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25 Oct 11. Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully demonstrated advanced technologies for ground vehicle protection and situational awareness at the Camp Roberts range. In one of the test scenarios, Northrop Grumman simulated a typical convoy mission leaving a Forward Operating Base. By using the company’s Smart Integrated Vehicle Area Network (SiVAN) and vehicle-mounted sensors, crews in multiple vehicles maintained situational awareness with each other and the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) under all weather conditions. Connected to a wireless mesh network, the systems shared target information with other networked sensors and with the TOC. Operators were able to view imagery from several sensors.
“Military convoys are vital for resupply and force mobility in theater, but they face a number of significant threats. Improving their safety was one of the goals of our testing at Camp Roberts,” said Kay Burch, vice president of communications, intelligence & networking solutions for Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self Protection Systems Division. “The digital interoperability we demonstrated here will improve warfighters’ situational awareness by giving them greater access to the information they need, when they need it.”
SiVAN is a highly survivable, self-healing vehicle network that uses a simple plug-and-play interface to connect disparate technologies. With SiVAN, warfighters can easily add devices as needed and distribute the data throughout the network. SiVAN provides a self-forming information link between devices, local area dismounts, unmanned aerial vehicles and any other platform, allowing them all to interoperate seamlessly. The network’s open architecture foundation is optimized for the rapid integration of future technologies. Other systems integrated and tested during the exercise included fire control systems, targeting systems, radars, unattended ground sensors, acoustic sensors and survivability equipment. Northrop Grumman’s Rotorcraft Avionics Innovation Laboratory performed the rapid integrations.

11 Oct 11. Mercedes-Benz commences delivery of heavy recovery vehicles to German Army. The German Army has begun taking delivery of 12 heavy recovery vehicles that it ordered from Mercedes-Benz for service in Afghanistan. In 2008 the German Army attempted to acquire a crane-based recovery system, but the programme was abandoned the following year as no suitable offerings were made by industry. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

———————————————————————–Millbrook, based in Bedfordshire, UK, makes a significant contribution to the quality and performance of military vehicles worldwide. Its specialist expertise is focussed in two distinct areas: test programmes to help armed services and their suppliers ensure that their vehicles and systems work as the specification requires; and design and build work to upgrade new or existing vehicles, evaluate vehicle capability and investigate in-service failures. Complementing these is driver and service training and a hospitality business that allows customers to use selected areas of Millbrook’s remarkable facilities for demonstrations and exhibitions.

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