UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
22 June 22. Dstl is searching for generation-after-next wearable technology.
Blood, sweat, tears…and saliva. Molecular measurements through biocompatible wearable technologies
- DASA has launched a new Themed Competition: Generation-after-next Wearable Technologies
- Funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
- Up to £750k funding available for innovative wearable technologies that focus on biocompatible materials that access information present within an individual’s bodily fluids
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is pleased to launch a new Themed Competition called Generation-after-next Wearable Technologies. Run on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), this competition seeks wearable biocompatible technologies and innovations that move beyond the measurement of physical parameters such as heart rate, and instead, towards the capability to measure data present in the individual’s body fluids, such as blood, sweat, tears, saliva and tissue fluids.
For this themed competition, Dstl seeks to:
- obtain credible evidence that generation-after-next wearable technologies have the potential to protect the health and wellbeing of future Defence and Security staff
- overcome critical technical challenges to enable exploitation of novel wearable technologies
- find novel technology developments to provide relevant measures that inform critical decision making in maintaining the health and wellbeing of Defence and Security staff
Key technologies this competition will focus on include devices / assay systems, semi-implantable and fully implantable devices, studies and sensor systems, and any technology that provides robust measures of biomarkers.
Key dates and funding
Up to £750,000 is available to fund multiple proposals for generation-after-next wearable technology.
The deadline to submit a proposal is midday 25 August 2022.
Do you have an innovation? Read the full competition document and submit a proposal.
Moving beyond the smartwatch and towards biocompatible materials and sensor technologies, the ability to analyse the molecules in clinical matrices is essential to understand the health of an individual.
Currently, analyses of molecular biomarkers in clinical matrices is restricted to laboratory analysis. However, novel platforms have emerged that are capable of continuous on-person measurement of important clinical biomarkers, such as glucose.
In addition, developments in biocompatible materials, biomarker identification and measurement methods have led to a new generation of wearable sensor technologies. The development of these platforms and technologies has fostered aspirations within the defence science community to understand how they can be adapted to monitor biomarkers of interest in the defence community to improve the health and wellbeing of Defence and Security staff.
Generation-after-next wearable technologies will measure biomarkers present in the individual’s body and be able to derive immediate and long-term data on how the physical and occupational stressors impact the individual in a Defence and Security setting.
This data has the potential to provide predictive and prognostic information to prompt intervention and minimise the risk of disease and non-battle injury.
Generation-after-next wearable technology: Challenge areas
Submitted proposals should choose to target one or more of the below challenge areas.
Biocompatibility, future tolerability of platforms for human use and maintenance of performance of sensor capabilities over periods of hours and potentially days depending on the target biomarker and scenario of use. For example:
- demonstration of platforms capable of reliably accessing molecular biomarkers in a range of body fluids
The ability to measure several types of analyte (small molecules to larger protein targets) in a continuous assay format. This challenge area will also examine adaptability and flexibility of assays to integration of new biomarker panels as they emerge from human science research studies. For example:
- demonstration of novel continuous measurement for molecular markers (e.g. enzymes, metabolites or small molecules)
Assessment of the applicability of accessible bodily fluids to measurement of particular biomolecules, i.e. studies to show presence of key biomarkers, with relevance to associated pathology, in particular sample types and indicate exploitability of these platforms in defence and security applications. For example:
- studies that demonstrate that a particular accessible fluid (e.g. sweat, saliva, tear fluid, interstitial fluid) is a relevant matrix for a particular biomarker associated with a chosen stressor of interest.
Want to learn more about these challenge areas? Read the full competition document here.
Webinars and online events
Competition Webinar: 6 July 2022
This webinar will provide more information on the challenge areas and how to submit a proposal. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions in the Q&A. If you would like to get involved, please register on the Eventbrite page
Related DASA Competition
If you’re interested in this technology area please also take a look at Engineering Biology for Defence and Security. Please note that you cannot submit the same proposal to both competitions. If you’re interested in applying but unsure which competition your innovation would be best suited to, contact your local innovation partner.
Submit a proposal
Do you have a solution or novel approach that may help our understanding of generation-after-next wearable technologies to protect the health and wellbeing of future defence staff? Submit an idea and help DASA and Dstl ensure wearable technology capabilities are informed by the latest research and developments.
Read the full competition document to learn more and submit a proposal: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/generation-after-next-wearable-technologies (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
22 June 22. Lockheed can deliver F-35 to Germany from 2026, sees more orders in Europe. Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) said on Wednesday it could deliver first F-35 fighter jets to Germany in 2026 and expects more orders for the aircraft in Europe as Greece and the Czech Republic have expressed significant interest.
“You’ll hear more about it soon,” J.R. McDonald, the vice president of F-35 business development at Lockheed Martin, told journalists at a news conference at the ILA Berlin Air Show trade fair. At the same time, the first F-35 aircraft Germany has ordered to replace its aging Tornado fleet in 2025-2030 could be delivered from 2026 depending on the outcome of talks with the government in Berlin, McDonald said.German companies including engine maker MTU (MTXGn.DE) are currently looking into how they could get involved in the program by supplying parts or providing maintenance, McDonald added. (Source: Reuters)
21 Jun 22. TKMS to bid for German defence contracts, including two submarines – FAZ. Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) (TKAG.DE) is aiming to clinch new orders from the German Navy as the government boosts defence spending in response to the Ukraine war, the chief executive said in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday.
“We have been invited to bid for additional submarines and corvettes,” Oliver Burkhard told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, adding that the German defence group would do this “in the coming weeks”.
The bids include “at least two additional submarines” from a cooperation between Norway and Germany, which so far consists of six submarines, Burkhard said.
A third edition of the K 130 corvette is also in the offing, after the first boat of the second edition was just christened, he added.
The CEO said new negotiations would be necessary because the costs had risen considerably.
TKMS is also interested in building the navy’s new frigates, the F 127, Burkhard told the newspaper.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in a policy shift after decades of attrition of Germany’s armed forces, pledged in February after Russia invaded Ukraine to sharply increase defence spending, including an initial 100 bn euro ($106bn) fund. (Source: Google/Reuters)
17 June 22. Manned-unmanned teaming at core of French Army’s future helicopter programs. Combining manned and unmanned assets will open “a new field of capabilities” for France’s next-generation helicopter programs, a senior military official said Thursday at the Eurosatory defense show near Paris. As the nation’s Army moves ahead to field three new rotary-wing platforms by 2025, the ability to partner those systems with autonomous and semiautonomous technology will be a gamechanger, said Stéphane Kammerer, a general engineer for armaments second class at the French procurement office, DGA. That rank is equivalent to a one-star general in the U.S. military.
Those three programs — to develop the H160M Guépard joint light utility helicopter; to perform midlife upgrades on the NH90 Caiman multirole aircraft; and to launch the Tiger MKIII upgraded attack helicopter — will mark the first time the French Army has “multi-capabilities” on helicopters, noted Kammerer.
The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation in early 2022 awarded a contract to Airbus Helicopters for the development, production and initial in-service support of the Tiger MKIII attack helicopter upgrade program. (Airbus)
“I feel that today, we don’t really imagine all the fields of these capabilities and what could be possible to make with such a capability,” he said during a panel discussion on the conference floor.
The manned-unmanned teaming capability fits squarely into the Army’s Scorpion program, a broad modernization plan to field new capabilities by 2040, officials noted at the panel. Such a capability would contribute to the service’s “collaborative combat” framework thanks to increased connectivity and the potential to integrate technology into future command-and-control tactical software, said Col. Hervé Fernando, who sits on the French Army Staff.
The service wants to achieve two main ambitions with its future rotorcraft, Fernando said during the panel. “We have to be able to detect, to observe, to understand, and to decide and act faster than the enemy, [while the] second ambition could be the fact of penetrating, fighting and being efficient in the most contested environments,” he said.
Several challenges lie ahead for these aircraft, including mobility and survivability, Fernando added, and the Army must first conduct studies to learn how to better conserve energy as part of improving their ability to operate in degraded environments.
He also said the aircraft require improved threat detection capabilities, as the number of friendly and unfriendly assets flying low in areas of operation will only grow over the next few years.
Another challenge relates to observation, detection and aggression, which the Army wants to meet by improved the accuracy of sensors and shooters in its major assets, but also across other platforms to fill out the collaborative combat environment of the future, Fernando said.
The three new helicopter platforms are expected to better integrate into an increasingly digital environment, and they’re to feature new armaments such as laser-guided rockets and missile systems that provide the ability to strike beyond the line of sight.
The new NH90 Caiman standard, which will comprise 10 aircraft designated for special forces, is in development by NHIndustries, a consortium made up of French company Airbus, Italian firm Leonardo and Fokker Aerostructures, which is a subsidiary of a British business GKN.
Meanwhile, Airbus is building the H160M Guepard for France, along with the Tiger MKIII helicopters for both France and Spain. France is set to receive 42 new Tiger helicopters, while Spain will receive 18.
Germany has yet to make a decision on whether to join the Tiger upgrade program, representatives from Airbus and OCCAR — the intergovernmental procurement agency handling the program — confirmed to Defense News during Eurosatory.
Kammerer described the Guépard program as “a very huge project” to design one helicopter to replace five existing fleets across the armed services, comprising the Alouette, Fennec, Gazelle, Panther and Dauphin platforms. The DGA has ordered 169 aircraft — 80 for the Army, 49 for the Navy and 40 for the Air Force — which are under development by Airbus. (Source: Defense News)
17 June 22. US Army Invites Innovators to Enter 7th Dragon’s Lair. For the first time ever, the XVIII Airborne Corps will partner with Army Futures Command to co-host the seventh installment of the innovative series Dragon’s Lair. This next edition of the “Shark Tank”-style competition will take place August 16 in Austin, Texas. In August 2020, the XVIII Airborne Corps, known as America’s Contingency Corps, developed Dragon’s Lair as a way to give soldiers of any rank across the corps a platform to convey their innovative ideas and concepts to civilian technical experts and senior military leaders. This new partnership with AFC will now bring ideas to the forefront of the Army’s premier institution, which is charged with modernizing the Army and its future readiness at a faster rate.
After five successful iterations of the program, the XVIII Airborne Corps realized that Dragon’s Lair could go beyond the Army’s reach and decided to open it up to all military service members across the Defense Department to seek more innovators and diversity of ideas across the joint force.
The partnership with AFC brings an opportunity to unlock new ideas for the advancement of the U.S. military. In the past, Dragon’s Lair has taken the previously unsought ideas of a cooling apparatus for body armor, an algorithm to predict a building’s layout, an app for the exceptional family member program, and an armored vehicle safety system, and it has elevated them to the next level for the betterment service members.
DOD service members can submit their innovative ideas on the Dragon Innovation website. Users must create an account, which does not require a Common Access Card and is available from civilian systems. All concepts must have a description of the innovation and the problem being addressed. Ideas must be submitted to the site by July 24, 2022, to be eligible for consideration for Dragon’s Lair 7. (Source: US DoD)
REST OF THE WORLD
23 June 22. Morocco receives VL MICA missiles, Sherpa vehicles from France. Morocco’s armed forces are taking delivery of Sherpa armoured vehicles and VL MICA air defence systems from France following contracts signed some two years ago.
Defensa last month reported that the first batch of Sherpa vehicles had arrived in Morocco and were seen being transported to military bases in the North African country. In 2020 it was reported that Morocco had ordered 36 Sherpa armoured vehicles from France’s Arquus, in Light Scout and Light Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) models.
The Sherpa was launched in 2006 and is produced in four variants: the Sherpa Scout seating four to five soldiers, Carrier (with a flat bed at the rear), APC for troop transport and Sherpa Special Forces. Over 1 000 Sherpas have been built for entities like Nato (the International Security Assistance Forces have used the vehicle in Afghanistan) and countries such as Chile, Kuwait, Lebanon and Indonesia. An Assault Ladder version has been acquired by India, Brazil and France for police/security missions.
The Sherpa has a gross vehicle mass of 11 tons with a 3.3 ton payload. It is air transportable in C-130 and A400M aircraft. With engines up to 265 hp, it has a maximum road speed of 110 km/h and range of 1 000 km. The vehicle can be fitted with a manual turret or remotely operated weapon station armed with a machine gun up to 12.7 mm.
The Sherpa APC version can carry up to ten people including driver and commander and is available with two or four side doors. Various armour options are available for landmine and ballistic protection.
According to reports from Morocco, the first two VL MICA batteries arrived in recent weeks after being ordered in 2020 at a cost of 192 m euros. It is understood that four batteries are being acquired from MBDA.
The VL MICA system comprises of a series of truck-mounted elements, including a tactical operations centre, Sagem SIGMA 30 radar, and launcher vehicles that can carry between three and six multi-round launchers with the missiles in clusters of four rounds. The MICA fire-and-forget missile, capable of being fitted with either a heat-seeking homing head or with an active radar seeker head, has an interception range of up to 20km.
Morocco has also ordered 40 Caesar 155 mm artillery systems for 170m euros and ammunition worth 30m euros from Nexter. France and Morocco enjoy close economic and defence ties – between 2008 and 2018, France sold Morocco some 1.8 bn euros worth of military equipment, including two satellites. Morocco acquired three Harfang (Heron) unmanned aerial vehicles from France in January 2020 and in March 2021 ordered 300 VLRA-2 4×4 light tactical military vehicles from Arquus to strengthen the firepower and mobility of its special forces units. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
23 June 22. Will the IAF choose Embraer’s C-390 millennium tactical transport aircraft? The Embraer offering is fresh from a win against American Defence and Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin’s C130-H Super Hercules in the Netherlands.
Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands chose the C-390M to replace the C-130H Hercules, with the first transport aircraft to be delivered by 2026.
As the Indian Air Force (IAF) eyes for a new tactical transport aircraft, Brazilian aerospace manufacturing giant Embraer may potentially be offering an option in the form of the C-390. The Embraer offering is fresh from a win against American Defence and Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin’s C130-H Super Hercules in the Netherlands.
Earlier this month Financial Express Online had reported quoting officials that Brazilian aircraft manufacturer is “in talks” with Indian authorities and has offered its C-390 Millennium. Recently the Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands chose the C-390M to replace the C-130H Hercules, with the first transport aircraft to be delivered by 2026.
C-390: A Tale of the Tape
The C-390 was inducted into the Brazilian Air Force on 4 September 2019. The following saw the company announce on 18 November 2019 at the Dubai Air show that the aircraft would be called C-390 Millennium in the global market. The C-390 Millennium is a medium-size, twin-engine, jet-powered military transport aircraft.
The aircraft has a load capacity of 26,000 kg and is capable of performing a multitude of operational roles ranging from transporting VIPs to cargo along with carrying out more challenging logistical operations including aerial refueling. The C-390 is the heaviest aircraft manufactured by Embraer.
The aircraft operates with a three person flight crew; this included two pilots and a loadmaster. The Millennium can carry 80 troops, or a combination 74 stretchers and eight attendants or 66 paratroopers. Other combinations which the aircraft would accommodate are 7 463L master pallets or 6 463L master pallets and 36 troops.
Embraer in Talks with the IAF
As New Delhi and Sao Paulo maintain strong bilateral relations and are members of the BRICS grouping, the C390 offering is seen by observers as being a natural extension. If the deal is secured, then it is likely to further cement defence ties. The Brazilian manufacturer believes that the C-390 Millennium is the best option for the IAF.
Jackson Schneider, President & CEO, Embraer Defense & Security had previously told Financial Express Online: “In India to be candid we are at the beginning of the process with the Indian authorities. And we believe with the right Indian partner and the right approach, we will be able to deliver for India the best solution even integrating in the plane Indian products, capacities and capabilities for the plane. We are absolutely open to integrating it in the plane, Indian solutions not only for India but other countries as well.”
“Campaigns do not just conclude in two to three months, they require time but we are very very optimistic. India offers a more than viable market and the geopolitical proximity with Brazil helps. During the BRICS chapter I interacted with the delegation from New Delhi extensively. India has in defence a very complimentary industry. We are very open to discussing and doing more things together. As we did in the past, we are open to seeing both countries developing things together, and developing solutions together.
When asked if the C-390 meets the IAF’s operational requirements, the company official had told Financial Express Online: “Yes. The plane has the capability to undertake missions across different terrains and extreme environments in the country. It can be part of a quick response team and when needed to carry out other missions too.”
Has C-130J Been Shot Down For IAF Contract?
Embraer’s recent victory against American industry counterpart Lockheed Martin may further embolden Indian policymakers to consider the C-390 offering. The Netherlands defence ministry considered multiple options to replace its C-130s. Their research suggested that the C-390M was better than Lockheed Martin’s C-130J, which was considered an alternative and a strong contender with a stellar operational record.
The IAF has operates a dozen C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, the first of which was ordered in 2007 and has been looking to induct more into its fleet.
Lockheed Martin had bagged a USD328.8 m, five-year contract from the IAF, to provide dedicated and comprehensive support for its Super Hercules fleet. Given its history with the C-13OJs, the Lockheed Martin offering could prove to be a tough contender for Embraer’s C-390 millennium.
If the results from the Netherlands are a precedent, the IAF may shift its gaze to Embraer for its C-390 offering, which it is reportedly in talks with. Both the C-130J Super Hercules and C-390 Millennium are likely to duke it out to meet the IAF’s requirements, only time will tell which aircraft will prevail! (Source: Google/https://www.financialexpress.com/)
06 Jun 22. Egypt close to completing $3bn arms deal with Italy. Cairo’s purchase of 24 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft is part of a wider arms deal with Rome valued between $10-12bn. Egypt is close to finalising a $3bn deal with Italy to acquire combat aircraft, following three years of negotiations, according to an Italian newspaper. Il Fatto Quotidiano quoted an Italian government official as saying that the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is awaiting confirmation from Italian Prime Minister Mario Dargi to finalise the deal, which includes the purchase of 24 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.
The sale of fighter jets is part of a wider arms deal, valued at between $10-12bn, involving warships, combat and training aircraft, and a military satellite.
If completed, it would be the largest arms deal in Egypt’s recent history and one of the largest arms deals by Italy since World War Two.
In addition to the Typhoon aircraft, the wider deal is expected to include four European multi-purpose frigates (FREMM), manufactured by Italian ship company Fincantieri, 20 patrol ships, 20 M-346 warplanes, and an observation satellite.
The source added that the Italian aerospace and defence company Leonardo will receive about 60 percent of the price of the aircraft, developed by a consortium of aerospace and defence companies from the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
Tensions over Regeni murder
Negotiations over the arms deal have taken place amid tensions between Egypt and Italy regarding the 2016 torture and murder of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni, whose body was found on the outskirts of Cairo.
An Italian investigation had accused members of the Egyptian security services of being behind the killing, however, Cairo has repeatedly denied any involvement.
Egypt closed its own investigation in December 2020, fuelling outrage and controversy in Italy around the arms deal with Cairo.
That same month, Egypt received the first of two FREMMs from Italy, acquiring the second in April 2021.
The Italian government at the time separated the deal from Regeni’s murder, justifying its decision to allow the sale as a “commercial operation that has nothing to do with the search for the truth about the death of Giulio Regeni”.
The Regeni family sued the Italian government over the sale of the first two FREMMs.
Egypt is among the top 10 importers of arms worldwide, with a total of $22bn worth of arms bought between 2010 and 2020.
Since Sisi seized power in a military coup in 2013, European Union countries and the UK have significantly increased their arms sales to Egypt, despite protests over human rights abuses in the country.
In December 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron declared he would not make arms sales to Egypt conditional on human rights, because he did not want to weaken Cairo’s ability to combat militancy in the region.
Between 2013 and 2020, European countries exported or licensed at least $12.4bn worth of arms to Egypt, according to Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT). In 2021 alone, total German arms sales to Egypt amounted to $4.8bn. (Source: https://www.middleeasteye.net/)
Since 1946, Industrial Electronic Engineers, IEE, has specialized in the design, test, support and fielding of display products for use in demanding military and aerospace applications throughout the world. IEE has developed an extensive product portfolio that today includes enhanced flat panel displays, smart displays and handheld devices.
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