Tag Archives: Joint

Britain, France launch feasibility study for joint military drones

By on Friday, November 7th, 2014

Britain and France Wednesday tasked two major defence contractors with a two-year feasibility study over a joint military drone project, with the aim of getting it off the ground by 2030.

The British and French government tasked BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation with the study following a political agreement reached at the Farnborough air show earlier this year.

“This is the first step towards what could become a full demonstration program that shapes the future of combat aerospace in Europe,” the two firms said in a joint statement.

The contract to carry out the joint study is worth 150 million euros ($187 million, 120 million pounds) and will be supplemented by joint Franco-British government funding worth 100 million euros over the same period.

“Co-operation between France and the UK is seen as the optimum way to progress a UCAS (Unmanned Combat Air System) solution, while supporting both governments’ intentions for closer defence ties,” said the two firms.

The ultimate aim is to have combat drones capable of carrying out surveillance and observation missions, identifying targets and launching strikes in enemy territory, according to the British defence ministry.

Such a drone would be tasked with entering hostile territory ahead of standard manned warplanes.

In addition to the two main groups, Rolls-Royce and Safran will work on propulsion systems while Selex ES and Thales will be in charge of electronics and sensors.

The study will focus on “the developments of concepts for an operational system” and “the key technologies required,” the statement added.

The deal is “testament to the importance that the French and UK governments place in maintaining a cutting edge, sovereign military air capability.”

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Joint Effort Validates Ability to Move Stryker Vehicles Via Air

Four Stryker combat vehicles were successfully loaded onto a C-17 Globemaster III Aug. 13,2014, on the flightline here, marking the Army’s first use of the Stryker Marshalling Pad and Hot Cargo Pad since their construction.

According to Glen Bailey, the 15th Wing Plans and Programs chief of support agreements, the SMP and HCP were built specifically to support the 25th Infantry Division combat vehicles.

The Stryker, the Army’s interim armored vehicle, is used to provide quick response maneuvering capability, enhanced survivability and lethality, and expand fight versatility.

“The beddown of the C-17s and the 25th ID Strykers were linked from the beginning,” he said. “Early discussions by senior leadership identified the need for the joint training of Stryker movements through Hickam Field utilizing C-17 aircraft.”

Army Lt. Col. Jeff Howell, the 25th ID future operations director, said it took a lot of coordinating to get the scheduling of the training timed just right due to the Army’s high deployment tempo.

However, Howell said, the training exercise was necessary, because it is an important part of validating the unit’s readiness.

“Having this capability means our unit is more prepared to respond to any contingency in the Pacific, and that (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam) is prepared to help push us out on those contingencies,” he said.

A large piece of that capability, Howell said, is having a place to conduct preflight inspections and load the aircraft, and that’s where the SMP and HCP come into play.

Howell said the first training exercise was an overwhelming success, due in large part to the working relationships between the services.

“This has been in the works for two months, and the biggest takeaway from today is the coordination between all of the organizations that made it happen,” he said. “We worked with (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam), 15th Wing and the 735th Air Mobility Squadron, so it was truly a joint effort.”

Until recently, the Army relied on moving their Hawaii-based Stryker vehicles via ships.

Acknowledging the C-17s critical support role, Howell said it was great having the Air Force integrate into their training exercise.

“The 15th WG completely embraced their role as intra-theater airlift,” he said. “It’s great training with those guys because they are really professional.”

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Army selected for Joint Strike Fighter software assessment

The F-35 Joint Program Office has selected the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center to perform independent software safety analyses of the next-generation strike aircraft commonly called the Joint Strike Fighter.

The single-engine, single-seat F-35 will be manufactured in three versions: a conventional-takeoff-and-landing variant for the Air Force, an aircraft-carrier variant for the Navy, and a short-takeoff/vertical landing variant for the Marine Corps and the U.K. Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.

The Software Airworthiness and Safety Lab, or SASL, which is a part of the Software Engineering Directorate at the Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC, will be responsible for performing an independent assessment of safety-critical software requirements, design and code that is embedded in the F-35 Aircraft operational flight program software. This highly integrated system is comprised of many parts including a propulsion system, weapons system and an autonomic logistics system.

“The F-35 has over 24 million lines of code and is clearly the most complex weapons system ever designed by the DOD,” explained James Lackey, AMRDEC’s Acting Director. “The department’s decision to select the Software Engineering Directorate to provide the independent software safety evaluation speaks highly of our expertise, credibility and our past demonstrated successes.”

The Software Engineering Directorate, or SED, provides system and software engineering life-cycle management support to the Army’s Aviation and Missile Command and numerous other customers. This includes software safety analysis and software airworthiness support for numerous aviation systems, such as the AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook, and various weapon systems, including the Hellfire missile and Sentinel Radar.

Josh McNeil, SED’s Software Safety Lead, said that personnel in his group play a critical role on various software standards committees. He participated with multiple individuals across the various Services in creating, developing and revising the software safety sections for the Department of Defense Standard Practice for System Safety, Military Standard 882E.

“I was fortunate to be part of the committee that developed the software safety standards which were a significant part of revision E to MIL-STD-882E,” McNeil said. “We were able to identify and develop key requirements in this document on performing software safety analyses to ensure the software within a system is safe.”

SED has developed and documented a 12-step software safety process that meets all DOD and industry software system safety standards. From the initial system planning phase to the system’s final certification approval, these steps detail the necessary software safety activities and products. SED also has an extensive software safety training program that consists of several training courses and materials. They have provided numerous training classes to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Army Life Cycle Management Commands including Communications-Electronics Command, Tank and Automotive Command and Armaments Command.

“Software safety is an important discipline and it can be a challenge to grow a group this large, therefore I attribute our success to the hard work, dedication, knowledge and experience of the people on our team,” McNeil said. “Our SASL team is world-class and has been successful in providing this type of service to our AMCOM and external customers and we look forward to providing the Joint Program Office with the same world class level of support and high quality analyses and assessments.”

This is the Army’s first involvement in the JSF Program.

SASL’s experience in aviation and weapon system safety critical requirements, design and coding software life-cycle processes meets DoD and industry software airworthiness and safety requirements. Funding awarded from this task will employ five full-time subject matter experts to assist the SASL team in meeting the F-35 Joint Program Office requirements. SED will analyze the critical mission systems, pilot systems, and weapons systems software on the aircraft for hazard contributions and provide recommendations to address findings and fundamental safety design and code issues by using their specialized software safety processes and tools.

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Joint Drills Boost Chinese Navy

By on Monday, August 4th, 2014

The Chinese navy has been striving to hone its combat capability through joint drills and rigorous training since the start of the year.

During Joint Sea 2014, conducted in late May in the East China Sea, the Chinese and Russian navies strengthened their cooperation and capabilities in maritime operations.

During the weeklong exercise, 14 ships, two submarines and nine fixed-wing aircraft from the two navies practiced tactical maneuvers including air defense, an anti-ship attack, anti-submarine combat and rescuing hijacked vessels.

This exercise was the third of its kind and followed joint drills off the coast of Russia’s Far East in July 2013 and the Yellow Sea in April 2012.

Compared with the previous two exercises, Vice-Admiral Tian Zhong, deputy commander of the People’s Liberation Army navy, said this year’s drill featured a more realistic combat environment and higher integration in communication.

In July, the Chinese navy sent a fleet to take part in the US-led Pacific Rim joint exercises off Hawaii. The fleet of four ships, including the missile destroyer Haikou and missile frigate Yueyang, is the second largest in the drill, following that of the US Navy.

The Chinese vessels have taken part in a series of events during the world’s largest international maritime exercise, including gun-firing, maritime security operations, surface warship maneuvers and humanitarian rescue and disaster relief.

The PLA navy has also organized several major patrol and training operations over the past seven months, sending ships and submarines to the South China Sea, western Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean to test its combat capabilities.

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Japan, Britain to launch joint missile research: report

By on Friday, July 18th, 2014

Japan and Britain are to jointly develop missile technology for fighter jets, while Tokyo may also start exporting Japanese-made parts for US surface-to-air missiles, a report said Thursday.

The plan — which comes months after Japan lifted a self-imposed ban on weapons exports — was likely to be approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet at a meeting of the National Security Council on Thursday, the Mainichi Shimbun reported, without citing sources.

The joint research with Britain was linked to a European missile project called Meteor, while the parts exports would be destined for Washington’s Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) missile defence system, the report said.

If approved, the US exports would be the first since Japan in April approved a new policy that replaces its 1967 blanket ban on shipping arms overseas, the Mainichi said.

Under the new rules, weapon sales are still banned to conflict-plagued countries or nations that could undermine international peace and security, and they must contribute to international peace and boost pacifist Japan’s security.

Responding to questions about the Mainichi report, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the Japanese government’s top spokesman, said: “I’m aware of the report but I don’t know the specifics.”

The Meteor project, which is developing missiles for Eurofighter planes, is being led by Franco-British missile maker Matra BAe Dynamics (MBD) along with other European firms.

An earlier report this month by the leading Nikkei business daily said Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plans to export a high-performance sensor to the United States for its PAC-2 missile defence system.

The sensor is a key component of an infrared device at the tip of the missile that identifies and tracks targets, the Nikkei said.

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Singapore to Buy Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Kits

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Singapore for Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kits and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $63 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 3, 2014.

The Government of Singapore has requested a possible sale of 913 KMU-556B/B Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kits for Mk-84 2000 lb bombs, 100 FMU-152A/B fuzes, and 300 DSU-40 Precision Laser Guidance Sets. Also included are containers, munition trailers, support equipment, spare and repair parts, test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and technical support, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $63 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy objectives and strategic national security objectives of the United States by supporting Singapore as a key regional partner in counter-terrorism and an important force for political stability and economic progress in South East Asia.

Singapore is requesting these guidance sets, services and equipment to sustain its air-to-ground weapons stockpiles and to accommodate training expenditures. This sale will enable the Republic of Singapore Air Force to sustain mission-ready status to ensure it can contribute to coalition operations and meet its national defense requirements. Singapore maintains a large CONUS F-15SG training presence at Mountain Home AFB. A portion of these munitions are anticipated for use at this CONUS training facility, and will enable RSAF pilots to practice using GPS-guided munitions that will further refine their combat capability. Singapore should have no difficulty absorbing these additional munitions into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of these munitions and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be the Boeing Defense, Space and Security in St. Louis, Missouri. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Singapore.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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Russian battleships in Shanghai for joint naval drills

A squadron of Russia’s Navy Pacific Fleet has arrived in Shanghai to participate in joint Russian-Chinese naval training dubbed ‘Joint Sea-2014’. The drills in the northern part of the East China Sea start on Tuesday and will go on until May 26.

The Russian squadron consists of six battleships and support vessels: the flagship of the Pacific Fleet, missile cruiser Varyag, anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, large landing ship Admiral Nevelskoy, anti-surface destroyer Bystry, tanker Ilim and ocean tug Kalar.

The Chinese Navy will be represented in the naval drills with six battleships.

All in all, during the active phase of the drills set for May 22-25, the maneuvers involve 14 ships, two submarines, nine warplanes, six shipboard helicopters and two operational detachments of marines from both sides.

All ships taking part in the training exercise are moored at the Usun naval military base in Shanghai.

A delegation of Russian Navy officers has already joined their Chinese colleagues to compare notes on the plan of the drills.

Chinese Vice Admiral Tian Zhong revealed to journalists that the major difference of the starting drills will be the increased difficulty of joint operations of battleships on both sides.

For the first time, Russian and Chinese sailors will operate within a mixed group of battleship from the two counties, holding joint missile and artillery strikes against sea targets at different ranges and performing anti-submarine activities.

“Accumulated experience of interaction will allow us to increase the possibility of conducting joint actions of the two fleets to perform a wide range of tasks,” the top brass Chinese naval officer said.

The crews of the Russian and Chinese warships made courtesy visits on board each other’s battleships to learn more about military hardware and service conditions.

Chinese officers will be given a formal reception on the Russian flagship, the Varyag, on Monday evening. Russian sailors not taking part in preparations have been taken ashore for excursions organized by their Chinese hosts.

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