With rumors of another round in the air, and Iranian nuclear efforts advancing, Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports that the Israeli Defense Forces have done a lot of thinking, and laid their “Tefen” procurement plan to face whatever comes next. Highlights reportedly include…
in 1992, the Spanish Army began replacing its man-portable and vehicle radios with Amper’s PR4G series, which offered improved encryption in a package that allows for software upgrades instead of costly, time-consuming, and difficult hardware upgrades. A number of units have already been equipped with these “software-defined” radios, and Spain’s Ejercito de Tierra wants to complete the rollout.
To that end, on Aug 31/07 Spain’s Council of Ministers has authorized [en Espanol] a EUR 180 million (about $245 million) buy of PR4G Version 3 tactical radios and accessories between 2007-2011. Contracts will follow, but the broad thrust and budget set asides are now agreed. These new radios bring a number of new capabilities to the table…
In 2005, “Meteor Missile Will Make Changes to Accommodate F-35” looked at the multi-national project to create the Meteor long range air-air missile, and explained how improving technologies and different approaches to fighter design had led the Europeans to make the Meteor project a priority. Countries involved include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK; industrial participants include MBDA, Thales, SAAB Bofors Dynamics, Finmeccania’s Alenia, the Spanish INMIZE joint venture, and Boeing.
MBDA’s Meteor has been successfully conducting development testing over the last couple of years, using the JAS-39 Gripen as its primary test platform and adding flights with the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale. In parallel to that effort, MBDA has been advancing its strategic goals via the purchase of a German firm called Bayern-Chemie/Protac.
Small business qualifier Rotordynamics-Seal Research in Loomis, CA received a $15 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity Phase III Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract for Topic N03-027, entitled “Useful Life Remaining Models for Turbine Engine Hot Section Components.” Work will be performed in Loomis, CA, and is expected to be complete in May 2009. This contract was competitively procured via a request for proposals; 14 proposals were received by the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, NJ (N68335-07-D-0023)
Turbines are packaged and used in a number of ways on aircraft, ships, land vehicles, and even power generation plants; but they’re essentially jet engines. The “hot section” is often the first to wear out, which exerts a strong influence on a turbine engine’s total life span because replacing it may not be economically sensible. RSR informed DID that this SBIR project has evolved to a multidisciplinary software/analysis model, however, using RAPPID ™ software for predicting transient vibration in the entire turbine engine. These transient vibrations can lead to cracks, and cracks can cause big problems. The thing is, trying to create a 3-D model of this type for the whole engine goes beyond reasonable computing capacity limits at present. The key, therefore, is a model that can use varying fidelity simulation to target intensive computing resources only on the parts likely to matter.
It certainly is an innovative approach, and one that’s relevant to a variety of industries and turbine applications. A Phase III SBIR award generally means that their approach is considered to be almost ready for commercialization, and some spinouts from Phases I & II have already been commercialized. This grant aims to get the entire system to that stage. For our many readers outside the USA, however, RSR’s Joe Pelletti cautions that the entire system’s ITAR status as a commercial vs. military-designated item remains something of an open question once all modules are combined together. Countries like Canada, Australia, and Britain who have preferential ITAR access may have an easier time, but export lawyer Mike Deal writes us to note that treaties like the Wassenaar Arrangement (ECCN 9A001 and/or 9A003, and possibly others) may also apply.