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  • KC-46 cargo solution still ‘months’ away

    13 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    KC-46 cargo solution still ‘months’ away

    By: Aaron Mehta and Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force expects to resolve a safety issue with the cargo capability of its KC-46A Pegasus tanker within “months,” the service's top acquisition official said Tuesday. Will Roper said he is “confident” the issue would get fixed and that the problem,— which has led the Air Force to stop the tankers from flying with cargo in their holds — was not his top concern for the Boeing-made plane. “The issue with the locks was identified. We're working options currently with Boeing and their supplier,” Roper said at a breakfast hosted by the Defense Writers Group. “We're looking to our operators to tell us which one of the solutions that have been identified is the one that they prefer." In September, Defense News first reported that the KC-46 was restricted from carrying either cargo or people in the back of the aircraft. The restriction was set after a recent flight where cargo locks on the bottom of the aircraft's floor became unlocked, creating concerns that airmen could be hurt or killed by heavy equipment that suddenly bursts free during a flight. It has been a rough year for the KC-46. The Air Force suspended KC-46 flights at Boeing's production line in Everett, Washington, this February after finding debris. Then it paused all tanker deliveries in March as the service investigated the extent of the problem. The service began accepting tankers again later that month, only for deliveries to stop — and restart — in April due to similar problems. The cargo issue represents the fourth category 1 deficiency for the tanker, and the issues are becoming increasingly expensive for Boeing: The company is locked into a fixed-price contract, which means it is responsible for paying for a expenses beyond the initial $4.9 billion award for development of the aircraft. So far, the company has paid more than $3.5 billion of its own money to fund corrections to ongoing technical issues. The other three issues are: The remote vision system, or RVS — the camera system that allows KC-46 boom operators to steer the boom into a receiver aircraft without having to look out a window and use visual cues — provides imagery in certain lighting conditions that appears warped or misleading. Boeing has agreed to pay for potentially extensive hardware and software fixes, but the Air Force believes it could be up to four years until the system is fully functional. The Air Force has recorded instances of the boom scraping against the airframe of receiver aircraft. Boeing and the Air Force believe this problem is a symptom of the RVS' acuity problems, and that the problem will be eliminated once the camera system is fixed. Boeing must redesign the boom to accommodate the A-10 plane, which currently does not generate the thrust necessary to push into the boom for refueling. This problem is a requirements change by the Air Force, which approved Boeing's design in 2016. Last month, Boeing received a $55.5 million contract to begin work on the new boom actuator. Roper said the cargo issue “goes into the kind of normal deficiency space” and noted that it's the type of issue that is discovered by the normal testing process. The more long-term issues, such as the remote visual system, are “the areas I keep the most focus on,” he said. https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/11/12/kc-46-cargo-solution-still-months-away/

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 12, 2019

    13 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 12, 2019

    NAVY Clark Construction Group LLC, Bethesda, Maryland, is awarded a $570,337,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center addition/alteration at Naval Support Activity Bethesda. This work consists of constructing a new addition for inpatient and outpatient medical care, renovation of two existing hospital buildings, and demolition of six existing hospital buildings. The contract is incrementally funded with the first increment of $120,000,000 being allocated at the time of award. The second increment will be funded in fiscal 2021 at $150,000,000. The third increment will be funded in fiscal 2022 at $150,000,000. The fourth increment will be funded in fiscal 2023 at $150,337,000. Work will be performed in Bethesda, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by March 2026. Fiscal 2018 military construction, (Defense-wide) contract funds are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with one proposal received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N40080-20-C-0001). Edifice LLC, doing business as Edifice Solutions,* Beltsville, Maryland, is awarded a firm-fixed-price task order N40085-20-F-4066 at $9,572,167 under a small business design-build/design-bid-build general construction multiple award construction contract for the design-build for four new magazines at Naval Air Station Oceana, Dam Neck Annex. The work to be performed provides for construction of four new oval-arch, earth-covered magazines to replace seven obsolete magazines and demolition of the seven obsolete magazines. Construction of the magazines will require work within jurisdictional forested wetlands as well as the 100-year flood plan. Work will be performed in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by May 2021. Fiscal 2019 military construction (Navy) contract funds for $9,572,167 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Five proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N40085-18-D-1125). AIR FORCE L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, Greenville, Texas, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $24,500,078 cost-plus-fixed-fee undefinitized contract action for procurement of Group B material and the Ground System Integration Lab. Work will be performed in Greenville, Texas, and is expected to be completed by March 2024. This contract involves 100% foreign military sales. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $14,006,934 are being obligated at the time of award. The 645th Aeronautical Systems Group, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-19-F-4872 P00005). ARMY RLB Contracting Inc.,* Port Lavaca, Texas, was awarded a $8,862,000 firm-fixed-price contract for pipeline dredging in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Texas, across San Antonio Bay in Aransas County, Texas. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will be performed in Calhoun, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2020. Fiscal 2019 and 2020 civil works, operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $8,862,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston, Texas, is the contracting activity (W912HY-20-C-0001). *Small Business https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2014557/source/GovDelivery/

  • VSR700 prototype performs first flight

    13 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    VSR700 prototype performs first flight

    Marignane – The prototype of Airbus Helicopters' VSR700 unmanned aerial system has performed its first flight at a drone test centre near Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. The VSR700 performed several take-offs and landings on Friday 8th of November with the longest flight lasting around 10 minutes. In accordance with the airworthiness authority that provided the flight clearance, the VSR700 was tethered with 30-metre cables to fully secure the flight test zone. The subsequent phases of the flight test programme will now evolve towards free flight, and then progressively open the flight envelope. “The VSR700 is a fully-fledged unmanned aerial system, capitalising on Airbus Helicopters' extensive experience of advanced autopilot systems and engineering expertise to provide modern militaries with new capabilities”, said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “This first flight of the VSR700 prototype is a major milestone for the programme as we make progress on the operational demonstrator for the French Navy that will perform trials in 2021 in partnership with Naval Group.” The VSR700, derived from Hélicoptères Guimbal's Cabri G2, is an unmanned aerial system in the 500-1000 kg maximum take-off weight range. It offers the best balance of payload capability, endurance and operational cost. It is capable of carrying multiple full size naval sensors for extended periods and can operate in existing ships, alongside a helicopter, with a low logistical footprint. The VSR700 prototype which has just performed its maiden flight is a step change from the optionally piloted demonstrator that first flew in 2017 and which was based on a modified Cabri G2 equipped for autonomous flight. Compared to the demonstrator, the VSR700 prototype has a specialized set of avionics and an advanced flight control system, a payload bay in place of the pilot station designed to manage mission equipment, as well as a sleeker, more aerodynamic shape to improve flight performance. About Airbus Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018 it generated revenues of € 64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world's leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide. https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-releases/en/2019/11/vsr700-prototype-performs-first-flight.html

  • German military refuses new A400M deliveries over safety concerns

    13 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    German military refuses new A400M deliveries over safety concerns

    CLEMENT CHARPENTREAU The Bundeswehr, the German military, announced it would not accept deliveries of two A400M Atlas transport aircraft due to recurring technical problems. While defining the aircraft as the “backbone” of its air transport capabilities, the Bundeswehr is concerned about recurring technical problems affecting its fleet. “During routine inspections of the mounting nuts on the propellers of the A400M already in flight, it was found that not all 24 nuts per propeller have the intended tightening torque,” revealed the Luftwaffe, the German air force, in a statement. Increased inspections of the engine mounts, combustion chambers, and engine flap, as well as crack testing on several points, are also required and reduce the readiness of the A400M fleet. In addition to technical deficiencies, the two latest aircraft that were about to be delivered did not meet the “contractually guaranteed properties”, leading to the refusal. So far, the Bundeswehr has received 31 of the 53 A400M it ordered. In total, 174 A400M airlifters were ordered, with 84 already in service. Outside of the partner countries of the program, namely Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, and Turkey that total 170 orders, the remaining four were acquired by Malaysia. AeroTime has reached out to Airbus for comment but did not receive an answer at the time this article was published. The A400M is a military transport aircraft designed by Airbus Defence and Space. It entered service in 2013, and is offered as a successor for older transporters such as the C-130 Hercules or the C-160 Transall. It recently achieved the certification flight test for the highly awaited simultaneous dispatch of paratroopers from both side doors. The feature had been delayed by the design shortcomings of static lines. https://www.aerotime.aero/clement.charpentreau/24189-german-military-refuses-new-a400m-deliveries-over-safety-concerns

  • Mirabel’s L3Harris delivers 2 F/A-18 Hornets to NASA

    12 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Mirabel’s L3Harris delivers 2 F/A-18 Hornets to NASA

    L3Harris Technologies recently delivered two F/A-18 Hornet aircraft to NASA after successfully completing depot-level modifications and repair work. Vertex Aerospace LLC selected L3Harris to work on the NASA F/A-18 Hornet aircraft in 2018. “The NASA delivery extends our 30-plus-year legacy of providing professional and quality service from our skilled and experienced workforce,” said Ugo Paniconi, general manager, MAS, L3Harris. As part of the scheduled maintenance work, L3Harris has addressed structural modifications, while maximizing the availability of the aircraft for operational use. L3Harris is a world leader in developing and implementing F/A-18 structural modification and life extension solutions, having already successfully completed major structural programs for the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force, and assisting other F/A-18 users, including the Swiss Air Force, the Finnish Air Force, and the U.S. Navy. https://www.skiesmag.com/press-releases/l3harris-technologies-delivers-2-fa-18-hornet-aircraft-to-nasa

  • Troy Crosby named new Assistant Deputy Minister of Materiel at DND

    11 novembre 2019 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Troy Crosby named new Assistant Deputy Minister of Materiel at DND

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Troy Crosby has been appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of Materiel at the Department of National Defence. His appointment is effective Nov. 11. The ADM Materiel position opened up in August when Pat Finn decided to retire. At that time, Crosby (pictured above) assumed the role of Acting ADM(Materiel). In addition, Rear Admiral Simon Page will retire from the Royal Canadian Navy and will be appointed Chief of Staff Materiel. Page will start in that position starting Dec. 16th. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/troy-crosby-named-new-assistant-deputy-minister-of-materiel-at-dnd

  • Ukraine buys Canadian sniper rifles – delivery expected soon

    11 novembre 2019 | Local, Terrestre

    Ukraine buys Canadian sniper rifles – delivery expected soon

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Sniper rifles from PGW Defence Technologies of Winnipeg will be arriving soon in Ukraine. The company, with support of Global Affairs Canada, sold 50 LRT-3 sniper rifles to Ukraine's military, according to the Canadian Forces. Ukrainian government officials say the rifles are expected in the country very soon. Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar said in an interview with Ukrinform, the country's national news agency, that he believes the sniper rifle deal “will open the door to expanding the range of cooperation” between Ukraine and Canada on military equipment. Ukraine is also seeking armoured vehicles and other equipment from Canada. Canadian Forces personnel are working with Ukrainian snipers predominantly through a basic sniper course. They are mainly developing the Ukrainian instructors, but do provide some mentorship to the students, noted Canadian Forces spokesperson Capt. Leah Campbell. This is basically through watching and providing feedback to the students, she added. “Weapons that the students are using are provided or purchased by the Ukrainian Government,” explained Campbell in an email. “CAF personnel are not currently working with LRT-3 .50 caliber rifle. However, we are always responsive to our Ukrainian partners training needs and can adjust as appropriate.” In December 2017, the House of Commons defence committee recommended the government provide weapons to Ukraine, provided it demonstrates it is working to eliminate corruption at all levels of government. Senior officials from Ukraine's ministry of defence told the defence committee they would welcome arms from Canada, including anti-tank weapons. They told the committee that the Ukrainian military's sniper equipment was obsolete. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/ukraine-buys-canadian-sniper-rifles-delivery-expected-soon

  • Boeing confirms it is taking part in Canada’s future fighter jet competition

    11 novembre 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

    Boeing confirms it is taking part in Canada’s future fighter jet competition

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Boeing officials tell Defence Watch that the company will indeed be bidding on Canada's future fighter jet program. The firm will offer the Super Hornet for the Royal Canadian Air Force. There had been questions in the defence and aerospace industry about whether Boeing would proceed in the competition as concerns mount the procurement is rigged towards the F-35. But a Boeing official told Defence Watch on Thursday that the company is “100 per cent in.” The firm has submitted to the federal government the required information that outlines how it will meet various security requirements so the aircraft can operate within the U.S.-Canadian system. In July Boeing released a statement that it was still participating in the process but it had yet to make any final decisions on whether to take part in the Canadian competition. “We look forward to continuing to provide comments, reviewing the final RFP, and determining next steps at that time,” Boeing noted at the time. In late August, the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence and Airbus Defence and Space informed the Canadian government of their decision to withdraw from Canada's future fighter competition. Airbus had been offering Canada the Eurofighter. Last year the European firm Dassault informed the Canadian government it would not be competing in the competition. It had been planning to offer Canada the Rafale fighter jet. The $19 billion competition has been dogged by allegations it is designed to favour Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter. This newspaper reported earlier this year that the requirements for the new jets put emphasis on strategic attack and striking at ground targets during foreign missions. That criteria is seen to benefit the F-35. In addition, the federal government changed criteria on how it would assess industrial benefits after the U.S. government threatened to pull the F-35 from the competition. Saab has also confirmed it is proceeding in the competition, offering Canada its Gripen fighter jet. Airbus and the UK Defence Ministry noted that its decision to withdraw was the result of a detailed review of Canada's request for proposals which was released to industry on July 23. It pointed to the changes Canada made to the industrial benefits package to appease Lockheed Martin as well as the excessive security costs that U.S.-Canadian security requirements placed on a company based outside North America. “A detailed review has led the parties to conclude that NORAD security requirements continue to place too significant of a cost on platforms whose manufacture and repair chains sit outside the United States-Canada 2-EYES community,” the statement from Airbus and the UK Defence Ministry noted. “Second, both parties concluded that the significant recent revision of industrial technological benefits obligations does not sufficiently value the binding commitments the Typhoon Canada package was willing to make, and which were one of its major points of focus.” Bids must be submitted by the spring of 2020. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/boeing-confirms-it-is-taking-part-in-canadas-future-fighter-jet-competition

  • Halifax Shipyard launches Canada’s second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship

    11 novembre 2019 | Local, Naval

    Halifax Shipyard launches Canada’s second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship

    HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Nov. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Royal Canadian Navy's second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), the future HMCS Margaret Brooke, was launched today, Nov. 10, 2019, at Halifax Shipyard. The launch of the second of six AOPS for the Royal Canadian Navy, marks a significant milestone for Canada's National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) and the revitalization of the Royal Canadian Navy's combatant fleet. The 103-metre future HMCS Margaret Brooke transitioned from Halifax Shipyard's land level facility to a submersible barge on Nov. 8, 2019 and launched in the Bedford Basin today. The ship is now pier side at Halifax Shipyard where work continues to prepare the ship for sea trials and handover to the Royal Canadian Navy late next year. The future HMCS Margaret Brooke joins Canada's lead AOPS, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, pier side at Halifax Shipyard. The future HMCS Harry DeWolf is in the final stages of construction and is preparing for initial builder sea trials at the end of November. Inside Halifax Shipyard's facilities, the Royal Canadian Navy's third and fourth AOPS, the future HMCS Max Bernay and the future HMCS William Hall, are under construction. The first two major sections of the future HMCS Max Bernay are scheduled to be moved outside in spring 2020. Canada's NSS was created to replace the current surface fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. Over the next few decades, Halifax Shipyard will build six AOPS for the Royal Canadian Navy, two AOPS for the Canadian Coast Guard, and 15 Canadian Surface Combatants for the Royal Canadian Navy. As a result of the NSS, Irving Shipbuilding has become one of Atlantic Canada's largest regional employers, with thousands of Canadians now working in skilled, well-paying jobs. Halifax Shipyard, long at the centre of Canadian shipbuilding, is now home to the most modern, innovative shipbuilding facilities, equipment, and processes in North America. Halifax Shipyard is also continuing its legacy as the Halifax-class In-Service Support Centre of Excellence, with HMCS Charlottetown currently in the graving dock for an extensive docking work period. Quote Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding “Congratulations to our more than 2,000 shipbuilders on today's successful launch of the future HMCS Margaret Brooke. It is exciting to have two Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships in the water and closer to being in use by the Royal Canadian Navy's sailors.” Media Contact: Sean Lewis Director of Communications Irving Shipbuilding Inc. T: 902-484-4595 E: Lewis.Sean@IrvingShipbuilding.com https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/11/10/1944417/0/en/Halifax-Shipyard-launches-Canada-s-second-Arctic-and-Offshore-Patrol-Ship.html

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