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24 Feb 23. DARPA tests new battlefield airspace deconfliction software.
The Phase-3 live-testing phase of this ASTARTE programme is expected to commence this summer. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), together with the US Army and other industry partners, has recently demonstrated a battlefield airspace deconfliction software.
The demonstration was a part of the Air Space Total Awareness for Rapid Tactical Execution (ASTARTE) programme, which began in 2021 as a joint effort between the US Air Force (USAF), Army, and DAPRA.
It was conducted at the US Army’s Mission Command Battle Lab in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, US, in late 2022.
The test involved the integration of ASTARTE software with the army’s Integrated Mission Planning and Airspace Control Tools (IMPACT) software suite, which was handled by the Programme Executive Office for Aviation’s Aviation Mission Systems and Architecture Project Office.
DARPA Strategic Technology Office ASTARTE programme manager Paul Zablocky said: “The demonstration showed that complex route alternatives could be created in seconds, leveraging available permissive airspace to avoid airspace where conflicts would potentially occur.
“ASTARTE also increases accuracy by automating tasks and reducing inherent human error. Most importantly, ASTARTE-IMPACT integration forms a foundation of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled services that will interact with service component AI tools such as USAF’s Kessel Run All Domain Operations Suite for planning and All Domain Common Platform for operations.”
During the test, Raytheon Technologies worked on the development of an automated flightpath-planning capability that can deconflict airspace use by routing via/around pre-determined airspace coordinating measures in space and time.
General Dynamics Mission Systems (GMDS) also focused on developing the IMPACT suite to support Joint All-Domain Command-and-Control and other data-enabled tools. While demonstrating, the companies identified interfaces, allowing ASTARTE flightpath planners to receive the required flightpath requests, including altitude range, time, and start/end points, from IMPACT to then return complete deconflicted flightpaths to IMPACT, when needed. The Phase-2 integration efforts are soon expected to be complete, with Phase-3 live-testing planned to begin this summer. (Source: army-technology.com)
23 Feb 23. Kromek D3S NET – Networked radiation detection. The D3S NET radiation detector network is a fast and accurate radioisotope identification device (RIID) for gamma isotope identification and neutron detection. The data collected by this radiation detector is not only shown to the user via the mobile phone app but also sent to a central control screen showing data from every other SIGMA enabled detector on the network.
Tell us a little bit about how you are thinking of using the detector and where you are enquiring from and we will be in touch with prices.
22 Feb 23. US Army jam-resistant navigation kit for vehicles passes Pentagon test. Jam-resistant navigation technology that can be mounted to U.S. Army ground vehicles performed well in trials and provided troops the context needed to accomplish tasks and get where they needed to be, the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester said.
The Mounted Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing System, or MAPS GEN II, “improved situational awareness” and helped facilitate mock reconnaissance and casualty-evacuation missions, all while GPS signal was jeopardized, the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation said in a public report released last month.
The Army’s Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, or PEO IEW&S, in September announced Collins Aerospace, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, was selected for a potential five-year, $583 m MAPS GEN II production contract. The award followed a 2020 deal in which Collins was tasked with MAPS maturation and preliminary integration. The value was not disclosed at the time.
Raytheon is the second largest defense contractor in the world when ranked by revenue, at nearly $42 bn in 2021, according to Defense News analysis.
Collins on Feb. 23 confirmed it was their tech that underwent testing. A PEO IEW&S spokesperson previously told C4ISRNET: “It was MAPS GEN II.”
MAPS GEN II is designed to ensure troops understand where they are and where they are headed, even in environments where GPS signal is compromised and other systems are being harassed. The tech will be set into a slew of armored platforms, including Abrams tanks and Paladin artillery, as well as lighter options, such as Stryker combat vehicles and Humvees.
The emphasis on advanced navigation gear comes as the U.S. prepares for potential conflict with Russia or China. A fight with either will likely involve dealing with hefty electronic interference and signal-impeding obstacles, such as dense vegetation or urban buildup. Collins on its website describes the suite as providing “the highest level of protection against the most severe and evolving” threats.
Limited testing of MAPS GEN II, which marries anti-jamming and -spoofing capabilities with input from alternate sensors to reduce reliance on GPS, was conducted in September 2021. A separate, classified report was then produced. Additional evaluations were held between May and June 2022 at the Army’s Electronic Proving Ground at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
Further study, at a “suitable location,” is scheduled for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023, according to the Pentagon tester’s report. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
23 Feb 23. BEL partners up with DRDO for India’s next-generation combat aircraft. Indian electronics firm Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) announced on 21 February that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state-run Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO)’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to support the country’s fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) programme.
According to BEL, the MoU aims to take advantage of the complementary strengths and capabilities of BEL and ADA to develop the aircraft’s internal weapons bay computer as well as other mission systems.
The DRDO is understood to have completed the design of the AMCA and will advance development to the next stage of the critical design review.
State-owned aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) earlier announced in March that it has commenced manufacturing activities for the AMCA.
The proposed AMCA has been in design and early development for more than a decade and centres on a stealthy twin-engined multirole platform that can perform deep-penetration strikes into an adversary’s territory to destroy air defences and valuable targets. It will also feature supercruise ability as well as advanced avionics and artificial intelligence that will boost pilot performance.
According to HAL officials, the AMCA will have a combat weight of 20 tonnes in its baseline stealthy configuration, with 1.5 tonnes of ordnance carried in internal weapon bays. Provision of an additional five tonnes of fuel and ordnance can also be carried using external underwing hardpoints, although this would inevitably expand the aircraft’s radar cross section.
Early versions of the AMCA will be powered by a pair of General Electric F414-INS6 turbofan engines each with thrust ratings of 98 kN. However, it is understood that supercruise cannot be achieved until 110 kN-class engines can be developed. The DRDO’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) is reportedly developing more a more powerful variant of the indigenous Kaveri engine, although progress appears to be modest to date.
23 Feb 23. Royal Navy experimental trials ship starts sea acceptance tests. The UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) new experimental trials and evaluation vessel, XV Patrick Blackett, has departed Portsmouth to start sea acceptance tests (SATs). Patrick Blackett is a Damen Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 4008 fast attack crew support vessel that was purchased off-the-shelf in early 2022 and converted into a dedicated testbed platform that will be used by the RN’s NavyX innovation unit to independently test and trial novel technologies. The vessel was built at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem in the Netherlands, and after completing its role-modification post-build, arrived at Portsmouth Naval Base in July 2022. Since then, the NavyX team have been working to transfer the classification and reflag the vessel to the UK Defence Shipping Register, an RN spokesperson told Janes . Simultaneously, the ship’s company have been working to ensure that the service’s standard operating procedures (SOP’s) are deliverable and coherent in a lean-crewed civilian ship. (Source: Janes)
21 Feb 23. South Korea’s fourth KF-21 prototype completes maiden flight test. The test required only one pilot, as it aimed to assess and validate performance and stability of the platform.
The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced the successful completion of the maiden flight test of the KF-21 Boramae fighter aircraft’s fourth prototype.
The flight demonstration was carried out from the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (RoKAF) 3rd Training Wing, Sacheon, Seoul.
DAPA informed that during the recent test, the indigenously developed two-seat KF-21 Boramae took off from Sacheon and landed after remaining airborne for 34 minutes.
The test flight was conducted by only one pilot, despite the aircraft being a two-seater, unlike the first three prototypes of the fighter jet that have a single-seat configuration.
According to DAPA, this flight test aimed to assess and validate the performance, safety and stability of the fourth prototype platform.
The newly tested prototype fighter aircraft will be used in determining the difference between a single-seat and a two-seat aircraft, as well as evaluating if both configurations have any operational impact on the aircraft, according to DAPA.
The two-seat prototype’s cockpit, which is near the front fuselage, is comparatively more spacious than a single-seat aircraft. DAPA claimed that the latest KF-21 double-seat aircraft will primarily be used for conducting new pilot training missions.
The tests will also help the service to perform active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar avionics tests on both single-seat and two-seat aircraft. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
21 Feb 23. Historic agreement will see Danish Armed Forces C4ISR systems supported for next 20 years. One of the world’s leading suppliers of C4ISR systems has signed a significant 20-year framework agreement with Danish Department of Defence.
The contract between Systematic and the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) will ensure that the whole of the Danish Armed Forces benefit from the SitaWare Suite – currently in use in over 45 nations worldwide including the US and Germany.
SitaWare has been used in the Danish Army since 2008 with the agreement set to modernise systems across the Navy, Air Force, Home Guard and Emergency Services Agency. Under the terms, Systematic must also contribute to the future development of new security and infrastructure solutions, as well as deliver projects and consulting services in connection with the C4ISR system.
“SitaWare has played a central role in the digitalisation of the Armed Forces for the past 15 years, and Systematic has been a valuable collaboration partner,” said Lieutenant General Kim Jesper Jørgensen, Director of the Ministry of Defence’s Materiel and Procurement Agency.
“We are faced with an extensive digitisation task which will be hugely important for the future operational work of the Armed Forces. It is against this background that we now enter a long-term, strategic collaboration with Systematic, so that we ensure effective data coherence and data exchange of the Armed Forces’ operational systems across all forces.”
History of delivering
The defence department will benefit from Systematic’s long history as a reliable and pioneering delivery partner. As well as the military software, the company has developed and delivered:
- The Columna critical care solution for handling patient data in three of five Danish regions.
- The streamlining and organisation of library services across Denmark, Sweden and Norway with the Cicero suite.
- The backbone of the Danish interbank system.
- The Bifrost communications systems for all Danish police vehicles.
Future-proof national defence
For Systematic’s CEO Michael Holm, the agreement signifies the company’s contribution to helping strengthen Denmark’s defence for the future.
“We look forward to further developing the new infrastructure solutions and generally supporting the digital transformation that the Department for Defence is undertaking,” he said. “When SitaWare was chosen as the central system in the digitisation of the Army 15 years ago, it was the starting point for a global export success for Systematic. We are sincerely grateful that we can continue our good cooperation with the Danish defense force, which kick-started our global adventure.”
The framework agreement paves the way for similar interest from other countries, all looking to assure their command-and-control systems within the current global security climate. As well as being the world’s largest supplier of C4ISR systems, Systematic’s SitaWare Suite is used by most NATO allies and partners.
“We need to be able to cooperate effectively with our allies in NATO,” said Major General Gunner Arpe Nielsen, Chief of the Army. “Our deployed forces have greatly benefited from SitaWare, which has also proven to be an effective tool in joint NATO exercises, increaseing the security of the deployed soldiers and ensuring information-sharing between the allied units.”
He is under no doubt that data will drive future defence and that the ability to integrate systems that can also exchange data across national forces and international allies will prove a decisive factor.
“Seen in that light, the strategic framework agreement with Systematic is an important step on that journey,” says Maj Gen Arpe Nielsen.
20 Feb 23. Babcock partner with Additure to increase customer equipment availability. We’re pleased to announce that we have signed a framework agreement with Additure, to enhance our digital manufacturing capability.
With a focus on increasing availability of our customer’s platform, this collaboration will develop new digital solutions, such as additive manufacturing, to better manage complex, critical, low volume parts. We’ll be utilising effective and sustainable technological methods, while moving production closer to the point of need.
Part of Kingsbury Machine Tools, Additure is the Additive Manufacturing division created last year to support customer research and development with additive technologies, as well as offering solutions for low volume production. With an accredited manufacturing capability, Additure is able to bring a wide range of applications, including both powder bed fusion and wire arc additive equipment, to our new collaboration.
Louise Atkinson, Managing Director Defence Equipment at Babcock, said: “We’ve been working for some time with Kingsbury and the Additure team, so it is really exciting to be developing our relationship in this way, finding progressive, sustainable solutions for some long-standing challenges.
“We are looking forward to utilising the advances in our combined approach to increase efficiency in our operations, which in turn increases our customer’s platform availability, by ensuring the right material is available where and when it is needed.”
Ian Brooks, Technical Director at Additure, commented, “In any global supply business, it is crucial that the right materials and spare parts are in the right place at the right time.
“We will assist Babcock in this goal by enhancing its manufacturing capability with the latest digital engineering and manufacturing practices, providing a credible and cost-effective solution for the provision of critical, low volume parts.”
We are excited to explore how we can develop this technology to address challenges experienced in our wider operations and to deliver value to our customers across Babcock.
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley offer a range of Military Marine NVG friendly LED lighting that includes navigation lights and controls, flight deck landing lights and interior compartment lighting. Our lighting products are used by Navies around the world including our own Royal Navy on UK Aircraft Carriers, Canadian Frigates, Swedish Submarines, Australian Surface vessels and Submarines, on board French Naval Carriers and in Naval Gun Turrets.
The technology is extremely energy efficient and built robustly, with proven long life. The lighting is NVG friendly, dimmable and programmable to allow for operations with aircraft pilots using military night vision goggles. They offer superior design giving high reliability for the most demanding environments with high sealing and the ability to meet the most stringent EMC standards.
Oxley are proud to say that we are working in partnership with SeaKing to enable a control panel to be offered with our LED Navigation Lighting. All of Oxley navigation lights have been specifically developed for vessels over 50 metres.
Contact Marcus Goad on 07850 917 263 for more information or to arrange samples.
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.