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  • BAE wins Marine Corps contract to build new amphibious combat vehicle

    20 juin 2018 | International, Terrestre

    BAE wins Marine Corps contract to build new amphibious combat vehicle

    Jen Judson  WASHINGTON — BAE Systems has won a contract to build the Marine Corps’ new amphibious combat vehicle following a competitive evaluation period where BAE’s vehicle was pitted against an offering from SAIC. The contract allows for the company to enter into low-rate initial production with 30 vehicles expected to be delivered by fall of 2019, valued at $198 million. The Marines plan to field 204 of the vehicles. The total value of the contract with all options exercised is expected to amount to about $1.2 billion. The awarding of the contract gets the Corps “one step closer to delivering this capability to the Marines,” John Garner, Program Executive Officer, Land Systems Marine Corps, said during a media round table held Tuesday. But the Corps isn’t quite done refining its new ACV. The vehicle is expected to undergo incremental changes with added new requirements and modernization. The Corps is already working on the requirements for ACV 1.2, which will include a lethality upgrade for the amphibous vehicle. BAE’s ACV vehicle will eventually replace the Corps’ legacy amphibious vehicle, but through a phased approach. The Assault Amphibious Vehicle is currently undergoing survivability upgrades to keep the Cold War era vehicle ticking into 2035. BAE Systems and SAIC were both awarded roughly $100 million each in November 2015 to deliver 16 prototypes to the Marine Corps for evaluation in anticipation of a down select to one vendor in 2018. [BAE, SAIC Named as Finalists in Marines ACV Competition] All government testing of the prototypes concluded the first week of December 2017 and the Marine Corps issued its request for proposals the first week in January 2018. Operational tests also began concurrently. Government testing included land reliability testing, survivability and blast testing and water testing — both ship launch and recovery as well as surf transit. Operational evaluations included seven prototypes each from both SAIC and BAE Systems, six participated and one spare was kept for backup. BAE Systems’ partnered with Italian company Iveco Defense Vehicles to build its ACV offering. [BAE Systems completes Amphibious Combat Vehicle shipboard testing] Some of the features BAE believed were particularly attractive for a new ACV is that it has space for 13 embarked Marines and a crew of three, which keeps the rifle squad together. The engine’s strength is 690 horsepower over the old engine’s 560 horsepower, and it runs extremely quietly. The vehicle has a V-shaped hull to protect against underbody blasts, and the seat structure is completely suspended. SAIC’s vehicle, which was built in Charleston, South Carolina, offered improved traction through a central tire-inflation system to automatically increase or decrease tire pressure. It also had a V-hull certified during tests at the Nevada Automotive Test Center — where all prototypes were tested by the Marine Corps — and had blast-mitigating seats to protect occupants. The 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division out of Camp Pendleton, California, is expected to receive the first ACV 1.1 vehicles. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2018/06/19/bae-wins-marine-corps-contract-to-build-new-amphibious-combat-vehicle/

  • Australian subs to get sonar boost

    20 juin 2018 | International, Naval

    Australian subs to get sonar boost

    Pierre Tran  PARIS — Thales has sealed a deal worth AU $230 million (U.S. $169 million) to boost the sonar capability on the Australian Navy’s six-strong fleet of Collins submarines, drawing on teams working in Britain, France and Australia. “Australia’s strategic priority on enhancing its submarine capability will be supported by Thales through major upgrades of the sonar system on all six Collins class submarines,” the electronics company said in a June 14 statement. Thales’ work is part of a total AU $542 million project to install a modular cylindrical array, based on sonar 2076 submarine technology developed by its British unit, the company said. That modular array replaces a cylindrical array installed in the 1980s. A new flank array from the Thales French unit will replace the existing system. Thales will work with the combat system integrator, Raytheon Australia, which will integrate products from other suppliers including Sonartech Atlas and L3 Oceania. The sonar work will support more than 140 local jobs, of which 50 will be Thales staff at its Rydalmere plant, western Sydney, the company said. That deal follows Thales winning in November 2016 a contract for design and pre-production to upgrade cylindrical and flank array sonars, including onboard processing, on the Collins boats. Separately, Thales hopes to win business worth more than AU $1.6 billion to supply sonars and other equipment on the Australian acquisition of 12 ocean-going attack submarines. Lockheed Martin is combat systems integrator and Naval Group the prime contractor on that program worth some AU $50 billion. https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2018/06/19/australian-subs-to-get-sonar-boost/

  • The Navy’s acquisition boss has a plan to get fleet maintenance back on track

    20 juin 2018 | International, Naval

    The Navy’s acquisition boss has a plan to get fleet maintenance back on track

    David B. Larter  WASHINGTON — The Navy’s acquisition boss, aiming to get his arms around the long-term maintenance and ownership costs of the world’s most complex fleet, has directed Naval Sea Systems Command to undertake an ambitious long-term plan for all the ships in the fleet. James “Hondo” Geurts, the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, has asked NAVSEA to compile a 30-year ship repair and maintenance plan that he intends to roll out alongside the annual shipbuilding plan. “The idea is, we have this 30-year shipbuilding plan, that’s only as good as our ability to repair and modernize those ships once we build them,” Geurts told a gaggle of reporters Tuesday. “So what we’d like to do is create the companion plan that takes the shipbuilding plan and what we have in inventory, then forecast and plan for all the repair and modernizations that we’ll have to do.” The Navy wants to have an idea, as it looks down to road, if it has the needed industrial capacity and infrastructure in place to meet the fleet’s needs, which will become especially important as the fleet builds up. In fact, the Navy struggles to adequately maintain the smaller fleet it has today. In testimony last week, NAVSEA head Vice Adm. Thomas Moore told House lawmakers that the net capacity private shipyards that handle surface ship maintenance was only 75 percent of what the Navy required. During the past decade, the increasing demands on a smaller fleet drove deployment lengths to nine months or longer, which racked up a readiness deficit that the Navy is still working through. Deployment lengths have come back down closer to seven months, but the unpredictable operations tempo made it difficult for the Navy to plan yards periods and impacted the business of the private shipyards. Geurts conceded that operations will undoubtedly impact a 30-year maintenance schedule but said having it on paper was the right place to start when managing complicated schedules. “It’s a very complex issue with inputs and outputs,” Geurts said. “But the only thing I know is the best way to get after a complex issue is laying out at least what you know and having that at least as a baseline so then when you have to do changes – for operational reasons of whatever — you are changing from a known baseline and you can understand quickly what the second and third order effects are. Like we do on new construction, I’d like to introduce that kind of rigor.” Ultimately the hope is that industry can plan better with a long-term plan in place, Geurts said. “My hope is if we can do that, industry can start planning resources, they can start hiring resources when they see the signal,” he said. “Right now we are not as well positioned in the future as I’d like to be.” https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/06/19/the-navys-acquisition-boss-has-a-plan-to-get-fleet-maintenance-back-on-track/

  • GenDyn contracted for parts for future submarine construction

    20 juin 2018 | International, Naval

    GenDyn contracted for parts for future submarine construction

    James LaPorta June 19 (UPI) -- The Department of Defense has awarded a contract to General Dynamics Electric Boat for work on the next nine Virginia-class attack submarines. The contract award from Naval Sea Systems Command, announced Monday, is worth $225 million under the terms of cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, which is a modification to a previous Pentagon award, the Defense Department said. The deal will see General Dynamics provide economic ordering quantity material -- parts ordered ahead of time -- for the next nine Virginia-class, nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, for work in fiscal 2019 through 2023. The nine vessels are part of the Block V generation of the Virginia class. The first four have been ordered by the U.S. Navy already, with General Dynamics set to construct SSN-802 and SSN-803 and Huntington Ingalls Industries tapped for SSN-804 and SSN-805. Work on the contract will occur in various locations throughout the United States and is expected to be complete in January 2019. The total cumulative value of the contract will be obligated to General Dynamics at time of award -- the obligated funds will be allocated from Navy fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion accounts and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year, said the Pentagon press release. https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2018/06/19/GenDyn-contracted-for-parts-for-future-submarine-construction/8941529412778/

  • LE CANADA VA SE DOTER DU SEGMENT SOL BASÉ SUR LES TOUTES DERNIÈRES TECHNOLOGIES DE THALES POUR RÉPONDRE AUX SIGNAUX DE DÉTRESSE

    19 juin 2018 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    LE CANADA VA SE DOTER DU SEGMENT SOL BASÉ SUR LES TOUTES DERNIÈRES TECHNOLOGIES DE THALES POUR RÉPONDRE AUX SIGNAUX DE DÉTRESSE

    •    Le Canada a attribué la phase II du contrat de segment au sol MEOSAR (Système de satellites en orbite moyenne pour la recherche et le sauvetage) à Thales Canada. •    Le contrat comprend l’acquisition de deux MEOLUT et des services de maintenance pendant cinq ans incluant des options pour cinq années supplémentaires. •    Grâce à la puissante et compacte solution d’antennes réseau MEOLUT Next de Thales Alenia Space, le Canada bénéficiera du premier système de recherche et de sauvetage spatial de ce type au Monde. e Canada a attribué la phase II du contrat de segment au sol MEOSAR (Système de satellites en orbite moyenne pour la recherche et le sauvetage) à Thales Canada. Ce système aidera le Canada à réagir rapidement et efficacement aux signaux de détresse provenant de la terre, des airs et des mers,  d’un océan à l’autre, ce qui permettra au Canada de s’acquitter de ses obligations en vertu de l’Accord international COSPAS-SARSAT. Le contrat comprend l’acquisition de deux MEOLUT et des services de maintenance pendant cinq ans avec des options pour cinq années supplémentaires. Grâce à la puissante et compacte solution d’antennes réseau MEOLUT Next de Thales Alenia Space, le Canada bénéficiera du premier système de recherche et de sauvetage spatial de ce type au monde. Thales Alenia Space conçoit, exploite et fournit des systèmes satellitaires pour les gouvernements et les institutions, les aidant à positionner et à connecter n’importe qui ou n’importe quoi, partout. Depuis sa mise en service en 2016, MEOLUT Next a délivré des performances inégalées, détectant les signaux de détresse à plus de 5 000 km de distance. Cette nouvelle capacité permet de sauver des vies. Le 2 juillet 2017 à 6 h 30, à 70 kilomètres au large de la Sardaigne, un voilier de 12 mètres avec trois personnes à bord a déclenché sa balise COSPAS/SARSAT lorsque son gouvernail s’est brisé et que son moteur est tombé en panne. Sa radio VHF étant hors de portée, les marins se sont vite rendu compte qu’ils se trouvaient dans une situation critique avec des vagues de plus de quatre mètres de haut et un vent soufflant à 40 nœuds. MEOLUT Next a été en mesure de recevoir et de traiter leurs signaux de détresse en moins de cinq minutes, fournissant ainsi un positionnement précis aux autorités. Un avion a identifié le bateau moins de deux heures après le déclenchement de la balise et un hélicoptère a ramené l’équipage en lieu sûr, sauvant ainsi les trois vies. « Thales Canada est fier de fournir des solutions de classe mondiale qui vont nous améliorer la vie et nous maintenir en sécurité », a déclaré Jerry McLean, directeur général et vice-président de Thales Canada. « Des systèmes C4ISR complexes aux C3 maritimes intégrés et aux diverses solutions aérospatiales, ce contrat reflète l’engagement continu de Thales envers l’innovation canadienne. » « Nous sommes confiants que notre solution répondra aux attentes MEOSAR du Canada et les dépassera, tout en offrant au Canada une technologie décisive pour ses moments décisifs », a déclaré Philippe Blatt, VP Navigation France chez Thales Alenia Space. « Aujourd’hui, MEOLUT Next est la seule solution au monde capable de traiter les balises de deuxième génération en temps réel. Son efficacité opérationnelle a récemment été reconnue par Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) pour ses contributions humanitaires ». Notes à l’éditeur   COSPAS/SARSAT COSPAS/SARSAT est une organisation intergouvernementale fondée par le Canada, les États-Unis, la Russie et la France. En opération dans 43 pays à travers le monde, ce système de détection et de distribution d’alertes de détresse par satellite est surtout connu pour détecter et localiser les balises de détresse activées par les aéronefs, les navires et les randonneurs de l’arrière-pays en détresse. Aujourd’hui, quelque 500 000 navires et 150 000 aéronefs sont équipés de balises de détresse COSPAS/SARSAT. À ce jour, le service COSPAS-SARSAT a sauvé plus de 37 000 vies.   MEOLUT Next Les systèmes conventionnels MEOLUT (Medium Earth Orbit Local User Terminal - terminaux locaux pour charges utiles en orbite terrestre moyenne) utilisent de grandes antennes paraboliques et sont limités par le nombre de signaux satellites qu’ils peuvent recevoir. La solution MEOLUT Next de Thales Alenia Space est compacte, elle mesure moins de six mètres carrés, et permet de suivre jusqu’à 30 satellites, améliorant ainsi significativement le taux de détection des balises de détresse tout en élargissant la zone de couverture. Comme il n’y a pas de composants mécaniques, les coûts d’entretien du matériel sont les plus bas sur le marché.   À propos de Thales Ceux qui font avancer le monde s’appuient sur Thales. Nous sommes aux côtés de ceux qui ont de grandes ambitions : rendre le monde meilleur et plus sûr. Riches de la diversité de leurs expertises, de leurs talents, de leurs cultures, nos équipes d’architectes conçoivent un éventail unique de solutions technologiques d’exception, qui rendent demain possible dès aujourd’hui. Du fond des océans aux profondeurs du cosmos ou du cyberespace, nous aidons nos clients à maîtriser des environnements toujours plus complexes pour prendre des décisions rapides, efficaces, à chaque moment décisif. Fort de 65 000 collaborateurs dans 56 pays, Thales a réalisé en 2017 un chiffre d’affaires de 15,8 milliards d’euros.   À propos de Thales Canada Chef de file national en recherche et technologie, Thales Canada allie plus de 50 ans d’expérience et le talent de 1 800 personnes qualifiées d’un océan à l’autre. Avec un chiffre d’affaires de 500 millions de dollars, Thales Canada offre des capacités de pointe dans les secteurs du transport ferroviaire urbain, de l’aviation civile, de la défense et de la sécurité qui répondent aux besoins les plus complexes des clients dans tous les environnements d’exploitation.   À propos de Thales Alenia Space Combinant 40 ans d’expérience et une diversité unique d’expertise, de talents et de cultures, les ingénieurs de Thales Alenia Space conçoivent et fournissent des solutions de haute technologie pour les télécommunications, la navigation, l’observation de la Terre, la gestion de l’environnement, l’exploration, la science et les infrastructures orbitales. Les gouvernements, les institutions et les entreprises font confiance à Thales Alenia Space pour concevoir, exploiter et livrer des systèmes satellitaires qui les aident à positionner et à connecter n’importe qui ou n’importe quoi, partout, à observer notre planète, à optimiser l’utilisation des ressources de notre planète et de notre système solaire. Thales Alenia Space croit en l’espace comme nouvel horizon de l’humanité, qui permettra de construire une vie meilleure et plus durable sur Terre. Co-entreprise entre Thales (67 %) et Leonardo (33 %), Thales Alenia Space s’associe également à Telespazio pour former la Space Alliance des sociétés mères, ce qui offre une gamme complète de services et de solutions. Thales Alenia Space a réalisé un chiffre d’affaires consolidé d’environ 2,4 milliards d’euros en 2016 et emploie 7 980 personnes dans neuf pays. www.thalesaleniaspace.com   CONTACTS PRESSE Thales Canada Cara Salci Tel.: 613-404-9413   cara.salci@ca.thalesgroup.com   Thales Alenia Space Sandrine Bielecki     Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94     sandrine.bielecki@thalesaleniaspace.com Chrystelle Dugimont Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 74 06 chrystelle.dugimont@thalesaleniaspace.com Cinzia Marcanio     Tel: +39 06 41512685              cinzia.marcanio@thalesaleniaspace.com https://www.thalesgroup.com/fr/monde/espace/press-release/le-canada-va-se-doter-du-segment-sol-base-toutes-dernieres-technologies

  • Darpa-Led Satellite Servicing Industry Consortium Forms

    19 juin 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Darpa-Led Satellite Servicing Industry Consortium Forms

    Michael Bruno An industry consortium aiming to standardize on-orbit satellite servicing technologies, including many rivals for the burgeoning space market, has figured out how to work together, according to an update June ... http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/darpa-led-satellite-servicing-industry-consortium-forms

  • Strict export regulations may be costing US industry billions in foreign sales

    19 juin 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Strict export regulations may be costing US industry billions in foreign sales

    WASHINGTON ― A new RAND report assessing the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles suggests existing export controls for drones may hurt the U.S. more than it helps. Limiting U.S. drone exports has left a hole in the global market for the technology, especially in historically U.S.-dominated Middle East markets, which has been readily filled by U.S. competitors — specifically China and Russia. The Trump administration recently unveiled a new set of export policies regarding military technology in an attempt to facilitate the transfer of military technology, but the changes do not change the status of drones under the Missile Technology Control Regime, or MTCR. How does the MTCR work? The MTCR is a voluntary export control consortium of 35 nations designed to prevent signatories from proliferating longer-range cruise and ballistic missile technology. The arms control regime was extended to UAVs because early iterations of drones were considered a subset of cruise missile technology due to their active guidance system. The regime divides missiles into two categories. Category I items are capable of delivering a 500 kg payload more than 300 km. The sale of category I systems is restricted by a “strong presumption of denial,” meaning they are only exported in rare circumstances. The MQ-9 Reaper, RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-4 Triton are well-known unmanned systems that fall under this category. Over the past several years, U.S. partners such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia and UAE were denied requests to purchase American drones, and have since turned to China to purchase comparable systems. Trump administration officials have been attempting to alter the regime by adding new languagethat would drop any vehicle that flies under 650 kilometers per hour to category II systems. This would make all but the most advanced U.S. systems available for international sale. For example, the MQ-9 Reaper clocks in with a cruise speed of 230 mph or 370 kph, according to an Air Force facts sheet. Drone proliferation RAND found that 10 nations operate category I drones, and more than 15 operate near-category I systems that register just below the MTCR’s payload and distance restrictions. The report says increased proliferation rates are due to a handful of countries, specifically China, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, who are not party to the MCTR. More countries are expected to procure drones, which pose a “growing threat to U.S. and allied military operations,” the report says. While category I systems can deploy missiles and other guided munitions, their main threat lies in “their ability to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations against U.S. forces prior to hostilities,” according to RAND. “Adversaries that would otherwise have difficulty detecting U.S. force deployments, monitoring U.S. operations, and maintaining targeting data on U.S. units can employ UAVs to maintain situational awareness of U.S. capabilities” The report identifies Russia, China and Iran as unfriendly nations that will seek to utilize drones to complicate U.S. military operations. For example, China and Saudi Arabia recently agreed to set up a UAV manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia for up to 300 new UAVs, and Italy will receive 20 Hammerhead UAVs from the UAE. The coproduction of regional drone factories “could further exacerbate the proliferation of large UAVs to the degree that these systems are exported to other nations,” according to RAND, and that hurts U.S. industry. A U.S.-sized hole Voluntarily restricting U.S. drone exports have allowed competitors to establish themselves in a market Rand expects to “grow from about $6 billion in 2015 to about $12 billion in 2025.” RAND expect export controls to have a negative impact on the U.S. industrial base, something those in industry already know. “What you are enabling the competition to do is not just to sell some hardware,” Linden Blue, General Atomic’s chief executive, told reporters during an Aug. 16, 2017 roundtable at the company’s headquarters in Poway, California. “You’re enabling it to build a customer base for at least 20 years, I would say. You’re enabling them to build a logistics system. It will take them many years to get to where we are right now, but you’re helping them start out. They should be very thankful.” https://www.defensenews.com/newsletters/unmanned-systems/2018/06/18/strict-export-regulations-may-be-costing-us-industry-billions-in-foreign-sales/

  • Pentagon Grounds Marines’ ‘Eyes in the Sky’ Drones Over Cyber Security Concerns

    19 juin 2018 | International, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Pentagon Grounds Marines’ ‘Eyes in the Sky’ Drones Over Cyber Security Concerns

    Gidget Fuentes The Marine Corps has shelved several new, small drones – at least temporarily – amid a Pentagon ban and assessment on the cybersecurity of commercial, off-the-shelf, unmanned aerial systems, a service spokesman told USNI News on Monday. The Department of Defense issued a ban last month on the purchase and use of all commercial off-the-shelf drones until the Pentagon develops a plan to mitigate security risks. The online site sUAS News obtained a copy of the May 23 memo written by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan ordering the temporary ban due to “unmanned aerial vehicle systems cybersecurity vulnerabilities.” Military.com reported on the memo’s effect on the Marines last week. The Marine Corps officials are asking defense officials to exempt eight systems so Marines can continue to use and train with the drones, Capt. Joshua Pena, a Marine Corps Combat Development Command spokesman, told USNI News Monday. Pena said exemption requests were being drafted and reviewed by senior leaders and for submission to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for these systems: Black Hornet 2 and Black Hornet 3, manufactured by FLIR Systems, Inc.; SkyRanger (Aeryon Labs); InstantEye Mk-2 Gen-3 and InstantEye Mk2 Gen-5 (Physical Sciences Inc.); Indago (Lockheed Martin); and DJI Phantom 3 Pro and DJI Phantom 4 Pro (DJI). InstantEye is a centerpiece of the “Quads for Squads” initiative driven by the commandant, Gen. Robert Neller, to equip infantry units with innovative, high-tech capabilities to make Marines more lethal and effective in a cyber battle space, including micro and small drones. The small quadcopter, manufactured by InstantEye Robotics, a division of Andover, Mass.,-based Physical Sciences, Inc., is getting fielded to squads across the Marine Corps’ three infantry divisions. Neller, speaking June 12 at the 69th Current Strategy Forum held at the Naval War College, touted the service’s push to bolster its cyber capabilities to include using the small quadcopter, according to the Fifth Domain newsletter. But the Pentagon’s decision has forced Marines to stop using InstantEye until it can get the green light from the Pentagon. It’s considered a COTS product, Pena said, and “the system has been grounded.” The ban “also applies to all UAS ground command and control elements including smartphones or tablets with associated software and hardware,” he added. So far, the first battalions have received 600 of the Marine Corps’ initial buy of 800 Mk-2 Gen-3 drones for the “Quads for Squads,” and the remaining 200 are pending shipment, he said. “The policy has not affected that schedule,” he added. In suspending all COTS unmanned aerial systems, Shanahan cited a May 14 DoD inspector general finding that “the DoD has not implemented an adequate process to assess cybersecurity risks associated with using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).” “Effective immediately, you must suspend purchases of COTS UAS for operational use until the DoD develops a strategy to adequately assess and mitigate the risks associated with their use. In addition, you must suspend the use of COTS UASs until the DoD identifies and fields a solution to mitigate known cybersecurity risks,” he wrote in the memo. Shanahan noted his authority to approve any “requests for exemptions, on a case by case basis, to support urgent needs.” He directed military officials and agencies to report to him within 30 days “to identify and account for all COTS UAS.” The memo doesn’t indicate what prompted the suspension of the military’s use of drones, which include some popular commercially-available drones sold to consumers and manufactured by U.S. or foreign companies. However, last month, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., wrote to Defense Secretary James Mattis about “a potential national security threat” in products manufactured by DJI, or Da-Jiang Innovations, a technology company based in China. In his letter, dated May 7, Murphy cited an Army decision last year to halt the use of DJI commercial UAS and an “intelligence bulletin” issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “asserting that DJI was using its products to provide critical infrastructure and law enforcement data to the Chinese government.” “These vulnerabilities pose a tremendous national security risk, as the information obtained by the Chinese government could be used to conduct physical or cyber-attacks against U.S. civilian and military targets,” wrote Murphy, whose Senate committee assignments include appropriations and foreign relations. DJI, or SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd., as noted on the company’s website, is based in Shenzhen, China, and manufactures drones, including several popular with consumers and drones hobbyists and used by military and federal agencies, and interest remains in recent UAS solicitations including by the Army. Murphy didn’t cite any specific example of a security breach or hacking by DJI but raised concerns about vulnerabilities particularly with foreign-made systems. “I encourage you to, at a minimum, consider a DoD-wide directive banning the use of UAS owned or manufactured in a foreign nation until further threat-assessments can be completed,” he wrote. He noted the “deluge of foreign-made military equipment” the military has bought and opined that “if the hundreds of DJI drones purchased by the U.S. government in the last several years had been American-made, we would not have subjected ourselves to this massive potential intrusion and exploitation of sensitive U.S. sites.” Two years ago, security concerns about DJI products prompted the company to issue a statement that “DJI does not routinely share customer information or drone video with Chinese authorities’ and cited its privacy policy. https://news.usni.org/2018/06/18/pentagon-grounds-marines-eyes-sky-drones-cyber-security-concerns

  • US Navy Wants a Next-Gen Supply Network — and Fast

    19 juin 2018 | International, Naval

    US Navy Wants a Next-Gen Supply Network — and Fast

    BY AARON BOYD An accelerated-acquisition office is seeking industry's best ideas for keeping track of parts and repairs ashore and at sea. The U.S. Navy is looking for bleeding-edge technologies to improve its business systems and is using its other transaction authority to solicit ideas. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, or SPAWAR, announced June 14 its intention to use the Training and Readiness Accelerator, or TReX, consortium to manage the solicitation. On or about June 25, TReX will release the full solicitation requirements to its members, which includes “the entire innovation ecosystem including companies from—startups to Fortune 1000—universities, technology incubators, investors, public and private laboratories and non-profits,” according to its website. The solicitation will cover four areas under the Naval Operational Business Logistics Enterprise, or NOBLE, family of systems, with the overall goal of improving the Navy’s material and shore readiness—including “reduced failure rate, improved repair time, improved resupply time and accuracy, affordable sustainment, mission capable and secure facilities”—and user experience—including “simplified and expedited decision making, integrated and dynamic work prioritization, digitally enabled training and collaboration and easy and intuitive user experience/interface.” The solicitation focuses on three core areas, with an overarching integrated data environment stretching across the enterprise. The core areas include the Naval Operational Supply System, or NOSS, the Naval Aviation Maintenance System, or NAMS, and the Naval Operational Maintenance Environment, or NOME. According to the solicitation, NOSS will provide planning, requisitioning, procurement, inventory control, logistics services and financial accountability of all material and property across all commodities. NAMS will provide Naval aviation—U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps—with a deployable, scalable and streamlined tactical maintenance solution to maintain the operational availability of deployed and deployable aircraft. NOME will provide the Navy with a deployable, scalable and streamlined tactical maintenance solution afloat to maintain the operational availability of deployed and deployable ships and submarines. Along with the core areas, SPAWAR is also looking for an integrated data environment that can work across platforms. While the data environment will have to work with each individual system, it is being treated as a separate solution area under this solicitation. The data environment will need to be hosted in a government-certified cloud with an impact level rating of 4/5, which cover sensitive controlled unclassified information. “The cloud environment combined with a common IDE will provide a highly available and reliable commercial solution,” the solicitation states. “The environment will also be capable of hosting and integrating applications, data, systems and services planned to be transitioned to modern commercial technologies, and accomplish this migration of government-owned applications with no degradation of services.” SPAWAR will conduct the solicitation in two phases. The first phase consists of submitting white papers for each solution—vendors can bid on any or all of them—with a tentative deadline set for July 24. SPAWAR will then down-select from that pool for Phase II, which will consist of two-hour, in-person demos in Orlando, Florida. Interested parties must be a part of the TReX consortium in order to bid. https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2018/06/us-navy-wants-next-gen-supply-network-and-fast/149082/

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