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  • Rebuilding America’s Military: Thinking About the Future

    25 juillet 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Rebuilding America’s Military: Thinking About the Future

    Dakota Wood SUMMARY America's military—engaged beyond capacity and in need of rebuilding—is at a crucial juncture. Its current “big-leap” approach to preparing for future conflict carries great risk in searching for revolutionary capabilities through force-wide commitments to major single-solution programs. The Heritage Foundation's Rebuilding America's Military Project (RAMP) recommends that the U.S. military instead adopt an iterative, experimentation-heavy approach that can achieve revolutionary outcomes at less risk through evolutionary improvements that build on each other until transformative tipping points are reached. Critical to this is a military culture that is immersed in the study of war and a force of sufficient capacity to prepare for the future while also handling current operational commitments.

  • France to hand off 40 percent of land vehicle maintenance to industry by 2025

    25 juillet 2018 | International, Terrestre

    France to hand off 40 percent of land vehicle maintenance to industry by 2025

    By: Pierre Tran PARIS — The French Armed Forces Minister called July 23 for industry to play a greater role in servicing heavily used military vehicles, with companies called to support 40 percent of the mixed fleet by the middle of the next decade. Speaking at Bruz, a base for vehicle support in western France, Minister Florence Parly said the service goal compares to the present 15 percent, with a target of 2025. The minister announced a “transformation plan” for vehicle support based on an official report by defense procurement official Vincent Imbert and Army Gen. Bernard Guillet. "The improvement of our maintenance process and availability of our equipment is one of my priorities,” she said. That call for greater support reflects problems in servicing a highly mixed fleet, including new-generation armored vehicles to be delivered in the Scorpion program, modern VBCI infantry fighting vehicles and Caesar truck-mounted artillery, and an aging park of VAB troop carriers and VBL scout cars. The plan seeks to boost the availability of vehicles by restructuring the industrial and technological base for service, boost a sense of responsibility of the personnel using the vehicles, and reshaping links between the armed forces and industry, the ministry said in a briefing note. There are also plans to increase local support in the deployed theaters and adopt new technology in monitoring and predicting breakdowns. There is a high availability of more than 90 percent for vehicles in overseas operations, but those vehicles return to France in poor condition, with only 65 percent of the various fleets available for use once back on national territory, the ministry said. That availability varies greatly depending on the type of vehicle. That means there is a lack of vehicles for training troops for deployment. Some 3,500 vehicles are broken down and there is a lack of capability to reduce that number. The British and German forces face similar problems, with lower availability and lack of an organization to improve the situation, the ministry said. The modernization plan calls for closer ties between government maintenance organizations, the armed forces and manufacturers including Arquus, Nexter, Safran and Thales, as well as specialist NSE and small- and medium-sized enterprises, the ministry said. Those actors should use more efficient tools and methods, and cut out duplication and waste of resources and time. The official report pointed up a “lack of sense of responsibility” of the users as the vehicles are held in pools rather than assigned specifically, a contrast to an attachment of Air Force and Navy personnel who are closely tied to their aircraft and ships. Companies showed a weak link with service support in the land sector, also in contrast to ties seen between industry and the naval and aeronautical sectors, the report said. There should be greater use of new technology, adopting 3D printing and the use of health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) to predict breakdowns, the report said. Development under the Scorpion program offered industry an opportunity not to be missed to incorporate such technology. The report called for equipment which was beyond repair to be handed over to industry to repair and resell, with the money to be shared between the government and industry. "This reform requires a mobilization and a greater responsibility of industry in their performance and their capacity to honor the client's needs, whose objective is both to be effective on the ground and to guarantee the safety of soldiers,” Parly said. Some 13,000 personnel are employed on vehicle service, with 11,000 in the armed forces. The balance is split between two government organizations — SMITer and SIMMT. The latter awards service contracts to companies. Some €1 billion (US $1.2 billion) has been earmarked for land vehicle service in the 2019-2015 defense budget law. A plan to improve service of land vehicles follows a program for improved support for military aircraft.

  • Troops warned about driving habits on Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles

    24 juillet 2018 | Local, Terrestre

    Troops warned about driving habits on Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Defence Watch has been told about concerns being raised about the brakes on the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle fleet. But the Department of National Defence says the issue isn't about the brakes but how the vehicles are being driven during training. “Vehicles in the TAPV fleet have not been quarantined, though we have investigated a few incidents involving stopping distances,” DND spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier explained to Defence Watch. “Investigating these types of incidents is a normal part of equipment fielding and integration into the CAF fleet. This is done to identify issues and ensure vehicle and crew safety.” Le Bouthillier said the findings thus far are that the incidents were isolated and occurred during driver training. The TAPV is a heavy vehicle and requires longer stopping distances at higher speeds than most new drivers are familiar with, he added. In over 50 TAPV Driver courses across the country, only two incidents were noted, said Le Bouthillier. Canada is in the midst of acquiring 500 Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles. In June 2012, Textron Systems Canada Inc. was awarded two contracts, one for the acquisition of 500 vehicles, valued at $603.4 million, and a second contract for their support at $105.4 million to conduct in-service support for the fleet for five years following the last vehicle delivery, the government noted. The TAPV is a wheeled combat vehicle that will conduct reconnaissance and surveillance, security, command and control, and armoured transport of personnel and equipment.


    23 juillet 2018 | International, Terrestre


    WASHINGTON, July 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. government awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) an Undefinitized Contract Action (UCA) award for the production of the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Lockheed Martin is being awarded a contract totaling $450 million to begin the detailed design and planning for construction of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatants (MMSC) that will be built at Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will acquire four Multi-Mission Surface Combatants as part of a larger agreement between the United Statesand KSA to enhance global security and stimulate economic progress in the two regions. "We are pleased the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has selected the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant to support its Royal Saudi Naval Forces fleet," said Joe DePietro, vice president, Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems. "The MMSC provides the Royal Saudi Naval Forces a lethal and highly maneuverable multi-mission surface combatant, which features the flexibility of the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship steel mono-hull with expanded capabilities that include an integrated Mk41 Vertical Launch System, an increased range of 5,000 nautical miles and speeds in excess of 30 knots, making it capable of littoral and open ocean operation, and able to confront modern maritime and economic security threats." MMSC utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Common Source Library, enabling anti-air and anti-surface capabilities in a small surface combatant platform. With proven combat management system lineage, Lockheed Martin's MMSC has the interoperability necessary for today's joint and allied naval force maneuvers. In March, Lockheed Martin was awarded $481 million for long lead material for MMSC. The contract award of the MMSC is a significant milestone in the relationship between Lockheed Martin and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. "Lockheed Martin values our 50-year partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is committed to helping fulfill the Kingdom's long-term vision," said Richard H. (Rick) Edwards, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin International. "Through investment in IT infrastructure, training, tooling, equipment and enhanced collaboration with KSA industry, together we will increase the capacity of the Kingdom's economy while creating sustainable jobs for a brighter future." Over the past 10 years, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Freedom-variant industry team has invested more than $120 million to modernize the Marinette shipyard, hire more than 1,000 people and train a new workforce. "This prestigious award proves the farsightedness of our decision to enter the U.S. market," said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. "Since then, over the past 10 years we have become a reference builder not only for the U.S. Navy, but also for several foreign navies, while contributing to the development of the industrial base and of the economic fabric in the Midwest." The Lockheed Martin-led team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states. The LCS is the Navy's most affordable surface combatant shipbuilding program. "Fincantieri Marinette Marine has been in this community for more than 75 years and has produced over 1,500 vessels," said Jan Allman, President and CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. "We are proud to have one of the most technologically advanced shipyards, employing nearly 2,000 of the best shipbuilders, technicians and engineers. On behalf of Fincantieri Marinette Marine and our suppliers in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest who will support this program, we are pleased to partner with Lockheed Martin to construct the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia." For additional information, visit our website: 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. This year the company received three Edison Awards for ground-breaking innovations in autonomy, satellite technology and directed energy. About Fincantieri Marinette Marine Fincantieri is the leading western shipbuilder with a rich history dating back more than 230 years, and a track record of building more than 7,000 ships. Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG) is the American subsidiary of Fincantieri, and operates three Great Lakes Shipyards: Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, and Fincantieri ACE Marine. Fincantieri Marine Group's more than 2,100 steelworkers, craftsman, engineers and technicians in the United States specialize in the design, construction ,and maintenance of merchant ships and government vessels, including for the United States Navy and Coast Guard. About Gibbs & Cox Gibbs & Cox, the nation's leading independent maritime solutions firm specializing in naval architecture, marine engineering and design, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. The company, founded in 1929, has provided designs for nearly 80 percent of the current U.S. Navy surface combatant fleet; approaching 7,000 naval and commercial ships have been built to Gibbs & Cox designs.

  • America’s largest business lobby endorses Trump’s arms export plan

    23 juillet 2018 | International, Terrestre

    America’s largest business lobby endorses Trump’s arms export plan

    By: Joe Gould WASHINGTON — America's largest business lobby is hailing the Trump administration's plansto boost American weapons exports. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Defense and Aerospace Export Council (DAEC) welcomes the State Department's announcement regarding the approved implementation plan for the Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) Policy," council President Keith Webster said in a statement Friday. The U.S. State Department this week announced its planned process to implement the Conventional Arms Transfer policy, which adds economic security as a factor when the government considers whether to approve arms exports. It intends for the executive branch to advocate strongly on behalf of companies exporting defense items. Webster, who was President Barack Obama's last director of international cooperation at the Pentagon, called the policy “a major first step toward improving government decision processes and policies.” Aerospace and defense firms rely on innovation and U.S. government support to compete on a global scale, he noted. The export council last month offered some 30 recommendations on how to hardwire economic security and defense-industrial base considerations into the government's international arms sale decisions. “We appreciate the administration's outreach throughout this process and are pleased to see DAEC priorities in the plan, including policy changes that will improve bid timeliness while reducing costs to industries, place emphasis on economic considerations in the federal transfer decision process, and expand trade promotion," Webster said. The policy has attracted pushback from arms control advocates who say it risks fueling conflicts around the world and aiding regimes that do not respect human rights. “If the administration is serious about claims that these changes make for responsible policy, it should add much greater transparency into the arms transfer and monitoring process,” Forum on the Arms Trade's founder and coordinator, Jeff Abramson, wrote last month. The U.S. leads the world in arms transfers, with $47 billion expected so far this year, whereas the State Department approved $42 billion in government-to-government sales for all of 2017. “Defense exports are good for our national security, they're good for our foreign policy. And they're good for our economic security. And as the administration and our leadership has said, economic security is national security,” Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper, head of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, said during the Farnborough International Airshow on July 18. Aaron Mehta in London contributed to this report.

  • BAE's $1.3 Billion Contract for Howitzer Delayed by U.S. Army

    19 juillet 2018 | International, Terrestre

    BAE's $1.3 Billion Contract for Howitzer Delayed by U.S. Army

    By Anthony Capaccio The U.S. Army is delaying approval of full-scale production of BAE Systems Plc's new self-propelled howitzer, citing the need to improve quality before proceeding with additional contracts options valued at about $1.3 billion. The Army postponed triggering the most lucrative phase of the program for London-based BAE to “adequately address quality control issues,” service spokeswoman Ashley John said in an email Wednesday. “The Army will continue to work closely with BAE leadership to resolve the concerns.” The delay came after Bloomberg News reported last week that the howitzer's manufacture was hobbled by poor welding, supply-chain problems and delivery delays. Among the setbacks have been a six-month halt in deliveries last year because of welding flaws and the return of 50 of 86 vehicles that had already been delivered to repair production deficiencies. The U.S. Army is delaying approval of full-scale production of BAE Systems Plc's new self-propelled howitzer, citing the need to improve quality before proceeding with additional contracts options valued at about $1.3 billion. The Army postponed triggering the most lucrative phase of the program for London-based BAE to “adequately address quality control issues,” service spokeswoman Ashley John said in an email Wednesday. “The Army will continue to work closely with BAE leadership to resolve the concerns.” The delay came after Bloomberg News reported last week that the howitzer's manufacture was hobbled by poor welding, supply-chain problems and delivery delays. Among the setbacks have been a six-month halt in deliveries last year because of welding flaws and the return of 50 of 86 vehicles that had already been delivered to repair production deficiencies. Self-propelled 155mm howitzers are the centerpiece of the Army's artillery. The weapon is mounted on a tracked vehicle and travels with another that hauls ammunition. The Army's “long-range precision strike” program tops the service's list of modernization priorities. “We are working very closely” with the Army and the Defense Contract Management Agency, which oversees contractor performance, “and are confident the actions we have taken will support the effective transition to full production,” BAE spokeswoman Alicia Gray said in a statement. The Army eventually wants to buy 576 howitzers and ammunition carriers in an $8.1 billion program. An initial $413.7 million contract laying the groundwork for full production was awarded in December. A full-production decision would have increased vehicle production to about 60 from 48 a year. The program has been in low-rate production for several years. Gray said last week that the company is investing about $125 million to upgrade equipment to prepare “for an expanded production portfolio and accommodate the expected surge in customer requirements.” ‘Tough-Love' Approach The delay “is consistent with the increasing Army ‘tough-love' approach to contractor program-execution challenges,” such as its continuing refusal to accept delivery of Boeing Co.'s AH-64 Apache attack helicopters because of corrosion of a critical rotor assembly part that needs to be fixed, according to James McAleese of McAleese & Associates, a McLean, Virginia-based defense consulting firm. Contractors should expect “quality assurance scrutiny to increase” as the Army “drives aggressive increases in multiple production programs” for missiles, ammunition and ground combat vehicles, he said. Sections of the howitzers are initially produced at BAE's York, Pennsylvania, facility with final assembly in Elgin, Oklahoma. The program has a strong advocate in Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, the No. 2 Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. In its version of the fiscal 2019 defense policy bill, the panel authorized spending $110 million more than the $351.8 million requested. In a new report, the Pentagon's testing office said that testing of the howitzer at Fort Riley in Kansas found it was “operationally effective,” providing accurate fire as it traveled with other units of a brigade combat team while evading enemy counter-fire. That, however, is when the howitzers weren't dogged by reliability problems, according to the report by testing office Director Robert Behler. It cited “the number of breech, cannon, and firing train sub-component failures” and “interruptions from stuck and ruptured primers” that “contributed to delays in mission completion.” The Army's leadership is on a campaign to assure the public it's improving the oversight of its major acquisition programs, including getting its new Futures Command ready for initial operations. The Army last week chose Austin, Texas, as the location for the command that will consolidate brainpower to evaluate future threats facing the Army, decide on the technology needed to counter them and oversee development of that technology through existing commands.

  • Communiqué – Programme IDEeS – Deuxième appel de propositions concernant les réseaux d’innovation

    17 juillet 2018 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Communiqué – Programme IDEeS – Deuxième appel de propositions concernant les réseaux d’innovation

    Comme mentionné dans l'énoncé de la politique de défense du Canada Protection, Sécurité, Engagement, la capacité de s'adapter et d'innover rapidement est nécessaire à la mise sur pied et au maintien de capacités permettant de s'attaquer aux enjeux associés à l'évolution de l'environnement de défense et de sécurité dans le monde d'aujourd'hui. Dans cette optique, il est essentiel que le Canada et ses alliés misent sur l'innovation, le savoir et les capacités de résolution de problèmes afin d'être en mesure d'atténuer les menaces et de répondre aux besoins changeants en matière de défense et de sécurité. Dans un tel contexte, le programme Innovation pour la Défense, l'excellence et la sécurité (IDEeS) a comme but de stimuler la créativité et l'ingéniosité au Canada en créant des réseaux d'experts, en offrant du soutien et des possibilités aux innovateurs, et en facilitant l'intégration et l'adoption de nouvelles capacités pour la défense et la sécurité. Ainsi, des équipes multi-institutionnelles et multidisciplinaires, appelées micro-réseaux, sont invitées à soumettre des propositions de recherche sur le défi d'innovation lié à la défense et à la sécurité suivant : · Systèmes autonomes : confiance et obstacles à l'adoption Dans le cadre du deuxième appel de propositions concernant les réseaux d'innovation du programme IDEeS, on offrira un financement sous forme de contributions non-remboursables afin de mettre sur pied et de soutenir des micro-réseaux composés d'au moins cinq chercheurs provenant d'au moins trois institutions ou organisations universitaires, privées ou publiques différentes. Une université canadienne devra administrer les fonds. Les renseignements complets sont fournis dans le guide d'application pour les réseaux d'innovation. Les équipes micro-réseaux doivent proposer des programmes de recherche interdisciplinaires s'alignant au défi d'innovation. Les fonds seront distribués par le programme de transfert de paiements IDEeS, un programme de contribution du gouvernement fédéral administré par le ministère de la Défense nationale. Le budget total lié à cet appel de propositions s'établit à 9 000 000 $. Chaque micro-réseau peut demander jusqu'à 1 500 000 $ sur trois ans. Le cofinancement n'est pas obligatoire; toutefois, les participants d'organisations à but lucratif seront appelés à assumer jusqu'à 50 % de leurs coûts. Dates importantes Portail en ligne pour la soumission des lettres d'intention : à compter du 16 juillet 2018. Date limite pour la soumission des lettres d'intention : 31 août 2018, 12 h (midi) HAE. Date limite pour la soumission d'une proposition complète : 30 novembre 2018, 12 h (midi) HNE. Une séance d'information en français aura lieu le 31 juillet 2018. Vous pouvez vous inscrire pour cette séance en suivant ce lien : d'ici le 26 juillet 2018. Visitez notre site Web pour apprendre comment vous inscrire et répondre à cet appel de propositions, et pour en connaître davantage sur le programme IDEeS. Vous pouvez également nous contacter par courriel à

  • The Army’s next machine gun could fire caseless ammo — and one of these companies might build it

    16 juillet 2018 | International, Terrestre

    The Army’s next machine gun could fire caseless ammo — and one of these companies might build it

    By: Todd South The replacement for the Army's 5.56mm Squad Automatic Weapon could be an entirely new type of light machine gun that fires not only a different caliber round, but caseless ammunition. That's because one of the five companies recently awarded contracts to produce a weapon prototype by this time next year has been building weapons to fire that type of ammo for the past 14 years. A notice posted Thursday included the identities of the five companies: AAI Corporation Textron Systems in Hunt Valley, Maryland. FN America Columbia, South Carolina. General Dynamics-OTS Inc. PCP Tactical, LLC. in Vero Beach, Florida. Sig Sauer Inc. in Newington, New Hampshire. The companies were awarded a contract to provide a prototype for the Army's Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle, or NGSAR. The light machine gun is the first planned major overhaul of small arms in decades. Based on the notice, it appears that FN America has been granted an award to provide two prototypes, while the other four companies will provide a single prototype. Those prototypes will help the Army decide what's possible given their extensive requirements for the new weapon. There will then be an open competition following those submissions, where more companies can try to get in on the weapon that will utlimately replace the M249 SAW and influence the M4 replacement, as well. It is also the first weapon of its type that could mean a dramatic shift in all small arms, with follow-on changes planned for an individual carbine that will likely incorporate the machine gun changes, officials have said. Current efforts include work on a lighter machine gun that fires a government-designed 6.8mm round, which falls between the lighter 5.56mm and heavier 7.62mm used in heavy machine guns. But submissions can include other calibers, so long as they meet accuracy and lethality requirements for the new weapon, officials have said. In the Textron release, the company says the prototype will be based on their cased-telescoped weapons and ammunition portfolio. The company has designed both a carbine and light machine gun variant, which have been displayed publicly in recent years. The NGSAR will be an “intermediate caliber, high-velocity, magazine-fed system,” according to the release. It will weigh less than 12 pounds with ammunition that weighs 20 percent less than the traditional brass case ammo. The weapon will be at most 35 inches long and be able to fire 60 rounds per minute for 15 minutes without a barrel change. Accuracy matters too. A shooter must be able to hit standard targets at 50 meters while standing, with three- to five-round bursts at least 70 percent of the time. The companies also received awards for advanced weapons and fire control technologies, for the Next Generation Squad Weapons Technologies, the umbrella program for advancing small arms, and for the fire control capability. Wayne Prender, vice president of Applied Technologies & Advanced Programs at Textron Systems, told Army Times Thursday that he couldn't discuss details of their fire control submissions configuration. But he did talk about some of the capabilites they plan to provide. “We're offering up a solution set, day/night system optics with a laser range finder, integrated ballistic computer for computation of the target,” Prender said. Last year Textron unveiled a 6.5mm carbine using their ammunition. The NSGW program aims to use an intermediate caliber, likely in the 6mm range, such as their 6.8mm ammunition development. But Prender said he couldn't discuss details of the caliber submission for the weapon prototype. Army leaders have said that advancements will come in stages and initial fire controls will be a part of the first fielded system, but that improved fire controls with additional upgrades will be incorporated into the system.

  • This is the city the Army has picked for its new Futures Command

    16 juillet 2018 | International, Terrestre

    This is the city the Army has picked for its new Futures Command

    By: Jen Judson and Leo Shane III WASHINGTON — The new Army Futures Command (AFC) will be in Austin, Texas, congressional sources, who are now being notified of the choice, have confirmed. The new four-star command was stood up in October at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference in Washington. The plan is to realign the Army's modernization priorities under a new organization that will implement cross-functional teams that correspond with the service's top six modernization efforts: Long-Range Precision Fires, Next-Generation Combat Vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, the network, air-and-missile defense and soldier lethality. The service plans to make an official announcement on the location of the command July 13 at the Pentagon. The Army has wanted the new command's headquarters in a city or urban hub close to industry and academia and not on a base or military installation. Earlier this year it shortlisted several major cities in the U.S. as possible locations and put each through a rigorous vetting process. Congressional leaders from the locales pressed hard for a chance to host the new command. The creation of the AFC has also meant taking some elements from some of the major commands and moving them over to the new organization, Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy told Defense News in an exclusive interview just ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army's Global Force Symposium in March. But he said many of those elements won't have to move to the command's new location. The AFC's first commander has been reported to be Lt. Gen. John Murray, the current Army G−8,but the Army has not officially confirmed that selection.

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