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  • BAE Maturing microelectronics for next-generation radar, electronic warfare, and communications systems

    18 septembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    BAE Maturing microelectronics for next-generation radar, electronic warfare, and communications systems

    BAE Systems has signed a cooperative agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for Phase 1 of a technical effort to transition gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology developed by the U.S. Air Force to our Advanced Microwave Products (AMP) Center. We've signed a cooperative agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for Phase 1 of a technical effort to transition gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology developed by the U.S. Air Force to our Advanced Microwave Products (AMP) Center. As part of the effort, we'll transfer and further enhance the technology, and scale it to 6-inch wafers to slash per-chip costs and improve the accessibility of this defense-critical technology. GaN technology provides broad frequency bandwidth, high efficiency, and high transmit power in a small footprint, making it ideal for next-generation radar, electronic warfare, and communications systems. Under the agreement, we will work with AFRL to establish a 140-nanometer GaN monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) process that will be qualified for production by 2020, with products available to Department of Defense (DoD) suppliers through an open foundry service. “Millimeter-wave GaN technologies today are produced in research and development laboratories in low volumes at high associated costs or in captive foundries that are not broadly accessible to defense suppliers,” said Scott Sweetland, Advanced Microwave Products director at BAE Systems. “This effort will leverage AFRL's high-performance technology and BAE Systems' 6-inch manufacturing capability to advance the state of the art in GaN MMIC performance, reliability, and affordability while providing broader access to this critical technology.” The work on this project will primarily take place in our 70,000-square-foot Microelectronics Center (MEC) in Nashua, New Hampshire, where we research, develop, and produce compound semiconductor materials, devices, circuits, and modules for a wide range of microwave and millimeter-wave applications. The MEC has been an accredited DoD Category 1A Trusted Supplier since 2008, and fabricates integrated circuits in production quantities for critical DoD programs. As part of the project, the AMP Center team will work closely with the company's FAST LabsTM research organization and MMIC design experts from ENGIN-IC.

  • Netherlands signs letter of acceptance for $1.2 billion Apache helicopter upgrade

    18 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Netherlands signs letter of acceptance for $1.2 billion Apache helicopter upgrade

    Officials from the Netherlands signed a letter of offer and acceptance to proceed with a $1.2 billion (€878 million) upgrade of the Dutch fleet of AH-64D Apache helicopters with the United States. State Secretary of Defence for the Netherlands, Barbara Visser and U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency Principal Director for Security Assistance Michèle Hizon signed the letter at Gilze-Rijen Air Base on Friday, September 14, the DSCA said. The agreement was first announced in February when the U.S. State Department approved the upgrade of 28 Dutch AH-64D Apache attack helicopters to the AH-64E configuration for an estimated cost of $1.191 billion. The principal contractors are Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The Netherlands received its last Apache delivery in 2002 and the helicopters have become technically and operationally out of date after 20 years of service. The first aircraft will be modernized beginning in 2021 and the first modernized Apaches will be reintroduced to the fleet by mid-2022, according to the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands. “Reinforcing the armed forces is in full swing. This contract signing is a good example of this. Our operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Mali have demonstrated the importance of Apaches,” Visser said on Friday. With this modernization our Apaches remain the versatile combat helicopters that our armed forces need.” Also on Friday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Netherlands would pull its F-16 fighter jets from the Islamic State mission in Iraq and Syria by the end of the year. A handful of Dutch special forces will stay in the country to continue training Iraqi forces, while a further 20 military and civil experts will remain part of NATO's capacity-building mission in Iraq, which focuses “on the strengthening of the Iraqi security sector,” the government said. In June, the Dutch defense ministry said that the Netherlands would end its troop contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali next May. Those troops will be sent to Afghanistan to “extend and intensify” the Dutch contribution to NATO's Resolute Support mission, according to the ministry.

  • Air Force calls for 74 more squadrons to prepare for possibility of war against major power

    18 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Air Force calls for 74 more squadrons to prepare for possibility of war against major power

    By: Stephen Losey How will the Air Force get to 386 squadrons? Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson on Monday called for growing the Air Force from its current size of 312 operational squadrons to 386 by 2030, as it prepares for a possible conflict against a major nation such as China or Russia. This 24 percent increase in squadrons is the centerpiece of the service's “Air Force We Need”proposal, which has been in the works for six months. This proposal seeks to lay out what it would take for the Air Force to fight a peer adversary and win, as well as defend the homeland, provide a credible nuclear deterrent, counter a medium-sized rogue nation that might try to take advantage of the Air Force's focus on the major adversary, and fight violent extremists such as the Taliban and the Islamic State. This follows the National Defense Strategy that the Pentagon unveiled earlier this year, which is structured around the need to shift away from the violent extremist fight and instead focus on deterring or fighting nations with significant, well-developed militaries. In her keynote address at the Air Force Association's Air, Space, Cyber Conference, Wilson referenced the massive Russian military exercises launched last week, involving more than 300,000 of their troops, and China's unveiling of its first aircraft carrier and its ongoing militarization of islands in the South China Sea to extend its long-range bombers' reach. “We must see the world as it is,” Wilson said. “That was why the National Defense Strategy explicitly recognizes that we have returned to an era of great power competition.” But Wilson reiterated the service's view that the Air Force is not big enough to carry out all the missions currently being asked of it. The Air Force has to meet the threats facing the nation with its most basic unit: the squadron, Wilson said. “Our operational squadrons are the combat power of the Air Force," Wilson said. "They are the clenched fist of American resolve.” Full article:

  • Ukraine plans new naval base as US offers more weapons sales

    18 septembre 2018 | International, Naval

    Ukraine plans new naval base as US offers more weapons sales

    By JOHN VANDIVER | STARS AND STRIPES Ukraine announced plans to establish a naval base along the Sea of Azov, a move that came a day after the U.S. said it is mulling more military assistance for Kiev to counter Russia's actions. “This (base) will create conditions for rebuffing the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation in this region,” the Ukrainian government said in a statement on Sunday. U.S. military officials have been watching as tensions have increased in the Sea of Azov and the strategic Kerch Strait, which connects Ukrainian port cities to the Black Sea and from there to the Mediterranean. Since April, Russia has delayed the transit of hundreds of commercial ships attempting to sail through the Kerch Strait. Some security analysts have described Russia's actions as a de facto blockade. Full article:

  • After Pacific tour, Navy’s No. 2 talks readiness, staying ahead of competition

    18 septembre 2018 | International, Naval

    After Pacific tour, Navy’s No. 2 talks readiness, staying ahead of competition

    By CAITLIN DOORNBOS | STARS AND STRIPES YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran heard right from the source how the Navy's largest foreign command is keeping up with readiness challenges, including a significant maintenance backlog and an ever-increasing competition landscape. Moran — the service's second-highest ranking officer — visited Navy bases in South Korea and Japan last week on a listening tour that he said brought helpful insight into on-the-ground operations in the Pacific. “We in Washington have our own views about things and it's largely programmatic in nature, budgetary in nature and some policy,” he told Stars and Stripes in an interview Thursday. “But to get feedback from sailors, commanding officers, chiefs and master chiefs in the fleet really helps us refine and make sure that we're supporting from Washington what they need [in the Pacific].” Readiness challenges At Yokosuka on Thursday, Moran spent time on the waterfront discussing ship maintenance. The base is home to U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility Japan Regional Maintenance Center, which is working on what Moran called a “not insignificant” backlog. A request for exact numbers on that backlog went unanswered. The 7th Fleet is operating with fewer ships than it had planned after two of its guided-missile destroyers — the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain — were severely damaged in separate fatal collisions at sea last year. While Yokosuka added an additional destroyer — the USS Milius — earlier this year, the fleet remains down two operational ships because Milius was originally intended to be an additional ship in support of Indo-Pacific operations, former Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift told Stars and Stripes last year. Moran said the McCain, which is being repaired in Yokosuka, is expected to get out of drydock this fall and the Navy is aiming to have it underway in the spring. The Fitzgerald is undergoing maintenance in Pascagoula, Miss., and the service has said the goal is to return it to sea by 2020. Moran said ship maintenance “is a key critical element for overall fleet readiness.” “Everybody recognizes that we've got to do the maintenance that's built up over time. While that's important to everybody, no one likes to be in the yards,” Moran said. “There's a cost of doing that right now and we have to re-baseline the maintenance of our ships across the fleet, particularly [in the Pacific] because it is so active, it has been a very busy place for a long time.” On Sept. 12, Moran and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith toured Yokosuka's USS Blue Ridge, which has been undergoing maintenance for about two years. Crews first re-lit the boilers on the Navy's oldest commissioned operational ship in June, and Moran said the 7th Fleet's flagship is “about ready to go to sea.” “She's outfitted like an old ‘57 Chevy that we've took the engine out, took the dashboard out and put all modern capability in, and man, she sounds and she's going to run kind of nice,” Moran said. The Blue Ridge's staff moved back onto the ship this summer. Capt. Brett Crozier, the Blue Ridge's commander, said it was an honor to host Moran. Full article:

  • Pentagon spending could lead to consolidation of cybersecurity industry

    18 septembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Pentagon spending could lead to consolidation of cybersecurity industry

    By: Justin Lynch Spurred in part by Russia's campaign of hybrid warfare in Ukraine, the Pentagon will purchase more electronic warfare equipment, a move that could lead to consolidation in the cybersecurity industry, an analyst said in a new report. Russia's use of electronic warfare combined with conventional combat tactics during its 2015 invasion of Ukraine exposed how the Department of Defense needed to increase its spending on cybersecurity, Brad Curran, an analyst at Front & Sullivan told Fifth Domain. Greater use of offensive cyber and electronic weapons by Russia means that the U.S. is expected to boost defense of its communications systems, and possibly look to increase its own offensive weapons. A September report from Frost & Sullivan projected a 2.9 percent compound annual growth rate in cybersecurity spending from the Pentagon through 2023. Securing electronic communications “is a high priority,” Curran said. The Defense Department is “just getting started” and it will be “a continuous effort to make sure our combat networks are secure.” The focus could benefit firms like Raytheon, which have invested heavily in electronic warfare, Curran said. Curran said that government purchases of enterprise systems will likely stay the same or even shrink because many of the acquisitions are meant to boost efficiency. One example is the government's investment in the cloud. But he predicts an increase in purchases of electronic warfare and offensive cyber capabilities, which will favor larger defense firms. The result will be consolidation of the cybersecurity industry among the biggest companies. During the Black Hat conference, one cybersecurity firm described the industry as “cut-throat” and added they expected industry consolidation because of purchases from the largest contractors. In 2017, the Pentagon awarded more than $1.22 billion to cyber contractors. That money went to 69 prime contractors and 50 different companies. The Pentagon's 2019 budget request for cybersecurity totals $3.6 billion, according to the report, half of which is dedicated to operations and management. The Air Force has the largest share of cybersecurity programs, at $2.19 billion. Booz Allen Hamilton was the top recipient of public contracts from the Pentagon in 2017 with a total of $115.4 million in awards, according to the report. In August, the Pentagon awarded Booz Allen Hamilton a $91 contract to manage cybersecurity for the Ballistic Missile Defense System. But while artificial intelligence will be an area that the U.S. government focuses its investments on the future, Curran said it is not currently a major factor in acquisition. “The future is AI but right now it is more of a concept," he said.

  • Halifax Shipyard launches Canada’s lead Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel

    17 septembre 2018 | Local, Naval

    Halifax Shipyard launches Canada’s lead Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel

    Canada's lead Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, was launched today, Sept. 15, 2018, marking a significant milestone for the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) and the revitalization of the Royal Canadian Navy's combatant fleet. At 103 metres and 6,615 tonne, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf is the largest Royal Canadian Navy ship built in Canada in 50 years. The ship was transitioned from our land level facility to a submersible barge yesterday, Sept. 14, 2018, and launched in the Bedford Basin today. The lead ship in the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship program is now pier side at Halifax Shipyard where our shipbuilders will continue working to prepare the ship for sea trials in 2019. HMCS Harry DeWolf is scheduled to be turned over to the Royal Canadian Navy in summer 2019. Construction of the second and third ships, the future HMCS Margaret Brooke and Max Bernays, are well underway at Halifax Shipyard. Later this month, the first two major sections of the future HMCS Margaret Brooke will be moved outside. The National Shipbuilding Strategy was created to replace the current surface fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. Through a competitive, open and transparent process, Irving Shipbuilding was selected to construct the Royal Canadian Navy's future combatant fleet—Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels followed by Canadian Surface Combatants. As a result of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Irving Shipbuilding has become one of Atlantic Canada's largest regional employers, with thousands of Canadians now working in skilled, well-paying jobs. The Halifax Shipyard, long at the centre of Canadian shipbuilding, is now revitalized and home to the most modern, innovative shipbuilding facilities, equipment, and processes in North America.

  • Simulation Technologies & Training for Law Enforcement

    17 septembre 2018 | Local, Sécurité

    Simulation Technologies & Training for Law Enforcement

    CASEY BRUNELLE © 2018 FrontLine (Vol 15, No 4) The realities of modern frontline policing – from increasingly broad and demanding operational mandates and changing environmental constraints, to the constant pressure of real-time public scrutiny – have never been more challenging. Traditional crime prevention and response have long been coupled with the requirements of community-oriented public safety, counter-terrorism measures. Lately that has further included the implications of social media and the instantaneous reporting of officers' actions, in some cases spread worldwide before formal inquiries can even begin. Effective training solutions, more so than ever before, rely on a holistic and judgmental regime that can replicate to the best possible degree the tactical challenges of response, the fluidity of operational changes on the ground, and the importance of informed decision-making strategies that keeps the safety of the public at the forefront of all policing actions. In an era of hyper-connectivity, public scrutiny can sometimes lead to denouncements of police actions within minutes, through traditional and novel media alike, often riddled with accusations of institutionalized racism, systemic brutality, and discretionary justice. These shifts in technology and the underlying public culture are not exclusive to the United States; they are increasingly fluid game-changers throughout the West and law enforcement policymakers and frontline officers rarely go a day without considering their implications or witnessing their consequences for themselves. There is no doubt that this is will have a positive result in the long run, and simulated training is being seen as one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to ensure the right decision-making processes become ingrained. Increasingly, law enforcement agencies at the local, provincial, and national level are recognizing the utility of replicating these fluid challenges with advanced simulations and virtual and augmented reality technologies. From the use of wireless small arms platforms (such as BlueFire technology from Meggitt Training System) and simulators of cruisers for high-speed pursuits (such as the “souped up” version from General Electric), to customizable hardware that can be used to construct any building interiors at will (as in the flexibility offered by Mobile Police Training Structures), simulations technology has become one of the most effective and cost-efficient measures in ensuring that police are as equipped as possible to handle the evolving challenges of their profession. Full article:

  • F-35 inventory soars in new Pentagon spending bill

    17 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    F-35 inventory soars in new Pentagon spending bill

    By: Joe Gould WASHINGTON — Beyond the 77 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters authorized by the 2019 defense policy bill, congressional appropriators are adding another 16 for a total of 93. Congressional conferees on Thursday finalized a $674.4 billion defense spending bill for next year packaged with funding for the departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, or Labor-HHS — and a continuing resolution through Dec. 7 for some other parts of the government. As usual, appropriators used their annual defense spending bill to offer tweaks to the existing shopping list for military hardware from the previous version, which President Donald Trump signed into law last month. The new compromise spending bill, which trumps the authorization bill, buys three littoral combat ships instead of two and 13 Bell-Boeing V-22 Ospreys instead of seven — among other differences. The Navy and Marine Corps continue to invest in vertical takeoff aircraft and announced a $4.2 billion contract for dozens of new V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft just weeks ago. Full article:

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