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GENERAL ATOMICS AWARDED MANUFACTURING CONTRACT FOR COLUMBIA CLASS SUBMARINE BEARING SUPPORT STRUCTUR
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
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Coloumbia class is replaceing Ohio class SSBNs

Source: U.S. Navy


Coloumbia class is replaceing Ohio class SSBNs

Source: U.S. Navy


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SAN DIEGO -- General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has been awarded a contract from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (NSWCCD) to fabricate and deliver two large Bearing Support Structures (BSS’s) for the COLUMBIA Class submarines.

GA-EMS will manufacture the two BSS’s at their facilities in Tupelo, MS. The Navy intends to build 12 COLUMBIA Class submarines over the next 20 years.

Construction of the first Columbia class submarine is expected to begin in October 2020.

Source:  General Atomics
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
U.S. ARMY RESEARCH ADVANCES AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
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Legged Locomotion and Movement Adaptation (LLAMA)

Source: U.S. Army


Legged Locomotion and Movement Adaptation (LLAMA)

Source: U.S. Army


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ADELPHI, Md. -- Imagine a small U.S. Special Forces team conducting covert operations in a hostile territory. The mission requires the team be limited in size, but able to carry extensive equipment, both explosive and inert, in order to execute the mission. What makes this team so unique? It consists of both Soldiers and robots as team members.

The unique team member amid the group is the Legged Locomotion and Movement Adaptation, or LLAMA, an autonomous quadruped mobility research platform system patterned after a working dog and similar animals. Researchers designed it to work in concert with Soldiers, lighten physical workloads, and increase mobility, protection and lethality.

The system is all electric and has high torque actuators and algorithms for advanced perception, intelligence and control for autonomy and teaming. The robot is designed for mobility in structured and unstructured environments - meaning it can go where dismounted Soldiers go -- whether its rough terrain or climbing stairs.

The readiness of the platform is dependent on its mission. For instance, a logistics mission might be ready within the next five years or less, but a more complex mission requiring a higher level of autonomy that does not yet exist and will have a longer development time, officials said.

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory developed the robot as part of its Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance, known as the RCTA. Researchers said it is the embodiment of the program's research efforts in the area of advancements in autonomous off-road mobility and research to transition robots from tools to teammates for Soldiers.

The Army will showcase LLAMA at an Oct. 17 event at the National Research Engineering Center facility of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Nearly 60 researchers and engineers from more than a dozen companies and universities collaborated on experiments with an ensemble of multifunctional autonomous systems during a large-scale experimentation event earlier this summer at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Based on findings from that event, researchers are looking to improve LLAMA's mobility for the October event.

At the start of the RCTA, there were a few traditional wheeled/tracked robotic research platforms available, explained ARL engineer Jason Pusey; however, Pusey these platforms lacked the ability to follow a Soldier in a mission indoors and outdoors. The state of the art in sensing, computing, power supply and actuation has advanced to a level that makes advanced legged locomotion platforms now possible, at least a viable research tool.

Progress in machine learning has, over time, shown promise to design robust perception systems for mobile robots that are capable of navigating among moving pedestrians with agility, while maintaining awareness of the presence of particular elements in the environment, Pusey said.

"Right now, the LLAMA has three degrees of freedom per leg," he said. "We did three degrees of freedom per leg so we can obtain a sizeable workspace enabling the platform to be agile enough to conquer reasonable complex terrain."

Pusey has been involved in the RCTA since its inception in 2009.

"The platform not only has the mobility capabilities, it also includes perception and intelligence," he said. "That platform was trying to culminate a lot of different technologies within the RCTA to integrate them together into one platform that we can actually show to immolate the far-reaching goals of combining all of this into one unique intelligent platform for the Soldier."

Through design and research, the collaborative team is now exploring ways to emulate the movements of greyhounds, cheetahs and similar animals to see how they use their spines to propel themselves forward.

Army-led foundational research, as seen in the RCTA, has resulted in advanced science in four critical areas of ground combat robotics that effect the way U.S. warfighters see, think, move and team, researchers said.

"There was no robust model for autonomy in the Army or in general applications prior to the RCTA," said Dr. Stuart Young, collaborative research agreement. "Through this research program we're speeding Soldiers' abilities to access information needed to complete missions."

Alliance partners on this project include CCDC-ARL, General Dynamics Land Systems, Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Pennsylvania, QinetiQ North America, and Cal Tech/Jet Propulsion Lab.

Source:  Army Research Laboratory
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
ARMY EYES MORE LETHAL STRYKER FORCE TO FACE NEAR-PEER ADVERSARIES OF FUTURE
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
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Source: U.S. Army


Source: U.S. Army


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FORT BENNING, Ga. -- The Army is pressing ahead vigorously with efforts to make its Stryker Brigade Combat Teams more deadly and otherwise ready to take on large, modern adversaries on the battlefield, military experts said here Sept. 10 during the 2019 Maneuver Warfighter Conference.

The Stryker force accounts for nearly a third of the Army's Infantry forces, according to several speakers at the day's sessions.

Strykers have seen extensive service in the post-9/11 era, but the Army has seen a need to prepare them for the battlefield challenges they'd face in combat against near-peer military adversaries.

"It's all tied to that mission of meeting that near-peer competitor," said Col. Syd Hills, director of the Stryker Warfighter Forum. Hills was the speaker for a discussion of what's ahead for the Army's Stryker forces.

"Gotta keep up with the speed of war," said Hills.

Accordingly, the Army has undertaken a broad range of initiatives to shape the Stryker force of the future. Some upgrades involve weapons being added to the Stryker, including a 30-mm cannon that can train devastating fire on an enemy. Equipping Strykers with anti-tank missiles is another example of the push to increase Stryker lethality.

Some Strykers are equipped with a turreted 30-mm cannon, others with Javelin anti-tank missiles, and some with mortars, but there are also numerous Stryker variants that have been adapted to a broad variety of roles.

In addition, the Army is focused on adding sophisticated electronics that will enhance the Stryker's existing ability to communicate on the battlefield. Also in view are modifications of the Stryker's key parts, including such basics as tires, steering and engines, according to Col. Bill Venable, who gave the audience a detailed rundown of the Army's Stryker modernization effort.

Brigade Combat Teams, or BCTs, are the basic deployable fighting organization under the Army's current structure. A BCT is organized so it can be sent into combat as a self-sustaining fighting force that goes into battle with its own support elements, including artillery, engineer, medical, logistical and other units, rather than being dependent on a larger element, like a division, for that support.

There are several types of BCTs, including those that are predominantly infantry (IBCTs), armor (ABCTs), and those built around Stryker combat vehicles (SBCTs).

Fort Benning's Maneuver Center of Excellence is hosting the three-day conference, which runs Sept. 10 through 12. This year's conference theme is "The Brigade Combat Team: Readying for Large Scale Combat." The conference brings together senior and other military professionals for expert discussion of key issues, ideas and trends related to the Army's infantry and armor forces.

A Stryker Brigade Combat Team, or SBCT, is a fighting unit built around a core battle element composed of lightly-armored, eight-wheeled Stryker combat vehicles that can be equipped for various battlefield functions. The highly mobile Stryker can transport an infantry squad into battle, and can range over rugged, cross-country terrain, along roads, and can also operate in urban areas.

Source:  U.S. Army
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 

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