DCI and Defence Online launch UK Infrastructure – Opportunities in Defence report

Defence Contracts International (DCI), in association with Defence Online, is pleased to launch the UK Infrastructure – Opportunities in Defence report.

The UK defence sector is vital to protecting the nation from global dangers and safeguarding national economic prosperity. Across Land, Sea, Air, Space and Cyber the sector creates thousands of specialist and highly skilled jobs, in addition to creating billions in export income.
To achieve this, the MOD needs to invest heavily into its own infrastructure – and as one of the largest owners of land and facilities in the UK, this investment creates countless opportunities for supply chain engagement.

From the recent DPRTE Engage 2020 event, it was clear that the opportunities available in the defence infrastructure marketplace are significant and that improving engagement with the supply chain and the drive for innovation would continue to be key themes for the defence industry.

The UK Infrastructure – Opportunities in Defence report examines wealth of opportunities for SMEs within the defence infrastructure sector; the MOD’s efforts to improve industrial engagement; and provides suppliers with insight on DIO’s plans and the wider market opportunities available across this area.

To read the report in full, please access your personal copy here.

image © Crown Copyright

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Boeing, Honeywell and Rolls-Royce Deutschland to service H-47 Chinook engines

Boeing, Honeywell Aerospace and Rolls-Royce Deutschland have reached an agreement to provide in-service support of the T-55 engine should the government of Germany select the H-47 Chinook for its Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (STH) heavy-lift helicopter requirement.

Since the forming of the Chinook Germany Industry Team in 2018, originally comprised of nine German companies, Boeing continues to build a strong industry team to provide the Luftwaffe with local long-term services support, maintenance and training of the Chinook over the next several decades.

In addition, Boeing’s industrial plan will foster German economic growth while creating highly skilled jobs in country.

“The partnership between Honeywell, Rolls-Royce Deutschland and our industry team members provides an established local supply base for around-the-clock parts availability, NATO interoperability and streamlined aircraft maintenance procedures,” said Michael Hostetter, vice president of Boeing Defense, Space & Security in Germany. “The Luftwaffe will have access to training and sustainment solutions that ensures the H-47 Chinook’s readiness for any mission.” 

Under the agreement, Honeywell will license Rolls-Royce Deutschland as its partner in Germany to perform depot-level maintenance of the Chinook T-55 engine operated by the Luftwaffe.

“Through an evolution of increasing engine power and performance growth derivatives, Honeywell’s T-55 engine has supported the Chinook helicopter for nearly 60 years,” said Oliver Stucky, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Aerospace Engineering. “During this time, Honeywell has produced more than 6,000 T-55 engines, which have logged about 12 million hours of operation. Our partnership with Boeing and Rolls-Royce Deutschland will provide the Luftwaffe with access to a world-class maintenance and repair and overhaul facility for the T-55 in Germany. The in-country location will also ensure fast and flexible reactions to cater to the demanding needs of the Luftwaffe.”

“This partnership agreement brings together the industry leaders in their respective domains. Our longstanding, close relationship with Honeywell will ensure world-class in-service support for the engines of the H-47 Chinook of the German Bundeswehr right from the beginning,” said Dr. Holger Cartsburg, managing director of Rolls-Royce Deutschland. “For decades, our highly qualified specialists at our German sites have provided comprehensive services for a wide range of engines operated by the German armed forces. Today’s announcement proves that a world-class team is already preparing for the delivery of the first helicopter.”

As chosen by NATO nations Canada, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, the Chinook gives Germany interoperability while meeting a wide range of mission needs.

“Our extended partnership with Rolls-Royce and Honeywell will deliver a strong services, maintenance and training offering for the H-47 in Germany while further integrating our operations into Germany’s aerospace fabric,” said Dr. Michael Haidinger, president of Boeing Germany and Central & Eastern Europe. “This is just one example of how we continue building strong partnerships with local industrial primes for the Bundeswehr’s STH requirements.”

Boeing has an established and growing presence in Germany. The company is a strong contributor to the German economy with more than 1,000 employees at 11 sites from Hamburg to Munich and sustains thousands of additional jobs through its supply chain and other activities.

Boeing and its supply-chain partners spend almost $1.2 billion a year with its established network of suppliers located across Germany.

Germany is a key market for Boeing to invest in research and technology partnerships. Boeing has established two research sites in Germany, the Research & Technology Office in Munich and the Digital Solutions & Analytics Lab Frankfurt and invests in a growing portfolio of research and technology projects with German industry, universities and research organisations.

image courtesy of Rolls-Royce

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Northrop Grumman selected for Evolved Strategic SATCOM program

Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by the US Space Force for the rapid prototyping phase of the Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) program to develop a modernised strategic communications space segment with enhanced resilience and cybersecurity capabilities.

During the rapid prototyping phase, the company will deliver the preliminary design for ESS’ space segment and a ground-based demonstration.

Cyrus Dhalla, Vice President, communications systems, Northrop Grumman, said: “ESS is critical to extending our nation’s secure satellite communications infrastructure, as it will provide strategic users with assured, uninterruptable connectivity without fear of discovery anywhere on the globe.”  

The ESS program will seamlessly interoperate with, and eventually replace, the Space Force’s existing Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) system to provide enduring and secure satellite communications to strategic users. As a key component of the disaggregated architecture supporting legacy AEHF capabilities, the ESS program replaces AEHF’s mid-latitude system capability, extending its survivable communications capability to the North Polar Region.

As a prime contractor on the ESS program, Northrop Grumman will leverage decades of proven expertise in delivering protected MILSATCOM payloads for programs including Milstar , AEHF, Enhanced Polar System (EPS), and Enhanced Polar System Recapitalization (EPS-R).

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Ministry of Defence selects Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Oracle has announced that Defence Digital, a department in the UK’s Ministry of Defence, is making Oracle Cloud Infrastructure available within the MODCLOUD Multi-Hybrid suite of secure services, meeting the rapid demand for real-time information advantage.

Oracle’s flexible hybrid cloud infrastructure enables the choice and scale of technologies to manage data in a highly compliant environment.

The MOD Defence Digital application services and dev ops head Brigadier Sara Sharkey said: ‘The real opportunity of digital transformation—which includes artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, blockchain, and human interfaces—is to embrace data on a scale we’ve never seen before. Selecting Oracle Cloud Infrastructure within our MODCLOUD Multi-Hybrid suite of services offers new technologies that are reshaping how we approach IT and using this information, allowing us to focus on innovation and outcomes for both business and importantly, people.’

Digital  Defence will enable cloud infrastructure, integrated suite of business applications and platform services to be made available to the wider Defence community under a pan-defence Oracle enterprise agreement, and through Oracle’s integrated suite of services under a ‘single-sign on.’ The Ministry of Defence will be able to access emerging technologies such as digital assistants, data visualisation, mobile hub, and low code development tools.

“By adopting Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, the Ministry of Defence will be one step closer to realising its wider transformation strategy,” said Richard Petley, senior vice president and country leader, Oracle UK. “The Ministry of Defence will capitalise on the choice and economic benefits Oracle Cloud Infrastructure can provide, all of which will help meet challenges that lie ahead. It joins a whole host of public sector organisations, such as the Home Office, Western Sussex Family Assist, Lambeth Borough Council, Croydon County Council, The Office for National Statistics and Scottish Water, which are already using Oracle Cloud.”

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BAE Systems secures major mine neutraliser contract with US Navy

BAE Systems has been awarded a contract worth up to £87 million by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to manufacture and deliver Archerfish mine neutralisers for the US Navy.

This is the fourth consecutive Archerfish contract awarded to BAE Systems since 2003 and will see the Company deliver to the US Navy over the next seven years.

Archerfish is a remote-controlled underwater mine neutraliser that can be launched and operated from a surface ship, helicopter or an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). Its fibre optic data link relays real-time, high resolution, low-light video and high frequency sonar pictures of targets of interest from its on-board sensors.  The design reduces the time it takes to identify and neutralise targets, meaning clearance missions can be completed more quickly. Archerfish also protects personnel by eliminating the need to put divers into the water.

Archerfish is used by the US Navy’s MH-60S Helicopter squadrons (AN/ASQ-235) as part of the Airborne Mine Neutralisation capability, deployed from the Littoral Combat Ship.

Under the new contract Archerfish will continue to support the US Navy in live mine clearance operations and also provide capability to conduct training exercises between now and 2027.

The contract also includes the supply of fibre optic spool kits, support equipment, surveys, repairs and programme management and support, which will be provided by the Archerfish project team based in Portsmouth, UK.

Dr Brooke Hoskins, Director of Products and Training Services for BAE Systems’ Maritime Services business, said: “This contract builds on our strong partnership with the US Navy which has seen BAE Systems supporting its minesweeping operations for almost two decades. Archerfish not only helps to keep sailors safer, it also reduces the number and cost of mine clearance missions. Its world-leading capability and outstanding service with the US Navy makes Archerfish a highly attractive proposition to other major naval forces around the world.”  

Developed by BAE Systems under its own investment, Archerfish draws on the Company’s extensive expertise in underwater effectors.  Archerfish uses a flexible, open architecture command and control system that can be operated on its own or integrated into a higher-level command management structure.  Wireless communications mean it can be deployed remotely.

Investments continue to be made to enhance Archerfish to meet future mine countermeasure challenges and reduce the through-life cost of the system. Innovative fusing will allow it to be recovered and reused and an automatic target recognition function is being developed that will allow concurrent multi-shot Archerfish operations, enabling mines to be neutralised in waves.

Archerfish is manufactured in the UK at BAE Systems’ Broad Oak facility in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and Hillend facility in Dunfermline, Fife.  The contract with the US Department of Defense secures 30 highly skilled jobs in BAE Systems in Portsmouth and Fife and further jobs in the UK supply chain.

image courtesy of BAE Systems

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UK’s Defence Senior Advisor concludes visit to Egypt

Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer, UK Chief of Defence Staff’s Senior Advisor to the Middle East and North Africa has concluded a three-day official visit.

The visit aimed to further promote the bilateral military cooperation between both countries’ armed forces. During his visit, DSAME held high-level meetings with senior representatives from the Egyptian Armed Forces and was accompanied by British Defence Attaché Captain (Royal Navy) Stephen Deacon. The meetings touched on military aspects of common interest including opportunities to conduct joint military and naval exercises. Views were also exchanged on the latest regional military developments and ways to maintain maritime security in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Making remarks at the end of his visit, Lieutenant General Lorimer said: “I am delighted to be back in Egypt and to meet my friends in the Egyptian Armed Forces. COVID-19 has been a challenge for us all, so I am glad to be able to return to Egypt, whilst observing sensible precaution measures. We have had excellent discussions about regional security, current challenges, and discussed how we might work together more closely, including joint military training, COVID-19 permitting.

“We are determined to continue to cooperate closely in our counter-terrorism efforts and recognise that we have many shared responsibilities and objectives for regional security.”

British Ambassador to Egypt Sir Geoffrey Adams said: “DSAME’s visit reaffirmed the UK and Egypt’s longstanding military and strategic partnership. The UK is committed to Egypt’s security and stability, and we look forward to continued cooperation to strengthen our defence relations.”

New all ranks common room opens at RAF Benson

A new all ranks Common Room has officially opened at RAF Benson, enhancing the lived experience of RAF personnel and their families.

The new £400,000 facility will provide a relaxed environment where personnel and families can purchase refreshments, meals and snacks. Located in the Junior Ranks Mess building at the heart of the domestic site and managed by Sodexo, it will significantly enhance the current provision.

The Station’s vision was for a relaxing, welcoming all-ranks facility that would reduce isolation and provide flexibility in catering for personnel on the busy operational unit. With support from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), particularly the commercial and finance teams, that vision is now a reality.

Working closely together, DIO, Sodexo and the Station agreed plans, coordinated fixtures and fittings and delivered the innovative facility. Despite the added complications of lockdown, it progressed quickly and was opened within 9 months of approval. Funding for the project was from both public and non-public funds, including a grant of £150,000 from the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Andy Honnor, DIO’s Regional Head for the South East said: “This project is the result of a good relationship with RAF Benson and their request for a facility which would enhance the lived experience of their personnel. We were able to adapt plans used for a similar project elsewhere to create a much-improved social space, tailored to the needs of RAF Benson personnel, where they can relax, eat, drink and meet friends. We hope they enjoy the improvements we’ve made.”

image © Crown Copyright/RAF Benson 2020

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Royal Marines accommodation in Lympstone reaches milestone

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) project to build new accommodation for personnel at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) in Devon has celebrated a major milestone.

The socially distanced topping out ceremony held at the Royal Marines’ principal training centre in Lympstone means that the building’s framework has now reached its highest point. The event was held in line with the current Covid-19 guidelines.

Representatives from the Royal Marines, DIO and its contractors Galliford Try and AECOM attended a socially distanced event to mark this achievement and to view progress on the building.

The project is worth approximately £10 million in total and will see the creation of a 181-bed block for junior ranks as well as supporting facilities, such as a communal area and administrative offices, at the site near Lympstone.

The accommodation will comprise of 21 eight-bed rooms and one ten-bed unit plus three single Duty of Care rooms for supporting staff. All rooms have been designed so that they can be allocated to either male or female occupants.

The new blocks will house Royal Marine recruits who have either been injured in training or are undergoing remedial professional military training.

Progress has carried on at this important facility in accordance with strict Covid-19 guidelines.

Simon Jones, DIO Project Manager, said: “This is an incredibly exciting milestone for the project and one we are pleased to be working on with Galliford Try and with our technical support providers Aecom.

“This purpose-built facility will provide modern and essential accommodation to personnel as they recover from injury and undergo rehabilitation on site.

“We are delighted with the progress on the facility to date especially in these challenging times and we look forward to celebrating its completion.”

Mark Wusthoff, Area Director for Galliford Try Building West Midlands & South West, said: “We were delighted to be able to welcome our partners on site to signify this important milestone, demonstrating the progress we have safely made despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.

“Defence is a key sector for our business and we are looking forward to the successful completion of this project, demonstrating the breadth of our offering to the sector and our capabilities within it.”

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Hundreds of UK troops parachute into Ukraine for Exercise Joint Endeavour

Over 200 British paratroopers made history this week when they jumped into southern Ukraine for the first time ahead of Exercise Joint Endeavour.

250 soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade dropped into the Ternivsky training area, where they teamed up with thousands of Ukrainian troops ahead of Exercise Joint Endeavour.

Building on the strong relationship developed between the two nations’ armed forces in recent years, the exercise provides both nations with vital experience of deploying rapidly from air to land to counter threats.

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said: “Deploying directly to Ukraine from the UK, the Paras were straight into the action on Exercise Joint Endeavour.

“Our participation is an important affirmation of our commitment to our defence relationship with Ukraine, our partners in the Black Sea, and our ability to project highly capable troops forward anywhere, and any time, they’re needed.”

As the UK’s global response force, the paras of 16 Air Assault Brigade are able to deploy worldwide at short notice.

Alongside 200 troops from the Ukraine Airborne Forces, the Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade parachuted into the Eastern European country from 600ft from C-130 Hercules transport aircraft which had flown directly from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

In doing so, the paratroopers demonstrated the ability of the UK to move at pace to support our partners around the world.

The 250-strong UK force also made up of personnel from the Royal Engineers, Royal Horse Artillery, Royal Signals, The Parachute Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps and The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, is now fully assembled on the ground in Ukraine for Exercise Joint Endeavour.

Captain Harjot Singh Gill, 16 Air Assault Brigade: “We all bring something to this exercise. The Ukrainians bring their resolve and courage and we bring our constantly changing tactics and processes. Our shared values and the airborne nature of our units brings us closer together. This a welcomed opportunity and the hot weather just makes us realise that we are able to cope easily in all environments.”

Exercise Joint Endeavour, which will total up to 8,000 personnel and also feature a small number of troops from the USA and Canada, is the first multinational exercise in Ukraine since the country achieved NATO Enhanced Opportunity Partner status in June. As an enhanced opportunity partner, Ukraine will gain further experience working closely with NATO militaries, sharing best practice and matching capabilities.

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MOD seeking new solutions to assist urban drone technology

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) are seeking innovative and novel solutions to assist military drone operators to improve usability in challenging and complex urban operations.

This cross-departmental requirement between DASA and DE&S is designed for the rapid exploitation of technology and is the first of its kind.

Up to £900,000 is available for successful proposals that can help the Ministry of Defence overcome three challenges.

The first challenge is the development of an optimised Unmanned Air System suitable for use in urban environments.

The second challenge is to develop a human-controlled lethal payload that could integrate with a platform outlined in the first challenge.

The third challenge is to demonstrate a full Unmanned Air System with an integrated payload, bringing together the separate elements of challenges 1 and 2.

The MOD are looking for ideas that reduce the mental strain on operators and to improve performance – but solutions must ensure that they remain under full human control at all times.

It is envisaged that these innovations could in future contribute to a new capability that can remove service personnel and military dogs from complex and dangerous urban warfare situations where their lives are put at significant risk.

This competition will be run using a framework agreement. To be considered for inclusion on the framework, suppliers must first complete the compulsory Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) and Cyber Risk Assessment, by Thursday 15 October at midday BST.

Full details can be found in the competition document.

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