Viasat, Datalink Win Near $2B For MIDS JTRS | Cyberbit Wins Charlesbank Investment | Charles De Gaulle Starts Sea Trials In 2036
Viasat and Data Link Solutions each won a $998.8 million deal for the production, retrofits, development and sustainment of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) terminals. Currently, there are three variants of MIDS JTRS terminals: the Concurrent Multi-Netting-4, the Tactical Targeting Network Technology and the F-22 variant. The MIDS JTRS terminal is a line-of-sight radio system for collecting and transmitting broadband, jam-resistant, secure data and voice across a variety of air, sea and ground platforms. These terminals will continue to be procured, sustained and updated for future growth, including JTRS advanced networking waveforms such as: multifunction advanced data link, intra-flight data link and other advanced networking waveforms. The MIDS JTRS terminals make use of high-speed jam-resistant Link-16 tactical data exchange network. The Link 16 allows for real-time transfer of combat data, voice communications, imagery, and relative navigation information between dispersed battle elements, using data encryption and frequency hopping to maintain secure communications. The system facilitates the exchange of data over a common communication link, allowing participants to obtain and share situational awareness information and interoperate within the battlespace. Viasat will perform work in Carlsbad, California. Data Link Solution will perform work in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Expected completion is by May 2025.
The Air Force announced that its Nuclear Weapons Center is breaking up the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Systems Directorate into two new directorate teams: the Minuteman III Systems Directorate and the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD, Systems Directorate. “This restructuring is a natural progression of the Air Force’s increasing focus on the modernization of the ICBM, the third leg of our strategic nuclear triad,” said Maj. Gen. Shaun Morris, AFNWC commander and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems. The NWC synchronizes all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of Air Force Materiel Command in support of Air Force Global Strike Command, with more than 1,300 personnel assigned to 18 locations around the world. The Minuteman III Systems Directorate will be led by Col. Luke Cropsey, currently the ICBM Systems director. The GBSD Systems Directorate will be led by Col. Jason Bartolomei, who is currently the system program manager for GBSD and will continue to serve in that role.
Middle East & Africa
Elbit Subsidiary Cyberbit won a $70 Million Investment from US firm Charlesbank Capital. The investment is seen as recognition of Cyberbit’s leading market position and the growth potential of the company’s platform that provides training on how to effectively mitigate cyberattacks and improve team performance. As a result of the investment and sale of equity holdings, Elbit Systems became a minority shareholder in Cyberbit. Claridge Israel L.P., an existing shareholder of Cuberbit, which invested $30 million in Cyberbit in June 2018, also participated in this round of investment. The Cyberbit Range product is said to deliver a hyper-realistic experience that replicates a real-world cyberattack by immersing trainees in a virtual security operations center, where they use commercial security tools to respond to live, simulated attacks. The platform delivers over 100,000 training sessions annually on 5 continents.
France’s Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly disclosed that the replacement for aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle will start sea trials in 2036 and enter service in 2038. The ship will be built at Saint-Nazaire. Parly was there for the steel cutting ceremony for new replenishment ships for the French Navy. The characteristics of the future successor to the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier have not yet been defined. “Let’s not limit our horizon or our imagination. We must not re-do the identical but seek the most ingenious, the most useful and the most effective capacities. Let us make this aircraft carrier a real forward base for our navy”, asked Minister Florence Parly at the last Euronaval exhibition. It however seems accepted that this future aircraft carrier could be more imposing than the current Charles-de-Gaulle.
Lithuanian, German and Norwegian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) carried out training with Royal Air Force Eurofighters and Spanish F/A-18s at Kazl? R?da training ground on May 11. The German and Norwegian JTACs are part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania. The British and Spanish air force contingents operate from Šiauliai Air Base and help guard the skies over the Baltic region as part of NATO’s Air Policing mission. NATO’s battlegroup in Lithuania is composed of around 1,200 personnel from Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway. The battlegroup is part of the biggest reinforcement of the Alliance’s collective defense in a generation.
India announced Saturday that global companies can now invest up to 74 percent in the country’s defense manufacturing units, up from 49 percent, without requiring any government approval. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed hope that the new policy will attract foreign companies with high-end technologies to set up their manufacturing bases in India in collaboration with Indian companies. Sitharaman’s announcement came as part of reforms Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is implementing to revive India’s economy, which has been shattered by the coronavirus pandemic.
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