Oshkosh Defense, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation, has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Armaments Center (DEVCOM) at Picatinny Arsenal.
Under the CRADA, Oshkosh Defense and DEVCOM will cooperate in the development, integration, and testing of innovative armament technologies to provide a transformative, next-generation lethality capability for the Warfighter. Additionally, the CRADA will enable both organizations to mature their technologies for eventual transition to direct fire medium caliber platforms such as the U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV). Development activities will leverage the proven Oshkosh Defense Stryker Medium Caliber Weapon System (MCWS) 30-mm turret.
«We are already starting with a robust weapon system platform with our Stryker MCWS turret», said Pat Williams, Vice President and General Manager of U.S. Army and Marine Corps Program for Oshkosh Defense. «This CRADA allows us to explore additional weapon system capabilities and apply them to our OMFV solution to provide our Soldiers with the cutting edge technology required on the modern battlefield».
In June 2021, the U.S. Army selected Oshkosh Defense, Pratt Miller Defense, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to provide a precision lethality capability to the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs) as part of the Stryker MCWS program. Production of the Oshkosh Defense Stryker MCWS is expected to begin in Spring 2022. In July 2021, the U.S. Army also selected Oshkosh Defense to participate in the OMFV Concept Design Phase, which culminates in Q1FY23. Oshkosh Defense has partnered with Pratt Miller Defense, Hanwha Defense USA, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, QinetiQ Inc., and Plasan for the OMFV Concept Design Phase.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking innovative proposals to conduct wind tunnel and flight testing of jet interaction effects for Phase 2 of the Glide Breaker program. The overall goal of Glide Breaker is to advance the United States’ ability to counter emerging hypersonic threats. Phase 1 of the program focused on developing and demonstrating a Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) that enables a kill vehicle to intercept hypersonic weapon threats during their glide phase.
Phase 2 will focus on quantifying aerodynamic jet interaction effects that result from DACS plumes and hypersonic air flows around an interceptor kill vehicle. The Glide Breaker Phase 2 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) can be found at this link.
«Glide Breaker Phase 1 developed the propulsion technology necessary to achieve hit-to-kill against highly-maneuverable hypersonic threats. Phase 2 of the Glide Breaker program will develop the technical understanding of jet interactions necessary to enable design of propulsion control systems for a future operational glide-phase interceptor kill vehicle. Phases 1 and 2 together fill the technology gaps necessary for the U.S. to develop a robust defense against hypersonic threats», said Major Nathan Greiner, program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office.
Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a Raytheon Technologies business, completed the installation of the first Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal (ASNT) system for the U.S. Air Force. The terminal system modernizes existing protected communications systems while adding new capabilities for nuclear and non-nuclear command and control. Global ASNT ensures robust communications to provide protected communications to nuclear bomber, missile and support aircraft crews in austere environments.
«Operating on both MILSTAR and Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites, Global ASNT systems use satellite communications to provide command and control, linking nuclear forces to national command authorities», said Denis Donohue, president, Communications & Airspace Management Systems, RI&S. «These expanded capabilities will provide the critical data needed at the tactical edge to make smart decisions in near real time, including supporting the Defense Department’s Joint All Domain Command and Control initiatives for the joint services».
The contract is administered through the U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and supports U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command. The total awarded contract value for Global ASNT is nearly $600 million.
The RI&S team is completing three additional base installs that will comprise Global Strike Command’s Initial Operating Capability. As production and fielding continue, 90 terminals, including spares and support equipment, will be produced and fielded in fixed and transportable configurations by the end of 2023.
Primary work locations for this effort are in Florida and Massachusetts with major suppliers in California, Pennsylvania and Texas; the balance of the more than 200 suppliers supporting the program are spread across the U.S.
The last of the four Argentinian Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), OPV 87 A.R.A. Contraalmirante Cordero, was delivered on April 13, 2022 to the Argentine Navy. The delivery and commandment handover ceremony of the last vessel of the series marks the completion of a successful program.
A.R.A. Contraalmirante Cordero has been delivered to the Argentine Navy today in Concarneau in the presence of Francisco Cafiero, Secretary for International Defence Affairs at the Argentine Ministry of Defence, Vice Admiral Enrique Antonio Traina, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Argentine Navy and Alain Guillou, EVP International Development at Naval Group. It is part of the contract signed by Naval Group with Argentina in 2019 for the supply of four Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV – «Patrulleros Oceánicos Multipropósito» in Spanish).
The A.R.A. Contraalmirante Cordero is the last vessel of the series and its delivery marks the success of a program that has met all its deadlines: the A.R.A. Bouchard (ex-L’Adroit) was delivered in December 2019 two months ahead of schedule, and the second and third offshore patrol vessels A.R.A Piedrabuena and A.R.A Storni were delivered in April and October 2021, in line with the original schedule.
This success was made possible thanks to the close collaboration between Naval Group, Kership and Piriou, who worked side by side with the Argentinean Navy. The excellent overall customer satisfaction rate, measured at 97%, confirms the excellent conduct of this program.
Captain Santiago Villemur, representative of the Argentinian Navy in France said: «We are conscious that delivering 4 ships in 3 years, training the crews and providing the associated logistics services was a real challenge. Our thanks and gratitude go to all the men and women of Naval Group and its industrial partners who have worked tirelessly to achieve this feat. These ships are already contributing to the defence of Argentina’s sovereign interests by enabling the Argentine Armada to carry out its missions at sea».
Stéphanie Giroud, director of the program at Naval Group added: «It is with great pride and emotion that we are delivering the last vessel of the series to Argentina on the exact date stipulated in the contract and are witnessing the raising of the Argentinean flag in Brittany for the fourth time. The success of this project is a collective one and is due to the excellence of the relationship established with the Argentinean Armada, whose high standards and confidence have motivated our teams to meet the client’s expectations to the maximum. It is also the result of a constructive and innovative industrial partnership between the teams of Naval Group, Kership and Piriou».
OPV 87, an innovative and sea proven vessel
The Argentine offshore patrol vessels benefit from innovations developed by Naval Group and proven by the French Navy, which has operated L’Adroit in several oceans for six years for multiple maritime security operations, alone or in cooperation. The three patrol vessels of the series constructed in Concarneau offer the same assets and features as those of the A.R.A. Bouchard. Several developments have been incorporated to meet the needs of the Argentine Navy as closely as possible. Better armed and motorised than the Bouchard, equipped with an active stabilisation system and a bow thruster, it is also Ice proven, i.e., adapted to navigation in the cold waters of Antarctica. They offer:
very high endurance and excellent sea-worthiness;
a 360° visibility from the bridge and a unique mast for a panoramic radar coverage;
the rapid, safe and discrete deployment of intervention crafts launched by a double system of ramps at the stern of the patrol vessel.
This range of ships also benefits from Naval Group’s expertise in information and command systems, allowing for extensive surveillance of the maritime space and the detection of suspicious behaviours. The A.R.A Contraalmirante Cordero is equipped with the POLARIS system and NiDL tactical data link system, specifically developed by Naval Group for state action missions at sea and sea-proven by the French Navy.
The Offshore Patrol Vessel is able to stay on high seas during more than three weeks, to reach a speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h and to accommodate a helicopter. Implemented by a reduced crew of 40 members, it is also able to accommodate about twenty extra passengers.
87 meters/285.4 feet
14 meters/45.9 feet
over 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
59 (crew and passengers)
> 7,000 nautical miles/8,055 miles/12,964 km
two light crafts of 9 meters/29.5 feet and one 10-ton class helicopter
Northrop Grumman Corporation’s, NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) RQ-4D Phoenix Global Hawk has reached a major milestone with the NATO AGS Management Agency (NAGSMA)’s Full System Handover to the NATO AGS Force (NAGSF) at the Main Operating Base, Sigonella, Sicily. The specially-designed AGS system is uniquely suited to NATO requirements and is providing critical Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) situational awareness to the 30 NATO member countries.
The NATO AGS Full System Handover is comprised of five aircraft, ground and support segments, along with advanced sensor technologies. Since the first of five aircraft arrived at the main operating base in Sigonella, Italy in 2019, operational flight hours have steadily increased, including the recent first 24-hour mission.
«This Full System Handover is an important milestone for the NATO AGS community, government and industry», said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, global surveillance, Northrop Grumman. «The NATO AGS system is a force multiplier supporting the Alliance mission of deterring threats and protecting security across NATO member countries».
The RQ-4D Phoenix High-Altitude, Long-Endurance (HALE) system provides ubiquitous and unparalleled Joint ISR data to NATO. The wide area surveillance provided by Global Hawk and the fixed, mobile and transportable ground stations in the system support a range of missions, including: protection of ground troops and civilian populations; border control; crisis management; humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, every day of the year.
Northrop Grumman’s family of autonomous HALE systems, including Global Hawk, is a critical component of networked, global ISR collection for allied nations. Global Hawk collects vital information to enable allied commanders to make informed and rapid decisions to preserve global security.
Northrop Grumman is a technology company, focused on global security and human discovery. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with capabilities they need to connect, advance and protect the U.S. and its allies. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our 90,000 employees define possible every day.
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works demonstrated the expanded endurance capabilities of a specially configured Lockheed Martin Stalker VXE Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) through a world record endurance flight on February 18, 2022, at the Santa Margarita Ranch in California.
The flight establishes a new record in the Group 2 (5 to <25-kilogram) category with a flight time of 39 hours, 17 minutes and 7 seconds. The flight has been submitted to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world sanctioning body for aviation records, through its U.S. affiliate, the National Aeronautic Association, for certification.
A production Stalker VXE was modified for this record-setting flight with an external, wing-mounted fuel tank. The flight provided valuable insight for improvements to Stalker VXE aimed at scaling its mission capabilities for the future.
Stalker VXE’s class-leading endurance, broad operating envelope, modular payload compliance, vertical take-off and landing capability, and open system architecture allow it to execute diverse and demanding missions while maintaining a small operational footprint and crew.
To achieve this world record flight time, Lockheed Martin partnered with:
Edge Autonomy as a developer and original equipment manufacturer of high-performance unmanned systems, including the Stalker VXE aircraft.
Adaptive Energy to develop cutting-edge fuel cell technology, investing in advanced power sources and testing innovative implementation techniques for field operations.
Composite Technology Development Inc. to build a light-weight external wing tank.
Precision Integrated Programs to provide flight operations support.
Clovis Area Modelers to provide FAI official contest directors to continuously monitor and adjudicate the world record flight for ratification.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the global leader in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), is pleased to be selected to support the Japan Coast Guard’s (JCG) RPAS Project. Operations will feature GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian and begin in October 2022.
SeaGuardian will be used to conduct wide-area maritime surveillance to support JCG’s missions, which include search and rescue, disaster response, and maritime law enforcement. This project follows a series of successful JCG flight trials in 2020 that used SeaGuardian to validate the same JCG missions in accordance with Japan’s «Policy on Strengthening the Maritime Security Systems», using unmanned aerial vehicles to perform maritime wide-area surveillance.
«We’re proud to support the JCG’s maritime surveillance mission with our SeaGuardian UAS», said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. «The system’s ability to provide affordable, extremely long-endurance airborne surveillance with long-range sensors in the maritime domain is unprecedented».
SeaGuardian features a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with an Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imaging mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, and High-Definition – Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras. This sensor suite enables real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles and provides automatic tracking of maritime targets and correlation of AIS transmitters with radar tracks.
SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian are revolutionizing the long-endurance RPAS market by providing all-weather capability and full compliance with STANAG-4671 (NATO UAS airworthiness standard). This feature, along with our operationally proven, collision-avoidance radar, enables flexible operations in civil airspace.
Demonstrating its advanced capabilities in the fleet environment, the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter completed Initial Operational Test & Evaluation test vignettes (IOT&E) paving the way for the expected declaration by the U.S. Marine Corps of Initial Operational Capability (IOC) later this year and a Full Rate Production decision in 2023.
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, built four System Demonstration Test Article CH-53K King Stallion helicopters and delivered them to the Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1), in Jacksonville, North Carolina, to support the seven-month evaluation, which concluded in March.
«The performance of these intelligent aircraft during Marine-operated flight tests displays the CH‑53K’s operational effectiveness and ensures it will support Marines at the forefront of combat capability and heavy lift for decades to come», said Bill Falk, Sikorsky’s CH-53K King Stallion program director. «The CH‑53K King Stallion delivers greater lift and endurance capabilities over the legacy aircraft. Its fly-by-wire system reduces pilot workload and enhances the ability to refuel in midair, which is critical to expanding the Marine Corps operational flexibility across all U.S. and allied military services, making the CH-53K King Stallion a powerful asset for the Marines evolving missions».
CH-53K King Stallion Integrated and Operational Tests Completion
The completion of IOT&E testing follows several CH-53K King Stallion program markers including:
Day and night time air-to-air refueling;
Air-to-air refueling with 27,000 lb./12,247 kg external load;
Sea trials with over 350 landings;
Delivery of first six production aircraft.
The CH-53K King Stallion program is on track to achieve Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2022. IOC is achieved when the first squadron receives:
Four CH-53K King Stallion helicopters with the required personnel suitably trained and certified;
Primary and support equipment and technical publications, including initial spares with interim repair support and initial training curricula, are in place and ready to deploy in accordance with U.S. Marine Corps standards.
Building Helicopters for U.S. Marine Corps and Allies
The CH-53K King Stallion established high-tech production line in Stratford, Connecticut, is active with six aircraft in build, including three on schedule for delivery this year. There are 46 aircraft fully on contract including four heavy lift helicopters for the government of Israel. The helicopters for Israel are under a U.S. Navy Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement.
An additional 10 U.S. Marine Corps aircraft are on contract for long lead material. The program of record for the U.S. Marine Corps is 200 aircraft.
The CH-53K King Stallion will further support the U.S. Marine Corps in its mission to conduct expeditionary heavy-lift assault transport of armored vehicles, equipment, and personnel to support distributed operations deep inland from a sea-based center of operations. This capability is critical in the Indo-Pacific region and around the globe.
The Department of the Air Force awarded $108 million to Northrop Grumman for advance procurement to support the B-21 Raider program.
Advance procurement funds will directly support the acquisition of long lead items necessary to build the first lot of production B-21 Raider aircraft. The award of advance procurement reaffirms the Air Force’s commitment to fielding what will become the backbone of the 21st century bomber fleet.
«The B-21 Raider program is foundational to the Air Force’s operational imperative for an effective, long-range strike family of systems to guarantee our ability to strike any target, anytime, anywhere, even in the most contested environment», said Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown, Jr.
«As the Air Force celebrates its 75th anniversary, the Raider is a standout example of the innovation and pursuit of game-changing technology that has characterized our service since its inception», Brown continued. «The quality of the aircraft build, coupled with its open systems architecture design and built-in margin for future growth, will provide our warfighters the competitive advantage we’ll need to deter current and future conflicts, and fight and win if called upon to do so».
The B-21 Raider test aircraft currently being manufactured under the Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract with Northrop Grumman are being built on the same production line, using the same tooling, processes and technicians to build the production aircraft.
«The B-21 Raider test aircraft are the most production-representative aircraft, both structurally and in its mission systems, at this point in a program, that I’ve observed in my career. The right decisions are being made on this program to pave the way for a high-fidelity flight test campaign and an effective transition to production», shared Randall Walden, Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office director.
The first B-21 Raider flight test aircraft recently entered loads calibration to undergo verification and validation testing of its structural design prior to flight. After loads calibration, further integration and ground testing will inform the program schedule and flight readiness.
Progress continues across all elements of the B-21 Raider program. The fiscal year 2022 Defense Appropriations Act provided funding for five new military construction projects to stand-up the B-21 Raider mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB), South Dakota, the Raider’s first main operating base. Construction of a low observable maintenance hangar, the first of its kind on the 80-year-old conventional bomber base, is already underway.
An environmental impact statement is set to begin this year to inform final decisions on the second and third main operating bases to bed-down the full B-21 Raider fleet. As announced by the Secretary of the Air Force in 2019, preferred locations for the second and third B-21 Raider main operating bases are Whiteman AFB, Missouri, and Dyess AFB, Texas, respectively.
Navantia has started the construction process of the new F-110 class frigate for Spanish Navy, with the cutting of the first steel plate in an event presided by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
The programme, whose implementation order was signed in 2019, foresees the construction of five frigates, valued at 4,320 million euros. The F-111 will be commissioned in 2027 and deliveries will take place yearly.
The cutting of the first steel plate has taken place the 6th of April in Navantia’s shipyard in Ferrol (A Coruña, Spain), where all five F-110 class frigates will be built. The event was also attended by Spanish Vice Prime Minister for Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz; Finance Minister María Jesús Montero, along with Navantia’s Chairman, Ricardo Domínguez; VP for Shipbuilding, Agustín Álvarez; VP for Systems and Services, Donato Martínez, and Ferrol shipyard’s director, Eduardo Dobarro, among other authorities.
The F-110 frigates for the Spanish Navy are multi-purpose escort ships, with anti-aircraft, anti-surface, and anti-submarine capabilities to perform their force protection and naval power projection duties. They will operate in combination with other units, and they are versatile platforms that can also perform functions related to maritime security and support to civilian authorities.
The design of this new frigate includes advanced technological features, such as an integrated mast with different sensor and antenna solutions, a multi-mission space that expands the ship’s capabilities in all defence segments and a new, more efficient and silent hybrid propulsion plant, providing the ship with great versatility. The frigates will be equipped with the Spanish combat system, SCOMBA, developed by Navantia Sistemas.
The F-110 frigate will be a smart ship, the first Spanish naval programme designed to have a Digital Twin: a virtual replica of the ship that constantly receives information from the vessel, data permanently supplied by a network of sensors distributed throughout the ship, constituting a cyber-physical system that through the use of behavioral models and technologies such as Cloud Computing, Machine Learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) allows to support its maintenance and operation even thousands of miles away through the Digital Twin deployed ashore.
The Digital Twin is complemented by an Integrated Services System (ISS), an R&D developed with the Universities of Vigo and Coruña, which will provide the ship with integrated sensors in its light points, substantially reducing its wiring. The F110 will also have 3D printers on board for the manufacture of spare parts.
They will be the first ships in the fleet to have an integrated cybersecurity system to protect the vessels against increasing cyberthreats. This will enable the ship to have a reduced crew complement for operation, which will result in improved habitability.