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  • Where do the US Navy’s top priorities stand in the CNO’s eyes?

    11 septembre 2018 | International, Naval

    Where do the US Navy’s top priorities stand in the CNO’s eyes?

    Where do the US Navy's top priorities stand in the CNO's eyes?

  • Why DHS needs better mobile security than other agencies

    11 septembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Why DHS needs better mobile security than other agencies

    By: Justin Lynch As hackers become more sophisticated, the top IT officer at the Department of Homeland Security says he needs better mobile security features compared to other U.S. government agencies. The Department of Homeland Security “really operates differently than [the Department of Defense]. We are a very mobile organization, so my attack vectors are out there,” said John Zangardi during the Billington Cybersecurity summit Sept. 7. “We are out there on our mobile devices all day long, and that's not the case with DoD.” Zangardi would know. He previously served as the Pentagon's acting chief information officer from October 2016 to November 2017. In the 2017 Homeland Security industry guide, which lays out the department's investment opportunities, the agency said it was looking to secure communication systems and monitor cyberthreats in mobile devices. Homeland Security has also invested in research to ensure Android phones are secure and is planning to study end-to-end cellphone call encryption. Zangardi said the IT industry is going through an “inflection point” that is being driven by a faster rate of innovation, bolstered digital threats from nation-states and a greater demand for consumer expectations. Full article:

  • DARPA’s new $2 billion initiative for next-level AI

    11 septembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    DARPA’s new $2 billion initiative for next-level AI

    By: Mike Gruss Leaders at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced Sept. 7 a $2 billion initiative, known as AI Next, that aims to substantially improve artificial intelligence research. “With AI Next, we are making multiple research investments aimed at transforming computers from specialized tools to partners in problem-solving,” Steven Walker, the agency's director, said in a press release. “Today, machines lack contextual reasoning capabilities, and their training must cover every eventuality, which is not only costly, but ultimately impossible. We want to explore how machines can acquire human-like communication and reasoning capabilities, with the ability to recognize new situations and environments and adapt to them.” As a result of the effort, DARPA leaders envision improving day-to-day processes, such as vetting for security clearances in a week or accrediting software systems for operational deployment in a day or less. DARPA said it plans to announce multiple broad agency announcements in the next year. The announcement marks the second major artificial intelligence-related initiative in the last three months. In late June, the Department of Defense announced its Joint AI Center, which is expected to help provide a road map for the department's nearly 600 AI-related programs, including the controversial Project Maven program. The funding is a parallel effort to the Department of Defense's Joint AI Center, known as JAIC, which is expected to cost about $1.7 billion in the coming years. That program is run through the DOD CIO's office and is expected to focus more on applications for artificial intelligence while the DARPA programs will concentrate on answering questions related to the “foundational science” related to AI. DARPA has a history of working on AI project. It is currently funding about 20 AI related programs and said its initial funding on the topic dates back to the 1960s. Leaders describe the new investment as working toward what they call the third wave of AI. The first wave focused on rule-based systems for narrow tasks and a second wave has been used to find statistical patterns in large data sets. But DARPA leaders are describing a third wave as one of “contextual adaptation.” In a press conference at the conclusion of DARPA's D60 symposium, agency leaders said the new initiative would include a focus on explainable AI, in other words, how a machine arrived at its answer. They also said they expect a broader discussion of ethics related to artificial intelligence.

  • SES wants fleet of identical, interchangeable satellites

    11 septembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    SES wants fleet of identical, interchangeable satellites

    by Debra Werner PARIS — Fleet operator SES plans to revolutionize satellite purchasing and operations. Instead of buying individual satellites tailored for a specific job at a precise orbital location as it has for decades, the Luxembourg-based company is seeking homogenous satellites with digitally processed payloads it can reconfigure to perform any job in geostationary or medium Earth orbit. “We will only buy one type of satellite going forward,” Steve Collar, SES president and chief executive, told reporters Sept. 10 at the World Satellite Business Week conference here. “Exactly the same spacecraft can be operated at 19.2 degrees, 23.5 degrees, 108 degrees East, it doesn't matter. We can put them wherever we want.” If the SES board of directors approves the plan, SES will solicit proposals by the end of the month and begin purchasing in early 2019 the new 2.5 to 2.9-ton spacecraft offering approximately 12.5 kilowatts of power, said Martin Halliwell, SES chief technology officer, who leads the initiative. Prior to announcing its plan, SES worked with 11 potential satellite vendors and selected three for continued cooperation. Company executives declined to name the vendors. SES is embarking on this campaign because it expects satellites to be an integral part of evolving global communications networks. To perform that role, however, the industry will need to expand satellite production dramatically, Collar said. “If we get the savings we think we will, we will be able to significantly scale our network without spending more or more modestly scale our network and spend less,” Collar said. “We haven't yet decided where that comes out.” To further improve economies of scale, SES is encouraging manufacturers to share the new spacecraft design with other customers. “Let's make the party as big as possible,” Halliwell said. Collar added, “We think it will improve the economics of the whole industry.” SES plans to stack three of its future satellites, which don't yet have a brand name, on rockets. The rockets could then drop them off in medium Earth or geostationary transfer orbit, as needed, Halliwell said. SES operates 56 satellites in geostationary orbit and 16 O3B satellites in medium Earth orbit. The firm plans to launch four more O3B satellites in 2019. SES also is investing more than 1 billion euros ($1.16 billion) in O3B mPower, a seven-satellite constellation built by Boeing for internet and data connectivity that is slated to begin launching in 2021. SES's plans to fly the new reprogrammable satellites comes after mPower, Collar said.

  • Elbit emerges as preferred bidder for UK’s Morpheus

    11 septembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Elbit emerges as preferred bidder for UK’s Morpheus

    Giles Ebbutt, Plymouth - Jane's International Defence Review Elbit Systems UK has been selected as the preferred bidder for the UK's Project Morpheus Battle Management Application (BMA) contract, Jane's has learned. The UK's Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) confirmed the decision, but was unable to comment further because the contract is still at the “standstill” stage, which allows an unsuccessful bidder 10 days (until 18 September) to challenge the contract award. Morpheus is a major part of the Land Equipment Tactical Communication and Information Systems (LE TacCIS) programme and overall is worth GBP3.2 billion (USD4.1 billion). It will replace the current Bowman system and its ComBAT battle management system.

  • Israel Keeps Eyes On F-35Bs; Lockheed-Boeing Battle It Out For Fighters, Choppers

    11 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Israel Keeps Eyes On F-35Bs; Lockheed-Boeing Battle It Out For Fighters, Choppers

    By ARIE EGOZI TEL AVIV: Until last week there was a shadow war, fought behind closed doors, mainly in the highly guarded complex of the Israeli Defense Ministry and the Israeli Air Force headquarters in Tel Aviv. And in some newspapers. But now the war has gone public and the big guns could be heard all over Israel's national security establishment when one of the opponents sent a high level delegation to Israel. The war is between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The battles are between F-35's or advanced F-15's, and between the CH-53K and the CH-47 Chinook. The proposed deal to purchase additional F-15 for the Israeli airforce ( IAF) includes the upgrade of the existing F-15I. The deal may have a total price of almost $4 billion for 25 F-15Is. This version has an airframe with an extended life span and large area display cockpit. A high-ranking Lockheed Martin delegation met in recent days with the top figures in the Israeli Defense Ministry and Air Force headquarters. Full article:

  • Boeing gets $2.9B for more KC-46 tankers

    11 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Boeing gets $2.9B for more KC-46 tankers

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — Boeing on Monday bagged a $2.9 billion contact for the fourth lot of KC-46 tankers, raising the total to 52 aircraft on order. The award, announced Sept. 10, covers the production of 18 KC-46s and other associated gear like spare engines and parts, support equipment and wing air refueling pod kits. “We're excited to partner with the Air Force on an aircraft that will provide its fleet unmatched capabilities and versatility,” said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager. “This is another big milestone for the team and we look forward to delivering this next-generation, multi-role tanker for years to come.” Monday's announcement follows a contract in December for the first foreign KC-46 order: a single tanker for Japan. The first two U.S. Air Force buys were finalized in August 2016 for a total of 19 aircraft, and a third order for another 15 KC-46s was added in January 2017. The service plans on buying 179 KC-46s over the course of the program. Technical problems have kept Boeing from delivering the first KC-46, and the company has already missed an initial August 2017 deadline to deliver 18 fully-certified tankers to the service. However, it appears the company is getting ever closer to that milestone. Earlier this year, Boeing and the Air Force came to an agreement on the schedule for the first KC-46 delivery, currently slated for October. Last week, Boeing disclosed that the KC-46 had received a supplemental type certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration — a series of tests that validate the aircraft's refueling and avionics systems meet FAA requirements and a prerequisite for aircraft delivery. Gibbons called the event “one of the last major hurdles in advance of first delivery to the U.S. Air Force” in a Sept. 4 statement. However, the KC-46 still needs to achieve a military type certificate from the Air Force, which validates its military-specific systems. Boeing concluded its testing in July and the certificate is expected to be granted “in the coming months,' the company said in a statement.

  • Rafael positions Australian JV for expansion

    11 septembre 2018 | International, Terrestre

    Rafael positions Australian JV for expansion

    Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is looking to support the development of its Australian joint venture (JV) to enable the new company to head up a range of local missile manufacturing programmes and lead efforts to secure exports. The JV was established earlier in 2018 through an investment partnership with Australian company Varley and will initially be focused on producing Rafael's Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) for the Australian Army under Land 400 Phase 2. In this project, the Spike will be fitted onto the Rheinmetall Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicle, 211 units of which were formally ordered by the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) in August.

  • Meggitt expands involvement in KFX programme

    11 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Meggitt expands involvement in KFX programme

    Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly UK company Meggitt has increased its involvement on the South Korean programme to develop the KFX multirole fighter aircraft through a new supply contract announced on 10 September. In a press release, Meggitt said it will develop an engine vibration monitoring unit (EVMU) for KFX prototypes currently under construction by prime contractor Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). Chris Allen, president of Meggitt Sensing Systems, said, “This contract builds on the development work we have been undertaking with KAI on innovative technology for the KFX. We look forward to continuing our partnership and developing and delivering state of the art prototypes.” The newly announced contract is one of several that Meggitt has secured on the KFX development programme.

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