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  • Le Rafale de Dassault bientôt à nouveau en piste en Inde

    6 avril 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Le Rafale de Dassault bientôt à nouveau en piste en Inde

    (Boursier.com) — L'Inde a fixé au 6 juillet prochain la date-butoir pour la soumission initiale des offres de renouvellement de sa flotte de jets de combat. Le pays veut s'équiper de 110 appareils mono et biplaces qui doivent être produits localement, a fait savoir l'armée de l'air. L'occasion pour Dassault Aviation de proposer à nouveau son Rafale, que Delhi a déjà commandé à 36 exemplaires en 2016, après un très long processus entamé en 2001. Initialement, l'Inde devait commander 126 Rafale, mais le contrat avait finalement été réduit à 36 appareils après plusieurs volte-face des autorités. Make in India Dassault a depuis joué la carte de la séduction en mettant les bouchées double dans le cadre de l'initiative gouvernementale "Make in India", qui vise à faire profiter à l'industrie locale des grands contrats signaux avec des groupes étrangers. Une usine a vu le jour en coentreprise avec Reliance à Nagpur, pour fabriquer des pièces à destination du contrat Rafale initial. Le groupe français a également exhorté ses sous-traitants à investir dans le pays, pour accroître ses chances d'obtenir un nouveau contrat. Le premier Rafale à voler pour l'Inde devrait être livré en 2019, 18 ans après que le pays eut décidé de moderniser sa flotte d'avions de combat. https://www.boursier.com/actions/actualites/news/le-rafale-de-dassault-bientot-a-nouveau-en-piste-en-inde-761709.html

  • Marines cyber forces to grow

    6 avril 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Marines cyber forces to grow

    By: Mark Pomerleau The Marine Corps’ main cyber war-fighting organization will soon be growing. Maj. Gen. Lori Reynolds, commander of Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, said her force doesn’t have the depth to do what the Army is doing in experimenting with integrated offensive and defensive cyber effects at the tactical edge with full brigades. This is one of the reasons the commandant approved expansion at MARFORCYBER, Reynolds told Fifth Domain following her appearance on an AFCEA-hosted panel in early April. “We’ve got to do that,” she said, referring to what the Army is doing. “We’ve got to get the rest of the service, Training and Education Command, we’ve got to give them the skills and the talent, if you will, to think about how do we prepare the rest of the Marine Corps to integrate cyber effectively. Moreover, the Marine Corps created a cyber career field earlier this year and requested 1,000 billets related to cyber/electronic warfare/information operations in the most recent budget to be better postured to fight and win in an increasingly modern battlefield. MARFORCYBER will get around 40 percent of new career field designees to work on the defensive side with just a couple going to the offensive teams, Reynolds said. The Marines have recognized that cyber is going to be a foundational capability in the future with some ingrained organizational structure behind it. “We just really have to get more return on investment … and what we want to be able to do is continue to increase our proficiency and skills,” Reynolds said. “When you’re constantly moving people out of the cyber workforce, you’re starting over again all the time. That doesn’t work.” Currently, the Marines deployed on the cyber mission force — a joint force that makes up U.S. Cyber Command’s cyber warrior cadre — are lateral moves, Reynolds said, or they’re working as signals intelligence Marines and they’re just in and out of cyber. While the total number of forces on the CMF will stay the same, the types of Marines filling those roles will change, a MARFORCYBER spokeswoman told Fifth Domain. When a communication officer currently working on a team rotates, that billet will be coded as a cyberspace officer and will be filled only by someone in the new cyber career field, they added. The model going forward should be building a “foundation from the ground up of defensive cyber and then maybe start building some of our offensive capability from the defense while we’re still flowing SIGINT through the offensive teams,” Reynolds said. This move comes as the Marines, as well as the other services, are going through a bit of a culture shock when it comes to introducing these nontraditional skill sets into the ranks. “I think the commandant is willing to challenge every assumption we’ve ever made about how we treat these MOS,” Reynolds said. In fact, during recent congressional testimony, Reynolds noted that the commandant often points out “we may end up with a platoon of warrant officers, and that’s got to be okay with us.” https://www.fifthdomain.com/dod/marine-corps/2018/04/05/marines-cyber-forces-to-grow/

  • In Army’s newest unit, everyone learns cyber skills

    6 avril 2018 | International, C4ISR

    In Army’s newest unit, everyone learns cyber skills

    By: Mark Pomerleau Prior to its deployment to Afghanistan, the Army’s newest unit received special assistance in cyber and electronic warfare techniques. The 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, or SFAB, is a first of its kind specialized group designed solely to advise and assist local, indigenous forces. As such, these units need specialized equipment and received training from Army Cyber Command on offensive and defensive cyber operations, as well as electronic warfare and information operations, Army Cyber Command commander Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone wrote in prepared testimony before the Senate Armed Services Cyber Subcommittee in early March. The distinct makeup of the unit ― smaller than a typical brigade and lacking all the resources and technical expertise therein ― means the operators at the tactical edge have to do the networking and troubleshooting themselves in addition to advising battalion sized Afghan units. The command’s tailored support sought to advise SFAB personnel how best to leverage a remote enterprise to achieve mission effects, according to the spokesman. That means knowing how to perform electronic warfare and cyber tasks are part of every soldier’s basic skill set. This was unique support with tailored training to meet the SFAB’s advisory role mission, an Army Cyber Command spokesman said. Team members from Army Cyber Command specializing in offensive cyber and defensive cyber to serve as instructors during SFAB’s validation exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana in January, a command spokesman told Fifth Domain. Electronic warfare personnel from 1st SFAB were also briefed on how cyber capabilities in use in Afghanistan currently support U.S. Forces. Specifically, the trainers provided the unit’s communications teams best practices to harden networks. The Army Cyber Command team discussed planning factors working with down-range networks and mission relevant cyber terrain with the SFAB, specifically, the need to maintain situational awareness of the blue network and ability to identify key cyber terrain, the Army Cyber Command spokesman said. The unit was also given lessons on implementing defensive measure using organic tools. https://www.fifthdomain.com/dod/army/2018/04/05/in-armys-newest-unit-everyone-learns-cyber-skills/

  • Lockheed Martin Collaborates with SAS on Cutting-Edge Analytics

    5 avril 2018 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    Lockheed Martin Collaborates with SAS on Cutting-Edge Analytics

    FORT WORTH, Texas, April 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is collaborating with analytics leader SAS to deliver innovative, next-generation analytics across the company's F-35, C-130J and LM-100J programs. Proven capabilities supporting Lockheed Martin programs today also serve stakeholders integrating artificial intelligence and enabling digital transformation.   Lockheed Martin's collaboration with SAS underscores the company's commitment to drive innovation that helps customers solve their toughest problems and achieve critical missions. SAS will help Lockheed Martin place powerful analytics at sustainment experts' fingertips to create new efficiencies and ensure cross-platform collaboration is effortless. SAS analytics will infuse decision-making with new insights derived from advanced machine learning, deep learning and natural language processing. "With the first phase of SAS technology completed, these new capabilities enable our data scientists and engineers to quickly develop self-service applications that provide a range of analytics-driven products and services with an initial focus on predictive maintenance, fleet performance management, intelligent diagnostics, and supply chain optimization," said Bruce Litchfield, vice president, Sustainment Operations, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "The result will be more effective and efficient flight line operations." Powered by SAS® Viya, Lockheed Martin is deploying a broad portfolio of SAS products throughout its global technology platform. "As the industry adapts to the forces of disruptive technological change and new forms of competition, SAS stands ready to help Lockheed Martin capitalize on opportunities to deliver richer products and services from artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT analytics deployed throughout the value chain," said Jason Mann, vice president of IoT, SAS. Tim Matthews, vice president, F-35 Sustainment Operations, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, added, "These new capabilities will help the F-35 program deliver a total performance-based logistics sustainment solution that meets warfighter needs and significantly reduces total ownership cost." About Lockheed Martin Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. About SAS SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®. https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2018-04-05-Lockheed-Martin-Collaborates-with-SAS-on-Cutting-Edge-Analytics

  • Avion de combat : la France et l'Allemagne veulent travailler ensemble

    5 avril 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Avion de combat : la France et l'Allemagne veulent travailler ensemble

    ANNE BAUER Les ministres de la Défense française et allemande souhaiteraient réaliser ensemble un « système de combat aérien du futur ». Un projet pour remplacer à terme les Rafale et les Eurofighter. C'est une visite importante pour les industriels du secteur. La ministre de la défense allemande, Ursula von der Leyen, vient ce jeudi à Paris rencontrer son homologue Florence Parly. Après cinq mois sans gouvernement, la ministre, confirmée à son poste par Angela Merkel, devrait maintenir l'agenda de coopération bilatérale défini lors du conseil des ministres franco-allemand du 13 juillet dernier. Notamment pour la réalisation en commun d'un grand nombre d'équipements militaires du futur : avions de combat, drones, chars... Vers un avion de combat franco-allemand L'engagement de la ministre est important alors que le SPD, traditionnellement hostile aux interventions militaires et aux exportations d'armes, a imposé en partie ses réticences dans le programme de gouvernement du quatrième mandat d'Angela Merkel. Toutefois, depuis juillet, les administrations et les états-majors des armées ont maintenu leurs travaux, ce qui permettra à Florence Parly et Ursula von der Leyen d'annoncer la réalisation en coopération du « système de combat aérien du futur », probablement un ensemble d'avions pilotés et de drones, voire d'outils de défense sol-air ou air-air, lors du Salon aéronautique de Berlin qui démarre le 25 avril. A cette occasion, les deux ministres signeront ensemble un document réalisé par les états-majors français et allemand sur leurs besoins futurs. « Ce document est essentiel pour exprimer les besoins des armées, et sera ensuite décliné entre les industriels français et allemands (Dassault, Safran, MBDA, Airbus, etc.) pour converger peu à peu vers une feuille de route pour construire le système d'avion de chasse qui remplacera à l'horizon 2040 les Eurofighters de l'armée allemande et les Rafale de l'armée française », explique l'entourage de Florence Parly. La Grande-Bretagne en attente Un sujet majeur pour la survie de l'industrie aéronautique européenne et un symbole très fort de la nouvelle volonté de la France et de l'Allemagne de renforcer l'Europe de la défense. Si l'Allemagne et la France parviennent à travailler de concert sur l'avion de chasse de 5e génération, la probabilité que l'Allemagne choisisse l'avion de combat américain F-35 de Lockheed-Martin pour remplacer ses vieux Tornado s'éloigne. A l'hôtel de Brienne, on estime possible de faire converger les études des différents industriels jusqu'à la définition d'un projet concret en 2019. Pas question de répéter les erreurs de l'avion de transport militaire A400M. L'Allemagne et la France veulent d'abord bien définir le projet avant d'ouvrir le projet à d'autres pays. D'autant plus que la Grande-Bretagne, empêtrée dans ses problèmes de Brexit, ne semble plus vouloir poursuivre le projet de drone de combat du futur engagé avec Dassault et BAE, ce qui oblige à une redéfinition des enjeux. Des drones européens en 2025 Une autre coopération est en bonne voie : le futur eurodrone de moyenne altitude et de longue endurance (MALE), piloté par l'Allemagne en association avec Airbus, Dassault et Leonardo, qui doit aboutir à un contrat de réalisation l'an prochain en vue d'une livraison vers 2025. Ce projet, dont le développement sera essentiellement financé par le Fonds européen de défense en discussion à Bruxelles, doit permettre à l'Europe de regagner une part de souveraineté, alors qu'elle doit aujourd'hui acquérir des drones Reapers américains pour sécuriser ses opérations extérieures. La France s'engagerait à acquérir 12 eurodrones (4 systèmes de trois drones) à partir de 2025. Le tabou des exportations D'autres coopérations sont en cours, à court terme pour la modernisation des hélicoptères Tigre, le partage des données satellitaires ou la communication et à long terme pour définir le char de combat qui remplacera les Leclerc français et les Leopard allemands. La volonté franco-allemande de renforcer l'Europe de la défense, notamment en collaborant pour rationaliser l'industrie de l'armement européenne, demeure. Toutefois, un sujet de fond n'est pour l'instant toujours pas traité : la possibilité ou non d'harmoniser les règles d'exportation. Un sujet essentiel pour l'avenir des projets communs, à l'heure où le Parlement allemand souhaite interdire les ventes d'armes en Arabie saoudite pour protester contre ses agissements au Yemen. Anne Bauer https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/air-defense/0301522398411-avion-de-combat-du-futur-le-gouvernement-confirme-la-cooperation-franco-allemande-2166488.php

  • Pentagon formulating plan to move F-35 management from central office to services

    5 avril 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Pentagon formulating plan to move F-35 management from central office to services

    By: Valerie Insinna and Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — The Defense Department plans to dissolve the F-35 Joint Program Office and revert to a more traditional management structure where the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps all run their own program offices – eventually. In a March 27 letter to Congress, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official acknowledged that splitting up the F-35 management into smaller offices is likely the way to go for the future of the Pentagon’s largest acquisition program. But exactly when such a transformation will occur was not defined in the letter written by Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, and the expectation in the Pentagon is that it could happen within the next several years. “In order to effectively integrate and sustain the F-35 in the joint force, the military departments must have more direct ownership of the F-35 program and leverage organic capabilities, processes and infrastructure,” Lord wrote in the letter, which was sent to the congressional defense committees and first acquired by Inside Defense. “The department will evaluate the right time to begin this transition through the F-35 executive steering group, which has participation across the department.” The department intends to formulate a plan over the next year on how best to transition to service-led offices, Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Patrick Evans told Defense News. Evans told Defense News that the transition will occur in three phases: “A measured restructure of the existing F-35 management structure, which begins immediately.” A hybrid structure, where separate service-run F-35 program offices report to a Joint Program Executive Officer, a position currently held by JPO head Vice Adm. Mat Winter. The full transition, where the services will have separate program offices and program executives that will report to the military department’s acquisition head. “The full transition dates will be determined through a conditions-based detailed implementation plan with risk-informed criteria,” he said. Lord’s letter lays out nine near-term actions that will enable the stand up of F-35 program offices specific to each military department. Lord’s letter specifies that the eventual management structure will be comprised of an F-35A office led by the Air Force and an F-35B/C program office run the Navy and Marine Corps. Some of the near-term changes involve greater participation by the services within the F-35 JPO. For instance, the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy will establish service deputies at the O-6 level. Those officials will be collocated at the JPO to provide the services’ feedback on JPO decisions and also to help execute the transition to separate service-led offices. The JPO will also bring in “F-35A, F-35B and F-35C variant leads” that will eventually form the “nucleus” of future transition teams, the letter states. Meanwhile, the services will “conduct a gap analysis, charter and implementation plan to stand up individual fleet management offices.” That plan will include a proposed schedule and criteria for initial and full operational capability for the offices. The Pentagon will also conduct an audit of the JPO’s billet structure and review the F-35 program charter with the intent to optimize manpower and cut down on bureaucracy, it said. While the changes could make it easier for the services to have oversight over their respective F-35 variants, the eventual dissolution of the JPO could make it more difficult for international customers to interface with the program. The JPO currently functions as a one-stop shop for foreign buyers — some of which, like Japan, are considering buying more than one variant of the aircraft. The office also oversees the work done by final assembly lines in Japan and Italy, as well as at sustainment hubs around the world. Evans said that the department will continue to work closely with F-35 international partners, but acknowledged that “in the longer-term, current international agreements will need to be updated and transition to service-based agreements. The phased implementation approach allows time to work through these changes in close coordination with our international partners in a way that maintains our strong commitment to them and our partnership.” In an emailed statement, the JPO said it was supportive of this initiative to improve the management of the F-35 program. “We are implementing improvements to increase transparency, and we’ll continue to assess and evaluate the most efficient ways to support and manage this vital national defense program,” the statement read. https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/04/03/pentagon-formulating-plan-to-move-f-35-management-from-central-office-to-services/  

  • Netherlands ‘very welcome’ to join European sub program — with a caveat

    5 avril 2018 | International, Naval

    Netherlands ‘very welcome’ to join European sub program — with a caveat

    By: Sebastian Sprenger COLOGNE, Germany — The Netherlands would be welcome to join a German-Norwegian submarine acquisition program, even as the door is closing for final design work on the boats, the Norwegian defense ministry said. The statement comes as German defense industry officials have talked for weeks about what they believe is an impending move to reshuffle big-ticket shipbuilding programs by way of a new naval cooperation umbrella with the Dutch. In that telling, The Hague would join the purchase of 212CD-class submarines, built by Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems’ undersea division, and gain a say in the fate of Germany’s Mehrzweck-Kampfschiff 180 frigate program, from which the surface division of TKMS was excluded last month. While Berlin and The Hague have officially kept mum about details, several German industry officials and analysts surveyed for this article believe the prospect of a Dutch move is keeping the MKS-180 program’s fate unpredictable. When asked about the Netherlands’ interest in the German combat ship effort, Dutch defense ministry spokesman Peter Valstar only wrote in an email to Defense News that senior acquisition officials from both countries had met recently to discuss “various topics like possible cooperations on all kinds of defense projects.” As for submarines, “We’re currently in the B-phase (research) of our so-called ‘Defence Material Process,‘” Valstar wrote. “The ‘need’ (A-phase) of a submarine purchase is clear. The C-phase (further research) and D-phase (product and supplier) are still to come.” Norway has always considered the door open for additional submarine buyers since Oslo teamed with Berlin last year. The joint acquisition would see Norway buy four boats and Germany two. Buying and maintaining identical submarines would keep cost down for both countries, the argument goes. “Norway and Germany would like to see additional partners joining the cooperation, and it would be very welcome if the Netherlands should decide to join,” Norwegian defense ministry spokeswoman Ann Kristin Salbuvik wrote in an email to Defense News. “We are working together towards several potential nations, and we have a good dialogue with potential partners,” Salbuvik added when asked if the Dutch had formally expressed an interest. But the door is closing for would-be partners to have a say in the boats’ configurations. “The design of the German-Norwegian submarines will soon be frozen in order for the supplier, TKMS, to be able to provide a binding offer in July 2018,” the spokeswoman wrote. “After this point in time, design changes will be costly, and will also have a negative impact on time and delivery schedules for the German-Norwegian submarine building program,” she added. “If additional partners join the cooperation, it will be beneficial for them to strive for as identical a design as possible.” It is unclear how far discussions for a Dutch-German naval armaments pact have bubbled up toward the defense ministries’ leaders. But the issue is “very much a topic of conversation in political Berlin,” one source noted. If given the chance to tweak the MKS-180 configuration, the Dutch would push for a smaller ship design than is currently envisioned, one industry source predicted. With Damen Shipyards, the Dutch already have local industry in the running for the program, teaming with Germany’s Blohm &Voss, which is now part of the German Lürssen group. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/04/04/netherlands-very-welcome-to-join-european-sub-program-with-a-caveat/

  • Boeing Secures Services Contract for Canada's Chinooks

    5 avril 2018 | Local, Aérospatial

    Boeing Secures Services Contract for Canada's Chinooks

    Five-year performance-based logistics contract to provide lifecycle support for Royal Canadian Air Force's fleet of CH-147F Chinooks The follow-on contract covers full system logistics, engineering support, supply chain, data analytics and training services OTTAWA, Ontario, April 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) and the Canadian government have agreed to an amendment to an existing performance-based logistics (PBL) contract. Under the $313 million fixed-price amendment, Boeing will continue to provide full system logistics, engineering support, supply chain, data analytics and training services to the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) fleet of 15 CH-147F Chinooks through 2023. Operating under a 20-year performance-based sustainment and training contract since 2013, the RCAF reviews its Chinook fleet support requirements every five years.       "We look forward to continuing our support of the Royal Canadian Air Force and its effort to reduce maintenance costs through this long-term agreement," said Turbo Sjogren, vice president of International Government Services, Boeing Global Services. "PBLs have a proven track record of increasing system availability, decreasing maintenance cycles through the use of predictive maintenance tools, and reducing overall ownership costs." Unlike traditional contracts based on payment for specific parts and services, under a PBL agreement, the customer pays for a support package with an agreed-to level of readiness, which can lower costs while increasing mission-capability rates. Boeing supports PBL contracts with customers around the world and across multiple platforms, including the Chinook. Through this contract, Boeing will also continue to work with companies across Canada in support of the country's Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy, which supports long-term opportunities for the Canadian aerospace industry and workforce. Currently, Boeing works with nearly 560 Canadian suppliers, and the company employs approximately 2,000 highly skilled workers throughout the country. Boeing Global Services, headquartered in the Dallas area, was formed by integrating the services capabilities of the government, space and commercial sectors into a single, customer-focused business. Operating as a third business unit of Boeing, Global Services provides agile, cost-competitive services to commercial and government customers worldwide. Contact   Ken Mercer Boeing Global Services Office: +1 312-544-2229 Mobile: +1 312-218-9377  Kenneth.b.mercer@boeing.com  http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2018-04-03-Boeing-Secures-Services-Contract-for-Canadas-Chinooks

  • Switzerland names contenders in $8 billion ‘Air 2030’ program

    5 avril 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Switzerland names contenders in $8 billion ‘Air 2030’ program

    By: Sebastian Sprenger COLOGNE, Germany — Swiss officials have unveiled details of their envisioned reboot of the country’s air-defense complex, setting the stage for purchases of aircraft and ground-based missiles totaling more than $8 billion. The head of Switzerland’s defense and civilian protection department, Guy Parmelin, on Friday unveiled a list of requirements for the “Air 2030” program that the neutral country wants to begin fulfilling in the mid-2020s to defend its skies and repel intruders. The existing fleet of decades-old F/A-18 and F-5 jets is considered too outdated for the task. New aircraft under consideration include the Airbus Eurofighter, Dassault's Rafale, Saab's Gripen, the F/A-18 Super Hornet from Boeing and Lockheed Martin's F-35A, according to the March 23 list of requirements published by the defense department. Ground-based weapons on the short list are the Eurosam consortium’s SAMP/T system; the David’s Sling missile shield from Israel; and Raytheon’s Patriot system. Swiss officials want to protect an area of 15,000 square kilometers with ground-based weapons, which is more than one-third of the country. They also seek to intercept targets up to 12 kilometers high and 50 kilometers away. The envisioned concept of operations dictates that a fleet of roughly 40 aircraft will intercept those targets outside of the ground weapons’ range. Officials want enough capacity to have four planes in the air at any given time during crises. Request for proposals for an acquisition program are expected to be published in the summer, Renato Kalbermatten, a spokesman for the defense department, told Defense News in an email Tuesday. Before a referendum is held about the project in the first half of 2020, ministry officials want to finish qualification of all potential vendors. That includes studying the data from a first round of proposals and collecting final offers from those still in the running at that time, according to Kalbermatten. Referendums are a key tool of the Swiss political process. Asked by a Swiss news agency this month if the country would still have an air force if the population voted against spending money on Air 2030, Parmelin responded dryly: “That’s policymaking in Switzerland.” The Swiss won’t be asked which type of aircraft the country should buy, only about the program as a whole. Government analysts would then decide which system is best suited for the task, Parmelin said. A 2014 plebiscite saw the acquisition of Sweden’s Gripen defeated, a rare outcome for a referendum on security policy matters, Swiss national broadcaster SRF commented at the time. Notably, Germany’s future TLVS air and missile defense system, a development based on the trinational Medium Extended Air Defense System, is missing from the lineup of candidate ground-based weapons. That is because the Swiss consider that system suitable only for short and medium ranges, according to Kalbermatten. “As Switzerland has not had a defense system for long ranges since 1999, the first goal is buying a long-range system,” he wrote. Exactly how much money will go to aircraft purchases and how much to ground weapons will depend on the interplay between the two program components ultimately picked, according to officials. However, previous estimates assume that $6 billion or $7 billion would be spent on planes. Winning bidders must agree to arrange for 100 percent of the program cost to flow back into the Swiss economy through so-called offset agreements. Those can be negotiated after final contracts are signed, according to the defense department. The government is looking for aircraft and missile hardware as is, meaning few to no “Helvetizations,” or Swiss-specific tweaks, would be made to the weapons, the new requirements document states. The ministry wants to purchase a single plane type under a “one-fleet policy.” https://www.defensenews.com/land/2018/03/27/switzerland-names-contenders-in-8-billion-air-2030-program/

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