Tag Archives: development

RI – Turki Tanda Tangani Kerjasama “Join Development and Production” Prototipe Medium Tank

07 November 2014

1 prototpe tank medium akan dibuat di Pindad mulai akhir tahun 2014 dan ditargetkan selesai pada tahun 2017 (image : istimewa)

Jakarta, DMC – Dalam rangka meningkatkan hubungan kerjasama di bidang pertahanan antara Pemerintah Republik Indonesia dengan Pemerintah Republik Turki, Kamis (7/11) disela-sela kegiatan Indo Defence 2014 Expo & Forum di JIExpo Kemayoran, Jakarta, Kementerian Pertahanan (Kemhan) kedua negara menandatangani kerjasama “Join Development and Production” (pengembangan dan produksi) prototipe Tank kelas Medium.

Penandatanganan Kerjasama Joint Development and Production Medium Tank dilakukan oleh Sekretaris Ditjen Pothan Kemhan, Brigjen TNI Santoso dengan Kepala Departemen Kerjasama Internasional SSM Turki, Abdullah Erol Aidin serta disaksikan Dirjen Potensi Pertahanan, Dr. Timbul Siahaan, MM dan Duta Besar Republik Turki untuk Indonesia Zakeriya Akcam.

Sebagai bentuk implementasi dari kerjasama “join Development and Production” Tank kelas Medium ini, kedua negara membangun 2 (dua) unit Prototipe Tank kelas Medium. Proyek ini akan dimulai akhir tahun 2014 dengan melibatkan industri pertahanan FNSS Turki dan PT. Pindad dengan kisaran waktu penyelesaian proyek 3 tahun. Rencananya dari 2 (dua) prototipe tersebut, 1(satu) unit akan di produksi di FNSS Turki dan 1 (satu) unit diproduksi di PT Pindad, Bandung. Setelah itu PT Pindad diharapkan sudah mulai bisa mandiri memproduksi hasil karya terbaru Tank Medium yang sesuai dengan kebutuhan yang diajukan oleh TNI AD.

Adapun spesifikasi tekhnis yang akan melengkapi desain Tank Medium nantinya akan ditentukan dengan keinginan pengguna dalam hal ini TNI AD. Namun secara umum dari segi persenjataan akan dilengkapi laras / canon turret dengan ukuran 90-105 mm dan berat 20 hingga 40 ton per unitnya.

Pada kesempatan tersebut Dirjen Pothan Kemhan RI, Dr. Timbul Siahaan, MM mengatakan setelah penandatanganan, Pemerintah Indonesia akan mengirimkan personel gabungan dari Kemhan, TNI AD dan PT Pindad untuk mempelajari pembuatan Tank Medium tersebut.

Lebih lanjut Dirjen Pothan menyebutkan beberapa keuntungan dari kerjasama Join Development bagi Indonesia, yakni dari konteks kemandiriannya PT. Pindad diharapkan dapat mengembangkan teknologi persenjataannya. Oleh karena itu menurut dirinya dibutuhkan suatu kerjasama melalui Transfer of Technology dan Offset dengan negara lain yang sudah mampu dan punya pengalaman. Sehingga kemandirian PT. Pindad bisa lebih didorong dalam pemenuhan kebutuhan pengguna peralatan yaitu TNI. “PT Pindad menginginkan peningkatan teknologi produksi, yang semula hanya membuat Panser dan ingin menjadi membuat Tank kelas Medium,” ungkap Dirjen Pothan.

Sementara itu bagi pemerintah Turki pembangunan prototipe Tank Medium ini merupakan kerjasama dengan teknologi tinggi yang nyata untuk pertama kalinya dilaksanakan dengan Indonesia. Selain itu juga kerjasama ini dijadikan sebagai pengembangan kolaborasi sumber daya kedua negara.

Terkait pemilihan Strategic Partnership dalam pembuatan Tank Medium dengan negara Turki, Dirjen Pothan menilai Turki memiliki industri pertahanan (FNSS) telah memiliki kemampuan memproduksi sendiri Tank jenis Medium dengan teknologi yang memadai. 

(DMC)

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Proyek KFX/IFX Masuki Tahap Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD)

09 Oktober 2014

Pesawat KFX/IFX C-103 (photo : pgtyman)


Proyek Pesawat Tempur Canggih KFX Dipastikan Berlanjut

Jakarta -Kementerian Pertahanan (Kemhan) bekerja sama dengan Korea Selatan dalam pengembangan di bidang industri pertahanan.

Melalui program Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), kedua pihak sepakat melanjutkan proyek pesawat tempur modern KFX/IFX dengan teknologi generasi 4,5.

Bagi Pemerintah Indonesia program kerja sama ini dilaksanakan sebagai upaya untuk bridging ke arah kemandirian pemenuhan kebutuhan pesawat, sekaligus mendongkrak kekuatan TNI AU dan meningkatkan daya tawar Indonesia dalam kancah Internasional. “Melalui Program KF-X/IF-X, Pemerintah Indonesia bersama Pemerintah Korea Selatan akan mampu mengembangkan pesawat tempur multifungsi canggih yang berkemampuan di atas pesawat tempur F-16,” tulis siaran pers Kemhan yang diterima SP, Selasa (7/10).

Dalam riilis tersebut disebutkan, ada tiga tahapan dalam program kerja sama proyek KFX/IFX yakni Technology Development Phase (TD Phase), Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD Phase) dan Production Development. TD Phase telah rampung sejak Desember 2012 lalu dan kini tengah memasuki EMD Phase. EMD Phase diawali dengan kesepakatan Project Agreement (PA) yang baru saja ditandatangani oleh Dirjen Pothan Kemhan,Timbul Siahaan dan Dirjen Aircraft Program DAPA, Brigadier General (Air Force), Jung, Kwan Sun yang berisi prinsip dan aturan umum serta komitmen para Pihak selama EMD Phase.

PT Dirgantara Indonesia ditunjuk sebagai workshare dari pihak Indonesia yang selanjutnya akan menyusun perjanjian bersama dengan costshare dan kontraktor utama, yakni Pemerintah Korea Selatan. Diharapkan semua agreement sudah bisa ditandatangani pada akhir November 2015 dan program EMD sudah siap untuk dimulai.

“Salah satu kesepakatan yang dibuat adalah Indonesia –  Korea Selatan akan membentuk Joint Program Management Office (JPMO) untuk pelaksanaan Project Agreement (PA) tersebut termasuk mengawasi Korean Industial Participant (KIP) dan Indonesian Industial Participant (IIP), penganggaran serta pengeluaran/belanja, kompetensi, tugas dan fungsi,” papar Kemhan.

Besaran pembagian kerja (workshare) disepakati sebesar 80-20 persen dan kedua belah pihak sepakat bila ada tambahan anggaran harus disetujui keduanya. Nantinya Indonesia akan melaksanakan final assembly dan akan membangun production line dengan biaya sendiri.

Dalam scope of cooperation, pihak Korea mengkonfirmasikan bahwa 6 pesawat akan melakukan flight test di Korea dan 1 Prototype akan diberikan ke Indonesia untuk dilaksanakan final assembly, test and evaluation kembali. Pihak Korea akan menyerahkan satu prototipe Pesawat KF-X/IF-X setelah seluruh uji terbang diselesaikan dan dengan beberapa catatan, yaitu engineer dan test pilot Indonesia akan terlibat secara aktif dalam proses produksi prototipe dan uji terbang seluruh prototipe.

Sedangkan untuk penyiapan produksi prototipe dalam fase EMD akan dibahas lebih lanjut termasuk tentang penyiapan lini produksi dan final assembly pesawat di Indonesia serta kapan rollout dari first article pesawat akan diluncurkan.

(Berita Satu)

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S. Korea Opts for KF-X Twin-Engine Fighter Development

20 Juli 2014

The Joint Chiefs of Staff reached the decision to take the C-103 twin-engine platform over the single-engine one, putting an end to a long-drawn-out heated debate, according to the ministry. (photo : pgtyman, kodef)

SEOUL — The South Korean military has chosen to equip its future fighter jet with two engines instead of one amid lingering worries over the economic and technical merits of the twin-engine aircraft development.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) held a top decision-making council Friday to make a choice about the number of engines for the KF-X jet, which is to be developed indigenously with technical assistance from a foreign partner.

South Korea aims to produce 120 or more KF-X aircraft after 2025 to replace the Air Force’s aging F-4s and F-5s, most of which will be decommissioned before the mid-2020s. The KF-X could be on par with an advanced F-16 jet armed with high-end avionics systems.

“The JCS formed a task force to review the costs, requirements and development schedules for the KF-X over the eight months,” JCS spokesman Eom Hyo-sik said. “As a result, the task force reached a decision that a twin-engine aircraft is a right choice as it meets future operational needs and can help catch up with neighboring countries’ aircraft development trends.”

Given the potential development period for a twin-engine jet, the spokesman said, the KF-X jet’s initial operating capability is to be scheduled for 2025, a two-year delay from the original goal.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is set to launch a bid for the engine contract as early as next month. Candidates would include the GE F414 and Eurojet EJ200, according to DAPA officials.


The JCS’ decision on the twin-engine platform comes amid heated debate over the feasibility of the KF-X jet development. The state-funded Korea Institute for Defense Analysis (KIDA) vehemently opposed the twin-engine design, citing high costs and technical challenges.

The KIDA assessed the KF-X development would cost about 9.6 trillion won (US $93 billion), but it expects the cost would be doubled if the jet is a twin-engine design.

The institute also claims an F-16 class jet with double engines doesn’t have a competitive edge in the export market dominated by US and European fighter aircraft.

“A new fighter aircraft is a massive endeavor at the best of times, and wildly unrealistic technical expectations do not help the project,” Lee Ju-hyung, a senior researcher at the KIDA said.

Kim Dae-young, a member of the Korea Defense and Security Forum, a Seoul-based private think tank, was worried if potential cost overruns would eventually hinder the development of indigenous avionics systems.

“Under the original KF-X plan, [active electronically scanned array] radars and other avionics shall be developed locally, but if development costs increase, those systems are likely to be adopted from foreign defense companies inevitably,” Kim said.

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) also preferred a single-engine type on the basis of its T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer jet co-developed by Lockheed Martin. In recent years, KAI successfully fielded T-50’s lightweight fighter version, the FA-50, which were exported to Indonesia and the Philippines.

During an air and defense fair in October, KAI displayed a conceptual design with a 29,000-pound engine.


“A single-engine concept is in pursuance of both affordability and combat performance based on the advanced FA-50 technologies,” a KAI official said.

On the other hand, the Air Force, backed by the state-run Agency for Defense Development (ADD), brushed off concerns over costs overruns and technical difficulties.

“The KF-X is a 4.5-generation fighter that can carry weapons of 20,000 pounds or more,” an Air Force spokesman said. “Indonesia, a partner of the KF-X project, is supposed to buy a bunch of jets, and when mass production starts, the costs will go down.”

The spokesman added that a twin-engine aircraft larger than the KF-16 will provide more room for future upgrades and will help cope with growing air powers in the neighborhood — China and Japan — which are accelerating air force modernization.

Lee Dae-yeol, head of ADD’s KF-X project team, argues that a fighter with a new concept has better economic feasibility in terms of total life-cycle costs.

“The ADD has secured about 90 percent of independent technologies for the KF-X,” Lee noted. “Of the 432 technologies needed, the agency is only short of 48 items, such as engines and some avionics systems.”

The ADD hopes that it will be able to get those lacking technologies in offsets from Lockheed Martin, the successful bidder for South Korea’s F-X III fighter jet development program, and other foreign companies.

The ADD envisions that a KF-X Block 2 would have internal weapons bay, and Block 3 would feature stealth improvements to the level of the B-2 bomber or F-35 joint strike fighter.

Indonesia is the only KF-X partner at the moment. Indonesia is to bear 20 percent of the projected development costs, while the Korean government will take 60 percent. The funding for the remaining 20 percent remains unclear, as KAI is expected to bear part of the money.

(DefenseNews)

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Seoul Speeds Up KFX Fighter Jet Development Plan

11 Juli 2014

KFX fighter jet (photo : chosun)

South Korea is accelerating its efforts to develop an indigenous warplane with a plan to give public notice of bids for the so-called KFX project as early as August.

The military plans to confirm its required operational capabilities for the project at the Joint Chiefs of Staff Council session in mid-July, and finalize the bidding plan during a session of the national defense acquisition program committee next month.

The KFX program, which includes both the development and production of the home-built warplane, is expected to cost nearly 20 trillion won ($19.7 billion). Under the project, Seoul seeks to deploy 120 fighters after 2023 to replace its aging fleets of F-4s and F-5s.

Since February, a Defense Ministry task force consisting of officials from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Program Acquisition Administration and Air Force has been conducting research for the development project.

The task force has had heated discussions particularly on whether to opt for a single- or double-engine platform. Sources said that the taskforce had chosen a double-engine platform.

The Agency for Defense Development and Air Force have demanded a double-engine type. They argued that a plane with two engines could carry more weapons and fuel, and improve the plane’s mobility with a greater thrust. They also said the survivability of pilots would be raised given that one engine would still function should the other break down.

But those favoring a single-engine platform have maintained that the double-engine type carries a higher price tag, thus making it less attractive for foreign buyers. They also argued that thanks to current advanced engine technology, the chances of engine-related accidents were not high.

According to government research, the development of a single-engine platform would cost 6.4 trillion won, while the double-engine platform would cost 8.6 trillion won.

Seoul’s efforts to accelerate the development of the new fighter underscores growing concerns over the potential air security vacuum. The Air Force is expected to face a shortage of around 100 fighters in 2019 when almost all of the F-4s and F-5s will be decommissioned. 


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Chinese Military Modernization and Force Development: Chinese and Outside Perspectives

The Burke Chair at CSIS has developed a new analysis of the trends in Chinese military strategy and forces entitled Chinese Military Modernization and Force Development: Chinese and Outside Perspectives. This report provides a comprehensive update of previous Burke Chair studies.

The goal behind this report is not to present the authors’ view of the balance, but rather to provide the basis for an unclassified dialogue on the military developments in China, including the size and structure of the country’s current and planned military forces. It draws on official US, Chinese, and other Asian official reporting, as well as the work of other scholars and the data bases developed by the IISS and Jane’s in an effort to compare different views of Chinese strategy and military developments, and is meant to provide US, Chinese, and other analysts with a better basis for understanding Western estimates of the changes in Chinese force strength and force quality.

Chinese Military Modernization and Force Development: Chinese and Outside PerspectivesThe United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) face a critical need to improve their understanding of how each is developing its military power and how to avoid forms of military competition that could lead to rising tension or conflict between the two states. This report focuses on China’s military developments and modernization and how they are perceived in the UIS, the West, and Asia. It utilizes the unclassified data available in the West on the trends in Chinese military forces. It relies heavily on the data in the US Department of Defense (DoD) Report to Congress on Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China, particularly the 2013 and 2014 editions.

It relies heavily on the annual military balances compiled by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), though a range of sources are included. It should be noted that this report focuses on Chinese forces, and therefore presents only one side of the US and Chinese balance and the security situation in Asia. It also draws upon a Burke Chair report entitled The Evolving Military Balance in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, looking at the bilateral US-Chinese balance in more detail.

Accordingly, it focuses on the actual changes taking place in Chinese forces, and it provides a detailed analysis detailed analysis of the trends in Chinese military forces since 1985, examining how the often-conflicting trends in outside sources interact with reporting on Chinese military spending and strategy. It also shows that important changes are taking place in US strategy and that these changes must be considered when evaluating Chinese actions.

The study makes it clear that US, other Asian, and other Western sources and analyses of Chinese military developments are not an adequate basis for US and Chinese dialogue without Chinese review, commentary, or more Chinese transparency in providing data on Chinese strategy, military forces, and military spending. There is a critical need for focused military dialogue and for joint US and Chinese efforts to develop common data and perceptions on US and Chinese military strategy and net assessments of the overall trends in military balance and strategic situation in the Pacific region.

Moreover, this report shows that focusing on strategy and concepts in broad terms is no substitute for a detailed examination of specific changes in force strength, the extent to which concepts and strategy are actually being implemented, and how the shifts in US and Chinese forces actually compare.

The report examines a range of data regarding Chinese capabilities and force modernization, focusing on the most reliable sources. Using these sources, it analyzes the full range of China’s military capabilities as well as trends in their growth and composition. The data indicate that the PRC has engaged in a continuing military modernization program that is expanding the capabilities available to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Chinese Military Modernization and Force Development: Chinese and Outside PerspectivesAlthough the PLA has consistently reduced its Personnel since the 1980s, reductions in obsolete equipment and the procurement and deployment of modern systems in its land, air, naval, and missile forces have led to increases in the PLA’s overall military effectiveness, especially in the context of its “Local War under Conditions of Informatization” military doctrine.

Data alone, however, cannot provide a full narrative: this report places the observable data within the context of contemporary Chinese military thought and doctrine. Seen within the context of Chinese military doctrine, the modernization efforts in the PLA Army, Navy, Air Force, and Second Artillery Force have enabled changes in operations and tactics as well as in force structure and weapon systems: these changes, in turn, have expanded PLA military capabilities and placed China on the road to becoming a modern military power.

Full Report (in PDF):
Chinese Military Modernization and Force Development: Chinese and Outside Perspectives (119 downloads)

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Special Operations Command Leads Development of ‘Iron Man’ Suit

The U.S. Special Operations Command is using unprecedented outreach and collaboration to develop something special with revolutionary capabilities.

The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, is the vision of Navy Adm. William H. McRaven, SOCOM’s commander. He challenged industry and defense representatives at a SOCOM conference in May 2013 to come up with the concepts and technologies to make the suit a reality. The goal is to offer operators better protection, enhanced performance and improved situational awareness.

McRaven spoke more recently at a February 2014 National Defense Industry Association Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict symposium, in Washington, D.C.

“The TALOS program is a collaboration of efforts,” McRaven said. “We are teaming with 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities, and 10 national laboratories and we are leveraging the expertise of leading minds throughout the country to redefine the state of the art in survivability and operator capability.

“This innovative approach brings together the brightest minds in a national effort and we are already seeing astounding results in this collaboration. If we do TALOS right, it will be a huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give our warriors the protection they need in a very demanding environment.”

Exactly what capabilities the TALOs will deliver is not yet clear, explained Michael Fieldson, SOCOM’s TALOS project manager. The goal is to provide operators lighter, more efficient full-body ballistics protection and super-human strength. Antennas and computers embedded into the suit will increase the wearer’s situational awareness by providing user-friendly and real-time battlefield information.

Integrated heaters and coolers will regulate the temperature inside the suit. Embedded sensors will monitor the operator’s core body temperature, skin temperature, heart rate, body position and hydration levels. In the event that the operator is wounded, the suit could feasibly start administering the first life-saving oxygen or hemorrhage controls.

Fieldson admitted that the analogy to the suit that the Tony Stark character wore in the “Iron Man” movies may be a bit of a stretch. The TALOS, for example, isn’t expected to fly.

But beyond that, there’s little that Fieldson — or anyone else at SOCOM — is ready to rule out.
In a departure from past practices of introducing new products piecemeal, adding bulk and weight to operators’ kit, the TALOS will be a fully integrated “system of systems,” Fieldson said. To offset the weight of computers, sensors and armor that make up the suit, operators will have an exoskeleton — a mechanism that carries the brunt of the load.

“The intent is to have this fully integrated system so you can provide the most capability at the lowest impact to the Soldier,” Fieldson said. “We think there is some efficiency to be gained if all the equipment is fully integrated as opposed to different components that are simply assembled on the human.”

Keeping the systems and the exoskeleton powered will require more than today’s batteries can deliver. So along with the TALOS technologies, SOCOM is calling on the scientific and technical community to come up with reliable and portable power sources.

“We are really looking at stretching the bounds of science and technology,” Fieldson said.
That’s led SOCOM to reach out to partners within DOD as well as industry and academia for help in pushing today’s technological limits.

The command is working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA, as well as U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, or RDECOM, centers like Natick, Mass., and the Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md., among other DOD organizations, to tap into projects already underway.

DARPA, for example, is making headway on its Warrior Web project, designed to boost troops’ stamina and carrying capacity without sacrificing speed or agility. The concept includes a lightweight undersuit that would augment the efforts of the wearer’s own muscles.

“Many of the individual technologies currently under development show real promise to reduce injury and fatigue and improve endurance,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Hitt, DARPA’s Warrior Web program manager. “Now we’re aiming to combine them — and hopefully some new ones, too — into a single system that nearly every Soldier could wear and would provide decisive benefits under real-world conditions.”

The Natick lab is busy identifying high-technology armor and mobility technologies with plans to integrate them into a first-generation TALOS system ready for demonstration by the end of June, reported Greg Kanagaki, project engineer for Natick’s Unmanned Equipment and Human Augmentation Systems Team.

Natick personnel also are serving as subject-matter experts for the TALOS project, particularly in the areas of mobility, human performance and thermal management, Kanagaki said.

Meanwhile, RDECOM officials say their programs have a direct application to TALOS as well. “[The] requirement is a comprehensive family of systems in a combat armor suit where we bring together an exoskeleton with innovative armor, displays for power monitoring, health monitoring, and integrating a weapon into that — a whole bunch of stuff that RDECOM is playing heavily in,” said Army Lt. Col. Karl Borjes, the command’s science adviser.

“RDECOM cuts across every aspect making up this combat armor suit,” he said. “It’s advanced armor. It’s communications, antennas. It’s cognitive performance. It’s sensors, miniature-type circuits. That’s all going to fit in here, too.”

SOCOM has called on the private sector, too, inviting not just its traditional industry partners, but also those who have never before worked with the command, to participate in the TALOS program.

“There is no one industry that can build it,” SOCOM’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Army Command Sgt. Maj. Chris Faris said during a panel discussion at the command’s MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., headquarters, as reported by the Defense Media Network.

The outreach has generated a lot of interest. SOCOM’s TALOS planning session this past summer attracted representatives of 80 colleges, 10 universities and four national laboratories. At a demonstration in July, 80 companies demonstrated technologies ranging from advanced body armor, some using liquids that turn solid on impact, to power supplies to exoskeleton mechanisms.

SOCOM’s goal, Fieldson said, is to have a TALOS prototype within the next year and to have the suit ready for full field testing within five years. That timetable is revolutionary for the military research, development and acquisition world, even for rapid-equipping programs.

As the only combatant command with acquisition authority, SOCOM is able to accelerate the TALOS project, Fieldson explained. The command’s acquisition executive and research and development staff share a building at MacDill Air Force Base, which he said promotes close collaboration and speedy decision-making.

“We have access that is nontraditional and that absolutely helps us,” Fieldson said. “We can bounce ideas back and forth against the leadership and ensure that what we are doing makes sense. I think that is critical to trying to develop this system within the timeline we are working toward.”

Also, in a departure from traditional development projects, SOCOM’s Acquisition Center staff established an innovation cell to lead the effort, advised by operators and focused on transforming business processes to solve the extreme integration challenges associated with TALOS.

“Because of the technical challenges and the compressed timeline, we are going to take more ownership on the government side than we typically take,” Fieldson said.

“We are going to go in and make some decisions that we sometimes rely on industry partners to make for us,” he said. “That allows us to reach out to a broader audience. That way, if there is a great idea in some nontraditional organization, we can integrate it” without relying on a commercial company to do so.

“We are really changing the process,” Fieldson said. “And the reason we are doing that is to try to streamline the overall effort and drive down both the cost and the schedule. That way, we get the best possible equipment to our force as quickly as possible.”

Although the TALOS is initially intended for special operators involved in high-risk missions, it has implications for the conventional force as well, Fieldson said.

“We have a long history at SOCOM of developing things first and then the technology moving out to the broader force,” he said. “We fully expect that to happen with this one as well. I think there will be a lot of spinoff technologies that the broader force will be able to use.”

Meanwhile, McRaven remains the suit’s No. 1 proponent. “I’m very committed to this,” he told industry representatives at a July planning forum. “I’d like that last operator that we lost to be the last operator we lose in this fight or the fight of the future. And I think we can get there.”

U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command 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.

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Meet ARES: DARPA’s newest transformer-style drones under development

By on Thursday, February 20th, 2014

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DAPRA, presented concept images of its scheme to pair up the US military with modular drones named Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES for short), capable of transforming to comply with the needs of different missions.

The ARES drone will be utilized as an unmanned vehicle that would be able to set military units down in dangerous environments. The UAV could also be used as a resupplying entity for troop deployments. If injured combatants need to be evacuated from an area, ARES can help facilitate such ventures.

The final variant of ARES has been shown off as a sort of drone that can buzz around air space but can also be connected to a variety of modules such as vehicles or special container units.

It was created from a project called Transformer (TX) with the primary goal being to make “a ground vehicle that is capable of configuring into a VTOL [vertical take-off and landing] air vehicle that provides sufficient flight performance and range, while carrying a payload that is representative of four troops with gear.”

“ARES would make organic and versatile VTOL capability available to many more individual units,” Ashish Bagai, DARPA program manager, said in a statement, “Our goal is to provide flexible, terrain-independent transportation that avoids ground-based threats, in turn supporting expedited, cost-effective operations and improving the likelihood of mission success.”

Design assistance and system integration techniques are being taken care of by Lockheed Martin Skunkworks, with ARES in its last stage.

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