Tag Archives: BAE Systems

Amphibious Vehicles

BAE Systems has received a $120 million contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for additional Amphibious Combat Vehicles under a third order for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

U.S. Marine Corps orders more Amphibious Combat Vehicles

This award is an important next step on the path to full rate production. This latest contract is for the ACV Personnel carrier variant (ACV-P), an eight-wheeled amphibious assault vehicle capable of transporting Marines from open-ocean ship to shore and conducting land operations. Each vehicle embarks 13 Marines in addition to a crew of three.

«This award further validates the Marine Corps’ confidence in the vehicle’s proven capability in meeting their amphibious mission, and represents an important step toward fielding the vehicle in the Fleet Marine Force. The ACV is a highly mobile, survivable and adaptable platform designed for growth to meet future mission role requirements while bringing enhanced combat power to the battlefield», said John Swift, director of amphibious programs at BAE Systems.

Current low-rate production is focused on the ACV-P variant. More variants will be added under full rate production to include the command and control (ACV-C), 30mm medium caliber turret (ACV-30) and recovery variants (ACV-R) under the ACV Family of Vehicles program. BAE Systems previously received the Lot 1 and Lot 2 awards.

The Marine Corps selected BAE Systems along with teammate Iveco Defence Vehicles for the ACV program in 2018 to replace its legacy fleet of Assault Amphibious Vehicles, which have been in service for decades and were also built by BAE Systems.

ACV production and support is taking place at BAE Systems locations in Stafford, Virginia; San Jose, California; Sterling Heights, Michigan; Aiken, South Carolina; and York, Pennsylvania.

Unmanned Vehicle

BAE Systems debuted its Robotic Technology Demonstrator (RTD) representing leap-ahead advancements for unmanned combat vehicles today at the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Exposition.

BAE Systems unveils Robotic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle at AUSA

The RTD prototype showcases advanced capabilities and is adaptable for future weapon systems, sensors and other payloads. The RTD features autonomous mobility to help keep soldiers out of harm’s way, a Hybrid Electric Drive for fuel efficiency, a 30-mm remote weapons station, a suite of sensors for 360-degree situational awareness and surveillance, composite rubber track system, and a small legged robot for reconnaissance missions among other key new technologies. The demonstrator reflects BAE Systems’ commitment to investing in the future of Army warfighting capabilities and the soldier.

«The Robotic Technology Demonstrator is designed as a ‘rolling lab’ to integrate emerging autonomy and lethality technologies for testing. The electrical infrastructure, advanced optics, and software that have been integrated onto this highly reliable and robust chassis provides the foundation for truly game-changing battlefield capability», said James Miller, director for business development at BAE Systems Combat Vehicles. «BAE Systems built this demonstrator to help us determine the best way to mitigate risk for our soldiers while increasing their lethality».

The RTD technologies include sensors with true 360-degree situational awareness to include long-wave infrared imaging, signal processing and video distribution. It also includes a tethered unmanned aerial system to support situational awareness and reconnaissance.

The RTD prototype leverages decades of BAE Systems expertise in the design and development of combat vehicles, as well as advanced electronic systems. BAE Systems is a world leader in tracked and wheeled combat vehicles, including Infantry Fighting Vehicles, self-propelled howitzers, personnel carriers, and amphibious vehicles.

Fighting Vehicle

The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract modification worth up to $269 million for continued production of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV).

U.S. Army extends contract for Bradley Fighting Vehicle upgrades

The award for an additional 168 upgraded Bradley A4 Infantry Fighting Vehicles is part of the Army’s combat vehicle modernization strategy and helps ensure force readiness of the Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCT).

The Bradley A4 is equipped with an enhanced powertrain that maximizes mobility and increases engine horsepower, providing rapid movement in reaction to combat or other adverse situations. Wide angle Driver’s Vision Enhancer, improved Force XXI Battle Command Bridge and Below (FBCB2) software integration improves friendly and enemy vehicle identification, enhancing situational awareness. The addition of a High Speed Slip Ring, greater network connectivity and Smart Displays that simultaneously display classified and unclassified information also improve situational awareness.

«The Bradley is one of the most critical vehicles in the Army’s ABCT today because it allows the Army to transport troops to the fight, and provide covering fire to suppress enemy vehicles and troops», said Scott Davis, vice president of combat vehicle programs for BAE Systems. «Upgrading to the A4 configuration provides soldiers with more power to increase their speed and ability to integrate enhanced technology to ensure they maintain the advantage on the battlefield».

Previously awarded funding for initial production of 164 Bradley A4 vehicles allowed BAE Systems to begin production. The award of this option brings the total production funding to $578 million. It includes upgrades and associated spares of two Bradley variants: the M2A4 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the M7A4 Fire Support Team Vehicle.

BAE Systems is a premiere supplier of combat vehicles to the U.S. military and international customers. The company has an extensive manufacturing network across the United States and continues to invest in it. Work on the program will take place at Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas, and BAE Systems’ facilities in Aiken, South Carolina; Anniston, Alabama; Minneapolis, Minnesota; San Jose, California; Sterling Heights, Michigan; and York, Pennsylvania.

Patrol Vessel

HMS Spey (P234), the last of five River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), was named in front of gathered VIPs and employees at an official ceremony in Glasgow on 3 October, 2019.

HMS Spey (P234) named at official ceremony

In keeping with naval tradition, guests watched as Lady Johnstone, HMS Spey’s sponsor, named the 2000 tonne vessel by releasing a bottle of special blend Spey whisky from Speyside Distillery that smashed against the ship’s hull.

HMS Spey (P234) is the last in a class of five vessels that have been built in Glasgow. With construction starting on the first ship in late 2014, these vessels have provided an important opportunity to maintain essential design, construction and systems integration skills, while introducing new processes and technologies that are already being used in the production of the UK’s Type 26 frigates.

David Shepherd, OPV Programme Director said: «Today’s ceremony is a truly significant milestone for the River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel programme and builds on our proud heritage of British shipbuilding here in Glasgow. There has been fantastic momentum on this programme and the naming of HMS Spey serves as a great reminder of the importance of the capability and skills of our employees who are working together with the Royal Navy and partners to deliver these important ships».

Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: «Our Offshore Patrol Vessels play a pivotal role in patrolling our coastline, protecting our domestic waters, and supporting maritime interests from anti-smuggling to fisheries protection. The naming of HMS Spey is an exciting milestone for the OPV programme, demonstrating our commitment to UK shipyards while bolstering the Royal Navy’s capabilities».

HMS Spey (P234) will aid in a range of operations from counter-terrorism, and anti-smuggling to securing the UK’S borders to help keep Britain safe, making her a valuable addition to the Royal Navy fleet.

HMS Forth (P222) and HMS Medway (P223), the first two ships in the class, are now in service with the Royal Navy.

New ARCHER

BAE Systems is unveiling a new ARCHER Mobile Howitzer at DSEI on 10 September 2019 that is highly adaptable to diverse terrains and battlefield conditions, giving it the flexibility needed to meet a wide range of mission requirements for militaries around the world.

BAE Systems unveils new ARCHER Mobile Howitzer at DSEI

The key is a modular design that allows it to be integrated onto different truck chassis and then seamlessly introduced into existing vehicle fleets. The ARCHER’s modularity makes it a cost-effective solution that provides critical battlefield capabilities. The ARCHER system displayed at DSEI 2019 is mounted on a Rheinmetall RMMV HX2 8×8 truck – meaning it could be common to systems already in service with the British Army. The original ARCHER, first delivered to the Swedish Armed Forces in 2013, is mounted on a Volvo A30 6×6 articulated hauler.

«This new international version of the ARCHER can be easily integrated onto a variety of different chassis, allowing the customer to specify the vehicle best suited to their needs», said Ulf Einefors, director of marketing and sales at BAE Systems Weapon Systems business in Sweden. «We’re pleased to display this new version at DSEI to demonstrate the versatility that ARCHER could add to any allied military force».

The long-range, self-propelled ARCHER brings speed, mobility, and high rates of fire to support ground troops. From the safety of ARCHER’s armored cabin, a three-person crew needs less than 30 seconds to deploy or displace the system, making ARCHER the ultimate shoot-and-scoot artillery system. As the most advanced wheeled 155-mm, 52-calibre system in operation today, ARCHER features a 21-round auto-loader and onboard ballistic calculation. The system can fire up to eight rounds per minute at ranges approaching 40 kilometers/25 miles with conventional 155-mm ammunition and 60 kilometres/37 miles with precision guided munitions such as Excalibur.

Machine learning

BAE Systems has been awarded a Phase 2 contract to develop machine learning capabilities aimed to help the military gain better awareness of space scenarios for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The goal of DARPA’s Hallmark Tools, Capabilities, and Evaluation Methodology (Hallmark-TCEM) program is to not only develop and evaluate tools and capabilities that increase an operator’s understanding of space events, but also enhance the ability to select effective courses of action for any given situation.

Machine learning capabilities aimed to help the military gain better awareness of space scenarios

Space assets such as satellites are becoming increasingly important and relied upon by the Department of Defense for communications, surveillance, and security. As part of Hallmark-TCEM, BAE Systems’ FAST Labs research and development team will build cognitive-based machine learning algorithms and data models aimed to give space operators the ability to identify abnormal activities and predict possible threats. The team will build on Phase 1 work of the program, and continue to leverage the decade-long development of the company’s Multi-INT Analytics for Pattern Learning and Exploitation (MAPLE) technology with a solution called MAPLE Automates Joint Indications and Warnings for Cognitive Counter-Space (MAJICS).

«Our technology builds data models based on normal activity and then ingests large amounts of real-time, streaming data to compare against the normal model and determine if any abnormal activity is occurring or will occur», said Doctor John Hogan, product line director of the Sensor Processing and Exploitation group at BAE Systems. «By using this technology, we hope to reduce the operator’s workload by providing a solution that will automatically predict space events such as launches or satellite movements based on millions of pieces of data, helping them make rapid decisions to avoid any potential threats».

BAE Systems’ research on the Hallmark-TCEM program adds to the company’s machine learning and artificial intelligence segment of its autonomy technology portfolio. The capabilities developed under the Hallmark-TCEM effort will be integrated into DARPA’s Hallmark Software Testbed (Hallmark-ST) program. Work for the program will be completed at the company’s facilities in Burlington, Massachusetts and Reston, Virginia.

Steel cut

BAE Systems has cut steel for the second Type 26 Global Combat Ship, HMS CARDIFF, marking an important milestone in the programme to deliver the most advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability to the Royal Navy.

The hull of the Royal Navy’s second Type 26 Frigate, HMS Cardiff, has now entered construction

In a traditional steel cut ceremony at our shipyard in Govan on the River Clyde, attended by our employees and representatives from the Royal Navy, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister for Defence Procurement, performed the official duties; setting the plasma cutting machine to work on a plate of steel that will form part of the unit that holds vital fuel stores for the ship.

We have designed and built the Type 26 Global Combat Ship in Glasgow. The Type 26 frigate is an advanced ASW warship designed for the critical protection of the Continuous At Sea Deterrent and Carrier Strike Group. The City Class Type 26 will build on the pedigree of the Royal Navy’s current Type 23 Anti-Submarine Warfare frigates which have served the Nation well. Each Type 26 will be equipped with a range of capabilities including the Sea Ceptor missile defence system, a 5-inch/127-mm medium calibre gun, flexible mission bay, Artisan 997 Medium Range Radar, powerful bow and towed array sonars and a vertical launch silo capable of hosting a variety of weapons.

The ceremony to mark the formal start of manufacture on the second of the Type 26 Global Combat Ships, HMS CARDIFF, comes two years after steel was cut on the first in class, HMS GLASGOW. Momentum on HMS GLASGOW continues with over one half of the ship now in production and she remains on track to enter service in the mid-2020s.

We have now marked the start of construction of seven complex warships for the UK Royal Navy in just five years, with HMS CARDIFF following her sister ship, HMS GLASGOW, and the five River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). All five OPVs are now in the water with the first, HMS FORTH, already in active operation for the Royal Navy.

Defence Procurement Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP said: «The Royal Navy’s new world beating Type 26 anti-submarine frigates are truly a UK-wide enterprise, supporting thousands of jobs here in Scotland and across the UK. These ships will clearly contribute to UK and allied security, but also make a strong economic contribution to the country. With 64 sub-contracts already placed with UK-based businesses, there will be new export opportunities for them to tender for through the selection of the Type 26 design by Australia and Canada too».

We are working alongside 80 companies across the UK and international supply chain to deliver the programme, helping to sustain 4,000 jobs across the UK and providing a foundation for work on the Clyde into the next decade.

Commenting on today’s significant milestone, Steve Timms, Managing Director, BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «Today’s steel cut ceremony demonstrates the significant and positive progress we are making on this hugely complex, sophisticated and important programme. The Type 26 ships will be the most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates the Royal Navy has ever had and, together with the five-ship River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel programme, we are proud of the role we play at BAE Systems, alongside many thousands of dedicated people in our supply chain, to deliver this critical capability for the UK Royal Navy».

The Global Combat Ship supports a close partnership between the UK Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, all of whom have selected a variant of the Type 26 design for their anti-submarine frigate programmes, supporting greater operational, training and intelligence ties.

Steel cut ceremony signals important progress on UK Royal Navy programme

Signals Intelligence

BAE Systems has been awarded funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to integrate Machine-Learning (ML) technology into platforms that decipher radio frequency signals. Its Controllable Hardware Integration for Machine-learning Enabled Real-time Adaptivity (CHIMERA) solution provides a reconfigurable hardware platform for ML algorithm developers to make sense of Radio Frequency (RF) signals in increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum environments.

The solution provides a reconfigurable hardware platform for developers to make sense of radio frequency signals in increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum environments

The up to $4.7 million contract, dependent on successful completion of milestones, includes hardware delivery along with integration and demonstration support. CHIMERA’s hardware platform will enable algorithm developers to decipher the ever-growing number of RF signals, providing commercial or military users with greater automated situational awareness of their operating environment. This contract is adjacent to the previously announced award for the development of data-driven ML algorithms under the same DARPA program (Radio Frequency Machine Learning Systems, or RFMLS).

RFMLS requires a robust, adaptable hardware solution with a multitude of control surfaces to enable improved discrimination of signals in the evolving dense spectrum environments of the future.

«CHIMERA brings the flexibility of a software solution to hardware», said Dave Logan, vice president and general manager of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Systems at BAE Systems. «Machine-learning is on the verge of revolutionizing signals intelligence technology, just as it has in other industries».

In an evolving threat environment, CHIMERA will enable ML software development to adapt the hardware’s RF configuration in real time to optimize mission performance. This capability has never before been available in a hardware solution. The system provides multiple control surfaces for the user, enabling on-the-fly performance trade-offs that can maximize its sensitivity, selectivity, and scalability depending on mission need. The system’s open architecture interfaces allow for third party algorithm development, making the system future-proof and easily upgradable upon deployment.

Other RF functions, including communications, radar, and electronic warfare, also can benefit from this agile hardware platform, which has a reconfigurable array, front-end, full transceiver and digital pre-processing stage. Work on these phases of the program will take place at BAE Systems’ sites in Hudson and Merrimack, New Hampshire, and Dallas, Texas.

Mobile Protected
Firepower

Infantry Soldiers are closer to getting their hands on a «light tank» that will boost the firepower of their formations without slowing them down.

The 82nd Airborne Division will test two competing Mobile Protected Firepower vehicles, otherwise known as light tanks, beginning next year; illustrated here is the candidate design from BAE Systems (BAE photo)

The Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) vehicle, part of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicles suite, is currently in competition after two vendors were chosen in December to each build 12 prototypes for under $376 million.

Beginning in March, those prototypes will be put through the wringer in a series of lethality, survivability and mobility tests. A light infantry unit at 82nd Airborne Division will also conduct an assessment later next year to gain Soldier input.

«It will be the first time anybody really puts their hands on it», said David Dopp, the vehicle’s project manager at Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS). «That’s a real key test».

The Army expects to receive about 500 MPFs, which it will start fielding in fiscal 2025. Each infantry brigade combat team will get their own 14-vehicle company for armor support.

One vendor will be chosen to begin producing the vehicles in fiscal 2022.

The «light tanks» would help infantry Soldiers blast through obstacles, take out machine-gun nests and defend against other armored vehicles.

«Infantry would go out on foot or in a Humvee, but then if they ran into some fortification, a bunker or other vehicles, everything kind of stopped», Dopp said Wednesday at the International Armored Vehicles USA conference. «With MPF, we can break through that».

The «light tank» will be a tracked vehicle with likely a 105-mm cannon and 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun for firepower, he said.

At least two of them would need to fit on a C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft, and each vehicle would weigh less than 40 tons, much lighter than an M1 Abrams tank that can weigh 60 tons or more.

«It has better mobility for the infantry than an Abrams tank», Dopp said. «It goes where the infantry goes».

The MPF could be a game-changer for infantry units and fill a lethality gap they have had since 1996, when the M551 Sheridan light tank was officially retired without a replacement.

«We haven’t put a ‘tank’ in a light infantry unit for a long time», said Major General Brian Cummings, head of PEO GCS.

Today, an infantry brigade combat team has little to protect itself from an adversary with light armored vehicles, particularly Russia, which the Defense Department considers to be a near-peer adversary.

«In flows a company’s worth of MPFs to help give an armor capability against the threat», Cummings said, «so they’re not just there all by themselves with their javelin missiles».

While the MPF will have some of the latest available technology, autonomous features as well as additional sensors and other improvements could be implemented into it in the future.

«When we get it out there, we’ll start looking to put on those more advanced technologies», Dopp said. «It was all about getting it out there in a hurry».

Military Vehicle

Rheinmetall and BAE Systems have today launched a new, independent UK-based joint venture for military vehicle design, manufacture and support – known as Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL). Headquartered in Telford in the West Midlands, the joint venture will sustain around 450 jobs across the UK and is well positioned for future growth.

Rheinmetall has selected this Union Jack-emblazoned Boxer 8×8 armored fighting vehicle to symbolize its new military vehicle joint venture with BAE Systems, prosaically named «Rheinmetall and BAE Systems Land» (Rheinmetall photo)

RBSL intends to play a major role in manufacturing the Boxer 8×8 for the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme and other strategic combat vehicle programmes, while also providing support to the British Army’s in-service bridging and armoured vehicle fleets.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: «This announcement is a clear vote of confidence in the UK’s defence industry as a world-leader in designing, supplying and supporting military vehicles. This exciting venture clearly demonstrates how Defence sits at the heart of the prosperity agenda. Its benefits will be felt in the West Midlands and across the UK defence supply chain, creating jobs, boosting exports and guaranteeing our technical skills base into the future».

RBSL will draw on Rheinmetall’s broader military vehicle technologies combined with the additional capabilities and systems brought to the Joint Venture by BAE Systems’ Land UK business, such as Trojan, Terrier, Warrior, military bridging and the AS90 self-propelled artillery system. RBSL will have the potential to create hundreds of additional UK jobs, both in Telford and the wider supply chain.

Peter Hardisty, formerly of Rheinmetall UK, has been appointed as Managing Director of the new company. He said: «RBSL is a new business drawing on the significant strengths and expertise of both BAE Systems Land UK and Rheinmetall. Our employees in Telford, Bristol, and Washington (UK) have a valuable skill set and extensive experience in combat vehicle engineering. With new orders, we shall be able to sustain these capabilities and expand over the coming years, seeking new opportunities in the UK and overseas».

The new management team that will lead RBSL into the future also includes Carrie White as Finance Director and Phil Simon as Operations Director, both of whom join from BAE Systems.

Regulatory approval for the joint venture was granted on 13 June 2019.