* The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) granted 23 cloud services Provisional Authorizations to host mission data, the DoD announced on Monday. The cloud hosts have been granted authority to host data up to an Impact Level 2, which doesn’t include information classified as secret, only that which is Non-Controlled and Unclassified. Among these 23, commercial firms AT&T, Amazon Redshift, Microsoft, IBM and Verizon are alongside defense contractor Lockheed Martin and US Government services including the Treasury and the USDA National Information Technology Center. This announcement comes in the context of recent announcements that the Army is seeking to transition an increasing portion of its data storage to cloud-based hosts.
* The Air Force has opened registration for a $2 million Air Force Prize, which will see competitors demonstrating their ability to develop a “small, lightweight, fuel-efficient turbine engine.” The design must be capable of producing 100bhp, with a minimum of 2bhp per pound, along with a host of other technical specifications.
* SAIC has acquired intelligence firm Scitor Holdings in a $790 million deal finalized Tuesday. The acquired business will join the SAIC Intelligence Community Customer Group. Scitor has experience working on classified contracts with the Air Force and intelligence community.
* On Tuesday six firms were awarded a five-year $49.9 million order dependent contract by the Army for persistent intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance concepts research and development.
* The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle has been given milestone C approval from the Defense Acquisition Executive. The Global Hawk demonstrated interoperability and software maturity prior to milestone C, with the program fully funded throughout the Future Years Defense Program.
* Three European nations are expected to issue a joint RFP for Airbus Defence & Space A330 Multi Role Tanker/Transport aircraft in coming days. Poland, Norway and the Netherlands will pool the procured aircraft and jointly operate them once they have been bought. The three nations have stated their intention to allow other European countries to join their select group, which announced the A330 as the only military off-the-shelf option capable of fulfilling their requirements. Following this, the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement (OCCAR) prepared negotiations with Airbus for a potential acquisition. The fleet of multi-rote tanker transport aircraft (MRTT) is expected to enter service in 2019. Other European operators of the A330 MRTT include the UK, with India and Saudi Arabia also international customers for the aircraft, among a host of other nations.
* OCCAR also announced that it is taking over management of two Italian naval shipbuilding projects. The Multipurpose Combat Ship Program and the Logistic Support Ship Program have been integrated into OCCAR, bringing the total number of European programs it manages up to twelve, alongside the management of the Netherlands and German Boxer program. The first ships in each class are due for delivery in 2020 and 2019 respectively.
* Denmark is buying Swiss Piranha V 8×8 armored personnel carriers. The new APCs will replace the fleet of legacy M113s, with the Danes planning on buying at least 206 new Piranhas. The Piranha beat off competition from the VBCI and three other competitors, including the BAE Systems CV-90. The Danish MoD previously ordered 45 of the CV-90 IFVs.
* Turkish firm Otokar has unveiled a variety of new vehicle models at the IDEF 2015 exhibit currently underway in Istanbul. A lighter anti-tank variant of the Tulpar APC – known as the Tulpar-S – has been displayed, which features a remote weapon station manufactured by Aselsan, another local firm. The RWS features four Kornet anti-tank missiles and a machine gun.
* Russia is reportedly pushing upgrades for equipment previously sold to Turkey. These include the BTR-80 armored personnel carrier and Mil Mi-17V helicopters, which were ordered by Turkey in the 1990’s, as well as anti-tank missiles and other equipment.
* India and France are planning on establishing a joint committee to operationalize the deal for 36 Rafale fighters struck by Indian PM Modi in April. The committee is to finalize negotiations by the end of July, with Dassault reportedly looking for an Indian partner to facilitate the manufacture of the Rafales under India’s new “directed offsets” policy, with an Indian manufacturing line set to augment the busy Dassault production line in France.
* Following its latest successful test last November, the medium-range Akash surface to air missile (SAM) was inducted into the Indian Army on Tuesday. The missile’s first successful test-firing was in the 1990’s, with the missile already equipping the Indian Air Force, which is looking to potentially increase the number it fields.
* The first pair of F-model CH-47 helicopters have entered service with the Australian Army, with five more scheduled for delivery by August. The seven helicopters were ordered in 2010 contract along with training simulators and spares for $470 million. The Aussie F models are US-configured, in comparison to other international customers such as the UK and Canada which ordered modified versions.
* A promo vid for the Tulpar APC…