Sponsored By Oxley Developments
09 Jul 20. Quantum Technology Startup Q-CTRL Announces Global R&D Partnership with Advanced Navigation. Q-CTRL to provide expertise on quantum-enhanced sensing to Advanced Navigation’s ultra-precise, AI-based navigational manufacturing. Q-CTRL, a startup that applies the principles of control engineering to accelerate the development of quantum technology, today announced a global research and technology development partnership with Advanced Navigation, a leader in AI-based navigational hardware.
Q-CTRL and Advanced Navigation entered the partnership in early 2020 in support of their collaborative research and development in quantum-enabled sensing. The two organizations will now be conducting joint technical development in support of both the civilian and defense markets focused on quantum-enhanced precision navigation and timing (PNT).
Quantum sensing is considered one of the most promising areas in the global research effort to leverage the exotic properties of quantum physics for real-world benefit. It is expected to revolutionize PNT through an ability to detect very weak accelerations while maintaining accuracy over long times. Quantum-enabled PNT can therefore enable highly precise navigation in commercial and military applications where GPS is unavailable.
Q-CTRL is a pioneer in the field of quantum control engineering which applies the lessons of classical control engineering to stabilize quantum systems against disturbances in their environment, a critical component in bringing quantum sensing to market. The firm is a trusted provider of quantum control solutions across all applications of quantum technology, and has a growing practice in quantum sensing for aerospace and defense.
Advanced Navigation builds ultra-precise, AI-based navigational technologies and robotics for sea, air, land and space across commercial and defense domains. Their team has specialized expertise across a broad range of fields including optical and MEMS-based inertial sensors, GNSS, inertial navigation, RF technologies, acoustics, robotics, AI and algorithms.
“We are excited to enter into a partnership with Q-CTRL, who has the world’s largest and most capable specialist team of quantum control engineers,” said Chris Shaw co-CEO and co-founder of Advanced Navigation. “Combining our expertise and manufacturing capability in precision navigation technologies, along with Q-CTRL’s expertise in the design and operation of advanced quantum hardware, will allow us to bring next-generation quantum PNT solutions to market.”
“The team at Q-CTRL is thrilled to have entered a commercial engagement with Advanced Navigation,” said Q-CTRL CEO and founder Prof. Michael J. Biercuk. “Our shared affinity for the role of control and machine learning in improving hardware performance make for a perfect match, and we’re exceptionally excited to deploy our team’s expertise in quantum sensing for production quantum-enhanced PNT systems.”
The Institute for Defense Analysis has highlighted precision navigation in GPS-denied environments as a key application for quantum technology, with the potential to support maritime systems, UAVs, and aircraft. With improvements in system size and performance, IDA forecasts a quantum PNT market exceeding $200 million annually by 2024.
Q-CTRL and Advanced Navigation hope to dramatically expand this opportunity through the development of ultra-high-performance software-enabled hybrid quantum PNT systems for autonomous vehicles, defense, and space applications.
About Advanced Navigation
Advanced Navigation was founded in Sydney in 2012 by engineers Xavier Orr and Chris Shaw to commercialize thesis research into AI neural network-based inertial navigation. The first product met the market with great success and the company expanded rapidly adding a portfolio of navigation offerings and moving into a diverse range of deep-tech fields such as underwater acoustics, GPS, radio frequency systems, sensors and robotics. Today Advanced Navigation is a supplier to some of the biggest companies in the world, including NASA, Airbus, Boeing, Tesla, Google, Apple and General Motors. Advanced Navigation is headquartered in Sydney, Australia with a large research facility in Perth, Australia and sales offices around the world. Advanced Navigation is an Australian manufacturer exporting globally while maintaining carbon neutral operations.
Q-CTRL was founded in November 2017 and is a venture-capital-backed company that provides control-engineering software solutions to help customers harness the power of quantum physics in next-generation technologies.
Q-CTRL has assembled the world’s foremost team of expert quantum-control engineers, providing solutions to many of the most advanced quantum computing teams globally. The company is built on Professor Michael J. Biercuk’s research leading the Quantum Control Lab at the University of Sydney, where he is a Professor of Quantum Physics and Quantum Technology. The team’s expertise led Q-CTRL to be selected as an inaugural member of the IBM Q startup network in 2018.
Q-CTRL is funded by SquarePeg Capital, Sierra Ventures, Sequoia Capital China, Data Collective, Horizons Ventures, Main Sequence Ventures, and InQTel. Q-CTRL has international headquarters in Sydney and Los Angeles. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
09 Jul 20. A new technologically advanced liquid cooled and scalable architecture is available from Empower RF Systems. This breakthrough solid state design replaces tube technology to bring new capabilities to applications where tens and hundreds of kilowatts of CW and Pulse power are required. This remarkable architecture brings together four major technology advancements.
Digital Peak and RMS Detection
First is the fully digital Peak and RMS Detection providing waveform flexibility and accurate metering allowing asymmetrical and random pulse width and duty cycle operation on Pulse amplifiers. Short and Long Pulse Capabilities are 100ns to 500+usec and up to 500KHz PRF’s and 20% Duty Cycles.
The embedded combination
The second advancement is the combination of embedded firmware, software, and real time processing/control bringing multi-use flexibility to operate in any application. User selectable multimode operation can by dynamically configured. Important to note, CW amplifiers offer the same pulse performance as our pulsed amplifiers with no limit on duty cycle while pulsed amplifiers allow de-rated CW operation.
No single point of RF failure
No single point of RF failure is the third design element. The amplifier layout consists of a system controller in a 3U and up to 16 hot swappable 2U amplifier drawers with each amplifier drawer contains an integrated power supply. With this arrangement, in the event of a failure, only a fractional reduction of output power occurs the amplifier system remains on air. The 2U amplifier drawers are hot swappable and there is no high voltage power supply within the transmitter.
The fourth major design element is Scalability which creates an affordable upgrade path for future power needs by adding hardware to an existing system. Additional racks racks can be combined and for racks not fully populated, 2U amplifier drawers can be added without the need for tuning, since each 2U amplifier drawer and full system rack is digitally set for phase and gain.
09 Jul 20. 70 percent of businesses increase or maintain digital transformation spend amid pandemic, IFS study says. Today’s macro-economic disruption has failed to dampen digital transformation plans, with 52 percent* of companies stating they will increase their spending on digital transformation, according to a global research study from IFS.
While many people might assume that respondents concerned with the economy would pull back on technology spending, the reality is that investment is increasing. The survey data indicates that, during these dynamic times, plans to increase spending on digital transformation track closely with concerns about economic conditions disrupting the business. In fact, the survey indicates that people concerned with economic disruption were 20 percent more likely to plan increased spending on digital transformation.
Appetite for digital transformation initiatives is, however, not consistent across all geographies or industry verticals. Looking closer at the latter, the survey places construction in the lead, with 75 percent of respondents in this sector saying they have plans to invest this year. Runners up in this regard are information technology (58 percent) and manufacturing (55 percent) companies. On the other end of the spectrum, the study finds more caution in industries in energy and utilities at 37 percent, trailed by retail at 35 percent.
“Examining the specific industries, it is clear that the construction industry, which has historically been a laggard when it comes to enabling technology, is investing heavily to catch up with more digitally mature sectors such as manufacturing,” IFS Industries Senior Vice President, Antony Bourne, said. “This disparity in investment levels aligns very well with what we see across our own customer base.”
Despite a widespread willingness to invest, the study reveals digital transformation execution as a fraught area for many decision-makers. The ability to deliver a measurable return on technology investment quickly, and to the satisfaction of internal stakeholders, is the number one concern for nearly two thirds of decision-makers (64 percent).
Antony Bourne added, “The study confirms that many companies are wisely using the global downturn to divert resources to technological renewal and innovation. As the majority of businesses are adapting to the anticipated economic recovery, and not permanently scrapping digital transformation initiatives, there is reason to believe that companies with a progressive mindset toward technology investment will be well equipped to rebound. While enterprise software will doubtlessly play a role in accelerating recovery, it is important to remember its vital role in helping companies here and now. Providing the necessary process transparency and analytics to ensure effective and informed decision-making is critical in these trying times. Nothing less than a considered and resolute attitude toward adopting digital transformation will help companies thrive, now and in the future.”
09 Jul 20. Chalmit to Host Special Event on LED Lighting for Hazardous Environments. Chalmit & Killark, a division of the Hubbell Harsh & Hazardous Group, and the leading manufacturer of lighting for industrial sites, is hosting a live, interactive, online Q&A on how LED luminaires can be used to best effect in hazardous areas.
The 45-minute session, to be held at 3pm on Wednesday 15th July, will be led by a panel of experts from Chalmit, who will answer questions submitted by attendees.
The event is ideal for those responsible for hazardous environments such as oil refineries, chemical plants, and potentially explosive factories. The session is expected to span major LED topics such as maximising energy efficiency, maintenance, optimising performance, safety, and capital cost minimisation.
Mark Poutney, Technical Manager at Chalmit explains: “Lighting in hazardous environments presents real challenges which LED lighting can help address. This will be a unique opportunity for site managers from around the world to get their questions answered, check their lighting strategy is up to scratch and catch up on the very latest thinking when it comes to LEDs.”
08 Jul 20. USMC connect smart base infrastructure. The USMC are working to design and operate a smart base testbed to support the resiliency of critical infrastructure at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego, Calif.
Partnering with US Ignite, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing smart communities, officials at Miramar expect the new project to leverage that facility’s investments in both autonomous vehicles testing and microgrid technology.
As a part of the Marine Corps’ Mobility Transformation, Miramar has been experimenting with autonomous vehicles since early 2018 when it opened its AV proving grounds for industry and government partners to test and develop AV technologies.
One project, born of a partnership between the Marine Corps and the state of California, piloted the use of electric AVs for official and personal use on the base. Because the vans are vehicle-to-grid capable, they can also connect to the station’s microgrid through a bi-directional electric-vehicle charging station, making them essentially mobile batteries. If the power goes out at Miramar, there could be enough stored energy in the van to power a building connected to the microgrid.
The microgrid, which was launched in 2016, is designed to independently power the facility for an indefinite period of time and taps solar panels, energy storage, landfill gas generators, a diesel and natural gas plant and electric vehicle charging technologies.
The contract calls for exploring three smart city resiliency use cases:
- Smart buildings. Just as cities have installed sensors on poles and infrastructure to track energy use, safety and environmental impact, Miramar wants in-building sensors to share data, analytics and technology assessments to a smart city resiliency research testbed.
- Smart grid. To improve the management of the microgrid, officials want to see how smart sensors can be used with distributed renewable energy assets, such as solar photovoltaics (PV), to improve power management, especially because the energy from renewable sources can be intermittent.
- Critical infrastructure monitoring by drones. Smart city sensors on drones can monitor smart buildings as well as solar PV and critical energy infrastructure. Monitoring research data, analytics and technology assessments would be shared with public safety drone pilot programs in nearby Chula Vista.
US Ignite will also use data from fixed sensors as well as connected and automated vehicles to inform better methods of navigation and traffic management as well as reduce costs, improve public safety and deliver faster services.
In October 2019, US Ignite launched a smart transportation testbed and autonomous AV pilot program in Colorado at the Army’s Fort Carson in October. The program featured a data sharing initiative between Fort Carson and nearby Colorado Springs in which sensors on base that monitor traffic, parking and public safety are linked to the city’s sensors and mapping systems to create joint data repositories.
The Defense Department has been pushing “smart base” enabling technologies since at least 1998 when the Navy Smart Base pilot launched, incorporating smart cards, bar codes and cameras at security gates to reduce staff and manage administrative tasks.
In Georgia, the Army’s Fort Stewart and the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay have been working with Georgia Power to deploy solar panels that give those bases their own independent power during emergencies and allow them to the excess energy back to Georgia Power.
In 2017, Maxwell Air Force Base, working with AT&T, demonstrated a wireless smart perimeter that uses infrared sensors and facial recognition to detect and identify intruders and alert base personnel of potential security breaches.
More recently, Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, after being leveled by Hurricane Michael in 2018, is rebuilding itself as a 5G-powered “smart base of the future” that will support augmented and virtual reality, physical security and data streaming to and from warfighter platforms. (Source: Defense Systems)
07 Jul 20. NGA looking to academia and industry to boost research efforts. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency wants industry researchers and academia to offer new research and development concepts through its new Broad Agency Announcement.
The National-Geospatial-Intelligence Agency issued a new Broad Agency Announcement July 6, giving researchers and academics a new pathway to present intelligence solutions to the agency.
NGA is responsible for delivering geospatial-intelligence to war fighters, policy makers and the intelligence community. Under this announcement, the agency is looking for solutions from industry and academia to help them accomplish that mission.
“The release of this BAA will help accelerate our research endeavors and provide NGA with the ability to expand and diversify its research performer base, while giving us better flexibility and agility in research contracting efforts,” said Cindy Daniell, director of research and NGA, in a statement.
The BAA is seeking research and development concepts that address one or more of the following topics: Foundational GEOINT; advanced phenomenologies, and analytic technologies.
- Foundational GEOINT – The creation of always accurate, high-resolution, continually updated representations of the earth’s properties, available on demand.
- Advanced Phenomenologies – The use of novel methods and efficient strategies to deliver spatially, spectrally and temporally resolved data from a growing number of traditional and non-traditional sources.
- Analytic Technologies – The ability to leverage new data sources and new analytics techniques to add geospatial intelligence to multi-intelligence analytics in an effort to address emerging threats and mission domains.
More details on each technical domain can be found in the BAA.
According to the announcement, NGA plans to make multiple awards, which may take the form of procurement contracts, grants, cooperative agreements or other transactions for prototypes and follow-on production. The agency will be issuing response dates for individual topic areas within the three stated technical domains periodically. A COVID-19 rapid response topic will be one of the first items posted under the BAA according to NGA. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
07 Jul 20. Altitude Angel Powers BVLOS Flights in India with Sagar Defence. Altitude Angel, a global UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) technology provider, is partnering with Mumbai based Sagar Defence Engineering Ltd in BVLOS trials supported by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Together, Altitude Angel and Sagar Defence Engineering Ltd have been selected by India’s DGCA to carry out BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) drone operations. The results of the trials will be used to help define India’s regulatory framework for UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) ready for routine UAV deployment.
Altitude Angel’s GuardianUTM platform will enable BVLOS drone flights around a multitude of real-life scenarios including medical and cargo delivery, surveillance operations, survey & mapping, and search & rescue operations.
The Union Government has recently begun the process of granting regulatory permissions to the operation of drones for commercial purposes.
On participating in the BVLOS trials Richard Ellis, Altitude Angel, Chief Business Officer, said:
“The potential for UAV use in India is immense so we’re excited to be partnering with Sagar Defence on these BVLOS trials. The ability to fly safely and securely BVLOS will unlock the potential of drones not just in India, but across the world. With Sagar, we’re very much looking forward to showcasing our proven technology to demonstrate the amazing use-cases of drones.”
Mridul Babbar, Sagar Defence Engineering Ltd, Business Development Head added:
“Sagar Defence Engineering and Altitude Angel, two highly skilled teams, coming together for the BVLOS trials is a very strong partnership and one we’re thrilled to be part of. The combination of our UAVs and Altitude Angel’s world leading UTM platform will undoubtedly help advance the prospects of BVLOS flight across India and beyond.”
The BVLOS trials are scheduled to take place from August through to October 2020.
These BVLOS trials will further build on trials Altitude Angel has been involved in this year, having been the lead and ‘umbrella’ UTM for the Lake Kivu Challenge, part of the African Drone Forum, which took place on the shores of Lake Kivu, Rwanda in January. (Source: UAS VISION)
07 Jul 20. Leonardo DRS Delivers 70,000th Mounted Family of Computer System to the U.S. Army. Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced today that the company has delivered its 70,000th mission command computing system known as the Mounted Family of Computer Systems (MFoCS), to the U.S. Army. The delivery marks two decades of providing the U.S. military advanced tactical computing units for ground combat vehicles and command post operations.
MFoCS systems provide ruggedized modular computing capabilities for the U.S Army and other services, giving warfighters the next-generation of computing and display technology with faster processing performance. This enables support for simultaneous applications as well as the integration of additional sensors and communications networks.
“We are honored to continue supporting the delivery of the next generation of mission critical computing in support of our soldiers and Marines at the point of the spear,” said Bill Guyan, senior vice president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics business unit. “We take great pride in having designed a mission-critical family of network systems using the latest commercial off-the-shelf technologies that can be confidently relied upon when in harm’s way,” Guyan said.
Over a twenty year period working with our partners at the U.S. Army Project Manager – Mission Command, the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics business has designed and built multiple generations of MFoCS, building on each with innovative advancements in technology and supporting the Army’s Network Modernization Plan. The platform has also continuously met the Army’s current Mounted Computing Operating Environment requirements and is ready to satisfy the Army’s advanced Mounted Mission Command requirements in the future.
07 Jul 20. Smiths Detection launches iCMORE algorithms for lithium batteries and DGR for HI-SCAN 10080 XCT. Smiths Detection, a leading detection and security company, has launched iCMORE detection algorithms for lithium batteries and dangerous goods for use by its HI-SCAN 10080 XCT scanner, becoming its first explosive-detection system (EDS) to offer these options. The algorithms enhance the scanner’s detection capabilities by helping identify lithium batteries, flammable liquids and solids, and compressed and liquefied gasses, which can pose a risk should they ignite or explode.
With iCMORE, Smiths Detection can now reliably and accurately detect potentially dangerous lithium batteries, alongside other dangerous goods, across both its conventional X-ray and its EDS technologies. The iCMORE lithium batteries and dangerous goods algorithms are complementary adaptions to existing screening technology.
Although the screening of dangerous goods is not yet mandatory in hold-baggage and air-cargo screening, the increased level of safety for passengers, staff and assets is a key driver for the implementation of this technology. Rechargeable and non-rechargeable lithium batteries – which power everyday devices such as smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops and power banks – are classified as dangerous goods by the air-transportation industry because of their ability to ignite during flights. Since 2006, the US Federal Aviation Administration has recorded more than 260 incidents of smoke, heat, fire or explosion involving lithium batteries in air cargo or baggage. Furthermore, the transporting of flammable liquids and solids as well as compressed and liquefied gasses continues to pose threats to airport operators, airlines and cargo companies.
To be shipped by air, dangerous goods require special treatment and additional declarations according to International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations. Through automatic object recognition, iCMORE supports image operators by detecting dangerous goods without increasing their workload, as it requires little training and generates very low false-alarm rates.
“As a trusted partner to airports across the world, we are striving to develop new technologies to counteract new and emerging threats,” said Richard Thompson, Global Director Aviation for Smiths Detection. “The iCMORE modules for both lithium batteries and dangerous goods further enhance the HI-SCAN 10080 XCT, streamlining the hold-baggage and air-cargo screening process without burdening operators. Using this technology will not only make aviation safer but can also help prevent costly fines for shipping dangerous goods in a non-compliant way as well as helping safeguard the global supply of goods, which is essential given the need for medical supplies – for example – to be shipped without interruption.”
This launch follows the release of the iCMORE lithium-batteries module for the HI-SCAN 100100V-2is and HI-SCAN 100100T-2is in August 2019 and the HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX for weapons in cabin baggage. (Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report)
03 Jul 20. DIN devotes $1.5m to quantum tech research. Two “game-changing” research projects in the field of quantum science and technology will share in $1.5m of funding allocated through the Defence Industry Quantum Research Consortium, an initiative of the NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN).
Both world-first prototypes will have TRL 4-6 (technology readiness level) as well as clear commercial application. NSW chief scientist and engineer, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, called the projects “game-changing”, adding that the goal was to develop encapsulated quantum devices within a 24-month time frame.
The projects will tie together teams drawn from DIN member universities, along with multidisciplinary teams from industry and other universities based in NSW. Member universities include Macquarie University, the University of Newcastle, the University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney and Western Sydney University.
One of the proposals “closely aligns with Defence’s focus area of developing quantum technologies to provide navigation and timing capabilities when GPS is unavailable” – and relates to DST Group’s STaR Shot of Quantum Assured Positioning Navigation and Timing (PNT).
The second project will investigate the development of secure communications through the use of bright source single photon emitters with applications in distributed quantum keys.
The state government, through the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, has committed $1m of the funding. This has been backed up by the Commonwealth government’s Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, which has committed $500,000 to the project
State Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said, “These projects will lead to greater opportunities through increased collaboration between NSW defence industry and academia to commercialise defence-applicable technologies and create jobs for the people of NSW.”
NSW Defence Advocate, Air Marshal (Ret’d) John Harvey, AM, said, “The Defence Industry Quantum Research Consortium is another great opportunity to connect Defence and industry with the strengths and capabilities of NSW universities, and aligns directly with the NSW government’s Defence and Industry Strategy: Strong, Smart and Connected.”
“DST is excited to be supporting this Defence Innovation Network initiative in quantum technologies,” said DST Cyber & Electronic Warfare Division spokesman Dr David Bird. (Source: Defence Connect)
01 Jul 20. SOCOM Rolls Out New Software Program Office. Special Operations Command is standing up a new office solely geared toward software acquisition.
Col. Paul Weizer, special operations forces digital applications program executive officer, said the new organization will tackle the unique difficulties of acquiring software.
Obtaining such technology does not fall under traditional weapons acquisition rules and timelines, which can sometimes take seven to 10 years to field, he noted.
“In software, that’s just not tenable,” he said during the National Defense Industrial Association’s annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, which was held virtually this year due to COVID-19 safety concerns. “We’ve always kind of procured software as a square peg into a round hole trying to apply the appropriate rule set.”
The new office was slated to be chartered in June and will assist other SOCOM program executive offices in their development processes for digital products, he noted. Major software-intensive programs, such as the distributed common ground system-SOF and acquisition management system, will be moved under the new office’s jurisdiction.
According to Weizer’s presentation slides, it will be headquartered in Tampa, Florida, and have multiple satellite program offices.
The organization is expected to reach initial operating capability by the end of the summer.
“The current mission is to rapidly consolidate, integrate, acquire and/or divest of some of the SOF-unique software solutions,” he said.
SOCOM is still working on how it wants to structure the new organization, Weizer noted. The command wants industry input.
“If you’ve always had a burning issue or nagging concern about how [an] organization is structured and how you’re able to interact and what you’re able to do to interact, … this is the time” to provide input, he told contractors. “Right now, my structure is in Jell-O.”
The command’s biggest hurdle will be recruiting acquisition professionals with track records in procuring software for the government, he noted. The office will be partnering with industry and academia to build its skills in this type of acquisition.
Over the past 10 to 15 years, software acquisition has become more difficult and SOCOM will need to bring in more personnel who are able to understand the process, Weizer noted. “That will be the toughest challenge.” (Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
03 Jul 20. AVX Aircraft studying coaxial, tiltrotor capabilities for US Army FLRAA. AVX Aircraft is studying the capabilities that compound coaxial rotor and tiltrotor technologies could bring the US Army in its Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition, according to an executive.
Kendall Goodman, AVX COO, told Janes on 26 June that the coaxial aircraft the company is studying has a wing above the cockpit that provides lift in high-speed flight, differing it from the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant coaxial platform. This wing, he said, offloads the rotor, so it does not work as hard.
AVX’s coaxial rotor platform design features dual ducted fans, which the company offered for its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft-Competitive Prototype (FARA-CP) offering. This coaxial aircraft design also has a rear ramp, fast rope hardpoints, and a highly flexible mission cargo or troop compartment.
Goodman said AVX is using this two-platform approach for its study because the US Army’s size requirement for FLRAA is in a mid-class category. The service, he said, desires the aircraft to be a tiltrotor in some ways and a coaxial in others. The FLRAA aircraft will be larger than the FARA-CP platform.
The coaxial will provide much more lifting power while the tiltrotor would provide the speed that the customer desires. The tiltrotor, accordingly, will require more power to achieve these higher speeds.(Source: Jane’s)
06 Jul 20. KAI plans to roll out first KF-X prototype in April 2021. South Korean aerospace and defence company Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has revealed that it plans to roll out the first prototype of its Korean Fighter eXperimental (KF-X) multirole fighter aircraft in April 2021.
In the latest edition of its monthly Fly Together magazine the company released an image showing the prototype’s fuselage, which was assembled at KAI’s facilities in Sacheon. No further details were provided about the programme but Janes understands that the prototype is expected to conduct its first flight in 2022.
The performance of the KF-X, which is on order for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF), is expected to improve with each ‘Block’, with the development programme envisaging the production of six Block 0 prototypes, followed by four years of trials and the completion of development by mid-2026.
The first mass-produced KF-X aircraft, which will be part of Block 1, are expected between 2026 and 2028. They will be equipped with limited air-to-ground weapons in addition to air-to-air weapons.
On the other hand the Block 2 KF-Xs, which will be series-produced from 2029, will be capable of performing full air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions.
Meanwhile, officials from South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) told Janes on 6 July that the country’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD), in co-operation with Hanwha Systems, is expecting to complete development of an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the KF-X by mid-August. (Source: Jane’s)
07 Jul 20. L3Harris pushes advanced autonomy for unmanned maritime vehicles. L3Harris has set its sights on the intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance (ISR) market for unmanned maritime systems, identifying opportunities to combine the legacy unmanned surface vehicle (USV) technologies of ASV Global with the communications and sensor specialisms of the wider company since the latter was acquired in September 2018.
These changes have brought a range of technological opportunities for the former ASV Global business, including the platforms it had originally developed before the acquisition, said James Cowles, business development manager at L3Harris.
Cowles told Janes that L3Harris’ ASV technology is suited to three major applications: mine countermeasures (MCM), where it has for example worked on the Anglo-French Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) programme with Thales; anti-submarine warfare (ASW), through such vehicles as its C-Worker USV; and ISR.
He added that the integration of L3Harris and ASV’s technologies is still at an early stage, although this effort is expected have a significant effect on its systems, particularly in ISR. L3Harris has several communication arms focused on high-bandwidth line-of-sight communications and satellite communications (satcom), he noted.
“While we did have some excellent radios in the past, I think that some of the radios that we can now access for our military customers will really enhance our capability to move data in a safe and efficient way,” he said.
Additionally, he said L3Harris is exploring internal collaboration, utilising the technologies of L3Harris Wescam in terms of integrating electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensors into the ASV platforms. Beyond this, the company is potentially looking to work with TRL – an L3Harris-owned cyber security and electronic warfare specialist – on areas like cryptography. (Source: 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.