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  • Canadian government to lease two emergency towing vessels

    10 août 2018 | Local, Naval

    Canadian government to lease two emergency towing vessels

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Atlantic Towing Limited of Saint John, New Brunswick, has been awarded a three-year contract worth $67 million for the lease of two emergency offshore towing vessels that will operate in the waters off the coast of British Columbia. The vessels are capable of towing large commercial ships in distress, such as tankers and container ships, before they get too close to shore, according to the federal government. As part of the contract, Atlantic Towing Limited will also provide training in offshore emergency towing to Canadian Coast Guard personnel and partners, including Indigenous communities, involved in marine safety. The contract fulfills an immediate operational need to have vessels available as soon as possible, while the federal government works on developing a long-term strategy for emergency towing, the government noted in a news release. Full article:

  • Saudis would only hurt themselves by cancelling Light Armoured Vehicle contract

    10 août 2018 | Local, Terrestre

    Saudis would only hurt themselves by cancelling Light Armoured Vehicle contract

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Saudi Arabia is expecting a full apology from Canada for a tweet that raised questions about human rights issues in the Middle East country. It is unlikely that would be coming anytime soon. So the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Canada continues. In recent days, Riyadh suspended diplomatic ties with Canada, expelled the Canadian ambassador and recalled its own envoy to Ottawa after Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her department criticized the regime on Twitter for its arrest of social activists, demanding their immediate release. Angered by the condemnation, Saudi Arabia has also tried to sting Canada's economy by halting future trade and investment deals and by cancelling lucrative scholarships that would have seen 15,000 of its citizens study in Canada. One media report said Saudi banks and pension funds were ordered to sell off their Canadian assets, although that report remains unconfirmed. Bloomberg News has reported that any move by Saudi Arabia to stop new investments and unload assets in Canada is likely to have limited impact. Saudi assets in Canada are confined mainly to stakes in upscale hotel operators, some small stock holdings in companies like Canadian National Railway and grain facilities, Bloomberg noted. What is interesting is what Saudi Arabia hasn't done. It is still willing to sell oil to Canada and has not put any roadblocks on that money-making venture. The Saudi Press Agency confirmed Thursday that the “diplomatic crisis” wouldn't affect the kingdom's petroleum sales to Canada. But that has also raised questions in Canada about why we are buying oil from Saudi Arabia when we have such large reserves ourselves? The big question is whether the Saudis will withdraw from its $15 billion deal to buy Light Armoured Vehicles from General Dynamics Land Systems of London, Ont.? It could happen but such a move would likely only hurt the Saudis. They need the vehicles and to negotiate a new contract with another arms supplier, plus get delivery of that equipment, could take years. Then there is the supply of parts and other support for the existing LAVs that the Saudis previously purchased from General Dynamics. Would shutting down all links to the LAV supply chain make sense for the Saudis? Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Thursday he was still unsure if the General Dynamics contract would be affected. Defence Watch submitted a series of questions to General Dynamics asking whether it would be halting production of LAVs destined for Saudi Arabia and would GD continue to provide spare parts for LAVs already delivered? “General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada declines to comment,” spokesman Doug Wilson-Hodge stated in an email. Full article:

  • Experiment over: Pentagon’s tech hub gets a vote of confidence

    10 août 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Experiment over: Pentagon’s tech hub gets a vote of confidence

    By: Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — In the early days of the Pentagon's Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter stressed that the “experimental” part of the unit was vital, a sign that the Silicon Valley outreach hub could remain flexible. “DIUx is, after all, an experiment, as well as a pathfinder,” Carter said in 2016, following a relaunch of the group after a frustrating first year. “We created it so we could try new approaches, learn what works and what doesn't, and iterate until we get it right. And we'll keep iterating together and learning from each other as we go forward.” Now, three years after its founding, it appears the experiment is over. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan on Thursday announced that the office will now be known only as the Defense Innovation Unit, formally dropping the “experimental” part of the title. In a memo, Shanahan called the group a “proven, valuable asset” for the department and said the name change is a testament to my commitment to the importance of its mission.” “Removing ‘experimental' reflects DIU's permanence within the DoD. Though DIU will continue to experiment with new ways of delivering capability to the warfighter, the organization itself is no longer an experiment,” Shanahan wrote. “DIU remains vital to fostering innovation across the Department and transforming the way DoD builds a more lethal force.” It's a vote of confidence that will be welcomed by the now-DIU team and its supporters, after a year where many wondered about the future of the office. Since its creation, DIUx reported directly to the defense secretary — until February of this year, when it was rolled under the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. Raj Shah, who led the group for the last two years, stepped down earlier this year as the office's leader; a search for his full-time replacement is ongoing. And three years after the office was formed, some have questioned what exactly the group has accomplished. Full article:

  • Pence outlines plan to create U.S. Space Force by 2020

    9 août 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Pence outlines plan to create U.S. Space Force by 2020

    Proposal to create new military service requires approval from Congress Faced with growing competition and threats from Russia and China, the White House on Thursday said it will create the U.S. Space Force as a sixth, separate military service by 2020. Vice-President Mike Pence told a Pentagon audience that the plan fulfils President Donald Trump's vow to ensure America's dominance in space — a domain that was once peaceful and uncontested that has now become crowded and adversarial. "Now the time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America's best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation," said Pence. "The time has come to establish the United States Space Force." Trump marked Pence's announcement with a tweet. Trump has called for a "separate but equal" space force, a complicated and expensive move that requires congressional approval. On Thursday, Pence said the administration will work with Congress on the plan and outline a budget next year. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed steps to reorganize the military's space war-fighting forces and create a new command, but has previously opposed launching an expensive, new service. A new branch of the military would require layers of bureaucracy, military and civilian leaders, uniforms, equipment and an expansive support structure. Full article:

  • DoD Announces DESI Awards for University-Industry Collaborations

    9 août 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    DoD Announces DESI Awards for University-Industry Collaborations

    WASHINGTON -- Five university-industry teams have been selected for the Defense Enterprise Science Initiative, known as DESI, Defense Department officials announced today. DESI is a pilot program supporting university-industry research collaboration focused on accelerating the impact of basic research on defense capabilities. DESI's goals are twofold, officials said. First, it seeks to foster sustainable university-industry partnerships to identify and apply new discoveries and knowledge on existing capabilities and address technological gaps. DESI also aims to charter a new pathway to accelerate the transfer of basic research to innovative technologies and complement the department's other basic research programs such as the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative and the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program. “Programs like DESI are vital to foster collaboration in the research ecosystem and accelerate the transition of ground-breaking basic science to transformative capabilities,” said Dr. Bindu Nair, deputy director for basic research. “I look forward to seeing how these teams can help us address our unique and challenging defense problem sets.” Each team will receive up to $1.5 million over two years to further fundamental knowledge and understanding in the context of end-use applications. Full Article:

  • Studies Seek to Industrialize Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace

    9 août 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Studies Seek to Industrialize Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace

    Lindsay Bjerregaard Oerlikon is partnering with Boeing and Lufthansa Technik to research standardization and qualification of additive manufacturing processes. Oerlikon is pairing up with major aerospace players to make additive manufacturing (AM) a more feasible option for industrialization. The Swiss technology and engineering group has signed agreements this year with Lufthansa Technik (LHT) and Boeing to collaborate on research into ways AM for aerospace can be more easily standardized and qualified. The most recent of these agreements is the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with LHT, which aims to establish “robust and repeatable processes for AM in the aircraft MRO industry.” According to a spokesperson for Oerlikon, the collaboration's research seeks to understand what process variability exists when the same component geometries are built on the same machine using the same powder batch, heat treatment, testing conditions and build parameters in different global locations. Oerlikon and LHT will print these components using an Oerlikon-produced IN718 powder alloy on identical printers at LHT Hamburg and Oerlikon's locations in Charlotte, North Carolina and Barleben, Germany. Once the variables are identified, the study's objective is to understand how they can be controlled to achieve repeatable processes—which will ensure that all parts meet quality requirements and reduce the cost of recurring quality validation, according to Oerlikon. The company says this repeatability could also provide potential savings in procurement, warehousing and supply chain management. For now, the partnership is set for a one-year period, but the companies say the scope and timeframe is likely to increase. Meeting the challenges of qualifying AM materials and processes for aerospace is also at the heart of Oerlikon's collaboration agreement with Boeing. The five-year agreement, which was signed in February, seeks to develop standard materials and processes for metal-based AM. The collaboration's research will initially focus on industrializing titanium powder bed fusion AM. The companies say that in addition to meeting qualification challenges, it will enable them to “provide a route for the adoption of AM with a qualified supply chain that achieves quality and cost targets.” Full Article:

  • MDA director provides rough sketch of possible space-based missile defense sensor layer

    9 août 2018 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    MDA director provides rough sketch of possible space-based missile defense sensor layer

    By: Jen Judson HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Missile defense leaders within the Pentagon as well as Congress are pushing for more missile defense capability in space and the Missile Defense Agency Director Gen. Samuel Greaves laid out a rough idea of what a space-based missile defense sensor layercould look like. The missile defense community has been talking “seriously” about a sensor layer in space “actively over the last year,” Greaves said in an August 8 speech at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium. While many decisions still have to be made regarding requirements definitions, development paths and the acquisition process, “the key thing,” Greaves said, “is that there is serious consideration and support being given to the need to deploy these space sensors because we must do so.” Greaves laid out a very rough sketch of what the agency is looking for to build a robust sensor layer. First, the MDA might use something like a current system from the U.S. Air Force — the Overhead Persistent Infrared OPIR Global Scanning system — to alert and characterize activity in space, essentially “to be the bell ringer if something is going on,” Greaves said. Full Article:

  • UK reports massive uptick in defense exports

    9 août 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    UK reports massive uptick in defense exports

    By: Andrew Chuter LONDON — Britain's defense exports recorded a massive 53 percent uptick in 2017, figures released by the government show. The Defence Security Organisation posted the figures, without any fanfare, on their website at the end of last month, showing British defense companies secured exports valued at £9 billion ($11.59 billion) last year; it's the second largest annual export success in the last decade. The defense sales figures bounced back from a poor performance in 2016 when associated exports totalled £5.9 billion. “The U.K.'s strong performance equates to a third-placed ranking globally, up from fourth in 2016, and is a considerable achievement,” said the DSO. The British success came against a background of a surge in defense exports globally. The DSO said total overseas sales by countries around the world reached a 10-year high at around $98 billion in 2017. Full Article:

  • Former NFL star leading the charge for the Army’s new helmet system

    9 août 2018 | International, Terrestre

    Former NFL star leading the charge for the Army’s new helmet system

    By: J.D. Simkins and Todd South A company founded by a former Washington Redskins all-pro has been tasked with designing next-level padding technology to protect troops from impacts and blasts that can cause brain trauma. The Army recently announced a $600,000 contract award for a new combat helmet padding system to Windpact, an impact technology company founded by former Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs. The contract falls under the Army's Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center program to improve soldier equipment. With the contract, Windpact aims to replace existing combat helmet impact systems with its patented Crash Cloud technology, an impact pad that uses a combination of foam and controlled air flow to provide enhanced protection at varying impact rates, according to a release. “I'm excited, because obviously when you're talking about the military, you're wanting to do something better for these soldiers who are suffering from traumatic brain injuries, concussions and any other forceful impacts ranging from bomb blasts to Humvee accidents,” Springs told Military Times. Full Article:

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