Sponsored By Oxley Developments
21 Feb 19. Emirati DarkMatter unveils ‘ultra secure’ armored smartphone. It’s unconventional for smartphones to be on display during a defense expo, but DarkMatter unveiled the Katim R01 “armored” mobile device at IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi. And it makes perfect sense: Katim R01 is a multilayered ultra-secure smartphone designed to withstand extreme field conditions as well as cyberattacks and hackers. It contains an immediate push-to-talk physical external button, and emergency SOS button that sends a call center notification with the location and message. Also, it is equipped with tampering protection sensors that shut off the device if a threat is detected.
In terms of durability, the Katim R01 is made up of multiple layers of plastic, aluminum and alloys. It is resistant to shocks, high temperature, and it’s waterproof – able to be submerged in two meters of water for 30 minutes without damage, though the company is quick to note that it is not categorized as an underwater communication tool.
The smartphone is also resistant to cyberattack.
“The applications in Katim R01 provide chat, voice and video, and email with the highest level of security and encryption,” said Rabih Dabbousi, site vice president of business development and marketing at DarkMatter. “We believe that this is the only ultra-secure smart phone out there that has all the advances of encryption and security with all of the rugged features and functions.”
While traditional mobile systems keep security in the hands of the vendor, security for the Katim R01 is in the hands of the client. It is designed by DarkMatter, but the manufacturer doesn’t control the “root of trust” after delivery — the client does.
The customer establishes the controls for securing data, encrypting data, securing communication, and enabling, provisioning, swiping and deactivating the device.
Dabbousi explained: “Expecting the highest level of security and the encryption keys to be managed by the manufacturer is just like armoring the doors and safes of the house but keeping the keys with someone else.”
By design, Katim R01, which is the second generation of the device, cannot be supplied to the consumer market, since it needs to be fully integrated with backend systems. DarkMatter is targeting specifically governments and large enterprises that require the highest level of security.
“We’re a young company in a vibrant part of the world with the energy and big ambition to innovate and push the boundaries,” said Karim Sabbagh, CEO of DarkMatter Group. As for the KATIM R01, “it’s tough, it’s rugged and it’s ready for anything.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
21 Feb 19. Systematic expanding Sitaware C2 software into maritime domain. Systematic is developing a new maritime capability to add to its Sitaware command-and-control (C2) software suite, and showcased it for the first time at the IDEX exhibition in Abu Dhabi, 17- 21 February 2019. Sitaware, used by about 40 countries, is currently focused on land operations and has three different elements: Sitaware Headquarters (HQ), Frontline, and Edge for different levels of operation. The Royal Danish Navy (RDN) has deployed with Sitaware HQ and Frontline but is using it with the existing functionality. The RDN provides the command of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) and is using Sitaware HQ to support mine countermeasures (MCM) planning.
The new Sitaware Maritime system builds on the core capabilities of Sitaware HQ and adds specific modules to support maritime operations. The key capability is the provision of the Recognised Maritime Picture (RMP) using a range of information sources including organic sensors, AIS, OTH-Gold, and Link 16. Sitaware’s open standards communications architecture enables it to accept feeds in a variety of formats and protocols. The system will automatically conduct track correlation to eliminate duplication. The RMP can be filtered according to user requirement and can be presented at different classification levels.
The software provides several flexible planning tools to support the conduct of a tactical estimate and the graphical development of plans. These tools include weapon and sensor ranges and other platform capabilities in 2D and 3D, and the ability to add overlays showing, for example, forecast sea and meteorological conditions. Once plans have been developed and approved the intention is that they can be automatically exported into formatted messages using Systematic’s IRIS tools.
Systematic representatives highlighted a function that can bookmark different views and overlays to support briefing. This enables a commander to be briefed using the live RMP and on existing overlays, rather than separately prepared slides. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Feb 19. US Army selects AKHAN’s Miraj Diamond technology. AKHAN Semiconductor’s Miraj Diamond technology has been selected for the 2019 US Army Expeditionary Technology Search challenge, the company announced on 18 February 2019. The proposal, submitted by AKHAN, calls for the integration of Miraj Diamond technology in protective coatings that will enhance protection and survivability of the aircraft developed under the army’s Future Vertical Liftinitiative.
AKHAN claims Miraj Diamond Glass is six times stronger, ten times harder, and runs over 800 times cooler than commercial glasses such as Gorilla Glass by coating standard commercial glass such as aluminosilicate, BK7, and fused silica with nanocrystalline diamond.
The diamond-based technology is said to be capable of increasing power density as well as creating faster, lighter and simpler devices for consumer use. The multi-layer Miraj Diamond materials are applicable for protection of both optically transparent and opaque surfaces including aircraft canopies, sensor windows and other sensitive structures.
Carl Shurboff, president and COO, AKHAN, said: ‘With the recent launch of our pilot production facility in Gurnee, Illinois, AKHAN continues to expand its rapid prototyping capabilities and deep expertise in developing innovative diamond-based solutions for consumer electronics, aerospace, and defence.’ (Source: Shephard)
21 Feb 19. Nexter advances FINDEAGLE concept. Nexter is highlighting updates to its Project ‘FINDEAGLE’ vehicle-integrated unmanned aircraft system (UAS) concept at the IDEX 2019 exhibition being held in Abu Dhabi from 17–21 February. FINDEAGLE was first displayed at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris in June 2018. The system comprises a tethered and an untethered UAS, carried on a vehicle from which they can be launched and recovered autonomously. The UASs are made by Nexter Robotics and are controlled using FINDEAGLE software, a variant of the company’s FINDERS battle management software. Other variants of FINDERS are in use with the French Army and other customers. The larger, tethered UAS is the multi-rotor IXOS XX, which has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 8 kg and is expected to be fully developed by mid-2019. The air vehicle is powered via a tether cable that supports control and communication and enables it to reach a maximum height of 50m.
Nexter claims that the IXOS XX is inaudible to human hearing out to a range of 100m and is resistant to jamming due to its tethered operation. It can be launched and operated from a vehicle moving at speeds of up to 10km/h and in day/night and in dust-obscured conditions.
The system features an open interface for payloads with three types developed thus far, although Sylvain Fesland, head of sales and marketing for Nexter, told Jane’s that more payloads are envisaged given that the external power from the tether can support heavier payloads.
A 3-axis gimbal payload includes a gyro-stabilised electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor with a mobile object tracking capability plus a laser range finder (LRF) with a range of up to 5 km. The payload has an EO/IR fusion capability and supports surveillance, reconnaissance, and forward observation missions. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
18 Feb 19. Thales extends global footprint with launch of Engineering Competence Centre in Bengaluru. Thales continues its development in India by today announcing the launch of its Global Engineering Competence Centre (ECC) in Bengaluru. The centre aims to accelerate innovation and digital transformation to serve the needs of both the Indian market, and the Group’s global objectives. For years, the Indian government has pursued a proactive policy to develop R&D and create high value-added infrastructure. To meet these challenges, India trains hundreds of thousands of highly qualified engineers every year and is positioning itself as the largest engineering resource in the world. Thales is constantly searching for high value-added solutions to help customers master their decisive moments in an increasingly complex world. With almost €3bn invested in R&D every year, the Group is a powerhouse of innovation with operations in 56 countries. With the ECC, Thales seeks to play a major role in job creation and skill development in India as it targets to hire 3,000 engineers in the next three-five years along with its partners. It is a first-ofits-kind Engineering Competence Centre in India focusing on software and hardware capabilities in the areas of civil as well as defence businesses, serving Thales’s global needs. P Satish Menon has been appointed to head this Centre. He brings with him 30 years expertise in the fields of engineering, R&D, programme management. Initially, the ECC will dedicate activities to high value-added systems in the fields of Air Traffic Management, avionics, cockpit, flight management, inflight entertainment and connectivity systems, radar software, airborne Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance tactical management systems.
The ECC will also concentrate on the creation of capabilities in advanced hardware technology such as Radio Frequency/designs for radars and communication equipment, high performance processing units and in airborne digital processing functions. On the occasion of Aero India 2019, Thales Executive Board Members will welcome dignitaries from the Indian industry and government bodies at the ECC for an inauguration ceremony on 22 February. “India is an innovative country with a great pool of skilled engineers. This is why we extend our 65 year long journey in the country and our global engineering footprint with the launch of our Group Engineering Competence Centre in Bengaluru. This Centre is uniquely positioned to serve all domains that Thales operates in and cater to worldwide markets. With our plans of hiring over 3000 engineers in the coming years, we look forward to significantly contributing to the ‘Skill India’ initiative and innovation in the country.” Pascale Sourisse, Senior Executive Vice-President, International Development, Thales.
18 Feb 19. Target Arm Gets Research Grant from US Air Force. Target Arm has announced that the United States Air Force, through MD-5, recently awarded funding for research and feasibility analysis for adding Precision Navigation to Talon, while on the move, beginning February 4, 2019. Talon is a Universal Launch and Recovery (ULaR) platform for Unmanned Systems (UxS), in all environments and all operations, both military and commercial. This research will focus specifically on precision navigation with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)/drones, while the host vehicle is on the move.
With the identification and addition of viable precision navigation solutions, Target Arm intends to revolutionize military operations while maneuvering, as well as commercial package delivery to/from moving vehicles throughout the supply chain. The impact on the military will be profound, giving each echelon of forces control over their own UAVs – without stopping. And, the result will be quicker, faster, more efficient delivery for businesses and consumers, since Talon is agnostic to proprietary UAVs and their various shapes and sizes, to include both rotary wing and fixed wing drones.
Jeff McChesney/CEO further added, “Talon is a simple, but elegant solution. As we add autonomous precision navigation from this research, we’ll help the military and supply chain operators, with various UAV investments, reach their full potential; by enabling delivery from any vehicle, anywhere, at anytime, including while moving. As the world becomes more and more mobile, we believe supply chain operators, in particular, will soon have no choice but to expand delivery to mobile vehicles, or perish.”
Ryan Bigham, Lead Engineer for Target Arm stated, “This is an amazing opportunity for Target Arm to move the industry forward with autonomous drone launch and recovery operations, to and from a moving vehicle, simply and efficiently. We proved the basic concept with Talon v1 manual flight operations last year, and just completed successful 60mph aerodynamic testing of v2 (https://youtu.be/R1fYMBoru9A). Coupled with this award, we are now designing v2.5 to include precision navigation and autonomous capability to/from a moving vehicle!”
Target Arm LLC is a Service Disabled, Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), founded in 2017 to provide for development and commercialization of the patented Talon, specifically, as well as for strategic and business consulting, in general. (Source: UAS VISION)
15 Feb 19. Tempest’s unmanned ‘loyal wingmen’ to be carrier capable. The UK is looking to create a carrier-capable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as part of its wider efforts to develop the Tempest next-generation combat aircraft, a government minister said on 14 February. Answering questions in the House of Commons, the Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (MoD), Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Earl Howe, said that the Tempest needs to be compatible with the Royal Navy’s two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, and that the concept currently being considered is that the UAV ‘loyal wingmen’ will be ship-based rather than the fighter itself.
“The combat air acquisition programme is looking at the replacement of Typhoon’s capabilities [through development of the Tempest], and any new combat air system will need to be interoperable with the Carrier Enabled Power Projection (CEPP) programme. The concept phase of the acquisition programme will consider Queen Elizabeth carrier basing for any unmanned force multipliers which may form part of the future combat air system,” Howe said.
Lord Howe’s answer provides further detail to an earlier statement made by armed forces minister Mark Lancaster, who in July 2018 noted that, “The UK approach to its [Tempest] Future Combat Air System is for it to be fully aligned with carrier strike”.
The TIZARD contract to develop the Tempest was awarded by the MoD in early July 2018. Team Tempest – which comprises BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA, and Rolls-Royce – is geared towards developing a replacement for the Eurofighter Typhoon in the 2040-timeframe (although it is initially set to enter service in the early 2030s).
BAE Systems has highlighted a number of vital attributes that any future fighter is likely to feature, including a flexible payload, an adaptable airframe, long-range sensing, advanced materials, laser directed-energy weapons, intelligent maintenance, cyber protection, manned-unmanned taming (MUM-T), and a future cockpit. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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.