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22 octobre 2015 4 22 /10 /octobre /2015 16:50
Vision d'artiste du concept de "Snail Charge Rocket Motor" développé par Roxeldg

Vision d'artiste du concept de "Snail Charge Rocket Motor" développé par Roxeldg

 

22 octobre, 2015 Nathan Gain (FOB)

 

Bonne nouvelle pour les nombreuses entreprises françaises impliquées dans la technologie des missiles : le 1er octobre dernier, les gouvernements britannique et français se sont mis d’accord pour prolonger le financement du « Materials & Components for Missiles Innovation & Technology Partnership » (MCM-ITP) jusqu’en 2018. Officialisé par l’entremise de la DGA et de son pendant britannique, le Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, ces fonds supplémentaires permettront de progresser dans la réalisation de 21 projets existant et de permettre à de nouveaux partenaires de soumettre leurs projets pour cette nouvelle étape, dont le démarrage est prévu pour septembre 2016.

 

« Nous sommes heureux de constater la prolongation de l’engagement des gouvernements français et britannique pour les deux prochaines années. L’appel pour de nouveaux projets est maintenant disponible sur le site web du MCM-ITP et sera clôturé le 30 novembre 2015. Cela offre la possibilité aux industries et institutions franco-britanniques d’accéder à ce financement, tous les projets approuvés démarreront en septembre 2016, » a déclaré le directeur du programme MCM-ITP, en marge d’une conférence ayant réuni, ces 21 et 22 octobre, l’ensemble des acteurs impliqués.

Lancé en 2007, ce partenariat stratégique vise à consolider les capacités du complexe industriel franco-britannique en matière d’armement, à renforcer la base technologique et à favoriser une meilleure compréhension des futurs besoins communs. Dans ce but, le MCM-ITP gère un portfolio d’une centaine de technologies de pointe actuellement développées en laboratoire.

 

Le programme MCM-ITP est financé à parts égales par les différents gouvernements et industriels concernés et rassemble un panel élargi de projets concernant des technologies exploratoires pour la production de futurs missiles. Doté d’un budget annuel de 12,5 millions d’euros, dont 30% sont destinés au petites et moyennes entreprises et aux universités, le MCM est depuis sa création devenu la pierre angulaire de l’ensemble des futurs programmes collaboratifs de recherche et de démonstration technologique pour les systèmes de missiles franco-britanniques.

 

Ce programme phare couvre tous les domaines relevant du développement de missiles (senseurs infrarouges et radars, systèmes de propulsion, ogives, systèmes de sécurité, électronique, … pour ne citer que les composantes principales). Bien que la direction de chacun de ces domaines de recherche soie confiée à MBDA ou l’un de ses partenaires (Nexter, QinetiQ, Roxel, Safran Microturbo, Selex ES et Thales), le MCM fait la part belle aux PME et universités, avec 76 partenaires de ce type sur les 121 impliqués dans ce programme.

 

Parmi ces nombreux partenaires, l’on retrouve logiquement l’un des spécialistes des systèmes de propulsion : Roxel Group. Les systèmes de propulsions actuelles répondent à deux contraintes techniques induites par le champ de bataille moderne: une accélération brève et intense du missile à partir de la plateforme de lancement (phase de propulsion), suivie d’une phase destinée à maintenir la vitesse sur la distance le séparant de sa cible. Les moteurs de missile actuels utilisent des caractéristiques géométriques particulières afin de commander chacune des deux phases de combustion. Cependant, cela entraîne des contraintes en matière de ratio longueur/diamètre du missile et réduit donc considérablement la flexibilité du missilier lorsqu’il doit envisager l’intégration du système sur sa plate-forme de lancement. Pour atténuer, voire contourner cette contrainte, Roxel étudie actuellement, dans le cadre du MCM-ITP, un concept inédit, le principe de « snail charge rocket motor ». L’idée est de créer un moteur ayant la capacité de retenir la fonction de lancement/maintien afin de maximiser la portée, tout en offrant plus de flexibilité en matière de ratio longueur/diamètre pour le moteur. La solution technique proposée par Roxel passerait par l’utilisation d’un combustible « escargot » capable de, littéralement, se replier à l’intérieur du propulseur. Cela permettrait de fournir une fenêtre de conception élargie aux missiliers afin de maximiser la portée d’engagement et les dimensions du missile en vue de son intégration sur plate-forme.

 

Et ce n’est qu’un exemple parmi tant d’autres du savoir-faire déployé dans le cadre du MCM-ITP.

 

Rendez-vous est donc pris, les 11-12 octobre 2017 à Lille, pour la prochaine conférence de présentation des résultats de ce partenariat majeur.

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16 novembre 2014 7 16 /11 /novembre /2014 08:20
US Army Works Toward Single Ground Robot

Unmanned and Ready: The US Army is refurbishing a portion of its robot fleet, including the Talon IV, by QinetiQ. (Maj. Penny Zamora/ / US Army)

 

Nov. 15, 2014 -By JOE GOULD – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — The US Army is pruning 40 percent of its ground robotics fleet, removing obsolete or excess robots before it goes to a single ground machine, according to Program Executive Office Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS).

 

The Army plans to refurbish 1,477 of its ground robots, which is about 60 percent of the total fleet, said Michael Clow, PEO CS&CSS strategic communication lead.

 

“After reset, current robots will be fielded to units to use as bridge capabilities until final programs of record are fielded, at which time the reset robots will be replaced by the program of record equipment,” Clow said.

 

The robots due for reset:

■ 353 QinetiQ Talon IVs, of which 296 will go to Army engineers and 57 to the National Guard.

■ 224 iRobot 510 FasTac Packbots.

■ 219 Dragon Runner 10s by QinetiQ.

■ 436 iRobot FirstLooks.

■ 245 iRobot 310s.

 

The Army’s Robot Logistics Support Center at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan is conducting the reset. The center has performed field and sustainment-level maintenance on the Army’s robots for the past eight years. The robots will be reset to a baseline configuration unless obsolescence requires a revised configuration, Clow said.

 

Formal Program

 

Speaking at an Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference here, the Army’s force development chief, Maj. Gen. Robert Dyess, generally echoed Army leaders’ dire predictions for the service’s budget, but he said “there is light” for unmanned ground systems.

 

The president’s 2016 budget, he said, is expected to shift ground robots fielded on an ad hoc basis during the wars into formal programs, albeit at a slower pace and with less funding than manufacturers may prefer.

 

“Development for the Army is relatively limited right now,” Dyess told reporters after his remarks. “It’s more like, ‘fix what we have and make it better, and have fewer things in development because there’s this desert you have to cross before you’re fully funded.’ ”

 

The Army invested more than $730 million in unmanned ground vehicles, which were rapidly fielded to Afghanistan and Iraq. Few are interoperable, are optimized to share information or have payloads, sensors or software that aren’t outmoded. The result is a mixed fleet of systems with high sustainment costs

 

Through its Man Transportable Robotic System (MTRS) program, the Army is switching out proprietary for government-owned hardware and software in its 900 Talon robots and the 300 PackBots, using an engineering change proposal, Dyess said.

 

Under the current phase of MTRS, Increment 2, the Army will move to a single unmanned ground vehicle with one configu­ration, Clow said. The program anticipates a production decision next summer before a request for proposals in 2016.

 

Meanwhile, Congress’ inability to pass a budget could derail a separate Army robotics procurement program — the Common Robotic System Individual (CRS-I). It’s intended to yield a new backpack-carried ground robot for surveillance missions, or bombs and hazardous materials, for soldiers on foot.

 

According to Dyess, the CRS-I would likely be delayed if Congress passes a continuing resolution, which would fund the government at last year’s level. Congress has not passed a defense budget on time since 2005.

 

CRS-I is intended to replace the terminated small unmanned ground vehicle program — at half the weight and cost, Dyess said.

 

The CRS-I, announced in an Army market survey in June, would weigh 20 pounds or less and allow a soldier to set it up in five minutes and operate it from up to 300 meters away. It would feature a joint plug-and-play architecture for sensors, claw arms and other peripherals, which allows the government to procure and service these separately.

 

Army officials have briefed a plan to begin fielding the CRS-I in 2020 as a joint program with the Marine Corps, for a total of 5,266 systems. The CRS-I program is working toward a materiel development decision this summer, according to PEO CS&CSS.

 

“Rules regarding continuing resolutions and new program start activities certainly could impact many programs if passed — including CRS-I,” Clow said. “As with all programs, we will adjust to budgetary changes as needed while continuing to pursue the timely delivery of improved, affordable capabilities for America’s soldiers.”

 

QinetiQ is among the companies that responded to the CRS-I market survey and is awaiting the Army’s final requirements for MTRS, said Jason Montano, the company’s product manager for Talon robots. For the latter, QinetiQ is offering its Talon V, which is compliant with the Army’s plug-and-play interoperability architecture, he said.

 

The Talon V, Montano said, sports a host of electronics upgrades, including a more powerful processor, more communications throughput and, physically, it is better able to climb stairs and lift heavier objects.

 

“It’s a product we have been working hard on for the last three or four years,” Montano said. “It’s the next-generation robot to benefit soldiers and keep soldiers out of harm’s way.”

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10 août 2014 7 10 /08 /août /2014 16:50
QinetiQ wins £33m military simulation contract

 

10 Aug 2014 By Alan Tovey - telegraph.co.uk

 

Defence technology group QinetiQ agrees five-year deal to train soliders and pilots in virtual world

 

Defence and technology company QinetiQ is enabling air force pilots and army commanders to train together in a virtual battlefield – even though they might be thousands of miles apart in real life.

The company has agreed a five-year, £33m deal that will allow airmen and soldiers to practise working together in simulators before being deployed abroad.

The system – at the Air Battlespace Training Centre at RAF Waddington in Lincoln – links together aircraft simulators, ground forces’ control tents and even individual troops so they can train on working in combined operations.

The virtual set-up allows commanders in the simulated headquarters to co-ordinate airstrikes in real-time with troops on the virtual battlefield calling in the jets, which are being flown by pilots in simulators. This means they can learn how to carry out complex procedures and potentially dangerous operations without the risk of harm if they make an error.

 

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16 juillet 2014 3 16 /07 /juillet /2014 16:50
Saab and ETPS sign new multi-year agreement for continued Gripen training

 

16 July 2014 Saab Group

 

Defence and security company Saab and the Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS), operated by QinetiQ, have strengthened their unique test pilot training partnership with the signature of a new multi-year cooperative agreement. Saab will support ETPS flight operations with the Gripen D fighter over a four-year period, from 2015 to 2018.

 

ETPS and Saab have signed a new, multi-year framework agreement for the provision and use of Gripen D fast-jet aircraft and associated requirements, for the ETPS fixed-wing European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) compliant Test Pilot and Flight Test Engineer courses. The original agreement has been in place since 1999 and, under the terms of the new framework, Saab will support ETPS from 2015 until 2018. Ongoing Gripen activity for 2014 is already covered by the existing agreement between the two organisations.

 

Earlier this year ETPS transitioned from Gripen B to Gripen D which provides access to a very advanced fast jet platform with a unique systems testing capability. The use of this smart fighter aircraft is cemented in the new framework agreement and underlines the long-term commitment by ETPS to the Gripen platform.

 

“Since 1999 Gripen has trained more than 70 test pilots and provided more than 800 hours for the ETPS. Saab has a record of 100 per cent on-time delivery with a jet that is totally reliable. The relationship between Saab and the ETPS is something really unique. This new framework agreement streamlines our future work together, and affirms the commitment both sides have to our relationship. I see it as an important link between companies, and between countries, says”, Håkan Buskhe, Saab’s President and CEO.

 

“Professional flight test training delivered by ETPS is an important part of the Long Term Partnering Agreement with the UK MoD. ETPS provides a global customer base with world-class flight test training that underpins the increasingly complex nature of air test and evaluation”, says Leo Quinn, CEO of QinetiQ Group.

 

ETPS has been training test pilots and flight test engineers with Gripen since 1999. The Gripen aircraft gives students invaluable experience with an advanced, agile, fly-by-wire aircraft for handling and evaluation purposes. Flight operations are conducted at Saab’s Flight Test Department in Linköping, with ETPS instructor pilots flying under Saab supervision. Campaigns typically last for one week in May and four to five weeks in August and September. Saab provides

 

ETPS with supervisory pilots, the Gripen aircraft, logistics, ground support and facilities. Additional Saab SK 60 aircraft are also provided to act as radar targets for training.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 12:20
Q-Nets, from QinetiQ North America

Q-Nets, from QinetiQ North America

Jul 9, 2013 ASDNews Source : U.S. Army

 

The U.S. Army has transferred to France technical test data on a rocket-propelled grenade defense system that is vital to its military operations in Mali, officials announced.

 

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, known as RDECOM, through its International Technology Center-France, helped to facilitate the exchange between the allies, said Lt. Col. Robert Willis, who led the project for RDECOM.

 

"The French Army wants the best thing out there," said Willis, commander of ITC-France under RDECOM Forward Element Command-Atlantic. "They are a professional and highly capable Army, and they want to protect their troops. They are determined to rapidly acquire the best technology, based purely on technical performance of the system."

 

The French Army had purchased an early version of a rocket-propelled grenade, or RPG, defense system, Q-Nets, from QinetiQ North America, known as QNA, a U.S. company. Fighting in Mali spurred the need for increased capabilities to protect French soldiers.

 

When the company developed an improved version, Q-Nets II, the French Ministry of Defense wanted to review the test data from the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command before making a procurement decision. However, QNA could not release the data to France because the exchange must be made under an international agreement from one government entity to another government, Willis said.

 

Willis and his colleagues at the U.S. European Command's Office of Defense Cooperation in Paris stepped in to expedite the data transfer under an established agreement, "Survivability Technologies for Land Combat Systems." RDECOM's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, known as TARDEC, at Detroit Arsenal, Mich., provides technical oversight for the agreement.

 

TARDEC's technical project officer for the agreement then verified that the detailed test data could be transferred from the U.S. Army to the French MoD.

 

Without the international agreement in place, this transfer of data would not have been authorized, Willis said.

 

Willis is accredited as an attaché of defense cooperation for these types of exchanges, and he presented the data to the French MoD, June 10. He used his fluency in French and background in Army test and evaluation to explain the technical and statistical nuances of the report.

 

In addition to assisting a NATO ally in an area of operations where the United States has national interests but not a desire to intervene with ground troops, the U.S. Department of Commerce had officially granted advocacy to QNA in an otherwise European-only competition, Willis said.

 

Col. Collier Slade, chief of the ODC in Paris, said the advocacy process allows the U.S. government to promote an American vendor in its efforts in a foreign country. In this case, QNA was the only U.S. company in competition to provide an RPG defense system to the French Army.

 

"The effectiveness of our advocacy policy in this case was ensured by the unique skill sets and reach-back that the RDECOM international team provided," Slade said.

 

RDECOM maintains a robust international footprint to promote cooperation between the United States and foreign partners to advance science, engineering and technical capabilities in areas important to the U.S. Army, Willis said.

 

RFEC-Atlantic in the United Kingdom has ITCs in France and Germany, RFEC-Pacific in Japan has ITCs in Australia and Singapore, and RFEC-Americas in Chile has ITCs in Canada and Argentina.

 

"Our NATO partners, including France and others in Europe, are long-standing allies," Willis said. "They possess the state-of-the-art in many technologies that we do not."

 

Maintaining these international relationships allows RDECOM to accelerate requests such as the transfer of RPG test data to France, Willis said. He is responsible for 16 European countries and concentrates primarily on France, Italy and Spain.

 

"We maintain cognizance of the expertise areas in our countries," Willis said. "We maintain contacts with the critical government, industry and academia that develop these technologies that we can share."

 

"We transfer technologies in both directions," he continued. "In this case, it was U.S. to France in support of an urgent operational requirement. In many other cases, it is shared foreign know-how that alleviates the need for large technology investments and development on our own."

 

RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC delivers it.

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