The US Army is boosting its processing power | Saab pitches software upgrade to SAAF | UK SOFs buy new submersiblesSep 24, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Army is increasing its processing power as part of the Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program. Cray Inc. will increase the processing capability of the current Cray XC 40 High Performance Supercomputer under this $12.5 million firm-fixed-price contract. The supercomputer consists of 101,312 computer cores, 32 general-purpose computing on graphics processing units, or GPGPUs, and 411 terabytes of memory, and provides 3.77 petaflops of peak computing capability. The supercomputer is at the heart of the ERDC, which conducts R&D in support of the soldier, military installations, and civil works projects, as well as for other federal agencies, state and municipal authorities, and with US industry through innovative work agreements. The contract also includes the purchase of 2083 additional nodes compatible with the existing system architecture. Work will be performed at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center DoD Supercomputing Resource Center (ERDC DSRC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi and is expected to be completed by October 31, 2018.
Boeing is being tapped to arm the Navy’s F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft. The awarded contract modification is valued at $40.3 million and provides for the procurement of aircraft armament equipment (AAE) in support of 12 Super Hornets and 14 Growlers. The AAE program procures, modifies and upgrades common bomb racks, peculiar bomb racks, missile launchers, and provides related support for Navy and Marine Corps platforms. Work will be performed at multiple locations, including – but not limited to – Meza, Arizona; St. Louis, Missouri and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The contract is set to run through November 2022.
General Dynamics Mission Systems is being contracted to sustain essential systems on SSBNs and SSGNs. The contract modification is valued at $12.8 million and provides for sustainment of Fire Control Systems installed on US and UK SSBNs, as well as the Attack Weapon Control System on US SSGNs. The contract further includes relevant training and support equipment. The Fire Control System delivers data required to monitor the launch sequence of ballistic missiles. The Attack Weapon Control System (AWCS) consists of an integrated Launch Control System interfaced with the Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System and the Captain’s Information and Control Station, having the capability to launch up to 154 missiles from a maximum of 22 missile tubes. Work will be performed at multiple locations in the US and the UK, including GD’s facility in Pittsfield Massachusetts. The contract has a performance period of five years and is expected to e completed by September 2023.
Middle East & Africa
The governments of Jordan, Morocco, Afghanistan, Senegal, Tunisia and Pakistan are set to receive additional rifles as part of US Foreign Military Sales. Colt will provide the countries with up to 10,000 additional M4 and M4A1 5.56mm carbine rifles at a cost of $57.7 million. The M4/M4A1 Carbine is a lightweight, gas operated, air cooled, magazine fed, selective rate, shoulder fired weapon with a collapsible stock. It is now the standard issue firearm for most units in the US military. The M4 offers a collapsible buttstock, flat-top upper receiver assembly, a U-shaped handle-rear sight assembly that could be removed, and assortment of mounting rails for easy customization with a variety of sight, flashlight, grenade launchers, shotgun attachments, etc. Like its predecessor the M16, the M4 also has a reputation as an excellent weapon – if you can maintain it. Work will be performed at Colt’s facility in West Hartford, Connecticut, and is scheduled for completion by September 2019.
Saab is currently recommending that the South African Air Force (SAAF) adopts the latest software update for its JAS39C and JAS39D Gripen fighter jets. MS 20 is the latest step in Saab’s process of constant capability expansion. The MS 20 upgrade includes integration of the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb, improved radar modes and a new laser designation pod (LDP) among other things. The new software will would also increase the performance of the Gripen’s radar and would allow the fitting of an automated Ground Collision Avoidance System. The Swedish Air Force was using MS 20 to improve the reconnaissance performance of its Gripens.
The US is sending missiles to European allies under its FMS program. The governments of Estonia, Lithuania and Ukraine will each receive an unspecified number of Javelins under this $27.6 million contract modification awarded to Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin JV. The Javelin is a portable anti-tank weapon, which is shoulder-fired but can also be installed on tracked, wheeled or amphibious vehicles. The Javelin system consists of the CLU and the round. With a carry weight of 6.4kg, the CLU incorporates a passive target acquisition and fire control unit with integrated day sight and thermal imaging capabilities. This contract also includes sales to the governments of Australia, Turkey and Taiwan. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona and is scheduled for completion by August 31, 2021.
The State Department is determined to approve a FMS to the United Kingdom. If approved, the UK would receive three SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDV) MK 11 Shallow Water Combat Submersibles (SWCS) for an estimated cost of $90 million. The SWCS is a manned submersible and a type of swimmer delivery vehicle which will deliver US Navy SEALs and their equipment for special operations missions. The SWCS is deployable from surface ships, land, and Dry Deck Shelters on submarines. The SWCS carries passive sonar the ability to sense electromagnetic energies like radars, a navigation system with INS/ secure GPS capability, secure wireless underwater communication links, and the ability to operate down to at least down to 190-300 feet undersea. Included in the contract are spares, relevant equipment, manuals and other support services. Prime contractor will be Teledyne Brown Engineering.
Chinese defense manufacturer Ziyan is showcasing its new Blowfish I VTOL UAV at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2018 exhibition in South Africa. The Blowfish I is a multifunctional and universal unmanned helicopter. It can flight in ultra-low altitude to medium-altitude environment, complex geography and in all-weather conditions. According to the company, the new UAV has a maximum take-off weight of between 28 and 50 kg and an endurance of between 45 to 60 minutes. It is electrically powered and has a payload of 12 kg that can include different types of weapons. The company also revealed that the Blowfish I is currently entering service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
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