Log on the Web
Highlights of the Week of November 1st, 2010
By Kirsten Ashbaugh
Euronaval 2010: French Navy May Soon Have Systems Upgrade on Fleet of Atlantique 2
“The French Navy’s fleet of Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft may soon be given a systems upgrade to prepare them for service up to 2030.
“Dassault is hopeful of a contract from the French defence procurement agency, the DGA, before the end of the year to upgrade the tactical systems on the 22 examples currently operated by the French Fleet Air Arm.
“One example is already undergoing a cockpit avionics upgrade that is dubbed Standard 5, which will allow the aircraft to comply with ICAO navigation standards equipping the aircraft with GPS. Also installed are a new flight management system (FMS) and a new glass cockpit, which will reduces pilot workload….” Read more.
Raytheon Defends JAGM
“Raytheon, appearing to put to rest questions about technical and production risks face by its missile, has tested a production-representative version of its Joint Air To Ground Missile (JAGM). The company, working with Boeing, has also successfully tested the missile on an F/A-18 E/F.
“Raytheon’s missile was fired last week. It included the rocket fuel the EMD version of the system will use, said Mike Riley, Raytheon business development manager for JAGM. Also, the company was able to test one of the key aspects of the JAGM design, the ability for the three different seekers to share information and to hand off the targeting from one to the other.…” Read more.
Raytheon Develops Exoskeleton to Assist Ground Crews
“Powered exoskeletons that enable ground crews to load and unload transports, or arm combat aircraft with missiles and bombs, unaided by bulky ground equipment, could be one of the first of a new breed of systems that augment human performance. Raytheon is demonstrating a second-generation exoskeleton, the XOS 2, that enables the wearer to lift up to 200 lb. with ease, while providing the agility to climb stairs, walk at speeds up to 3.5 mph. and even kick a soccer ball….“
Part of a piece from Aviation Week & Space Technology November 1, 2010, p. 78. (Requires subscription.)
Sarkozy and Cameron Joins Defense Forces to Save Funds
Read the full text from the UK-France Summit 2010 Declaration on Defence and Security Co-operation:
“The UK and France are natural partners in security and defence. As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, NATO Allies, European Union members, and Nuclear Weapons States, we share many common interests and responsibilities….
“Today, we have decided to intensify our co-operation still further. We want to enable our forces to operate together, to maximise our capabilities and to obtain greater value for money from our investment in defence. We plan to increase the range and ambition of our joint defence equipment programmes, and to foster closer industrial co-operation….” Read more.
Coast Guard Lacks Remotely Operated Aircraft
“The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines Corps fly unmanned aerial vehicles. Customs and Border Protection has been using them to patrol the Southwest for almost five years. Even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has drones it uses to monitor hurricanes.
“But the Coast Guard, the service responsible for protecting the homeland from sea-based terrorist attacks as well as conducting search-and-rescue missions, as of yet does not have a dedicated UAV that it can fly off its ships….” Read more.
The Next Steps for U.S. in Missile Defense
“The USA’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program uses land-based missiles to intercept incoming ballistic missiles in the middle of their flight, outside the atmosphere….
“The well-known Patriot missiles provide what’s known as terminal-phase defense options, while longer-reach options like the land-based THAAD perform terminal or descent-phase interceptions. Both can be used against intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), but their sensors and flight ranges are best suited to defense against shorter range missiles launched from in-theater. In contrast, GMD is designed to defend against ICBMs….” Read more.
U.S. Army to Update Stryker Hull
“The 5th Stryker Brigade from Fort Lewis, WA was the first Stryker unit sent to Afghanistan, deployed in the summer of 2009 as part of a troop level increase. The brigade was equipped with 350 Stryker vehicles. In the first few months of deployment, the Stryker brigade lost 21 soldiers, with 40 more wounded, to IED land mines. The losses prompted the Army to examine modifications to the Stryker vehicles, in order to make them more resistant to land mines. One result is the Stryker hull redesign.
“In truth, this is not a new idea. The US military has been considering a LAV-III/Stryker upgrade for some time, and General Dynamics Land Systems has responded with concepts of a heavier “LAV-H” system….” Read more.
U.S. Navy Wants Both LCS Designs
“Rival teams from Lockheed Martin and Austal USA have been waiting all year to see which of their designs would be chosen for the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) competition. Now, if the Navy gets permission from the lame-duck Congress, the winner could be: both.
“At stake had been an award to the winner for 10 LCS hulls. But the Navy, convinced that the competition has driven down the cost for the ships, is asking Congress for permission to award each team contracts for 10 ships, for a total of 20 new LCS hulls….
“Under the proposal, the Navy would split its buy equally each year between Lockheed and Austal USA….” Read more.