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19 Oct 14. Australian Tigers to receive tactical datalink. Approval for an interim tactical datalink for 21 of the Australian Army’s 22 Airbus Helicopters Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters (ARHs) was announced on 20 October by Defence Minister David Johnston. The minister said in a statement that the interim datalink, costing less than AUD20m (USD17m), would inform future Tiger upgrades that would deliver a fully integrated solution after 2020. Software development would be handled by Elbit Systems Australia, the contracted supplier of the Australian Army’s battle management system, and technical modifications to the aircraft would be conducted by the Australian subsidiary of Airbus Group. The Tiger was purchased by Australia with a proprietary datalink. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Oct 14. The US Army is testing new features in software for the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS-A). The software, developed by Lockheed Martin, includes Automated Entity Merge Service (AEMS), which automatically merges similar intelligence data, according to a Lockheed news release. The DataMover feature enables data to be converted across different formats for sharing across DCGS-A. “From drones and satellites to ground sensors and biometric scanners, the amount of information that flows through the DCGS-A enterprise is immense,” said Rob Smith, vice president of C4ISR at Lockheed Martin. “We’ve worked with the Army to update the software capabilities and make it easier for analysts to expedite the intelligence to those who need it most.” (Source: Open Source Information Report/C4ISR & Networks)
17 Oct 14. The Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) successfully de-orbited and landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:24 a.m. PDT, concluding a 674-day experimental test mission for the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. The X-37B was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on Dec. 11, 2012.
“We congratulate the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office and the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base on this third successful OTV mission,” said Ken Torok, Boeing director of Experimental Systems. “With a program total of 1,367 days on orbit over three missions, these agile and powerful small space vehicles have completed more days on orbit than all 135 Space Shuttle missions combined, which total 1,334 days. The innovative X-37B combines the best of an aircraft and a spacecraft into an affordable, responsive unmanned vehicle and continues to demonstrate that reusable space vehicles are affordable options that support vital missions.”
The first OTV mission began April 22, 2010, and concluded on Dec. 3, 2010, after 224 days in orbit. The second OTV mission began March 5, 2011, and concluded on June 16, 2012, after 468 days on orbit.
The X-37B program is demonstrating a reliable, reusable unmanned space test platform for the Air Force. Its objectives include space experimentation, risk reduction and concept-of-operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies that could become key enablers for future space missions. Boeing’s commitment to this space-based unmanned vehicle spans a decade and includes support to the Air Force Research Lab’s X-40 program, NASA’s X-37 program and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s X-37 Approach & Landing Test Vehicle program.
20 Oct 14. New SNE technologies make it easier to start up the system. The U.S. Army is conducting a follow-on operational test of Increment 2 of General Dynamics Information Systems’ Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) at the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 15.1, which kicked off on October 15 and is set to run until November 2, at Fort Bliss and the White Sands Missile Range, in New Mexico. WIN-T 2, which began its initial deployment with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division in Afgh