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  • Call for Nominations for the International Walt Darran Aerial Firefighting Awards 2020

    9 janvier 2020 | Local, Sécurité

    Call for Nominations for the International Walt Darran Aerial Firefighting Awards 2020

    Each year the International Walt Darran Aerial Firefighting Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements and innovations within the industry. The deadline for 2020 awards is only one week away. The awards committee invites global aviation community to nominate individuals or companies before Jan. 17, 2020 to celebrate their achievements in aerial firefighting. Aiming to recognize a significant contribution by an individual or organization to aerial firefighting, the awards were inaugurated in honour of the late Walt Darran, who was a pioneer and advocate for safety and advances in aerial firefighting. These sought-after awards are a peer honour, with aerial firefighters from all around the globe honouring fellow colleagues. The nominations and resultant winners are administered by the International Awards Committee — an independent international consortium from the International Fire Aviation Working Group (IFAWG) and Associated Aerial Firefighters. Any person or organization that has made a significant contribution to furthering the safety and/or efficiency of aerial firefighting could be nominated. Once again, nominations are being accepted in two categories: Contribution to Aerial Firefighting Safety and Industry Innovation & Advancement. To nominate your candidates, please complete the awards nomination forms and return them to Kate Niven from Tangent link at before Jan. 17, 2020. The awards committee will convene after this date to review written submissions and select the winners. The awards ceremony to announce winners will take place during the Aerial Firefighting North America Conference Dinner on March 4, 2020 in Sacramento, Calif., as a part of Aerial Firefighting North America 2020.

  • New air defences needed in wake of Iran attack, Canadian Army says

    9 janvier 2020 | Local, Aérospatial

    New air defences needed in wake of Iran attack, Canadian Army says

    BY LEE BERTHIAUME THE CANADIAN PRESS The launching of Iranian missiles against a base housing Canadian soldiers in Iraq has highlighted a long-standing deficiency for the Canadian Army: the inability to defend against air attacks such as aircraft, rockets and drones. Iran on Tuesday fired missiles at two military bases in Iraq, including one near the northern city of Irbil that has housed Canadian troops for more than five years as part of the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. No one was injured in the missile attack, which was in retaliation for the killing of Iranian Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. drone last week. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Wednesday that Canadian soldiers were at the base at the time of the Iranian attack. Canadian troops in Iraq and elsewhere are routinely deployed with allies who have what are called “ground-based air defences,” or GBADs in military parlance, which can include everything from missile interceptors and anti-aircraft guns to electronic jamming devices and lasers. But Canadian Army spokesperson Karla Gimby said the Iranian missile attack nonetheless demonstrated why a new air-defence system is one of the army's top procurement priorities. “Iran launching missiles underscores the need for militaries — and the Canadian military — to have GBADs,” Gimby said Wednesday, though she added: “It is too early to tell if recent events will impact the GBAD procurement timeline.” Successive Canadian Army commanders have raised the lack of air defences for front-line troops since the military retired the last of its anti-air weapons in 2012. However, efforts to acquire a new system have been stuck in neutral for years. The Department of National Defence is not expecting delivery of a new system until at least 2026, which is projected to cost between $250 million and $500 million. Officials have previously suggested that part of the problem is trying to figure out exactly what threats the system will be designed to counter, particularly given rapid advances in technology. In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, Canadian Army commander Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre referenced Iran's use of drones to attack Saudi Arabia's largest oil facility in September as one new airborne threat on the battlefield. “No army in history has gone to war with all of the resources that it wanted, all the capabilities that it wanted,” Eyre said. “That being said, GBAD is one of the ones that I am most concerned about because it is not just a capability shortfall, it's a capability gap. We don't have it.” When the Canadian military put away the last of its anti-air weapons in 2012, it was on the assumption that Canada and its allies would have air superiority in any battle and not have to worry about airborne attacks, said defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. “The Taliban never had any of that kind of stuff. (ISIL) really didn't have any of that kind of stuff,” Perry said. “So we've been deploying in places where it hasn't been a problem.” The Iranian attack demonstrates the importance of Canadian troops on the ground being able to protect against airborne threats, he said.

  • Here are the network technologies the Army wants for 2023

    9 janvier 2020 | International, C4ISR

    Here are the network technologies the Army wants for 2023

    By: Mark Pomerleau The Army is outlining specific technology areas that it wants industry to explore for its tactical network capabilities. The Army's incremental “capability set” build seeks to add capabilities to the network every two years beginning in 2021. Technologies in this area should enhance network capacity, resiliency and convergence solutions that are available for demonstration and experimentation. The Army issued a call for white papers to the C5 Consortium Jan. 6 for technology areas it wants to insert into the 2023 tactical network, according to an Army release. This follows a briefing to industry in Austin, Texas, in November when the Army provided what it thinks its vision is for capabilities in that build. Specific technology areas outlined by the Army include: Managed multi-orbit (Low Earth Orbit/Medium Earth Orbit/Geostationary Equatorial Orbit) satellite Communications services for forces — the Army is interested in managed services to mitigate bandwidth challenges associated with increased terminals for communications services where existing services are lacking. C4ISR/electronic warfare modular open suite of standards (CMOSS) compliant satellite communications modem, next generation blue force tracking and radio waveforms — the Army wants open source standards to converge hardware on a common platform. Non-propriety open suite of consolidated tools for unified network operations — the Army is looking for a smaller suite of tools to assist in planning, installation, managing, fault detection, communication restoral, analysis, security and data collection of the network. Segregation of data by identity access and management enabling multi-level security with mission partners — the Army wants an unclassified software solution in the prototype phase that can be used in the Mission Partner Environment, a network used by the military and coalition partners, that will include a reliable, protected and configurable network. Hardened network transport and reduced electronic signature for command post and mounted formations — the Army is interested in mitigating vulnerabilities that impact command post survivability and network resiliency by developing countermeasures within the electromagnetic spectrum. Optimizing compute, storage and applications on a distributed computing architecture to automate data tagging, synchronization, containerize services and efficiency of compute resources — the Army is looking for a common data fabric to reduce stovepipes, enable automation and improve data context for decision-makers. The Army will evaluated the technical solutions submitted and select contractors to participate in a no-cost technology demonstration, which could lead to a prototype supporting experimentation, the release said.

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - January 08, 2020

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

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - January 08, 2020

    DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Aurora Industries,* Camuy, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $53,594,133 modification (P00008) exercising the first one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1128) with three one-year option periods for coats and trousers. This is a firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a Jan. 10, 2021, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. AIR FORCE BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Inc., San Diego, California, has been awarded a $49,620,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification (P00026) to previously awarded FA4600-12-D-0002 for additional Air Vehicle Planning System (APS) support. The contract modification is for a ceiling increase to allow the purchase of continued maintenance and sustainment activities, ongoing development activities, increased onsite support requirements and required modifications to APS for new and modified weapons. Work will be performed at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska; Bellevue, Nebraska; and San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2024. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $195,000,826. Fiscal 2019 and 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds; and fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds are being used. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. The 55th Contracting Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, is the contracting activity. Kapsuun Group LLC, Lorton, Virginia, has been awarded a $14,535,027 firm-fixed-price contract for A4/A6 staff support services. Work will be performed at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, and is expected to be complete by July 9, 2025. This award is the result of direct award acquisition with one offer being received. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $1,719,657 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Combat Command's Acquisition Management Integration Center, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, is the contracting activity (FA4890-20-C-0002). *Small Business

  • Bell V-280 flies autonomously for first time

    9 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Bell V-280 flies autonomously for first time

    By: Jen Judson ARLINGTON, Texas — The Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor demonstrator flew autonomously for the first time Dec. 18 at the company's Arlington facility in two sorties. Over the course of the day, the V-280 met all of Bell's flight goals for the aircraft's first venture into flying autonomously. The V-280 performed an autonomous takeoff, conversion into cruise mode, precision navigation to various waypoints, loiter maneuvers, conversion into vertical takeoff and landing mode and also landed autonomously, Ryan Ehinger, Bell's program manager for the V-280, told reporters at a company demonstration of the aircraft in Arlington on January 8. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) attended the demonstration. While safety pilots riding in the cockpit took over between different elements of autonomous flight throughout the sorties, the V-280 completed all pre-programmed elements “without issue,” Paul Wilson, the program's chief engineer, said. The company has yet to determine future flight tests as part of a continued effort to advance the tiltrotor's autonomous flight capabilities or whether it might specifically conduct a flight where all autonomous elements are stitched together without pilot intervention in between each maneuver. Bell developed its objective in late 2018 to run autonomous flight demonstrations with the V-280 and, just a year later, was able to execute the flight tests. The V-280 was built for the Army's Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration and had its maiden flight in December 2017. The autonomous flight took place on the second anniversary of the aircraft's first flight. The JMR-TD program is meant to inform the Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program. A Sikorsky-Boeing team is also flying a demonstrator — the SB-1 Defiant — as part of the program but got off to a late start, flying for the first time in March 2019, mostly due to delays related to issues building the rotor blades for the coaxial helicopter. The Army is planning to modernize its fleet through an ambitious effort to acquire two new Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft — FLRAA and a Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) — back-to-back. The service intends to field FLRAA by FY30 following a full-and-open competition. The Army wants both FLRAA and FARA to be optionally piloted aircraft, but whether that capability comes in the first tranches when the fleet is fielded remain to be seen. Bell told reporters at the demonstration that since its first flight two years ago, the V-280 has logged over 160 flight hours among seven test pilots. It has demonstrated it can fly over 300 nautical miles in one trip and proven it can do 2G acceleration turns, can climb to 11,500 feet and has reached speeds of over 280 knots. The V-280 flew at 200 knots during the January 8 demonstration and performed other agility maneuvers while showing off its hover performance. While the JMR-TD phase is over, Bell continues to consider what could still be demonstrated with the V-280 before the aircraft is officially put to bed.

  • Ce qui a changé entre l’échec du Gripen et aujourd'hui

    8 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Ce qui a changé entre l’échec du Gripen et aujourd'hui

    Avions de combat : Le PS, les Verts et le GSsA lancent ce mercredi le référendum contre l'achat de nouveaux jets. Ils étaient parvenus à couler le Gripen en 2014. La situation de départ est cette fois-ci différente. Ce 18 mai 2014, les bouchons de champagne avaient sauté au stamm de la gauche, à quelques pas de la gare de Berne. Au terme d'une campagne acharnée qui a même fait ensuite l'objet d'un documentaire, «La bataille du Gripen», de Frédéric Gonseth, 53,8% des votants avaient refusé d'acheter 22 avions de combat Gripen pour une somme de 3,126 milliards de francs. Tous les cantons romands avaient dit non. Cette année, potentiellement en septembre, les citoyens suisses devraient à nouveau se prononcer sur l'achat d'avions de combat. Le Parti socialiste, le Parti écologiste et le Groupe pour une Suisse sans armée (GSsA) lancent le référendum ce mercredi contre l'arrêté de planification qui prévoit d'investir 6 milliards de francs pour acheter de nouveaux jets. Les fronts sont les mêmes qu'en 2014, mais le contexte a changé. Un vote sur le principe et pas sur un type d'avion En 2014, le choix d'acheter le Gripen E, modèle en cours de développement, avait suscité la critique et la méfiance. Les détracteurs de ce jet parlaient d'avions de papier. Des membres des forces aériennes s'étaient aussi étonnés, en coulisses, du choix du jet suédois, alors que d'autres avions avaient obtenu de meilleures notes lors de l'évaluation. L'analyse Vox qui avait décortiqué le scrutin avait ainsi montré que 13% des votants avaient mis un non dans l'urne par rejet du Gripen. Cette fois-ci, les Suisses n'auront plus à se prononcer sur un type d'avion. Une seule question leur sera posée: acceptez-vous de payer 6 milliards de francs pour acheter de nouveaux avions de combat? Le Conseil fédéral ne sélectionnera le modèle qu'après le scrutin, sur la base des évaluations conduites par ArmaSuisse. A noter que dans tous les cas, la Suisse n'achètera pas le Gripen: le constructeur Saab a renoncé dès lors qu'il a été écarté des essais en vol et au sol qui ont eu lieu l'an dernier sur la base militaire de Payerne. Il reste ainsi quatre jets en course: le Rafale de Dassault, l'Eurofighter d'Airbus, le Super Hornet de Boeing et le F-35 de Lockheed Martin (voir vidéos de présentation dans l'encadré). Viola Amherd à la place d'Ueli Maurer Gaffes en série, couacs de communication, allusions malheureuses: la campagne de 2014 avait été cauchemardesque pour le ministre de la Défense de l'époque, Ueli Maurer (UDC). Six pour cent des votants avaient déclaré, lors de l'analyse Vox, avoir dit non en raison de cette campagne cacophonique. Les électeurs du centre, qui se reconnaissent dans des partis traditionnellement acquis à l'armée, avaient joué un rôle déterminant. Aujourd'hui, c'est une centriste, Viola Amherd, qui est à la manoeuvre. La conseillère fédérale PDC met un accent particulier sur la transparence dans les achats de l'armée. Elle a aussi souhaité amener une caution à la fois scientifique et militaire à ce dossier. Elle a ainsi invité l'astronaute Claude Nicollier à rendre un second avis sur le rapport Air2030. La popularité et l'image de la Haut-Valaisanne joueront un rôle lors de la campagne. De nouveaux avions sinon rien? En 2014, le Gripen ne devait remplacer que la flotte des F-5. Les 32 F/A 18 devaient être remplacés dans un second temps. Aujourd'hui, les 30 avions de combat F/A-18 restants sont vieillissants. Il est prévu de prolonger leur durée de vie jusqu'en 2030. Ainsi, la gauche ne pourra pas déployer avec autant d'impact l'un de ses arguments clés de 2014: on peut dire non au Gripen, il reste des avions pour l'armée. A l'époque, selon l'analyse Vox, 24% des détracteurs du Gripen se disaient en effet partisans d'une armée forte, mais ils estimaient aussi que l'achat de ce jet n'était pas une nécessité vitale. Le message sera différent lors de la future campagne. Viola Ahmerd et ses alliés pourront marquer des points en affirmant que le scrutin déterminera la survie des forces aériennes. Fondamentalement, les référendaires ne contestent cela dit pas la nécessité d'avoir des avions mais uniquement pour faire la police du ciel. Ils estiment qu'on peut acheter moins et à un meilleur prix. Leur capacité de convaincre avec cet argument s'annonce déterminante. Des mesures compensatoires plus basses C'est une autre différence par rapport au vote de 2014. Les affaires compensatoires - ces contre-prestations exigées de la part du constructeur - se monteront à 60% du prix d'achat des avions. Pour le Gripen, c'était 100%. Sur ce point, la ministre Viola Amherd, critique face aux surcoûts engendrés par ces compensations, s'est imposée au parlement. Les entreprises romandes qui craignaient de ne pas voir la couleur des affaires compensatoires si elles étaient réduites à 60% se disent néanmoins satisfaites: les collaborations seront possibles au-delà du secteur de la sécurité. Elles s'étendront à onze autres domaines, dont celui des machines, de l'électronique ou encore de l'horlogerie.

  • US lawmakers protest proposed cuts to shipbuilding

    8 janvier 2020 | International, Naval

    US lawmakers protest proposed cuts to shipbuilding

    By: David B. Larter WASHINGTON — In a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, two key lawmakers decried proposed cuts to shipbuilding, saying the cuts threaten long-term security and jobs. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, said in a letter that they are “deeply concerned” about reports that five of the 12 Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers planned in the Pentagon's five-year projection were on the chopping block. “We write to express our strong support for a 355-ship Navy and to urge continued support from the Department for a robust shipbuilding budget," the letter said. The cuts, which were outlined in a memo from the White House's Office of Management and Budget to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and obtained by Defense News, would hit Maine particularly hard, according to analysts, and could put jeopardize jobs at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. Collins and King highlighted $390 million appropriated in the 2020 budget for advanced procurement for three destroyers, noting that the memo only notes one destroyer planned for 2021. The letter said Congress would get the last word on the shipbuilding profile, and the senators expressed confidence that support for shipbuilding would continue. “We expect this congressional support for Navy shipbuilding and DDG-51 procurement to continue in FY 2021 and beyond, and we hope the Department and administration will join us in these efforts,” the letter read. “As you continue to develop and finalize the Department's FY 2021 budget request, we urge you to reverse course from cutbacks to shipbuilding plans that may be under deliberation and to support a 355-ship Navy.”

  • $100M contract awarded to upgrade special ops comms

    8 janvier 2020 | International, C4ISR

    $100M contract awarded to upgrade special ops comms

    By: Chiara Vercellone WASHINGTON — U.S. Special Operations Command has awarded L3Harris Technologies a $100 million contract to upgrade about 550 satellite ground stations that support military command, control and communications, according to a Jan. 6 news release. Under the five-year contract, L3Harris will provide software and hardware to maintain and upgrade the Hawkeye III Lite very small aperture terminals, or VSAT. “This agreement extends the service life of our customer's existing terminals and highlights the priority USSOCOM places on ensuring their deployed users are equipped with the latest in VSAT technology,” said Chris Aebli, president of global communication systems at L3Harris Technologies. For its part, the U.S. Army has received 4,000 Hawkeye systems to date. In 2017, L3Harris delivered 46 Hawkeye III Lite VSATs to the U.S. Air National Guard's Joint Incident Site Communications Capability teams and trained personnel to facilitate direct communications with the satellite terminals. In 2019, USSOCOM awarded L3Harris an $86 million contract as part of a $390 million program that started in 2015 for handheld tactical radios that can be used with multiple channels for special forces.

  • Congressional commission wants more cyberwarriors for the military

    8 janvier 2020 | International, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Congressional commission wants more cyberwarriors for the military

    Mark Pomerleau The U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a bipartisan organization created in 2019 to develop a multipronged U.S. cyber strategy, will recommend the Department of Defense add more cyberwarriors to its forces, the group's co-chair said Jan. 7. The cyber mission force was established in 2013 and includes 133 teams and roughly 6,200 individuals from across the services that feed up to U.S. Cyber Command. These forces reached a staffing milestone known as full operational capability in May 2018, however, some on the commission believe the cyber landscape has changed so that the force needs to adapt as well. In a final report that's expected in the coming months, the solarium will recommend adding more cyberwarriors. “It's fair to say that force posture today in cyber is probably not adequate," said Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., co-chair of the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission. Gallagher spoke at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington Jan. 7. Within the last two years, Cyber Command has described a philosophy called persistent engagement, which is a means of constantly contesting adversary behavior in cyberspace before it can be disruptive. Persistent engagement is viewed as a means of meeting the 2018 DoD cyberspace strategy's direction to “defend forward.” That action seeks to position U.S. cyber forces outside of U.S. networks to either take action against observed adversary behavior or warn partners domestically or internationally of impending cyber activity observed in foreign networks. It is under this new approach that Gallagher and other commission members said the Pentagon must ensure its forces are capable of meeting the burgeoning challenges from bad actors. “We need to figure out what's the right size” of the force, Mark Montgomery, executive director of the commission, said at an event in November. “In my mind, the CMF probably needs to be reassessed. It might be that the assessment [says] that the size is the right size. I find that hard to believe with the growth in adversary.” The cyber mission force is made up of about 5,000 service members out of a full staff of about 6,200, Dave Luber, Cyber Command's executive director said in November. According to a defense official, it's normal that staffing will fall below 100 percent but leaders are confident in DoD's cyber forces' readiness and ability to defend the nation. During a February 2019 hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Cyber Command's leader, Gen. Paul Nakasone, said the force is the right size for the threats they currently face, but as it continues to operate and adversaries improve, it will need to grow beyond the 133 teams. However, Nakasone told a defense conference in California in December that the force has been built to execute the persistent engagement strategy. “Within U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, it's about persistent engagement; this idea that we will enable our partners with information and intelligence and we will act when authorized,” he said. “This is the way forward for us ... This is the way that we've structured our force. This is the way that we developed our doctrine. This is the way that we engage our adversaries ... this is our method upon which we look at the future and say this is how we have an impact on our adversaries.” Aside from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, Congress now requires the Department of Defense to provide quarterly readiness briefings on the cyber mission force. In the annual defense policy bill, signed into law in December, Pentagon officials must brief members of Congress on the abilities of the force to conduct cyber operations based on capability, capacity of personnel, equipment, training and equipment condition. The secretary of defense must also establish metrics for assessing the readiness of the cyber mission force, under the provision.

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