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  • French Drone Firm Scores Major Military Contract

    16 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    French Drone Firm Scores Major Military Contract

    Posted By: Jason Reagan French drone company Novadem announced delivery this week of its latest model of micro-drone as the centerpiece of a $2.2 million contract with French armed forces. The Ministère des Armées purchased 55 micro-drones from Novadem's NX70 model line to provide security surveillance and reconnaissance over 24-hour periods. “For several years, we have put in place all necessary processes and documentations to be able to face, when the day arrives, this increase of the production rate,” Novadem CEO Pascal Zunino. “This major contract has allowed us to refine and validate our organization in order to make it replicable in the future and to reach the quality standards expected by the [ministry].” The contract includes training of more than a dozen users from France's 61st Artillery Regiment with a total of 100 or more trained operators expected to be trained in the future. Last year, Novadem introduced the first iteration of the NX70 under contract with France's national police agency, Gendarmerie Nationale. “Their feedback as well as feedback of other customers in France and abroad allowed us to continue research and development to develop the ‘Block 2' model of today,” Zunino said. “This marks a new step compared to the first generation.” Zunino added, the next generation of the NX70 drone improves image stabilization and night vision capabilities. “Radiofrequency links have also evolved to meet military requirements: defense frequency bands, data encryption and a radio range increased to more than 5 kilometers,” he added. French defense officials tested the micro-drones in June at the Mourmelon military camp. Earlier this year, Novadem launched a new tethered UAV platform, the NXWIRE 2.0 during AUVSI XPONENTIAL, the world's largest UAS trade show. The drone model offers a ground-based power supply that can be connected to a main supply or auxiliary power unit and a 50-meter cable to sustain electrical power from the ground to the drone. The company also produces LPS technology using terrestrial beacons much in the same way that GPS uses satellites to create a local positioning network.

  • USAF Identifies Critical New KC-46 Design Flaw

    16 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    USAF Identifies Critical New KC-46 Design Flaw

    By Steve Trimble The U.S. Air Force has identified a potential new design flaw with the KC-46A tanker and banned the fleet from carrying cargo or passengers until a solution is found and delivered. Multiple cargo locks embedded in the floor of the aircraft released inadvertently during a recent operational test and evaluation flight, according to a statement by Air Mobility Command (AMC). Air Force and Boeing officials are working to identify a solution to the problem, AMC says. An uncommanded release of the cargo locks could allow pallets of cargo or passenger seats to shift position during flight, potentially changing the center of gravity of the aircraft. In response, the Air Force generated the third unresolved Category 1 deficiency report charged to the KC-46 program, AMC says. A Category 1 deficiency reflects an identified risk that jeopardizes lives or critical assets. The Air Force agreed to accept the first KC-46 last January despite two Category 1 deficiencies still pending. Boeing is implementing an Air Force-funded design change to the actuator on the refueling boom to make it more sensitive to smaller receiver aircraft, such as A-10s and F-16s. Meanwhile, Boeing has submitted a proposed redesign of the remote vision system (RVS) to correct what the Air Force calls a “rubber sheeting” affect that distorts the image on the visual display used by the boom operator during refueling operations. Boeing has agreed to pay for an RVS design that received approval by the Air Force.

  • Massive simulation shows the need for speed in multi-domain ops

    13 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Massive simulation shows the need for speed in multi-domain ops

    FORT BENNING, Ga. – The Army tested its current and future equipment and warfighting methods for the potential next war in a massive, weeks-long simulated experiment that wrapped up recently. The Unified Challenge 19.2 experiment in August involved more than 400 participants working with 55 formations, 64 concepts and 150 capabilities, said Col. Mark Bailey, chief of the Army's Futures and Concepts Center's Joint Army Experimentation Division. The exercise ran Aug. 5-23. The simulation allowed Army leaders to “understand some of the complex patterns” that come out of the very complex systems that the United States and its adversaries are using, or developing to use, in future scenarios, Bailey told reporters this week. Much of what was tested couldn't be done in the real world because it hasn't been invented yet. For example, the Army's priorities in the Cross Functional Teams, from Future Vertical Lift to the Next Generation Combat Vehicle, are years away from fielding their platforms to the force, but through mathematical models and algorithms, researchers can plug in the day and play out a very detailed set of events. And the scope of the experiment dove deeper than what a typical tabletop exercise or wargaming scenario might. It allowed experimenters to see down to the small unit level and all the way up to the division and corps level what would likely play out if those formations collided with a near-peer competitor on foreign turf in a battle for territory. Chris Willis, the chief of the Maneuver Battle Lab's Model and Simulations Branch, said that for the first time, experimenters were able to use “nonlethal effects” in a simulation — electronic jamming, cyber-attacks and other methods — to support maneuver warfighting. That helped them gather data on concepts that Army leaders have been considering and theorizing about for years. But the multi-domain operations tools that were used in simulation were not being flung about the simulated battle space by random privates. Currently, the experiments look at having commanders below the brigade level aware of what MDO tools are at their disposal and how to get access to them when needed from higher echelons, which would likely house them. “The brigade would get access to some effects but those wouldn't rest inside of the brigade proper,” said Col. Chris Cassibry, director of the Maneuver Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate's Concepts Development Division. Cassibry emphasized that at this stage it's more important for the brigade commander to understand what's happening across the battlefield and use those effects to execute maneuver. For instance, the idea is that by enabling space and cyber assets, ground forces can have more freedom to maneuver. That was assumed to be the case but the complex simulation has put some data behind the concept for researchers to now analyze. A lot of what presented challenges that will consume commanders of the future was creating “windows of domain superiority,” Bailey said. Converging effects The basic plan is to converge effects, fires or non-kinetic or other types, which create that window. Commanders can plan for that and they do. But to do that at the speed that leaders believe MDO will unfold presents a whole other set of challenges. “Things happen so fast you must have this flexibility to do that in a moment's notice so that when you identify a target on a battlefield and don't have the artillery tube in range you have to quickly identify what else you have in range to hit that target,” Bailey said. And also, to understand that even if you switch “guns” quickly enough to another asset, drone, missile, electronic warfare, that means the new tool you've chosen will now not be used on another quickly emerging target or threat. That's where artificial intelligence must fill the gap, by offering up those menus of options for commanders and identifying the targets so that the human can then fire. Unified Challenge is a twice a year event; this was the second. Though it provides a lot of data, it's not something easily replicable. That means that in the near term, smaller experiments will unfold using some of the lessons learned from the larger experiment, further refining concepts and next steps on many of the ways in which the Army goes after MDO. The next step will be for the Futures and Concepts Center to compile a report of lessons learned and recommendations moving forward with some of the platforms, capabilities and doctrine. That will be delivered to the center director in the coming months, and once approved, spread across the Army to inform smaller scale experiments with portions of the larger effort to develop MDO doctrine and materiel, Bailey said.

  • How the Army is modernizing the old, introducing the new

    13 septembre 2019 | International, C4ISR

    How the Army is modernizing the old, introducing the new

    By: Mark Pomerleau Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor led the Army's sustainment efforts for the past two years as leader of Communications-Electronics Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. CECOM works to repair, restore and maintain all the Army's communications, electronics, cyber and intelligence equipment once it's been used by soldiers. In June, Maj. Gen. Mitchell Kilgo took over Taylor's position at CECOM and Taylor departed for U.S. Strategic Command. Before he left, Taylor spoke with C4ISRNET staff reporter Mark Pomerleau. C4ISRNET: You are leaving CECOM this summer after two years. What's changed? MAJ. GEN. RANDY TAYLOR: Fifty-five to 70 percent of, not just time, but expense is in sustainment. Every dollar that we don't use appropriately on the sustainment side takes a dollar away from [new programs]. One simple, but not glamorous thing that has made a tremendous impact is just making sure that — when it comes to sustaining C5ISR on the battlefield — the parts we need are at the right place at the right time. We've gone from, no kidding, like 77 percent supply availability with these parts two years ago to now this year we are currently at 90 percent and we're going to finish this fiscal year at 93 percent supply availability. Transformational. In our world, a part — the piece of a complicated platform or just the mission command system — might be the difference between it working or not, between somebody fighting or winning or not ... living or dying. C4ISRNET: Are you using any emerging technologies to get those parts in the right place at the right time? TAYLOR: We're looking at these platforms that already have built-in sensors and built-in discipline of really getting that feedback on usage, on wear and sustainment demand. We're starting there when it comes to applying AI to sustainment. I see C5ISR being a natural progression of that, but not the best place to start because even though things are becoming more and more connected, a lot of this is still very disparate networks, the disparate ability to monitor usage and age, etc. C4ISRNET: What about using AI with the network? TAYLOR: That's incredibly interesting because it is so tempting for us as an institution to go out and modernize the network by buying the latest and greatest, spiral develop it — field a different capability set every two years and get all this new stuff and all the varieties between different units and this piece of network gear and that piece of network gear and then forget about sustainment in our hubris or excitement to modernize. Then this all comes crashing down a couple years from now because we didn't have the demand history to know how to start the parts, train the technicians, and different units have different equipment. Organically, we just haven't prepared ourselves to take all that on. So, on the new modernized network, we have a mnemonic device to help remember this: Five-three-one. Starting with five: that is acquire these new C5ISR capabilities with a five-year warranty from the manufacturer. Even though that doesn't sound exciting, it is very significant. Most of the time this stuff just comes with a one-year warranty. And these warranties cost money and every dollar a program manager spends on a warranty is one less dollar he can put toward a quantity increase. That five-year warranty gives us the lead time we need as an Army and at CECOM; it gives us lead time so by year three — that's the three in five-three-one — the Army makes a decision to keep or kill. Basically, to sustain or not the thing we just modernized. Some of it we'll kill by saying, “Okay, that technology is perishable, Moore's Law. We want to replace it with the next best thing so why sustain it?” Or we might say, “It's low cost; it's essentially disposable.” C4ISRNET: Is that a new approach from years past? TAYLOR: Absolutely. Institutionally, we do a terrible job deciding to end things. We have a tendency to perpetuate indefinitely until there's some kind of compelling decision point that forces us to that. We're not really designed now to think about it that deliberately, that early. So, we're working with Army Futures Command, who can help lead that decision-making. And then — if the Army decides to sustain it, keep it past its warranty period ... five years in most cases — we have to decide, okay, then who's going to sustain it? Most of that will be sustained by CECOM. Then we have to work out a plan to transition it over to sustainment. C4ISRNET: Does that change how the network will look? TAYLOR: The network writ large, for as long as this discussion is relevant, will consist of new parts and old parts. Modernized network cross-functional team parts and legacy? That's already in the field that will be out there in some form. The biggest thing on an enterprise level that's keeping the rates from being higher is the fact that a large amount of what is fielded in the network has never gone back to the depot for reset, repair, overall, anything like that. When you pick that apart, the reason it hasn't gone back is we've made it, in the past, too hard to get it back to the depot. It's taken too long. All of the legacy radios. All of the WIN-T components to include Point-of-Presence and Soldier Network Extension, radars, generators, night-vision devices ... Back under the [Army Force Generation] model when we had about six months to reset, this was alright. But still, people didn't turn their stuff in. Nobody wanted to be without their equipment for six months because we were taking all of six months and then some at the depot to turn this thing and send it back to them. We've since completely changed that. C4ISRNET: How so? TAYLOR: Now, the C5ISR units can bring in basically all their major C5ISR platforms, turn them all in and then almost immediately drive away with something that's been totally refurbished. We've started already to do that in partnership with Forces Command, which gives us the priorities. We've seen a big spike in turning this stuff around, which really helps improve operational readiness. At the same time, we're doing all that. We made great strides in something we call “repair cycle time.” Take something like a Satellite Transportable Terminal. We used to take over six months to turn an STT to overhaul it, send it back. We do that now in less than two months. But units don't even have to wait that long because they have a repair cycle flow. Everything is accelerated now so that we can better modernize the old, introduce the new and keep this capable as we go forward. C4ISRNET: What kinds of challenges are ahead in software? TAYLOR: A big challenge with software is intellectual property. It used to be the way we looked at intellectual property rights is we kind of saw it as a binary decision. The government either bought it or we didn't. Most times we didn't because it was very expensive to buy it ... They developed it, they give us capabilities we contracted for, but they own the inner workings of it. Same thing on the hardware side. We have someone build a platform, they give us a platform, but they don't give all the engineering diagrams and all the specs on how to build the subcomponents. But we found we were at these very vulnerable points where something became obsolete, meaning we had a part on a platform and then, for example, the manufacturer stopped making it because there was no business case or maybe a sub vendor went out of business, and now we had to manufacture it organically or hire someone else, but we didn't have the intellectual property. So, it took forever to re-engineer it. C4ISRNET: And the same with software? TAYLOR: Same thing on the software side. We didn't have the code and it would just be too expensive then to try to figure it out on our own. What we do now is we have an agreement saying if any of these trigger events occur in the future, I'm going to have rights to this intellectual property you developed. I, the government, will have rights, and it's going to be at a pre-negotiated price. And what we're going to do to protect each one of us here is we're going to hold your intellectual property with a third, neutral party that will hold your software. You'll be required to update it, keep it current, they will protect it from the government or any competitor seeing it until these trigger events occur and then I will pay you for what I need when I need it. That is a brand-new way of doing business. It's been in practice a little bit in industry but not in the Department of Defense. C4ISRNET: That's important if a new radar signature comes up and you need to make a quick change. TAYLOR: Absolutely. Anything. The threat environment changes, you've got to get in there. C4ISRNET: What about software licenses? TAYLOR: If you look at the trend of how software sustainment was going, before we did a big course correction, we were approaching the point theoretically where all our sustainment dollars would go to software and [we would] have nothing left for the hardware. We got that under control now. A big part of that rebalancing is reducing the licensing cost. It first started with getting to fewer baselines because it kind of got away from us in the surge and in the war years. We had so many different versions of different software and different platforms. So, we worked with the [program executive offices] and consolidated that down to the minimum feasible number of baselines. We've also negotiated some better enterprise licenses and there have been some efficiencies there. Right now, on the sustainment side, the folks that go in and make these modifications for the government, we're going from what was 43 contracts now being reduced to 34 sustainment contracts. That's still a lot but that's a huge inefficiency there.

  • The Air Force's entire A-10 Warthog fleet is getting a raft of lethal new upgrades

    13 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    The Air Force's entire A-10 Warthog fleet is getting a raft of lethal new upgrades

    By Jared Keller Fresh off a fraught decade-long rewinging effort, the Air Force's beloved A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet is poised to keep on BRRRTing in the free world for at least another decade — and the beloved attack aircraft will pick up some tasty new upgrades along the way. Personnel at Air Combat Command are currently working to integrate the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB I) on all A-10 airframes as part of the Common Fleet Initiative (CFI) that, initiated in August 2018, is designed to bring the decades-old fleet "back to a common baseline" for ongoing operations. "GBU-39 munitions have proven to be highly-desired weapons in ongoing conflicts, and the addition of this weapon to the A-10's arsenal will greatly improve the flexibility of ground commanders," Alexi Worley, an ACC spokesman, told Task & Purpose. "Adding the GBU-39 will continue efforts to keep the A-10 relevant in ongoing and future conflicts, where versatility in weaponeering is critical to meeting ground commander needs." Military aviation magazine Combat Aircraft first reported news of the SDB integration on Sept. 5, noting that a new "multi-target engagement capability" will make the A-10 "theoretically ... able to target 18 weapons individually" while hauling four SDBs on a single hardpoint.

  • Britain kicks off competition to manage ground stations for next Skynet satellite program

    13 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Britain kicks off competition to manage ground stations for next Skynet satellite program

    By: Andrew Chuter LONDON — Britain's defense secretary has fired the starting gun on an industry competition to manage the ground station element of the £6 billion Skynet 6 communications satellite program. “I can announce the launch of a new competition for an industry partner to operate and manage the ground stations, infrastructure and technology involved in this [Skynet 6] program,” Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace said in a speech at the DSEI defense exhibition in London Wednesday. The invitation to industry players could see incumbent ground service provider Airbus lose the contract after more than 15 years operating ground stations and satellites in the Skynet 5 private finance initiative deal with the British Ministry of Defence. The ground station service deal with Airbus comes to an end in 2022. Earlier MoD briefings to industry said they envisioned a contract award to the winning bidder around August next year. Julian Knight, head of networks at the MoD's Information Systems and Services organization said the government was about to enter a vital phase of the program. “We are seeking an innovative partner that will ensure effective and consistent defense satellite communications and will look to continually maximize performance and value for money,” he said. “The successful bidder will also negotiate the MoD's access to commercial satellite services, as well as managing the U.K.'s contribution and access to systems owned and operated by the U.K.'s allies,” said Knight. Ken Peterman, president of government systems at Viasat, said he was pleased at the references to commercial capabilities being adopted as part of the program. “ We are very encouraged by today's Skynet 6 announcement as it further demonstrates the value of commercial satellite trajectories and the need for an ecosystem that will allow war fighters to use both commercial and MoD purpose-built capabilities as one seamless enterprise.” It's not clear whether the British intend to use the Skynet 6 ground stations for non-communications satellite applications in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sector. Airbus wasted no time officially declaring it would be bidding for what's known as the service delivery element of the Skynet 6 program, and rivals are expected to follow suit in the next few weeks. “Airbus has an outstanding track record of being the pioneer of secure mil satcoms within a commercial framework....We look forward to offering the MoD a modernized and enhanced service with Skynet 6,” said the European-based company in a statement. Inmarsat, Viasat, Serco, Lockheed Martin UK and others are also expected to submit bids either leading or partnering in competing consortia. A spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin U Kconfirmed the company is “interested in participating” in the service delivery competition. The service delivery element of the program is the first part of a wider Skynet 6 program also planned to include a raft of capabilities to provide next generation non-line of sight communications. The competition for that element, known as enduring capability, is expected to get underway with an invitation to tender in the first quarter of 2020. Some of the same companies interested in the ground station portion of the deal will be pitching for the future capability requirement. Airbus is the main satellite player here but Lockheed Martin has been ramping up its U.K. space credentials and others like Viasat are also rapidly expanding their presence. Airbus, the European space leader, has already secured a contract with the British to provide a new satellite known as Skynet 6A for capabilities to supplement the four Skynet 5 satellites currently in operation. Airbus was selected for 6A without a competition over a year ago, but the deal has yet to be signed. A spokesman for Airbus in the U.K. confirmed the satellite contract had not been sealed but said he was optimistic the deal would be completed by the end of the year. The in service date for the satellite is targeted for mid2025. Beefing up space capabilities has become a top priority for the British and the threat posed by rival nations was referenced by service chiefs speaking at the DSEI show. Wallace referenced it as well. “Today we're having to deal with increasing threats to satellite-based navigation and the need for robust communications has never been more vital," he said. “That's why we're developing Skynet 6, which will give our forces unparalleled capacity to talk to each other in any hostile environment.” The British announced earlier this year they are collaborating with the U.S. on a project known as Artemis, aimed at researching the military potential of launching a constellation of small satellites. The goal is to launch a demonstrator vehicle within 12 months. Small satellite development is pretty much dominated by the British, primarily through the Airbus owned Surrey Satellites Technology. The British are also the first international partner to formally sign up for a little talked about U.S.-led coalition effort called Operation Olympic Defender, aimed at strengthening allies' ability to deter hostile actions by nations like Russia and China. Despite the new urgency to build a space capability, the British have still not published their long awaited space defense strategy detailing how the military intends to develop its space thinking in the decade ahead. Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, who recently took over as the chief of the air staff, declined to say when the document might surface or why its publication has been delayed for more than a year. Industry executives though were more forthcoming. One executive, who asked not to be named, said one of the principal reasons for the delay was the haggling between Joint Forces Command and the Royal Air Force over who would end up controlling Britain's military space activities.

  • Iveco Defence Vehicles awarded contract to deliver a new generation of medium multirole protected vehicles to Dutch Armed Forces

    13 septembre 2019 | International, Terrestre

    Iveco Defence Vehicles awarded contract to deliver a new generation of medium multirole protected vehicles to Dutch Armed Forces

    Bolzano, September 12, 2019 - Iveco Defence Vehicles, a company of CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI /MI: CNHI), announced today that it has been awarded a contract by the Dutch Ministry of Defence to provide 1275 medium multirole protected vehicles denominated “12kN”. The acquisition is part of the Defence-wide Replacement Programme of Wheeled Vehicles (DVOW - Defensiebrede Vervanging Operationele Wielvoertuigen), with deliveries from 2022 through 2026. The Iveco Defence Vehicles' MTV – Medium Tactical Vehicle, is designed to combine high tactical 4x4 mobility, optimal off-road performance and high crew protection, together with an excellent payload capability. Outstanding modularity and system integration capabilities are guaranteed across all range variants such as hard top, soft top, pick up, casualty transport and personnel transport, in order to support all different Military users, from Army to Marines, Navy, Air Force, Special Operational Units and Military Police. High reliability, ease of maintenance and low through life cycle costs were core requirements during the design of MTV, guiding the choice of the main assemblies towards components with proven performance and reliability over many millions kilometers in the most diversified and demanding environmental conditions. Over the years, Iveco Defence Vehicles has delivered many vehicles to the Dutch Army from its wide commercial and military product range such as the Iveco Stralis 6x2 long haulage lorries, the Trakker 8x8 for the Army's Fire Department and the EuroCargo 4x4 delivered to the Dutch Marines for the Caribbean territories. This award represents an important milestone in the consolidation of the strategic partnership between the Dutch MoD and Iveco Defence Vehicles, confirming once again the leadership of the company in the multirole vehicle segment for defense and homeland security missions. Iveco Defence Vehicles is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., a World leader in Capital Goods listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CNHI) and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario of the Borsa Italiana (MI: CNHI). Iveco Defence Vehicles is dedicated to delivering innovative automotive and protection solutions to meet the needs of military customers worldwide. The company manufactures specialist logistic, protected and armoured vehicles in its facility in Bolzano in Northern Italy, as well as marketing Iveco's full commercial range, adapted as necessary to meet the demands of the military user. In consequence, Iveco Defence Vehicles has a full range of vehicles to meet a broad spectrum of defence applications. CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI /MI: CNHI) is a global leader in the capital goods sector with established industrial experience, a wide range of products and a worldwide presence. Each of the individual brands belonging to the Company is a major international force in its specific industrial sector: Case IH, New Holland Agriculture and Steyr for tractors and agricultural machinery; Case and New Holland Construction for earth moving equipment; Iveco for commercial vehicles; Iveco Bus and Heuliez Bus for buses and coaches; Iveco Astra for quarry and construction vehicles; Magirus for firefighting vehicles; Iveco Defence Vehicles for defence and civil protection; and FPT Industrial for engines and transmissions. More information can be found on the corporate website: For more information contact: Iveco DV Press Office Elisa Faccin External Relations & Communication Manager Phone +39 0471 905 369 Mobile +39 366 7556840

  • Babcock Team 31 selected as preferred bidder for UK Type 31 frigate programme

    13 septembre 2019 | International, Naval

    Babcock Team 31 selected as preferred bidder for UK Type 31 frigate programme

    September 12, 2019 - Babcock Team 31 has been selected by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) as the preferred bidder to deliver its new warships. Led by Babcock, the Aerospace and Defence company, and in partnership with the Thales Group, the T31 general purpose frigate programme will provide the UK Government with a fleet of five ships, at an average production cost of £250 million per ship. Following a comprehensive competitive process, Arrowhead 140, a capable, adaptable and technology-enabled global frigate will be the UK Royal Navy's newest class of warships, with the first ship scheduled for launch in 2023. At its height the programme will maximise a workforce of around 1250 highly- skilled roles in multiple locations throughout the UK, with around 150 new technical apprenticeships likely to be developed. The work is expected to support an additional 1250 roles within the wider UK supply chain. With Babcock's Rosyth facility as the central integration site, the solution provides value for money and squarely supports the principles of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. It builds on the knowledge and expertise developed during the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier modular build programme. The announcement follows a competitive design phase where Babcock Team 31 was chosen alongside two other consortia to respond to the UK MOD's requirements. Work on the fleet of five ships will begin immediately following formal contract award later this financial year, with detailed design work to start now and manufacture commencing in 2021 and concluding in 2027. Archie Bethel, CEO Babcock said: “It has been a tough competition and we are absolutely delighted that Arrowhead 140 has been recognised as offering the best design, build and delivery solution for the UK's Royal Navy Type 31 frigates. “Driven by innovation and backed by experience and heritage, Arrowhead 140 is a modern warship that will meet the maritime threats of today and tomorrow, with British ingenuity and engineering at its core. It provides a flexible, adaptable platform that delivers value for money and supports the UK's National Shipbuilding Strategy.” Arrowhead 140 will offer the Royal Navy a new class of ship with a proven ability to deliver a range of peacekeeping, humanitarian and warfighting capabilities whilst offering communities and supply chains throughout the UK a wide range of economic and employment opportunities. A key element of the Type31 programme is to supply a design with the potential to secure a range of export orders thereby supporting the UK economy and UK jobs. Arrowhead 140 will offer export customers an unrivalled blend of price, capability and flexibility backed by the Royal Navy's world-class experience and Babcock looks forward to working closely with DIT and MOD in this regard. Arrowhead 140 is a multi-role frigate equipping today's mariner with real-time data to support immediate and complex decision-making. The frigate is engineered to minimise through-life costs whilst delivering a truly leading-edge ship, featuring an established, proven and exportable combat management system provided by Thales. Victor Chavez, Chief Executive of Thales in the UK said: “Thales is delighted to be part of the successful Team 31 working with Babcock and has been at the forefront of innovation with the Royal Navy for over 100 years. “With the announcement today that Arrowhead 140 has been selected as the preferred bidder for the new Type 31e frigate, the Royal Navy will join the global community of 26 navies utilising the Thales Tacticos combat management system. Thales already provides the eyes and ears of the Royal Navy and will now provide the digital heart of the UK's next generation frigates.” Babcock will now enter a period of detailed discussions with the MOD and supply chain prior to formal contract award expected later this year. View source version on Babcock:

  • UK Ministry of Defence orders Leonardo/Thales protection system for RAF Shadow ISTAR fleet

    13 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    UK Ministry of Defence orders Leonardo/Thales protection system for RAF Shadow ISTAR fleet

    London September 11, 2019 - The UK Ministry of Defence has contracted Leonardo and Thales, under a single source procurement, to deliver an integrated UK Defensive Aids System (DAS). The procurement will equip the RAF's fleet of eight Shadow R1 intelligence-gathering aircraft, providing an advanced DAS which will protect the aircraft against latest-generation of Infra-Red (heat seeking) missiles. Designed, developed and manufactured in the UK, the system provides a sovereign capability which will be able to evolve in anticipation of changing threats to air platforms. The contract will be delivered by a combined MOD/Leonardo/Thales team under a Leonardo prime systems integration contract, with the equipment being integrated onto the platform by Raytheon UK. Initial Operating Capability is targeted for early 2021. The system consists of the following subsystems: Thales “Elix-IR” Threat Warner Leonardo DAS Controller Leonardo “Miysis” Directed Infra-Red Counter Measure (DIRCM) Thales “Vicon” Countermeasures Dispensing System The single source selection by the MOD follows the recent SALT III international trials hosted by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration in Sweden. There, the integrated Miysis/Elix-IR system, using a jamming waveform developed by the UK MOD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, proved its ability to defeat Infra-Red missiles in live fire exercises. How the system works: The integrated DAS brings together world-class capabilities in threat warning, self-protection co-ordination, countermeasures dispensing and in DIRCM. At the heart of the system, the DAS Controller is able to assess multiple threats to the aircraft and prioritise the appropriate response using the Countermeasure Dispensing System (CMDS) and Miysis DIRCM. Elix-IR is constantly on the lookout for missile and gunfire threats, providing long range, rapid and accurately-located alerts when they occur. The dual-head fit of the Miysis DIRCM provides 360 degree protection and the ability to defeat multiple threats simultaneously by accurately directing a jamming laser onto the missile's seeker, confusing its guidance system and steering the missile away from the aircraft. The integrated and optimised threat-warning/threat-defeat chain ensures that sequential incoming missiles are thwarted quickly and effectively. Shadow: The RAF's fleet of Shadow aircraft, which are based on the King Air 350CER, are operated by 14 Squadron out of RAF Waddington. Because of the ISR role of the aircraft, it may be required to fly through hostile airspace, necessitating protection from enemy forces. A particularly deadly and prevalent threat are heat-seeking, Man-Portable Air-Defence Systems (MANPADS), which are widely employed around the world. The Shadow's new defensive aids suite will effectively counter this threat, being able to rapidly defeat incoming missiles. About Leonardo Leonardo, a global high-technology company, is among the top ten world players in Aerospace, Defence and Security and Italy's main industrial company. Organized into five business divisions, Leonardo has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the USA, where it also operates through subsidiaries such as Leonardo DRS (defense electronics), and joint ventures and partnerships: ATR, MBDA, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and Avio. Leonardo competes in the most important international markets by leveraging its areas of technological and product leadership (Helicopters, Aircraft, Aerostructures, Electronics, Cyber Security and Space). Listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (LDO), in 2018 Leonardo recorded consolidated revenues of €12.2 billion and invested €1.4 billion in Research and Development. The Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index since 2010. >For the RAF Shadow, Leonardo will draw on its experience providing protective systems for the UK's Eurofighter Typhoon and AW159 Wildcat, AW101 Merlin, Puma and Chinook helicopter fleets. The Company was also contracted in April to provide a UK sovereign defensive aids suite for the British Army's new fleet of Apache AH-64E helicopters. >While being smaller, lighter and drawing less power than other DIRCM systems on the market, the Miysis DIRCM still offers the full spherical coverage required to counter advanced threats. Its Laser Pointer Tracker offers sophisticated tracking to counter long range threats and exceptional response speed to counter short range threats. A multi-band IRCM can defeat even advanced threats. Miysis has been selected by customers in Canada and the Middle East. Contact: Leonardo Press Office +39 0632473313 About Thales Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transport, Defence and Security markets. With 62,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of €14 billion in 2016. With over 22,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design and deploy equipment, systems and services to meet the most complex security requirements. Its exceptional international footprint allows it to work closely with its customers all over the world. > Elix-IRTM is a passive multi-function Threat Warning System that uses single wide spectrum colour Infra-Red sensing technology to deliver simultaneous and unimpeded Missile Approach Warning, Hostile Fire Indication and Situational Awareness from a single sensor system to increase overall platform survivability and help to mitigate the ‘Risk to Life'. Elix-IRTM is an ITAR free UK sovereign capability, developed in collaboration with the UK MOD that ensures Freedom of Action that assures a rapid and timely response to countering evolving threats and supporting new theatres of operation. Designed from the outset to provide the capabilities required to support a DIRCM and output data in support of off-board countermeasures, such as Smart Stores, it enables greater exploitation and utilisation of platform capabilities that support broader operational employment and increased mission success rates. Contact Thales Media Relations – Justine Degez, Media Relations – Land and Naval Defence +33 6 89 34 53 09

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