Jun 09. Wireless Fibre Systems Ltd (WFS), has joined up with the Norway-headquartered international marine electronics leaders, Kongsberg Maritime, to develop a wireless system for location of and communication with the company’s unmanned underwater vehicles in ice conditions. The €1.8m TILACSys project (Through-Ice Location and Communication System) will run for 24 months and deliver a demonstrator system that will be the world’s first of its kind. It is being supported with investment from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and the Research Council of Norway. The use of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) is growing across the globe, due to their high levels of mobility and flexibility and capability of delivering high quality – and resolution – data from the underwater environment. In polar regions, AUVs offer the added advantage of being able to explore beneath the ice. But today sub-ice AUVs are seldom used because of the risk of loss of vehicle. Traditionally, underwater connections have been made with AUVs via subsea umbilicals which, in polar regions, are not an option for establishing communications because of the obstacle caused by the ice. Conventional underwater wireless (acoustic) technology will not penetrate ice. The newly emerging underwater free-space optical systems are not an option either as a light beam will reflect off the surface of the ice. Due to the ice cap, surfacing for satellite communication is not an option. The TILACSys will enable a surface vessel, a helicopter or an unmanned aerial vehicle to locate and communicate with the AUV through the ice. The system is seen as a key component for de-risking under-ice AUV operations. The resulting increased use of AUVs under ice to successfully collect data will greatly enhance human knowledge about topography, oceanography, marine life and marine systems in arctic areas.
06 Jul 09. BAE Systems and Kongsberg Protech Systems have signed a teaming agreement to sell and support Kongsberg’s Remote Weapon Stations (RWS) in Australia. Kongsberg is a market leader in Remote Weapon Stations development and production with more than 10,000 systems sold with deployment in 16 countries, including on the Australian Army’s ASLAV. It also supplies the US Army with RWS through the CROWS II program. Ian Sharp, Director Land Business Unit, for BAE Systems Australia said, “Kongsberg’s stabilised RWS enables armoured vehicle crews to effectively engage threats while on the move or stationary and all the time protected under armour – a life saving capability in high threat deployments. “Through this teaming the Australian Defence Force will benefit from comprehensive, responsive and cost effective local support for the Kongsberg RWS originally acquired under an Urgent Operational Requirement,” Mr Sharp said. Egil Haugsdal, Executive Vice President Kongsberg Protech Systems, said, “Kongsberg looks forward to expanding its global relationship with BAE Systems through this wide ranging RWS agreement for the Australian market. BAE Systems in the US is already a key supplier of uncooled thermal imaging sensors to our US CROWS II program and this agreement will take full advantage of BAE Systems Australia’s comprehensive platform, systems and equipment through life support capabilities.
07 Jul 09. Patria and ThalesRaytheonSystems have on 3 July signed in Massy France, an agreement on Patria’s part in the Finnish Defence Force’s medium and long range radar systems programs following the decision by the Finnish Ministry of Defence to award the supply of medium range radars and the modernisation of long range radars to ThalesRaytheonSystems. The value of the Patria agreement is approximately EUR10m. Patria, together with its subcontractors, will contribute a significant part of the program including the software design, equipment shelter rearmament and modifications. The project’s employment effect, for Patria’s Systems Business Unit in Tampere and Espoo will be approximatel