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  • 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:

  • Army looks to build stronger tactical cyber teams

    17 septembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Army looks to build stronger tactical cyber teams

    By: Mark Pomerleau The Army is looking to build up and resource expeditionary cyber teams that will conduct cyber effects at the tactical edge. These units are called expeditionary cyber support detachments, or ECSDs, and are small teams attached to companies that provide cyber and electromagnetic spectrum effects such as sensing or jamming. These teams have evolved and continue to shift in size and capability. “Every time we go out we're always trying to find something new, some new angle or some way to leverage cyber effects to help the warfighter,” Staff Sgt. Christopher Knight, an ECSD team member told Fifth Domain in a recent visit to Fort Gordon. Knight said it is difficult to find the right staff given the small pool of cyber experts. The ECSDs are recruiting to expand, he said, adding they just received eight more soldiers and are working to train them and develop a pipeline. Currently there are three teams, which fall under the 780th Military Intelligence brigade, with as many as seven soldiers. Full article:

  • Skilled worker, parts shortages still hurting Hornet and Growler maintenance, government watchdog finds

    17 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Skilled worker, parts shortages still hurting Hornet and Growler maintenance, government watchdog finds

    By: David B. Larter A shortage of skilled workers and repair parts is causing backlogs in maintenance depots for Hornets and Growlers, creating headwinds in the Navy's efforts to put more aircraft in the air, the Government Accountability Office found. The Navy, which is chipping away at a readiness crisis among its fighters and electronic attack aircraft, is being hampered by a lack of skilled workers and capacity, specifically at depots on the West Coast at Whidbey Island, Washington, and Lemoore, California. Furthermore some parts needed to repair the Hornets and Growlers were manufactured by suppliers who have gotten out of the business, significantly slowing the process and forcing the Navy to cannibalize parts on aircraft to offset the delays, the September report found. One challenge pointed out by the GAO is the distance between where aircraft are based and maintained and where parts are repaired for the E/A-18G Growlers. The Growlers, largely based at Whidbey Island, many of the components that need fixing must be repaired at the depots in Lemoore. “However, according to officials, Lemoore's depots have limited capacity to repair these aircraft, creating a maintenance backlog,” the report found. The issue of manufacturers getting out of the business was at least in part caused by the Navy's shorting of repair parts accounts during Obama-era budget cuts. A recent study found that between 2011 and 2015, as many as 17,000 suppliers left the defense industry. The Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran discussed the supplier issues with Defense News in April, saying stable funding should get suppliers to come back into the pool. Full article:

  • Marines want to use artificial intelligence to help find and neutralize sea mines

    17 septembre 2018 | International, Naval

    Marines want to use artificial intelligence to help find and neutralize sea mines

    By: Todd South The Marines are looking for ways to leverage artificial intelligence and autonomy to find sea mines as they improve their ability to conduct littoral combat operations. A recent posting on the government website shows that the Marine Corps Rapid Capability Office is seeking such technology as early as fiscal year 2019 to “detect, analyze and neutralize” explosive ordnance in very shallow water and the surf zone. Chinese maritime doctrine and equipment development in recent years has included strategies to deploy scores of sea mines in key ocean chokepoints. Full article:

  • Air Force awards next GPS satellite contract

    17 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Air Force awards next GPS satellite contract

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin has scooped up a contract, worth up to $7.2 billion, for the latest batch of next-generation GPS satellites. The award decision comes as little surprise, as Lockheed Martin is the incumbent on the GPS III program responsible for manufacturing the first 10 satellites. It was also the sole bidder on the most recent contracting vehicle, which will span an additional 22 satellites. “The world is dependent on GPS, from getting directions to getting cash from an ATM machine or trading on the stock exchange,” said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson in a statement. “These satellites will provide greater accuracy and improved anti-jamming capabilities, making them more resilient.” Three companies — Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman —won Phase 1 contracts for the follow-one program in 2016 to perform feasibility studies, but the Boeing and Northrop Grumman dropped out of the competition. Boeing in April 2018 confirmed that it did not bid on the opportunity, stating that the solicitation “emphasized mature production to current GPS requirements and did not value lower cost, payload performance or flexibility.” Full article:

  • SOCOM awards $47M for radio software

    17 septembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    SOCOM awards $47M for radio software

    By: Kelsey Atherton U.S. Special Operations Command awarded the Sierra Nevada Corporation Aug. 23 a contract worth $47 million to keep supplying and maintaining the software it uses in to ensure radios can communicate with one another across frequencies. Dubbed, TRAX, for “Tactical Radio Application eXtension,” the software “fills a [redacted] role in the Special Operations air-to-ground communication architecture," and it works on Android devices, too. The contract award is available online, and while the text omits several details, what can be seen is clear on why Sierra Nevada Corporation is the only contractor that can meet this need. Convenience is one factor. Sierra Nevada developed the software, so it makes sense to continue, and funding a new or redundant development to work in the same way and with the same interoperability would be added cost for no meaningful, tangible benefit. There is also the matter of specific intellectual property. Sierra Nevada owns the TRAX software. Keeping the TRAX program with the same provider avoids the legal battles and technical issues that could come with trying to replicate it elsewhere. While SOCOM solicited information about an alternative capability, the justification statement argues that whatever that redacted capability is, the decision was made to single track it. In the field, TRAX translates data protocols, allowing for communication across devices that otherwise couldn't speak to each other. While military machines from radios up through planes are designed with the knowledge that they will need to be used together, and often built around shared protocols to match, reality is messier than planning, so a reliable software medium is one way to retain a capability even if the equipment on hand isn't the equipment that was intended. Full article:

  • Fincantieri, Leonardo, tussle over acquisition ahead of French tie-up

    17 septembre 2018 | International, Naval

    Fincantieri, Leonardo, tussle over acquisition ahead of French tie-up

    By: Tom Kington ROME — Italy's two state-controlled defense champions, Leonardo and Fincantieri, have fought an unusual battle over the acquisition of a smaller company as they jockey for position ahead of their expected integration of naval work with French industry. Shipyard Fincantieri thought it had sewn up the purchase of Italian firm Vitrociset in August, only for Leonardo to snatch it from under its nose on Sept. 7, leaving the Italian government to step in to mediate. The tussle between two firms that both answer to the Italian state and closely cooperate on naval programs around the world is due to new rivalry as both edge toward teaming on naval programs with France's Naval Group. The Italo-French deal is still being thrashed out, but may see a 10 percent share swap between Naval Group and Fincantieri and joint export campaigns to reduce the fractured nature of the European shipbuilding industry. The deal automatically involves Leonardo since it provides electronics, guns and radars for Fincantieri's ships. But Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo has expressed concerns that regarding ships built or marketed jointly by Fincantieri and the French, his systems may be overlooked in favor of those produced by Thales, which is a shareholder in Naval Group. Full article:

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