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08 Nov 18. Leonardo Selected by South Korea’s LIG Nex1 As a Strategic Technology Partner. The companies will initially work together to address the Republic of Korea’s requirement to upgrade its airborne IFF equipment, which automatically recognises whether other platforms are friend or foe, to the new ‘Mode 5’ standard
- Leonardo is an international leader in IFF technology. It is currently working as prime contractor to upgrade the IFF technology on 31 UK Ministry of Defence platform types to Mode 5
At Indo Defence 2018 Expo & Forum (Jakarta 7 – 10 November), Leonardo is proud to announce that it has been selected by the Republic of Korea-based company LIG Nex1 as a strategic technology partner. The two companies will initially bid together to carry out the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Agency (DAPA)’s IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) upgrade requirement. This will see the IFF equipment on aircraft operated by RoK Armed Forces updated to the latest ‘Mode 5’ standard.
IFF is central to military operations as it allows armed forces to recognise friends and identify potential hostiles. The equipment acts as a sophisticated digital version of a ‘challenge and response’ password system, sending out a challenge signal and checking it receives a correct password. The latest Mode 5 standard equipment uses advanced cryptographic techniques to secure the IFF system against attempts by enemies to deceive or jam.
Leonardo is already working on a high-profile IFF upgrade programme in the UK as prime contractor to upgrade the IFF technology on more than 350 of the UK’s operational aircraft, naval vessels and ground-based air defence systems to the Mode 5 standard. In the Republic of Korea, Leonardo will draw on this experience to reduce the risk of the upgrade programme and also plans to localise production of key parts of the equipment in-country.
The selection is the just latest highlight in Leonardo’s on-going approach to localisation in the Republic of Korea. In 2017, Leonardo signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a leading Korean defence contractor to jointly provide avionics and mission systems, initially in relation to targeting systems, for the Republic of Korea and internationally.
Prior to this, Leonardo executed an Electronic Warfare Operational Support (EWOS) knowledge transfer programme for members of the RoK Navy, Air Force and the Agency for Defense Development (ADD), ensuring that South Korea’s armed forces are prepared for today’s today’s electronics-driven battlespace.
Leonardo’s AW159 helicopter is also in operational service with the RoK Navy. The RoKN AW159 helicopters are equipped with the same Leonardo ‘Seaspray’ Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars and Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (HIDAS) that are also used by the UK’s Royal Navy on their AW159 Wildcat helicopters and carry the company’s latest-generation ‘SAGE’ electronic warfare systems. (Source: ASD Network)
08 Nov 18. Dell introduces new jungle warfare-tested rugged laptop range. Dell has launched its Latitude Rugged Extreme 7424 and Rugged 5424 and 5420 range of notebooks, which have proven their toughness in jungle warfare scenarios and in the laboratory. As well as improved ruggedness and the ability to survive hot, cold, wet and dusty environments, the new range delivers brighter and sharper full high-definition displays and feature hot-swappable dual-batteries with a combined charge that can last more than 14 hours.
Dell vice president and general manager for Rugged Tom Tobul opened the October launch event in London, saying: “Think about the environment in which these devices need to operate in terms of drops and shocks, changes of temperature, and being able to use the touchscreen with gloved hands. To be able to comprehend these user scenarios out in the field, we spend a lot of time talking to users of our devices and improving them, generation over generation, to make sure that they continue to support changes in the way that they work.
“One of the ones that you’ll see in the latest products is a change in the brightness, so you’ll get as much as 1,000 nits [candela per square metre] of brightness out of the screen, so that when you’re outside on a sunny day you can still see the data that’s on the screen. Access to data in the field is vital, so having wireless WAN capability over cellular or 4G is increasingly important.”
Tobul continued: “Battery operation needs to support all-day computing – it would be bad out in the field if the system wouldn’t boot up, you couldn’t get access to the data, find the map, or find where your colleagues are. We spend a lot of time with our users in understanding how they’re using our devices, the changes that they need us to make on the next generations, and continue to refine those products.”
Tobul explained that Dell has continued to remove weight from its devices between generations without losing ruggedness. The Latitude 5420 rugged laptop is up to 22% lighter and thinner and weighs just 2.22kg.
“The commercial scale and the global availability that we bring across why Dell is important in this space,” added Tobul. “We have a rugged-specific engineering team, a rugged-specific lab ramping it up from an engineering perspective, and we are continuing to focus on innovating in this space, such as enabling five- or ten-fingered touch on the screen with a gloved hand.”
Jungle warfare expert and technical director of survival equipment company Crib Gogh Steve Heaword tested Dell’s rugged range in extreme environments during disaster relief missions and jungle warfare exercises.
“The key to a successful operation is equipment and the quality of training of the troops,” he said.
“The Dell Rugged range has been tested in a number of operational capabilities; one of those was Jelebu in Malaysia which is probably one of the most hostile places on the planet. A soldier is the most important resource in any army. However, the kit and equipment they carry is an important part of the equation as well.
“We depend on high-quality technology solutions to support problems faced by our soldiers in everyday events and complex environments,” Heaword continued. “Our kit needs to be mobile, resilient and available, and above all rugged. Dell rugged devices provide us with a mobile, resilient information platform that allows passage of information rapidly across the battlespace.”
Heaword highlighted two scenarios in which Dell’s range demonstrated their durability. During one jungle exercise, he had to drop a rucksack containing a Dell Rugged tablet and a semi-rugged laptop in a mangrove swamp for 30 minutes to escape dangerous krait snakes. After retrieving the rucksack and drying out the devices, they powered up and worked as expected.
In another, troops set up a remote command and control centre which they moved regularly to track enemy movements. The Dell rugged laptops were charged off-grid under a canopy in often rainy weather using solar mats capturing low-level sunlight, infra-red and ultraviolet wavelengths, but still managed to keep running for 18 weeks.
The range comes with the latest generation of Intel quad-core processors, AMD graphics chips, next-gen Cat16 4G/LTE communication and have a new active cooling solution. The 7424 and 5424 offer an optional Blu-Ray burner for maximum data storage density. (Source: army-technology.com)
08 Nov 18. Thales allies with UniSA to develop future anti-sub warfare tech. Thales has announced it will be sponsoring a PhD at the University of South Australia (UniSA) to examine artificial intelligence and its role in the future of anti-submarine warfare.
The program is a joint UK-Australia initiative and aims to utilise AI within maritime combat systems in support of human operators. Thales plans to use the results from the research to integrate into their high-performance sonar solutions.
“We have been working closely with the UK in the area of sensor development for sonar arrays for over 10 years,” Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said.
“This collaboration between Thales and UniSA will extend our collaboration into inboard systems.”
The research has the potential to be extremely beneficial to the Royal Australian Navy, with Thales also providing the sonar systems for SEA 5000.
It also further strengthens Australia’s Anti-Submarine Warfare Strategic Partnership with the UK, which was highlighted earlier this year with Australia-UK ministerial meetings in Edinburgh as well as the selection of a UK design for Australia’s Hunter Class frigates.
Thales also provides the sonar systems for RAN’s Anzac Class frigates.
CEO of Thales in the UK, Victor Chavez, said the research could indeed be implemented in RAN’s upcoming platform and maritime combat system procurements.
“I’m delighted to extend our joint work with Australia in this critical area,” Chavez said. “We rely on strong academic partnerships to ensure we stay at the forefront of this technology in the UK, and we recognise the leading contribution that the University of South Australia’s Behaviour Brain Body Research Centre can bring to both our nations’ anti-submarine warfare solutions.”
UniSA vice chancellor Professor David Lloyd said the university is delighted to be providing the PhD.
“UniSA’s Behaviour Brain Body Research Centre has developed partnerships over many years across a range of industries including aviation, long-haul transport and defence sectors to study fatigue and human performance,” Professor Lloyd said. “As defence and other industries increasingly integrate AI systems, expert research from the centre will help to inform how people work best in these new environments, optimising operational performance and ensuring worker wellbeing.”
The French company says the goal of the PhD is to “to find ways to ensure that as increased levels of autonomy and automation are introduced into service the operator remains central in the maritime mission system”.
With Australia’s maritime environment becoming more congested, advanced AI will be used to help human operators during periods of sleep loss and fatigue.
More than half of the world’s submarines are expected to be operating within the region in the coming decades, and the ability to support maritime operators will be more important than ever.
Research into advanced AI to support operators is just another example of anti-submarine strategy being employed by the RAN. SEA 1000 and SEA 5000 are being implemented with anti-sub activity considered the primary functions of the projects.
SEA 1000 will see 12 ‘regionally superior’ submarines enter service in the early 2030s, costing an estimated $50bn dollars, although that figure has been questioned and could raise by $30bn dollars.
SEA 5000 is the planned introduction of 12 of the ‘most advanced anti-submarine warships in the world’, the Hunter Class frigates, which will begin entering service in the late 2020s. (Source: Defence Connect)
06 Nov 18. Lockheed Martin has opened a brand new, £250,000 facility at its Bedfordshire site, designed to bring high-tech ideas to life and help solve some of the world’s most complex defence and security challenges. The Innovation Lab (iLab) encourages teams to make the impossible possible by providing the space, tools and the environment to turn ideas into reality. In addition, Lockheed Martin plans to open its doors to young people, with the hope of inspiring the engineers of tomorrow, and give them the opportunity to put their talent to the test.
Lockheed Martin’s Deputy Managing Director, Chris Edwards, who was joined by Chris Dent, Head of Research and Technology at Lockheed Martin, and Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University to cut the ribbon said, “Innovation is what Lockheed Martin does and in opening the iLab, we are not only investing in our facilities, but we are investing in our people and the local community. Often, the solution to a problem starts with a simple idea; we want to encourage that thinking amongst our teams, who are solving problems today and young people in the local community, who will be the problem solvers of tomorrow.”
The exciting development will enable Lockheed Martin employees to take advantage of the facility and be given the freedom to innovate, develop and test ideas beyond the constraints of day-to-day programme boundaries. Through its outreach programme, the organisation is intending to extend the facility to local schools and other educational institutes.
Professor Sir Peter Gregson said, “It’s fantastic to once again see Lockheed Martin investing in the region. As two organisations at the heart of the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Growth Corridor, Cranfield and Lockheed Martin are playing an important role in fostering innovation and developing skills not just for the region but for the country as a whole. We share a common desire to see more young people taking up careers in STEM and I’m sure the Lockheed Martin iLab at Ampthill will provide tremendous opportunities to excite young people in the region about the possibilities that are open to them.“
06 Nov 18. TE Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity and sensors, has released its new NanoRF modules and contacts, which double the density of today’s VITA 67 RF modules for VPX embedded computing applications. This high frequency nanominiature coax contact is engineered with smaller contacts and a higher RF contact density within a multi-position module. This design enables smaller packaging and saves valuable space. Half-size modules can support up to 12 RF contacts and full-size modules can support 18 contacts or higher, with the option to customize contact count and position.
TE’s NanoRF modules and contacts are also versatile. Their blind-mateable, float-mounted backplane contacts support module-to-module or box-to-box architecture. And, while they are designed for 0.047-inch coax cable, multiple cable types are available to fit the application’s needs. To bring high frequency capability into a high density modular package, the contacts are optimized for signal integrity and support frequencies up to 70 GHz.
The NanoRF’s design features a floating insert on the backplane side, with guide features to pre-align the array of contacts before they engage. This results in reliable mating and consistent RF performance up to 500 mating cycles.
“NanoRF offers outstanding high frequency coax contact density in a rugged modular package, which is ideal for providing reliable RF performance in harsh environments,” said Mike Walmsley, global product manager for TE’s Aerospace, Defense and Marine division. “It has been tested to VITA 72’s high vibration standards and is ready for VPX open architecture under VITA 67.3 — with a roadmap for expansion into other high-density packages.”
06 Nov 18. Komatsu to Distribute Skycatch Solution Globally. Komatsu and Skycatch jointly announced the global availability of the Explore1 high precision RTK drone, Edge1 GNSS base station, on-premise data processing and aerial analytics unit, now available through the Komatsu global distribution channels.
Komatsu has been pioneering job site automation in Construction since 1921, providing savvy construction workers across the globe the ability to leverage the most innovative technology with the goal to automate construction job sites to reach maximum efficiency and productivity.
“The introduction of Explore1 and Edge1 have already revolutionized the Japanese market, and we are excited to share this technology with all Komatsu distributors globally. Edge1 accuracy and powerful in-field aerial analytics will become the center of automation for all future job sites, especially in North America,” said Chikashi Shike, President, Smart Construction Promotion Division Komatsu.
In common construction workflows, the time-to-data using traditional surveying methods could take weeks until project stakeholders can view or analyze their job site data. With the Edge1, customers are able to leverage a seamless GCP free workflow that consistently delivers sub 5 cm accurate data, in arbitrary or local coordinate systems within 30 minutes, saving countless hours and labor costs.
Since its inception, more than 10,000 job sites across Japan have been using the Skycatch high precision platform to eliminate the need for GCP’s and deliver record-setting time-to-data in one easy to use full solution.
“Skycatch and Komatsu offer a unique opportunity for the precision drone customer. Not only do we provide a full solution, but we also offer a product that can seamlessly fit on to any job site. The Edge1 has been optimized to work with any DJI drone, most recently with the Phantom 4RTK. We believe everyone should be able to experience a streamlined GCP free workflow no matter what drone you have,” said Christian Sanz, Founder, and CEO of Skycatch. (Source: UAS VISION)
03 Nov 18. A new DoD task force addresses the growing threats to critical technology. Amid an alleged campaign of hacking by the Chinese government, efforts are taking place to prevent the exfiltration of data and protect sensitive information that is stored in the U.S. government and the defense-industrial base. In a memo dated Oct. 24, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced the creation of the Protecting Critical Technology Task Force to safeguard critical American technology.
“Each year, American businesses lose hundreds of billions of dollars while our military superiority is challenged,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan said in a statement. “Together with our partners in industry, we will use every tool at our disposal to end the loss of intellectual property, technology and data critical to our national security.”
The PCTTF will report to Shanahan and Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the joint chief of staff. It includes representatives from the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Security Service, according to an industry official briefed on the matter.
The order comes after a string of high-profile hacks on the U.S. government and defense contractors.
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials say that China is working to hack the U.S. defense-industrial base, with a particular focus on firms that are on the lower tier of the supply chain.
“Discoveries that took years of work and millions of dollars in investment here in the United States can be stolen by computer hackers or carried out the door by an employee in a matter of minutes,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Nov 1. “This theft is not just wrong; it poses a grave threat to our national security.”
China has consistently denied the hacks.
The task force also comes after the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, the rulebook for how defense contractors work with the federal government, was recently modified to add extra cybersecurity provisions.
The rules were accelerated after recent hacks on defense contractors, according to two industry officials briefed on the matter.
“Cybersecurity has not become an ingrained norm in manufacturing, especially in small and medium-sized manufacturers,” read an October report from the Pentagon.
China “is increasingly dominating downstream value-added materials processing and associated manufacturing supply chains, both in China and increasingly in other countries,” the report said.
Pentagon and defense industry officials say that they often do not know all the companies in their supply chain, but that may change soon as a pilot program is being conducted that could trace the origin of all components, according to Lockheed Martin, a top cybersecurity contractor.
In addition, the Department of Homeland Security created a task force Oct. 30 that includes both public and private officials to manage risks to American computer and communications systems.
“Threats to the nation’s IT and communications supply chain can severely impact our national security and nearly every facet of our economy,” Homeland Security Undersecretary Christopher Krebs said in a statement. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.