace they entered an area patrolled by the Canadians. The two American aerospace firms that want the Canadian government to buy their fighter jets say they did not request an extension on the deadline for bids. At the same time, defence experts say the decision to grant the extension reflects the bigger challenge facing a government that has repeatedly insisted a competition is the only way to move forward with the $19-billion procurement, despite there being a limited pool of options. “The government believes it needs to run a competition, but there're many situations where, in reality, there's only one or two competitors that can actually meet the needs of the Canadian Forces,” said Richard Shimooka, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and an expert on defence. “So the government's put in a bit of a pickle by its rhetoric where it wants to portray that ‘yeah, we're having a competition or we're providing value for money and all these kind of important things for Canada', but in fact knows there's really only one competitor.” On Tuesday, the government announcement that the March 30 deadline will be pushed back three months, to June 30 instead. READ MORE: Canadian fighter jet replacement project hit with another delay In a press release on the decision earlier in the week, the government had said this extension was being granted “at the request of industry.” “Procurements of this magnitude are complex, and submission of a good proposal is important for suppliers and for Canada,” the government said in the press release. “This extension allows eligible suppliers to address recent feedback on their security offers, ensuring that Canada receives competitive proposals that meet its technical, cost and economic benefits requirements.” Global News has since been told that feedback included specific assessments about whether a firm would be able to meet the Canadian government's requirements for inter-operability with key allies, including the U.S. and the Five Eyes, and whether allies would be comfortable with them. Because the government is using a process known as phased bids for the fighter jet procurement, bidders get the chance to address any findings of non-compliance with those requirements before submitting their final proposals. And because of how closely Canada and the U.S. work together on issues ranging from intelligence sharing, continental defence and others, inter-operability – or the ability for jets to work seamlessly across various areas where Canadian and American systems overlap – is considered key to this contest. “We've got to buy aircraft that can be completely and seamlessly inter-operable with the U.S.,” said Dave Perry, vice president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and an expert on defence procurement. “They've asked the bidders to put forward a proposal on how they're going to make that work.” Perry noted that in the past, questions around how aircraft will operate between Canadian and American systems hasn't been relevant because Canadian fighter jets have always been American. Now, with foreign bidders like Sweden's Saab, the onus is on them to demonstrate their jets can actually do the work. “Saab is the only competitor that is not part of either Five Eyes or Two Eyes and as a result, it would have the greatest amount of work in order to meet the requirements of the Royal Canadian Airforce,” said Shimooka. “Right off the bat, it requires the greatest amount of work for this.” While the government wouldn't say which firm asked for the deadline extension, both Lockheed Martin and Boeing offered statements saying it wasn't them. “We did not request the extension,” said Boeing spokesperson Stephanie Townend. A spokesperson for Lockheed Martin offered a similar response. “We have not requested an extension of delivery for the FFCP preliminary proposal,” said Amanda Hauck, strategic communications lead for the firm. A spokesperson for Saab was less clear. “While Canada's FFCP competition prohibits bidders from commenting publicly on confidential elements of the RFP process, Saab was prepared, and remains prepared, to submit a bid based on the Government of Canada's schedule,” said Patrick Palmer, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Saab Canada. “Saab will continue to finalize its response to all stated requirements of the RFP and can confirm that we will submit a fully compliant response to the Future Fighter Capability Program RFP. We are confident that our offer will provide the best value and best solution for Canada, industry and Canadians for generations to come.” Global News followed up with a request for Palmer to clarify whether the bid Saab said it was prepared to submit by the March 30 deadline would have been a fully compliant one. The company has not yet clarified its response. Saab is offering its Gripen fighter jet in the contest while Lockheed Martin is offering its controversial F-35 and Boeing is offering its Super Hornet. Two other European firms – Airbus and Dassault – dropped out of the contest over the past year-and-a-half, citing security requirements and associated extra costs for the suppliers if chosen. The competition is complicated though by questions and past concerns about both of the American offerings. Boeing brought a trade tribunal complaint against the Canadian aerospace firm Bombardier in 2018 which resulted in Bombardier being forced to pay steep duties on imports of its C-Series plane to the United States. Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said shortly afterward that the government would weigh a company's “economic behaviour” and that those who had caused economic harm to Canada would be at a disadvantage in the fighter jet competition. That clause still exists in the criteria being used to assess the projects. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also promised during the 2015 election campaign not to buy the F-35, the planned procurement of which under the previous Conservative government had been dogged with accusations of hidden costs and sole-sourcing. Since the launch of the competition, the F-35 has become widely-viewed by military experts as a frontrunner in the contest. A government source speaking on background insisted the extension will not impact the expected decision date. The result of the contest are due in 2022 with expected delivery of whichever jet is chosen beginning in 2025.

  • Musk Tells USAF Fighter Era Is Over

    2 mars 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Musk Tells USAF Fighter Era Is Over

    Lee Hudson ORLANDO, Florida—Billionaire entrepreneur and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has told the U.S. Air Force the fighter era is over. “The really dangerous future” is autonomous drone warfare, Musk said Feb. 28 during the annual Air Warfare Symposium here. Musk said he does not necessarily like this idea but it will become reality. Another controversial opinion he offered is that the Lockheed Martin F-35 should have a competitor. A few hours after his presentation, Musk elaborated on Twitter: “The competitor should be a drone fighter plane that's remote controlled by a human, but with its maneuvers augemented by autonomy. The F-35 would have no chance against it.” Over the next five years, artificial intelligence will be the most transformative technology to shape the space industry, Musk says. Accordingly, he encourages young people to study physics and computer science. The Pentagon continues to invest in this technology and is proposing that a substantial amount of its research and development dollars go toward artificial intelligence. Musk warns if the U.S. does not invest heavily in space it will fall behind adversaries, but said establishing a Space Force is a step in the right direction. The nation must rapidly innovate and instill the idea that failure is acceptable, he added. If the U.S. military does not let its people innovate and fail, Musk cautions, the nation may fall behind when developing future technology. For example, when SpaceX developed its Starlink constellation it started manufacturing satellites while still evolving the design. This helped the team discover what parts were difficult to build and redesign those sections for easier production.

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