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  • A new contract offers on-demand support for cyber missions

    26 septembre 2019 | International, C4ISR

    A new contract offers on-demand support for cyber missions

    By: Mark Pomerleau The government has selected Parsons for a $590 million cyber contract called Combatant Commands Cyber Mission Support (CCMS). The contract, run out of the General Services Administration, will support cyber capabilities — both hardware and software requirements — across the government to include geographic and functional combatant commands, the interagency and federal/civilian agencies. “The contract, the way it was structured was to be able to develop and deliver capability multidomain capability across the services, both defensive, non-defensive capabilities, as well as open-source, intelligence analytics through this contracting mechanism,” Paul Decker, executive vice president and head of cyber and intelligence business for Parsons, told Fifth Domain. “The intent of this is for it to be a multiuse contract to serve both the DoD, as well as interagencies across the department ... A key takeaway is as organizational requirements continue to get fed up through the various different tactical organizations, it is all going to be about having technology that is interoperable, integrateable and that can be used at each echelon at an organization.” More specifically, according to a source, the contract seeks to provide cyber research, development, test and evaluation, training and cyber tools. It will provide rapid capabilities and is thought to strengthen cyber operations for forces. Decker said that this could be one of many vehicles used by U.S. Cyber Command to procure capabilities. “This contract, CCMS, will likely be utilized as a means to help support additional requirements that the command could have, as well as any of the geographical commands and functional commands,” he said. “They're an organization that can absolutely utilize this vehicle, this acquisition vehicle to get their rapid needs serviced through this vehicle.” He also noted that the Department of Homeland Security could also use the contract, potentially, for election security needs. https://www.fifthdomain.com/dod/2019/09/25/a-new-contract-offers-on-demand-support-for-cyber-missions

  • Faulty $5 Parts Cause 18-Month, $1 Billion Delay to Navy, Air Force Nuclear Upgrades

    26 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre

    Faulty $5 Parts Cause 18-Month, $1 Billion Delay to Navy, Air Force Nuclear Upgrades

    Defects found in a $5 electrical component will delay the Navy and Air Force nuclear warhead refurbishment program by 18 months and cost more than $1 billion to fix, a National Nuclear Security Administration official said during a congressional hearing Wednesday. The faulty components are small commercially available capacitors that were to be used in upgrades to the Navy's W88 nuclear warheads. These weapons are deployed on the Trident II D5 submarine-launched ballistic missile systems. Similar capacitors are needed to upgrade the Air Force's B61-12 gravity bomb, Charles Verdon, deputy administrator for defense programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration, told members of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces during the unclassified portion of Wednesday's hearing. When engineers evaluated available parts, they ran tests to determine if the off-the-shelf capacitors were compatible with the systems due for upgrades, Verdon said. Initial results suggested the components would work in the short-term. “Early tests on the capacitors now in question and subsequent tests including component, major assembly and full-up integrated system flight tests demonstrated that these components meet requirement today. Industry best practices were used to stress the components beyond their design planned usage as a way to establish confidence that they will continue to work over the necessary lifetime of the warhead,” Verdon said. “During stress testing, a few of these commercially available capacitors did not meet the reliability requirements.” The problem is, these parts used in the warhead upgrades must survive for decades, up to 30 years after production, Verdon said. However, the quality of each capacitor production lot varied, which led to the stress testing failure. Instead of using the capacitors and risking readiness in the future, Verdon said his agency decided to delay the upgrade work, initially scheduled to begin in December. Replacement capacitors are being produced but will cost about $75 per unit, compared with the $5 per unit cost of the off-the-shelf capacitors that failed stress testing. “The use of commercial-off-the-shelf electric components needs to be improved to reduce future COTS-related risk,” Verdon said. The Navy is working with U.S. Strategic Command to understand how the 18-month delay will affect near-term deployments, Vice Adm. Johnny Wolfe, the director of strategic systems programs for the Navy, told the panel. “Currently, today, based on what we're doing with STRATCOM, we will meet the requirements as we move forward,” Wolfe said. The Navy and STRATCOM are developing a mitigation plan which includes is reevaluating how to turn around the submarine-based nuclear missile stockpile and how to schedule warheads for upgrades in the future, Wolfe said. More details on the Navy's plan to be discussed in a classified hearing. “If you look at the age of these systems and the technology we're using, these are tough, tough issues to solve, and it's critical technology that we're learning as we modernize these,” Wolfe said. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), chair of the strategic forces subcommittee, said he held the hearing because he wanted more information on what NNSA was doing to avoid more delays. He called the recapitalization “both necessary and hugely expensive” in his written opening statement. “Maintaining Congress and the public's confidence in these programs, and their effective execution, is imperative,” he wrote. https://news.usni.org/2019/09/25/faulty-5-parts-cause-18-month-1-billion-delay-to-navy-air-force-nuclear-upgrades

  • No AI For Nuclear Command & Control: JAIC’s Shanahan

    26 septembre 2019 | International, C4ISR

    No AI For Nuclear Command & Control: JAIC’s Shanahan

    By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR. GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: “You will find no stronger proponent of integration of AI capabilities writ large into the Department of Defense,” Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan said here, “but there is one area where I pause, and it has to do with nuclear command and control.” In movies like WarGames and Terminator, nuclear launch controls are the first thing fictional generals hand over to AI. In real life, the director of the Pentagon's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center says, that's the last thing he would integrate AI with. The military is beginning a massive multi-billion dollar modernization of its aging system for Nuclear Command, Control, & Communications (NC3), much of which dates to the Cold War. But the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center is not involved with it. A recent article on the iconoclastic website War on the Rocks argued “America Needs A ‘Dead Hand',” a reference to the Soviet system designed to automatically order a nuclear launch if the human leadership was wiped out. “I read that,” Shanahan told the Kalaris Intelligence Conference here this afternoon. “My immediate answer is ‘No. We do not.'” Instead, the JAIC is very deliberately starting with relatively low-risk, non-lethal projects — predicting breakdowns in helicopter engines and mapping natural disasters — before moving on to combat-related functions such as intelligence analysis and targeting next year. On the Pentagon's timeline, AI will be coming to command posts before it is embedded in actual weapons, and even then the final decision to use lethal force will always remain in human hands. The standard term in the Pentagon now for human involvement with AI and weapons now is “human on the loop,” a shift from human IN the loop. That reflects greater stress on the advisory function of humans with AI and a recognition that domains like cyber require almost instantaneous responses that can't wait for a human. Hawkish skeptics say slowing down to ask human permission could cripple US robots against their less-restrained Russian or Chinese counterparts. Dovish skeptics say this kind of human control would be too easily bypassed. Shanahan does see a role for AI in applying lethal force once that human decision is made. “I'm not going to go straight to ‘lethal autonomous weapons systems,'” he said, “but I do want to say we will use artificial intelligence in our weapons systems... to give us a competitive advantage. It's to save lives and help deter war from happening in the first place.” The term “lethal autonomous weapons systems” was popularized by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which seeks a global ban on all AI weapons. Shanahan made clear his discomfort with formal arms control measures, as opposed to policies and international norms, which don't bind the US in the same way. “I'll be honest with you,” Shanahan said. “I don't like the term, and I do not use the term, ‘arms control' when it comes to AI. I think that's unhelpful when it comes to artificial intelligence: It's largely a commercial technology,” albeit with military applications. “I'm much more interested, at least as a starting point, in international rules and norms and behavior,” he continued. (Aside from the space is governed almost exclusively “It's extremely important to have those discussions.” “This is the ultimate human decision that needs to be made....nuclear command and control,” he said. “We have to be very careful. Knowing ...the immaturity of technology today, give us a lot of time to test and evaluate.” “Can we use artificial intelligence to make better decisions, to make more informed judgments about what might be happening, to reduce the potential for civilian casualties or collateral damage?” Shanahan said. “I'm an optimist. I believe you can. It will not eliminate it, never. It's war; bad things are going to happen.” While Shanahan has no illusions about AI enabling some kind of cleanly surgical future conflict, he doesn't expect a robo-dystopia, either. “The hype is a little dangerous, because it's uninformed most of the time, and sometimes it's a Hollywood-driven killer robots/Terminator/SkyNet worst case scenario,” he said. “I don't see that worst case scenario any time in my immediate future.” “I'm very comfortable saying our approach — even though it is emerging technology, even though it unfolds very quickly before our eyes — it will still be done in a deliberate and rigorous way so we know what we get when we field it,” Shanahan said. “As the JAIC director, I'm focused on really getting to the fielding,” he said, moving AI out of the lab into the real world — but one step at a time. “We're always going to start with limited narrow use cases. Say, can we take some AI capability and put it in a small quadcopter drone that will make it easier to clear out a cave, [and] really prove that it works before we ever get it to a [large] scale production.” “We will have a very clear understanding of what it can do and what it can't do,” he said. “That will be through experimentation, that will be through modeling and simulation, and that will be in wargames. We've done that with every piece of technology we've ever used, and I don't expect this to be any different.” The JAIC is even looking to hire an in-house ethicist of sorts, a position Shanahan has mentioned earlier but sought to clarify today. “It'll be someone who's a technical standards [expert] / ethicist,” he said. “As we develop the models and algorithms... they can look at that make sure the process is abiding by our rules of the road.” “I'm also interested in, down the road, getting some help from the outside on sort of those deeper philosophical questions,” he continued. “I don't focus on them day to day, because of my charter to field now, but it's clear we have to be careful about this.” “I do not see that same approach in Russia or China,” Shanahan said. “What sets us apart is... our focus on real rigor in test and evaluation, validation and verification, before we field capability that could have lives at stake.” https://breakingdefense.com/2019/09/no-ai-for-nuclear-command-control-jaics-shanahan

  • Why Federal A&D Spending Is The Modern Interstate Highway System

    26 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Why Federal A&D Spending Is The Modern Interstate Highway System

    bY Michael Bruno Lockheed Martin recently broke ground on two new buildings in Courtland, Alabama, a small town 45 mi. west of Huntsville. The buildings will house the manufacturing and testing of hypersonics weapon programs. Lockheed expects to move at least 72 new jobs into Courtland and add another 200 in Huntsville over the next three years. It is big news for Courtland, which saw its population drop to 609 in the 2010 U.S. Census from 769 in 2000. But in the grand scheme of things, the dozens or perhaps hundreds of jobs involved—it is unclear how many are new hires versus relocations or backfill—are a fraction of Lockheed's roughly 105,000-person workforce. Yet it is what President Donald Trump wants to see—and where—and a result of record national security spending of $750 billion annually under his administration that includes new technology priorities such as hypersonics. Not surprisingly, Alabama's powerful Republican Senate appropriator Richard Shelby and Gov. Kay Ivey as well as Lockheed Chairman, CEO and President Marillyn Hewson and officials from the Air Force, Army and Navy made sure to be in Courtland for the public relations event Sept. 16. In 2016, Trump campaigned with a promise to provide a $1 trillion infrastructure plan to upgrade America. Roads, bridges and airports featured prominently. After he took office, Trump latched on to a contentious Republican proposal to outsource FAA air traffic control, which the White House called the cornerstone of his infrastructure push. All of it died legislatively. But before Democrats or others try to score points over the failure, they should understand Trump has still delivered. The truth is that Trump's defense spending and government support of commercial aviation and space are today's equivalent of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. They have been what passes for infrastructure spending, just without roads, bridges and airports. Increasingly, the employment figures are adding up, and so are the beneficiaries such as Courtland. The U.S. aerospace and defense (A&D) industry was responsible for more than 2.56 million jobs in 2018, a 5.5% gain over 2017, thanks primarily to a return to growth across the top tier and supply chain, according to September statistics from the Aerospace Industries Association. The trade association says A&D accounted for 20% of all U.S. manufacturing jobs and paid nearly $237 billion in wages and benefits last year, up 7.72% from 2017. In 2018, the average wage of an A&D worker was $92,742, an increase of 1.36%. That made the average A&D salary 87% higher than the national average salary of a U.S. worker. Hewson promises to hire thousands of workers, almost all in the U.S. “Roughly 93% of our employees are U.S.-based, as are 93% of our 16,000 suppliers, making Lockheed Martin a proud driver of broad-based economic development and opportunity in America,” the company says. A map of employment shows the company has at least 100 employees in half of the 50 states. This is the story across the industry, which is the model for farming taxpayer-funded work across the states in order to build political coalitions to support major A&D programs. On the same day of the Courtland event, Northrop Grumman unveiled its industry team bidding for the Ground-based Strategic Deterrent, including a contractor army of more than 10,000 people in at least 32 states. But all good things come to an end, and warnings are emerging that A&D's infrastructure-like run could sunset. “Trump is now in full ‘2020-reelection mode,' with continued 2022-26 defense funding growth rapidly becoming a secondary issue,” notes longtime defense consultant Jim McAleese. He points to a Sept. 9 rally in North Carolina at which Trump characterized the “rebuilding” of the U.S. military as “complete.” This can matter a lot to communities where federal A&D spending is focused. The Pentagon began to push out information this year to help states and local communities understand how much they depend on defense appropriations. In a report unveiled March 19 at the Brookings Institution, the Defense Department found the top 10 states by total defense spending received in fiscal 2017 accounted for $239.7 billion of the $407 billion total tracked that year. “There's no obvious correlation of red states or blue states, not that there should be,” noted Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow and Brookings analyst. Officials say communities should plan ahead. “It gets back to the rural areas,” says Patrick O'Brien, director of the Pentagon's Office of Economic Adjustment. “Some rural areas see a lot of defense spending; others do not. Where it is occurring, you probably have a very important facility or you have an important presence. And it's up to these local officials to get a better handle on it.” https://aviationweek.com/defense/why-federal-ad-spending-modern-interstate-highway-system

  • Competition Heats Up For New Class Of Small, Disposable Jet Engines

    26 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Competition Heats Up For New Class Of Small, Disposable Jet Engines

    bY Steve Trimble Two U.S. engine companies of vastly different sizes have revealed plans to compete against each other to offer small, low-cost jet engines for a new class of expendable unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and future cruise missiles. Kratos Turbine Technologies, a newly acquired and rebranded division of the California-based aerial-targets manufacturer, has launched development of small turbofan and even smaller turbojet engine families in West Palm Beach, Florida. https://aviationweek.com/defense/competition-heats-new-class-small-disposable-jet-engines

  • Northrop launches new divisions focused on space, cyber, unmanned tech

    25 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Northrop launches new divisions focused on space, cyber, unmanned tech

    By: Jaleah Dortch WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman has created four new operating sectors — Aeronautics Systems, Defense Systems, Mission Systems and Space Systems — the company announced in a news release. Aeronautics System will serve as a manned and unmanned air system provider. Defense Systems will be a broad provider of critical technology services, modernization and sustainment. It will handle battle command systems, directed-energy technology, tactical weapons and information systems, and focus on solutions for national security, the military and civilian customers. Mission Systems will cover cybersecurity and software-defined systems for defense and intelligence applications. Space Systems will provide space and launch systems that served national security, civil and commercial customers. “This new operating structure allows us to take full advantage of our company's portfolio by aligning businesses that have shared markets, customers and technologies," said Kathy Warden, the head of Northrop. The company also announced the planned retirement of two executives: Patrick Antkowiak, corporate vice president as well as chief strategy and technology officer; and Christopher Jones, corporate vice president and president of the Technology Services division. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2019/09/20/northrop-launches-new-divisions-focused-on-space-cyber-unmanned-tech

  • Boeing Australia collaborates on AI research for unmanned systems

    25 septembre 2019 | International, C4ISR

    Boeing Australia collaborates on AI research for unmanned systems

    BRISBANE, Australia, Sept. 25, 2019 — Boeing [NYSE:BA] is partnering with Australia's Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre (DCRC) to develop advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to create smarter unmanned systems for global forces. Embedding machine learning techniques on-board will help unmanned systems better understand and react to threat environments. “Over the next 12 months, Boeing Australia will design and test cognitive AI algorithms to enable sensing under anti-access conditions and to navigate and conduct enhanced tactics in denied environments,” said Dr. Shane Arnott, director of Phantom Works International. Boeing Australia's first innovation project with the DCRC will examine an unmanned system's route planning, location, and identification of objects and the platform's subsequent behavioural response. The DCRC for Trusted Autonomous Systems was announced by the Australian Government in 2017 to support the rapid creation and transition of industry-led trustworthy smart-machine technologies through the innovation ecosystem to the Australian Defence Force. “Together with Boeing, we are investing in advanced technology that can have real game-changing product outcomes for our military to match the evolving threats and achieve a sustainable autonomous industry for Australia,” said Professor Jason Scholz, chief executive officer of the DCRC for Trusted Autonomous Systems. Boeing will work with Australian university partners and Brisbane-based supplier RF Designs to flight-test and evaluate the capability with autonomous high performance jets. * The Trusted Autonomous Systems DCRC receives funding support from the Australian Government's Next Generation Technologies Fund and the Queensland Government's Advance Queensland initiative. # # # Contact: Melanie de Git Boeing Australia Mobile: +61 423 829 505 melanie.degit@boeing.com Trusted Autonomous Systems DCRC Phone: +61 7 3371 0524 info@tasdcrc.com.au View source version on Boeing : https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2019-09-24-Boeing-Australia-collaborates-on-AI-research-for-unmanned-systems#assets_20295_130508-117

  • SDLE has been awarded the contract for maintenance of the Leopard 2A4 towers

    25 septembre 2019 | International, Terrestre

    SDLE has been awarded the contract for maintenance of the Leopard 2A4 towers

    Madrid, September 25, 2019 - The Spanish Ministry of Defence has awarded Star Defence Logistics & Engineering (SDLE) the contract for the maintenance of the Leopard 2A4 vehicle towers. This service for the Spanish Army covers the repair of assemblies and sub-assemblies of the vehicle's fire control systems, as well as the preventive and evolutionary maintenance of the systems. The preventive maintenance will be carried out at the different Army Operating Units, while the corrective and evolutionary maintenance will be fulfilled at SDLE main headquarters, located in Móstoles (Madrid). The company's facilities are fitted with infrastructure for the repair of complete vehicles. Within this contract, all systems failures will be repaired, as well as the obsolescences and product improvements will also be done. This contract, with a total budget of 1.5 million euros, will be developed until the end of 2021. During the last year, SDLE tripled its workforce, currently having 160 employees. This growth has come from the strong commitment and investment in R&D, which earned the company the recognition of Innovative SME in 2018. SDLE has recently expanded its facilities and opened new Optronics, Electronics and Communications & Security Departments, which join the company's Engineering Department for the development of logistical support software at military operations. About SDLE Star Defence Logistics & Engineering (www.sdle.info) has an extensive experience as independent distributor of spare parts for military vehicles and equipment. SDLE is one of the main suppliers of the military sector in Spain, and is already exporting products and services to more than 25 countries. Its continuous growth and commitment to innovation have led the company to also be a leader in logistical and technological support services, as well as in the development of UAVs. Aeronáutica SDLE is the Group Divison specialized in the development and integration of unmanned aerial systems for Defence and Security use. In this field, it stands out for the development of anti-drone systems and solutions to improve the situational awareness of land vehicles. Communication Department Star Defence Logistics & Engineering S.L. Tel. (+34) 914 989 196 tmartinez@sdle.es www.sdle.info https://www.epicos.com/article/486812/sdle-has-been-awarded-contract-maintenance-leopard-2a4-towers

  • CACI Awarded $197 Million Task Order to Support Special Electronic Mission Aircraft Flight Operations for U.S. Army

    25 septembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    CACI Awarded $197 Million Task Order to Support Special Electronic Mission Aircraft Flight Operations for U.S. Army

    ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- CACI International Inc (NYSE:CACI) announced today it has been awarded a more than four-year task order, with a ceiling value of $197 million, to support the U.S. Army Fixed Wing Project Office's special electronic mission aircraft flight operations worldwide. Under the task order, CACI will use its proven technical and training solutions for operational mission support to provide 24/7 surveillance and reconnaissance assistance to U.S. and NATO forces deployed abroad. Awarded under the RS3 contract vehicle, the work represents new work for CACI. John Mengucci, CACI President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “CACI will leverage its successful surveillance and reconnaissance expertise to provide the U.S. Army with comprehensive flight operations support. We are committed to delivering advanced technology and highly qualified personnel to meet our customers' evolving requirements.” CACI Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board Dr. J.P. (Jack) London, said, “CACI is prepared to advance and support the critical surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities the U.S. Army needs to accomplish its mission and safeguard our nation.” CACI's 22,000 talented employees are vigilant in providing the unique expertise and distinctive technology that address our customers' greatest enterprise and mission challenges. Our culture of good character, innovation, and excellence drives our success and earns us recognition as a Fortune World's Most Admired Company. As a member of the Fortune 1000 Largest Companies, the Russell 1000 Index, and the S&P MidCap 400 Index, we consistently deliver strong shareholder value. Visit us at www.caci.com. There are statements made herein which do not address historical facts, and therefore could be interpreted to be forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated include, but are not limited to, the risk factors set forth in CACI's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019, and other such filings that CACI makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. Any forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon and only speak as of the date hereof. CACI-Contract Award View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190925005100/en/ Corporate Communications and Media: Jody Brown, Executive Vice President, Public Relations (703) 841-7801, jbrown@caci.com Investor Relations: Daniel Leckburg, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations (703) 841-7666, dleckburg@caci.com Source: CACI International Inc https://www.epicos.com/article/486889/caci-awarded-197-million-task-order-support-special-electronic-mission-aircraft

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