Sponsored By Oxley Developments
30 Apr 21. Ground-breaking Oxley lights featured during unveiling of the new KF-X Fighter in South Korea. South Korea has unveiled a prototype of the new KF-X fighter jet, which features a full set of external LED lights designed and prototyped by the Oxley team in Ulverston, Cumbria. The KF-X, which will be named the KF-21 Boramae when deployed by the South Korean military, is the first domestically designed and built fast jet in South Korea, developed by Korea Aerospace Industries. It is an advanced multirole jet with extensive avionics capabilities.
Oxley secured its globally leading position in aerospace LED lighting after being selected by Korea Aerospace Industries in 2017 to develop the full external lighting system. Oxley has worked with KAI on the development programme over four years and has now supplied a fully qualified external LED lighting system for the prototype aircraft which includes; Landing light, Taxi light, Refuelling light, Formation lights, Wing tip lights and an intelligent lighting controller. The system provides complete integration into the digital interface and dynamic health monitoring of the lighting system advising the aircraft when the lighting system requires maintenance. The suite has been designed specifically for the new jets and the lights outperform existing technology to deliver high performance and reliability.
Oxley Technical Director, Mark Jordan explained, ‘The comprehensive technical development process covered design, prototyping and testing, this has been completed by a dedicated Oxley project team of mechanical, optical, electronics and software engineers at the Priory Park site in Cumbria. As part of the development, smart technology health monitoring has been integrated into the lights enabling predictive maintenance which minimises the need for unscheduled repairs.’
The full unveiling ceremony can be viewed here: [Arirang Live] SHOWCASE: KOREA’S 1st HOMEGROWN FIGHTER JET – YouTube The jet will undertake ground tests this year with flights expected in 2022. President Moon said South Korea would have at least 40 of the new jets combat-ready by 2028, and 120 by 2032.
Darren Cavan, Oxley Group CEO commented, ‘This an incredibly proud moment for the Oxley team who have been working closely with the team at KAI for a number of years. The opportunity to work on the design of this prestigious advanced technological platform is confirmation of our world leading position in the provision of high performance lighting for military aircraft.’
29 Apr 21. EU Looks to Optimise for Greater Strategic Autonomy. On 22 April the European Defence Agency (EDA) announced the implementation of OPTIMISE, a project led by Spanish company Skylife Engineering but involving nine participants; three from Spain, four from France and one each from Italy and Slokavia.
OPTIMISE (innOvative PosiTIoning systeM for defence In gnSs-denied arEas) was selected to receive around $1.8m (€1.5m) in funding as part of the European Union’s Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR). Within this it will contribute research into “Future Disruptive Defence Technologies – Emerging Game-changers’. Its focus will be on ‘Autonomous Positioning, Navigation and Timing’ (PNT). The project is set to run for two years.
According to the EDA, the project will “propose a PNT ‘toolbox’, offering a set of emerging technologies – or a smart combination of disruptive technologies, as well as a backbone software architecture to integrate them. This will pave the way to more PNT technology integration into defence programmes, at different timescale, from short to long term, depending on the technology maturity.”
The aim is to deliver navigation architecture which will allow greater strategic autonomy to the EU making its members less dependent on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). It will also be ITAR free.
PNT is a critical factor when combination with map data and other information (weather or traffic data, for instance) in delivering today’s modern navigation system better known as the Global Positioning System (GPS). (Source: Armada)
28 Apr 21. DOD Science and Technology Executive Committee Announces Winner of FY21 Applied Research for Advancement of S&T Priorities Program Award. The Department of Defense (DoD) Science and Technology Executive Committee (S&T ExCom), coordinated by the Office of the Under Secretary for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)), is proud to announce the winner of the 2021 Applied Research for Advancement of S&T Priorities (ARAP) Program Award Competition.
“After careful deliberation by the S&T ExCom, I am delighted to announce that we have selected ‘Surface Morphing and Adaptive Structures for Hypersonics (SMASH)’ for this year’s ARAP Award,” said Dr. JihFen Lei, Principal Deputy and Acting Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Research and Technology, and S&T ExCom Chair. “We look forward to following the progress and accomplishments of the SMASH effort leading into successful technology transition.”
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Naval Center for Space Technology (NCST) submitted the winning SMASH proposal. The SMASH applied research program will advance and improve hypersonic systems’ performance, lethality, and durability by implementing adaptive geometry and smooth, flexible surfaces to enable superior lift, maneuverability, and efficiency over conventional “rigid” boost-glide missiles, air-breathing cruise systems, and interceptors.
NRL will lead a DoD research team that includes the Air Force Research Laboratory, Army Research Laboratory, and the Missile Defense Agency, as well as 20 academic partners that are integrated with these labs. This three-year, $45M program will support approximately 80 Federal scientists and engineers across these agencies as they seek to develop the necessary materials, systems, and tools to increase hypersonic range, platform capacity, lethality, and maneuverability. Additionally, the program will support at least 20 new graduate students who participate through the agencies’ academic partners. The program will leverage the combined expertise and assets of the entire DoD research enterprise to establish and maintain a technological edge for the Warfighter in both the offensive and defensive use of hypersonic weapon systems.
In total, the S&T ExCom received 17 submissions for this year’s award competition and selected three teams as finalists. Each finalist team briefed the ExCom on their proposal. “We appreciate the initiative, originality and collaborative effort that each team displayed in developing a high quality proposal, especially during the pandemic,” said Dr. Lei.
To participate in the yearly ARAP Award Competition, DoD programs or offices submit proposals for research areas that meet specific criteria. Some of the criteria that proposed research areas must meet include being eligible for applied research (BA-2) funding; addressing a specific technology or capability gap; enhancing collaboration across DoD and the Services; presenting a realistic program management plan; and demonstrating a clear pathway from research to product fielding. (Source: US DoD)
28 Apr 21. Getac’s next-generation K120 fully-rugged tablet combines advanced versatility with superior performance for optimal productivity in the field. Getac has today announced the launch of its next-generation K120 fully-rugged tablet, for mobile field professionals working in challenging industries including public safety, manufacturing, utilities, defence, transportation, natural resources, and oil & gas.
Superior performance in field environments
Building on a proven track record of success, the next-generation of Getac’s popular K120 tablet features a multitude of upgrades and enhancements over its predecessor, to further optimise productivity in remote and/or adverse environments. A powerful 11th Generation Intel® quad-core i5/i7 processor with integrated Iris® Xe graphics (codename “Tiger Lake”) delivers extraordinary performance, rapid responsiveness and rich visuals, meaning the K120 can be used to carry out multiple tasks simultaneously without slowing or overheating. Enhanced connectivity, thanks to inbuilt Wi-Fi 6, WWAN with Integrated GPS/GLONASS and Bluetooth 5.2, enables users to utilise a wide selection of over-air interfaces, while Thunderbolt™ 4 technology makes data collection in the field quick and easy. Additional key features include PCIe NVMe user-replaceable SSD storage and 16GB of memory as standard.
The K120 also includes a 12.5-inch, 1,200 nits LumiBond® 2.0 display with Getac sunlight readable technology, for easy operation in even the brightest outdoor environments. Multiple touch modes (regular touch, glove and pen modes, plus an optional digitizer mode) enhance performance in a range of situations, while an innovative dual hot-swappable battery design offers uninterrupted full-shift functionality. To keep sensitive data fully protected, the K120 features a powerful suit of security features and multifactor authentication management including Intel® vPro Technology, TPM 2.0, HF RFID reader, smart card reader, fingerprint reader and Windows Hello.
Enhanced versatility for every user scenario
The next-generation K120 has been designed with versatility at its core. This means it can be quickly and easily adapted to numerous real-world use cases via an extensive range of user modes and optional Getac accessories, including secure vehicle and office docks, hard handle, shoulder strap (2-point), dual bay battery charger and full-size keyboard.
Market leading IP66 and MIL-STD certifications
Like all Getac devices, the next-generation K120 is built rugged from the ground up to offer exceptional reliability that easily outperforms other rugged devices currently available on the market. MIL-STD-810H, MIL-STD-461G and IP66 certification, 6ft (1.8m) drop resistance and an operating temperature range of -29°C to 63°C (-20°F to 145°F) mean users can get to work without fear of data loss, damage or failure.
Getac Select® – tailored for industry needs
The next-generation K120 is part of Getac Select®, which combines pre-configured rugged devices, software, accessories, and professional services into a total solution optimised for both individual applications and user groups. Key software utilities available for use alongside the K120 are the Virtual Global Positioning System Utility (VGPS), Getac Driving Safety Utility, Getac Device Monitoring System (GDMS), and KeyWedge Barcode Reader Utility.1
Extend the life of legacy applications with Getac’s Virtual Global Positioning System (VGPS)
Getac’s VGPS utility is a software solution that replicates GPS data to multiple virtual COM ports, allowing up to five different software applications to run simultaneously on a Getac device. Doing so helps extend the life of legacy applications that require COM port interfaces to run in parallel, such as AVL, CAD, or eCitation. VGPS can be seamlessly integrated with any GPS-equipped Getac device.
“The original K120’s blend of portability, connectivity and rugged reliability made it ideal for customers who needed a solution that could excel in every scenario, not just a few,” says Chris Bye, President, Getac UK Ltd. “The next-generation K120 raises that bar even higher, combining industry-leading rugged design with the latest technology, applications and services, to deliver a comprehensive solution that helps optimise productivity across a wide range of challenging industries.”
The next-generation Getac K120 will be available in July 2021. For more information, please visit: https://www.getac.com/en/products/tablets/k120/.
- Virtual Global Positioning System Utility (VGPS), Getac Driving Safety Utility, Getac Device Monitoring System (GDMS), and KeyWedge Barcode Reader Utility are individual options for the K120 under the Getac Select®. For more information, please visit https://www.getac.com/en/getac-select/
27 Apr 21. Taiwan looks to reduce aircraft losses through F-16 Auto-GCAS. Taiwan is looking to reduce its aircraft attrition rate, with the announcement on 26 April that its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons is to be fitted with an automatic terrain avoidance system.
According to the US Department of Defense (DoD), Lockheed Martin has been awarded USD138m for a series of upgrades related to the Republic of China Air Force’s (RoCAF’s) F-16 Peace Phoenix Rising 2 (PPR2) programme, including the fitting of the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS).
Developed by the US Air Force (USAF), Lockheed Martin, and NASA based on research collected by the three organisations over the previous quarter of a century, the Auto GCAS is intended to reduce controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) by 90%. The USAF has previously told Janes that 26% of its aircraft losses, and 75% of all F-16 fatalities, have been caused by CFIT over recent years.
As previously described to Janes, the system works by predicting CFIT conditions by means of a continuous comparison between a trajectory prediction and a terrain profile. The moment the predicted trajectory touches the terrain profile the autopilot performs an abrupt roll-to-upright and a nominal 5 g pull until terrain clearance is assured. The USAF has previously stressed, however, that it would not interfere with normal operations, such as low-level flying, and can be overridden by the pilot at any time. A Pilot Activated Recovery System incorporated into the system allows a disoriented pilot to manually engage an automated recovery. (Source: Jane’s)
26 Apr 21. Dstl reaches milestone 1000th intellectual property report. On World IP Day, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory celebrates innovations such as the electronic pulse dart.
Imagine a dart that can be fired into an underwater warhead and safely explode it using an electrical pulse.
This is just one of many innovative ideas that Dstl staff are working on with as we celebrate World IP (Intellectual Property) Day.
One of the unique working methods of the dart was the 1,000th IP report logged by the organisation.
It is fitting that this milestone was reached by Peter, a serial inventor and engineer, who has worked at Dstl for five years and filed 20 IP reports in that time.
His latest work means naval mines can be cleared faster and at less overall cost than explosive methods while using available uncrewed systems.
The Pulse Dart comprises of a metal spike and tube with electronics.
The spike penetrates the case of the ordnance and contains a non-explosive energetic material to initiate the warhead.
The operator uses a remote control to trigger the explosion at a safe distance away.
Peter said, “Well it was actually a colleague that was taking me to a trial and he was describing to me the process for how we are developing mine disposal. I remember being in the car just driving and just thinking I wonder what would happen if you electrocuted the mine with a couple of hundred thousand volts… I’m guessing it’s probably going to explode.”
His dart is being made in Dstl workshops in Salisbury.
He added, “You would be surprised what can come out of ideas.”
When you are inventing something you are just doing what you do. You enjoy your work and you are just finding the solution to a problem – it’s your daily bread.
You can miss the value of the idea in different fields because it’s not what you’re used to. This is one of the reasons is why reporting IP is so important because you might not recognise there may be another application for the idea you’ve had.
Dstl protects its work by officially logging novel ideas and unique work with its IP team.
Registering the prior knowledge of an idea or process enables the scientists at Dstl to continue to use their ideas even if a third party later devises and tries to protect to the idea.
Where a commercial application is identified a patent is particularly useful helping the technology to be licensed out.
Dstl is a proven national asset which works with academia and industry, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Head of IP Graham said how a new system was developed at Dstl in 2017 to make it easier for the organisation’s world-class scientists and inventors to submit IP reports. They now get around 300 a year.
Peter is one of our most innovative people and a great individual to work with. One of those people who has got a really enquiring mind.
He is always working with us to ensure we can protect his idea and get the greatest impact from the work he does.
World IP Day is of great importance in the professional and across the technical world.
It’s all about raising awareness of Intellectual Property across the world and the value it can bring to science and technology. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
26 Apr 21. Elbit Systems Completes Acceptance Tests for Hellenic Coast Guard Combat Suites. Elbit Systems Ltd. announced today that it successfully completed the acceptance tests for new patrol vessels of the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG). In March 2019, the Company reported that it was awarded a contract from Cantiere Navale Vittoria SpA to supply combat suites and perform systems’ integration for the new patrol vessels of the HCG.
The acceptance tests were conducted in the Aegean maritime arena and included integration level tests of the combat systems and subsystems onboard the vessels as well as live firing tests from the onboard Remote Controlled Weapon Stations.
The systems supplied and integrated by Elbit Systems include the SPECTRO XR Electro Optical payloads, Radars, Navigation Systems, Warship Automatic Identification System (W-AIS) as well as Remote Control Weapon Stations (RCWS) with full integration into a Command and Control software. The combat suit is designed to support future “plug and play” integration of aerial and surface unmanned systems that will enable expansion of the operational envelop of the patrol vessels far beyond line of sight.
Its broad portfolio of maritime capabilities ranging from EW, sonars, EO and CMS, to autonomous platforms and weapon systems enables Elbit Systems to provide navies with enhanced situational awareness and deterrence capabilities, as well as integrated combat suites for new and in service ships.
26 Apr 21. Airbus to test advanced autonomous features on helicopter Flightlab. is introducing autonomous features to its helicopter Flightlab through a project code-named Vertex. These technologies aim to simplify mission preparation and management, reduce helicopter pilot workload, and further increase safety.
The autonomous technology bricks set to integrate the Flightlab are: vision based sensors and algorithms for situational awareness and obstacle detection; fly-by-wire for enhanced auto-pilot; and an advanced human-machine-interface – in the form of a touchscreen and head worn display for inflight monitoring and control.
The combination of these technologies will enable a system that can manage navigation and route preparation, automatic take-off and landing, as well as following a predefined flight path. The incremental integration of these technologies onto the helicopter Flightlab has begun ahead of a complete demonstration in 2023. Airbus’ Urban Air Mobility will also benefit from this technology as an essential stepping stone towards autonomous flight.
“We are excited by the potential that the Vertex demonstrator project has to offer,” said Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology Officer, Airbus. “By using our platform-agnostic flying laboratory to mature these technologies, we have an agile and efficient test bed that will support the development of future autonomous systems that could later equip Airbus’ current helicopter range and (e)VTOL platforms.”
Airbus’ mission is not to move ahead with autonomy as a target in itself, but to explore autonomous technologies alongside other technological innovations. In doing so, Airbus is able to analyse the potential to enhance future operations, and at the same time, leverage these opportunities to further improve aircraft safety.
Vertex is managed by Airbus UpNext, an Airbus subsidiary created to give future technologies a development fast-track by building demonstrators at speed and scale, evaluating, maturing and validating new products and services that encompass radical technological breakthroughs.
26 Apr 21. Israel developing AI ‘super-brain’ to run automated attacks in battlefield. The Telegraph was given exclusive access to the programme, which uses high-powered sensors to help tanks and robots patrol battlefields
The AI ‘super-brain’ will use an array of high-powered sensors to help tanks and robots patrol battlefields and find enemy targets
Israel is developing an AI “super-brain” that uses an array of high-powered sensors to help tanks and robots patrol battlefields and find enemy targets, as it looks to a new age of warfare.
The artificial intelligence, dubbed Athena after the Greek goddess of war, is in an early stage of development at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) but could be deployed within the next decade.
The Daily Telegraph was given exclusive access to the Athena programme, including a mock demonstration of the “brain” being used by tanks in a combat scenario.
In the scenario, Israeli Carmel tanks were fitted with the smartphone-sized AI, which collected data from infrared and radar sensors, among others, to tag enemy fighters hidden underground and in buildings on the battlefield. In an instant, the data was beamed to the commanding officer and turned into a “battle menu” with the best methods of attacking the targets.
The Athena can also be plugged into the tanks’ fire control and manoeuvre systems, which would allow it to attack targets automatically, though the commanding officer makes the final decision on how to proceed.
The Telegraph understands that IAI, Israel’s state-owned defence firm, is also looking at fitting the Athena onto robotic vehicles that could automatically patrol border fences in search of intruders.
The Telegraph understands that IAI, Israel’s state-owned defence firm, is looking at fitting the Athena to robotic vehicles that could automatically patrol border fences
The country hopes AI defence systems will make its armies more efficient, as the machines can analyse a battlefield and generate a tactical battle plan much faster than a human mind. Senior officers in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), which is also exploring AI warfare, said some aspects of the technology could be ready for real-world use as early as next year.
“We are not very far from the basic level of getting an automatic awareness picture [of the battlefield],” said Colonel Eli Birenbaum, the head of the IDF’s military architecture department. “If you ask me [when it will happen], at the end of 2021, I think with 90 per cent accuracy that the answer is positive.”
Col Birenbaum said one of the key challenges in the future will be persuading soldiers to “trust the machine,” drawing comparisons with safety concerns over self-driving cars.
The Athena device is just one of a number of “AI weapons” in development around the world, though the projects are generally shrouded in secrecy. They include drones and missile targeting devices, while experts point out that for many decades, armies have used weapons that automatically attack people, such as the landmine.
The ‘Athena’ device is one of a number of “AI weapons” in development around the world
“There is a bit of an arms race underway between the US and China, while the Russians are also doing a lot of experiments but are quite a bit further behind,” explained Dr Jack Watling, an expert on land warfare at the Rusi defence think-tank in London.
“It is realistic, and very much available, but not necessarily deployable. And this is partly because militaries are not necessarily sure of the ramifications of using it,” he added.
Israel is not the only Western ally exploring AI warfare. In the United States, military cadets are programming tanks with algorithms to pop balloons representing enemy soldiers.
Meanwhile, last November, the head of the British armed forces speculated that “robot” soldiers could make up around a quarter of the military by the 2030s. General Sir Nick Carter made the comment in an interview about UK defence funding, though he said he was not setting any particular target on a robot quota.
It has been claimed that Israel deployed an AI-powered machine gun late last year to assassinate one of Iran’s top nuclear scientists. However, it has not responded to claims it was behind the attack and typically declines to comment on overseas military action. The scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, said to be the head of Iran’s nuclear programme, was reportedly killed by a satellite-controlled machine gun, which used artificial intelligence to target him.
Over the weekend, tensions rose between Israel and the Palestinian territories after more than 30 rockets were fired from the Gaza strip into Israeli territory by Islamist militant groups.
The rockets did not cause any deaths or injuries, though they did damage some property. The rocket barrage appeared to be in retaliation for clashes between Palestinians and an extremist Jewish group in east Jerusalem on Friday, which left more than a hundred people injured.
(Source: Daily Telegraph)
29 Apr 21. Inzpire Limited has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation for a second time. Inzpire has been recognised for its excellence in innovation for its next generation GECO military mission planning system (MPS) which comprises a comprehensive ground-based MPS and a rugged tablet which is used whilst airborne and can be handheld, knee-mounted, or cockpit-mounted.
Inzpire won its first Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation in 2014 for the GECO tablet alone. Since then, the company’s mission systems experts have been working tirelessly to enhance the capability in to a full system, allowing aircrew to plan, fly and debrief missions from beginning to end.
Designed by ex-military aviators and industry-leading engineers from the business’s Mission Systems Division, GECO has been in-service with the UK armed forces since 2009 and is combat proven during operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. GECO is also in service with the Royal Jordanian and Indonesian Air Forces, and is supplied to a variety of original equipment manufacturers alongside their aircraft.
There are over 400 GECO systems fielded worldwide across 18 different platforms including Apache, Puma, Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters, and F-16, Hawk and Texan fixed-wing aircraft.
Utilising both 2D and 3D maps and moving imagery, GECO supports users through the whole mission cycle to enhance the planning, briefing, execution, and debrief phases. The ITAR-free software supports fast jets, helicopters, and multi-engine aircraft, and benefits from a modular system architecture which enables integration with secure ground C2 networks and delivers a scalable solution to meet the most demanding of single or multi-aircraft mission requirements.
Hugh Griffiths, Inzpire’s CEO said: “We are delighted to win our second Queen’s Award for Innovation. Inzpire is deeply committed to offering pioneering new capabilities to our customers and this prestigious award is a wonderful recognition of both our innovative ethos and the disruptive and ground-breaking nature of our GECO product.”
Jonny Smith, Head of Inzpire’s Products Operational Business Unit, said: “We are delighted to receive the Queen’s Award for a second time. Innovation lies at the heart of everything we do within Inzpire’s Mission Systems team and the award is testament to our outstanding people.
We constantly strive to provide aircrew with the best mission support system for the job and have taken GECO forward at pace in order to ensure that we continue to meet the demanding requirements of operations and training.
We have always worked hand in glove with our UK and international customers across a multitude of aircraft types to understand their evolving needs and to provide innovative, rapid, value for money solutions.
Our long-term, customer-focussed approach means that, no matter how good GECO is today, it will be even better in the future.”
Now in its 55th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.
Founded in 2005, Inzpire is a multi-award-winning supplier of advanced defence training, technical services and cutting-edge mission systems. The company is a trusted partner of the UK MOD and employs highly experienced former military personnel who work alongside defence engineers and business professionals to deliver operationally credible solutions to military, private and public sector customers. Find out more at www.inzpire.com.
Inzpire’s Mission Systems Division
Inzpire’s Mission Systems Division produces some of the most innovative and highly-regarded Mission Systems available for the air environment. The products are in frontline operational use with UK and international armed forces, delivering situational awareness, safety of flight and mission enhancing capabilities across helicopter, fixed wing and multi-engine platforms.
Inzpire’s GECO System
Inzpire’s GECO System is designed to enhance the safety of missions through its suite of safety and aircrew assistance applications. The system increases mission effectiveness through the provision of situational awareness and decision assistance applications, whilst offering outstanding value for money through the use of commercial off the shelf hardware solutions where appropriate. There are over 400 GECO Systems in service with the Royal Navy, Army Air Corps and the Royal Air Force along with overseas customers including the Indonesian Air Force.
25 Apr 21. US Army wants robots, sensors to make infantry platoons 10 times better. In the next decade, the Army hopes to use robotics and other technologies to make a single infantry platoon 10 times more effective on the battlefield than they are today.
The program shepherding those tech solutions had planned a demonstration last year, but it had to be put on hold, said Ted Maciuba, deputy director of the Robotics Requirements Division, during the annual industry days conference of the Maneuver Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate at Fort Benning, Georgia, April 7.
In the coming weeks, Maciuba and his team will sort through submitted ideas on how artificial intelligence, sensors, robots and other technology can be used to increase the distance platoons can see and shoot, and how they can speed up decision-making.
includes force on force experiments starting next year.
Once the team comes up with tech to demonstrate, the infantry platoon will have work to do.
The platoons will integrate, in manned-unmanned teams, with robotic “prototype ground, air, water and virtual systems” that increase the unit’s “lethality, mobility, protection, situational awareness, endurance, persistence and depth,” according to the presentation.
Planners also expect to see AI tools for making decisions 10 times faster, taking information from a variety of platforms, sensors and higher echelon intelligence to create a “coherent picture and provide that picture to soldiers.”
While they’re looking for new solutions, a host of existing efforts are underway, many of them part of a larger robotic strategy released in 2018.
Over the next three years, the plan is to run the 10x platoon demonstration, improve long-range reconnaissance and counter-small drone tech, incorporate the Next Generation Combat Vehicle program’s Robotic Combat Vehicle, and other network-related efforts.
From 2024 to 2028 they expect to field the light and medium versions of the RCV while also adding cheap, lightweight, expendable robots to the formations.
By the 2028 to 2035 timeframe, all combat formations should have access to persistent air and ground robotic capabilities commanded by soldiers, according to the presentation.
Currently, they’re developing the Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport, or SMET, and Common Robotic System-Individual, or CRS-I, both of which are scheduled to be fielded, along with a short-range reconnaissance robot for platoons.
The effort fielded the Soldier Borne Sensor, a palm-sized microdrone that’s since been deployed with troops to Afghanistan and elsewhere at the squad level.
Each of those platforms comes with associated equipment.
“We’re trying to reduce both physical and cognitive load-putting on soldiers,” Maciuba said. ”The biggest concern now is every time we put a system into formation, it’s one for one. It’s a soldier on the other end of that, controlling the system. Trying to get away from that, reduce load.”
One way to reduce both the physical load and training demands is to make a single controller that can operate all of these tactical-level robots.
The Universal Robotic Controller currently being developed will be able to control the soldier-borne sensor, SMET, short-range reconnaissance and CRS-I, and later work seamlessly with long-range reconnaissance, the RCV and a future exoskeleton, among other systems.
The plans is for the URC to be ready within the next few years and be able to control all of those devices while later accessing AI, cloud services and a variety of other technologies by or before 2027, according to the presentation. (Source: Army Times)
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.