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Saltwater Capable UAV; Beware Johns Hopkins CRACUNS | Oshkosh Awarded $433M in Recap Work for Army | UK Extends BAE Contract for Anti-Sub Frigates

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Americas * Researchers from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have developed a 3D printed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Tests carried out on the Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Unmanned Nautical System (CRACUNS) have proven that it can remained submerged in saltwater for two months, and then be launched into the air to carry out its mission. CRACUNS enables new capabilities not possible with existing UAV or UUV platforms. Its ability to operate in the harsh littoral (shore) environment, as well as its payload flexibility, enables a wide array of potential missions. *The operational capability of the T-X advanced jet trainer program will be two years late as the USAF decided to delay the release of the request for proposals until late December. According to an Air Force spokesman, refining the planned industry solicitation has taken longer than anticipated, and the delay takes into account the desire to reduce “any potential misinterpretations, which will result in offers better-positioned to meet training requirements.” At present, at least four teams are shaping up to offer submissions with Raytheon, Finmeccanica, and CAE offering the T-100 and Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries have teamed up for the T-50A. Meanwhile a pair of clean-sheet designs […]
Americas

* Researchers from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have developed a 3D printed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Tests carried out on the Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Unmanned Nautical System (CRACUNS) have proven that it can remained submerged in saltwater for two months, and then be launched into the air to carry out its mission. CRACUNS enables new capabilities not possible with existing UAV or UUV platforms. Its ability to operate in the harsh littoral (shore) environment, as well as its payload flexibility, enables a wide array of potential missions.

*The operational capability of the T-X advanced jet trainer program will be two years late as the USAF decided to delay the release of the request for proposals until late December. According to an Air Force spokesman, refining the planned industry solicitation has taken longer than anticipated, and the delay takes into account the desire to reduce “any potential misinterpretations, which will result in offers better-positioned to meet training requirements.” At present, at least four teams are shaping up to offer submissions with Raytheon, Finmeccanica, and CAE offering the T-100 and Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries have teamed up for the T-50A. Meanwhile a pair of clean-sheet designs is being put forth by a Boeing/Saab team and a Northrop Grumman-led coalition that includes BAE Systems and L2.

* Lockheed Martin is to go ahead with its Net Dragon upgrade planned for the USAF’s U-2S fleet. The system will equip the fleet with a beyond-line-of-sight communications relay capability for forward-deployed forces on the ground or in the air. At present, the aircraft uses a Dragon Fly modem that will allow a soldier on the ground to relay full-motion video to another soldier miles away. The new upgrade increases the difficulty for competitors to get ahead of Lockheed, with a planned L-3 Communications upgrade due on the plan within the next few months. An L-3 Communication satellite modem will allow the same forces on the ground to call up imagery and other information from intelligence databases, such as the distributed common ground system.

* Oshkosh has been awarded over $433 million in several contracts for recapitalization work on vehicles for the US Army. A $197.8 million deal will see the delivery of recapitalized Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT). Another will see $135.6 million for recapitalized palletized load systems, while the final $100.4 million contract will see conversion work on M1074A0 to M1075A1 for heavy tactical vehicles. All contracts will be completed by November 30, 2017.

Middle East & North Africa

* Lebanon and Kenya are to receive Huey II helicopters through the US Army. Last week, Bell Helicopters received a $19 million contract to furnish three Huey IIs for the Lebanese government, with delivery due to be completed in 2017. Meanwhile the Army’s non-standard rotary wing aircraft office began seeking potential sources to produce another five Huey IIs for the Republic of Kenya. Bell’s Huey II modernization program rebuilds old aircraft with commercial Bell 212 dynamic components and the Honeywell T53-703 powerplant.

Europe

* Nine additional Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainers have been ordered by the Italian government, doubling the initial order by the air force. The Honeywell F124-powered aircraft come at a cost of $336 million, with delivery to commence this year and last until 2018. In addition to the trainers, the contract also includes logistics support and a further, unspecified development effort for a wider integrated training system.

* BAE Systems and the UK government have signed a contract extending the company’s development of a new class of Type 26 anti-submarine frigate. The $670 million deal will run from this April for 15 months, and follows a previous 12 month extension of demonstration phase which comes to an end next month. Work will now be carried out to further maturing the frigates design, and manufacturing of equipment for the first three of eight ships scheduled to be built by BAE. However, neither BAE or the MoD commented on whether a full scale production will follow the end of the latest contract.

Asia Pacific

* India’s defense ministry has received two detailed project reports from companies looking to develop the Indian Army’s new battlefield management system. Tata Power SED with Larsen & Toubro, and state-owned Bharat Electronics with Rolta India submitted the two bids for the $6 billion system, with the winner being chosen to make prototypes within six months. The $300 million prototype development has four variants: for the infantry battalion group, combat group (armor), combat group (mechanized infantry), and special forces group. Technologies to be included in each prototype include a geographical information system, multi-sensor data fusion system, rugged computing devices, and a software defined radio-based communication system for soldiers.

Today’s Video

* The 3D printed Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Unmanned Nautical System:

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