Shopping Cart  |  Intelligence Center


HOME PRODUCTS & SERVICES MEDIA CENTER CONSULTING SERVICES DEMOS SALES OFFICES OUR COMPANY LOG IN

AEROSPACE & DEFENSE ELECTRONICS
AIRLINES, COMMERCIAL AVIATION & MAINTENANCE
AVIATION ENGINES, PROPULSION & AUXILIARY POWER UNITS
INDUSTRIAL & MARINE GAS TURBINES
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY MARKETS & BUDGETS - ASIA, AUSTRALIA & PAC RIM/EURASIA
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY MARKETS & BUDGETS - EUROPE
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY MARKETS & BUDGETS - NORTH AMERICA
MILITARY AIRCRAFT
MILITARY VEHICLES, ORDNANCE, MUNITIONS, AMMUNITION & SMALL ARMS
MISSILES & MISSILE SYSTEMS
NAVAL SHIPS AND OPERATING SYSTEMS
NON-US AEROSPACE/DEFENSE COMPANIES & CONTRACTS
REGIONAL, BUSINESS & GENERAL AVIATION
ROTORCRAFT
SPACECRAFT, LAUNCH VEHICLES & SATELLITES
US AEROSPACE/DEFENSE COMPANIES & CONTRACTS
Drones and Unmanned Systems - Air, Sea, Land, Micro & Robot Systems
UTILITIES, ROTATING MACHINERY & POWER GENERATION

International Military Markets & Budgets - North America
 
ARMY, MARINE CORPS STRESS IMPORTANCE OF GROUND FORCES MODERNIZATION
Friday, April 20, 2018
Click image for a larger picture

Task Force Stalwart Soldiers in Afghanistan, March 28, 2018

Source: US Army


Task Force Stalwart Soldiers in Afghanistan, March 28, 2018

Source: US Army


Close
WASHINGTON -- Army and Marine Corps officials stressed to lawmakers Wednesday the urgency in modernizing ground forces amid an increasingly challenging security environment.

"We are at an inflection point, and we can no longer afford to choose between near-term readiness and modernization," Lt. Gen. John M. Murray, the Army's deputy chief of staff for programs, told the House Armed Services Committee's tactical air and land forces subcommittee.

The development of new capabilities has been slowed, deferred, and in some cases halted due to the Army's focus on the demands of ongoing campaigns, combined with constrained resources and an industrial age organizational model, Murray said.

"Meanwhile, our adversaries have or are quickly attaining a competitive advantage," he said.

Murray appeared before the panel with Army Lt. Gen. Paul A. Ostrowski, military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology; Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert S. Walsh, deputy commandant for combat development and integration and commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command; and Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Joseph Shrader, commander of the Marine Corps Systems Command.

INVESTMENTS TO RESTORE MILITARY

The Army and Marine Corps leaders welcomed lawmakers' support for defense spending, saying the president's fiscal year 2018 budget and the fiscal year 2019 budget request seek to restore the military after years of decline.

The investments, they said, support the National Defense Strategy and aim to build a more lethal and agile force.

"The surest way to prevent war is to be prepared to win one under the most difficult of circumstances," the Marine generals said in their written statement, adding that this requires "new operational concepts, an aggressive approach to force development and a consistent, multiyear investment to restore warfighting readiness."

MODERNIZATION FOCUS

The Army, Murray said, plans in fiscal year 2019 to selectively upgrade equipment that is critical to near-term readiness and focus on areas crucial to combat. Those areas, he told the panel, include long-range precision fires, next generation combat vehicles, future vertical lift, the network, air missile defense, and Soldier lethality.

For the last several decades, the Army possessed overmatch based on its qualitative edge in capabilities, Murray and Ostrowski said in their written statement.

"It enabled our Army to defeat enemy formations, underpinned credible deterrence, and served as a critical pillar of joint force capabilities in all domains -- air, land, maritime, space, cyberspace, and the electromagnetic spectrum," they said.

"Now, a combination of strategic, technological, institutional and budgetary trends places at risk the Army's competitive edge over near-peer adversaries in the next fight," they warned.

Walsh outlined priorities for the Marine Corps for fiscal year 2019 as information warfare, long-range precision fires, air defense command and control in a degraded environment, protecting mobility and enhanced maneuver, and supporting the defense secretary's priorities to increase lethality, resilience, agility and to build a flexible and dynamic force.

"The Marine Corps' ground programs modernization strategy will ensure the individual Marine enjoys a qualitative military edge over any adversary," Walsh and Shrader said in their written statement, adding that the goal is to adequately equip the Marine to ensure "combat formations capable of closing with and destroying the enemy."

Source:  US Army
Associated URL: army.mil
Source Date: April 20, 2018
Author: Lisa Ferdinando, DoD News 
Posted: 04/20/2018

 
 
GAO: KC-46 TANKER MODERNIZATION PROGRAM COST IS STABLE, BUT SCHEDULE MAY BE FURTHER DELAYED
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Click image for a larger picture

Source: US Air Force


Source: US Air Force


Close
WASHINGTON -- What GAO Found: The total acquisition cost estimate for the KC-46 refueling tanker aircraft remained stable over the last year at $44.4 billion. the estimate has decreased about $7.3 billion, or 14 percent, since the initial estimate. This decrease is due in part to stable requirements.

The program updated its delivery schedule in 2017 to allow Boeing to delay delivery of the first 18 fully capable aircraft from August 2017 to October 2018- 14 months. A schedule risk assessment, as well as GAO's analysis, however projects that deliveries could slip to May 2019, 21 months from the original schedule, if risks are not mitigated.

Boeing faces the following risks and challenges and is trying to address them:

updating test aircraft to the correct configuration to complete remaining tests;

completing flight tests at a pace that is almost double its monthly average;

updating test plans to reflect a more realistic schedule for certifying aircraft, such as F-16 fighters and C-17 cargo planes, to be refueled by a KC-46;

retrofitting production aircraft to their final configuration for delivery; and

fixing a critical deficiency to keep the boom from contacting receiver aircraft outside the refueling receptacle.

Because of the terms of the contract, Boeing, not the government, is responsible for nearly $1 billion in additional development costs already incurred. Boeing is also providing additional training for KC-46 pilots, among other things, to compensate the Air Force for delivery delays. Meanwhile, the Air Force is continuing to use KC-135 and KC-10 tankers for refueling missions.

Why GAO Did This Study

The KC-46 tanker modernization program, valued at about $44 billion, is among the Air Force's highest acquisition priorities. Aerial refueling-the transfer of fuel from airborne tankers to combat and airlift forces-is critical to the U.S. military's ability to effectively operate globally. The Air Force initiated the KC-46 program to replace about a third of its aging KC-135 aerial refueling fleet. Boeing was awarded a fixed-price-incentive contract to develop the aircraft. Among other things, Boeing was contractually required to deliver 18 fully capable aircraft (KC-46 aircraft with 9 sets of wing aerial refueling pods that allow for simultaneous refueling of 2 aircraft) by August 2017. The program plans to eventually field 179 aircraft in total.

GAO was asked to monitor the KC-46 program because of problems Boeing is experiencing developing the aircraft. This is GAO's 7th report on the KC-46 program. This report assesses program progress and challenges toward achieving its cost goals and delivery schedule.

GAO analyzed cost, schedule, development, and test information contained in program documents; and discussed results with officials from the KC-46 program office, other defense offices, the Federal Aviation Administration (responsible for certifying the design of the KC-46), and Boeing.

What GAO Recommends

GAO believes the Department of Defense should implement a prior recommendation to document lessons learned given the program's challenges.

Source:  GAO
Associated URL: gao.gov
Source Date: April 18, 2018
Posted: 04/20/2018

 
 
GAO: AMPHIBIOUS COMBAT VEHICLE PROGRAM SHOULD TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE MANUFACTURING READINESS
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Click image for a larger picture

Source: US Marine Corps


Source: US Marine Corps


Close
WASHINGTON -- What GAO Found: The first version of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV 1.1) is on track to meet development cost goals with no additional anticipated delays for major acquisition milestones. With regard to costs, the development phase of ACV 1.1 is on pace to not exceed cost goals that were established at the start of development, based on a recent Navy estimate, the ACV program office, and reporting from the contractors.

For example, a September 2017 program progress review reported a Navy estimate of the cost of development at $750.7 million, less than the $810.5 million baseline established at the beginning of development. With regard to schedule, the ACV program has made no major changes to the acquisition schedule since GAO previously reported on the program in April 2017.

ACV 1.1 program officials are in the process of preparing to down-select to a single contactor and enter low-rate production in June 2018, start a second round of low rate production the following year, and begin full-rate production in 2020. ACV 1.1 may be followed by the acquisition of other versions (ACV 1.2 and ACV 2.0) with advanced capabilities such as higher water speeds.

The ACV program is preparing to start production of ACV 1.1, which includes determining that the contractors' manufacturing capabilities are sufficiently mature. However, program officials are considering entering production with a lower level of manufacturing maturity than called for in Department of Defense (DoD) guidance or GAO identified best practices. The ACV program measures manufacturing maturity with manufacturing readiness levels (MRL) for risk areas such as design, materials, process capability and control, and quality management. DOD guidance for weapons acquisition production recommends that programs achieve an MRL of 8 across all risk areas before entering low-rate production and that a program achieve an MRL of 9 at the start of full-rate production.

GAO's previous reviews about manufacturing best practices found that achieving manufacturing maturity and identifying production risks early in the acquisition cycle and assessing those risks prior to key decision points, such as the decision to enter production, reduces the likelihood of quality issues, cost growth, and delays. The Marine Corps contract option for producing the first round of low-rate production for ACV 1.1 will be exercised after June 2018; the contract also contains additional options for production vehicles. Making the decisions to proceed with the second round of low-rate production and for the start of full-rate production before meeting called-for levels of manufacturing readiness criteria increases the risk that ACV 1.1 will witness delays and increased costs.

Why GAO Did This Study

In June 2018, the United States Marine Corps plans to select a contractor and begin low-rate production for the ACV, a vehicle used to transport Marines from ship to shore under hostile conditions. The ACV will replace all or part of the current Assault Amphibious Vehicle fleet.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 included a provision for GAO to annually review and report on the ACV program until 2018. This report, GAO's last under that provision, assesses the extent to which the Marine Corps is making progress toward (1) meeting cost and schedule goals for the ACV program and (2) demonstrating manufacturing readiness.

GAO reviewed program cost estimates, updated schedules, and program assessments of test results and production readiness, as well as compared ACV acquisition efforts to DOD guidance and GAO-identified best practices. GAO also interviewed program and testing officials, and visited both ACV primary assembly locations.

What GAO Recommends

GAO recommends the Marine Corps (1) not enter the second year of low-rate production for ACV 1.1 until after the contractor has achieved an overall MRL of 8 and (2) not enter full-rate production until achieving an overall MRL of 9. DOD partially concurred with both recommendations, but noted that it is reasonable to proceed at lower MRL levels if steps are taken to mitigate risk. GAO made no changes to its recommendations in response to these comments.

Source:  US Government Accountability Office
Associated URL: gao.gov
Source Date: April 17, 2018
Posted: 04/20/2018

 

NOTICE TO USERS

Warranty: Forecast International makes no guarantees as to the veracity or accuracy of the information provided. It warrants only that the information, which has been obtained from multiple sources, has been researched and screened to the best of the ability of our staff within the limited time constraints. Forecast International encourages all clients to use multiple sources of information and to conduct their own research on source data prior to making important decisions. All URLs listed were active as of the time the information was recorded. Some hyperlinks may have become inactive since the time of publication.

Technical Support: Phone (203)426-0800 e-mail support@forecast1.com

Subscription Information: Phone (203)426-0800 or (800)451-4975; FAX (203)426-0223 (USA) or e-mail sales@forecast1.com

Aerospace/Defense News Highlights is published by Forecast International, 22 Commerce Road, Newtown CT 06470 USA. Articles that list Forecast International as the source are Copyrighted © 2018. Reproduction in any form, or transmission by electronic or other means, is prohibited without prior approval from the publisher.

Forecast International invites all interested companies to submit their announcements and press releases for review and inclusion in our Intelligence Letters.

Contact: Ray Peterson, Director of Research
E-Mail: Ray.Peterson@forecast1.com
Phone: 800-451-4975
FAX: 203-270-8919



HOME PRODUCTS & SERVICES MEDIA CENTER CONTACT US PRIVACY STATEMENT TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Forecast International © 2018 22 Commerce Rd Newtown, CT 06470 USA Phone: 203.426.0800 Toll-Free: 800.451.4975 (USA & Canada) Fax: 203.426.0223 info@forecast1.com