Sponsored By Oxley Developments
11 June 21. International Partners And Government Agencies Join Arqit’s Federated Quantum System. The Federated Quantum System developed and launched in the UK with support from the UK Space Agency.
Arqit Limited (“Arqit”), a leader in quantum encryption technology, has today announced at the G7 Leaders Conference in Cornwall, that it has formed an international consortium of companies and government organisations to provide its quantum encryption technology to government customers in a federated system concept, called Federated Quantum System (FQS). The UK, USA, Japan, Canada, Italy, Belgium and Austria are now represented.
Arqit invented a system which uses satellites to distribute quantum keys to data centres. These keys are delivered using a new patented protocol called ARQ19, which solves the “Global versus Trustless” problem which previously prevented the adoption of Satellite Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). Arqit further invented a method, called QuantumCloud™ to translate the benefits of this quantum key distribution to any form of endpoint or cloud machine without the need for any special hardware. The first version of QuantumCloud™ launches for live service to commercial customers in 2021.
Government customers typically have more stringent requirements for control and are more inclined to buy “Private Instances” of cloud technology rather than managed services. Arqit has therefore designed a different version of its technology to meet this need and has recruited a strong community of partners from allied countries to collaborate in bringing the FQS system to use.
Collaboration partners include BT, Sumitomo Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Leonardo, QinetiQ Space N.V., qtlabs and Honeywell. Other Western Allied countries are expected to announce their inclusion during 2021.
FQS has been developed with support from the UK Space Agency (UKSA through its National Space Innovation Programme). The system consists of dedicated satellites, control systems and QuantumCloud™ software. It will be provided to the UK’s ‘Five Eyes’ allied governments and other international partners, allowing sovereign protection of strategic national assets and interoperability for joint operations.
The first FQS satellites are to be integrated and tested at the National Satellite Test Facility in Harwell near Oxford and are expected to be launched on Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne from Newquay in Cornwall in 2023, after the launch of the first commercial Arqit satellites. The role of Virgin Orbit in providing responsive launch services for government customers from any location is additive to the plan to deploy many FQS satellites to support the needs of a growing list of allied country partners.
Arqit’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, David Williams said, “FQS enables collaboration between NATO-allied governments around the world to form a federated version of QuantumCloud™ infrastructure. It also enables the Joint All Domain Command and Control vision to come to life. The FQS system is global in its nature, and there is now strong momentum in an international consortium joining forces to bring it into use”.
General Stephen Wilson, Director of Arqit Inc. said, “For Allies working together Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is essential. For JADC2 to work, we must have a real identity, credentialing, and access management solution. Arqit’s technology makes trusted data security possible”.
Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, Amanda Solloway MP added, “As a global science superpower, the UK continues to make advances in quantum science which is revolutionising cyber-security across the world. Backed by government funding, Arqit is paving the way in developing a new generation of quantum technologies that defend against sophisticated cyber-attacks on national governments, strengthening our resilience and helping us all the build back better from the pandemic”.
UK Space Agency CEO, Graham Turnock added, “Space technologies have become embedded in almost every aspect of our daily lives, and UK Space Agency funding is accelerating our development as a world leader in space technology. Arqit’s advances in quantum technologies will strengthen the UK’s resilience against harmful cyber-attacks, helping us protect our critical services. The announcement today shows the attraction of Arqit’s model to our partners”.
Interim Head of Spaceport Cornwall, Melissa Thorpe also said, “The deployment of Responsive Launch capability from Cornwall is an excellent demonstration of the need for the investment made by Cornwall Spaceport, and we welcome the strong commercial opportunities represented by the FQS partnership”.
Dan Hart, CEO of Virgin Orbit commented, “Recent headlines from across the world show how vital it is to have encrypted communications supporting our economy and our security. The team at Arqit has already demonstrated that its encryption capabilities provide a critical service to a global customer base. By adding a space layer with its Federated Quantum System, Arqit is taking that service to an even higher level. We’re delighted to support the team, and to add its quantum satellites to our manifest for flights out of Cornwall”.
Kevin Brown, Managing Director of BT Security said, “BT is pleased to be part of the first phase of the FQS project, which aligns with our wider commitment to providing security solutions for the most critical organisations. As this project advances to a global stage, it provides a clear example of how the UK is playing a leading role in developing important new technologies”.
Eiji Ishida, Executive Officer and General Manager, Lease, Ship and Aerospace Business Division of Sumitomo Corporation said, “The FQS concept is important because it allows us to manage a local instance of the infrastructure and deliver the control that our defence customers will require. Sumitomo Corporation is pleased to be in this consortium, which is very far ahead of other technologies”.
Professor Rupert Ursin of qtlabs said, “Austria has been a strong supporter of the Satellite QKD technology which we have helped Arqit to build, and I am pleased that qtlabs is able to continue to represent Austria in this consortium and will try to bring the benefits of FQS to the Austrian and other government users”.
Marina Mississian, Senior Director Space Payloads for Honeywell Aerospace, Canada added, “Satellite enabled quantum encryption is strategically important for Honeywell and Canada. With the support of the Canadian government, we have been pleased to be associated with Arqit’s commercial mission and now to join the FQS system, which will further the collective security goals of the ‘Five Eyes’ community of nations”.
Frank Preud’homme, Sales and Business Development Director for QinetiQ Belgium said, “We have been pleased to support the Arqit space mission since 2017 and see strong potential for the creation of sovereign capabilities for a close alliance of allied countries in sharing this technology”.
Norman Bone, Chair and Managing Director, Leonardo UK concluded, “Leonardo and Telespazio recognise the increasingly digital nature of UK and allied national defence and security and the expectations of our customers that their systems are secure and resilient. The rapid, collaborative evaluation of new and cutting-edge technologies such as those developed by Arqit are a key element of Leonardo’s strategy to establish and deliver next generation systems to our customers enabling effective and secure multi-domain operations including in the cyber and space domains”.
The fundamental science behind Arqit’s solutions to decades-old problems with Satellite QKD is important, but the company’s ability to translate that into usable products that meet very precisely the needs of users is very advanced. This is a major advantage in moving quickly to implement the security technology amongst allied nations that will deliver valuable security improvements immediately and underpin the future of the quantum battlespace”.
About Arqit Limited:
Arqit has invented a unique quantum encryption technology which makes the communications links of any networked device secure against current and future forms of hacking – even an attack from a quantum computer. Arqit’s product, called QuantumCloud™, creates unbreakable software encryption keys, using satellite to deliver quantum information to data centres. The keys which are easy and efficient to use remotely with no hardware or disruption to software required. The software has universal application to every edge device and cloud machine in the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom with subsidiaries in the United States, Arqit was founded in 2017 by UK satellite industry veteran David Williams. Visit us at www.arqit.co.uk (Source: PR Newswire)
10 June 21. Suppressive Fire. The Royal Air Force is once again embracing the air defence suppression mission courtesy of two fledgling capabilities expected to enter service this decade. At was 0210 Baghdad time on 16 January when two Royal Air Force (RAF) Panavia Tornado GR.1 ground attack aircraft left runway 06/13 at the Royal Saudi Air Force’s Tabuk airbase, northwest Saudi Arabia. The air campaign of Operation Desert Storm, being waged by a United States-led coalition to evict Iraq from its occupation of Kuwait began just under 30 minutes later.
At 0237 Task Force Normandy, a package of US Army cDonnell Douglas/Boeing AH-64A Apache helicopter gunships escorted by two US Air Force Sikorsky MH-53J Pave Low special forces helicopters attacked Iraqi Air Force (IAF) P-18 (NATO reporting name Spoon Rest) Very High Frequency (VHF: 133 megahertz/MHz to 144MHz/216MHz to 225MHz) and P-15 (Flat Face) Ultra High Frequency (UHF: 420MHz to 450MHz/890MHz to 942MHz) ground-based air surveillance radars just behind the Iraqi-Saudi border. The radars were destroyed depriving the Iraqi Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) of most radar coverage above the west of the country. This shielded the incoming armada of coalition aircraft inbound to attack strategic targets as the conflict’s overture.
The two Tabuk Tornado-GR.1s joined up with a four-ship package of the same aircraft which had left their bases elsewhere in the Kuwaiti theatre of operations bound for the IAF’s Al Asad airbase, central Iraq. This was attacked with the Hunting Engineering JP-233 airfield denial weapon, the first time it had been used in anger. Another weapon was also debuting that night. It was deployed by the two Tornado-GR.1s which had departed Tabuk.
The British Aerospace/MBDA Air Launched Anti-Radiation Missile (ALARM) was developed during the Cold War to attack Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact ground-based air surveillance and fire control/ground-controlled interception radars. The Cold War was concluding, but Iraq had procured several of the same radars ALARM was designed to attack during any conflict in Europe pitching the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact against one another. Systems like the SNR-75 (NATO reporting name Fan Song) S-band (2.3 gigahertz/GHz to 2.5GHz/2.7GHz to 3.7GHz) and P-35M/37 (NATO reporting name Bar Lock) C-band (5.25GHz to 5.925GHz) series of ground-based air surveillance radars were supplied to Iraq by the Soviet Union and were among the radars ALARM was designed to find and kill.
Readers can learn more about the missile in the author’s article entitled ‘When They Sounded the ALARM’ posted on the Armada International electronic warfare website. Suffice to say that it performed with aplomb hitting Iraqi radars providing fire control to surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery batteries deployed to protect airfields and other targets being attacked by the Tornado GR.1s and other coalition strike packages.
ALARM had a long and distinguished career. The weapon was subsequently deployed to support the RAF and coalition allies during every major air campaign involving the RAF where adversary Ground-Based Air Defences (GBAD) posed a clear and present danger. It won further accolades in the skies above the Balkans supporting the NATO’S 1995 Operation Deliberate Force and 1999 Operation Allied Force, both mounted to bring an end to the genocide blighting the former Yugoslavia. An upgraded version of the missile returned to Iraq in 2003 supporting Operation Telic, the UK’s contribution to Operation Iraqi Freedom, the US-led effort to remove Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein from power. Less than ten years later it was in action once more supporting the combined NATO and US operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector waged in 2011 to protect Libyan civilians from forces loyal to that country’s dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
The missile retired in 2013 and it appeared that the air force’s ability to perform air defence suppression retired with it. True, the RAF could perform Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD) missions by which conventional kinetic effects are brought to bear against elements of an IADS or GBAD on the battlefield. Yet ALARM’s retirement meant the RAF was bereft of the unique suppressive qualities that this weapon could bring, chiefly encouraging radars to remain off the air without the blue force necessarily knowing where those radars are. Sometimes launching a few anti-radar missiles pre-emptively to protect a strike package which are detected by red force radar operators persuades the latter to switch off their equipment. DEAD is a vital mission but is dependent on knowing where the IADS or GBAD targets are you wish to strike.
The good news is that the RAF will soon be back in the air defence suppression game, thanks to two new capabilities it is expected to receive in the future. The first is an electronic attack function to augment the new BAE Systems/Leonardo ECRS Mk.2 X-band (8.5GHz to 10.68GHz) fire control radar destined to equip the Tranche-3 variants of the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 combat aircraft. The second is the MBDA Select Precision Effects At Range Capability-Electronic Warfare (SPEAR-EW) loitering electronic attack system. Both effectively perform a similar function to ALARM but do so electronically.
One of ALARM’s attributes was that it could be used pre-emptively. The weapon’s flight profile meant that it could be launched at high-speed and low altitude when a jet was doing its best to stay below radar coverage. Once launched the missile would climb to 40,000 feet (12,192 metres). This gave its radar seeker a ‘God’s Eye’ view of the terrain below. The missile would switch off its motor, deploy a parachute and fall leisurely to earth. Should any radar be foolish enough to illuminate it would immediately betray its presence. The emission would be detected by ALARM’s seeker, the parachute jettisoned and zoom towards the radar like a rat up a drainpipe.
The beauty of ALARM was that it could be used sans pre-briefed targets. The electronic attack function of the ECRS Mk.2 could work in such a fashion. The electronic support measure equipping the Typhoon’s EuroDASS Praetorian integrated defensive aids subsystem can detect a hostile radar when it transmits. Having betrayed its presence the ECRS Mk.2 could be used to electronically attack that radar. Details on the precise workings of these electronic attack function are understandably sparse and probably highly classified. Nonetheless, these capabilities are all but certain to include conventional noise and jamming waveforms transmitted by the radar, alongside discreet waveforms generated by the Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) embedded in Praetorian. DRFMs sample an incoming hostile radar transmission, manipulates this transmission and then send the signal back to the radar. This manipulation changes the original radar waveform in such a way as to convince the hostile radar that the illuminated aircraft is in another part of the sky, is flying at a different speed or altitude, or is one of several non-existent jets. The subtle manipulation of the original signal ideally leaves the radar none the wiser to the fact that the information it is receiving which it believes to be a radar reflection from the target is false.
As the ECRS Mk.2 has an active electronically scanned array it can electronically steer its electronic attack beams across a wide angle, probably in excess of 60 degrees either side of the antenna’s boresight. This can mean that off-boresight radars can be attacked. This is particularly important as it allows the injection of an electronic attack into a radar’s sidelobes. Smaller radar beams fan out either side of the main axis of a radar’s transmission. These residual transmissions can be detected by an electronic support measure without the aircraft necessarily being in the radar’s field of view.
Unlike an anti-radar missile, an electronic attack can be instantaneous upon detection of a hostile radar and travels at the speed of light. This augmentation of the Typhoon’s radar will be particularly useful at stand-in distances when the aircraft is within the detection range of a hostile radar. Given that several radars can be jammed with several beams from the same antenna, this means multiple radars could be engaged simultaneously.
Spear of Destiny
Air defence suppression will also be performed by the SPEAR-EW, an electronic attack version of MBDA’s SPEAR-3 air-to-surface missile. The weapon’s warhead is removed and replaced with an electronic attack payload. SPEAR-EW could outfit the RAF’s Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning combat aircraft. Like the electronic attack attributes of the ECRS Mk.2, the frequencies jammable with the SPEAR-EW are under wraps, but it is reasonable to assume these could encompass frequencies of 8.5 gigahertz/GHz to 40GHz. This covers X-band (8.5GHz to 10.68GHz), Ku-band (13.4-14/15.7-17.7GHz), K-band (24.05 to 24.25GHz) and Ka-band (33.4GHz to 36GHz) ground-based air/naval surveillance and fire control radars, plus missile radar seekers. SPEAR-EW will work as an escort jammer performing electronic attack at stand-off and stand-in ranges to protect packages of aircraft. The SPEAR-EW will generate conventional and discreet jamming waveforms, while acting as a decoy to draw air defence attention away from other aircraft.
Although not mentioned in discussions of the SPEAR-EW or ECRS Mk.2 it would not be surprising it both capabilities retained cyber attack attributes. Today’s and tomorrow’s IADS and deployed GBAD, and constituent components like radars and command and control systems are entirely dependent on computers and internet protocol networks. There is every possibility that the electronic attacks which both will perform could be modulated to include malicious code to infect or exploit the data traffic integral to the smooth running of an air defence system.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has still yet to place an order for the SPEAR-EW, although once this occurs, the weapon could enter service from the middle of this decade. For now, sources close to the SPEAR-EW programme have said that development continues apace. Likewise, open sources note that the ECRS Mk.2 could enter service with the Tranche-3 Typhoons from 2025.
The advent of both will not only resurrect RAF SEAD capabilities, but improve them immeasurably from the days of ALARM for the wars of tomorrow. Harnessing electronic effects to substitute kinetic effects when possible enhances precision, reduces ordnance expenditure and lowers the risk of collateral damage. It also improves the ability of the RAF to manoeuvre in the spectrum to achieve electromagnetic superiority and supremacy, something indispensable to success in all domains of warfare.
10 June 21. Dstl research behind trial of new blood test to predict sepsis. Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital is trialing a test that could reduce burden on the NHS by predicting sepsis in patients. Clinicians at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital are leading medical trials of a blood test that could help to save thousands of UK lives a year by predicting sepsis days before patients show any symptoms.
The test, originally researched over 10 years at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), is now being developed by government spin-out company Presymptom Health which believes it could save billions of pounds globally and improve clinical outcomes for sepsis patients.
Sepsis is the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury and is associated with life-threatening organ dysfunction. Worldwide, an estimated 49 million people a year contract sepsis, while in the UK almost 2 million patients admitted to hospital each year are thought to be at risk of developing the condition.
Presymptom Health believes the technology can predict whether a patient will develop sepsis around 3 days before symptoms appear, enabling clinicians to treat them much sooner and manage them more effectively.
Professor Dame Angela McLean, Chief Scientific Adviser for MOD, said:
The announcement today is a great step forward in finding potential new ways to tackle sepsis, which causes up to 48,000 deaths and significant life-changing effects in nearly 80,000 people in the UK every year. The seminal work led by Dstl, now taken forward by Presymptom Health, has the potential to provide the technology capable of detecting sepsis early, enabling more rapid treatment, and saving lives.
The trials are being led by Dr Paul Schmidt and his team at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, with 2 other sites anticipated to go live during the summer. Up to 600 patients admitted to hospital with respiratory tract infections will be given the option to participate in the trial.
The promising technology has received £200,000 in funding from Ploughshare Innovations, which takes research created by world-leading government laboratories, such as Dstl, and commercialises it to deliver societal impact.
Iain Miller, CEO at Presymptom Health, said, “This test may represent a significant step in the prediction of sepsis. A substantial investment from Ploughshare Innovations has enabled us to rapidly develop this test to get to the clinical trial stage. We are very grateful for their backing, and for the support of the clinicians at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust. We are confident that this trial will confirm our test’s ability to provide vital and life-saving results when they are most needed.”
Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, CEO at Ploughshare Innovations, said, “This is a tremendously exciting technology that could save lives and provide a valuable tool for use in future disease control. It is unusual for Ploughshare to make R&D investments in its spin-out companies, but the potential impact of Presymptom Health’s work is so great that we saw a huge value in accelerating its development so that these trials could happen. I am immensely proud of the achievements Ploughshare makes in getting government innovations such as this to market, and of how our work benefits society as a whole.”
Dr Roman Lukaszewski, the lead Dstl scientist behind the innovation, said, “It is incredible to see this test, which we had originally begun to develop to help Service personnel survive injury and infection on the front line, is now being used for the wider UK population, including those fighting COVID-19.”
Anoop Chauhan, executive director of research at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, said, ”I am delighted that PHU are leading on this exciting, innovative and vital research using state of the art pioneering technology. We are incredibly grateful for the support and involvement of our patients in research to help with the fight against COVID and sepsis. This research will be vital in identifying sepsis quickly and early in order to help save many more lives.”
The initial trials will last approximately 12 months and will include samples taken from patients alongside samples collected in a Dstl biobank. The data collected will be independently assessed and used to refine and validate the test, which may be available for broader NHS use within 2 years. If successful, this test could also identify sepsis arising from other infections before symptoms appear, which could potentially include future waves of COVID-19 and other pandemics. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
10 Jun 21. NanoGraf, an advanced battery material company, today revealed that it has produced the longest-running 18650 cylindrical lithium-ion cell in the world. At 800 watt-hours per liter (Wh/L), the cell is 10 percent more energy-dense than the very best commercial cells.
Developed less than one year after the Department of Defense awarded NanoGraf $1.65m dollars to create the technology, the battery will play a critical role in keeping Soldiers safe while deployed in the field.
U.S. Soldiers often carry 20-25 pounds of batteries on combat missions. While the batteries are necessary for powering communication devices, goggles, helmets, and more, their additional weight causes fatigue and reduces mobility, making Soldiers less capable of reacting quickly to threats.
A more energy-dense battery with a longer runtime means Soldiers need fewer batteries, resulting in a lower overall gear weight. NanoGraf’s newly-released test results show that Soldiers using its battery can reduce their battery pack weights by over 15 percent.
“This breakthrough heralds a new era of lithium-ion battery performance improvements enabled by advanced silicon-based anodes,” said NanoGraf President, Dr. Kurt (Chip) Breitenkamp. “Over the past decade, advances in energy density have only been about eight percent, but through innovations in our lab and the support of the Department of Defense, we just achieved a 10 percent improvement in energy density in a little under one year.”
The research is the result of a multi-phased effort funded by the Department of Defense’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, a U.S. government grant designed to support technological innovation through investment in research in critical American priorities for a strong national economy. While these particular batteries are slated for use by U.S. Soldiers, the Defense Department recognizes the technology could be deployed for civilian use cases in the future, as have previous technologies developed through the SBIR award.
NanoGraf has partnered with other large organizations before for research support. In 2019, the U.S. Council for Automotive Research provided the company with $7.5m for electric vehicle battery research and development. In 2016, when the company was known as SiNode Systems, it was awarded $4m from the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium for the development of advanced anode materials for automotive lithium-ion battery applications.
For more information on NanoGraf, visit www.nanograf.com.
09 June 21. Stealth fighter mock-up appears at China’s aircraft carrier testing facility. China is stepping up its aircraft carrier program on all fronts with the emergence of a stealth fighter mock-up at a naval test facility, suggesting that China intends to operate the type on its ships.
Meanwhile, the construction of China’s third aircraft carrier is making steady progress, while a state media news clip shows carrier-borne fighters have been based at a naval air base, which has been geolocated to a naval air base in Hainan Island bordering the South China Sea.
The latter will be one of the final pieces to the jigsaw for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy, or PLAN, to base its second aircraft carrier, the Shandong, and its associated air wing at Hainan, the main base of its South Sea Fleet.
A new stealthy carrier-borne fighter?
A photo has recently emerged of the mock-up of what appears to be a stealthy fighter jet at China’s dedicated naval research and testing facility in Wuhan, Hubei province. Though not confirmed, it would seem likely that the mockup is of the Shenyang FC-31.
The FC-31 was originally a privately funded venture by the Shenyang Aircraft Company and not driven by any military requirements. It first flew in 2012 and was marketed for export, although without success. However, rumors persisted that the type was subsequently selected for development into a carrier-borne fighter. In 2016 a new, significantly altered airframe started flight trials.
The design displays a number of stealthy features in the form of stealth shaping, low-observable intakes and an internal weapons bay. The type is a twin-engined, medium-sized fighter, and although the FC-31 does not appear to be at an advanced stage in its development cycle, a mock-up’s appearance at the “flight deck” of the concrete aircraft carrier mockup in Wuhan is significant.
The facility in Wuhan is widely believed to be used for electromagnetic spectrum testing of future PLAN systems, and has been a useful indicator of the PLAN’s plans in the past. Mockups of the Type 002 and 003 aircraft carriers, 055 cruiser, and Shenyang J-15 fighter and Xian KJ-600 airborne early warning aircraft have previously appeared at the site, all of which have since gone into service or continued their development process.
Third carrier construction
The construction of China’s third aircraft carrier at a shipyard at the eastern city of Shanghai is continuing apace, with a steady stream of photos taken from commercial airliners flying to and from the city’s Pudong International Airport appearing on social media sites showing the progress of the work being done on the hull.
The photos show that construction of the carrier, which is still known as the Type 003, has reached the flight deck level with the provisions for catapults to launch aircraft clearly visible at the front of the flight deck. Also visible are further flight deck modules yet to be joined with the hull show additional catapult tracks, which will almost certainly be fitted to the angled portion of the flight deck that allows for aircraft launch and recovery to be carried out simultaneously.
The use of catapults would be a first on the PLAN’s carriers, with the previous two ships having an angled ski-jump to launch aircraft. This limited the type of aircraft that can be operated off China’s current aircraft carriers, with heavier and less powerful types like an airborne early warning aircraft not being able to take off using such a method.
An interesting facet of the design that has been picked up on by analysts is that the Type 003 will have two aircraft elevators, both mounted on the starboard side of the ship. The overhead imagery, together with a short video clip taken from the grounds of the shipyard uploaded and then quickly deleted on the social media app TikTok last week, show no provision for an aircraft elevator on the port side.
The number of elevators is smaller than that on the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz- and newer Ford-class carriers, which have four and three elevators respectively, although the Type 003′s future carrier air group is projected to be smaller than that of a U.S. Navy carrier’s and closer to that of the French and British navies’ carriers, which also have two elevators each.
The Type 003 is estimated to displace some 85,000 tons to 90,000 tons when complete, and is expected to enter service with the PLAN in 2023.
Carrier-borne fighters to South China Sea base
China’s state broadcaster CCTV showed a segment on the Shenyang J-15 carrier-borne fighter jets conducting training in late May, operating from an unnamed air base that has since been geolocated to Lingshui on China’s Hainan Island in the northern part of the South China Sea.
The segment also show carrier-deck markings painted on the northwestern end of the runway. Satellite imagery taken on Jan. 23 and provided to Defense News by Planet Labs show that similar markings have also been painted on the opposite end of the runway.
The carrier deck markings include helicopter landing spots, and are of a similar configuration to that on the PLAN’s existing aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and Shandong.
The fighters will be housed on 24 fighter-sized aircraft shelters that were constructed at the southeastern end of the base beginning in 2017 and completed in 2020. Two other similar structures, each large enough to hold two fighter jets each, are being constructed at the northwestern end of the base.
The improvements at Lingshui are part of a massive naval infrastructure construction noted on Hainan that has previously been covered by Defense News.
This is the first time that the J-15 has been observed operating from the base, and together with the runway markings further suggests the base has been earmarked to house the J-15s that will be assigned to the PLAN’s second aircraft carrier Shandong, which will also be based at Hainan.
(Source: Defense News)
08 June 21. Honeywell Quantum Solutions And Cambridge Quantum Computing Will Combine To Form World’s Largest, Most Advanced Quantum Business.
– Upon completion of the combination, Honeywell will own a majority stake of the new company, which will shape the future of what is projected to become a $1 trillion quantum computing industry
– New business will offer the world’s highest-performing quantum computer and comprehensive quantum software, including the first and most advanced quantum operating system
– Software business will remain hardware agnostic and continue to be fully compatible with all global quantum hardware providers, maximizing customer benefits
Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON) announced today that Honeywell Quantum Solutions (HQS) and Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC), two world-leading quantum computing and quantum technology businesses, will combine to form the largest, most advanced standalone quantum computing company in the world, setting the pace for what is projected to become a $1trn quantum computing industry over the next three decades.
The new company will offer the world’s highest performing quantum computer and a full suite of quantum software, including the first and most advanced quantum operating system. These technologies will support customer needs for improved computation in diverse areas including cyber security, drug discovery and delivery, material science, finance, and optimization across all major industrial markets. The company will also focus on the advancement of natural language processing to fully leverage the possibilities of quantum artificial intelligence.
Quantum computing will remain a key breakthrough initiative for Honeywell. After the transaction is complete, Honeywell will own a majority stake in the new company, with commensurate governance rights. In addition, Honeywell will invest between $270m and $300m in the new company and will have a long-term agreement to help manufacture the critical ion traps needed to power the quantum hardware. Honeywell’s businesses will continue to serve as a proving ground for the new company’s quantum offerings.
The combination is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Honeywell Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Darius Adamczyk will serve as chairman of the new company. The new company will be led by Ilyas Khan, the CEO and founder of CQC. Tony Uttley, currently the president of HQS, will serve as the new company’s president.
“Since we first announced Honeywell’s quantum business in 2018, we have heard from many investors who have been eager to invest directly in our leading technologies at the forefront of this exciting and dynamic industry – now, they will be able to do so,” Adamczyk said. “The new company will provide the best avenue for us to onboard new, diverse sources of capital at scale that will help drive rapid growth.”
Adamczyk continued, “The new company will have the best talent in the industry, the world’s highest-performing quantum computer, the first and most advanced quantum operating system, and comprehensive, hardware-agnostic software that will drive the future of the quantum computing industry. The new company will be extremely well positioned to create value in the near-term within the quantum computing industry by offering the critical global infrastructure needed to support the sector’s explosive growth.”
“Joining together into an exciting newly combined enterprise, HQS and CQC will become a global powerhouse that will develop and commercialize quantum solutions that address some of humanity’s greatest challenges, while driving the development of what will become a $1trn industry,” Khan said. “I am excited to lead a company that has the best people and technologies in the quantum computing industry and the best and boldest clients. Together we will lead the industry as it grows and matures, and create tangible, credible, provable and science-led advances.”
Honeywell’s trapped ion-based quantum computing hardware recently achieved a quantum volume of 512, the highest measured on a commercial quantum computer to date, with further advances in progress. CQC is the global leader in software, cyber security and algorithms that help optimize quantum computing hardware. CQC’s software business will remain hardware agnostic and will continue to be fully compatible with all global quantum hardware providers. Honeywell has been an investor in and commercial partner with CQC since 2019.
Over the last decade, Honeywell has incubated its quantum business from the idea stage to commercial launch. Today, HQS employs some of the world’s leading experts in quantum computing and provides customers from some of the world’s largest organizations with access to the highest-performing quantum computers. Honeywell’s cross-disciplinary team of more than 160 scientists, engineers, and software developers – dedicated to advancing quantum volume and addressing real enterprise problems across industries – will join the new company. The combined company will have a staff of over 300, more than 100 of whom hold doctorates and over 200 of whom are scientists that include some of the world’s leading quantum computing experts.
Honeywell’s quantum computer uses trapped-ion technology, which leverages numerous, individual, charged atoms (ions) to hold quantum information. Honeywell’s system applies electromagnetic fields to hold (trap) each ion so it can be manipulated and encoded using laser pulses. These high-performance operations require deep experience across multiple disciplines, including atomic physics, optics, cryogenics, lasers, magnetics, ultra-high vacuum, and precision control systems. Honeywell has a decades-long legacy of expertise in these technologies.
CQC was founded in 2014 and is backed by some of the world’s leading quantum computing companies. With a team of approximately 150 and offices in Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States, CQC is a pioneer in the quantum software sector and a leader in the commercialization of quantum technologies. In this year alone, CQC has announced groundbreaking advances that make quantum computers practically useful to the finance and banking industry by enabling quantum Monte Carlo simulations; unveiled unhackable keys for cybersecurity, using Honeywell’s quantum computers to allow for the protection of corporate, governmental and private data and communications; provided details of the world’s largest experiment in quantum natural language processing, a key enabler of AI; announced commercial projects in drug discovery in critical areas that will enhance humanity’s well-being; and provided open-access to all quantum software developers to “tket,” the world’s most popular quantum software development kit.
There is no change to Honeywell’s 2021 financial outlook as a result of the transaction. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as Honeywell’s lead financial advisor for the transaction. The new company’s name will be announced on a future date.
Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 technology company that delivers industry-specific solutions that include aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help aircraft, buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywell.com/newsroom.
This release contains certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that we or our management intends, expects, projects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Such statements are based upon certain assumptions and assessments made by our management in light of their experience and their perception of historical trends, current economic and industry conditions, expected future developments and other factors they believe to be appropriate. The forward-looking statements included in this release are also subject to a number of material risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to economic, competitive, governmental, and technological factors affecting our operations, markets, products, services and prices. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results, developments and business decisions may differ from those envisaged by such forward-looking statements. We identify the principal risks and uncertainties that affect our performance in our Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Source: PR Newswire)
08 June 21. Indian Aerial Target Powered by Veronte Autopilot. Kadet Defence Systems is an aerospace and defence focused organization based in India. The company specializes in the design of unmanned aerial vehicles used as aerial targets. Kadet Defence Systems decided to partner with Embention, a supplier of target drone autopilots and critical systems for UAVs, in order to face the rapid increase in the UAV industry.
Embention has been working arduously in the UAV industry for 15 years, continuously improving their star product, the Veronte Autopilot. Working closely together with Kadet Defence Systems, Embention has contributed to the development of the JX2 NG Aerial target, powered by the Veronte Autopilot for Targets.
JX2 NG Aerial Target – Veronte Autopilot
Kadet’s JX2 NG Aerial Target is designed for use as aerial targets for weapon training development, evaluation and as an aerial test platform amongst other applications. These ready-to-fly solutions include all components needed for performing fully autonomous missions in harsh environments including Ground Control Stations, Ground Support Equipment, and Air Vehicle Catapult Launchers.
Kadet Defence Systems range of aerial targets are powered by propellers and turbojets.
Avdesh Khaitan, CEO of Kadet Defence Systems, noticed an unprecedented growth in their activities due to new and novel applications emerging in both the defense and commercial use of UAS. Avdesh stated that, “partnering with Embention allows us to efficiently integrate and continuously improve the performance of our systems and gives our customers an edge in performance and operation while simulating hostile attacking scenarios”.
The JX2 NG Aerial Target has integrated the Veronte Autopilot, which provides the UAV with fully autonomous flight capabilities, versatility and sensor redundancy. The versatility given by the autopilot allows the Aerial Target to adapt its configuration to the requirements of different types of operations. Veronte Autopilot becomes the best option to program target drones, mainly due to its quality-prices relation, but also due to its ease of installation in drones with either combustion or turbine engines. (Source: UAS VISION)
08 June 21. Adarga and QinetiQ announce strategic partnership delivering AI powered intelligence into the defence sector. QinetiQ, a global integrated defence and security company, and Adarga, one of the UK’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) software developers, have today entered into a strategic partnership to use AI to harness the power of data for the defence and security markets. The partnership will combine Adarga’s leading enterprise AI analytics platform with QinetiQ’s experience of helping defence and security customers take a mission-led approach to implementing innovative ideas and technologies. This will enable organisations across defence and central government to harness the untapped power of the increasing volume and complexity of information resources at their disposal. The collaboration will accelerate the deployment of cutting-edge artificial intelligence capabilities, enabling information to be exploited at speed to counter threats – a vital capability in today’s fast-moving and competitive Information Age.
The partnership is also a superb example of how a closer collaboration between SMEs and large public sector contractors, enables the defence sector to take advantage of leading-edge AI solutions and expertise. Customers across defence and central government will benefit from Adarga’s cutting-edge AI software which combines Natural Language Processing (NLP), machine learning and network science technology to automate the analysis of vast amounts of information at high speed, helping organisations to discover the deep and critical insights that drive faster and better decisions. QinetiQ’s experience in deploying highly innovative information systems within the sector will ensure more organisations can quickly utilise Adarga’s platform by integrating with existing enterprise technology and building further trust and assurance in the performance of the software.
Using high-fidelity AI models that are trained to understand and analyse complex defence and national security data, Adarga’s technology creates a rich and interconnected picture from both open and organisational data sources within a single secure platform, called the Adarga Knowledge PlatformTM. The platform supports analysts, planners and decision makers in retaining institutional knowledge, evaluating complex situations, and remaining threat-focused without having to apply human, time-intensive resources in complex analytical tasks.
“We are very pleased to be working in this innovative partnership with QinetiQ to support our Defence and National Security customers in harnessing the powerful capabilities provided by modern AI and software driven technology. In our rapidly changing world, keeping pace with the evolving nature of the threat will be vital. Delivering world leading technology solutions to support our customers in an increasingly competitive and complex global environment will not be met by one company alone. Closer collaboration between SMEs and global businesses like QinetiQ is crucial in tackling our customers’ most complex problems and accelerating the critical deployment of world-leading technology such as AI. Innovative approaches to partnering are an essential component in enabling our customers to sustain a competitive advantage in an increasingly dynamic, complex and fast-paced world.” said Robert Bassett Cross, CEO, Adarga.
“Exploiting data and digital technology to achieve information advantage for our customers across the globe is a key part of our strategy. Building partnerships with innovative SMEs like Adarga, so their technology can be combined with our deep technical expertise and understanding of defence and security customers’ requirements is a crucial part of this ambition. It’s vital we collaborate with innovative new entrants to the sector so together we can demonstrate how science and technology underpins a successful future for defence and security success,” said Dr Vicki Saward, Information Advantage Campaign Director, QinetiQ.
07 June 21. Raytheon Australia integrates locally-built tech. The prime has partnered with an Australian firm to enhance battlespace command and control capability. Raytheon Australia has revealed it has successfully integrated technology developed by Melbourne-based AI company Agent Oriented Software (AOS). Raytheon has leveraged AOS’ newly developed product, Intelligent Battlespace Advisor (IBA), with its Solipsys subsidiary’s in-service Battlespace Command and Control Centre (BC3) as part of the Raytheon Missiles & Defense command and control portfolio.
IBA is expected to provide Air Battle Managers with time-critical information about unusual airspace activity to better inform decision making.
The Australian-built system is designed to enable users to monitor all tracks in the Asia-Pacific airspace, classifying them as ‘routine’ or flagging them for further investigation.
This is expected to bolster the capabilities of BC3, which has been in service with the US Air Force since 2008, supporting airspace management by leveraging track fusion engine, multi-source correlator and tactical visualisation frameworks.
“Raytheon Australia has worked with AOS over the last year to successfully integrate IBA into Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s Solipsys BC3,” Raytheon Australia managing director Michael Ward said.
“Not only have we achieved this integration with BC3 for the first time outside the United States, but we have achieved it using Australian technology and Australian engineers.
“This collaboration with AOS has allowed the integration and development of a new and never seen before capability for Air Battle Managers.”
AOS managing director Dr Andrew Lucas noted the capability benefits of the IBA platform.
“IBA allocates an intelligent software agent to each track to ‘reason’ with the available data. If this track is of concern, the IBA agent alerts the Air Battle Manager and provides timely advice on why it is of concern,” Dr Lucas said.
“As an example, if an aircraft identifying as a civilian flight is well ahead of schedule, then the IBA agent assigned to that track tries to determine why.
“If the agent determines a potential threat, the Air Battle Manager is alerted.”
He added: “This is critical information to have at hand because identifying and clarifying unusual activity quickly allows Air Battle Managers to focus on tracks that may pose a real threat.”
The integration is now expected to be tested in the field, with potential export opportunities also touted.
Raytheon’s partnership with AOS comes just months after the company identified 10 Australian businesses to take part in their industry program Capability Plus.
The program aims to assist small and medium-sized Australian businesses win defence contracts within Australia and globally.
It is hoped that the program will allow these companies to develop their offerings across management, engineering, cyber security and ISO as well as providing them with access to Raytheon’s supply chain. (Source: Defence Connect)
07 June 21. First rescue helicopter flies on sustainable aviation fuel. A rescue helicopter has flown on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for the first time, achieving a new milestone in international aviation. Operated by the German non-profit organization ADAC Luftrettung, the Airbus H145 rescue helicopter had its Arriel 2E engines ceremonially refueled with biofuel, a type of SAF, at the air rescue station at Munich’s Harlaching Clinic in the presence of the ADAC Foundation’s board of directors, as well as the managing directors and top management of ADAC Luftrettung, the engine manufacturer Safran Helicopter Engines, the helicopter manufacturer Airbus Helicopters, and the energy company TotalEnergies. Together, these companies will be a driving force in the decarbonisation of helicopter flight by developing alternatives to conventional aviation fuels.
The H145 was using a second-generation biofuel – the SAF of choice of the aviation industry – which reduces CO2 emissions up to 90 % compared to its fossil equivalent, because it is produced from residual and waste materials from the circular economy such as used cooking oils and fats. As a result, the fuel has no impact on agricultural food production.
The fuel used for the first rescue helicopter flight in Munich was produced by TotalEnergies at its facility in France from used cooking oil, without using any virgin plant-based oil. With this SAF, the ADAC Luftrettung fleet could achieve a 33 percent reduction in CO2 emissions, which, with more than 50,000 rescue missions and more than 3.3 m kilometers flown per year, equates to a reduction of around 6,000 tons of CO2.
ADAC Luftrettung and engine manufacturer Safran Helicopter Engines share the same ambition to contribute to the development of sustainable aviation fuel. To this effect they are launching a project with one ADAC rescue helicopter in Cologne. The project will study all aspects of biofuel usage on the H145, with an operational campaign to start as early as summer 2021.
Following the biofuel premiere, the managing directors of ADAC Luftrettung and Safran Helicopter Engines, Frédéric Bruder and Franck Saudo, signed a long-term agreement on SAF, which envisages increasing the blending ratio of biofuel to as much as 100 percent in the coming years and subsequently also promoting the use of synthetic e-fuel, also known as Power-to-Liquid (PTL), another drop-in alternative to fossil fuels. PTL refers to the generation of liquid fuels produced using electrical energy from renewable sources, which, along with the use of biofuel, will allow aviation to get closer to climate-neutral aviation.
Biofuel is currently certified and approved for aviation use in a maximum blend of 50 percent with conventional kerosene of the JET-A1 type. The ADAC rescue helicopter was flown on a 40 percent blend.
Dr. Andrea David, CEO of the non-profit ADAC Foundation, to which ADAC Luftrettung belongs, says that, “for us, the Sustainable Aviation Fuel pilot project is a first big step on the way to a climate-neutral ADAC Foundation and air rescue service, and our contribution as a non-profit organisation to achieving the climate protection goals of Germany and Europe.”
“We want to be a pioneer in reducing CO2 in emergency medical services with environmentally friendly kerosene. This means we must also develop air rescue technologically so that the use of SAF is future-proof in the longer term. To achieve this, we have strong partners at our side,” adds Frédéric Bruder, Managing Director of ADAC Luftrettung. “Importantly, SAF is an officially approved fuel, which means that flight and patient safety remain at the highest level.”
Franck Saudo, CEO Safran Helicopter Engines, says: “Safran is leading engine industry efforts to reduce helicopter carbon dioxide emissions. Along with this historic first flight, we signed an agreement with ADAC Luftrettung to expand the use of SAF in their Safran-powered helicopter fleet. All Safran engines are certified to operate on up to 50 percent sustainable fuel, including biofuel. Our goal is to reach 100 percent.”
Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, says: “Pioneering sustainable aerospace is a clear ambition for Airbus and enabling the use of sustainable aviation fuel is an important milestone for our industry. Today’s event is the first step in reinforcing Airbus Helicopters’ ambition of having the lowest CO2 emission product range in the world.”
Christian Cabrol, Managing Director TOTAL Deutschland GmbH, adds: “TotalEnergies has set itself the target to get to net-zero emissions together with society by 2050. By developing biofuels, we are helping our aviation industry customers reduce the carbon intensity of the energy products they use. Our sustainable aviation fuel can be used without any modification to the logistical infrastructure for storage and distribution and thus also directly in aircrafts and helicopters. We are experiencing this in practice today. Last March, we successfully started the production of sustainable aviation fuels in France, that has already been put in use for a long-haul flight between Paris and Montreal two weeks ago, and we will soon make it available to our German customers.”
12 May 21. Hanscom Teams Support Testing of A.I. and ‘Robotic Dogs’ at Tyndall. Two Hanscom teams are helping to build the “base of the future” by integrating an exciting new force protection technology at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.
Teams within the Force Protection and Special Programs Divisions, both headquartered here, supplied and integrated the 325th Security Forces Squadron with four prototype Quad-legged Unmanned Ground Vehicles, sometimes referred to as ‘robotic dogs,’ in March.
They are semi-autonomous robots that can provide surveillance and perimeter security in difficult terrain or in harsh or unsafe conditions.
“The Air Force is really trying to look beyond traditional technologies and vendors in how we are satisfying our base protection requirements,” said Maj. Jareth Lamb, chief, Force Protection Modernization Branch. “This is just one of the ways we’ve been getting after innovation in the force protection space.”
Designed by Ghost Robotics, these Vision 60 model robots are outfitted with 14 sensors and will be integrated with the Immersive Wisdom-developed command and control software Vanguard, using semi-autonomous and user-operated modes. The prototypes are equipped with advanced multi-directional, thermal, and infrared video capabilities, allowing for artificial intelligence-based threat detection.
“People see these robots out walking around and they think this is a fieldable capability, but there is still a lot of development, testing and evaluation that still needs to be done,” said Johanna Lewis, program manager, Special Programs Division. “Having them just walk around is not what we’re after. We want them to patrol the base using their integrated sensors to provide our forces in the base security operations center with useful, mission-critical data.”
What sets these units apart is their ability to integrate additional advanced technology, like A.I.-based acoustic sensors, said Lewis. This would allow them to make decisions based on changes in the environments, such as the presence of humans or perceived threats.
Despite the broad range of complex technology outfitted on the robots, experts say the user interface is actually quite simple to operate.
“The command and control of these is actually pretty intuitive,” said Lamb. “They come with a control pad and joystick, so for anyone who’s ever played a video game before, you can easily pick it up and be able to control the full range of capabilities on these robots with minimal training.”
The Hanscom teams are currently providing program management, engineering support, contracting, and test and evaluation support to help determine the full range of capabilities of the robots, as well as determining training requirements.
“It’s our responsibility to find out where the boundaries of these units are and if we can push those boundaries,” said Lewis. “We need to determine the full scope of how well they work, and how easy they are to maintain. These units at Tyndall are the first to be deployed and installed, so we have to do our due diligence and thoroughly test them.”
Although early in the test and evaluation process, Lamb believes that A.I.-enabled robots and similar technology could be a force multiplier with broad application Air Force-wide.
“The sky is the limit,” he said. “If these ‘dogs’ can assist our forces in the field or in an expeditionary response capacity, I think that’s a win. But it’s still early. This is the first time that we’ve explored this type of technology, so there’s a lot we’re still learning. I think we’re really just scratching the surface about how we can leverage this exciting capability.”
The Special Programs Division first highlighted the dogs last year at the Air Force’s second Advanced Battle Management System onramp exercise, which ran from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
According to Lewis, testing of the prototypes at Tyndall will continue through the fall.
Her team issued a $1m task order for the Tyndall effort under an indefinite quantity, indefinite delivery contract with Immersive Wisdom. The task order is set to expire Sept. 30, but they are considering an agreement to extend that timeline, said Lewis. (Source: ASD Network/US Air Force)
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.