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1 février 2012 3 01 /02 /février /2012 18:40

C-130J Super Hercules photo USAF


Feb. 1, 2012 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: U.S Department of Defense; issued January 31, 2012)

Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded a $112,224,520 firm-fixed-price, requirements type contract for covering sustaining services including logistics support, program management support, engineering services, spares and technical data in support of the C-130J propulsion systems which include the AE2100D3 engine and R-391 propeller system.

This modification is to exercise Option V (Year 6). The location of the performance is Indianapolis, Ind. Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2013.

WRALC/GRBKA, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8504-07-D-0001; Delivery Order 0600).

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1 février 2012 3 01 /02 /février /2012 18:25


source inquisitr.com

Feb 1, 2012 ASDNews Source : Ducommun Inc.

Ducommun Incorporated (NYSE: DCO) today announced that its Miltec Corporation subsidiary was the industry team lead for the successful test flight of the U.S. Army's unique Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW). The AHW is a first-of-its-kind glide vehicle, designed to fly long range within the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speed. The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) conducted the AHW boost-glide flight test on Nov. 17, 2011.

“We are very proud to have played a key role on this government-industry team,” said Anthony J. Reardon, president and chief executive officer. “Flying a hypersonic glide vehicle from the Pacific Missile Range Facility to the Reagan Test Site within the earth’s atmosphere demonstrated technologies necessary to develop future capabilities for Conventional Prompt Global Strike.”

The objective of the test was to collect data on hypersonic boost-glide technologies and test range performance for long-range atmospheric flight. The mission emphasis was aerodynamics; navigation, guidance, and control; and thermal protection technologies.

The AHW program is managed and executed by the USASMDC/ARSTRAT program office in Huntsville, Alabama. The booster system and glide vehicle were developed by Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, N.M.), and the thermal protection system was designed and built by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center in Huntsville. Miltec led a team of four companies across five states in support of the AHW program for this test.

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1 février 2012 3 01 /02 /février /2012 18:20

Standard Missile

1 February 2012 naval-technology.com

Aerojet has awarded a contract to General Dynamics (GD) Ordnance and Tactical Systems to develop and deliver electromagnetic control actuators for the Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System (TDACS).

The actuators developed for the missile will provide pintle movement for control of the SM-3's kinetic warhead's TDACS.

The very small, lightweight actuators provide lateral motion, roll, yaw and pitch control, which guide the kinetic warhead to a precision strike on a target and controls the pintles TDACS throttle thrust.

GD Ordnance and Tactical Systems' Healdsburg Operations general manager Rich Schroeder said: 'Our ultra-high-bandwidth and high-power-density actuators have proven to be key performance enablers for the Block IB and IIA advanced variants of the SM-3 missile.'

The SM-3 Block IIA is an anti-ballistic missile that can be launched from ground stations or ships and features second and third-stage rocket motors, as well as a larger advanced kinetic warhead for increased engagement capability and greater range.

The early intercept capability SM-3 Block IIA missile is designed as part of phase two of the current administration's Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defence. It will be equipped with larger second and third-stage rocket motors to provide defence against sophisticated threats.

The SM-3 missile will be deployed on Aegis cruisers and destroyers to provide protection against short-to-intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the mid-course phase of flight.

More than 130 SM-3s have been delivered by Raytheon to the US and Japanese navies to date, ahead of schedule and under cost.. The missile is scheduled for deployment in 2018.

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1 février 2012 3 01 /02 /février /2012 18:05


01 February 2012 defenseWeb (Reuters)

Senior officials from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps said that growing capabilities of new weapons systems could help offset cuts in defense spending that will shrink the number of ships and aircraft in coming years.

Lieutenant General Dennis Hejlik, head of Marine Corps Forces Command, said some big programs such as the V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft would face cuts in the future, but the service would still be able to respond to crises around the world.

"We might not have the capacity overall, but we're going to have the capability to respond to contingency plans," Hejlik told reporters in Washington.

He gave no details about Pentagon plans to reduce a proposed multiyear purchase of 122 V-22 aircraft built by Boeing Co and Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc. Hejlik added that details of those cuts and others would be released with the Pentagon's budget plan for fiscal 2013 on February 13, Reuters reports.

U.S. defense contractors cite increasing pressure on sales and earnings given plans by the U.S. military, the world's biggest weapons buyer, to reduce spending by almost $500 billion over the next decade.

Hejlik and Admiral John Harvey, head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, underscored their commitment to ensuring that U.S. military forces would be properly staffed, equipped and trained before they were sent overseas, despite the budget cuts.

Both officials highlighted the increasing capabilities of weapons systems, and said U.S. ships would continue to evolve over time, which could help offset a reduction in total numbers.

For instance, budget pressures had reduced the number of U.S. amphibious ships, but many now had small unmanned vehicles on board that could augment a ship's intelligence and surveillance work, said Hejlik, who plans to retire this summer.

The Navy would also use transport or "sealift" ships to augment the shrinking amphibious fleet, which is being scaled back to a target of 33 ships from the previous target of 38 ships.

"Would we like to have more money? Sure -- everyone would, but that's where innovation comes from, when you're stressed a little bit as far as money and time," Hejlik said. "If there's one good thing with less money, is it really makes you think."

Harvey, whose successor was nominated last week by President Barack Obama, said upgrades to existing ships could help ensure that U.S. forces could still carry out their missions.


"We'd like to have more (ships), we don't always get that, Harvey said. "But one thing we can do ... is to make sure that we evolve those ships, that we modernize those ships to face the threats that we see coming our way," Harvey said.

He said Admiral Jonathan Greenert had initiated a force structure review that would revise the Navy's target for the size of its fleet from the current target of 313 ships.

"Circumstances have now changed. Our strategy shift -- our pivot is taking place," Harvey said, noting that the final number depended on the assumptions used in the review.

Pentagon budget plans released last week called for cuts to several ship programs over the next five years, including eight fewer Joint High Speed Vessels built by Austal, the delay of one Virginia-class submarine, and two fewer Littoral Combat Ships.

Harvey said the budget would include funding for a new class of ships called mobile landing platforms, but he gave no details.

Harvey said Navy officials were overhauling the USS Ponce, a 1970 amphibious transport ship that will sail for the Middle East region by June 1 to combat enemy mines.

The ship, envisioned to launch small boats and up to four MH-53 helicopters, would serve as a bridge to the new mobile landing platform program, he said.

He said the Ponce was not intended as a "mothership" for elite U.S. special forces conducting operations in the region, as some media reports suggested this weekend.

"I think they put two and two together and got 22," he said, although he acknowledged that the terms for the conversion of the ship did require certain security measures that would allow special operations forces to work from the ship.

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1 février 2012 3 01 /02 /février /2012 18:00

US DOD United States Department of Defense Seal.svg

February 1, 2012 U.S. Department of Defense / Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) – defpro.com

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced Jan. 31 the release of $18.0 million to fund six military programs to reduce the energy demand of future expeditionary outposts. The funds will support efforts to develop and rapidly transition energy technologies for the combat force, resulting in improved military capabilities, fewer energy-related casualties, and lower costs for the taxpayer.

"It's essential that we continue to develop innovative energy solutions to advance our military missions and use our precious resources wisely," said Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta. "The Department is taking the lead on this because saving energy on the battlefield means saving lives and money."

Fuel can be a tactical and operational vulnerability on the battlefield. In the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, adversaries have frequently targeted U.S. fuel supply convoys, putting troop lives and missions at risk and diverting combat forces and dollars to force protection.

“A military force that uses energy more strategically is stronger, today and in the future,” said Sharon E. Burke, assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs. “As the Department reshapes the force to build a more agile, flexible military capable of responding to the full range of future challenges, the work of the six teams funded under this effort will give our troops better energy options on the battlefield.”

Defense Department-led teams representing the military services and the Department of Energy will receive the funds. To link small businesses and entrepreneurs to the teams, DoD will host an information session in March, along with the Small Business Administration. More information about this event can be found at http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/operationalenergy.

“An important objective of this fund is reaching sources of energy innovation new to the Department, which primarily are small businesses,” said Andre Gudger, director of the Department's office of small business programs. “By leveraging small businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate energy innovation for our warfighters, we strengthen our security, modernize our industrial base, and promote economic development at the same time.”

Winning teams were chosen based on submissions to a June 2011 call for program proposals. Additional information about the teams can be found at http://energy.defense.gov. The assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs, a position established in 2009 to strengthen the energy security of military operations, will administer the funds. Congress provided resources for these programs in the 2012 Omnibus Appropriation Act.

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1 février 2012 3 01 /02 /février /2012 13:55


photo Armée de Terre

31 janvier 2012 par La Presse Canadienne - branchez-vous.com

OTTAWA - Un constructeur français d'équipement de la défense, qui espère vendre des véhicules de combat rapproché à l'armée, a indiqué mardi avoir prévu la participation de compagnies canadiennes pour effectuer une bonne partie du contrat.

Nexter a soumis deux offres le mois dernier pour le programme d'une valeur d'environ 2,2 milliards $, qui avait d'abord été annoncé il y a quelques années par le gouvernement de Stephen Harper.

Le président et chef de la direction de la compagnie, Philippe Burtin, a affirmé qu'environ 1600 emplois seraient créés parmi les entreprises canadiennes si l'offre de Nexter était sélectionnée.

La compagnie propose de construire et d'assembler son VCBI de 30 tonnes à l'usine de Bombardier, à Montréal, et a cité Raytheon Canada pour assurer le soutien de mise en service et de maintenance.

M. Burtin a également déclaré devant une assemblée de fournisseurs possibles, mardi, qu'entre 80 et 90 entreprises canadiennes plus petites pourraient être des sous-contractants dans certaines parties de l'entente.

Le VCBI a déjà été utilisé par l'armée française en Afghanistan, et s'avère une version plus lourde du véhicule blindé léger du Canada, le LAV III.

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1 février 2012 3 01 /02 /février /2012 13:25


January 31, 2012 worldwide-defence

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, a business unit of General Dynamics, was awarded a $23.6 million contract by Lockheed Martin Corp. for production of more than two dozen GAU-22/A gun systems for the F-35 Lightning II.

The GAU-22/A is a derivative of General Dynamics' proven GAU-12/U 25mm Gatling gun, which the company has produced for more than 40 years. The GAU-22/A is a lighter-weight, four-barrel version with improved accuracy over the GAU-12/U. General Dynamics has been manufacturing GAU-22/A guns for F-35 aircraft since 2009. "The GAU-22/A's reliability lends a significant advantage in lower aircraft maintenance costs, while the gun's high rate of fire and increased range bring air superiority in tactical air-to-air and air-to-ground combat situations," said Steve Elgin, vice president and general manager of armament systems for General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products. The F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is a fifth-generation multirole fighter used by all branches of the U.S. military and U.S. allies. An internally mounted GAU-22/A gun system will arm the conventional take-off and landing variant (F-35A), while externally mounted gun systems will be used by the short take-off and vertical landing variant (F-35B) and carrier version (F-35C) of the aircraft. Production will begin in 2012 at General Dynamics' facility in Saco, Maine, which employs more than 400 people. Program management and engineering will be performed at the General Dynamics Technology Center in Williston, Vt. In addition to producing the GAU-22/A, General Dynamics' facility in Marion, Va., supplies advanced, lightweight composite radomes for the F-35 aircraft. General Dynamics' Marion facility employs over 450 people.

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1 février 2012 3 01 /02 /février /2012 12:45


31 January 2012 - by the Shephard News Team

Lockheed Martin has announced that its C-130 Hercules programme has reached an historic milestone, following the delivery of its 2400th aircraft. The aircraft is an MC-130J Combat Shadow II assigned to US Air Force Special Operations Command.

According to the company, the delivery of this aircraft follows a record year for C-130J production at the company's facility in Marietta, Ga.  In 2011, 33 C-130J Super Hercules were delivered - a new production record for the C-130J model.  Aircraft were delivered in six different configurations for six operators:  the US Air Force Air Mobility Command, US Air Force Special Operations Command, US Marine Corps, Canada, India and Qatar.

C-130J aircraft are currently in production for the US Air Force and Marine Corps, Iraq, Israel, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Oman and Tunisia. C-130Js are also flown by Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the US Coast Guard.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 18:13


photo USAF

January 31, 2012 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Textron Systems Corporation; issued January 30, 2012)

HUNT VALLEY, Md. --- AAI Logistics & Technical Services announced today that the company has received an award from the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to provide logistics support and concurrency modifications for the B-1B Training System. The award has a total potential value of $162 million over seven years.

Under this award, AAI Logistics & Technical Services will be responsible for operating the B-1B Training System Support Center, located at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, and providing contractor logistics support for training systems at multiple locations.

"Our training services emphasize high system availability for productive, reliable training operations," says AAI Logistics & Technical Services Senior Vice President and General Manager Diane Giuliani. "We have provided years of successful contractor logistics support for other mission-critical military systems such as the C-17 Globemaster maintenance training system and T-25 Simulator for Electronic Combat Training."

In addition, AAI Logistics & Technical Services will design, develop and deploy concurrency modifications to the B-1B Aircrew and Maintenance Training System.

"Concurrency upgrades enable students to train on a system that reflects the most recent enhancements to the actual aircraft," explains Giuliani. "With so many students preparing for the rigors and uncertainties of field operations, realistic training scenarios build skills and confidence."

AAI Logistics & Technical Services delivers comprehensive life cycle support, sustainment and operational services for defense and security equipment, and is a leading provider of unmanned systems services. With experienced logisticians, maintainers and operators that can be deployed rapidly around the globe, the business offers affordable solutions that deliver superior asset availability and reliable performance, including award-winning performance based logistics, contractor logistics support, depot support, supply chain management, training, and repair and overhaul services. AAI Logistics & Technical Services is an operating unit of Textron Systems.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 17:55


January 31, 2012 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Raytheon Company; issued January 30, 2012)

Raytheon Awarded Naval Power System Contract

TEWKSBURY, Mass. --- Raytheon Company has been awarded a $10 million contract from Naval Sea Systems Command to develop a pulsed power system that will enable projectiles to reach great distances without the use of an explosive charge or rocket motor.

The contract for the preliminary design of a Pulse Forming Network (PFN) is part of a larger effort by the U.S. Navy to develop a multimission weapon system for use on naval warships to defend and attack with pinpoint accuracy.

Under the contract, Raytheon will provide the research and development of an advanced Integrated Power Systems power load module that may be used for PFNs to power future lasers, railguns or radars.

"This new system will dramatically change how our Navy defends itself and engages enemies while at sea," said Joe Biondi, vice president of Advanced Technology for Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business. "We have the expertise to design and build a solution that provides our warfighters with a decisive advantage over a multitude of current and emerging threats."

The PFN is a large power system providing the electromagnetic energy for the railgun projectile, which will travel up to 220 miles in less than six minutes and exit the atmosphere before hitting its target at a velocity of 5,000 feet per second.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 13:05


MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti)

Izhmash, the manufacturer of the legendary Kalashnikov AK-47, will supply Saiga-12 semi-automatic smoothbore shotguns to a number of police forces in the U.S., Izhmash reported on its web site on Tuesday.

The contracts were signed at the Shot Show exhibition in Las Vegas on January 17-20. “The first Saiga-12 deliveries to U.S. law enforcement were already made in January 2012,” Izhmash General Director Maxim Kuzyuk said.

At the exhibition, Izhmash also signed an agreement on exclusive imports to the U.S. market with Russian Weapon Company and an agreement with Fime Group as Izhmash’s partner for manufacturing classic firearm models.

Shot Show also provided an opportunity for buyers from Central American countries to sign contracts on direct delivery of Izhmash sporting and hunting weapons for the first time. Previously they had only been able to buy Izhmash products via intermediaries in the U.S.

"The results of the exhibition are inspiring. The American market in non-military weapons is booming. We project a 20 percent increase in deliveries this year," Kuzyuk said.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 12:40


Jan 31, 2012 ASDNews Source : Sandia Corp.

Take two Sandia National Laboratories engineers who are hunters, get them talking about the sport and it shouldn’t be surprising when the conversation leads to a patented design for a self-guided bullet that could help war fighters.

Sandia researchers Red Jones and Brian Kast and their colleagues have invented a dart-like, self-guided bullet for small-caliber, smooth-bore firearms that could hit laser-designated targets at distances of more than a mile (about 2,000 meters).

“We have a very promising technology to guide small projectiles that could be fully developed inexpensively and rapidly,” Jones said.

Sandia is seeking a private company partner to complete testing of the prototype and bring a guided bullet to the marketplace.

Researchers have had initial success testing the design in computer simulations and in field tests of prototypes, built from commercially available parts, Jones said.

While engineering issues remain, “we’re confident in our science base and we’re confident the engineering-technology base is there to solve the problems,” he said.

Sandia’s design for the four-inch-long bullet includes an optical sensor in the nose to detect a laser beam on a target. The sensor sends information to guidance and control electronics that use an algorithm in an eight-bit central processing unit to command electromagnetic actuators. These actuators steer tiny fins that guide the bullet to the target.

Most bullets shot from rifles, which have grooves, or rifling, that cause them to spin so they fly straight, like a long football pass. To enable a bullet to turn in flight toward a target and to simplify the design, the spin had to go, Jones said.

The bullet flies straight due to its aerodynamically stable design, which consists of a center of gravity that sits forward in the projectile and tiny fins that enable it to fly without spin, just as a dart does, he said.

Computer aerodynamic modeling shows the design would result in dramatic improvements in accuracy, Jones said. Computer simulations showed an unguided bullet under real-world conditions could miss a target more than a half mile away (1,000 meters away) by 9.8 yards (9 meters), but a guided bullet would get within 8 inches (0.2 meters), according to the patent.

Plastic sabots provide a gas seal in the cartridge and protect the delicate fins until they drop off after the bullet emerges from the firearm’s barrel.

The prototype does not require a device found in guided missiles called an inertial measuring unit, which would have added substantially to its cost. Instead, the researchers found that the bullet’s relatively small size when compared to guided missiles “is helping us all around. It’s kind of a fortuitous thing that none of us saw when we started,” Jones said.

As the bullet flies through the air, it pitches and yaws at a set rate based on its mass and size. In larger guided missiles, the rate of flight-path corrections is relatively slow, so each correction needs to be very precise because fewer corrections are possible during flight. But “the natural body frequency of this bullet is about 30 hertz, so we can make corrections 30 times per second. That means we can overcorrect, so we don’t have to be as precise each time,” Jones said.

Testing has shown the electromagnetic actuator performs well and the bullet can reach speeds of 2,400 feet per second, or Mach 2.1, using commercially available gunpowder. The researchers are confident it could reach standard military speeds using customized gunpowder.

And a nighttime field test, in which a tiny light-emitting diode, or LED, was attached to the bullet showed the battery and electronics can survive flight, Jones said.

Researchers also filmed high-speed video of the bullet radically pitching as it exited the barrel. The bullet pitches less as it flies down range, a phenomenon known to long-range firearms experts as “going to sleep.” Because the bullet’s motions settle the longer it is in flight, accuracy improves at longer ranges, Jones said.

“Nobody had ever seen that, but we’ve got high-speed video photography that shows that it’s true,” he said.

Potential customers for the bullet include the military, law enforcement and recreational shooters.

In addition to Jones and Kast, Sandia researchers who helped develop the technology are: engineer Brandon R. Rohrer, aerodynamics expert Marc W. Kniskern, mechanical designer Scott E. Rose, firearms expert James W. Woods and Ronald W. Greene, a guidance, control and simulation engineer.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 12:30

predator drone mq9 reaper photo USAF

Jan 31, 2012 ASDNews Source : Ultra Electronics

Ultra Electronics, Advanced Tactical Systems’ (ATS) Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) Pod (TACPODTM) has successfully flown onboard the MQ-9 Predator B aircraft.

“We have gone from concept to air worthiness in less than a year,” said ATS President John McAlonan. “We are focused on delivering affordable interoperability solutions to the military and with this entry into the unmanned aircraft system market we are delivering a first-in-class capability to the warfighter.”

Weighing only 109 lbs, TACPOD is a selfcontained, configurable, external communications payload for manned and unmanned aircraft. Along with the ground control unit, TACPOD solves connectivity and interoperability deficiencies at the tactical edge by providing two primary services: tactical data link gateway and communications relay.

Ultra conceived and developed TACPOD in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force in a manner that takes advantage of open architecture and available best-of-breed components and does so at a fraction of the size, weight, cost, power requirement and development time of large program solutions.

Housing mission-defined communication components in a form factor that optimizes size, weight and power consumption (SWaP)—as well as offering reasonable cost and short production lead time—TACPOD provides immediate benefit to warfighters.

Carrying the software found in Ultra’s renowned Air Defense Systems Integrator (ADSI)® product, TACPOD's onboard processor receives track data from disparate tactical data links such as Link 16 and Situational Awareness Data Link (SADL), translates between the various message formats and forwards the combined tactical data back out along all connected waveforms. This increased interoperability allows users on normally incompatible networks to share a single Common Operational Picture (COP) and Situational Awareness (SA).

TACPOD contains a collection of off-the-shelf voice and data radios and other components as required by the mission, all integrated without the creation of any new hardware, software, protocols, standards or radio waveforms.

TACPOD’s antennas are self-contained so the unit only requires a standard attachment point and power from the host aircraft. In all other respects, TACPOD is a non-invasive payload. Once configured with optional communication components, a TACPOD is permanently available to serve out its defined mission capabilities in a snap-on, snap-off fashion onboard any air platform for which it is qualified.

Payload capabilities include air-to-air and air-to-ground voice and data radios, satellite communications (SATCOM), Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) sensors, video, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), electronic intelligence (ELINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT) and others as limited only by size, weight and power budget.

TACPOD assures voice and data interconnectivity between ground units and offers Beyond Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) reachback from tactical edge positions to command centers and the Global Information Grid (GIG). In addition to these primary missions, TACPOD can also provide SATCOM access, payload initialization, storage, query, file sharing, crypto rekeying, machine-to-machine targeting, collaborative engagement and video dissemination—even across limited bandwidth.

Ultra is moving forward with further internal developments of TACPOD to serve specialized mission needs and provide rapid reaction communications capability to additional air platforms both large and small, as well as homeland security and other commercial applications.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:55



30.01.2012 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense


L'armée de l'air américaine a fait ses comptes et vient de publier sa feuille de route ou plutôt de coupes: elle va se séparer de cinq escadrons de A-10 (un d'active, un de réserve et trois de la Garde nationale). Eh oui, il faut faire de la place au F-35!


Elle va aussi dissoudre un escadron de F-16 de la Garde nationale et un escadron d'entraînement équipé de F-15. Ce qui fait sept et non pas six comme annoncé par le Pentagone. Zélés, les boys de l'USAF!


Dix mille postes, par ailleurs, seront supprimés en lien avec les autres coupes annoncées la semaine dernière (voir mon post du 28 janvier en cliquant ici).

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:55

F35 mantenance source Flight Global

Jan. 30, 2012 by Stephen Trimble – Flight Global

Washington DC - At least 15 Lockheed Martin F-35s are grounded for about 10 days to repack improperly installed parachutes, according to the programme office.

The grounding suspends all high-speed ground and flight tests at Edwards AFB, California; Eglin AFB, Florida and Fort Worth, Texas, the F-35 programme said.

Eight F-35s based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, remain flightworthy.

The grounded aircraft are equipped with new versions of the Martin Baker US16E ejection seat, the F-35 programme said.

The wrong packing instructions were sent to the ejection seat manufacturer, the F-35 programme said. As a result, Martin-Baker packed the parachutes backwards, the programme said.

The ejection seats must be sent back to Martin Baker in the UK to reverse the parachutes.

The problem only involves newer ejection seats designated as -21 and -23. The F-35Bs and F-35Cs stationed at Patuxent River have older ejection seats with parachutes that were packed correctly, the programme said.

Despite two fleet-wide grounding orders last year, the programme completed all flight tests for 2011 in mid-November, although the number of test points accomplished lagged slightly behind.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:50


APOPKA, Fla., Jan. 30, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)

Northrop Grumman Corporation announced that its Laser Systems business unit recently delivered its 25,000th electro-optic (EO) laser system in support of U.S. warfighters since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The EO laser systems allow troops to perform surveillance, identify and engage threats at safe distances, accurately position troops, and engage enemies while limiting collateral damage and protect troops being transported in hostile areas. Currently deployed systems include man-portable products such as the Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR) and the Mark VII and Mark VIIE laser target locators; ground vehicle products such as the M1 Abrams Eyesafe Laser Rangefinder and the Sight Integrated Rangefinder for Stryker vehicles; and airborne products such as the Target Acquisition Designation Site for Apache helicopters and lasers for weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters; and Viper countermeasures lasers for the AN/AAQ-24(V) Directional Infrared Countermeasures system used to protect soldiers transported into and away from combat zones.

"The ability to rapidly and precisely engage targets is a matter of life and death to our warfighters," said LTC Mike Traxler, Product Manager Soldier Precision Targeting Devices. "Lightweight Precision Targeting systems with EO lasers allow dismounted forward observers to employ precision munitions with devastating lethality while significantly reducing collateral damage."

"These EO laser systems have provided long-term support to the U.S. Army to help the warfighters accomplish their missions," said Gordon Stewart, vice president and general manager of the Laser Systems business unit. "We are committed to providing next-generation systems that will continue to help our troops accomplish their mission and return home safely."

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:40


30 January 2012 - by the Shephard News Team

SmartRounds Technology (SRT) has unveiled a range of new SmartRounds bullets, which are designed to provide a less-lethal, more intelligent alternative to firearms, while still providing sufficient stopping power to disarm an assailant. According to a 30 January 2012 company statement, the 18 mm, .680 caliber, d-shaped, rifled rounds are fired from gas-powered launchers at upwards of 450 feet per second and have an effective range of 100 yards.

According to the company, the patent-pending SmartRounds will be available in a number of less-lethal versions including micro-mechanical system (MMS) based rounds. The active MMS controlled version senses when the round is fired and when it hits its target. It then activates the payload in a micro-second, reducing the chances of penetration.

One special SRT projectile called ShockRounds contains a liquefied compressed gas and activates a high-powered shock wave that expands rapidly upon impact and attacks three of the five human senses, disabling the assailant. These projectiles are fired from pneumatic rifle launchers, which are modelled after the Colt Industries M4 carbine. Other launchers are modelled after a popular, semi-automatic handgun, ideal for close quarters combat.

The company said it has developed the SmartRounds in response to the fact that in theatres such as Iraq and Afghanistan, it can be ‘nearly impossible for troops to distinguish between enemy combatants and the local population’; and that ‘troops could use these tools to temporarily incapacitate adversaries without harming nearby civilians. These weapons will become even more important to a military that has taken on roles away from battlefields, providing humanitarian assistance or support to civilian agencies, as well as conducting emergency evacuations, crowd control and other peacekeeping missions.’

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:25


Jan 30, 2012 By Amy Butler - AviationWeek.com

WASHINGTON - Fifteen new Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters, some of which are participating in the flight testing so critical to moving the troubled Joint Strike Fighter program forward, have been grounded owing to improper loading of parachutes in their ejection seats.

The suspension of flight and high-speed ground testing began Jan. 26 and affects aircraft at Edwards AFB, Calif., Eglin AFB, Fla., and Lockheed’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, according to Joe Dellavedova at the U.S.-led JSF Joint Program Office. The root cause was “improperly drafted packing procedures,” he adds.

The problematic chutes are not affecting eight test aircraft at NAS Patuxent River, Md., because they carry an earlier version of this seat and the parachutes were properly loaded, he says.

Parachutes for the Martin-Baker US16E-21 and -23 seats were “reversed 180 deg. from design during installation,” Dellavedova says, and replacement seats from British manufacturer Martin-Baker are expected to take 10 days to arrive. “This issue will not prevent the pilot from executing a successful ejection and landing in the unlikely event of a pilot ejection,” Dellavedova says. The problem was uncovered during a routine review, he says, adding that it is premature to discuss any penalties as a result of the mishap.

One industry source notes, however, that an ejection “would have likely caused passenger load factor injury” because pilots would “have hit the ground going backwards.” Because the parachutes were loaded backwards, their steering lines would also have been reversed, affecting a pilot’s ability to guide himself to a landing site.

The affected equipment will have to be shipped back to Martin-Baker’s factory in the U.K. for repair; the repacked chutes will then first be put on the six grounded aircraft at Edwards to return them to flight testing. The six F-35As and three F-35Bs at Eglin AFB, Fla. were already limited to ground operations pending “military flight release” from the Air Force to fly the aircraft unmonitored in the area. So they will be next to receive the newly packed boxes. Eglin flights were held up owing to concerns cited from the Pentagon’s chief tester last fall. Among them was a warning not to fly over water until the -24 seat, the model intended for the operational F-35, is available, owing to concerns of pilot drowning with the older seat versions.

“Aircraft in production at Fort Worth were also affected but their parachutes will be repacked prior to the first acceptance flights,” Dellavedova says.

This mishap comes as Goodrich, the only remaining U.S. ejection seat manufacturer, is in the final throes of attempting to unseat Martin-Baker on the F-35A, which is likely to be purchased by at least 11 countries, with the U.S. Air Force potentially buying as many as 1,763. Without a major program like the F-35, the company’s opportunities to get the Aces 5, the latest in its Aces family of seats, into a new service platform are grim in the near future. The next major opportunity would be the Air Force’s T-38C replacement program, which has yet to formally be kicked off.

Booz Allen Hamilton studied whether the USAF Air Combat Command’s (ACC) use of the Aces 5 seat for its F-35As would save money over the life of the fighter for the service, due to commonality with the Aces 2 seats already in its fleet. “That exhaustive analysis led us to conclude that, while there are potential savings associated with the Goodrich Aces 5 seat, the amount is not sufficiently compelling to warrant the risk and up-front cost of integrating a new ejection seat into the F-35 weapon system at this time,” says Capt. Jennifer Ferrau, an ACC spokeswoman. “ACC and the Air Force strongly support the Joint Program Office’s commitment to pursue efficiencies in order to secure greater value for all JSF stakeholders.”

Lawmakers last year requested information on the study, and the Air Force recently notified staffs of the conclusions. The study or its data will not be released, according to Ferrau, because it contains proprietary information about the pricing of the seats.

The Pentagon was slated to decide in a Joint Executive Steering Board meeting whether it would be open to adding the Goodrich seat to the F-35A in December. But the U.S. decision to slice as many as 179 F-35s from purchasing plans through 2017 prompted officials to move the meeting to March.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:25

Patriot missile launch b

DALLAS, Jan. 30 (UPI)

Patriot missiles are to be produced by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Army and Taiwan under contracts from the Army worth $921 million.

"Demand remains strong from the U.S. and our global partners for the combat-proven PAC-3 Missile," said Mike Trotsky, vice president of air and missile defense programs at Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control business.

"In today's uncertain environment, Lockheed Martin remains focused on delivering this important capability to our customers on schedule and on budget."

The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 is a kinetic-kill system to defend against incoming ballistic missiles.

Lockheed said that under the PAC-3 Missile Segment contracts, it will provide the U.S. Army with hardware and services -- including missiles and command launch systems, modification kits, launchers -- with a follow-on sale to the Asian nation, the fifth international customer for the PAC-3 Missile (upgrade) Segment.

Deliveries will begin in the first half of next year.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:20


January 30, 2012 PRNewswire

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 30, 2012 - General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems has received a contract for the design and production of electromagnetic control actuators for Aerojet's Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System (TDACS) in support of the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile interceptor.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems has received a contract for the design and production of electromagnetic control actuators for Aerojet's Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System (TDACS) in support of the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile interceptor.

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). The SM-3 Block IIA missile is the latest element of the Missile Defense Agency's Phased Adaptive Approach to regional missile defense. It is a ship-based missile, carried aboard Aegis-equipped ships, with expanded range and capability over previous Block IA and Block IB missiles. General Dynamics will design and produce actuators for the SM-3 Block IIA that provide pintle movement for control of the SM-3's kinetic warhead's TDACS. It provides lateral motion, as well as roll, yaw and pitch control, to guide the kinetic warhead to a precision strike on a target. General Dynamics' very small, lightweight actuators control the pintles that throttle the thrust for the TDACS. The company will leverage the design and manufacturing processes successfully developed under the Standard Missile Block IB program in developing and producing the new actuators. "Our ultra-high-bandwidth and high-power-density actuators have proven to be key performance enablers for the Block IB and IIA advanced variants of the SM-3 missile, and we look forward to continuing our support on this vital program," said Rich Schroeder, general manager of General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems' Healdsburg Operations.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:15


Photo: US Navy

Jan 30, 2012 By Michael Fabey - AviationWeek.com

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Navy has already altered its Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ship, LCS-1, to address problems uncovered in testing, but the ship still needs to be fundamentally redesigned, say leading defense analysts.

They base their conclusions on briefings from the Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN) on the findings of Navy and industry reports detailing the vessel’s hull and deckhouse cracking and engine problems. AWIN was given exclusive access to the documents. The analysts also call for an investigation into how the ship was accepted in such — in their view — questionable shape. LCS-1 was built by a Lockheed Martin-led team.

AWIN subscribers can click here to read the complete story on the reports’ findings and the rebuttal from the LCS team.

“What the documents show is grounds for questioning this LCS variant’s viability,” says Ben Freeman, national security investigator for the Project On Government Oversight, who also was briefed on the reports.

“If the reports outlined are as serious as indicated, then there may be some significant redesign work required — even beyond the modifications to LCS-1 that have been made based on initial lessons learned with the first hull,” says Bob Nugent, vice president of advisory services for consultancy AMI International’s Washington operations.

As a result of hull cracking issues on LCS-1, the ship designed to be the Navy’s cheetah of the seas and envisioned as comprising about half of the service’s future surface combatant fleet was limited to a “safe operating envelope” in which it could travel no faster than a laden cargo freighter in sea-state 5 conditions, the reports show.

Analysts were equally dismayed about the reports’ findings on the engine failure reported earlier with the ship. The Rolls-Royce Trent MT30001 gas turbine engine shut down when components failed because of corrosion and oxidation following a number of significant and unexpected ingestions of seawater over an 18-month period.

Lockheed Martin and the Navy say the Freedom has since been repaired and upgraded to address the issues identified during that time and is scheduled to be redelivered to Naval Sea Systems Command (Navsea) soon with an eye toward re-evaluating its operational limitations.

“Navsea isn’t familiar with any new official ‘reports,’ either from Navy or industry sources, indicating the issues ... either new or as alarming [as indicated],” said Navsea spokesman Christopher Johnson when asked about the report’s findings and analysts’ conclusions.

“If it were my boat, I would tie the ship up and have a commercial tug take it back to the builder and demand he fix her,” defense analyst and Navy-issues author Norman Polmar says. “I’d stop production until that first ship is fixed and guarantee that similar problems don’t occur on the follow-ons.”

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:15


January 30, 2012 worldwide-defence

Contracts awarded for 1st 3 work packages; others to be awarded this year.

Industrial & Regional Benefits tied to CH-147F performance-based logistics program will bring Canada benefits of nearly US$2 billion over 20 years

OTTAWA, Ontario, Jan. 30, 2012 -- Boeing has selected three Canadian firms to receive the first group of work packages for in-service support of 15 Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters, designated CH-147F for the Canadian Forces. Following an open competition, Boeing chose the following suppliers:

     L-3 Communications MAS (Mirabel, Quebec): technical publications
     Raytheon Canada Limited (Calgary, Alberta): supply chain support
     L-3 Electronic Systems (Enfield, Nova Scotia): logistics support analysis.

Boeing has selected three Canadian firms to receive the first group of work packages for in-service support of 15 Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters, designated CH-147F for the Canadian Forces.

"Boeing is working with companies across Canada to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support the Canadian Forces' CH-147F fleet," said Jim O’Neill, vice president and general manager, Boeing Integrated Logistics. "We will support the operational readiness of these Chinooks while managing overall life-cycle cost and providing long-term opportunities for the Canadian aerospace industry and workforce." Competitions are ongoing with Canadian firms for additional in-service support work packages, including support and test equipment; contractor maintenance support for the maintenance training suite; and engineering support services. Boeing expects to announce those selections later this year. Through Canada's Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy, Boeing's IRB commitments on the Medium-to-Heavy Lift Helicopter In-Service Support Program will bring benefits of approximately US$2 billion to Canada over a 20-year period. In August 2009, the government of Canada announced it would acquire 15 CH-47F Chinooks to address the Canadian Forces Medium-to-Heavy Lift Helicopter requirement. Production of the fleet is under way at Boeing’s facility at Ridley Township, Pa. Delivery of CH-147Fs to the main operating base at Petawawa, Ontario, will begin in 2013. The Canadian CH-147F Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that features a modernized airframe with a long-range fuel system, fully integrated digital cockpit management system, Common Avionics Architecture System cockpit, self-protection system, improved electrical systems and advanced cargo-handling capabilities. Life-cycle support of these aircraft will be delivered through a long-term Performance Based Logistics (PBL) program that will provide full system logistics and training services. Boeing is a proven provider of performance-incentivized, integrated logistics solutions. The company has more than 15 PBL contracts with customers around the world and across multiple platforms, including the Chinook. PBL is an alternative to the traditional transactional approach to purchasing supply and maintenance support for defense programs. With PBLs, customers buy agreed-to outcomes -- for example, a set mission readiness rate -- versus purchasing spares in a transactional arrangement. PBLs can be tailored to meet the customer's needs, from supply of spares and repairs to management of complex systems or full operational fleet support. Boeing has been a major contributor to the Canadian economy since 1919, generating approximately US$1 billion in business annually. The company employs highly skilled workers in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia in support of its commercial and defense business units. Canada also is home to one of Boeing's largest international supplier bases, with more than 200 major suppliers in every region of the country, providing a diverse mix of high-value goods and services to Boeing and its customers.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:10


January 30, 2012 worldwide-defence

SYDNEY, Jan. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company's (NYSE: RTN) Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2 successfully completed two guided test vehicle flights within one week, demonstrating the system's upgraded kinematic performance, guidance system and airframe capabilities.

Raytheon is building 35 RAM Block 2 missiles during the design and development test period and expects low-rate production to begin in 2012.
"To have a double success during two separate tests within days of each other is a significant accomplishment and proves our design upgrades," said Rick Nelson, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Naval Weapon Systems product line. "The aggressive path we charted for RAM Block 2 will provide our customers with the most sophisticated ship self-defense missile available."
The RAM Block 2 upgrade includes a four-axis independent control actuator system and an increase in rocket motor capability. These and other upgrades increase the missile's effective range and deliver a significant improvement in maneuverability. The improved missile also incorporates an upgraded passive radio frequency seeker, a digital autopilot and engineering changes in selected infrared seeker components.

Robust International Fleet Self-defense System

RAM is a supersonic, lightweight, quick reaction, fire-and-forget missile providing defense against anti-ship cruise missiles, helicopter and airborne threats, and hostile surface craft. The missile's autonomous dual-mode, passive radio frequency and infrared guidance design provides a high-firepower capability for engaging multiple threats simultaneously. Produced in partnership by Raytheon and RAMSYS of Germany, RAM is aboard more than 100 ships as an integral self-defense weapon for the navies of Egypt, Germany, Greece, Republic of Korea, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

RAM Contribution to Warfighters

    Provides defense for U.S. Navy carriers, amphibious ships and Littoral Combat Ships.
    Is able to defeat targets by using next-generation radars today.
    All-weather, low-cost self-defense system against aircraft and anti-ship missiles.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:05


SAN DIEGO -- Jan. 30, 2012 – Northrop Grumman

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation  a $47.2 million contract for the purchase and integration of two more Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) payloads on two existing Block 20 Global Hawk aircraft.

BACN is a high-altitude, airborne communications and information gateway system that maintains operational communications support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The persistent connectivity that BACN provides improves situational awareness and enables better coordination between forward-edge warfighters and commanders. BACN bridges and extends voice communications and battlespace awareness information from numerous sources using a suite of computers and radio systems.

After the BACN payloads have been integrated on the Block 20 Global Hawks, the aircraft will be designated as USAF EQ-4B unmanned systems, providing long endurance and high persistence gateway capabilities.

"The addition of two more BACN systems on Global Hawks will decisively enhance the required 24/7 gateway capability," said Claude Hashem, vice president of the network communications systems business at Northrop Grumman's Information Systems sector. "The EQ-4B unmanned systems will continue to provide long endurance and unsurpassed communications persistence to our warfighters."

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the development, fielding and maintenance of the BACN system and the RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft. The company was awarded the first BACN contract in April 2005 by the Air Force Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. The Global Hawk program is managed by the Air Force Aerospace Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

"This latest award continues the BACN program tradition of delivering new capability on compressed timelines that meets the operational needs," said Steve Zell, Northrop Grumman BACN program director.

Northrop Grumman's work on the BACN program is managed and performed in San Diego with Global Hawk integration performed in Palmdale, Calif.

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31 janvier 2012 2 31 /01 /janvier /2012 08:00



Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a $122 million contract to install and sustain Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) systems at forward operating bases (FOBs) supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and the ongoing United States Mission in Iraq (USM-I). The contract includes options that, if fully exercised, would raise the potential value of the contract to $311 million.

Since initial fielding more than six years ago, the C-RAM system is credited with saving hundreds of lives through its ability to provide early warning of incoming indirect fire. C-RAM is a capability that integrates existing field artillery and air defense sensors, a commercial off-the-shelf warning system and a U.S. Navy-developed interceptor to protect U.S. and coalition personnel from indirect fire threat. Working closely with the U.S. Army, Northrop Grumman helped to take the C-RAM capability from concept to reality in less than 18 months.

"C-RAM is exemplary for smart integration of existing technology to serve critical needs," said Mike Twyman, vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems Division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "We will continue our collaboration with the Army to enhance this system that has provided timely warning of more than 2,000 rocket and mortar attacks against our FOBs."

Under this contract, Northrop Grumman will provide systems engineering, production, deployment and logistics support for the C-RAM systems. The contract was awarded by the Army Contracting Command-Redstone at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Program management and technical direction will come from the Program Director, C-RAM, in the Army's Program Executive Office, Missiles and Space.

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